KHTML reconsidered

I’ve thought about it a little and I’ve decided that Apple using KHTML for Safari is a good idea. Gecko is gradually gaining relatively widespread use1 but until Safari, KHMTL was only used in one place: in Konqueror on *nix. Even if Apple continues shipping IE with OS X, they’re obviously going to be pushing people towards Safari. This means that we should start seeing a decent number of people using it in the near future.

Hopefully this will start a small scale browser war between KHTML and Gecko, only instead of focusing on adding features the way the Netscape v. IE war did, it will focus on speed, security, and standards compliance. This will force both of them to improve. With any luck, they’ll make enough noise in the process to attract the attention of some IE users.

Not that I think IE is going to lose its dominance any time soon, but I think a nice balance could be found with IE around 70% while the remaining 30% is split between KHTML and Gecko.2 Ideally, this will steer MS towards working on some of the above three areas themselves. The end result will be better for everyone, especially once web designers start writing their code in accordance with the W3C standards instead of designing for IE specifically.

1. Gecko is used in Mozilla, Netscape 6 and above, Chimera, Phoenix, Galeon, K-Meleon, and god knows what else.

2. Incidentally, I’d like to see the desktop OS market split along similar lines: I’d be ok with Windows keeping as much as 70% if the other 30% were split between OS X, *nix, etc.

Comments

kscaldef says:

Chimera doesn’t like me, so I’m hopeful that Safari will serve me as a lightweight browser. But…. first impressions are iffy.

The bookmark management is nice, but it sucks to have to switch to the bookmark view to go to one. I think I’m going to have to put all my bookmarks in a folder on the bookmark bar to make it tolerable.

Brushed metal look… not so keen on it. It’s clear that Apple’s claim that brushed metal is for apps that mimic personal digital devices is bollocks and they really just intend it as a branding tool for all their apps.

Must… have… tabbed… browsing….

Also, I can’t figure out how to import my Mozilla bookmarks. A saleguy at the Apple Store suggested that I could just drag the file to the Safari bookmarks window, but that just resulted in a bookmark to that file. It’s hard to believe that the XML format was just too tough for them to figure out how to parse. I’m assuming that they just don’t see Mozilla/Chimera users as the primary base of people they want to switch.

kchrist says:

Brushed metal look… not so keen on it.

I just read something about changing that. Try it out if you’ve got Apple dev tools installed: http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/1/7/15540/68599/40

I’m assuming that they just don’t see Mozilla/Chimera users as the primary base of people they want to switch.

You’re probably right. I’m guessing this is being aimed at the people who will use whatever browser is installed by default (ie, IE users).