Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Safari versus Firefox

Safari is my every-day browser, it just gets better and better.

Firefox is the browser I use for two specific tasks:

1. I prefer to use Firefox for my daily Google Reader session, because it is so easy to turn off advertising. I would not need to do this if adverts in article I read were not so extremely obtrusive. I find it much harder to read when the text is surrounded by strobing adverts for products I have no interest in. So I just turn them off. Sorry for the publishers who need the income but the advertisers are doing you a disservice.

2. I use Firefox for debugging Ajax web applications, using the truely excellent FireBug. Firebug Lite runs in Safari, and it is an incredible acheivement, but it does not hold a torch to the real thing.

Firefox has lots of annoying niggles. The two that I find the worst are:
No obvious access to the system dictionary or spell checker.
Uses option instead of command as the meta-key to open a search or link in a new tab.

(As I said, I am used to Safari)

Anyway, it looks like some of my habits are about to change.
I just downloaded the latest nightly build of WebKit and it blew me away.

Webkit has something very similar to FireBug built into it now, I have not used it heavily yet, but what I have seen looks really promising!!

FireBug can give you some incredibly unuseful error messages sometimes, maybe WebKit will be better.

If you write and debug web applications for a living, I heartily recommend you try out a WebKit nightly, or if not, wait for Safari 4 which has recently been seeded to Apple developers.


Adrian Sutton said...

You don't need the WebKit nightlies for that (though it is improved in the nightlies). It's actually been a standard part of Safari for a fair while now. Just make sure you check "Show Develop Menu" in the advanced tab of preferences. I think it was even available using "defaults write" before that preference appeared, though it certainly wasn't always there (the Develop menu was, but only with very primitive JavaScript error logging).

Jerm said...

Thanks Adrian,
I know it's been there for a while, but it seems suddenly to have improved : )