Friday, November 16th, 2007

WebKit 3 shows up with the new Safari

Category: WebKit

With the OS X push of 10.5.1 and 10.4.11, and a new Safari/Win beta, we see the latest and greatest of WebKit in Safari itself.

To kick this off, Maciej Stachowiak has blogged 10 new things in WebKit 3:

  • Enhanced Rich Text Editing: And RTE needs help!
  • Faster JavaScript and DOM: ~2 times faster
  • Faster Page Loading: WebKit 3 is 1.4 times as fast
  • SVG: Yay
  • XPath: Yay
  • New and Improved XML Technologies: XSLTProcessor, DOMParser, XMLSerializer, a better XHR (“incremental updates for persistent server connections”)
  • Styleable Form Controls: No more native
  • Advanced CSS Styling: Text-stroke, text-shadow, and more
  • Reduced Memory Use: WebKit 3 uses 14% less memory
  • Web Developer Tools: Web Inspector, Drosera

Posted by Dion Almaer at 2:23 am

3.8 rating from 37 votes


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I found Web Inspector in the debug menu, but if Drosera is indeed bundled, I have no idea how to access it. :-(

Comment by Nathan Youngman — November 16, 2007

Good to hear that it’ll be available for Tiger.

Comment by Jordan — November 16, 2007

Just tested it. Looks quite promising.

Comment by Klaudia — November 16, 2007

drosera is still not available for windows?
Seriously, how can apple expect web developers to even try and include Safari in their support, when they don’t provide the necessary tools for the job. That, and for linux, there’s still no ‘stable’ browser that uses webkit.

Comment by Viktor Kojouharov — November 16, 2007

It seem like Drosera is not yet available for Windows..

From wiki

Drosera on Windows
Drosera is currently not available on Windows. Much of Drosera is written in JavaScript and should require very little modifications to run on Windows. The Cocoa application wrapper is not portable will need to be rewritten using native Windows APIs. Hop onto our irc channel if you’re interested in porting Drosera to Windows.

Safari for windows is so much faster than Firefox, so it seem I come to use more and more safari, but firefox only on the site I current build..

I think somebody just need to port the Firefox’s extension engine to Safari, and Firefox will be dead.

Comment by Nicolae Namolovan — November 16, 2007

Tried it on tiger on an old G4 mini, and it’s so much faster and less memory hungry than firefox that I’ve immediately switched over. It was very noticeable on digg, which seemed almost snappy. Tried it also on windows on a recent machine, but it didn’t seem that much faster than FF.

Anyway, kudos to the safari team for raising the bar performance wise.

Comment by Joeri — November 16, 2007

Looking at the bug reports in their system, this is the procedure they solve their RTE bugs.

1) Close a bunch of bugs and set “RESOLVED”.
2) Release new version.
3) Open bugs again.


Comment by Mark — November 16, 2007

btw, how does one enable Web Inspector on windows?
I’ve downloaded the latest 3.0.4 Safari, but I couldn’t find it.

Comment by Viktor Kojouharov — November 16, 2007

We finally got tired of waiting for the RTE bug fixes to be solved so we started to write a Safari plugin that patches over all glitches for TinyMCE. But I must say the 3.0 version of Safari looks really promising it has way better JS API implementation. Safari might be ahead on CSS but they are at my opinion still behind on JS API adoption I hope they focus on that now instead of adding all that cool Safari only CSS things that no one can use anyway.

Comment by Spocke — November 16, 2007

To view the web inspector, close Safari, go to your terminal and type the following: “% defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1” – without quotes.

Now restart safari, and click the Debug menu item. Then click “Web Inspector”, and there is is :-)

Comment by Pim — November 16, 2007

> “% defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1″ + a restart
thumbs down for developer friendliness eh?

Comment by Shane — November 16, 2007

@Pim: great, now lets go back to my question, and how to do that on Windows. Maybe I should run a OSX virtual machine under my already running Windows virtual machine in order to take Safari and WebKit seriously

Comment by Viktor Kojouharov — November 16, 2007

in Safari for Windows, add the following key-value pair to the safari preference file, probably located here:

C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Apple Computer\Safari\Preferences.plist


Insert the above code before the closing element and restart Safari.

Comment by Eytan — November 16, 2007

ooops, let’s try hat again. The HTML was parsed :-o

Comment by Eytan — November 16, 2007

damn damn damn
Easier for me to just post the link where I got the info:

Comment by Eytan — November 16, 2007

Sat around yesterday testing a number of webapps I developed that are very heavy javascript/xml apps. And Safari blew away every other browser I ran it again, on both Mac and Windows. I mean rendering lists of 100’s of items saw differences of several seconds. Simple animation such as fade in and out were a lot smoother on Safari. I’ve often been irked by Safaris Javascript engine… but with the xml, rte, and speed improvements that’s all gone. Also with webkit at the heart of Adobe Air, and Android Safari appears to be destined for not only relevance but greatness. Now all they need is a firebug implementation, Drosera and the Web Inspector are interesting but not quite up to the Firebug, WebDeveloper, and Venkman combo.

Comment by vance Dubberly — November 16, 2007

@viktor well no you should uninstall windows and install OS X of course. Just kidding. Wait a little bit, my bet is this problem will be solved soon. Though ultimately I’m kinda annoyed I have to enable debugging through the CLI at all. It should be a preference pane.

Comment by vance Dubberly — November 16, 2007

Wow, incredibly fast. I have a site that is pretty heavy on the javascript effects, and it pretty much brings Firefox 2 to its knees. Firefox 3 is a lot faster, as is Opera, but they still struggle a bit. This though, doesn’t break a sweat, everything is so smooth.

Comment by Matt — November 16, 2007

I have to disagree with some of the comments about smoothness… perhaps its glitches in Scriptaculous, but is horrible on the new version.

Comment by Jon Hartmann — November 16, 2007

Ext JS web desktop app chugs more then the Opera as well, this is for Safari Windows.

Comment by Jon Hartmann — November 16, 2007

@Jon: I just loaded up in Firefox 2/3, Opera 9/9.5, and Safari 3. Safari was definitely the smoothest, second being Opera 9.5. In the Ext JS desktop, Opera 9.5 was the smoothest but Safari was second.

Comment by Matt — November 16, 2007

I still don’t see Drosera, on Leopard 10.5.1 here, with the debug menu on and Web Inspector in there.

Comment by Nathan Youngman — November 16, 2007

Looking at the bug reports in their system, this is the procedure they solve their RTE bugs.
1) Close a bunch of bugs and set “RESOLVED”.
2) Release new version.
3) Open bugs again.

I’m currently building a RTE against Prototype for a CMS, and Safari 3 is buggy but significantly better than Safari 2 was. Just… significantly better.

In fact, Firefox has been more buggy overall in my experiences.

Comment by Trevor — November 16, 2007

thumbs down for developer friendliness eh?

Because developers generally don’t know how to use a command line?

Comment by Trevor — November 16, 2007

Soon enough we should have all browsers running libs like ExtJs smoothly, that’s good news:)

Comment by Marcin — November 17, 2007

Oh my god people. You CANNOT use drosera if it is not on your computer….the versions of Safari you get from for MAC and Windows, will not have drosera in them, I guarantee you. Go to, and download a nightly build. Both Web Inspector and Drosera (which is a separate app, inspector is built into webkit) will be in the mac version. Obviously drosera will not be in the PC version until someone ports it out of cocoa and into the windows APIs

Comment by DJCarbon43 — November 17, 2007

I guess I was mislead by the “Web Developer Tools: Web Inspector, Drosera” line. I am aware that the nightly builds include Drosera, just thought that 10.5.1 was including it too (esp. since Web Inspector is now there). Oh well.

Comment by Nathan Youngman — November 21, 2007

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