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Using Safari Slows Your System?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the need-for-speed dept.

OS X 242

sandoz writes "Macenstein has up an interesting article with some evidence that running Safari seems to slow down unrelated programs. While the speed with which a browser renders a Web page is an important measure, the difference between browsers is usually a matter of a few seconds at most. To my mind, a more important measure of speed is how a browser affects the overall speed of your system." Some responses to the article suggest that memory handling in WebKit may be the culprit. The Safari developers have already responded to this article on the webkit.org blog. They explain why the slowdown might be occurring and how it's (probably) already been fixed in the nightly build. And they request more minimal test cases.

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OMG (3, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18193980)

Hey wow, a piece of software isn't perfect, and the developers are trying to fix it. This is an exciting new paradigm for programming. Thanks for keeping me updated!

it's the memory stupid (4, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194352)

I'v already tested this on my computer. here's the facts. 1) at idle on normal web pages safari consumes much LESS cpu time than other browsers 2) if you run a cpu intensive script background it is not slowed by safari in any measurable way.

in the macenstein article they too noted that cpuintensive tasks like quicktime were not slowed but memory intensive tasks like photoshop were. Also they noted that the in memory and virtual memory footprints were several fold higher for safari than for firefox.

clearly this is a no brainier. Safari is using more memory and doing so in a demanding way. I don't know why but I assume it probably has something to do with how it handles the back-forward cache, fast page compoaition, and images. Maybe there's some memory leak too, since safari's offtprint grows during the day.

But this is utterly unsurprising. If you run a big memory app like photshop you already know better than to be running other apps that consume memory.

The only problem I've had with safari is not this but there are just some webpages that don't seem to comlicated that make it grind to a halt and use 60% of the cpu. One example is pricegrabber.com.

Re:it's the memory stupid (4, Insightful)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194852)

But this is utterly unsurprising. If you run a big memory app like photshop you already know better than to be running other apps that consume memory.
Really? You know, this isn't 1997 when OS's did cooperative multitasking and machines had 32 megs of RAM. In 2007, many people have dual core machines and 1 gig or more RAM, and like to run more than one program at the same time. In this day and age, people want and expect to be able to run multiple apps (including web browsers, instant messaging programs, office apps, and, gasp!, photo editing apps) at the same time.

Re:it's the memory stupid (3, Informative)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195548)

In my experience Photoshop will chew through my 1GB of RAM quite easily. It does have a pretty advanced disk caching mechanism so usually it will perform about the same with less memory, but still. Like running a database it will consume as much memory as you let it for maximum performance.

Re:it's the memory stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18195108)

This is purely speculation based upon my own observations, but it seems that Safari uses the operating system's memory management to cache web pages, while Firefox uses its own internal caching mechanism. There are pluses and minuses to each approach, although Apple may see the OS avenue as a better long term strategy. Any improvements Apple makes to the underlying VM subsystem will bring benefits to Safari without recoding, while Safari will highlight inefficiencies in their VM.

Re:it's the memory stupid (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195116)

BTW - I noticed this problem awhile back (after some update or other)... but when I got the updates that were pushed down with the Daylight Savings Time patch, the problem stopped. Ergo, a little patch was applied :-D Just a little FYI.

Re:it's the memory stupid (2, Funny)

SporkLand (225979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195246)

I've never seen a weird mistype like footprint -> offtprint. Are you typing like 2 hoojillion words a minute and those are the sort of strange errors that occur?

Re:it's the memory stupid (1)

jeffbax (905041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195564)

In terms of speed, I will agree that Safari smokes other browsers in terms of rendering, startup, and overall snappiness for the most part. That said, oh man you bring in some flash or poorly coded JavaScript and it is slowdown city. Just open a YouTube video in Safari and then go to another application and watch the Flash totally crawl and skip frames.

Animated gifs are another big issue. Go to say a web forum with even a small/moderate amount of smilies in the reply page that are animated... pain.

Here's hoping that they iron this out, as well as the abhorrent ram consumption of WebKit... after a day of browsing Safari can get up to 350+ megs easy even with windows closed.

That said, the native widgets, spell check just keep me from going to Firefox although I've danced with Camino on and off for about 3 years now. I really hope they can get further than the "kind of Mac-like" state they seem to be in now.

Re:it's the memory stupid (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195656)

Safari seems to have a pretty vicious memory leak... particularly when playing flash. The solution is fairly simple though, just quit the app and restart it. It's just when I forget for a week and I discover it using a gig and a half of real memory and everything else crawling along that it's a problem. It would be nice if they'd fix it though.

Re:OMG (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194442)

You must be a Windows user.

my test case (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18193986)

I have a 5-1/2 year old iBook. Running anything slows my system down... : p

Bloomin' OS X copycats (4, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194028)

Don't you realise Windows has this technology already - it's been slowing down unrelated programs for years! (Sorry, I know it's cheap, but I couldn't resist!)

Re:Bloomin' OS X copycats (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194274)

Don't you realise Windows has this technology already - it's been slowing down unrelated programs for years! (Sorry, I know it's cheap, but I couldn't resist!)


No, Apple has had this technology for years and Microsoft just copied it, as usual.

Re:Bloomin' OS X copycats (2, Funny)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195140)

yes, but who owns the patents on this?

Re:Bloomin' OS X copycats (3, Funny)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195352)

Xerox, as usual.

Weird... (4, Informative)

avalys (221114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194050)

A few months ago, I switched to Firefox because I was convinced Safari was slowing down my system. Just this morning, I fired up Safari again - and it is at least three times as fast as Firefox. Don't know what I was thinking...

Re:Weird... (3, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194312)

Safari has a memory leak. run safari for several days. Then close all but the last tab. Safari is use several hundred megs of ram. now I simply close safari when i am done browsing or when i am about a launch a memory intensive app. The new app kicks out all of safari's crud and it launches instantly.

Firefox is the same speed no matter what, but it too has an occasional memory leak when you open and close lots of tabs.

cache vs. leak (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195286)

You keep using this word, leak. I do not think it means what you think it means. :-)

never have mod points when it really matters... (1)

painQuin (626852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195362)

consider this a +1 Great Quote mod

Re:Weird... (1, Redundant)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194314)

I have had the same experence. Granted this is anecdotal evidence, but Safari runs much quicker than Firefox on my mac.

Re:Weird... (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194468)

Safari runs much quicker than Firefox on my mac.
Same here. Also, i get weird flash issues on the mac with FF. Some pages with flash render my keyboard useless in that tab on FF until i open a full new browser window.

Over time, i also notice that FF consumes more and more memory, but I've found in my experience that it is much less than in Windows.

As a result, I've gotten in the habit of having FF open for certain pages, and Safari open for others. Oh how i wish Safari had tabs :)

Re:Weird... (2, Informative)

troc (3606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194698)

Oh how i wish Safari had tabs

Er, it does. Switch them on from the menubar.

Re:Weird... (0, Offtopic)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194798)

On one hand it is stupid that Apple would turn off a feature like tabbed browsing by default. On the other hand, it is perfectly consistent with Apple's simplicity first mantra. But still... It took Apple 10 years to add right click functionality to the OS (not to mention another 10 years to add a second button), and even then they turned it off by default. Now it is on by default in the OS, but you have to turn the hardware on (MacBook) since it is set to single mouse click by default. Annoying.

Re:Weird... (-1, Offtopic)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195056)

What's annoying about it? The ENTIRE OS is built on the assumption that the user has a one-button mouse. The ENTIRE OS works perfectly. Everything.

If you happen to find a multi-button mouse handy, it's easy to install one, or (with the newer hardware revs) turn the feature on on the trackpad.

You can keep whining about one-button mice, but this problem simply hasn't existed at any time in the last 10+ years.

Re:Weird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18195496)

Common zealotry... Tell me how do you find time to type while you're sucking on Jobs all day?

Re:Weird... (1)

NotWorkSafe (891638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194952)

Safari does have tabs. You just might nowt have them turned on. Under the Preferences menu, click on the "Tabs" tab, and then click "Enable tabbed browsing"

Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

justinbach (1002761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194498)

I couldn't find the root "reply to article" button for some reason, so this should be treated like a new thread. Sorry, avalys... This isn't entirely related to safari slowing down my system, but is a problem that I've consistently had with rendering /. on safari, and was curious as to whether others experience it as well. For some reason, almost every time I click a link in an article page (from someone's post or sig) and then click back to the article page, safari goes down in flames and "unexpectedly quits." This problem is ENTIRELY specific to slashdot, but is very consistent, and I have no idea what could be causing it; I just replaced all my RAM and that didn't solve anything. I'm on a 15" PBG4 1.67Ghz running 10.4.8. Has anyone else had this problem? It's really weird, and it sucks to always open forum links in a new window or new tab.

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194758)

I've reported that crash to Apple about a dozen times, so I'm sure they know about it. I think it may have gone away with a recent Safari update but I'm not sure.

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195412)

I, uh, reproduced this problem yesterday. It's not patched yet. :-)

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

FerociousFerret (533780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194840)

Interesting. Maybe it's not just me. Recently (like in the last month or so), my Safari started going down in flames (as you say) when I was searching WoW quests on Thottbot. I start up Safari, put in the Quest name, and start the search and it crashes and asks me to submit a crash report, which I always do. Then I can fire Safari back up and do the same search (and more) and it works just fine. I was hoping submitting all those crash reports would result in a patch at some point in the future. I am running OSX 10.3.x and whatever the lastest version of Safari that goes with 10.3.x.

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194878)

I haven't seen that, but trying to add my own tags can sometimes tank the browser.

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194958)

I've only gotten it crashing on slashdot trying to tag stories. I'm using the latest nightly right now and it seems finally fixed. Hopefully Apple will push out a new Safari soon with the fix.

Re:Problems with slashdot and safari (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195322)

I had this same issue in spades -- I finally tracked it down to the Pithhelmet plugin. It seems to choke on the little floaty dealy that controls hidden comments here on /. If I stopped the page from loading before that came up, I'd be fine (until I tried to expand a comment - crash!)

I disabled Pithhelmet, and tried Saft which works with /., but doesn't block as much as Pithhelmet -- but I've had so many other issues with Safari crashing that I've been trying to use FF more and more.

It seems that we need a 10.4.9 really bad. I've tried webkit, but it doesn't want to work with either plugin, and frankly, I can't deal with the web without ad-blocking.

Re:Weird... (2, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195312)

Hmm. I've had the same experience actually.

Give Camino [caminobrowser.org] a try. It's a nice mix between Firefox and Safari.

Known Annoyance (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194068)

I have both the nightly and the original Safari version installed. The latter leaks ram like crazy which tends to slow things down. You would think they would have fixed this ages ago. But they haven't. Try closing Safari periodically.

Another observation I have is that 1GB of ram is really only marginally adequate on my 2.16Ghz Macbook pro. If you have safari open, iPhoto open, and god forbid, a rosetta app (e.g. Word) open - you're waiting five seconds for windows to come up as disk gets paged out. Unacceptable.

Re:Known Annoyance (2, Insightful)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194204)

It's really shame that the Macbook/Pros are limited to 2GB of RAM. More RAM has always been the best way to keep old systems usable over the years. At least the new ones accept a total of 3GB now.

Re:Known Annoyance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194776)

Probably has something to do with RAM prices. 2GB SODIMMs aren't exactly cheap.

Re:Known Annoyance (1)

benwb (96829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194262)

I was blown away by this as well. I have a 12 inch powerbook about 2 years old with 512MB and never really had major memory issues with running iphoto, safari, and mythfrontend. I got a new mac mini a couple weeks ago with 1GB and noticed paging- mythfrontend took about a minute to start. I bumped up to 2GB and performance improved by an order of magnitude.

FUCK YOU... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194114)

...and get a faster Mac that makes your nitpicking look like retardation.

Running Nighlty code (3, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194120)

Just wondering what other's experiences have been running the nightly code. I've been doing it with Firefox (and when it was Firebird for 2 years). But I've not tried with WebKit. Is it fairly stable, better rending of pages and faster?

There are a few sites that are noticeably slower on Safari. Its one of the only reasons I'm using Firefox. That and there are a few plug-ins that are better than Saaft and company.

Re:Running Nighlty code (2, Informative)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194238)

i've been a fan of NightShift [mac.com] for downloading the latest safari/webkit nightly builds. it leaves your current install alone, while giving you the ability to test the latest webkit. unfortunately, the current build doesn't like my safari plugins, though i'm not sure which one. pith helmet, saft, or safari stand.

Re:Running Nighlty code (2, Informative)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194424)

I have found Safari to be almost completely unusable. Sites like http://kbb.com/ [kbb.com] wont let you look up certain car values. some web controlled APC power strips we have wont even display the first page, and http://www.az501st.com/ [az501st.com] most of the menu's don't work.

Re:Running Nighlty code (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194580)

I have never felt the need to post here, but I just had to respond... kbb.com is obviously such an important site I am ready to switch to windows when I found out apple's browser didn't support the site.

Re:Running Nighlty code (5, Informative)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195010)

I have found Safari to be almost completely unusable.


http://kbb.com/ [kbb.com] - Failed validation, 67 errors
http://www.az501st.com/ [az501st.com] - Failed validation, 207 errors

You're blaming the wrong people; try complaining to the people who made the broken websites and didn't test or at least validate them.

Re:Running Nighlty code (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194850)

I run Webkit exclusively these days. There's no web browser on any platform that's faster or has a better rendering engine.

Some nightlies will have crash or freeze ("beachball") bugs, but the one I'm currently using is rock-stable. Hasn't crashed yet, and I've had it running constantly for 2-3 weeks. The last time I did have a buggy version of Webkit, I just logged onto the #webkit IRC channel and one of the developers suggested a different build (which was just the ticket).

Java issues (1)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194160)

I've noticed that Safari takes a lot of CPU on my system. It happens after I have used a specific java-based web app.

I suppose it could be Safari's fault or Java's fault, but I would sooner suspect an issue with a stale clientserver connection or something else within the Java app.

Plugins? (Re:Java issues) (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194620)

I frequently disable plugins and java in Safari to reduce the cpu consumption of the process by managing these. None of my own websites require this stuff, nor any of my internal corporate websites. If I am watching strong bad, or doing something else, sure, i may need to re-enable them but in reality, I don't need those plugins and the cpu suck that goes along with doing that animation or even the bw suck of downloading those files. I suspect that most people don't need them for regular web surfing. On FF i use flashblock, so I can set the few websites that need it to work properly, but on my macs i primarily use safari and disable the plugins. it's a big win, try it, you may not mind the extra work to watch your "Will It Blend" and Home*.

Depends on content of page? (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194162)

I know on my core duo laptop running XP, both firefox and IE tend to bog my system down on pages that have flash animations (using 100% of a single core for 50% overall). How is this news on a techie site that running something in the background may have an impact on other processes? Do we want to go back to the OS 8 days when programs could steal all the processor? I thought SMP was a good thing?

Firefox is a better browser. (1, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194166)

As a recent Mac convert, i'll be the first to admit that Firefox is a better browser for both Mac and PC.

Safari incorrectly renders lots of sites. Firefox seems to be better about most sites.

And....it's free.

-ted

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (2, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194366)

Not only that, but the number of plugins available for Firefox make it really worth it. Adblock and Greasemonkey and Web Developer and Firebug give me functionality that's simply not available with Safari or WebKit.

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (2, Interesting)

greed (112493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194786)

All that Firefox lacks is password storage in the keychain and bookmark sync across multiple machines.

Between the two, it doesn't matter where I am, Safari has the same stuff in it.

Which is handy 'cause my stupid G4 iBook has a thermal fault somewhere around the NVRAM and I really should call the repair centre and see how they're getting along.

It's not like the G3 iBook had 6 bad main logic boards put in it....

(And yet I still can't stand to use Windows as a primary OS. Maybe I'll get one of those laptop Solaris machines. Or one of those old PowerPC Thinkpads that run AIX.)

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (3, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194844)

I've yet to find a solution for the keychain password storage, but there's a plugin from Google called Google Browser Sync that I use to keep Firefox on my Powerbook and the mobile Firefox on my flash drive synchronized.

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (1)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194996)

1Passwd does keychain password storage for Firefox on OS X. But it's not free (I think it was about $20). Seems to work OK.

--Ng

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (1)

dloose (900754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194654)

And....it's free.
Name a browser that isn't.

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194896)

Name a browser that isn't [free].

Well, IE.

If I wanted to backport security patches for Grandma's Win98 box, I'm SOL.

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (0, Flamebait)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195020)

Opera is not free (of charge) or free (as in freedom). IE is not free (as in freedom).

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194716)

Firefox does a better job rendering, but unfortunately it doesn't completely conform to Mac user interface guidelines. The best available browser hands-down is OmniWeb, if you're willing to pay for it...

Re:Firefox is a better browser. (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195018)

> Safari incorrectly renders lots of sites. Firefox seems to be better about most sites.

Are you sure that's Safari's fault, and not the site's fault? I've seen a lot more mangled websites than browser bugs (yes, even counting IE)...

Err, can't have it both ways (1)

palad1 (571416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194182)

Dave Hyatt actually makes it clear that safari doesn't slow the machine as much as speed up javascript / flash...

I concur (3, Informative)

rattler14 (459782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194190)

I love safari and gladly use it over any other browser. However, since 10.4.5+, I have noticed that (as a whole) there appears to be an inability of OS X to free RAM up as efficiently as it used to. Programs like Safari, after many hours of usage, will remain as a HUGE RAM/virtual memory sink. I constantly quit Safari to try and alleviate/fix this.

But what seems to happen is that the process "kernal task" keeps eating up more and more ram even after Safari is shut down. After a couple days of usage, I feel the need for a restart just to flush out this annoyance.

Sure, in the grand scheme of things, It's only a minor annoyance, but it is definitely noticeable and something I hope is dealt with when 10.5 comes out.

Re:I concur (4, Funny)

loafing_oaf (1054200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194302)

Just switch to Firefox. I'm using it right now on Windows XP, and I haven't noticed any problems with memory le*$@!!- NO CARRIER

Re:I concur (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195390)

Just switch to Firefox. I'm using it right now on Windows XP, and I haven't noticed any problems with memory le*$@!!- NO CARRIER


Firefox on OS X is nice. Except it doesn't support middle-click for opening/closing new tabs, for whatever reason. Which is kinda stupid if you use multibutton mice (yes, they work) on OS X. For single button usage, CMD-Click works, but it's a poor substitute since CMD-Click on a tab doesn't close it like middle click does.

Re:I concur (2, Interesting)

StressedEd (308123) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194426)

...is that the process "kernal task" keeps eating up...

Can anyone give a concise explanation of what "kernel_task" actually is? I have seen some broad chatter and an overview [bleepsoft.com] , but nothing significant. I too notice it going banannas from time to time. Then again I use MATLAB and various other memory eaters quite a lot...

Re:I concur (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194810)

That overview you linked is full of a lot of distracting chatter.

The short and simple answer is: Kernel_task is the kernel.

Re:I concur (2, Insightful)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194536)

Memory is a real problem on OS X, especially with Apple programs. After Safari and Mail have been open for a while (say, a day or two), they get sluggish. Measuring memory is tricky, but Safari is almost always one of the first two or three processes in top sorted by rsize or vsize. (Is it bad if vsize for a single application exceeds the total RAM?)

I suspect that some programs have been conservative in their use of autorelease pools, causing garbage to lie around longer than necessary. I ran across this article [mikeash.com] the other day, which argues that you shouldn't be shy about creating pools. I'm hoping that garbage collection will help, but it may be a while before the majority of apps. are compiled for 10.5+.

Re:I concur (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194854)

However, since 10.4.5+, I have noticed that (as a whole) there appears to be an inability of OS X to free RAM up as efficiently as it used to. Programs like Safari, after many hours of usage, will remain as a HUGE RAM/virtual memory sink

They must be using code from Firefox...

(ducks)

Of course it slows your system (1, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194198)

Going on Safari is supposed to be a chill out vacation isn't it. And because nature is so balanced, life speeds up for all the wildlife who have to run like fuck when they see you approach with your high powered rifle.

Re:Of course it slows your system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194422)

run like fuck

I keep trying to figure out what that would look like.

Safari or Firefox? (1)

boxlight (928484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194222)

Since I upgraded to 10.4.8, Safari crashes on me about once a week. Forum advice was to run "repair permissions", I did but it didn't help.

I use Safari because I want that whole "Apple" experience, and I also like the bookmark manager. But there have been a few times when web pages didn't work quite correctly in Safari, so I had to run Firefox anyway.

I've been thinking about formally switching to Firefox, seems like it would be less trouble, but I'd hate to have to do that somehow.

boxlight

Re:Safari or Firefox? (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194384)

As someone who has switched to Firefox from Safari, Im not sure I would recommend it if you are going for the mac experience. One of the recent changes that happened (in the new security patch) was they changed the key-bindings and made the app act even less mac-like (cmd-w only closes a tab and won't close the window when you close the last tab, instead it opens a blank tab and you must press cmd-shift-w to close the window). That and it doesn't handle dual-monitors well at all (everything but the main menu can't appear on the secondary display). If only Shiira [hmdt-web.net] was a bit more active...

Re:Safari or Firefox? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194788)


While I agree that this is less mac like behavior I prefer it. I like to think of tabs as windows. I guess if you use individual windows to group together similar tabs and that is part of your web browsing habits that might be different.

I often found myself closing tabs I didn't want to close in safari. It doesn't happen as often in firefox.

Still, not very mac like I will freely admit.

Re:Safari or Firefox? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194662)

I used to think this way. I figured the "tight integration" would be just like all the other goodies provided with Mac OS. However, Safari is slower, crashes more, less functional, and displays stuff worse (parallelism/grammar be damned) than Firefox. Ideally, I'd rather run Internet Explorer...ok, that was a joke.

Re:Safari or Firefox? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194756)

"Since I upgraded to 10.4.8, Safari crashes on me about once a week. Forum advice was to run "repair permissions", I did but it didn't help. "

That seems to be the advice given for everything by some people. I'm not sure why anyone should think it would help in this case or many others.

I suppose you could try reinstalling the application after getting it off the install disc with Pacifist:

http://www.charlessoft.com/ [charlessoft.com]

before doing that you might also try removing Safari's preference file: com.apple.Safari.plist from the "Preferences" directory in your Home library, so that a new one is generated, in case there's a corruption in that causing problems. All this, again, is unspecific advice, but at least it's not Voodoo.

You might also like to try the Camino browser. That also uses Mozilla's Gecko engine, but has far better integration with the platform. It also uses a Safari-style bookmark manager:

http://www.caminobrowser.org/ [caminobrowser.org]

Re:Safari or Firefox? (1)

KH (28388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195036)

One sure way I know to crash Safari is to hit the Back button after posting to /.. Did it happen to you after posting?

Another /. Safari offender is the Intel flash ad with those cheetahs (I see a German version, presumably because I'm in Germany. Do other people see something else?). It consumes 100% of my precious CPU cycles, and slows the system down, a lot.

I'll just have to make sure not to hit the back button after posting this.

Re:Safari or Firefox? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18195058)

Camino seems to hold up best on my little ibook. Both Firefox and Safari crash when they hit big blocks of javascript, which are everywhere these days. It also is more Mac-like than Firefox; uses Cocoa for the UI.

Re:Safari or Firefox? (2, Interesting)

vilms (106676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195604)

Take a look at Shiira, while you're checking out web browsers.
It's another take on Webkit but seems to work better in my particular work environment* than Safari ever has.Pw

Pw

*other places of work also available

Whole Apple experience? (1)

donstenk72 (593985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195632)

I am also a new Mac user, since early January. Whilst I love my new machine (MacBook Core2 Duo) and the OSX those few application with "Brushed Metal" don't really fit in with what you call "whole Apple experience". Ironically Firefox has a more modern and proper theme then Safari.

I wonder if Safari 3 has shed it's metal look.

It is funny that Apple gets so much praise for it's consistant UI, where I am surprised by all the different looks.

Here are some programs I use regularly and often concurrently:
Safari: metal
Mail: light grey, Adresbook and Calender: metal - these 3 are often open next to each other. I don't see the logic, this is just slack.
iPhoto, iTunes: Dark grey
Apple Aperture: very dark brushed metal. A wonderfull application nevertheless. Pity I have to keep Photoshop just for artwork.
Ms Office: Pinstriped blue and while plus horrible floating taskbars. Unusable. I am currently deciding between NeoOffice (very slow on first launch) and my licenced copy of OfficeXP in Crossover (does not look to good).

Apple should really focus on UI look consistency in the next release - and please don't make stuff black like Vista, it'll look bad on my shiny white Mac!

It took me while typing this in Safari, my next post will be from Firefox!

I had a similar problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194234)

A previous version of OpenOffice spawned about a zillion instances of mono. Eventually the system ground to a halt and the only way to get it going again was to reboot. I removed mono from my system and the problem went away. (OpenOffice 2.1 doesn't have the problem and I've been able to re-activate mono.) The strange thing was that running top didn't show mono taking up an undue amount of cpu or memory. Running ps -A did, however, show up the aforementioned zillion instances.

Anyway; could it be that Safari gives computers mono?

But I wonder (4, Funny)

raynet11 (844558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194242)

If a train leaves Boston with an I-MAC running Safari doing 40MPH heading west and a 2nd train leaves Chicago doing 60MPH heading East with an mini MAC running Safari and Quake 4. How many I-PODS will be sold funding more "Hi I'm a MAC" comercials before: a. My Karma can be kicked down another notch b. The code will be fixed ? c. This post will be changed to flame bait d. This post is silly and you can't believe your still reading it?

Re:But I wonder (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194328)

*scratches head*

That got a chuckle out of me, though I'll be darned if I know why.

Re:But I wonder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194350)

What is it with you retards who insist on capitalizing the abbreviation "Mac" as though it's an acronym? A MAC is something totally different to a Mac. You even go one step above and beyond the usual retardation by capitalizing and hyphenating "iPod"! Have you never seen the fucking product name written down anywhere (by a non-retard)?

You belong with the other fuckwits who keep spelling the name of a popular CPU "Athalon".

Re:But I wonder (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194842)

Having a bad day much? (Althought I agree.) A little attention to detail goes a long way towards one's credibility.

Re:But I wonder (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195068)

Throw them in a big pile with "NIC card", "ATM machine", and "as per", then douse with gasoline and light a match.

"We've already fixed that in the next version" (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194268)

I have that one on a laminated pocket card they issued me the first day of Programming School.

Nokia have solved this ..... (S60 Webkit) (2, Informative)

yohanes (644299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194296)

The S60 webkit [nokia.com] is a port of Webkit to the Series 60 3rd edition platform. Nokia has created a memory manager for this port that can make the webkit works with low memory. If only I can have the low memory footprint browser in my Mac.

proof (1)

pato101 (851725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194340)

Using safari slows down any system:
1) You use Safari
2) You state Safari slows down your system
3) You post it
3) Gets posted in Slashdot
4) You get slashdotted
5) The holding system slows down
The funny thing is that Safari may slow down other system than yours as well.

Re:proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194808)

hey, dude... you forgot the "profit!" thing...

Not for me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194360)

Safari doesn't slow anything else down, not even a little bit.

Why, the other day I had a runaway X11 process start sucking 100% CPU. It did this for twelve hours before I even noticed something was going wrong, and that was only because I finally looked at my CPU usage meter.

I love my Mac Pro.

Also, Dashboard widgets would slow things down (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194502)

Since they use the webkit as well.

Re:Also, Dashboard widgets would slow things down (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195280)

I've found that dashboard slows down my system far more than Safari. The more widgets added the more memory and CPU usage (drastically). It's almost as if each widget gets its own instance of a web browser (excuse my ignorance for I know nothing of how dashboard is implemented).

Even though I use Firefox.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194534)

I've noticed FireFox on OS X seems never to free up memory, and that if I keep putting my computer to sleep the system performance gets really slow to the point of eventually becoming unusable and seemingly unstable. It's not as bad on my MacBook with 1 GB memory but it was horrible on my Mac Mini with 512MB. I still use Firefox as my main browser because of some of its features (I dislike Safari - right down to its all too clever buttons), but this has been a bug I've noticed since before 1.0 and I'm simply amazed no one has fixed it yet.

Memory leaks are the bigger issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18194604)

I think Safari's memory leaks are a much bigger issue. Applications do stuff and consume CPU... no news there. But leave Safari open through a few days of web browsing, run 'ps', and see how much RAM it's consuming. It just grows and grows - there are obvious leaks somewhere. You can close every window in Safari, leave it sit overnight, and it'll still be holding onto a ton of RAM and causing a lot of paging. My solution is to close/relaunch it every so often... but it shouldn't be necessary. (Firefox, whatever else it may do, doesn't seem to have a problem with leaking memory.)

wasn't the slowdown natural?? (2, Interesting)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18194920)

I've been using Firefox in Linux so long, I got used to Firefox slowing down every inch of my laptop when I go to sites that use transparent PNGs or javascript (digg and sourceforge are a major slow-downers for instance - I don't go there anymore... and I can't comfortably use slashdot's new commenting system)*

So when I read this item, I told myself "oh, so... what I'm experiencing isn't normal. it can be news in slashdot... wow." Firefox has different effects on different people I guess...


* Using a clean profile + a nightly build doesn't help. Submitted bug reports do not get any interest from devels except tagging it with "perf" (I know, they're busy, but look - it's news on slashdot when it's Safari on Mac).


bugs in question? so far, I was lazy enough to file just these: 366728; 368365; 368908; 369044; 369682; 370697


pls don't reply w/ "worksforme". I spent considerable time trying to not reproduce the slow down effects, as you might guess...

memory leaks (1)

johnm1019 (1070174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195148)

safari has always been horrid when it comes to leaking memory. This isn't a new phenomenon. Anyone who leaves safari open in the dock when they are done browsing is a fool.

Safari, the bootstrap tool for firefox (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195170)

Every time I've setup a Mac, I've used Safari exactly once, to download Firefox.

Re:Safari, the bootstrap tool for firefox (0, Redundant)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195328)

Dude, MacOS X comes with cURL!

-Peter

To MY Mind... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195380)

To my mind, a more important measure of speed is how a browser affects the overall speed of your system.

Well that may be to your mind. To my mind, that's nothing more than your entire rational for writing this article. For most people, when they're browsing they're not doing anything else at the time except perhaps checking for e-mail, so that the performance hit on any other applications is non-consequential.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18195460)

My buddy kept complaining about how his entire system was so bloody slow. He couldn't figure it out. He decided to buy more RAM, and right before he did it I got a hold of his MacBook, took a look at the Activity monitor and found that, for some odd reason, he had been running Safari in Rosetta. I put it back as non-Rosetta and suddenly his MacBook flew again.

Factually incorrect article. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18195468)

Apple software is significantly better at everything than anything else, therefore this story is obviously incorrect and should be removed from slashdot.

Hard to take this guy seriously... (2, Insightful)

sofla (969715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18195598)

<p>From the article:</p>

<quote>
The only thing different was that I had been surfing the web a bit while the render was going on that day, where the day before I had not. "Surely surfing the web on a mulit-processor machine shouldn't add 15 minutes to a render", I thought. Well, yes it does actually, if you're using Safari.
</quote>

<p>Put another way: "Surely letting the computer ONLY do my render won't be any faster than letting the computer render AND surf the web". Surely you jest? Doing a standalone render vs. doing (anything else) while rendering should make your render take longer. If it doesn't, file a bug with Adobe and ask them why they aren't utilizing the hardware properly.</p>

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