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Safari 5 off to Apple's traditional rough start

Third-party devs take the blame

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Updated Apple's Safari 5 has been out for just one day, but — as is usual with integer-level upgrades — users are already reporting niggles, nuisances, and no-goes.

Over on Macintouch, for example, we first learned of Safari 5's annoyance with third-party plug-ins, specifically SafariStand. Mike Solomon, the creator of the SIMBL (SIMple Bundle Loader), which some devs have used to add plug-in enhancements to Safari, has yet to respond to our queries about incompatibilities — neither has SafariStand's Japanese developer — but further web-digging turned up specific problems with third-party extensions such as Conduit and CosmoPod.

Conduit has a blog post explaining how to dump Conduit toolbars, which should clear up problems caused by that extension; and an active poster in the Apple Discussions forum has also provided advice.

Another active poster offered help to folks suffering CosmoPad problems, but those problems may be over soon: the developer of that extension (plus TabExposé) told us this morning that a Safari 5 fix would arrive on their website after "a few more hours of testing and packing."

Third-party plug-ins have always been a bit of a bear when Safari is upgraded. Apple, in fact, published a support doc back in February that discussed third-party add-on problems, and suggested removing offending items from the root and Home levels of /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/, /Library/Input Methods/, or /Library/InputManagers/. Helpful posters on Apple support forums have added user/Library/Applications Support/SIMBL/Plugins/ to that list — although if your Mac won't even %$#@!ing boot because of an incompatibility, you'll need to reboot from the Install disc that came with it. If you can remember where you put it.

Although third-party plug-in problems may have had a problematic history, their developers may have just received some help from Apple: the Safari Developer Program, which provides an Extension Builder for the creation of sandboxed extensions created in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

The Mac version of the Safari browser has been available for over seven years and the Windows version for three — but the Apple-supported extensions-development program didn't exist until yesterday. ®

Update

Mike Solomon of SIMBL fame got back to us after we posted this story. "I don't have Safari 5 installed, so I'm not in a position to comment specifically," he wrote, but "More generally, it is extremely rare that SIMBL causes a problem — it's almost always a plugin." And in response to our conspiracy-theory suggestion that Apple might have specifically targeted SIMBL since it just launched its own extension-development program, he said: "I doubt it. There is nothing specific to Safari in the implementation of SIMBL — it works in most applications."

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