the empty set

MWSF +2

Well, 2 days after Jobs' keynote, we got a chance to test the new software, and dwell on Apple's new directions.

The new hardware is good looking, especially the 12" PB. The 17" PB looks a little oversized at first - as on hormones - eventhough the screen looks terrific. Need to see the real thing. Did you notice that it is only 160 x 124 pixels short of Apple's 22" Display ?

The new software, well .. I just love the iLife integration - can't wait to integrate stills into my movies, and apply the "Ken Burns" effect. direct access to your iTunes and iPhoto library is a dream. Not to mention direct access iDVD to burn your slideshows or movies directly from iPhoto or iMovie ..

The app I downloaded immediately was Apple's new web browser: Safari. Apparently, Apple said that Safari downloads accounted for 20% of all apple.com downloads on Tuesday .. over 300'000 downloads. Whoosh.

Safari is based on Konqueror, and uses its rendering engine, namely KHTML (Ouch! Gecko was my favourite, and many pages are optimised for it..).

After two days of use, I must say that

  • it is fast. I wouldn't say it is faster that Chimera (latest build), but it's a match.
  • The UI is sleek, inspired from iTunes. No wasted space with useless button or function, or deco. A border free browser. Sleek is the word.
  • Most of the sites I managed and visited showed up correctly. Even thoses using CSS2. This is not the case for everyone. Checkout Dive Into Mark's report
  • SnapBack technology needs to get use to, but I think it can serve its purpose when navigating in directory sites or online shops. A nice feature (still missing from Chimera) is the back button drop down menu (à la IE).
  • The bookmark management is out of this world. I've never seen anything like it. That feature alone is almost worth safari's adoption. You have a direct access to your Address Book websites, and to the RendezVous websites near you (the latest Chimera seems to sport that feature too) - but I didn't manage to make it work yet ..
  • The history management works extremely well too - much better that Chimera for the time being (it's global here).
  • It includes a keyboard shortcut for pop-up blocking - Chimera misses that .. I love it.
  • Another great feature is the activity window that displays how much data was downloaded from where. Too cool.

On the downside,

  • I'm missing tab browsing .. Gee, you get addicted to having mutiple sites in a single window.
  • The view source is also still very basic. It appears that there is an issue with the screen resolution adopted by Safari, which defaults to 72dpi, instead of the 96dpi of all other modern browsers (that brings us back to Netscape 4). hence, all text seem smaller on a Mac viewed with Safari. According to Todd Fahrner, the problems in the fact that Apple considers that 1point = 1 pixel, and Safari bases its default screen res on the default user font size.
  • Doesn't display the content of the TITLE parameter (anchor). I haven't found a way to know where a link will lead you since there's no status bar Use 'view status bar' under the view menu - you can actually turn on of off any button in the button bar like that .. Holding option down when the mouse is over a link downloads the link, and command opens the link in a new window.
  • No keychain support ?

But overall, I'm quite impressed. I'm sure the next released will fill up the gaps, and address the bugs. Implement tab browsing, and it'll become my main browser ..

External resources:

Safari Review [ dive into mark ]

Safari: first look [ code poetry ]

Ø permalink: https://davidroessli.com/logs/2003/01/mwsf_2/

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