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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Firefox or Safari, and why?

Firefox or Safari, and why?
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:09 PM
 
I'm a firefox person, mostly because I love browsing that is nearly ad-free (and I love StumbleUpon). But, so far, Safari's not bad.

Pros/cons? Which do you use? TIA!
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:28 PM
 
Firfox is horrible. No Mac user interface, no Services, no system dictionary integration, Windows terminology in its German localization, ugly rendering, a dock icon that goes comes and goes and comes when you launch it etc. pp.

Safari is a true Mac application, elegant looking, fast and simple. It's the Mac browser of choice.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:37 PM
 
I've been playing with Firefox lately because of the themes and extensions, but I'll probably fall back to Safari because I really like Inquisitor.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by slpdLoad View Post
I've been playing with Firefox lately because of the themes and extensions, but I'll probably fall back to Safari because I really like Inquisitor.
*feels dumb* What's inquisitor?
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:48 PM
 
Inquisitor 3. Spotlight for the web.

I miss it after not having it for a while.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:55 PM
 
Firefox is what you make it. It may not be as polished as Safari, but then again, Safari is made by Apple. Rendering looks fine, for the most part and I haven't run into anything that isn't usable. Mine launches in six bounces with no coming and going on the first launch, then three at the most every other. No crashing. Looks good when used with a good theme, like Pinstripe or Grapple. It's all about extensions, too. I'm on a MBP with 2GB RAM using an intel optimized build. The official version is a bit slower, but still only takes 3-4 bounces to start.

Safari is very nice and feels good. It's tight and has plenty of good features built in. Plus, the integration into the OS is very nice. But it has its drawbacks that keep me from using it full time, like incompatibility with sites that I visit often (like my financial sites) and a disappearing mouse bug that really annoys me. I can't wait for the next version.

Edit: Have you tried Google Importer? It adds basic Inquisitor-like functionality to Spotlight.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 11:25 PM
 
Safari for me. I have no why. Everytime I have tried the countless browsers for the mac, I just come right back to Safari.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 01:39 AM
 
firefox mainly because i like the features. i tend to like the keywords features (not sure if this is available or not in camino) and some of the extensions. harder to get extensions working in camino.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 08:50 AM
 
Firefox, because extensions provide tons of functionality that isn't possible in other browsers.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 08:57 AM
 
I used to use firefox, then i found that all the extensions I used were avaliable for Safari.
Inquisitor, SafariStand, Sogudi, etc.
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:31 AM
 
But Safari doesn't have a supported extension API, does it? If those are hacks then that's really not the same thing.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:18 AM
 
Camino. FF with a Mac interface (sort of).
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by crazyjohnson View Post
Camino. FF with a Mac interface (sort of).
"Basic" FF with a Mac interface (sort of). It's progressing, though and what's there works.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by crazyjohnson View Post
Camino. FF with a Mac interface (sort of).
The only thing in Camino that I would consider "Mac interface" would be the buttons. Everything else seems ripped off Firefox, which was ripped off Windows. It doesn't have the functionality of FF or the Mac-ness of Safari. It's pretty much a mish-mash of the other two.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:35 AM
 
Although I'm a Firefox user, I'm rapidly becoming disillusioned with that browser. My position that Aqua has no place in a Web browser hasn't changed, but I'm coming to believe that the Firefox folks have lost sight of the most important things in any browser: that it works properly (i.e. standards) and that it works well (i.e. performance). The 2.0 release does not deserve the major version number: there were no changes in the most important part of the browser, and even a lot of the fluff originally planned for the browser was cut in the interests of rushing the thing to market.

This is not to say that I have a lot of love for the WebKit development process. Unlike FF, the developers actually have their priorities straight, and there are a lot of standards in the nightly builds which, sadly, you Just Don't Get anywhere else yet. Quite a shame, really, because if these things were more widely implemented they could solve a lot of problems with current Web-design techniques. But for all this goodness, WebKit is so closely tied to Apple that it has no browser of its own, and so it can't make releases of its own. It's tied directly into OSX in a way that just isn't healthy.

I have hope for FF3.0. They're going back to focusing on standards support, as well as cleaning up some architectural issues which can only help things more. But I'm seriously considering moving to Safari until the 3.0 development really gets moving.
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by DuckRacer1 View Post
The only thing in Camino that I would consider "Mac interface" would be the buttons. Everything else seems ripped off Firefox, which was ripped off Windows. It doesn't have the functionality of FF or the Mac-ness of Safari. It's pretty much a mish-mash of the other two.
Ripped off Firefox? Camino is older than Firefox. The interface is more than just the buttons, it means things like being able to use Services, Keychain, and now integration with the system spell-checker.

Firefox eats a lot of memory, so does Safari. Having said that, if Safari worked with gmail properly I would use it.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:57 AM
 
For the first time ever, I'm using Firefox beyond tinkering. There are some things that are very annoying, but overall, it's not bad.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
WebKit is so closely tied to Apple that it has no browser of its own, and so it can't make releases of its own.
What do you mean by "it has no browser of its own"? Safari is WebKit's "own" browser. And they can release of their own. They release nightly builds which you can download here: http://nightly.webkit.org/
It's tied directly into OSX in a way that just isn't healthy.
It's tied into OS X as much as is needed to leverage OS X technologies. And that's exactly what a proper OS X browser should do. That doesn't mean that WebKit is not portable. Nokia uses it to run the S60 browser on a cell phone. Adobe will use it to run Apollo on Windows.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 11:22 AM
 
I use firefox because safari can't load the new yahoo mail interface and it skips when playing flash files when they are not playing in the top window.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 02:41 PM
 
Safari.

*Keychain
*Spelling dictionary
*PithHelmet
*CSS compliance
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 03:22 PM
 
I like Safari for the spelling and integrate OS X stuff, but I see that it's missing Gmail talk support and I like Firefox's search much better.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 03:40 PM
 
I try every FF update and always go back to Safari. I think I tried the last update for about an hour and went right back...lockups, really, really slow on some pages. I wanna like it, the more browsers the better in my book, it just ain't there on yet on the mac. I'll keep trying it though.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 04:00 PM
 
70% Firefox (Loads pages faster)
30% Safari (Looks/Feels better)
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 05:57 PM
 
I've been giving FF another chance lately. At first I couldn't see anything really wrong with it, but I couldn't think of a reason not to use Safari. Sarafi just feels faster to me, and I can't help it, but I like the Mac-style widgets on web pages. (I really don't care what the site designer thought was aesthetically pleasing, they're usually wrong.)

Today I found my reason for using Firefox -- I do a lot of travel arrangements online for my job, often on the same sites -- Jetblue, carrentals.com, Orbitz, etc. I noticed today that when I click in a text box, it pops up all the things I have typed in that box before. So when I'm making arrangements for the same person, or putting in our company information, all the info is still there. This is the closest I've come to the functionality of IE for Mac, which had a fantastic autocomplete feature (although different in that it had to be trained). Safari, and every other browser I've used, either fills in too much with the wrong information, or doesn't offer to fill in no matter how many times I've typed the same thing in the same box.

So I think I'm going to stick with FF for a while.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
Although I'm a Firefox user, I'm rapidly becoming disillusioned with that browser. My position that Aqua has no place in a Web browser hasn't changed, but I'm coming to believe that the Firefox folks have lost sight of the most important things in any browser: that it works properly (i.e. standards) and that it works well (i.e. performance). The 2.0 release does not deserve the major version number: there were no changes in the most important part of the browser, and even a lot of the fluff originally planned for the browser was cut in the interests of rushing the thing to market.

This is not to say that I have a lot of love for the WebKit development process. Unlike FF, the developers actually have their priorities straight, and there are a lot of standards in the nightly builds which, sadly, you Just Don't Get anywhere else yet. Quite a shame, really, because if these things were more widely implemented they could solve a lot of problems with current Web-design techniques. But for all this goodness, WebKit is so closely tied to Apple that it has no browser of its own, and so it can't make releases of its own. It's tied directly into OSX in a way that just isn't healthy.

I have hope for FF3.0. They're going back to focusing on standards support, as well as cleaning up some architectural issues which can only help things more. But I'm seriously considering moving to Safari until the 3.0 development really gets moving.
Funny - it criticize all and says nothing ;-)
it was even never intended to change the rendering engine part (Gecko) for this 2.0 release - and there are many good reasons for this decision
but the guys who works on Gecko do that all the time - they work only on this and have nothing to to with all the other Browser functions - the same with Webkit and Safari
and only "Places" - a new bookmark-manager system was deferred to FF 3.0

and
when you criticize this - you should equally criticizes that the Apple iTunes music store guys does nothing to improve the Mac OS X kernel ;-)
----
"Aqua has no place in a Web browser"
FF 3.0 and Safari 3.0 will have aqua form widgets and the CSS style features - then is everyone happy, or? where is the problem?
---
FF 2.0 version with aqua form widgets, but with some missing CSS style feature (more or less like Safari now as well )
Optimized Firefox 2.0 for G4, G5, and Intel Macs: BeatnikPad Journal
----

by the way - i use Firefox and naturally one of my FF themes - GrApple (Eos) GrApple - Aronnax`s Firefox Themes
mainly because of Gecko and some FF extensions
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 08:49 PM
 
I use the alphas of Firefox 3. I prefer Safari to any of the released versions of Firefox, which are slow and prone to freezing.
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I use the alphas of Firefox 3. I prefer Safari to any of the released versions of Firefox, which are slow and prone to freezing.
it does not exist a alpha of Firefox 3 - only buggy, completely unfinished dev. builds - - therefore, it`s a really stupid idea to use these builds
FF 2.0 on the other hand is rock solid - maybe, you should use finished software
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:11 PM
 
Safari, primarily. Of course I use Firefox on Windows, but I primarily use Safari on OS X. I've been using the Camino 1.1 alpha recently though, and I must say that it's fairly enjoyable. But I'll really be tempted to move to Ff full-time if the 3.0 release is as good as they say it will be. Otherwise, Leopard's version of Safari looks pretty impressive too.

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by aronnax View Post
it does not exist a alpha of Firefox 3 - only buggy, completely unfinished dev. builds - - therefore, it`s a really stupid idea to use these builds
And Firefox 2 is a buggy, completely unfinished release. I'll go with the one that actually works, thanks.

Originally Posted by aronnax View Post
FF 2.0 on the other hand is rock solid - maybe, you should use finished software
LOL. Firefox 2 is a slow, freezing piece of junk. It's worse than Firefox 1.5. I would rather download the raw HTTP data and parse it all in my head.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Oct 31, 2006 at 09:20 PM. )
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
And Firefox 2 is a buggy, completely unfinished release. I'll go with the one that actually works, thanks.


LOL. Firefox 2 is a slow, freezing piece of junk. I would rather download the raw HTTP data and parse it all in my head.
bullshit ;-)
if FF 2.0 works buggy on your system - create a new profile - then Firefox will works for sure rock solid Migrating settings to a new profile - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:36 PM
 
by the way,
buggy, completely unfinished dev. builds of FF 3.0 can destroy a FF "profile"
likely the reason why your FF 2.0 versions is buggy as well - it`s therefore only for developer, or for guys, who knows what they do ;-)
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 01:41 AM
 
Firefox will always be "buggy" because that's what a Mozilla release always is. Always. It's their nature.

DO NOT get me wrong. Though that sounds like an insult, it's not meant to be. Mozilla and associated software (Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird) has to my experience always been _the_ number one unique, cross platform, stable, and compliant (suite of) software. What they do they do great. Better than anyone. Especially those PostScript junkies at Adobe.

The check that Adobe needs is better served elsewhere. Suffice it to say, "pssst! Adobe! The OS level is greater than you! STOP trying to make your dialogs clones of windows because windows navigation makes little to no sense! What's wrong with you? Any user worth their salt will choose the OS dialog. Same goes for your installer and updater. Gimme a break already! How '95. OS X is years ahead of you. And stop, just stop ignoring system wide application key commands! Gah! You suck!"




Uh... anyway... Firefox... It does what no other browser does. No, not Opera either. They fluff their browser too much and suffer from Mac OS blindness almost as much as Adobe. Firefox provides the web browsing experience you expect across more systems than any other. Though Safari hits the spot, it never will on Linux or windows. Firefox always will, and for that it gets respect.

Though not regular use on my Macs.
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 04:27 AM
 
I've been a Safari guy, pretty much since it came out. I use Firefox in Windows, and Safari in OS X.

Since Firefox 2.0 has been released, I have been using it exclusively. I really like the user interface theme, such as the back-forward buttons, the clean gradients, and the way the tabs look. However, I do not like the weird Windows 2000 theme for the content within browser windows.

Another reason I use Firefox is because the ad-blocker that I found for it works better than the ad-blocker I use for Safari. Also, I like how Firefox remembers which tabs and windows I had open when I quit the application, and when I re-open Firefox, everything is just as I left it!
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
I used to use firefox, then i found that all the extensions I used were avaliable for Safari.
Inquisitor, SafariStand, Sogudi, etc.
safari has extensions?
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
And Firefox 2 is a buggy, completely unfinished release. I'll go with the one that actually works, thanks.


LOL. Firefox 2 is a slow, freezing piece of junk. It's worse than Firefox 1.5. I would rather download the raw HTTP data and parse it all in my head.
mine has been remarkably stable and fast --in fact, much better than FF1.5 on my powerbook 1.33Ghz; it also runs very well at work on my 3.something gigahertz dell box. i do not have tons of extensions (just a few) running, so maybe that's why?
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:48 AM
 
I use both but my browser of choice is safari. On the peecee its firefox hands down but I like how safari works on the mac.

FWIW I have had no problems with firefox 2.0 and I use that from time to time instead of safari (mostly to view pages that won't work in safari.)
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:51 AM
 
see, that's just it. i usually don't have time to open another page in another browser. i'd rather know it works (ff) than use a browser like safari that works sometimes and sometimes not.

but, hey ... to each his own right?
     
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Nov 2, 2006, 08:08 PM
 
Firefox all the way. was a safari user until recently. but Firefox has everything good about Safari and then some.

First of all, you can get versions of firefox customized to PPC or intel versions of the mac, which when combined with the extension FasterFox make firefox mucho faster than Safari

Secondly, it can look just as good as safari, if not better with all the themes available. and some of the rendering may not be as "elegant" as safari but there are sites out there that Safari is just not compatible with.

It already has features that we're waiting for in Safari in Leopard. Its slower to start up, no doubt. but its so much more flexible. and there are so many more people working on extras for it, that you can be sure that its gotta everything you like in safari.
     
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Nov 2, 2006, 08:21 PM
 
Neither - I use OmniWeb. I love the tabs, the cool features, and (since 5.5) the speed and compatibility.
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Nov 3, 2006, 01:13 AM
 
just a tidbiyt firefox has a realllly bad memory leak issue. if i leave it open for 2 hrs 100+MB are gone. one day. forget aboutit. i dont knw if the issue was fixed in the 2.0 release.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 01:25 AM
 
wow ... i just don't seem to have all these issues. i might have a memory leak or not ... not sure? but, i do know i reboot often and don't always leave my machine on for weeks at a time so maybe i am not experiencing those things because of how i work?
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 01:36 AM
 
Firefox, because performance, compatibility, and functionality are advantages that outweigh OS X integration for me. Plus, I'm a web developer and I really like the Web Developer FF extension, it is quite useful.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by houstonmacbro View Post
wow ... i just don't seem to have all these issues. i might have a memory leak or not ... not sure? but, i do know i reboot often and don't always leave my machine on for weeks at a time so maybe i am not experiencing those things because of how i work?


just open your activity monitor and watch firefox slowly jump to the top of the list as the hours progress and your machine is on. 4 hrs top and itll be hogging 100+MB
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 11:22 AM
 
Forget both of them. Use Camino.
i hate project managers.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
Safari for me... I just can't get over how clunky Firefox feels... Im not just talking about the buttons and "chicklets" as my friends call them. IE7 has a better feel to it than Firefox does, and that's just sad and wrong.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:56 PM
 
Open your Minds! There are so many web browsers out there for Mac!

Safari 2- Well Safari is fast, no denying that. It can outperform Internet Explorer f/ Windows on a Intel Mac. It's dead simple to use. It has all the basic features you'd expect from a browser, and is fairly extensible. It uses a nice interface, and has good but not great bookmarks management. It also syncs with .Mac. Downsides? Preferences are slim, Features aren't extensive, tab implementation is lacking, and the history feature is horrible. It also doesn't restore sessions or have any sort of workspace feature (which will reportedly be somewhat fixed in Leopard.) Ad blocking is lacking if you're into that.
Note: With SafariStand and PithHelmet most complaints are eliminated and many features are added. However a Safari "pimped" with enhancements is harder to use and less stable then plain Safari. It also will complicate upgrading to Safari 3, which will reportedly come with Leopard.

Firefox 2: As for Firefox, it works with more sites, has some incredibly handy toolbar extensions, is incredibly extensible, and works the same on Windows and Mac. Other then that, there's not a ton to like about it. I suppose Phishing protection is nice, and the customizable search is a simple feature that Safari lacks (Safari Enhancer or a variety of other add-ons can give Safari some choice about search, however.) However, extensions are the killer feature of Firefox, as a version of Firefox customized with extensions is a powerful, though somewhat unwieldy, tool. Some authors make points that Firefox extensions are somewhat equaled by Safari add-ons like SafariStand, SafariBlock, and Safari Enhancer. Problems with this argument are fairly obvious; There aren't as many good free ones, the best (Saft and PithHelmet) often cost money; and Safari doesn't have an add-on manager that ensures prompt updating of add-ons/extensions to keep pace with when your browser (Firefox or Safari) is updated. Also, Safari is automatically updated with every major and many minor OS X releases, breaking many add-ons. About:Config is a very nice feature of Firefox also. Overall, Firefox is an OK power user browser, but due to the poor interface, I'd say Mac OS X power users often have better choices then either Firefox or Safari; read on...

Shiira 2: An up-and-comer in the browser field, and one that is unique to Mac OS X, Shiira 2 is a very cool web browser. Basic bookmark functionality is still lacking in these early betas, but Shiira 2 already has some incredibly innovative features, including:
• Graphical tabs, like OmniWeb's but one step better
• Heads-up-displays, weird iPhoto-adjust-panel like things for Bookmarks and History
• And more - see http://www.musingsfrommars.org/2006/...s-the-way.html
However it's not really usable yet. It is probably the most promising new browser for any platform since Firefox -- and it's open source, from the engine all the way through the UI.

Opera 9:
This is my current recommended browser for power users. It has tons of features and suffers a bit from feature bloat, which luckily due to optimization does not mean general bloat; it's probably the fastest browser on the Mac, and it has a reasonable file size. It has some extremely innovative features and excellent standards support. Also, if you use Windows or Linux, it's similar on all 3 platforms. However, it's not really extensible.

OmniWeb 5.5:
This browser is my other favorite, and the one I'm using now (I bought it before Opera 9 was free and out.) I adore its graphical tabs, site preferences, complex prefs, advanced bookmark & history features (particularly History search) and Safari Bookmarks file compatibility. I like its Workspaces function and love the session save that's part of it. (Session save is also in Opera 9 and Firefox 2.) The extensibility is lacking, though, and it's somewhat slow. Not everyone will like the tab drawer. It also has a nice live page source editor -- good for quick source touchups if you're a HTML editor.

Thoughts on other browser:
iCab 3: Only use on OS 9 - it's slow, unreliable and not that great.
SeaMonkey: Ugly suite! And not OS X like at all. Plus we have good Mail (Mail.app) and newsgroup apps (Unison), not to mention HTML editor (Nvu.) Same with irc.
Flock: Haven't tried it
Camino: Never got what was so exciting after Safari Beta 2 came out - it seems less enchanting then even Safari. Ah well...

So that's my thoughts on the power user browser market. My faves? OmniWeb ($9.99 - Limited time only) and Opera 9 (free.)
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:59 PM
 
safari > firefox

imho
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JKT
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Nov 3, 2006, 03:56 PM
 
I use FireFox on Windows and, as an OmniWeb user on the Mac, I'm not that impressed by it. It's only saving grace is that it is better than Internet Explorer.

The worst thing - the most important extension (Tab Mix Plus) I have come to rely on to give it a degree of OmniWeb's functionality hasn't been updated to work with version 2.0 so I am stuck using a buggy and, worse still, unsecured version of the browser until it is... which does not fill me with much confidence on the Windows platform. Also, I have no idea if that extension ever will be updated in which case I will always be stuck using an unsecured, buggy browser.
     
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Nov 4, 2006, 12:03 AM
 
Firefox.

Adblock + Filter.g extensions make it a no brainer. Safari doesn't have any adblocking extension that comes closes to this killer combination.
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Nov 4, 2006, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by dndog View Post
Firefox.

Adblock + Filter.g extensions make it a no brainer. Safari doesn't have any adblocking extension that comes closes to this killer combination.
Not even PithHelmet?
     
 
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