Firefox and Safari Compared

There are a few compelling reasons I want to use Safari as my primary browser. These include: a faster native browser, iSyncing bookmarks, smaller footprint^1^ and nicer OS X fit. Each time the latest Safari comes out I try it out hoping I can stick with it.

However, I always end up going back to Mozilla, Firefox this week, hopefully the last name change. I think the top feature Firefox has going for it is the ability to customize the Search Box on the top-right.

In one click, I can search so many different sites. I can look up words in the dictionary, find what movie that actor was in, get a stock quote, whatever. Anything that is searchable is right there. [MozDev Directory].

**My plea to Apple: ** Dump Sherlock. Great idea. Bad Implementation. Move that technology into Safari’s top-right corner. It’s right there!

In general most pages look better in Mozilla. Don’t ask me why, maybe the fonts seem more consistently correct. Familiar sites look different in Safari. Another minor, but noticeable, difference is the context menu when right-clicking. It is missing most options, specifically back.

Web Development is still better with Mozilla. ~~It shows the image size when right-clicking, even IE allows this with Properties. I had to write an AppleScript to handle this in Safari.~~ Correction: Safari now supports this in the title bar. Also the Javascript console is critical when writing JS.

Both browsers include pop-up blocking. Mozilla let’s you know when a pop-up was blocked and has a nice way to permit pop-ups on a per site basis. I’ve become so used to this, I’m shocked when I see pop-ups when I rarely use IE.

Tab browsing is a must-have feature. IE won’t even be considered until it has this. It’s great when doing research, viewing documentation and even to maintain your train-of-thought. I’m waiting for a browser to allow draggable tabs. I’d like to be able to change the order of open tabs.

A nice thing Safari recently added, with regards to tabs, is the ability to open new links in tabs. So instead of a duplicate browser window being opened when clicking a link in Mail, it opens in a tab. Nice.

1 Memory footprint comparison, using top, after a few minutes of browsing with each. Safari RSIZE: 32.6M. Firefox RSIZE: 48.2M