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Browser Survey Results

OK, the results are in – this was a hard one to count, but I reckon I got them fairly accurate. The numbers won’t tally exactly with the number of comments – just to pre-warn any lurking pedants. Thanks to everyone who took part – it was a tremendous response.

(apologies for the fuzzy crapness of this image, but I really can’t be arsed doing it again)

The Results:

Safari 157
Firefox 53
Camino 28
Omniweb 5
Shiira 3
IE 1
Opera 1
iCab 0

Number of people who didn’t read the rules first: 25 ;o)

No surprise there I guess, Safari is king. I remember seeing another survey that showed Firefox much more on a par with Safari, but that certainly wasn’t the case here. Most people preferred it for speed, UI and OS X integration. Firefox’s popularity seems mainly due to the web developer toolbar, which lets face it, is a genius piece of work. There were a large number of Safari users who were put off Firefox as default due to its interface and lack of mac-ness.

Pretty much all those on Camino stated they were using the bleeding-edge nightly builds, which I’m not surprised at. They’re solid, stable and go like the clappers. Mozilla power, Mac Style indeed.

I’m not too surprised at Omniweb’s lack of votes, but I did hope for a lot more. Sluggishness seems to be the main issue for people not using it. Glad to hear no moans about having to pay for it though, as I did expect some “why pay when there are free browsers?” comments.

Opera and IE languish at the bottom with one vote each. I’m not assuming the IE vote was a joke, as IE Mac does have some nice features, so you never know.

Receiving no votes was poor old iCab. I expected at least one person using iCab 3 beta to come forward, but it appears not. Has Safari trampled all over iCab’s possible market?

Also, no one seemed to pick up on that fact that someone used Firefox for its ‘live boobmarks’ – maybe it was just me that found that funny?

and now.. my vote

What about me? Browser hopping as usual. I would love to say Omniweb as my default, but there are some niggles that stop that – performance, not yet updated to the latest rendering engine, doesn’t work well with Flickr, various unpolished areas of the UI and lack of find as you type. Maybe a future release will see improvements, but to be honest, I’ve not got any great hopes. Omnigroup – please surprise me!

I guess Safari would be my default, but lately I’ve been using Camino nightly builds, and found myself falling in love with my old favourite all over again. The UI is clean and looking good, and while it lacks some features I’d love (mainly RSS detection to pass URLs into NewsFire and ability to restore tabs at startup) I’m finding myself using it anyway. Its so nice to be using a fast, responsive browser again, especially after Safari overloaded with plugins. I guess its the downfall of installing plugins, but its either Safari with a features and a slightly unresponsive interface, or no Safari at all for me. Page rendering speed is fast, but simple tasks such as clicking a bookmark bar folder can sometimes take seconds to appear. Infuriating.

Shiira, while impressing with useful innovative features like tab expose, goes and adds things like the cheesy ‘page transition effect’. I’m not sure that the direction for Shiira is quite clear, but its still one to keep an eye on.

Opera is impressive, and I like the idea of combing email & browser. There’s a lot of features in there, but it looks like a dogs dinner, has strange key combos (cmd-T for adding bookmarks? Whats that all about?!) and calls tabs pages. Joe Clark has a more eloquent list of its failings – but if you’re using it and like it, good for you. I can kinds see why you’re attracted.

Firefox (Deer Park) is better, but its still no Mac app bless it.

So, while it should be a Safari/Omniweb split, I’m going to vote Camino here, especially as its an underdog in the ratings, and I think it deserves more!

OS X Browser Survey 2005

The question is simple: What browser are you using the most on OS X? With so much (good) choice on Mac these days, and the ‘field’ being very different to a year ago, I’d like to know what peoples tastes are.

This is a survey in the form of the Comping app and Text Editor surveys from last year (I.e – not very scientific). Is Safari the favourite? Have Firefox and Camino eaten into its share? Has support for underdogs (Shiira, Omniweb, Opera, iCab) increased? Or are you using apps like NetNewsWire for their browsing needs?

How to take part : Name your default browser in the first line (to make it easy for me to count), followed by a short sentence on the next line, saying what it is about that browser that ‘makes’ it for you. The only other rule: this is OS X only I’m afraid. Unlike the previous surveys, I’m going to be very strict on that point this time, you have been warned! I’ll leave comments open for a week or two before I publish the results.

Go!

Survey Results

OK, time for some survey results. The scores are fairly accurate – give or take the odd distraction from Little Britain. Thanks to everyone for particpating!

App for comps:

( yeah, yeah, yeah, you all use paper and pencil first! ;o) )

Photoshop 44
Fireworks 37
Illustrator 10
Freehand 3
Gimp 3
Xara X 2

With 1 vote, Powerpoint , Quark Express 1 and MS Paint 1 (nice one John!)

Text Editor:

( Or ‘Code Editor’ – pedants! ;o) )

BBEdit 26
skEdit 20
Dreamweaver 16
SubEthaEdit 13
Topstyle 13
TextMate 13
Vim 12
Homesite 11
emacs 7
jEdit 6
Eclipse 4
Textpad 4
HTML Kit 4

With 2 votes were: Notepad, Smultron, Zend Studio, Scite, Crimson Editor, TextEdit , Editplus, Context.

With one vote were: TideText, HyperEdit, Syn, CSSEdit, EditPad Lite, SlickEdit, TSW Web Coder, Arachnophilia, Ultraedit, Notetab, Quanta, Omniweb, Code-Genie, Phase5, GoLive, KATE.

BTW: I’ve lots of suggestions for future surveys. I’m loathe to do them, as it would just get too tiresome, and these were the 2 subjects I wanted to know about. I feel I have to earn the right to do another lazy post, er, I mean survey.

Survey: What Text Editor do you use?

The response to my comping application survey was incredible, but didn’t unearth any hidden gems that I’d hoped. Fireworks MX is still the best one for me, and I’ve been following a suggestion in the comments to restart it every now and again. The solves the sluggishness problem, the same as it does for Safari, and I don’t mind doing it every now and then to keep it running well.

Now then, Text Editors. I feel like I’ve tried every one going for OS X. BBEdit, Textmate, Smultron, Tag, SubEthaEdit and many more. My firm favourite is still skEdit, and I’m shocked that more people don’t use it.

Here are some of my favourite features of skEdit:

  • Project manager window to launch site folders.
  • File view sidebar – makes it so quick to switch between files
  • Auto tag completion (really automatic – no key combo needed)
  • HTML and CSS code hinting – this is a big one. No other mac application apart from Dreamweaver appears to offer this – do correct me if I’m wrong.
  • Easy to create snippets, and set key combo’s for them. ‘Create unordered list nav’ is my favourite. This takes a list of words, and adds the <ul>, <li>, and <a href> tags for you.

One thing skEdit does miss out on is an inbuilt web preview, which other editors had implemented as soon as the Safari webcore became available. The time skEdit saves me is incalculable.

So what’s your favourite? Are you using some obscure shareware editor that I should really check out? Again, the one criteria – must work on OS X.

Survey: What app do you use for comps?

When making comps for website designs, I usually use Fireworks. There are many advantages to this, such as setting up each page of site on a separate frame, and having constant elements (like navigation) on a shared layer. Underlining text is a cinch too. The only downside I’ve found is that it can run quite slow, especially when editing text. Sometimes, it’s slow to the point of wanting to throw myself on a fork.

So what do you use? I know that Illustrator and Photoshop are the popular choices. Is there an ideal, but unheard of, app out there that I’m missing out on? Or an everyday “who would’ve thought it could be used for that’ type app? Only one condition – must work on OS X.

Are web sites identical?

François Briatte has wondered this, which led him to conduct a survey of 10 CSS designers web sites and their similarities. The results are really interesting reading. Eric Meyer made the suggestion that we explain our reasons for our choices, and there a few points where I feel I’m a bit lacking.

Here are the ones I wanted to briefly comment on:

Are links underlined?

No – I still uhm and ahh about this one. There are good basic usability reasons for underlining links, but I haven’t yet brought myself to do it. I don’t like seeing links underlined, it breaks up the text too much for me. I know precious visual sensibilities should take second place, and I might reconsider this one.

Are hovered links underlined?

No – although they could be. Add to the ‘to do list’.

Do visited links differentiate?

No – but this will be sorted in the new design (if it ever sees the light of day)

Is the main text on white background?

Yes – This is mainly because:

  1. I like white. White is crisp, clean and looks good. There’s not enough white in the world if you ask me.
  2. What doesn’t work on white? Just white (oh, and maybe pale yellow).
  3. My colorblindness can make me a bit unadventurous with colour.

Is the main text sans-serif?

Yes – I believe its easier to read body copy on-screen in sans-serif. Strangely, this is the opposite of print design.

Is the DOCTYPE Strict?

Yes – this was a exercise in smugness, dressed up as ‘learning about W3C specs’.

Do they use accesskeys?

No – I did originally have oodles of accesskeys, but recent thinking has made me shun them. Basically, there just aren’t enough spare keys around.

Do they use ‘Steal these’ buttons?

No Рbut as Fran̤ois pointed out, I did until recently. These little things are everywhere. I felt the time was right to make my own.

Is there a print style sheet?

No – Something else I haven’t got around to doing. Silly really, it wouldn’t take long to knock up a basic print stylesheet. Another one for the list.

Is there a 404 page?

No – although I did have one until recently. My move to Textpattern has meant that I needed to rethink how I made my 404 page. Another one for the list.

That concludes the case for the defense m’lud. One issue I’m particularly keen to know your opinions on, is whether links should be underlined? What do you expect when you see to denote a link? Let me know your thoughts…