Courier

Courier is a simple web browser for Newton OS 2.1 devices.

Installation

Install Courier.pkg, ntox (at least version 1.8) and NHttpLib (at least version 3.2). If you want to use the gzip content encoding for faster HTTP downloads with some web pages, install ZLib as well. IC/VC is required if you want to install packages downloaded with Courier or put away iCal or vCard data.

Usage

Courier is a NewtApp and manages a set of HTML documents in the same way as the Notes application manages notes and the Names application manages contacts. This approach differs slightly from the way usual web browsers operate. In Courier, the bookmarks and browser window concept is merged into one. Instead of maintaining a list of bookmarks and opening them in one and the same browser window, Courier uses a separate document for each bookmark and allows browsing on a per bookmark basis. It saves the state of each document, including the history.

Documents

A document has a title, a base URL, a current title, a current URL and a history. Usually, the title and base URL are entered as the first thing after creating a new document via the "New" button in the base view. The title and URL can be modified by tapping on the "i" button on the top of the document. The current title will be shown under the title, it changes whenever a new HTML page is loaded.

Browser buttons

In the overview, only the "New" button, the search button,the action button and the filing button are visible. In the detailed view, the following browser buttons are usable (from left to right):

  • Go to URL: Go to a specific URL
  • Reload: Reload the current document
  • Beginning: Go to the base URL of this document
  • Back: Go backwards in the history
  • Forward: Go forward in the history
  • History: Show the current history
  • Seach: Show the seach dialog
  • Note that the "Beginning" button has no effect if no base URL is entered for the current document.

History and Caching

Courier maintains a separate history for each document. All visited pages are cached in a shared cache. Caching can be controlled via the preferences view.

Downloading

Content types other than text/html and text/plain are handled by the Fetch URL transport (part of NHttpLib). For these other content types, a download dialog will be shown. Downloading items via Courier is the same as using the Fetch URL transport, the downloaded item will be stored in the Inbox. From there, it can be put away, depending on the content type.

Searching

The search dialog which opens when tapping on the search button allows searching using a number of preconfigured search enginges as well as adding and editing search engines. Adding, editing or removing a search engine is done via the respective label picker commands. The URL for a search engine can be seen when using the search engine via a desktop browser, e.g. "www.google.com/search?q=Courier". When entering the URL, the search term has to be replaced with the characters %s, e.g. "www.google.com/search?q=%s". One potential cause for errors are search engines that use a HTTP redirect such as IMDb, so make sure that the URL from the search result is used as the URL to be entered in Courier.

Preferences

These preferences settings allow control over the network and caching behaviour:

  • Total cache limit: Sets the maximum amount of data to be cached on the default store. The default is 10% of the total size of the store, e.g. about 360k of the internal store.
  • Download limit per page: Limit for the size of a single page in characters (i.e. not the raw page size but the size of the textual contents).
  • Clear cache: Clears the cache and all page histories
  • Always show connection slip: If unset (the default), fetching a new page will use the last internet connection setup without prompting for selection of a specific setup.

Changes

  • Version 1.1.1: Bug fixes for overview/detailed view switching
  • Version 1.1: Added search button
  • Version 1.0.1: Fixed bug when cancelling connection before page loading
  • Version 1.0: Fixed bug when upgrading from 0.8.2, increased history to 15 entries per page
  • Version 0.7: Added RSS handling
  • Version 0.6: Added gzip decompression
  • Version 0.5: Added downloading and caching
  • Version 0.3: Add preference setting for opening the connection slip only once after opening (default)
  • Version 0.2: Added cache control preferences
  • Version 0.1: Initial release

Bugs and To Do List

  • Scrollbar instead of scroll arrows
  • More reliable HTML parsing (HTML entities, errors in the HTML code)
  • Scheduled downloads
  • Support for URLCop