Molly speaks up… #26

…going on Safari…

some nice features…

Safari has been around for a while, but I haven't found reasons to comment on it before. It has been “just another browser” on our iMac for years, although lately it has grown up to run on some of our windows machines too.

Now I'm testing out Safari 4 Public Beta (528.16) on Vista, and one feature struck me immediately – it comes with Opera zoom. Ok, so that's not what it's called officially, but what do I care as long as that's how it works. Consequently: our site is well prepared for this new Safari version.

I've never been a fan of “cluttered view” when I open a new TAB, so Safari's “Top Sites” disappeared within minutes. Don't think I want it back, but some users probably like it.

Apart from that, Safari's feature list looks impressive enough, and I'll have a go at a number of them later. Gonna be fun.

1st impression…

It's cool how Safari 4 integrates with Vista – looks like a cross between IE8 and Chrome. I don't find its minimalistic chrome and hidden or semi-hidden TAB text all that user-friendly though.

It's a beta, and it shows. The full-page zoom feature doesn't return recalculated window size values, so CSS mediaqueries aren't triggered at the visually correct sizes when zoomed. Big miss there, and I hope they fix it before the final Safari 4 is launched.

Zoomed images aren't as sharp as I'm used to, but not too bad. Guess it comes down to “personal preferences”.

What has nothing to do with preferences – personal or otherwise, is how this browser distorts images injected by the 'content:' property if they don't fit in the original space. This is an old bug, and it isn't easily corrected without disturbing other browsers – unless one applies proprietary, non-valid, webKit hacks.

Extremely slow scrolling on pages with absolute positioned elements when zoomed. Zooming slows down scrolling on regular pages too when certain image combinations are on zcreen, so Safari is obviously working very hard under certain conditions. The result is generally very slow and extremely uneven scrolling – not a bit like Opera's smooth scrolling under all conditions.


Looks like nearly all Safari 4's weaknesses are related to the full-page zoom feature, so Apple really got some work left there. The rest looks pretty ordinary, and also pretty ok.

I have noticed that some are making noises about Apple making false claims to be “first” with certain features. What Apple claim, or not, doesn't bother me one bit though, as I know perfectly well what another browser has been doing for me for years.

I'm sure my author will experiment with what Apple call “Advanced Web Technologies” to see what they're worth, but apart from CSS animations and other CSS effects there doesn't seem to be much new in Safari 4 Public Beta (528.16).

It is important for us to know this browser well, since one or more of our creations may end up in it from time to time. Beyond that I'm not sure what to do with it, but I'll probably figure it out one day.


Relax. I'll let Safari 4 “grow up some more” before concluding on its usefulness – with features and all, as it would be unfair to express strong opinions on a beta version. So far I'm not impressed, but I'm not dismissing this browser either. Think I'll dissect it a bit more in the coming days and weeks.

Now I'm looking for the “off switch” for the disturbance in the main window when I'm opening bookmarks. If I wanted something like that on screen while surfing, I'd use SpaceTime. That feature in Safari 4 is a nuisance, but not a complete show-stopper.

One thing I'll say categorically though: if Apple don't quit polluting our machines with viperware, we'll probably sweep it all out after some basic testing and forget Safari ever existed. We may support Apple's browser, but we definitely don't want their shit!

sincerely  molly 'the cat'

Hageland 25.feb.2009
26.feb.2009 - added viperware image/link.
02.mar.2009 - added "somewhat related" link on "hacking Safari 4 beta".
08.mar.2009 - rewrote last sentence in last paragraph in main content, to make it more precise.
last rev: 08.mar.2009

Molly speaks up…

Molly: …anything new?
Opera: …not really.
Molly: …another copycat then, and not a very convincing one either from what I can see.


  • introduction
  • Table of Content


  • this is PTL web-design
  • CSS sledgehammer
  • Lynx enhanced page
  • Print enhanced page
  • Projection enhanced
  • Small Screen enhanced page
  • validity of xhtml and CSS
  • html tidy
  • Opera and me
  • Firefox vs. IE
the usual
  • the author
  • Copyright
the unusual
  • Molly speaks up
the additional
  • Examples
  • Demo pages
external info:
somewhat related:

… the author can not be made responsible for any harm done to and by this page and the rendering thereof, should the visitor be ignorant of all the hazards introduced by the use of any and all versions of Internet Explorer…


Yes, Safari 4 passes the acid 3 test too.

Welcome to the club.
— Molly


Molly's corner…