Safari 5.1 beta – first look

I had a look the developer preview of safari 5.1 for 10.6 – here the first impressions (screenshots from the German version, as you might notice).

Unified cookie and local storage management

This is a good addition: Instead of handling cookies and local storage separately you find all stored data per domain in an overview list.

Local storage and cookies

CSS stuff/MathML/WOFF

I think that was already in the latest webkit builds: MathML support and some CSS 3 improvments: Auto-hyphenation, vertical text, emphasis for asian languages and stepped transitions for CSS 3 animations.

WOFF (=Web Open Font Format) is a good addition, now there’s only one standard for webfonts (as soon as IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8 have disappeared from this planet, probably in autumn 2048)

Read later

Read later glasses Read Later List

I use pinboard’s unread list of course, but now safari has a similar feature: You can add pages to a “read later”-list. Either with a shortcut (cmd+shift+d) or – and that is quite cool – by shift clicking a link. Then an uninspired animation throws a black-and-white safari icon onto the glasses and the link is saved there.

The list itself seems a bit buggy:
You can switch between all items and only unread ones. But clicking an item doesn’t always mark it as read.
Also the “add page”-button is inactive sometimes.

The integration is of course well done and looks nice, but the list itself has some drawbacks: You can’t reorder items, copy the URL via context menu and it’s always on the left side of the current page – a separate window would be a useful option.

Developer tools

Good stuff: Similar to PageSpeed or YSlow the developer tools now include Audits, which are basically the same, with a nicer interface.

Lots of improvements on the existing tools: Resource view is better structured, CSS modifications can simply be entered anywhere (very good idea) and the network view can be filtered and looks even better than the previous one.

Audit viewResource view

More information here: and

window.onerror – Finally…

Yes, now you can use the 1963-javascript function window.onerror, just about time.

Extension API

There are new events (open, close, (de)activate , beforeNavigate, navigate, menu, popover), improvement of event-handling (which was IMHO necessary), support for Reader and full screen (boring..).

But these new additions sound promising: Menus and Popovers. The API documentation isn’t there yet, so we’ll see when it’s online. Since my pinboard plugin has already too many buttons, these seem to be a welcome possibility.

This and that

The Webkit plugin API is now deprecated, but Glims still works and 1Password supports Safari 5.1 – other plugins might have to be updated for the final version.

XML files are now shown in a syntax-highlighted treeview, graphics improvement on Windows, audio/video can also be stored via HTML5.

The page up/down keys don’t scroll the page anymore – WTF?! How stupid is that? Please fix this. (Yes, one can use alt+cursor up/down, but why should anyone do this?)


Lots of the good stuff from the latest Webkit releases is now present, read later is nicely integrated but still somewhat incomplete. The browser itself feels faster and very stable (after some hours testing at least :). And if the new extension API brings nice features, I’ll hopefully integrate them into the pinboard extension.

5 Replies to “Safari 5.1 beta – first look”

  1. After updating to Safari 5.1 my Facebook wall is now empty except for my profile picture. Everything’s gone.

    Chrome and Firefox have no problem with it though.

      1. I fixed it by disabling a Safari extension.

        I\’m still on OSX 10.6.8 and will be for quite some time. Don\’t see a compelling reason to update.

  2. I’ve noticed that right-click contextual menus for 1Password and Speed Download are no longer working — is this because of the Webkit plugin deprecation? It’s annoying in any event — but I hope at least there is a workaround for plugins that don’t fit into the typical Safari Extension sphere.

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