Benefits of OmniWeb 2.0 over Netscape 2.0

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 5 Feb 96 21:25:52 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Mon, 5 Feb 96 18:04:37 -0800
From: William Shipley <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Benefits of OmniWeb 2.0 over Netscape 2.0
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X-Comment: OmniWeb Discussion

When it ships later this month, OmniWeb 2.0 for OpenStep is going to be
completely compatible with Netscape 2.0 for the Macintosh. Frames,
tables, background images, the whole nine yards. But, hey, just being as
good as them isn't good enough for us.

Here's a list of what I think are the advantages of OmniWeb 2.0 over
Netscape 2.0 for the Macintosh. Anyone please let me know if I've missed
any, or if I've sold Netscape short on something (I admit I don't use it
THAT often, since I have a superior browser on my desk).


* OmniWeb understands both HTML 3.0 style tables and Netscape style
tables; OmniWeb is compatible with other browsers that implement the
standard more faithfully.

* OmniWeb understand Internet Explorer's table format better than
Netscape 2.0 beta 6: for example we understand table cell background
colors and the Microsoft site says Netscape doesn't understand them.

* OmniWeb understands Internet Explorer style named colors, Microsoft
warns that Netscape does not understand them.


* OmniWeb has multiple bookmark windows, and bookmark windows can
contain URLs that refer to other bookmark windows.

* OmniWeb bookmarks can be read off of the WWW, whereas Netscape
bookmarks must be on your local machine. (That is, in OmniWeb you can
read bookmarks exported by a foreign site.)

User interface:

* OmniWeb 1.0 introduced the notion of "zaps", little lightning bolts
that represent URLs and can be dragged to and from history, the main
browser, and bookmarks. For instance, dragging a zap from the main
browser to bookmarks adds the current page to your bookmarks, and
dragging a zap into the file system saves the current page. Dragging a
zap into a mail window allows the user to mail a URL to a friend.
(Netscape 2.0 is copying SOME but not all of the drag and drop features
that OmniWeb 1.0 had back in February 95.)

* OmniWeb has a processes panel for monitoring the status of all
downloads and windows.

* OmniWeb has two kinds of history panels, linear and
most-recently-viewed pages.

* OmniWeb has a customizable search panel that allows searches on
servers like WebCrawler and Lycos to return a list of found documents in
an easy-to-use format, and allows searching multiple servers
simultaneously. Results from searches can be dragged into bookmarks
windows for saving.

* OmniWeb allows editing of HTML (or text or RTF) from any document and
viewing and saving of the changes.

* OmniWeb allows users to type in relative URLs as well as absolute URLs
to jump to a new page.

* With Lennart Lovstrand's URLifier, URLs received in mail messages can
be double-clicked or dragged to be viewed in OmniWeb.

The look:

* OmniWeb's FTP sessions look like a standard file browser instead of an
HTML document.

* OmniWeb doesn't flash the window briefly to white when you switch
between two pages with the same background color or pattern.

* OmniWeb has much better looking icons.


* OmniWeb allows programmers to add new network protocols, such as SSL,
and new preference screens, in addition to the new types of processors
that Netscape allows.

* OmniWeb allows programmers to trivially add new HTML tags to its
parser without having to rewrite the whole thing.

* For customers wanting to implement new types of programs (not simply
browsers) that use the web as a transport medium, OmniWeb 2.0 will ship
as a library that can be linked against.

* Omni, not being a HUGE company, still cares about its customers and is
willing to tailor OmniWeb 2.0 to client's needs. For example, to
enhance our support of WebObjects, we added a couple of attributes to
forms for Fannie Mae for free.

-Wil Shipley
Omni Development, Inc.