I just grabbed the new update to the Safari 4 preview, and I have to say it’s very zippy indeed. I ran SunSpider benchmarks on it and FireFox 3.0.1 on my Mac Pro. Safari 4 is on average 75% faster, but has many results that are in the 200 – 500% range.
The integration of the JS debugger is very elegant (Drosera has been rolled in), but I’m still looking forward to the appearance of FireBug for Safari, which someone is doing as a Google SoC project (S4 adds some FireBug hooks too).
All the new CSS funkiness from recent webkit nightlies is there too, and I suspect many an iPhone and widget developer is drooling over them…
I somehow missed Microsoft’s announcement that (in a complete U-turn from previous announcements) IE8 will support web standards mode by default, and thus any broken sites will have to enable IE7 mode by a meta tag. So finally, IE will cease to be the albatross around the neck of the internet, and developers the world over will at last be able to write standards-compliant sites that work in all major browsers.
I had real trouble believing that MS had convinced so many prominent web standards advocates (here and here) that the previous option was in some way a good thing, when it essentially meant that MS expected 99% of the web to change in order to support the 1% (almost entirely intranets and thus of no public interest) that are so badly written that they couldn’t survive a browser update.
I’m very happy to see this change of heart, which was a really unexpected thing to see from MS. They don’t normally give a stuff about such things, so they fully deserve the adulation that their announcement is getting in the comments. It also vindicates the slagging I gave the authors of those articles promoting the evil meta tag!
So, Thank you Microsoft! I look forward to not having to do anything special for IE – you probably just doubled the world’s web development productivity rate! Who knows – one day IE might be as good as Firefox or Safari…