iCab (Web browser)

A web browser alternative to MSIE and Netscape Navigator.

The iCab web browser is only available on the Macintosh but has some interesting features not found in other products. It is developed by a small German company run by Alexander Clauss and Oliver Joppich. The browser was originally developed for use on the Atari platform.

The browser is compact, fast and standards-based and can be downloaded free from the iCab web site (http://www.iCab.de). The current version is 2.1 and is available at the moment as a preview or Beta product (see web-references).

Earlier versions do not fully support JavaScript although implementation of a completely standards based version of the interpreter is expected in the final release. It also supports some of the browser specific tags that Netscape and Microsoft have added to their browsers. This is necessary to avoid the browser not being able to properly render the pages currently deployed on the web. However, iCab also has an HTML validator built in and this triggers an indicator on the screen when the page is non-HTML 4.0 compliant. This shows up as a smiley face when the HTML is good and a frowning face when its not. Clicking on the frowning face yields a report of the non-compliant HTML. This is a good browser for developers to use.

iCab supports some interesting features such as image and cookie filtering. This allows much finer control over image display than simply switching images on and off. By default, iCab is set up to not filter out banner ads, but by virtue of its awareness of standard banner ad image sizes it can prevent the display of banners leaving other graphics intact. It can also filter based on URL contents. Cookie filtering is also flexible and sophisticated.

The <LINK REL="..."> and <LINK REV="..."> tags are actively supported and provide some structural navigation when sites implement these tags properly.

Access the iCab web site for more details of special features.

See also:Platform, Script execution, Web browser