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The Icon Bar: News and features: Last RISC OS version of NetSurf announced
 

Last RISC OS version of NetSurf announced

Posted by Chris Williams on 17:18, 14/1/2010 | ,
 
Netsurf LogoVersion 2.5 of web browser NetSurf is set to be unveiled at this year's Wakefield show - but its developers warn this could be the last release for the platform. The new version has a rewritten CSS engine to improve its ability to display web pages correctly, should be faster at processing web pages, and boasts big improvements to the way the freely available software caches pages and uses the computer's memory.
 
But as the developers of the open source browser no longer have the time to maintain the RISC OS port of NetSurf, it's likely that future improvements to the program will not make it into the RISC OS port - and automatically generated builds of the software are expected to stop if these new enhancements break the RISC OS-specific source enough to stop it compiling.

Team spokesman Michael Drake said earlier today: "NetSurf 2.5 is likely to be the last release for RISC OS. It is unlikely that RISC OS development builds will function for much longer after this, either. Once NetSurf 2.5 has been released we will be incorporating new developments, which are currently being held back, into NetSurf's core web browser engine. These will not be compatible with the existing stagnant RISC OS front end code.
 
"The source code for the RISC OS front end will continue to be available in the normal place, however it won't compile without the necessary attention to bring it into line with NetSurf's core."
 
The genesis of NetSurf was sparked following a discussion about browser development on the Iconbar.com forums, and, after years of development, has since won several awards for its contribution to the RISC OS platform. It has now been ported to various other operating systems, including Linux and AmigaOS, where development will continue.
 
Repeated appeals were made by leading NetSurf developers for a RISC OS maintainer to volunteer their time, but as yet no one has been able to lend any support to the project. Speaking after revealing that the RISC OS frontend had not been touched for over two years, lead programmer John-Mark Bell said: "Dropping support for any platform is not a decision we take lightly. However, when it gets to the point where progress is being hindered, difficult decisions have to be made."
 
He added today: "Realistically, the people qualified to maintain the RISC OS port are up to their necks in other stuff."
 
Link
NetSurf at Wakefield Show 2010 Announcement
 
  Last RISC OS version of NetSurf announced
  Chris (22:25 14/1/2010)
  Bucksboy (11:35 15/1/2010)
    Lampi (15:37 15/1/2010)
      andrew (12:19 16/1/2010)
        sa_scott (20:14 16/1/2010)
          SparkY (10:08 17/1/2010)
            Bucksboy (18:47 17/1/2010)
              Bucksboy (18:49 17/1/2010)
                filecore (19:01 17/1/2010)
                  Acornut (19:24 17/1/2010)
                    filecore (20:01 17/1/2010)
  trevj (13:16 23/9/2010)
 
Chris Message #112824, posted by Chris at 22:25, 14/1/2010
Member
Posts: 279
2.5 looks like a real improvement, so it'll be great to have that working on a RISC OS desktop before support ceases altogether.

As for the lack of developers, it's a real shame, but the NetSurf team could hardly have done more to encourage new coders on board. As JMB points out, those with the necessary expertise are busy with other things.

It'd be great if, against the odds, this prompted a fresh offer of help - I know there were some tentative expressions of interest from RISC OS-savvy programmers at one stage. If it doesn't, however, then thanks to the NetSurf developers for all their hard work on an excellent browser!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
George Greenfield Message #112841, posted by Bucksboy at 11:35, 15/1/2010, in reply to message #112824
Member
Posts: 45
then thanks to the NetSurf developers for all their hard work on an excellent browser!
Seconded!
Presumably this means that any future Javascript-capable versions of NetSurf will not be available to RO users?
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James Lampard Message #112845, posted by Lampi at 15:37, 15/1/2010, in reply to message #112841
Lampi

Posts: 189
Unless someone updates the RISC OS front end, yes.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Message #112847, posted by andrew at 12:19, 16/1/2010, in reply to message #112845
HandbagHandbag Boi
Posts: 3439
Chris, good to see you writing stories again.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Stephen Scott Message #112854, posted by sa_scott at 20:14, 16/1/2010, in reply to message #112847
Member
Posts: 66
What a depressing way to start 2010 - one of our best browsers, effectively canned. Very disappointing news.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Gavin Message #112858, posted by SparkY at 10:08, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112854
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 680
What a depressing way to start 2010 - one of our best browsers, effectively canned. Very disappointing news.
On a positive note, we're getting at least one more version which sounds much improved. With porting to more hardware, who knows what the future will bring - it doesn't rule out future updates. Plus, we have Firefox and that gets better with every release.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
George Greenfield Message #112879, posted by Bucksboy at 18:47, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112858
Member
Posts: 45
Plus, we have Firefox and that gets better with every release.
Yes indeed. My default browser is FF2.0.0.21 (non-threaded version) which I find pretty much as responsive as NetSurf in non-javascript mode (i.e. like NetSurf) on this Iyonix, with the advantages of better display, javascript if required and no memory issues (NS 3.0r9784 regularly runs out of memory on the BBC 5-day Forecast which I consult a lot, especially during the Great Freeze). OTOH, version 2.5 of NetSurf promises to address the memory issue and offer further speed improvements, so that may change.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
George Greenfield Message #112880, posted by Bucksboy at 18:49, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112879
Member
Posts: 45
Sorry, last post should have looked like this:

Plus, we have Firefox and that gets better with every release.
Yes indeed. My default browser is FF2.0.0.21 (non-threaded version) which I find pretty much as responsive as NetSurf in non-javascript mode (i.e. like NetSurf) on this Iyonix, with the advantages of better display, javascript if required and no memory issues (NS 3.0r9784 regularly runs out of memory on the BBC 5-day Forecast which I consult a lot, especially during the Great Freeze). OTOH, version 2.5 of NetSurf promises to address the memory issue and offer further speed improvements, so that may change.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #112882, posted by filecore at 19:01, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112880

Posts: 3864
Sorry, last post should have looked like this:
And this is why there's an "edit" function.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Blind Moose Message #112884, posted by Acornut at 19:24, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112882
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 485
... an "edit" function.
True, but if you'r 'new' to using edit, there is no preview, option, so you could end up 'editing' a half dozen times.
Still. It's one way of learning! smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #112889, posted by filecore at 20:01, 17/1/2010, in reply to message #112884

Posts: 3864
True, but if you'r 'new' to using edit, there is no preview, option, so you could end up 'editing' a half dozen times.
And this is why there's a "preview message" function.

EDIT: how ironic. But on topic, if you have to edit many times, you can simply delete the line that reads something like "[Edited by filecore at 20:02, 17/1/2010]". There will by default always be one, but if you've edited twenty times, you can delete the other nineteen as you go along. That way your posts don't look so messy.

[Edited by filecore at 20:03, 17/1/2010]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #115447, posted by trevj at 13:16, 23/9/2010, in reply to message #112824
Member
Posts: 659
...thanks to the NetSurf developers for all their hard work on an excellent browser!
And thanks for working on the RISC OS aspects of version 2.6. If only it can continue...

[Edit: Thanks, Rob.]

[Edited by trevj at 13:19, 23/9/2010]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Last RISC OS version of NetSurf announced