It seems like a very, very long time ago that we were mired in planning sessions for OmniWeb 5. By “we” I mean “people much smarter than myself”, of course, although I do take credit for the never-implemented Wholesome History Populator feature (replace your day of youtube surfing and WoW geekfests with the browsing history of your choice! Pre-loaded contents include “Honey I Was Thinking Of You”, several hours worth of Amazon-combing for that perfect birthday gift; “Just Doing Some Market Research”, a trail of crumbs leading through a variety of industry topics to impress your boss; and, in worse-case scenarios, “What's This Funny Rash”, a thorough search of WebMD that virtually guarantees the subject of how much time you spend online will never be questioned).
But anyway, back then we put a lot of effort into building new features for OmniWeb. It was an exciting time for the OmniWeb development process as things like workspaces and graphical tabs and shortcuts started emerging from the alpha-soup and we all started using them. A huge amount of work later, OmniWeb 5 shipped: ta da!
Then, after a while, we had to catch up with WebKit. We had to get OmniWeb's compatibility and performance back up to par, we needed a Universal release, we needed some fixes. And so for many months now, the OmniWeb dev team has been chipping away at the non-fun stuff; not cool features or eye-popping UI, but the complicated headachey stuff under the hood that makes a web browser, you know, work.
(“Stuff”. Niiice. Once again my less-than-viselike grip on the technical aspects of our work has failed us all.)
We realize that in order for OmniWeb to stay in your Dock, we have to continue innovating. We need to do what we're best at: developing useful, fun features that work the way you want them to. Upcoming versions of OmniWeb need to kick ass and take names, basically. And that's what we want to do.
However, in the meantime, I don't want to lose sight of a huge accomplishment by our Web team: OmniWeb 5.5 is out. The final release, after months of hard work and persistent beta testers (for whom we are insanely grateful) and an espresso machine that has broken about fifty-three times from overuse.
If you haven't used OmniWeb in a while, I recommend trying 5.5 out. This version doesn't provide you with many citrus-scented whistles and bells, but it's faster. It's better. It's performance is vastly improved, and hey, it still has all the unique stuff that 5.0 was touted for.
A big congratulations to the OmniWeb team, and now we can start turning our attention to the next versions of OmniWeb. Yes, there will be some small fixer-upper 5.5x releases, but then? Features, by god. Honestly, I don't know if the coffee machine can handle it.