Rediscovering Camino

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
August 11th, 2003 • 10:40 pm

While I still occasionally have to launch Internet Explorer in ORDER to be able to access a web site that simply will not work in Safari and is obviously designed in a Windows-centric, Microsoft-infested kind of way, I do the vast majority of my web browsing with Safari. It’s fast, it’s tight, it’s well designed, it rarely crashes. What else could you ask for?

Before Safari came out, I had already started to switch from Explorer to the Mozilla project then known as “Chimera” and now known as Camino. Once Safari was there, I more or less forgot about Chimera. While it was a nice Cocoa application, it simply wasn’t as tight and elegant as Safari.

These days, however, I am “rediscovering” Camino. There are several reasons. One of them is that an increasing number of sites (among the ones that I am interested in) advertise their support of Mozilla and other browsers derived from it, including Camino. Safari is already well supported by a great number of sites, but it’s a 1.0 product, and its compliance with Internet standards is not exactly optimal yet. Camino seems to be a bit better that this. A simple example: the font variant “small-caps” (which I use for the category label that appears between brackets and in grey next to each item’s title in this blog) is simply not supported in Safari — whereas it is supported in both Explorer and Camino.

Another reason is that it’s always nice to have two browsers running at the same time. Browser crashes are unfortunately a fact of life — and, until somebody finally comes up with a smart “snapshot” feature that periodically takes a snapshot of which web pages are currently loaded in your browser and is able to restore your environment of web pages after a browser crash with a single click, HAVING a secondary browser for loading certain pages is always a bonus. I do this especially for web sites that I am not familiar with and have not yet downloaded in Safari, or with web sites that I know and that tend to induce crashes. You just never know when a crash might happen. So I LOAD the offending or suspicious web site in Camino, leaving my environment in Safari untouched — and, if the web site turns out to be reasonably well-designed, I can then decide to store its URL as a “.webloc” file in my “Bookmarks” folder and access it from within Safari (my default browser for .webloc files) later on.

I still don’t like the way that Camino handles tabs within windows as much as the Safari approach — but it’s very similar and keyboard shortcuts are by and large identical. (I’d like each tab to have its own “Close” box, for example.) So it’s not too much disruption to switch from Safari to Camino and back.

3 Responses to “Rediscovering Camino”

  1. Michael Williams says:

    The smart “snapshot” feature you describe has been in Opera since version 4 (and possibly version 3!). I’ve submitted a feature request to Apple. If Safari’s tabs were Applescript-able it would be trivial for someone to do this in Applescript, but as of 1.0 they aren’t, which is a shame.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Yes, I am aware of this. I have plenty of good reasons not to use Opera, though :).

    Also waiting for Safari to fully support AppleScript scriptability… although I’d prefer a built-in feature myself, not a script that I have to run manually.

  3. Michael Williams says:

    My Applescript isn’t up to a great deal, but I should imagine it would be fairly easy to set it to save open tabs and windows every <code>$interval</code>, or perhaps even every time the contents of any of them change.

    But you’re right–an Apple-sanctioned, properly integrated solution is infinitely preferable. Maybe something for 1.1 (which will probably release alongside Panther).

    Failing that, Apple could practice what they preach and make Safari usefully scriptable. ;->

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