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Copyright 2014, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

May 2002


 Dear Mr. Know-It-All 

Mr. Know-It-All has the answers to even the really tough questions.


Question:

I hear there have been some new browsers released for OS/2. What's the news?

Answer:

There's been quite a bit of browser activity. The list includes

  • Mozilla Release Candidate 1
  • IBM Web Browser 1.2
  • Opera for OS/2 beta 3
  • Lynx 2.8.5
  • eLinks 0.3

Mozilla Release Candidate 1.0

Mozilla is approaching a 1.0 release. See Mozilla Home for the details of what this really means. Basically, it is a feature and interface freeze. This will provide a stable environment for developing add-ins and specialized builds. For example, we might see a lightweight, browser-only build of Mozilla sometime soon after the v1.0 GA release. Future 1.x releases will concentrate on performance improvements and bug fixes.

The current milestone release is available at the FTP site.

For the adventurous, there are always the somewhat misnamed Daily Builds which are built continually throughout the day. Mike Kaply recommends using the 8am builds because they tend to be better tested. In any case, the Daily Builds are definitely beta code, so be prepared to revert to a previous version, if needed. That said, they also have the latest fixes and features. The current Daily Builds now include many of the drag and drop features that we have been missing with Mozilla.

Response to this milestone release has been mixed. For some it works fine. Others have had problems with the mail component. As a browser, it's a definite upgrade from the 0.9.9 milestone. This version now supports almost all of the plug-ins supported by Netscape 4.6.1. The one notable exception is the Feature Installer plug-in.

IBM Web Browser v1.2

IBM has released an update to the IBM branded version of Mozilla. It's available to eCS customers at eComStation and to Software Choice customers at Software Choice

The version is based on the Mozilla 0.9.4 milestone so it is missing many of the features of the Mozilla v1.0 Release Candidate. However, it does have the benefit of additional IBM testing and is available in several NLS versions.

Opera for OS/2 beta 3

The folks at Opera have released beta 3 of the OS/2 port of their browser.

Early reports are mostly positive. The User Interface is somewhat different, but Opera has a strong following because of its small memory footprint and overall performance. Since the Opera port makes heavy use of the Odin libraries, it can run most native Windows plug-ins. Depending on your point of view, this is either a good thing or a bad thing.

elinks v 0.3

eLinks is a text-mode web browser. eLinks stands for Experimental Links and is one of the development branches of the original Links Browser. Development continues on the original Links but there have been no recent OS/2 ports. The most recent is Links for OS/2 which is well over a year old.

You can download the current eLinks OS/2 release from Hobbes.

eLinks has the typical features a text mode browser needs to usefully render today's HTML. It understands tables and frames and SSL. It also has a few extra features such as background downloads and FTP support.

The eLinks source is under the GNU license and development is active.

Lynx 2.8.5

Lynx is another text mode browser. The current OS/2 port can be downloaded from Hobbes

As with eLinks, Lynx supports frames, tables and SSL. In addition, several NLS versions are available.

As with eLinks, the Lynx source is under the GNU license and development is active. The What is Lynx page lists some interesting ways that Lynx has been used, including:

  • Lynx has reportedly been ported to PDAs.
  • Lynx is used as a back-end for vocal web-browsers which can be accessed via the telephone.

ICE Browser

Finally, there is ICE Browser. ICE Browser is a Java Bean integrated into the Java-based PolarBar mailer. This allows PolarBar to display that annoying, but must read HTML mail without spawning an external browser. This is somewhat of a turnabout from the typical situation where the browser includes a mail client along with the kitchen sink.

Mr. KIA does not yet know which ICE Browser PolarBar uses and Google lists several

and because he is late going to press he has decided to leave this as an exercise for the reader.

Note: You also might want to reference reports published earlier about these and other popular browsers for OS/2 users.


Curious or in doubt, you can ask Mr. Know-It-All
OS/2 is his specialty and sharing solutions is his passion
Mr. Know-It-All lives in Southern California.


The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 2002 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.