Thursday, April 21, 2005

On a Jungle Safari
Posted by Sam at 12:39 PM

The burning question on everyone's mind: When the Tiger is finally released into the wild, will I embark on a Safari 2.0? Will you?

The real question here is whether I will be able to utilize Safari in place of Firefox. In recent months Firefox has become more than my default browser. With the aid of some rock solid extensions, Firefox is now my FTP client, mail app, RSS reader, CSS editor... and (thanks again to certain extensions) I can make Firefox bend to my will. In other words, I can browse how I want to browse. It's all about control really.

Firefox is undeniably a slug though. Compared to Safari, Firefox is about as fast as my mom's '85 Chevy Celebrity Wagon that I learned to drive on (0 to 60 in about... well, a minute and a half... downhill... with the wind at its back), while Safari flies like my dad's '89 Toyota Supra Turbo that he once asked me to stop looking at (in fear that I might drool on myself or, more tragically, it). Clearly, this is hyperbole (new vocab!). If Firefox was really that slow, I would not use it.

In addition to it's speed advantages, Safari 2.0 is going to feature a RSS news aggregator built right into the browser. That'll be hot! And, I'm sure that it will be done in that magical Apple way. You know what I'm talking about... the so simple and elegant, why didn't I think of that? way.

More than likely, here is what is going to happen: I will embark on a Safari 2.0 adventure (more out of curiosity than anything else). As I hunt and tame the elusive Tiger, I'm bound to stumble upon the tracks of the legendary Firefox, her tail ablaze in a glowing promise of liberating extensions and properly rendering HTML. Perhaps I'll abandon the jungle Safari and follow the tracks back home. Or maybe, the current expedition will prove too advantageous to abandon. We'll see. Only 8 days left to go...

So what's it gonna be? Safari 2.0 or Firefox? Your thoughts?

Comments: 6 | Post a Comment | Permalink

I have to agree with your post almost completely. I fell in love with Firefox almost immediately when I got my first download and installed some extensions. However, I guess I differ from you slightly in that I still use Safari.

For casual quick browsing and managing my bookmarks, Safari can't be beat. The speed, the integration with iSync. I know I could use something like to handle my bookmarks, but I just like having all of my syncing handled by one thing that is already automated for me.

I use Firefox almost exclusively for analyzing, deconstructing, and developing web pages, and for the occasional page that doesn't seem to want to work in Safari. I am intrigued by the RSS functions in safari 2.0 and will have to see how well it works. Bloglines currently comes the closest for me for handling feeds the way I want. Shrook a close second.

Comment By David Edwards on April 22, 2005 12:21 AM

First off, when you drive a Celebrity Wagon, you are supposed to unfurl the sails when your wind is at your back. Doing so will help you shave...5seconds or so off that time, bringing you into the speed range of little old ladies and almost to that of EMS carts that break free of the Ambulance and go careening down a hill, carrying their would-be "patient" into the gravelly doom of quick descent followed by quicker deceleration (I'm headed into Robert Louis Stevenson territory here, what with his page-and-a-half run on paragraph, whereas my life goal is to exceed his proliferation of verbose overcommunication in a sentence or paragraph, causing the reader to stare blankly, not comprehend what just occured, and have to reread that blasted thing 40 times to understand why all the words jam together and do not use those things called periods in order to complete a sentence, be it run on or proper(yes, I thought about keeping it going for a lot longer than I did, but I decided to spare myself the beatings I'm bound to receive at a later time)).

Safari2.0 vs. Firefox: You will need to do extensive testing and post your results. I give you the entire summer off to take care of this comparision and review!

Comment By Blackwatch on April 22, 2005 8:34 AM

I can only dream of creating a run-on sentence like the one that you, master of running on and on, created here as a homage to Robert Louis Stevenson and his page and a half long run-on paragraphs that I, have actually never read but, can imagine that they are dificult, if not utterly boring, to read... ummm, in the light of day... moonlight? Ok, I've lost it. You win.

Back to the topic at hand: I just want Firefox to be faster. It would also be nice if it acted a little more like a Mac application too.

Comment By Sam on April 22, 2005 9:11 AM

Well, even on the PC side, Firefox isn't the fastest. That still, sadly, goes to IE. Maybe it's cuz IE is still stuck in understanding 3 year old code, and doesn't need to take the time to process anything new.

Firefox is actually not too slow, just a bit pokey when started. It helps, too, if you set it to open more than 1 connection to a server...I mean, so I hear...

Comment By Blackwatch on April 22, 2005 9:31 AM

Firefox without a doubt.

I've been using Mozilla since version .8 and Phoenix since .2.

As a web developer cum wap developer, Safari leaves many stones unturned in it's support.

While KTHML and KJS are excellent pieces of code, Apple has had to work extremely hard to get them up to speed to match Mozilla. (Wheil I don't begrudge their choice of KHTML. It's much smaller and lighter than Gecko could ever dream of being.)

But when it comes right down to it, Safari is static, unmodifiable. The view source has no color highlighting (which if you'd write your HTML from scratch, you'd understand how no color highlighting is enough to make me shy from Safari permanently.) Those extensions that you say make Firefox so much better will always make Firefox the choice for me.

Right now I have loaded:
User Agent Switcher
Web Developer Toolbar

That's it. I don't need any fancy RSS aggregators or calendaring software; I have other apps that handle those tasks superbly, but those four extensions in conjunction allow to simulate almost all interactions between a browser client and a server, mimicing mobile devices and proper code checking facilities in the browser level.

Additionally I'm in the middle of modifying LiveHTTPHeaders to allow the sending of arbeitrary HTTP headers to server which will further allow me to simulate wap client sessions so I don't have to use cell phones nearly as much for development work.

Plus, honestly, that brushed metal crap just sucks.

Comment By Dr. Kennedy on April 22, 2005 9:51 AM

Personally, I like brushed metal. However, personal opinion is why we have lotsa different app skinz.

I think Firefox maybe a bit slow on some systems, based solely ON the extensions. I'll be the first to admit that TabbrowserExtension makes it go from reasonable to "nappy time" on program launch. Sam, don't you like "nappy time" at work, anyway?

Comment By Blackwatch on April 22, 2005 3:05 PM

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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