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Chapter Thirteen. Working with Browsers ... > Chimera and Safari: Great Performanc...

Chimera and Safari: Great Performance, Shame About the Size

As this book nears publication, emerging browsers for Macintosh OS X, although excellent and even inspiring in many ways, are unfortunately undoing the good work of 2000 where standard font sizes are concerned. The Gecko-based Chimera (Navigator) browser and Apple's Kmeleon-based Safari are both in beta as of this writing, but they are widely distributed and have already won many fans. Both betas offer solid support for CSS and other standards, and Chimera's is especially meritorious because it combines the standards compliance of Mozilla/Gecko with the silken text rendering and advanced user features of OS X. By the time you read this, Chimera may have changed its name to Camino due to a legal issue (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/camino/). We'll continue to refer to the browser as Chimera because that is how it's known as this book goes to press.

Alas, neither Chimera nor Safari currently ships with the 16px font size default. Both come set at 14px, which is neither the standard setting nor the pre-2000 Macintosh default. The manufacturers seem to be hedging their bets, giving Mac users fonts that fall shy of the standard but are hopefully not too small to render text legibly. Like Goldilocks, they seem to have decided that 14px porridge is “just right.”


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