Let’s set the record straight: Safari is NOT the world’s best browser

The last time I visited the safari download page at apple.com I was shocked to see that they had posted a banner that read: Download Safari The world’s best browser. If you aren’t a web developer you might not understand why I would be shocked, if you are a web developer it shouldn’t be surprising at all.

Safari isn’t the world’s best browser, it isn’t even a good browser! In order to qualify as a good browser that browser should at the very least be standards compliant. Safari isn’t standards compliant and it is a headache for web developers to try to build code that will work with it.

Clearly Internet Explorer is the worst browser in the world. This I think any technically inclined person would agree with me on. Internet Explorer (IE) is filled with idiotic bugs and quirks that drive the entire web development world crazy. But just because IE is worse doesn’t mean Safari is good.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about here. I have encountered issues when designing web pages where I get Firefox working (no problem as usual) I finally get IE working and then I try it out on Safari and lo and behold the bastard shows something completely different and for no explicable reason. Now we aren’t talking about some kind of experimental or hacked html and CSS, I am talking about WC3 validated html and CSS that works on every other browser but Safari. That’s pretty bad when you can get even IE to comply and Safari still goes bonkers. This is before even approaching the javascript problems that Safari presents.

We web developers all hate Internet Explorer, but we are forced to bend over backwards to make our sites work with it because it still (for the time being) holds the dominant market share in browsers. So in a way IE is like the swaggering bully that gets what he wants because he has power. But where do the makers of Safari get off trying to pass their non-standard browser off as if they were the king of the hill? Safari has a minuscule market share. Any rational company in such a position should at the very least follow established web standards, but they don’t.

Firefox is the best browser in the world, hands down, no questions asked. Any web developer worth their salt uses Firefox even if they are avid Apple fans with a Steve Jobs shrine in their living room. So please Apple, a little humility, or better yet, make Safari standards compliant!