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10.3: Safari and Shuttle Pro Focus seems to follow mouse Web Browsers
I use a Shuttle Pro device in conjunction with Safari to provide an easier means of reading web pages. In my case, I have the inner wheel set up to enlarge/reduce the text size, and I have the outer ring set up to scroll up/down by varying speeds depening upon how far the ring is twisted. Finally, a couple of buttons are assigned to move forward and back through the tabbed web pages.

Ever since updating to Panther, I've noticed the following behavior. I used to click on Safari to make it top most, then move the mouse pointer off of the app so that it isn't blocking my view when I read the content. Now, however, the Shuttle Pro only seems to control Safari if the mouse pointer is in the content area of Safari.Just leaving the mouse pointer on the title bar or tabs bar of Safari isn't sufficient, it must be in the part where the pages are rendered - i.e. it must be in my way. It is just some weird behaviour that I thought you might want to know about.
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Make Real video streams play in Safari browser windows Web Browsers

I'm pretty sure that a lot of people have had trouble with this. After installing RealOne, they still can't play Real video streams in the Safari browser window. Sometimes Safari will shuffle the content off to RealOne, but sometimes it won't, forcing me to shuffle through the page source, get the URL for the stream and then paste it into RealOne. This gets annoying. I've never seen a default install of RealOne play video in the browser window.

So I wondered, "Why the heck didn't Real make a browser plug-in?" Well it turns out that they did; it's just not put into your ~/Library -> Internet Plug-Ins directory by default (as far as I can tell). The necessary files are stored in the RealOne application package at RealOne -> Contents -> MacOS.

Copy these files into your ~/Library -> Internet Plug-Ins directory.

  • pncrt.Shlb
  • RealPlayer Plugin.xpt
  • RealPlayer Plugin

Then simply re-launch Safari, and you'll be able to watch the stream in your browser window. If you still can't, try copying the Library directory inside RealOne -> Contents -> MacOS to your Internet Plug-Ins directory. In my experience though, this doesn't make a difference. Also, this may or may not work on video windows which use JavaScript controls. Real is a little flaky with those.

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View Safari cache files while offline Web Browsers
I was using my PowerBook on the bus the other morning and was desperate to view a page I had looked at a few days prior in Safari. Since I had rebooted the night before, it was not on the previous page arrow pulldown menu. Safari's great History apparently only remembers the URL and not the link to cache files, which is a real shame, since this would be great for occasional off-line viewing without having to remember to grab the page before you go off-line.

So, I went delving into Safari cache files (~/Library -> Cache -> Safari) to find the page I wanted. Fortunately, using grep from the command line (or the Finder's search -- but remember that the Finder's search is not case sensitive), it's easy to find a cache file with some content that corresponds to the page you want to display. But unfortunately, the file is of type .cache, and not just the original .html file. The HTML is contained in the cache file, however.

Safari won't open these files from it's File -> Open menu, but to my surprise, it did display them with a drag and drop from the Finder! There is header and footer garbage displayed from the remaining contents of the .cache file, but for the few cases I tried, Safari found the HTML and rendered the page well enough for me to get what I needed off of it.

I know there are a lot of cache emptiers out there, but are there any Cache viewing apps or a utility to strip the HTML out of the cache files to make the viewing even nicer?
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Safari JavaScript bug can affect counting page elements Web Browsers

I discovered a nasty bug in Safari's javascript engine. Apparently, Safari treats the javascript 'length' property (used for counting input elements on a form) as a variable, and does not reset its value. It's a bit difficult to describe the problem, so I've created an example page to demonstrate the issue. Open the page in Safari and Mozilla or Netscape to view the differences.

Also on the page is another problem with Safari -- the order in which key-press events are handled. For this problem, I've placed an example –and- a solution on the page.

I hope this is helpful.

[robg adds: This bug is also present in Safari 1.1 on Panther...]

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10.3: Open URLs via drag and drop to Safari's tab bar Web Browsers
The Safari tab bar now behaves the way the tab bar in Camino does. You can open a URL by drag-and-dropping it onto a tab (whether the tab is in the foreground or in the background). If you drag and drop a URL somewhere on the unused area of the tab bar, Safari will create a new tab for that url.

[robg adds: This is a long-awaited improvement; my old habits from other browsers were not going away, and I was always surprised when Safari didn't behave as expected when I dropped a URL on the tab bar.]
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See new Panther features in new browser windows Web Browsers
Haven't quite decided to take the plunge on Panther yet? But still want to see some of what it offers? Here's a homepage replacement that will display a new Panther feature each time you open a new Web browser window. Copy and paste the following text into an editor, save it as a some_name.html, and set it as your browser's page to display when a new window opens.

<script language="JavaScript">
  var url = new Array(11);
  url[0] = "";
  url[1] = "";
  url[2] = "";
  url[3] = "";
  url[4] = "";
  url[5] = "";
  url[6] = "";
  url[7] = "";
  url[8] = "";
  url[9] = "";
  url[10] = "";
  for (loopcount = 0; loopcount < 10; loopcount++)
    var number = (Math.floor(Math.random() * 11));
[robg adds: Yes, I agree this is a mostly trivial hint ... but we're about 12 hours from Panther's official launch, so I thought it'd be fun to run this morning. It also demonstrates a little bit of what you can do with JavaScript for those who may not be familiar with the language.]
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A fix to enable playing Flash movies in Safari Web Browsers
This might be obvious to many, but it wasn't to me. I wasn't able to get Flash movies from certain sites to work in Safari until I unchecked the Flash box in the QuickTime System Preferences panel -- click on the MIME Settings button, then look in the Miscellaneous section and uncheck Flash.

Some talk on this subject can also be found on the Apple Discussions site; search on "quicktime flash safari" to see a thread on the issue.

[robg adds: An older hint discusses a different (but related?) issue with Mozilla and Flash movies.]
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Testing using Safari while developing websites Web Browsers
I use Safari and jEdit to develop my HTML and PHP websites. Some hints and tips I have found that help make me work efficiently:

Dual Screens
I put my editor on one screen, with Safari on the other. Flicking between them is much faster. Also it's great to have my database (mysql in Terminal), designs I'm working from (Freehand) and the resultant page (Safari) in view while I'm typing code.

Use click-through for faster developing
Switching between text editor and web browser is often repeated many times when developing a web page. I use "click-through" to refresh my web browser page, without bring Safari to the front. Hold Command and use the mouse to click on the refresh icon. The advantage is the caret remains active and in place in my editor and there is no delay bringing windows to the front.

Assign "Command Click" to a button on mouse
I have attached "Command click" to my scroll wheel button on my mouse for several benefits. The "click through" mentioned above is even easier. A middle click on a link will open it in new tab. Moving, resizing and even scrolling windows around behind other windows is handy.

Leave Cookies view open
When developing Cookies, I have found Safari will let you leave the cookies panel open while working. Find Safari->Preferences->Security and choose "Show Cookies". I normally clear out all cookies before starting so I can see the ones I am working on. This panel is dynamically refreshed, so its so easy to see if cookies are being set or not, and what to.

I hope this gives other developers ideas.

robg update 10/27: At the author's request, I changed the original references to "option clicks" to the correct "command clicks."

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Trim the list of entries in Safari's Downloads window Web Browsers
I have Safari set to remove downloads upon completion. Every so often, I'll start a download and cancel it right away, so I can just reload it when I have time. That's a good thing, but sometimes I'll click a download twice, or click on a bad link, and those entries are cluttering up my downloads!

So here's how I keep those downloads I want for future use while removing the dead/bad entries:
  1. Start downloading (click the Reload icon) every download that you want to keep.
  2. Hit the small "Clear" button at the bottom of the Downloads window.
  3. Click the Cancel icon next to all of the in-progress downloads.
Voila! Now I have a list with just the downloads I want to keep for future use.
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A workaround for a JavaScript button problem in Safari Web Browsers
Sometimes, a JavaScript button in my favorite browser doesn't want to work. I can push it a hundred times, but the page won't go further. An example is in MSN group's web pages when you want to participate in a group or send a message (website from Micro$oft Corp., humhum). But I have found a way to go further.

Control-click on the JavaScript button, and choose to copy the link (the JavaScript command) and then paste it in the URL address bar and push Enter.

That's very simple...
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