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It's that time again -- browser wars #5! Which OS X browser is your favorite?

1/1: It's that time again -- browser wars #5! Which OS X browser is your favorite?

Camino 274 (6.84%)
Firefox 715 (17.85%)
iCab 11 (0.27%)
Internet Explorer 36 (0.90%)
links or lynx 14 (0.35%)
Mozilla 96 (2.40%)
Netscape 17 (0.42%)
OmniWeb 148 (3.70%)
Opera 27 (0.67%)
Safari 2,624 (65.52%)
Shiira 27 (0.67%)
Bumper Car 8 (0.20%)
Other? 8 (0.20%)
Other polls | 4,005 votes | 29 comments

It's that time again -- browser wars #5! Which OS X browser is your favorite? | 29 comments | Create New Account
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The times, they are a changing?
Authored by: robg on Oct 11, '04 01:54:10AM
The "which browser" poll seems to be a favorite, and a lot has changed since the last time I asked the question (February, 2004). Since then, we've had the release of Firefox, a major upgrade to OmniWeb, continual improvements in Camino, and the introduction of a totally new web browser (Shiira, which is worth checking out even if you don't end up using it).

So how about it, what's the mix look like today? Last time out, Safari stomped all challengers...


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Authored by: chris_on_hints on Oct 11, '04 01:14:25PM

I use Safari on OSX, and am very happy with it, especially since I installed "AcidSearch"... check it out for being able to use multiple search engines within the built-in box in Safari.

I use Firefox on my PC(s) - and like it with equal passion. I'm glad to see it appearing in 2nd place in this poll. It has some functions that would be desirable to see in Safari....

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Safari's getting old...
Authored by: lestmak on Oct 11, '04 01:45:41PM

Have started to use Firefox a lot more, particularly at work on the PC. I'm getting bored of Safari - Apple better launch a new version soon, or I'm going to switch!

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Safari's getting old...
Authored by: sharumpe on Oct 12, '04 11:54:53AM

"Getting old?" I don't see what is so old about it. Standards aren't progressing so quickly that Safari is now out-of-date. It renders faster than most browsers that support the same standards. I haven't used Firefox much so I can't make a comparison, but Safari is by no means a laggard among the current crop of browsers.

I'm not saying people shouldn't use other browsers if they want to, but I don't see how "old" applies in this case. IE for Mac: that is OLD.

Mr. Sharumpe

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I'm still deciding
Authored by: zerodefect on Oct 12, '04 02:47:55AM

I've used Safari since it was first released. I think that it is certainly the best browser. What I've seen and tested from the Tiger version looks promising. However for the past month or so I've been using Firefox exculsively! The reason? Speed! Apple, I love Safari, the new features look great, but for gods sake spend some time on some faster rendering. I can handle being a little slower than PC, but it should be as fast Firefox, which is still crawling compared to PCs.

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Authored by: mahakali on Oct 12, '04 03:09:11AM

I tried almost all of them 'cept Shiira. They're great browsers ('cept IE :p) but I stick with Safari for its simplicity and thoughtful interface. I'm all for Safari's achromatic theme and those cluttering icons most other browsers have. Speed doesn't matter to me since I usually do something else when browsing.

And.......... did I say it's Elegant? :D

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I love Safari but...
Authored by: mkutny on Oct 12, '04 05:39:23PM

I really love Safari, but it butchers a number of sites I need to use which make extensive use of JavaScript. Very frustrating, since Mozilla, Firefox, Camino, and the dreaded IE all have no problem with these sites. Nor do Firefox or IE on Windows. If this annoyance is resolved, I'll probably remove my other browsers. I've started using Camino a lot lately and do like it... but Safari seems to win out overall for me.

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The "Other" category???
Authored by: ocelot wreak on Oct 12, '04 08:42:28PM

What browser could be in "Other?"

Telnet to port 80 perhaps? ;-)

-Ocelot Wreak

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The "Other" category???
Authored by: macslut on Oct 20, '04 03:32:42AM

How about the Web browser that's part of RealPlayer 10. Certainly not one of the best browsers, but it has some of the best looking (if not screen wasting eye candy) chrome.

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Safari once and for all
Authored by: gourls on Oct 12, '04 10:59:49PM
I am not surprised at all to see Safari stomping out everything once again. But what is so dreaded about Internet Explorer? I never use it, but I'm just asking. And where's Netscape on this list?


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Safari once and for all
Authored by: robg on Oct 13, '04 01:32:04AM
Netscape's there -- it has three votes so far.

Regarding IE, check out this link for some of its issues:

There are other links from there with more issues, but that's most of the biggies, especially related to its CSS support.

Going through the redesign process on hints now, I'm really having trouble making some of the stuff I want to do work in IE. I'll end up coding a browser check for it, and then serving different files just to work around the bug -- all for the sake of the six people who voted that they use it :).


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IE is a CSS nightmare
Authored by: lullabud on Oct 14, '04 01:13:04PM
Bad CSS is right... MS wants to be the standard, not follow the standard and this is incredibly evident in their implementation of CSS. However, in the case of IE having CSS problems, they're much much worse on the Mac version of IE. Not to mention MS decided that apple had an unfair advantage by releasing Safari so they quit developing IE for Mac. Poor Microsoft... They don't have enough access to the OS so they can't compete... boo hoo...

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IE is a CSS nightmare
Authored by: newbish on Oct 15, '04 11:43:59PM

Whoa! I can sure agree with you! I develop a lot of web apps for internal use in the company I work for, as well as create the web site. The IE implementation of CSS on Windows is so bad, it severely limits what can be done.

For this (and for security reasons) I finally made the announcement for all personnel to stop using IE and switch to Firefox. (Sadly, we are a Windows shop -- which makes it all the more interesting that I develop all the apps I've made on my PowerMac...) People within minutes of switching to Firefox began to really enjoy using it over IE. One of top comments I get is the fact they can at last block pop-up windows without having to resort to third-party solutions. On the heels of that, they're astounded with how much better pages look.

Fortunately, Microsoft has made this implementation very easy as they announced they were ceasing development on IE a couple months ago. So it was a pretty easy sell to management with that news in hand. Now, if I could just talk them into switching to Macs, my life would be so much easier!

Of course, one does find it interesting that after watching the migration of users from IE to Firefox break all records in the course of two weeks after their announcement -- MS announced they were beginning development on IE 7 and would be making it fully CSS compliant.

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Safari once and for all
Authored by: Mr. X on Oct 16, '04 11:32:20AM

workflow for a web designer:

50% of the time spent to develop sites for all major browsers

50% left spent to try to find workarounds to get it to behave the same in Internet Explorer for Windows and then IE Mac.

And when it's done. it still looks like crap in those two anyways...

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Camino is Fastest... but I Like Safari
Authored by: EatingPie on Oct 13, '04 12:16:20PM
After thorough testing, Camino is faster than Safari on rendering. So I use Camino. I do however like Safari better in terms of look and feel... Fortunately Camino has the menu bar and tabbed browsing, which are the my basic requirements for use. -Pie


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Camino is Fastest... but I Like Safari
Authored by: macmath on Oct 13, '04 02:52:00PM

I like Camino too, but I still use Safari because Camino is not as responsive to the mouse-click or key-sequence on my 600 MHz iMac (ie, changing tabs, pulling down menus, etc).

I'd love for Camino or Safari to get the feature of Mozilla "Save tabs as bookmark." or whatever it was called where one could save all open tabs in a window as a single bookmark.

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Camino is Fastest... but I Like Safari
Authored by: ozean on Oct 17, '04 04:59:48AM

You can make such bookmark collections in Camino. When you hit Apple+D to create a new bookmark there is a checkbox in the dialogue called "Bookmark all tabs". Check this one and you have your single-click-instant-opening-of-a-bunch-of-tabs magic!

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Camino is Fastest... but I Like Safari
Authored by: macmath on Oct 17, '04 09:08:38PM


I guess I've been making bookmarks dragging URL's from the location window to folders on my bookmarks bar too much to notice that window and checkbox.

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Fan of the FireFox
Authored by: myrkr on Oct 14, '04 02:11:04PM

I'm a big fan of the firefox plugins.
Mainly the AdBlock(i don't mind the ads that just sit there but i have a violent hatred for the flashy yellow and red ones)
EditCSS, and the Mouse Gestures

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OmniWeb5 all the way...
Authored by: JKT on Oct 15, '04 12:06:33PM

Still the most powerful, most innovative and, by far and away, the most Mac-like of all the browsers. Using anything else afterwards is just an exercise in frustration.

PB G4, 1.5 GHz, 2x512MB RAM, 128MB VRAM, 80 GB 5400rpm HD, SuperDrive, MacOS X 10.3.5

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OmniWeb5 all the way...
Authored by: Mr. X on Oct 16, '04 11:19:34AM

i've been trying omniweb as my main browser for a couple of weeks now that it uses the same engine as Safari, it's become a definitely viable alternative. To my surprise I haven't switched back to Safari yet :)

I've had problems with the autocompletion thing though - it sees my address book info in the prefs but doesn't fill the blanks anyway... Didn't read the manual or anything yet though so I'll hold the complains for now :)

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Is it just me?
Authored by: ubrgeek on Oct 15, '04 05:50:35PM

Or does Firefox not seem to be very responsive or even useful under OS X? Safari seems to do what I need, works quickly and handles pop-ups. I'm not sure why I need another browser. Am I missing something?

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Is it just me?
Authored by: Gigacorpse on Oct 15, '04 09:10:26PM

It's just you. ;)

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perhaps ;)
Authored by: maxman on Oct 17, '04 08:34:28PM

i think, safari lacks a lot of advanced features. the handling of cookies sucks. filtering rules are missing. extensions a rare and add only basic features brothers like opera or firefox already have in their default configuration.

for me the only reason to use safari is the good integration into the system and the leight weight rendering engine. but if you prefer the engine i would use OmniWeb (but i think it is still slow) or in case of the integration, camino does its job very well.
but none of these browsers offers the configuration features of FireFox. and until this changes, i am not willing to change. even if the integration really sucks!!!

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Authored by: Mr. X on Oct 16, '04 11:15:26AM

people who answered IE are just out of their mind... :)

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I like Firefox, but it crashes too much on my machine
Authored by: godo on Oct 18, '04 12:17:48AM

I used to use Mozilla with Tabbrowser Extensions (which slowed down and destabilized Mozilla). Then Firefox came along, so I gave up Moz/TE for the speed and better stability. Firefox's ability to block images from specified servers seemed to make it superior to Safari until I learned that ads can be blocked in basically all browsers with the right userContent.css file. Now the choice is between Firefox and Safari. Firefox has Type Ahead Find (which I adore), but it seems more crash-prone since version ~0.8. It often crashes under multiple tabs when dialog boxes come up. So now I mostly use the somewhat stabler Safari, though I usually run Gmail in Firefox.

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OmniWeb 5 - the best there is!
Authored by: poenn on Oct 18, '04 04:16:09PM

No other browser comes even close to OW's tabs, workspaces, shortcuts, ad blocking, site prefs, blablabla... :-) I could go on forever!

have fun

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Authored by: 153957 on Oct 22, '04 03:08:26PM

I use Shiira, it really is worth checking out, At first it looks nice (if you have been a Safari user) because it just takes all the bookmarks out of safari and plants them in Shiira, which you can also turn of in the preferences, Shiira is a bit faster with loading pages most of the time, and it got more customization (theme's), it also has more search engines (you can add more yourself) it uses a smaller font in the bookmarks bar to fit more bookmarks in it, And it has History/Bookmark/Download search! (in a Sidebar!!) and more... it just great

153957 - TheNumberMan - MacFreak

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Safari? Why???
Authored by: kupietz on Oct 26, '04 06:44:34PM

I am utterly mystified by Safari's popularity. I'm still waiting for them to release a version that has a feature set as useful as IE already had 6 years ago.
Let's look at the plusses & minuses, with appropriate sarcasm interjected:
Safari's advantages:
1.) Safari has tabbed browsing - although I call this a "gee whiz" feature, as it's prettier than opening a page in a new window but doesn't add any real functionality beyond that. (Unless you count the ability to suddenly close 10 open pages at once, instead of just one, if you accidentally hit the close box.)
2.) Safari has built-in popup blocking
3.) Safari handles CSS "correctly" (I put that in quotes because as a 7-year user of Explorer, I have yet to see an IE CSS bug substantially interfere with my browsing or page design. If you follow the link given above <> for a list of IE5 bugs, the first thing you'll see on the page is that IE has "very good" support for CSS1 and "good partial support" for CSS2... and specifically says, "Stop! Are you experiencing unexpected behaviour in IE5.x/Mac and being tempted to blame it on bugs? Don't be too quick to blame the browser" because many of the things that people think are bugs in IE are design errors on the page.)

Safari's disadvantages:
1.) "Web archives" (in the beta) are a JOKE - you can't include linked pages in an archive, just the single page you are looking at, and it doesn't even preserve the URL of the page! IE lets you DL linked pages up to 5 links deep, AND displays their original URL when you open the archive.
2.) Safari's "Downloads" window is a joke. Download history limited to only your 20 most recent downloads? No way to find out your download speeds without getting out a calculator? No way to find out the original URL you downloaded a file from? No ability to re-download a file once it's already been downloaded, other than by going back to the original download link that safari won't tell you the URL of? (Guess if you corrupt or lose a downloaded file, you'd better have the original URL written down somewhere.) The 20-DL limit and the dearth of information are just plain inexcusable. I frequently rely on these functions in IE's Download Manager.
3.) You can't download a file to a specific location by dragging the link to a Finder window. You need to go into preferences and manually change the download folder every time you want to download a particular file to a different folder. This is so inconvenient to me that it offsets the small "gee whiz" factor of the tabbed browsing. Who at Apple thought that when I drag a link to a downloadable file onto my desktop, I was more likely to want to save the file's URL than to download the file? Must've been the same genius who thought up the perfectly round mouse.
The above two complains alone - the Download Window's egregious deficiencies and being unable to start a download to any folder by dragging a link- are by themselves enough to make Safari so impractical that I can't even consider it a finished program.
4.) If you copy an image using ctrl-click and selecting "Copy image", and then try to paste the image into an rtf document or an email in Eudora, it pastes the URL of the image instead of the image itself. WTF? Why can't there be a "Copy URL of image" menu selection, and have "Copy image" mean the same thing the Copy command means in every single other Macintosh program?
5.) After tabbing to a pop-up menu form field, you cannot jump to a selection in that menu by typing its first few letters, like you can in IE... you must repeated ly down-arrow to get to your choice (big fun in one of those "What country are you form?" menus that have 150 choices.) In fact, it seemed to me that sometimes, doing this actually will instananeously jump your window to select a part of the page containing those letters. (Can't get it to happen now, though...)
6.) The tabbed interface is prettier than opening separate windows for new pages, but this very minor plus is offset by the fact that it makes it too easy to accidentally close and lose 10 pages at once... if you accidentally hit the close box for one reason or another, it doesn't warn you before closing and completely forgetting about whatever pages you had open in the other tabs. (Yes, there are third-party software or applescripts to recreate the set of tabs you had open. But that is both inconvenient and a cop-out.)
7.) Constant, repetitive "Safari could not connect to the server" messages for sites that other browsers have no problem loading, which take several reload attempts then suddenly open as if there was never a problem. What's up with that?

Don't get me wrong: I really try to avoid Micro$oft's products whenever possible. But in this instance their product simply has a superior feature set, and fewer drawbacks, than any other browser I've tried. I think Safari has a LOT of potiential, and will eventually be a much better and more usable browser than IE currently is... once it's finished.

I'm not saying any of this to be contentious or put anybody down - if Safari works for you, I have no complaint about you using it, I'm just honestly mystified as to why anyone chooses it in light of all the drawbacks and missing functionality.

End of sermon.

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