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Apple proposes improvements to Safari browsing experience

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A pair of new patent filings from Apple include suggestions for improving the browsing experience offered through its Safari Web browser, such as a adaptive media support and a visual history tree that more accurately shows users where they've been and how they got there.

Both filings are relatively fresh, having been filed in January and April of this year, respectively, and each are credited to known members of the Cupertino-based company's Mac OS technology and QuickTime teams.

Viewing histories as tree diagrams

Of particular interest is the filing for improved navigation history display, which suggests that a user's browser history be presented in the form of a visual tree diagram tied to a timeline, rather than as a linear list of previously accessed pages that otherwise lacks structure.

"A problem with this linear history is that users can visit a large number of web pages, which are confusing to view in a linear history, and the forward and back buttons are inefficient and cumbersome way to navigate through multiple web pages," Apple said. "Further, the problems of a linear history are not confined to pages accessed via a web browser, but also apply when a succession of data of other types is accessed over a period of time."

To remedy these issues, the company proposes a signal-bearing medium where previously-accessed web pages are displayed as nodes in a tree (or trees) alongside an axis representing time.

Under this model, the root node of a tree would represent a webpage accessed manually when the user enters an address into Safari's address bar, while a child node of the tree would represent pages later selected from the parent node. The tree would split each time the user spawns a new window or tab and represent this split to the user through variations in the lines connecting the tree nodes.



The new history interface would also include controls for scaling the tree by time of depth, as it's likely that users will visit a large number of web pages during any given session.

"Compression reduces the number of displayed nodes by only displaying, for example, nodes associated with pages that have an address with a hierarchical level corresponding to the position of the depth slider," Apple said. "When the depth is set at zero compression, all nodes are displayed. When the depth is set at maximum compression, only nodes associated with an address at the first hierarchical level are displayed."

Adaptive media support

In the second filing, Apple looks to solve the problem where Mac users are sometimes prevented from viewing digital media -- primarily videos -- on the Web because Safari lacks the means required for display of that media in its preferred format.

"In web browsers other than Internet Explorer, it is up to the Web browser to find a registered plug-in for use based on the media type specified in the HTML," Apple wrote in the filing. "In these examples, a Web browser must either determine whether there is an appropriate plug-in or must use a single specified plug-in which may not be available. If it is not available, the media content cannot be displayed or otherwise presented."



As a solution, the company proposes that Safari examine metadata included with the media item to determine whether the content can be displayed in an alternative format supported natively by the browser, or through plug-ins that could retrieved and installed on the spot.

"The preferred from or representation may be specified first and examined first and if the user agent is not able to support the preferred form, then the user agent may examine the rest of the tag or metadata to determine what other forms or representations it can support," the filing says. "The other forms or representations may be characterized as fallback positions or forms. In addition, the tag or metadata may specify other parameters or conditions, such as bandwidth or data rates, which can be used to select which form of the content to present."
post #2 of 30
The first patent seems nice from a technical sense, but over-complicated from a user's perspective.

The second seems blatantly obvious.
post #3 of 30
I would just like Safari to be more stable and not start spitting and sputtering when it doesn't like something on a webpage.

I've been trying to keep my system running lean, mean and clean and Safari has been crashing like never before since the 10.5.4 update. I just jumped on board 10.5.5 yesterday so I haven't been able to see if that has made a difference, but has anyone else noticed Safari being buggier than usual?

If I were to pick which Safari problem I could have I would rather have the memory leak that caused jumpy page scrolling/lag than the amount of crashes I've been having.
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"the user agent may examine the rest of the tag or metadata to determine what other forms or representations it can support," the filing says.

yes it does seem obvious.

And at the same time.. it makes me think Apple wants Quicktime to play Flash videos natively... and wants safari to help.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I would just like Safari to be more stable and not start spitting and sputtering when it doesn't like something on a webpage.

I've been trying to keep my system running lean, mean and clean and Safari has been crashing like never before since the 10.5.4 update. I just jumped on board 10.5.5 yesterday so I haven't been able to see if that has made a difference, but has anyone else noticed Safari being buggier than usual?

I've noticed everything from Apple seems to get a bit more buggier with every release they do. Like the way they've also removed the bit from there reasons to get a mac page that used to say "It just works" as obviously it now doesn't.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

... Safari has been crashing like never before since the 10.5.4 update. I just jumped on board 10.5.5 yesterday so I haven't been able to see if that has made a difference, ....

I work at a large all mac place that hasn't seen any of the problems you talk about, but you are right about the updates.

In any troubleshooting attempt, the very first step is to make sure all the software is up to date. it's not even worth thinking about a problem, let alone talking about it, if you haven't first ensured that you have all the latest software, patches, bug-fixes etc.

Another good rule of thumb is that some (insert huge made up percentage here), of browser "problems" usually turn out to be web page problems. For instance if a browser is "stuttering" that suggests it's stuck in a loop or trying to load the same info over and over again. That kind of crap behaviour is so extremely unlikely on any modern browser that it's almost certainly a problem with the way the site is coded.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #7 of 30
So far Safari has been working well for me, it only slows down when loading PDF documents and maybe some badly build website (I see the source code....no DOCTYPE and the coding look so messy).

Apple need to stop trying to expand their self too much within a year and focus back on their quality. We dont want to see Microsoft No.2
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post #8 of 30
Can we finally please get the option to not view the address bar like every other browser has ( view web pages full screen)?
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Can we finally please get the option to not view the address bar like every other browser has ( view web pages full screen)?

1) Hide Toolbar

2) Customize ToolBar, then remove the Address Bar.

...but I'm sure you'll complain about these options.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I would just like Safari to be more stable and not start spitting and sputtering when it doesn't like something on a webpage.

I've been trying to keep my system running lean, mean and clean and Safari has been crashing like never before since the 10.5.4 update. I just jumped on board 10.5.5 yesterday so I haven't been able to see if that has made a difference, but has anyone else noticed Safari being buggier than usual?

If I were to pick which Safari problem I could have I would rather have the memory leak that caused jumpy page scrolling/lag than the amount of crashes I've been having.

Don't you know it's not Safari/Apple's problem being unstable - it's just the web designers fault?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Hide Toolbar

2) Customize ToolBar, then remove the Address Bar.

...but I'm sure you'll complain about these options.

A.) It shouldn't be that difficult- a one click solution would suffice -like every other browser has.

B.) Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

A.) It should't be that difficult- a one click solution would suffice -like every other browser has.

B.) Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

⌘+Shift+| or remap it to something simpler.
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post #13 of 30
It seems to me that the tree history would make more intuitive sense if the "root" was at the bottom of the page. That puts where you started at the bottom, and where you are now at the top. I usually want to start with where I am and work back. If I need to get to the root I can always click the SnapBack orange arrow in the address bar. I don't know if this tree thing is the best solution, but I find the current history implementation kinda one point oh. It's nice to know they're at least thinking about it.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #14 of 30
Apple really ought to buy Inquisitor - that'd make a great addition to Safari.
post #15 of 30
I'd love to see Apple put a little history icon in the bookmarks toolbar next to the bookmarks icon. That would be perfect to switch in and out of in full window mode.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

It seems to me that the tree history would make more intuitive sense if the "root" was at the bottom of the page. That puts where you started at the bottom, and where you are now at the top. I usually want to start with where I am and work back. If I need to get to the root I can always click the SnapBack orange arrow in the address bar. I don't know if this tree thing is the best solution, but I find the current history implementation kinda one point oh. It's nice to know they're at least thinking about it.

Naah.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

⌘+Shift+| or remap it to something simpler.

Touché
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

It seems to me that the tree history would make more intuitive sense if the "root" was at the bottom of the page. That puts where you started at the bottom, and where you are now at the top. I usually want to start with where I am and work back. If I need to get to the root I can always click the SnapBack orange arrow in the address bar. I don't know if this tree thing is the best solution, but I find the current history implementation kinda one point oh. It's nice to know they're at least thinking about it.

Why not just make it similar to the TimeMachine UI.
It basically does the exact same thing.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

⌘+Shift+| or remap it to something simpler.

Kinda makes you wonder why he picked the alias "techstud" doesn't it.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

Apple really ought to buy Inquisitor - that'd make a great addition to Safari.

Too bad Yahoo! beat them to it.
post #21 of 30
I hope apple also fixes the BS safari we are stuck with on the iPhone. It crashes every 5 mins while browsing, and while posting in forums like these.
post #22 of 30
Safari on my MBP is pretty good but on the iPhone it is crash o matic. Frankly some of the crashes really have no good excuse. For example crashes on simply forum type web sites. So Apple really needs to get cracking on Safari stability on iPhone. After 2.1 it was the only thing that got worst on my 3G.

By the way the second patent sounds like it is designed for iPhone. It certainly would make CNNs web site more useful. The surprising thing though is that the idea is even thought to be patentable. I mean this in the sense of this how long has software been reading data streams to figure put what to do with that data. I guess you can patent anything these days.

In any event like I said Safari on iPhone sucks right now. On my MBP, where there is competitive software, it isn't to bad. Maybe that is an indication of something.

Dave
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post

I hope apple also fixes the BS safari we are stuck with on the iPhone. It crashes every 5 mins while browsing, and while posting in forums like these.

Seriously though I'm glad I'm not the only one frustrated with this. Just when the rest of iPhone seems to be really coming together as a stable platform, iPhone decides to go the opposite way!!!!!!

I hope the big man at Apple is reading this thread.


Dave
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Kinda makes you wonder why he picked the alias "techstud" doesn't it.

Learn how to spell it - lkruppface.
And his convoluted answer to make a web browser full screen is just that.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Touché

You mean Douche, Mr. Cheese. That's still not a real solution but a convoluted one .
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post

I hope apple also fixes the BS safari we are stuck with on the iPhone. It crashes every 5 mins while browsing, and while posting in forums like these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Seriously though I'm glad I'm not the only one frustrated with this. Just when the rest of iPhone seems to be really coming together as a stable platform, iPhone decides to go the opposite way!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Safari on my MBP is pretty good but on the iPhone it is crash o matic. Frankly some of the crashes really have no good excuse. For example crashes on simply forum type web sites. So Apple really needs to get cracking on Safari stability on iPhone. After 2.1 it was the only thing that got worst on my 3G.

By the way the second patent sounds like it is designed for iPhone. It certainly would make CNNs web site more useful. The surprising thing though is that the idea is even thought to be patentable. I mean this in the sense of this how long has software been reading data streams to figure put what to do with that data. I guess you can patent anything these days.

In any event like I said Safari on iPhone sucks right now. On my MBP, where there is competitive software, it isn't to bad. Maybe that is an indication of something.


When does Wikipedia update the term "whiner" with a picture of someone holding an iPhone?
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

When does Wikipedia update the term "whiner" with a picture of someone holding an iPhone?

Clever... no not really. You want to know how I know you lack intellect? Because you get your information from wikipedia. Anyway as for everyone else who posted about safari. There are hundreds of posts complaining on the apple forum and they still don't do anything about it. I am not whining I just want the biggest feature on the iPhone 'Safari' to work properly. The most ironic thing about it is you cannot even post a reply on the apple forum with apples iPhone.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Another good rule of thumb is that some (insert huge made up percentage here), of browser "problems" usually turn out to be web page problems. For instance if a browser is "stuttering" that suggests it's stuck in a loop or trying to load the same info over and over again. That kind of crap behaviour is so extremely unlikely on any modern browser that it's almost certainly a problem with the way the site is coded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Don't you know it's not Safari/Apple's problem being unstable - it's just the web designers fault?

So how does that explain Apple.com giving me some of the worst crashing issues then????
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

So how does that explain Apple.com giving me some of the worst crashing issues then????

Your case sounds unique, I also work with many macs and find Safari as stable as Firefox. I would check a few things such as the RAM chips, background apps, or try re-installing Safari.

Yeah never had problems with Apple's website before.
Might be Quicktime issues.
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post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You mean Douche, Mr. Cheese. That's still not a real solution but a convoluted one .

*cough*

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

...but I'm sure you'll complain about these options.
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