May 14, 2005

Omniweb – Web Browser

Posted in Mac OS X at 12:06 pm by intermediatemacintosh

With Safari and Firefox on the Mac OS X platform, why would anybody pay good money for another web browser. For me, the answer is – if it improves my productivity, it can easily be worth the $30 cost.

Omniweb is a commercial web that just came out with version 5.1. Version 5 came out last fall, and I played around with it, but not much more than that. This upgrade is important in that it now uses the same web rendering engine as Safari does.

I use Safari 99% of the time, only switching over to Firefox when I run into an incompatible web page or otherwise have a problem. The main reason is speed, Safari opens faster and gets to my web site quicker. They both have tabbed browsing, pop-up blockers and ad blockers (using Pith Helmet in Safari). And the Safari interface is more Mac like.

I am aware of special versions of Firefox compiled for the G4 or G5 processor. And I have seen some tweaks that can be applied to the Firefox configuration that can speed things up. Now that Firefox has stabilized somewhat, I may look into those tweaks.

In the meantime, I’ll give Omniweb a try, utilizing their 30 day free demo. And the first thing I should do, is make Omniweb my preferred browser. So when I click on links in other applications like email or NetNewsWire, they will open in Omniweb. And in an unusual user interface move, Apple makes you go into Safari to declare your preference for another web browser. In the Safari:Preferences menu, choose the first tab – General. There the top pick list will allow you to modify the default web browser.

I’ve been using Omniweb for a few days now, and it does not feel as quick as Safari in opening web sites. And it’s blocking me from going to SSL sites (https on port 443). I’ve looked thru the preferences and do not see anything that I can tweak to enable this. Error message is

Temporarily unable to connect to

Connection refused.

I can connect fine with Safari. Might have something to do with an identd server ?


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