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Apple Safari for Windows

So, Apple released a few days ago Safari 3.0 Beta, which is available both for Windows and Mac OS X.  They say the Windows requirements are “Windows XP or Vista”, but a friend of mine has it running on Windows 2000 with no problems.

First impressions: crash, crash, crash

I installed it on my Windows XP machine, which has IE7 and it's pretty much up-to-date, because, well, it's a genuine Windows, and since I paid for it—against my will, I only wanted the laptop—I run M$ software update from time to time.

Safari installation went fine, though it asked me one bizarre question: “Do you want to install Bonjour...?”.  The description of this thing looked cool, so I let it on, but I'm still wondering why do they have to distribute this with a browser.  Anyway.  I start Safari.  By default it goes to apple.com/startpage, or something.  It loads it fine.  I then enter “mihai.bazon.net/blog” in the URL bar and press ENTER to see an instant crash.  Tried a few more websites with the same result.  It was that point when I thought that this beta is only good so we see the new texture of the Apple UI, because they seem to change it every month or so.

Well, talked to my friend again, and he told me that he didn't install Bonjour.  So I uninstall Safari and reinstall it again, this time without selecting Bonjour and Apple Software Update.  Same results.

System requirements

Isn't it strange that they distribute Safari for Windows and it works even on Windows 2000, and in the same time it seems to require the very latest Mac OS X version for running on their own system?

I have a Mac, but it's running Panther.  There's no way I'm gonna have Safari there, because they want me to purchase Tiger.  I don't.

Another strange thing is, they basically took the KHTML rendering engine from Konqueror (which is a decision I won't, ever, understand), called it WebKit, then wrapped their cool interface around it, and called the result “Safari”.  Though Konqueror was initially developed in Linux, WebKit doesn't even compile there (ok, last time I tried, compilation was finally successfull, after reading howto-s for half a day, but the binary instantly crashes).

Final thoughts

I managed to have it working by installing it on a different machine and deselecting Bonjour and Apple Software Updates from the start.  It runs fine there.  The UI is very cool too, but I think it's nothing they couldn't have done (probably with even less work) by wrapping around Gecko, rather than KHTML.

The rendering engine is good, probably as good as Gecko was 3 years ago.  I care less about speed (but yes in fact I do think Firefox is faster) — but I just wish they would have used Gecko from the start...  Everything sucks compared to it.

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2007/06/12 17:40
Mihai Bazon
browsers, safari, web design, windows
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