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!

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