Browser Choice – Safari

Well, here is a delicate topic… Web browser of choice.

Personally, I use the internet a lot. Apparently its quite popular at the moment, but I don’t have to tell you that!

What is a big dilemma for some people is their choice of web browser. On a Mac, there is a fair choice, and some are far better than others, but in the end its a personal choice… The best few I will outline for the next few posts! Starting with Safari…

Safari is the default Mac internet browser. Honestly though, its really really good! It may not load some pages, it may screw up the rendering of other pages, and may be slow at times but it is a very useful and versatile browser. Compare it to the default offerings given with other OSes, Windows you get IE which is dire and full of holes waiting to be exploited or patched and it is fairly dated! With Linux distributions you generally get Firefox which is a very good browser (mentioned later).

The best thing about Safari is its expandibility, for me, it basically does everything. Using plugins I can get it to a stage where other browsers just dream of! For example, in Safari I have a plugin called Saft which has such great features as resuming the page that you were looking at when you quit and having Crash Protection which restores all of you tabs and Shortcuts which makes configurable searches available through the address bar. I also use Inquisitor, which although is in beta at the moment, is too amazing as it gives you a Spotlight interface to Google (or other sites) searches with the search bar. There is even an online version to this at which I recommend you check out! I also use SafariStand which isn’t quite as useful, but it has a nice searchable history feature and a viusal tabs bar, similar to some other browsers…
But overall, I think Safari is very expandable, especially seeing as there is a plugin/customization site dedicated to it, Other great things about Safari that I really miss with other browsers is the built in RSS reader that displays all of the news feeds on a searchable page that can be sorted various ways etc, this coupled with the no. of new items in a feed appearing in the bookmarks bar, even when the feeds are in a folder is just an ingenious idea and is very helpful, especially when you have many feeds of different categories. And then there are the tabs, which work really well, but tabs are becoming such a popular thing now-a-days that they really aren’t too special! Even simple things like having the backspace/delete button for going back is great, seeing as it doesn’t seem to exist in Firefox, as is the Private browsing feature, which prevents malicious sites from dumping cookies on you. And on top of all this you have the Debug menu which produces many colourful tools for developers and has the options to render a page as if you were Firefox or IE and if that doesn’t work, there’s a menu item that says “Open current page with…” which gives a list of your other browsers. It’s also based on Apple’s own webkit, which may be buggy in some respects, but it certainly isn’t Microsoft so you won’t have to rely on any other slow company to release update for it…
The main downsides with Safari are that although it doesn’t work with every single page perfectly, it will work with 97% of them. It is also pretty slow to load when you have lots of plugins, but I think the compromise is worth it. I’ve heard people complaining that there is no cookie management support, but I’m fairly sure that there is a plugin for that. And there is no way to configure proxies within the program itself (like in Firefox) so it may be less useful in restricted situations.

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