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Contact
peter@browsex.com

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BrowseX Press/Testimonials
BrowseX Press/Testimonials

 
Here is some grist for the mill. Actual articles and postings about BrowseX .

Online Articles

Newforge.com Article: newsforge.com did this article based upon an interview with Peter MacDonald. The writer may not have personally tried BrowseX , but instead references some of News Postings (below).

Computes Canada Oct 2 Article: This article was derived from the writers personal experience using BrowseX . The best part about this article is that it contains followups from readers on both sides of the Mozilla fence. Browser religousness may take second place to OS religion, but sincerity does not seem to be lacking.


Postings To comp.lang.tcl

Following are extracts from the first 10 BrowseX  related postings to the comp.lang.tcl news group. They are unedited except to remove user names and email addresses. If you want those, you can get them from deja.com.


The web browser is GREAT to see. More than just great I should say.

I have been following the development of HTML, CSS and browsers for a
few years and been getting more and more concerned. As I try to write
tutorials to explain to teachers and primary school children (yes both
together) or any computer illiterate, the basics of writing a webpage, I
discover that what was possible to explain simply 4 years ago is now not
possible.

The combination of CSS and HTML, proprietary specialistation,
depreceated language etc makes a simple webpage a minefield to explain
to beginners.

As systems engineers have discovered from way back, what you need is a
simple evocative data definition language which suits the application
(html) and when that fails you apply a simple and powerful procedureal
language to cover all the cracks and introduce object power, such as
Tcl. Plastering layer upon layer of evermore complex data definition
languages on top of each other just does not do the trick.

Using Tcl at both client and server side, and communicating in
procedural language is a breakthrough the importance of which has yet to
be realised. This effectively makes HTML look LaTeX-like. So it also
solves the HTML/LaTeX, popular/acedemic, conversion hurdle.

Most everybody has worked out now that the only way to manage a site is
to write the pages in something like Tcl and regenerate the HTML source
when changes are made. This you still have to do but Tml makes it
easier, but for the Browse-X you send the original ungenerated source
which is even more simple and direct, and maybe indicates that it is a
move in the right direction, away from CSS.

I love the concept and will be testing it out on my site, moving to Tml
markup.


On 26 Sep, Peter MacDonald wrote:
> BrowseX  is an Open Source, cross-platform Web Browser written primarily
> in Tcl.  Tml is our HTML Macro Processor built on top of Tcl; it comes
> bundled with BrowseX . Together, BrowseX  and Tml are designed to simplify
> and enhance Web Authoring without locking you into proprietary formats or
> languages. It also includes database client support for Postgres. Lastly,
> there is a minor widget collection (Thin) that was assembled to produce
> BrowseX .
> 

Hi,

A few quick comments, mostly bad. :-) I'm just showing behaviour, I haven't
tried to figure out why it happens or how to fix it. All on Linux Mandrake
7.0 with Tcl 8.3.

- Finish button doesn't exit wish in the installer.
- In install, should allow installing in another directory. The important 
  files should be copied to that directory. Although, I see in your
  announcement that you use CVS to do automatic updtes so maybe that can't
  be done.
- The initial license window should contain a scrollbar.

And the most severe criticism of all: I was writing a little tutorial on how
to use the HTML widget. I had gotten most of the basics down and I was
getting ready to look at how frames should be implemented. Well you just
about shot that effort right out the window. I'll just replace my
(currently) 8 page tutorial with one line;

Go to http://www.browsex.com, download the browser, study it and learn!

Great work! I might even consider dropping Mozilla for this!


: Great work! I might even consider dropping Mozilla for this!

I'd like to add that I'm also very excited about this release. Actually
I was working on a browser of my own using Tkhtml as a side-project
(as I'm sure many others were too ;-) but browsex is far more developed
as it stands right now. In fact, in parts it was surprisingly good.

There is still some development work to do (I get some funny errors 
when clicking the right button on images, the preference dialog has
to be resized to see the contents, I sometimes lose the scrollbar etc.), 
but it really is beginning to look quite nice indeed. For the first time, 
I'm actually considering getting rid of Netscape|Mozilla for a free 
alternative (as the other ones tend to be quite crap), even despite the bugs 
lingering around. Might even try to allocate some time to work on it myself.


Peter MacDonald <pcmacdon@dev.pdqi.com> wrote:

:> There is still some development work to do (I get some funny errors 
:> when clicking the right button on images, 

: There was a bug in the first released version of tkhtml.so (BrowseX beta 15)
: so you will need to redownload if that is what's hitting you.

Well this is now (as far as I can tell) using the Tkhtml that I downloaded
directly from the site the other day. Has something changed meanwhile?
Just to clarify: the images work OK, but the right button generates the 
following error:

*********** ERROR **************
{malformed index: "`"}
malformed index: "`"
    while executing
    "$pv(widget) token get $un"
        (procedure "brx::PopMenu" line 44)
	    invoked from within
	    "brx::PopMenu $brx::pW(.brx1.h.h.h.x) 66 48"
	        (command bound to event)

:> I sometimes lose the scrollbar etc.), 

: The scrollbars are designed to disappear when you don't need them.
: For the longest time, I could not figure out why Netscape pages looked
: different than BrowseX.   Turned out Netscape had dynamic scrollbars.
: Are you saying they are doing this when the page is bigger than the screen?

Yes, I should've pointed that out. I mean, that the page was long, and I 
could scroll it with pgup/pgdn but there was no scrollbar. Unfortunately
I haven't been able to replicate the situation.

: Of course, if your talking about scrollbars in frames,
: that is coming with Panes Frames.  

Unfortunately, right now it's too early in the morning (and I've been
coding all night) for me to remember what kind of page it was. It could've
been one with frames, but would it then be possible to scroll with
the keyboard?


Some other comments along the way:

- In X the location bar text shouldn't be automatically selected. The
reason for this is that in X a selection is automatically copied to the
clipboard. So if I select an URL from somewhere else and want to paste
it into browsex I can't as the location text in browsex is automatically
selected, thus overriding the selection I previously had.

- www.bbcworld.com doesn't seem to work (probably something with cookies)

- www.barbour.co.uk doesn't work, aswell as many other pages using
frames. I guess this is no surprise to you? ;-)

- The email module should be easy to remove to save memory etc. if not 
required.

- Apparently some kind of Tk problem: all the gifs and jpegs are heavily 
dithered, even though my X server is running in truecolor mode.

I'll send you more as I think of them. Don't feel discouraged, though.
I'm currently running NS and BrowseX side-by-side and use BrowseX as
much as possible as NS can be incredibly frustrating at times. I love
being able to set gif animations off! :-)


> Well this is now (as far as I can tell) using the Tkhtml that I downloaded
> directly from the site the other day. Has something changed meanwhile?
> Just to clarify: the images work OK, but the right button generates the 
> following error:
> 
> *********** ERROR **************
> {malformed index: "`"}
> malformed index: "`"
>     while executing
>     "$pv(widget) token get $un"
>         (procedure "brx::PopMenu" line 44)
> 	    invoked from within
> 	    "brx::PopMenu $brx::pW(.brx1.h.h.h.x) 66 48"
> 	        (command bound to event)
> 

That was fixed. Do you have multiple versions of tkhtml.so on your machine?
I did. I had to remove the one in brx/lib/Tkhtml.

> - In X the location bar text shouldn't be automatically selected. The
> reason for this is that in X a selection is automatically copied to the
> clipboard. So if I select an URL from somewhere else and want to paste
> it into browsex I can't as the location text in browsex is automatically
> selected, thus overriding the selection I previously had.
> 

Yeah. I've also noticed the oftentimes when I click in the location bar, the
dropdown list pops down. I would rather it pop down when I click on the
arrow.

> - www.bbcworld.com doesn't seem to work (probably something with cookies)
> 

Cookies work for me. Or at least, they seem to work for the current browser
session.

> - Apparently some kind of Tk problem: all the gifs and jpegs are heavily 
> dithered, even though my X server is running in truecolor mode.
> 

Don't see this on my end.

> I'll send you more as I think of them. Don't feel discouraged, though.
> I'm currently running NS and BrowseX side-by-side and use BrowseX as
> much as possible as NS can be incredibly frustrating at times. I love
> being able to set gif animations off! :-)
> 

I use NS only to access internal sites that use Javascript. I used to shift
between Mozilla ans NS, because font rendering in Mozilla is much better.
Font rendering in BrowseX (doesn't that read kinda kinky to you?)  is almost
as good as Mozilla so I haven't run Mozilla since I got Browsex. It's not
perfect but it's much faster.

It does seem to eat memory rather quickly though. I'm not sure why yet.

Oh, while I think about it: I often get errors if I load another page before
the current one is finished loading. Most (all?) of the time the errors are
image errors, saying that the "imagenn command does not exist".


:> 
:> *********** ERROR **************
:> {malformed index: "`"}
:> malformed index: "`"
:>     while executing
:>     "$pv(widget) token get $un"
:>         (procedure "brx::PopMenu" line 44)
:> 	    invoked from within
:> 	    "brx::PopMenu $brx::pW(.brx1.h.h.h.x) 66 48"
:> 	        (command bound to event)
:> 

: That was fixed. Do you have multiple versions of tkhtml.so on your machine?
: I did. I had to remove the one in brx/lib/Tkhtml.

Actually I did have another version of tkhtml on my machine already
but that didn't work at all with browsex so I removed that so that
browsex would use the tkhtml that came with the Linux binary package.
That is what I'm currently using with tkhtml.

:> - www.bbcworld.com doesn't seem to work (probably something with cookies)
:> 
: Cookies work for me. Or at least, they seem to work for the current browser
: session.

I think cookies work to some extent, but www.bbcworld.com particularly
does not appear to work.

:> - Apparently some kind of Tk problem: all the gifs and jpegs are heavily 
:> dithered, even though my X server is running in truecolor mode.
:> 
: Don't see this on my end.

Weird. I'm pretty sure it's something with Tk as it does it with other
Tk apps aswell. OK, I am running the actual app on a difference machine
than my X server, but this shouldn't make any difference. The X 
server is running in 32-bit mode and no other application seems to be
dithering. I'll play around a bit to see if I can work something out.

In case it makes any difference: the machine where the X server is running
is an SGI O2 with IRIX6.3

: I use NS only to access internal sites that use Javascript. I used to shift
: between Mozilla ans NS, because font rendering in Mozilla is much better.
: Font rendering in BrowseX (doesn't that read kinda kinky to you?)  is almost
: as good as Mozilla so I haven't run Mozilla since I got Browsex. It's not
: perfect but it's much faster.

Yes, I agree with this statement. Mozilla is currently a bit of a bloat
and with some things surprisingly slow. Browsex (and yes, that name is
rather kinky.. !) just "feels" much neater.

: It does seem to eat memory rather quickly though. I'm not sure why yet.

I've noticed the same thing. I suspect there might be a memory leak or
two.

 

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