[17 January 2008]
So what is it about Safari and XSLT?
I write a lot of documents. I write them in XML. I really like it when publishing them on the Web means: just checking them into the W3C’s CVS repository (from which they propagate to the the W3C’s Web servers automatically, courtesy of some extremely nifty software put together by our Systems Team with
chewing gum, scotch tape, and baling wire ). No muss, no fuss. No running make or ant. Just. Check. It. In. And presto! it’s on the Web.
And mostly that works.
Actually, for the browsers I usually use, it always works. But I have friends who tell me I really should be using Safari, as it’s faster and simpler and better in ways that momentarily defeated their ability to explain — if I tried it for awhile, I would see, I think was the idea.
But Safari puts me in a bind.
I can’t use Safari as my daily browser if I can’t reliably display XML in it.
And I can’t write it off entirely as a waste of my time, since much of the time it does display XML just fine.
That is: sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn’t. And so far I have not been able to get much light shed on when.
To take a simple example: consider this working paper I’m writing for the W3C SML Working Group. There are two copies of this document: one on the W3C server at the URI just linked to, and one on my local file system, in the directory subtree that holds stuff I’ve checked out from the W3C CVS server. All the references (to DTD, to stylesheet, to images, …) are relative, so that they work on the local copy even when I’m off the network, and so I don’t have to change them when I check revisions in.
The local document displays fine in Firefox. So does the copy of the server. Opera displays both the local and the Web copy just fine. Internet Explorer displays the Web copy just fine. I don’t have a copy of IE that can check the local copy, but I used IE for display of local XML for a long time; I’m confident it would work fine.
Safari displays the local copy just fine.
And on the Web copy? Safari gives me a blank screen.
Safari has, it seems, a love/hate relation with XML.
And that means I have a love/hate relation with Safari.