Camino Marketing (2)

rebron has written a page comparing the different products, to help users choose between them. In many ways, it confirms the problem I see with marketing Camino. I’ve interspersed the content with the thoughts of a hypothetical user.

Camino is a web browser optimized for Mac OS X with a Cocoa user interface, and powerful Gecko layout engine.

So what on earth’s a Cocoa user interface? Does this mean the theme is brown? And aren’t all products built on Gecko, as the boxout at the top of the page says?

Mac OS X users looking for an alternative to Firefox or Apple’s Safari should consider using Camino.

But why would I want an alternative to Firefox anyway? Does it suck? Or is Camino only for people who have downloaded Firefox and decided they don’t like it?

Key features in Camino include:

  • Native Cocoa user interface for seamless integration with Mac OS X
  • Bookmark manager integration with Rendezvous and Address Book
  • Remembers website passwords with your Keychain

But doesn’t Firefox remember passwords too?

  • Tabbed browsing and Pop-up blocker
  • Google Search Bar

Firefox has all of these.

So, those who argue the MoFo should promote both, what should this page actually say to explain the differences?

[To be clear: this blog post is not intended to knock Camino. Not being a Mac user, I’ve never tried it, but I hear and do not doubt that it’s an excellent bit of software.]

9 thoughts on “Camino Marketing (2)

  1. Camino Stuff. Again.

    It seems this Mac-only browser is making at least some of the news this week. Possibly a few would complain of the treatment Camino receives from The Mozilla Organization in their obsession with Firefox browser, but taking Camino off the front page…

  2. Also, in the Firefox section, it lists out “Live Bookmarks”, but never explain what it really is…

    Can we expect newbies (or even the existing Firefox users who don’t read blogs) to know what it is?

  3. I’m very interested to find out what the real benefit is to using Camino. Right now it seems like the only real one is integration into the OS, which to me doesn’t overcome the shortcoming of not having extensions. I wonder if Camino is more stable on OS X, because I have been having crashes on Firefox lately. Is there anyone else out there that uses OS X and has some comments?

  4. Camino (and Safari) has the best history browser I’ve ever seen in a browser; it’s the one thing that I like about Camino that I miss in Firefox. Firefox’s history viewer, cramped to the sidebar, doesn’t allow me to view as much information as the Camino history viewer does.

    For your perusal, I’ve made a picture of the Camino history viewer.

  5. I’ve not seen many crashes of Firefox on OS X, but I (think) I am using a nightly build. Camino is no faster than Firefox; in fact, I perceive (though there’s no measurement to back this up) the opposite to be true.

    About the only thing (other than the good history viewer – really, Firefox should take the Safari-inspired bookmarks and history editor from Camino wholesale) I miss about Camino is the sane keyboard shortcuts. Using ctrl-page up to switch tabs is not very comfortable on my iBook’s keyboard, on which Page Up requires chording. The standard key mappings for changing tabs on OS X are usually ctrl-] and ctrl-[, strangely enough.

  6. As a Mac user and user of both Camino (on Mac) and Firefox (on Linux) I think I might help with something:

    – Cocoa is “Apple’s native” user interface API. Usually Cocoa applications have faster UIs (and more “integrated”). This means Camino has a more Os-X-like user interface than Firefox.

    – Firefox on OS X is very slow (at least in my iBook 500MHz). Too slow to be usable. Safari is fast but doesn’t still doesn’t support some basic stuff (e.g. bugzilla won’t work).

    – The keychain is an OS-Level password manager available in OS X. Firefox has its own password manager so it, just as Mozilla does, remembers passwords. Camino also remembers passwords but stores them in the Keychain. This allows users to access the passwords and manage them using OS Level utilities such as the keychain application. (I’m not going into details about advantages/ disadvantages of keychain. Just explaining what it means).

    My 2c

  7. Ok this is what I think:

    It really appears that some of the people posting here are M$ users that only have woked on a mac for less then a 6 months and where irritated by the fact that the OS didn’t work like Windows.

    The whole freaking point is that Mozilla as a whole is a windows and unix/linux based product. Sure you have ports for a wonderfull range of other platforms. But it still is and will always be a windows product that “also” works on Mac OS X.

    Every time I open FF I get the destinct feeling I’m working with an app that is pretending very hard to be a native OS X application. It’s like driving a cheap car which is painted with fancy BMW logo’s, it’s just weird. Sure the theme tricks the user into believeing it’s native but thats all. The whole UI is fundamentaly different. Things behave wrong, look strange and the app is full of weird bugs.

    The reason why Camino is developed is that mac users appreciate and have chosen for a high level of detail in how their applications and system works and looks. Apple even has a special team of people that do UI R&D and who have written an interface guideline for developers. This isn’t just about to the interface looking good but providing Mac OS X users a consistent visual and behavioral experience across applications and the operating system. FF doesn’t even come close.

    You guys where talking about system integration and where only thinking in technical terms and completly forgetting that the way an app looks, feels and behaves on a system is the second most important feature a side from it’s code. Without a good dinterface a users is not very likely to use it.

    Now as was mentioned there are other reasons why Camino is developed. For example; where FF renders it’s pages it also renders it’s own interface. Which means it’s way more cpu intensive. Camino let’s the OS draw the interface which is way more optimized. Camino is able to use a wide variety of OS X only api’s which means it can do things Mozilla developers can only dream of as they have to keep in mind that they have to make it multi platform caompatible.

    I really think you guys are asking the wrong questions. Camino isn’t just some kind of testing facility, it’s full blown application used by thousand of people. So please stop doing as if it’s nothing special. Next time please make sure you at least try to know what you are talking about.

    Also remember that most or all of the OS X development done on Mozilla at the moment is done by the very little group of developers that develop Camino. I really don’t think you should loose them.

    As it stands I think it would be better if MF would push Camino to be the OS X browser, and would offer FF as the more pro and flexible counter part instead of just freaking ignoring Camino.

  8. I have installed Camino, Firefox and Seamonkey. While Camino is integrating nicely (using the keychain etc.), it lacks lot of functionality (e.g., installation of search plugins etc.). Firefox was great but the new theme is just ugly on the mac — I don’t understand why they dropped Pinstripe. So I’m now back at Seamonkey, but using Thunderbird for mail. Both have Pinstripe theme, which is not Cocoa but mimics the OS’s Look well. And both are powerful.