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The Wanna-Be Web Browser
WannaBe is a limited text-only web browser for MacOS under development
by David T. Pierson.
For a more detailed description, see the
WannaBe ReadMe. There is also a short
FAQ answer sheet
maintained by Timo Becker.
Thursday, 29 September 2005
I have added a link on the Localizations page for
information on using WannaBe in Japanese.
Monday, 4 July 2005
I have updated some links on the Localizations page.
Unfortunately, most have all rotted except the ones I updated.
Wednesday, 11 August 2004
More non-WannaBe news: I have a Power Mac 7100 and some other
Mac stuff I would like to give away.
Tuesday, 24 May 2004
This news is only indirectly WannaBe-related. I am now using a new iBook, with which I
hope to get back into programming for fun. Also, for those in the southern New England
region of the United States, I have a Performa
6116 I would like to give away.
Thursday, 17 October 2002
WannaBe 1.0b14 is now available as a new development version.
The changes from 1.0b13 are almost entirely internal. The one new feature is support for
HTML div elements.
Wednesday, 25 September 2002
I have made WannaBe 1.0b13 the designated stable version.
There is not currently a newer version available as a development version.
Since downloads from this server occasionally fail for some reason, I have uploaded the
latest stable versions to Yahoo!
Groups. Yahoo! requires a cookie to be set in the browser used to do the download,
so unfortunately WannaBe cannot be used to download WannaBe from Yahoo. You can still
download from here though.
Sunday, 9 June 2002
WannaBe 1.0b13 fixes a bug introduced in 1.0b12.
The problem was that HTTP requests did not use a User-Agent header, which causes
some sites to refuse the requests. The new version also brings the
search plug-in documentation up-to-date.
Tuesday, 4 June 2002
WannaBe 1.0b12 is now available for download. It fixes
a few small (never reported by anyone) problems:
WannaBe 1.0b11 is now the designated stable version.
- fixed display of authentication realm in the HTTP authentication dialog box
- fixed handling of no-proxy domains that are specified in Internet Config
- fixed a memory corruption problem when using HTTP authentication
Sunday, 3 February 2002
WannaBe 1.0b11 is now available for download. It fixes
a few things, such as:
WannaBe 1.0b10 is now the designated stable version.
- <?xml ... ?> tags, as found in XHTML, are now not displayed.
- When clicked, links to aliases now correctly open the destination
- A local file is now interpreted as HTML if its "<HTML>"
tag is preceded by other tags or directives, not just whitespace. Also, the HTML tag
can contain a space after the tag name, such as "<html ", not just
- The platform part of the User-Agent header should now be reported correctly for
WannaBe 68k running on PowerPC Macs. It had been reporting 68k, but should be PPC.
The survey has closed. Thank you to those who participated.
I will possibly give my thoughts on it in the near future.
I added to the localizations page an FTP link to
French localizations of WannaBe.
He has recently added a PPC version of 1.0b10.
Thursday, 18 October 2001
I added to the localizations page a link to Jan Muennich's
page of his own
German localizations of WannaBe.
He currently has a PPC version of 1.0b10 available.
Monday, 01 October 2001
Attention WannaBe users: please
provide your input to the new survey
question concerning development of WannaBe.
WannaBe 1.0b10 is a new development version which
incorporates a few changes.
First, it fixes a bug whereby Basic HTTP Authentication always failed because
server responses were not being handled by prompting the user for credentials.
(This bug had been around for about 18 months with no one reporting it.
I guess that just shows how little HTTP authentication
is used anymore.)
Also fixed is a bug whereby an incorrect text style would be used
when a server returned pages in certain size chunks.
Finally, Opera has been added to the list of browsers to which URLs can be
WannaBe 1.0b9 is now the designated stable version.
Saturday, 28 July 2001
WannaBe 1.0b9 is a new development version which,
among other things,
adds HTTP POST support through search plug-ins or Apple Events. The complete
list of changes in this version includes:
- fixed bug in HTML interpreter whereby it wasn't recognizing
uppercase closing </P> tags
- added OpenURL command to WannaBe's AppleScript dictionary
- added support for HTTP POST method requests, via Search plug-ins
or OpenURL Apple Events
- changed internal help page on search plug-ins to indicate that
plug-ins using the HTTP POST method are now supported
- fixed lack of encoding of non-user values from Search plug-ins
- added browser status messages for some additional situations
- fixed handling of OpenURL Apple Events to use a destination file if requested
- fixed problem whereby option-clicking URLs with schemes other than
HTTP,FTP,HTTPS, or FILE caused an error dialog
WannaBe 1.0b8 is now the designated stable version.
I updated the Search Plug-ins Starter Set, adding a plug-in for the
Internet Movie Database.
Thursday, 14 June 2001
WannaBe 1.0b8 is a new development version which
fixes the closing "P" element bug. Basically, "</P>"
tags weren't being recognized, but now they are.
Sunday, 10 June 2001
New stable and development versions of WannaBe are now available for
download. Both versions fix a crashing bug that
exists in all versions of WannaBe prior to 1.0b6.
WannaBe 1.0b6 is a new stable version that fixes a bug
in all previous versions of WannaBe. This version is a modification of 1.0b2, which
means changes included in versions 1.0b3 - 1.0b5 are not present. The bug that is
fixed by this version is a crashing problem that exists when a new window containing no
content is open and the mouse is moved over a certain part of the window. It
doesn't seem to occur in most system configurations (which is why I didn't find it
until recently), but nevertheless can be serious.
WannaBe 1.0b7 is a new development version that fixes 2
problems from 1.0b5. The first is the same bug described above as fixed in 1.0b6.
The other bug was introduced with version 1.0b5, and is characterized by improper
scrolling to URL #fragments.
I am still working on the HTML rendering problem of new paragraphs not being started
in certain situations, namely the closing of P and DL elements.
I fixed a problem with 2 of the plug-ins in the
Search Plug-ins Starter Set.
Thursday, 7 June 2001
After having some system problems, I've been able to finish
This is a development version that fixes some of the problems with 1.0b3 and 1.0b4.
If you are using 1.0b3 or 1.0b4, you should upgrade to 1.0b5 or downgrade to 1.0b2,
the latter being safer. [download]
- fixed a memory trashing problem in the HTML parser
- fixed a long-standing problem whereby anchor names would not be
recognized if a web page was being served in small chunks
- fixed handling of "dt" and "dd" elements
- fixed labelling of type "a" and "i" ordered lists
- fixed handling of XHTML-compatible elements
Monday, 4 June 2001
I've discovered a very serious bug in WannaBe 1.0b3 and 1.0b4 that can
crash WannaBe. I've removed the links to these versions from the
download page, and strongly suggest moving to 1.0b2
if you are using either 1.0b3 or 1.0b4. I'm working on a fix to the problem and
will make a new version available as soon as it is ready.
Saturday, 2 June 2001
I added a starter-set archive of Search Plug-ins to
the download page. It contains plug-ins for
Info-Mac HyperArchive, and
Friday, 1 June 2001
WannaBe 1.0b4 replaces 1.0b3 as the current "development" version
on the download page. It fixes an entity problem
and adds support for over a dozen more entities.
Wednesday, 30 May 2001
WannaBe 1.0b3 is now available. It implements a
completely new HTML parser and interpreter which:
Also, the new version will open a new window to support a
"Get URL" request (from Internet Config or another application)
that occurs when the frontmost browser window is already busy either connecting
or displaying a page. Sherlock plug-ins are now opened through a browser window.
This causes hassles if opening more than one at a time or while the frontmost
browser is busy, so I am planning on changing this back to the old behavior.
- better handles improperly formatted HTML entities
- supports more HTML entities
- improves the labelling of ordered and unordered list items (though
there is a bug with type="a" and type="i"
ordered lists that I am still working on--they improperly appear
as upper case)
- improves the removal of script and style elements
Thursday, 24 May 2001
Since I've received no show-stopping bug reports for 1.0b2, I've made it the
designated "stable" version. I now recommend that anyone using a
prior version of WannaBe upgrade to 1.0b2.
1.0b3 should be out within a week. It will feature a new HTML interpreter (though
not much more advanced) and fix a couple of bugs.
Saturday, 28 April 2001
WannaBe 1.0b2 is now available. It fixes a
number of bugs:
I haven't received any reports of problems with 1.0b1, so I'm assuming there
aren't any serious problems. (Though I don't get many bug reports even when
there are serious problems, so that may not mean anything. Please
send me bug reports, even for little things
like the above-mentioned misreporting of malformed HTTP responses.) However, I think
I'll keep 1.0a50 as the designated "stable" version for the moment.
If I don't get any reports of problems with 1.0b2 after several days, I'll
make that the recommended version.
- fixes a few sources of memory leaks
- fixes the version strings being out of sync (resource vs. About Page)
- fixes caching problems associated with loading a URL containing a #fragment
- fixes a problem whereby redirecting to the current URL interfered with
- now loads the documentation page if Internet Config doesn't report a
preferred home page
- fixes misreporting of a malformed HTTP response when connections fail or
I'm considering new names for WannaBe. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Saturday, 14 April 2001
WannaBe 1.0b1 is now available. It features
a significant decrease in executable size, as well as a new and hopefully
more helpful error message system. The change to "beta" version
numbers indicates that I am concentrating on adding only a few more features
before "finalizing" the 1.0 release. This new version is not
necessarily any more stable than 1.0a50, and I would guess that it may be
less stable, simply due to the lack of testing. Therefore, you may want to
use 1.0a50, which I've now made the designated "stable" version.
Note to translators: This new version makes some significant
changes to the resources you need to modify in order to localize WannaBe for your
language. I haven't yet written up a list of all the resources that could
potentially be translated, but a little exploring will turn them up fairly
quickly. Also, the method of modifying the startup page has changed. See
"Making Modifications" for
As always, I welcome all comments, suggestions, and
bug reports at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Part of the WannaBe website,
by David T. Pierson, <email@example.com>.
This page was last modified on 29 September 2005.