Here we go, Apple’s launching its home-made browser. None too soon—operating systems have only been delivered with web browsers for thirty years. This one is called Safari and, well, I think this isn’t a good start. I don’t know what the deep, well thought-out concept is behind this name, but I find it ridiculous anyway.
So it looks like Apple is keeping to the 2002 trend of using the brushed steel look everywhere, for no reason whatsoever. Not so long ago, the official guidelines specified this look was only to be used on some specific type of applications—if I recall correctly, those that vaguely emulated a real object’s behaviour. Like a CD player. Now is only two years later, and Apple’s putting brushed steel everywhere. It’s upsetting me, and I don’t even own a Mac. Besides, the navigation buttons look terrible. Have a look at the Chimera screenshots, rather: it’s nice, soft, light, and it’s integrated correctly with the Aqua interface.
Anyway, the most surprising, and frightening, is that Safari isn’t based on the Gecko layout engine (ie, on Mozilla), but on Konqueror’s. I’ll refrain from criticizing here, because I haven’t tested the latest Konqueror yet. But I’m really holding my breath. Or I am, but not in a good way. As long as Konqueror was limited to KDE users, it meant that its users were negligible (not in a
they’ll be left out the door way, but it just didn’t matter that much if a site looked wrong to them). Now that one of its cousins will be shipped with OS X (well, I suppose that’s the point), I’m gonna get a whole new wave of users experiencing brand new incompatibilities with the sites I make. Great. Just what I needed. Opera 7 isn’t even out yet, and now we have another one. I’m gonna quit webdesign and take up sculpture, it’s less troublesome.
Good thing that Safari doesn’t offer tabs. There’s still a possibility Chimera will steal its spotlight.
In other news, and in the dream section, Apple was also introducing a 17” PowerBook, which looks pretty nice. I could use one, if you really insist. And I know you don’t insist.
A light sensor automatically adjusts the keyboard and screen brightness based on the available ambient light. Now that’s class. It’s important that there be light under the keys, and it’s important that it adjust itself like the widescreen TV in your living-room. It’s just a pity that the keyboard doesn’t take advantage of the seventeen inches to spread out a little—I suppose it has to do with the one-inch thickness of the thing, but I think it’s a questionable choice. When you’re carrying a laptop twice as big as every other one, I don’t quite understand why it’s so important that it should be so thin. Well, maybe it’s me—I’m not really the target for this kind of product, so I may not be supposed to understand. Well, it’s my wallet that’s not in the target. It’s far away from it. Far below. Laying on the ground. Hidden under a floor tile. Slowly dying of starvation, suffering a thousand pains. Without the faintest noise. Which is why I’m mentioning it. Someone has to honor its memory. The poor little thing.
I was right being suspicious of Safari: here’s what garoo.net looks like. A misinterpreted CSS rule, and now I have big, fat borders on all my pictures. Oh, and don’t bother telling me I shouldn’t use transparent gifs for layout: I use what I want where I want, that’s old-school HTML and it doesn’t excuse rendering bugs. And it’s not like there aren’t bugs also in the interpretation of good, nice CSS. For those interested, Mark Pilgrim has devoted a section of his site to Safari’s bugs.
But the screenshot is still frustrating: I want a Mac, too, to get antialiased text! I had forgotten ClearType was one of the reasons I did fancy upgrading to XP. But the best would still be offering myself a nice little Powerbook: I’ve been thinking, for a while, that a laptop would be quite convenient, so what better opportunity would there be to go Mac?
Come on, look at this. Do you really think this looks like a browser? I don’t. I wouldn’t like to surf with this. Chimera rules. That is, if I had a Mac.
Credits to A. L. for the screenshot.
P.S. : If you’re trying Safari now, you won’t experience this bug anymore, and garoo.net will be displayed as it should. Before I posted this article, I found the CSS rule that caused it and, since it wasn’t actually useful for anything, I removed it. But the bug’s still in Safari, though.
When you find out that David Hyatt (one of the main people behing Chimera, Phoenix—and Mozilla, too, right?) is working on Safari, you get another view of things. I’m still thinking badly of the interface (and I’m not the only one) but, finally, the rendering engine shouldn’t be bad. That’s what counts. Considering that I’m not using a Mac, the interface doesn’t affect me after all. Oh, and as I’m talking about the interface, and I’m bored, maybe I should take advantage of the Chimera screenshot I’ve been sent, to make an OS X skin for Mozilla. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but this thing is so complex I’m discouraged before I even start.
I don’t know what it’s gonna be like to use (I don’t feel like testing the beta—I mostly don’t want to spend a couple of hours downloading it) but, at least, they have made a major achievement with Opera 7 : it’s pretty! It’s the first time since the creation of Opera that I can’t wait to try it. It has a sidebar (couldn’t live without it now), a mail client (integrated directly in the interface, which I find superb), the toolbar is gorgeous… I can only hope it doesn’t break websites too much.
Between Opera 7 (if it does meet the expectations) and Safari, it seems Mozilla is really past its fifteen minutes of fame now. Such a waste.