By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Browser blues

The last few days, it seems that certain sites take forever to load in Firefox 2 for the Mac — especially the Boston Globe. Firefox freezes up once a day or so, too. So I played around with Safari 3 and found the Globe and the New York Times to be much zippier. But Safari quits whenever I try to load the Boston Herald. Safari is also incompatible with Blogger.

I see that Safari 3 is still in beta, which used to mean that it wasn’t quite ready for public release. Increasingly, though, beta is Greek for “we take no responsibility for our product.” I mean, Gmail and Google Calendar are still in beta, and I use them dozens of times a day.

I’ll be glad when this Internet fad blows over.

Update: I’m trying Camino 1.5.5 for the first time in a couple of years. It’s a Mac-only, open-source browser from Mozilla, and I’m pretty sure it uses the same underlying technology as Safari. I’m living dangerously by posting this from Blogger, but so far, so good.

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  1. Anonymous

    Safari 3 is actually out of beta; has been for a few months or so. You should have gotten it with one of the Mac OS X 10.4 updates. There is a beta version of the software called “WebKit,” which is supposedly much quicker than the stock Safari 3, but for your purposes I would probably try to steer clear. FWIW, the Boston Herald works fine with Safari 3 for me. And I haven’t had any trouble with reading blogger sites, though I don’t run any. – geoff

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Geoff: What do you make of this?

  3. Steve

    Safari on my 10.5.2 Intel Mac is labeled 3.0.4 (and not designated as “beta”). Same on my 10.4.11 G5.I make of that web link that it must be stale info.

  4. BosPhotog

    Safari has been quitting ALL morning on anything that I point my browser to. I had to fire-up firefox….Hmmmmmm…!!!!!!!!?????

  5. Anonymous

    Mac: “It just works”®

  6. Ron Newman

    I’ve never had trouble here before, but I posted a comment here a half hour ago (with Safari) and it immediately disappeared.

  7. MeTheSheeple

    Firefox 3 beta (3?) runs -great- at work for me, with an ancient computer. At home, it’s got some weird problems using the keyboard to scroll, but the performance is still good.Macs don’t always work. Just found out my wife’s best friend had the same problem — a security update broke the print system. Go figure. The answer in our case was to download a 1gb file, turn it into a 4gb installed program, download our own print system, configure it for compilation, compile it and install it. Now it’ll print, but it’ll never again be able to use the Mac menus.

  8. Anonymous

    Maybe reinstall firefox 2 on your Mac. I use it all day on my Mac and never have problems, with the Globe or any other site.Or maybe you need to upgrade your Mac OS or you’re running out of memory or something. I never have problems with firefox.

  9. Jef Nickerson

    Safari for Windows is still Beta.I use Camino as my default browser, it is actually an offshoot of the Mozilla/Firefox family. Every so often a site will think Camino is Netscape 5 and tell me it is not compatible, generally it is, occasionally such sites will not let me proceed (very annoying), and I’ll have to jump onto Firefox. But generally, everything I need to do works fine in Camino. I’ve found Firefox on the Mac to be a bit wonky, and stopped using it as my default browser, though there is a beta 3 out which may fix some of the Mac wonkiness. And there were always a bunch of things about Safari that bugged me.

  10. Jim S.

    Dan,Using Camino successfully as my default browser, running 10.5.2. And for what its worth Safari has been solid since the update.

  11. Pink Granite

    Hi -I’ve been posting to Blogger using an Apple, via Safari for over a year without any problems. I now use the 3.0.4 version of Safari and have found everything runs very smoothly.- Lee

  12. Chris

    Camino is based on the same Gecko engine that Firefox uses. Safari uses an engine called Webkit or Webcore (depending what documentation you’re reading); on the Mac, the OmniWeb browser uses the same engine, and it’s also used on things like Nokia phones and some Linux browsers. Developers can download the current version of the Webkit library, which Safari will then use, but normal users gain little by getting involved with that, so don’t bother. Safari 3 is part of Leopard or OSX 10.4.11, so if you run software update, you should just have the new version already. If Safari is acting funny for you, you can try resetting it (menu -> Safari-> Reset Safari), which sometimes re-stabilizes things. Let me know if you’re still having trouble, I used to help with this sort of stuff for a living 🙂

  13. Boston Venerable Bede

    I use both Firefox and Safari. I am also a Mac user.I like Firefox because of the program “Foxmarks” that syncs Firefox bookmarks.


    Can any one help me – my blog just wont display on safari!!

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