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One of the most exciting improvements in OLPC OS 12.1.0 is a revamped Browse activity:
Browse, Wikipedia and Help have been moved from Mozilla to WebKit internally, as the Mozilla engine can no longer be embedded into other applications (like Browse) and Mozilla has stated officially that it is unsupported. WebKit has proven to be a far superior alternative and this represents a valuable step forward for Sugar’s future. As a user, you will notice faster activity startup time and a smoother browsing experience. Also, form elements on webpages are now themed according to the system theme, so you’ll see Sugar’s UI design blending more into the web forms that you access.
In short, the Web will be a nicer place on XOs. These improvements (and more!) will be making their way onto One Education XOs (such as those in Australia) in 2013.
Here are the results from the HTML5 Test using Browse 140 on OLPC OS 12.1.0 on an XO-1.75. The final score (345 and 15 bonus points) compares favourably against other Web browsers. Firefox 14 running on my Fedora 17 desktop scores 345 and 9 bonus points.
Update: Rafael Ortiz writes, “For the record previous non-webkit versions of browse only got 187 points on html5test, my beta chrome has 400 points, so it’s a great advance!”