February 5, 2004

Safari 1.2

A short list of the tiny changes to the latest delightful version of Safari:

  • In earlier versions, switching between the tabs and no-tabs modes would change the height of the window. The only workaround was to set the option to always show tabs. Now the window maintains its size.
  • Changes to the rendering engine brings font sizes inline with other popular web browsers.
  • The new smaller widgets for reduced size form items like buttons and checkboxes are excellent.
  • The CSS caching bug fixes make this and many other sites load faster.
  • Resumable downloads.

A fantastic, fantastic update. The OmniWeb 5 Beta brings some interesting new features to the table too.

[Nitpicky: Why, in the name of all that is holy and good, does Safari have to respond to window.open JavaScript requests with windows which are two pixels wider and one pixel taller than the size you specify? Why?!]

[Also: Apple responds to Safari complaints over at MacMinute. The “we can’t make our browser work with our old operating system” line sounds like the same crap Microsoft has been throwing at its customers for years.]

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Nick Runco

my tabeed browsing still resizes the window.

Walt Dickinson

Ah, it seems to still resize if the window isn’t maximized. But if it is maximized, it won’t become shorter if you close the second to last tab. Now if they could just get the Zoom button to maximize the window. (I know there are complex legacy issues about how the Zoom button is supposed to work but c’mon, at least let Shift-Zoom do a maximize.)

Using Safari makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it’s Apple’s baby. And granted, 1.2 is a nice bump up. But Firebird is by far the best overall browser for the Mac right now. I just can’t seem to get away from using Firebird as my default, everyday browser. It’s just too darn good.

Walt Dickinson

Firebird still feels clunky and looks way too much like a Windows app to me. On the other hand it does have a sidebar… but you can’t add new items to the sidebar so it’s like a big extensibility tease. =-)

Jayme, what about it makes it your favorite?

Was clunky. Was very Windows looking. Firebird 0.8 certainly changes all of that. Try it out…Latest builds It renders pages faster than Safari. I’m not a big fan of brushed metal interfaces. You can check out the new default Firebird interface here Screenshot I absolutely love being able to edit CSS docs on the fly from any website I visit…EditCSS Occasionally, Safari gives me the spinning beachball, which drives me crazy and makes me feel like I’m thinking and clicking faster than Safari can handle. It happens less in 1.2. I’ve never had one delay in Firebird. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, Firebird is the best overall browser for the Mac right now. And if OmniWeb 5.0 can evolve into a tight, reliable browser, I’d give that an extended test drive as well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Safari. But, it’s pretty vanilla. Firebird does what Safari does, only better. And OmniWeb 5.0 potentially brings more innovation and unique features than both of them, but it still works and feels extremely Beta.

Walt Dickinson

I still prefer Safari even after taking Firefox 0.8 for a spin. It launches faster, the page load times are negligible, it hangs less often, the interface is better, and it syncs my bookmarks with my other machines. All that being said however, what I’m really happy about is that Mac users have three excellent choices in browsers now. When all we had was IE and Netscape was going down the tubes I was very afraid that Mac users would always be second class citizens on the web. Nowadays I think we have the advantage both in terms of standards compliance, interface features, and rendering perks (like subpixel font rendering). It’s a good time to be browsing on the Mac, no matter which browser you prefer.