27 Nov 2006 10 am eastern

Safari better than Firefox?

Standardistas adore the Mozilla Firefox browser for its advanced support of web standards. (How good is it? The Web Standards Project considered declaring victory and closing shop when Netscape Corp. announced in 1999 that it would heed our advice and dump its non-compliant software in favor of the Gecko rendering engine that powers Firefox today.)

Though Firefox and related Mozilla browsers deserve credit for their unsurpassed handling of everything from the Document Object Model to MIME types, Firefox’s way with text leaves much to be desired, as the following screen shots show. Indeed, if reading is mostly what you do on the web, and if accurate typography makes reading more of a pleasure and less of a strain, then Apple’s Safari is superior to Firefox.

Lucida, Test One: with genuine italics

Zeldman.com is designed to be read in Lucida Grande, and the site originally listed “Lucida Grande” first in its style sheet. Alas, Lucida Grande lacks true italics. Fortunately, Lucida Sans has them. In a version of our style sheets used to capture the following screen shots, we’ve listed Lucida Sans first, Lucida Grande second, and substitutes thereafter. Both browers handle the site like a dream—but it is only a good dream in Safari. Open the screen shots in tabs:

Questions for discussion

  1. In Firefox, why does the text “now in its second edition. I can’t” display midway between roman and bold, and why is it so poorly antialiased? Apparently, Firefox bungles roman text that follows italics.
  2. In Firefox, why doesn’t hyphenation work? My gosh, people, it’s nearly 2007. IE5/Mac supported hyphenation.

Lucida, Test Two: using a font that lacks italics

Remember: Lucida Grande does not have italics; Lucida Sans does. But as Test One showed, Firefox can’t handle Lucida Sans correctly. So we’ve revised the style sheet. With Lucida Grande listed first in the style sheet, and Lucida Sans deleted, Safari still trounces Firefox. The experience of reading text is smoothly beautiful in Safari, much less so in Firefox.

Observations

  1. Both browsers fake the italics. But Firefox does the job crudely: a child could tell that its “italics” are faked. (Firefox slants the roman text.) By contrast, Safari fakes its italics so well (by substituting a true italic from the next available listed font that contains one) that only graphic designers and type hounds will realize that the font they’re viewing contains no true italics. See reader comments for delicious details.
  2. In Firefox, hyphenation still does not work.

Notes

It’s worth pointing out that these tests were done on Macintosh computers, which are known for their superior handling of text, and that Lucida is not some strange face chosen to prove a point. It is the default font in Mac OS X (not to mention on apple.com). Moreover, Lucida Sans Unicode, the first Unicode encoded font, shipped with Windows NT 3.1 and comes standard with all Microsoft Windows versions since Windows 98.

When I showed a friend and fellow designer these simple tests as I was working on them, he asked if I had reported “the bug” to the makers of Mozilla. But as I count it, there are multiple, overlapping Firefox bugs happening here—too many to fit into a bug-report form. I suspect that the problems have to do with Mozilla’s reliance on its cross-platform display environment. If you scuttle what an individual operating system does well in favor of what a cross-platform environment does poorly, you get what we’re seeing here. It’s not good enough.

Inferences for best practices

If your content will sometimes include italicized text, you naturally want to specify a font that contains italics. That’s just common sense. Unfortunately, as our screen shots have shown, common sense works against you here, because Firefox, although superior to other browsers in many ways, handles text like a drunken fry-cook.

When you specify the font that contains genuine italics (as we did in Test One), Firefox mishandles the roman text that abuts italicized words. When you replace that font with one that contains no italic (Test Two), Firefox fakes the italics crudely, but overall display and legibility are better than the unusable results of Test One.

Obviously there are fewer problems if you limit your website to Verdana and Georgia, but more constraints on typography are not what the web needs.

Discussion is now closed. Thanks to all who shared.

[tags]design, browsers, webstandards, webdesign, mozilla, safari, apple, lucida, unicode, windows, macintosh, osx[/tags]

Filed under: Browsers, Design, development, Standards

256 Responses to “Safari better than Firefox?”

  1. Shane said on

    After a scan through the screenshots, I couldn’t really see what you were pointing out, but on a second glance, it all became clear (in a poorly-aliased kind of way.)

    That passage looks fine for me on Windows XP, Firefox 1.5.0.8 by the way.

  2. Matt Wilcox said on

    With regard to hyphenation – I submit that is a content issue and not a job for the browser. If hyphens are wanted, insert them as content – that is after all what they are (content with intrinsic gramatical meaning, as opposed to decorational presentational elemants). Personally I dislike hyphenation, I would prefer that no word is ever split over multiple lines, and I’m very glad my browser doesn’t do that.

    Having said that, in the images provided above, I can’t spot where Safari is hyphenating and Firefox is not. Nor can I tell much difference with the font rendering quality (excepting the obvious bug with the font-weight outlined in your post). Could you elaborate on the differences between the two, as I can’t spot them.

  3. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    in the images provided above, I can’t spot where Safari is hyphenating and Firefox is not.

    The content contains the following hyphenated phrase:

    “game-changing.”

    Safari wraps at the hyphen.

    Firefox does not.

    You see?

  4. Jonathan Snook said on

    Indeed, the hyphenation can be a pain, especially with shorter line lengths. The soft hyphen is equally ignored.

  5. Daring Fireball Linked List: November 2006 said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman: Safari Better Than Firefox? ★ [...]

  6. Joshua said on

    Another note is that Firefox rarely respects your antialias settings, so the text will often look out of place in general when using Mac OS X.

    And I totally agree with your note on taking away from an OS that does something so well only to put in place something cross platform that does a horrible job. Firefox is really missing out on a lot of stuff by not using standard cocoa text handling. System-wide spell checking and dictionary anyone?

    That’s why I really hoped the Camino project would really just turn into Firefox for Mac. I understand their challenges in doing so, but it’d be fantastic if they were able to use their rendering engine only and leave everything else to the OS.

    That being said, I’d still rejoice if everyone dumped IE for Firefox.

    Another note, I’ve found that most people that use Firefox on a regular basis on the Mac are already those a little less concerned about really specific details like type rendering. If they are already willing to run a bastardized program that looks totally out of place and ugly within the OS, then they are probably just as likely to not notice type problems like a few of the comments above maybe. Doesn’t make it okay, but it’s better than it could be.

  7. Z. D. Smith said on

    Too true. Gecko (in my case, Camino)’s consistently lousy text-rendering support was a great reason that I eventually switched to a webkit browser. It should be noted, in fact: the italicized text in the second Safari shot *is* in fact true italics—it may not be Lucida Grande, since L Grande doesn’t, as you say, have any italics, but a look at the swung _e_ and single-story _a_ will demonstrate, in contrast to the gecko render, that it’s not simply the obliqued Roman.

  8. Daniel Parks said on

    In the second set of screen shots, it appears that Safari is using Trebuchet MS Bold Italic (the second font specified in the CSS) rather than creating a fake italic. (I copied the text into TextEdit and checked the font.)

    That seems a little risky to me — what if the fonts in the list are substantially different? — but then I’ve been using Safari since it came out and I never noticed any problems with italics. Kudos to the Safari team for a clever solution.

    I wonder if it ever fakes an italic?

  9. Chris said on

    I think this article’s helped me get a better handle on why I just don’t like browsing with Firefox on the Mac.

    Don’t get me wrong — compared to the ye olde days, Firefox has come a long way on the Mac platform. I have no real complaint with the look and feel of the browser’s UI on the Mac. Sure, the chrome’s just a little bit off, but it’s literally a few nit-picks away from being a good Mac citizen.

    However, despite the great improvements, it’s still just felt wrong. This article’s shed light on the fact that it’s the text handling that’s tweaking some twitchy node at the back of my brain. I’ve just fired up Firefox now to confirm this. It’s the lack of wrapping on hyphens in particular that makes heavy-duty text reading uncomfortable.

  10. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    the italicized text in the second Safari shot *is* in fact true italics—it may not be Lucida Grande, since L Grande doesn’t, as you say, have any italics, but a look at the swung _e_ and single-story _a_ will demonstrate, in contrast to the gecko render, that it’s not simply the obliqued Roman.

    In the second set of screen shots, it appears that Safari is using Trebuchet MS Bold Italic.

    Z.D. and Daniel: Good eyes and good insights. I’m inspired to list “Lucida Sans” after Lucida Grande and before Trebuchet. In that way, Safari will borrow Lucida Sans’s italic rather than Trebuchet’s on any Mac that has both Lucida Grande and Lucida Sans installed.

  11. Grant said on

    It looks like Safari is substituting Trebuchet Italic instead of faking a Lucida Grande oblique in the last screenshot. Is that specified in your stylesheet?

  12. Dale Cruse said on

    The differences Mr. Zeldman points out might be subtle at first, but they are certainly there.

  13. George said on

    With regard to hyphenation I would like to point out that Firefox does it by the book (namely, the HTML 4.01 specification). Standards tend to be slightly more thought-out than practical opinions, and generally the rules should not be broken unless, as they say, you’ve understood them first.

    The normal hyphen has a semantic value which is different from that of the soft hyphen. It is not a separator. This could have implications for text indexing. It certainly has implications in a language like my own native Romanian, where the hyphen is the equivalent of the apostrophe in English. You wouldn’t want the browser to split a line at the apostrophe and I wouldn’t want it to do the same at the normal hyphen. So while Firefox may occasionally spoil typography, at least it avoids the pitfall of illiteracy.

    Support for the soft hyphen is the solution, not what Safari does.

  14. JeffCroft.com: Link: Zeldman: Safari better than Firefox? said on

    [...] Zeldman: Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  15. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    It looks like Safari is substituting Trebuchet Italic instead of faking a Lucida Grande oblique in the last screenshot.

    Agreed. Daniel Parks also pointed that out in an earlier comment.

    Is that specified in your stylesheet?

    Yes and no. :)

    Yes, Trebuchet MS is specified as a substitute font, as you can see by viewing the style sheets. (Links to the style sheets are provided in the post.)

    No, Trebuchet MS is not specified as a substitute for the missing italics in Lucida Grande. CSS doesn’t allow for that kind of nicety.

  16. biscuitWeasel said on

    Macs account for less than 1% of the traffic to the huge e-commerce site I work on — who really cares what they do or don’t do right? Zeldman, you complain loudly every time you get a simple OS upgrade and it breaks everything — get a PC and and get really productive, not to mention leaving behind all these display issues between the various Mac browsers. That oughta light the fires here :)

  17. kip said on

    Concerning the hyphenation thing:

    A bug report for Firefox: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=95067

    A discussion of this: http://www.thescripts.com/forum/thread153624.html

    As for the bolding-after-italics issue, it works fine for me on Windows Firefox. It also correctly picks up the system antialiasing settings. And perhaps PNG would have been better for your screenshots, since JPG compression will tend to blur sharp edges (effectively anti-aliasing text a little bit). But I’m not a big fan of the “blurry text is easier to read” mentality that seems to be common in Mac camps..

  18. Dave Hyatt said on

    The second example is (I suspect) just a bug in Safari 2 and so we shouldn’t really get any credit for that one. :)

    Safari 2 cannot synthesize italic or bold, and therefore it ends up falling back to the next font in the list. This is, however, a bug that has been fixed in the latest WebKit nightlies.

  19. Jon Linczak said on

    In Firefox, why does the text “now in its second edition. I can’t” display midway between roman and bold, and why is it so poorly antialiased? Apparently, Firefox bungles roman text that follows italics.

    Here’s something even more fun that I see all the time in Firefox on the Mac – move your mouse over the link in and out several times and watch the quasi-bold text to get even more bold. I wonder if anyone else sees this…

  20. doc barnett said on

    Gecko’s awful non-breaking hyphen is ye old bug 95067. Everyone whose opinion counts there has ten reasons why it can’t be fixed any time “soon” (the bug was opened in 2001).

    The standards are unclear (to people in the bug conversation) whether an optional line break after hyphen is required, permitted, encouraged, or forbidden. Yet everyone who cares about type wants the damn hyphen to line-break, as it has always done in IE, Safari/KHTML, and Opera. Annoying. Moz browsers are for debugging and not reading, as far as I’m concerned.

  21. Airbag - said on

    [...] 27 November 06 Safari better than Firefox? Absolutely! I love Jon’s logo but nothing beats Apple’s browser. [...]

  22. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Thanks, Doc.

    Dave, I’ve slipped “Lucida Sans” back in the list, following Lucida Grande. After emptying the cache in Safari, you should see beautiful, Lucida italics (not Trebuchet). Firefox naturally still shows fake italics, and that’s actually what it’s supposed to do. If Firefox could display Lucida Sans correctly, all we’d be talking about here is hyphenation, and how some standards geeks interpret W3C vagueness on the subject as a call to inaction.

  23. Jesse said on

    Yeah, if only Firefox was just a little better. Its such a crappy program, and if you can’t detect the minute problems it causes, well, then sweeping implications about your character probably (Re: Josh’s post). Sorry, but while the one bug with the bold text is obviously an issue, the rest is all pretty anal. But I guess thats what someone like me, an amateur, would say right? Sometimes I think the perspective on standards, and design on the web gets a little skewed. I think this: this is a really good ‘big picture’ article that folks might want to have a look at. On the other hand, without Zeldman.com, Alistapart etc, many would still be in the wilderness. So I guess a little zealotry is in order now and then to keep the good word a spreadin’ !

  24. PatrickQG said on

    My solution, for the next CSS release for my site at least, is to specify Lucida Grande, Lucida Sans, etc. as the body font, and then to specify one for em as well. (Then it’s just a matter of adding other selectors to that rule to make sure other italicised text gets my chosen fonts as well). Thus saving me from Firefox:mac rendering, and making sure I know what Safari will do.

  25. arielb said on

    Ignoring the weaselbait but let’s not forget that the web is not just for Windows, not just for mac but for everyone, everywhere…using a browser that’s only for mac or only for windows because certain sites may look a little better is a little like putting your head in the sand.

    Better typography, including hyphenation is on the Firefox agenda:
    Text_and_Typography

  26. Joe Clark said on

    Linebreaking after explicit (“hard”) hyphens could easily be governed by the language setting in place, so Romanian and some English usages (“pre-taping, [BR]-editing, and -postproduction”) could be handled accurately. I don’t see how you could possibly dispute that the ASCII hyphen is anything but a hyphen. You want a dash, type a dash.

    Oh, and BTW: 1% of a zillion hits is a lot of hits. Mac users are early adopters; piss them off and your product gets pilloried.

    Oh2, and BTW2: Try looking at my blog headlines in Opera for Macintosh, which errantly, though pleasingly, uses full swash charcters in Zapfino. (Swash characters in italics are a problem in Opera for Mac.)

  27. Safari better than Firefox - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) said on

    [...] that text looks very nice in Safari and not so nice in Firefox.ReadPermalinkEmail thisLinking BlogsComments[1] [...]

  28. Neil said on

    Have you looked at this site on a machine that does not have anti-aliasing enabled?

    I don’t know exactly what is going on and have not spent time looking at the code but here are some screenshots:
    screenshot of IE7
    screenshot of IE6

    I noticed this last week and was hoping that this topic would come up because it brings up an important all be it tangential question about market share and the design environments we choose.

    I have been questioning using a Mac as a primary design environment because it does not reflect the market share of my clients and customers. There is a liability here that we don’t often talk about.

  29. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Neil, your IE6 screen shot should look indistinguishable from your pretty IE7 screen shot. I don’t know what’s causing text to look so wretched in your IE6. It’s as if you had no actual fonts installed on the system. Did you perhaps, through trickery, install both IE6 and IE7 on the same machine? If so, it might account for the botched rendering in IE6.

  30. digg / All / Upcoming said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  31. Web Browser News and Market Share Reports Archive 2006 said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox?: Safari superior to Firefox on accurate typography [27.11] [...]

  32. bonaldi said on

    Well timed! I spent a frustrating while last night zoomed in to 800% looking at the glyphs on Firefox and Safari, trying to spot why it look better on Safari. Often the text is indentical, but at times the difference is glaring. For FireFox the Mac is, as ever, very much a second thought.

    But damn those extensions are useful! Adblock!

  33. jhn said on

    @arielb

    I see no reason to use cross-platform software just because it’s cross-platform. I use Firefox on Windows because it’s the best browser on Windows; I use Safari on the Mac because it’s the best browser on the Mac (sorry, OmniWeb and Camino!) If IE were better than Firefox on Windows, I’d use it. I mean, it’s nice to have Firefox and VLC and so forth on every platform but that’s just because they’re good, free programs and it’s less to remember when I set up a Windows or Linux machine once in a blue moon.

    It’s not like it’s some major cognitive switch to go from using one browser to another. They all work pretty much the same way. It’s more a matter of remembering the name of what to download.

  34. hackandblog > Jeffrey Zeldman y el dibujo de texto de Gecko en el Mac said on

    [...] Lee una revisión de estos problemas mucho más completa y precisa con screenshots en el post de Jeffrey Zeldman: Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  35. Joe said on

    Neil, IE7 will apply clear type whether it is active system wide or not. This could account for the difference.

  36. Adam Rice said on

    A more dramatic illustration of the differences between webkit and gecko rendering can be seen with some accented characters. For example, almost any Wikipedia entry on a Japanese topic, where you’ll see italicized macron’d Os and Us. Gecko romanizes these in the middle of an italicized word—I’m not sure, but I think it is actually picking those characters out of a completely different typeface. Webkit handles it much more nicely.

    Interestingly, though, Gecko browsers will show Chinese text using Chinese fonts and Japanese text in Japanese fonts (I’m guessing this is based on language metadata). On my system, Safari will attempt to show both in a Japanese font, but fall back to a Chinese font when necessary.

  37. Edu_Rss said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? Safari handles text much more beautifully and accurately than Firefox. From Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report on November 27, 2006 at 1:49 p.m.. [...]

  38. VL said on

    Neil, Jeffrey:

    IE7 has ClearType enabled by default. Here’s the post: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/03/524367.aspx

    I think that IE7 will use ClearType to render text, even if the rest of the system doesn’t. More here: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/03/03/543181.aspx

    V.

  39. Gustomela  Muuuu! › Safari meglio di Firefox, parola di Jeffrey, discorso chiuso › November › 2006 said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman eh!!! Mica io!!! ;) Il venerabile scrive un articolo con tanto di prove documentarie (screenshot dai rispettivi browser) sulla superiorità di Safari in una cosa talmente importante e vitale che nemmeno ci accorgiamo esista: la lettura dei testi!! Un po’ come respirare. Su Safari si vede meglio, punto. Non ispeziona i DOM, non debugga il malocodice. Fa il browser! [...]

  40. Chris Johanesen » Blog Archive » Safari is better than Firefox said on

    [...] Yes. Zeldman writes about Firefox’s terrible text/font handling on the mac. I feel like I’m constantly trying to explain this to people. The Firefox folk have done such a good job on getting known as the superior browsers on the Windows platform that many ill-informed mac users assume it’s the same in OS X. No way. And he doesn’t even get into those horribly-ugly form controls (weren’t they supposed to be fixed in 2.0?). [...]

  41. Anson Schall said on

    I have noticed the text-rendering (bolding) bug for quite some time in Firefox, and it bugs the living crap out of me. I am very detail-oriented, to the point that I customize my widgets for Firefox by hand in the forms.css file. However, I still use Firefox over Safari, mostly for the plugins. I use the adblock and web developer plugins. That’s it. But Safari doesn’t have those. I have tried PithHelmet and didn’t like it (or any other SIMBL plugins). Anyway, I totally agree with you on Safari’s extreme superiority over Firefox in the text-rendering department. But, even though I’m irritated by the bug, it’s not enough to push me to Safari as my main browser, nice as it is.

    I was perusing bugzilla trying to find some kind of fix, or even acknowledgment that the bug I saw existed, and found one or two things. It appears that it can be triggered by several things, and is apparently the result of “overprinting” or displaying the same text on top of itself multiple times. A good example is shown at this bugzilla link. There is a rotating gif that causes some text to be overprinted or further boldened each time until it gets quite horrendous looking.

    I hope that the Firefox team can fix this sometime soon. Maybe this post is just the thing to stir up some resolve to fix it.

    Also, to put my two cents in, I don’t really care about the hyphenation problem, or the faked italics problem. IMO, if you want italics, you should use a font that has them…

  42. Don Ulrich said on

    Is this anything that the user notices? They do not have the time to evaluate such characteristics. A couple of the examples are not visable in Win/FF. Being a Windows/Firefox user I have noticed the intrinsic qualities of Safari. I might add that
    I have been setting type since the days of the type case and people knew what “Hot Composition” ment. Oh that and I walked
    ten miles, barefoot, uphill in a snowstorm to get to school. One way of course.

  43. Peter Hosey said on

    Actually, the font used on apple.com is Myriad. It’s very similar to Lucida Grande, but the lowercase i gives it away. Crank them up to 72pt or so, and you’ll see it.

    Maybe they weren’t able to license Myriad for use in an operating system?

  44. Ed said on

    Firefox is better than Safari. Apple products are prettier, but close-minded. Until I can run Safari on a PC with Windows, Firefox wins by default. Not to mention, Firefox has a superior load time.

  45. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis said on

    My guess is that the difference between IE6 and IE7 renderings is related to the change in text handling to make use of ClearType. See:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/03/524367.aspx

  46. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Actually the font used on apple.com is Lucida Grande on some pages, just like I said. And it’s Myriad on other pages, just like you’ve said. Confirm by viewing style sheets.

    Two or three years ago, some colleagues at Apple informed Mr Bowman and me of an upcoming apple.com switch to Myriad; in the years since, some pages have switched and others haven’t. Our colleagues didn’t say why they were contemplating switching from Lucida Grande to Myriad. My guess—and it’s only that—is that such a change might be connected to the lack of italics in Lucida Grande.

  47. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis said on

    <sheepish>Oops. Sorry. Somehow I missed the second half of this thread where that was pointed out already.</sheepish>

  48. Neil said on

    Jeffrey, I am in fact using an IE 6 standalone but I see the exact same issue in Firefox 1.5 so the standalone dosen’t seem to be the issue. To confirm I tested on another machine. Here is the screenshot:
    screenshot of Firefox 1.5

  49. Safari parempi kuin Firefox? - Kalamuki said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox?, kysyy Zeldman. Tiedä häntä, mutta onko kyse samasta asiasta kuin tässä? [...]

  50. Neil said on

    To Joe and VL, Yes I realize that IE7 has ClearType on by default. Does that mean that the fonts selected only work if some type of anti-aliasing is enabled?

  51. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Neil: With ClearType off, the text looks awful on your system, whether in Firefox 1.5 or IE6. To me it looks like you don’t have Lucida Sans or Trebuchet MS installed on your machine. (But that can’t be true. Both have come standard with Windows since the 1990s.)

  52. watchlist (geek) said on

    [...] It is true that Safari is Mac only, so it need not worry about cross platform text rendering, but that doesn’t change the fact that text looks very nice in Safari and not so nice in Firefox. | Comments [...]

  53. The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) for Mobile said on

    [...] Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) for Mobile … Safari better than Firefox11/27/2006 4:00PM by Scott McNultyPeople are very serious about what browser they use, and IZeldman is a web design wizard. He knows of what he speaks.This is why I found this post titled ‘Safari better than Firefox?’ so very interesting. Zeldman spends a good deal of time listing all the things that are rightwith Firefox’s engine, but one thing that is very wrong is text rendering. Safari, according to Zeldman and my eyes, renders text much better than Firefox. It is true that Safari is Mac only, so it need not worry about cross platform text rendering, but that doesn’t change the fact that text looks very nice in Safari and not so nice in Firefox.View the full version of The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) [...]

  54. Matt L said on

    Gecko in general has very poor support of anti-aliasing. A perfect example is with -moz-border-radius and -webkit-border-radius, WebKit (nightlies only) render rounded corners beautifully while Gecko browsers look like something cut out with a rusty pair of scissors.

  55. James Peirce said on

    Most Windows XP machines come with ClearType (Microsoft’s anti-aliasing technology) disabled by default (and this is also the preset for Windows XP). IE browsers prior to IE7 will render using the system’s default setting (which means they will render without anti-aliasing in many of these cases). This means some users will be viewing Zeldman.com (and other web pages) in all its anti-aliased glory (though it usually doesn’t look as horrific as the link posted earlier).

    Verdana and other old-school web fonts are rendered on non-anti-aliased machines with that possibility in mind (which is why they look good). Fonts with styling of any sort, and most sans fonts, will look horrible in these cases—and there is nothing we can do to control it.

    Windows XP users who have systems that are not ClearType enabled can use this obscurely-placed Microsoft utility, through Internet Explorer, to enable or customize the way in which their machines anti-alias text.

  56. Neil said on

    “Awful” as it may be the majority of clients and customers have CRT displays and most likely never heard of ClearType or know to enable it. Vista will have ClearType enabled by default. Vista will also have new core fonts. Add to this the unfortunate death of Helvetica and… well I now have questions about designing on a Mac as it may become increasingly different from what my clients see. What does this say about our attentiveness to user experience when IE6 or 7 is second or third choice? What does this say about our priorities. I’m concerned and I don’t think Parallels is the answer.

    Sorry for floating off topic but I think this is very important.

  57. Daniel Parks said on

    Dave Hyatt specifically mentioned that this was a bug in Safari 2, so I’m curious if Safari 1 also cannot fake italics?

    I tried a WebKit nightly (http://nightly.webkit.org/), and as Hyatt mentioned, it does use a fake italic. I think it looks a bit better than Firefox: the kerning is better, and it appears that Safari doesn’t make the characters quite as oblique.

    Too bad the bug had to be fixed!

  58. Len Cole said on

    Safari to me works like a non-standard browser, and has other usability issues I cannot live with, such as the inability to make it work off-line; or at least I have been unable to figure out how to do so.

    So based on that, Firefox is the only other alternative. Opera, et. al., don’t cut it either,

  59. dlachez said on

    What?
    A childish, drunken fry cook.

  60. MacNN | Fonts/text better in Safari than Firefox said on

    [...] A new blog post at Zeldman.com touts Safari’s text rendering and font handling: “If you scuttle what an individual operating system does well in favor of what a cross-platform environment does poorly, you get what we’re seeing here. It’s not good enough.” [...]

  61. Benjamin Huot said on

    Well I am a web designer and I don’t see the difference. That is one of the major differences of web versus print design – you can’t have as much control over a web page. Why don’t you use PDFs, then you can have very fine grained control over kerning and the like.

  62. MzK said on

    Seriously, as someone who spends his whole day in front of a Mac, i can’t even tell the difference

  63. Russell Ackner said on

    There’s a little setting in FF that allows you to set the minimum font size. If I set it to anything less than 9px, the ‘small’ fonts are anything but legible. Safari’s rendering of small fonts is far superior to FF as is its aliasing of them. I’ve designed a few sites with small font requirements and cross browser testing using FF always led me to believe something was up with it. Zeldman confiems it.

  64. Ryan said on

    You will get the same results using OmniWeb (5.5) which uses an altered version of WebKit, correct?

  65. Jeff Wilkinson said on

    Perhaps a dumb or obvious question but have you tried associating the Lucida Sans font *just* with italicized text in the stylesheet?
    (Lucida Grande first for all text as default?)
    How does that work for you?

  66. Michael Z. said on

    Remember how the bad old browsers used to add a big word space after italicized text? (This was after the still worse, way older browsers used to overlap the end of the heavily slanted italic text and the following roman.) Yes, some still do that.

    If Firefox’s bolding is a “double-strike” problem, then it might have something to do with this. It’s drawing the text both with and without that extra word space, for some reason.

  67. arielb said on

    jhn wrote “I see no reason to use cross-platform software just because it’s cross-platform. I use Firefox on Windows because it’s the best browser on Windows; I use Safari on the Mac because it’s the best browser on the Mac”

    The problem is that there are plenty of websites that don’t look good at all in Safari. Some won’t work in Firefox either but it has the best chance of getting designers to ensure their website works under it. Why? Because it’s on Windows, as well.

    oh and of course, everything looks better with Adblock+ :)

  68. Chris Hunt said on

    I’m getting the same display issue as Neil reported, running FF1.5 on Windoze 2000. It seems to be a problem with Lucida Sans being displayed at this particular size. If I edit the CSS (the Web Developer Toolbar being one reason why FF is better!) to put Trebuchet back into second place, it starts looking good again.

    It sucks, I know, but for the benefit of the cleartype-challenged you may be better putting Trebuchet back into second place and explicitly applying font: “Lucida Sans” to italics.

  69. Daniel Worthington said on

    Browsing with Firefox after using Safari is like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. It’s just gross, until you give your taste-buds some time to adjust. Safari is minty-fresh and makes you feel a little special after using it. But who is to say which is objectively better? Orange juice is, after all, quite tasty (not to mention high in vitamin C).

    The web and how we browse it—this is a work in progress and I hope it remains that way.

  70. benchmark browser - DesignersTalk said on

    [...] Opera has the best rendering engine I think. Zeldman has other worries than just CSS though: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ __________________ George Smith – a vain attempt to get higher on google for my name [...]

  71. Safari è meglio di Firefox | <edit> - Il blog di HTML.it said on

    [...] Io lo penso da sempre, tanto che uso quotidianamente il browser di Apple. A chi mi chiede perché, rispondo sempre che Safari ha un non so che di meglio e di più, questione di sensazioni, di gradevolezza puramente estetica. È chiaro che rispondo in modo così vago perché non ho le compretenze in tema di design e tipografia di Jeffrey Zeldman. Ecco la parte più importante di questo suo intervento molto dettagliato sul tema a cui da ora in poi rimanderò tutti quelli che si stupiscono per la mia opzione pro-Safari: [...]

  72. Pol�mique: Windows, le meilleur syst�me pour PC ? said on

    [...] Tiens! Un petit lien o� Safari colle une claque de plus � FireFox. [...]

  73. Matteo said on

    I can say “yes” to Jeffrey opinion, but my best choise, about browaser, is Camino. Geko engine, Cocoa Interface, Best of two world.
    But why Geko can’t undestand css text-shadow command?

  74. Bela Black said on

    Very interesting article. I am in firefox now and it is butchering the text on this page.

  75. Mel MacSmiley said on

    Is this anything that the user notices? They do not have the time to evaluate such characteristics.

    These text rendering issues can not be waved off as “anal” or “control freakism” of web designers. Here’s why.

    The average user may not “notice” anything consciously with badly rendered text. Yet he does experience it nevertheless. It may show up in eye strain caused headaches, the feeling of being bothered by the computer without knowing “how to put a finger on it”, or a general dislike of “being on a computer” altogether.

    For the longest time, I’ve avoided using Firefox. Other than trying to type in 1/2 a text box, I did not cognizantly know why. It just didn’t “feel right”. So Camino is my second browser, Safari my default browser. I didn’t know why I didn’t like it.

    All Jeffrey is doing here is pointing out why exactly it doesn’t “feel right” to me and to many, many others I’ve heard complain that Firefox isn’t “Mac-like” enough. For a non-professional, like myself, this is a godsend to know that the problems with Firefox aren’t just in my head.

  76. rafalski said on

    Jeffrey, Cleartype is off in Windows XP by default. IE7 comes with Cleartype on only for itself, along with Outlook Express, leaving the rest of the system as it was – off by default. So, no matter if a computer has IE6 installed properly or as a standalone addition to IE7, it follows systemwide Cleartype settings – off by default on vast majority of Windows computers.

    Now why does Lucida Sans appear “botched” in people’s non IE7 Windows browsers? Only because, despite being in the system for ages, unlike Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Trebuchet, Times, Georgia, Courier – it was not designed for non-antialiased, pixelated display.
    It is not a web-safe font, it looks bad on most computers, because most computer owners don’t know their system has something like Cleartype, and most Windows owners haven’t acquired IE7 yet. Someday, when everyone has font smoothing on, it probably will be safe to use, but now “botched text” is what majority of users see on zeldman.com
    The way to avoid this would be moving Trebuchet MS back to the 2nd place of your list – as it had been there for ages. I can assume, only so few people have reported the problem to you, because a. majority of your Windows audience have IE7 installed (with CT on), b. designers – majority of your audience – are on Macs.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    From my observations, I would add that Lucida Grande isn’t optimized for non-smoothed display either. If you turn font antialiasing off in OSX, Lucida Grande looks dreadful.
    Another thing is, with font antialiasing off, OSX Firefox applies terrible kerning even to such safe fonts like Verdana – another blow for FF. To be honest, Safari isn’t so much much better, when it comes to pixelated display. One could say, that only about 15 Mac users in the world turn antialiasing off, but actually, antialiasing is off automatically below certain font size (it’s an adjustable system setting) and sometimes we get to see small bitmap text in weird kerning on the mac.

  77. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    For the benefit of the cleartype-challenged you may be better putting Trebuchet back into second place.

    I’ve come to the same conclusion and done just that. Refresh and see.

    In Safari, empty cache then refresh: the page looks the same except italics are once again in Trebuchet.

    In IE/Win with ClearType off, refresh: the page is now in homely but legible non-anti-aliased Trebuchet rather than ugly and illegible non-anti-aliased Lucida Sans.

    Given the font’s heritage, importance, and potential, it’s a pity that Microsoft made Lucida Sans so ugly and reader-hostile in its non-ClearType naked state. I could hazard a guess as to why this particular font does not fit nicely into pixel space, but my guess would take us even further into an off-topic discussion.

    Aesopian lesson: In the current web, where many readers use Windows and IE pre-7.0, Lucida Sans is a poor choice for web text. Even listing it in second or third place is risky, as the experiment of the past 12 hours showed. But when most Windows users have transitioned to IE7 (which has better standards support than 6, and which enforces ClearType), Lucida Sans will be a perfectly fine option.

    Now back to Webkit versus Firefox.

  78. rafalski said on

    Jeffrey I can see you updated the css while I was still writing. I am a little sorry you had to go back to Trebuchet, as smooth Lucida looked much more appealing.

    Now a techie question – is there a way to detect whether Cleartype is on, ie with some Windows-specific scripting, to be safe with Lucida Sans? Sure we can test for IE7 and Vista – they’re almost sure to be Cleartype enabled. But then, serving browser-specific css is not what we have learnt from you as “good practice”, is it? :)

  79. reddit.com: newest submissions said on

    [...] Is Safari better than Firefox? (zeldman.com) [...]

  80. Safari typography better than Firefox? | Stylegala news November 2006 | Stylegala said on

    [...] Safari typography better than Firefox? [...]

  81. Greg said on

    You have some points here.

    Lucky for you Firefox is open source so you can jump right in and help fix the problem instead of helplessly complain.

    “He asked if I had reported “the bug” to the makers of Mozilla. But as I count it, there are multiple, overlapping Firefox bugs happening here—too many to fit into a bug-report form.”

    I guess it’s too much effort to fill out a bug-report but easier to write a three page article? Perhaps it’s that finding browser bugs simply gets more press that helping solve the problem . Perhaps it’s that revisiting the old and very tired PC vs. Mac fight is always good for a few “Amens!” from the crowd.

    In any case, I thought you were a problem solver and above this type of article. Guess not.

  82. lloyd27 said on

    onestly i don’t see so much difference to say that “safari’s better than firefox”.
    it may be better somewhere, but not at all..

  83. DK said on

    When I showed a friend and fellow designer these simple tests as I was working on them, he asked if I had reported “the bug” to the makers of Mozilla. But as I count it, there are multiple, overlapping Firefox bugs happening here—too many to fit into a bug-report form.

    I must say I was surprised to see that kind of attitude here. If everyone followed that kind of thought wouldn’t we still be using NN 4.x-like browsers? I’m not trying to be confrontational, that line just rubbed me the wrong way this morning lol.

  84. Aronnax said on

    Hi, a better title for this article would be:
    “Quartz better than Quickdraw ?”

    Firefox and Camino still use the old Quickdraw stuff – that`s all ;-)
    Firefox 3.0 and Camino as well will use Quartz and then they will have completely the same text handling.

    and it has nothing to with cross-platform stuff – it`s all Mac only stuff ;-)

    see also – for example:
    http://wiki.mozilla.org/Mac:Cairo
    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/josh/archives/2006/09/cocoa_widgets_are_default_on_t.html
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=121540

  85. bubb said on

    I find the main thing that Safari does better than Firefox, is have ColorSync support for images – Firefox doesn’t seem to do any color management at all, which is a shame as it appears to be fairly easy to add for the Mac, and surely not that hard in windows either?

  86. Hot Links - Archives said on

    [...] National Design Triennial 2006 is on view at the Cooper Hewitt museum in NYC from Dec 8 – July 29. #  copy [...]

  87. Julik said on

    Jeffrey, most of this has most likely to do with the fact that Mac Firefox still does not use ATSUI (Apple’s builtin font rendering system) because it would not work for them on 10.3

    Therefore you get font rendering that differs from the system antialiasing, and some odd font substitution problems when glyphs (or variants) cannot be found. Mac Firefox switched to Cairo tookit recently and the font rendering has been substantially revamped there. You chould take a look at the latest Firefox nightlies to see where it’s at now. Hope they will tackle ATSUI when they are done transitioning to Cairo in full (at least Unicode fonts are now properly supported with all their glyphs).

    This entry tells more about the changes which are now in Mozilla trunk:
    http://www.pavlov.net/blog/archives/2005/08/future_graphics.html

  88. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    If everyone followed that kind of thought wouldn’t we still be using NN 4.x-like browsers?

    As other posters have noted, one of these bugs—the hyphenation issue—was reported as long ago as 2001. Five years later, hyphenation in Firefox and other Gecko-based browsers is still broken. (Contrast with IE5/Mac, which got it right in 2000.)

    Why do such bugs linger in Bugzilla like unrefrigerated fruit? Probably because developers with the expertise to program an open source browser and the passion to do so are likely to view the hyphenation issue as a low priority owing the vagueness of that detail of the HTML 4 spec. (View their comments and see.)

    It’s natural for programmers to implement exact specifications and to avoid implementing inexplicit phrases.

    It’s equally natural for communication designers, writers, art directors, editors, and sensitive readers to know in their bones that text should wrap at a soft hyphen. A motivated programmer could make it happen without falling afoul of Romanian language issues or other edge-case issues.

    The trouble is that programmers and designers still don’t communicate enough.

    Although it has belatedly begun to realize it has this problem, the W3C has yet to sufficiently involve web designers in the creation of its specs, which is why in recent years the specs have drifted ever farther from the realm of facilitating communication and interaction for real users and the web developers who serve them.

    A parallel disconnect afflicts the open source community that brings us standards-focused products like Firefox and its Gecko engine.

    We could all do a better job of communicating.

    One way of communicating is write a critique based on experience and research, and that’s what I’ve done here. Some people may confusing writing a critique with being “unhelpful:” one poster suggested I program Gecko myself rather than complain about its small but significant and fixable flaws; if I were a browser developer, I would do that. But pointing out problems is not a negative or unhelpful activity, as anyone who has submitted work for review should know. We have standards in browsers, and we have tens of thousands of designers and developers who care about web standards and accessibility, precisely because a tiny group of us once made a very loud noise.

  89. MacNN | Apple, Macintosh and iPod news said on

    [...] At least one designer says that Safari is better than Firefox in terms of font rendering. A new blog post at Zeldman.com touts Safari’s font display engine, including handling of italics, hyphenation, antialiasing, and more. [...]

  90. mac.plug / Safari g�r� said on

    [...] … przynajmniej je�li idzie o renderowanie tekstu.   [...]

  91. MacUser: Dear Firefox, why does your text handling suck? said on

    [...] I’ll pick myself out of that rathole and get back on point. Many Mac users actually use Firefox as their primary browser (before Safari, OmniWeb, and Camino). Things just look prettier to me in Safari and WebKit-based browsers. I could never put my finger on it, but Jeffrey Zeldman has nailed it at least in what may be just two of many ways. [...]

  92. Matt Brown said on

    @Neil & Jeffrey:

    The WinXP and IE6 Lucida issue is a strange one, and one that I’ve delt with on my own site. The issue seems to be with calling “Lucida Sans” on the PC (especially with ClearType disabled).

    If you call “Lucida Sans Unicode” instead, there should be no issues (all users who reported the bug on my site, claimed that this fixed the display). Of course, the Unicode varient is also a much different font–perhaps the solution is to conditionally comment Unicode for IE6 only, until most people are running IE7.

  93. Final Cut Studio User Group» Archivio Portale » Safari è meglio di Firefox? said on

    [...] Ecco il link all’articolo di Zeldman. [...]

  94. Yuck-foo.be » Blog Archive » Browsrcamp said on

    [...] Op Zeldman.com staat er vandaag trouwens ook een zeer interessant artikel omtrend de verschillen tussen Safari & Firefox ( en waarom Safari beter is ). Posted by Karel Filed in Tech [...]

  95. John Muir said on

    Damn you Google Sync, come out on Safari already, hint hint!

    Firefox’s capacity for customisation gives it a place on my Mac. But Safari feels the better browser and looks it too as shown here. Safari 3 will bring some features that I just hate to be without, but a real plugin ecosystem like Firefox and Apple’s own Dashboard no less would be warmly received by myself and many…

  96. John Lascurettes said on

    Just a quick side-topic note of semantics:

    The opposite of anti-aliased rendering is not elegantly described as non-anti-aliased. It is, after-all, the aliased nature of type on computer screens that anti-aliasing spruces up.

  97. Recommendations from a recent switcher | andreagandino.com said on

    [...] While on Windows I use Firefox, and even if all of the gecko based browsers plus Opera are still available for Mac OS X, I feel like Safari does the job just fine, and that for some things (fonts display?) it is even better than its competitors. [...]

  98. AccessBlog - Nachrichten ber Barrierefreies Webdesign: Einfach fr Alle said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman: Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  99. Lee said on

    Interestingly, I run WaMCom – which is based on Mozilla 1.3.1 – on Mac OS 9, as it is the most recent browser supported on OS 9 (apart from iCab 3, which sadly still has a lot of problems). In this browser, the text renders witnhout any problems, apart from the non-beaking hypen.

  100. Scott Fannen said on

    Definitely an issue for people who like smooth text.

    I much prefer the text handling in Safari (and that it uses the Mac OS spellchecker) to Firefox’s but I’d guess that it would be a QuickDraw vs Quartz issue too. As a person who selects text on a page as I get bored, that REALLY shows the problems and moving from tab to tab can bring the bad things out too.

    That said – Firefox is more compatible and I can use both Google Bookmark Sync (why should I have to pay for .Mac?) and the Yahoo Mail Beta (which is a pleasure to use on a fast connection).

    That’s why Firefox is my current default browser – again a reminder that the content is more important that the tool (Yahoo Mail Beta is compelling enough for me to change browser). Also a reminder that at least we have choice now – rather than a competing pair of crashy browsers like in the old days (the old days when I didn’t need a degree to code HTML).

    Then again, when Leopard comes out?

    Scott :)

  101. Joshua Blankenship | Blog » Zeldman - Safari is Better than Firefox said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman ponders whether Safari is better than Firefox. People, I tried. I honestly did. I tried to use Firefox. It’s just… not… pretty. And why does it render text so poorly? [...]

  102. Ryan Irelan » Switch said on

    [...] Go! There’s something about Safari that just feels more comfortable. And hey, text renders better :) [...]

  103. Zeldman: Safari text handling better than FF - MozillaZine Forums said on

    [...] Posted: Nov Wed 29th 2006 12:48pm      From Zeldman’s website: [...]

  104. Sean Hills said on

    Firefox for Mac OS X has always given people problems. From it eating up computer memory and just being slow as hell even on the fastest Mac computer. I use Camino and haven’t had a problem since I started using it. To me Camino is the firefox for the Mac without all the extensions.

  105. WebHed Design said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? – Wed, 29 Nov 2006 22:47:11 GMT [...]

  106. The New Browser ‘War’? at The Apple Blog said on

    [...] A couple days ago I began to write about this post by Zeldman. But then I saw it referenced in another place or two, and thought it not significant enough to devote my time to. But this thing just keeps popping up, and it’s got me thinking again. [...]

  107. Erin Kissane said on

    Grr. I wish Google’s apps worked a bit better on Safari. Once they do, I can switch back; while I like the way Camino handles some things, I really miss the beautiful text in Safari. Nice critique, sir!

  108. A Funkaoshi Production (Page 2) said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? Yes.  # [...]

  109. We The Creative » While I Was Out said on

    [...] Zeldman showed why Firefox ain’t perfect. [...]

  110. Mozilla Taiwan 討論區: Firefox 對文字處理不佳 said on

    [...] Before I start, I know that I am likely to face attack on this. However, I believe a good forum should accept negative comments. Jeffrey Zeldman, co-founder of The Web Standards Projects, conducted some test between Firefox (Mac version) and Safari. From his findings, Firefox’s handling of text is poor. And we also know that Firefox browser has notpassed Acid2 test. Safari passed Acid2 test. Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/418.9.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/419.3 [...]

  111. rope access sydney said on

    What is the best. Firfox or Safari?

    Does just the average surfer notice thge difference or is it only noticeable by pros?

    Cheers, mike king

  112. James said on

    The problem is that there are plenty of websites that don’t look good at all in Safari.

    Where are these mythical sites?
    My main problem is sites look rubbish in anything but Safari, when I’m not using Safari then all I can think about is how rubbish the anti-aliasing looks.
    Especially on windows, cleartype is a typographic shambles (I disagree with LCD trick of the eye hinting on osx too but at least osx doesn’t leave loads of aliased accenders and other nastyness) even when painstakingly tweaked there are still bits of text on me screen that look brown or yellow when they should look black!

    The monochromatic (“standard” smoothing) anti-alias on osx is the most glorious feast on the eyes when browsing the internet. I really can’t see myself using anything but Safari ever again, on a quality screen its almost as good as reading a printed page.

  113. Brett said on

    [off-topic] Hey Zeldman – your RSS feed doesn’t validate!

  114. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    [off-topic] Hey Zeldman – your RSS feed doesn’t validate!

    We are working on solving that problem.

  115. Tim Hill said on

    meh; don’t think this should be priority for firefox. i’m sure there are many other bugs or enhancements they could put time towards…

  116. Sarah said on

    [OT - RSS feeds] Looks like it’s definately a WordPress issue, or maybe a plugin that you’re using? The same issue that appears in the RSS feed appears in the Atom feed, which is that there’s an error in the content appearing next to a malformed UTF-8 sequence (a bit that should be 0xe2, 0x80, 0x93 – – by what I’m seeing). I’d suggest a possible fix, but as I don’t really know WordPress all that well, or what your configuration is… well, yeah.

  117. Sarah said on

    [OT] It stripped my entity out. Was supposed to be an escaped entity for U+2013 (ndash). Meh.

  118. SimpleBits | Safari better than Firefox? said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? Proof of Safari’s typographic superiority. [...]

  119. Paul Stamatiou said on

    It would be nice if you could show comparison shots side by side in one image.. hard to compare two at the same time.

  120. Aleksandar said on

    I have noticed the same problem on Windows too. Actually, this is a general problem on Windows – italics always look ugly, thus I resorted to:

    em, i, cite, blockquote {
    font-family: “Trebuchet MS”, serif;
    }

    to have a nicer looking letters. This I do no matter what regular font I use, until recently when I started experimenting with MS new fonts (the C-pack).

  121. Suckerfish HoverLightbox - Monday By Noon said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? Zeldman compares text rendering in Safari and Firefox [...]

  122. Chris said on

    IE7 has an option to turn off ClearType, so you can never be sure the user has it on.

  123. Web Design References: Typography said on

    [...] Safari Better than Firefox? – Jeffrey Zeldman. [...]

  124. CSS Drive News- Safari better than Firefox? said on

    [...] Design News Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  125. Marcus Schleder said on

    Regarding what George said about hyphenation: in portuguese, we have two different uses for the hyphen too: as in english we say “Talk me” if wrote in portuguese would be “Talk-me”. So, would be strange if the browser split the word in two, understanding that we are using the hyphen in the “soft” way.

  126. Danny Dawson said on

    Zeldman: I think you hit the nail on the head when you point out that many of these problems are due to lack of communication between developers and designers. I think that blog entries like this one go a long way in motivating the public to recognize software flaws, but on their own, entries like this do little to actually effect change.

    The main problem I have with your entry is the response you gave to your friend who recommended filing a bug on bugzilla.mozilla.org. Yes, it seems you found more than one bug, but why would that give you any less reason to notify the application’s developers? The developers have given you a direct line into their process by opening bugzilla up to the public, and you chose not to use this tool of communication.

    Again, I don’t think that your blog post is worthless, and I wouldn’t assert that exclusively filing bugs would get them fixed. Developers are unlikely to fix a bug that they view as low-priority unless there is sufficient public interest in seeing it fixed. If you had instead filed bugs for the issues you discovered and found preexisting bugs for issues you confirmed, you could have then given direct links to your extensive audience in order to give them something to do once you’ve riled them up and rallied them behind you.

    I would suggest that people who have accused you of being “unhelpful” did so because you had such an opportunity and (whether through intention or oversight) failed to make use of it.

  127. Ben said on

    Ah, nice to see someone else has picked up on the many, many typographical deficiencies in Firefox. I first noticed it when I was working on the G5’s at my old college (building and debug/testing sites in both browsers), and it quite honestly disheartened me. Firefox can do what it does well, as long as it’s not trying to render text. And unfortunately… text tends to be the most important thing on a site, a fundamental folly in the Mozilla Foundation’s court.

    Ideally, if Firefox could get these simple things down and do what Safari has been doing well since OS X hit the shelves, it would definitely be the best browser out there (for the majority of circumstances anyway). As has been mentioned though, the distinct lack of discourse between those building the software and those using the software causes schisms in the development process, and these simple mistakes remain. I think something Mozilla definitely need to do is prompt those who design websites for public consumption for ideas and suggestions in an open forum that is actually worthwhile, not just a simple response-based thing that ultimately leads to no answers. As it stands, we’re only seeing developers developing for developers, not developers developing for everyone. It’s made its mark in web-based society very clearly, I think it’s time Mozilla definitely start playing ball like a big-leaguer rather than keeping the low-key profile they had initially.

    Firefox is a good browser, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the fundamental basics have been overlooked in preference for shinier, less useful features for far too long.

  128. Chris said on

    I just noticed the URL title for this post is “safari-beats-firefox”. This is different from the actual title “Safari better than Firefox?”. That implies that Safari might not be better, but the URL implies it definitely is.

  129. Shodown > View topic - firefox 2.0 said on

    [...] Font problems in Firefox as opposed to Safari: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/   [...]

  130. Shell Extension City -- View topic - Why designers are not programmers - Zeldman whines said on

    [...] For those of you that have not followed this the great and powerful Zeldman has decided that because FF has not fixed a hyphen issue it is a bug and not a complex systemic problem. [...]

  131. Alessandro said on

    What about colour rendition, respect of color profiles in images – photographs? I don’t think it’s complete, but in Safari you can correctly get an srgb profile, while FF shows only monitor rendition. My PC-savvy photographs, in FF, are washed out on Mac FF.

  132. ihcra said on

    isn’t firefox still a carbon app as opposed to cocoa. surely its just this that holds it back in font support and antialiasing.

    no doubt there are technical reasons (or laziness) as to why ff is still a carbon app.

    i spend 50% of my surfing time in netnewswire which is webkit (renders identically to safari) but its js support is poor.

  133. dlachez said on

    Now that I’ve had time to sober up, I take umbrage to the fry-cook,(Is the hyphen really necessary?), remark. Who is the great Zeldman that he can slight worthy professionals. To watch a skilled fry-cook at work, drunk or not, is to a witness choreographed chaos.
    I suggest Mr. Zeldman move his nose from behind his Cinema HD and take a look around. He might find others performing everyday, so called mundane jobs with as much zest and creativity as any typographer.

  134. Max Design - standards based web design, development and training » Some links for light reading (5/12/06) said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  135. Montoya said on

    I still can’t stand Safari for its terrible form settings.

  136. Dan Frommer said on

    Not sure if this is a quirk, a bug, or just the fact that it’s past 3 a.m., but I seem to have found an annnoying hole in Safari’s admittedly gorgeous text rendering.

    In my style sheets, I have specified that a headline font should first try to display at “DINMittelschrift” (and then I follow up with more common cross-platform fonts. (I realize this is ambitious because few people will have this font installed.) In Firefox and even IE (both on a Mac), it works perfectly. In Safari, however, it displays the first alphabetical font in the DIN family, DINEngschrift, which is significantly more condensed and doesn’t look good in context. This won’t suffice.

    I tried a few workarounds including specifying the exact display name that the Font Book application gave me, to no avail. What sucks is that the few people who *do* have the proper font will probably be using a Mac and will get a subpar experience. Any ideas from the gallery now that this post has been dugg to high heaven?

  137. Marty said on

    Maybe the crdit does not go to safari, maybe the credit belongs to konqueror and the KHTML engine.

    As for font systems, I find that if you have freetype enabled in Linux (fedora) and the windows fonts installed, it gives windows a thrashing in font rendering. Konqueror still looks better then firefox, but firefox (fonts) looks better then its windows sibling.

  138. سافاری فایرفاکس را شکست می دهد said on

    [...] سافاری فایرفاکس را شکست می دهد  ـ۹ کلیک http://www.zeldman.com [...]

  139. سافاری فایرفاکس را شکست می دهد said on

    [...] سافاری فایرفاکس را شکست می دهد  ـ۱۱ کلیک http://www.zeldman.com [...]

  140. Talk to me goose! Firefox. OSX. Text Rendering. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? - Topic Powered by eve community said on

    [...] sidekick Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Tribus: Denmark Registered: June 16, 2002 Posts: 326 Posted document.write(”+ myTimeZone(‘Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:17:00 GMT-0800′, ‘December 07, 2006 15:17′)+”); December 07, 2006 15:17     You are not the only one. And there’s no fix, if this is what you are talking about. [...]

  141. fonts - SWiK said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman Presents : Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  142. Matthias said on

    > Is Safari better than Firefox?

    Small question: Firefox use per default it’s own font-size “16px” and not the font-size given by the os platform. If you use Windows than you can switch between “small font (96dpi)” and “big font (120dpi)”. Firefox ignore this and use it’s own default font-size.
    Safari use the font-size given by the os platform.

    Next question: Did the sample page use font-size “px” or “em”. Firefox have some trouble with “em”. Safari not.

    If anyone will make a real test, to see what Firefox and Safari will do on a site that use Web Standards with relative font-size “em”, so he can do that on http://www.aadmm.de. This site is available in german and english and have capabilities to test or compare browsers for compliance of Web Standards. It’s also reachable for person with disabilities.

  143. iPodNN | Fonts/text: Safari better than Firefox said on

    [...] 11/27/2006, 9:25pm, EST Monday, November 27th Fonts/text: Safari better than Firefox Although Firefox offers advanced support for the Document Object Model to MIME types, at least one designer says that Safari is better than Firefox in terms of font rendering. A new blog post at Zeldman.com touts Safari’s font display engine, including handling of italics, hyphenation, antialiasing, and more. [...]

  144. Phlooid - Safari better than Firefox? said on

    [...] web development, joomla! extensions, and relevant news web2.0 alpha Safari better than Firefox? Monday, 27 November 2006 Safari handles text much more beautifully and accurately than Firefox.Read more at: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/.   digg this site bookmark on del.icio.us css xhtml 508 headlines [...]

  145. Scott Ahten said on

    Just downloaded Gran Paradiso, which is a milestone for the next major version of Firefox and uses Quartz instead of Quickdraw.

    While it’s an early alpha, they seemed to have fixed the bold after italic text, but still doesn’t hyphenate correctly. It also passes the Acid 2 test!

    FYI: It appears that the Firefox team is short on testers for Mac OS X and could use assistance testing this build…

    http://perso.hirlimann.net/~ludo/blog/archives/2006/12/a_day_for_a_gecko.html

    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/firefox/3.0a1/releasenotes/

  146. Fred K said on

    Here’s a fun little test for you. The assumption is that you have Adobe CS installed on your computer. Assume also that you have installed the accompanying fonts into your computer’s font folder (on the Mac this means the main font folder, not the individual user’s font folder). Then use Myriad Pro as your main font (a font set I like to use while playing includes a) Myriad Pro, b) Lucida Grande, c) Geneva, d) Verdana and obviously e) sans-serif — I’ve given up on Lucida Sans). Now do the Safari vs. Firefox dance, on one and the same Mac preferably, and tell me: isn’t there a remarkable difference in handling between the 2? (Hint: Myriad Pro looks godawful in Firefox and sugarsweet in Safari. ;D

  147. journal :: hicksdesign   Ο° said on

    [...] As highlighted recently by Jeffrey Zeldman, Firefox text rendering lags behind that of Safari, or rather Gecko lags behind WebKit. This is because at present, Gecko browsers use the older Quickdraw graphics library, originally developed for OS 9, rather than Quartz, or the more recent Core Image libraries. Its been the main reason I prefer Omniweb or Safari over Camino/Firefox, text just looks SO much crisper and smoother. [...]

  148. Firefox 3.0a1 erschienen - MacUser Community! said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox? [...]

  149. IRMUG :: Iranian Macintosh User Group said on

    [...] بهنام جان این رو دیدی؟ http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox چیزهایی که زلدمان اینجا گفته هنوز صدق می‌کنه؟ [...]

  150. Brajeshwar | Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1 released & why should you try it said on

    [...] Till Firefox 2.0, the Gecko engine use the old Quickdraw graphics library (originally developed for OS9). With the upcoming new Firefox 3.0, it uses Quartz or Cairo, the more recent Core Image libraries. Safari have been using this for a long time. This is one reason why Text looks much crisper, smoother and clear on the new Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1 codenamed Gran Paradiso. Jeffrey Zeldman have a nice article on text render handling at – Safari better than Firefox?. [...]

  151. mezzoblue  §  Opacity Bugs said on

    [...] The heading and paragraph appear to be oddly affected by the opacity property, but on hover they restore their proper values. On first glance it appeared they were picking up the image’s opacity value of 0.8 as well, but when I bumped that down to 0.1 they didn’t adjust accordingly. So it seems more like the anti-aliasing level is different between normal and hover states. There’s no logical reason for this, it’s a big old bug, and I suspect somehow related to Gecko’s poor italic handling due to both possibly being the result of poor anti-aliasing handling. [...]

  152. Gecko vs WebKit vs Cairo ta ta taratatara « gp said on

    [...] Safari better than Firefox?di Jeffrey Zeldman [...]

  153. Chris said on

    According to the official site for Firefox 3 Alpha 1. Note the last part!

    “The Cairo graphics system has drastically changed the way all text and images are rendered from previous versions of Gecko, so occasional misrenderings of non-latin scripts and fonts may occur.”

  154. Emile said on

    Why bother discussing a browser that only works on Mac?

  155. Problems with font rendering on Macs | clagnut/blog said on

    [...] Just recently Jeffrey Zeldman has been bemoaning the sub-standard state of text rendering in Firefox on a Mac. And the sad truth is he only skimmed the surface of type rendering problems across browsers. Never mind trying to pick a typeface which most people will have installed; Firefox, Safari, Opera and Camino may render even the same font differently. [...]

  156. Frank Taillandier said on

    Jeffrey, you might be interested to read the presentation of Gecko 1.9 improvements.

  157. My daily linkdump archive : salehoffline.com said on

    [...] جمعه،30 دسامبر 2006 » صدام حسین اعدام شد چهارشنبه،28 دسامبر 2006 » صد وب سایت به درد بخور در سال گذشته میلادیاز گاردین دوشنبه،26 دسامبر 2006 » دومین روزان من » نمودار آبشاری دعوت های نوشتن درباره شب یلداکار جالبی از جادی، مثل همیشه جمعه،23 دسامبر 2006 » کافه‌بلاگ، کافه نادری تحت ويندوزراجع به کافه بلاگ، یادش بخیر با بچه های ققنوسان اونجا زیاد دور هم جمع می شدیم، من آخرش هم صاحب یکی از اون ” ماگ” هاشون نشدم. چهارشنبه،21 دسامبر 2006 » بازی يلدا در وبلاگستان سه‌شنبه،20 دسامبر 2006 » نمایی از دسک تاپ سیستم عامل های مختلف از اولین اپل و ویندوز 1 تا لئوپاردفوق العادس » مقاله ای خوب راجع به موتورهای جستجوی مختلف و دلایل استفاده از هر کدامشانهمیشه از گوگل یا یاهو استفاده نکنید یکشنبه،18 دسامبر 2006 » شما به انتخاب تایم به عنوان شخصیت مهم جهان در سال 2006 انتخاب شدیدممنون از یک پزشک عزیز بابت ترجمه اش پنجشنبه،15 دسامبر 2006 » روياهای ژاپنی ما محبوبترين کارتونهای دوران کودکی ما ده شصت و پنجاهی ها » فهرست نامزدهای گلدن گوب سه‌شنبه،13 دسامبر 2006 » بیست و یک توصیه اثر بخش برای داشتن بلاگی موفقمختصر و مفید » چهارده موضوعی که پنجاه سال طول کشید بهشون برسم سه‌شنبه، 6 دسامبر 2006 » سافاری فایرفاکس را شکست می دهد » ایمیل 10 دقیقه ایآدرسی که تنها برای 10 دقیقه اعتبار دارد و پس از این مدت از بین می رود، جالب و بعضا بدرد بخور » سی و یک راه مختلف برای بستن بند کفش Xml [...]

  158. Personal Bytes » Visual comparison of major OS’s font rendering said on

    [...] João Antunes January 8th, 2007 at 1:09 am Did you used Firefox or Safari on the OS X screenshots? Safari handles text much better than Firefox: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ [...]

  159. 내가 맥에서 Safari를 사용하지 못하는 이유 : 글꼴 - Blog of Hyeonseok - 신현석(Hyeonseok Shin) said on

    [...] 하지만 사파리를 사용하지 못하는 결정적인 이유가 있는데 바로 글꼴 문제이다. 맥오에스에는 기본적으로 애플고딕(AppleGothic), 애플명조(AppleMyoungjo)라는 글꼴이 제공된다. 그런데 정말 충격적인 것이 이 글꼴들은 기본형(regular)만 있을 뿐이지 볼드, 이탤릭 등의 대부분의 폰트들이 가지고 있는 기초적인 형태가 없다. 어쩔 수 없이 프로그램이 강제로 이러한 형태를 만들어 줘야 한다. 파이어폭스는 다행히도 (품질은 좀 떨어지지만) 프로그램 수준에서 이러한 형태들을 만들어 준다. 하지만 사파리의 경우에는 이러한 구현을 하지 않고 있다. 다시 말해서 사파리에서는 한글에 볼드나 이탤릭 효과를 준 것을 볼 수 없다는 말이다. [...]

  160. Safari browser to come to Windows? - Download Squad said on

    [...] Safari browser to come to Windows? (1/13/2007) [...]

  161. yuiichi: Safari vs. Firefox: The Never-ending Story said on

    [...] Knowing the little I do know about Apple, I would expect Safari to be a great browser. [...]

  162. MacVolPlace - News Archive - November 2006 said on

    [...] This post titled ‘Safari better than Firefox?’ is very interesting. L. Jeffrey Zeldman spends a good deal of time listing all the things that are right with Firefox’s engine, but one thing that is very wrong is text rendering. Safari, according to Zeldman and my eyes, renders text much better than Firefox. It is true that Safari is Mac only, so it need not worry about cross platform text rendering, but that doesn’t change the fact that text looks very nice in Safari and not so nice in Firefox. [...]

  163. Elsewhere.subtraction.com: November 2006 Links said on

    [...] Zeldman: Safari v. Firefox in Text Rendering [...]

  164. Safari or Firefox? - The Something Awful Forums said on

    [...] I might be crazy but things just “look” better in Safari. You’re not crazy — things DO look better in Safari. Text rendering in particular. http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ [...]

  165. The Miscellaneous Pile: Weekly Rant: The Sad State of OS X Web Browsers said on

    [...] Ever since I’ve “switched” to the Mac, I’ve come to realize the biggest shortcoming of the OS X experience: The web browser. It’s the one element I miss most from Windows (besides Sony Vegas, but that’s another post). We as Mac users have many browser choices, over a hundred according to this site, but they’re all flawed in one way or another. Let’s briefly go through all the biggest players. … [...]

  166. Mebel said on

    Regarding what George said about hyphenation: in portuguese, we have two different uses for the hyphen too: as in english we say “Talk me” if wrote in portuguese would be “Talk-me”. So, would be strange if the browser split the word in two, understanding that we are using the hyphen in the “soft” way.

  167. PI: Firefox 3 al suo secondo provino said on

    [...] Per quanto concerne la versione Mac OS X, i widgets Cocoa già utilizzati su Camino sostituiranno i precedenti Carbon, e verrà sfruttata la potente tecnologia di CoreImage con lo scopo di ottenere un rendering grafico più veloce e preciso. Con queste novità Mozilla Corporation auspica finalmente di risolvere le note difficoltà del proprio browser nel rendering dei testi e nell’antialiasing, avvicinandosi ai livelli di Opera e Safari.Altra notizia che farà felici soprattutto gli addetti ai lavori è l’ottima compatibilità con le specifiche CSS.  [...]

  168. tanie linie lotnicze said on

    In my opinion Firefox is better than Safari but what about IE 7.0?

  169. Vulture Droppings said on

    [...] Feb 09 2007 This is what I know about web browsers: My parents Netscape sucks and so does their Internet Explorer. In technical language I don’t know why this is, but I do know that when I use Safari everything seems better and easier. Things look better and text isn’t all over the place. Recently most persons I know have decided to download a web browser called Firefox. When asked why they site security and pop-up reasons: Firefox has better security and less pop-ups. Firefox is also a “free software” meaning that a user can use it for any purpose, study it’s source code, adapt it to their needs, redistribute it and no one cares (it also happens to be free of cost, but this is a coincidence). To me, Firefox is a little too nerd chic. It’s blocky and reminds me of Netscape. On Safari the internet has a far better aesthetic value, and I’ll forgo a few bookmarking and security perks if it means looking at something pretty as opposed to something ugly. Safari wins? Top 10 reasons to switch to FireFox brain-hurting browser comparison Which browser is best? [...]

  170. Aukcje said on

    I like Firefox more then Safari becouse is faster. Did you know that you can significantly speed up Firefox? You can find manual how to easily tweak Firefox over here: http://www.miscproject.com/blog/about/

  171. Non-Native UI Sucks (reddit.com) said on

    [...] Camino still doesn’t quite feel native — it does an OK job of emulating native widgets in forms but doesn’t quite get all of them right, and it’s still based on Gecko which means it still has noticeably different font rendering from Safari (Zeldman has some good examples, and still doesn’t handle some CSS niceties that Safari does (like text-shadow). [...]

  172. Infonauti - Informazioni a 360 gradi per in Naviganti: Firefox 3 al suo secondo provino said on

    [...] Roma – Firefox 2 è stato rilasciato solo da un pugno di mesi e già si parla della versione successiva, la 3, attualmente conosciuta col nome in codice di Gran Paradiso. La prima alpha di Gran Paradiso, infatti, è stata pubblicata a sole due settimane di distanza dal debutto di Firefox 2, mentre mercoledì sera ha visto la luce la seconda alpha. A questo punto, il rilascio della prima versione beta dovrebbe avvenire nel giro di qualche settimana. [...]

  173. The Geek Culture Forums: Ramen Noodle Fanatic said on

    [...] posted February 13, 2007 14:07                           Here’s an article about the kinds of things I mean. But I guess it’s down to individual preference. I couldn’t live without anti-aliasing any more.——————–Got a Mac with OS X 10.4? Play with The Circle Monster. Or read my blog. Posts: 762 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged [...]

  174. Melaleggo - Il portale del Final Cut Apple User Group» Archivio Portale » Safari è meglio di Firefox? said on

    [...] Ecco il link all’articolo di Zeldman. [...]

  175. Apogeonline - Aspettando Firefox 3 said on

    [...] Con questa novità il team Mozilla punta anche a sanare una volta per tutte il noto tallone d’Achille di Firefox: la qualità di rendering dei testi, additata da più parti come scadente. Sempre per i sistemi OS X, qualche novità è prevista anche per i widget: i vecchi Carbon saranno sostituiti dai Cocoa, già utilizzati su Camino, altro browser di casa Mozilla specifico per Mac. Altre modifiche di carattere tecnico riguardano l’implementazione di alcune caratteristiche Css avanzate, il modello di threading, il sistema di invio di eventi Dom come da specifiche, ed il sistema di caricamento degli elementi <object> delle pagine web. [...]

  176. Applepeels: A scary thought for Apple users said on
  177. Romina Miersch said on

    Ideally, if Firefox could get these simple things down and do what Safari has been doing well since OS X hit the shelves, it would definitely be the best browser out there (for the majority of circumstances anyway). As has been mentioned though, the distinct lack of discourse between those building the software and those using the software causes schisms in the development process, and these simple mistakes remain. I think something Mozilla definitely need to do is prompt those who design websites for public consumption for ideas and suggestions in an open forum that is actually worthwhile, not just a simple response-based thing that ultimately leads to no answers.

  178. Thermage said on

    Till Firefox 2.0, the Gecko engine use the old Quickdraw graphics library (originally developed for OS9). With the upcoming new Firefox 3.0, it uses Quartz or Cairo, the more recent Core Image libraries. Safari have been using this for a long time.

  179. Biustonosze said on

    So we can only wait for FF3.0…

  180. Printmode: Linked List: December 2006 said on

    [...] Typography: Safari better than Firefox? ☮ [...]

  181. Macenstein » Macenstein Archive » Using Safari can slow your system down as much as 76% vs Firefox said on
  182. kostenloser Versicherungsvergleich said on

    Very interesting article. I am in firefox now and it is butchering the text on this page.

  183. Dan said on

    Interesting article. Perhaps you should have included some of the shortcomings of Safari and made a balanced argument.

  184. Shannon said on

    I was having terrible problems with text-rendering in Firefox. The bold and italics were always separated from normal text by big spaces. Then, I reinstalled Arial and it magically solved all my problems. Hopefully this will work for any others who have had a similar problem.

  185. gutschein said on

    Great website. I use firefox, now. I love firefox.

  186. MacOSX.nl :: Bekijk onderwerp - Foto(kleur)weergave verschillend met FF en Safari said on

    [...] I find the main thing that Safari does better than Firefox, is have ColorSync support for images – Firefox doesnt seem to do any color management at all. -> http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ Vertrouw maar op Safari, de kleuren in Firefox zijn echt slecht. Edit: precies wat iJoost zegt._________________Een beetje moe? Klik hier en je bent weer helemaal fris. [...]

  187. فایرفاکس یا سافاری؟ : پسر فهمیده said on

    [...] رضا در روز March 15, 2007 و ساعت 7:21 pm گفته: سافاری فونت رو خیلی بهتر نشون می‌ده. روی مک من (G4) فایرفاکس واقعا کنده. این مطلب زلدمان رو هم ببینی بد نیست: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox [...]

  188. Kent Smith said on

    A note about soft-hyphens and Firefox. There’s a piece of javascript, which its author describes as a “nasty business”, that works quite elegantly in making Firefox recognize and properly process the “­” soft-hyphen character. It doesn’t affect the already-proper rendering in IE and Opera. You can see it in action on my site — http://www.dafne-opera.net. The bit of code is at http://cheerleader.yoz.com/a/20050118shy/shy.html.

  189. problemloeser » Blog Archive » Mac-ify Wordpress said on

    [...] Obwohl sich die WordPress-Entwickler Mühe gegeben haben, sieht die Admin Oberfläche von WordPress nicht wirklich toll aus – gleiches gilt für die Bedienung derselben. Das Teil sieht aus, als hätten Windows-Nutzer eine Oberfläche für andere Windows-Nutzer gebastelt. Da brennen dem gemeinen Apple-Enthusiasten die Augen. Dass Mac-Nutzer besonders benachteiligt werden, kann man auch daran sehen, dass es die praktischen Knöpfe, die einem das Tippen von HTML-Tags abnehmen, unter Safari nicht gibt. Warum eigentlich nicht? Denn laut Zeldman ist Safari ja sogar einen Tacken besser als Firefox was die Unterstützung von Web Standards angeht. [...]

  190. Horoskop said on

    Firefox for Mac OS X has always given people problems – it’s an old story. From it eating up computer memory and just being slow as hell even on the fastest Mac computer. I use Camino and haven’t had a problem since I started using it. To me Camino is the firefox for the Mac without all the extensions.

  191. BMW Gebrauchtwagen said on

    I was having terrible problems with text-rendering in Firefox. The bold and italics were always separated from normal text by big spaces. Then, I reinstalled Arial and it magically solved all my problems. Hopefully this will work for any others who have had a similar problem.

  192. Base said on

    Nice article, but I still prefer firefox. There are so many usefull extensions for Firefox available.

  193. Kooperation said on

    as a apple manaic, there is no discussion: SAFARI on my mac! ME on the lap!

  194. eshop agentur said on

    “Why bother discussing a browser that only works on Mac? ”

    yupp! ;-)

  195. web browser??? - AppleInsider said on

    [...] Originally Posted by Mr. Me With rare exception, I see no difference in how Safari and Camino render pages. Could you give a link to a page which the two browsers render differently? Wikipedia. Also, http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ [...]

  196. klixi said on

    I’d have to assume that most of the firefox downloads were from developers, designers, journalists, and other browser manufacturers, not actual users. We’ll see the actual user numbers after firefox is available as via Windows Update. (Keep in mind, it’s an optional update — Microsoft isn’t forcing users to upgrade.)

  197. gry said on

    Interesting article. Perhaps you should have included some of the shortcomings of Safari and made a balanced argument.

    p gry :)

  198. Musikmesse said on

    I have installed different browsers for different view-results and different solutions…. (my experience shows that I needed them manytimes..) but it´s an interesting article anyway !!! (Maybe one day there will be the one browser that shows everything correctly…)

  199. Bedava Mesaj said on

    i think, that you can not compare safari and firefox!

  200. Geld said on

    Fantastic article covering some points I really needed some good usability info for. Thanks

  201. Frei SMS said on

    safari is very good :)

  202. DVD said on

    Great article, can I translate it and put on my site?

  203. Michael said on

    Hi there,

    thanks for this great article! As a MacUser i’m glad to hear that our browser beats firefox ;-)

    I’m going to translate this article into german and give you response asap!

    Cheers,
    Michael

  204. celebrity news said on

    This site is interesting and very informative, nicely interface. Enjoyed browsing through the site

  205. Olbernhau said on

    It’s good to know that there are still other browsers beside IE and Firefox.

  206. Onlinegames said on

    Great and excellent article t’s realy helpful. Thanks again.

  207. Newsblues said on

    There is a serious type tracking problem with Mac Firefox that doesn’t exist in any other Mac or Windows browser I’ve seen: certain typefaces will be rendered much too tightly at some sizes, but properly at others. It’s bizarre. For example, Mac Firefox will render 12px Georgia horribly but 13px Georgia fine! I’ve put up a couple of screenshots that show this clearly regardless of what browser/platform you’re on. You can see them here.

    Another problem (less serious, but still annoying) is that in Mac Firefox you can’t drag bookmarks and bookmark folders around within the regular bookmark menus, the way you can in Windows Firefox. You have to do everything from inside the “Organize Bookmarks” window, just like in other (non-Firefox) browsers.

  208. Maca said on

    Knowing the little I do know about Apple, I would expect Safari to be a great browser. But i think Firefox still the BEST…

  209. Leba kwatery prywatne said on

    Are there any Safari versions for Windows or Linux?

  210. Schwimmbecken said on

    that would interest me, too. i dont’ t have Mac OS but I would test it gladly.

  211. Biurka said on

    This site is interesting and very informative, nicely interface. Enjoyed browsing through the site

  212. Schlagzeug said on

    interesting site here ! I still think for different pages it could be usefull to have differnt browsers installed…. some things work better with the one – some with the other….

  213. myip said on

    mozilla )firefox) is much better because have so many usefull extensions

  214. Aukcje said on

    Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!

  215. axe said on

    Zeldman Presents : Safari better than Firefox?

  216. Dieta said on

    Yes, Sarafi is better than firefox and faster.

  217. Jelenia Góra said on

    Firefox better, more plugins, more trust more secur more friendly :D

  218. Bueroreinigung said on

    I still prefer firefox. There are so many usefull extensions for Firefox available.
    http://firefox.erweiterungen.de/

  219. einemillioneurohomepage said on

    This post titled ‘Safari better than Firefox?’ is very interesting. L. Jeffrey Zeldman spends a good deal of time listing all the things that are right with Firefox’s engine, but one thing that is very wrong is text rendering. Safari, according to Zeldman and my eyes, renders text much better than Firefox.

  220. Tapeten said on

    tried a few workarounds including specifying the exact display name that the Font Book application gave me, to no avail. What sucks is that the few people who *do* have the proper font will probably be using a Mac and will get a subpar experience. Any ideas from the gallery now that this post has been dugg to high heaven?

  221. josh said on

    I still can’t stand Safari for its terrible form settings.

  222. bash said on

    Safari is the best

  223. Praca said on

    I prefer FireFox. I think it’s the best.

  224. Erin Seale said on

    I find firefox completely unusable (screenshot) because of the poor way it displays type on a mac. I’m surprised more people haven’t posted about this.

  225. Noclegi said on

    Erin Seale,good point.

  226. Srebro said on

    well, first of all i apologise if my english weren’t very accurate. I have a doubt, couldn’t this be a new avenue of malware, like somebody saying “Hey, firefox, please exploit that application on my behalf, if you don’t mind”, making exploits that are eminently local, to be reborn as network aware ones. we`d need some kind of security fence or sandbox to the content.
    thx,

  227. cooles said on

    safari is really good !!

  228. marinet said on

    very good choice – firefox :)

  229. Natola said on

    I still prefer firefox. There are so many usefull extensions for Firefox available. – my opinion

  230. salsa said on

    Safari, according to Zeldman and my eyes, renders text much better than Firefox.

  231. Projektowanie stron said on

    Hmmm i like Firefox and i don’t know nothing about safari :) i think firefox have very good tools like a google toolbar :)

    Regards

  232. Charlotta said on

    I still prefer firefox

  233. Programy Partnerskie said on

    FireFox is the Best, I use it every day and I’m very satisfied.

  234. technika diamentowa said on

    I still prefer firefox but very intresting article.

  235. darmowe mp3 said on

    It´s a very interesting Blog and simple answer of many questions.

  236. smieszne filmy said on

    Great website. I use firefox, now. I love firefox.

  237. Hotsz said on

    FireFox is the Best, I use it every day and I’m very satisfied.

  238. Blumen said on

    I haven’t found any version for windows. Can someone help me out?

  239. śmieszne filmiki said on

    nice art

  240. Content-Presse said on

    after reading this article i’ll give safari a try.

  241. kraemer said on

    firefox is the best. i ve use every day. very secure, fast and many plugins.

  242. Firefox on OS X is awful « The Lumber Room said on

    [...] Jeffrey Zeldman has noticed it, but his screenshots aren’t illustrative enough… [...]

  243. bloguras » Blog Archive » Safari mejor que Firefox? said on

    [...] zeldman.com nos habla como interpretan Safari y Firefox los tipos de letra Lucida Grande y Lucida [...]

  244. Problems with font rendering on Macs | clagnut/blog said on

    [...] recently Jeffrey Zeldman was bemoaning the sub-standard state of text rendering in Firefox on a Mac. And the sad truth is he only skimmed the surface of type rendering problems across [...]

  245. Альтернативный взгляд на… - ɐɥsıqɯ - я.ру said on

    [...] реализации такого бывают разные: см. скриншоты тут: http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/β-версияПользовательское соглашение© 2007—2008 «Яндекс» [...]

  246. Smoothing out the Creases in Web Fonts — Jon Tan 陳 said on

    [...] Jeffery Zeldman’s article on Firefox and Safari text rendering (including the comments) is interesting. Aronnax’s comment that the difference in OS X is Firefox using Quickdraw until 3.0 and Safari using Quartz piqued my curiosity, although I can’t find reference to the current status but will keep looking. [...]

  247. Instalar Safari 3.0 en Ubuntu Linux | Sushi Knights said on

    [...] en Linux Enviado por mleyton el 8 Enero, 2008 – 04:57. Los fanaticos de Safari dicen que los fonts se ven mucho mejor en Safari que en Firefox. Esta propiedad se mantiene al correr Safari en Linux en lugar de [...]

  248. Is Safari better than Firefox? | chilibean said on

    [...] a related post, I noticed that Jeffrey Zeldman has published a post in which he finds that Safari is the better browser, at least when it comes to how the two browsers handle text on a [...]

  249. TNTpixel said on

    [...] Don’t get me wrong, I love Firefox. It makes my life so much easier. But we have to agree that its rendering engine is less than stellar, especially in its text handling. In that aspect, I can’t dispute the fact that Safari just looks so, so much better. I’m not alone on this. [...]

  250. Boagworld - Mac Anti Aliasing Sucks said on

    [...] opened up Safari yet (I know, I know), but Firefox is known to have inferior rendering (from Zeldman).I’ve just remembered a 24ways article from the 2006 edition which may have what you’re after, in [...]

  251. Why use SAFARI over FIREFOX? - Home Theater Forum Community said on

    [...] Why use SAFARI over FIREFOX? Functionality-wise, none really. I just like the way Safari handles font display a little better. Reply to this Post Quote Multi-Quote Export to Wiki #3 Rating: 0 3/7/07 at [...]

  252. Font rendering on Windows and Mac | published @ aplus moments said on

    [...] Zeldman uses examples to drive his point: It’s worth pointing out that these tests were done on Macintosh computers, which are known [...]

  253. Safari better than Firefox – Targuman said on

    [...] is why I found this post titled ‘Safari better than Firefox?‘ so very interesting. Zeldman spends a good deal of time listing all the things that are [...]

  254. iamthewalr.us : Firefox on the Mac said on

    [...] if the font rendering on Firefox was as nice (or more nice than) the font rendering on Safari (see http://www.zeldman.com/2006/11/27/safari-beats-firefox/ for a lengthy discussion of what I’m talking [...]

  255. Instalar Safari 3.0 en Ubuntu Linux | Manzana Mecánica said on

    [...] fanaticos de Safari dicen que los fonts se ven mucho mejor en Safari que en Firefox. Esta propiedad se mantiene al correr Safari en Linux en lugar de Mac? [...]

  256. Firefox 3 Rendering Improvements · kbps said on

    [...] Some are floo­red by the supe­rio­rity of Web­Kit, and desig­ner Jef­frey Zeld­man makes a solid, objec­tive case for it; others are [...]

Comments off.