CS and the City Sean Lynch

Installed: Camino 1.1 beta

I have more web browsing software in my Applications folder than any sane person should have. The usual suspects of Safari and Firefox, Internet Explorer Mac 5 (just in case…), Flock, Opera, and OmniWeb. Missing for whatever reason was Camino.

Camino is a Mac-only browser implementation on top of the Mozilla core which powers Firefox. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds: The power of the Gecko rendering engine and the tight integration you’d expect from a Mac only app.

I can’t explain its absence. I may have tried an earlier version, who knows. In fact, it wasn’t until I watched Mike Pinkerton’s presentation on the history of Camino that I decided to (re-)give it a go.

And I’m impressed so far. The load times are noticeably faster than Firefox, and the memory footprint seems smaller (though not as much smaller as I expected after dumping all of Firefox’s cross-platform interface stuffing). There are still some stability issues to be ironed out.

I’ve also filed my first feature request. As I wrote before, I am in absolute love with how Safari handles PDFs. Though Camino boasts about harnessing the true power of OSX, they still turn a blind eye to PDFs.

So I filed my first feature request bug with Camino. It promptly got marked as a duplicate. I didn’t think I’d be the first one to miss Safari’s perfect PDF functionality. I hope anyone that stumbles upon this article will do both of us a favor and go “Me too!” the feature.

The reason they haven’t added the feature is that OSX’s PDFKit is a 10.4+ feature only and Camino boasts support for 10.2 and up. Legacy support is a sensitive subject depending on which side you’re on so I understand the Camino devs being hesitant to leave users behind. I just wonder how much of the user base is still that far behind? I don’t want to have to wait till Camino 2.0.

Interesting note: The dictionary that Camino uses for its in-line spell checking says the word “Camino” is incorrect.