capsule review

SafariSource 1.7.1

Today’s Gem is a simple one, but a product that satisfies a complaint-slash-request I’ve heard from a surprising number of readers. That sentiment can be summarized as, “I like Safari a lot, but its source view doesn’t provide syntax coloring like [Firefox/Camino/etc.].” In other words, when you view the source of a Web page in Safari (using View: View Source), you get a page of plain text that’s difficult to read.

In fact, for those who need to look at the HTML source of Web pages often—for example, anyone who does Web development—Safari’s stock source-viewing functionality, which just sticks raw text in a window, seems more like an afterthought than a legitimate feature.

If you fall into this category, the solution has been to use a different browser altogether—or at least to switch to another browser when looking at source. But an alternative is TildeSoft’s SafariSource (   ; payment requested), a SIMBL plug-in that adds syntax coloring to Safari’s own source view. Here's a low-res image of the source code of Macworld ’s home page, displayed in Safari’s View Source window before and after installing SafariSource:

SafariSource before and after

The version on the bottom is still not the most readable text ever—it is HTML, after all—but at least now the various elements of the page (tags, attributes, strings, JavaScript, CSS, and so on) are each color-coded, making it easier to make sense of the source.

SafariSource’s preferences, available via a new screen in Safari’s own preferences window, let you change source font and size; background color; and the color of each type of text. You can also choose to italicize, underline, or bold particular types of text (assuming, of course, that the font you’ve chosen supports these styles).

SafariSource prefs

Now, granted, there are many other reasons someone might prefer to use a browser other than Safari; but if your main reason is Safari’s lack of syntax coloring, SafariSource can fix that.

SafariSource 1.7.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, SIMBL (included), and Safari; it’s compatible with the current beta version of Safari 3.0.

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