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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Firefox or Safari? What do you use?

View Poll Results: Do you use Firefox, Safari, or another browser?
Poll Options:
I use Firefox as my browser! 18 votes (25.35%)
I choose to use Apple Safari! 33 votes (46.48%)
I use Firefox and Safari! 11 votes (15.49%)
I use another browser (flock, netscape, etc.)! 5 votes (7.04%)
I use Firefox, Safari, and another browser. 4 votes (5.63%)
Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll
Firefox or Safari? What do you use?
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Mar 27, 2009, 03:01 AM
 
Hi everyone. I was wondering, do you Firefox, Safari, or another browser. Just curious.

1 Firefox
2. Safari
3. Another Browser
4. Firefox and Safari
Chris K.
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Mar 27, 2009, 04:20 AM
 
I've used Firefox basically since its inception, and love it. I usually "test run" new builds of browsers to see what new bells and whistles they have, but Firefox maintains the top spot in my rotation.

I'll give Safari 4 a spin when it's out of beta, however, and if it offers any advantage to Firefox (which I don't really see so far), I might use it more often.

*EDIT* :

Ok, I downloaded and installed Safari 4 beta. We'll see how it performs...
( Last edited by harbinger75; Mar 27, 2009 at 06:02 PM. )
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Mar 27, 2009, 05:09 AM
 
I simply like Safari.

I'm used to it.

Firefox is good, too, but you need to switch on color management, which is off by default.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 06:07 AM
 
Firefox. There are a few extensions that I find absolutely essential, and the Safari mechanism of repurposing the Inputmanager mechanism is too hacky for my taste - especially as it will die as soon as Safari goes 64-bit.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 11:12 AM
 
Still OmniWeb for me.

Occasionally, I use Safari for quick access to something as it launches faster, but there isn't anything about it that I prefer with the exception of the Find facility. Firefox, very, very rarely.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 11:15 AM
 
I still use Camino, but I would say that it's primarily out of inertia.

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Mar 27, 2009, 03:16 PM
 
Firefox is my main browser but I have other browsers installed and use them every so often. I do update them and test out new versions to see if I like them because I'm not a Firefox fanboy, but currently it's the browser I like the most. So basically I always try out other browsers but I find that I keep coming back to Firefox. It's not perfect but I like it well enough to pick it over other browsers.

The browsers I have currently installed are Firefox, Safari, Camino, Opera, and I had Shiira installed in the past.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 03:35 PM
 
I had been using Firefox almost exclusively. However, lately it seems like I get more and more scrolling "stutters" and spinning pinwheels when just browsing ordinary pages. Besides that, Firefox causes CPU usage to go through the roof, killing my MBP's battery life. Activity Monitor sometimes indicates that Firefox, just sitting there and not doing anything, uses more CPU than Parallels!

I'm liking the Safari 4 beta, though I hate the location of the stop/reload button and that the "Reopen all windows from last session" is not, to me at least, as dependable as FF's Save & Quit. There aren't really any FF extensions that I miss.

My $.02.

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Mar 27, 2009, 04:10 PM
 
I use Firefox everywhere.

I really need to find a way to force it to start a new instance of the app when I get over a certain number of tabs...at the moment I have like sixty tabs open across five windows, and I'm sucking nearly 700MB RAM.

I'd love to switch to Chrome on my Windows machines, but I can't live without my extensions. (Plus I hate it when apps don't follow the host operating system's UI conventions and theme engine....)
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 04:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
(Plus I hate it when apps don't follow the host operating system's UI conventions and theme engine....)
Yep.

Strike one against Firefox on Mac OS.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
I use Safari, because Firefox feels completely fake, like the interface will break if I try to do anything too fancy with it. I know their theming engine makes porting easy, but geez, you don't have to make it so obvious that you're covering up a Windows-based theme.

EDIT: Oh, and it fails to support custom keyboard shortcuts, and provides no interface of its own to do so.
     
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Mar 27, 2009, 06:33 PM
 
Safari all the way.

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Mar 28, 2009, 01:52 AM
 
Interesting article in the Economist.

Says Safari is unsafe, and a Mac is easier to crack than a windows machine (through a browser).

http://www.economist.com/science/dis...ry_id=13395407

What do you think?
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:05 AM
 
After just one day of using Safari 4 beta, I can say that I do like it. The only element I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to is the tab change. At this point (early in the testing process), I'm having trouble with the change in location of the tab bar. I can say honestly that I liked the tab bar where it was before. It was much more immediately noticeable than the new incarnation.
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:20 AM
 
I still don't understand why the appearance of the browser skin is high up on people's priority lists.

I use Firefox because as a web developer, I simply cannot live with Firebug, the Web Developer extension, and others. Safari does have support for embedded font delivery now, and CSS shadows, so it has its place too.

Speaking of which, IE 8 was just released. I know the whole "compatibility mode" it introduces is probably necessary, but man it feels like such an awkward hack, and it seems to not play with parts of the Prototype Javascript API.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I still don't understand why the appearance of the browser skin is high up on people's priority lists.
I'm not a web developer, so browser behavior and appearance matters to me as much as functionality and reliability. I am a writer/blogger/graphics guy on the off-days from my full-time job, so I go back and forth between a browser and my workspaces frequently (for screenshots, general info, etc.). If I can't navigate a browser efficiently, it doesn't make much sense to use it.
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Mar 28, 2009, 06:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I still don't understand why the appearance of the browser skin is high up on people's priority lists.
Yeah, right. And why do people like pretty girls, when the ugly fat ones can do so much more cooking? You can always put lots of lipstick on them if you don't like the default look.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I still don't understand why the appearance of the browser skin is high up on people's priority lists.

I use Firefox because as a web developer, I simply cannot live with Firebug, the Web Developer extension, and others. Safari does have support for embedded font delivery now, and CSS shadows, so it has its place too.
Safari 4 has a built in inspector that replaces everything I used Firebug for, too... so that's another strike against Firefox. And even if I didn't care about the browser skin (and it's wayyy more than the skin, the actual way things function is often contrary to every other native Mac app) the Gecko rendering engine, in my eyes, is inferior to Webkit, at the very least in what it supports.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Yeah, right. And why do people like pretty girls, when the ugly fat ones can do so much more cooking? You can always put lots of lipstick on them if you don't like the default look.
I'm not entirely sure that analogy *really* works in your favor, tetenal...
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
Safari 4 has a built in inspector that replaces everything I used Firebug for, too... so that's another strike against Firefox. And even if I didn't care about the browser skin (and it's wayyy more than the skin, the actual way things function is often contrary to every other native Mac app) the Gecko rendering engine, in my eyes, is inferior to Webkit, at the very least in what it supports.
Will the inspector allow you to position elements using your cursor for use with background image sprites?
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:22 PM
 
I don't even quite know what that means... so I'm not sure. But I never use it:

replaces everything *I* used Firebug for
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by harbinger75 View Post
I'm not a web developer, so browser behavior and appearance matters to me as much as functionality and reliability. I am a writer/blogger/graphics guy on the off-days from my full-time job, so I go back and forth between a browser and my workspaces frequently (for screenshots, general info, etc.). If I can't navigate a browser efficiently, it doesn't make much sense to use it.

See, this is where these sorts of arguments always seem to fall apart. You cannot equate the aesthetic appearance to usability unless you actually make this connection. Better looks does not equal better usability, the two are NOT the same thing, despite the frequency of this word being misused.

Better aesthetics can provide a better user experience, and they can contribute to better usability, but this is not a given - it is possible to have a very pretty looking interface that is difficult to figure out and use efficiently - for instance, if an icon looks really kick ass but is too small, too difficult to find, or requires too much mouse activity to click on...

What I'm saying has nothing to do with usability, but purely with the aesthetics which people here love to fixate on while not giving the subject of usability the attention it often deserves. I don't understand how the aesthetics of the browser skin itself really is valued above all of the other attributes of a good browser:

- stability
- use of resources
- speed
- standards support
- features/customization
- usability
- compatibility

etc.

Why is it that aesthetics usually seems to show up in discussion before many of these other things?
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:43 PM
 
- stability
I find Safari more stable and faster under multiple tabs.

- use of resources
Never really tested this, but Safari seems to have less of an impact (Firefox can freeze everything for a few seconds while it launches multiple tabs)

- speed
Safari, hands down.

- standards support
Also Safari/webkit, though it's not like Firefox trails greatly in that regard.

- features/customization
Firefox wins here, but I never use any of their add-ons, so for me it doesn't matter.

- usability
On the Mac, Safari is by far the more usable, as it actually works like the rest of the apps on the system.

- compatibility
With what? I would assume that means standards support, etc.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by harbinger75 View Post
After just one day of using Safari 4 beta, I can say that I do like it. The only element I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to is the tab change. At this point (early in the testing process), I'm having trouble with the change in location of the tab bar. I can say honestly that I liked the tab bar where it was before. It was much more immediately noticeable than the new incarnation.
I used the new tab position in Safari 4 for a few days. But I still prefer the tabs below the bookmarks bar. Safari 4 buddy and Safari 4 Modifier are quick and easy ways to restore the tabs to the position below the bookmarks bar, turn off the "Google Suggest" feature added to Safari 4, and turn on/off several other features.

Here's what Safari 4 Modifier looks like:



http://www.swoon.net/site/software.html

http://ahatfullofsky.comuv.com/Engli...s/S4M/S4M.html
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:50 PM
 
adam: all fair comments... I mostly use Firefox because of what I do, but I did not mean to criticize Safari in these other aspects. It has come a long way and has earned my respect.

In terms of your comment about usability, how exactly is Safari more usable? What you've written is rather vague, no?

By compatibility I meant handing quirks mode and playing well both with pages that are properly coded and adhere to standards, as well as those that don't. I'm not suggesting that a good browser should bend over backwards to work with crappy coded sites, but obviously a little bit of flexibility is necessary.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 02:54 PM
 
Note that I'm only talking about Firefox on the Mac here. I think Firefox on the PC is the best browser hands down. The work they've done to make it more "Mac-like", however, just sucks.

Firefox's interface elements feel faked (and they are.) For instance, when Firefox opens, it takes a second for the address bar to "load." The fake unified titlebar is crappy because though it appears that you can grab and drag from anywhere, you cannot, because the actual toolbar is not "real." It doesn't respect any customized shortcuts, the maximize button actually maximizes, which is a real pain in the ass, etc. etc.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
I don't even quite know what that means... so I'm not sure. But I never use it:
If you care to know, you know how people used to slice up navigation buttons into separate image files? You know how much of a pain this is when you want to add a button and sometimes resize everything to fit if each button isn't the same width?

Using CSS background-images you can work with a single image as your navigation bar, and in this single image also include the mouseover states for each button. Then, when you mouseover the button (and you can set the clickable regions using CSS and anchor tags where the text doesn't appear on the page due to a text-indent attribute), the :hover pseudo class includes a background-position attribute to show the mouseover state of the button.

Firebug is used for determining those background-position coordinates, as well as absolute positions for your anchor tags.

It takes a little practice, but it is *much* faster to just drop in a new nav bar graphic and then sort out the coordinates than it is to mess around with individual images, and it is less tedious too.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 05:15 PM
 
Oh, that's actually really useful... +1 Firebug then
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 05:31 PM
 
I also like Firebug's console/logging console.log(), CSS3 selector support - i.e. $$('#someid .someclass'), live CSS tweaking, network log (great for tracking what variables are being sent w. AJAX requests), and CSS inheritance inspection.

I haven't looked at the new Safari or IE 8 dev tools to see how much is possible there.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post
that fixes the two things that bugged me in Saf4, the dumbass tabs and loosing the blue progress bar. Could move from FF now.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 06:01 PM
 
Safari, but I'm a basic web browser, I can see why devs love FF because of the wealth of add-ons.

Safari runs faster on my C2D, uses less RAM (even though both can eat up quite a bit if left running for a while), and doesn't show me the pinwheel of doom. I also prefer the way Safari renders text, FF always seems choppy to me.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 09:26 PM
 
I use Firefox - couldn't live without extensions either.

I get about two crashes a week when I'm at work - but that's due to an issue in the LogMeIn Rescue plugin.
It only gets manually closed if I'm rebooting the PC or it wants to do an update.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
See, this is where these sorts of arguments always seem to fall apart. You cannot equate the aesthetic appearance to usability unless you actually make this connection. Better looks does not equal better usability, the two are NOT the same thing, despite the frequency of this word being misused.

Better aesthetics can provide a better user experience, and they can contribute to better usability, but this is not a given - it is possible to have a very pretty looking interface that is difficult to figure out and use efficiently - for instance, if an icon looks really kick ass but is too small, too difficult to find, or requires too much mouse activity to click on...

What I'm saying has nothing to do with usability, but purely with the aesthetics which people here love to fixate on while not giving the subject of usability the attention it often deserves. I don't understand how the aesthetics of the browser skin itself really is valued above all of the other attributes of a good browser:

- stability
- use of resources
- speed
- standards support
- features/customization
- usability
- compatibility

etc.

Why is it that aesthetics usually seems to show up in discussion before many of these other things?
Ok, apparently we're saying the same thing, but in different ways. Let me clarify and reaffirm my position so you can see that my point is very valid despite terminology being misconstrued.

I really couldn't give two craps about what colors Apple uses for the Safari browser, nor do I care if the scroll bars are Aqua, brushed metal or adorned with the likenesses of the Village People. What I DO care about is the ability for my workflow to, well, flow.

Not once did I use the word "aesthetics" in my post, so I'm not sure to what you're referring. I did, however, say "appearance," which might have misled you. My reference was to the physical layout of any browser I use; where the buttons are located, where menus can be found, what preferences can be set and which ones cannot...that sort of thing.

If I used that word improperly, I apologize, but the aforementioned opinion is how I feel about it. I wholeheartedly agree about the attributes of a good browser. Those elements are very high on my priority list, but all browsers have one thing in common: they need a GUI front-end to accomplish their mission.

Again, I couldn't care less about colors and the like, but I can say that if I were going to try to get a soda from a vending machine, I certainly wouldn't look twice at the machine without buttons, a coin slot or any discernible way to actually obtain the soda.

So, in essence, we're saying the same thing, I just chose verbiage that differed from yours.

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Mar 28, 2009, 10:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post
I used the new tab position in Safari 4 for a few days. But I still prefer the tabs below the bookmarks bar. Safari 4 buddy and Safari 4 Modifier are quick and easy ways to restore the tabs to the position below the bookmarks bar, turn off the "Google Suggest" feature added to Safari 4, and turn on/off several other features.

Here's what Safari 4 Modifier looks like:



http://www.swoon.net/site/software.html

http://ahatfullofsky.comuv.com/Engli...s/S4M/S4M.html
Thank you for that information!
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Mar 28, 2009, 10:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I haven't looked at the new Safari or IE 8 dev tools to see how much is possible there.
http://webkit.org/blog/197/web-inspector-redesign/

It all means nothing to me, but you might take a look at what webkit offers.
(It appears Safari 4 has the same inspector.)
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 11:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by harbinger75 View Post
Ok, apparently we're saying the same thing, but in different ways. Let me clarify and reaffirm my position so you can see that my point is very valid despite terminology being misconstrued.

I really couldn't give two craps about what colors Apple uses for the Safari browser, nor do I care if the scroll bars are Aqua, brushed metal or adorned with the likenesses of the Village People. What I DO care about is the ability for my workflow to, well, flow.

Not once did I use the word "aesthetics" in my post, so I'm not sure to what you're referring. I did, however, say "appearance," which might have misled you. My reference was to the physical layout of any browser I use; where the buttons are located, where menus can be found, what preferences can be set and which ones cannot...that sort of thing.

If I used that word improperly, I apologize, but the aforementioned opinion is how I feel about it. I wholeheartedly agree about the attributes of a good browser. Those elements are very high on my priority list, but all browsers have one thing in common: they need a GUI front-end to accomplish their mission.

Again, I couldn't care less about colors and the like, but I can say that if I were going to try to get a soda from a vending machine, I certainly wouldn't look twice at the machine without buttons, a coin slot or any discernible way to actually obtain the soda.

So, in essence, we're saying the same thing, I just chose verbiage that differed from yours.


Sorry, I just used this as a launch off point, because conflating aesthetics/user experience with usability occurs fairly frequently here.

I'm not sure what setting preferences has to do with appearance, but I think I get your gist, you mean the basic overall GUI design of the app.
     
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Mar 28, 2009, 11:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Sorry, I just used this as a launch off point, because conflating aesthetics/user experience with usability occurs fairly frequently here.

I'm not sure what setting preferences has to do with appearance, but I think I get your gist, you mean the basic overall GUI design of the app.
Yes, that is basically the meat of the situation. I guess I was attempting to use preference settings as a segue to GUI control and overall usability.

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Mar 31, 2009, 06:10 PM
 
I use Safari pretty much all the time but some time in the last couple of months, it stopped rendering PDF statements from chase.com. When I need to grab a statement, I have to to Firefox.

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Apr 1, 2009, 01:52 AM
 
I have to admit, I'm really getting used to the UI tweaks in Safari 4, and by using keyboard shortcuts, the top-tab issue isn't much of an issue anymore.

In the few days I've been using the beta, I've enjoyed what I've seen, and haven't really had any problems to speak of with daily browsing, document fetching, sending forms, etc. I've actually taken Firefox off my dock so as to not entice me for the time being.

If it stays stable and some small issues are fixed by release, this will be my primary browser for sure.
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Nov 26, 2009, 01:28 PM
 
since i have more than 1 computer running 10.3 newer versions of firefox & safari won't work for me. yahoo doesn't like older browsers. stumbling across opera was a life saver for me. or at least an operating system saver.
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Nov 26, 2009, 01:34 PM
 
Firefox 3.6 betas here. Quick... and new font smoothing =)
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Nov 26, 2009, 03:28 PM
 
I use Firefox mainly, but I also use Safari and Camino. Haven't really played with Opera, but what I've seen hasn't lit a fire under me to try it.

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Nov 26, 2009, 06:19 PM
 
Added one more for OmniWeb as main browser, with Camino and Opera on the side.
     
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Nov 26, 2009, 06:25 PM
 
Now that I have Snow Leopard on my MBP I've noticed that the finger gestures are different in Safari and Firefox. Safari doesn't do the three finger swipe up and down to go to the top and bottom of a web page. Firefox does and I love this feature. In Camino it does a page up and down function rather than go to top/bottom of the page. Before I was using the keyboard shortcuts but the trackpad gestures are super convenient because I use this feature all the time.

They both do the other gestures like 3 finger side to side to go back and next web page and 2 finger scroll up and down, but for some reason Safari doesn't do the go to the top/bottom three finger gesture. I'm using the most update final releases of each browser.
     
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Nov 26, 2009, 11:05 PM
 
Switched from Safari to Firefox (whose Javascript console is pretty good).

Only problem I have is bookmarking. Also, the access to earlier stages of history demands more clicks than Safari.

Other than that, I only rarely use Opera, never Camino.
     
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Nov 27, 2009, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
Switched from Safari to Firefox (whose Javascript console is pretty good).

Only problem I have is bookmarking. Also, the access to earlier stages of history demands more clicks than Safari.

Other than that, I only rarely use Opera, never Camino.
This is what I wrote before upgrading to Snow Leopard.

As Firefox 3.5.5 messes up the colors/is not usable under Snow Leopard, I have to go back to Safari.
     
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Nov 27, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
Safari has a JavaScript console. WebKit nightly builds already have a much improved Web Inspector.

Surfin’ Safari - Web Inspector Updates
     
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Nov 27, 2009, 03:40 PM
 
Firebug is the ultimate Javascript console, nothing else touches it, including both Safari's dev/inspector stuff as well as IE's.
     
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Location: Dallas, TX, USA
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Nov 28, 2009, 10:10 AM
 
I use Safari because one of the big things I do on the internet is research information on some topic... and all that info I capture by emailing it to myself... and then organize into a hierarchy of email folders. Almost everything important is organized into my email. Not just the links I find... but the content, so that if it goes away, I still have the info I need captured... with leading commentary, of course, so I know why I captured it.

With Safari, I can copy a portion of a web page and paste it into an email and it looks just like it did on the web page... that is HUGE for me.

I think Firefox is good... just not too good at that. I only use Firefox for websites that don't work properly with Safari... so maybe once a month I'll pull up something in Firefox.
Mac Nut since before color Macs, working for UT Austin Microcenter supporting Mac users
     
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Dec 3, 2009, 01:28 PM
 
Firefox is my main browser but I have other browsers installed and use them regularly I do update them and test out new versions to see if I like them because I'm not a Firefox fanboy, but currently it's the browser I like the most. So basically I always try out other browsers but I find that I keep coming back to Firefox. It's not perfect but I like it well enough to pick it over other browsers.

The browsers I have currently installed are Firefox, Safari, Chrome
     
 
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