Using Safari for a week

Firefox has been getting flaky for me again, after several years of rock solid performance. On a whim, I switched to Safari as my default browser for a week. The results are below, listed by area.

General browser

  • It’s fast, in every sense. It’s also true, it uses less battery power.

  • The narrow Address Bar in Yosemite is maddening, and you can never get it centred correctly again after you install extensions.

  • No vertical stacked tabs. How anyone can cram all their tabs into a horizontal bar (with barely readable titles) in 2015 blows my mind.

  • The bookmarks sidebar is inefficient. I can fit barely half the bookmarks vertically in it than I can in Firefox.

  • Firefox’s developer tools are getting better, but they’re still no match for Safari’s Web Inspector.

  • I didn’t realise how much I rely on favicons as visual indicators, now that I’ve lived without them in Safari now.

Extensions

  • No Tree Style Tabs. See comment about vertical stacked tabs and how critical they are.

  • No PrivacyBadger, though the EFF has never cared about Safari.

  • Safari Cookies is a solid cookie blacklist/whitelister, though the lack of a quick toolbar icon limits its utility.

  • Disconnect doesn’t provide a Safari extension on their website anymore, but their Git repo hosts an old version. Still seems to work.

  • JS Blocker is a nifty extension for making 2015-era cruft pages usable and more private again, like NoScript on Firefox.

  • The DuckDuckGo extension isn’t really necessary, now that we can choose it as the default search and can use hashbangs to get anywhere else.

Conclusions

As I have since Safari was first introduced, I used it briefly before moving back to Firefox (and Camino back in the day). Old habit die hard, and there are a still a few things that prevent Safari being my primary browser. The state of things are much better than last time I checked, though.

I'd also use SeaMonkey again as well, if it were for sidebar tabs. Maybe I do need to brush up on XUL after all.


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