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A modest proposal Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Make OmniWeb open-source.

There's not much money to be made in web browsers anymore, and OW currently seems to be a fairly low priority to the developers, but I think it would thrive in the hands of the community.

At the moment, Camino and Safari seem to be the zippiest web browsers (in both page rendering and general interface responsiveness), but both are somewhat under-featured, and the latter is not open-source; Firefox is bulky and rather un-Maclike in its look and feel; Shiira looked promising but it seems to be dead, and its last release still feels like an alpha. In terms of features, OmniWeb is far ahead of Camino and Safari, and about on par with a rather plugin-overloaded Firefox, but obviously much better integrated and designed. But it has some long-standing deficiencies, and it's not very extensible. Opening it up could solve those fairly quickly, and I think it could make a comeback as a very viable alternative to today's more popular Mac browsers.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ata View Post
Make OmniWeb open-source.

There's not much money to be made in web browsers anymore, and OW currently seems to be a fairly low priority to the developers, but I think it would thrive in the hands of the community.

At the moment, Camino and Safari seem to be the zippiest web browsers (in both page rendering and general interface responsiveness), but both are somewhat under-featured, and the latter is not open-source; Firefox is bulky and rather un-Maclike in its look and feel; Shiira looked promising but it seems to be dead, and its last release still feels like an alpha. In terms of features, OmniWeb is far ahead of Camino and Safari, and about on par with a rather plugin-overloaded Firefox, but obviously much better integrated and designed. But it has some long-standing deficiencies, and it's not very extensible. Opening it up could solve those fairly quickly, and I think it could make a comeback as a very viable alternative to today's more popular Mac browsers.
The community approach is not a good idea especially considering the "community supporter" type of psychotic people who has taken over various great open source projects.

A hint about my feelings about open source on OS X: There are 3 channels I got banned from on a famous IRC network and all 3 are projects I have donated to.

What about the "kitchen sink" or "feature creep"? What about the bugs never fixed because the developer never thought of importance? E.g. Firefox not having colorsync support for YEARS, no less. Or printing scandal which even exists on 3.x version?

I think Omni does a huge favour to open source community already by releasing all their state of art frameworks for free and open source.

When I purchased Omniweb, it was the only remaining payware browser besides iCab. Do you know why I chose to pay? Because it is developed by professionals and supported by professionals.

I think this explains why Omniweb should stay in its own way:
"“Usually this level of functionality can only be found in the geekiest of open source web browsers, if it can be found at all. Finding it in a proper Mac OS X application from a respected developer with a proven track record is like finding a perfect 1/10,000th scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in a box of crackerjacks. Then the tower transforms into a tiny robot and makes you lunch.”
John Siracusa - Ars Technica"
 
I'm in agreement so much as I think a definitive decision needs to be made one way or the other for the maintenance and improvement of OmniWeb, and then let that decision be pursued intently. If the Omni Group feel they want to continue development for their browser, then keep it relevant enough and operational enough to justify its use as a feature complete and bug free product. Or make it open-source and see if users can do the same. My personal opinion is that OW currently is in a stasis of glacial updating for new features and fixes for their persistent bugs, but still has its potential it had as an innovative web browser that unfortunately is getting surpassed as competing browsers improve.

I don't mean to sound overly critical of the development team here: But when a broken feature such as RSS is advertised as working on their homepage, something that every regular forum visitor knows hasn't worked properly for months; combined with little long-standing bugs such as the common bloated HistoryIndex.ox beachball when users keep the default 30 day history OW ships with means that something needs to change.

But here's to a bright future for OmniWeb.
 
Open source is not the answer necessarily. First of all, OW might contain code that other Omni apps use also, code they need to keep to themselves.

Plus Open Source only accomplishes something if there's a core group of dedicated programmers to make it happen. I don't know if such a group exists, or if they would spend the time on OW. Shiira is open source, and that project is also going nowhere. There's little evangelism for OW. So I don't see how opening the source will suddenly make OW get any better.

It's pretty obvious that Omni just updates OW to keep the browser engine relatively up-to-date and to take advantage of Webkit security fixes. Broken features are not fixed, nor are new ones added. Like most companies, they have to prioritize limited resources, and I would say that their other products are much more profitable than OW.

There are now 4 major free browsers available for Mac users (Safari, FF, Opera, and Camino) plus a couple of fringe ones. In this environment, it's hard for OW to justify its continued development.

They can either invest a lot of programmer-hours and come up with a powerful new browser that people would spend money on over the free alternatives, or justify the time as a project that draws people to OG and sells its other apps by association. Companies are in business to stay profitable. OW might just not make business sense any more.
 
 


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