Avant Browser development concerns

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Avant Browser development concerns

Post by reckoning » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:53 am

I am slightly concerned about the news of this Dr Orca project. I understand Avant browser (and Dr orca) are developed by only one person. I imagine that Anderson does this development in his spare time in-between making a living and generally leading his life. So I can understand that development on Avant browser may be slow sometimes. However now that he is developing two products at the same time and assuming that he is going to spend an equal amount of time on both products, avant browser development will be cut by 50%. Of course Anderson can do what he likes and spend his time the way he wants, its just that I have no intention of using this orca software and the thought of what could have been added/fixed to avant in the time spent on making orca makes me worry about the future of avant browser.

There is something I don't understand though. I've not used Dr Orca but from what I can tell its another web browser but uses the gecko engine instead of the ie one. So in effect he's developing two web browsers that just use a different engine. Doesn't this mean that there is going to be a lot of duplication in code? I.e. adding groups/favorites/download mangers/plugins etc, won't all this need to be done twice on both lots of software? Would it not have been possible to just have added a new menu option to avant where the user could have just selected which engine to use instead of creating a whole new browser? If both products don't share the same functionality I hope we don't have the case where dr orca gets some features that avant doesn't and people have to start choosing which features to miss out on.

Hope I'm not coming across to negative, its just that I'm a big avant fan and I hate the idea of it starting to fall behind.

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Post by ABman » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:06 pm

Couldn't agree with you more Reckoning.

If we have to change to the Gecko engine then I would have preferred Avant stay as Avant but with the Gecko engine. It might have taken longer than usual to get through the alpha and beta stages but surely that would have been preferable to what we have now. Unless of course anyone has a serious reason why we should stick with the IE engine.

Personally I was very happy with the IE engine, better the devil you know etc..

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Post by hornakapopolis » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:57 pm

To expand on two different aspects that you bring up...

1. Like you say, Anderson can really spend his time as he pleases... so in my mind, it's better to continue to try to develop both, which he is doing, rather than drop one for the other. Especially since he obviously wants to pursue this or else he wouldn't have started it.

2. I don't know how big of a deal this is... but my guess would be that it would be easier to start from scratch on the Gecko project. A lot of Avant's features seemed to be tied directly into IE's engine (hence the Internet Options available in the Tools menu) and most of what appears to be incomplete in Orca has to do with the configuration of things on the Gecko side that would normally be included in Internet Options, so ground up with Gecko and then possibly adding IE later would see more feasible. But then again, I have no idea what I'm talking about so take it with a grain... ;)

Speaking of having no idea what I'm talking about, it's my understanding that this is Anderson's full time gig now. Granted the time is still split, but 16 hours divided by two is a lot better than 8.

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Post by Chef_Garry » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:01 pm

Possibly I'm just too easily satisfied but I don't see AB as lacking a whole lot. IMO, many of the requests are at best unnecessary and at worst bloating an excellent browser. Not that further development is to be avoided but I don't think falling behind is much of a fear.

I'll look at/play with Dr Orca, mostly because I like Anderson's work. I've tried FF and far prefer AB. As far as security goes, it appears that the villians are beginning to attack browsers using the gecko engine as well so I don't think there's much more safety there than with the IE engine.

How does this relate to Anderson sharing his time developing 2 browsers? I know tiddly squat about the coding of either but I suspect that there is a fair bit of cross-over as to implementing features. Different languages or instruments depending on how you like your metaphors but the concepts must have similar developments.

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Post by ABman » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:18 pm

I agree with the above remarks about browser security. It would be nice and possibly reassuring if Anderson could just say why he has gone to such lengths in producing Dr. Orca; I know from experience that it's not very nice having to maintain 2 similar systems.

Although it's probably academic now, it would be interesting to have a poll asking questions such as:

Do you want Avant to use IE engine (and scrap Dr. Orca)?
Do you want Avant to use Gecko engine?
Do you want Dr. Orca and scrap Avant?
Do you want Avant/IE AND Dr. Orca/Gecko both available?

Like previous posters I love Avant and think Anderson has done a terrific job.

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Post by abfan123 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:45 pm

Anderson said that he will continue to develop both Avant Browser and Dr. Orca.
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Post by reckoning » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:19 pm

I don't know how big of a deal this is... but my guess would be that it would be easier to start from scratch on the Gecko project. A lot of Avant's features seemed to be tied directly into IE's engine (hence the Internet Options available in the Tools menu) and most of what appears to be incomplete in Orca has to do with the configuration of things on the Gecko side that would normally be included in Internet Options, so ground up with Gecko and then possibly adding IE later would see more feasible.
Yeah, I can understand where your coming from a that level. But I was thinking more of the extra added features that sit on top of the engine. Extra features like groups,download managers etc. Surely it's best to develop these once (if possible) rather then trying to support two different lots of code of the same feature.
Possibly I'm just too easily satisfied but I don't see AB as lacking a whole lot. IMO, many of the requests are at best unnecessary and at worst bloating an excellent browser. Not that further development is to be avoided but I don't think falling behind is much of a fear.
With software there's always something to develop and this doesn't always mean bloating. Just adding things like a boss key, the recently implemented customised mouse gestures etc make it better, but not really bigger. Just look at rss feeds, they are taking off in a massive why (and will get even bigger when vista is released) and Anderson has already added this to avant. Who knows what will be around in 6 months time, but we want to be sure that avant has it. Also there's always things to improve like the popup blocker, add blockers etc, which don't bloat but just improve what's there already.

Hopefully my worries will be unfounded and avant will continue to be the best browser out there.

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Post by hornakapopolis » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:24 pm

The download manager is part of the engine, isn't it? And the groups from Avant work in Orca. So, both of these are a "doing it once" example.

Having blockers intercept URLs probably isn't that much different across engines considering all of the third party apps that do it for all browsers. I could be wrong, though.

I'm not saying that there might not be a slow down in supporting one or the other, but I don't think it'll be that noticeable, that lop-sided, or that detrimental to either in anyway.

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Post by reckoning » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:25 pm

abfan123 wrote:Anderson said that he will continue to develop both Avant Browser and Dr. Orca.
I saw that quote so I realise ab isn't dead, I am more concerned about what impact orca will have on future development of ab.

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Post by reckoning » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:27 pm

hornakapopolis wrote:The download manager is part of the engine, isn't it? And the groups from Avant work in Orca. So, both of these are a "doing it once" example.
Could well be, I have no idea. If that is the case then maybe its not such a big deal, I guess i'll know my answer over the next 6-12 months.

Thanks for everyones input.

Long live avant!!

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Post by SweetLou » Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:19 pm

Well, here is my take on all of this. Spending all of his time on Avant intead of 50% on Dr. Orca does not mean that Avant will get improved twice as fast. Actually the opposite can be true. Sometimes when coding one thing, you get an idea on how to fix another thing. So, developing both could actually be faster and better than just one item.
Also, Anderson is married now, so he has more time to put towards developing software. You know, get away from the old lady, no need to go out to the bars as much, etc.
As for the duplication of code, this isn't so. Avant is written with Delphi and Firefox (what Dr. Orca is based on, not the Gecko engine which is part of Firefox) is written, I believe in C/C+.
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Post by Chef_Garry » Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:27 pm

Sorry Lou, I didn't mean that the code itself could be duplicated but the logic/reasoning behind the coding might be similar. For instance, I might express the same idea in both French and Chinese, assuming I could speak in either. :)

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Post by KY Dave » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:54 am

bigC wrote:Avant is an IE shell... it won't work with out it.
I have used AVANT for several years and really like the 'IE shell'.

I was wondering, do users think it will work with the new version of IE when it is released? What is the future for Avant?

Is this possibly a reason behind the switch to Dr Orca?
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Post by hornakapopolis » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:42 am

It works with the IE7 Beta, so I doubt that there will be a problem. Besides, too many different programs would probably have to make changes if a major change was implemented with IE's core causing them not to work.

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Post by Pastork » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:48 pm

It seems to me that one thing that has kept a number of people from using Avant is that it is based on the IE engine and many see this as lacking in security (although I am not one of them). I appreciate that Anderson is trying to offer this crowd an alternative as well. It seems to me that Anderson is graciously offering the "gecko crowd" the same kinds of things he has so graciously offered to us IE users. Why should we be bothered at all by this? Are we going to complain that we want all his time devoted to being kind to us and not others? Isn't that being a bit selfish? I mean, it isn't like we are paying for Avant, the best browser available.

I say, "Way to go, Anderson!" I am glad you want to expand your great browser enhancements for use by as many internet surfers as possible. Why should those poor "gecko people" be without the benefit of your expertise and kindness?
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Post by Sergei » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:58 pm

I like it because of the better web standards compliance of the gecko engine. The more people use such browsers, the more pressure is placed on Microsoft to stop dragging their feet on CSS implementation. Always the danger with MS is that they will try to push their own, Windows-specific technologies (watch out for XAML, coming out as part of Windows Vista) instead of cross-platform ones, and this needs to be discouraged.
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Post by Browser Peeper » Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:00 pm

Avant Browser is far from perfect. In a post in the discussion part of this site, I described (after the last 4 annoying builds of Avant) why I deleted it from my pc. My opinion is that Anderson would be better served to focus his attention on perfecting Avant Browser before starting another time consuming project. I have gone from being a "fan" of Avant Browser (using it as my default browser with earlier versions) to more recently throwing Avant Browser in the trash!

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Post by simon57 » Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:35 pm

Do you think it may be something you have on your computer conflicting with avant.Its possible. I have a pentium d gateway i use ,avast,avg,adaware-personal se,spyware blaster,zonealarm,cw schreddar,and microsoft anti spyware.And this browser uses less resourses,than any other browser.Plus i have had no problems with yahoo mail.I use google as my home page,under add content on google home page,i added the bookmarks,and added a link to every thing i normally go to it works for me maybe it will help you,I would'nt give up now> This is the best browser by far. Too bad microsoft did'nt think of it,oh well there are smarter people out there than you think and the guy who thought of this browser is smarter than the rest.I love this browser You just need to figure out your problem good luck.

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