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 Topic: Classilla 9.2 out today (Page 1 of 1)
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  Lichen Software (Profile)
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Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:48 pm
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I know it won't run on OS 7, but this would be on interest to those running multiple classic OS's. that is why it is in Off Topic instead of Announcements. Below is a copy of the announcement by Cameron Kaiser, the author.

Classilla 9.2 is out today. After some consideration, there may be a gap where
I won't have time to work on it for awhile, so I'll release what I have since
it's mostly workable even though it is kludgey (remember, it *is* alpha-level
software).

As promised, Classilla 9.2 rewrites JavaScript completely and the SpiderMonkey
interpreter it uses is almost exactly the same as Mozilla Firefox 3.0.19.
This literally cuts its benchmark time in half (the 1.8GHz dual G4 build host
reduced SunSpider from 32 seconds with 9.1 to 16 seconds with 9.2; the quad
G5 in Classic went from 25 seconds to 12 seconds [for comparison, Firefox
3.6.3 on the same machine with TraceMonkey is 4.6 seconds]). It also repairs
almost all of the outstanding crash bugs, meaning JavaScript should be a lot
more stable on sites like Blogspot and iFixit.

What is only partially updated in this version is the Document Object Model,
which connects JavaScript to layout. I did do some minor updates to fix
regressions (i.e., pages that used to work with JavaScript on, but didn't
after the new interpreter was switched on), particularly for Flickr and
jQuery, but DOM and layout are inextricably linked and significant updates
can't be done without updating the other. I'm planning to do a comprehensive
rewrite of layout and DOM, like JavaScript, in 9.3 -- that was too much to
do in this version.

That means the full benefit of the new interpreter unfortunately is not
completely realized in 9.2, but here is the result of my testing on a few
high profile sites:

iFixit doesn't crash anymore.

Wikipedia's new default skin now almost completely works (I haven't really
stress-tested article editing however). The disclosure arrows also work,
which didn't in 9.1.

Amazon still works, though it always treated Classilla as a basic browser
in any case and still does.

Apple's pages almost completely work. (There is also a layout update relevant
to that; read on.)

The New York Times almost completely works, whereas in 9.1 you couldn't
even click on links with JavaScript enabled.

eBay mostly works. The menus now reappear and My eBay also mostly works,
although I can't get feedback to show up still.

Google treats Classilla as an advanced browser now, and the search page
comes up with the enhanced AJAX search box. The side bars also open and
close. I still don't recommend using a custom user agent though with it.
Maps only partially works; I still recommend using their Basic HTML
version. Calendar and Docs still hardly work at all. Gmail is about the
same, but Groups is a lot faster now.

Paypal mostly works, though layout all-stop is still needed for the main
page.

Flickr still works (I didn't test uploading, I don't have an account),
though it is slightly slower.

Twitter almost completely works, but it is glacially slow. That said,
Camino 1.6 is also really slow with Twitter, so this may be a really tough
nut to crack with the code at my disposal. I still recommend the mobile
version.

Facebook appears to work, and no errors appear, but clicking on many
tabs doesn't do anything (at least you can log out and get to the
[worthless] privacy settings). The Touch Facebook (touch.facebook.com) does
almost completely work, even slideshows (!), though you will need to
Command-scroll (see below) through the feeds. I still recommend the mobile
version.

Yahoo! partially works, though using the search tabs doesn't seem to do
anything different, and Yahoo! Mail is very slow with JavaScript on (but
then, it didn't work at all before, so ...). I still recommend using
Yahoo! with JavaScript off. Sorry, Chuck Sad

The Wall Street Journal has more elements that work, and runs faster,
but the article strip at the top of the page still doesn't work and
some elements ignore clicks.

CNN is about the same. NewsPulse still has a lot of layout problems. Most
articles still render pretty well.

Fox News is about the same and still has a lot of layout problems. I still
recommend reading Fox News with JavaScript off.

Low End Mac still works fine Wink

As you can see from that, the improvement is more evolutionary than
revolutionary, but hopefully you will see similar improvements on the
sites that you visit.

There are also a couple minor layout updates. The most important one is
a change to the way certain floated elements handle their overflow, which
changed in 9.1 and caused a number of sites like Google and Twitter to
show "ghosted" or doubled images. On Apple's site it was particularly bad
because if you clicked on the ghost, the browser would get confused and
then *no* link worked (you had to reload the page). The old 1.3-descended
Clecko just can't handle the combination, so there is a tweak in layout
to disable this particular layout structure.

This fixes Apple, Google, Twitter, yFrog and a crapload of other sites, but
has the downside of causing the browser to believe a handful of pages are
wider than they actually are. Unfortunately 68KMLA forum threads and other
phpBB threads that use that skin are one of those handful. The page will
still look and work fine, but scroll slower.

So enter the other layout tweak: Command-scrolling. In 9.1 I added Use
Slow Scroll for pages where the regular fast scrolling broke (this should
be fixed when the new layout lands ... I hope). Because this is inconvenient
to run back and forth for single pages, 9.2 allows you to hold down the
Command key as you scroll, forcing Classilla to use an alternate scrolling
method. If the page uses fast scrolling and fragments, hold down Command
as you scroll or mousewheel, and Classilla will slow scroll until you release
Command. If the page is one of those few affected pages and uses slow
scroll even when it doesn't have to, hold down Command also as you scroll,
and Classilla will fast scroll. I know this is kludgey, but at least it's
better than nothing, and the best I can do right now. You can still click
on Use Slow Scroll to make the setting sticky.

Finally, all-stop. In 9.1 I added Cmd-Period for cancelling layout if it
hung up on a bug, and I expanded that in 9.2 to a couple other places that
seemed subject to freezing. The OS 9 list also really liked the idea of
having Cmd-Period cancel scripts, which was a suggestion someone sent me
anonymously via Report-A-Bug. This *isn't* as clean, because the script may
have partially installed event handlers or other hooks that may cause the
current appshell to act weird as there is no code for them to run. If you
cancel a script, you should close that window or tab, and reload it with
JavaScript off just to make sure weird things don't happen. If JavaScript
is off, you don't need to worry about that.

Also:

- Theming is specifically supported, and you should get an error now
if you try to theme without software installation on (Brian Deuel).

- I changed the way plugins are enumerated. This should help Alex with
SIDPlay (let me know).

- A couple more crash bugs found and countered, in printing and mailnews.

- New easter egg.

I am not so interested in what doesn't work as in what *used to work* and
doesn't now. Those regressions I want to fix in 9.2.1. Also, I plan to
redo the NoScript front end as Script-B-Gone in 9.2.1 and put an end to
the NoScript whitelist not updating or remembering once and for all. While
a full NoScript is not possible because Clecko lacks the needed XUL
controls, I do want to significantly improve it since I also rely on it.

Anyway, forgive the sawdust and I hope you find 9.2 useful.

http://www.classilla.org/
  
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