Safari 4 Beta is Good, but not Good Enough for Me, Yet.

After a sneering rant from one of the Firefox marketing guys made me take stock and realize how frustrated I’ve grown with Firefox, I decided to give the Safari 4 beta a shot.  So far, results have been mixed.

The good:

  • Comparing a freshly started Firefox 3.0.7 to a freshly started Safari Version 4 Public Beta (5528.16) with the same ~20 or so tabs open split between two windows, Safari is using about 1/3rd the CPU of Firefox.  Actually, Safari has this Ajax heavy WordPress editing window open too.  A clear win for Safari
  • On the other hand, Safari is using about 50% more memory than Firefox.  The advantage would seem to go to Firefox, but since Safari is a beta build, it may be bloated with debug code.
  • When reloading a variety of pages in both Safari and Firefox, Safari just seems snappier.
  • Just opening an empty window on Safari is faster

The Bad:

  • When I try opening the “add link” overlay dialog in the WordPress editor on Safari, it comes up part way, but then freezes and I can’t do anything until I reload the page.  This may be a show stopper until it is fixed.  This is particularly odd, since other dialogs that load as an overlay work just fine. Update: I’m using the latest build of WebKit from WebKit.org and it works just fine.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any way to get rid of the search form at the top of the browser page, without also getting rid of the location/URL form at the same time.  I never use the search form, I prefer search shortcuts that I can enter into the location bar.
  • No way to rescue accidentally closed tabs on Safari.  On Firefox, one of the reasons I still use the Session Manager extension, rather than just relying on the build in session manager, is that Session Manager lets me recover the last 10 tabs I closed in each window, and the last 10 windows I closed, saving my ass when I close something by accident.  Safari lets you reopen the last closed window (and all the tabs in it), but it doesn’t do the same for tabs.  Advantage to Firefox for large ecosystem of plugins/extensions (and also, I realize, because it has basic tab-rescue features weven with out Session Manager.

3 thoughts on “Safari 4 Beta is Good, but not Good Enough for Me, Yet.

  1. Anthony Hecht

    Re: Bad point #3 – a little known and awesome feature in Safari is that you can undo closing tabs with CMD-Z, just like you’d undo anything else. It only works in the same window, though, so if you close the last tab in a window, you’re sunk.

    Also, I use Saft exclusively for it’s ability to restore Safari sessions, despite it being an evil Input Manager.

  2. Paul

    Apple Safari takes more resources compared to Opera and Firefox. sometimes it also freezes so i would still stick to Opera.

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