Safari team asking for feedback

Given recent conversations around Safari I thought this might be of interest to the forum.

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Something must be wrong with me, I really like Safari. Even a lot of the changes Apple introduced over the summer I thought were great after I adjusted to the changes. I dislike Chrome (although, I do use it on Linux and have to use it at work) and I banned Firefox for life.

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I like Safari and use it for daily browsing the web. The thing I miss most in Safari is the Containers from Firefox, or at least to be able to use multiple profiles would be a great addition.

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hello! May I ask; why did you ban Firefox?

It is conceivable that people angry with Safari are web developers and thus there are valid technical reasons? As a user I am basically in the same camp as @wvp , Safari is absolutely great or at least I will die in the hill that it’s not a bad browser at all. To me it feels more lightweight than any Chromium based browser.

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Yup. The replies to that tweet from Jen Simmons outline a number of them, including problems with the extension framework that make devs less inclined to write extensions for Safari in the first place.

I’m a web dev, and I wouldn’t say I’m “angry with Safari” - but it’s not uncommon at all to run into, say, bugs in a WordPress plugin’s code that cause issues in Safari. This tweet summarizes it pretty well:

The argument is “devs should make their stuff compatible”. And I agree 100%. But by the same token, when the situation is “this works everywhere except Safari”, that’s at least partially on Apple. Given that you need to actually own Apple hardware to test in Safari, that also means the pool of people that can even hunt down bugs is significantly reduced - so actually fixing bugs that get reported is important.

Incidentally, this is a problem for Apple overall. Bugs get filed, and not fixed. Sometimes they get closed without comment years later, without being addressed. It’s a Hard Problem for a company Apple’s size, but it’s definitely a problem.

Also worth noting that Safari extensions need to be distributed through the App Store, which requires an Apple developer account, which puts an additional financial barrier in the way of small devs - particularly devs offering free extensions. So the extension ecosystem for Safari will likely never be as robust as it is for Chrome.

It absolutely is. No question. And if it worked for everything I needed to use it for, I’d be on board. :slight_smile:

This. We could have so many cool free extensions but nope, lots of them need to charge because they have to pay fees to Apple.

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I’m only answering because I was asked and I’m not trying to get political here. I was really bothered that the CEO got thrown out because a mob didn’t like his political views. Whether we like a CEO’s views or hate them, I didn’t feel like this is the right measuring stick. Others may disagree, and I respect that. I’m not trying to launch a debate.

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As a “regular user” (not a web developer) while I do have some complaints about Safari, neither is really about the speed or WebKit capabilities though. I can see how some folks may be missing profiles, I don’t see however how this can be fit inside the iCloud paradigm easily.
Complaints:

  1. It’s been months and nobody fixed the ⌘⇧L shortcut for opening sidebar. Annoying. Even more so that in the process of poking around (just for writing this very post) I have somehow managed to break it down even more using Shortcuts section in System Preferences. Now for some reason the OS assigned ⌘L as the shortcut to open the side bar and it actually is taking precedence over focusing on the search box. Interestingly enough, same shortcut got assigned for hiding the side bar but this time Safari chooses to focus on the search box/address bar.
  2. Having to restart the web browser when updating extensions is just dumb. Somehow other web browsers managed to get it right.
  3. Speaking of extensions, it’s incredibly confusing to many people why some get blue tint and others don’t.
  4. Adding a link from a 3rd party app to the Reading List gives user too much feedback (unlike iOS where we get too little of it, in my opinion). Say I add a link from Reeder. Opening a side bar in this case seems to me like an overkill and it takes forever.

Amen! That’s my biggest complaint with Safari.

Curious, ⌘⇧L and ⌘L open/hide the sidebar and focus on the search box respectively on my system.

Intel mini i7, macOS 12.2.1.

I agree that this makes it harder for developers and Apple should definitely do something about this. This occurs with every cross-platform development. But in case of web development it should be the case that following web standards would make this an (easier) process… unfortunately in practice this is not always the case.

Although I do not use extensions that much, and those I do use are available for free, I do agree that they should be available outside of the App Store.

I guess mainly the small devs are limited in options because you cannot expect them to buy Apple hardware or pay for a developer account.

Apparently, I have just discovered a bug either in Safari or macOS. I thought that it could’ve been a 12.3 beta thing but I tested it on an Intel MacBook Air running 12.2 and I got the same results. I mean, on that other computer the default shortcut worked fine (on mine it doesn’t), maybe it’s a Safari plugin interfering or whatever. The thing is, it is possible to temporarily break Safari shortcut for the sidebar (and it worked on two computers, one essentially vanilla macOS and one with a pile of hacks running around). Steps to reproduce:

  1. Go to System Preferences → Keyboard.
  2. Add an App shortcut. Select Safari as the target app, use ⌘⇧L as the keystroke for „Show Sidebar” (make sure that Safari is running in the background).
  3. Switch back to Safari.
  4. Try using the ⌘⇧L. You’ll notice that while the sidebar should open, it won’t hide after pressing it again. When you go to the View menu you’ll notice that the assigned keystroke for “Hide Sidebar” is now ⌘L.
  5. Remove the App shortcut previously created.
  6. When you go back to Safari you’ll notice that pressing ⌘L gives you the sidebar instead of the address bar.

Quitting Safari and relaunching it brings back the proper behaviour (at least on the machine running vanilla OS).

It seems absolutely nuts but I have reproduced it on two computers I had handy. And it doesn’t seem to be the case with other menu items in Safari. I wonder if others will be able to reproduce it.

I was able to reproduce this. But when I tried with “Show Bookmarks Sidebar” it correctly functioned as a toggle. Very curious indeed.

Just because Google is using their dominance on the web to shape the browser landscape to their needs (no hardware or apps to speak of), that doesn’t make it Apple’s business to “keep up”. If you want to live in Google’s world, use Chrome. I for one enjoy Apple’s anchor dragging on Google’s attempt to remake the web in a way that serves their business needs – but not mine.

We’ve discussed this on other threads, but just as a reminder - the issues with Safari are primarily the non-implementation (or bug-ridden implementation) of open web (W3C, which Apple is a member of) standards.

When you use platform ownership as a method of forcing people to use a particular browser and/or rendering engine, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that the thing you force them to use actually comply with W3C standards.

I sympathize with you. You’re just the poor web dev that has to keep up with both Google and Apple if you want to serve all of your users.

P.S. Did AMP ever make it into W3C standards? :slightly_smiling_face: Google tried to make devs rewrite their sites on the premise it would speed up the web. But Google used it like a club to drop sites to the bottom of Google’s search results. Just one example.

Don’t know about W3C standards, but it is no longer used to give preferential treatment to sites.

I know. Just offering AMP as an example of a Google power play. One of many.

It’s not just about my development experience, and it’s definitely not about “keeping up”. Over the past decade or so, Safari has gone from being the most standards-compliant browser to the least. Nobody has to “keep up” with the car that’s in last place.

Your contention seems to be that Apple is deliberately trying to keep Google from taking over the web. I’d give Apple credit for the sort of technology leadership you’re crediting them with if one of the following things were true:

  • The only things they didn’t implement were security-related. There are examples of this, and I can see Apple’s logic.
  • They decided never to implement a given standard. Historically, they’re not ignoring most things - they’re just severely lagging in both feature implementation and bug fixing.
  • Being slow to fix bugs weren’t an incredibly common pattern across their other software products.

You’re criticizing Google for using a browser / search monopoly to compensate for the fact they don’t make good hardware or apps. We’ll leave aside that “having the most popular browser on the Internet” would seem to be an “app to speak of”.

In response, it could easily be argued that Apple is using a hardware monopoly to compensate for the fact that they can’t keep up with current web technologies.

And speaking of development and monopolies…your solution is to “use Chrome”. I would love to be able to use Chrome - real Chrome - on my iPhone for website testing purposes, but Apple has taken that option completely off the table.

Sure. But if we’re arguing about Safari not implementing W3C standards, it’s helpful to point out that AMP was never a W3C standard. We’re talking about Apple not implementing things that the standards bodies - of which Apple is a member - have codified as standards.

To the original point of this thread, this thread is about the Safari team asking for feedback. The Twitter conversation linked from the article contains a number of comments from people with clear, obvious bugs and unimplemented non-security-impacting features, as well as devs documenting problems with Apple’s browser extension framework.

It’s good that Apple is sitting up and taking notice. I would love to see the day when Safari once again isn’t just the browser that ships with macOS and the browser that people are forced to use on iOS/iPadOS, but legitimately the best, most standards-compliant browser on the Internet.

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