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Old 11 November 2018, 14:19   #1
nolunchman
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Will 3.x ever get a modern browser

I remember browsing the web on my Amiga with a 33.6k modem in the mid 90s. Cool as it was, even back then, web pages broke and the experience left something to be desired compared to its archrival PC that sat on my desk at work.

I have only recently returned to the Amiga scene after 20+ years and am more than impressed with what you guys (the amiga die hards) have done.

I am aware that there are other evolutions of the OS with some browser support, but for me, 3.1 rendering a modern web page in 24bit with 30fps video would be a sight to see. It might even make a grown man cry. When Flash was the prevailing tech, I wrote the amiga off, but now that HTML5 is here and PPC or FPGA boards helping with the ram and speed limitations, I think it is now possible to have a browser experience that I could live with, even if I had to resort to using i7/AmigaForever.

Or am I crazy...
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Old 11 November 2018, 14:34   #2
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"Will 3.x ever get a modern browser"

No, it won't.
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Old 11 November 2018, 15:36   #3
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Netsurf might fit your needs.
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:32   #4
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Trevor from Aeon said that after LibreOffice, he wants to put together a team and look at the browser situation. We can only hope that he has 68k in mind.
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:42   #5
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Nope
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Old 11 November 2018, 17:53   #6
Romanujan
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Originally Posted by hUMUNGUs View Post
Trevor from Aeon said that after LibreOffice, he wants to put together a team and look at the browser situation. We can only hope that he has 68k in mind.
Porting one version of browser is not a solution, it will quickly become obsolete/vulnerable. Browser has to be constantly updated. There is no manpower for this in the Amiga world. Not to mention RAM requirements of the modern browsers - but since just about everybody moved to 64-bit, and 8 GB RAM in a smartphone is not considered insane anymore, upstream probably does not really care.
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Old 11 November 2018, 18:52   #7
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Browsing on Raspberry Pi is not great and it has eleventy billion times the resources as your average 68k amiga. So I also predict no.
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Old 11 November 2018, 19:27   #8
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Browsing on Raspberry Pi is not great and it has eleventy billion times the resources as your average 68k amiga. So I also predict no.
what about vampirized amiga
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Old 11 November 2018, 19:28   #9
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Originally Posted by daxb View Post
Netsurf might fit your needs.
thanks for the suggestion, dax, i'll give it a try


Quote:
We can only hope that he has 68k in mind.
surely he's one of the biggest fans, but he also wants to sell next gen amigas, so i wouldn't fault him for leaving the classics out to pasture. amigas were not known for their internet prowess, so no harm done.

the amiga community literally kept the computer alive by sheer will and determination. at first, winuae, then the OS branches, then the hardware (PPC, FPGA,HD/floppy emulators, entire hand routed motherboards).

the irony is that now we can have computers so fast that we all have to phone the sysinfo guy, but then have almost no software that takes advantage of the increased performance and is actually more likely to crash on our favorite games. but the *one* application that every amiga user on the planet uses is a web browser...on a PC...

i think a classic amiga with the right accelerator (probably FPGA) and ram could be a daily driver. of course you won't be downloading at 100Mbps on a plipbox, but web pages are still kept lean, around 2MB and even HD streams are about 2Mbit/s, well within reach of even the old 2065 ethernet cards. i know decoding h.265 in real time may be a stretch, but amiga guys are smart and very clever.
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Old 11 November 2018, 19:30   #10
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Probably far too little improvement over 68060 to make it usable. And just 128MB RAM or so would be a real problem.
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Old 11 November 2018, 19:55   #11
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There has been some IBrowse 2.5 activity very recently but I can't comment further.
Don't expect a miracle.

rare_J has a very good point.
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Old 11 November 2018, 22:38   #12
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Originally Posted by Romanujan View Post
Porting one version of browser is not a solution, it will quickly become obsolete/vulnerable. Browser has to be constantly updated.
That's true. However vulnerability is much lower on classic Amigas than modern PCs, and most websites can be still be viewed with obsolete browsers.

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There is no manpower for this in the Amiga world. Not to mention RAM requirements of the modern browsers - but since just about everybody moved to 64-bit, and 8 GB RAM in a smartphone is not considered insane anymore, upstream probably does not really care.
Correct, in fact they never cared. But that doesn't mean we can't have a truly lightweight browser for the Amiga that will do 99% of what we want.

I am currently running IBrowse 2.4 on an A1200 with 16MB RAM and a 50MHz 030, and it works well enough for the sites I regularly visit. By only running 8 colors on screen and keeping pictures in FastRAM the scrolling speed and memory usage is acceptable. Won't play YouTube videos properly of course (not enough processing power) but my Vampired A600 should do it fine once I get it set up properly. The biggest problem with IBrowse is not being able to use the latest TLS encryption. Hoping IBrowse 2.5 will be released soon!
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Old 11 November 2018, 22:45   #13
utri007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanujan View Post
Porting one version of browser is not a solution, it will quickly become obsolete/vulnerable. Browser has to be constantly updated. There is no manpower for this in the Amiga world. Not to mention RAM requirements of the modern browsers - but since just about everybody moved to 64-bit, and 8 GB RAM in a smartphone is not considered insane anymore, upstream probably does not really care.
Netsurf autobuilds, no amiga specified attention needed.

https://ci.netsurf-browser.org/builds/amigaos3/

Vampire is about 233mhz 68060, if comparing Netsurf rendering times. It is about 4x faster than 66mhz 68060.

That is not enough for general Netsurfing with any browser.

Netsurf would be nearest to be useable, but Chris would need help to get it optimized. It is possible to surf web with 32mb ram, but more is better. Just to start it requires 11mb free ram. This is not a lot, compared to another possibility Odyssey, wich requires many times more just to start.
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Old 11 November 2018, 23:31   #14
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surely he's one of the biggest fans, but he also wants to sell next gen amigas, so i wouldn't fault him for leaving the classics out to pasture.
Yes, hes a huge fan of the classics, and the track record of A-EON shows that he's not about leaving them out to pasture as they have also made releases of software and hardware for classic Amigas. But I think he realises that it's simply not practical to dedicate the required resources to what is ultimately a lost cause when they could be used for better things.

Quote:
the irony is that now we can have computers so fast that we all have to phone the sysinfo guy, but then have almost no software that takes advantage of the increased performance and is actually more likely to crash on our favorite games.
There are plenty of games and applications that take advantage of more horsepower, and while they still might be rendered obsolete by their modern equivalents on other platforms, they still work well at what they do, unlike the 68K/HTML4/Non-CSS web browsers where the web has progressed away from them.

Quote:
i think a classic amiga with the right accelerator (probably FPGA) and ram could be a daily driver. of course you won't be downloading at 100Mbps on a plipbox, but web pages are still kept lean, around 2MB and even HD streams are about 2Mbit/s, well within reach of even the old 2065 ethernet cards. i know decoding h.265 in real time may be a stretch, but amiga guys are smart and very clever.
The data throughput of the network isn't the main issue (although sharing the 3.5MB/s maximum of Zorro-II with a graphics card and storage will start to have an impact too). The main issue is the decoding of video or image data, and in the case of web pages, rendering the page and compiling & executing the JavaScript that most pages now rely so heavily on. 2MB of a webpage could mean 1MB of JavaScript, which is enough to bring an I7 to its knees if you let it. And if you're doing the rendering and decoding in software, you're going to need a multi-GHz CPU. Even the fastest FPGA 68K implementations are only a fraction of the way there.

Your best bet if you want to follow that route, is AROS. You can use that on a modern PC, browse the internet within the limitations of OWB, watch a decent level of video and more, all within an Amiga-like environment.
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Old 12 November 2018, 02:01   #15
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Originally Posted by nolunchman View Post
I remember browsing the web on my Amiga with a 33.6k modem in the mid 90s. Cool as it was, even back then, web pages broke and the experience left something to be desired compared to its archrival PC that sat on my desk at work.

I have only recently returned to the Amiga scene after 20+ years and am more than impressed with what you guys (the amiga die hards) have done.

I am aware that there are other evolutions of the OS with some browser support, but for me, 3.1 rendering a modern web page in 24bit with 30fps video would be a sight to see. It might even make a grown man cry. When Flash was the prevailing tech, I wrote the amiga off, but now that HTML5 is here and PPC or FPGA boards helping with the ram and speed limitations, I think it is now possible to have a browser experience that I could live with, even if I had to resort to using i7/AmigaForever.

Or am I crazy...

It's not ever gonna happen the "regular way" IMO, and its not only for technical reasons but as others have already mentioned.. It would be a "misdirected development effort"... there are so many other devices you already own that are automagically updated all the time to give you the perfect web experience..
...BUT someone crazy enough might think of something wildly out of the box just to prove a point.. Say, for the Vampire 4 (which has some new connectivity options). Like porting some open source a virtualized client software where you run a "Remote Desktop" window of a browser running on a Raspberry Pi 3B (or newer/more powerful, running Linux and a modern browser) hidden in the shell of you Amiga.. ;-)
But of course, that in itself would require a madman and some sorcery as well..and frankly still wouldnt be very useful ;-)
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Old 12 November 2018, 04:36   #16
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tell me this wouldn't put a big fat smile on your face

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Old 12 November 2018, 05:04   #17
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tell me this wouldn't put a big fat smile on your face

Attachment 60795

Sure it would.. but at what cost... ;-)
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Old 12 November 2018, 06:21   #18
nolunchman
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Sure it would.. but at what cost... ;-)
seeing what some die hard amiga fans having been paying for 20 year old Cyberstorm PPC cards (that basically have half the processing power of an overclocked Celeron 300, money doesn't seem to be an issue. ;^)

*I am not an engineer, so be kind when responding to the following*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
The main issue is the decoding of video or image data, and in the case of web pages, rendering the page and compiling &
I thought this would be the main issue, so use a H.265 decoder sitting next to an ethernet chip combined with a cheap ARM CPU with 2-8GB of ram to do some work and buffering. Just let the Zorro bus see what it needs to see to keep the OS happy. Yes it's basically another computer on card, but that's not new. You could send all the video packets to the decoder, reencode (maybe to mpeg2, or even crazier, HAM6 AVI would even make it look like the amiga is doing the work) and stuff the data back in packets that fit in the bus bandwidth and finally output to a video card. Yes would be a pricey card (refer back to first comment) but playing lemmings while Monty Python and the Holy Grail streams off of Netflix in another window and not being nagged for a new Windows update or antivirus db patch would be worth every penny. What's more it would work with the new generation computers (that incorporate a Zorro bus).

Quote:
...BUT someone crazy enough might think of something wildly out of the box just to prove a point..
love that statement. Names like Jay Miner and Tim Jenison and those vampire dudes immediately come to mind. Crazy amiga guys are out there.

What's crazy is that the amiga community is seemingly just now realizing that the internet IS the killer app. It's not SYSINFO or AIBB or Lightwave 3.5FP, guys. You use it on your phone, your tablet, your PC, your TV, your Xbox, your PS3/4 but not your much beloved Amiga...
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Old 12 November 2018, 06:34   #19
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hoping ibrowse 2.5 will be released soon!
Hear! Hear!
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Old 12 November 2018, 11:40   #20
utri007
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Hear! Hear!
iBrowse doesn't diplay pages correctly, most of pages are unuseable.

Some random web surfing with REAL amiga. It has 68060 CPU.

[ Show youtube player ]
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