Coding with Jesse

Swift: Safari for Windows?

August 14th, 2006

I just heard about Swift (via Chris Messina). Swift is a port of WebKit for Windows. WebKit is the rendering engine behind Safari (in the same way Gecko is behind Firefox and Mozilla). So I figure, sweet! Safari for Windows!

I had some problems though. On one of my PCs, WebKit.dll couldn't be registered so the installation failed. Weird.

On my other PC, I got Swift installed no problem. I ran it and.. well.. let's just say it's clearly Alpha software. Not only is the user interface extremely bare minimum (you're not going to make this your default browser any time soon), the functionality is a bit iffy. For example, it crashed when I clicked a normal link.

Perhaps it will help you see how WebKit will render your page.. but I wouldn't rely on it. I had a password field go missing, and buttons are styled with CSS whereas I'm pretty sure they aren't in Safari.

It seems there is also a problem with JavaScript. JavaScript executes, sometimes, but I had a problem getting popups to launch, or to load my new Google ads. Okay, maybe you won't miss popups and ads, but what else will break?

I give massive kudos to WebKit and Chris Fuenty for putting this together. It's not there yet, but I can't wait until it is. Having a port of WebKit on Windows will help web developers without Macs immensely. Maybe one day Swift will even become a major player in the browser market.


1 . Chris Messina on August 16th, 2006

Chris Messina

I've actually not tried it since I run a Mac, but it's the *idea* and *poosibilities* that it represents that to me are so compelling and interesting.

Imagine 6 months from now how good it might be... and then a year. By the time IE7 comes out, they'll be competing with both open source browsers Firefox AND WebKit!

2 . Jesse Skinner on August 17th, 2006

Jesse Skinner

I can't wait for the day when there are SO many browsers that every browser has to follow web standards or lose market share, and the thought of using browser detection becomes completely absurd.

Anyway, having one more is certainly something to celebrate.

3 . Joakim Nygard on September 7th, 2006

Joakim Nygard

Actually the latest version of WebKit (not yet in Safari) found at does allow buttons to be styled using css.
One reason for this is to allow easier customization of widgets, which are also using the WebKit framework.

Interesting blog you've got. Came here from Code Igniter - something I will definitely have a peek at. It looks smaller, faster and easier to use than


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