I’ve long envied the polished appearance of Safari from the safe distance of my Firefox usage. On several occasions I’ve tried to set Safari as my default browser, but it never stuck. There were just too many functional niceties in Firefox that I couldn’t manage to get along without. That changed last week with the introduction of Safari 5.
The web inspector has finally caught up with Firebug —at least enough so as to make it a very usable alternative—and, at long last, extensions. Extensions! The availability of extension support—I mean real support, not that goofy, half-assed SIMBL hackery that was effective, but…ugh—opens the door to solving a lot of personal workflow woes that I’ve had in the past. Throw in a customized application hot key (Cmd+K to access the search box directly the way I could in Firefox) and it’s almost just like using Firefox except faster, prettier and without the memory suck (so far).
In an effort to solve one of my major issues with Safari, I found an extension that hijacks the RSS button that appears in Safari’s address bar when a feed is detected and redirects to Google Reader. I loved that the functionality was completely unobtrusive. No new buttons, no badges. The extension took a UI element that already existed and was useful, but repurposed it to be even more useful to me. Perfect. The implementation stopped a bit short of what I was looking for, but the developer, Chupa, was good enough to make his source code available on Github. I forked his repository and made the changes I wanted.
If you’re looking for an extension that will add a feed directly to Google Reader and bypasses the iGoogle/Reader option page unless you specifically enable an option that lands you there, you might like my version of Chupa’s Add to Google Reader extension for Safari 5. You can download and install it directly or you can check out the source code in my Codaset project.