The iPhone doesn't support a start/home page. Every time you open a new Safari page (equivalent to a tab) it opens to a new page, unless you open it from another page with a "target" attribute. Fortunately, its MobileSafari browser is very smart about suggesting recently visited sites; typing one or two letters typically brings up the site I want as a suggestion. Email addressing works the same way -- it appears to prioritize recently used addresses, so if you visit the same sitesĀ (or email the same correspondents) repeatedly, it's usually right.

On the other hand, sometimes you want a "link farm" (bookmarks page). I keep one with a bunch of links, both for use on the iPhone itself and also for visiting on Macs for working with the iPhone: I'm a big fan of tabbed browsing on desktop computers (ever notice how, in relation to iPhones and other handheld computers, laptops become "desktops"?). On the iPhone, I prefer to keep my bookmark page open, and open new tabs off it. There's a JavaScript bookmarklet to make every link open a new window, but it doesn't do the trick for me.

Instead I keep my iPhone bookmarks on a simple page containing a few lists of links. Since this page changes frequently, I have a BBEdit GREP Pattern to do the necessary. It converts a plain URL, into a proper <a> tag with a unique target attribute (the hostname), and wraps the whole thing in a <li>/</li> pair; this gives me a readable and clickable link that opens in a new window. I tried target="_new" and target="_blank", but no joy. Here's the pattern, to save time for future link farmers...

Search for: ^(https?://)([^/\r]+)(.*)$

Replace with: \t<li><a href="\1\2\3" target="\2">\1\2\3</a></li>