Come on a Surfin' Safari with Me

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Date: Tuesday, January 14th, 2003, 01:00
Category: Archive

SafariApple’s new browser is simple and fast, but what impresses me is the elegance of the interface. The way it handles bookmarks is awesome and I have some suggestions for getting the most out of this lean and mean browser.

It is so easy to manage bookmarks that neophytes who have one long list or none at all may be motivated to start collecting and organizing them. The ability to edit names as you create bookmarks is a real convenience. For power users, the ability to have nested folders in the Bookmark Bar makes Safari a dream for accessing known Web sites. I suggest creating folders in the Bookmark Bar for each category of Web site you visit. Keep the names short to allow the maximum number and then add single sites that you use the most after each category folder. The biggest problem with a folder in the bar is that you cannot control click and have the option to open a new window. Not so with single sites. Since I don’t edit my bookmarks all that often, I keep History selected in the bookmark editing view so that when I click on the bookmark icon, I can delve right into the browsing history in more depth than the history menu allows. I also keep just the folders from my bookmarks bar in the bookmarks menu. I display the Address List and Rendezvous in the menu only, in order to save space in the bar.

In the View Menu, I have enabled everything and disabled the bug reporting icon. It is easy enough to go to the Menu Bar when you need to report a problem. I really use the text resizing a lot because of small text on a few sites I regularly visit. While people have complained that toolbar can’t be edited, I find the tools are in the exact place I would put them.

The lack of tabbed browsing is my biggest complaint. Since my dock is not very full, I minimize windows and then use the Window Menu to open them as needed. If and when Apple introduces this feature, they should have any bookmarked site that gets tabbed use the short name that the user assigns, rather than the long name the site provides. I think that the Mozilla implementation of tabbed browsing could be improved upon by Apple.

When visiting sites with QuickTime content, I find it difficult or impossible to save a movie in situations where simply control clicking in Explorer will download the movie without much fuss. Safari does seem to handle Acrobat files well, however. There needs to be more control for managing downloads, especially pausing, reloading and resuming. The blue progress bar that moves across the url window is cool, but it would be good to add a little activity indicator to the upper right corner like the small one that appears in the Mail application. While I’m not a fan of the brushed metal appearance, why does Mail now stand out from all the iApps and Safari?

Even with its very limited feature set, Safari is currently my browser of choice. The only thing that Explorer has that can’t be bettered by most of the other browsers for the Mac is autofill for eCommerce sites.

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