Safari impact so dramatic Chimera developer may pull plug

“Safari cures the biggest drawback to OS X which we noted in our Jagwyre review: the utterly miserable browsing experience. So bad was this that I hesitated to recommend the Mac to first-time computer buying friends although in other respects, Apple’s careful attention to design in both hardware and software, made it well worth considering.

Safari isn’t quite the finished article yet – it struggles with some websites (I’m in rural France now and it couldn’t handle the timetable enquiry for my return journey to Paris on the TGV, for example) – but the quality of the engineering is evident in many small details. Now Safari is also important because it shares a quality with my other reason for spending so much time hanging out in OS X, which I’ll come to in a moment. But Safari has had a dramatic impact wider than the Mac, which deserves a brief detour…

Opera has already indicated it might not continue development for Mac OS X. And Chimera developer Mike Pinkerton who had done more than anyone to make OS X browsing tolerable – with the Cocoa browser based on Mozilla code – ‘fessed to wondering whether it was worth carrying on…

The other reason for spending time in OS X is the excellent early Bluetooth code which is as promising as the Safari work. I’ve been very impressed with the contacts sync, file transfer between my T68i and Jagwyre, using the bog-standard D-Link USB dongle. I’ve happily been using it as a wireless modem on AT&T’s GPRS network here (which in the Bay Area, is quite outstanding).

The similarity with Safari is that both are very first baby steps, but both appear to be very clean and well-designed and very focused engineering efforts. And that nurtures confidence. I’ve little doubt that by summer I’ll be able to surf exclusively in Safari, and more importantly, I reckon Apple will have a Bluetooth engine second to none,” writes Andrew Orlowski for The Register. Full article here.


  1. Although I use Safari a lot, I agree that it isn’t there yet. Overall, I still consider Chimera a superior browser…I really hope they don’t pull the plug on development…Apple needs their competition, too.

  2. Do a little better research, the quote from Mike Pinkerton has been amended to state that development on Chimera is not being halted.

    the following is a quote from the Chimera mailing list, it was also reported at various other sites, including mac in touch i believe.

    Mike Pinkerton:
    “Let me put this to bed once and for all: I’m not stopping work on chimera.

    Yes, I’m frustrated and sick of being kicked around by apple. That’s why
    I muttered that i was “torn”. I never said I was stopping work or that
    chimera was dying. I can’t speak for Simon or bryner or any of the other
    members of the team, but they’re not stopping either.

    I appreciate the support and all the emails. We’re making a damn good
    product here, and we’re doing it because we want to, win, lose, or draw.”

  3. That’s the risk of going after a horizontal market application.

    Anything that’s got a broad use like a browser, Apple will
    eventually be your competition. Every Mac user will use a
    net browser. They’ll also need an mp3 player and word processor
    and these days, something to handle images in some way.
    Of course Apple is going to make sure that every customer has
    those basic needs covered, out of the box. Apple’s also interested
    in keeping as much profit on their side instead of paying a few bucks
    to some 3rd party for every unit shipped.

    All he can do is be happy he got to ride it this far. The best advice
    is to not bad mouth Apple publicly and maybe he can join them
    to work on Safari. By saying Apple has kicked him around, in public,
    will close the door on every working with/for them. Maybe that sucks,
    but that’s how Apple is. They want talent and devotion.

    Chimera didn’t have much of a profit model anyway so if he’s working
    for free anyway, he might as well continue. If he’s doing it for recognition,
    he’s ridden that bus about as far as it’s going to go.

    If Mike wants to leverage his work, get recognition, and build something
    that people need, I recommend that he enter a more vertical market that
    Apple probably won’t be competing in directly. What would that be?

    I think the best idea would be to make a browser specifically for the
    sight impaired. Big text, simplified page rendering and navigation.
    If it speaks, pre-process so it doesn’t say things like
    “dubble-yew,dubble-yew,dubble-yew” when it spells out links.

    A truly useful browser for the sight impaired would be a huge market.
    You could probably even charge for it and/or get grant money to
    fund the development time. As a bonus, you would be providing a
    wonderful service for people.

    When Apple hands you Lemons…(!!?!?!)

  4. Gosh this is so old news! As you can read from the comments, Pink amended his statement just a few days later. It seems like the author of this article was going for a sensationalistic headline.

    Anyway – Chimera is open source – no single developer can halt work on it – its no longer possible to “pull the plug”. Besides, Chimera is a superior browser at this time, and competition is always a good thing. Few of your realize that the same Hyatt that is working on Safari spent several years working on the code that makes Chimera run. Things are not as cut and dry as they seem.
    Chimera is mozilla with a cocoa wrapper…. yummy!

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