Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

The New Safari

Apple recently released a new version of their Safari browser, version 3.1. Apple describes the new Safari as blazingly fast, and significantly outperforms the other popular browsers (Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7 and Opera 9). Okay, cool. I’m ready to try. Particularly since it runs on both Mac and Windows. I regularly use both operating systems, it would be nice to have the same browsing experience.

Installation was fuss-free. Well, except for a minor oddity that the installation on Mac OS X required to restart the computer. Surprisingly the installation on Windows XP did not require a reboot. How strange for Apple’s own browser on Apple’s own operating system to behave this way. Small matter anyway.

Whether it’s on the Mac OS X or Windows, Safari spots the same user interface style that is taken from Mac OS X. It is a refreshing change if you’ve been too used to the standard Windows look. The Safari browser is clean, simple and uncluttered.

Apple says Safari is the fastest in both HTML performance and Javascript performance when compared with Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7 and Opera 9. I only regularly use Firefox. Safari does feel a little snappier, although I did not carry out any objective measurement. It could all well be due to the fact that Safari is not burdened with cruft from my browsing history, browser extensions, etc.

There is no status bar at the bottom of the Safari window. In Firefox, if you hover your mouse cursor over a hyperlink, you get to see the URL in the status bar. It is a habbit of mine to check where I’m going to be headed off to before I click on a hyperlink. With Safari, I now feel a bit lost. Perhaps it is a configurable setting I can fix somewhere. Does anyone have any ideas?

What else do I miss with Safari? Well, a couple of Firefox plugins: Firebug and Web Developer. I find these extensions invaluable to my work. If I may add on, I would also love to have Html Validator and Live HTTP Headers.

Safari does have plugins too, although the selection is quite limited. You can check out PimpMySafari. Another unusual thing for Apple’s famed user interface friendliness… installing Safari plugins is shockingly clumpsy.

I think, for now, I’ll just stick with Firefox.

1 thought on “The New Safari

  1. There’s a status bar — go to View > Show Status Bar, or CTRL-/ if you are in Windows.

    I quite like the browser, and until FF3 is out, I’m using Safari as my default browser.

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