- Currently Listening to:
- Creedence Clearwater Revival — Lookin’ Out My Back Door
Like I imagine the majority of those users who migrated from a Windows PC to a Mac, Firefox has been my primary browser for the last five years (since Firefox 0.8 came out in February 2004). It’s so long ago now in web years that it’s hard to remember, but on Windows, back in those dark days, there really weren’t any options beyond the standard Internet Explorer 6 install.
Microsoft had lost interest in maintaining their browser, having secured 90% of the browser market. For web designers, this was a disaster. When Firefox emerged it was almost instantly better than IE in every regard, so it was an obvious choice. Nowadays, the three most advanced browsers — Firefox, Chrome and Safari — each have many strengths on which to recommend them.
When Safari 4 was released as a public beta in February, I decided to give it a try for a week. You all thought I was mad, many of you requested to be transferred to another peanut factory, but I’m still using it here two months later.
Safari’s main strengths are speed and stability. If you’re a tinkerer, a Firefox install has a Windows XP-style half-life, after which its performance continuously degrades and it becomes significantly more prone to crashing. I tried opening the Safari feature page in my new copy of Safari and my many years-old Firefox, and the difference in performance ellicited an honest-to-God laugh-out-loud. That almost never happens! (I should say that I’m open to the idea that I am wholly responsible for Firefox’s poor performance by loading my profile with too many extensions and customisations. One badly-written extension or Greasemonkey script and the browser can begin to drag.)
Safari is ahead of the game in other ways too though. Full-text search of your history with rendered thumbnails of each page is a killer feature. These are indexed by Spotlight as well and can be searched from apps like Launchbar. The Chrome-style new tab screen is excellent for keeping track of pages that change over the course of the day. The lack of a progress bar when loading a page is a very interesting departure which I find myself liking more as time goes on. The new tab bar does take some getting used to, and has been discussed at quite marvelous length elsewhere. I would favour one of the proposed mockups which give more space to the window controls.
There were two things about my Firefox setup that I did really miss when switching: keyword search from the location bar, and delicious integration. In Firefox you can just type directly into the location bar and it will do a Google search. Even better than that is using keywords to search specific sites — “wp Bell pepper” to open a Wikipedia page for example.
Safari can’t do any of that out of the box, but there is a SIMBL plugin that manages this very nicely, called Keywurl. Delicious support is provided by the Delicious Safari extension, which does the job admirably. Boom.
- A List Apart: Articles: Smartphone Browser Landscape
- Switch | The multi-user web browser for iPad
- IE9, FF4 Beta In Real-World Benchmark
Surprisingly, Firefox 4.0 Beta 6 came in behind all other browsers except for IE8–even coming in behind its predecessor, Firefox 3.6. While we expect its performance to improve before release, it was surprising to see this result. It should be noted that no Firefox 4.0 Beta 6 test run came in faster than any test run by another modern browser.
IE9 Beta 1 performed surprisingly well (with a few caveats; see the notes below). In fact, it performs well enough that LucidChart will finally be able to remove the obnoxious warning to IE users that they’re getting an inferior experience in LucidChart.
- Pinned Sites: Windows 7 Desktop Integration with Internet Explorer 9
- Internet Explorer 9 beta review: Microsoft reinvents the browser | ZDNet
- Firefox 4 Beta 5 Gets IE9-Style Hardware Acceleration | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
It's no secret that Firefox was going to get graphics hardware acceleration using DirectX 2D—something Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 team made much hay over when it launched the platform preview of that upcoming browser update. In the fourth beta of Firefox 4 , graphics hardware acceleration was present but not enabled—users had to change a configuration string. But in beta 5, released late Tuesday, the acceleration is enabled by default.
- Neowin.net - Internet Explorer 9 beta due on September 15
Microsoft is also planning broader support for HTML5 in Internet Explorer 9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft, with the help of W3C, performed a total of 192 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored 100% in all eight tests, while every other browser, except Firefox in DOM level 2 style tests, didn't score perfect in any of the test categories.
- delicious support forum - Firefox and Internet Explorer extensions
- Manipulating the browser history - MDC
HTML5 introduced the history.pushState() and history.replaceState() methods, which allow you to add and modify history entries, respectively. These methods work in conjunction with the window.onpopstate event.
- intellectual honesty and html5 : Christopher Blizzard
That’s right. If you’re not on Safari, then Fuck You.