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Oregano 3 survives user group meeting

By dgs . Published: 20th Jul 2005, 00:33:34 | Permalink | Printable

Revealed: To be released when ready, renders many tricky websites, discounts for existing Oregano users, uses around 20-30M of memory

Web browser in my handArmed with Oregano 3, Richard Brown of Genesys Developments Ltd visited the RISC OS User Group of London on the evening of Monday June 18th. This meeting formed one third of ROUGOL's "summer of web browsers", with Peter Naulls having demonstrated Firefox at the group's June meeting, and a visit from James Bursa (one of the Netsurf developers) planned for August. This is also the second time Richard has entertained the London based user group.

Just in time for this series of demonstrations, ROUGOL's venue has been equipped with wireless internet access, together with an access point that can be used either with the club's own RiscPC, or with a computer brought by the guest speaker. In this case Richard brought his own Iyonix. The wireless access is also freely available for any visitors bringing along wireless enabled laptops, PDAs or other devices, so people can either follow along with what the speaker is doing, or distract them by doing something completely different.

ROUGOL sometimes avoids formal speaker meetings during the summer, because many potential visitors are away. But Richard's talk was very well attended, seeing only a few less visitors than had attended the Firefox talk the previous month. On both occasions a few Oregan employees came along to see the software in action. Richard talked briefly about how the RISC OS version of Oregano 3 is prepared for Genesys, based on the version of the browser that Oregan use for a variety of other projects including set top boxes and Sony games consoles. He then moved straight on to demonstrating Oregano 3 live against real Internet sites.

Richard started with Castle's Iyonix website to demonstrate how the current beta of Oregano 3 eliminates almost all of the flickering during display that Oregano 2 suffers from; there is still more fine tuning to do in this area before the release version. He also showed the main BBC website, and the internet provider Wanadoo, again indicating considerable improvements over the way Oregano 2 had handled these sites.

It was then open to the floor to suggest websites to visit, this being the main business of the evening and the sternest test of a RISC OS web browser under development. Richard demonstrated a massive selection of sites nominated by the audience, with some visitors not just wanting to see one site, but bringing lists of five or six sites of increasing complexity and browser unfriendliness. Particular successes for Oregano 3 included the Odeon cinema chain's website, the New Scientist website and the Channel 4 website.

Moving on to more interactive sites, Oregano 3 was able to track a visitor's parcel using the Royal Mail website, albeit after a couple of failed attempts. A visitor bravely shouted out all his registration details for the Asda online shopping site, and much hilarity ensued as the group went through the process of ordering large quantities of tuna, ultimately unsuccessfully. Richard said that key sites such as the Asda one would be a priority to get working. Richard mentioned that the browser works with Barclays Bank online banking website, but wisely decided not to enter his banking details on the big screen in front of everyone.

The audience then demanded a serious challenge of Oregano 3's Javascript capabilities, and a visit to javascript.internet.com provided a Javascript based game of Battleships that worked, although the display was not quite perfect and Richard himself seemed unsure of the rules of the game. Then it was on to CSS, and csszengarden.com a site designed specifically to give the same content but allowing a choice of completely different CSS stylesheets to change its presentation. This was certainly a new concept for many of the audience, but those familiar with it opined that Oregano 3 coped remarkably well with this rather experimental material.

As with every browser demonstration, The Register was a required destination, and Oregano 3 managed this without difficulty. Several people's personal and club websites also presented no problems. The vast majority of sites chosen by the audience were targeted mainly because they didn't work correctly in Oregano 2, Netsurf or (more rarely) Firefox. The way that Oregano 3 handled these problem sites impressed the audience a great deal. The increased speed and reduction in 'flickery' redrawing, as compared with Oregano 2, also drew praise.

In response to questions, Richard also showed the choices and preferences panel of Oregano 3, giving a wider range of configurable functionality including the ability to have choices take effect immediately (such as turning off foreground and background images), something absent from Oregano 2. Also new was the ability to save out a web page as a text file, a great advantage in many circumstances. Richard re-iterated that the ability to export in DrawFile format, although desirable, was unlikely to be provided because of the amount of work involved and the fact that it would be of no benefit to the vast majority of Oregan's other customers.

Richard echoed the comments of Peter Naulls in emphasising the huge amount of extra parsing and rendering work that an "up to date" web browser must carry out. He suggested that Oregano 3 was doing perhaps five times more work than Oregano 2. A look at the Task Display indicated that Oregano 3 was using somewhere between twenty and thirty megabytes of memory.

Richard suggested that Oregano 3 was already more stable when running than Oregano 2, and said that a requirement for release would be that Oregano 3 should be capable of doing everything that Oregano 2 could, in addition to all the extra functionality. (This would be an improvement over the previous situation, with Oregano 2 unable to view some sites that had worked correctly on Oregano 1).

It was explained that Oregano 3 supports Flash 5, whereas Oregano 2 only supports Flash 4. Apparently Flash 6 is "in the pipeline".

Richard's hard disk contained, in addition to dozens of different experimental versions of Oregano 3, the latest version of the Firefox and Netsurf web browsers; he said that comparing the performance and functionality of these browsers was an integral part of deciding where to focus the development effort for Oregano at any particular moment. Richard praised both Firefox and Netsurf, and said that there would always be occasions where either of them might gain particular areas of functionality that Oregano 3 lacked. However, he said it was his aim that Oregano 3 should become the pre-eminent RISC OS web browser.

Richard said that he would hope Oregano 3 could be launched during 2005, but emphasised that it would not be released until it was fully ready. Pressed about the lack of updates that had blighted Oregano 1 and Oregano 2, he said that he would hope to avoid the same happening with Oregano 3, but he didn't have a crystal ball to foresee what commercial realities would dictate.

Richard wouldn't give any projected pricing for Oregano 3, but said that there would be discounts for existing owners of Oregano 1 and Oregano 2. When asked his views on the possibility of Oregano being bundled with RISC OS computers other than those from Castle, Richard said that he would be very happy to do this, but no discussions about it had taken place as yet. He said that Oregano 3 had not been tested on the A9home as far as he was aware, but he did have the opportunity to inspect a life-size cardboard mock-up of the A9home (and external CD drive) that a visitor had brought to the meeting. With ROUGOL's reputation as the UK user group with the largest number of Omega users, Richard was persuaded to provide his contact details to an Omega owner who would be able to try out Oregano 3 for compatibility.

Richard gave a little more detail on the beta testing process for Oregano. Whilst many RISC OS products have bands of dozens or hundreds of beta testers, the beta testing of the RISC OS version of Oregano 3 is confined to a select three or four people. The aim is to provide a consistent stream of high quality feedback to Oregan about what the most important issues are, without swamping the developers with large numbers of people reporting different aspects of the same problem or suggesting additional enhancements that may not be practical. Richard re-iterated that this type of high quality feedback was very valuable to Oregan for their own development, and thus made the RISC OS version itself more worthwhile.

With his Iyonix being key to the running of his business as well as containing the various secret beta versions of Oregano, Richard originally took the approach that any use of the keyboard and mouse would be by himself. However, as the evening wore on and it emerged that those eager to get at the keyboard were mainly interested in trying out their own websites, he wandered away from the keyboard and allowed others to experiment. Unsurprisingly, he returned from the other side of the room rather rapidly when a visitor plugged a USB device into the back of his Iyonix "just to see if it works".

Overall, Richard's demonstration was a great success, and Oregano 3 certainly got a warm welcome. Despite the lack of a price or release date, one visitor told Richard, "you've got my order, now get on with releasing it!"

RISC OS users seem to have just as great an appetite for new web browsers as ever, despite the profusion of different RISC OS browsers in different states of development or decline. User groups that aren't yet in a position to arrange Internet access should definitely investigate what can be done to achieve this, as it enables visitors to find out exactly how well a browser performs with the websites they want to use.

Links


Genesys Developments Ltd
RISC OS User Group of London
RISC OS web browsers compared
Screenshots of Oregano 3 in development Photos of the ROUGOL evening from Iconbar

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Discussion

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It sounds like O3 is going to be a very capable browser and if it lives up to expectations it'll certainly be on my shopping list. I wish I could have seen it in action at ROUGOL.

I think the important question for many people will still be whether O3 can be kept up to date as the web moves forward. O3 has some important benefits over Firefox (Flash support, more RISC OS syle interface), but Firefox has the advantage of pretty much guaranteed continual development.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 20/7/05 1:30AM
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I still dream for a RiscOs version of Opera :-)

 is a RISC OS Usernodoubt73 on 20/7/05 7:15AM
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And Firefox will keep up with the web anyway, almost without additional work from Peter Naulls. So most of his work will probably go into making the RISC OS version look and feel more like a RISC OS application.

As for Flash support, there are two possible ways to get that with Firefox on RISC OS. One way would be to obtain the source from Macromedia, wich IIRC is granted for free to non-commercial developers under NDA. The more desireable way would be to support the GPLFlash2 project: [link] It aims for Flash 7 compatability.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 20/7/05 9:39AM
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Oh yeah, just to put Oregano's Flash 5 support into perspective: The rest of the world is currently up to version 7, with version 8 in the pipeline.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 20/7/05 10:05AM
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Excellent news. I still wonder how fast it is compared to the likes of NetSurf or UPP Firefox. I myself find [link] a preferred way of testing a browser's compatibility with (partially) unproper websites.

I think it is pretty safe to say O3 will be developed until O4 comes out. Certainly, some things will or cannot be done in O3, so they might end up in O4 which also leaves room for commercial sustainability. Indeed, GeneSys is working hard to provide us with a quality web browser, featuring key benefits from both NetSurf and UPP Firefox, since they both act as catalysts for O3's level of compatibility in terms of sites and the RO GUI.

Just for reference... "Updates for Oregano 1 stopped because the code was being rewritten to be portable, and updates for Oregano 2 stopped because large sections of the code was rewritten to add support for CSS 2 and DOM 2 (This took slightly longer than expected).

Now that the above work has been completed there shouldn't be a need for any major code changes for the forseeable future. So upgrades for Oregano 3 should be available at about the same time as they are released for the other platforms supported."

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/7/05 10:16AM
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I really did plug my PDA into Richard's Iyonix "just to see if it works"! Having only recently got hold of a lovely little Sharp Zaurus I was interested to see if it did come up as a mass storage device accessible from the Iyonix. It worked nicely. And it was Richard who took files off my PDA, not the other way round! He particularly liked the picture of Tux swatting the flying Windows logo :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 20/7/05 2:15PM
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I found the comments of it being compared against Netsurf and Firefox interesting, showing that there are now RISC OS browsers spurring each other on. A very promising situation compared to even just a few months ago.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 20/7/05 4:00PM
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Trouble is to use flash on most sites these days, even under windows a 700MHz box cannot cope with the complexity, so you must be default need something with the spec of an iyonix to utilise it well?

Nice to hear :@)

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 20/7/05 4:35PM
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em2ac: Don't forget the majority of Oregan's busines is for porting the browser to STBs, which are typicaly around the sepcification of a SA RiscPC, with there customer expecting flash to perform as well as a desktop PC.

 is a RISC OS User_Jez_ on 20/7/05 5:02PM
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Looking forward to Oregano3 but I have to report that the Battleships game works fine here on Oregano2 :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/7/05 10:22PM
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TonyStill: Good, good, nothing has broken then ;-)

 is a RISC OS User_Jez_ on 24/7/05 10:53PM
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If

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 25/7/05 11:25AM
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If I were Richard, I would be concerned about what features Oregano 3 might be able to bring to RISC OS if the release slips to the end of the year.

Obviously there's a great deal more both NetSurf and Firefox could do from where they are now, but a lot will have changed by say, November (as an arbitrary date)

Will people still want/need Oregano3 if they feel that the open source browsers meet their requirements? Especially when they are free. I suspect many people will buy Oregano3 regardless, and have long since made up their mind to do so.

If Oregano was released now, then clearly it could be a good purchase for many people as demonstrated by the above article.

Personally, I still have reservations about commerical RISC OS browser development. What do others think?

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 25/7/05 11:33AM
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mrchocky:"Personally, I still have reservations about commerical RISC OS browser development. What do others think?" Yes, I'm inclined to agree (that O3 is a waste of resources) but if that's the case, why do you reckon people will pay good money for it? I suspect that O3 will go ahead but will not attract a large number of purchases and that will be that for the Oregano story. (Assuming Firefox and Netsurf continue being actively developed I guess.)

Adam

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 25/7/05 1:32PM
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I suppose people will buy it because: -

It's a commercial product and supporting the commecial sector will mean more programs released It has flash 5(?) It's a product that is actively in development by Oregan and therefore future version may be made available to run under RISC OS They bought both O1 and O2 Customer loyalty Perhaps they have nothing better to spend their money on.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/7/05 3:10PM
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mrchocky:

"If I were Richard, I would be concerned about what features Oregano 3 might be able to bring to RISC OS if the release slips to the end of the year. Obviously there's a great deal more both NetSurf and Firefox could do from where they are now, but a lot will have changed by say, November (as an arbitrary date)"

Whilst its true that NetSurf and Firefox will have developed further in that period of time, its also true that Oregano 3 will have also been developed further. Oregano 3 already supports HTML 4, XHTML 1, CSS 2.1, Javascript, DOM 2 and Flash 5. By the end of the year it might have added support for various IE extensions to the DOM, increased speed, lower memory requirements and maybe a later version of Flash.

"Will people still want/need Oregano3 if they feel that the open source browsers meet their requirements? Especially when they are free. I suspect many people will buy Oregano3 regardless, and have long since made up their mind to do so. "

That's going to be down to each individual user I guess. If the various open source browsers meet their needs then that's fine. Personally the only web browser I've ever paid money for is WebsterXL.

"Personally, I still have reservations about commerical RISC OS browser development. What do others think?"

If RISC OS was the only target market for a commercial browser then I would be worried about its continued development, especially with regards to keeping up to date with the big name browsers (IE, Mozilla, Opera). As RISC OS isn't the target market for the vast majority of the code used to produce Oregano 3 then there is more chance that it will continue to be actively developed, and actually have a team of people working on it as their full time job.

Leo

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 25/7/05 3:57PM
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I feel there is still plenty of scope for a commercial RISC OS browser, but it has to offer:-

* Close to or better than FireFox's level of compliance with typical sites * Plugin components such as Flash * Better speed and responsiveness * Better integration with RISC OS (file saving, launching PDF readers etc) * Better quality of display

On the latter point O2 produces some of the most pleasing displays, as I have to say its TTF render lookes better than RISC OS font manager a lot of the time, especially when using TTF fonts that sites have specified in their design, such as Verdana on news.bbc.co.uk.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/05 4:58PM
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I think Oregano3 is a total waste of resources. It will never get even close to FireFox's level of compliance with typical sites.

I feel that the money would be better spent on browser-plugin-development and on improving FireFox's integration with RISC OS, its speed, and its quality of display.

As for TTFs, I think it is high time, that the RISC OS font manager was extended to render TTFs and PostScript fonts, in addition to RISC OS fonts.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 25/7/05 5:58PM
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JGZimmerle: "I think Oregano3 is a total waste of resources. It will never get even close to FireFox's level of compliance with typical sites."

Its a total waste of whose resources? Oregano 3 is just a RISC OS version of Oregan's Media Browser. The vast majority of the resources being used to develop Oregan's Media Browser has nothing at all to do with the RISC OS market. If development on the browser stopped today, the resources freed up wouldn't suddenly start working on RISC OS related products (Such as the RISC OS port of FireFox that you appear to be so fond of). The only resources that are directly related to RISC OS are the ones provided by Richard Brown at GeneSys Developments Ltd. Oh and whose definition of a 'typical site' are you using? The ones that are written to the W3 standards? Or perhaps the ones that are written to only work in IE (and then only IE under Windows)? Or perhaps the ones that are just a bunch of flash movies linked together?

"I feel that the money would be better spent on browser-plugin-development and on improving FireFox's integration with RISC OS, its speed, and its quality of display."

There is the slight issue that FireFox doesn't support RISC OS plugins, so any resources directed into plugins would only benefit NetSurf, WebsterXL, Oregano 1 and Fresco. None of which currently "get even close to FireFox's level of compliance with typical sites"

If you want to find some RISC OS related resources to develop FireFox that are currently being used to develop web browsers, then you could try and convinve the NetSurf team to give up all their hard work and switch across to FireFox development.

"As for TTFs, I think it is high time, that the RISC OS font manager was extended to render TTFs and PostScript fonts, in addition to RISC OS fonts."

Well I guess there is nothing stopping you from compiling up an Open Source font manager, adding support for RISC OS fonts, converting it to a module and replacing the existing font manager that RISC OS uses.

Leo

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 25/7/05 6:32PM
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@Leo: The resources I mean are the thousands of pounds wich will likely be spent by RISC OS users on Oregano3 instead of on plugins that would work with all RISC OS browsers and might be released as open source software.

IIRC the RISC OS browser plugin interface was very similar to the Netscape plugin interface, wich Firefox supports already and wich is also supported by almost all browser plugins on other platforms (many of wich are open source). So I guess it should not be too complicated to make Firefox work with the RISC OS browser plugin interface as well?

My definition of a browser wich works with 'typical sites' is one that works with 99% or more of the websites out there. Firefox on Windows seems to do that, so I don't see why Firefox on RISC OS should not get there as well.

Also Firefox is growing its market share so quickly, that many website developers are starting to optimise their sites for it. I don't see Oregano ever getting there.

As for TTF and PostScript font support, I would like to see them supported by RISC OS as standard, not as some external third-party module.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 25/7/05 7:22PM
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Regardless of the closeness of the plugin specifications, it'll probably have to be redone, since the details of it are specificed for RISC OS. But that's not a big deal, since it's not that complex. And what's this "FireFox" people keep talking about? ;-) Must be related to that myterious "Netsurf" that's sometimes mentioned. CamelCase and all that.

Whilst I'm sure that "native" RISC OS support of TTF would be nice, the bottom line is that the RISC OS developers may well have better things to do. Besides, this is the very type of thing that would be relatively easy to add to RISC OS by a third party, and could make use of rUFL which was developed for Unicode font display in NetSurf.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 25/7/05 8:26PM
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From my own personal experience, I don't think it's a case of what features Oregano 3 might be able to bring to RISC OS if the release slips to the end of the year - I think it's a case of, can the Firefox port stabilise in time for the Oregano 3 release? When Oregano 3 comes out, and if it's stable, isn't the disaster that Oregano 2 was, has Flash and so on, and Firefox is crashing when you use it for more than 10 minutes and has all the redraw glitches it has now, then people are going to vote with their feet.

I think each web browser is vital, because it will keep the others on their toes and mean we actually get a decent web browser for our money. I know progress is being made in all corners and November or December is a long time away. Just my personal opinion right now.

Chris.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 25/7/05 9:55PM
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I'm with diomus here: Choice is important and sharpens the appetite on both sides to provide a good product.

I intend, assuming that it turns out to be a reasonable product, to buy Oregano3 and I've indicated so to Richard. My aspirations would be for a capable, RISC OS interface browser with some useful plug-ins, not least a more capable Flash.

I expect Firefox to grow into a capable and usable browser too though I'm open-minded on how RISC OS compliant it will be and expect it to be less well endowed with plug-ins.

However, that's just my uninformed opinion. What's more important is that we have two strings to this (IMHO) vital bow for our platform. I will be glad to use both as I currently use Oregano2 and Webster XL. I'm prepared to pay for both too, though (through Chocky's generosity) one does not *have* to pay for Firefox.

In terms of a waste of resources, either browser could represent such given the existence of the other. However, both actually leverage a huge (relatively) amount of pre-existing work so neither is comparable to what could be achieved by their respective teams if they did something completely different. I guess that neither team would be (for different reasons) so willing to do something different either.

Let's enjoy the choice, not start another version of the editor wars!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/7/05 10:12PM
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JGZimmerle:

"The resources I mean are the thousands of pounds wich will likely be spent by RISC OS users on Oregano3 instead of on plugins that would work with all RISC OS browsers and might be released as open source software."

Ah, well I would see that more as income rather than resources. As at that point resources have already been spent to produce Oregano 3 and the income will hopefully cover the costs of those resources. At that point its up to the user to decide where to direct their money, and if they want to finance other projects or products then thats up to them (Looking at the Firefox pledges and the Gimp-Print work people already have shown they are willing to do just that.)

Out of interest, what plugins do you think should be ported first?

"My definition of a browser wich works with 'typical sites' is one that works with 99% or more of the websites out there. Firefox on Windows seems to do that, so I don't see why Firefox on RISC OS should not get there as well."

Heh, well that again depends on your definition of works :) Certainly Oregano 3 makes a better job of some sites that Oregano 2 did with regards to the layout, but having a slightly invalid layout doesn't neccessarily stop the user from using the web site. Certainly one of the aims is to get into as many sites as the (non-IE) browsers do under Windows and Linux.

"Also Firefox is growing its market share so quickly, that many website developers are starting to optimise their sites for it. I don't see Oregano ever getting there."

The point about Firefox (and Opera) is that they support certain web standards. If a site is written correctly (i.e. to those standards) then there should be nothing stopping Oregano 3 from also being able to access the site. If, however, a web site is optimised specifically for Firefox then how is that any different from the IE optimised sites that are now causing web standard compliant browsers all sorts of problems today?

"As for TTF and PostScript font support, I would like to see them supported by RISC OS as standard, not as some external third-party module."

I would like to see a lot of things supported by RISC OS as standard. Sprites with alpha support would be nice to have as a standard, but you can only get that support if you buy a specific version of RISC OS that isn't available to users of the top end, ARM based, RISC OS supporting hardware.

Leo

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 26/7/05 10:40AM
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diomus: It's rather unfair to judge Firefox by its current state (re. "crashing every 10 minutes"). Remember it's a by no means a final release. When a completed Firefox is ready, and there's a completed O3 about, then I would hope both would be pretty stable.

Unless Firefox does eventually become a much more responsive, fully RISC OS integrated browser, then there will always be room for both it and a native one, be it NetSurf or O3 - whichever does best, with FF providing a useful resource when those others aren't up to the job. Which, IIRC, is what Peter's said all along.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 26/7/05 11:03AM
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mrchocky: "And what's this "FireFox" people keep talking about? Must be related to that myterious "Netsurf" that's sometimes mentioned. CamelCase and all that."

I think I was just going with the flow on that one :) I've not yet decided if the 'correct' way to refer to the next version of Oregano is Oregano3, Oregano 3 or even just O3. In theory I get to dictate which one it is (the Info window says Oregano3, but I type it as Oregano 3 usually), but its of such little importance that I'm not going to worry about it.

Leo (posting from Oregan Media Browser 3 for RISC OS.... now that would be a bit over the top I feel)

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 26/7/05 11:12AM
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Leo,

Whatever you call it (though perhaps better not anything containing 'fire' or 'fox'), I think most of us are more keen to know 'when' than 'what' :-) Chocky has raised the stakes and we look forward to your riposte.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/7/05 9:35PM
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TonyStill: As far as I know, the position with regard to a release date has not changed since the comments I reported in the article. As for raising stakes, the article also explains the different approach to beta testing.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 26/7/05 11:00PM
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@Leo:

Plugins I'd like to see: up-to-date Java, up-to-date Flash, real media, windows media, ogg, divx, mpeg2, quicktime, svg, mathml.

By optimising sites sites for Firefox, I meant that web designers are starting to write W3C-konform code wich uses features of the W3C specification wich only Firefox supports properly yet, or that they only test their sites on Firefox.

Sorry, I have had a very long day (working for 16 hours straight) and am too tired now to discuss this further. I need a holiday.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 26/7/05 11:48PM
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leo:

I think it should officially be called "Oregan Media browser 3 for RISC OS" or similar, (especially as the user agent reported to websites). otherwise is would appear from outside the RISC OS world to be a browser only used by a few thousand people as opposed to the (presumably) far higher total.

The application name should be !Oregano3 obviously,

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 28/7/05 8:39AM
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JGZimmerle:

"Plugins I'd like to see: up-to-date Java, up-to-date Flash, real media, windows media, ogg, divx, mpeg2, quicktime, svg, mathml."

I think for most of the video related ones it might be best to wait for Cineroma to be released and add a plugin front end to that. For Java there's always Kaffe, and the Apache group are looking to put together an open source JVM too. Of course people have been asking for plugins like the above for years now, and there's still no sign of them appearing (although there is of course an existing SVG plugin).

"By optimising sites sites for Firefox, I meant that web designers are starting to write W3C-konform code wich uses features of the W3C specification wich only Firefox supports properly yet, or that they only test their sites on Firefox."

That should be fine then, Firefox is one of the browsers used to check Oregano 3's handling of sites. Although Firefox is not always right. I was also under the impression that Opera was quite good on the whole standards compliance thing, so any sites designed for Firefox shouldn't be a problem for Opera.

"Sorry, I have had a very long day (working for 16 hours straight) and am too tired now to discuss this further. I need a holiday."

That sounds fun... I've not needed to put in any days that long for a while now. Altho. in the last 12 months I think my longest work day was about 32 hours. Hopefully I won't have to repeat that for at least another year.

Leo

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 29/07/05 12:51AM
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jess:

"I think it should officially be called "Oregan Media browser 3 for RISC OS" or similar, (especially as the user agent reported to websites). otherwise is would appear from outside the RISC OS world to be a browser only used by a few thousand people as opposed to the (presumably) far higher total."

Well for a lot of the currently installed user base of Oregan Media Browser it still reports it self as 'Interactor', so using Oregan Media Browser in the user agent isn't going to show up that high at the moment. Especially as not all devices it is used in actually have the ability to browse the web. Personally I would prefer what ever name was used in the User Agent string to not contain any spaces, as I think that just upsets some of the scripts that parse user agent strings.

"The application name should be !Oregano3 obviously,"

I wouldn't mind it still being called !Oregano, but then you wouldn't be able to run all 3 versions side by side.

Leo (who's wondering where the preview button has gone now that comments are in the forums)

 is a RISC OS UserLeo on 29/07/05 1:00PM
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The forum system is a bolted on part of drobe and uses a whole different codebase. Note that the front page hasn't noted that forum comments exist for this article. In short, it's a bit of a mess :-(

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/07/05 08:35AM
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At the risk of looking like I'm trolling, I'd like to clarify the points I made. Leo is of course right in defending Oregano 3, but I think he's been a bit too quick to read into what I mentioned, so I'll ask my question again.

If Oregano 3 is delayed until the end of the year, then what will it bring to the table?

Let's assume for the moment that NetSurf, Firefox and Oregano will by that time supports almost all of CSS/HTML4 etc that's being used in pratice on the web making the vast majority of pages accessible - with the exception of JavaScript in NetSurf which we can presume will have some functionality by then, but will be some way from complete. In other words, they are approximately equal in terms of web site access. So, the question really has to do with RISC OS - what will O3 be able to offer users if it's delayed until then?

If it was released now, then O3 would clearly give a much better experience as a RISC OS application than Firefox. It would probably also be faster with many activities. The point is that by the end of the year, this gap will have likely closed considerably. The main thing (AFAICT) O3 will be able to offer by then over NS/Firefox will be Flash - and that too is being slowly addressed by work on gplflash2 et al. That is really the main reason that I would be concerned about the ecnomics if I were Richard.

As for future development of Oregano - I have no reason to doubt that will continued unabated. Obviously Oregan have considerable interest in pleasing companies like Sony - but again, the question is about RISC OS. Remember also that development of Fresco and Browse also continued after the last versions were made generally available for RISC OS, and also the large gaps between RISC OS releases of O1 and O2. I think this is a valid basis for my concern about commerical browsers on RISC OS, and one at least some users share. On the other hand, I'm sure that other users will be happy to take GeneSys/Oregan on their word that there will be plenty of updates; there too, is basis for such belief.

I'm also aware that the release process for software (any software) can potentially be quite lengthy. Releasing a new version of Firefox can take at least an hour to make sure everything's ok. NetSurf developers have perhaps wisely avoided this by automating the process - something that's also done for many of my other programs. But in a commerical situation, many people have to be happy, and there may be lots of requirements to meet. It is potentially a costly and lengthy process (I'm not suggesting that it is or isn't in the case of Oregano, since I don't know); this may be part of Richard's concern to not release until it's "just right"; and the cost of orchestrating fix up releases may be considerable.

In conclusion, I think my concerns about the slipping dates of Oregano 3 are justified - and not just because I happen to be developing Firefox. Any financial model based upon such a small market (and I certainly include the UPP) is most certainly risky.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/07/05 09:03AM
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If Oregano3 has never had a stated release date, how can it slip? People may wish that it was already released, but that's not quite the same.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 01/08/05 3:46PM
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I know you're trolling, However I believe Richard said at Wakefield it would be "a few months". Apart from that, I think my meaning was quite clear, Care to address my points?

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 03/08/05 09:37AM
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"Care to address my points?"

Sure, "a few months" and "before the end of the year" are not mutally exclusive.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 03/08/05 2:25PM
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