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Safari 3 vs. Firefox 2 and IE7

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-worth-it dept.

559

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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559 comments

Safari, and Mac OS X, are better. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491013)

Apple has beaten the world's most popular desktop operating system and the world's most popular Unixalike to the punch with multi-platform support. At Monday's WWDC07 Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs revealed that, when Leopard ships, it will install and run on every one of its supported architectures from one DVD without bothering the user. And the more featured your system is, the more features Leopard will automatically enable.

For example, a user can use the same DVD to install Mac OS X on a dual 533 MHz Power Mac G4, a 32-bit Core Solo Mac mini, a 64-bit Power Mac G5 Quad, and a 64-bit Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. It even goes so far as to allow 64-bit apps without a 32-bit binary to run in 32-bit mode transparently, which is unprecedented thus far.

Windows, on the other hand, requires a different 32- or 64-bit version for each of its six flavors. So once you decide you want, say, Windows Professional Enterprise, you need to make sure it comes with 64-bit support. Otherwise, you'll be stuck booting your chip in 32-bit mode. Apps must be written and released for 32- or 64-bit and can't run otherwise. This limits users of older systems with Pentium III processors, for example, from running a 64-bit version of a popular game.

Linux eats dust in the race for 64-bit desktopedness too. With Ubuntu 7.05, the latest stable release, things have gotten simpler but still don't stack up to Leopard. So while you can download one version of Ubuntu for both 32- and 64-bit x86, if you want to run 32-bit programs on a 64-bit system you have to download a compatibility layer, check library dependencies, and compile it yourself. 64-bit programs won't work on a 32-bit arch, simply returning an error code and quitting.

That only counts for Intel and AMD, however. Other architectures supported by Linux, which number in the dozens and include 68k, ARM, Power, and SPARC among others, are one-at-a-time installs only and don't have any compatibility between 32- and 64-bit versions. So a user installing Linux on a 32-bit SPARC system from Sun will have to purchase another completely different disc when he installs on Linux on his 64-bit UltraSPARC system even though both processors use the same instruction set.

At most, when counting Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server as two different "versions" of the operating system, you still have only to choose one and are then done with it. Each installs on all four architectures seamlessly and silently.

Windows comes to a total of twelves versions: 32- and 64-bit for each six editions. The number jumps to twenty-four when you consider that you must also choose whether to buy the retail or upgrade versions. This is simply too much work for most people whether they're doing personal use or IT.

Linux does little better, as above with the old download/compile scheme for legacy support. The kicker is that most other distributions of Linux don't even do that well. A user with Fedora Core 7 will still need to hunt down a different ISO for each and every nuance of processor, a real shame since Linux developers sit and scratch their heads over why Linux is still not ready for the desktop.

Come October, Mac OS X will serve everyone with one price, one version, one install: one vision of simple 64-bit desktop goodness.

Re:Safari, and Mac OS X, are better. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491093)

You know, shills such as yourself make me want a Mac even LESS.

Congrats on failing at your job, you pathetic waste of life. DIAF.

Re:Safari, and Mac OS X, are better. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491181)

Congrats on falling for a troll. They've posted that same long post in several different Apple stories.

Re:Safari, and Mac OS X, are better. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491309)

And every time it makes me want to buy a Mac less and less. lawl u noob

Re:Safari, and Mac OS X, are better. (5, Funny)

s4ck (895807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491197)

Come October, Mac OS X will serve everyone with one price, one version, one install: one vision of simple 64-bit desktop goodness.

one faith, one land, one volk, one fuhrer!! zeig heil!

Does it come with a brown shirt?

That computer is for gays (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491431)

faggot.

Pshhh... (5, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491015)

I prefer Netscape Navigator 1.0. Simple, yet barely useable.

Re:Pshhh... (1, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491607)

Pfft...

You youngins and your fancy graphical internet browsers.

It's all about Links running in my terminal screen!

BushCo Loses Watch Video: +1, Helpful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491021)


This video [youtube.com]
confirms the loss of the watch of world's biggest gunrunner [whitehouse.org] .

Patriotically,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (0)

bwalling (195998) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491049)

Seems like the reviewer basically said it doesn't do things the way he's used to FireFox doing them and that he doesn't like that. Not much that was useful in that review. IE was barely mentioned despite being in the title.

Re:Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (5, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491073)

No, that's not what he said. He said that Safari ignores most Windows conventions. That's bad.

Re:Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491133)

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.

Re:Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491391)

Sounds much like every Java app. A lot of GTK+ apps.


And, for that matter, Office 2007. I'm using the Safari beta at home, alongside Firefox. Yeah, it doesn't follow some windows conventions. Some of the defaults seem like odd choices (the statusbar defaults to not being displayed, for instance.)

But its certainly usable, and it has a lot of nice little nifties compared to other browsers: highlighting active fields is very nice. And the page loading speed isn't a small improvement, either. Bonjour is interesting, too, though many home users probably won't notice it or get much use out of it. I'm not sure I'm going to switch over to Safari as may main windows browser, but its certainly got my interest.

Re:Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (-1, Flamebait)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491579)

No, that's not what he said. He said that Safari ignores most Windows conventions. That's bad.
If the Windows conventions were good, I'd agree with you. However, anything is an improvement over Windows conventions.

Hell, do any Microsoft applications follow them? It seems every Microsoft product has a very different ui. IE7, WMP10, WMP11, VS.NET 2003/2005, Microsoft Office, etc, are all very different.

Re:Review summary: "It's not the same as FireFox" (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491557)

Yeah, that's why I hardly ever open Safari, even though I'm a Mac User now. I still use firefox, just like I did on windows, and before that mozilla. It is largely because its what I'm used to, but for me there's no great reason to change. It's not like I'm using Internet Explorer or something! If somebody showed that an alternative was noticibly more secure, or had a major feature advantage, I'd use it. Until then, Firefox is good enough.

Is he kidding? (5, Funny)

d474 (695126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491051)

Since when are Safari's ever "bug free"?!?

This is the first Safari with Windows (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491349)

Historically, mosquito netting was the best you could expect to keep the bugs out. Hardly seems sporting, old boy.

Cue the fanboys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491055)

This story is ripe for some serious Mac fanboy-ism. Bring it on fanboys, I'm ready to be entertained!

Oh really? (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491061)

Both Firefox and Opera are available on OS X as well yet most people use Safari. Personally, I don't have any use for any of the extra features in Opera of Firefox extensions.

Re:Oh really? (5, Insightful)

anethema (99553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491107)

Both firefox and opera are available to windows yet most people use internet explorer. See the parallel?

Re:Oh really? (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491179)

Firefox really does integrate rather poorly in MacOS X.

The lack of Services, for example, in and of itself is a deal killer. I have heard that Firefox 3 is better, but have yet to try it.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491213)

Let's not forget that it also has Apple's brand name on it.. and Mac users are in love with Apple so they will go back to using Safari even if they find something better.

Re:Oh really? (2, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491437)

Everyone in my office is on Macs and even the biggest Apple fanboy here uses Firefox. I prefer Safari because of its speed and lower memory usage. But I prefer Firefox for the plugins.

Mac users like myself don't pick Safari because it's made by Apple. They use it because it comes preinstalled, integrates very well with the OS, and doesn't have enough significant issues to deter its use.

Re:Oh really? (2, Interesting)

HistoricPrizm (1044808) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491117)

Firefox and Opera are both available on Windows, yet most people use IE. This doesn't mean that IE is better, just that it's already there, and good enough for most people. They probably "don't have any use for any of the extra features in Opera or Firefox extensions".

Re:Oh really? (1)

unconfused1 (173222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491257)

That "it's already there" is a big factor. Most users will do as little as possible (usually including never updating their OS or antivirus), as long as they can do the tasks they set out to do...i.e. pay bills online, do e-mail, get their FoxNewsOnline.

Re:Oh really? (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491125)

I'd bet because it's the default installed web browser. People by Macs so they don't have to download, install, etc.

Re:Oh really? (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491251)

A significant portion of Mac users have Firefox installed. Most of them keep it to browse web sites that are not Safari-compatible. Few use Firefox as their main browser. When people ask me about which browser they should use on the Mac, I recommend they have Firefox installed (I usually install it on computers I setup, whether running Windows or OS X) , and use whichever they prefer. Most choose Safari.

Re:Oh really? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491149)

Funny, when that argument is used for IE and Windows - "Firefox and Opera are available on Windows as well yet most people use IE" - it is attributed to ignorance on the part of Windows users. If one applies the same logic, would not then the majority of Apple users be ignorant just like Windows users?

Of course, that's impossible - just look at the Mac guy in the TV ads. He's NOTHING like the PC guy.

Re:Oh really? (3, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491163)

So is your objection to IE the fact that it's bundled with Windows, making it the default browser over FF or Opera, or that it's bug-filled? And if it is the former, but it is different because "Microsoft is a monopoly," how is Apple using a similar position to become the dominant OS X browser morally or ethically (not legally) different?

Disclaimer: I think that bundling both Safari and IE was a breach of some kind of ethos best described as componentization.

Re:Oh really? (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491335)

No I don't really care that it's bundled with the OS, just FF is a lot more secure(at least was, I haven't been using Windows for a while).

Re:Oh really? (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491261)

Both Firefox and Opera are available on OS X as well yet most people use Safari.

You're right, but I'll give you my perspective. I have an OS X laptop (pre-Intel). I don't like laptops very much and rarely use it. I has nothing to do with OS X or the Apple laptop design. I just don't like laptops - at all. I am seriously unimpressed with Safari on its native platform. So much so that I quickly installed Firefox because Safari drove me nuts. Opera would have been OK with me too. As a not frequent user of OS X, I fail to understand why people love Safari, but then again, I know plenty of people who won't use anything but IE under Windows and I don't understand that one either.

Re:Oh really? (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491373)

I honestly must agree with this. People are starting to complain about the new bulk and bloat put into FireFox, and then other people turn around and complain about the simplicity in Safari...

I have both Firefox, and Camino available on my Mac, at the simple press of CMD+Space, then type "fire" or "cami" respectively. However, I still use Safari. Why? Because Safari does just about everything I need. Why do I have FF and Camino available? Well, one of my banks doesn't think that I should be able to use Safari with their webpage, so I keep FF around. Also, MSN Passport likes to store a "universal" cookie, and since I have two accounts, I keep two different browsers open to keep them open. Same issue with Google Mail, if I turn on the "remember me" button, then it's quite hard to get two different windows to be setup for different gmail accounts.

Basically, I keep FF and Camino around just to have another browser as a fall back. Safari does what I need... it surfs the net. I don't need a text editor with a web-browser, and I don't need a web-browser with all the features of FF.

Feature count... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491447)

Both Firefox and Opera are available on OS X as well yet most people use Safari. Personally, I don't have any use for any of the extra features in Opera of Firefox extensions.
I can only second that. With all due respect to the people at Ars, it seems to me that more often than not, whenever a bunch of nerds get together to evaluate a product, they tend to rate it chiefly by how many bells and whistles it has. Myself, I may be a nerd, but I prefer simplicity. Firefox has some features I like, most of the rest I have no use for. However, even the one Firefox feature that was at the top of my cool features list, the 'Find/Search' bar, didn't manage to make me give up Safari 2. The only gripe I have with Safari 3 Beta now that Apple has shamelessly copied the Find/Search bar (although they did put it at the top of the page which IMHO is more convenient) is the fact that the Find/Search bar conks out on some pages that are heavy on frames and the fact that Safari does not seem to have support for displaying raw XML with syntax highlighting. For a Beta this thing is also surprisingly stable.

Re:Oh really? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491479)

This is my thinking. Sometimes you just want to look at a web page, and you want it to arrive fast.

I use barely any of the features of firefox, tabbed browsing, some addons, rss feed bookmarks is about all. It is very good indeed, and Safari isn't as good yet, but it all depends what you want.

The option in Safari to have none of your history/actions/passwords in a given session saved may make it very appealing for some. The rendering of some web pages is actually nicer looking on my screen in safari as well, which is interesting.

I likely won't use Safari, but nor will I bash it because it isn't exactly like some other product. So what? how boring the world would be if everything was the same.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

skuzz03 (970606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491631)

I don't have a use for all the extra bloat features that just slow the browser down. All I want is tabs and popup blocking. Safari has both, as well as fast page rendering and a low memory footprint (until one opens 30 tabs per 4 windows as I generally do.) For people like me, Safari is perfect. Firefox has got too bloated and slow, it's like Netscape 4 all over again.

Re:Oh really? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491639)

Sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

So were different colours
And were different creeds
And different sheeple
Have different needs
Its obvious you hate me
Though Ive done nothing wrong
Ive never even met you
So what could I have done
I cant understand
What makes a sheep
Hate another sheep
Help me understand
sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
Help me understand
Help me understand

Now youre punching
And youre kicking
And youre shouting at me
And Im relying on your common decency
So far it hasnt surfaced
But Im sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist (head to your fists)
I cant understand what makes a sheep
Hate another sheep
Help me understand
sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
sheeple are sheeple
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

I cant understand
What makes a sheep
Hate another sheep
Help me understand
I cant understand
What makes a sheep
Hate another sheep
Help me understand
I cant understand
What makes a sheep
Hate another sheep
I cant understand (sheeple are sheeple)
What makes a sheep (why should it be)
Hate another sheep
Help me understand...

Firefox? Safari? IE? (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491065)

What about lynx, or better yet, telnet 80???

Bonus points for running the javascript in your head.

Re:Firefox? Safari? IE? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491495)

What about lynx, or better yet, telnet 80???
Screw that.. MORSE CODE!

Re:Firefox? Safari? IE? (1)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491505)

Good luck on YouTube.com ;-P

monk.e.boy

Kids these days and their Telnet... (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491643)

I remember using email gateways to send Telnet and FTP commands to servers, and then wait for the response hoping I did it right. :) I was a kid too, and waiting a day or two just to see if my cool new Star Trek wallpaper -- broken up into UUencoded pieces, of course -- had arrived successfully was as much as I could bear.

So anyway, using telnet through an email gateway to read Websites, that's how a man does it. ;)

Slimmer and faster? I'm there! (2, Interesting)

bogidu (300637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491075)

Yes, less features and faster? Like a sports car rather than a bloody SUV?? I'll take TWO please!

Meh, Safari (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491079)

The problem with Safari is that it is/was based on Konquerer which has always been flaky. Although Apple has done loads to improve it, it still stinks of Konquerer.

I have no idea why Apple didn't go with a Gecko based browser variant. It makes no sense because Mozilla/Firefox was the second most popular browser out there and would have given Safari a huge leg up. I mean Gecko already supports many cool things like PKCS#11, smartcards, extensions/plugins and all sorts of stuff like that plus people already were considering it when writing web sites. Safari still doesn't even have any way to install and manage plugins! (to install a plugin requires a manual install program and it will have no way to update itself)

Re:Meh, Safari (1)

mr_rattles (303158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491471)

So you pick a web browser based on how well it supports plug-ins instead of how well it can browse the web? You probably make phone calls on your camera too don't you? :-P

Re:Meh, Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491473)

Because Gecko, Mozilla, and Firefox are fat.

Yes, Firefox is more trim than the Mozilla kitchen sink, but Firefox is not going on
a cell phone any time soon.

Safari is based on WebCore/WebKit which came from KHTML from Konq.

Nokia ported WebCore to GTK, and there is a sample browser based on it.

Competition for a light browser is a good thing.

BTW, I used to be a KDE user, and yes, Konq was never really usable.

Now, KDE is not attracting new developers. They never fixed the dependency problems which tie apps to magic KDE daemons. Most embedded devices use GTK. Most distributes default to GTK.

I use XFCE. It's a relief from the heavyweigts like KDE and GNOME.

XFCE and GTK apps. It's clean and light.

I await a new GTK browser based on WebCore (that would run in Linux,Windows and OSX).

Re:Meh, Safari (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491641)

Although Gecko supports more extensions, I would argue that WebCore is more standards compliant. As far as I know no Gecko based browser has passed the ACID2 test yet. The again, it is up to individual preference which browser you want to use. No one is forcing you to use Safari or Konqueror or Firefox or Opera or IE. Well maybe IE. :)

Re:Meh, Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491675)

Umm, Konquerer is an entire browser in full, whereas KHTML is just the HTML parsing/rendering engine which is used in Konquerer and Safari. Safari isn't built on top of another browser, it just uses KHTML as its HTML engine. There's a big difference. Also, KHTML along with Opera are the only two engines that currently interpret X/HTML and all three CSS suites 100% - they are the only two that for instance pass the Acid 2 test. IE6/7 fails, as does Gecko. Konqueror the browser might be flakey, but KHTML the parser isn't. Dwell on that before you ponder why people stick with Safari.

less bugs is always good (1, Interesting)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491095)

not to mention being W3C compliant.

From what I found using Safari on Windows, it doesn't seem to support the basic of "tooltips" (aka the TITLE attribute of HTML).

I'm sure there are other things if I really tried to look.
I wonder if someone has run the ACID tests on it and how it did compared to FF, IE, and Opera?
What about compared to Konqueror or Safari Mac?

Re:less bugs is always good (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491283)

http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/acid/ [howtocreate.co.uk]

Yes, yes they did. Well, okay, that was the previous version of Safari. But since it's still based on KHTML, I assume it didn't regress.

Re:less bugs is always good (1)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491291)

Both the Windows and Mac versions of Safari 3 pass the Acid2 Test [webstandards.org] for me.

Re:less bugs is always good (1)

jbreckman (917963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491295)

It passes the acid2 test.

Re:less bugs is always good (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491399)

i dont think the w3c says that the title attribute is meant to be used as a tooltip. it's just that most browsers do.

Re:less bugs is always good (3, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491521)

title != alt [w3.org]

Re:less bugs is always good (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491593)

TITLE is not a tooltip. Some browsers choose to render it that way. Good for them.

Re:less bugs is always good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491683)

As it happens, Safari was the first browser to ever pass the Acid2 test...

Safari works better on MacOS X (1, Interesting)

unconfused1 (173222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491115)

I've used Safari and Camino on MacOS X for quite some time, and generally use Firefox on Windows...and IE for work pages that won't render on anything else. But from spending an evening browsing around with Safari 3 beta for Windows, it doesn't seem to be nearly as peppy, and it actually had trouble with a couple videos on Apple's own site...which the Mac version didn't seem to catch on.

They've made it clear that this is BETA, though between so many releases of software feeling like beta tests and Google calling everything a beta for liability purposes...perhaps that description has lost its meaning.

Overall I agree with the article. It isn't YET worth Windows users switching. But I think that the feature set argument is poor...since Firefox, Opera, and IE are pretty bloated by 'features' in many respects. Perhaps Safari will be worthwhile at the release version, but for now it is the memory-hog, page-fault king. I'm sticking with Firefox.

Sorry Apple! I still love you.

Safari has some problems with tags (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491119)

I just downloaded Safari and although it's a nice looking and seemingly faster browser than Firefox and Internet Explorer, there are negative sides as well. I tested Safari with our web application and noticed that it didn't render text that was inside bold tags. Of course this is basically our own fault because our pages use XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and that standard doesn't have a bold tag. Then again this could be a good time to go over the code and fix it to more standard compatible.

On a different note, after we have fixed our web application, I for one will be using Safari in all demonstrations. The Mac OSX look in buttons, text boxes and so on just adds that one thing to demonstration that makes our application to shine more. :)

PS. It would nice to hear if other people have had same kind of experiences with their net pages and web applications. If Safari has really dropped support for non-standard tags, this could explain quite much of its speed advantage.

Re:Safari has some problems with tags (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491323)

I'm a web developer and the "problem" with Safari is that it's so compliant with standards. I'm very careful to stick with (X)HTML standards as much as possible, so I have little trouble supporting all browsers. Most developers are pretty lax when it comes to HTML since they are used to IE and Firefox not enforcing all of the rules that differentiate each version of the standards.

Re:Safari has some problems with tags (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491389)

Funny that you mention difficulty with bold tags. I downloaded Safari to test my blog template and noticed that many elements appear bold in Safari that look ordinary on IE, Firefox, and Konqueror! Very perplexing.

Re:Safari has some problems with tags (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491511)

Are you sure it's not down to the well known "Safari doesn't render bold text" bug that occurs due to a font conflict on some Windows installations?

Horrid UI (5, Insightful)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491131)

It astounds me that Apple flips the bird to all of the Windows UI conventions for marketing purposes and nobody seems to care. Everything from their own anti-aliasing algorithm for text, their own custom widgets, to windows that you can only resize from the right corner. Of course, many legit Windows applications do the same thing, but it seems highly hypocritical of Apple to say, "you should stick to conventions when designing UIs" and then hardcode their own ideas in when developing on another platform.

It is ridiculous how many vendors insist on ignoring platform conventions for no good reason whatsoever. Why does every application have to have a God complex and say, "I'm so great, I'll put shortcuts in your start menu, quick launch, two tray icons (including an autoupdater) and now I have a custom UI so I look special." Whatever happened to programs just doing their job in an unobtrusive manner?

Re:Horrid UI (2, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491247)

'' It astounds me that Apple flips the bird to all of the Windows UI conventions for marketing purposes and nobody seems to care. Everything from their own anti-aliasing algorithm for text, their own custom widgets, to windows that you can only resize from the right corner. Of course, many legit Windows applications do the same thing, but it seems highly hypocritical of Apple to say, "you should stick to conventions when designing UIs" and then hardcode their own ideas in when developing on another platform. ''

Depends on the target audience. The target audience seem to be Mac users who are forced to use a Windows PC for some reason, and developers who want to make their webpages iPhone-ready.

Re:Horrid UI (5, Insightful)

ip_vjl (410654) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491501)

I agree it is out of place as a Windows desktop application.

Though, if you look at it as the iPhone SDK instead, some of the choices make sense. You'd want to (for example) use the same anti-aliasing mechanism and widgets as the target device so that you know you're seeing things as they will look when deployed.

I don't plan on using Safari as my primary browser, but for compatibility testing websites, the fact that it isn't using a different Windows-specific rendering style makes it valuable for that role.

Re:Horrid UI (5, Funny)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491513)

Funny, all of my apps are well behaved, and only put a single entry in the logic part of my application menu. Maybe your apt-get is broken?

Re:Horrid UI (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491535)

What conventions? "I'm so great, I'll put shortcuts in your start menu, quick launch, two tray icons (including an autoupdater) and now I have a custom UI so I look special." That's every Microsoft app. Microsoft doesn't follow their own UI guidelines on their own platform, so why should anyone else?

Re:Horrid UI (4, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491549)

You complain about Safari's nonstandard UI, but you probably have IE7 installed all the same.

I have a similar reaction to iTunes. (5, Insightful)

kmcrober (194430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491135)

While I love the iTunes Music Store service, the iTunes software is a dog. It's slow, choppy, resource-intensive, and rarely loads the iPod on the first try. (I'm happy to give Vista a portion of the blame, but only so much.) Even worse, when I transferred my library across computers I had to edit the XML file myself to preserve my ratings and playcounts, and an undocumented change in the way iTunes handles certain older MP3s meant that nearly 500 files were lost. Because iTunes didn't report the error, it took me days just to figure out which files were missing from the library, and I had to re-encode them because iTunes will neither load them or report any error with the files. I still don't know what the problem was, and Apple's help desk was no help at all. I wouldn't accept such poor performance and nonexistent error-reporting from shareware, much less a flagship product that's intended to sell me on their systems.

I used to be on the bubble about switching; iTunes pushed me away from Apple instead of encouraging me to make the leap. I still use it, because the Music Store itself is perfect for my needs, but I'm not surprised to hear that Safari is a poor effort.

If Apple wants to encourage people to switch, perhaps it should make some its better applications available, at least in a limited form. I love Dashboard and Expose (I think those are the right names), and simple commercial versions of those for the Windows environment might convince people to try an OS with better, smoother versions of those features built in.

Re:I have a similar reaction to iTunes. (1)

lib3rtarian (1050840) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491279)

Dashboard and Expose effects are very neat, but I think these are probably the two most difficult (if not impossible) to implement on a Windows environment. Safari on the other hand is probably the simplest to port. Dashboard and Expose need to work with the guts of Windows GUI, whereas Safari really doesn't need to.

Re:I have a similar reaction to iTunes. (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491315)

iTunes is a nightmare. I know of several people (myself, my GF, several family members) that got so fed up with iTunes, that they dumped their iPods in favor of other music players that don't require the use of such a terrible piece of software. Unfortunately, trying to completely remove iTunes from a PC is also a mess, because their installer is all screwed up and leaves all kinds of crap after a "complete uninstall". It's no surprise to me that there aren't more Windows users jumping over to Macs, when their flagship software for their flagship product is such an incredible dog.

Re:I have a similar reaction to iTunes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491381)

If Apple wants to encourage people to switch, perhaps it should make some its better applications available, at least in a limited form. I love Dashboard and Expose (I think those are the right names), and simple commercial versions of those for the Windows environment might convince people to try an OS with better, smoother versions of those features built in.


It doesn't sound like that would convince *you,* though. You ran into problems with Apple software on Windows and said that pushed you away from Apple.

Perhaps you assumed that it would be just as problematic on OSX - the very assumption you're saying people *wouldn't* make if Dashboard and Expose weren't good or smooth on Windows.

Re:I have a similar reaction to iTunes. (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491493)

That's why I dumped iTunes and stick strictly to Anapod Explorer. Of course, if you actually want to buy stuff from iTMS, you're SOL.

Safari is requesting a page to be loaded... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491159)

Hi,

Apple: Im a MAC
PC: and Im a PC

Apple: PC why do you have that colorful news page with customizable Ajax widgets on your shirt ?
PC: well thats my new web application loaded on Firefox ! I can get all my news, weather and sports media based on my preferences.

Apple: oh wow !, very nice...
PC: Mac would you like to try the new web application out?

Apple: I would love too, however my safari has a few dead animals and I can only support frames at this point... but I can play my ITunes waiting for the non-flash page to load and quicktime to boot up!
PC: Sheesh.. and he calls me bloated...

The reason Safari is on Windows... (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491165)

...isn't to entice people to buy a Mac.

It's to act as a development vehicle for iPhone, since all third party iPhone apps will be rich Web 2.0/AJAX applications.

On this topic, such applications can indeed have the look and feel of iPhone applications, and have access to all iPhone internal services, such as phone dialing, access to maps functionality, and any other iPhone services.

This isn't just, "Oh, let's bring out Safari for Windows for the hell of it, and let people see how good of a browser it is, and maybe they'll buy a Mac!"

This is the "SDK" for iPhone.

And here's an example... (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:The reason Safari is on Windows... (4, Insightful)

Idaho (12907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491319)

...isn't to entice people to buy a Mac.

It's to act as a development vehicle for iPhone, since all third party iPhone apps will be rich Web 2.0/AJAX applications.


Exactly. In addition, they might be hoping to make some money from search results, in the same way the Mozilla Foundation does:

"It's not widely publicized, but those integrated search bars in web browser toolbars are revenue generators. When you do a Google search from Safari's toolbar, Google pays Apple a portion of the ad revenue from the resulting page. (Ever notice the "client=safari" string in the URL query?)" - source [daringfireball.net]

This suggestion seems to be confirmed by the behavior I noticed: when you try to create a bookmark to google.com, or even to set it as your homepage. It'll popup a window asking you whether you really want to set google as your homepage (or bookmark it), as "you can already use the search bar to search google anyway".

It's not there for giving Windows users a taste (1)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491207)

Honestly, given the browser market on the PC right now, I highly doubt Apple designed Safari for Windows to give PC users a taste of OS X. More likely it is being released as a market test, and to give mac users who use safari regularly on their macs access to their browser when they are on Windows.

I though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491209)

Apple's Windows application where buggy in order to make people think "this looks nice, i'll buy a Mac so that it also works".

It seems broken on localized versions of XP (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491223)

One thing you should keep in mind when testing the beta, is that it appears to be very broken on localized version of Windows XP; that is any language version except the US one.

I've tried browsing quite a few sites yesterday, including sites like youtube, slashdot, and quite a few news-sites (computer-related as well as mainstream newspaper websites), and so on. It didn't crash on me once.

However, I've heard from a few people who tried it on the Dutch localized version of Windows XP (SP2 of course), and they say it crashes frequently, renders pages with horrible flaws, e.g. bold text does not appear at all and similar very obvious rendering problems. However, I visited some of those same pages using the US version of Windows and they looked just fine.

Apple software on Windows, what did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491229)

Quicktime for Windows is still full of bugs and crashes a lot. They totally ignore critical features for Windows like that ability to drag and drop. And that's after it's been available for years.

They are just not interested in providing quality software on Windows.

Time to Be a Pedantic Jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491239)

Hi, pedantic jerk here.

Just out of curiosity, could we maintain some consistency here on the front page? Currently, you are showing two headlines:

Safari 3 vs. Firefox 2 and IE7
and

Torvalds vs Schwartz GPL Wars
My concern is your abbreviation of the word 'versus.' I think that when putting it into a headline, it is common to use the capitalized form with no period (as in 'Vs'). Really, I don't care what you pick, it's just more friendly to the eye when it is consistent.

Just thought I'd request that. Good editing helps your credibility whether you're the New York Times or 'some tech site.'

*WHOOOOOSH* (1, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491255)

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.

Maybe because Safari isn't trying to be a feature-loaded browser for "Power Users"? Apple makes elegant software that does everything needed and not an ounce more. Its design is to keep things simple, straightforward, and easy for your average user to pick up.

For example, which is more elegant: MusicMatch or iTunes? iTunes, of course. MusicMatch has more features, but it's a clunky beast because of it. Same with Safari. A minimalist approach that focuses on usability rather than obscure features.

Re:*WHOOOOOSH* (3, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491585)

>>Apple makes elegant software that does everything needed and not an ounce more. Its design is to keep things simple, straightforward, and easy for your average user to pick up.

The only experience with Apple software I can think of at the moment is Quicktime. The word "elegant" does not come to mind.

Re:*WHOOOOOSH* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491689)

Maybe because Safari isn't trying to be a feature-loaded browser for "Power Users"?

Right, and that means it'll fail for sure, because non-"Power Users" (i.e.: the more than 90% of normal Windows users) have no reason to download an alternative browser with a butt-ugly user interface that renders many important websites wrong or not at all. In fact, they have no reason to download anything at all because they happily use Internet Explorer and have no need or desire for anything else.

Who says it's about making Windows converts? (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491267)

Ars is being rather presumptious here.

Maybe I stand alone on this, but when I first read about the Safari 3 launch for Windows, my 1st thought was "Cool, finally Windows based web developers can test against Safari". It never once crossed my mind that it would be something that would woo Joe Sixpack or even get much attention at all from the mainstream Windows user base.

Considering the only times I have issues with having Safari as my primary browser is with heavy AJAX stuff, getting the browser in front of developers seems a logical step to improve the existing Safari users experience.

Perhaps we can finally see an AJAX HTML/TEXT editor that works in Safari with version 3's new features and Windows support.

So hey Ars, Safaris appearance on the Windows platform has a definite value. Just not in the obvious ways you're thinking of.

Audience (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491271)

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.

I agree. Unless Safari manages some magical plug-i compatibility with Firefox, it is unlikely to ever be as feature-loaded as Opera or Firefox. don't think Apple is aiming at "feature loaded" so much as "better for normal users." Most users don't care if they can create granular block lists and flip javascript on and off quickly, because most users don't do those things. Safari seems to be aiming at the crowd who wants simple and fast. As for power, well that all depends upon your needs and workflow. Maybe I need to have really easy access to a grammar checker, but I don't know squat about configuring computer programs. With Safari, it "just works" (or does it, on the OS X version it does, not sure about Windows). A real world example of power is taking screenshots of Web UIs. This is something I have to do now and again. In the past, I've used OmniWeb because it allowed me to recode the pages on the fly easily, so I could fudge the sizes of text boxes and eliminate useless whitespace (thereby making a clearer, larger image). With Safari 3, I can just drag those text boxes to the size I want, which is more powerful yet and more usable.

For other workflows, I'm sure Firefox or Opera is more powerful. Apple is aiming at the bulk of users, instead of at all users. I don't now if such an approach will work though, on Windows. The average person on Windows doesn't know anything about browsers and will never download Safari, so unless Apple has a way to get it onto desktops, their seeming target audience and likely target audience are quite different.

Re:Audience (1)

alxtoth (914920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491663)

Long time there was talk about "yellow box" as a means to run Windows applications in Macs, side by side with native Mac apps. Makes me wonder, isn't Apple doing the total opposite? I mean, there is QuickTime, iTunes and now Safari 3 running on Windoze with a Mac look-and-feel ? What will be the next port, iPhoto maybe ?!?

Present state of rendering? (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491307)

This is a year ago:

I always had troubles creating webpages that looked acceptible in both IE and firefox. And when I managed to let these show the pages like I intended, konqueror positioned everything slightly different. For instance an '#sectionX img:hover {width: XXXpx;}' in CSS gave much trouble. The same with body-margins and the like.
What is it like nowadays?

Search Engine (1)

dbfruth (707400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491311)

My biggest problem with Safari is the toolbar search. Apple has decided that I only need Google. Firefox and even IE allow me to change the default engine and add other search providers if I want. In the PC version Beta it had an option to select Yahoo which is a start. But when I loaded the beta on my Mac I was disappointed to find this option missing.

The only reason I would ever use Safari (1)

netglen (253539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491317)

The only reason I would ever use Safari is to download Firefox on a new Mac. I just find Safari to be annoying and too "plain Jane".

Safari 3.0 beta in Windows ... my experience (4, Informative)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491331)

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:Safari 3.0 beta in Windows ... my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491581)

Holy hell! Can you really do that? Can firefox do that? That would be fantastic.

its being released solely for the iPhone dev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491333)

nothing more....if you care to use it daily great otherwise we want developer folks to use it to create applets for the safari that will run on the new iPhone.... as there really is no other need for it to be released at this point to the other 95% of pc users....

Safari 3 Safari 3 (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491353)

Looks like Ars are keen to get Google's Safari 3 clicks, what with the way that the Safari 3 article about Safari 3 mentions Safari 3 so much...

Can't even get it to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19491371)

Sadly, the interface is completely blank. No text, no menus, just a gray metal shell with an empty white window. After the first 3 seconds, the entire application uses 100% of my cpu and effectively locks up my computer.
Not sure where the conflict lies.

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491403)

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

That isn't surprising, because it doesn't seem like "feature-loaded" was Apple's goal (is it ever?). There's probably a market for a fast and safe(r) browser to replace IE. You might say that Opera fits this bill quite well, but Apple's marketing will mean that less technical users will hear about Apple's new Windows browser. Apple has never been about including tons of features; they've always seemed to include the most popular features and add some UI polish (which doesn't fit in very well with Windows, IMO).

That being said, I was personally a little surprised by this announcement. iTunes allows iPods and the iTMS to work on Windows, hugely expanding the available market. Quicktime means that videos can be viewed on most computers. What does Safari mean? If a website is designed to work with Firefox, it'll probably work with Safari. Do they care enough to have websites start saying, "Please upgrade to IE v. X, Firefox v. Y, or Safari v. Z to view this site properly"?

When Safari comes out of beta, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Safari + iTunes + Quicktime bundle as one (default) download when you visit Apple's site.

Not the point (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491415)

Does anyone expect the submitter think Apple's plan is for Safari to become the dominant browser on Windows? That's not what this is about. With Safari on Windows, web developers using Windows machines will be able to see how most Macs and all iPhones will browse their site.

Re:Not the point (3, Funny)

zaren (204877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491591)

Precisely. Everyone's howling how this can't possibly replace Firefox or IE. Well, guess what - it's not supposed to do that. What it's supposed to do is get the iPhone's web interface out to all those developers that are clamoring for an iPhone dev kit, because His Steveness announced that the way you get apps on the iPhone now is to make them AJAX friendly web pages. And since there's only going to be one web browser on the iPhone, you better be able to test functionality on it, regardless of where you're designing the app.

Also, how everyone mewling about how buggy and unfinished it is... HELLO! It's a first release BETA, of course it's unfinished!

Some people... jeez, if Apple released a handheld cure for cancer, they'd complain that it only came in a brushed metal case.

Firefox blows them all away... (1)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491445)

Not considering platform quirks (like the anti-aliasing issue), Firefox totally destroys Safari, mainly because of plugins. If Apple could stimulate more plugin development, I would use it. But the huge plugin dev community for Firefox is one of the main reasons I stick with it--the usefulness of the plugins is beyond reproach.

Windows users don't want features (1)

poet (8021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491469)

O.k. obviously Slashdot users are the exception (and yes I bet most slashdot users to run windows, they need it for their games). The Windows users that Apple is going after are people like my wife.
I quote, "I don't want a bunch of stuff. I want to browse the web.", further I quote, "I want to insert the memory thingy and have Windows just import the pictures".

My mother is the same way. To them, a computer is just a utility, like a toaster. They want it to work, and work without fuss and like it or not, they don't need tabs, they don't need extensions. They need web browsing, pop up and maleware free. That's it.

Buggy Even on the Mac (3, Interesting)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491489)

I love my Mac, but several times a day the Safari web browser crashes (Sorry, "Closes Unexpectedly") for no reason. This is especially frustrating when I go back and click on the exact same link or attempt to do the same action (watch a youtube video, etc) and the browser crashes again in the same way.
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