Daring Fireball’s Gruber on Safari 4 Public Beta: State-of-the-art-performance, but Tabs need work

John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball, “The Safari 4 public beta is faster than Safari 3 and every other browser available for the Mac. (CNet’s Crave backs up Apple’s claim that Safari 4 is the fastest browser available for Windows as well.)”

“Safari started life in 2003 as a fast browser, at least by the then-low standards of Mac OS X web browsing, and it has gotten nothing but faster since. I fully expect other high-quality browsers like Firefox and Chrome to leapfrog ahead as they reach future milestones. What really matters isn’t whether Safari is the fastest web browser in the world, but simply that its performance, in actual use, is state-of-the-art. Prior to Safari, this just wasn’t true for any Mac web browser. The difference Safari and WebKit have wrought to web browsing (and HTML web view rendering system-wide) simply cannot be overstated,” Gruber writes.

“And so in a nut, the latest version of WebKit deserves nothing but accolades; but Safari 4? Well, we have some issues,” Gruber writes. “Even more so than the new style of tabs, Safari’s new progress indicator is the change I’m having the most trouble adjusting to… The new progress spinner doesn’t make Safari slower, but it does make it feel slower… Please scrap it.”

Gruber writes, “The problems with [Safari 4 Public Beta’s] new tab layout are significant…”

Much, much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve already been through this, but for those who might have missed it:

It’s highly likely that we use the Safari web browser more than, or at least as much as, any living person. 16, 18, and even more hours per day. When the very first thing we did after the first day with Safari 4 Public Beta was to fire up the Terminal to nuke the poorly-thought-out tabs, restoring them back under the Bookmarks Bar where they belong, and re-enable the blue loading bar behind the URL, then Apple has a problem.

Hopefully, Apple is listening: Rethink and rework the current default Tabs in Safari 4 Public Beta before the final release.

To fix Safari 4 Public Beta, just do this:

$ defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO
$ defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4IncludeToolbarRedesign -bool NO
$ defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4LoadProgressStyle -bool NO

Then just relaunch Safari for the changes to take effect and go to View>Customize Toolbar> and add newly-enabled the Stop/Reload button, so that Safari 4 Public Beta looks and works like this:

For more info on changing and restoring Safari 4 Public Beta features, see "Safari 4 Hidden Preferences," here.

Apple should at least provide the ability to do what we've done above via the final version of Safari 4's preferences.

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