Continued: 64-bit test builds of OmniWeb now available


It’s about passion. People love the software they created, that’s why they keep working on it in their spare time.
Yes, software development is expensive. That’s why selling a product that only very few people are willing to pay for does not make sense. In the moment you’re taking money you’re responsible and obliged to fix bugs etc., and if even that is not going to be covered by what people pay for it, you’ll end up with a loss.

Thus I like my own idea about a donation-based system. Once there’s enough money collected for a feature it is going to be created, not more, not less. The product stays free, thus no obligations for the makers. People like myself who are willing to spend some money in something they really like may end up seeing some long waited-for progress once there are enough others who feel the same way.


And that has been the thrust of my argument so far in this thread.

It would be flippantly rude and outright arrogant to think that a developer would work for free out of pure altruism. That’s not how a business works.

Yes, passion for development is important. Yes, OmniGroup is brilliant at developing productivity apps (as they have been, since the NeXT era). But business considerations are important as well. OmniGroup is not publicly funded (by the government, or a NGO), and as such, business considerations arise.

Do not conflate ‘business rationality’ and common sense with, as I quote, an ‘anti-Omni attitude’.

The theory of market failure (as illustrated by open-source projects like OpenSSL. Large web companies and established firms (such as the ones in Fortune 500) use it daily, as part of their internal or external infrastructure, yet the amount of donations towards the project is pitiful.) shows why your example of a donation-based OmniWeb is clearly a bad business decision.

Why would someone pay for a feature to be implemented when they can just sit back, wait, and let other people pay and get those features for free?

I know I wouldn’t. I know you wouldn’t either (you might say you will, for the sake of supporting your own argument, but in reality, you would treat it as essentially free software and ignore the nature of it being shareware/donationware). It goes against the implicit rational decision-making tenet in economics.

Ever wonder why essential infrastructure (such as lighthouses, roads and street lighting) have to be built and paid for by governments (through taxation of the general populace, hence pooling the costs of these essential infrastructure), and not through private sponsorship, or, as you propose, donation?

The economic theory of free riding combines with the earlier principle of market failure to illustrate why such an example is unfeasible.

Going back to the earlier question I posed… If street lighting was paid for through a voluntary donation by the community (taking into account the nature of street lighting as a(n economic) ‘public good’) then the street lighting would stay continually unlit, for those who pay stand to lose (in terms of money), while those who don’t pay stand to gain (street lighting without payment). Due to the problem of free-riding, and market failure, it doesn’t make sense to follow the developmental model that you have proposed, unless you want OmniGroup to lose money (and more significantly, developmental time, which could be used to develop other apps in the OmniGroup productivity suite, or revamp existing ones, such as OmniPlan for OS X).

Your idea of a donation-based funded OmniWeb is interesting prima facie, but it won’t work in practice.

See the situation with Aperture.

Should Apple develop Aperture for free (and incur significant developmental costs, in light of the decreasing number of users for the app), or release it as a donation-based software?

Should Microsoft do that as well, for Microsoft Office? Make it donation-based software? Scale this question to enterprise software. What about Oracle’s enterprise offerings? Is donation-based software development the way forward?


I’m not sure who I am responding to in this thread. I got an email— I guess savant tea yay. "It would be flippantly rude and outright arrogant to think that a developer would work for free out of pure altruism. That’s not how a business works.”

“New World Hors D’oeuvres” is one of my creative works. Excluding a page where I am quoting “Little Bush,” aka George W., in the whole 224 pages two words are absent: “if” and “think,” which are close to “to”and “would.” The boss of bosses at omni has been updating and upgrading omniweb browser—not a future maybe to do or would, rather past tense “done.”

The state of the art browser is given free, because the marketplace for browsers demands it. What I have been talking about is not a to / would but can do (in a blink past tense) — the marketing strategy is thus — for $2.99 you get a mini - instruction manual focused of the “SOURCE EDITOR,” which is also free and an element of the free browser. Also included for $2.99 is a tool bar explanation, to compliment the Source Editor explanation. The target of this is any newbie computer wanna be website builder age five to fifty. Not for seasoned geeks who who dream C++ but a five year old kid who wants to learn how to build a five page website in twenty minutes . . . a super surprise for mom and dad.

Is how the source editor works when constructing a website ‘software development?’ It’s done already! The $2.99 manual could be prepared in a few hours. Were the omni boss to award me $0.25 for every sale inspired by omniweb’s source editor, a value added feature, I will be driving a bought and paid for two seater Jaguar within the year. The niche market newbie website building and design market I see is people who think C++ is their grade in geography, Ubunto, a near extinct tribe who thrived for centuries in the Bolivian jungle.

Let us end this thread.

Mike Levinson.commie


Argh, what have they done to the forums.

Just updated to the latest test build of OW yesterday and I’ve been using it since then without a single crash, and everything works great.

My only issue is that since using Safari for the past 6 months or so I’ve gotten used to a few of the nicer new features, like icloud keychain and bookmark syncing. but at least those aren’t dealbreakers, I just have to use keychain access to access all the passwords that got saved into my icloud keychain. And I can still have my bookmark syncing if I import between safari and OW periodically.

The only other huge is that I have gotten used to the way zooming works in Safari, it is much nicer than the way it is done in omniweb. I’ve found in the past day that using omniweb’s built in zoom breaks a lot of pages. But luckily it’s possible to use safari style zoom by creating a custom stylesheet and setting it in your global site prefs, with the following code:

body { zoom: 130%; }

Just adjust the zoom level to your liking.

Oh, and textareas aren’t resizable which is really annoying. But I can deal with it.


Is Troy still reading and posting here?

I hope so as I’d like to make a small request for OmniWeb 6 to recognise the “AddressAutocompleteMinimumWidth” defaults key. I have tried setting it but it keeps disappearing form the plist file so I guess it’s not supported at the moment.


Belatedly, to get the search field back again…

Right-click somewhere on the toolbar (but not in a text area) and this should bring up the ‘Customize Toolbar…’ option. After selecting that, a sheet showing all of the available toolbar options should appear including the one called ‘Search Field’. Drag it onto your toolbar and click Done.

Alternate path: View > Toolbars > Customize Navigation Bar…

Hope this helps


Any news? This thread has been awfully quiet this past month.


I am hoping that once the dust settles from all the work on the paid app Ken will find some time to give OW a little love. Works ok, but crashes every time I close a window (not a tab, thankfully).


Window closing crash fixed!
Xcode 6.1
Build version 6A1042b


With all the news of Safari in Yosemite using words such as “streamlined,” “clean,” “slimmed down,” and “minimalist,” I’m really looking forward to continued support of OmniWeb. As someone who wants a fully featured browser, I can see that Safari will certainly not meet my needs going forward.


Can anyone upload a screenshot of how OmniWeb looks like?


Here is a screen shot of the window. I’ve squeezed it as much as I could without affecting the navigation bar. The favourites bar is hidden and the address bar is on its own. While I don’t consider it a priority, it will probably look better with new button icons.



Mine looks a bit different :)
First of all I usually disable the tool bar, it’s in the way and not necessary. Also of course, the wonderful thing about OW is the vertical tab bar. Let’s take a look:


Continuing the discussion from Continued: 64-bit test builds of OmniWeb now available:

Thank you all for the screenshots.

@mbert: What advantages do a vertical tab bar bring over a horizontal one (which is more compressed, which I assume is more efficient, in terms of the use of screen real estate).


Two things:

  1. On most laptops you have a wide screen that you don’t make use of when browing the web as most web pages don’t display in full width (and you may not even want them to).
  2. If you have a lot of tabs open, you won’t be able to recognize them anymore if they display like e.g. on Chrome. It’s much more efficient to have them on the left; either just titles (in that case you will have a complette overview all the time) or - like here - with a scroll bar.

One reason of moving on to OW from Opera was the fact they no longer supported vertical tabs when they started rebuilding everything on top of Chrome’s technology.
OW’s combination of workspaces and the vertical tab bar is one big reason for me to use it despite the fact that it is slower and - still - often less stable than others.


Continuing the discussion from Continued: 64-bit test builds of OmniWeb now available:

Excellent points.



Someone above asked what it was about OW that created such a loyal (if small) fan base. I have seen this question asked elsewhere and typically, the answer is the vertical tabs. Those are great to be sure, but there’s a lot more to OW than its tabs. I’ve taken the liberty to write down a few of the things that I like about OmniWeb and that keep me using it on a daily basis. While many of these features are in multiple browsers, it is how they are implemented here that makes them stand out. Neither browsers nor their feature sets are actual commodities. I’m sure I’ve missed some things but the post is long enough so….

At the end, I tacked on a small wishlist of sorts. I hope it’s not too much of a thread hijacking.

###Flexible, consistent toolbars

  • Once you add in the length of the address text area, you can easily make it the size you want (OW5)
  • You can easily hide/show the bars using keyboard shortcuts which allows me to remain focused on the web page rather than rooting around in menus (or just leaving them there)
  • Useful controls can be added. I add the downloads window, view source, font size, page info, domain settings, add bookmarks, view bookmarks, tab bar toggle. Back in the day I used the print and mail buttons as well but I don’t do those so much anymore. I’m not sure that there are any functions that I’d like to see a button for that doesn’t exist. A quick jaunt through the menus came up with nothing.
    ###Favourites Bar
  • It’s easy to add and remove stuff here. It’s also easy to find them in the main bookmarks window. Safari and Firefox both make this needlessly difficult and confusing.
  • There is a command-shortcut for the non-folder items.
    • In my screenshot below for example, Command-4, the right-most icon, will launch this page.
    • Command-1 (or 2 or 3) will save the page as HTML, PDF or web archive in Devonthink respectively.
  • Given that it’s easy to add, remove and use items on the favourites bar, I do a lot of adding, removing and using, whereas with other browsers, I tend to just leave stuff there.
    ###Drag and drop
  • Seems more flexible and useful than with other browsers. It’s not perfect, just better.
  • Often when I drag a link using another browser to a text documents (or OO4), it gets dumped as a full URL, which I generally don’t want. If I want that, I’ll copy and paste the URL from the address bar.
  • With OW, I’ll generally get the link text, which is what I typically want. Of course, this doesn’t really work when dragging to OO4.
  • You can drag a link or shift-drag what the link connects to.
  • I like how I can just click in the address bar and get my cursor where I want it. Firefox requires two clicks and Safari has issues as it tries to minimalize everything.
    ###Tab Drawer
  • This item is what most OW fans will gush about
  • Saves vertical space
  • Usable thumbnails. They can be displayed as a thumbnail letting you know where you are on sites that provide useless page titles. You can stretch it horizontally with minimal effort. You can switch to text-only if you need to cram more tabs while still seeing them all at once.
  • With my current window size, I can see 6 thumbnails or 27 text tabs. And as I suggest below, with a quick drag, I can stretch the drawer to see more of the tab titles. Having said this, I find OW often crashes with too many tabs.
  • With other browsers, you quickly get the tab text area shrunk to a useless size. Add another order of magnitude of tabs and you can’t see them all. Scrolling through tabs is typically a fruitless endeavour. Some browsers offer up the ability to go into a view tab mode which lets you see all the tabs as thumbnails but how useful is this? I find it leads to crashing and still doesn’t make it easy to find wayward tabs.
  • Because it has decent width to go along with its height, it is easy to drag tabs around
  • It’s easy to drag stuff from other windows or browsers onto it
    ###Site Preferences
  • Other browsers have added this feature but none do it as well.
  • I keep the Site Prefs button on the toolbar for easy access, so it’s easy to change numerous useful settings for a specific site. These are a subset of the global settings. Some aren’t especially useful on a site by site basis, e.g. History so they aren’t available by site.
  • However, options like the various blocking tools, style sheets, image loading, page zooming, javascript, cookies, java (only enabled for specific sites, usually on intranet), tab opening rules, and download folders are quickly and easily accessible and therefore, get used a lot. There’s a nice little marble to let you know when the site pref varies from the global pref.
  • And if you have set site preferences for the current site, an icon shows up in the status bar so you don’t have to guess.
    ###Page Info
  • While this isn’t as unique as it once was, I like having quick and easy access to the components of a web page, which I can open in a separate window, view the source or just save to the drive.
  • It’s laid out well but it does have a couple of shortcomings. Some pages have so many items that it can be a challenge to find what you want and while I’m not sure what triggers it, it often refreshes. Combined with the fixed, relatively small window section, it can be rough on some pages. I’d like for it to be able to identify key images, e.g. background image, main image, so they don’t get lost in all the buttons and arrows that many pages have.
  • This is another area in which other browsers have been catching up but I think OW is better than most.
  • It’s easy to assign a keyword to a favourite. This allows you to type just word and then load the full URL. You can do this without using the mouse, with an already existing bookmark — just a few tabs typically.
  • It’s easy to do the same with search fields on any site. If a site offers search, right click in the text area of the search field and choose Add Search Shortcut…. This lets you then just type your shortcut, a space and then your search string. Again, it’s really easy to do and you can edit the search parametres in the settings at your leisure. For example, I use ‘wiki’ to load Wikipedia and ‘wikis’ to search Wikipedia and load the results.
  • For what it’s worth, I think both of these features belong outside of the preferences and should be invokable from their own menu item, like Open Bookmarks Window. The preferences window is a little small for them, especially since they share the same space. Ad blocking probably falls into this category as well.
  • Link shortcuts… this is something I miss in OW6. A lot. Basically, it lets you use the keyboard and tab key to navigate around the links on a page. The more I can do without having to go to the trackpad or the mouse, the more focused I can be on what I’m doing. I really liked how it was implemented in OW5.
  • All of these features have been added by other browsers but how they’ve been implemented in OW is superior. I feel more constrained, and much more conscious of browser limitations when using other browsers.
  • ‘Next page’ with the Enter key. With forum pages (but not Discourse since it don’t have pages), or with those multiple page articles like John Siracusa’s [OS X reviews], you can just space bar down the page and then hit enter to go to the next page. It makes for relaxing reading. Doesn’t work yet in OW6 though.
  • And using the link navigation I mentioned above, if you want to follow one of the links, you can type the first couple of letters to highlight the link (or use Command-option-Down, or combined these actions) and then type command-return to have it open in a background tab which you can go to at your leisure.
  • This isn’t really a shortcut but… If a site has an annoying GIF (meaning any forum site), it’s easy enough to right-click and filtre that image out of existence although it might require flushing the cache (command-option-u) and reloading the page. You can then go into the ad blocking preferences and edit the link to make it more general (e.g. all GIFs from a given site).
    ###Built in HTML editor and Redisplay button
  • All browsers have the ability to view source, even Safari, although Apple seems to be conflicted about this feature. They move it around, hide it, have a less than obvious shortcut for it and they took many years before they provide colour in the source window.
  • Well Omniweb doesn’t just allow you to view source, it has a fine editor in it, with syntax colouring.
  • You can save locally or remotely.
  • And then there’s the magical ‘Redisplay’ button. You can edit a page, click the button, and it the original browser window will reload the page from your source window, and thus, include your edits.
  • Thus, if a page has some horrific elements that aren’t due to an external, and thus easily blockable script, you can quickly do something about it. Sometimes, I’ll use it just to get rid of some garish text. At work, it might take hours or days to get intranet pages updated or corrected. With this feature, it was possible to generate correct screenshots, etc… with a minimum of fuss and effort.
  • If you have some pages that you want to check routinely during the day, it’s easy enough to set up a workspace for them. Then with a single keystroke, you can switch back and forth.
    ###Status bar
  • It’s just a little nicer than others. If a site foists cookies upon you, with a click you can see what they are and whether they were accepted or not, and whether they’re permanent or temporary.
  • If there’s a form element that you have a string for, you get a button.
  • As mentioned earlier, if site preferences have been set, an icon shows up.
  • If images haven’t been loaded, or if there’s a search function available, you also get a button/icon.
    ###Preferences are nice
  • It’s easy to cycle through them as they have function prev/next buttons. In OW6 though, you can’t add favourite preference panes to the top of the prefs window.
    ###I don’t use these often but…
  • It’s easy to pull up a network activity window for active connections, or the error log (w show http requests) to see what’s going on, or what file is choking, or what has gone on.
  • Save as a single-page PDF file
  • Save Linked Image (Needs a shortcut but I can’t seem to add one for it)
  • It doesn’t work in these forums but in most textboxes, you can right-click and then zoom the window to give yourself more window space to write in. I wouldn’t have minded that for this long-winded post.
  • Good written documentation
    ###What’s missing?
  • Well, a number of the OW5 features don’t yet work in OW6. For me personally, the ones I’d like to see most that are not listed above but are proxy and 1password support.
  • Improved Bookmarks window
    • Note that there isn’t a browser I’ve ever used with easy to organize bookmarks.
    • I’d like to see the folders stay shut when you drop a link on them.
    • Also, while the search mechanism will find the bookmarks, it won’t tell you where they are, so if you have a duplicate, it’s not obvious which one should be deleted.
    • I’m not sure what this should ultimately look like but I’m not satisfied with the current approach. Maybe I’d be happy with the ability to export all the bookmarks into the Finder in a folder structure that mimicked that in the bookmarks. Then I could drag them around there until satisfied and import the lot back in. I’d like this feature regardless.
  • Navigation shortcuts re-implemented
  • Web Inspector isn’t an option yet in OW6
  • Extensions. Not expected but since this is a wishlist :)
  • Movement of some items that are in the preferences to their own menu item, e.g. search shortcuts, bookmark shortcuts, etc….
  • One of my small frustrations is that I can’t have my mouse (any mouse) that lets me command-click with a single click. I’d like to be able to force a page to load in a new tab without holding down a modifier key.
    • And there are some evil pages, like Apple’s frustrating support search result pages, that force the existing tab to go to a clicked link even if you do command-click it. So you get the link followed in the current tab as well as in the newly opened (due to the command-click) tab. Who thought of this? So when I am searching for something, I need to control-click and choose to open in a separate tab.
    • Most meeses, (well Logitech and Razer) don’t offer up the ability to assign command-click to a single click. So what I wish for was an option that mapped to something that at least Logitech can do with a mouse.
  • Update the synchronizing bookmarks function to work with something I can find on any of my Macs. Maybe I can set up a webdav server locally but I’m not sure.
  • Same goes for the local HTTP server. Personally, I hate having to guess what folder is meant by whatever instructions are provided. While I’ve gotten these working in the past, it’s still more painful than I’d like and I soon forget (the settings, not the pain). What I’d like to do is drag an index.html file onto the dialogue and have it get all the locations from that.
  • Like most browsers, OW will save passwords for you. I’d like it to wait until after the login was successful before asking me. I rely on memory for most of my passwords and I don’t always know with certainty what the capitalization or odd characters are but I’m right most of the time and almost always I can recall by the second attempt. But the current method requires me to commit prematurely. It’s always better to get it right the first time rather than trying to correct it after the fact. So now when I’m uncertain, I just choose to not save and hope that I remember the next time I visit that site.
  • Unrelated
    • For what it’s worth, I’ve paid for three different browsers over the years, including OW when it was a paid app (my first OG purchase along with OO3). The others being Camino (donation) and iCab. I’d be willing to pay for another release of OW as well.
    • Gack! I just launched OW5 in Yosemite and it doesn’t seem to work at all.


Thanks for the info you who have been on this forum, it has served me very helpful
a greeting


Recently I’ve tried to download to download the latest built of OW 6. The browser crashes, I get the crash catcher which produces an e-mail crash report which I always send. Can someone tell me which test built is semi-stable or at least open?


Sorry about that! Yesterday’s test build of OmniWeb fixes a number of issues that were introduced in early December with some changes to frameworks that are shared with our other apps.