Over the last two years I have been working to move the WebbIE programs from the old programming language they have been written in (Visual Basic 6) to the newer .Net. Users of NVDA and Thunder will find that the programs are easier to use and controls are better-labelled. The software will run more smoothly and reliably on modern machines, and be easier for me to manage.
This means that there are now new Beta versions of the new WebbIE 4 Web Browser and the BBC Live Radio program, which you download from here:
This is a significant change: for geeks think “Netscape to Firefox”. I’ve recoded pretty much all of it, which means many features have disappeared – unused ones, I hope – and some new ones have appeared, such as the start of support for accessibility features in HTML5. I’ll keep the old WebbIE installers and code around for anyone who wants them, but new .Net versions of everything will eventually be created.
I have also chosen to change how WebbIE is distributed. Instead of one single installer file, from which you can install whichever program you want, I am moving to different installers for each program. The main benefit of this is that this allows me to use a different installation system that will automatically update everyone when there is a new version: this will be a great help (especially for the BBC iPlayer programs.)
I will also be dropping some of the WebbIE programs, those which I think are least used. My plan is to drop:
- Disk Explorer
- Google Podcast and RSS Search
- I.E. Appearance Editor
- Web Directory
This will eventually leave us with:
- WebbIE web browser
- The BBC programs
- R.S.S. News Reader
- PDF Reader
- Radio Tuner
However, this depends on my doing a lot of work, so it might end up that more of the programs disappear, or are never updated. Which is fine if the old versions keep work: I’ll just split them out as separate installers for anyone who needs them.
So, please do try out the new Beta of WebbIE 4 and let me know of any problems or comments. Next time, details of what’s new in WebbIE 4.