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The Icon Bar: News and features: First releases of OWB and Iris RISC OS browsers

First releases of OWB and Iris RISC OS browsers

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:09, 8/11/2019 |
If you are a shareholder of RISC OS Developments, you will have received an email just before the London Show inviting you to download a copy of Iris and OWB Browsers. They were also on show on various stands at the London Show.

These are essentially the first alpha releases of two different Browser projects organised by RISC OS Developments to update browser support on RISC OS. OWB is a port of an existing Open Source Browser while Iris is a new Browser using the webkit engine.
The first thing to say is that these are both very much first concept releases, with much to be done (colour for instance on Iris is swapping channels). They crashed several times when Andrew did a demo in the London show talk. But they are very promising and exciting!
There has already been a November release which fixes the colour issue in Iris and some issues. It also adds more RISC OS dialog boxes. If you are shareholder of ROD, you are invited to download and kick the tyres....

My testing has focussed mainly on Iris (as I tend to use more cutting edge websites). I can now read the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph online. The experience is still quite minimal if you are used to Chrome, Safari, and Firefox and sluggish even on my Titanium, but it is now possible to access modern websites under RISC OS. Remember this is just the first release and just having it on RISC OS is very exciting!
I was especially impressed to find that the Trello site worked and I could even drag and drop items - lots of very messy HTML/Javascript in there!

My understanding is that Shareholders get access now, then purchasers of the OBrowse front end and finally everyone in 2020 (for free). There will be more updates and more RISC OS features being added.
If you have a copy of either Iris or OWB, what are your first impressions?
  First releases of OWB and Iris RISC OS browsers
  riscosbits (10:19 8/11/2019)
  markee174 (16:25 8/11/2019)
  grannyg (17:43 8/11/2019)
    nytrex (19:44 9/11/2019)
      arawnsley (20:41 9/11/2019)
RISCOS Bits Message #124642, posted by riscosbits at 10:19, 8/11/2019
Posts: 19
Like you, I seem to have gravitated towards Iris. It's given me a few issues with Gmail access on occasion, but I'm not a frequent user of the service, so it's no real issue.

Iris does lack some of the features of Netsurf, especially when it comes to saving pages and URLs etc. but it's much nicer to be able to access the previously unusable parts of the web.

After only a few days, it's my go to browser! Excellent work!

(And it's really easy to theme with button designs!).

[Edited by riscosbits at 10:20, 8/11/2019]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Stephens Message #124643, posted by markee174 at 16:25, 8/11/2019, in reply to message #124642
Does all the
work around here

Posts: 104
Would you like to write a little tutorial for IconBar to publish?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Chris Gransden Message #124644, posted by grannyg at 17:43, 8/11/2019, in reply to message #124642
Posts: 51
Iris is currently using the Javascript interpreter so probably why there are problems with certain sites.

CTRL-U works in the URL bar. big smile

On a Titanium it's much more usable than Otter browser and Qupzilla. Sites like Anandtech and Github now render correctly as it uses the latest WebKit backend.
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Alan Robertson Message #124645, posted by nytrex at 19:44, 9/11/2019, in reply to message #124644
Posts: 73
Has the Microsoft Office online suite of apps been tested on either of these browsers?
It would be great if Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint could be run on RISC OS.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124646, posted by arawnsley at 20:41, 9/11/2019, in reply to message #124645
R-Comp chap
Posts: 570
For now, I suspect the interpretter Javascript would be too slow for heavyweight browser apps like that. I could be wrong, but I suspect not - those kind of things hardly feel "nippy" on my PC browsers.

Obviously that's why we consider these alpha test versions, and not finished products. There's a long road ahead to get to where we want to be, but on the flip side, we feel that these test builds already offer more functionality than RISC OS has previously had available, which is why we wanted to get them out to those who have supported their development.

As the article explains, the circle of distribution will get wider with each update/release, but we're cautious about releasing known "work in progress" products to the public at large, because it can send the wrong messages.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: First releases of OWB and Iris RISC OS browsers