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Safari 3.1 sees improved form support in latest beta

Apple this month continues to plug away on a small but significant update to its fledgeling Safari web browser, most recently making improvements to the application's handling of web forms and faulty Javascripts.

The cross-platform browser update presently dubbed Safari 3.1 was first made available to the company's developer community last month. Since then, only one external revision has been spotted, arriving last week in the form of three distinct distributions.

A public beta for versions of the Windows operating system carried build number 31A15 and weighed in at 18.5MB, while versions for Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard arrived as builds 8S3021 and 9B4021, weighing in at 48.6MB and 38.9MB, respectively.

In a set of release notes reported to have accompanied the latest distributions, Apple advocated "significant performance, stability, and compatibility improvements" over the builds released just three weeks earlier.

Specifically, the company said Safari 3.1 accepts large amounts of text pastes into forms much faster than its predecessor and that the browser now logs all nasty and unsafe Javascripts to a system log file for later review. In addition, a pesky bug that prevented earlier builds for uploading photos via web forms to online auction sites has also been fixed.

The Mac maker offered no update on the browser's more compelling enhancements, which include support for downloadable web fonts, HTML5 video and audio tags, CSS transitions and animations, and a new SQL storage API.

Improvements to Javascript performance are also a significant focus of the upcoming release, which uses an unreleased version of Apple's Webkit frame work that has proven to be up to 2.5 times as fast in Javascript operations than that of the current version included with the existing Safari 3.0.4 software.