Tim Bray is breaking up with Safari. Apparently the latest version of Safari is slow when you have many tabs open, especially if you’re also running OSX Lion. I say apparently because I’ve never used Safari for anything but testing, and so I can’t confirm or deny the claims. That said, whenever I use Safari, the browser strikes me as being limiting, like browsing the web wearing boxing gloves. There was no extension system (there is now, I know), the tabs had small hit targets, and the address bar featured an auto-complete system that just bugged me to no end. In the past I was an avid Firefox user, but when Chrome arrived, I switched and missed only Firefox’s “awesomebar”. Safari was never an option for me. I’ve always considered Safari as being Apples Internet Explorer, merely an afterthought because you need your own browser when you make an operating system. Put simply, I’ve never understood why anyone would use Safari as their browser of choice, when there are so many, in my mind superior, alternatives.
Let’s be clear, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari are all good browsers where it matters. If you use either of those, I really have no beef with you. These are standards compliant, pretty secure browsers and they are not holding the web back. I’m not writing this because I want you to switch from Safari. If that’s your browser of choice, then you and I are friends.
Tim Bray is using multiple browsers, but it appears he’s currently using Chrome primarily. Both he and I expect Safaris issues to be resolved in a future update, at which point he’ll be switching back. Back to the browser with separate search and addressbars. Back to Safari, where http:// is still alive, and updates require a reboot. So long as Tim doesn’t switch to Internet Explorer 6, I’m one happy camper. But I’ll still be as confused as ever.