The best thing about iCab is the amount of filtering it lets you do. You can selectively enable plugins, and choose which MIME types to pass to them; Filter Java applets by URL; Block images by server and by image size; Say which servers get to set cookies (and ban images from setting cookies); And best of all, apply permissions to javascript letting you forbid scripts from opening new windows, writing in the status line (Adios annoying scrollers), etc. This can be done by server, so you can avoid all those nasty Geocities popups, while at the same time, allowing the preview windows on macthemes.org to appear.

All this is why iCab are getting my $30, and I will probably never go back to Netscrape.

iCab is a Web browser for Mac OS and Mac OS X, written by the German "iCab Company". It is a small, fast, and lightweight application (by modern standards -- the full installation is under 4 MB) but it is still capable of most of what heavier browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer provide.

iCab supports and promotes standard HTML, including HTML 2.0, 3.2, and 4.0. It also supports JavaScript, or rather the ECMA standard ECMAscript; Java applets through the use of Apple's MRJ environment; and Netscape plugins such as Shockwave Flash. It supports SSL encrypted sessions through both Mac OS's URL Access library and the Internet-standard OpenSSL library.

As Leynos has noted above, one of iCab's most singular features is its ability to filter images, applets, scripts, and cookies with a great deal of flexibility. When I use Netscape or Konqueror on my Debian system, I need a Junkbuster proxy to filter out banner ads and other abuse; when I'm using iCab on my G4, I don't need the proxy at all.

Another feature of iCab is its ability to masquerade as other browsers. Some badly-designed Web sites deny service to minority browsers: they test the HTTP User-Agent header, which is supposed to give the browser's name and version, and shunt minority browsers to an arrogantly-worded error page. It might be best to educate these thoughtless sysadmins; however, in the short run, I can change iCab's User-Agent header to look like MSIE, Navigator, or even Lynx.

To showcase this finely-made program's particular strengths, iCab's authors have created a list of "10 features you don't find in other browsers", which I will not cut-and-paste here. You can find it on their Web site, along with the browser itself: http://www.icab.de/.

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