FireFox or Safari?

asif786

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
Hey Guys,

I've been promoting firefox recently because I used to use windows, and IE is crap.

But I was wondering, when using Safari and FireFox, which do you prefer? I think I'm gonna have to start using FireFox on my iMac because I've seen/heard so many people complaining about Safari recently. Obviously, that may change with the release of Tiger..

So, what do you use and why?
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
I've been using Firefox for about two weeks now, and for the most part I prefer it. I think I'll like it even more when the Mac Os X optimized version arrives. I wrote a review that compared the two about a week ago; you can take a look at that for a more detailed comparison.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,591
141
Bergen, Norway
Used Firefox earlier, 0.7 (Firebird) and 0.8, but then Safari got its act together and I switched. A couple of days ago I again gave Firefox a try and now I've changed back.

The main reason was the extention Adblock, which allows me to filter out those annoying flash-based ads without killing all support for plugins, as I had to do in Safari.

Other advantages with Firefox:
- can allow some sites to open pop-ups (the wireless netwoork at school has a portal solution where I have to have a pop-up window open to have access).
- my internet bank works again (the b*stards recently "upgraded" their bank, and I can no longer use Safari)... :(
- I can add separators in the bookmarks, which is very handy when you have a lot of bookmarks, and try not to have too many folders in the bookmarks bar...
- Firefox displays the contents of the alt-tag when an image is missing, while Safari only has a stupid questionmark...
- the Searchbar at the bottom of the screen is fantastic, and makes Safari's (and all other browsers) Find-window seem like dark age technology.
- Firefox has RSS-support, which Safari still misses...
- Send Link... is missing in Safari **
- Asks if you really want to quit if you hit cmd-Q with more than one tab open... hasn't got a count of how many times I accidently hit cmd-Q in Safari when I was aiming for cmd-W (right next to each other), and then 'lost' all my tabs and had to go through History to get them back... **

For the moment I recommend Firefox.

Can't wait to see what Safari 2.0 brings, though, if the issues above is solved I gladly switch back.

** Edit
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
I love extensions in Firefox so much that I can't stand using Safari anymore. Also, the G4 optimized version of Firefox is much faster in page rendering than Safari.
 

JeDiBoYTJ

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2004
859
0
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
yup, im an official Firefox convert.

-Pages load sooo much faster than Safari - especially in the G4/G5 optimized versions
-Extensions
-Themeable Interface
-Extensions
-Did I mention EXTENSIONS
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
Counterfit said:
Yeah, Firefox is faster, but it still has a ****** interface, especially compared with Safari.
How do you figure that? Yes, it's not brushed, big deal. Other than that it's pretty much the same (address bar, search bar, nav buttons etc). Maybe you don't like it, but it's hardly a ****** interface.
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
1,504
2
Extensions may be good for some people, but until Firefox supports services (something any true Mac application should do these days), it is like browsing with both hands tied behind my back.

The Firefox developers even said that they really aren't Mac users, so the omission of services comes as no surprise. :rolleyes:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
edesignuk said:
How do you figure that? Yes, it's not brushed, big deal. Other than that it's pretty much the same (address bar, search bar, nav buttons etc). Maybe you don't like it, but it's hardly a ****** interface.
You gotta remember that there's a lot of variability based on the theme you use too...for looks. I personally think little things are not as smooth, like the way the tabs look (I like how Safari manages with just one icon instead of a favicon on the left and a close button on the right with TBE on firefox), and I've personally not yet found a theme that has really small icons that I like, but then other things are much nicer, like the search bar and the ability to search different kinds of things with the dropdown.
 

aussie_geek

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,093
0
Sydney Australia
I have made the switch to Firefox as well. It is definately faster at rendering web pages than Safari. One thing I have noticed is that Firefox uses heaps more CPU than Safari. If you have 2-3 windows open it is nearly taking up 30% of my PowerBook's CPU!!

Does anyone else notice that Firefox is CPU hungry?

One other thing is the scroll speed- much slower than Safari, but when you consider how fast it renders pages - I feel it's a better browsing expreience.

aussie_geek
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,350
3,212
Florida Resident
Cool factor

To me it's a draw between the two except for one very important feature. I like having all my bookmarks synced on all my Macs. So Safari wins!

Also another cool factor is that you can have the text read to you by your Mac with Safari. I just don't see that much speed difference between the two browsers when rendering web pages. Both are very fast.

I am glad FireFox is doing so well for both Macs and PCs. I agree that IE is crap and Firefox keeps Apple from standing still with Safari.
 

bubbamac

macrumors 6502
Dec 24, 2003
260
0
I've recently switched to Firefox as my primary browser. I don't like the square buttons and text boxes (looks like Windoze), but it works on all sites, and it is faster - although I don't really notice the speed difference unless I'm on dial-up. Sometimes I get stuck with 24k dial-up, and the speed difference is very noticable.

Still a couple of bugs,too, but Firefox is very useable.
 

stevietheb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2004
591
0
Houston
On my iBook I am addicted to SideTrack. Unfortunately, FireFox doesn't seem to play well with scrolling (it's really chunky)...so I use Safari there.

On the G5, FireFox feels so much faster. I've got one of Arronax's aqua-friendly themes working, and life is good.

Live Bookmarks are great (though Safari RSS looks pretty great in that respect...so things may change when Tiger comes out).
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
0
sitting on your shoulder
mkrishnan said:
You gotta remember that there's a lot of variability based on the theme you use too...for looks. I personally think little things are not as smooth, like the way the tabs look (I like how Safari manages with just one icon instead of a favicon on the left and a close button on the right with TBE on firefox), and I've personally not yet found a theme that has really small icons that I like, but then other things are much nicer, like the search bar and the ability to search different kinds of things with the dropdown.
There's that, there's also the button and form rendering that bubbamac mentioned. The scrolling sucks unless you install the SmoothWheel extension (thankfully I did). And then there's this:
 

Attachments

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's strange everyone seems to have different experiences with scrolling. Do some of you who have trouble with scrolling in firefox have smooth scrolling on? With it off, friefox is very responsive with sidetrack trackpad scrolling. The only kind of scrolling which is unresponsive is using the up/down arrows on the keyboard. But I've personally never liked smooth scrolling. I guess if you do then it's a different matter. Does that extension allow you to set something like the number of lines the screen moves up/down per keypress with the up/down arrows?

Counterfit, now that you mention it, I noticed similar issues with the corner resize tool too. And I think in another thread I mentioned that with many skins, the vertical scroll bar disappears / displays inconsistently on the main browser window for me (but not with default or Noia extreme).
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,591
141
Bergen, Norway
aussie_geek said:
Does anyone else notice that Firefox is CPU hungry?

One other thing is the scroll speed- much slower than Safari, but when you consider how fast it renders pages - I feel it's a better browsing expreience.
I've noticed that firefox-bin tends to use a lot of CPU when I got several tabs open, but I think it's only when the pages are full og stuff that uses plugins (espescally Flash), so I think it's a plugin-problem more than Firefox. If you use Adblock to filter out Flash-based ads it doesn't use anywhere near the CPU it used to.

Slow scrolling is kind of annoying, but I usually dont scroll, just read down the page and hit the spacebar, which works as "pg dn" (page down).

All in all, I feel Firefox is a better browser then Safari, at the moment.
 

stevietheb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2004
591
0
Houston
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
Slow scrolling is kind of annoying, but I usually dont scroll, just read down the page and hit the spacebar, which works as "pg dn" (page down).

All in all, I feel Firefox is a better browser then Safari, at the moment.
I never realized that SPACE would work in this way...good to know.

I've downloaded the SmoothScroll extension which helps things greatly. That plus "Sage" has made FireFox my default browser and RSS reader.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
stevietheb said:
I never realized that SPACE would work in this way...good to know.
And shift-space skips up instead of down. I got addicted to this in the preview pane of Outlook and since then pretty much use it as my default keyboard nav whenever I can. :)
 

Sabbath

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2003
534
0
London
I have been a big promoter of firefox (and firebird as it was) on PC getting pretty much everyone I know to switch from ie eventually. I just can't stand it on mac though, it just doesn't feel mac like to me. I feel like I'm using a windows app ported to mac, not a mac app.

Additionally it seems to go crazy and quit whenever I try to watch multiple movie trailers in different tabs, safari used to do this but luckily not anymore.
 

fuzzynavo

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2004
107
0
CA
am i in the minority when i feel that firefox runs much slower on my computer than safari? the pages may load a bit faster with firefox, but the responsiveness of the application is terribly slow, especially when switching between tabs and accessing the bookmarks menu when a background tab is loading. and im not loading pages with lots of java or flash either.

ive tried both the official 1.0 release and the g4 optimized one...both seem equally slow for me.

is this just a problem im having with my own setup? :confused:
 

stevietheb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2004
591
0
Houston
fuzzynavo said:
am i in the minority when i feel that firefox runs much slower on my computer than safari?
You might be.

I rarely go to the bookmarks menu, because my I use folders out of my tab toolbar almost exclusively. But, one of the things that I love about Firefox is the responsiveness. For example, when I first start Safari it doesn't typically allow me to do anything before my homepage loads. Since the "Stop" and "Reload" buttons are the same, I sometimes hit stop, but it doesn't register until the page is done loading, at which point it thinks it needs to reload. This is not an issue in Firefox...not only because the buttons are separate, but also because the application is available to me while my homepage loads.

I'm using the G5 optimized build on my iMac, and the G4 optimized build on my iBook, by the way.

My only negative, concerning Firefox, is that it sometimes makes the pages look like I'm running IE for Mac, or OS 9--which I just hated the look of (no offense to those OS 9 enthusiasts out there...I still edit video on a PowerMac G4 using OS 9 from time to time).
 

fuzzynavo

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2004
107
0
CA
i just reinstalled firefox, deleted preferences and profiles and now everything seems to run muuuch faster than before. i can finally understand why everyone was praising its speed, though i dont know why that i was having a problem earlier...nevertheless its works great now!