Safari: A Love/Hate Relationship

by J.D. Roth

The default Macintosh browser is Safari. It’s a lovely piece of work. It’s by far my favorite browser to work with on a daily browser. But it has a problem. It’s woefully unstable. It crashes all the time, on every Mac I own. (And I have four of them.) It’s been like this since day one. This is a Bad, Bad Thing.

Because of what I do — maintain an infinite number of weblogs — I keep approximately 10-20 browser tabs open at all times. These are things about which I am currently writing, or hope to write soon. When Safari crashes, it takes those tabs with it, and there’s little hope of recovering them. (In extreme cases, I do sort through the hundreds of pages of browser history in search of a particularly important page, but mostly I just give the sites up as lost.)

For a long time, I switched to Firefox. Firefox crashes, too. But when Firefox crashes, recovery is easy. Firefox saves your “session”. That is, it remembers which tabs you had opened at crash. There is no excuse for Safari not to incorporate saved sessions. This is an easy thing to program. I could program it. Seriously. It’s basic.

There are other reasons to prefer Firefox, too, of course: extensibility, speed, etc. The thing is: Safari offers a better user experience. It’s more pleasant to use. Sites look much better in Safari. I prefer Safari to Firefox. Except…

At this point, I really have little choice but to move to Firefox. I simply cannot continue to work like this. It sucks to have a dozen prime page get flushed down the drain.

Updated: 07 March 2007

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