Swift is a web browser for windows XP which is based on the Webkit rendering engine also used by Apple’s Safari. Nowadays, there is a Windows version of Apple’s Safari itself, but back in 2006 when you wanted the safari experience but were stuck with Windows XP, choices were few.
Swift changed that. With the release of that first freeware Webkit browser on Windows you could enjoy the browsing features of the Apple Macintosh on a Windows system for the very first time.
Swift is a fully functional browser that renders webpages very fast. Webkit, the excellent rendering engine used in the safari and shiira is fully implemented. It features a modal/tabbed interface and some other basic features like a search box, but beyond that there’s not too much luxury.
The main audience at time of release were web developers wanting to know what those sites will look like in Apple Safari on the Macintosh or an ipad or iPhone. This is still a very important step when designing a website though it tends to be a bit neglected. Now, with Safari released for the Windows platform this is not an issue anymore. But Swift provided the first possibility to run that test without having an Apple Product at your disposal. Of course, Swift was [and still is] in early alpha stage, but to get a feel of what a site would look like on the Mac you neither need bookmarks nor context menus or other, fancier stuff.
Unfortunately, with the release of Safari full Windows PCs the development of Swift stopped, so the versions that are still publicly downloadable are still in their early alpha stage.
All in all, it is very much possible that the release of the Swift browser and the subsequent public attention could ver well have been a strong signal to Apple and could possibly have acted as the trigger for their decision to release a Safari version for the Windows platform, which happened just about a year later.
So, even if Swift is outdated by now, it still has the honor of being the first web browser to introduce Webkit rendering on the PC platform.
If you want to give it try you can still download it here:
There is also a swift version for iphone,ipad & ipod:
Webkit started as a spin of off KHTML and KJS which has been further developed mainly by Apple, in more recent times joined by Google and Nokia.
This joint venture led Webkit to be used in a much broader range of equipment. It can now be found in the Blackberry 10, Tizen mobile operating systems, the Amazon Kindle (for web browsing), and most prominently in Google’s Android.
Although the source code was made publicly available in respect to the existing KHTML and KJS licenses, Apple was accused to make independent usage of the code unnecessary difficult, causing the projects to separate more and more. In reaction to that they publicized all sources of Webkit in a very detailed fashion, which caused Nokia and Adobe to join the game. Soon after that, Google decided to base its chrome browser on WebCore, and thus also take part in further Webkit development.
The presentation of Webkit2 in early 2010, which was a completely rewritten version from the ground up, helped to further define Webkit as one of the main forces in HTML rendering engines.
Find more info on http://www.webkit.org/
It is now quite certain that the advent of CSS3 and HTML5 will rejuvenate the industry and bring forth many new practices that will set new benchmarks. Although the standard is not quite complete it almost is about to be completed, and implementation has already begun within the majority of browsers.
Here are some details of what it heralds for the future.
What is New in HTML5?
First and foremost HTML5 will give you much more than the previous HTML versions – And no plugins will be required for this. Whether it is something pertaining to animations, movies or music, or developing complex apps right inside your browser.
The following elements are of note:
- Media (timed) playback – <video> and <audio> elements are handled without additional software.
- New form controls, like email, url, search, calendar, date and time
- Support for local storage and completely different content-specific elements, like <nav>, <section><article>, <header>,<footer>
- 2D drawing – <canvas> element
HTML5 also has some new APIs for use with the following applications:
Is it Usable Now?
Well, partly. Right now, browsers cannot support the standard in its entirity, because, as mentioned before, it is not yet finished. However, this will soon be the case. The aim of W3C is to launch HTML5 as a stable recommendation towards the end of the second half of this year and a newer and more developed version in 2016.
Most browsers, in their most recent releases, support the already finished parts of the standard – for example the canvas feature. Just to be on the safe side old browsers will have the possibility to bypass the new code and flawlessly operate without it if in case they don’t support it.
Just in order to demonstrate that Silverlight and Flash are not required by browsers with HTML5, a developer by the name of David Walsh has brought together 9 samples with the use of native technology. On his website, http://davidwalsh.name/canvas-demos, there are more details given about the new HTML5 possibilities, including demo programs.
Even before HTML5 has fully launched, it has started a big following amongst developers and others. In fact many of the largest sites on the internet have already started using HTML5. There are many uses for it as of now and it will only increase in the days to come.
We all need swift in our life and we all tend to lose it from time to time. So I have dedicated myself to find ways to get it back – as fast and easy as possible!
Being a web-programmer today is very much about efficiency. You have to keep up with an almost endless number of things: new programming languages or updates almost every month, knowing the latest style and being able to apply it, making sure it all runs smoothly on newer and older browsers, you name it – and, of course, all that while keeping the clients deadlines. It’s not always easy to stay a well balanced human being while juggling with all that stuff. But to be able to work, and take the punches and stresses we inevitably experience from time to time, we need a solid personal background.
Most of all, this means staying healthy. This is easier said than done, I know. Long working hours, often stretching until late into the night, not enough time to eat healthy, prepare healthy meals -or even not enough time to buy a healthy food make it difficult to maintain the nutrition our body needs to stay in good shape.
Another thing as mental health. Pressure from clients, their sometimes unpredictable behavior, combined with pressure caused by technical issues can really put your personality to the test. At the same time, you have to be able to think straight because you have to solve complex technical problems almost all the time, and – if you’re also a web designer – deliver amazing artwork and style on command for the websites you make.
Where is the time for personal relationships, then? Taking all the aforementioned into account, how are we going to keep them up? There are seemingly just not enough hours in the day to cope with it all.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is, as strange as it may sound, efficiency. That’s means finding and implementing working and efficient methods to get your work done as quickly as possible while maintaining outstanding quality. Also, being able to eat healthy without losing too much time preparing food for the meals. And also, last but not least, making sure that there is enough time left to take care of your personal relationships.
I know, I know — this sounds like even more stress! But we are going to do it in a different way.
We are going to do the things we HAVE TO DO more efficiently and thus have much more time for the things we really WANT TO DO ! For HAVING FUN ! For being with people we love, play baseball, being with our girlfriend (or getting one, if you you’re going solo right now).
The message is: WE’RE WORKING TO LIVE, NOT LIVING TO WORK !
Which does not mean we can’t be efficient and have fun with our work at the same time. I’ve found, the more fluent things go, the more fun it is to do them.
But there’s more to it.
As mentioned before, to be able to keep up our good work and keep our mental and physical health and sanity we need a strong background of working personal relationships. Not all of us have that, and not everyone knows how to keep it that way.
That’s why I dedicated myself some time ago to find methods to make those aspects of my life work – and keep them working. I found those methods and I continue finding and testing them, one after the other.
And whenever I find one that works for me, I am going to share it with you – right here, on this blog.
So stay tuned, there’s more to come!