January 27, 2003

Window Shopping: Reflections on New Web Browsers

Posting this from Apple's new Safari web browser, on my dad's G3. Quite a nice program, but still short of perfect. It is indeed fast and I love the stripped down interface, which removes major junk but includes a google search imput. The loading status indicator inside the url field seems great to me, although it seems to annoy some people.

The back button doesn't quite work as I hoped. I had been told it contained a universal history, allowing you to go back pages before the one you actually launched the window with. Only browser that I've ever seen do this is iCab, and its great. Launch a page in a new window and you can still go back a few pages to an early site. Makes no sense to me why a new window shouldn't be able to go back to the page that launched it.

The lack of tabbed browsing doesn't bother me mainly because I haven't spent enough time with a browser that supports them. And in the times I have I could never get them to do what I wanted. Namely open each and every single link as a new tab, while retaining focus on the current page. Would be perfect for what I assume is my unconventional browsing technique, where I open a dozen or two windows and then close the pages as I finish them.

My dad has a different problem with Safari, he's grown attached to IE on OSX's "page holder" feature. And for good reason. It splits the browser into two window panes. On the left goes the page holder web page. Clicking links on this page opens them up in the right pane. Amazing for pages with a lot of links. I want this feature on my PC laptop, but it seems to be a Mac IE only thing. Given that its one of the best interface improvements to the browser yet, I really hope its soon universal...

note: after first publishing this, I noticed that Safari is screwing up some of the type formatting CSS on my site. Isn't this supposed to be Apple's strength?

note 2: and then I noticed IE messes the same formatting up, guess its time to make a Gif...

Posted by Abe at January 27, 2003 07:59 PM