Recommended Browsers for The Synaptic Leap

14 Jun
Published by gtaylor


general open research


If you're using a mac, we recommend using Firefox (

If you're using a PC, we recommend either Internet Explorer 6.0+ or Firefox (

Using one of these browsers will allow you to easily create compelling posts on The Synaptic Leap using an editor that is quite similar to a word processor.

screen shot of TinyMCE editor

More Background and a Little Off Subject Rant

Neither Apple's Safari nor older versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) can support our editor, TinyMCE. And unfortunately Microsoft doesn't provide IE 6 for macs. Therefore if you're a mac user, Firefox is your best bet.

Of course, you could turn the tables and say that the editor doesn't have code to support those browsers. Certainly that's fair to say of older versions of IE. After all, IE version 5.0 and before were likely available before TinyMCE.

Safari on the other hand, well as much as I love my mac, and I do love my mac, I think Apple ought to dump it. Web application developers struggle to make things work for Safari, Apple just hasn't kept up with all the de-facto web standards. Given the small user base for Safari, it's frequently not worth it for application developers to write code for Sarari specific work arounds.

Apple came out with Safari before Firefox was a presence. Since then, Firefox has gained serious momentum. It's free and it's a damn good browser. The open source developers are doing a good job of keeping it secure and up to date with the latest web developments. In fact, they drove quite a few of them. Due to its strengths, it already has more than twice the market share as Safari does.

Given this change in the marketplace, Apple needs to adjust their browser strategy. I think Apple ought to take half their developers working on Safari and redploy them on Firefox. Then their next "upgrade" for Safari should be to automatically replace it with Firefox. The other half of the programmers should be redeployed on iLife - keeping it leading edge and easy to use. This is their differentiator and I think they should increase their investment and widen their lead in this software space. Trust me, as great as iLife is there's still room for improvement.

And if the Mozilla partnership works out for them for the browser, I think Apple should do the same thing with their Mail. Apple could take 1/2 their mail developers and move them to Thunderbird. Imagine if Thunderbird integrated well with Apple's address book, iTunes, iPhoto... Ahhh, a real mail client on my mac. That would be nice.

Ok enough ranting. I guess the software product manager in me can't help but jump on this soap box.

The Synaptic Leap User Statistics

In case you're interested, the following are a few of our user statistics (according to Awstats) for The Synaptic Leap for May 2006.

  • Unique Visitors 683
  • 3.14 visits / visitor
  • 3.71 pages / visit
  • Approximately 20% of our visitors are on the site for more than 30 minutes.
  • More than 90% come from a direct URL address or a bookmark. This is a big deal.
  • Less than 4% of people find us from a search results page, with Google of course taking the lion's share.
  • We have visitors coming from more than 24 countries, most are from the U.S. with Australia making a good show too.
  • 60% of our users are on Windows; 15% are on Macs; nearly 7 % are on Linux; the rest??
  • We have a near tie for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers with 38.8% and 38.7% respective usage. 2.8% of our visitors are using Safari. The rest is others and unknown.