iCab running on WebKit nightly

Some iCab users asked me, if iCab 4 can use the latest WebKit nightly builds instead of the built-in WebKit component of Mac OS X. This is indeed possible, and thanks to an Automator Script by David Hall, this is also very easy to do. All you need are the following three files…

Now copy the iCab 4 application, the WebKit application and the Automator Script iCabWK into the Applications folder of your Mac. Make sure that neither iCab nor WebKit are running and double-click the Automator Script iCabWK. This will launch iCab so that it will use the WebKit framework that is located within the WebKit application.

To check if iCab is really using the WebKit nigthly build, you can download the WebKitDetect script from the WebKit nightly web page and open it in iCab. It will tell you which version of WebKit is currently used. But please make sure that you’ve configured the Identity setting of iCab (in the “View” menu) to the default value “Best compatibility“. The latter is important because changing the identity setting will change the value of the browsers “UserAgent” information, and the WebKit detection script is using the UserAgent information to determine the WebKit version that is used.

If you want to use the WebKit nightly within iCab, please always start iCab by double-clicking the iCabWK Automator Script. If you double-click iCab directly, or launch it indirectly by opening a HTML file or an URL, iCab will use the WebKit that is built-in into the system.

12 thoughts on “iCab running on WebKit nightly

  1. Thank you so very much !!

    Launching via iCabWK.app is easy {but it helped me to read its RadMe}. If you are already using the “nightly” webkit builds for Safari, then you already have the required Webkit.app in your Applications folder. It seemed to me that iCab 4.6.1 with the latest build of webkit [#46646] was rendering my home page slightly differently.

    The only part I could not get to work was running WebKitDetect.js. I tried the Open File command and iCab simply displayed it as a text file. But as I launched via iCabWK after I previously set the iCab identity prefs to Best Compatability I’m pretty sure that I am actually use the WebKit.app

  2. When you extract the WebKitDetect archive (webkit_normal.zip) you’ve downloaded from the WebKit nightly site, you should get two files, “WebKitDetect.js” and “WebKitDetect.html”.
    And you have to open the “WebKitDetect.html” file in iCab.

  3. ROCKIN! Thanks for the post. This also works for using WK nightlies within Safari. Just edit one of the downloads and tweak for Safari and there you are! Then all your plugins are back for Safari as well

  4. Fast and Renders Perfect. I will buy iCab soon. I like Safari because of full page zoom, but it’s to slow. I lke OmniWeb but once again to slow. Please Alexander get full page Zoom in an upcoming release. Then I will have Perfection.

  5. @Dan Welsh
    If you mean by “full page zoom” that increasing/decreasing the font size will also affect images, then you can get this in iCab already. Just enter “settings:” in the URL field (without the quotes but including the colon) and hit the return key. this will open several hidden settings. In the “Web Page Content” section you’ll find the setting to change the way zooming works.

  6. object not found if i want to download that automater script

    will there be any updates for icab soon ? or a new script that will make icab use the webkit from safari instead of it’s own .

  7. @mini me
    iCab always uses the WebKit engine of the system, which should be the same that is used by Safari. iCab does not have a custom WebKit engine built-in.

    But there will be also an update of iCab available soon (hopefully).

  8. Hey,

    I love iCab on iOS. To honor it with a good spider catcher: For me, iCab really is the “Firefox for iOS” – in the good sense of Firefox as to more freedom of choice, more privacy, exclusive features, and more control.

    But I also like iCab on OS X very much. Especially for one nice exclusive feature: Creating clones of iCabs for certain sites (Save as Application – feature). It’s great for web development and also for privacy.

    My question – although a little OT as a comment on this post: is iCab for OS X still in your focus sometimes? I’m not missing anything right now, as it works like a charm – just wondering because it hasn’t received updates in a while.

    Greetings and Regards, and Thanx for your *really* “LTS” for all iCabs,


  9. @Lorenzo
    Yes, iCab for Mac OS X is still under development. There will be a new version soon.
    But the main focus is currently the mobile version.

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