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A tip for a fast browser...
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Janaka Cooray
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Aug 6, 2005, 12:35 PM
 
Am a fairly recent Mac 'switcher' (Mar 2005) - Mac Mini 512MB...

Don't want this thread to descend into browser fanboys dissing each other...(done many times before)...

Not interested in dual G5 PowerMac users claiming speed isn't an issue for them...

I'm happy with my system - but I just can't seem to ge happy with the Web browsing experience...

Running OS X 3.9 and Safari 1.3 - Even with my 8 Meg connection you can see web pages drawing in front of your eyes (even worse when you press 'Back' to go to a previous page scrolled half way to find the page redraws, scrolls down to the half-way point and redaws again!)

Same config running Camino 0.9a2 - web pages now 'snap to the screen' - the 'back' button is instantaneous too - but try scrolling with page animation (or typing in this forum) and you're back in the stone age!

As a reference - my elderly father's aging Celeron 800 with 256MB and XP SP2 (1 Meg Connection) has web browsing licked - web browsers are differentiated by functionaity and compatibility, not speed, on that platform.

Note with interest that Mac developers have reported the 'Mactel' machines run Safari with pages 'snapping to the screen'

So from the Camino case (and the Celeron 800) I can confirm that my hardware isn't too slow to render pages without flickering and reflowing.

I'm really not interested in functionaliy - any browser that can browse forwards and backwards with the pages 'snapping' to the screen is all that I'm interested in (because then I wouldn't be constantly reminded of the speed issue.)

Is anyone using a browser (any version or build) that has been observed to fulfil the above criteria?
     
Kevin
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Aug 6, 2005, 12:40 PM
 
Safari 2.0 is MUCH faster than 1.3

Upgrade, you'll be much happier.
     
mkral
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Aug 6, 2005, 02:40 PM
 
I have an ibook 800mhz that I run firefox, safari 1.3 & IE 5 on. firefox is my favorite of the three & "seem" fastest. Ie is ok & safari is maddenly slow. I also just picked up a 1.42 mini with tiger on it. Safari 2.0 is the fastest browser I've used. If you can upgrade to Tiger, I'd suggest it, as Safari 2.0 is night & day different from 1.3.

Sometimes my internet viewing is still A BIT slow, but I think this has more to do with my DSL connection than with my web browser. I've been so happy with Safari 2.0 that I haven't even bothered to install Firefox on my mini. IE may be on there, but I haven't bothered to look.
     
PrOeliuM
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Aug 6, 2005, 04:17 PM
 
Concerning the Camino slowness while typing in this (and many other forums), this is a known issue with Camino, but can be remedied by following the tips located in the Camino FAQ: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewto...d13d9c4d72c884

Specifically, if you go to this page and follow the instructions to disable gif animations (you can try other stuff if you'd like), then you won't have the text box problem anymore and Camino will be enjoyable again.
     
Thinine
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Aug 6, 2005, 08:39 PM
 
1. Upgrade to Tiger
2. Install latest Xcode Tools
3. Go to webkit.opendarwin.org and follow the directions to download and build WebKit from source
4. Launch Safari using new WebKit
5. Behold the speed

Other than that, all I can say is most of the speed difference is likely in your head.
     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Aug 6, 2005, 08:53 PM
 
So is Safari browsing in Tiger so fast that the 'speed' isue has just gone away?

Anyone else care to vouch for the speed of Safari 2?
     
PurpleGiant
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Aug 6, 2005, 09:30 PM
 
Speed seems to be subjective in that some people will say its not an issue, and some will still complain.

For me, on several Macs, Safari 2 has a very nice rendering speed that I am happy with.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 6, 2005, 09:39 PM
 
I know this isn't any kind of objective benchmark, but to me, Safari 2 feels at least as fast as any of its competitors. Way faster than 1.3.
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wataru
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Aug 6, 2005, 10:04 PM
 
Firefox nightlies are also blazingly fast. I never feel that rendering speed is an issue anymore.
     
Kevin
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Aug 7, 2005, 01:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thinine
1. Upgrade to Tiger
2. Install latest Xcode Tools
3. Go to webkit.opendarwin.org and follow the directions to download and build WebKit from source
4. Launch Safari using new WebKit
5. Behold the speed

Other than that, all I can say is most of the speed difference is likely in your head.
Not doubting you. But how does this make it faster? I am honestly curious.
     
Randman
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Aug 7, 2005, 01:45 AM
 
Safari 2 is much, much faster even without the extra tweaks mentioned above.

Of course, even in 1.3, you can get a slight speed bump by deactivating the cache and the flavicons and editing down and turning off Autofill > Others.

There's also Safari Speed which reduces the interval for page-loading.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
Wickedkitten
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Aug 7, 2005, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin
Not doubting you. But how does this make it faster? I am honestly curious.
The version of webkit that Tiger shipped with has loads of bugs and also memory leak problems that they have been fixing since April. Mind you don't have to compile it yourself, you can just go to MU or VT and get Nightshift and download precompiled versions.
     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Aug 7, 2005, 10:33 AM
 
Ok... - Safari 2 seems to be the browser which leaves no room for complaint about speed...

But I would need to upgrade to Tiger to have it (cost: 89 GBP from Apple Store)...

So my question now becomes: For the cost, what else will Tiger offer, apart from Safari 2, that will justify the outlay?

Tiger will benefit me in 2 useful ways already:

1) Safari 2
2) iSync 2 (able to sync my Nokia 7610 with mac via Bluetooth) - this is a minor benefit since my Mac is not a productivity computer and the only benefit of having phone data on the mac is for backup.

Because my mac is not a work computer and is only used at home for leisure - 'productivity enhancements' in Tiger don't offer enough real-world benefits to warrant the upgrade:

1) I don't have loads of files which warrant Spotlight to find them
2) I don't produce documents from multiple sources which warrant Dashboard applets popping up and fading away again.
3) I don't need automator to simplyfy housekeeping tasks
4) I don't need XCode 2....

So my question is: What real-world benefits could an OS upgrade offer to the typical use of a Mac as an 'Entertainment Computer'?

1) Does Tiger 'speed bump' everything? If everything really does feel noticeably faster after the upgrade then that honestly would be a good upgrade
2) Does Tiger have other benefits that really justify upgrading from Panther?

So could I ask you guys to list the benefits that Tiger has given you (and why it has benefited you) - if I can compile a list big enough, then it might just sway me...
     
TETENAL
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Aug 7, 2005, 10:53 AM
 
See for yourself:

http://www.apple.com/macosx/newfeatures/

If you don't want to spend money on Tiger but find Safari 1.3 too slow, you can have a look at Firefox.
     
mkral
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Aug 7, 2005, 12:00 PM
 
Sounds like you should check out some of the other browsers before you upgrade. Firefox is decent, maybe IE 5.2 would work for you. I like Tiger, but I don't mind panther either & may at some point upgrade my ibook to Tiger, but for the time being Panter is OK. If you are looking to get a faster browser without spending any $, why not give firefox a try, it's free & works pretty well. I do think that Safari 2 is faster, but firefox is definitely faster for me than Safari 1.3 & it's free.
     
wataru
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Aug 7, 2005, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Janaka Cooray
2) I don't produce documents from multiple sources which warrant Dashboard applets popping up and fading away again
I don't think you know what Dashboard is.
     
Kevin
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Aug 7, 2005, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wickedkitten
The version of webkit that Tiger shipped with has loads of bugs and also memory leak problems that they have been fixing since April. Mind you don't have to compile it yourself, you can just go to MU or VT and get Nightshift and download precompiled versions.
Thanks. I'll give it a try.
     
brettcamp
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Aug 7, 2005, 02:59 PM
 
This article published last week may be helpful.
     
Kevin
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Aug 7, 2005, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wickedkitten
The version of webkit that Tiger shipped with has loads of bugs and also memory leak problems that they have been fixing since April. Mind you don't have to compile it yourself, you can just go to MU or VT and get Nightshift and download precompiled versions.

I get this error
Code:
xcodebuild: Error: the project name JavaScriptCore.xcodeproj does not have a valid extension.
     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Aug 7, 2005, 09:59 PM
 
Ok - so I'm getting the impression that Tiger isn't so much better than Panther that it warrants upgrading given my needs...

Mkral - why suggest ie 5.2?!! This is the browser that shipped with Windows 98 - that's 7 years ago now! I did actually give it a go - it's speed was dismal!

Bretcamp - thank you - very helpfull.

So I tried Shiira (which seems to be a re-working of Safari 2) - and you know what? Its performance was almost identicle to Safari 1.3! (in contradiction to the article which says it's just about the fastest browser out there.) I don't doubt the author - but I think that the speed of Safari 2 (and Shiira) comes from Tiger....

I take the point that Firefox is fast (it uses the same engine as Camino, which really is very fast except when displaying animated GIFS).

I've heard that Firefox 'is not a true Mac app' - what does that mean practically?

Seems to me that when Camino goes Gold version 1.0 - it'll be the browser for me.

Anyone care to comment on Firefox versus Camino?
     
mkral
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Aug 7, 2005, 10:03 PM
 
Why suggest IE 5.2? 2 reasons-1 you seem to want to get a faster browser without spending any/much money. IE 5.2 is free. Reason 2-IE 5.2 is the last version that Microsoft made for the apple platform.

I don't know that I've heard that Firefox is not a true mac app. At any rate, both IE & firefox are free. If you're looking to speed up your web browsing without having to shell out for an upgrade, it seems to me that you'd be better off downloading them & giving them a try, rather than asking why you should try them.

Good luck!
     
Catfish_Man
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Aug 7, 2005, 10:15 PM
 
mkral: IE 5.2 is much slower than most other Mac browsers. It's also not standards compliant and lacks tabs.
     
Thinine
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Aug 7, 2005, 11:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wickedkitten
The version of webkit that Tiger shipped with has loads of bugs and also memory leak problems that they have been fixing since April. Mind you don't have to compile it yourself, you can just go to MU or VT and get Nightshift and download precompiled versions.
That's not why the compiled versions are faster. Though they do fix bugs, most of the speed increase is from optimizations added to the renderer after the Tiger code freeze. There's also increased support for some standards and more compliant behavior in others.

But why Tiger? It'll be faster than Panther in every way. It has faster networking, faster graphics, both of which should give you a speed up over Panther. Safari in Tiger is pretty much the same, but with the network enhancements and graphics speed ups it can be appreciably faster than Panther.
     
pooka
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Aug 8, 2005, 01:07 AM
 
If you're used to Windows browsing and looking for a similar experience on the Mac.. Well, unfortunately you're just **** out of luck.

Plenty of people will tell me that I'm full of ****, some sort of "Windoze Troll, etc, etc. But honestly I've helped enough people switch and this is one of the biggest complaints that I continually hear. Actual or perceived.. meh, whatever. It's there. Follow what tips you can find but don't expect to find the same experience. Tiger won't help much.

And some will blame web developers for filling pages with flash ads, animated gifs, complex css and tables. Doesn't matter. That's where the content is and IE on windows is what they target.

Granted, you don't have to worry about your computer being filled with spyware 7 minutes after going online. Trade off I guess.

New, Improved and Legal in 50 States
     
delfmen
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Aug 8, 2005, 01:50 AM
 
slow / jumpy scrolling in OS X browsers is def my #1 complaint since switching from XP.

i have found Opera to work the best for me.
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Chuckit
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Aug 8, 2005, 02:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by pooka
If you're used to Windows browsing and looking for a similar experience on the Mac.. Well, unfortunately you're just **** out of luck.
Yeah, our default browser's security isn't sieve-like.

Seriously, what are you talking about? I use both all the time, and aside from the fact that IE has an annoying interface, I can't find a whole lot of difference as far as browsing is concerned. Unless you're talking about the fact that the Mac Firefox release chokes on Flash.
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Thinine
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Aug 8, 2005, 07:02 AM
 
IE makes clicking noises when you load a page, so it must be fast.
     
Chris O'Brien
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Aug 8, 2005, 07:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin
I get this error
Code:
xcodebuild: Error: the project name JavaScriptCore.xcodeproj does not have a valid extension.
Upgrade to xCode 2.1.

Although, as others have suggested, just get NightShift which'll get binaries for you.
Just who are Britain? What do they? Who is them? And why?

Formerly Black Book
     
pooka
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Aug 8, 2005, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Yeah, our default browser's security isn't sieve-like.

Seriously, what are you talking about? I use both all the time, and aside from the fact that IE has an annoying interface, I can't find a whole lot of difference as far as browsing is concerned. Unless you're talking about the fact that the Mac Firefox release chokes on Flash.
Some people don't notice. Glad you're happy with your experience. As I said, it's a complaint I hear often. Real or perceived. Could be that you don't visit the crap other people do or that your habits have adapted to your computer's abilities. Even I notice a difference if I have 3 windows open on my dual G5 with heavy flash content/ads. A windows machine won't break a sweat. Blame whoever you want, like I said, the issue is there. Some people notice and bitch. You're not one of them.

New, Improved and Legal in 50 States
     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Aug 8, 2005, 12:19 PM
 
Point taken mkral - best to try these browsers where they are free to download...

These are my results:

1) Safari 1.3 - my baseline.

2) ie 5.2 - very slow - this isn't even a subjective evaluation - it's noticeably slower.

3) Camino - pages immediately 'snap' to the screen (like browsing on PC) - but scrolling with animated ad banners etc (such as on MacNN) causes flickering, tearing and snagging (unaceptable). Typing into webforms is unaceptably slow in the presence of animated ad banners

4) Shiira - in contradiction to my above post on Shiira's speed, scrolling with banner ads in completely smoooth. Page load times are the same (maybe slightly faster than) Safari 1.3

5) Firefox - actually not as fast as Shiira - but smooth scrolling with Banner ads nonetheless.

6) Opera - in spite of its speed claims (it draws pages at least as fast as Camino) it too has problems scrolling with Banner ads (sticking and tearing).

Shiira seems to be the best of a bunch which force you make a compromise - initial page drawing time versus scoll speed.

If Safari 2 really feels so much faster than Safari 1.3, then it would seem the only way to get rid of the browser speed issue is to upgrade to Tiger... (can't justify that for my needs...)

So I guess I'll be using Shiira from now on (keeping an eye out for the next version of Camino to see if they can fix the animated GIFs problem..

Thank you for your help.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 8, 2005, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka
Some people don't notice. Glad you're happy with your experience. As I said, it's a complaint I hear often. Real or perceived. Could be that you don't visit the crap other people do or that your habits have adapted to your computer's abilities. Even I notice a difference if I have 3 windows open on my dual G5 with heavy flash content/ads. A windows machine won't break a sweat. Blame whoever you want, like I said, the issue is there. Some people notice and bitch. You're not one of them.
Good point. I avoid Flash both on Mac and PC because I really don't like most Flash UIs. But there is an issue with Flash's speed on the Mac. Any time this gives you trouble, I encourage you to write a strongly worded letter to Macromedia to get their **** in gear.
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Anand
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Aug 8, 2005, 04:44 PM
 
Webkit is nice. Feels much faster than 2.0. Don't know why, but it does.
Yes, I know I could buy a PC, but why?
     
Catfish_Man
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Aug 8, 2005, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anand
Webkit is nice. Feels much faster than 2.0. Don't know why, but it does.
It's faster. All "WebKit" (the program downloaded by NightShift, not the framework of the same name) is is a copy of Safari that uses the newer WebCore and JavaScriptCore code, which has a number of optimizations (with more being added all the time). According to their blog, javascript should be >10% faster than the Safari in 10.4.2, and pageload somewhat faster as well.

Similar story with the Camino nightlies; they'll tend to be faster than the official versions, unless there's been a regression recently or the official version is only a few days old. The latest Camino nightlies (possibly starting tomorrow, possibly last night, not sure) should have a control for the number of times animated gifs will loop (none, once, continuous), which should provide a bandaid fix for its issues until they can really be fixed.
     
Kevin
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Aug 9, 2005, 12:10 PM
 
The last two nights I downloaded the webkit Safari. It MAY be a tad faster.

But it crashes ALL THE TIME.

So, I go back to 2.0.

MSG me when there is a webkit Safari that doesn't constantly crash.

(Tried it on 3 Macs here)
     
Catfish_Man
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Aug 9, 2005, 01:15 PM
 
That is, of course, the problem with nightly builds... no guarantees at all about them working correctly.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Aug 9, 2005, 06:55 PM
 
Shiira just uses WebKit, the same engine as in Safari. Apart from different application overhead (there shouldn't be much) speed should be the same.

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El Magnificante
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Aug 10, 2005, 09:54 AM
 
The page I use to test browsers is:

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/default.php

So far I have not found a browser that handles that site (and a few others) well.

     
Janaka Cooray  (op)
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Aug 11, 2005, 10:38 AM
 
Well guys, I'm upgrading to Tiger after Thinine's confirmation of my original wondering of whether Tiger was just faster all round - and specifically what was faster.

Improved networking and graphics swings it for me. It also appears that Shiira is rated as very quick when it is running on Tiger (no real difference compared to Safari in Panther).

As a recent Mac 'switcher' though - I cannot help but think that the Mac could do with the kind of savage competition that is fought out on the PC software scene...

I'm definitely not saying PC software is conceptually of higher quality (to the Mac's credit, the opposite is demonstrably true in many cases)

....but...

It seems that if there had been a 'browser war' on the Mac, like there was on the PC some years ago, that Mac web browsing wouldn't have this issue of being obviously slower than PC web browsing.

It is a dismal situation that CSS rendering, broswer plugins and animated GIF rendering should tax 1GHz+ machines in 2005 - when 200-300 MHz PCs had this problem licked some 7-8 years ago.

And before I get flamed for the above, I feel I must comment on my experiences with some of the Mac community as demonstrated on this site...

I've found I do get the help I need

BUT

there is a preponderence of 'fan boys' - uncritical users who seem to try and speculate on why deviations from expected behaviour are there by design...

... it seems to me that improvements can only be driven by critical feedback - look at this thread to see the 'defence' of Apple Computer. When some are offering work-arounds and advice, there are those who rebutt my issue that I've sought advice for in this thread in the first place.

Are people somehow passionate about a mass-market computer manufacturer in the same way some are passionate about a football team - or are there Apple Computer shareholders offering 'advice' on this independant forum?

Am I the only new user of an Apple computer to notice this?
     
TETENAL
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Aug 11, 2005, 11:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by El Magnificante
The page I use to test browsers is:

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/default.php

So far I have not found a browser that handles that site (and a few others) well.

And you think this is the browsers' fault?

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...%2Fdefault.php
     
workerbee
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Aug 11, 2005, 01:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Good point. I avoid Flash both on Mac and PC because I really don't like most Flash UIs. But there is an issue with Flash's speed on the Mac. Any time this gives you trouble, I encourage you to write a strongly worded letter to Macromedia to get their **** in gear.
Why does Flash Player 8 on Mac perform so much better
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Todd Madson
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Aug 11, 2005, 02:07 PM
 
One thing to think about is lately I've noticed a series of "platform specific" updates of
various browsers. I run a dual 2.5 G5 tower and a friend clued me into the fact that
there was a G5 specific version of this browser. I also am aware of the fact that there
are versions of Firefox for the G4 and G3 processors - might be worth a try.
     
ryaxnb
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Aug 11, 2005, 05:49 PM
 
Janaka Cookray, I can understand why you are frusturated, but using Safari 2.0, or Firefox 1.0.6, I just don't see any speed issues.
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amazing
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Aug 11, 2005, 08:17 PM
 
There was a noticeable speed increase in Safari when upgrading from Panther to Tiger. Of course, giving a measurement of the increase is the hard part. Even just measuring the speed increase in Tiger is tough: People always talk trash about X-Bench, but you should run a test before upgrading and after upgrading (parameters: fresh restart, nothing else running, Energy Saver set to Highest performance.) You'll get some ballpark figures to thrash around, even if everybody tells you it doesn't mean anything...

Anyway, thanks to the recommendations in this thread, Nightshift 1.1 has significantly speeded up Safari with no instability. The speed test sites like dslreports.com and the cnet/bandwidth_meter use java applets to test the online speed. Safari was pokey before but it flies now! I can definitely see the increase in regular browsing.

Great discussion, great responses! Kudos to everyone!
     
El Magnificante
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Aug 11, 2005, 10:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL
And you think this is the browsers' fault?

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...%2Fdefault.php

Can you explain what that means?

Try www.golfsmith.com navigate around, add things to your cart etc. I don't know, maybe my 17" PB is somehow faulty ...
     
bstone
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Aug 12, 2005, 12:48 AM
 
Shiira
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/23619

SOOO MUCH FASTER on my pismo than anything else.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Aug 13, 2005, 09:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by El Magnificante
Can you explain what that means?

Try www.golfsmith.com navigate around, add things to your cart etc. I don't know, maybe my 17" PB is somehow faulty ...
It means that the page has no less than 401 HTML-errors. Worst of all it doesn't define DOCTYPE which sends browsers into a quirks-mode making rendering much slower.

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