(another) WebKit port of Browse

Eben Eliason eben.eliason at gmail.com
Mon Jul 7 19:58:26 EDT 2008


2008/7/7 Carol Lerche <cafl at msbit.com>:
> The UI seems pretty important to me, but obviously that's a matter of
> taste.  Not everyone likes tabbed browsing.  Correct operation of websites
> that fail with the extant browser.  Direct availability of plugins and
> addons.  One example:  scrapbook, a superb research tool.  Another example
> Google Gears (according to a recent mail being ported, presumably  because
> the browser is not standard).  I am not familiar with the Firefox codebase,
> and perhaps all these things are directly available so long as the Firefox 3
> engine is there, but if so, there desperately needs to be a detailed body of
> documentation telling how to access these capabilities.

I certainly acknowledge that a) the sparse UI isn't for everyone and
b) the UI is young and still needs some more work (and more features).
 It started out bare bones, and is slowly gaining important features
as we go (recently URI autocompletion, find in page text, foundational
support for global bookmarks, and other features appeared!).  It
should also be noted that tabs were part of the initial design, and
were taken out both to prevent abuse of RAM and because we thought
that it might be confused adjacent to the link sharing feature, which
we felt was a really important addition for our target audience and
collaborative learning.  I'd consider adding them in light of recent
engine improvements, assuming we can prove that kids navigate them
naturally.

Additionally, I'd love to see other individuals with interest porting
other browsers to the XO.  I think someone was working on this with
Opera.  Perhaps a more full featured Firefox could also be Sugarized.
However, we designed the current Browse as is to be purposely sparse,
to give kids the basics without overloading them with things that
could get in the way. I think there's a place for Browse as a default
browser, especially for kids under 8 or so, even if other more complex
browsers appear as viable alternatives.

- Eben


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