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Standards and Porting

Though I admire this guy for pushing Web standards, I am annoyed by the conclusion: Apple should port Safari to Windows.

How in the world would this make any sense? While iTunes makes money for Apple and provides a common ground for a multiplatform hardware product (the iPod), and while QuickTime ties into Apple's media server products (Broadcaster, iTunes now, etc.), a free browser does little to justify the cost of porting to Windows. Simply to push Web standards? As much as I wish that to be the case, I find FireFox and other Windows browsers quite suitable at helping to push the standards we have.

The answer to almost very, very few questions is "port it to Windows."

4 Responses to "Standards and Porting"

  1. The canonical reason (which I don't buy myself), is that a Windows port provides, amongst other things, a shop Window for the Mac. As in, 'Gee! Look at this elegant, stable browser. I want more of this sort of thing!'

  2. Safari is another reason for people to make the switch anyway, why port it to Windows and make those using the platform happy? Apple would only lose money by porting the software, and that just wouldn't be fun at all.

  3. I used to feel this way about some things soon after I switched. That giving people a taste of the sweet applications would be tempting. I know that just this weekend my dad was asking me how to do something that iTunes could do. So I downloaded it for him, installed it, showed him how to do what he wanted. He thought it was really nice he could burn the CD in iTunes without having to use another application.

    Recently I read an article about how thin some developers at Apple are stretched. While some are working on the same big projects all the time, some get a version done with one project and jump on something different. IIRC They are steering/writing Objective C, Darwin, the libraries, apps etc. etc. I would rather have Apple spend more of its resources on me the consumer who has bought their equipment and software, vs. the mass of potential switchers.

    Safari is based on KHTML, that core rendering engine is open source. Why not make the case for anyone to write the application layer to the engine for windows? Anything Dave Hyatt and company do for the engine is there ready to be used. Heck this guy writes a cross platform program, why can't he do it, for the sake of web standards. I understand that having Apple behind it would help, but Apple isn't going to pump the marketing machine for a Safari like they did for iTunes.

  4. First off, as far as I can tell, iTunes doesn't link to WebKit on Mac OS X -- so I sorta doubt it does on Windows. Also, the text shadow that Safari offers is almost certainly based on the shadow API that's part of Panther.

    A lot of the functionality that Safari enjoys for free on Mac OS X has no logical counterpart on Windows. This sort of highlights the issue. The difference between Mac OS X and Windows isn't in the individual apps, it's in the overall design of the ecosystem. Porting Safari and iPhoto won't make Windows better. You can't take a polar bear and put him in the desert. 🙂

    iTunes is Carbon and QuickTime, so the situation is a bit different.

    Even if iTunes did use WebKit, I don't think this would prompt people to use Safari instead of IE.