My Safari Wish List

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Here are the features I would like to see in an update to Safari. (Disregarding any changes I would like to see in WebCore.)

  • Tab & Print buttons, not third-party, from Apple.
  • Print Preferences to let you print like every other web browser known to man. What I mean is date stamping the print, and also printing the URL in either the header or footer. Safari prints the background color of web pages. This is opposite of the norm. You usually have to turn that option on. I have also noticed some CSS heavy layouts do not print out nicely. Safari also seems to shrink the width a little too much when printing. Bottom Line: I cannot use Safari to print a page, which is a shame.
  • Multiple Password Storage: It would be great if Safari could manage multiple passwords for the same web page, a la Mozilla. If I sign in with a different login name and password, Safari can only save the most recently used login. I do not know if this is limited because of Keychain (as this is where the passwords are stored). It would be a great addition to be able to handle password storage like Mozilla.
  • Bookmark Tab Set: Since Safari has tabs, why not have a Bookmark Tab Set function? I know it is bad to use any browser in comparison, but I am going to have to use Mozilla again. In Safari you can Open in Tabs from a Bookmark Folder, so it is half way there.
  • Bookmarks/History Sidebar: As much as I like the iTunes like Bookmarks window, there needs to be a sidebar which integrates the bookmarks and the history. Every other browser known to man does this too.
  • Banner Blocking Preferences: Adding Pop Up/Pop Under Banner Ad blocking to Safari was a smart thing. This could be improved to allow regx style blocking a la OmniWeb. Another OmniWeb preference I like is to block images of the same size as standard banner ads. On this same note, I would like Safari to have the ability to block Flash content. We all know how I feel about Flash.

Originally posted on Breaking Windows.

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About Ken Edwards

  • Fsharp7

    Netscape 4 for Mac had a “stop animations” function for annoying banners, which was discontinued in later versions. I really miss that.

    I wish Safari had a preference setting to disable the dialogue boxes (they used to be called “balloons”). Duh, I already KNOW which button reloads the page!

  • OmniWeb 4.5 has had a preference to stop animations, has had for some time now. Way back when OmniWeb 4 was still in beta, I bought a copy. Well spent money. And now that OmniWeb was rewritten to use WebCore, I would use OmniWeb if it only had tabs. It has ALL the features I want in a browser, maybe not the flash blocking. One thing that I like about OmniWeb which will sound odd, but, it does not handle plugin tech. like flash well. I like that. 99.9% of the time I am not going to a flash based site.

  • All good suggestions, Ken. I am continually frustrated by Safari, too. The linking of history to window instead of time period is particularly bothersome since I tend to have several windows open at once. I think Keychain may be the culprit with password storage. I know it regularly messes up my Mail settings. Another suggestion: Some kind of distinction between regular pop-up windows and main windows which are small. I can never sign in and out of Tmobile or other WiFi ISPs using Safari because those aren’t available. If I am out of my usage area and want to make sure not to get overcharged, I have to use Explorer.

    P.S.: Is it okay with you if I add your blog to my Resources blogroll at Mac-a-ro-nies?

  • I want more selective cookie blocking. Apple should take a look at how Mozilla or Camino handle cookies. I want to be able to go into the cookie list, and pick something like oh say, and tell the browser to never accept cookies from it.

  • Eric Olsen

    I need more cookie blocking as well – our almost 4-year-old is far too enamored of them and I fear for her modeling future.

  • Printing in Safari is broken, pure and simple, but Safari already has tab sets, so I’m not sure what you’re looking for. I have two folders of links in by Bookmark Bar, one for ‘News’ and one for ‘Mac’ stuff. At first I would just right-click and specify ‘Open in tabs,’ but then I set it to always open in tabs, and the icon changed.

    Now a single click of either button opens all of the bookmarks within that folder in tabs. Isn’t that what you’re looking for?

    So let me run down your list:
    1. Tab & Print buttons. I agree, sort of. While I’d never use a ‘Tab’ button, preferring Cmd-T, I have often lamented the lack of a ‘Print’ button. This should be an easily addition by Apple and wouldn’t make the app considerably more complex, interface-wise. It comes close, though, since that ‘View’ menu is already getting long.

    2. No question, printing needs fixed. A better stylesheet, if that’s what they’re doing. Something.

    3. I happen to not care on this one, since all of my different username/password combos are under different OS X logins, but I vote for it anyway.

    4. Look more closely, it’s already there.

    5. I semi-disagree. The problem is that Safari’s purpose is that of a very simple browser. A sidebar like you describe would be much more confusing, I believe, and provide little benefit except to power-users, who are quite capable of using a different browser.

    6. I definitely disagree. Too many preferences are just too complex. Maybe I just don’t visit the right sites, but I’ve never had a problem with this.

    7. A new one: I want to be able to add “safe” file types to be auto-opened after downloading.

    8. I don’t want new windows opened unless I explicitly open them. When a website specifies that a link should be opened in a new window, I want it actually opened in a new tab. And yes, I realize that not everybody will agree, and I don’t really want a preference for this. Sigh.

    I like comment #4 because it puts the complexity where only people capable of handling the complexity will ever find it. Too many preferences make things too complex. What is it? More than seven choices is too many? It is obvious to me that this wisdom guides the Safari developers as well. That’s why instead of having a preference for stopping animations, they just stop them automatically after so many iterations.

    By the way, Ken, have you thought about pinging from this post?

  • Phillip,

    So thats how you make tab sets 😛 makes perfect sense! thanks.

    I agree with you on the simplicity thing. Safari should be simple to use. But easy to use also means putting buttons on the UI so you do not have to use a keyboard shortcut (Cmd-T for example) or using the menu.

    I also think that Safari has to graduate from being a “basic” browser. Internet Exploder is a lame duck, and the MAJORITY of people are not going to download any of the alternatives, no matter how nice they may be. This is why so many people use Internet Exploder on both PC and Mac.

    Safari needs to cater to power users and novices alike. Safari’s purpose is not a simple browser, its the default browser and more and more people are going to use it. The thing is, I do not want to use another browser. I really like Safari. I would still be using the latest Mozilla build, like I do on my PC, but Safari has so many nice things in it.

    OmniWeb 4.5 has a preference to open files that belong to a list of applications. Delete the app out of that list, and it does not open that file type, this is a great feature, good call.

    I like your idea of opening windows in a new tab, I would like it to go further so that a link opens in a new tab as well, this would be a preference that you would have to set. Not everyone agrees with me either 😉

    The Safari Developers have done a wonderful job as far as the interface is concerned. But I think it is time that Safari graduates from the “simple” to something with more options. The wonderful thing about options for more experienced users is that they need to be turned on, thus not confusing the heck out of novices.

    is that Trackback from Hyatt’s Blog?

  • Yes.

    And I think that the only difference between us is on this concept of complexity. Apple’s browser needs to remain as simple as possible. The only question is how simple is “as possible.” More preferences increase complexity, pure and simple, and the team has already made some choices to eliminate preferences. I hope that they continue to do so, while still improviing features.