I’m a sucker for web browsers. Mac or Windows, I have them all. I don’t use them all. I collect them. I’m an addict. Help me.
Yes, friends and neighbors, there’s YAMB. Yet Another Mac Browser in town. This one is called Sunrise.
Take Safari, strip off most of the features, add something extra, and call it Sunrise. Voila!! Another browser. Free.
Don’t get me wrong. I like browsers on the Mac. The choices are superb, excellent even. Safari is good, particularly at rendering standards compliant pages.
It’s fast, it’s free, it’s simple, it’s the browser of choice for most Mac users.
There’s also Firefox, the open source, cross-platform, Windows-looking browser that does everything (except look like a Mac application). Then there’s Camino, which looks like a Mac application, but doesn’t have Firefox’s features.
There’s the $15 OmniWeb, maybe the best browser Mac or PC. Opera is still alive here and there, Mac or PC. Ditto for iCab. There are specialty browsers, too, especially designed to protect children from bad web sites.
Mozilla’s original browser, email, editor, newsgroup, feature laden application for web browsing still exists, though with a new name. Mac or Windows, SeaMonkey still means the same thing to me.
Mac or PC, OS X or Windows, we have plenty of browser choices these days. So, why would someone go to the trouble of creating yet another in a crowded field of very good browsers that cost nothing, or next to nothing.
Beats me, but the folks behind Sunrise have a plan.
I don’t know what it is and they’re not saying, but surely there’s a plan for Sunrise, right?
Maybe not. Sunrise is an open source web browser for the Mac which is based on the WebKit framework for Macs (essentially the same rendering engine inside Safari).
The Sunrise developers say Sunrise is light and fast. By fast, they mean it renders web pages about or exactly as fast as Safari because it’s, well, using the same software engine.
It’s light because they’ve made sure not to add many features that would clutter your browsing experience. Compared to Firefox and OmniWeb, Safari is a browser with a limited feature set. Sunrise is postively bulimic, anorexic even.
Sunrise won’t overwhelm you with features. In fact, you’ll hunt to find anything resembling a feature. Sunrise is that lean. You know, like Kate Moss or Karen Carpenter.
Tabs are supported and don’t take up much screen real estate. Preferences are slim. Viewing page source requires an external editor such as TextEdit. You can choose between Google or Yahoo for web searches.
The URL field for web pages and the search field are the same, resulting in some confusion about which does what and when. The bookmark arrangement can only be described as “odd” and in need of nourishment, obviously the result of having a light feature set.
Web page sizes can be adjusted from 640 pixels wide to 1280 pixels. Web developers will like that. A color can be assigned to various bookmarks, essentially creating an intuitive color coded category arrangement.
I can never remember what color I assign to which categories. Yep. I don’t use the Finder’s Color Labels for the same reason.
Sunrise is another Mac browser. Ho hum. Add it to the stack. Think of Sunrise as what would happen when Safari met Camino for drinks and other activities after sunset.
The resulting product isn’t Safari, isn’t Camino, isn’t really like any browser you’ve used, Mac or Windows, and doesn’t come with a compelling reason for continued use.
Just like Google Desktop for Mac OS X, this one is a must to avoid. For now. How about the Perfect Mac Browser? I’m still looking.