Apple

Safari 4 Public Beta Annoyances

webkitFirst off, I’m going to start posting in a new format – a “squirt” (screw you zune). I have thoughts to convey that are too long for a tweet and too short for a full entry. I’ll put all these squirts into a single category.

Here are some things about Safari that are chapping my hide:

  • With the newest version of WebKit, it is actually slower in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. Before, I was running a custom build of Safari 4 with WebKit and was doing over 100 ms better.
  • It breaks Mail.app if you are using the GrowlMail Bundle.
  • Nitro is the name of the new nebulous engine. How much of this is Squirrelfish and how much is optimization to WebKit?
  • 1Password doesn’t work. This is an InputManager so doesn’t really count as it’s an unsupported hack.
  • The blue loading bar is gone and the stop/reload within the URL bar is not intuitive. It’s also harder to see which pages are loading at a glance when clicking through tabs.
  • The bookmark button is cemented onto the URL bar. I don’t use bookmarks. Go away!
  • The trying-to-be-awesome-bar isn’t. It only matches the beginning of what you are typing. For example, in Firefox, I can type “alpha” and it will find the page I want. In Safari, I have to type “secure.xxxxxxx.com/alp” before it finds it.
  • The search bar is jaring how it plops down like a ton of bricks. This animation is so not Apple.
  • I have a hunch Safari is renicing itself somehow. Opera is not nearly as responsive when Safari 4 is running. Is this just me?
  • Reboot to install a browser? Grrr.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of nice eye candy, especially when you load up the browser for the first time. I’ve seen a lot of the “150 New Features” before as I’ve been compiling this version for a while now. Of those 150 features, there are probably 20 that are new and most I don’t really care about.

Anyway, WebKit has been and will continue to be my default browser (as I write this in Shiretoko).

image: apple

9 thoughts on “Safari 4 Public Beta Annoyances”

  1. Hi,

    You say you continue using WebKit but is it over Safari 3 or 4 ?

    Me, I used it over 4 but I’m not sure it is the best.

    Thanks

    1. I’m using it over Safari 4 Public Beta. But you have many options here:

      I’ve heard that the tags are sorted by OS. For example Safari-5xxxx.xx is for 10.5 and Safari-6xxxx.xx is for 10.6. I haven’t compiled any of the Safari-6 tags yet, so am not sure what’s in there.

      I’m pretty happy with the Public Beta the more I use it.

  2. I just made a similar post about my annoyances with Safari 4. The main one has to do with performance. On my PowerBook (I know, I’m still using a G4 PPC), Safari 4 feels much slower than version 3. The whole app is slow, rendering is slow, and worse of all, it’s using CPU like nobody’s business. The “Safari Webpage Preview Fetcher” was using 90%+ of my CPU until I turned off the “Top Sites” feature with one of the plist hacks. Now, just having one site open is using 30-40% CPU, but spikes to 70%+ when rendering each and every page. Considering I spend so much time in my browser, and I normally have many, many tabs/windows open at once, this just won’t work. I don’t understand why a browser needs to use so much CPU and RAM, especially when there is no flash running. I’ve turned off CoverFlow via the plist hack in bookmarks because it’s taking up too much space (and resources). As far as the new interface, I like it, except for the lack of a top bar for window management. I’ve also noticed that the “Smart Bar” seems kinda stupid as well! Hopefully, Apple will take feedback and improve the interface and performance before final release. Otherwise, I may be jumping ship to Chrome when its released. For now, I’m seriously considering reverting back to Safari 3 if only for performance reasons.

  3. Jeff,

    I’d be interested in reading your post. I’m pretty sure Squirrelfish is only available for Intel which may be the reason you aren’t seeing the speed increase everyone is raving about.

  4. The Webkit nightlies don’t update Webkit system-wide, they just run whatever version of Safari you have off that updated Webkit version.

  5. I’d just like to point out (in case you haven’t found this info yourself) that:
    – 1Password works with a little tweak
    – The address bar (and/or tabs) can be reverted to Safari 3 style
    – GrowlMail works just fine for me

    And as stated, Webkit is used by many other applications so that’s why the reboot. Also the benchmark thing may be because Apple most likely doesn’t use the very latest nightlies but like 1-2 weeks old builds which they have verified stable enough.

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