Safari is Cooler than you Think!

Published on 2008-09-04 15:12:00+00:00
Apps   OS   Safari   X   web  

When you really start digging into Mac OS X, it's fairly mind-boggling how much extra stuff it has that your average user never sees. I recently encountered a problem on my MacBook Pro, where the Optical Audio was overriding my internal speakers, which prevented me from hearing any audio (without using headphones). Unfortunately, there's no easy-to-access preference pane to enable or disable various audio devices. This led me on a search for command-line utilities to manage system preferences.

(hang on, I'll get to Safari in a second...)

Eventually I ran into Amit Singh's list of OS X Hacking tools, where I stumbled upon the defaults command. defaults is the magic "change any setting for Mac OS X on the command line" tool that you (by you, I mean me) never knew about!

So, what does this have to do with Safari? Well, after looking for more information on how to use defaults, I stumbled upon Mac OS X Tips' Top 15 Terminal Commands for Hidden Mac OS X Settings, one of which really caught my attention:

defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1

This enables a "Debug" Menu ("Develop" menu on Safari 3). The Developer menu allows you to:

It's not quite the Web Developer plugin for Firefox, but it does give you additional control over Safari.

And the Network timeline looks pretty darn cool!

ps: i never did find a way to disable the optical audio...guess i got side-tracked.

[Update: 10/05/2008] I just realized there's an easier way to enable this in the Advanced Preferences Tab... just enable the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" option! (as in the screenshot below)

Show Develop menu in menu bar

I guess it pays to pay attention to your app's options!