Safari comes to the PC. Well, sorta.
Swift is a new PC web browser based on Webkit, the open-source HTML rendering engine under the hood of Apple’s Safari browser. For web developers this opens up the possibility of testing websites in a decent approximation of Safari, without requiring a Mac on hand.
Swift is currently only in it’s 0.1 alpha release, and as you might expect is far from ready for prime time. Rendering is a bit skewiffy, especially where forms are concerned, and the UI lacks some basic features such as copy/pasting URLs into the address bar, and support for the mouse scroll wheel. But as a means of getting a rough idea how your pages are going to hold up in Safari, Swift does the job.
The fledgling browser lives up to it’s name too – I’m not the only person who’s observed that Swift seems to render pages faster than Firefox or Internet Explorer. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, as Safari is well known for it’s blazing render speed.
Although there’s been a bit of confusion about who’s responsible for Swift, it’s not actually an Apple product, but rather the work of a developer by the name of Chris Fuenty. Chis has open-sourced Swift, so hopefully the project will gather some momentum and we can look forward to a stable release in the not-too-distant future.