Earlier this week, former Apple engineer Don Melton started his own personal blog. Yesterday, he recounted the time during his management of the web browser project he’d started at 1 Infinite Loop, when he first heard the name “Safari” (about a month before it shipped in January 2003). But before then, he says, there were a lot of potential names for the browser, some submitted by Steve Jobs himself. Names such as “Freedom.”
Steve spent some time trying that one out on all of us. He may have liked it because it invoked positive imagery of people being set free. And, just as possible and positive, it spoke to our own freedom from Microsoft and Internet Explorer, the company and browser we depended on at the time.
Melton says he can’t recall many of the other possible names that were tossed around, apart from the shudder-inducing “iBrowse.” But he can remember that it didn’t take long for him to warm up to calling his project — which had been known internally as “Alexander” — Safari after his lukewarm initial reaction of “it doesn’t suck.”