Camino’s Long-Term Future “Unclear”



Bad news for fans of lesser-known Mac browser Camino: a big chunk of the code it depends on to display web pages is being officially retired by developers at Mozilla who maintain it.

As a result, “the future is unclear,” wrote Stuart Morgan on the Camino blog.

For those unfamiliar with it, Camino is a delightful little browser for OS X. It takes a bunch of web browsing technology originally built for Firefox, and wraps it all up in a very Mac-friendly interface. While it lacks many of the bells and whistles found in other browsers, its strengths are speed, reliability, and low impact on system resources.

Camino is an open source project, entirely dependent on volunteers. No-one gets paid to work on it. It’s also dependent on the Gecko rendering engine – a chunk of code created by Mozilla, who have decided they will no longer provide support for apps, like Camino, that wrap Gecko up inside something else.

So what’s the Camino team to do? They could try and press on with Gecko, but that would eat up a lot of resources. They could switch to a different rendering engine, such as WebKit. That will be a lot of work too, but probably more future-proof.

In the meantime, they’re going to keep working on Camino 2.1. Beyond that, the future’s uncertain. More pairs of hands could always make the difference, though – so if you’re the coding type, and want to lend a hand, get in touch.