Last fall Firefox 2.0 and IE7 changed the way we develop sites. On Monday Apple released a beta version of its Safari web browser which you can download and run on a Windows machine. If you’re like me and develop sites on Windows this is welcome news.
Safari already owns a 5% share of the browser market, which is enough to make you want your sites to display well on it. No doubt that market share will now increase at least a little, giving us all even more reason to test sites in Safari. Until now this has usually meant developing to standards as best as you can and then using a site like Browsershots or an alternative to capture a screen shot of how your site looks in Safari. Now we have the real thing or something very close.
I’m sure there will be some differences between the Mac and Windows version of the browser as each will likely have its own quirks, but testing in a live browser is a whole lot better than waiting for a screen shot, making a change, and waiting for another screen shot.
I downloaded and installed Safari last night and was impressed by its speed, which Apple claims is one of its main advantages. The interface is a little different than what I’m used to and it will take a few days to get around in it fully and find where everything is, but Safari is elegant and has some nice visual effects living up to the Apple reputation for design.
Firefox will continue to be my main browser for both surfing and development (I’m too reliant on many of the extensions I’ve installed), but it’s easy to see how Safari can gain market share and become the primary browser for many.
You may or may not end up using Safari as your primary browser, but by all means download it so you can begin testing your sites on it.
Does anyone know if there are ways to extend Safari or if there are sites to get different themes?