So something that came as a bit of a surprise to me was that on certain sites, Safari is 4-5x faster than Firefox on page rendering. Recently I’ve been doing lots of work on SalesForce.com and I was thinking: “Man, their site is hella slow”.
After talking with a friend in Paris accessing the same site, but without all the slow loading issues I decided to give Safari on Leopard a try. The exact same pages, the exact same actions produced very different results. Safari is by far the “fast browser” and Firefox, the slow browser, at least on OS X. Pages that I would have to wait between 6-7 seconds to finish loading in Firefox would come up around the 1 second mark (or less) in Safari. This is an enormous difference when you’re talking about browsing as 5-10 seconds is an eternity to wait for something to load, but too short of a time to do anything meaningful besides becoming frustrated.
Now if only Safari could navigate links using the keyboard only like it’s possible in Firefox. In Firefox you can simply Ctrl + F to do a word search on the page (which is part of a link), when the partial word/link is highlighted, hit Esc to clear the search highlighting and you’re left with a cursor focused link that will respond to an Enter button press with opening the link. Brilliantly fast, much faster than finding links through the mouse. Somehow we need to generate enough noise so that the Webkit (which is the basis of Safari) developers to take note and build this into the next release of their software.