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Will a web browser be hard-coded into OS X?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I know this question may cause a lot of controversy, but do you think Apple will code a web browser into the Finder, so when you open up a window, you can type in an address at the top, much like you do for a search, and it will go right onto the net?

This is a Windows-esque idea, I know. But I'm just curious if this is an option, or a separate i-App.
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post #2 of 53
They might hard core it into the OS as they did with iChat and Address book but i doubt they will do it to finder.
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post #3 of 53
I certainly hope Apple does NOT integrate browsing into the Fidner. That would be Apple's biggest UI blunder of the century.
post #4 of 53
Because it was so popular with Windows users.



No way in hell Apple would do something that stupid. They may in fact develop a browser based on Mozilla at some point, but it will be a standalone app most likely.
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post #5 of 53
Remember, Apple already has a HTML framework that's used by Mail, Sherlock, and Help Viewer. It sucks pretty bad, though. I suspect that they will improve upon it and let developers use it to make an app with HTML rendering functions much easier to develop. Once the framework is in better shape, Apple would be able to whip up its own "slim" browser that just depends on these system-wide frameworks for most of its functionality.

Putting this functionality directly into the Finder, though, would be a Bad Thing.

[ 10-28-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
post #6 of 53
Hardcoding into the OS suggests some form of finagling around with code in the kernel (IE in Windows style). Would iChat and Address Book count as hardcoded? In any case, no, I don't think there will ever be a web browser "hardcoded" into the OS. They're not quite bread-and-butter enough yet. Besides, I don't see any particular advantage in having it hardcoded, at least not from Apple's usual standpoint.
post #7 of 53
iChat is NOT integrated into the OS. It's a Framework.. which is what Apple uses to let people IM you even when you don't have iChat running.

I sure as heck do NOT want any web browser built into my OS. I got OUT of Windows to get AWAY from this. I like the Mac way of having everything in separate apps. I like separate Email, Browser and Instant Messaging apps. Which is partly why I don't use Mozilla anymore. (It wouldn't let me use another email app for email. Stupid POS. So I use Chimera.)

I like having Preview separate to view JPG's, GIF's, PDF's, etc.

I like having Chimera seaprated from the OS. I don't need it running when I don't need it to be.

Thank you, Apple, for not doing what Microsoft does.

Finder and Internet Explorer/Chimera do not belong together. So don't put them together.

&lt;/RANT&gt;
post #8 of 53
Maybe they'll hard code and OS into a web browser?
post #9 of 53
Actually, Scott, you're not too far from Microsoft's worst fear: The browser as application platform.

That said, Apple will only hardcode a browser into the Finder after their last competent programmer leaves.

I ran into that "feature" at work the other day: I made the mistake of using the little path field at the top of an Explorer window to change to a new path, and I ended up with an unusably small browser pointed at some garish, cluttered MSN page, and a half-dozen popup ads on my desktop. I wanted a directory on my local drive, not far from the directory the window had displayed.

Microsoft's approach is dumb on almost every level, from a development and maintenance standpoint to a user interface standpoint, and just about everywhere in between. Apple can and will do better: For starters, they can keep the Finder specialized at finding files, and leave Web navigation to something specialized for that. No matter what, it will not be hardcoded deep into the OS. That might make it run fast, but it also makes Windows blue screen (no error, just a pure blue screen) when I drag a text file from a network drive to a local directory... sometimes. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

[ 10-28-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
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post #10 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Xidius:
<strong>if it only accesses the internet when a webpage is entered then it shouldn't be "running when you dont want it to be"</strong><hr></blockquote>

Network File System URL example: file://localhost/chucker/Documents/foo/bar.txt

Network HTTP URL example: <a href="http://somehost/foo/bar.txt" target="_blank">http://somehost/foo/bar.txt</a>

See the problem? As soon as HTTP URL's work in the Finder, there's no more reason for not also adding support to FTP URL's, mailto URI's, File URL's, and so on. Which will create a mess.

Apple should neither bother making the Finder the fault known as Windows 98, nor should they waste time on trying to improve their rendering engine. There is only one rendering engine out there that's nearly "complete": Gecko.
post #11 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Xidius:
<strong>


But apple is so good at taking theories that have failed previously, and/or are the root of a minor contraversy and then capitolizing on it and perfecting it. If they took on the project of integrating a web browser into the finder, I have faith that apple would be able to pull it off flawlessly and with many features we would drool over. You forget... This is not microsoft we are talking about. If a concept comes out sub-par in Steve's eyes, it is dumped.

- Xidius</strong><hr></blockquote>

I doubt it. No really. iTunes may be slightly integrated (rip.mix.burn) but other than that, every app serves for a single purpose.

They even made Sherlock internet-only (finally).
post #12 of 53
Agreed. Web browser and finder integration stinks on ice.
post #13 of 53
Making the Finder more bookmark-friendly might be a good idea. It would be nice to use one set of them for any browser to display the actual content. And for any saved HTML, the finder could render a preview of it at least like it does for image files and movies. But I think the Finder should remain a Finder.

This idea of making one thing have multiple uses is not really their philosphy. I think if they add more web browsing, they would add it to Sherlock, or make it relate more to that. Apple doesn't much like swiss army knife apps. They make many apps for specific functions, not many functions for specific apps.

[ 10-28-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
post #14 of 53
Good point, BuonRotto. I have no problem with Apple making Finder more browser-like, as long as it continues to browse files.

Why would you want to open a web page in a window that previously referred to your Applications directory? Also, given the immense complexity of handling the modern Web, with the concomitant stability and security problems, you want to isolate that task into its own space.

If anything, Apple's going the other way, and setting up more than one app to handle the Web, e.g. Sherlock. As I've said in other threads like this one, Apple would be best served by shipping frameworks that made integrating the web into applications (as with Sherlock and Watson) standard and easy. They already have a JavaScript engine; I look forward to more.

But not, I repeat not, a Finder/web browser. For one thing, they have a lot of work to do to get the current Finder up to speed before they make it an order of magnitude more complicated; for another, there's no analogy between browsing a directory of files and browsing the Web. MS' integration is a hack they shoehorned in because of the antitrust trial. It's not something they thought through from an interface point of view.
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post #15 of 53
Arrghhh god no that would be hell, when i was a windows child i would for example type "c\folderthatdoesntexist" inot the bar adn the window would then switch from a file browingcontol to a website control and tell me the address cannot be found and i should check my network settings, christ what bollocks, and how long before they're greeted with msn search in a situation like that seen as thats what happens when ie claims it cant find an address on the pc side these days.

Being a web design I think I should know a little bit about web browsers and such and even I find this concept utterly hellish, however I adore how apple have put a beautiful format like pdf built in.
post #16 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Amorph:
<strong>As I've said in other threads like this one, Apple would be best served by shipping frameworks that made integrating the web into applications (as with Sherlock and Watson) standard and easy. They already have a JavaScript engine; I look forward to more.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, on a more perfunctory level, AppleWorks 6 started to use this concept, albeit in a half-baked way. The simple idea to have web connectivity to templates, clipart, etc. in the AppleWorks "Starting Points" and other places in the application was really a good idea, and exactly a non-browser benefit of having internet (not really web per se) access. I'd like to see more of this kind of thing in other applications, including iPhoto (HomePage and Book layouts), iCal (Calendars, duh, but within the app, like how other apps can check for updates or "buy products' relating to them), etc.

The Web's biggest strength is its function as a service venue, which would not require a web browser, just data on a network and the ability to "decode" it locally. We've spoken before about bringing the internet into applications as opposed to bringing applications to the internet...
post #17 of 53
Apple needs a faster web browser for that matter file browser period since no one else seems able to make one may apple should? PC are way faster on the internet period, maybe it cause java sucks on a mac anyone know? I am tired of getting boged down on ebay...
post #18 of 53
Sorry I was just reading this and i thought; what a choice of names apple and MS chose.

The Finder, to find your files.

The Explorer, to explor for your files

don't you think finder sounds like its simpler to find ur files?
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post #19 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Xidius:
I think it's cool.
<a href="http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255webinfinder.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255webinfinder.jpg</a>

<a href="http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255finderbrowser.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255finderbrowser.jpg</a>

Now tell me that isn't cool. if it only accesses the internet when a webpage is entered then it shouldn't be "running when you dont want it to be"

- Xidius

<hr></blockquote>

Xidius, those SpyMac pics look like someone customized the icons in OmniWeb. It's simple to do, and those icons are all availible elsewhere in the System folder. They turned off the Address bar and favorites bar, and set the toolbar to "Icon Only."

Not to accuse you or anything.

[ 10-29-2002: Message edited by: CubeDude ]</p>
post #20 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by ast3r3x:
<strong>Sorry I was just reading this and i thought; what a choice of names apple and MS chose.

The Finder, to find your files.

The Explorer, to explor for your files

don't you think finder sounds like its simpler to find ur files?</strong><hr></blockquote>

NeXTstep was even more specific: "Workspace Manager" Too techy-sounding, but I think it gives you a little perspective on where these guys are coming from, and how they see the role of the Finder.
post #21 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by bernard:
<strong>PC are way faster on the internet period, maybe it cause java sucks on a mac anyone know?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Urr. You don't make sense there. Maybe your browser is flawed?
post #22 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by ast3r3x:
<strong>Sorry I was just reading this and i thought; what a choice of names apple and MS chose.

The Finder, to find your files.

The Explorer, to explor for your files

don't you think finder sounds like its simpler to find ur files?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes.

My favorite difference is "Assistant" vs. "Wizard". These are revealing glimpses into the designers' respective attitudes.
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

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post #23 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by CubeDude:
<strong>

Xidius, those SpyMac pics look like someone customized the icons in OmniWeb. It's simple to do, and those icons are all availible elsewhere in the System folder. They turned off the Address bar and favorites bar, and set the toolbar to "Icon Only."</strong><hr></blockquote>

Unless they edited the picture, you can see in the dock that OmniWeb isn't running.
post #24 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by CubeDude:
<strong>

Xidius, those SpyMac pics look like someone customized the icons in OmniWeb. It's simple to do, and those icons are all availible elsewhere in the System folder. They turned off the Address bar and favorites bar, and set the toolbar to "Icon Only."</strong><hr></blockquote>

Do a search. Seems those are actually her pictures..

However, I dont think they are meant to be real. Mearly a composit.
post #25 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by EmAn:
<strong>Unless they edited the picture, you can see in the dock that OmniWeb isn't running.</strong><hr></blockquote>That's right. Xidius' images are 100% edited and fake. Besides, the picture is a simply cobbled-together montage of the Finder and Internet Explorer, not OmniWeb. You can tell by the lack of antialiasing in the snapshots and by IE's ugly white button in the Google window.
post #26 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by MovieMaker11xG4:
<strong>Seems those are actually her pictures..</strong><hr></blockquote>Correct. That's his weird custom background on the desktop. I've seen it nowhere but on Xidius' setup.
post #27 of 53
The JPEGS had me fooled. I've just spent the last few seconds trying to move the scroll bar in the picture rather than my browser. <img src="graemlins/embarrassed.gif" border="0" alt="[Embarrassed]" /> Must get some more sleep... <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
post #28 of 53
I really don't see the disadvantage of the integration. Having standardized and reusable components available for such basic tasks as html rendering is a no-brainer from a development standpoint. The UI concerns for embedding this component into the finder are only important for people that think it doesn't make sense. The solution, don't type urls into the address box. Nobody has a gun to your head. I for one, like having my bookmarks for ftp, webdav, local folders, websites all in one place and be able to access any of them from my current window in 2 clicks on my windows box.

It's not hard-coded integration on windows either. Explorer just embeds showdocvw.dll component into the window like acrobat or any of the office apps whenever appropriate content is browsed.
post #29 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by xmoger:
<strong>Having standardized and reusable components available for such basic tasks as html rendering is a no-brainer from a development standpoint.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, and MS did a poor job of it on their end, design-wise. I offered an example of how Apple could - and should - offer standardized and reusable components for web integration in this thread.

But that has nothing to do with changing Finder to browse web pages.

[quote]<strong>The UI concerns for embedding this component into the finder are only important for people that think it doesn't make sense. The solution, don't type urls into the address box.</strong><hr></blockquote>

The last time I ended up with a tiny Explorer window and three banner ads on my desktop, it wasn't because I typed a URL into the address box. What I did type in - a path - ended up directing me to MSN Search, or somesuch.

Dumb. If I'm browsing folders, I want to browse folders.

[quote]<strong>I for one, like having my bookmarks for ftp, webdav, local folders, websites all in one place and be able to access any of them from my current window in 2 clicks on my windows box.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Then MS will love you. They love everything-and-the-kitchen-sink functionality. I'm still waiting for them to integrate Office into explorer, frankly.

[quote]<strong>It's not hard-coded integration on windows either. Explorer just embeds showdocvw.dll component into the window like acrobat or any of the office apps whenever appropriate content is browsed.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's hardcoded integration into Windows, not into Explorer, and that's even more stupid.

[ 10-29-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
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post #30 of 53
[quote]They love everything-and-the-kitchen-sink functionality. I'm still waiting for them to integrate Office into explorer, frankly.<hr></blockquote>

Seriously, though. I'm surprised they've kept the Office applications discrete at this point. Seems like their philosophy to clump everything they can together in the name of interoperability.

Here's an old article I like to post on these occasions about OpenStep that applies to Mac OS X and Apple's philosophy in general. It's specifically about Services, but the first part of the article is the most pertinent here:

<a href="http://www.stepwise.com/Articles/Technical/Services.html" target="_blank">Service Call</a>

[quote]One of the OPENSTEP philosophies is that users want small tools that do a particular task very well. They don't want a monolithic Swiss Army Knife that tries to do everything and yet doesn't really do anything particularly well. The idea is that the user can choose a bunch of tools that suit their needs and then apply them to the task at hand. This may seem a foreign concept to the user of, say, Microsoft applications. Those applications are designed to take over the computer and the user is not expected to leave them until they are done with them. The OPENSTEP approach is to launch an armada of applications and have them all working on the document together, with the user jumping from one application to the next. In the Microsoft world, this wouldn't work because the applications do such a poor job of communicating with each other. OPENSTEP applications don't have this same problem, however...<hr></blockquote>
post #31 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:
<strong>Seriously, though. I'm surprised they've kept the Office applications discrete at this point. Seems like their philosophy to clump everything they can together in the name of interoperability.

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, they have to some extent. There are times I'm clicking on a link to a .doc on a webpage (why some places INSIST on using proprietary formats is beyond me...) and instead of downloading it, it actually OPENS in an explorer window. It doesn't happen all the time, but the hooks appear to be there.
post #32 of 53
amorph,
I've never written anything using COM, so I can't speak first hand on ms' implementation. I do see a lot of people using it though.

[quote]The last time I ended up with a tiny Explorer window and three banner ads on my desktop, it wasn't because I typed a URL into the address box. What I did type in - a path - ended up directing me to MSN Search, or somesuch.<hr></blockquote>
When I type in junk, I get an html error page, but no search, banners or resizing. You might want to disable search from the address box, or maybe you have something else running.
[quote]It's hardcoded integration into Windows, not into Explorer, and that's even more stupid.<hr></blockquote>Could you be more specific? Inserting COM objects isn't 'hard-coding'.

I have separate, specialized apps that are primarily file explorers, ftp clients and web browsers, but they get used rarely most features I need are provided by IE/WE. Including these features can't slow down the finder by much if any. Why not include them?

[ 10-29-2002: Message edited by: xmoger ]</p>
post #33 of 53
Apple's strategy recently has been a modular approach that uses many small, focused applications in lieu of a single large, multifunctional application. This approach has the benefit of specialization, where a single program can be optimized for a particular task and have a level of functional refinement that is much more difficult to duplicate in a larger application with many different functions.

A case in point: Apple breaks up the tasks of audio, video, and still pictures into four different applications, with 1 set of apps that let the user passively interact with the media ( iTunes, Preview), or actively interact with the media (iPhoto, Quicktime). (notice that a app for actively interacting with audio files is missing? we need an iApp for recording and editing audio!)

Consider for a moment Quicktime and iTunes. Apple could easily combine these into a single application that played both audio and video. But it seems obvious that such an app wouldn't match iTune's refined functions for listening to audio files. And Quicktime's editing and streaming abilities are highly specialized and easy to use.

Similarly, Apple is NOT going to combine the functions of the Finder and a Web Broser. It is more in line with their design philosophy to work on further refining the Finder for the specialized task of managing files. it doesn't need to do MORE, but when it comes to file management, OS X's Finder certainly needs refinement in both function and performance. It needs to do what it does better.

Since rumors suggest that Apple may adopt Chimera as it's bundled browser, it seems even less likely that Apple will integrate a web browser into the Finder. Chimera fits with Apple's Open Source commitment, and it's also a bitchin' browser of the quality that would suit Apple. I personally would rather Apple left browsers to outside developers to foster more competition, but perhaps it would help if a single browser development team had the resources for development that Apple could give them.

Then again, i could be talking out of my ass. Maybe Apple will buy iCab, integrate it into the Darwin kernel, and also integrate it with the Quart compositor, as well as the Finder. Not only will Apple make it the default browser, but Apple will change existing APIs so that it's damn near impossible for outside developers to make competitive web browsers. And of course, Apple will fix the system preferences so that they continually reset to make Apple's web browser the default web browser. Apple will swiftly conquer the web browser market for OS X and drive current web browser developers away from the Mac platform. Then Apple will pimp-out iPhoto and run Adobe Photoshop away from the Mac platform. Next Apple will integrate Logic Platinum into the OS X kernel and conquer the pro-audio market.

You never know, do you?
post #34 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Xidius:
<strong>I think it's cool.
<a href="http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255webinfinder.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255webinfinder.jpg</a>

<a href="http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255finderbrowser.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.spymac.com/gallery/data/510/255finderbrowser.jpg</a>

Now tell me that isn't cool. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Ok. That isn't cool. I think some people in this thread may be confusing the concept of not liking Explorer on the Mac with the thought that somehow an integrated browser would be better.

It's not, and those pictures clearly demonstrate one obvious reason as to why.

Tell us, when you click on the Eject button, what is a Webpage supposed to do? How do you view a page by list?

What does the Stop or Refresh button do in the Finder? Does Home take you to your user directory or to your homepage?

OK, so suppose the whole toolbar switches between browser and Finder modes. You're still stuck with icons representing the same concept but doing different tasks...Search (Web/files), Home (directory/page).

In the end, what do you really get that makes things easier/faster/better?

At best you could say that *IF* you are going to type in a URL, you don't have to click on the Explorer icon in the Dock *IF* you have a Finder window that you no longer want opened to a particular view. This offers nothing for bookmarks, since they can already be added to the Finder Toolbar. Of course you can't nest toolbar items, but hopefully this will change (for brower, folder, or any other bookmarks).

Wouldn't it be better if a universal key/mouse combo simply opened a new browser window with the address field in focus?
post #35 of 53
Quicktime is not an app. It is a framework, and a killer one at that. They should do the same thing for the web. Make a framework, and several specific apps that use that framework. 3rd parties can expand on those apps, creating specialized ones that utilize the framework protocols and rendering engines.

That is why Quicktime is so successful-- it's basic framework can be used for such a wide variety of tasks, from viewing and converting a simple image, to rendering to a specific codec, to creating an interactive application (all of the in store demos are done with qti).
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post #36 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg:
<strong>Maybe Apple will buy iCab, integrate it into the Darwin kernel</strong><hr></blockquote>

The first part of that is highly unlikely as iCab's engine suckz.

The second part, though, is just DUMB. To integrate browser technology into the kernel will make it so instable that you're better off using Windows.
post #37 of 53
Frameworks are the key to anything Apple develops at this point. Like address book, and Quicktime, they supply components they they then assemble under an application, or anyone else can for that matter. They can also adopt someone else's framework in this way. Services, plug-in architectures, even combining functions of a file browser and an internet broswer, are all afforded by frameworks. So if Apple doesn't take this path, someone else likely could using Apple's own code and just reassembling the pieces as they see fit.
post #38 of 53
Apple is replacing their HTML framework with the Mozilla engine as we speak. It'll be one of the major new features of Mac OS X 10.3. A new iApp - which will not _only_ be a web browser - will make use of it.

The iApp will be a central for your internet uses and will be closely connected to .mac in ways that - functionality-wise not design-wise - resemble some eWorld services.
post #39 of 53
Oh, you tease!
post #40 of 53
I'll do my best to answer these. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>Tell us, when you click on the Eject button, what is a Webpage supposed to do? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Nothing. Same thing it does when you are not in a removable drive.

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>How do you view a page by list?</strong><hr></blockquote>

When you click list or collumn, it would immediately switch back to your drive.

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>What does the Stop or Refresh button do in the Finder?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I didnt see a stop or refresh button in those images. Unless you are refering to the "delete" icon?

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>Does Home take you to your user directory or to your homepage?</strong><hr></blockquote>

No, it would switch you back to your prefered view (icon/list/collumn), and then bring you to your home folder.

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>OK, so suppose the whole toolbar switches between browser and Finder modes. You're still stuck with icons representing the same concept but doing different tasks...Search (Web/files), Home (directory/page).</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not necesarelly. The search bar would search as normal until a web url is typed in. Then the view would change to icon view, and the web page would then be loaded into the window. If something is inserted into the search bar that isnt a url, then the view switched back to your prefered view, and it searches the last folder you were in.

I'm sure Apple could come up with a much better solution to the navigation bar than Xidius did. (No offence ) As well, it would be doubtful the same icons would appear, representing different things than are assigned to them in the normal finder.

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>In the end, what do you really get that makes things easier/faster/better?</strong><hr></blockquote>

No need for an additional application. No need to depend on 3rd party vendors bug-wise/feature-wise because apple, when making applications, does enough research to know everything we want BEFORE they even begin. It would be faster because who could better optimize a feature for OSX or for the PPC than apple??

[quote]Originally posted by macslut:
<strong>Wouldn't it be better if a universal key/mouse combo simply opened a new browser window with the address field in focus?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think not. Clicking in the search bar and typing "www.URL.com" would be alot easier than adding an additional "apple+LETTER". Besides, if you wanted that, all you would need to do is Apple+w, then click into the search bar. New window, as not to disturb your precious windows in which are open.

Yeesh, I hope I have answered these obnoxious questions as well as Xidius can. I actually have know clue what her "vision" was. Mearly what I see as being useful. Anyway, stop ganging up on the poor girl.

Thanks -

[ 10-30-2002: Message edited by: MovieMaker11xG4 ]</p>
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AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Will a web browser be hard-coded into OS X?