Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Digital Technology

Privoxy – Salvation for Safari

I like the Apple web browser Safari but I often had problems with it under Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and 10.3 (Panther) around its inability to send a “deep refresh”. In Firefox I’d click Ctrl-Refresh to get the most recent page (and in IE I could do similar) but the web toolkit that Safari (and NetNewsWire) use doesn’t allow that. It’s been a real source of frustration because my ISP has an upstream cache and Safari will only get pages from there until they expire. Which meant things like editing blog entries, refreshing web site changes and getting the latest RSS feeds wasn’t reliable. (I’d post stuff on here and it would appear in the news aggregator half a day later.)

However, last night I installed Privoxy which is a caching layer that you can set up between web applications and the net. Configure it to always ask for the most recent page, point the default OS X proxy settings at it and Safari/NewNewsWire works just fine! Excellent.

BTW – Privoxy isn’t the easiest to configure if you’re not comfortable with modifying configuration files and setting up proxy settings.

So now I can get my RSS/Atom feeds reliably outside of the Sage plug-in in Firefox. I’ll keep using Firefox as my browser because it can by-pass Privoxy but now my “Apple” apps will work just fine.

Maybe this is all fixed in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) with Safari 2.0 but I’m not there yet.

Also, if you’re getting fed up with Flash slowing up web sites (can we all say “TVNZ“?) try out the Firefox plug-in FlashBlock. It marks the Flash on the page but doesn’t load them until you click on them or set up that site to always load Flash animations/apps.

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