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The Icon Bar: News and features: Iris browser continues to evolve

Iris browser continues to evolve

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:26, 1/9/2020 |
Development of the Irs web browser has continued during 2020, with RISC OS Developments providing updates to their shareholders in June and August. So how is it developing?

The August update of Iris sees a number of important improvements. Most importantly, the version of Webkit used has been updated to the much more recent v2.28.4 release. This will provide even better compatibility with tricky websites. It is also now compiled with a later release of GCC which should provide more optimised compilation. The August release definitely feels much more responsive in use.

The release itself is supplied as a zip file containing !Iris. There is also a program to terminate the browser (which I have never had cause to use) and some alternate sprites. Installation is simply a matter of dragging the !Iris application to Apps or another location and deleting www directory in Choices if you had an old version installed.

RISC OS Developments are keen to stress that this is still very much a beta version and manage expectations accordingly. In the Readme, R-Comp way they are not currently asking for bug reports. They have a list of issues which are being fixed.

I am running Iris on a Titanium (and personally not sure I would want to run on anything slower). It does now feel like a proper RISC OS application. The scale, Find and Bookmarks manager all work really nicely and the application feels reasonably stable and robust. It feels sluggish compared to a fast PC/Mac but we do now have usable browsing on the RISC OS platform. This is the first release I have been using for real browsing on the internet.
There is still lots to do... The number one thing I would personally like to see is the saving of passwords so I do not keep having to manually type in. I use 1password to store all my logins for websites and have to manually setup each time. It would also be really nice if any words or phrases which were typed into the URL window (ie not http:, https:, file: www.) were sent to a search engine.
Are you using Iris and what do you think of it?
  Iris browser continues to evolve
  SparkY (10:05 1/9/2020)
  Bucksboy (12:12 1/9/2020)
    SparkY (13:05 1/9/2020)
Gavin Smith Message #124935, posted by SparkY at 10:05, 1/9/2020
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 695
My thoughts are largely the same as yours, Mark. This is a more usable release, it feels more like a real RISC OS application now. I've actually been running it on a Pi 3B+ and the performance is better than you might expect, apart from a little lag when typing.

I agree with your thoughts on the password issue and also URL-bar-as-search-field. Typing a search term into the URL, and have it sent to the search engine of my choice, has become such a natural thing on other platforms.

So, there's more to do, of course, but I'm pleased and impressed with the progress.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
George Greenfield Message #124936, posted by Bucksboy at 12:12, 1/9/2020, in reply to message #124935
Posts: 87
Can you copy and paste text into and out of Iris (a significant practical drawback of Otter)?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gavin Smith Message #124937, posted by SparkY at 13:05, 1/9/2020, in reply to message #124936
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 695
Can you copy and paste text into and out of Iris (a significant practical drawback of Otter)?
Partially. You can paste from the global clipboard into Iris's URL bar or any text field on a website. You can also copy from the URL bar to the clipboard. You can't yet, however, copy from a webpage to the clipboard. Clicking Menu on text, reveals a standard RISC OS menu with items for Cut, Copy and Paste, but Copy doesn't seem to actually put the text onto the clipboard.

Having said that, the menu *is* aware if you have selected text or not. In other words, if you haven't selected text, the Copy menu item isn't enabled, and becomes enabled whenever text is selected. So it's nearly there!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: Iris browser continues to evolve