AmigaOS 4.1 Web Browsers in 2015 on X1000

Today I wanted to take a closer look at the Web Browsers available for AmigaOS4.1 in 2015, using my AmigaOne X1000.



I will take a look at:

  • Odyssey 1.23r3 (successor to OWB originally included in AmigaOS4.1) 
  • IBrowse 2.4 (included in AmigaOS4.1) 
  • NetSurf 3.3 
  • Timberwolf 4.01 (port of Firefox for AmigaOS4.1).


I should warn this article is quite image heavy. As a reminder, all images can be clicked on to enlarge them.

There has been a lot of development of Web Browsers on AmigaOS4.1 in recent years and I hope this will show just how much things have moved on in the past few years, thanks to the hard work of developers committed to improving web browsing on AmigaOS4.1.

The newest of these web browsers is NetSurf, with the latest v3.3 released this month (available on os4depot.net here). Unlike the other browsers it includes a nice standard Installer too:


You do need to create a folder for NetSurf manually though, as the installer does not create folder for you for some reason - I put it in SYS:Internet/NetSurf.

After the installation is completed you get the NetSurf folder


Here is the NetSurf browser itself and some of the other views in the program:


NetSurf Preferences:


NetSurf Hotlist, Global History and Cookies windows:




Odyssey 1.23r3 (released in December 2013) can be downloaded from os4depot.net from here,

I looked at Odyssey 1.23r3 previously on this very blog, right here.



Odyssey has a top sites preview in new tabs when opened allowing quick links to popular websites you recently visit!



Odyssey Bookmarks:


Odyssey can also Spoof itself as another Web browser to fool web sites that detect browsers for certain functionality:


Odyssey History can be displayed on the Sidebar:


Odyssey settings:



Timberwolf  4.01 (released in September 2012) can be downloaded from os4depot.net here. Timber wolf is a port of an old Firefox browser version to AmigaOS4.1. It is worth noting that it is prone to crashes and needs plenty of memory, like Firefox itself does.



Timberwolf implements the Firefox Add-Ons functionality, opening up a lot a different themes and extra functions in Timberwolf. I covered this in a lot of detail in previous blog entries here and here.




Timberwolf Preferences Window:


Timberwolf Library Window - showing History and Bookmarks:


This Bookmarks view can be seen as a side bar within Timberwolf as well:


You can also get more information about a particular webpage being viewed in Timberwolf:



IBrowse 2.4 (Released in 2006 as a commercial browser but provided free in AmigaOS4.1 as OEM edition) can be installed from the Extras Installer on your AmigaOS4.1 DVD.

IBrowse has it's roots firmly in Classic AmigaOS 3.X, having been the commercial web browser of choice in the mid-late 1990's on Amiga as the first (to my knowledge) to use tabbed browsing - I used it a lot on my A1200 at that time.



IBrowse has some nice features, although it is showing it's age with it's modern web technology support. It has a nice cookie manager, Global History and Hotlist Manager:





IBrowse also has a Password Manager function:


IBrowse Preferences:


IBrowse has a Spoof function to fool websites into presenting pages formatted for that browser - the list includes mostly old browsers though:


So, which one to use?

Rather than a long boring technical feature list comparison between the browsers, I decided to show the differences between the browsers visually, by visiting a list of common websites and capturing how they appear in each browser for easy comparison.

I also use a modern web browser (Safari) to capture how these same sites appear on Mac OS X Yosemite, the latest version of Mac OS X.

Let's get started!


Amiga.org

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)

IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:


Timberwolf:



AmigaWorld.net

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)

IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:


Timberwolf:



abc.net.au/news

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey: (Website displays well, video playback works on the site too)




Timberwolf: (Displays ok, but video playback on the site doesn't work)





Facebook.com/AeonTechnologyLtd

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse: (Cannot even connect as Browse doesn't support TLS encryption)


NetSurf: (Facebook displays, but no content displayed beyond the header and footer)



Odyssey: (Works ok)


Timberwolf: (Works ok)



Google.com

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse:


NetSurf:


Odyssey:


Timberwolf:


Safari: (Google search term - Amiga X1000 - Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse (Google Search term - Amiga X1000):


NetSurf (Google Search term - Amiga X1000):


Odyssey (Google Search term - Amiga X1000):


Timberwolf: (Google Search term - Amiga X1000)


Safari: (Google Images search term - Amiga X1000 - Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)

IBrowse (Google Images Search term - Amiga X1000):


NetSurf: (Google Images Search term - Amiga X1000)



Odyssey: (Google Images Search term - Amiga X1000)



Timberwolf: (Google Images Search term - Amiga X1000)




YouTube.com

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse:




NetSurf: (Cannot play videos)



Odyssey: (Displays well and video playback works - although page formatting a bit off in playback window)



Timberwolf: (Need to switch to HTML5 mode in YouTube.com/html5 to use - Video plays, but slow. Google login works for YouTube - only browser that does)






Dropbox.com

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse:


NetSurf: (Screen layout strange, logon fails)





Odyssey: (Login works, file uploads and view works)







Timberwolf: (Login works, viewing files works, but file uploading needs to use Basic Uploader to work)









www.aminet.net

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)

IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:


Timberwolf:



amiga-news.de

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)

IBrowse:


NetSurf:


Odyssey:


Timberwolf:



ppa.pl

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)


IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:



Timberwolf:




amiga-ng.org

Safari: (Mac OS X Yosemite - Reference)
IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:



Timberwolf:




obligement.free.fr

Safari: (MacOS X Yosemite - reference)

IBrowse:


NetSurf:



Odyssey:



Timberwolf:




vimeo.com

Safari: (MacOS X Yosemite - reference)
IBrowse: (Can't open the website due to IBrowse not supporting TLS)


NetSurf: (Videos don't play)



Odyssey: (Videos play, but slowly if in HD)





Timberwolf: (Site does not display right and videos don't play)





I hope this comparison across multiple websites gives you an idea of what each web browser is capable of on AmigaOS 4.1, when picking a small selection of websites to view.



In my case I pretty much exclusively use Odyssey on my X1000 - it is the most compatible web browser for modern websites (and old websites), available for AmigaOS4.1 right now. This should be clear from the comparison screenshots above!

There is more work to do of course as web technologies continue to evolve and I certainly haven't covered it in great detail - just wanted to show what is possible on AmigaOS4.1 today.

Many Amiga focused websites continue to maintain old web code to remain backwardly compatible with Classic Amiga web browsers like IBrowse and AWeb (not covered here), which is helpful, especially for downloading Amiga files from Aminet and reading many Amiga news websites.

The reality is that the majority of modern websites have long adopted newer technologies to present web content to us that is incompatible with Classic Amiga web browsers.

I believe that we are in a far better place for browsing the modern web on AmigaOS4.1 than we were 3 years ago...HTML 5 support, CSS support, TLS encryption, Video playback on Youtube and Vimeo, Dropbox, Facebook Chat, Google Chat support and more is great to have on AmigaOS4.1 web browsers in 2015.

Many thanks to the developers for keeping things moving along! :-)

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