Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Safari 3: Improved Tab Handling

Category: Browsers, WebKit

Without installing plugins, dealing with tabs in Safari is painful. You can’t move them around. All you can do is delete and create them.

It looks like Apple has stepped up and this video of Safari 3 shows rich tab/browser management.

Check it out for some weekend fun.

Safari 3 Tabs

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:58 am

4.1 rating from 40 votes


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Now just cross your fingers that they fix Safari’s JavaScript engine ;)

Comment by carter — September 3, 2006

@carter – rather than taking snipes unrelated to the article, check the WebKit web page and you’ll see they are working on the Javascript engine.

Comment by Dale — September 3, 2006

very cool, to be honest though I dont missing moving tabs in Safari as much as I miss keyboard tab changing in Firefox.

Comment by Geoff — September 3, 2006

well they damn well better be working on the javascript engine… its crap, total crap. and the css support blows also.

Comment by Hubris Sonic — September 3, 2006

May I inquire what your expertise in JavaScript is, which leads you to this negative view of Safari? Your website gives no indication that JavaScripting is your forte. You probably don’t know that Safari has one of the fastest JavaScript parsers on the planet, neck and neck with Opera. Don’t believe me? Check the Javascript speed test at 24fun, a Windows website. As far as CSS, it would be hard to find a browser that has better standards support than Safari, which was the first to pass the Standards Project’s Acid2 test for CSS standards compliance last year.
If you have some expertise or experience to support your statement, please share it with us.
Thanks, Leland

Comment by Leland Scott — September 3, 2006

Geoff, you mean like Ctrl+Pg Up and Ctrl+Pg Down ? (some combination of fn+ctrl+up and down i think on my powerbook)

Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2006

@Dale – we can rejoice when THAT news hits the front page. until then, yawn!

nah, the tab moving really is nice. it’s definitely been requested many times over so it would be nice to actually have it materialise in more browsers :)

Comment by carter — September 4, 2006

Is this even an issue? I’ve never had any need to move a tab around. Ever. Wouldn’t more compatible Javascript support be a better thing to focus on?

Comment by castellan — September 4, 2006

Anyone else notice how many fake Leopard videos there are on YouTube?

Comment by MH — September 4, 2006

[…] Ajaxian SafariSunday, August 20th, 2006. Web Inspector Enhancements. Category: Utility , Safari. Leland Scott let us know about the Web Kit teams latest Web Inspector debugging tool. […]

Pingback by » Blog Archive » Pimp My Safari — September 4, 2006


Safari is a great browser, and it’s fast, and it is unquestionably a better choice for Mac users over Firefox due to the enormous speed differences (Firefox is twice as slow on a Mac). But it does have some annoying JavaScript quirks, especially when dealing with DOM manipulation. Also, there are bugs with “contentEditable” text areas.

Safari generally requires additional development time to correct CSS differences, but the main problem is that IE’s bugs are well-documented, whereas Safari’s aren’t. That said, I generally have no complaints about its CSS rendering, except the fact that it prevents styling of certain form elements.

No browser is perfect.

Comment by Matthew Ratzloff — September 5, 2006

well. leland, regarding your personal attack on my skills. a few of the sites i work on are:

and also a number of investment bank operations center web applications that are used in production that support billions of dollars in transactions every day.

having done the website merger for credit suisse in asia when they went from credit suisse first boston to credit suisse, and having to support IE 5.0 -> 7.0 and Firefox and Safari in english, japanese and chinese i know what a piece of SHIT safari is…

ever noticed that not a single web-based html-editor FCK etc… works with Safari?

you Steve Jobs fanboys are really annoying and bring the level of discourse down to LGF.

i am sure that people like you are the first to piss on m$ when they post something about explorer.

Comment by Hubris Sonic — September 5, 2006

Safari is a p.o.s. browser but it’s from Apple so Mactards like Leland will use and praise it obviously.

Comment by Sebhelyesfarku — September 7, 2006

Hubris et al who hate Safari,
Working on a few sites is not the same as actually getting your hands dirty coding JavaScript, which is what you were criticizing Safari for.  I agree with Matthew that Safari isn’t perfect—I never claimed it was, and I never would.  But the only actual problem you point out is its weakness with content editable, which isn’t a JavaScript issue at all.  It’s certainly a weakness—and there are others—but I was taking issue with your characterization that Safari’s JavaScript support is SH*T, as well as its CSS.  You’re wrong on both counts, and you only reveall your ignorance and basic prejudice towards all things Apple to claim otherwise.  

FYI, the content editable issue will be a non-issue soon.  It already is, if you look in the right places.  There are at least two top-notch web-based content editors that work great in WebKit and Safari 3.0 (upcoming in Leopard):  Asbrusoft and Pintexx both are doing a great job making online HTML editors that work across all browsers and platforms.  

Sebhelyesfarku, eh?  And what is a Mactard?  And why do so many ignorant web developers feel the need to say nasty things about Safari and Apple?  In other cultures and other situations, this was called “hate-mongering,” I think.  But that was in an earlier stage of human history which thankfully most humans have left behind.

Comment by Leland Scott — September 7, 2006

One last note to those of you who think the YouTube movie is a fake.  It’s definitely not.  I’m typing this in Safari 3.0, and you can definitely not only move the tabs around as you can in Firefox and Opera.  You can also drag them out to make them new windows.  And you can drag them back to becoming tabs again.  I showed this to a Windows-using colleague who’s a fan of Firefox just this morning, and her mouth dropped open.  She had spent hours search for a Firefox plugin that would let you turn a tab into a window, or vice versa, with no luck.  To my knowledge, Safari 3.0 is the only browser that supports this.  

Now, before you Safari/Apple haters get your backs up, don’t imagine I’m saying every great thing in browsing came from Apple.  Far from it.  Apple was late to the game, though they quickly overtook IE and made a number of innovations that lit a fire under the Mozilla folks (most notably, RSS support).  They’re late to the moving-tabs game, but are doing a leapfrog that I’d bet other browser makers will want to follow.  There’s nothing wrong about that.  Innovation and competition is what will make web browsers keep getting better.  Which is why I’m so adamant that fans of IE and Firefox not fall into the trap of thinking it’s a 2-browser world.  Opera has led in browser innovation for years, but been ignored.  WebKit/Safari will also lead now and then.  This is good.

There’s one more incredibly cool thing about Safari 3.0 that I’ll have to save for a blog article… but again, it’s a huge advance for usability and a huge win for users.  If you write Safari off with an ignorant “Safari sucks” viewpoint, you’re really missing the boat.  What you’re really saying is that you’d LIKE Safari to suck, because then you could ignore it.

No such luck,

Comment by Leland Scott — September 7, 2006

Working on a few sites is not the same as actually getting your hands dirty coding JavaScript, which…

Dear Leland, go fuck yourself.

Comment by Hubris Sonic — September 7, 2006

I used to be a PC lover and switched to mac, initially loved safari but quickly realized what a piece of shit it is……… Firefox or cameo are way better and faster.

Comment by Andy — September 10, 2006

I have to agree with the anti-safari people on this thread, actually I’ve agreed that safari was a piece of shit before safari existed, back in the early Konqueror days on Linux/FreeBSD. Here’s some of the reasons why it is still a piece of shit in my opinion:

1. It doesn’t support styling input submit buttons which forces you to use messy button tags.

2. Ajax hacks are nasty. You can’t fix the back button by using the obvious way (Firefox/Opera way) by checking the current url using a # hack, or the IE iframe way. The only way to do it is by checking the number of elements in the history object which is totally unreliable because that in itself is a bug.

Let me explain… The history object holds a length that should say how many pages are in the history object, so if there are 15 and you go back 5 pages, there should still be 15 pages… but the object reports 10, and that’s how I had to hack our Ajax back implementation, which is a hack because it’s based off a current bug. Speaking of the history object, safari doesn’t report a current index within the history object, which is supposedly standard.

I’ve ran into more problems that I want to count using safari’s javascript dom implementation, here’s an example of one of my more recent ones. After updating a parent node with a child hierarchy, safari refused to render dynamic changes to any node under the parent, but would report accurate values.

Oh, here’s some more…… under certain circumstances (I’m not sure which, I wasn’t able to figure it out), absolute positioning of an element works on the initial load of a page by being relative to the nearest positioned ancestor, but drops down to the relativity of the parent regardless if it was positioned or not on a hard refresh.

The list goes on and on, but this is as far as I feel like taking it today. Oh ya, I searched for safari is a piece of shit on Google and found this page.

Comment by B L — October 4, 2006

I will also concur that Safari Javascript is shit on several sites. I don’t have technical knowledge to back this up, just first hand knowledge. Many pages that use Javascript (most notably Flickr) slow down as you use them, and will perk right up when you turn Javascript off. Firefox and Opera don’t share this annoying quirk. Safari has a much better user interface though, making it difficult for me to settle on one browser to use.

Comment by Chris — November 20, 2006

I would like to suggest that if you have any specific issues with the way that Safari handles a specific website, that you please file a bug report either with Apple in their bug reporting system, or against Safari’s WebKit rendering engine via the WebKit open source project.


I would also like to suggest that unless you have specific issues and examples of areas in which Safari performs poorly, complaining that ‘zOMG, SAFARIS JAVASCRIPT ENGINE SUXORS!!’ is immature FUD. It’s in everyones best interest for any existing compatibility issues to be resolved, and complaining childishly on a site such as this just makes you look ignorant.

Comment by Mark Rowe — November 29, 2006

I just can’t believe developers out there would criticise Safari when IE is clearly the bane of everyone’s existence! The times I’ve come up against a Safari vs. FF quirk are so few comprared to the very common occurence of doing an IE workaround (all well known but still annoying). One I came across the other day surprised me difference on FF Mac vs FF Win, Safari and IE. Maybe it was a version thing, i’m not sure.. but the point is Safari is pretty much never cause for complaint… and if something really bugs you.. hey it’s open source kids..

Comment by Tim — February 27, 2007

Its definitely not fake, they just released this on WWDC

Comment by applephuck — June 11, 2007

Safari has given me problems JavaScript and CSS wise as well… I welcome this news and hope that as a native browser… it will conform more with standards.

I have to say that making a version of Safari for Window is simply an absolute waste of their dev time.

In anycase… so far Safari has in deed been a p.o.s. browser. I really hope that if they have the audacity to put out a Windows version… that it is not at the expense of standard compliance… there is less and less room for those types of browsers.

Comment by Jerome Lapointe — June 12, 2007

IE6 is definatly a pain in the but… I don’t blame IE6, I blame the people still using it. That browser is going on it’s 6th birthday in 2 months!

Comment by Jerome Lapointe — June 12, 2007

A few things:
1. This enhanced tabwork is REAL! It really does do that, I just tried it myself. And yes, you can drag tabs into new windows.

2. Safari now has spellchecking – not something I ever NOTICED before, anyway. This is good.

3. Text areas (like the one I’m typing into now) can be resized to fit your needs, which is INSANE. They also look different, too, they fit into the page better.

4. Safari has always been better, anyway. I’ve yet to find a browser I like more than this, and now that it’s on Windows too I’m beyond happy. Firefox is too slow (my mac is eight years old, now), Opera is too “I want to please everybody!”, IE – don’t even get me STARTED…

5. Safari does CSS BETTER than Firefox does. Firefox doesn’t even know what an inline-block is. Javascript is also a minor issue, as the only sites I’ve known to have a problem are Hotmail, and MSN. Coincidence? Perhaps…

6. I haven’t had a single pop-up ad since I’ve been using it that I haven’t accidentally clicked on myself. It rocks. No more “free iPod!” for me! The best part is, unlike IE, it’ll let you have pop-ups you request anyway!

It’s not all good, though; not ONE of the plugins I had for Safari 2 works properly (the first time I tried, it wouldn’t even open), but that’s OK, really, when you consider how good Safari is in the first place – though, in reality, I would like for some of those developers to hurry up! :)
I realise this is going to cause an outrage (particularly number five) but I don’t care. Using Firefox over Safari is like using Windows over a Mac.

Comment by Gabriel Robinson — June 12, 2007

Well I experimented with Safari 3 for windows in the past few days…
I find that CSS wise it’s pretty complient. (I do wish more browsers would take negative values for stuff like text-indent but anyways…that, amongst other things, is why FireFox is still king in my book… if only they’d implement the ellipsis overflow!)

Javascript wise it gave me very few problems (though some… once I’ve identified the problematic areas I’ll report on what it is it couldn’t handle)

The tabs thing is meh. Frankly the whole “12 reasons you’ll love Safari” is meh. Congrats Apple… you got yourself a popup blocker…

The negative aspects (purely from the windows perspective) is that it’s way too apple flavored… from the chrome and resizing of the window to the fonts handling (which looks very different from IE/FF/Opera)… if you make a software for Windows don’t bring in your native OS’s standards.

I’m not that huge on the look of the interface either… Mac stuff is usually pretty good looking… not this time.

Comment by Jerome Lapointe — June 15, 2007

So anyhoo, can someone tell me ajaxian is the best browser of the 3 is as i’m new to ie7 and can’t fault it.

Comment by steve stankus — June 16, 2007

Anyone out there ripping on Safari gonna create their own browser or tell us what is a good browser? Don’t give me the firefox crap, I’ve had more problems with it on both Macs & Windows than any other browser I’ve used (Netscape, Opera, Shiira, etc).

I just get tired of hearing about standards & JavaScript. Look, if your browser works with the most websites out there & is the one that most people use, I’m sorry to say that makes you king. I hate IE, but with 75% of the market I’m afraid they are king & now everyone else has to make a way to be compatible with websites built around Microsoft’s standards. Firefox has actually done a decent job in this area, Safari not so much.

In the end it is all going to revolve around user experience & all this bickering about technological differences won’t mean anything. For me, Safari so far has given me the best overall experience.

Comment by Hezekiah — June 18, 2007

Safari still sux, even after ver 3.0 release. It broke carefully developed advanced javascript based site, which was compatible with IE 6, IE 7, FF 2, and with some pain in the “between of two hills on your back” SF 2.
Now it’s broke. It wouldn’t be big problem if safary had good debug tools, but now it simply reports “undefined value 214 line” – haha, how informative (we have more than 20 js files with a lot of complex objects and functions) – so where’s the bug???
Shitty shitty safari…

Comment by whocares — November 29, 2007

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