Safari on Windows

Apple released a beta version of Safari for Windows.

Good points:

  • It seems pretty fast, despite its stupid GUI (see below).
  • It loads very quickly.
  • It seems to use less memory – 25MB upon loading compared to Firefox’s 35MB and Internet Explorer’s 31MB (this was a very crude comparison, though).
  • It stole a lot of icons from Firefox, but unlike the Internet Explorer folks, they didn’t take the RSS icon.
  • It’s good for testing sites.
  • It’s Free Software (although i haven’t look at the details of plugins etc.)
  • Ctrl-T and middle-click open a new tab, which is very important (but see below).
  • Hebrew in websites seems to work correctly (but see below).

Bad points:

  • It has a very Mac-style GUI. All-gray tones, flat buttons. Despite this, the browser seems pretty fast (see above).
  • The preferences dialog doesn’t have OK, Apply and Cancel; Closing the window means OK, although in the Windows world it usually means Cancel, which is very confusing.
  • Mouse wheel doesn’t work.
  • Middle click doesn’t close an open tab, which is standard in Firefox and Internet Explorer. It’s pretty annoying.
  • Hebrew text appears in reverse in the GUI of the browser, although it appears correctly in the sites themselves.

The worst point is the mouse wheel. I use it a lot and i surely hope that it’s just a bug and not a stupid feature devised by Apple to make usage simpler (it’s all too easy to imagine Apple UI engineers say something like “Most users don’t understand how to use the mouse wheel anyway and Mac users do very well without it.”) So for me it’s a show-stopper and i’m sticking with Firefox, although it is useful for testing. Hey, i am loyal to Firefox even on Linux, where i can use Konqueror which is the origin of Safari.


3 Responses to “Safari on Windows”

  1. 1 Dan 2007-06-12 at 14:24

    Mouse wheel work for me perfectly.
    However, if I try to watch the demo videos in Apple’s own website, and while playing click the “problem report” icon, it all starts flickering in a buggy way.
    I guess both problems are easy to solve, and most likely apple will release some fixes in the next few weeks. All in all, I’ll stick with FireFox, mostly because of my favourite plug-ins – GMail RTL and FlashBlock. Still no substitute for those two on any other browser.

  2. 2 Shlomi Fish 2007-06-13 at 12:16

    While the WebCore engine is open-source (original parts under the LGPL and newer code under a BSD-like licence), I believe the Safari GUI itself is proprietary and was not released to the public.

    And I noticed the anti-pattern of “Only-close” (while applying changes) for preferences and other dialogs in GNOME as well, and it annoyed me there too.

  3. 3 aharoni 2007-06-13 at 16:04

    Oh, don’t get me started about GNOME. It’s UI is worse than CDE and Windows 3.11. I just don’t understand why some people would actually choose to use it. Thank God for KDE.

    But that’s just IMHO.

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