There are some pitfalls in Safari

Thoughts on Apple’s new browser, Safari:

The Good
It’s wicked fast. This is wicked good.

I love the way they compacted the toolbar area to half the height of other browsers. Also kudos to the ingeniously positioned downloading status bar filling color behind a web address while a page loads.

I’m not much of a bookmark user (I use server-side tools instead), but the bookmark system looks good.

The spellchecker inside any web form is a feature every OS and browser should have.

The Bad
No tabbed browsing. I love my mozilla tabs to death and use them constantly. Seems like a simple feature they could add.

No sidebars. This feature is present in Mozilla as well as IE, and I use it constantly to access server-side tools in another frame.

I use the home button and stop button pretty often in other browsers. Not having them in Safari is a bit of a problem. I didn’t see the home button on the view menu. In another show of elegant minimalism, the refresh button functions as a stop sign while loading, which I missed (thanks aaron)

The Ugly
My biggest problem with Safari is that it seems to default to a 72dpi display instead of every other modern browser’s 96dpi.

When I coded the Ticketstubs site, I purposely left font sizes undefined, thanks to a vocal minority of users that surf with very large or very small fonts by default. I picked a font that looked good at the default on a mac, Gill Sans. PC users get Trebuchet MS which is also a nice font to read at the default sizes (I find default verdana to be far too chunky).

This is how it looks in Mozilla on my laptop. This is the same page in IE. However, this page (with no font sizes declared!) is painful to read in Safari.

I remember having this problem with Netscape 4 at Blogger, and we had to code in switches whenever font sizes were declared so that Mac Netscape 4 users got one size, PC Netscape 4 users got another, and IE/PC users got something else (CSS). I’d hate to see that ever happen again.