Safari, so good

I’ve recently switched my day-to-day browser of choice from being Firefox (herein taken to be version 2) to Safari. Okay, so being the geek I am, I actually use a nightly build of WebKit (Safari) and Bon Echo (OS X Intel compiled Firefox) but I’ll use the names that everybody knows.

A couple of things annoy me in Safari however. I can’t start up with the windows and tabs from my previous session. Control+Enter still top-and-tails what I type into the location bar with http://www. and .com but does so in another tab. I guess I’ll get used to it. Also while I’m actually building sites I’ll still be using Firefox mainly due to the fantastically useful array of developer tools available.


What’s prompted this change? The reasons are many and varied but mainly:

Memory usage
Firefox leaks like a sieve. Some say that this is by design but there is no reason for it to regularly get up to (and indeed, over) 300,000K after a couple of days of being open. It’s also really sluggish to respond to my first few requests of the morning.

Speed
Safari and the recently released Opera 9.5 are both blazingly fast for page rendering and JavaScript processing.

General shininess
Look at the WebKit Inspector. See how I can drag my tabs around. Observe Google searching using Inquisitor. Beautiful enough to warrant a place in OS X. Inquisitor may not be around for much longer though unfortunately.

Plugins
I love Firefox extensions but it became apparent that the only ones I actually ended up keeping were to replicate the capabilities of Safari (with Cocoa Gestures). The only one that I’ll miss is the ReloadEvery extension.

Standards
Safari passes the ACID 2 test. Firefox still does not. Maybe this will change with the impending release of Firefox 3.

Fine detail
It’s also the little things that Apple pay attention to. How each different tab retains the text in the integrated search panel and the SnapBack functionality are just two examples. With recent patent fillings it doesn’t look like Apple are resting on their laurels either.

I also took the opportunity to have a quick play with the very cool Jing project for these screen grabs.

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