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Safari vs Firefox

Safari

Safari

Firefox

Firefox

Bookmarks

  • Web feeds are displayed as a nicely formatter web page with options to sort the articles by date, title or source and set how much of an article is previewed.
  • Bookmarks manager is displayed in the content area instead of a separate window and you can set it as you home page, which some users may find helpful.
  • The bookmarks, the bookmarks menu and the bookmarks toolbar are three different things.
Bookmarks

  • Web feeds can be displayed as web pages, plus you can subscribe to them using a third party application, online aggregator or using native Live Bookmarks which refresh web feed contents automatically and are available as bookmarks.
  • Bookmarks Manager is a separate window. A simple hack can move it to the contents area and set it as your home page as well.
  • Bookmarks are bookmarks. They are all available in the bookmarks menu. The bookmarks toolbar is a special folder. This may change in Firefox 3.
Tab browsing

  • To open a new tab you have to right-click the tab bar and then select the only option (New Tab). How dumb is that?
  • Safari has a nice tab drag effect.
  • The only option to reach a tab beyond your screeen width is to select it from the far right menu that appears when tab overflow occurs (about 17 trab in my 1280 pixels wide monitor).
  • Tabs can be merged into single windows or multiple windows can be merged into one as tabs.
Tab Browsing

  • Double-click on the tab bar to open a new tab.
  • A simple violet arrow points where the tab will be dropped.
  • You can either press the scroll buttons or simply scroll the mouse wheel over the tab bar to reach out of sight tabs.
  • It is not defined if Firefox 3 will include this. In the meantime try Tab Mix Plus.
User Interface

  • It looks and acts totally out of place: it doesn’t use Windows theme, no application name in the title bar, no minimize/restore clicking in the task bar, uses its own font rendering.
  • No toolbar customization available.
  • The progress bar is merged with the location bar. It looks cool. So cool, Apple thinks this is enough to hide the status bar by default. However, without it on sight there’s no way you can know in advance where a link will take you. I guess 9 out of 10 phishers recommend Safari.
  • To open a manually entered web address or search results in another tab you must open a new blank tab first.
User Interface

  • Behaves as a Windows application: there’s no learning curve for basic window interaction.
  • You can customize which toolbars to show and what buttons go on each.
  • The idea of merging the location and progress bars was discussed as during Firefox 2 development but no complete solution (one that doesn’t aid phishers) was found. Fission, a Firefox extension, replicates this behavior and addresses the security concerns. In the meantime the status bar stays for me.
  • Press Alt + Enter in the location or search bar to open a web address or search results in a new tab.
Private browsing

  • Safari automatically deletes any cookie, download history, visited page, searched terms and form information you enter while in private browsing. The downside is that there’s no indication that you are in private mode and you could easily forget to turn it off.
Private Browsing

  • Currently under development for Firefox 3. In the meantime try an extension like Stealther or Distrust.
History

  • The History menu shows visited web pages nicely sorted by date.
History

Search

  • You get Google and Yahoo! search in the search bar.
  • No option to add another search engine or organize them.
  • No search engine discovery.
Search

  • You get Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Answers and Creative Commons.
  • You can add as many search engines as you want.
  • Web sites offering search engines are discovered and can be added with a single click.
Languages

  • No one knows for sure in how many languages will Safari be available. But I guess it won’t be many more than the current 18 Mac OS X is available on.
Languages

  • Firefox is currently available in 42 languages for Windows and Linux and 1 less in Mac OS X. Three others are currently under development.
Security

  • Apple believed and swore they had the most secure browser around. 24 hours and not less than 6 vulnerabilities after they were proved wrong.
  • Fast patching.
Security

  • Mozilla’s development takes place in the open and pays for security flaws findings.
  • Fast patching.
Other features

  • No Find as you Type.
  • Spell checking, NTLM authentication and FTP directory listing are coming soon. I’d like to know if spell checking allows multiple dictionaries and quick switching them in a text box.
  • No extensions.
  • No themes
  • No full screen mode.
  • No automatic update.
  • No patching system.
  • No session restore.
  • SnapBack is a feature that marks some pages as return points. For example web addresses you enter directly in the location bar or search results. Safari adds an orange arrow icon to the location and search bars accordingly so if you get lost, you can click it to get back there. Sounds interesting and may be useful.
  • Bonjour, is a local network resources discovery service. No idea what’t the plan with it.
Other features

  • Find as you type.
  • Spell checking, FTP browsing and NTLM all in place. Multiple dictionaries supported with quick switching.
  • Extensions.
  • Themes.
  • Full screen.
  • Automatic updates available.
  • Updates delivered through patches not full downloads.
  • After a crash, Firefox restores the previously opened tabs and windows. You can also ask to launch Firefox with restored tabs and windows every time.
  • Try SnapBack to get some of these features.
  • No Bonjour.
Web Development

  • No Page Info, Error Console, DOM Inspector. Activity, a provided tool provides some details on the files used by the web page and displays their download progress.
  • Web page source code is opened with Notepad.
Web Development

  • Page Info, Error Console, DOM Inspector.
  • Included source viewer with syntax highlighting.
Web standards

  • Passes Acid2 test.
Web standards

  • Firefox 3 passes Acid2 test.
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July 16, 2007 - Posted by | OSX

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