Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Apple Safari

Apple have launched the first public beta of their new browser, Safari. It looks interesting – it has a native OSX interface, and is built on the Konqueror’s rendering engine KHTML. It also claims to be open source.

That’s not all. Apple claims that Safari is the fastest browser on the platform, comparing it with IE for Mac, Netscape 7.01 and Chimera, a Gecko-based OSX-native browser. Apparently, it is also fully standards-compliant, and even has a popup stopper.

It is certainly a bold move for Apple to make, but not a bad one – more competition is just what the browser market needs. It also looks like Apple is sticking the middle finger up at MS, whose OSX offering of IE is known for being fussy. The move towards Konqueror rather than Gecko as the rendering engine is probably down to Konqueror being native to Unix-based OSes and its lighter weight – remember Mozilla supports a whole variety of formats that the typical web user won’t use (but geeks just might). Certainly Apple seem to be aiming it at Joe User, rather than the usual geeky individuals who use Mozilla.

[added] Looks like this has been making the blog rounds, with contributions from Ben, Mark and Mena. Safari apparently has severe problems with Mark’s site – not good, as it works on most other major browsers. Still, it’s beta, and if Apple are going to take this seriously then improvements will be made I’m sure. And if what Apple says on their home page is true, then these improvements will go back into Konqueror, which can only be good.

4 Comments

  1. Ready, Fire, Aim

    I’ll be looking elsewhere for my browsing goodness, because of one absolutely critical feature that my preferred browser has that Safari doesn’t: the ability to set cookies to expire when the browser is quit.

  2. Tried it last night. Did side by side comparisons, does seem to work faster. Couldn’t load my email from an Exchange server though. I think Apple will end up not disclosing nearly as much as the open source community would like.

  3. Safari is brilliant, except for one major problem

  4. Thanks for your comments Matt.
    Personally I think these sites should sort out their security issues – Safari is only going to get more popular (call me optimistic but I reckon OS X.3 will have Safari as the default browser) and if there are security issues with these sites then they’ll get bad press as a result.
    The same is starting to happen with sites that block Mozilla and Netscape – UK magazine The Register wrote quite a damning article about several major businesses who block out people using these browsers. Mozilla has already increased its market share to 2% in a mere 6 months, so hopefully these companies will wake up and smell the interoperability coffee.