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Safari engineer reveals upcoming browser enhancements

Apple Computer\'s Safari and WebKit team is looking to hire new members to work on the further development of the browser and in the meantime is finishing a new round of Safari enhancements that include improved JavaScript performance.

Safari and WebKit software engineer Dave Hyatt is said to be working on new form control implementations that can be styled with cascading style sheets. The changes are also expected to provide better performance on pages with a multitude of form controls, according to Safari team manager Darin Adler.

Meanwhile, Adler promises forthcoming performance improvements for JavaScript that boost scores by about 12 percent on the iBench JavaScript benchmark test.

He says his team is working on JavaScript engine changes that lead up to something they\'re calling tree code: a new way to interpret the JavaScript syntax tree that will be faster and more like a bytecode interpreter. \"So far, one of [the] early steps gave us a 10% improvement on iBench JavaScript, so maybe we’ll see other speedups along the way,\" Alder wrote in a blog posting to the team\'s Surfin\' Safari website.

In addition, WebKit —the HTML framework that forms the foundation of Safari and is also used by Dashboard and —is about gain much need tab character support. \"[It\'s] especially important in the Mail application for editing email messages with tabs,\" Adler wrote. \"This also fixes how tab characters are handled within web pages, which is pretty important in the \'\', for example.\"

Apple recently provided developers with pre-release builds of Safari 2.0 Update 1 for Mac OS X 10.4.x and Safari 1.3 Update 6 for Mac OS X 10.3.9. It\'s likely the aforementioned enhancements would be included as part of these forthcoming updates, which will primarily focus on improving Safari\'s stability.