Linked by Kroc Camen on Tue 24th Feb 2009 14:55 UTC
Apple Apple released the Safari 4 Beta today. Features: Tabs on top. "Top Sites" 'Speed Dial' feature. "Smart" address/search fields. HTML5 Canvas. HTML5 Audio/Video (though no Ogg). Acid 3. CSS Animation/Gradients/Masks/Reflection. CSS Web Fonts. New "Nitro" Javascript engine - "Up to 4 times faster than Firefox 3.1". 'Native' look and native font rendering on Windows Vista/XP. I can think of only one thing: "Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"
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That's all well and good, but...
by FellowConspirator on Tue 24th Feb 2009 17:29 UTC
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... some of the features are de facto irrelevant. The problem with many features is that, the web being what it is, nobody publishes using the new features until the developers conclude that a reasonable majority of the readers have browsers that support them. Many of Safari's features re wonderful, but will remain largely unused until it's peers catch up.

The REALLY good stuff are the new JavaScript engine, and the developer features (which you don't need to be a developer to appreciate). Also, the various history enhancements are nice too. I'm not sure, but doesn't the beta include a feature to save a site as a stand-alone application too (on the Mac), like Fluid does?

I'm also unconvinced that Safari is a good choice for Windows users. A lot of the native features Safari uses on the Mac don't exist on Windows, so there's kludges... Then the UI itself is a giant kludge because of the difference in platform, and then there's the bloat that comes from having to have the extra libraries and layers of abstraction to port the OS X-native app to Windows.

BTW - I really like Safari. For those with OS X, I suggest it whole-heartedly. For Windows -- well, it's still good, but just not as satisfying.

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