by Malcolm Rowe

Why Safari, not Firefox?

I use Firefox on Windows.
I use Firefox on Linux.
I use Safari on OS X.
Like the song says, one of these things is not like the others.

I’ve been wondering why that was for a while now, since there didn’t seem to be any particular reason — it seemed to be just a habit I’d fallen into. Recently, I wondered exactly what it is about Safari that means that I keep using it in preference to Firefox (which I also have on my dock, and which I use whenever I want to run Firebug).

It’s certainly not down to loyalty to Apple, residual reality distortion field from yesterday’s exposure to an iPhone notwithstanding. I think it’s basically a function of the following:

Safari takes 1.75 seconds to launch;
Firefox takes 4.75.  Safari takes 250 milliseconds to open a new window;
Firefox takes 1100.
Firefox is 2½ times slower to start, and a ridiculous 4½ times slower to bring up a new window when it’s already started!