[Oberon] Oberon Text and new systems; was Re (n): Question about Oakwood guidelines and design choices

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 18:17:08 CEST 2021

On Tue, 8 Jun 2021 at 23:03, Michael Schierl <schierlm at gmx.de> wrote:
> With the demise of the old edgehtml engine (and deprecation of old IE
> Trident and Opera Presto engine) there are effectively only two
> feature-complete rendering engines for HTML5 left (Gecko used by Mozilla
> Firefox, and Webkit/Chromium/Blink used by the others). And the size of
> their (uncompressed) sources is gigantic.

This is true. However, there *are* alternatives, although they are niche.

• Netsurf: https://www.netsurf-browser.org/
The Netsurf browser is FOSS and runs on the old Acorn RISC OS OS as
well as others. It supports HTML 4, CSS 2, HTTPS and other modern-web
features, but does _not_ support Javascript. This dramatically
simplifies the browser but also limits which sites it can access, but
at least it runs enough that you can often get to a simpler mobile
version of the site or something like that.

• Dillo: https://www.dillo.org/
Another very simple FOSS browser, and not active in some years, but is
included in some lightweight Linux distros. Does support HTTPS at

• Lynx: https://invisible-island.net/lynx/
• W3M: http://w3m.sourceforge.net/
• Links: http://links.twibright.com/
• ELinks: http://www.elinks.cz/

These 4 are all text-mode tools for the Linux shell environment, but
offer varying degrees of ability to open, render and display web

I have recently tried the A2 browser (for my FOSDEM talk in February)
and found it crippled by its inability to display HTTPS links -- which
is almost all of them now. However, even plain-text
largely-unformatted HTTPS is still somewhat useful.

I really must write up my ideas for the FOSDEM talk so that the list
can *cough* offer me some critical feedback. :-)

> So, I would not try to provide any (badly compatible) HTML5 support to a
> system like Oberon which tries to be simple and tries to remove what can
> be removed.

HTML5 is not the big problem, IMHO. Javascript is the big problem.

Omit JS and the underlying Document Object Mobile (DOM) that it needs,
and a web browser can still be relatively small and simple.

Liam Proven – Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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