Monday, December 22, 2008

What browser to use on the Mac?


I have made the transition to the Mac platform 100%. I use Windows at work only because I must, or at least I lead myself to obey that like it was religion. All went well until I *had* to use my Windows laptop to do something; it had been 3 months since the last time I had flipped its lid open, and I must say, I felt like a duck in water...

The biggest problem with moving away from Windows to any other platform is there are fewer software options. In the case of the Mac, sometimes fewer translates into ONE. There are other options, of course, but they are almost unusable or provide so little functionality that they become non-contenders for my attention. Desktop productivity applications are particularly lacking on the Mac - Microsoft Office is nothing like its Windows counterpart (that's right, I said it!) and when it comes to browsers, Safari is totally a poser. I can't believe I just said that...

Here's why:
- Many sites don't work correctly in Safari. Now one might argue that the sites don't adhere to web standards, but as the user, I give a flying F for web standards. I want to view a page, show me it already! Firefox does just okay...
- The Security story in Safari, particularly vis-a-vis accepting and rejecting certificates is a joke.
- Ditto for Cookie Management
- No Undo Close Tab?
- I am not a huge extensions user in Firefox because most of the stuff is already done for me. Yes, I maintain Elasticfox, so it's only natural for me to pick Firefox, but that's secondary to this discussion. I routinely miss Firefox features when I use Safari.

I could go on, but I don't want this to devolve into a rant. I really like that Apple supports KHTML and I laud its efforts at keeping up with Mozilla's work with Firefox, but honestly, I think it is time for all parties involved to come to an agreement of some sort. I guess I am the only one with the pipe-dream that one day I'll be using a browser with the best Javascript engine, best rendering engine, and best usability possible. I don't care who releases the browser, as long as it has the best of all possible technologies baked into it.

Is that me asking for too much?

P.S. I would use Firefox on the Mac but it prevents my machine from going to sleep. Apparently, fixing that bug isn't on MoFo's radar. Sigh...

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