Is it just me, or is Firefox a bit of a hog compared to Safari on Mac OS X? I’ve got a G4 PowerBook, and it runs just fine with Firefox or Safari. But my “hog-o-meter” goes off whenever Firefox is running. What is my “hog-o-meter”? The fan… When I’m using Safari, the PowerBook is entirely silent. When I’m doing my browsing in Firefox, the fan is almost always running and making some noise.
Safari also feels snappier, which is most likely the difference between a XUL-based application and an entirely native one.
As of today, Firefox with the right plugins is an unbeatable browser for web development. It also continues to have the best “type ahead find” implementation I’ve seen. And, I do come across sites every now and then that just don’t work in Safari (but that’s rare enough as to not be a bother).
Browsing is a such a key activity that I don’t mind slowing down my computer a little bit to use the best browser out there. Safari has made some great strides with each new version… perhaps what it really needs is an open plugin architecture. There are a bunch of add-ons available, if you take a look at Pimp My Safari, but from what I’ve read these folks didn’t have an open front door for extending Safari. They had to take advantage of the fact that Mac OS X Cocoa apps have an exceedingly cool architecture that let’s you hook into and manipulate objects in the system. (If you’re a geek and you’ve got a Mac, you should really check out the F-Script Anywhere object browser to see just how much you can do without having “open” APIs.)