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Safari 3 vs. Firefox 2 and IE7 559

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-worth-it dept.
Bobcat writes "Ars Technica has a 'first look' at Safari for Windows, which is interesting because it's written from the perspective of someone new to Safari. It was tested against Firefox 2 and IE7 and aside from the slightly faster page loading, Ars didn't find much to recommend it to Windows users. 'The modest increase in rendering performance is hardly worth the deficiencies, and Safari's user interface simply doesn't provide the usability or flexibility of competing products. If the folks at Apple think that providing Windows users with a taste of Mac OS X through Safari is going to entice them to buy a Mac, it's going to take a better effort than the Safari 3 beta. Even if the final release is more polished and completely bug-free, it still won't be as powerful or feature-loaded as Opera or Firefox.'"
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Safari 3 vs. Firefox 2 and IE7

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  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @10:43AM (#19491073) Homepage
    No, that's not what he said. He said that Safari ignores most Windows conventions. That's bad.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @10:52AM (#19491219)
    ...of an iPhone "application" [mrgan.com] (view in Safari).

    While it might be disappointing that there isn't a true iPhone SDK that lets developers write native apps to OS X/iPhone frameworks, 1.) "Web 2.0"/AJAX applications can be advanced in functionality, and still have access to all of iPhone's services, and 2.) it's not written in stone that there will NEVER be an iPhone SDK or some mechanism or process for adding native applications to iPhone. But the above app is just a quick and dirty example of what can be done.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @10:58AM (#19491331) Journal
    I gave this a try for most of the afternoon, yesterday, on my XP box at work.

    For a very first attempt releasing the browser for Windows, it's ok, in my opinion. You have to start somewhere... But right now, no - it's not exactly going to win a lot of users over from Firefox or even IE.

    The ability to drag a tab out to form a new window is pretty slick, but of questionable usefulness most of the time. Faster rendering and launching of Java applets is always a plus, but just like Ars concluded, it's not important relative to stability and compatibility.

    I was able to crash Safari on several occasions just by doing things like hitting the "back" button a couple times after submitting a form on a page and getting dialog boxes popping up asking if I was sure I wanted to re-submit it. I haven't tried it yet myself, but I've also read that it has some bugs with printing multiple pages to a printer if you tell it to start anywhere but on page 1.

    I didn't think Safari's text rendering looked quite as "crisp" or easy to read as Firefox or IE does in Windows either. (On a Mac, it looks fine to me, by comparison.)

    All in all though, I don't see why anyone would think this release is a "bad" thing? It's free, for starters - and it allows a hard-core Safari-using Mac owner to feel very comfortable if he/she has to browse on a Windows box on occasion. It surely needs testers to keep reporting bugs in it, so it can be improved. But by the time it gets to a release version and out of beta, I think it has potential to be at least another solid, free browser choice for Windows -- if not really a "superior" one.
  • Re:Pshhh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @11:22AM (#19491717)
    Lynx? n00b.
  • Does this help? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eggz Factor (455382) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @11:47AM (#19492169) Homepage
    Open multiple Gmail accounts at once
    Fri, Jun 8 '07 at 7:30AM PDT Submitted by gand macosxhints.com
    I like to have more than one Gmail account open at the same time. As you can't have more than one in the same browser, I use Firefox's ProfileManager flag to manage one profile for each Gmail account. Type in terminal: /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -ProfileManager \
    https://mail.google.com/mail/ [google.com]
    The first time you do this, you'll create a new profile, one for each of your Gmail accounts. Launch this command each time you wish to open a new account. The Dock will display multiple Firefox icons, one for each open profile. If you wish, you can check "Remember me on this computer." As Firefox passwords are not managed by Keychain, you can store one for each of your accounts. You can also do this in Safari. Type in terminal: /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/MacOS/Safari \
    https://mail.google.com/mail/ [google.com]
    Each time you launch this command, a new instance of Safari will open. You can then login to a different Gmail account in each. If Safari is not your default browser, use a gmail.webloc file instead of a URL: /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/MacOS/Safari \
    path/to/file/gmail.webloc
    (Just drag your browser's Gmail favicon to the desktop, and then onto your Terminal window). The Dock will display multiple Safari icons, one for each open instance.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @11:55AM (#19492277) Homepage Journal
    Scuttlebutt from WWDC (from a guest on Leo Laport's MacBreak Weekly) is that it's also to grab search engine referral money. Take note that Google sent Mozilla over $25 Million for the favor of referring to Google. I think that amount goes a long way towards app development.

    It doesn't hurt that it might increase Safari's market share. This helps ease checking pages in Safari, not having a Mac is no longer an excuse for not testing for it.
  • by Tickletaint (1088359) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @11:56AM (#19492291) Journal
    In my experience, the only "Mac users" who prefer Firefox to Safari are people who never used a Mac until recently. And let's be honest—Firefox would be okay for a PC application, but by Mac standards, it's absolutely terrible [iamthewalr.us]. Firefox is a very literal-minded PC port that doesn't think or act like a native Mac application. I remember the same happening with the Mac port of Word 6, which was designed to approach tasks the same way as the Windows version. Native Mac users considered it shit [msdn.com], but ex-PC users of that era didn't seem to mind.

    If you're serious about entering the Mac market, the key is not to just "port" it, but to attempt a faithful but thorough translation [apple.com]. Sometimes you'll need to rethink your application from top to bottom, because Mac users and PC users have very different ways of approaching problems.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @11:57AM (#19492311) Journal
    Apple and MS have very different philosophical approaches [joelonsoftware.com] for text rendering. Microsoft attempt to make the text as readable as possible on an LCD screen, to the detriment of the original font design. Apple preserve the font design to the detriment (for some people, I like it) of the readability.

    The main reason MS fonts look lighter is that Cleartype renders to pixel boundaries - if the font would naturally go over a pixel boundary when anti-aliased, Cleartype does not render that. The fonts end up looking "lighter" on screen because of it. Apple don't do that. As far as I know, It has nothing to do with colour and black & white.

    The upshot is that MS text appears lighter (they even designed fonts to match their rendering philosophy) than Apple text under most circumstances. It also means that the print output on a Mac looks very similar to the displayed output, whereas printing an MS document can make it look a lot "heavier" because the rendering on print is different from the rendering on display.

    As for 'proprietary', both rendering engines are 'proprietary'. I don't see why you call one that, and not the other.

    Simon
  • Re:Pshhh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bob-taro (996889) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:05PM (#19492445)
    It's been 3 minutes, I can't believe no one's corrected you yet ... It's EBCDIC.
  • Would probably be more funny if it was true. So what are some of these AJAX widgets that don't work in Mac browsers? ...And why do you need to "boot" QuickTime? ...And why would a Mac user need to run a non-Flash page when Macs come with Flash support already built-in?
  • Re:Pshhh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:12PM (#19492573)
    Oh, come on! You should at least be using ELinks, so that you can get all the fancy JS and CSS support.
  • Re:Pshhh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gulthek (12570) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:23PM (#19492721) Homepage Journal
    Links? Now there's a newcomer to the scene. Its first release was in 1999, the same year 'The Matrix' was in theaters!

    HTML itself is a newcomer to the scene. What, you don't remember using Archie or Veronica to browse around? Noob.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:25PM (#19492757)
    The reason is Adobe's Flash Plugin. I've programmed some, and understand the crash logs: for me it has always - that I remember - been the Flash that crashes, not Safari. You might try updating the plugin from the www.macromedia.com, but even the latest version is buggy.

  • by Taagehornet (984739) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:52PM (#19493225)
    Joel posted a small piece [joelonsoftware.com] yesterday comparing the two ways of doing it, along with a better screenshot [joelonsoftware.com] than the one on AT.

    Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness.

    Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface.
  • Re:Not the point (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trillan (597339) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @12:57PM (#19493333) Homepage Journal
    Nowhere in the link you provided does it say Jobs expects Safari to be dominant. That is, after all, the point you were addressing when you posted it here.

    As for the rest, Safari works very well on Mac - much better than Firefox in some areas, slightly worse in others. I expect it to improve on Windows as well.
  • Re:Meh, Safari (Score:3, Informative)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @01:28PM (#19493891)

    Who says the engine wasn't chosen before he got there?

    Dave Hyatt.
  • by Zarel (900479) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @02:21PM (#19494837)

    Sounds much like every Java app. A lot of GTK+ apps. On Mac: every app not written by Apple or Adobe (all 3 of them).

    This is the reason why whenever people ask me what cross platform toolkit they should use I say: none. Write a GUI for each platform you want to support and use a common backend.. that way you are more likely to write a GUI that is suitable for the platform.

    Of course, when they insist, I suggest they use Qt.
    The problem isn't that it doesn't follow UI conventions - Windows users are used to that; every company and their mother design their own UI. The problem is that it brings its UI conventions outside to the window border/window decorations. Specifically:
    • Can't resize by dragging window edge - This is the one the article mentioned, and it's the worst. No other Windows app I've used, not even the particularly egregious, suffer from this problem (excluding the ones that aren't meant to be resized at all).
    • Doesn't understand how to maximize - In Windows, maximizing means more than resizing the window so the edges touch the screen edges. 1. It means the window can't be resized, so don't show any resize handles. 2. It means the window takes up the whole screen, excluding the taskbar. 3. It means the window is the only window on screen. Open and maximize Firefox, then open and maximize Safari. If you click on the top right corner of the screen, you would expect Safari to close. But not only does Safari not close, Firefox closes. (Trillian is the only other Windows app I've used that suffers from the same problem, and is the reason why I now set Firefox to confirm before closing.)
    • Doesn't understand the taskbar - In Windows, when I click on a window's taskbar button, I expect it to minimize if it isn't already minimized. When I right-click on the taskbar button, I expect to be able to minimize, restore, and maximize, depending on which state it's in.
    • Doesn't act like a window - If I press WLK+M, I expect all windows to minimize, not all windows except Safari. If I use the taskbar to cascade or tile windows, I expect every window to cascade or tile, not every window except Safari. In short, I expect Safari's window to behave like a window.
    These are problems no other Windows application suffers from except Safari (with the exception of Trillian). Even the worst GTK apps suffer from is OK/Cancel button order switching [aesoft.org].
  • by ereshiere (945922) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @04:15PM (#19496627)
    Weird, is this only in the Windows version of Safari? I can't get a popup window from either setting Google as my homepage or bookmarking a Google result in the Safari 3 Beta on my iBook.
  • Re:Pshhh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gulthek (12570) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @04:40PM (#19497067) Homepage Journal
    Heh, no. I'm talking about the Links Browser [sourceforge.net] which is (as GP noted) a terminal based www browser.
  • Re:Oh really? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@g m a il.com> on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @05:45PM (#19498013) Homepage Journal

    what are services?

    i use extensions, like adblockplus, filtersetg and a whole bunch of others.

    is this what you are talking about?

    Imagine extensions that can be installed into the OS once and then become available for every application installed on the system.

  • by Craig Davison (37723) on Wednesday June 13, 2007 @07:35PM (#19499109)
    Outlook doesn't minimize when you click on its taskbar button, and doesn't minimize when you press Win+M.
    Office was always like that, though. For some reason Microsoft wants the current version of office to look like the next version of Windows, even if your version of Windows is ancient (for example, Office 97 in Windows 95 looked like Windows 98). All the UI widgets are custom and don't quite act how they're supposed to.
  • by Yaruar (125933) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @07:30AM (#19503241)
    Outlook 2003 certainly does minimise when you click on teh taskbar button, i can't speak for other versions however. It also minimises with win+M. unless you are talking about older versions, or possibly 2007 which is a bit of a law unto itself.

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