A New Browser is needed for Mac OS 9

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Appleuser201, Aug 14, 2019 at 6:16 PM.

  1. Appleuser201 macrumors member

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    #1
    Just saw a poll on this forum for what OS people use on their PPC Macs and about 25% voted that they use Mac OS 9 or earlier.
    The only browser available for that OS (that is most modern) is Classilla and the same is true for every version of OS X under 10.4.
    Wikipedia said the browser has not had any updates in 5 years or more, and Classilla renders websites terrible or not at all. No security updates, nothing. Abandoned.
    Is there any way to develop a new browser for OS 9 (like TenFourFox) or something similar?
    Many people still use the Classic OS, so a good browser should be available for them to use, right?
    Another stupid idea, maybe, but if possible it would be well worth it to put in some hard work to make an up to date browser for OS 9/early versions of OS X
     
  2. swamprock, Aug 14, 2019 at 6:32 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 6:53 PM

    swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #2
    If you read Cameron's ordeal about updating Wamcom and changing it into Classilla, he mentions that its quite a kludge that barely builds. I'm not sure where the mention is; I think I read it on an Ars Technica comment in the "My Co-Workers Made Me Use OS 9 for a Week" or something similar, although I could be completely wrong. As much as many of us would enjoy having an updated browser for OS 9, the work involved for very few users is not for the faint of heart.
     
  3. juancarlosonetti macrumors member

    juancarlosonetti

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    #3
    Mac OS classic is a nice operating system, but it is radically different from Unix-like systems. This makes it really hard to build -or port- any web browser to it.

    Compiling an application for it is also incredibly frustrating. I remember trying to build the newest classilla version just for the sake of it, and you needed a fifteen-year-old suite that included a graphical version of GCC (because remember, no command line on Mac OS 9!) that I didn't even know where to find. So we probably won't see another web browser on OS 9 ever.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2019 at 7:53 PM ---
    I also remember reading this:

    In terms of raw computing power, however, Kaiser says that G4 and G3 Macs have the necessary power to properly load most sites on the Web. He notes that comparable Pentium 3 and 4 systems cope fine with light browsing of the modern Web, so the problem facing OS 9 as a platform for going online is instead its software. Things like toolchain support and drivers and OS-level implementations of things like multithreading and multiprocessing are where the OS 9 environment is lacking. With Classilla, Kaiser is very, very slowly battling against these.

    "I don't think anyone who worked on the Mac OS 9 compatible Mozilla will dispute the build system is an impressive example of barely controlled disaster," he says. It uses scripts and hacks and only actually builds into an executable app under very finicky, hard-to-replicate conditions that Kaiser suggests scared away "all but the most motivated (or masochistic) contributors" to both Classilla and the original OS 9 branch of the Mozilla project.​

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/201...mac-users-still-rely-on-16-year-old-software/
     
  4. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

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    #4
    If Cameron Kaiser can't do it, no one can. You are talking about an OS that stopped development in 2002. That is an eternity ago in computing years, let alone internet years. Sorry, but that horse has really, really left the barn....
     
  5. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #5
    That's the one. Thanks for digging it up.
     
  6. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Even if he could do at least some it (with much difficulty), he has his real job, his "real" life, and TFF which has a much higher priority (and user base). So yeah, the reality is, unless someone else steps up, it's done.
     
  7. z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

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    #7
    Long live UNIX systems...
     
  8. Jubadub macrumors member

    Jubadub

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    #8
    I forgot where I saw it, but I think one of the kernel developers of OS 9 said, unlike every previous version of Mac OS, it is a true multitasking kernel. Before 9, multitasking was done via a system extension only.

    With this, what I mean to say is that if anyone actually wanted to do it (no one does, understandably), the best approach for OS 9 would be to build a web browser from the ground up, and not a fork like Classilla and TenFourFox. And that browser, to reach true full potential, would perhaps have to downright ignore anything before 9, unlike Classilla and the browser it was based on.

    This is all untested theory, though. God only knows the HELL that would entail to get a browser done right in OS 9, from the ground up, and what results are actually achievable.

    Classilla has me pleased, though. So all is good.
     
  9. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I find Classilla surprisingly useful on my Tangerine ibook G3 clamshell in OS 9, set to the default mobile user agent. I also have realistic expectations though. I don't expect Engadget or CNN.com to work on it. text.npr.org and cnn's mobile lite site work great. I've even done Dronecatchers trick to watch youtube videos on it. Or to be more accurate a youtube slideshow, it is after all a 300 mhz G3. With Tiger and Tenfourfox (also set to the classilla mobile user agent) or Tigerwebkit its still a useable if very slow machine.
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    You certainly spend a lot of time promoting non-UNIX OSs for PPC...
     
  11. z970mp, Aug 15, 2019 at 10:27 AM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

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    #11
    You can't say I never did anything. ;)
     
  12. mmphosis macrumors member

    mmphosis

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    #12
    A new browser is needed for all platforms, new and old.

    Choices. There is Mozilla FireFox and Google Chromium. There are a lot of things in FireFox that I disable ie. Pocket. With Google Chromium I do not have that luxury, and Google will continue to claw back on my dislike and blocking of advertising, you know all that bloated cross site JavaScript that serves no other purpose whatsoever. There are forks of Chromium that de-Google the port, but then they are fighting the same struggle as Cameron Kaiser with TenFourFox.

    WebKit may or may not be a place to start. Development these days is very rarely about creating from the ground up, and all about struggling to make something with all of the crazy dependencies and hacks build -- and I am talking about modern builds, never mind using MPW or CodeWarrior on Mac OS 9.
     
  13. Appleuser201 thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Is Ebay and online shopping doable in Classilla? YouTube is not worth it in Mac OS 9, 2 minutes waiting to watch a 240p video.
     
  14. juancarlosonetti macrumors member

    juancarlosonetti

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    #14
    I really doubt it. Even after disabling NoScript, most scripts never load on Classilla. The browser is not able to interpret them.
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #15
    Risc OS is in a similar boat to OS 9: It's not Unix, it's cooperatively multitasking, and the development tools are lacking. Despite that, there are a couple of WebKit-based browsers available, so it sounds like it's portable (at least to an extent).
     
  16. weckart macrumors 601

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    #16
    There is a thread on MacOS9lives about cobbling together a "version 9.3" of MacOS and another about getting MacOS to see the full 2GB that some PPC hardware supports. Basic stuff like that probably needs to progress more before anything substantial can happen with browsers other than somehow patch what is already there.

    Having said that, with the Thinkclassic forum closing and even MacOS9lives noting less traffic on its site, there doesn't seem to be much potential for eking out any more mileage on MacOS9 or its applications.
     
  17. Jubadub macrumors member

    Jubadub

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    #17
    On MacOS9Lives, indeed there are discussions of both "9.2.3", for key technical improvements like more RAM detection, as well as "9.3" discussions for improvements that take more liberties and are not as essential. Those are good, and some people there actually do poke at these tasks and sometimes come up with something. Afterall, it's all thanks to them we have Mac OS 9 natively running on multiple hardware, such as the Mac mini G4 and the 1.67GHz laptops (all of which OS 9 is insanely good on). With that said, I do agree with you @weckart that at least the RAM cap issue should be dealt with probably before a browser was made from the ground-up.

    I don't know about Thinkclassic, but I'm willing to seriously bet MacOS9Lives isn't going anywhere anytime soon: the community is simply incredibly commited to Mac OS 9 (for all the right reasons), with the Mac mini G4 becoming OS-9-compatible since only last year. There are also all those guys with DAW hardware for OS 9, and they also like hanging around there (they use those tools for their actual jobs).
    There's a gang there that keeps poking at the system and literally decompile, reverse engineer and recompile old system files for all sorts of purposes, with an ongoing, separate mailing list. If I wasn't such a bum (and was single), I would have gladly contributed to their numbers in a relevant way.

    TL;DR Rest assured! Mac OS 9 literally Lives! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jordan XP, Aug 16, 2019 at 8:19 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    Jordan XP macrumors member

    Jordan XP

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    #18
    You should upgrade to Mac OS X for a modern experience.

    Mac OS X for PowerPC (except Leopard) has the Classic environment.
     
  19. z970mp, Aug 16, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    z970mp macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Sir, have you considered that many people require the use of a native environment as opposed to an virtualization layer for many multiple reasons?

    We're not idiots. You are neither informing nor enlightening anyone.
     
  20. Jordan XP macrumors member

    Jordan XP

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    #20
    Classic isn't an emulation layer. It is actually just a virtualization layer.
     
  21. bunnspecial, Aug 16, 2019 at 9:08 AM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #21
    Can you provide me with step-by-step instructions has to how to get my scanner functioning with Nikon Scan under Tiger?

    Nikon Coolscan III connected via Adaptec 2930CU SCSI card. Nikon Scan version 3.x is required for SCSI based Nikon scanners. Nikon Scan 3.x is OS 9 native(4.x is carbon, but drops SCSI support).

    So far, it has defeated me on accessing the SCSI card through Classic.

    While we're at it, do you want to come to my work and try to get the NMR we have running on OS 9 going under Classic? Even more so than the scanner, the software that runs this really needs to dig deep into the PCI bus(to the point that it acts funny if we run it on a system with a 133mhz system bus, and it won't work at all on a computer faster than ~500mhz or so). Don't worry about breaking it-a comparable replacement would only be about $400,000.

    I'm all ears on solutions for these.

    Edit:

    Photo of the infamous NMR, including the magnet(getting a liquid nitrogen fill-hence the plume of "steam" coming out of it), the console/spectrometer with its current Sawtooth/OS 9.2.2 computer, and the "graveyard" of dead G4s including a frankenstien Quicksilver with a 466mhz CPU.

    IMG_6227.jpg IMG_6228.jpg IMG_6229.jpg
     
  22. Jordan XP macrumors member

    Jordan XP

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    #22
    Installing the driver in the Classic environment works, except that it will only work in Classic apps, not in OS X apps.
     
  23. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #23
    I know full well HOW to install Classic. I'm asking how to use it for low-level hardware access, something that I've yet been unable to do.

    Do you know of a secret that I don't?
     
  24. Jordan XP macrumors member

    Jordan XP

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    #24
    Read the last sentence in my post.
     
  25. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #25
    You're not answering my question.

    Aside from that, what benefit would I get from operating these programs in the Classic environment as opposed to natively in OS 9?
     

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45 August 14, 2019