Saturday, February 11, 2006

Safari v. Firefox: Round 2

Not that long ago I posted an article about why I use Firefox over Safari - and why I felt bad for doing it. Well, it's been a while and even though I haven't made the switch back to Safari officially yet, here are the main reasons why I'm thinking about it.

Pimp My Safari has given me information on some tremendous extensions and plug-ins (what's the difference?) that will compensate for some of the functionalit that Safari misses.

Something that I really like in Firefox was the search feature. I'm not talking about the text field in the upper-right corner where you can search Google. I was talking more about being able to find a single keyword in a large page of text. In Safari, the command was Command + F, this brought up a separate little window (much like Windows) and you typed the word or words that you were looking for. This either found it or it didn't. Firefox had a nice feature that when you used the same command (Command + F) it opened a status bar at the bottom of the window and you could start typing a word or a phrase. The great aparat about it was that it searched as you typed and could even be used to navigate the page. If the word "Start" was a link, all I had to do was start typing the word until the link was highlighted, than press [Enter] to activate that link.

By installing SIMBL and than the plug-in FIWT (Find It With Typing), Safari gives me the exact same functionality, and, dare I say it, even better. With FIWT, I don't even have to press Command + F, all I have to do is make sure that any text boxes are highlighted than just start typing. A status bar will appear on the bottom of Safari and start searching for the word. The same [Enter] command works just like in Firefox.

Finally, I'm going to download Saft V8.2.5 for the small price of $12 USD. Saft is described as "...the vital extension for Safari, with more feature than you can shake a stick at." What are some of the features being peddled? Some of the few that caught my eye were "Full-screen browsing", "Always open browser window in tab", "Control-1 to 9 to popup bookmark menu or open bookmark", "Control-drag to scroll page", "Customizable Google search field", "Sidebar (Add plugins for google search, RSS feeds, etc)", "Growl support", "IDN spoofing detection warning and blocking", "Tag rearrangind with drag and drop (also works between windows)", etc.

The main reason why I would prefer to work exclusively out of Safari instead of Firefox is the close integration Apple has provided for all Cocoa applications and Mac OS X. I like that if I need to define a word to make sure I'm using it correctly, I can use the Command + Control + D . Or if I want to email a picture, a page or a portion of a page, I can use Command + Shift + I. And I want to save something in a cool, unique way, I can use Command + Shift + Y to move highlighted text to a Stickie. This is excellent example of how native applications will always have indigenous integration over any 3rd part app that might be out there. It would be great if Mozilla had different binaries to be ported over for different OS builds - but I think that would be asking a little too much.

The one that Firefox will always have over Safari is a much cooler icon!


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