Not too long ago, I wrote about how much I liked Safari 4 for Windows and how I’ve made it my default browser. Well, after some use now, I’m not quite as enamored with Safari as I was just a few weeks ago. In fact, I am really starting to despise the browser. For something that many are pinning hopes and dreams on, so to speak, for that Utopian web experience, the browser is really a piece of junk. I have yet to find one that will: simply start up in a short time, one that FULLY RENDERS THE FREAKING PAGE EVERYTIME I go there, one that does not crash, hang, become unresponsive or is developed by a bunch of whining people who go running to a governing body because they cannot compete. Can I have a browser that does all of that? Seriously. NONE of them work as advertised. Of them, Safari 4 is the best, but the is not saying much. Firefox 3.5 seems to be a bit better than its predecessors, but, again, not saying much there either. Internet Explorer 8 (32 bit) is still a steaming pile of poo, but IE 8 (64) is pretty solid, but there are zero plugins for it, meaning no Flash and, I think, even Silverlight is missing but I’m not sure about that, I could be wrong. It has happened once or twice.
What about Opera you say? I’m not even going to try it and have removed it from all of my devices except for the Wii, because it is the only game in town there. Why? Simple. The whining they have done over Internet Explorer is ridiculous. They are about as credible as SCO. (For the two of you who do not know: Opera went crying to the EU over Internet Explorer. Never mind the fact that there are quite a few other browsers that are in use, never mind that Apple and Ubuntu (or any other Linux) distribute a browser with said OS, never mind the fact that IE 8 is crap, no, Opera went to the EU to FORCE Microsoft to ‘give users a choice.’ Last week, Microsoft finally said they would include a ‘ballot’ screen where users could choose a browser. Apparently, the little children who run Opera decided that was not enough and want Microsoft to remove any icons from the screen AND thrust it on ALL users of Windows EVERYWHERE. Like anyone would choose Opera anyway. People will choose IE, Firefox or Safari.) Opera is no longer a choice for me. There are several other real browsers, I seen no reason to waste my time with Opera. Now, back to the rant…
Safari 4 crashes ALOT. For no apparent reason, either. At least IE 8 is stable. It may not render the pages every time, but it does not crash. Firefox decides to go to sleep. Frequently. It just stops responding. Then, after several minutes, wakes up and goes on to work. Oh, 3.5 crashes too. Not as often as Safari, but often enough to be irritating. I suspect it is one of the add ins I use, but I am not sure.
Maybe it is time to give Chrome another shot. I see that Google is adding theme support and other features that bring it more in line with the real browsers.
I still find it astonishing that companies are building entire suites of applications on the browser platform. While I think Safari is still the better of the four big browsers (IE, Safari, Firefox and Chrome) it seems that Firefox is probably the best suited browser for most things. It has far better support from developers, better name recognition than Apple’s browser and far better rendering ability than Chrome. Microsoft should probably look at rebranding Firefox. It might be dog slow at times, but, hey, it does render the page.
Wow…I sure have been cranky the last few days.