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Going on (or off) Safari May 29, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Technology.
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SafariSafari. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s Apple’s web browser, available for Mac or Windows. I’ve never used it on Windows so couldn’t possibly comment on it in a Windows environment. But on a Mac, it’s way cool and fast with it.

Until, that is, it comes to pdfs. If it’s a piffling small pdf it’s fine, no problem. But if it’s a big one, it struggles… and when Safari struggles with a pdf, it doesn’t let you get on with anything else. It seems Apple’s programmers have been unable to find a way for Safari to load a pdf in the background whilst you continue browsing in another tab or a new window: instead all the browser’s resources go into loading the pdf and you, the end user, are locked out. You can either wait… and wait… and carry on waiting… and hope that maybe, eventually, the pdf will load; or you can force quit Safari and conclude that maybe the pdf wasn’t important anyway.

So I’ve come up with my own Safari plug-in idea: the Safari PDF Warning:

Safari PDF WarningAs you can see, it introduces a new way of handling error messages: straight talking. The buttons — well, I’m kinda hoping that the ‘Cancel’ and ‘Press on regardless’  buttons are self-explanatory. The ‘Bugger’ button is multifunctional: it fires off a debug message to Apple’s Software Development Team, opens the page in Firefox, attempts to open it in Safari and launches the Force Quit dialogue box to make it easy for you to kill Safari when you eventually give up.

Unfortunately it’s only an idea rather than an actual plug-in. I’m living in hope that come the final version of Safari 4 — presently in Beta — Apple will have fixed the problem and my plug-in won’t be needed…

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