“How Bad Is 'Safari For Windows?',”
By Eric 'Renderking' Fisk -
First Posted June 15th, - last updated on June 18th, 2007
First off - I understand that everyone has only 24 hours to each day. We all have to sleep somewhere between 5 and 8 hours a day, which means that you only have somewhere between 19 and 16 hours left. You have even less time when you take into account that you have to do other things like eat, go to work or school. Any time you have to spend on-line is precious... so I appreciate any time you spend on The Fedora Chronicles.
The idea of The Fedora Chronicles is to give people who are into similar topics a place to have their views heard or read and express themselves on a site with minimum vulgarity. We have pretty high standards because we don't want to waste your time. Everything that goes up on The Fedora Chronicles is here for a reason - we think or hope that you might find what we do informative or entertaining. We also want to have a site that encourages people to go out, do something that's meaningful to them and come back and tell us about it. We value your time, period, because time is something you spend and can't get back... so your visits on The FC should be worth your time and bandwidth.
Bottom line - if you're going to do something for someone - even if it's for free and just for their enjoyment - you should make it the best you possibly can as to not waste anyone's time, including your own. It's a philosophy I wish more people had. Take Steve Jobs for example.
Late today (Friday, June 15th,) I downloaded the Public Beta release of Apple's Safari browser For Window's. I had to do this since I run a website and I want to see what The FC looks like to everyone else. I'm running three different browsers at the same time - Internet Explorer 7, the last version of Modzillia, the latest version of Firefox... and now it's four if you count Safari. I have to know what The Fedora Chronicles looks like to people other then myself, because not all code looks the EXACTLY the same on every browser.
When I first Downloaded "Safari" off of Apple's main site, I was surprised and maybe even a little amazed at how quickly it happened. On dial-up, it happened in less then an hour. Going through the install process was simple enough and didn't require a re-boot to start it... that's always a plus when you're in the middle of doing a half dozen things and forget you're installing something and then suddenly you get a warning message that you have to stop what you're doing just to save everything, turn the computer off, turn it back on and then open everything else up again. (For future reference, please save and shut everything down just in case and just because... I'll explain why later...)
The easiest part of Safari is downloading and installing... and since you only do that once, that's a bad sign.
When they say "True Beauty is on the inside," they aren't talking about Internet Browsers. I don't care how "Secure" a program is when I can't use it the way it's supposed to work. While working on a computer, beauty has to be on the inside AND on the outside.
I have a top-of-the-line LCD flat panel display that's only a year old. Every website I visit looks pretty good, including The Fedora Chronicles. The only sites that look horrible are the ones that are made by the astatically impaired and the artistically challenged - like the girls who create Yahoo Groups and choose a color scheme that puts baby-blue text on a lavender or pink background... that's great for wall-paper in your bedrooms, but that causes eye strain for anyone over the age of 20 who is trying to read what you're trying to write... but then again, anyone who would chose to use that color scheme can't have anything worth saying in the first place. It's the same for the dorks and geeks who put white and light grey text on a black background... it may look great on "Star Trek" but it's horrible for those of us who have real lives and aren't trying to pander to the rest of our peers who also still live in their parents house so they can continue collecting toys for a "living" or for "Investments" when they aren't blogging about the injustice of UPN's "ENTERPRISE" being canceled.
Apple's "Safari" Browser for Window makes every page look significant on a truly superficial way... all the normal text is Bold and the text that is supposed to be bold is Bolder but trying to read that text is a chore. Upon closer inspection, the text also blurs with some letters - the letter "S" blurs to some extent to make it look like a smudged number "8." I'm not even talking about my own site, even CNN and FoxNews has this problem with Safari. I briefly tried E-Bay and our forum with the same results. After less then a half an hour a migraine started to settle in and my eyes watered. No other browser has this visual problem, and when Macaholics say "Safari Render's Webpages They Way They Should," I have to ask if he means that all websites should look THIS horrible?
When I create a page using the Vedana Font at 12 points with no bold or italics - that's exactly what I see in Microsoft FrontPage and Internet Explorer - exactly what I see in Modzillia/Netscape and exactly what I see in FireFox. There is slight variations, but so incredibly minor it's not worth mentioning or describing. I don't know what font Safari translates "Vedana Font at 12 points with no bold or italics" into. With the blurry smudged bold text, it's almost impossible to use for anything besides looking at pictures. Those are fine, pictures load up nice and crisp... which makes Safari the perfect browser for the illiterate types who only use the internet to "look'it stuff." Now it's a horrible browser to use if you need to read anything substantial, making research and posting on forums a chore...
Memory Hog and Crashes
Toggling between Safari and other programs or browsers is another chore. Press "Alt" and "Tab" to switch between Safari and the other windows you have open caused my computer to hang for a while. How long is "a while?" Long enough for me to get out of the chair, put some dishes in the dish washer then come back and see if the window is open to the right program. Obviously, this depends on how many other programs are open; the more windows or programs, the longer the lag time.
I started using Safari late in the afternoon on Friday, June 15th, then again Saturday morning well into the afternoon. Each time I encountered problems with the browsers, and those problems spilled into other programs such as all the other programs running slower. This problem evaporated instantly by simply closing Safari.
The other problem I encountered was the browser simply shutting down. I was working in either Front Page, Adobe Illustrator and the message came across the screen that Safari performed an "Illegal Operation" or encountered a problem and had to be shut down. Clicking the option to report the error caused my system to freeze and I had to "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" and choose to shut Safari down manually. Other times, I would go from Safari to another program with out any idea why or with out even asking the computer to do so...
Just to make sure that the problem wasn't with one of the web pages I was building or the new Illustrator graphic I was making, I did shut down my system. THIS is when it would have been best to save everything before you think you might experience problems. Too many times when my system is running slow because I have too many programs open or sessions running (same program, different tabs) just clicking "Save" will make slow programs or systems run much slower and might cause saving to fail and the computer to crash all together. Saving files with out Safari running in the background were nearly instantaneous - saving files with Safari running made the hard-drive crank and churn long after the files were saved and the programs closed. As an aside - Safari also made my hard-drive run constantly or more often then I'm usually aware of.
All the performance problems I had with my computer while running Safari simple vanished by closing Safari. Moving from Window to Window, program to program returned to it's near "fast as light" flickering and toggling between Front Page and Illustrator with out Safari running in the background.
The problem simply can't be my system - it's a year old Dell which my wife bought for me and it's a top of the line model - fastest processor speed that was available 12 months ago and half a Gig of RAM. We even performed some maintenance last Saturday (June 9th) when we removed the cover and vacuumed out all the dust that had settled on the processor's heat-sink and did a defrag of the system's hard drive. I'm at a loss at how Safari is supposed to "wow" me into becoming a "Mac/Apple" convert - if anything these performance problems have cemented me firmly into "Windows" territory.
Conclusion - "Safari" will leave you abandoned and frustrated in the Cyber-Jungle.
Using Safari For Windows is like trying to struggle with all of the internet's earliest limitations while still downloading files with a 20-Something Kill-A-Baud external modem, this past weekend was a 72 hour long flashback.
Working with Safari (or trying to, at least) reminds me of when The Internet came into it's own as a world wide phenomenon started to break out of the limitations that were imposed on users of subscription services such as AOL, CompuServe, Prodigy, and a handful of companies I can't even remember...
I want to say I once used a service called "Magellan" with the first World-Wide-Web browser "Mosaic" - but I honestly can't remember... but I can remember back to when these subscription services fought for customers with crazy ads about which was better and had more content, and some even said they had greater quality but less content... all of this became irrelevant when every subscription service dropped most or all of it's exclusive content and simply provided access to the whole World Wide Web, like AOL, EarthLink and PeoplesPC does today. Those who didn't offer access to The World Wide Web and only offered it's exclusive content only went out of business.
This of course lead to the browser wars between Mosaic and Netscape, then between Netscape and Internet Explorer (a browser Bill Gates and Microsoft bought from another company...) which lead to the fight between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and FireFox and Opera... which obviously brings us to where we are now with this rant and the fight with Apple's Safari Browser for Windows trying to beat Internet Explorer and the other browsers for dominance. There is also going to come a time when the winner of this new browser war between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Safari is going to go head-to-head with yet another browser in the coming years...
I have no idea how well Safari works on Apple machines. As far as Windows users, the Public Bata Release is the worst of all the browsers I've ever used, and I've used most of them at one time or another over the past 13 years. For me, the ridiculous comments made by Steve Jobs when he surprised everyone and announced the (Public Beta) release of Safari For Windows just ads insult to injury... as if to show me how bad he thinks Windows really is I'm being asked to use my old IBM 286 Processor operating at less then 96 megahertz computing speed with the very earliest VGA Monitor - both the CPU and the Monitors generated more heat then the radiators in my first apartment after college.
Safari feels as if I'm being taken out into the wild with a man who is very familiar with his own guns and the rest of his equipment, his own territory and his own maps... only to discover that with the exception of his gun he's not bringing equipment he's familiar with, this isn't his territory and the maps he's using are ether upside down or written in a language he doesn't understand. I'm not being led through the jungles by Allan Quatermain on the search for a digital King Solomon's Mines, I'm being led by led into the woods at Millers Crossing by Tom Regan about to get whacked.
In short, The browser is the biggest piece of garbage programming for PC's that I've ever seen in my life, or at least in the last 15 years. It's the most horrible, unprofessional release I've ever seen from a major company and Safari looks worse then many share-ware programs out there. (Yes, it's worse then the Academic Version of 3D Sudio MAX I tried in the mid-90's - for those in the know.)
I can completely understand that this is a BETA release of software and there are still many releases yet to come. I also understand that it simply exists so people like myself can test our site on a on our computers with the same browser as the Apple IPhone. But if this browser that's "supposed" to work on Windows XP/Vista machines is any indication on how the IPhone will work on it's own, Apple has some really bad years a head of it. I'm just glad I'm not using the Beta version of "ICar" or flying cross-country in "IJet"
Windows users should avoid Safari until the final release is out, skip any future "Beta" versions or patches for this current "Beta" release. I hate to say it, but less savvy internet users should NEVER use Safari and stick with the browsers that already exist. A "Free" Internet Browser isn't worth
Update: April 12th, 2009
Before I write a review about the faults and failure of both Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and McAfee Anit-Virus Security, the thought occured to me that I should at least return to this rant and write an update...
After the official release of Apple's Safari browser for Windows, I installed it then forgot about after seeing how it handled all of our favorate webpages. That was it, and I was convnced that I was right and this browser was a dog. This was a huge mistake on the part of Steve Jobs and company, this Apple product was the worst in the barrel.
A few upgrades later, with the most recent in Feburary of 2009 (this year as of this writting) everything Safari for Windows was supposed to be suddenly is. The browser suddenly lives up to it's own hype and then suddenly became my browser of choice and default. How so?
First, Safari STILL takes much longer to load compared to other browsers. It's the slowest of the bunch. But once the browser is up and running there are no huge drains on the rest of the system. You can toggle between Safari and other applications that are already running. You can also load new applications with out any noticlble lag time. My entire system works the way it shoud with Apple's browser running. Switching between tabs with-in Safari are quick and painless, I can switch between The Electric Speakeasy, The Fedora Chronicles front page, and other sites I'm currently using to work on an article. It seems as if the slightly longer load time does something - I don't know what - to keep the browser from crashing in the future. I can easliy crash or hang the other browsers if I try hard enough while Safari has only died once. I remember it clearly because I said to my self out-loud: "Wow, that's never happened before" since up-grading in the end of February or begining of March 2009.
The "Fuzzy Font" issue that I reported is suddenly gone and if I go to the Safari Options [On the upper-right hand corner, click the icon that looks like a gear,] I can choose "Windows Standard" (Microsoft ClearType technology). The text is just as sharp and crisp as all the other browsers and Windows products.
What's obvious and clear is that whom ever developed Safari For Windows heard everything people like me (and other users) had been saying about their product and fixed EVERYTHING. Then there are some features that other browsers have and they intergrated them into V4 of this browser.
MacDailyNews: Why did Apple CEO Steve Jobs release Safari for Windows?
Silicon.com - Minority Report: Steve Jobs fails to wow - Has he lost his magic?
Silicon.com: Apple's Safari coming to Windows PCs - And third-party apps for the iPhone...” By Tom Krazit
Top Tech News: Did Apple's Steve Jobs Hit a Home Run?
How does Safari work for you on your computuer? Your thoughts? Drop us a line on our forum.
Did Safari ever work for Windows Users?