Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Top 10 reasons I'm still using Firefox instead of Safari

With Apple's recent release of the Safari 3 beta, I decided to spend a week with Safari and see if I could make the switch. As much as I love Firefox, there some great, elegant touches in Safari that I miss from time to time. Plus, you can easily sync your Safari bookmarks with the iPhone, another nice incentive.

The result? Safari 3 is a really good browser. It is super-fast in my experience and a pleasure to use. There are definitely some bugs that cause a few sites to crash the browser, but I assume the final version released in October with Leopard will address those. Nevertheless, after a week, I'm back to Firefox. Here's why:

10. After all these years, simple web features such as the TypePad HTML toolbar still don't work in Safari due to JavaScript issues.

9. Safari only allows you to pick software on your hard drive to manage RSS feeds, whereas Firefox allows you to choose Google Reader and other web-based tools.

8. Google Docs doesn't officially support Safari and it shows.

7. In Firefox's preferences, you can turn on the ability to start searching the page as soon as you start typing (and you're not in a form field). It not only saves a keystroke, but it's really fast and gets you want you want immediately. Safari's new Find is a big improvement, but still not as dead simple.

6. Firefox offers easy bookmark syncing between different computers through Foxmarks or Google Browser Sync. Apple wants you to subscribe to .Mac for the same ability.

5. You can block nearly every ad in the world with Adblock and the Filterset.G Update (thanks, Brad!). By default, Safari blocks no ads on pages and doesn't even consistently block all pop-ups. Sites that were usable in Firefox are nothing more than living, moving billboards in Safari.

4. The del.icio.us Firefox extension that allows you to add bookmarks directly to del.icio.us from the browser is sweet.

3. The outstanding Google chat option in Gmail isn't available in Safari. It would nice if Google would make that clear as it can take a long time to figure out why you don't have the "Standard with Chat" option in Gmail on Safari.

2. Firefox has great session restore, so if the browser does crash or get closed suddenly, you can often get right back to where you were.

1. If you work with the web for a living, there are many Firefox extensions that are essential, especially Web Developer and Firebug. Other favorites include MeasureIt, ColorZilla and QuickProxy.

There are hundreds more terrific extensions that can make Firefox do just about anything you want and nearly all work on both Macs and PC's. If your primary browser is still Safari or IE7, Firefox is worth a try.