Category Archives: safari

Favourite Browser Features

>Here’s an overview of what I appreciate in a browser. This table only considers browsers available on Mac OS X, since that’s my desktop environment. Note that most of this is very subjective, it’s just my personal preferences.

In Firefox, I’ve installed the following add-ons:

  • Web Developer
  • Firebug
  • Google Page Speed

The bold items are my favourites.

Firefox 3.0 Safari 4.0 Opera 10 (beta)
Startup time Pretty bad Very good Very good
Ability to immediately edit the address in the address bar after startup OK Bad: there is a delay OK
Shows plain XML in a nice tree Yes No Yes
Recognizes a port number, even when no protocol (e.g. “http”) is specified Yes Yes Yes
OS X look-and-feel Nice Nice Not very nice
New tab page Fast, but empty Top sites: useful and very attractive Speed dial, quite nice
Search Google from address bar Yes No Yes
Find in page Toolbar at bottom is OK, but far from optimal Result highlighting: very nice and polished Bad: separate dialog window
Progress of downloads visible in OS (e.g. in Stacks) No Yes No
Web development tools Combination of Firebug, Web Developer and Google Page Speed works like a charm “Inspect Element” is very nice and integrated Developer tool is not very intuitive
Login form autocompletion Excellent, supporting multiple accounts OK OK
Browser can be configured to have just one window with tabs, even when a link is pressed in an external application Yes Yes Yes
Link targets can show in a tooltip (e.g. at the window bottom, like Google Chrome) and do not require a status bar to display No No No
Activity monitor No Yes No
Number of clicks in the address bar needed to select all text One Three One
Prompt to store login details Unobtrusive and non-blocking bar at the top Blocking dialog window (very bad) Obtrusive dialog window, but non-blocking
Supported by XMarks Yes Officially only Safari 3 is supported, but in practice it works with version 4 No

Updated on June 9, 2009, for Safari 4 final release and Opera 10.00 beta. Updated and added criteria.

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Posted by on 21 April 2009 in firefox, opera, safari


Browser News Updates

>Some recent browser news updates:

Another thing worth noting: Peter-Paul Koch is currently testing mobile browser compatiblity, paid by Vodafone.


>Firefox 3.0 released – and other browser news


Today (June 18), Mozilla Firefox 3.0 has officially been released. YSlow (a web page performance analysis extension for Firefox, by Yahoo) has been updated to 0.9.5 beta 2, just in time to support Firefox 3.

Some other browser news:

  • Opera 9.5 has been released;
  • the Firefox 3.1 features have been defined, see the MozillaWiki and the article on MozillaLink; a first alpha release is target for mid July;
  • Microsoft announced that the 2nd beta of IE 8 is scheduled for August 2008;
  • Apple has provided an early build of Safari 4 on the Apple Developer Connection, apparently with their new JavaScript engine SquirrelFish integrated;
  • the GrApple theme (that makes Firefox look like a native Mac app) has been updated for Firefox 3.

>WebKit (Safari) gets a new JavaScript engine: SquirrelFish

On “Surfin’ Safari“, the WebKit blog (WebKit being the engine for Apple‘s Safari browser) an new JavaScript engine has been announced. It’s called SquirrelFish.

While the current JavaScript engine (in Safari 3.1) is an interpreter, the new one is based on bytecode execution, increasing the possibilities for performance improvements. Already the WebKit developers are claiming a 50% improvement over the production release of Safari, version 3.1.

Although the fish logo is funny, I find it hard to associate it with speed in any way…


>Color spaces in Safari and Firefox 3

>Since long, Safari 3 has supported support for color profiles (see the WebKit blog entry Color Spaces). Now the Firefox 3 betas also come with support for it, although it’s disabled by default.

To enable support for color spaces in Firefox 3 beta 4, do the following:

  1. Go to about:config
  2. Confirm you want to edit settings
  3. Set the option “gfx.color_management.enabled” to “true”
  4. Restart Firefox

Now check out some sites. Like with Safari 3, colors in sites may look quite different, since an extra step is applied to convert the colors from the original color space to the color space for your screen.

For web developers this smart behavior introduces some challenges, since sites now look different on different browsers on the same platform. Of note, Safari and Firefox implement color space support differently: Safari only adjusts images (such as PNGs), while Firefox also adjusts CSS colors.

So even between Safari and Firefox 3 with color space support enabled, there are differences, as reported in Firefox bug report #424356 (see the attached screenshot) Firefox seems to do a better job here than Safari, because with the latter the colors of different elements on a web page may mismatch, as can be seen (with Safari 3.1) on a website like

For web developers, here’s a pragmatic approach:

  1. make sure your images do not include a color profile (saves ~4KB)
  2. do not specify colors in CSS if there is an image that needs to match the color, instead use a dot image with the exact same color

Still your site will look different on browsers with or without color space support, but at least you work around the problem in Safari 3.1.


>Firefox find-on-page highlighting like Safari 3

>Although I’m not too enthusiastic about the new Apple Safari 3 beta, one simple feature I do appreciate a lot is the way it highlights find-on-page results. It really makes day-to-day browsing more productive.

I wonder if there is any Firefox 2.0 plugin that can do something similar. So far I haven’t been able to find anything.


>Safari 3 beta

>The Apple Safari 3 beta is out for both Windows and Mac OS X. From the Safari page there is a link to a Safari page for developers.

Funny detail is that the pages linked from there indicate they haven’t been updated in ages:
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Posted by on 12 June 2007 in css, mac, macos, macosx, safari


>Firefox on Mac OS X

>I’ve been running Mozilla Firefox 2.0 on Mac OS X 10.4.8 for a couple of weeks now. Overall it works quite well, but there’s a couple of issues:

  • It requires a forced stop on a regular basis (like once a day).
  • When searching (Cmd-F), the back key combo (Cmd-LeftArrow) does not work anymore.
  • When editing a text field in Blogger Beta, switching to a different tab keeps the blinking cursor visible.

Still I prefer using Firefox over Safari. One of the reasons is that in Safari, the Blogger Beta post edit screen does not properly show the icons (bold, italic, etc.) properly.