Friday, January 13, 2023

20 Years of Safari

Joe Rossignol (Hacker News, Reddit):

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs introducing Safari on the Mac at the 2003 Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple advertised Safari as the “fastest web browser ever created for the Mac” at the time.

[…]

A public beta of Safari was made available for OS X Jaguar in January 2003, with key features including the WebKit rendering engine for faster browsing speeds, Google search capabilities integrated directly into the toolbar, improved bookmark management, optional pop-up ad blocking, a simpler file download process, and more.

[…]

Safari was eventually overshadowed by Google’s Chrome, which was released in 2008 and is now the world’s most popular web browser across all PCs and Macs.

D. Griffin Jones:

Over the past 20 years, Apple’s Safari web browser grew from a speedy young upstart to a polished professional. […] Take a trip down memory lane as we look at how Safari has evolved over the years.

I’ve been a fan of Safari since the beginning. It’s still my default browser, it still feels like a Mac app, and I think Apple has done a better job of maintaining it than most of the other built-in apps. That said, I’ve been a bit less happy with it in recent years:

Andy Lee:

I don’t know if it’s an iOS 16 thing, but Safari has been flaky for me lately, especially with YouTube, to the point where I sometimes have to kill it and restart it to get it to work right. I mean flaky like becoming unresponsive, or not showing the keyboard when I enter a text field.

Magic Lasso (Hacker News):

In the Interop 2022 stable category Safari also made significant progress, increasing its score from 48.9% in January 2022 to 96% today. This puts Safari ahead of its competitors and demonstrates the Safari team’s commitment to addressing long-standing concerns about the browsers lack of standards conformance.

Previously:

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I’ve been using the Arc Browser for a couple of months and I must say I’m surprised well I’ve adopted to its unique features (not all but many). You really have to switch it to your default browser and put some effort into learning what’s special about it, but it pays off (for me at least).

+1 for the Arc browser. I love it.

I do use it on taken with chrome, but that's for professional curiosity reasons.

I think Apple failed its users by dropping Safari on Windows. It made it more expensive to test and debug Safari and Mobile Safari and I think the result has been a worse web experience for in Safari and Mobile Safari.

I've definitely been having more problems with Safari since v16 shipped. I haven't had as many tab issues lately, but I have had some odd periods of unresponsiveness.

The Interop test result is good, but looking at the home page of that site (wpt.fyi) does a good job explaining why web devs dislike Safari.

In the last few days there has been a large downward spike in that graph, indicating improvements in Safari compatibility. Hopefully that’s a real thing and not a graphing data issue.

> Safari doesn’t like to keep me logged into sites, even if I have Prevent cross-site tracking off.

Try unchecking Develop → Experimental Features → Disable Removal of Non-Cookie Data After 7 Days of No User Interaction (ITP). That’s what sounds the most like the infamous feature that broke all but one form of authentication (HttpOnly cookies, a sub-feature of server-side cookies).

@Alexandre Thanks. I will try that, but I don’t expect it to work because the tooltip says it pertains to ITP, which I have already disabled.

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