Maxthon Releases Alpha Version of Max-3, Soon to Be the World’s First Automatic Hybrid Browser
4 of its new browser, Max-3, for public download and testing. The alpha is
available at http://dl.maxthon.cn/mx3/msetup184.108.40.206.exe . When the complete
version of the browser is released, early next year, Max-3 will be the
Internet’s first browser to use automatic-detection hybrid technology to power
its display of Web pages.
Max-3 will contain two rendering engines. One is the Trident engine
already in the current version of Maxthon, as well as being used by
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
The second rendering engine, Webkit, is newer than Trident, and used by
Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari. Both of those browsers have won praise in
reviews for their rendering speed. Early benchmark tests of Chrome found it to
be 42 times faster than Internet Explorer 7, and nine times faster than
Firefox 3. Max-3 is expected to have similar speed advantages.
A rendering engine is a collection of code that translates the text-based
page that could include photos, graphic decorations, video, and text.
Trident is relatively little changed since it was introduced several years
ago. Since then, design trends have introduced such innovations as CSS with
different functions, the W3C standard, and different aesthetics. The result
is that a page rendered by Webkit may look fine. When Trident tackles the
same page, it doesn’t understand the newer instructions and botches the
Webkit, however, may not properly construct one of the millions of older
Web pages originally designed to display on systems running only Internet
Max-3 is designed to provide the best of both rendering engines.
In Maxthon’s hybrid rendering engines, running display commands through
Webkit is called Ultra Mode in recognition of its extreme high speed and its
ability to work with the latest Web design fashions. Ultra Mode significantly
support for the W3C standards, as evidenced by Max-3′s passing the W3C’s Acid2
and Acid3 tests.
Most of the time, Max-3 will operate in Ultra Mode. Max-3 may encounter
pages, such as certain online banking sites, that Webkit cannot display. When
that happens, Max-3 automatically suspends Ultra Mode and engages the Trident
engine to put the browser into Retro Mode. As the name suggests, Retro Mode
will function to display correctly Web pages that have used the same design
commands that originated some 20 years ago. The switch from Ultra to Retro is
seamless and ordinarily goes unnoticed by the user.
If the browsing mode is not switched automatically, the user can make the
switch manually by clicking the Browsing Mode button next to the address bar.
Maxthon makes a data entry about the mode selected by the user, and
automatically activates that mode during return visits to the page.
The hybrid engines are available for testing in the new alpha. Other major
updates to the alpha code include:
* Auto-Update Module, allowing Max-3 to be updated online.
* Address Bar Optimization. The bar now supports smart sorting of its
drop-down list and shortcuts for completing URLs. For example, users may type
the first part of a URL and complete it with Ctrl+Enter for .com, Shift+Enter
for .net, and Alt+Enter for .org.
* Added Favicons for display in the Address Bar, Tab Bar, Favorites Bar,
and Favorite List.
* Smooth Scrolling Support. Web pages will move smoothly when scrolling
the mouse wheel.