The Safari Challenge

I’ve traditionally been a Firefox guy. I like Firefox. I like the peeps at Mozilla, and they do great things. I also like Apple, and when I can, I try to use Apple products. So for an entire week, I decided I was going to suck it up and just try and make the switch to using Safari as my main web browser. No going back and forth, no half-assing it. All-or-nothing. Some people claim to be able to use different web browsers for different things. Not me, I can’t do that. I can’t even have more than one pair of shoes without getting confused.

Why go Safari?

  1. Speed & stability

    Safari feels faster. It feels like it launches faster, and it feels like it renders websites faster. Not that Firefox is slow, but when you spend all day every day on the web, milliseconds really make a big difference in feel. I’ve also had problems with some crashing in Firefox. Sometimes it was random, sometimes not. I had (before my new MacPro) an issue with Firefox where I could print a page once, but if I tried to bring up the print dialog again it was insta-crash. In searching around, I was not alone in this.

    Speed is less of an issue on my MacPro. It’s much more of an issue on my MacBook, which sports a measly 1GB of RAM and needs all the help it can get.

  2. Most progressive with CSS3

    Firefox has pretty good CSS3 support but it lags behind Safari. In particular, Safari supports transitions and 3D transforms that are particularly cool. More and more sites are using progressive enhancement transitions, and I want to be seeing all that stuff.

  3. Because I can

    As I’ll go through later, there are so many tools available for both browsers than switching should (theoretically) be no big deal.

So let’s get on with exploring the differences.

Text selection

I write a lot in the WordPress text editor (hey, I’m doing it right now!). So how this behaves is of grave importance to me. More than just write in it, I mark up my writing within it. I write a title, I select the text, I click a button to apply a tag around it. I most often do this after writing it. So I do a lot of highlighting-and-button-clicking. So I definitely notice little differences in how the browsers handle text selection. For example, triple clicking in Safari highlights the whole line, including the line break at the end. Firefox stops short of the line break, which I prefer.

Triple clicking safari highlights entire line, Firefox only the sentence

Developer tools

This is the biggie for me. I’m a Firebug junkie. Other than a code editor and the browser itself Firebug is the top web development tool of all time. Everybody is trying to get on board now, including the Safari. In the latest Safari, all you need to do is turn on the Developer menu in the preferences and you have access to the Web Inspector, which is Safari’s answer to Firebug.

The experience of using Web Inspector is a microcosm of my experience in using Safari itself. It absolutely works, in some ways even better, but it just doesn’t feel right.

You don’t get a little button you can click to pop it open, you’ll either have to right-click on an element and choose “Inspect Element” from the contextual menu, or press Command-Option-I to open it. One thing is for sure, Web Inspector is pretty:

My dislikes are a lot stronger than my likes. Fair’s fair though, apparently updates they will be rolling out soon are pretty substantial.

History

In Firefox, if you accidentally close a tab, you can press Command-Shift-T automatically re-open it. I do this all the time so I love this feature. But this only works if this was the very last tab you closed. If you need to reopen a tab you had open 2-tabs ago, you’ll need to dig through history. Still, it’s pretty useful, and Safari doesn’t have it.

In Safari, you get flyout menus for history for the last week. This means with a single-click-and-navigate you can find anything you’ve had open recently.

In Firefox, if the page you are trying to go back to is older than the last 10 or so, you’ll need to open the History Library and browse through that to find it. I find that a little too cumbersome. I do an internal exaggerated sigh when I have to open the History Library to open a tab I had open five minutes ago.

“Little” UI Differences

I think tiny UI differences are done on purpose by the designers behind these browsers. They do it specifically to make switching away harder. These little differences turn into little annoyances which cumulatively feel like a big annoyance and get you to keep using the one you are more comfortable with. For example, the ol’ flip flop:

RSS

Wanna subscribe to an RSS feed in Google Reader through Safari? Good luck, it’s not easy. The only way I can do it is figure out the feed URL and manually add it to Google Reader. In Firefox, it shows the feed and asks you what service you’d like to subscribe with. You can even make it even easier.

In Safari, when clicking on a feed URL, you get the slide-down blue screen of feed. Sometimes it’s kind of a nice way to view a feed, but rarely. It offers no subscription options other than subscribing through Mail.app or “live” bookmarking it. As far as I know, it’s impossible to see the actual XML source of the feed.

In Firefox, viewing a feed URL shows you the recent entries in a default view and offers the subscription options at the top. But if you view source, you can see the real XML which can be very useful. You can also view the source directly in the browser window by prefacing the URL with “view-source:” like this:

Safari leaves a lot to be desired in how it handles RSS.

Search

Good thing I like Google and wouldn’t want to change anyway, but there are no search options in Safari. In Firefox you get the dropdown menu with choices for search, meaning you can use different search engines and even do cool stuff like search Creative Commons Flickr photos. Firefox supports OpenSearch, meaning sites can even offer additions to this menu.

There is a plugin for Safari called Glims, which among other things, adds support for different search engines.

Integrations

There are some browser-integrated tools that I really love and I’m glad that are supported in Safari: 1Password and LittleSnapper.

1Password is a password / identity / wallet storing application that runs as an application. It integrates with Firefox nicely to save all logins for websites. Of course Firefox already does that, but the cool thing for me about 1Password is that I can store the database in my Dropbox and then my web logins are synced between my two computers. 1Password also stores my identity and credit card information so filling out forms online is way easier. I was glad to find out that it intgrates nicely with Safari as well.

LittleSnapper is a screen grabbing application that also organizes all those snaps into an organized library (and integrates with online services like Flickr). You can manually grab snaps, or use the menu bar application to snap the current page from the active browser. Works great with both Firefox and Safari.

Few quick mentions. Cooliris does work with Safari. One plugin I really like for Firefox, Screengrab, doesn’t seem to have an equivalent in Safari. StumbleUpon, as gigantic and wildly popular as it is, doesn’t appear to have a real browser toolbar, although I think you can use the site framing toolbar if you are diehard.

Bookmarking

I save my bookmarks I intend to share through Delicious. There is a great Firefox add-on for this. Unfortunately there is no official plugin for Safari, but there is DeliciousSafari which I actually like even better than the Firefox plugin, which tends to forget who I am fairly often. I paid the $9.95 for DeliciousSafari, which I hope I don’t regret as just recently I’ve been having a little trouble with it not saving.*

Local bookmarking between the two browsers is basically the same: add bookmarks, organize bookmarks into folders, basic import and export.

If you use Safari exclusively and also have a MobileMe account (the slightly grown-up but still overpriced and not-worth-it version of .mac), you can keep your bookmarks synced across all computers through that. If you don’t, no problem, you can use the excellent XMarks to keep your bookmarks in sync. The best thing about XMarks is that it is available for Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome, so you can keep your bookmarks synced cross browser and cross computer. Awesome.

* I find restarting Safari helps, and can force old bookmarks to save through to Delicious. Apparently it queues them up.

So?

Can I stick with it? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I wish I could give you a definite answer but I can’t. I am still using it even though it’s been past my week, so that’s a sign. I’ll probably continue to use it for a while longer. If I find myself doing a lot of heavy HTML/CSS/JavaScript work, I’ll probably need to switch back for the comfortability of Firebug.

One this is for sure though, I’ll be able to switch back and forth far easily now, knowing that I have things set up just right now and I feel much more comfortable.

Comments

  1. Baylor Rae' says:

    You made a lot of great points, and I enjoyed reading this.

    I use Safari and I tried to switch to Firefox, but I have become used to Safari auto-completing my urls in the address bar. Plus Safari automatically checks my spelling, while I have to manually check in Firefox. But Firefox has firebug, and I use firebug every time I build an app with javascript.

    So overall I use Safari for browsing and building sites with PHP, but Firefox for JS development.

  2. Don Kuntz says:

    I noticed that you said firefox will only open the last tab you closed using the open last tab command, but (at least for the windows version, and I thought they were the same) if you push control-shift-tab once you’ll get the last thing, do it again and you’ll get the thing before that, and so on and so on.

    Doesn’t it do that on the Mac?

  3. Phil says:

    Regarding the Web Inspector in Safari, I quote : “You don’t get a little button you can click to pop it open, you’ll either have to right-click on an element and choose “Inspect Element” from the contextual menu, or press Command-Option-I to open it. ”

    Actually, if you right-click the Safari tab title bar and choose “Customize Toolbar”, you can add a Web Inspector button to the title bar. I put mine besides the “Downloads” icon to the right of the Google search bar.

  4. Tommy says:

    I use to use Camino pretty hard-core on my iMac, but switched to Safari year or so ago.

    However, I think it will be hard to beat Chrome personally. I used that on Windows at an old workplace, and I got so used to the URL/Search combo bar and a few other features that I think I’ll use it over Safari once it’s out of beta.

    There’s just something about the UI of Chrome that makes me happy, too.

  5. Sid says:

    Nice comparison. A couple of notes about History on Firefox:

    1. Keep hitting Cmd+Shift+T to retrieve the last X number of tabs you closed.

    2. Cmd+H opens the History sidebar. Sort your history by “Date and Site” (http://kb.mozillazine.org/images/Fx35-HistorySidebar2.png) and you get all the sites you visited neatly arranged in alphabetical order. It’s much easier to sort through than those iPhone-type UIs on Safari.

  6. TeMc says:

    ” I can’t even have more than one pair of shoes without getting confused.”

    I’ll quote on that some day.

    Anyhow, awesome post. Got a few handy things I didn’t know about Safari. Though I’ve made my switch a month ago I still kinda missed Firefox every now and then.
    .. now I dont anymore :)


    Tem C.

  7. curtismchale says:

    I just can’t use Safari b/c I don’t feel the passwords are secure enough. Firefox lets you set a master password and I have been unable to find similar functionality in Safari. I haven’t looked at one password either b/c I split work time between Mac, Windows and Linux and need my passwords available across all platforms.

  8. Mark L says:

    Funny timing.
    Been doing a lot of ajax debugging stuff lately on a tomcat app and would much rather use safari’s speed. However I can’t seem to get the hang of Safari’s answer to Firebug, or the mess that is tabbed browsing in Safari. Switching tabs in Safari is not easy. Nor is opening new links in a new tab. Or closing a single tab. I don’t feel that these tasks should be hard or require a three-key shortcut. Am I crazy?

  9. Skilldrick says:

    Chrome has Ctrl-Shift-T to reopen closed tabs (not just the most recent one, but everything since you opened the browser).

    I found out about it by mistake, and it’s changed my life!

    I know what you mean about the Inspector (or Developer Tools as its equivalent is called in Chrome). It doesn’t work quite as well as Firebug, but it’s pretty nice for built-in functionality.

  10. Rob Carruthers says:

    I agree with all these points Chris, for and against. But the main reason I persevere with Safari is bookmarks sync with work, home & laptop (and iPhone). MobileMe syncing is one of the most underrated features on the Mac. It is also the same reason I persevere with Transmit, instead of a better FTP option.

  11. Safari is my main browser. Main reasons why are speed, CSS3 support, Web Inspector, ClickToFlash and Glims.

    Agree with Baylor Rae: I like Safari auto-completing my urls. One of the things I’d like though is the way Chrome has it as a search or address bar, but who knows if that’ll happen.

    @Phil: Good suggestion of adding a Web Inspector button to the title bar. I have a Kensington multi-button mouse that you can assign keyboard shortcuts on an app-by-app basis, so for Safari I have the Web Inspector as a chord of the left and right buttons (pressed same time). If just on my MacBook Pro though, the toolbar button is a great idea, or just right-click (or tap two-fingers) and inspect element.

    @Mark L: I’m not sure what you mean, would like to know for when I’m ever in FF though.
    Switching tabs in Safari IS easy: Command+Shift+Left(Right)Bracket. How is it easier in FF?
    Opening new links in a new tab: Command+Click link (Command+Shift+Click to open behind).
    Closing a single tab: Command+W for current tab, or click close button on any tab. How is that different in FF?

    @Chris: I was stoked when the Webkit team announced the changes coming to the Web Inspector. Always displaying colors as RGB is really annoying, glad that’s changing.
    You’re right, Styles, Metrics and Properties would be much better as tabs.
    The Resources tab is super useful.
    RSS handling needs an overhaul. Much prefer Firefox’s method. Why Safari doesn’t show source is really strange, that would be really useful. As far as subscribing with Google Reader goes, there’s a few options. In Safari’s preferences, under the RSS tab, you can set the default RSS Reader. It’s limited to apps though. I happen to use NetNewsWire (works great), which uses Google Reader for its syncing now, so it’s practically one click subscribing (besides selecting an appropriate group). If you only want to use Google Reader, I found some options after some googling. Maybe something worth looking at?:
    http://stephen-hallam.blogspot.com/2009/11/google-reader-and-safari.html
    http://kuwayama.com/safari-google-reader

  12. Don says:

    Things I don’t like about Web Inspector

    Colors are shown in RGB values only. I, like most of us, typically declare colors in HEX (heck of a lot easier to copy and paste from Photoshop).

    …yes that bummers me to

    You can’t edit markup live
    —ah ok markup but u can CSS!

    i think the only drawback of safari is that I can’t get to work a decent code highlighter for viewing “source”?

  13. Regnareb says:

    By reading all the points you describe in your post, it seems Opera should be a very good alternative for you (except perhaps some part of the support of CSS3, but I think it’s changing). It have a lot of advantages over Safari.
    Give it a try, I think you won’t be deceived.

  14. Josh Nielsen says:

    I would wait until chrome is in full release on the mac before making any decisions. I am using the beta right now and I made it my default browser already(was using firefox). It has a lightning fast startup. I do notice some jerkiness in js animations, but i think that will be resolved in full release. The ui is awesome, the tabs slide around when you open and close and I love it. It has most of the perks that safari has like the web inspector built in and so on. Plus the omni bar is awesome.

  15. Adardesign says:

    No Chris, Please!

    Whats with javaScript console?
    pixel Perfect?
    So much more…..

    We will miss you. :(
    You where a good user.

  16. Daniel says:

    very interesting article chris! I’m since long a firefox user but I thought about switching to chrome or safari a while ago because of their better performance. I think that both chrome and safari are better browser out-of-the-box than firefox but it’s all about the customizations in my opinion. Almost every little bit of firefox one don’t like is possible to fix. for example i like the omnibar of chrome but guess what there is an add-on for firefox which works really well to solve my problem. A keyboard shortcut you don’t like? same thing.

    I haven’t used the other browsers so much that I can say it’s impossible to fix what you don’t like about them, but it is certainly not as easy as with firefox.

    I don’t think that I wouldn’t switch browser even if i thought safari or chrome were slightly superior. Both Apple and Google are great companies, but I feel like Mozilla needs my support better

  17. Darren says:

    Wow great post, you really did your homework when you decided to make the switch. I’m a chrome man myself but I do switch to firefox every once in a while.

  18. Alistair says:

    Interesting post, I have tried to make the switch also to Chrome through choice but I always go back to Firefox. It is impossible not too.

    Living with it’s quirks in a way is like living with OS quirks, Firefox is the dirty dominatrix mistress of the web and everyone loves it.

    Dirty is probably a harsh word to describe it’s memory leaks and occasional crashes.

    Chrome is much faster, much simpler and element inspector is robust (same as Safari?) but you are right it doesn’t sit right at all.

    It’s a shame Firefox may die the minute Chrome integrate all of the available add-ons and how they handle that will be important.

    Safari is nice, i used to love the fat rendering it did in text, but that’s changed now and well I am not an Apple fan. Google, Mozilla or MS for me, simply because of customisation an open sourceness of it all.

    Great post.

    Cheers for your insight Chris.

  19. Steve says:

    Believe it or not, even though I prefer Safari for aesthetic and speed reasons, the killer Safari feature for me is twiddle.
    I can’t type “the” for hte life of me.
    control-t twiddles in Safari (as it does in most Mac-native apps).
    All control-t does in Firefox is beep.

    I use Firefox when I need Firebug.
    I use Safari as my default general-purpose browser.

  20. Sunny Singh says:

    Alistair: “It’s a shame Firefox may die the minute Chrome integrate all of the available add-ons and how they handle that will be important.”

    I really doubt Chrome will reach the amount of add-ons that Firefox has, but they can’t actually due to its own terms. That means you can’t create an extension for downloading videos or anything like that. With Firefox 3.7, I think that Google will fall back behind again. Mozilla simply pushes too hard to let anyone take them over. Even if Google does do that miraculously, that doesn’t mean the years of hard work Firefox put in will go to waste they will come back and learn from Chrome’s success. Not only that, Google supports/sponsors Firefox.

    Great post by the way Chris, you’re a great person for giving another browser a try. I really doubt Safari is a match to Firefox when it comes to development although it’s still very powerful.

  21. Logan Leger says:

    I’ve used Safari since day 1 on the mac. Firefox has always been too slow for me.

  22. When I got my first MacBook earlier this year I converted from Firefox to Safari. It takes a little getting used to, but I will say this now, I really do think that it just takes a little getting used to and then the whole web browsing experience is just that much smoother and easier.

  23. Gringo says:

    Hi Chris,

    One of the reasons I really like Safari is the resizable text-area’s.

    I specificly like that ability in the Art Direction -plugin in WordPress, or in contact forms on website with a too small text-area for my message (knowing the person reading it will have a wider mailprogramm anyway).


    Gringo

  24. Krinkle says:

    Another pro for Safari:

    * http://alexstaubo.github.com/keywurl/
    * Top Sites
    * CoverFlow-history (I totally love this one. So many times I visited a page I got to via via via via, but either closed it by accident or wanted to revisit it a day later.. I’d have to know the url, title and/or favicon to find it in Firefox’s history. With Safari I just litterly scroll through the screenshots it made and I’ll find my way. Or, if needed, I use the Spotlight-search that searches all words within the webpages I visited. This is one of the best and understated featues in Safari !

    , Krinkle

  25. Stephen Bush says:

    I recently switched from Firefox to Safari and then to Chrome (all on a Mac). I like Chrome for its Webkit rendering and super speedy JavaScript performance. After using Chrome for a week I went back to FF and was shocked at how unresponsive it seemed.
    I also find Chrome’s Inspector, View-Source option, and home screen to be slightly different and better than those in Safari.

  26. Chris Simmons says:

    I would like to put in a suggestion for Chrome, at least when it gets a bit more polished for your mac-heads :P I was previously a die-hard Firefox user but Ive been running it as my primary browser since the release on Windows. Cant say enough good things about the speed and minimalism approach (seems like so much more viewing space!). Now that extensions have rolled out I am having a hard time believing I will ever go back to FF. Not only are there many great ones available only a couple weeks after being released they dont seem to bog down the browser like firefox’s, and there’s no restart to install or disable.

    While it seems silly at first to think installing and enable toggling is THAT useful you soon realize the you can use extensions much more efficiently since rather then running your fav extensions constantly you just toggle them on when you need them. It frees up a lot of resources keeping things running quickly.

    As for the inspector, I admit I do keep Firefox for not just cross browser testing but in order to use the Web Developers plugin and Firebug on the occasion that the WEBKIT (not just safari!) inspector isnt cutting it. I think it’s only a matter of time until we get clones for Chrome that are equal if not better. Hell I’d love the Firebug guys to make the plugin even.

    When all is said and done for general use I prefer Chrome but yes, currently Firefox has the best dev tools…lets see where we stand a year from now :P

  27. adam says:

    I gave up on FF. Bloated, slow, they have lost the plot and it is very buggy. I had to switch back to 3.0 from 3.6. The 3.6 alpha does seem better but I sense that Mozilla are getting complacent, with everyone hating IE so much. Safari is great but with one anticipated flaw….as with everything Apple, Safari is basically what Apple makes it…..this is where the developer tools of FF win out so big (despite that they make it even more bloated!). My vote? Chrome….even tough Mac Beta has only just been launched. It is FAST! It is Webkit (as of course is Safari). It is open….the developer tools and eventual extensions will come. Loading FF is taking more than one minute, and I have very few extensions and plenty of memory. I have a vague suspicion that FF on Windows is better…..also, and interesting, I am finding that a site I develop in FF Mac looks more than a little different in FF Windows, in rather weird ways that have zip to do with my coding. Chrome apparently is aiming for 10% market share. Not a chance………..IE is about to freefall (read about their anti competition agreement with the EU yesterday…….read it closely and u will see Microsoft are VERY worried.) FF will grow but much more slowly. Safari is going nowhere….sorry, I love Apple but the whole company is about to crash and burn. Chrome will be #3, but with at least 20% share in 2 years. At some point Google will make a huge mistake….but Chrome ain’t it!

  28. Tom says:

    I switched to Chrome now that it’s out. Previously I was on Firefox, but I got tired of the slow speed. Chrome is far faster and offers more screen real-estate. However whenever I need to alter certain styles on a website I jump straight into Firefox.

    Great post!

    p.s. The font you are using in these text-boxes is awful! lowercase Cs look like lowercase Es!

  29. Jay Robinson says:

    Nice article. I use Safari to browse and Firefox to debug. I don’t mind switching between. Sites look prettier in Safari!

    I wrote an article strictly based on my qualms with Web Inspector versus Firebug: http://jayrobinson.org/2009/12/05/webkit-web-inspector-vs-firefox-firebug/

    If you spend a ton of time in the Write view of WordPress Dashboard, you might want to specify a monospace font for the HTML editor: http://jayrobinson.org/wordpress/jays-wordpress-admin-plugin/

    Thanks, Chris!

  30. thinsoldier says:

    @Don Kuntz: cmd+shift+tab works multiple times for me in OS X ( but I’m using the 3.6 beta however I have a strong feeling that it works fine in 3.5 too )

  31. Odin Dutton says:

    I just wrote a blog post on how to subscribe w/ google reader from any browser: http://twe4ked.com/2009/10/subscribe-in-two-clicks-from-any-browser

    Great post, I’ve been thinking of making the switch for a while now but now chrome is also on the list… Not sure what to do, I think ill wait a few more months and see how it all pans out.

  32. Michael Short says:

    After reading this a week or so ago I decided I would give this a try for myself.. Like you I have always been a firefox user so I decided I would give Safari a go.

    At first I agreed with your comments about the RSS system in Safari, and i do prefer the firefox rss system better (the drop downs in the bookmarks bar) but I don’t mind the safari way now that i’m used to it.

    The Biggest thing in safari for me is the speed. now that i’m used to it, going back to firefox just seems sooo slowww.

    Anyway Great Read!

  33. midaym says:

    Awesome article. one thing to note I noticed you linked to the site but its worth mentioning that safari is built on webkit which means it is in a sense open-source.

    You can simply download the nightly build of webkit to acquire update/new features.

    I personally test four 4 browsers on my mac now, being firefox, chrome, safari, and webkitNightly.

    Not really necessary for most sites but for my personal stuff it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for whats to come.

    PS. thw white on grey in your footer is hard to read on a laptop in low light maybe change the footer headings to black or possibly the blue in your logo?

  34. Zhuoshi says:

    I’ve tried to switch to using Safari entirely in the past since I like its interface better. But one thing that I can’t stand is its tab management. One is the inability to restore closed tabs with Cmd + Shift + T. I know there’s a plugin that makes restoring tabs possible with Cmd + Z but that interferes with inputing text. There’s also the problem with having too many tabs to fit the tab bar. I am the kind of person who opens 50 tabs at once and it’s really annoying when I can’t scroll down the tab bar, and have to select from a list instead.

  35. Kevin Oh! says:

    I’m on PC and I prefer Firefox for the use of the Web Developer toolbar and I think text looks weird in Safari. Good on Mac, but not so much on PC.

    @Sid –
    Had no idea about the Ctrl+Shift+T shortcut… brilliant!

  36. McBonio says:

    I like the look of Safari, but I don’t think I could function without my FF add-ons :)

  37. Josh says:

    Lots of good points. I know it’s been a while, but there’s one feature that I really enjoy in Safari, but don’t get to use often, is mousing over a word and pressing Ctrl+Cmd+D. You should get a little dictionary entry. Nice if you’re doing research or just reading an article that’s a little over your head in the vocab and jargon departments. I also like the textarea resizing feature.

    I still find that when I do any WebDev, though, that I switch back to FF if only for Firebug.

  38. Mary Baum says:

    The single reason I stay with Safari over any other browser: Autocomplete in forms! Except where there’s a security reason to have it disabled, I can fill in any web form in Safari by hitting the letter M for Mary or m for m email and the Tab key – and the form is done, filled in from Address Book, in less than a second. And I probably fill in two or three forms a day – yes, I probably sign up for too much stuff, but I’m curious about things. And no, tabbing from field to field and hitting the space bar or whatever isn’t the same. I like my forms DONE for me. So beyond every other advantage you guys have mentioned, I’ll stick with Safari just for the autofill.

  39. Hello,

    You forgot the Awesome Bar in Firefox, makes finding things in history/bookmarks really easy. For example type ‘wp-’ into the address bar and you’ll see the logins to any WordPress blogs you use. The substring searching is what makes it so much better than other address bars. You can type any part of the URL. And if you’re tagging bookmarks it makes it dead simple to find them too. You can also re-open more than one previously closed tab. Just press the shortcut again. Middle clicking back and forward buttons opens new tabs, which is a great feature. I admit it is a little slower than Safari on the Mac – although I use the lovely Windows 7 now – but the overall user experience of Firefox is much greater.

  40. Dale Sande says:

    Personally, Safari is my favorite RSS reader and has been for years now. Safari is my ‘fun’ browser while FireFox is my ‘work’ browser.

    I too have tried to switch, but Web Inspector just doesn’t make it for me like FireBug does.

    All day long, I have both browsers open.

  41. MyFreeWeb says:

    Chrome rocks :) Simple as Safari, powerful as Firefox, faster than anything ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCgQDjiotG0 ).
    But sometimes I want to switch back to Safari… Sometimes.

  42. Maybe you should try Camino, the Mozilla-based-built-for-mac browser. I’ve been using it quite a lot lately and I love it.

  43. sam says:

    You can edit markup or add/edit CSS with the web developer tools in Safari. For CSS, you just click on an existing element (it has to be one from the CSS file, not a default or system style). Then just edit it or add a new element after the semicolon. A bit wonky, I know, but it works.

    You can also edit the HTML markup in the left part of the window by double clicking it.

  44. Geek Rider says:

    Interesting article and impartial comparison!

    something off topic – The E’s and I’s in your post text doesn’t seem to appear in Safari (Windows) but shows fine in Firefox!!!

  45. bijan says:

    Hey I found your site through smashingmagazine.com. Seriously your site-design looks gorgeous! Just wanted to tell you that… Oh and to your article: Safari is nice on OSX but Chrome is getting better and better every month. Firefox lacks performance and I personally prefer Chrome over Firefox on the Mac. Although atm I am using Safari cause it’s scrolling is a bit smoother :D

  46. adrian says:

    I think that the fact Safari is the only browser with RSS viewing is the reason that 90+% of users still have no idea what it is. It is by far the easiest method of collecting and combining feeds into your own morning news. I’ve been reading every morning since the feature launched.

    I remember when Firefox introduced ‘Live Bookmarking’ or somesuch and I couldn’t work out why I needed to then hook up another service to view things.

    CMS-Z to open a freshly closed tab by the way..

  47. SomeGuy says:

    Get off Apples nuts

  48. The the majority of nerve-racking moments are those in which we think we basically have way too many pieces to concentrate on

  49. Ronnia says:

    I love this. Came across the site from a design article. I’ve been using Safari full time and hadn’t realized why, since I was previously the Firefox queen. You touched on a lot of points that describe how I feel about both browsers.

    I’m going to stick with Safari for a while. I love the way webpages look. Besides, my boyfriend has taken over Firefox and it saves us the annoyance of logging in and out of Gmail, Facebook, etc.

    Anyway – I look forward to more posts/sites liekt his one. :)

  50. chromax says:

    Try opera and you will awake.

    Opera, tabbed browsing since 1995!

  51. Muskelaufbau says:

    With out a doubt, Firefox has amazing plugins but to my mind this point can slow down the performance of browsing sites very much.

    I like Safari and Chrome… and I love Apple :-)

  52. Samuel says:

    You can actually copy and paste live HTML in the Web Inspector: right click on the element > Edit as HTML.

    This will allow you to edit the actual markup not just the attributes.