“In our last test, we tested the four major browsers on Mac OS X (Safari, FireFox, Camino, and OmniWeb). It has since become the most popular article on our site. Since then, there have been several improvements on almost all of the browsers, so we decided to test again.” More here. Elsewhere, check a preview of Firefox 2.0 too.
Fourth Mac OS X Browser Test
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli
2006-07-14 7:50 amsiti
Yes it is a shame that the KDE devs do not get more credit. Although this seems to be a common pattern with apple. KHTML is a great rendering engine.
2006-07-15 9:42 pmPowerMacX
“Yes it is a shame that the KDE devs do not get more credit. Although this seems to be a common pattern with apple. KHTML is a great rendering engine.”
Welcome to the website for the WebKit Open Source Project!
2006-07-14 7:50 amEugenia Loli
Yeah, funny that Opera and iCab both are missing from the test…
2006-07-14 11:09 amWowbagger
Not very well. The interface is apallingly un-OS X and the performance also is anything but stunning on OS X.
Mozilla based browsers and Opera just don’t cut it on OS X when it comes to performance, font rendering (still QuickDraw uglyness) and conformance with OS X UI guidelines.
Edited 2006-07-14 11:10
2006-07-14 12:03 pmCrimsonScythe
The interface is apallingly un-OS X
Perhaps like Mail.app is appallingly un-OS X, you mean? Or were you thinking that it wasn’t in line with the other 5 application looks in OS X? The widgets aren’t exactly uniform, so that doesn’t bother me much. I think it looks just fine on my Mac…
and the performance also is anything but stunning on OS X.
This indicates to me that you’ve never actually run Opera on OS X, or perhaps you tried it many years ago? It’s easily the fastest browser on the Mac, but Safari does give it a good run for the money. That is if Safari has less than 5 tabs open, and hasn’t been running for long. Try out Opera 9. You might be surprised.
As for Gecko-based browsers, I won’t disagree with you too much. Firefox and Mozilla are terribly slow, though Camino seemed quite snappy for me. The downside with Camino, however, was that it can’t even offer a tiny fraction of the features that Opera has and that it can’t use Firefox extensions. (Or can it now?)
All in all, I use both Opera and Safari here, and I’m fairly happy with both. After the release of Opera 9, I’ve used Safari less and less, though.
2006-07-14 3:51 pmeMagius
Opera’s interface does indeed mesh poorly with OS X, but given that Firefox was in the comparison (with a much less OS X-like interface), that does not seem to be grounds for dismissal. And Opera’s rendering performance, at least, is still much faster than Gecko and Webkit, as other benchmarkers have reported. It seems that Opera was left out of the testing primarily to make Webkit look good.
“btw, kHTML was not first/only developed by apple”
The author does not make such statement. He clearly says that Webkit is KHTML based:
“Safari/WebKit as well as OmniWeb use the kHTML-based WebCore, which Apple started developing when they released Safari.”
2006-07-14 11:55 amsuperstoned
point is, they say “which apple started developing when they released safari”. you could easilly read that as ‘apple developed KHTML’ if you know nothing about KDE… actually many ppl already think apple wrote KHTML, so it would be good if web publishers tried to educate ppl about this common misconception, at least didn’t encourage it.
after all, the whole Khtml/webcore thing, tough things didn’t go perfect, is a plus for both Apple (“plays nice with OSS”) and KDE (“clearly generates superior code”).
And with the unity project, webcore and Khtml might merge once again (dot.kde.org for info).
Where’s the control test? Where’s the machine specs for that matter? How much RAM does the test machine have? 1GB, 2GB?? What OS X Version? (this affects Safari a lot)
Didn’t even include Opera. This article is a poor and unscientific analysis dressed up in pretty graphics, seemingly with the goal to knock Gecko. A comparision between basically two rendering engines, doesn’t declare a winner. What if Opera was many times faster than even Omniweb? Gecko vs Webkit doesn’t really give me any final results.
2006-07-14 8:09 amKugelKurt
> What OS X Version?
Mac OS X 10.4.7. You should read the article.
2006-07-14 9:19 amKroc
I did, it was rubbish. I happened to overlook the OS X version because it was in a comment, in small writing and there was no section in the article that detailed the system setup at all.
2006-07-14 10:26 amrm6990
Exactly. It says that the applications are universal binaries, but that could just be for information purposes, they never say whether or not these tests are done on a PPC or Intel computer, nor what speed. For instance, on my 400 MHz G4 Tower, there is a slight noticeable difference between Camino and Safari in speed, and a major one between Firefox and Safari….but on my Intel Core Duo Mini w/1 Gig RAM, there is very little to no noticeable difference.
I don’t know why Camino scored so low in those tests…it feels just as fast as Safari for me. Plus, it supports every site that Firefox does, which is a lot more than Safari does. Safari does not have a Rich Text Editor (wtf? Internet Exporer 6 has this for crying out loud), so rich text editing in Gmail and Blogger do not work for me in Safari, whereas they do in Camino. And really, they are not as slow as mollasses. Camino does not feel slow at all on my Mac Mini (Core Duo).
As the author said, life is too short. Camino runs laps around Safari for me, and makes my life easier. Blogging with just a plain text editor is a show stopper for me right there.
And I just tried Omniweb, and it was even worse than Safari. It gets the same Google Maps interface that Internet Explorer 5 gets, AND you have to pay for it.
2006-07-14 11:13 amWowbagger
I’m pretty sure that he mentioned he was running the OmniWeb sneaky peek which is based on a newer version of WebKit than the official Safari version. So probably the official version of OmniWeb that you downloaded was an older one which is pretty slow.
I use firefox on my ibook and I don’t have anything to complain about… but that’s subjective I admit. But one thing I just don’t get is why so many people state that firefox does not look osx like, what is this osx like aesthetic anyway? maybe it’s because it’s got some colour (oh my god! there’s some green on my screen, is it borken?). No jokes aside, what does firefox look different from any other osx app… I’d really like to know!
2006-07-14 2:16 pmgrabberslasher
It’s not that it doesn’t “look” like any other OS X app, but it behaves differently with UI elements etc. No integrated spellcheck, Cocoa services, non-standard Tab controls in the preferences, toolbar control doesn’t work like other apps, image dragging is outline only, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, Firefox is great. But it’s a port, and it feels like it.
Is it just me or is safari just horrible at opening multiple tabs at the same time? Just seems to get overwhelmed and its really annoying and i get the happy spinning beachball.
Having a built in pdf viewer is nice but come on, multiple tabs!
Now I’m an Opera user and believe that Opera blows all other browsers out of the water on Linux and Windows (not used MacOSX extensively to know about it) but it *does* appear going on benchmarks available and by what the guy chose to write about in that page that he was just trying to put down Gecko.
I mean, Acid2 is a nice thing to have but to bring it up as one of only a handful of items to beat Gecko is just weird.
It does seem that the exclusion of Opera was because it would trump the WebKit (Apple started development on KHTML doncha know… thats cheeky Asa Dotzler-esque phrasing right there).
Again, another bizarre article in an internet of bizarre articles.
i wonder how opera would do in this test.
btw, kHTML was not first/only developed by apple 😐 shame on the authors for not mentioning the fine kde programmers.