Today Apple released Safari, the new OS X browser based on the KHTML library (though with many speed improvements, apparently). Currently we use Chimera, which we're very happy with. Safari looks neat, but is it neat enough for us to switch (at least while it is still in beta)?
After some initial testing, our thoughts on how Safari stacks up against Chimera.
Advantages of Safari over Chimera
- Spell checking while you type in text fields
- Google bar
- The weird pop-up window resizing issue in Chimera doesn't occur in Safari
- Somewhat faster, though part of this perceived speed increase may be due to pages being displayed before they are completely rendered
- Bookmark management: faster and more intuitive
- Address book integration in bookmark bar
- History is global, rather than on a per-window basis
- Download manager
- Ability to turn off/on pop-up blocking with keystroke
Disadvantages of Safari
- No tabbed browsing
- Because it's based on "KHTML" -- the engine inside Konqueror -- CSS positioning and spacing is different than in the Gecko engine
- No apparent way to turn off anti-aliasing of text
- Handling of CSS elements (for example, the dotted line) seems to mimic that of Windows IE
- No undo in text fields (Chimera even has multiple undo)
- No tool tips on link titles
72dpi (versus 96dpi) rendering of typePerhaps not...but something does seem off
Shared Cons between Chimera and Safari
- The handling of pop-up windows launched from bookmarklets: they don't open if pop-up blocking is on. In fact, it looks like bookmarklets
don't work at all in Safari. Jason D. points out in this post's comments that some bookmarklets (Blogrolling's, for one) work and that the problem seems to be Safari's DOM handling. Read the comments below to see a semi-fix.
My initial response is this: Safari's bookmark and history management, the Google bar and spell checking are the three biggest gains for my own use. The inability to turn off anti-aliasing text really puts me off, however (like previous versions of Chimera, we may be able to fix this by editing the preferences file -- wherever that may be).
I'm worried about variations in CSS positioning, but it's obviously still in beta and the addition of the bug report feature indicates that a lot of fixes are probably going to be made.
More to come.
Update: So people will be asking why Apple went with Konqueror rather than Gecko. From the Safari page, here's part of their reasoning: "For its Web page rendering engine, Safari draws on software from the Konqueror open source project. Weighing in at less than one tenth the size of another open source renderer, Konqueror helps Safari stay lean and responsive. And of course, being a good open source citizen, Apple shares its enhancements with the Konqueror open source community." See this email from the Apple Safari team for more about the choice.
More Safari Reviews, Observations and Resources
There are some pitfalls in Safari from Matt Haughey