Why Camino

Talk about the native Mac OS X browser.

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 5:39 am

My sis has a Mac and I have Firefox installed on it for her. I know Camino exists but know very little about it. I see it uses "Cocoa" but doesn't the Mac port of Firefox also use it? Sorry, not much of a Mac person so ...

What I really want to know is why a person would use Camino over Firefox or Safari, can someone please convince me? If not, why does Caminio even exist, it seems like developer manpower that is being wasted.


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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 5:47 am

I think it's a hard thing to convince someone to use Camino. As has been hashed and re-hashed on these boards, there are a ton of personal preferences that go into the decision to use Camino or any other browser.

It's a free download. What I would do is just download it, import the bookmarks from Firefox, and let her use it for a week or two (presuming she has already been using Firefox for that long). She'll make the right decision for what she likes or doesn't like.
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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 7:58 am

Zulithe wrote:... why a person would use Camino over Firefox or Safari...

I *wouldn't* use it rather than Safari, which is superb and will only get better. But I'd prefer it to Firefox, which is not a Cocoa app:,00.html

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 8:02 am

Here's a really, really high-level summary. For more detail, read old threads in this forum (or just wait for the holy war that this thread is, unfortunately, likely to become).

- Firefox has extensions and the most flexibility, but uses controls that don't look native and has the least OS integration.

- Camino is more integrated with the OS, and the controls look like aqua controls, but lacks some of the customizability of Firefox.

- Safari is probably the least flexible, but with the best OS integration.

In addition, all three have various interface differences that some people swear by and others can't stand. Camino/Firefox use a different rendering engine than Safari, so pages that don't work in one may work in the other.

jbzoller's suggestion is a very good one. It's purely a matter of personal preference.

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 9:36 am

I like camino better than Safari beause it is faster. It's that simple. It's a combination of the speed of firefox and the native OS X feel of Safari.

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 1:17 pm

smorgan wrote:- Firefox has extensions and the most flexibility, but uses controls that don't look native and has the least OS integration.

- Camino is more integrated with the OS, and the controls look like aqua controls, but lacks some of the customizability of Firefox.

I don't know the inner working of either FireFox or Camino, but isn't it better use of developers' time to make FireFox more native and integrated?

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 2:03 pm

The people working on Camino or 100% independant of Mozilla. Most people working on Firefox for mac are the ones who do Camino and they have no plans to do any such thing as they value the integration of the OS very much.

Further more integrating FF more won't be really possible as everything done os FF has to be cross platfrom, which means you just can't create OS specific features.

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 4:44 pm

I've just tried going back to Firefox for a couple of days, but back with Camino now. My views:

1. I much prefer viewing my history in a sidebar, as I can click on a link see it loading, then realise it's not the one I want and try another - this is very annoying to do in Camino/Safari because history (I mean history from the last few days, not just that session) takes over the whole screen.

2. Firefox seemed faster at first. However, I'm convinced it used more CPU power and memory - it seemed to slow down after a while.

3. Firefox plugins are nice. Yet I think most are not used much, and their features could be put in Camino easily. Ad Blocking in Camino would attract a lot of people (although I find the CSS through extra prefs just fine). Getting spell check in would a huge boon, but already service support is cool and underused by most people probably. I.e. make new sticky, open in text edit, are all very useful and I doubt Firefox ever will have.

4. Interface quirks in Firefox get annoying, e.g. in OS X scrolling with the wheel will occur wherever in the window the cursor is, not what it's clicked on - which is fast and good. But Firefox uses Window's behaviour.

5. Scrolling sometimes seems faster in Firefox, but in Camino is more fluid and seems quicker on message boards.

6. Little things: download window button window in Firefox toolbar is good, easy to add to camino; likewise is close download window after download finishes. growl support for downloads would be nifty, although I've not really played with that.

7. Camino not remembering recent entries in text boxs/searches is very annoying and I miss that a lot from Safari/Firefox, hell even IE5.

Okay, I'm sure I'll think of more later. Most is subjective, but might help people deciding. Oh and lets keep this civil fellas, I've always found these great boards.

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Post Posted October 26th, 2004, 9:13 pm

monkeybrain wrote:1. I much prefer viewing my history in a sidebar, as I can click on a link see it loading, then realise it's not the one I want and try another - this is very annoying to do in Camino/Safari because history (I mean history from the last few days, not just that session) takes over the whole screen.

The relevant bug for that one is Bookmarks manager, in a tab or in a window and it's currently targeted for Camino 1.0.

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Post Posted October 27th, 2004, 10:28 am

The one thing that Camino seems to do better than Safari and the rest is the speed of its handling of javascript. You can get some idea of the speed that the various browsers handle javascript at ... nchjs.html

If a large number of bookmarks are involved Camino is slower than most at loading them, but, once loaded, handles them OK.

Mozilla still "has life in it". Right now the choice of extensions for Firefox for the Mac is severely limited and there is no indication whether the authors of the inoperative extensions intend to update them. Some of the web pages for extensions that used to give Firefox the capabilities that are included in Mozilla have disappeared leading me to question that they will ever be updated. Mozilla also has a pretty good sidebar if that is a consideration.

The advice above to try them and see which suit the user is the best approach, but be careful about getting the bookmarks into radically different states in the browsers which may make getting them consolodated in a single browser troublesome.

There are also OmniWeb and Opera which have free versions available, but are commercial (paid) products.
Last edited by ronin65 on October 28th, 2004, 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted October 28th, 2004, 6:35 am

My $.02

Camino has some advantages that make it a better choice for me at work. We use a lot of SunOne products for web based applications such as web based e-mail and web calendars. The gecko engine has proven itself to work pretty much perfectly with these applications on our network. While Firefox and Mozilla share this engine with Camino, the latter has proven itself to be more stable on our OS X clients than the others. Why? I can't enumerate to any great extent, but we've found that Cocoa applications seem to be much more stable on OS X overall than applications written with other libraries. Firefox has done some odd little things on my Mac and has crashed using certain features of our Webmail or Web calendar, whereas Camino has not.
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Post Posted October 30th, 2004, 7:01 pm

I tried Camino once then went back to Safari. I went back to Camino again, and have decided I really do like it better, and am now using it exclusively. Though one thing that would be nice would be if search engine plugins worked.

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Post Posted November 6th, 2004, 4:11 am

i've used camino for a long time now-- way before it was camino in fact.. if my memory serves correctly, back when safari was still a PR?? anyway, for a long arse time nonetheless :D

to give you an idea of how much i love it-- i've put up with the crashing, the annoying bugs.. ok, VERY annoying bugs.. :cough: drag bookmark quadrupling feature and the click away from bookmark folder loading all my tabs feature:cough: :D anyway.. through all of the instability, etc., i've used it and continue to use it..

sure, it sucks when i have several windows open, each with several tabs, and then bam, the wonderful beachball visits,, but for whatever reason-- and this is probably the MAIN reason, Camino, just *feels* right.. it really does.. i do use Safari from time to time when something doesn't work right in Camino,, but Camino is what I use mainly every single day..

but ya, Camino feels like it *belongs* in OS X.. for whatever reason, Safari just doesn't seem right.... I get tempted to switch to Safari full time (for the added stability), but everytime i use Safari (couples times a day at most) i'm reminded quickly that it feels wrong and out of place..

i pray that Camino continues to be developed on!! :D

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Post Posted November 11th, 2004, 3:29 pm

I use Camino for two reasons: 1) It integrates well with Mac OS, including Keychain; and 2) it has the Gecko engine. I've used Safari since I installed OS 10.2.x, and more recently also use OmniWeb 5. Both use the Mac's web engine, and that engine does not render certain appellates properly -- example: on my bank's website, I cannot transfer funds because the "submit" button is inactive in Safari/OmniWeb. This is not a problem in Camino because Gecko reads the script correctly. Camino is not yet my default browser (OmniWeb is for now), but I use it regularly. Having auto-fill, bookmarks in sidebar, and several of the other features being written about for vrsion 1.0 would probably push me over the edge (although OmniWeb's version of tabs is sooo elegent . . .)
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Post Posted November 11th, 2004, 5:15 pm

While this certainly isn't the only reason I use Camino over Firefox, I just thought I'd mention that I find the interface of Camino to be way faster than Firefox's. The speed of opening up new windows or tabs, and browsing bookmarks and whatnot.

Oh, and with the switch to using Quartz in the (near?) future, it will become even faster!

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