Although I currently feel that MacWeb and Netscape (and TCP/Connect II, in chapter 28, "Integrated Internet Applications") are the only Web browsers to really consider, there are others, including NCSA Mosaic, Enhanced Mosaic, and MacWWW, the latter of which I mention for historic reasons. In addition, there are a few Web servers worth mentioning, WebSTAR (previously MacHTTP), NetWings, and httpd4Mac. Unless I note otherwise, all of the programs listed below are available in:
Even Netscape's hierarchical bookmark list, useful as it may be, is pretty lousy. Enter Dave Winer of UserLand Software, the guy who basically created the computer outlining industry with ThinkTank and MORE many years ago. Dave has become a major Web fan, and is working on a program code-named Clay Basket that acts as an independent hotlist, currently only for Netscape, but which could theoretically serve as an independent hotlist for other applications as well. It's too early to say much about how well it works, but if it beats the Netscape hierarchical bookmarks, I'll use it constantly. Check the Web site below for updates -- I hope it will be available by the time you read this.
Although NCSA gives away NCSA Mosaic for free, they also have licensed the code to a number of companies, who have then created versions of Enhanced Mosaic. The versions of Enhanced Mosaic I've seen are feature-poor in comparison with Netscape, MacWeb, and NCSA Mosaic 2.0, although they seem faster and more stable than the early version of NCSA Mosaic on which they are based. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the version of Enhanced Mosaic (from O'Reilly & Associates) that I tested is that it doesn't display pages until it has brought in all the graphics. And it provides no indication of how long it will take to finish retrieving the graphics. In other words, you have no idea how long you'll sit and wait before you get to see the next page. Versions of Enhanced Mosaic are commercial products only.
Bill Melotti's free httpd4Mac is a very simple Web server implemented as a faceless background application. Bill designed httpd4Mac to be fast and free, since the other Web servers available for the Mac are either shareware or commercial. However, httpd4Mac doesn't currently support any sort of interactive Web pages such as forms or clickable image maps, which limits its appeal for heavy-duty use. In addition, the complete lack of an interface may bother some people because tracking what httpd4Mac thinks is happening becomes difficult, and the only way to modify its configuration is by editing a preferences text file. Still, it might be worth a look if you want a free Web server to try out.
MacWWW, also called Samba (depending on what you read online) doesn't work particularly well, but is notable because it was the first Macintosh Web browser. MacWWW was written by Robert Cailliau and others at CERN. MacWWW is commercial software from CERN, and costs 50 ECU (European Currency Units). The source code is also available, for quite a lot more. Check the information at CERN for the details.
Although the free (for personal use) NCSA Mosaic originally popularized the Web, it has drastically declined in popularity. The reason is that development on the program has moved sluggishly, thanks in part to many of the NCSA Mosaic developers left for jobs at various companies, most notably Netscape Communications. Mosaic does have a few unique features. It enables you to make personal annotations to any document on the Web, either in text or using the audio-input features of your Mac. Mosaic also includes a Kiosk mode that actually removes some functionality from the program to make it better for public use. When it was the only game in town, NCSA Mosaic was absolutely essential. However, I now recommend either Netscape or MacWeb over Mosaic. Mosaic doesn't quite compare in terms of features, and it's slower and clumsier. More seriously, although none of the browsers are among the more stable Internet programs I've used, Mosaic has been the flakiest of the three.
One of the most serious problems facing the Web today is that it can be hard to maintain a coherent set of Web pages. A Web server called NetWings offers a solution for at least some folks with this problem -- it uses a database back-end to store the data and serves it out when requested. NetWings is based on 4D, the powerful relational database from ACI US, and because it's a server, it can do things like format HTML on the fly from the information stored in the database. NetWings is just entering public beta testing as I write this, so there's no telling how popular it will become, but I think it's an extremely interesting approach, and one for which I have high hopes.
StarNine's WebSTAR (which, when it comes out, will be released in both shareware and commercial versions), previously called MacHTTP, is a World Wide Web server written by Chuck Shotton. WebSTAR enables a Mac with a dedicated Internet connection to serve World Wide Web documents to Web browsers. Basically, you create HTML documents and store them, along with images if you want, in the WebSTAR folder. Then, whenever anyone browses into your Mac from the Web, WebSTAR serves up those documents. WebSTAR supports Apple events and can link AppleScript scripts to URLs, making it possible for you to use Apple event-capable applications like FileMaker Pro for serving data to the Web. WebSTAR is Power Mac-native and threaded, and testing shows that on a Power Mac, WebSTAR's performance is equal to that of much more expensive Unix workstations.