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GOODBYE SAFARI 2: Safari 3 makes A-Grade Browser Status

Sunday, 2/24/2008

I noticed today that Safari 2 is officially no longer supported as an A-Grade Browser per Yahoo, having been displaced by Safari 3.

Safari 3 on Mac 10.4 and 10.5 now receives Yahoo’s A-Grade support status. The fact is that the vast majority of Mac users are early-adopters and as such they are rapidly updating to Apple’s latest version of the browser. It's nice to see an industry heavy-hitter like Yahoo recognizing that trend.

So I think this makes a strong argument that Safari 2 is effectively obsolete, and I see this as a welcomed development. I've dealt with Safari 2 rendering issues on several web design projects. Unlike Internet Explorer which can be easily served “patches” for its buggy implementation of CSS via conditional comments, there are few acceptable workarounds for Safari.

Thankfully, Safari 3 is a much more standards-compliant browser than its predecessor. I had even recently discussed with colleagues how the importance of support for Safari 2 has been arguably diminished by the release of version 3. But I still didn’t feel comfortable letting strict support for Safari 2 slide on production sites... until now.

I’m not suggesting that Yahoo is the definitive authority on browser trends, but I do personally use their support chart as a baseline for browser requirements when developing websites. All A-Grade browsers are verified to implement a design to pixel perfection, while browsers not on the list get the “degrade gracefully” treatment.

I guess the point is that you need to make the cut-off somewhere. For me, Yahoo’s support chart does the job.

A quick google cache review suggests the Yahoo browser support chart was updated in the last few days – that is, some time between Feb 18, 2008, and today.

Side note: now what I really want to know is does Safari 3 Beta for Windoze use the same rendering engine as Safari 3 on Mac. That would make web development much easier... until I manage to scrape together enough dough to upgrade from my Dell to a real machine.

Update: According to the YUI Blog, the A-Grade support chart was updated on Feb. 19. So there ya go... almost breaking news :)

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