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Tue, May 06, 2008

iCab 4.1.1

Last weekend Alexander released a new public version of iCab. There are quite a few bug fixes, changes and enhancements since the last public version (4.0.1).

I have been asked why these release notes don't appear on icab.de, where they belong. Honestly, I don't know. It's Alexander's decision. But as long as the release history isn't available anywhere else, I'll post it here so Google (and other web crawlers) can search it.

So, here's a copy of Alexander's readme file (which you'll find in the iCab download archives as well):

New Features:
  • New feature implemented: "Tab Overview". The "Tab Overview" can be activated from within the "Window" menu or by clicking the new icon at the right side of the Tabs Toolbar in the browser window. The "Tab Overview" requires at least MacOSX 10.4.x. The "Tab Overview" is something like Exposé for Tabs. When activated, all Tabs will be shown as small thumbnail images ontop of a dark transparent fullscreen window (like Dashboard). You can easily identify the Tabs, activate another Tab and also delete Tabs. This can be done either using the mouse but also using the keyboard: Tab/Shift-Tab and the arrow keys can be used to select a new Tab, the "Return", "Enter" or "Space" keys can be used to activate the selected Tab, the "Backspace" or "Delete" keys will close the selected tab and the "ESC" key will close the "Tab Overview" itself.
  • iCab recognizes geo-tagged web pages. The status bar now has an additional icon which indicates if the currently displayed web page is geo-tagged via META tag. Clicking the icon will then open a popup menu where the location is displayed in plain text (if provided by the web page) and when selecting the menu item in the popup menu the location is shown in google maps (At the moment the popup menu of this GeoTag icon will only have one menu item. Later it may have additional menu items for geo-tagged images or other geo-tagged media that is found in the web page).
  • In the Filter Manager there's a new text field in the "Page Layout" panel where CSS code can be entered that will be applied to the web pages which are addressed by the filter. The new advertising filter which you can find in the iCab archive uses this new field to filter out the ad banners of the mactechnews.com web site. So you should replace the old advertising filter by the new one if you're using this filter.
  • New setting added in the "Special websites" section of the "Forms Manager". It's now possible to change the form checks to be less strict. This way filling out forms can be made as comfortable as in other browsers (but also as insecure as in other browsers).
  • Using MacOSX 10.5.x the contexual menu of the browser will now also include meu items to search the text selection in the "Dictionary" and in "Spotlight".
  • In the URL completion preferences it is now possible to configure which URL schemes iCab should use for the URL completion feature and which schemes it should ignore.
  • The contextual menu in the browser window can now be also opened by holding down the left mouse button for a while, if this feature is enabled in the Preferences dialog in the "General > Contextual Menu" panel. The standard way to open the contextual menu (Right-Click or Control-Click) does always work.
  • It's now possible to enter Cmd-Return, Cmd-Shift-Return, Cmd-Alt-Return and Cmd-Alt-Shift-Return in the URL field and Search field of the browser toolbar to open the URL or search result in a new window or Tab in the background or foreground.
  • Syntax hilighting for the source code window implemented
  • Colors and bold face text in the error report window help to find the important keywords.
  • The HTML attributes "cite" and "longdesc" are now also listed in the "Link Manager" window.
  • Double-clicking in the background of the Tabs toolbar will now also create a new Tab.
  • When searching in the History window iCab will now also search in closed folders, opening them automatically when needed.
  • When loading files from a local disk ("file:" URLs) iCab will now show a "proxy" icon in the titlebar of the window. Control-Clicking or Cmd-Clicking the proxy icon will display a popup menu where you can access all the parent folders of the local file, so it's very easy to locate the file in the Finder..
  • Added a new option in the Tabs settings to swap the keyboard shortcuts for new windows and new Tabs. Before this shortcut swap was bound to the option "Open Tabs instead of Windows". Now these are individual settings. This way you can get the same shortcuts as in Safari (which doesn't have the option "Open Tabs instead of Windows").
  • In the Network settings you can now configure if iCab should process FTP links itself or if the external FTP application that is configured in the system as default FTP application is called instead to precess the FTP link.
  • When loading Session files iCab will now (optionally) ask if it is OK to overwrite the current session with the one from the file or if the current session should be saved before the file will be loaded. This confirmation can be anabled/disabled in the "General" preferences in the "Other" tab.
  • Javascript code is now able to use databases (via "window.openDatabase()")
  • When saving a web page, iCab will now also offer to save it as PDF file. So it is no longer necessary to use the "print" command to save it as PDF file. Using the "save" command is much more intuitive.
  • The "YouTube Video Download" filter from the folder "Filter Manager Examples" is improved now. It will now offer to download the video as Flash movie or as MP4 movie (though the MP4 format is not yet avaiable for all videos). So when you're already using the Youtube download filter you should import the new filter again to replace the old one.
  • The new keyboard shortcut Control-Alt-T can be used to switch on the Tabs Toolbar when it is hidden (for example because the window only contains one single document and iCab is configured to hide the Tabs toolbar in this case). The shortcut can be useful if the user wants to drag the document of this window as Tab into another window to combine the two windows into a single one.
  • iCab now supports the ".url" files of Internet Explorer (Windows or Mac version). These files are the windows counterpart of the "webloc" files on the Mac.
  • French translation added (Thanks to Pierre Rudloff)
  • Help is now available in English as well.
  • When explicitly opening a link in a window by the user the "Referrer" information gets no longer lost.
  • The "Save" button in the PDF view (a PDF document is opened without any PDF plugin) does work now in iCab as well.
  • When changing the titles of bookmarks in the Favorites folder of the Bookmarks window, iCab didn't update the Favorites toolbars immediately.
  • JavaScript bookmarkslets can now open windows even when the JavaScript setting "open windows without user interaction" is unchecked.
  • Bugfix for the shareware reminder dialog box which could cause a crash in very rare circumstances under MacOSX 10.4.x.
  • The error report feature didn't always select the right location in the sourcecode when showing the error location. This happened only when the source code contained some Unicode characters from a "higher" Unicode code page.
  • If the Force-Quit-Command was disabled in the Kiosk preferences, which also disables Exposé and Dashboard, Exposé and Dashboard were not enabled again when the Kioks mode was left.
  • Small adaption to the new WebKit release (Safari 3.1) where the click with the third mouse button (middle button) didn't work anymore. Now iCab hooks itself into internal WebKit structures to get such clicks again.
  • When the user edits the URL of a finished download to repeat the same download with a different URL, some internal Download settings did not refect the new URL immediately.
  • If the option "Stack windows" is enabled in the Window preferences, iCab will no longer remeber the sizes of all the open browser windows. This is only done when this setting is switched off.
  • When quitting iCab while downloads are still running, iCab now asks the user if iCab should really abort the downloads and quit.
  • Asking for the number of windows in AppleScript did also take the closed and invisible windows into account. This doesn't happen anymore.
  • The "Search" window will now always on the active "Screen" when "Spaces" of Leopard is active.
  • Bugfix for the Error report. iCab could crash if an extrenal CSS file was completely empty.
  • When imported bookmarks files did use an invalid text encoding, bookmark titles with non-ASCII characters could be imported with an empty title instead. Now iCab will try out different encodings and if none will result in valid text, iCab will just remove the invalid characters and keep the rest.
Posted by Thomas Much at 19:50
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Sat, Mar 08, 2008

iCab 4.0.1

Three weeks ago a new public version of the now WebKit-based browser iCab has been released. Here's an excerpt from the version history included with the iCab archive:

New Features:
  • Added localized resources for Danish, Norwegian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish (thanks to Mogens Thyregod, Leif Halvard Silli, Michael Krekin, Hans Yu, i_zac, Manuel Montero Barro)
  • When saving a web page it's now also possible to save it as plain text.
  • Under MacOSX 10.5 the contextual menu will now include special menu items for PDF files when PDF files are displayed.
  • In MacOSX 10.4.11 and later the TEXTAREA fields in web pages can now be resized
  • In MacOSX 10.4.11 and later iCab will now enable the Web-Inspector of the MacOS. The Web-Inspector can be opened by choosing the menu item "Element Information" from within the contextual menu.
  • Added support for the JavaScript call "print()"
  • It's now possible to use small icons in the browser toolbar.
  • New option in the "Page Layout" preferences to enable support for language-specific quote characters
  • It' now possible to drag URLs into the Tabs toolbar to open it as Tab.
  • iCab can be configured in the bookmarks preferences to add a menu item "Open as tabs" in each submenu of the bookmarks menu to open all the menu items of such a submenu menu as Tabs.
  • In the search engine settings you can now also set the text encoding that should be used for the search engine.
  • Help files in German are available (English ones will follow)
  • The size of the searchbox in the browser toolbar was not processed correctly
  • iCab now rechecks if all the plugins that were available before are still available when it is launched.
  • Fixed a bug in AppleScript support which prevented that URL-Manager can get the history of the active Tab
  • Fixed a bug which could prevent that certain old WebArchives from iCab 2/3 could be loaded.
  • Fixed several bugs in Kiosk mode
  • Page Overview and the Links overview didn't work for XHTML documents.
  • Fixed a bug so that JavaScript Bookmarklets will be accepted even when they contain characters that are not allowed in URLs.
  • Fixed some bugs in Download Manager which affected the download of whole web sites.
  • When printing iCab didn't repect the landscape mode setting.
  • Fixed a problem when importing Omniweb Bookmarks.
  • Fixed several bugs in the error report which reported a few false error messages.
  • Added a workaround for a bug in MacOSX which can cause that all Cookies are deleted. This MacOS bug also affects other browsers like Safari. In iCab this is now fixed when the private Cookies storage of iCab is used (which is the default).
  • Fixes some minor issues in MacOSX 10.3.9 where some MacOSX 10.4.x/10.5. features that are used by iCab are not available.
Posted by Thomas Much at 21:27
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Fri, Jan 04, 2008

iCab 4.0.0 and iCab 3.0.5 Public Releases

Happy New Year 2008 to you all!

In case you didn't notice: Alexander released two new public iCab versions on January 1.

iCab 4.0.0 is the very first public version of the now Cocoa and Webkit based complete rewrite of the cute little internet taxi. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and is available as an Universal Binary version.

iCab 3.0.5 is a maintainance release of the older code base that still uses Carbon and its own rendering engine. For Max OS X it's available both as Universal Binary and PPC. For Classic Mac OS you can download a PPC release.

Posted by Thomas Much at 18:47
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Thu, Aug 24, 2006

iCab 3.0.3 Final(ly)

Last Thursday something happened which many people did not expect any more: iCab went final. Which does not mean that its development has stopped, but that a stable version is available to all Mac users for free! Congratulations to Alexander for his effort and stamina in bringing standards support to the web for more than ten years now! iCab 3 is available in three flavours:

  • A Universal Binary version for Intel Macs,
  • a PPC version for Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later running on a G3/G4/G5 processor and
  • a Classic version for PPC Macs running Mac OS 8.5-9.2.2.

For 68k Macs or PPC Macs running older Mac OS versions, iCab 2.9.9a is still available.

Make sure you read the readme file, especially if you're using the Universal Binary version on an Intel Mac (in short: update to Mac OS X 10.4.7 or newer).

These are the highlights since beta 382, the last public preview version from last December:

  • You can open URLs that are not a hyperlink but plain text by holding down the Command key while clicking on the URL text.
  • The CSS property text-shadow is supported, see this demo.
  • The internal RSS reader has been improved for ATOM feeds and iTunes podcast feeds.
  • If an image is displayed directly in iCab, you can zoom in and out of the image by simply clicking on it.
  • You can save all open documents (windows and tabs) into a session file, either by invoking a menu entry or automatically everytime you quit iCab.
  • Favicons are supported.
  • The HTTP "Link" header is supported.
  • "Digest Authentication" is supported.
Posted by Thomas Much at 17:09
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Fri, Apr 07, 2006

Opera and Acid2 - and iCab?

More and more browsers pass the Acid2 test, this is good news! Now Opera 9 has passed the test, too, well before Firefox or Internet Explorer. Congratulations!

Less good news is this assertion that Konqueror and iCab fail to pass the test because they do not hide the document's scrollbars. Hiding the scrollbars is not strictly neccessary to pass the test, and therefore the inventors of the test awarded the second and third place of the "test race" to iCab and Konqueror, respectively (with Safari as the winner and Prince and Opera following on places four and five). Unfortunately, someone took this claim for true and changed the Acid2 history in Wikipedia... So it's time for a clarification why hiding the scrollbars is not necessary to pass the Acid2 test, and here it is:

The assertion is based on the following line from the test's CSS source code:

html { ... overflow: hidden; /* hides scrollbars on viewport, see 11.1.1:3 */ ... }

The comment explicitely references section 11.1.1 from the CSS 2.1 draft, let's have a look there:

This value indicates that the content is clipped and that no scrolling user interface should be provided to view the content outside the clipping region.

The important word here is "should", because the same document defines exactly what this word means (section 3.1):

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 (see [RFC2119]). However, for readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification.

Let's go on to RFC 2119:

This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

iCab's decision to display scrollbars is carefully weighed and has a simple reason - usability. There are pages out there where "webdesigners" assume a certain screen size, and if iCab would hide the scrollbars as "desired", these pages would be unusable.

You might argue that the Acid2 test is about predictability of the layout, and you're right. But whether there are scrollbars on the viewport or not does not affect the layout of the Acid2 test at all, so the scrollbars are simply irrelevant for a predictable layout. And that's most probably the reason why WaSP declared iCab (and Konqueror) Acid2 compliant even with scrollbars on the viewport (i.e. on the document). For good reason: Acid2 is a test for a predictable layout, but not against usability.

Conclusion: Opera passes Acid2, as do Konqueror and iCab.

In the meantime, there have been different test cases that detach the scrollbar from the viewport via CSS, i.e. the document's scrollbar is not necessarily displayed on the border of the window (outside of the document's content). In these cases the layout might depend on the visibility of the scrollbars, so from iCab 3.0 Beta 400 on there is a switch to detach the scrollbars and hide them if the CSS rules say so. But this option is switched off by default - again, for usability reasons. And again, this is not relevant for Acid2, since it keeps the scrollbars attached to the window border.

And now, back to business.

Posted by Thomas Much at 23:54
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Thu, Dec 22, 2005

iCab 3.0 Beta 382 (Public Preview)

As predicted yesterday, a new public preview version of iCab 3.0 is available! Its main new features since the last public preview (beta 352, which was released in September) are

  • A built-in RSS reader
  • A new cache browser
  • Anchor highlighting
  • Support for Mac OS X's "Services" menu
  • Support for alternative style sheets

You'll find a detailed list of all changes and bug fixes in the readme files.

As the feature set seems quite complete, why is it still called a beta version? The readme mentions two issues:

  • Printing isn't fully working in the Classic version of iCab (because of bugs in printing Unicode text in "Classic" MacOS).
  • It is not optimized for speed yet.

IMHO both issues do not justify the beta status for much longer, at least not for the Mac OS X version. Other browsers have been declared "final" with a much less complete feature set... So, time for a final version early next year?

However, this decision is not up to me. Enjoy the new public preview of iCab! :-)

Posted by Thomas Much at 15:58
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Wed, Dec 21, 2005

IE:mac gone for good

Microsoft announced that support for InternetExplorer:mac will end on 2005-12-31, and one month later the download link will disappear from their web site. This step was foreseeable as Microsoft canceled further development of IE:mac back in June 2003 after Apple released their Safari browser.

Actually, this is good news! The latest IE:mac version 5.2.3 is several years old and not up to date with current standards by far. Web designers who had to "tune" their pages with special hacks for the old and buggy IE:mac can now ignore this dead browser dinosaur and can rely on better alternatives.

And good alternatives for Mac OS X there are many: Safari, Firefox, Opera, OmniWeb and - of course - iCab (the latter being one of the very few browsers still developed not only for Mac OS X, but for Mac OS Classic, too).

Posted by Thomas Much at 13:00
Categories: Apple & Mac OS X, Browsers

Sat, Nov 05, 2005

Acid2 - the truth about Safari, iCab and Konqueror

The latest Mac OS X update (10.4.3) contains a new Safari version 2.0.2 that passes the Acid2 test (if you're not sure what this test is all about, take the guided tour). This has raised some interest in the media if and when other browsers will pass this test, too. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misconception about the winner and the runners-up. So, here's the truth about the Acid2 race.

Fact 1

  • On 2005-04-27 Apple's Safari was the first browser that successfully passed the Acid2 test, but it was an Apple internal version only.
  • On 2005-05-18, an internal iCab version passed the test, too, and was available to registered users on 2005-05-20 - second place! A public preview was released on 2005-06-06.
  • Konqueror passed the test on 2005-06-04 and was available as a nightly build almost instantly - third place.

Later on, nightly builds of Safari became available here, and on 2005-10-31 Safari was the first officially released Acid2 compliant browser. The initiatiors of the test race, webstandards.org, have published the official results here and here.

Fact 2

iCab uses its own rendering engine and is not based on KHTML - in contrast to Apple's WebKit, which is based on KHTML. This way, the developers of Konqueror could use some of Apple's Acid2 fixes. The code that enabled iCab to pass the Acid2 test was written completely by Alexander Clauss.

Posted by Thomas Much at 23:58
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript

Sun, Oct 16, 2005

Public Evolution

With Web 2.0 on its way, several groups and organizations try to define what the next generation web should look like, among them WHAT and The Web Standards Project . And the browser developers talk about their success in implementing these new features (and their catch up on older standards):

  • Surfin' Safari
    Apple's browser for Mac OS X.
  • IEBlog
    Microsoft's browser that desperately needs standards compliance.
  • MozillaZine Weblogs
    Several Mozilla-related products and modules, including the Firefox web browser.
Posted by Thomas Much at 23:05
Categories: Browsers

Sun, Oct 09, 2005

JavaScript 1.6 - Array and String generics

The new JavaScript version in Firefox 1.5 introduces "generic" String and Array functions that can be applied on any object by simply calling the function on the String or Array constructor and passing the desired object as the first parameter. Since I could not find a list of all generic functions, I digged through the source code. Here's the result:

  • Array:
    concat, every, filter, forEach, indexOf, join, lastIndexOf, map, pop, push, reverse, shift, slice, some, sort, splice, unshift
  • String:
    charAt, charCodeAt, concat, indexOf, lastIndexOf, localeCompare, match, quote, replace, search, slice, split, substr, substring, toLocaleLowerCase, toLocaleUpperCase, toLowerCase, toUpperCase
Posted by Thomas Much at 21:27
Categories: Browsers, JavaScript

JavaScript 1.6 - Array extras

Firefox 1.5 comes with a new JavaScript version 1.6 that brings us some new Array functions.

As of release 182, InScript supports these new functions, too (check <inscript:settings()> to see if your iCab is built with a suitable InScript version). This release also has support for E4X's (ECMAScript for XML, ECMA-357) "for each" loops.

Posted by Thomas Much at 20:29
Edited on: Sun, Oct 09, 2005 20:30
Categories: Browsers, iCab & InScript, JavaScript