Isis Web doesn't bring new WebKit to the TouchPad, but it's still better | webOS Nation

Isis Web doesn't bring new WebKit to the TouchPad, but it's still better 17

by Derek Kessler Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:46 pm EDT

Isis Web doesn't bring new WebKit to the TouchPad, but it's still better

Way back in February of 2012 - that's over a year ago - HP released to open source the new Isis browser built on the latest WebKit standards. They called it Isis. This Isis browser in built in to Open webOS, and anybody familiar with webOS on the TouchPad would find the user interface instantly familiar. Because it's the same.

While there's an ongoing effort to bring parts of Open webOS, like the new WebKit engine, to older webOS devices like the TouchPad, it's still possible to get things like the updated browser interface. Yes, we just said it's the same, but it's also different. That's why webOS homebrewer Juno Avalon has been working on porting the Isis browser interface to the TouchPad. He's gotten far enough that he felt comfortable packaging it up as an app and distributing it via the WebOS Nation Homebrew Gallery - and so Isis Web for HP TouchPad was born.

While Isis Web shares a common user interface with the existing TouchPad browser and doesn't include the new WebKit, it does at least bring some new goodies to the game without compromising anything that we've known and loved about the old browser. When you tap-and-hold on a link or hit the share button in the address bar, there's a new share dialog that allows you to select from Email, Messaging, Sparrow (Twitter), and Facebook (the TouchPad app).

Isis Web also supports searching the text on a page, an option triggered from the app menu. You can download and save links with a tap-and-hold and when the browser is minimized into card view it stops scrolling.

In the notes for the app release, Avalon notes that this release is only for the TouchPad. While it technically is a complete Enyo app and loads correctly on the Pre 2 and Pre3, it is neither optimized nor functional once it is loaded. Avalon says he's working on a separate release for webOS smartphones.

So go ahead and fire up Preware on your TouchPad or hook and and run webOS Quick Install so you can give Isis Web a try. As an added bonus, Isis Web doesn't replace the default web browser, but it still shares the history and bookmarks database. So there's not a big commitment leap to be made if you want to give Isis Web a try - switch back and forth between it and Web at your leisure.



The UI looks the same as the stock browser. It seems to run a little smoother. Or I could be imagining that. I don't know.

so can't be the big news on webos

Nice work so far...

Shoutout to Dkirker: - any encouraging news at all about webkit updates for existing devices? :)

Looking for any reason for hope... ;)

@Derek Thank you so much for wrtiting an article about my browser! :D One thing you could add though to the article is that you can set Isis Web as default via Device Info --> Default Applications so that links open in Isis Web. But still I'm really thrilled that you wrote an article about my browser, again thanks :D

re. Default App,  good tip,thanks
I like this, it is def. better than built in web browser....
I still have issues .... eg I wasnt able to download a document from Google Docs(Drive or what ever it is called )
Very nice work and appreciated..... little donation on the way !

You're welcome :) And thank you for the donation!
I saw somewhere around the forums a way to enable downloading from secure servers so I will look into that so maybe the next version can download from things like Google Drive if I can built that patch/method in.

I really appreciate any article and developers still here with us doing work I don't now how to do myself. Thanks Vistaus, Derek for calling them out :)

Nice, I'll give it a try.

How does it compare to Advanced Browser?

Well, tried it...

Compared it to Advanced Browser, with ISIS on my Touchpad, and AB on my second Touchpad and the race was on with me and my wife tapping same links.

ISIS won for speed almost all times, by 3 to 10 seconds for some links, on a few they were almost even.

But, no tabs, and no homepage as per AB, so you always have to open the bookmark list. The search requires opening the drop-down menu instead of a simple icon on the screen.

So, I love the extra speed, but I hate losing the tabs and easy access to the bookmarks and the search, so AB wins for now.

Android can upload files using the web browser. Why not webOS? Preware has packages that can support that.

I would use ISIS browser for my default browser if it had tabs and the bookmarks icons. I do like the fact that I don't have to watch several blank cards show up then fly off the screen when I start ISIS like in AB.

I would use ISIS browser for my default browser if it had tabs and the bookmarks icons. I do like the fact that I don't have to watch several blank cards show up then fly off the screen when I start ISIS like in AB.

This is just the stock browser with some of the best patches added, which I'd think anyone with Preware would already have. Only feature I'm not aware of being in Preware is the share dialog.

That's because the Share dialog isn't made out of a patch; the Share dialog is a native feature of this browser. And I did implement a few patches, correct. But it's not only patches and a share dialog that this browser consists of.

Could really use thumbnav patch or equiv.

What the Touchpad really needs though is a new WebKit, not a few new "sharing" features. More and more websites become incompatible with the Touchpad's browser every day. Anything that requires scroll events to be sent is unusable (various maps, for instance).
Many pages now use sort of an infinite scroll mechanism, where as you scroll toward the bottom of the page, they dynamically load new content. Cept they don't see scrolling events from Touchpad's WebKit. Scrolling within frames has always been impossible. Many nav bars don't work. Many HTML5 based video players don't work. No in page anchors.. Seriously Palm? I still love WebOS, but the core functionality is slowly becoming obsolete.

I've already implemented two-finger swipe navigating in the current Git version so no Thumbnav needed.
Also, it's not only sharing features that Isis Web brings.
Also, Isis Web (and probably stock too since it's the same WebKit) loads up dynamic content fine here. I've tested this Facebook and some other sites. No problems at all. Scrolling works just fine and the websites do see it.
Scrolling inside of frames is a hit or miss. On some websites it works, on some it doesn't. Same applies to nav bars.
HTML5 is a disaster anyway on the Touchpad, the score is very low.
But dkirker is working on bringing us the new WebKit.