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On Safari

Posted 9 years ago in Tech by Craig Walker
Posted by Craig Walker

Yesterday Apple released a public beta version of Safari 4, the latest version of their web browser and another step-up in the browser wars. I’ve been using it for the past day and I have to say it’s pretty cool – though it was a bit weird to see the tabs sit atop the browser (a la Google’s Chrome browser).

With Safari 4 Apple has introduced a bunch of new features (other than the new location for the tabs). Some of these new features include “Top Sites”, which shows users the most frequently visited Web pages, “Cover Flow” for flicking through your browsing history and a full history search, which not only searches through URLs and title of visited page, but also the complete text of the page itself. In fact, a lot of user exhanacments appear to be around the browser history and making it easier to get to your favourite web sites.

Safari Top Sites

For web developers there is even more to like: new CSS effects, HTML 5 offline suport, and, of course, full Acid 3 compliance (a perfect 100 out of 100 score).

In addition to all this Apple claims the new version of Safari to be the fastest browser around. To do this they’ve introduced the Nitro engine, an advanced JavaScript engine designed to make web browsing faster. Apple claims increases in speed of 30 times over IE7 and 3 times faster than Firefox 3. CNet have done some independent testing of Safari 4 to test those claims and it does appear that right now Safari 4 is the fastest browser on the planet. Check out the graphs here.

This is great news for Xero: applications like Xero love fast browsers. In fact the beauty of the current iteration of the browser wars is that it’s all been about performance – which can only be a good thing for developers and users alike. It actually feels much faster than I expected. Xero has always felt pretty quick to me (I guess I would have to say that :)) but with Safari 4 it feels really smooth and responsive – especially those parts of the app that use a significant amount of JavaScript (like bank rec).

I have not had one problem with Safari 4 so far – no unexpected behavior, no crashes – however because it’s a pre-release version you do have to be careful.

Safari 4 is in beta for both Mac and PC, available as a free download from


Galen King
February 27, 2009 at 8.46 am

Unfortunately for me, after installing Safari 4.0, I couldn’t open Mail as it kept crashing so I’ve had to un-install the BETA for now. From the little while I did have a chance to check it out, I think it’s a great improvement and I look forward to it being more stable.

February 28, 2009 at 7.25 am

Yeah, I heard that of a couple of people having similar problems. According to Apple, the all new Safari is supposed to be a faster browser. Hopefully, they rectify these issues a.s.a.p. because this is a great tool for business owners like myself. Also, has anyone tried OrangePoint’s voice and electronic delivery network from It’s a great supplement for you business.

Rod Drury Xero
February 28, 2009 at 6.27 pm

I reset the tabs. After a couple of days I didn’t like them up top.

Plenty of sites with the commands to tweak the browser. To move the tabs back to normal open up a terminal window and type in the following command:

defaults write DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool FALSE

Feels better.

Terry Tate
April 1, 2013 at 8.55 pm

Is Xero itself ACID compliant?


Craig Walker in reply to Terry Tate Xero
April 3, 2013 at 11.07 am

I’m not sure what you mean. All our database interactions (especially ones that go through the accounting engine) operate under the concept of atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability. One of the reasons we chose SQL Server as our database platform because it provides the tooling to make this possible in a scalable way.

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