Monday, October 20, 2014

OS-X Safari

I use Apple's browser Safari almost exclusively, mostly because just a few years ago it was known to be the least robust and the most W3C comliant browser (Microsoft's Explorer the opposite due to their own non-W3C features and interpretation of standards).

I suspect that's still generally true but I also keep Mozilla's Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, and Sea Monkey on the Mac to use for testing Web pages occasionally, Sea Monkey because it has the feature to mimic other browsers including Explorer.

That said, over the last few years I've grown to think Apple is paying attention more attention to how Safari looks than how it works for users, and the latest iteration of it with version 8.0 with OS-X 10.10, Yosemite, is more of this direction.

The look of the new Safari, while I understand is designed to be easier to see (colors, font, etc.) it's worse for most folks who liked the old style and fonts and old setup. So here's what I don't like about it so far.

First, the layout with the fading gray designed, meaning it changes tone from the underlying color of the Web pages as you scroll up and down, is irritating, and it can only be changed with the systemwide setting to turn off transparency which does the same for the menu bar and dock.

Second, the font on the edit bookmarks pages is several sizes larger than with Safari 7 which I like the font style and size. Safari 8 is for the people who can't see or read smaller font, and it can't be changed with any setting.

Third, while it continues to remember the location of the window when you open Safari it can't remember the size of the window you want. I use a fixed size blank image as a local file to set the window size of any browser but only Safari consistently loses the user setting.

Fourth, I want the activity window back they removed with Safari 7 (was in Safari 6). It was handy to keep open to watch Web pages load to see what was slowing the loading or causing problems. There's no good replacement for it as the developer window is for individual Web pages and takes up the window space for the Web page.

Fifth, Bring back the the title bar! This is standard HTML code for people to add it so people see the name of the Web page. There is nothing for Safari 8 which does not make it W3C compliant for displaying header information.

Sixth, bring back the open tab button they removed from previous versions of Safari. Yes, you can hit the plus sign to open a new tab or use the keyboard shortcut (command t) but the button was easier and visible with the other buttons than a small one at the end of the tabs.

Seventh, stop changing the way Safari handles userids and passwords. With every version and iteration of versions, Safari changes remembering to autofill the userid and password for various Web pages, where sometimes it fills and sometimes it doesn't. Be consistent.

What I don't understand is why some of this wasn't caught during testing, which means the developers at Apple either didn't test for it, didn't see it, or knew it and ignored it, which means they don't care about users than about their idea of users.

And that's been a problem the last few years with OS-X itself and some of the apps where they're more focused on enhancements and new stuff or designs than on fixing old problems or not creating new ones. They seem to introduce more new problems than they solve.

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