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Malformed bookmark URLs may cause Safari crashes Web Browsers
My primary browser was iCab. Now I'm on Safari. To get my very extensive hotlist into Safari, I followed the once recommended road and imported them through IE to get them into Safari.

On their way, the bookmarks get corrupted (especially non-English page titles, but also some URLs, which most times get some extra whitespaces). When importing bookmarks from iCab via IE into Safari, this always happens on my machine.

You won't see (all of) this when using Safari's built-in bookmark manager, since the browser loads even malformed bookmarks, but you will see them when editing the associated preferences-file. In my case, there were over 300 errors according to the validator.

After I edited the bookmark XML file by hand to make it comply, Safari was way less instable (crashed spontaneously when organizing bookmarks, sometimes seemingly unassociated) and loaded faster.

[Editor's note: This is the first I've heard of a potential problem with corrupted bookmarks causing Safari crashes -- can anyone add any evidence one way or the other?]
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Authored by: UncleAlias on Jan 21, '03 10:37:09AM

I'm experiencing Safari crashes on startup, i.e Safari launches, then crashes before even showing a single windows. My bookmarks were exported from Chimera, and many of them sport accented characters (pardon my French...); they already had issues when imported from Explorer to Chimera, even more so when brought from Chimera to Safari.

By the way, when will browser developers think of a common way to display accented characters without mangling them?...

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Authored by: tyoshida on Jan 21, '03 11:07:16AM

What I have experienced while writing Perl script to convert Chimera and OmniWeb bookmarks to Safari is that Safari is more sensitive to certain characters not encoded properly.

For example, I had one web page title with &, but it wasn't encoded properly. Instead of using &, I just had a plain & and this caused Safari to display no bookmarks.

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I have also written a Perl script
Authored by: stuartbryson on Jan 21, '03 06:25:19PM

When I was writing mine I had a m-dash character — and the property list format didn't like it. Whenever this character appeared in the property list file I couldn't open it in the Property List Editor.

My script converts Omniweb to Safari. You can grab the script at

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Authored by: UncleAlias on Jan 22, '03 05:40:07PM

Answering to my own post (I know: lame...): after checking yesterday's MacInTouch, I've experimented a bit and, as noted today, it seems that deleting part or all of the library seems to get Safari back into working condition.

I even manage to keep my bookmark file, by copying it elsewhere, deleting all the files into ~/Library/Safari/, and then restarting Safari, quitting and replacing the bookmark file, and relaunching Safari again. It works. For the moment...

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Re: accented characters
Authored by: sardu_mac on Jan 23, '03 07:08:37AM
Regarding the story:
Only crashes/bugs I've found with my exported Chimera bookmarks were with javascript: URLs and bookmarklets.
Regarding UncleAlias' comment:
...when will browser developers think of a common way to display accented characters without mangling them?
They don't need to think of one, just use the existing one.
Check out What Is Unicode? with Safari, the left menu looks mostly fine (I've removed some fonts from the default OS X install)

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history file causes same issue
Authored by: fallous on Jan 21, '03 12:21:17PM

I had a similar problem with a corrupted history.plist file. Safari would start to load, then bomb out prior to opening a window. Dumping the history file made it all happy again.

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