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Apple Releases Safari 3 for Windows

SafariAt today's WWDC Keynote Steve Jobs announced that similar to iTunes, Safari 3 will now be cross-platform. As an interactive developer this announcement was not welcomed by me because instead of two major browsers, I'll have to develop (non-Flash) sites for three (IE, Firefox and Safari).

I suppose the case could be made that interactive designers and developers have had to create for three browsers ever since Safari for OS X was released, but the market share of Safari (and those users who use Safari over Firefox on their Macs) was quite small. By introducing this to the Windows market, the task of testing on every browser becomes a growing problem, not a shrinking one.

So be sure to download and install the public beta of Safari 3 from Apple's website (http://www.apple.com/safari/), as you'll need to add Safari for Windows to your CSS and JavaScript testing suite.

Some times Flash's ability to run identically across all browsers on any platform just makes it shine even more. Today's Safari announcement makes the decision to develop for the Flash Platform that much easier.

Update: Todd Dominey and Shaun Inmann both weigh in on the issue with some good points:

Todd: "Speaking of web development, the release of Safari for Windows is fantastic news. Finally, Windows developers will be able to preview/test their work in Safari, without owning a Mac, and have a pretty accurate (if not identical) representation of what Mac users will see."

Shaun: "It took me quite a while to get onboard with Safari when it was originally released for OS X: the prospect of having yet another browser to debug didn’t endear Apple to many developers. But Safari on Windows is another story entirely.

Assuming the rendering engine is consistent (I wonder how it will handle anti-aliasing) this is a huge windfall for Safari users on the Mac because even moderate adoption on the PC means more attention payed to the rendering engine’s quirks which will result in a better experience for all."

Dan Brendstrup said,

June 11, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

Or, from a Safari-browsing Mac-users perspective, today’s announcement is awesome since it will force developers who have hitherto ignored Safari to take it into account when developing their sites… ;)

And don’t worry, the whole point of Safari is that it is one of the most web standards-compliant browsers out there, so if you develop your sites according to the standards, chances are they’ll just work in Safari.

You’ll still have to work around all the shite bugs in IE, but don’t blame Apple for that. Rather, in a few years when Safari has completely supplanted IE on Windows you can thank Apple that IE is no longer pissing up your leg all day… :)

jonnymac said,

June 11, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

Dan – I agree with you about not blaming Apple, but the fact remains that as long as one browser is not 100% standards-compliant, we’ll need to test in every browser just to ensure the hacks we used didn’t break our designs. While I like the idea of Safari taking over IE, I think Firefox has a much better start at this, and adding a third into the mix is only going to subtract from Firefox’s lead.

Interesting… Windows Users Don’t Like Their Apps to Look Nice. | Visualrinse | Design and Development by Chad Udell said,

June 11, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

[…] nice. It seems as though they like aliased text. I don’t get it. I can kind of understand the reluctant developer standpoint, but even still, anything that erodes the IE dominance is a good thing IMHO. Chastising a developer […]

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