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Disable the WebKit default home page Web Browsers
In my job, I jump between browsers quite regularly, usually Firefox, Camino, and Safari. As we've covered here before in various hints, you can actually run a "future" version of Safari by downloading and installing WebKit, which is a special version of Safari using newer builds of the WebKit web browser engine. WebKit builds can be faster than the currently-released version, and have bug fixes and new features that you can take advantage of. As one example, the WebKit version of Safari currently passes the Acid3 browser test with a perfect score, while the released version of Safari scores a 75 out of 100.

One minor issue with using WebKit, however, is that it sets the default 'new window' page to this page, which thanks you for helping test WebKit, and lets you know there's a new nightly build available. This constant reminder helps insure that the WebKit team doesn't get bug reports against older nightly builds, but it gets annoying relatively quickly. (As a side hint, you can use NightShift to automatically download and install new nightly builds; highly recommended.)

If you'd like your Safari home page back while using WebKit, you'll need to use a simple Terminal command, which is documented on this page on the WebKit site (quit WebKit first):
defaults write org.webkit.nightly.WebKit StartPageDisabled -bool YES
Relaunch WebKit, and it will now respect your home page setting, as set in the General tab of WebKit's Preferences panel.
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Disable the WebKit default home page | 5 comments | Create New Account
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Obligatory Warning
Authored by: eaganj on May 06, '08 09:22:14AM

This is a good hint, but Rob omitted the obligatory cautionary text. Nightly builds are development builds that have not been tested and quality assured for real world use. Many of the performance improvements that Rob mentions may introduce other bugs and cause your WebKit-based browsers to misbehave in various subtle or not-so-subtle ways. Furthermore, many other applications (e.g. Mail) use WebKit behind the scenes, which can cause mysterious bugs to appear in seemingly unrelated applications.

If you're going to use the nightly builds of a web browser, whether it's Safari, FireFox, or anything else, be aware that you are using software that has received only limited testing.

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Obligatory Warning
Authored by: Cameroon on May 06, '08 09:43:33AM
Just to clarify your comments for others...

The WebKit nightly build does not impact other applications that use WebKit. It's a wrapper around the nightly build of the webkit backend and, when you run, it just loads Safari with the updated webkit engine.

There's no replacement of your existing system libraries etc, so no impact on any other applications.

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Obligatory Warning
Authored by: cycomachead on May 06, '08 03:15:31PM

First, the above comment is the important part: The WebKit in nightlies is self-contained within the app package.

Second the only bugs should be displaying webpages, which is supposed to be better than regular Safari. In the past, I've never had problems with nightlies.

In fact I was just about to post 2 different methods of changing the WebKit homepage. However this is better in nearly every aspect.

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Problem after Disabling the WebKit default home page
Authored by: oneformoz on May 06, '08 04:04:47PM
Does anyone have an idea about why many web pages do not open in either WebKit or Safari after doing the command in terminal? I type in an address (e.g.,, the browser looks as if it is going to open it, but then the browser displays a white blank screen. Thoughts?

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Problem after Disabling the WebKit default home page
Authored by: oneformoz on May 06, '08 04:37:03PM

Just to add more information...
When I applied the hint via terminal logged in as an admin, Webkit/Safari in the admin account displays all web pages properly. However, when I applied the hint via terminal logged in as a standard user, Webkit/Safari in my user accounts doesn't open many web pages.

To examine this further, I created a standard "test" account, and everything (the hint, the browsers) work fine.

It seems like something got corrupted in my original user account. I've deleted plists and reinstalled both Safari and Webkit to no avail.

Any help is appreciated.

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