Apple Mozilla

Intel Mac UserAgent

To continue with my last post, I did some digging to see what the useragent on the new Intel Mac’s were. A while back, I was wondering what they would change it to. I now have the answer:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/417.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/417.8

For Firefox, it’s not quite decided (bug 323657).

In The News Mozilla

The end of Internet Explorer 5 for Mac

Microsoft Says:

In June 2003, the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit announced that Internet Explorer for Mac would undergo no further development, and support would cease in 2005. In accordance with published support lifecycle policies, Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31st, 2005, and will provide no further security or performance updates.

Additionally, as of January 31st, 2006, Internet Explorer for the Mac will no longer be available for download from Mactopia. It is recommended that Macintosh users migrate to more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple’s Safari.

We all knew that was coming, they haven’t updated the thing in ages… I wonder why they didn’t mention Firefox or Camino (which is sometimes unfortunately forgotten with all the Firefox marketing). It seems a lot of Mac users still use IE on the Mac, despite it’s age. Simply because they think it’s the same as IE for windows (when in fact they don’t share any more than the name). Hopefully they will begin to migrate to something more modern. IE5/Mac had some advanced rendering for the time, but by today’s standards, it doesn’t do much.

[Via Slashdot]

Apple Internet Mozilla Web Development

Safari Update passes Acid2

The Safari update in the Mac OS X 10.4.3 update passes the Acid2 Test. Congrats to the team on that effort. Hyatt originally noted the development on his blog back in April. This is the first official release that passes Acid2. The relevent Mozilla bug is #289480 (unnecessary comments in that bug will get you spanked; as timeless notes it’s just distracting).

The Safari blog is a great read for anyone interested in browsers, web development, or apple software development. Some great minds at work.


Firefox Marketshare

I enjoy this topic a bit. Please don’t take this as science, or fact. This is purely speculation and discussion about market share. The topic itself is rather complex. You can view it from the mathematical/statistical point of view, or from the business/marketing point of view. Both have a very different (yet similar) angle on the topic and view things a bit differently. Because of my interest in the business angle, I’ll lean slightly more towards that.

First the facts (from Infoworld discussing the NetApplications data):

Firefox’s share shrunk to 8.07 percent from 8.71 percent in June, while IE grew its market slice to 87.20 percent in July from 86.56 percent last month.

…He pointed out that Apple Computer’s Safari browser grew most, increasing its market share 2.13 percent from 1.93 percent. America Online’s Netscape, which once ruled this market, slid a bit to 1.50 percent from 1.55 percent. Opera Software ASA’s Opera came in fifth with a 0.49 percent market share.

OK, well using that data, and filling in the blanks (we’ll assume Opera stayed the same, and “Other” being the remaining users) we can come up with a nice table of data:

Browser June July Diff
Firefox 8.71% 8.07% -0.64%
IE 86.56% 87.2% 0.64%
Opera 0.49% 0.49% 0%
Safari 1.93% 2.13% 0.2%
Other 2.31% 2.11% -0.2%
Total (fact) 97.2% 97.89%  
Total (stat) 100% 100%  

Some Graphs

The point of the below graphs is to illustrate how much this really means in the grand scheme of things (from what we can tell based on the available data). As you’ll see, there’s almost no difference. Simply because were talking about a little more than a half of a percent. With IE still holding over 85%, a fraction of a percent is pretty meaningless to them. It’s not like they had a big gain.

Graph 1
Graph 2
Graph 3

Also in the article:

I’m really anxious to see what happens in the month of August – Dan Shapero,’s Chief Operating Officer

I’m not. I’d be more interested in September and October. August won’t really say much about anything. If it goes back up, it’s not very reflective. If it goes down further, it’s still not reflective. There are several reasons for this:

  • August is a vacation month – Simply put, lots of people are on vacation, and away from their computers. This is especially true for students, and younger adults. This is important as this demographic is key to Firefox 1.0 success. If you look around, some of the best marketing for Firefox took place via grassroots efforts like Blogs and such. It’s obvious the net slows down a bit in August. Everything from websites to online forums seem to slow down a bit as people take some time off (this blog is a perfect example if you look at posts per month).
  • Factor of 1.5 – that’s right. Firefox 1.5 isn’t to far off, and you know what that means? Yup, the lull before upgrade season. Growth will slow thanks to people saying “I heard it’s coming soon, I’ll just wait”. Then of course you have corporate deployments who don’t want to bother with a version that will be outdated soon. If I were them I wouldn’t really push 1.0 at this point either. I’d hold until 1.5 is released, then deploy that.
  • Marketing Slowdown – yea, that’s the big one. Why? Because of the above two reasons. SpreadFirefox is in a bit of a transition right now.

So why the drop?

It’s hard to say for certain, but I’d guess at least part of it is simply the fence leaning. What does that mean? Well with anything, there are people who jump on board (if your reading this blog using Firefox, you likely fit in this category), and people who stay on their side of the fence (you IE people). Then there is the small percentage who don’t quite know where to go. They try things out, and go back to the side they came from (IE). This is a normal part of software transitioning. Remember back when Mac OS X 10.0 came out? We all had classic running in the background about 95% of the time? A few even stuck with classic (while having OS X installed). Then as we got more adjusted, Classic was running less and less. Until it became a rare situation (I only use it for SimCity 2000 these days), and occasionally Microsoft Office, since I haven’t convinced my student budget to purchase Office for Mac OS X (I use AppleWorks when on the Mac most of the time).

So if September and/or October looks sour, it’s over?

No. Not really. Take a look at Netcraft’s excellent survey of web server’s and you’ll see various places where you could have assumed that Apache would be turning sour, when in fact, it goes right on back.

Abandon ship?

Ha! Never.

Predict the next jump?

Oh how tempting that is. I will say this. I expect shortly after 1.5, there will be jump in users, a larger trend will take place among corporate users thanks to some enhancements, and just “not being 1.0” (many companies have policies against anything that’s “.0” simply because they view it as new and buggy). So I expect more corporate adoption. The problem with corporate adoption is that it can be a slow process (QA can take months). So that jump may start 3 weeks out from 1.5’s release, but may not be fully realized for a few months after.

Bottom Line

Hype. That’s really it. There was a lot of hype about Firefox taking over the web. That was good (in a way), but this is the downside of that. Now browser stats are all the rage. A year ago almost nobody cared about them. Now it seems everyone does. Firefox isn’t about a monopoly or fighting one. It’s about providing choice and innovation. That’s what it does. Firefox grows when it innovates and the rest of the industry doesn’t. Perhaps that’s really what browser stats gauge? Market share is a measure of browser innovation and users acceptance (or disappointment). Yep, there’s that word again (“user”). It’s about the “user”, not the browser. Remember that. Blake has said this before. So yes, the statistical drop between June and July is pretty meaningless regardless of how you look at it.

Apple Mozilla

Apple’s new Mactel’s and UserAgents

Currently UserAgents for the two most popular Mac browsers are as follows:


This visitor used Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/412 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/412


Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050511 Firefox/1.0.4

Does anyone out there know if Apple has switched their developer edition Intel Macs to a different UserAgent yet? I presume it’s simply swapping out PPC with i686.

It would be nice if Apple, or someone from the Safari team [collective look toward David Hyatt] would give an official mention. Or will they do like Windows and not say anything?

It would be nice to know early how this is going to be done. It would allow web developers to start updating log analysis software today so it accurately represents those new systems when it ships (and allows developers to see how much of a market there is for Intel based Macs). Not to mention it allows us to make websites that sniff for the processor type and choose what download the user really needs (rather than force a user to download a larger universal binary).

I’ve yet to see any official mention on the Apple website regarding the UserAgent change and proper detection methods for such purposes.

Apple Mozilla

Safari’s WebKit is now open

Hyatt made the announcement on his blog. Using bugzilla, and cvs. It says it’s even possible to get checkin access if your a contributor with a proven track record. I didn’t see any lxr like tool for viewing source via the web (very handy), or a list of reviewers. Perhaps that’s still to come, the website looks pretty new.

Anyway, congrats to the Safari team in addressing all those concerns a few weeks ago.

I’m curious how perhaps this can improve browser relations across the board. Not that the Safari team and Mozilla are so distant to begin with, but this could lead to bigger better things. This is great news for everyone.

Apple Mozilla

Safari 1.3

As usual David Hyatt has the roundup on the changes for Safari 1.3. A must read blog post for all web developers.

My big question is how long will Mac OS X 10.3 be supported and receive Safari Upgrades? IMHO that’s the big problem. Microsoft at least makes most of it’s upgrades for all OS’s, so the majority of IE Users are 5.5 or 6.0 at this point. Firefox and Opera don’t really care you can update at any point. It’s hard for web developers to take advantage of these fixes if Mac OS 10.2 users still don’t have them. Not everyone upgraded (especially businesses) to 10.3. I know 2 of my systems aren’t upgraded because Panther feels slower on them. I doubt everyone is upgrading to Tiger. While nice, I don’t think average joe will see it worth the effort/price.

I ask Apple to help us out here. Make Safari so that it’s available for 10.2+ and supports 10.2+. All updates go to all Mac OS X versions. That way people upgrade and Safari becomes easier to support. I don’t want to support several versions of Safari. This makes Mac’s easier to support, and that’s good for everyone. Come on Apple.


More on XML Error Reporting

I mentioned the other day about that little debate going on over XML errors.

The other day, he posted some info on a possible way to display bad code in a “more friendly way” for a lack of better words..

I’m rather pleased with such a solution, and hope to see it in Mozilla and Safari soon. I think it’s a great solution.

My personal suggestion would be to perhaps append some CSS to the page, and have it hang over the badly rendered page. It would be more user friendly, and less obtrusive, while getting the point across.

An example can be found here.

I’m curious to know what someone thinks. I just roughed it in real quick. I’m sure it could be much more pretty if some time was spent.

Would be nice to see this in Mozilla as well as Safari.


David Hyatt’s right

David Hyatt seems to have generated some waves over his recent posts regarding Safari “bugs”.

I must say he’s 100% right, and I applaud him for taking a stand.

I’m a web developer for several years in one form or another. I’ve had a web presence for several years now. I started out just using Netscape Communicator and Claris Homepage for web site development. Not knowing ANY HTML. Slowly I learned.

Over the past 2 years now, I’ve become almost obsessed with writing “the perfect code”. A website that looks good in all browsers, is small, and works perfectly every time.

What I’ve found is that you can save tons of time by just using valid code. Since I’ve been an addict about validating my pages, I haven’t had rendering issues. I used to have many bugs that would drive me crazy. Fix one thing, and it breaks in another browser. It was a mess. Since I went with good valid HTML (I still prefer HTML 4.01/Trans with sparing use of CSS, since it breaks a little nicer IMHO in older browsers).

And being a Mac lover and Mozilla addict, means I’m also well aware of how webmasters ignore standards, as long as bad code breaks in a desired way in IE. It’s been driving me crazy for years.

I’m going to keep generating valid websites. I have no intent on going back to my ways of the past. Some pages will be invalid for some time until their backend is updated appropriately. But all new systems/pages written will generate valid HTML. And that’s my plan from here on out. Why? Because it’s faster than patching for eternity, it works, and it’s the RIGHT way of doing things. It’s cheaper really. Cleaner code is less bandwidth and more efficient business wise. Read here for more on that. Good companies want valid code as well.

I really hope some other webmasters beside myself start listening to Mr. Hyatt. He’s a wise authority on web development giving his experience in Mozilla and Safari. If there’s a webmaster out there that doesn’t monitor his blog(s), I encourage them to start doing so, and read up in his archive on his past posts (you can skip the pop culture ones if you want… but he’s got good taste in games, and especially TV i.e. HBO)

Perhaps he’s just started a revolution that will change the web? Perhaps he’s only enlightened a handful of webmasters. Either way… Thank you.


Apple Helping out Mozilla

Very interesting developments lately regarding Apple and Mozilla. At first, it appeared the groups were closer than they appeared. Rumor was that iBrowser (known as Safari now), was going to use then Chimera (now Camino) as it’s basis. Ended up Apple used KHTML, and some claimed it made them “compete”, though most including myself believe any standards compliant engine is good.

Now Pinkerton makes a very interesting find:

Apple has started bundling NSPR and NSS in Panther

From November 3, 2003 @ 10:38 PM

So Apple apparently is providing some sort of Aid for Mozilla technologies. But that’s not all.

David Hyatt notes his work on Safari:

(5) A complete implementation of the XUL box model. Safari on Panther supports the complete XUL box model, including horizontal and vertical boxes, the ability to flex, and the ability to reorder content and reverse content. If you’re building canned content that you control using WebKit, you’ll find a whole new range of layout possibilities at your disposal. Need to create dynamically sized headers and footers and flexible center content? The XUL box model can do that. Need to center an object within the viewport? The XUL box model can do that too.

From October 28, 2003 @ 12:48 AM

Henrik Gemal also notes XUL support in Safari.

Ok, I found it interesting. Perhaps someone else will as well.