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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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The Origins of the Name 'Safari'




Former Apple employee Don Melton has shared a unique look behind the scenes of the Safari development team. Melton was the team leader on both the Safari and WebKit products that are now used by millions of users on both iOS, the Mac, and Windows.

The name Safari, however, wasn't decided on until less than a month before the browser was originally launched. A number of different names were suggested, including 'Freedom', but none of them seemed right.

The name 'iBrowse' was used sarcastically within the team, though it was never used within the code. The development code name for Safari was 'Alexander'.
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From that point on, we had a brief discussion about the product name at random HI design sessions every month. Again, I don't remember any particular name we talked about. They all sounded so awful to me that I've purged from my mind the trauma of imagining the browser being labeled with any of them. And the candidate names seemed to get worse the closer we got to shipping.

I'm not sure if any of the names I heard came from Steve after that initial session. I think he doomed some group in Marketing to iterate on them for awhile. And the few names I proposed were stinkers too. No one was without sin here.

Finally I stopped thinking about it because of more important things to worry about -- like actually getting the engineering done.
In the end, the name 'Safari' was chosen and the rest is history.

Article Link: The Origins of the Name 'Safari'
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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"Snappier" had something to do with it.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Safari always sounds like 'a rough ride' to me, while Apple makes it as smooth as possible. Never found the name appropriate.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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So it's just the random one that stuck? I don't see the point of this. Better to keep its "origin" private then say it's the best of the crap we thought of.


Maybe you see a few of the Mac OS cats on a safari?????
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:17 PM   #5
Jessica Lares
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Windows? Where have you been the last few months?

It's not a bad story though. Some things just happen like that.
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Last edited by Jessica Lares; Dec 20, 2012 at 02:25 PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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I like “Alexander” actually. Safari seemed weird at the time, and now I’m just used to it. Too bad this origin story is missing, you know, the origin.

“Alexandria” (after the ancient library) would have been a good name. The iOS version could be called “Ale...ria”.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Thank goodness they didn't go with "iBrowse".

That just sounds awful.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yujenisis View Post
Thank goodness they didn't go with "iBrowse".

That just sounds awful.
Well of course they meant it in pure jest. iBrowse/eye brows!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Nice article, but doesn't answer the title question. All it talks about are other titles that were discarded and the name development process. Nowhere in the article is there any indication of who, where, why the name Safari came to be.

Sure there's lots of speculation, but I figured an article on the name's origins would indeed be about the name's origins.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoelJuun View Post
Safari always sounds like 'a rough ride' to me, while Apple makes it as smooth as possible. Never found the name appropriate.
I don't see why it is particularly inappropriate, the Citroen Safari was particularly smooth, even if it looked incredibly awkward (DS Safari). Great car, shame about the horrid station wagon shape.

It was also known as "Break" in some countries.

That said, I've never really used Safari on the Mac that much - I've always tended to use Firefox due to the useful addons. On iPhone though, Safari is there and works okay so I just use it.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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I always figured it was from "Surfin' Safari", meaning surf the web.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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And it lived snappily ever after.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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well this was a filler article....
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:24 PM   #14
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Interesting article. Now, where does IE, Chrome and Firefox naming come from?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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So....you mean.....everything Steve Jobs said was NOT solid gold at Apple? Like he actually did things that didn't stick or didn't work sometimes and had someone else do it instead? You mean not every single idea that came out of Apple and continues to come out of Apple after his death was not his idea necessarily?

Somebody better alert the media and Wall Street. They seem to think that Apple is doomed. (yet again)
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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Wow... Pointless story. So you dont remember any of the names and then somehow Safari just appeared.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 05:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman0616 View Post
So....you mean.....everything Steve Jobs said was NOT solid gold at Apple? Like he actually did things that didn't stick or didn't work sometimes and had someone else do it instead? You mean not every single idea that came out of Apple and continues to come out of Apple after his death was not his idea necessarily?

Somebody better alert the media and Wall Street. They seem to think that Apple is doomed. (yet again)
Jony Ive mentioned this. Steve used to spout ideas till he came up with a good one. The difference is he didn't use his consumers to decide what was a good idea. He definitely wasn't a fountain of golden ideas as some people seem to think. He was human like the rest of us.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:45 PM   #18
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the original thought process of coming up with Safari:
internet -> porn -> mating -> we're animals -> jungle -> safari
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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should have been named POS
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:23 PM   #20
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I think Jobs suggested Browser Man.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:43 PM   #21
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I can see some NDA clause quotes getting faxed over real soon
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 05:54 PM   #22
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well at least the comment section is good craic!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by electric View Post
should have been named POS
Point of Sale
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:43 PM   #24
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I'm guessing they ended up with Safari because the word sort of reminds you of Explorer. At that time they were basically switching the default browser from Explorer to Safari so it makes sense.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 06:52 PM   #25
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explorer=safari
it isnt a huge leap.
Thank gods they didnt go with Columbus, or Sir Francis Drake.
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