A Camino user gets unreasonably excited

by Giles Turnbull

Related link: http://www.caminobrowser.org

Mac-owning, alternative browser-using webheads, rejoice! Camino has reached 1.0 alpha and we should all celebrate.

Now I might have made one or two raving asides about my ability to switch from one browser to another at a moment's notice in the past, but that's all behind me now. Here's why.

Every time I've wanted to switch to a different browser, it's been because the current one has, for one reason or another, annoyed me. Maybe it's crashed unexpectedly, maybe it's taken too long to do something for me, most often it's because it's suddenly stopped working with one of my favorite webapps. Either way, it's usually been something breaking that's forced me into the welcoming arms of another browser.

But since I went back to Camino with version 0.8.4, nothing of the sort has happened. This wonderful little Cocoa browser has performed like a good app should, always working with whatever sites I want it to work, remaining rock-solid even when I have far too many windows or tabs open, and generally making me a happy web user.

The new alpha comes with the usual warnings about alphas, but I've been using it for around 24 hours now with no problems at all. That said, I love the way the coding team have designed 1.0 in such a way that reverting to a previous version is easy. Camino 1.0 keeps prefs files in a different location; when you install it, all your existing prefs are copied to the new place, leaving the old ones untouched if you decide to trash 1.0 and return to 0.8 or 0.9.

Features-wise, Camino 1.0 comes with a lot of good stuff. For me, one of the most welcome additions is the ability to trust a new Certificate Authority. A little thing, I know, but one that will come in useful.

There's only thing missing from Camino, only one feature that sometimes makes me look with pained eyes at other browsers, and that's the ability to auto-save the current session. Not that Camino ever crashes on me, losing a bunch of open pages in the process; no, it's usually because some item on Software Update insists on restarting my machine after installing itself, and I've left a bunch of tabs open for later perusal.

But as all Camino fans know, lead developer Mike Pinkerton has taken a job at Google and promised to use his "20% time" working to improve the browser. If there's ever a chance for features like this to appear, this is it. I can't wait.

Feel that Camino love, people


2005-09-19 08:14:38
I switched to Camino from Safari because Safari on Tiger is slow as crap. Particularly annoying is going back, since it basically ends up rerendering the page from scratch, losing your place in it, then once you find your place again, it finally finishes and snaps you back to where you were, except you now want to be three lines down from there andů AAArgh.

But enough about Safari.

I've been using Camino for a couple weeks now, and everything has been going well. I do have some questions though. Why did it go from having alphas of .9 to having alphas of 1.0. What happened to having final release .9s? Also, while the roadmap says Camino 1 should get spell check support, I haven't seen any evidence of this having been implemented. Am I missing something?

2005-09-19 08:22:15
I read a comment by Mike Pinkerton (sorry, can't remember where) to the effect that progress had been so swift that there simply wasn't any point releasing version 0.9. It made more sense to skip right ahead to 1.0.
2005-09-19 08:55:24
I found the comment: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/pinkerton/archives/008867.html
2005-09-19 11:39:17
it's all about extensions
As much as I want to love Camino, Firefox's extensions are just too valuable to live without. How does anyone surf the web without adblock installed?
2005-09-19 12:41:38
it's all about extensions
Camino now has adblocking as a preferences option. It works very well.
2005-09-20 06:24:36
it's all about extensions
Camino now has an AdBlock function builtin in preferences under the Web Features Toolbar.

There are also 3rd party plugins for Camino. Some of the best ones can be found here: http://www.nada.de/mac/camitools/index.html
and the one you will be most interested in with regards to Ad blocking is CamiBlock:

Nothing is more annoying that reading the same untrue comment everywhere on the web when Camino has supported the use of userContent.css to block ads for many versions now. Now with 1.0a1 the developers of Camino have put it right there in the UI for everyone to enjoy :)

2005-09-22 11:07:42
couple niggling issues
I switched back (hopefully permanently) to camino recently. I am pretty happy with it except for 2 issues:

1. still no RSS support. I dont want to have to use another application for this -- these are links to websites, after all!

2. favicons support gets worse and worse. Camino now does not even save favicons from one session to the next (before it was just after crashes that they were lost). They need to take those things out of the cache. No other browser has this issue.

Otherwise, nice and fast. I even compiled my own version that removes components that I dont like.