Will You Be Moving to Safari?

The world of computer magazines and columns is buzzing with the talk of the new darling of benchmarks, Safari 4. With all the hoopla, you might not realize that this is still classified as a beta release. The people on ZDNet were all on about it beginning the middle of the day yesterday, and you would think that the national debt has shrunk by a trillion dollars.

Well, not to be left out of the party, I immediately downloaded it. It is a rather hefty download, at a bit over 25 megabytes. This is no big deal for those with broadband connections, and I don’t mean to imply it is; I’m simply saying that this is fairly weighty, for a browser.

Part of this weight comes from the inclusion of Bonjour, which is a network discovery and connection tool. I did not install this, as the last time I had installed it, it was very difficult to remove all traces of it. Also, and actually the major reason for not installing Bonjour was that, in my systems, it simply did not work. It was unable to find any of the devices on my (rather congested) home network.  This was with UPnP enabled on the network, yet not one thing was ever found. Perhaps this revision on Bonjour would be able to discover things, but I wasn’t ready to do the set up, the troubleshooting, and the eventual removal.

On to the speed.

Safari versus the others, from ZDNet

First, the admissions. Yes, it is faster than anything else I have seen. Is it 4 times faster than anything else? No, not on my machines. In my experiences, it is almost twice as fastnothing to sneeze at.

Safari versus others, on the Mac, Also from ZDNet

Still, I look at the other parts of the browser and ask, “Is this what I want?” The answer, for me, is a resounding, “No.” If I had to make a choice between Internet Explorer and  Safari, perhaps. But with Firefox and Opera added to my list of choices, I would never use this browser. It simply seems too foreign. It is clumsy and unwieldy, and that doesn’t say anything about the negative aesthetics of it. The scale and style that fits in with OS X simply looks odd in a Windows environment. For those of us who have working cone receptors in our eyes, Safari is in need of some controls over saturation and hue.

So, for me, I can certainly see the speed difference, and I get that the performance on the Acid 3 test is perfect – but Opera 10 alpha is ALSO PERFECT. These are the only 2 browsers that can do that. (Opera 9.6 scores an 85, third best, and and very good since it is a generation removed from the latest available, including Firefox 3, which only manages 73.) So again, since the speed difference in several hours of browsing was never the 4:1 claimed, and I don’t like the look and feel, I won’t be changing anytime soon.

I look at this as a prod, an application that no one will really use, but that has an effect on the other browser producers, forcing them to become better. For this I say thanks, and look forward to the gold release of Opera 10.

Will any of these figures move you to change? Also, if you installed it, and Bonjour also, is it working better than the revision included with Safari 3?

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They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.Clint Eastwood

Opera, the fastest and most beautiful browser on the planet. download now

still what works best for me…

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