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The Future of Safari

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Future of Safari

Picture of IrvinMany web developers have noticed that Safari development seems to be slowing down to less than a crawl. In fact, in many shops I have seen teams stop supporting Safari because of it is too proper in how it renders pages.

At first Safari was up there with Opera as far as standards compliance, and it was one of the first browsers to pass Acid2. There haven't been any firsts for Safari since then, so I am beginning to question Apple's commitment to Safari. I have always hated having to support Safari as a web developer myself because of the strange ways the JavaScript engine processes commands. Some of it is good, and some of it is bad, but the consistent thing is that it is different. Even between Firefox and IE there is a common method of processing commands such as eval, and the implicit window scope for that command. Granted, Safari / Konqueror's way of processing it is technically correct, the resulting object should exist in the current object context, however most developers had gotten used to the way it was. There are other differences in the way Safari handles JavaScript, most notably that it is definitely slower than Mozilla's Spider Monkey, or Microsofts JScript engine. I would have liked to see Apple continue to innovate with Safari, but now I think I'd prefer to see Apple drop Safari and use Firefox as their default browser.

Using Firefox as the default browser would be a stand, but I think its safe to say that the codebase is available so worse come to worse, they could skin Firefox to look like the rest of the chrome in OS X and no one, save developers would be the wiser. The benefit would be that we would finally be closer to having a standard browser. At least it would be nice to be able to phase out support for Safari over the next couple of years. It would also be nice to not have to worry specifically about Mac users complaining because they are running a kooky browser. At least we don't have to support IE 5.2 anymore, that was a real headache.