A new public face for the little browser

Following up on the little hint I gave in the last post. We skipped a release as some may have noticed. And why you ask, for good reason, because not only did we do a big migration to bzr and Rosetta but thanks to Lewis Goddard we now have a completely new website with decent screenshots, integration of the FAQ, our new Contribute page and a proper downloads page. And much of it is automatically regenerated from the existing contents in the wiki, blog and released packages. So apart from looking nice it also reduces some manual labour related to release management. Even better, the new website is hosted on github and you can file bugs and propose changes.

Switching to bzr for tight Launchpad integration

Judging by what the duck says Midori must be the only project in the world migrating from git to bzr. Or maybe, it was just so surprisingly quick and simple that there’s no need to brag about it. In fact Launchpad itself performed the import automagically and the switch is really about updating documentation and a cuple of hyperlinks. It might’ve been harder if I wasn’t familiar with bzr yet; pushing the new trunk and flipping an option to make it the focus branch was all that was needed.

The old world

Why did we actually make this step? To make project management more efficient. Midori as a project roughly might be split into

  • bug triaging
  • reviewing contributions
  • implementing code
  • design decisions
  • roadmap

It turns out a huge bottle neck was the manual effort standing between these separate aspects. For example anyone doing bug triaging wouldn’t have direct access to code. And code review was always separate from both code and bug management. To the point that people end up waiting on, looking for and blocking on each other. And losing contributors, which is the worst thing to happen to any free software project.

The new world

  • There’s an obvious, easy way for anyone to push branches
  • Code review is integrated with branches and bugs
  • Anyone can become a reviewer, merge and push code

bzr vs. git

I do enjoy a proper emotional project bashing as much as the next guy, especially with a beer in front of me. But really, these days bzr and git both have a comparable share, personally I work on either one on and off. And at the end of the day what counts is the health of Midori as a project. Bazaar may well have the weaker storage efficiency and performance compared to git in a benchmark, but in this case git had the higher human cost.

Go ahead and contribute now

And, with a miserable impersonation of River Song I’ll say “There is more exciting changes to come… spoilers”.

WebKit2, downloads, web apps and clang

With a slightly prolongued freeze period Midori 0.5.1 0.5.2 is out of the door. We made a big leap on the promised WebKit2 support – it’s not fully done yet but very, very usable despite not having context menus and some extensions are to be done. Definitely worth giving a go for anyone curious about multi-process goodness who can live without adblock if need be.

Downloads and web app support have both received major refactoring, making the code much more modular and approachable, and fixing buglets and adding polish along the way. Downloads work more reliably across windows and more quality control across panel and toolbar. The way is paved for even more goodness. For the first time you can manage web apps/ launchers created from within Midori graphically. This is also up for even more improvements.

To round it up a whole lot of code improvements have come from static analysis such as clang (LLVM) and other sources and a number of buglets were squashed. Despite all the bigger changes QA is looking very good. Note to self: having strict feature freeze periods before every release is paying off, even if it’s hard in a small team.

Update: I apparently goofed up the release process and 0.5.1 insists it is still 0.5.0. To reduce confusion this is 0.5.2 now, same thing, but with a proper version.

So download Midori v0.5.2 (1.1 MB) (MD5) (ChangeLog) already!

Also Midori v0.5.2 32-bit Portable for Windows (32 MB) or Midori v0.5.2 32-bit Installer for Windows (34 MB) now. You are welcome to join #midori on irc.freenode.net and help testing pre-releases for Windows. You can make the difference by helping out!

High five

Time for Midori 0.5.0. I’ll say upfront the big number 5 doesn’t convey any major amazements or surprises. What this number does mean is two things that will unfold their true meaning in the near future: We’re adding support for WebKit2 behind the scenes, much of which didn’t make the feature freeze. Another behind the scenes feature is improved extension loading, which will enable extensions in private browsing or in app mode.

A small highlight is in fact the Cookie Security Manager. What’s hiding behind this name you may wonder. Accepting, or rejecting and managing cookies per site as they come in real-time with infobars. The perfect augmentation for Cookie Manager and of course nice in combination with Clear Private Data and Adblock.

On the command line and kiosk use case front, -e or –execute has become a great deal more powerful. It’s now trivial to update any settings at startup or during runtime, as well as enabling or disabling extensions.

The speed dial has always been a cause of heated discussions. Many people want to have a custom page in new tabs, others want just the bare empty page to keep focussed on the task at hand (or even the subjective efficiency of not loading the speed dial). So we finally allow configuring what new tabs display. It’s now also possible to use speed dial as your homepage, from a bookmark or even the command line. about:version lists the new alias URLs, including about:dial and about:home.

There’s more treats to be found, such as completely configurable Mouse Gestures, waiting for a GUI to be added, maybe a good starting point for a new contributor. And History List finally supports ColorFul Tabs fully.

As of this release, any proxy server type supported by libproxy will in fact be accepted. The server including the protocol can be set via its curl-esque syntax in the preferences.

So download Midori v0.5.0 (1.1 MB) (MD5) (ChangeLog) already!

Also Midori v0.5.0 32-bit Portable for Windows (32 MB) or Midori v0.5.0 32-bit Installer for Windows (34 MB) now. You are welcome to join #midori on irc.freenode.net and help testing pre-releases for Windows. You can make the difference by helping out!

Catfish 0.6.1 Released, PPA Available

It’s been out for a while now, and seems to be working well for everyone who’s tested it.  The latest version of Catfish has been released, and its the greatest, fastest version yet.  Read on!

Catfish is faster, cleaner, leaner, and meaner.

Catfish 0.6.1 is the best and fastest version yet!

What’s New in the Catfish 0.6 Series?

Considering that I never “officially” announced the 0.6.0 release, there’s quite a bit to go on about here.  Here’s some updates from the Changelog.

  • Rewritten from the ground up, with an emphasis on speed and maintainability.
  • Replaced the ‘find’ system command with Python’s own os.walk.
  • The interface has been revamped, improving on the 0.4 series, bringing a styled sidebar and symbolic icons.
  • Thumbnail support has been improved.
  • Filenames can be dragged and dropped from the Catfish application.
  • Files can now be deleted directly from the application interface.
  • Operations can now be performed on multiple files at once (including the two new features mentioned above).
  • Improved wildcard support.
  • Simplified strings for easier translation.
  • And finally, Python versions 2 or 3 can be used.

Demo Video

Screenshots are boring, and they don’t show off the power and speed of Catfish.  So here’s the latest version in a great demo video.

PPA Available for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04

If you want to install the latest version in Ubuntu (or Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint, etc.), simply add the Catfish-Stable PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:catfish-search/catfish-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install catfish

WebKit2, Cookie Policies and more

It’s this time of the month again. Midori 0.4.9 is there, 3 weeks of features and 1 week of bug fixes is the new mantra, giving everyone higher quality as a result.

Anyone experiencing crashes on closing Adlock preferences, using Backspace in the urlbar under the wrong circumstances or attaching the inspector will rejoice, those buglets were resolved. Along with a resizing issue in the news feed extension and possible loss of the saved tab session if the disk is full.

A new extension is being developed to manage cookie accept behavior per domain. Too late for feature freeze it’s excempt from stable installs, but interested folks can try it in a build from source, likely to be available in the next cycle.

Midori relies on GTK+ 3.4 touchscreen support now, including kinetic scrolling. This lets us drop extra support code and rely on the same code used by other applications.

As a small bonus, ‘Google Translate (gt)’ was added to the default search engines. Use “gt WORD” or “gt URL” to translate using Google’s translation service. You can also right-click a selected word and use ‘Search with’ to the same effect.

Evidently the coolest thing to announce is WebKit2 preparation – again, preparation not full support. Indeed –enable-webkit2 will build Midori with the multi-process API. Most non-trivial features are silently missing but it’s the first step into a shiny new world.

So download Midori v0.4.9 (1.1 MB) (MD5) (ChangeLog) already!

Also Midori v0.4.9 32-bit Portable for Windows (31.9 MB) or Midori v0.4.9 32-bit Installer for Windows (33.2 MB) now. You are welcome to join #midori on irc.freenode.net and help testing pre-releases for Windows. You can make the difference by helping out!

Catfish 0.6 Features & Translations

Catfish 0.6 features a complete rewrite, easier translations, and better-than-ever stability and performance.  And if you speak another language besides English, it needs your help.  Find out more!

What’s New in Catfish 0.6?

  • Completely rewritten from the ground-up.
  • Replace the UNIX ‘find’ command with Python’s os.walk.  This makes everything faster and more responsive.  The “Deep Search” button is now also gone.
  • The sidebar now uses the theme style as well as symbolic icons (when available).
  • The interface has also had a number of other tweaks, further refining it into a professional-grade application.
  • File names can now be dragged from the search results into other applications.
  • Files can now be deleted from the results window.
  • To speed things up, these above items and other file actions can now also be performed on multiple files at once.
  • Strings have been simplified and made clearer, making the application easier to translate into other languages.
  • Last but not least, this is the first version of Catfish that can be run with either Python 2 or 3.
Catfish is faster, cleaner, leaner, and meaner.

Catfish is faster, cleaner, leaner, and meaner.

Translations Needed

With the newly-optimized interface and strings, there’s a need for new translations.  There are more strings than ever before, and I think that the number of users is growing as well.  As such, there is a growing need for more localizations than ever before.  And, all of the old translations are no longer compatible...

So, if you or a friend are interested in contributing, improving, or suggesting translations to the next release, check out the Launchpad translations page!  Creating and modifying translations is really as simple as can be with their handy interface.  And hurry, because this next release will likely happen this weekend and will include all completed translations!

What About the Code?

If you’re more interested in looking at or testing the code, you can check it out here.  If you find any bugs, be sure to report them at the Launchpad bugs page.

Thanks for your interest in Catfish!  What do you think?  Let me know in the comments!

64-bit Windows and FlashGet

Here we go with the Windows build following Midori 0.4.8. For the first time, an experimental 64-bit version is available – no HTML5 video just yet. FlashGet is supported as an external download manager: just like on Linux and BSD, in the Preferences under the Extensions tab it can be activated.

Again, portable mode is officially supported. The 7z versions include a “portable.bat” which runs Midori out of the folder. It can be copied to a USB stick and will keep all data in the “profile” folder in the same folder instead of storing files in the system user folder.

Get Midori v0.4.8 32-bit Portable for Windows (31.9 MB) or Midori v0.4.8 64-bit Portable for Windows (22.8 MB) or Midori v0.4.8 32-bit Installer for Windows (33.2 MB) now. You are welcome to join #midori on irc.freenode.net and help testing pre-releases for Windows. You can make the difference by helping out!

Goulash needs to cook long to be tasty

As they say, the exception proves the rule. Consequently Midori 0.4.8 fermented a little longer than most releases. The number of bug fixes is too plenty to make for a good read: let it be said that bugs in 0.4.7 with opening Midori in different modes, GLib-related build errors and forever delayed pages are gone – now on to the new features.

Autocompletion includes open tabs now, is generally more responsive and open to more extensions in the near future. Speaking of extensions, Netscape plugins can be individually enabled and disabled seemlessly.

Icon loading received a major refactoring, bookmarks and search engines mostly wave goodbye to the well-known “default icon”.
Support for Granite 0.2 was improved big time. As a treat, autocompletion features a side-by-side layout.
To round things up, inline search highlights all matches by default to increase readability and the urlbar tries harder to keep selected text working as expected.

Spoiler alert: The Win32 version will support FlashGet. Updated builds are still in the making. Incidentally if you missed it, on Linux wget, SteadyFlow or any other command line-accessible external download manager can be used.

So download Midori v0.4.8 (1 MB) (MD5) (ChangeLog) already!

Bringing GTK+3, Faenza and Flash to Windows

Meet the former experimental Windows build going gold with Midori 0.4.7. This was the build that added HTML5 video codecs and proper Unicode support (read: Japanese/ Chinese font display). Add to that GTK+3 support, Faenza icons and Netscape plugins – yes, that means Adobe Flash works out of the box.
We started shipping CA certificates as Windows doesn’t have these system-wide by default.

angry birds html5 game on windows

Spell checking is also supported if you download the OpenOffice dictionaries and copy them into share/myspell/dicts/ in Midori’s installation folder. All of those dictionaries would roughly equal the size of Midori so we opted for not including them by default.

Known issues in this release

  • You cannot resize the Feed Reader extension properly
  • Cursor does not change appearance on links/ text areas
  • The History list extension is currently not usable

A portable mode is now officially supported. The 7z version includes a “portable.bat” which runs Midori out of the folder. It can be copied to a USB stick and will keep all data in the “profile” folder in the same folder instead of storing files in the system user folder.

Get Midori v0.4.7 Portable for Windows (33.4 MB) or Midori v0.4.7 Installer for Windows (34.6 MB) now. You are welcome to join #midori on irc.freenode.net and help testing pre-releases for Windows. You can make the difference by helping out!