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back to article Apple squeezes JavaScript juice from Safari 4 beta release

Apple has released a public beta of its Safari 4 web browser today, which comes loaded with a new JavaScript engine and support for the latest web standards. The Cupertino, California-based firm said that the engine, dubbed “Nitro”, runs JavaScript 4.2 times faster than Safari 3. It also claimed that Nitro executes JavaScript …

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Coat

But still slower than Opera

In real world websites... Ah well.

If you are a Webkit based browser user, I suggest you stick to the webkit optimized SunSpider benchmarks, and everything will look great, you might be able to convince yourself that in the real world, the synthetic benchmarks also apply...

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Jobs Halo

Once again Apple out-browsers Microsoft

I've spent this afternoon working in the new browser and think it's a great leap forward for Apple - and MS - customers.

It's blazing fast, but - as expected - some of those interface widgets are wonky. The tab controls are clumsy and counter-intuitive and I really wonder why the refresh arrow is so close to the RSS button - a disaster waiting to happen, there!

Nevertheless, Safari 4 should push IE 8 forward, keep Chrome honest and ensure that Macintosh users are first-class citizens on the Internet. Now if I could only properly configure that Cinerama view.

Right, back to the work of the Rocket Group!

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Coat

More Apple fictional benchmarks

"30x faster than Internet Explorer 7, and 3x faster than Firefox 3"

Why does this sound like a typical Apple benchmark? whats the comparison, Safari on a 8 core Mac Pro verses a Celeron 430 with 512MB running Vista with Firefox on it?

*Files this benchmark along with Apples other fictional benchmarks for PCI v AGP, PPC v Intel*

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Anonymous Coward

Wow!

It looks like Chrome. At least the default font smoothing for Safari on Windows is now Cleartype, which is an improvement over the blur-o-vision mode of version 3.

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Thumb Down

Stick to making white boxes.

It claims to look more like Vista than the old model, but Safari or IE do not turn off Aero and the transparency that goes with it.

It opens "_blank" links in new windows rather than new tabs by default. It appears you have to hold down CTRL to make a link open in a new tab. What's the point of tabs if you aren't going to use them properly.

It has completely cocked up the minimise and restore buttons. Really cocked them up.

It is currently browsing round the internet for me searching for "Top Sites", all of which appear to be aimed at colonials.

I just crashed it by trying to load a Java program.

It is taking 224MB of memory to display a single static page whereas Firefox 3 is taking 84MB.

It's as crap as the last Safari. IE, Chrome and Firefox are all way better. 0/10.

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Silver badge

Quite nice

Riddle me this: what do you get if you take Safari 3, speed up the Javascript, throw in Opera's speed dial, Chrome's address-bar-in-the-tab and Firefox's awesome bar (without the user alienating, idiotic name)?

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Paris Hilton

The curious case of IE6

Great stuff indeed. Now the question remain - with so many excellent browsers out there, why IE6 still lives on?

Paris, because she always follows the latest trends.

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Jobs Horns

Tab bar?

Not sure I like the tab bar at the top of the window - double clicking on a tab minimises the window. Some Java games are still broken - so no change there. Not convinced I'm going to change from Firefox 3.0 yet

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Thumb Down

Uninstalling As I Read...

It's faster on some sites, but actually a heck of a lot slower on others, and spews garbage across the chrome on some sites that work fine for S3.

I'll wait a bit...

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Jobs Horns

Forked

"... are based on the firm’s own open source WebKit technology."

Did they mention that WebKit itself is based off KHTML? I didn't think so.

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Unhappy

Did they really

"Apple also took the opportunity today to remind world+dog that the newest browsers, including Google’s Chrome, are based on the firm’s own open source WebKit technology."

I hope they concurrently reminded world+dog that "the firm’s own open source WebKit technology" was based on a fork from KHTML and KJS from the KDE project which they kept proprietary for a year, after which they engaged on a completely unreasonable mass-patch basis with KDE before finally open sourcing the whole thing in a shower of PR bollocks which made it sound like they were doing the world a favour.

Something tells me they didn't though.

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Stop

Spec

On the Mac it'll be a 64 bit application. However, no details are available for the Windows version...

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3410

I'm assuming on Windows it's a 32 bit and not a 64 bit application. If 64 bit, I'm guessing Flash won't work.

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Golly

This renders pages so quickly that it's no longer an issue. They all load in a blinkm like changing channels on a TV.

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Thumb Up

It is a bit good

Yes, yes it is. In typical Apple mode it looks and feels slick, performance is good - but I don't think I can see a real difference on this Intel Macbook Pro. The new History and Top Pages are a delight to use. A definite step in the right direction.

This one deserves Two Thumbs

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Gates Horns

@Liam Thom

"IE, Chrome and Firefox are all way better"

Ha ha. IE is "better" than something?

Last time I heard that, someone had just compared IE to a steaming turd - it was a close call. The turd only lost because it couldn't handle javascript. However, the turd was more secure and didn't come bundled with an even bigger smellier piece of excrement.

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Jobs Halo

Blimey

Well, it certainly is lightning fast. I've installed it on my Thinkpad X61, and am very very impressed. No websites going wonky yet, and no crashes.

I'll reserve judgement on the tabs for now -- I wish I could make the text smaller. The 'top sites' feature and browser history tool are excellent though.

I think this one will replace Firefox 3.0 for me...

I'll install on my MPB as soon as I get home!

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@ Stick to making white boxes

"It has completely cocked up the minimise and restore buttons. Really cocked them up."

Huh? Oh, re-reads...and sees Vista...

My go at this wee first release beta version was a sly install in my corporate cell block, which would mean XP of course, and it's a darling here so far. The restore and minimize are consistent with other apps as an aside.

And I'm a little impressed with CTRL-+ (or "-" obviously) to zoom on a page and seeing that it magnifys the whole page and not just the text.

Up till now I'd thought Safari was somewhat pointless. It still needs some work for sure, looking mighty good though.

I haven't bumped into any of the Javascript I usually use that's kicking me to the curb so far, definately faster too.

Oh, and @Tab Bar? ...

Yeah, David, a tab behaves just like a normal application window (drag the app around the desktop, maximise the window), when you click the middle. It's only the little grabbey bit on the right of a tab that moves tabs. Hehe, I'm getting small joys from dragging my tabs off into new windows...and then back again.

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Happy

@Mikey

<quote> Hehe, I'm getting small joys from dragging my tabs off into new windows...and then back again.</quote>

Cool - I'd been playing with this for about 24 hours and had not run across that yet. Not a huge jump from the old version of Safari but some nice tweaks.

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Safari 4? DON'T!

Being a reckless early adopter type, I installed Apple's beta Safari 4 on my PPC PowerBook G4.

INSTALLING SAFARI 4 WILL DELETE ALL YOUR SAFARI 3 BOOKMARKS! (Luckily, I'd made a backup. ~/Library/Safari)

I did not notice much of a speed improvement, if any, but, then again, I'm not a big streaming guy.

What I did notice what a HUGE design flaw. Tabs now open at the TOP of the Safari 4 window.

Any 4 year old can tell you that a computer user moves and adjusts windows at the top. Having your tabs up there means you're always clicking them opening or, worse, hitting the X and losing the page.

Apple, new does not mean better! I switched back to Safari 3.

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