Apple Continues Safari For Panther Users

Looking to improve its standing in the browser marketplace, Apple
Computer has launched an upgrade to its Safari
platform, albeit with a definite need to upgrade to the Panther
operating system.

The application lets end users opt for a personal
certificate, generated by a certificate authority, instead of a
password to
securely authenticate to supported Web sites.

The newest version also includes Apple’s LiveConnect support for
communication between JavaScript and Java, which impacts Web sites that
that
require two-way communication between the browser and Java applets.
Using
LiveConnect also requires an upgrade to Java 1.4.2, which is a free
download.

Based on the KDE Project’s KHTML code, Safari version 1.2 is
available as
a free download on the
Cupertino,
Calif.-based computer maker’s Web site or through Apple’s Software
Update
service. The most notable improvements include the addition of Apple’s
Keychain technology.

Apple also released version 124 of its Safari Web kit. The update
lets
developers put the Safari rendering engine in their applications.

The upside is that Safari in general includes built-in Google
search;
SnapBack to instantly return to search results; a completely new way to
name, organize and present bookmarks; tabbed browsing; and automatic
“pop-up” ad blocking. Safari is localized for English, Japanese,
French,
German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian,
Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean and Simplified Chinese. The
company maintains that its browser is faster than Internet Explorer,
Netscape and Mozilla’s Camino.

The downside is that Safari 1.2 requires Mac OS X v10.3 (also known
as
“Panther”), which orphans users running even the most recent version of
OS X
v10.2x (known as Jaguar).

“Our goal with Safari all along was to have the best browser on any
platform,” Apple Internet Product Manager Kurt Knight told
internetnews.com. “We wanted to make a browser that was fast,
standards compliant and one that featured the innovation that Apple is
known
for.”

Apple has been pushing hard to upgrade its members to its OS X and
especially its Panther platform. During its annual Macworld Conference
and
Expo, CEO Steve Jobs said it is on track to reach 10 million users and
10,000 native applications written on its Mac OS X operating system.

The latest Safari also allows for full keyboard access for those who
like
to navigate Web pages without the use of a mouse. The latest browser
also
takes advantage of Apple’s caching technology, which allows for
interruptible downloads. In that way, Knight said users could continue
partial downloads without having to re-download the entire file.

While the browser was scooped up by an estimated 5 million Apple
enthusiasts since its introduction last June, Knight said the company
would
have a harder time quantifying how many people are actually using its
browser since it is the default setting on all new Macintosh computers.

While Safari the client version is rolling along just fine, the back-end system has had bug problems recently. Last month, Apple issued
patches for area after some unspecified vulnerabilities were
found in two Apache modules. Knight said the company is in constant
communication with its Safari users though its built-in feedback
feature in
the browser.

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