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The Mac SIG of our university's ACM chapter, MacWarriors, is having a Game Day (thinly disguised demo) this Friday at the Illini Union. I hear that they're going to be showing off the new iMac. Since I'm still thinking about getting one for home to replace my poor old broken PowerBook, I'm there.

On Web browsers

OmniWeb's CSS support is improving: in version 4.1sp28, released today, it finally displays the background color and border of the heading in my bookmarks page. Previously it only recognized the foreground the color, which happened to be white, so I saw a white block at the top of the page.

I have to admit that I used OmniWeb as my primary Web browser in Mac OS X 10.0.x (and bought a copy), but I switched to Internet Explorer in OS X 10.1, and aside from checking out each new version of OmniWeb, I don't use it any more. MacIE's speed was not usable in 10.0.x, but is usable (not great) on my machine in 10.1. Also, the interface of IE is still better designed than OmniWeb's, and its page compatibility with respect to CSS and JavaScript is much higher. However, since MacIE is essentially on life support these days, Mozilla is our best hope for a free, standards-compliant web browser. Mike Pinkerton, Simon Fraser, Steve Dagley, and others are doing their best to make Mozilla into a decent browser, and I totally support them in that. Right now, pink and Dave Hyatt are working on getting nsITheme support into Mac Mozilla (it's already there for Windows XP), so the Mac OS X Classic theme can use Appearance for drawing controls. The upshot is that Mozilla will look and feel more like a real Mac application. This builds on some earlier work Patrick Beard did for the 'theme' protocol—speaking of that, I have been having lots of success with Patrick's Java plugin for Mozilla.

OmniWeb is definitely my favorite Mac web browser to write in, because it does on-the-fly spelling checking, “smart” editing (removes extraneous spaces when you cut and paste) and has text drag-and-drop and Undo. All of these come free with Cocoa's NSTextView).

When I'm at home, in a hurry or on low-bandwidth connections, I use a text-based web browser called w3m. If all you've used is Lynx, and don't find the idea of browsing the Web without graphics abhorrent, I'd suggest taking a look at w3m. It handles frames and tables, has color and mouse support, and is very fast. I especially like the way you can navigate around the page without being restricted to the link structure (the way Lynx and Links do it), and search within the page to find something. The latter is a lot like MacIE 5.1's type-ahead feature for links. Until Tantek posted a list of the new IE 5.1 Classic features, I had forgotten, since the feature had been added at MacHack several years ago.

One very interesting feature of w3m is the use of an external editor for text areas. That means, when I navigate to a text area and click on it, or type return, Emacs starts up! A real text editor for writing on the Web.

Ugh. One thing I definitely want is for this text box to be bigger. Or maybe it's a hint that my weblog posts are too long. :-)

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