Sunday, February 11, 2007

Make Safari load pages faster?

Top tip from Digg but easily done via the terminal by just typing (close Safari first)

defaults write WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 0.25

The "Dugg" article wants you to download and install some software which does this and a number of other things, but you have to pay for the software while the above command is free to use.

Check out how fast the pages load. Seems faster? If you're happy and like to remain happy then stop reading here.

Apparently the effect is not real. A blog post from the alleged Safari developer claims that this option is no longer used by anything. So they left the option in the plist file to deceive people, or backward compatibility, or maybe they are just lazy.

So I tested the option by setting the delay to 1.0 and then 6.5 ... and there is no perceptible difference on the handful of pages I tried (some large and slow, some small and fast). Bugger. All the testimonials on the original digg article where people are so happy that their browser is running faster are apparently just a placebo effect. Surprising that nobody actually did benchmarks.

Yes, I use Safari. I tried using Firefox a while back on my old G3 (with OS X installed) and it didn't understand right and middle clicks properly (it does now). I configured Safari to function the way I wanted and found I didn't really miss any particular feature that Firefox had except advertisement blocking, but thanks to Pimp My Safari I have all that I think I need with Safari. I must say it will be a shame when I let my .Mac account expire (too expensive); I like the bookmark synchronising feature. I might switch back to Firefox at that stage and use Google's BrowserSync.