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Author Topic: iCab  (Read 17576 times)

Jakl

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iCab
« on: November 19, 2015, 05:16:07 PM »

Not sure whether this has been discussed before but has anyone used iCab at all? I am writing this from iCab it still works and seems to be still a very stable browser on OS9.

Heres the link to try if you're interested.
http://www.icab.de/
go to downloads and doownload the macos9.2.2 version.

Stopped development in 2008.
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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: iCab
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 07:14:39 PM »

What advantages it has versus Classilla 9.3.3?
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GaryN

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Re: iCab
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 08:57:26 PM »

They're based on different engines. Development on icab stopped quite some time ago. Classilla will outperform it easily AND it's still actually supported. Cameron even swears there will be a new update…soonish…
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Jakl

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Re: iCab
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2015, 09:42:16 PM »

Just having a look around and trial a few ones that I missed - but you're right there are a few pages that don't load whereas Classilla does.
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Knezzen

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Re: iCab
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 12:13:45 AM »

iCab is essentally a port of the Atari browser CAB to Mac, made by the same guy and distributed by ASH software back in the 90's. Cab stands for "Crystal Atari Browser".
It's pretty fast, but I don't see any reason to use it except if you have a really old pre-G3 Mac.
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Jakl

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Re: iCab
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 12:05:48 PM »

iCab is essentally a port of the Atari browser CAB to Mac, made by the same guy and distributed by ASH software back in the 90's. Cab stands for "Crystal Atari Browser".
It's pretty fast, but I don't see any reason to use it except if you have a really old pre-G3 Mac.

It is even ported to Macosx up to and including 10.11, it
has been around for macos 7.5 - 9.2.2 so I don't think that it is only for old macs.
I was hoping that the owner might be able to update the 9.2.2 version because of all his experience with modern browsers and their modern components - and it is such a small file like 2.3mb(the 9.2.2 version).
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Mat

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Re: iCab
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 04:25:18 PM »

iCab is still a cool webbrowser. There are some pages that are rendered correctly with iCab that Classilla cannot do. And you have to understand that in 2008 when the latest Mac OS 9 version came out, it was absolutely up to date! Not very fast, but rendering was top, and it is not so demanding like Netscape/Mozilla/Wamcom/Classilla are.
A few years ago I had some mailcontact with Alexancer Clauss (the developer), but he told me that he doubt that there will be a new version. Especialy as there are many new webtechniques that would require huge amount of work. Nevertheless, I can imagine, that he would do it if there is enough demand. We even could try to aks him how many new sells would convince him into doing a new up to date version.
I am not talking about 10 or 20 mails to him, but if we would start a kind of community campaign and gather - let´s say 500 people who are willing to pay for a new version there might be chances, … and as Classilla has about 20k downloads alone for the last version I think 500 or 1000 new buyers for iCab should be a realistic aim. Of course it would mean to organize, …
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GaryN

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Re: iCab
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 07:00:17 PM »

A few years ago I had some mailcontact with Alexancer Clauss (the developer), but he told me that he doubt that there will be a new version. Especialy as there are many new webtechniques that would require huge amount of work.
I think that's only part of the problem. Huge is an understatement! You seem to be wishing for a usable, up-to-date browser for G3 and earlier systems. Realistically, that's a practical impossibility.  Modern webpages, are so full of (mostly unnecessary) Javascript, tracking links, elaborate graphics, more Javascript, fonts, ads, etc. that the (possibly larger) problem is that the hardware is simply not up to the task of rendering said pages in an acceptable amount of time, if at all! The CPUs are simply too slow. The need for cache space in the limited system RAM puts another nail in the coffin as well.

C.K.'s (actually clever) attack on this problem is providing a menu to change the Classilla user agent to identify as a mobile browser so that the site will load those far smaller, simpler pages instead. Older Macs with smaller screens are actually a pretty good match for mobile webpages. If you haven't tried this, you definitely should - it actually works pretty well - the important stuff is still there but the clutter isn't!
With who knows how many thousands of web designers out there working on unnecessary bells & whistles every day to justify their salaries though, a real solution to this just gets more and more unlikely by the minute.

In the end, you can have 100 thousand potential buyers for a modern OS9-and-below browser for old machines and it won't solve any of the above.

Hmmm… you know, maybe a NuBus / PDS card with an auxiliary chipset dedicated to the task would work.

Yeah, that'll happen…
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MDD

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Re: iCab
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 08:52:39 AM »

iCab is my main browser on Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad.  ;D

I have used iCab since late 1990’s when I got my first Macintosh. After some time with Netscape I found a light browser from a German developer and I was impressed. This tiny browser has got all the options you can think of and lots of powerful tools, a download manager where if you mess things could end downloading the whole Internet LOL, a cookie manager, a form manager, an incredible powerful filter manager, on which you can do the magic of iCab, a cache browser, a Kiosk mode that made it the browser of choice on the Spanish ‘Ciutat de les arts y les ciències’ at Valencia http://www.cac.es/?languageId=1 on their iMacs and eMacs, a powerful find tool, a HTML validator, etc … all built-in, without any add-ons that made your browser work as a percolator!!
And don’t forget that the latest version for Classic, 3.0.5 is not even optimized for speed, as Alexander was working on turning the Carbon iCab into the Cocoa WebKit version that 4.0 was.

Some other accolades of iCab were.. it’s the only browser with Tabs for 68K Macintoshes, the first browser to get a 100/100 on Acid3 test, the fastest browser on Mac OS X (tested on 2008)

I doubt that Alexander keeps a classic Macintosh nowadays to develop for Mac OS 9. I know he is super busy with the iOS version of iCab Mobile, he updated iCab Mac OS X for El Capitan some days ago.

And of course iCab is for Macintosh only, not a thing from another place, a foul, alien and misshapen troll lurking under the bridge named /Applications. :P  In fact I asked him some time ago if it was plausible an iCab version for SGI as there the modern browsers available are, umm, firefox 3 only. But he told me that probably the only option to see iCab on SGI machines would be running the SGI Freeware Basilisk II Emulator.   

And about Alexander, he replies your enquirers on a daily basis. His Apps, mainly iCab Mobile are his only income, so don’t be a pirate. He has other great apps, but mostly unknown out of Germany, yes, that still happens in the All-Connected Internet era.


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ovalking

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Re: iCab
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 02:35:57 PM »

I sometimes use iCab 2.9.9a (which is now free).
It works with System 7.5, and can access some sites that Netscape/IE can not (e.g. Yahoo Mail). It's quite quick too, but strangely struggles on some sites that you would not expect to be a problem.
Unfortunately it has a few bugs - the unexpected quits are really annoying!
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Jakl

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Re: iCab
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 08:12:08 PM »


[/quote]
I think that's only part of the problem. Huge is an understatement! You seem to be wishing for a usable, up-to-date browser for G3 and earlier systems. Realistically, that's a practical impossibility.  Modern webpages, are so full of (mostly unnecessary) Javascript, tracking links, elaborate graphics, more Javascript, fonts, ads, etc. that the (possibly larger) problem is that the hardware is simply not up to the task of rendering said pages in an acceptable amount of time, if at all! The CPUs are simply too slow. The need for cache space in the limited system RAM puts another nail in the coffin as well.
[/quote]

why only for G3 and earlier - when iCab will work on all Macs Pre G3 and onwards to Mac Intel?
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GaryN

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Re: iCab
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 11:43:10 PM »

All right… maybe I should have said G4 and earlier…or not. When I said development stopped on icab, I meant the old Mac OS9-and-below version. Alexander moved forward with the times. The newer versions are definitely worthwhile, and the fact that he's packed so much as Universal Binarys, overlapped major updates etc. and even ported to iOS is very cool.

Classilla on the other hand, at least gets the occasional update, although Cameron's first priority is always 10-4-Fox.

The problem still stands: The biggest obstacle to a good pre-OSX browser is the hardware. You're a developer - you want to build it, it'll never make a buck because it's a small niche market AND the only machines you'll probably be able to get decent performance out of are the later PPCs - now your looking at OS 8.6 - 9.2 and the market's even smaller… how much of your spare time can you put into it? Talk about a thankless task!
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Mat

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Re: iCab
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 12:44:42 AM »

The problem still stands: The biggest obstacle to a good pre-OSX browser is the hardware.
Sorry but that statement is simply wrong. Look at a good Linux - let´s say MiNT-PPC and recent browsers. Thats absolutely accepatable! A Pismo is usable, a G4/1000MHz is fun and can render anything!

The same could be done for Mac OS 8.6 to 9.2.2.
And as said, 20k Classilla users are not nothing!

Belive me, I am living with Classilla and iCab for Mac OS 9 as ONLY webbrowsers!
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Mat

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Re: iCab
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 12:55:09 AM »

BTW, I had a look at classilla.org about the former downloads, and it seems people keep downloading the 9.3.2 version from google code and not everybody gets the latest 9.3.3 from SourceForge, as 9.3.2 has 26k downloads recently, …
At all there have been 115.069 classilla binary downloads yet!
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GaryN

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Re: iCab
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 04:22:29 PM »

I'm going to make one final statement on this subject and then I'm going to move on.

You're missing my point entirely. You and I and everyone on this forum are not typical computer users. Your willingness to live with only OS9 browsers without up-to-date plugins, NO HD video, primitive Javascript, expired security certs, and on and on, is NOT typical of the masses. Actually, it's not enough for me either. I don't know where you go on the web, but I absolutely need a lot more browser for my work than I can get in OS9.

Look, I love OS9! I do virtually ALL of my recording in OS9. I've produced entire albums AND designed the graphics for them in OS9. But I'm a Luddite. The music world, like it or not, is centered on ProTools, Audio Units, Melodyne and its ilk, and so on. That's where the user base is and so that's where the development is. I have to deal with exporting files to PT all the time because I'm outside the mainstream - and that's OK by me.

Software devs have the same problems facing musicians, filmmakers, artists, writers et al. Ya gotta be able to make a living somehow. It takes a helluva lot more users than our little niche group to make a viable user base that a developer can earn some kind of return from to pay the rent and that mass of users simply will not put up with the limitations of OS9 browser software and the hardware it runs on.

Those limitations get worse every day as the web continues to evolve.

I have a 2 x 1.8GHz (thank you Sonnet) MDD and my dual-YuckTel MacBook Pro runs rings around it on the internet. That's Firefox OR Safari on ElCrapitan vs. 10-4-Fox on Leopard.  I also use the MDD with Classilla a lot when in OS9. Classilla really kind of zips along pretty well at 1.8GHz but YouTube won't even allow it in the house! Facebook? Forget it!

20k Classilla users are not nothing, but at the returns you can get developing software for an obsolete platform that I still say would need a dedicated aux chipset to keep up, they're simply not enough. Plus, as time goes by, that group just gets smaller.

It kinda sucks, but that's life and I'm done pontificating. I'm not actually long-winded, I just type fast…
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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: iCab
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2015, 05:45:08 PM »

[youtube]PZ8V-FktUNk[/youtube]
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Mat

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Re: iCab
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2015, 12:27:38 AM »

You're missing my point entirely.

Hmm, I don´t think so. You are right about some (minor) Hardware limitations. For example Full HD videos. OK.
But my point was that G4s are not a general limitiation for the net. There is no need to think like this. Really have you used modern Linux with a G4s? It can do everything (except your full HD ideo).

Of course you are right that developers need something for living. But 1000 new iCab  users would mean half a year dedicated work for our plattform for example. And I wanted to motivate everyone to think about such possibilities. Of course Mac OS 9 will never again become a mainstream plattform like it was in 2001/2 but there are possibilities to keep up to date and do everything in acceptable speed. Wise programming can solve a lot. And Open Source can solve a lot. If we would for example be able to motivate another 3 to 5 developers like Cameron, we would have a up to date browser, done in spare time. "Some" optimizations "some" assembler parts and and the G4s would surf the net like every recent computer (except your full HD videos). I know what I am talking about regarding the amount of work.
Thats not just a dream, thats possible, and we should think about such niche-plattform possibilities more in future.

With some limitations it is possible to use nearly everything. For example some months ago I could use YouTube within Classilla at a 1280 x 1024 fullscreen without dropouts at a G4 1,25 MDD. Thats not your "full HD" but it was usable for day to day and it would perhaps take just a weekend for a developer to enable it again.

Thats my point. The hardware isn´t the limitation, it is the wise programming, plus the non-existing "community" that is limiting. And we could change that. Not to a mainstream plattform, but to a stable and up to date nicche plattform with smallest limitations. iCAB was just one idea, but the knowledge is there and Alexander would be able able to do it from a technical point of view. But we would need to motiate him, or care about a possibility for him to live, if we like a new iCAB version.
It will not happen alone and without us, thats for sure ;)
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GaryN

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Re: iCab
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2015, 02:02:20 PM »

OK. Fine. I'm in. One word:   Kickstarter
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Jakl

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Re: iCab
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2015, 02:35:31 PM »

Well guys here is part of the conversation;

Question
I am wanting to know how hard it would be to continue support for
mac os9 and also what if we could get macOS9 users to pay for
such a browser that would bring internet support for macos9 up to date?


Answer
I fear this is not an option anymore. I'm sorry.
I do not have a Mac anymore which can run MacOS 9. Also MacOS 9 lacks many components of a modern Operating System, which makes it even more complicated and expensive to support this ancient system as well. And there are not enough users of this old MacOS left which would pay for this.
--
Alexander Clauss


If anyone wants to continue or has ideas that we may be able to push to Alexander let us all know. And how many people would actually like to support this idea?
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IIO

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Re: iCab
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2015, 05:06:42 PM »

this is one of the most weird discussions which i ever saw here.

compared to modern tools the difference between classilla, IE 5 and icab is so small, i would not even be able to tell the difference.

and of course nobody uses OS9 to browse the web on a regular basis. otoh, if you are using OS9 for audio, it is great that there is a browser which is at least working half way. you never know when you need one while youre in OS9.

pls apologize if i just wrote these lines using windows 8, because my laptop is about 10 times faster than my G4. ^^
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