Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arora 0.9.0!

Source, Windows and OS X and binary packages are available on

First off a big thanks to everyone who contributed to this release:

Benjamin C Meyer Benjamin C Meyer

Jakub Wieczorek Jakub Wieczorek

Christopher Eby Christopher Eby

Zsombor Gegesy Zsombor Gegesy

Alexandre Dupas Alexandre Dupas

Tom Gundersen Tom Gundersen

Slim Amamou Slim Amamou

Simon Hausmann Simon Hausmann

Oscar Blumberg Oscar Blumberg

ondrejcernos ondrejcernos

Markus Goetz Markus Goetz

John Wimer John Wimer

Dominik Riebeling Dominik Riebeling

axasia axasia

While 0.8.0 had many new features the majority of changes in 0.9.0 are bug fixes. There were several more features that were near completion, but the Arora policy is to only merge a branch when it is ready. Given that we the project has near monthly releases this isn't as harsh as other project such as KDE that have a six month release cycle. With a longer release cycles developers are likely to try to push in incomplete features near freeze deadlines just to have them in while with a short release cycle they are more willing to wait another month knowing that their branch will be more stable when the users get it. The hopeful result is a better application that is more stable and feature complete.

Apart from the dozens of bug fixes, there are a few significant improvements, one of which are long awaited search keywords which allow you to define a set of keywords for each search engine and then use them in the location bar, following them with the phrase that you want to search for. The screenshots should explain it better than any words:

Another notable change in this release was dropping support for Qt 4.4. Arora now requires Qt 4.5. The main reasons were:
- The QtWebKit version in 4.4 is significantly slower then the one today and does not include many features such as plugin (aka flash) support and many WebKit bug fixes.
- Supporting 4.4 was requiring more and more ifdef's as Arora has incorporated new features in Qt and QtWebKit.
- With KDE 4.3 requiring Qt 4.5 it is very likely that distributions will already have 4.5 (or will shortly).
- We really want to encourage QtWebKit application users to be using newer versions of QtWebKit (and thus Qt)

The full changelog:

Drop support for Qt 4.4.

- Add support for search keywords in the location bar.
- POST support for OpenSearch suggestion requests.
- Add WebKit version to the About dialog [WebKit trunk only].
- Use HTTP pipelining for all network requests [Qt 4.6 only].

- Remember last used save directory.
- Added file dialog to download location settings.
- Restrict drag and drop to the same page unless a QWebView accepts it.
- Open an URL dropped on the tab bar as new tab or replace existing tab.
- Allow url to be dropped on the tab bar from other applications.
- Add a Select All action.
- Rather than not allowing setting or getting of any cookies in private mode create a blank cookie jar.
- Significantly speed up the cookie dialog by keeping a cached copy of all the cookies.
- Enhance the language manager to fallback to the country file if the country_language file doesn't exists.
- Add drag support for downloaded item in the download manager.
- Add Planet Qt to the default set of bookmarks.
- Remove the text wrapping option from the source viewer's menu and instead enable it by default.

- Avoid duplicated and contradictory rules on the cookie rule list.
- Change the shortcut for showing the bookmark toolbar as it was conflicting with the show bookmark dialog shortcut.
- Encode the user input before inserting it into an URL template.
- Fix a crash when cloning a blank tab.
- When the widget losses focus hide the access keys.
- Fix detection of flash on various websites when ClickToFlash is used.
- Avoid an infinite recursion when asking the desktop to open an URL.
- When the download manager prevents the application from closing add a new tab when there are none.
- Only show the url completer if the user is typing a url.
- Always add the Inspect Element Action to the context menu when the developer extra tools are enabled.
- Bookmarklets were not working properly.
- Work around for a segfault in Qt 4.5.2 where you go into privacy mode while a QNetworkReply is still working.
- Clarify the networkdisk cache behavior in the messagebox.
- Start page: Reduce the top margin to 100px from so it fits on a netbook screen.
- Hide the bookmarks toolbar by default.
- Turn off cookie tracking filtering by default because it breaks sites like
- Before clearing the cookie jar, load it so the exceptions and other settings are loaded.
- When removing cookies from the cookie jar via the cookie dialog notify the autosaver.
- When receiving a drop event on a bookmark folder, make sure that we don't drop a child bookmark.
- Avoid overwriting the user agent string in the WebPage autotest.
- Fix non-ASCII characters displayed garbled for Authors.

Behind the scenes
- Merge two blocks of code that deals with oneCloseButton policy.
- Make parentWindow() prettier.
- Simplify updates of actions in view menu.
- Save the window state when toggling the menu bar.
- Save UI changes in the active window before creating a new one.
- Move all network related files into one directory.

Build system
- When building on osx use qmake -r.
- Ignore generated files built on windows.


tobami said...

Very nice!

One question though, will Arora ever aim to be a mainstream browser?. I mean, having as default bookmarks "Qt Documentation", "Qt quarterly", etc, is not very normal-user friendly.

I think Arora will be usefull to much more people than just Qt hackers.


Benjamin Meyer said...

Yah, been some debate on the bookmarks to move it in that direction. Should we just not include any or include a bunch of random ones that are popular?

tobami said...

personaly, I am not a friend of including a big predetermined set of bookmarks. The first a new user has to do then, is deleting all bookmarks and configure his own.

That said, one or two bookmarks on the bookmarks toolbar help its discoverability.

cowy said...

I haven't tried the new version till now, but the change log looks nice so far.

because of the bookmarks.
i can only second the comment of tobami. I'm also not a big friend of predefined bookmarks in web-browser.
For me a link to the official HP of Arora would be quite enough ;)

mariuz said...

Arora 0.9.0 browser for ubuntu karmic , jaunty , intrepid is released

kumien said...

I think changed version is to quick. You assigned that Arora has improvements and bugfixes (keyword in search), but change 0.8 to 0.9. I think better version is 0.8.5. This is looking like competition on version incrementation.
This is only my opinion , but I am glad Arora develop is so quick.

Rahul said...

Just wanted to thank you guys for your work with arora.. It's so nice to escape firefox on KDE. Start-up is near-instant and I really appreciate the clean UI. Haven't had many compatibility issues wither, very impressed.

RE: Bookmarks - my (non-techie) friends and I all agree that pre-installed bookmarks in browsers are nothing but a nusance. I would highly recommend skipping them entirely besides the Arora blog.

Albert said...

Your browser is great and not only on KDE4. I just want to ask if there is planned support for Sherlock search engine plugins. The format is a lot nicer than OpenSearch and most of my favorite search engines use it.

ralph said...

I have discover Arora for a couple of days, and wonder why nobody knows this browser. No tech site blogs on this etc. (or is it just me ;) )

I will post updates to tech sites from now on ;).

One question, on KDE it looks ok but on Windows (7) I don't like the looks, (classic look) Can we add skin support on the list for future add-ons (and maybe a complete add-ons system like FF.)

One more thing, pleace add in line spell checking.
Overall I'm impress t. Thank you.