I was pretty excited to find out that there is a public beta of the next major version of the Safari browser available so I downloaded Safari 3 to run on my Powerbook and installed it. It took a little longer than I thought to install but then again I don’t exactly have the fastest laptop around. I started it up after a reboot and immediately found it had problems with some of the plugins I installed for Safari 2 so I spent a little time removing them (I think), reinstalled Safari 3 and tried again.
On the positive side the browser is fast! It is certainly faster than Safari 2 which is already faster than Firefox, Flock and perhaps even Camino. On the negative side the darn location bar didn’t work! I typed in a web address to navigate to, the options in the browsing history came up in the usual drop down menu, and yet I couldn’t get the browser to navigate to anything I entered into the location bar. That may be because of some or other plugin but I couldn’t work out which one (I still have no idea how to disable all the plugins in Safari quickly and easily) and without the ability to enter a url in the location bar (which is one of the main ways I navigate) then the whole thing becomes a bit pointless.
So I removed Safari 3 (the installation pack includes an uninstall which restores the previous version) and because I had cleaned out most of my plugins I started again with the plugins I really needed (Inquisitor and Saft) and even got Webkit working (it wouldn’t run previously because of a conflict with one of the plugins I removed) as an alternative to the standard Safari browser. I think the important thing to remember is that this version of Safari, version 3, is a public beta which means that it probably will not work as intended (and the Safari forum indicates that is the case). At the same time what I have seen of it is promising.
I see that Vincent isn’t too impressed with the new Windows version of Safari (yup, if you haven’t already heard, there is a version of Safari 3 for Windows machines too!) and is sticking to Firefox and Internet Explorer. IE obviously isn’t available for my Mac and Firefox runs far slower on my Powerbook than Safari does and Safari integrates better with my iLife applications. That being said, Safari is a bit limited on some sites so my secondary browser is Camino which is based on the Gecko engine that powers Firefox and Camino runs pretty fast too.
I’ll wait a little longer for the bugs in Safari 3 to be ironed out and then I’ll try it again (can anyone tell me the most effective way to remove Safari 2 plugins for future reference?) because it looks like it will be a top notch browser when it runs properly.