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Why Safari May Become the Browser of Choice!

If you’re a web designer, web developer or just someone that keeps up with the latest "Web 2.0" technologies, you know that a lot of progress is being made by ALL the major browsers to become "standards compliant". You also know that the Web Standards Project has created a number of "Acid" tests that help all the browser developers ensure that their browser works as "expected". If you’re an experienced web designer or developer, you probably use several different browsers (IE, Firefox, Opera, Camino, Safari, etc.) to test your sites against everyday.

What you may not be aware of is some of the very "advanced" features Safari (WebKit actually) has in the works which may well change the way we think about developing Web 2.0 applications.

  1. Web Fonts
  2. Client-Side Database Storage
  3. CSS3 Transforms
  4. CSS3 Animation
  5. SVG Support
  6. CSS Gradients
  7. CSS Box Shadow
  8. And Many, Many More…

If you look at any one of these new features individually, they are very cool! If you look at integrating these new features together, you begin to see the potential for replacing today’s Javascript (Ajax) "eye-candy" with native browser rendering support!

And why you ask, is WebKit (and Safari) pushing these advanced features out the door so quickly?

Safari on iPhone!

Starts you thinking, doesn’t it!

Currently listening to: Eric Merienthal’s "Just Around the Corner"

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7 Responses to Why Safari May Become the Browser of Choice!

  1. Ashith Raj says:

    When we IE8 look in to all the new & cool features of webkit and incoporate… IE needs to act ASAP…

  2. jlynch says:

    Kyle,

    As far as I can tell, most if not all of these new “features” are already included in the draft HTML5 and CSS3 specifications and I believe the WebKit folks have sent in proposals for those new features not already in the draft standards.

    One other thing to note is that the W3C already includes provisions for browser specific tags in the CSS 2.1 specification and both WebKit and Mozilla use these provisions to add browser specific (but hopefully standard someday) features such as “-webkit-border-radius” and “-moz-border-radius” which can be used to create rounded corners on an object without using images and/or Javascript.

    Jeff

  3. jlynch says:

    Dathan,

    Interesting comments. I’ve been using Internet Explorer since the very early days and I’m not aware of any implementation of CSS based transforms, animation, gradients or SVG. As far as I can tell, none of these new WebKit features are “browser specific”. In fact, most of them are already present in the draft HTML5 and CSS3 specifications and for the features that are not, WebKit has already propsed these to the W3C for inclusion in the draft HTML5 and CSS3 standards.

    Jeff

  4. Kyle says:

    The feature list does sound pretty interesting. If it were accepted as a web standard and implemented across all the major browsers that would be pretty exciting.

  5. Kyle says:

    This is the exact opposite of Web Standards.
    Safari, a web browser with 2% market share going and creating something only they support is a horrible idea. Any developer who implements those new features will be willfully prolonging the pain of non-compliant web sites, and browser incompatibilities.

    Until they are presented, accepted and implemented as a web standard, I think the IPhone will be the only place you’ll ever see them.

  6. Dathan says:

    None of those technologies are new. Most of them have been available since IE 4 – that’s almost 10 years. Browser specific features don’t catch on because developers usually target all modern browsers and want a consistent UX. AJAX and DHTML is still preferred. IE 8 and FireFox 3 are soon to be released, they’ll bring back any Safari 3 converts. This is only good news for iPhone users who get apps that target just them.

  7. Paul L says:

    I must admit that the web browsing experience is first rate on my iPhone. The only real disadvantage at this time is that the iPhone lacks Flash and Silverlight support (and Edge is excruciatingly slow). I believe there are companies currently making progress toward making Webkit available for Windows Mobile devices, too.

    Is Webkit the next Web 2.0 development platform? It will be interesting to see how it plays out and how the Firefox team responds.

    Now if Apple would open up Safari to allow 3rd party extensions…

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