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IE UI Designer On His Switch To FireFox 728

wellington writes "Scott Berkun (who worked on UI design for Internet Explorer 1.0 thru 5.0) talked about why he switched to Firefox. In addition to five reasons why he switched, Scott also detailed five UI flaws in Firefox."
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IE UI Designer On His Switch To FireFox

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  • UI Flaw #6 (Score:5, Funny)

    by GreggyBUIUC ( 262370 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:58PM (#13567661)
    It doesn't come packaged with XP
  • Firefox search box (Score:3, Insightful)

    by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:58PM (#13567668) Homepage Journal
    I completely agree with the issue of the search box being at the bottom of the screen. I work on a 21" monitor, and it drives me nuts looking down, then on the page, back and forth.
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:14PM (#13567857)
      > I completely agree with the issue of the search box being at the bottom of the screen. I work on a 21" monitor, and it drives me nuts looking down, then on the page, back and forth.

      I'll go one step further - first, the search box doesn't belong on the bottom, but secondly - find-as-you-type itself should be a user-disablable option.

      In the meantime, I use Retrofind [] as my solution to the problem. Retrofind is a Firefox extension that replaces FAYT with the old-school semi-modal dialog box.

      If I'm 37 PgDn keypresses into a long SlashFark thread, and I see that someone's replying to user "foobar", and I want to find the original comment, I do not want to see the browser window jump up to 32-PgDns (landing on "foo", "fool" or "foosball") when I type "foo", only to land on the 28-PgDn level of "foobar"'s post.

      Why not? Because it's bloody hard to remember that I'm 37 PgDn keypresses (or 37% of the way through the scrollbar, etc) into the thread when I just wanted to "Find 'foobar'". If "foobar" doesn't exist (maybe it was a typo, maybe it was beneath my moderation threshold), but "foo", "fool", or "foosball" does, I've now completely lost track of where I was in the thread. I want to navigate if, and only if, the string exists - and I want to do it when, and only when, my eyeballs and brain are expecting it.

      Those are the most egregious examples, but the more I tried to use find-as-you-type, the more I decided it wasn't for me. In comparison to the old find-in-page dialog, FAYT felt the web browsing equivalent of auto-focus-stealing, auto-raising windows on the desktop. FAYT is not a bug, but at least for me, it's a misfeature.

      I'm curious - am I alone in this opinion?

    • by sixteenraisins ( 67316 ) <> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:20PM (#13567944) Homepage
      I guess this is a case of "to each his own." I love the search box - and indeed, the whole dialog - at the bottom of the window. I never liked the "popup" dialog for finding text in IE, so a docked bar works better for me.

      The issue of bottom versus top is a little more nitpicky for me. In my mind, if the search dialog were to spontaneously appear at the top of the window, then one of two things would happen: (1) the HTML text/image/whatever at the top of the window would suddenly become hidden, which I would find distracting, or (2) all the HTML text/images/whatever would suddenly bump down a few lines to accommodate the appearance of the search bar, which would also distract me.

      Since I (and presumably most other users) typically read a web page from top to bottom, scrolling down as necessary, the search bar appearing at the bottom of the window only covers up things I haven't yet read, so it's not cumbersome.

      I work on dual 18" screens, and I almost never maximize a browser window to fullscreen - I prefer to work in a window roughly 1024x768, so glancing down doesn't pose a problem for me.

      But like I said, to each his own (:
    • by astrosmash ( 3561 )
      The biggest problem is that the Find Bar is practially invisible down there.

      I used to download the Firefox nightly builds quite often. I remember when the find bar was first introduced I used the browser for a week thinking that Find was broken, because Ctrl+F didn't appear to do anything.

      Even months later I still sometimes hit Ctrl+F multiple times in Firefox because of the lack of visual feedback. It's not that I don't know how to use Firefox, it's just that it's so unlike from every other application.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:59PM (#13567675)
    Isn't it about time that any link that is included in an article is coralized first? Makes the site admins happy, makes the readers happy.

    But wait, that might require effort, or even a very small perl script...
    • by Raphael ( 18701 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:38PM (#13568153) Homepage Journal
      Makes the site admins happy, makes the readers happy.

      That may make some readers happy, but not all of them. My employer blocks access to the coral cache and to some other public proxies that can be used as anonymizers. If all links were automatically coralized, reading slashdot would become painful because I would have to edit every link in order to be able to view it, including links to sites that are not slashdotted. So for those who have similar "no anonymizers" policies at work or at school, the problem would be worse than it is currently because all links would be blocked, not just a few.

      Keep in mind that most "big" sites linked from Slashdot do want direct links to them, so that they can benefit from their ads, etc. So linking unconditionally to a cached version would not make everybody happy, even if it would certainly help many smaller sites that can be badly hurt by slashdot..

      What would be great is to include both links (original and coralized) for every link included in an article. Just like logged in users can choose in their preferences to display the domain name next to each link posted in a comment, it could be possible to hide the "(cache)" links that would appear by default next to each link on the home page. With this solution, it would be trivial for readers to switch to the cache if a site gets slashdotted.

    • Behind this firewall, I can't get to coralcache links. That would effectively mean I couldn't read Slashdot at work. As a result, I'd actually have to do my job, which means I would go insane and my head would explode.

      Coral cache as a supplement would work, but if all links were coralized, I'd be done for.
    • I'm no expert, but it would seem that it would be possible to write a greasemonkey script that turns all slashdot links into coralized links. Is there a reason why this can't be done?
    • Isn't it about time that any link that is included in an article is coralized first? Makes the site admins happy, makes the readers happy.

      But wait, that might require effort, or even a very small perl script...

      WANTED: Someone to write a nice Firefox extenstion that auto-coralizes all links (or outgoing http requests from page links) either going to a domain, or when the referrer is a certain domain (ie, slashdot).

      Call it something like "atoll" or "barrier reef" :-)

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:00PM (#13567690)
    Indeed, we are seeing the benefits of true competition in the browser market. People have a better product to choose from, and existing manufacturers are forced to innovate.

    Just when people thought that the desktop computing environment had started to stagnate, we're seeing many new developments recently. Most of the developments have been the result of competition from Mac OS X, the Mozilla Project, Linux, and other open-source software.

    It's good to know that open source software has the ability to affect a misbehaving economy in such a fashion. But then again, perhaps it's just the system working as it should: there's a demand for new software, and that demand is being met by the open source community.

  • My favorite reason (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Cowdog ( 154277 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:01PM (#13567701) Journal
    Stories like this always leave out my favorite Firefox feature. It's such a small, easy feature to implement, but it has such a great impact:

    Easy font resizing. Ctrl-plus to make fonts bigger on any web site.

    Whenever I show this feature to somone over 40, it immediately sells them on Firefox.

    Sure, it's possible in IE too, but not for every site. Some sites are coded in such a way that text resizing doesn't work in IE. But in Firefox it always does work for any text.
    • by cyfer2000 ( 548592 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:04PM (#13567734) Journal
      I like it better.
    • Just FYI, it also works in Safari(and probably Konquerer as well), so it's not unique to Firefox...
    • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian.wylfing@net> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:19PM (#13567916) Homepage Journal
      Sure, [font resizing is] possible in IE too, but not for every site.

      I'm not quite over 40 yet, but I do use Linux, where font sizes are not rendered at 150%+ their correct size. Windows-designed web pages often have teeny tiny fonts that strain my eyes. Mac users know what I'm talking about too. So font resizing is a must-have feature for me.

      Anyway, from my own testing, it seems that whenever a stylesheet specifies a font size, IE will always render the font at that size, no matter what you tell it to do. Want bigger fonts? Too bad, the stylesheet says 11px, so 11px is what you're going to get. Meh.

    • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:06PM (#13568516)

      Absolutely! It can screw up a site's visual presentation, but being able to actually read the content is more important than what some graphic artist thinks "looks cool".

      I suppose the use of all Flash for sites is the graphic designers' revenge, but more often than not, sites that use Flash exclusively are just that - flashy eyecandy for people who can't/won't/don't want to read.
  • by MTO_B. ( 814477 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:02PM (#13567715) Homepage
    You should read Asa []'s reply to this article.
    Read it here [].

    It's very interesting. :-)
    • Asa is great. He replies to critism and does it well. He makes open source software appealing.

      The tab thing seems to be the most contentious issue between them. Personally, I don't understand why anybody would want to see the same page in a newly created tab when they user ctrl-t. Scott is suggesting just that. I like a nice blank page that loads in milliseconds and doesn't steal the focus from the URL bar.

      IE's "new window" behavior is just braindead to me. Why would I want a copy of the same wind

  • Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:03PM (#13567720)
    Why I switched to Firefox

    It's a sad day and a good day. For years I've held onto my IE install out of love. I worked on IE 1.0 thru 5.0, and was one of the people that designed much of its UI. But my love for the past has faded. Last week I switched to Firefox: and I've been happy.

    Why I switched:

    1. IE is a ghetto. There are specs I wrote for UI features in 1998 that are unchanged today, 7 years later, in a world where browser usage has changed dramatically. I've watched bugs that I fought to have fixed in 5.0 become regressions, appearing in 5.01 and surviving in 6.0. Even though it's the product I was proudest of, using it now makes me sad - it's been left behind. I do read the IE blog now and again - smart folks are working - but there's nothing for me to install.
    2. Bookmarks work. The Favorites UI model in IE is the same one we built in 1997, when we knew most of our users had 20-40 favorites. It was made to be super simple and consumer friendly as most of the population was still new to the net. This UI is effectively broken today, designed for people that don't exist. The Favorites menu and Favorites bar show links in different orders, the organize favorites dialog is just weird, multiselect doesn't work: favorites is a sad forgotten place. This was by far my greatest frustration with IE, even though I'm responsible for much of the original design.
    3. Firefox has quality & polish. IE 5.0, for its time (1999), was a high quality release. Really, it was. Joe Peterson, Hadi Partovi and Chris Jones fought hard to give the team time to do lots of fit and finish work. We did fewer features and focused hard on quality and refinement. Firefox feels to me like what IE 6.0 should have been (or what i expected it to be after I left the team in '99). It picked a few spots to build new features (tabs), focused on quality and refinement, and paid attention to making the things used most, work best. The core UI design is very similiar to IE5: History/Favorites bars, progress UI, toolbars, but its all smooth, reliable and clean.
    4. They made a mainstream product. One of the big challenges in designing software is balancing the requests of earlier adopters in the community, with the needs of the majority of more mainstream users. After playing with mozilla on and off I was afraid firefox would be a built for programmers by programmers type experience. It's not. I don't know who in the firefox org was the gatekeeper on features and UI, but I'd like to meet him/her/them (seriously). They did a great job of keeping the user experience focused on the core tasks. If you're reading please say hi.
    5. Security isn't annoying. . The press makes security into such a huge deal, but I'll be honest. I don't want to think about security at all. I'll do what I need to, but mostly I want the system to take care of it and stay out my face. Nothing in FF makes me feel safer explicitly, I just don't deal with as many warnings, settings and other details. I know from the PR that security in FF is better (even if only because it's less targeted by spyware, etc.) but I'm pleased that the product doesn't remind me of how safe I am all the time.

    Problems with Firefox:

    I'm a UI design guy, so many of these are UI related. (Added note: I'd used FF on and off, but since I'm now 100% some of these are complaints might fade in a month of usage. Stay tuned).

    1. Find UI. Why does the find dialog appear at the bottom of the screen? I agree that a dialog box (semi-modal) can be a mistake if you're doing multiple searches, but flipping a coin for placement (top vs. bottom), the top is a better choice for any UI, especially if it's going to look and act like a toolbar. I can't move it so it earns a spot on this list. However, the overall implementation isn't circa 1992 like the IE one. It highlights, it searches on type, & it warns on unfound items - nice..Firefox find
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:09PM (#13567782)
    am I the only one that noticed that at least four of the five Firefox UI "flaws" can be fixed with extensions?
    first flaw: Retro Find []
    second flaw: Download Statusbar []
    third flaw: Clone Window []
    fifth flaw: Menu Editor []
    • by TBone ( 5692 )
      The point isn't that the shortcomings can't be fixed - it's that they shouldn't be shortcomings in the first place.
      • by schon ( 31600 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:59PM (#13568419)
        The point isn't that the shortcomings can't be fixed - it's that they shouldn't be shortcomings in the first place.

        And most of them aren't shortcomings at all.

        Find is at the bottom of the screen for a reason (and a good one). However, it should be positionable by the user.

        Tabs opening blank is the *CORRECT WAY* to do it - as another poster pointed out. "I'm opening a new tab, I'm not cloning an existing one." New means *NEW*, not "clone of what I'm vewing now." When I open a *NEW* tab, it's because I want to go somewhere else, not see the exact same thing I'm already looking at. If you want to visit a link in the page, use middle-click, which will open a new tab, and load the link (which is more user-friendly than cloning the tab and forcing the user to click on the link - one action rather than two.)

        I've never used the Go menu, but some of the responses are interesting - it holds a global list of sites visited, shared between tabs. In a non-tabbed browser it's pretty useless, but combined with tabs, it becomes pretty cool.
  • Blank tabs rule (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HisMother ( 413313 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:10PM (#13567794)

    I agree with most of what this guy has to say, except for the "blank tabs" thing. He wants new tabs to open with the home page, or last page visited, or something. But opening new tabs blank is exactly right. Whenever I explicitly open a new tab -- i.e., whenever I say "New Tab" rather than "Open in new Tab" -- the next thing I do is type into the URL box. IE's approach of having crap already in the URL box just adds steps. If you want a new tab with your home page, then make a new tab, then click "home."

    • Re:Blank tabs rule (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:24PM (#13567980) Journal
      No, the 'right' thing to do is to let the user set prefs that allow a new tab to have home page, last page or a blank page. Let the user decide, not the app builders.

      • Re:Blank tabs rule (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kisrael ( 134664 )
        MOD PARENT UP.

        Really, there's NO reason this couldn't be an esay to use configuration option:
        New Window: (_)Blank (*)Homepage (_)Clone Current
        New Tab: (*)Blank (_)Homepage (_)Clone Current

        This is a religous issue for some people. Since a new browser window is always 2 or 3 keypresses away for me (windows key, f, return) I can't see why people are so adamant about blank's easier to get to a blank window from a cloned window than the other way around, that's for sure!
        • Really, there's NO reason this couldn't be an esay to use configuration option
          Of course there is. Main one would be one of the reasons Firefox exists: If you include every possible configuration option in Preferences, you end up with Mozilla suite.
          • Re:Blank tabs rule (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kisrael ( 134664 )
            Of course there is. Main one would be one of the reasons Firefox exists: If you include every possible configuration option in Preferences, you end up with Mozilla suite.
            Taken to an extreme, you have a browser with ZERO configuration options.

            But given how some people LOVE blank new windows and other people HATE them, and it's a pretty easy concept to express, I think it's a strong canidate for inclusion under "advanced"...I mean there's already a VERY similar 3 radio button "Open links from other applicatio
    • I too despise IE bringing up the same page in a new window. The thing that I hate most about it is how little sense it really makes - I mean, you are ALREADY viewing that page and now you have another.

      In a response to someone who posted the same thought as you (only want a blnak page on new), the author replied with:

      The logic was: if we bring the history along, people who didnt want it can just do whatever they were going to do anyway - low impact (the perf profile was good). But for people that need it, i
  • by bad_outlook ( 868902 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:11PM (#13567809) Homepage
    If you're cool and running the 1.5 Beta of Firefox, you get an error page after clicking on the article link that looks like this:

    • The connection has timed out
      • The server at is taking too long to respond.
      • The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
      • If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
      • If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.
      [Try again]
    That's unbeatable...
  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:11PM (#13567811)
    RTFA this time - it's worth it. And get Ben, Asa, and crew to give him a call - not because they need help, but because I think he's honestly on the same wavelength as they are and a fresh perspective can be a good thing. The issues he raises, while relatively minor, are worth addressing.

    Anything I type here won't add to it.
  • Go Menu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BAILOPAN ( 694545 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:12PM (#13567831) Homepage
    It's funny, after reading his write-up, I realized I'd never even seen Go menu before.

    Sure enough, it's there, and I never knew it. That's probably a good hint that I don't need a "Go Menu," as it looks pretty useless.

    I think he's right about "Find" as well. Although the bottom quick-find is very cool, there's no short-cut (or even this feature at all) for an advanced find dialogue.

    It's also odd he mentioned that Firefox should retain the last URL when opening a new window - this is perhaps the IE feature I hate the most, with a passion. Often I'm simply viewing a large site and want to spawn a clean window (since there are no tabs) - it has to reload the whole thing over again.

    I'm sure there are people here who automatically assume an IE developer has no place telling Firefox suggestions, but I think some of these are good.
  • by madstork2000 ( 143169 ) * on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:20PM (#13567934) Homepage
    I have to agree with the bottom browser placement of the find box, and the elimination of the "go" menu. I have NEVER scene anyone use that.

    Though I disagree with his take on tabs. I love having a blank tab, because I often prefer typing a URL (or at leat the first few characters) to using the mouse for drop down in my bookmarks. Bookmarks work great if you only have a few, but I tend to bookmark interesting sites that I won't visit frequently, but I nevertheless find interesting.

    I never book my frequent sites, my browsing goes like this: slas, cnn, coa, espn, nfl, never takes more than 4 characters to get to where I go most often. If I were to scroll through my bookmark list it takes considerably longer. So for my usage firefox work the best.

    Though I would like a little button nextto the URL bar to instantly clear it like in Konq. That makes it much easier in Linux to copy and paste URLS. A pet peeve i have is selecting a URL with the mouse,and going to the browser to "midde click" paste and having the URL automatically become selected, thus wiping out the X windows clipboard. Yes I know I can usually use the seperate cntl-c / cntl-v but that requires switching from mouse to keyboard and back....

    Oh well that is just my $0.02

  • Some of his points (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hungrygrue ( 872970 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:21PM (#13567954) Homepage

    only really make sense if you view Firefox as a browser for ex-IE users rather than an independant product on its own:

    The search in page field at the bottom makes perfect sense to me for a couple reasons - first, the user very rarely cares WHERE it is located as they probably aren't clicking on it with the mouse, if you want to search for text in the page you type '/' and whatever the hell you want to search for. You have to have your hands on the keyboard to enter the text you are trying to find, so why the hell would you want to use the mouse anyway. Secondly, it is less frequently used than the address and web-search fields and therefore shouldn't clutter up the interface - that is also why it is usually hidden. For anyone used to VIM, nothing in the world would seem more logical. These are perfectly good design decisions, who cares if IE users have to adjust a bit? In fact, not *everyone* is even familiar with IE - I know I never had internet access when I ran windows 10 years ago, and I've probably only used IE maybe 10 or 12 times in all of that time. We need to quit viewing everything in the context of "what would Windows do?", and just write software that does its job well.

  • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian.wylfing@net> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:22PM (#13567963) Homepage Journal
    I noticed that most of his "complaints" about Firefox UI weren't really complaints at all, they were additional reasons why Firefox beats IE. For example, he starts off sort-of-almost complaining about the Find bar but ends up saying how much better an implementation it is than using find in IE.

  • New window (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fiver- ( 169605 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:25PM (#13567997)
    "Firefox goes against IE behavior and starts each browser instance from scratch. IE intentionally brings the browser history into the new window: the bet being that users who want to continue from where they left off can, and those that want to go their home page can do that with one click."

    This was my number one frustration with IE. When I want a new browser window (or tab) I want a blank one. I want my browser to be fast and responsive. I DON'T want to wait the second or two that it takes for IE to reload the page (that I don't even want) for the new window. Often it doesn't even grab it from the actually re-downloads the page from the internet. So I learned to hit Escape immediately after Ctrl-N to stop the reload. And as far as I know, you can't turn that feature off. Meh. I use Opera now. It's nimble and responsive. New tabs are blank. In the extremely rare situation where I actually want to reload the current page in a new tab, there's Window/Duplicate in the menus.

    And then he mentions home pages...just out of curiousity, do any of you use a home page? What do you use it for? My homepage is set to blank in all my browsers. Google is the site I visit most frequently, but I've got the search box on the toolbar so I never have to actually go to and then type my search criteria. I can't think of any site that I would want to load every time I launch a browser. But maybe that's just me.
  • by macklin01 ( 760841 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:33PM (#13568092) Homepage

    I like that you can set FF to prompt you on whether or not to accept site cookies and then set your choice as a rule. However, every now and then you find a site where denying cookies won't allow you to browse properly.

    But because you've already set a rule to deny all cookies for the site, you have to go to tools->options->privacy->cookies->options, scroll through the list, and change the rule. To my knowledge, there isn't anywhere on the browser or tab (e.g., an icon in a corner) where you can double-click to view and/or change cookie behavior for the currently viewed page. Too bad. -- Paul

  • Tabs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by killermookie ( 708026 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:38PM (#13568150) Homepage
    From TFA:
    I use tabs less often than I expected: opening new windows is often more comfortable - easier to track which window lives where. With multiple tabs (I find) the back/forward behavior becomes complex and hard to predict.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I love having all my tabs in one place. It drives me nuts when I needed to open a link in IE in a new browser. It's just easier to organize when there's 1 button in the taskbar to click showing my website titles all lined up in browser tabs.
  • by De Lemming ( 227104 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:42PM (#13568191) Homepage
    This is a pet peeve of mine...

    When bookmarking a web page with frames, only the top frame is bookmarked, and the location of the sub-frames won't be remembered. IE does this correctly.

    I don't like sites which use frames, but it's still used on a lot of sites. Example: Google groups []. And I would like to be able to bookmark these pages too.

    The bug in Bugzilla: Frame State Bookmarking (frameset bookmarks) [] (copy link and paste in new browser window, they don't allow linking from Slashdot). This bug exists since 2000... Please vote for it.
  • Another great UI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0xABADC0DA ( 867955 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:44PM (#13568213)
    I think a much better example of a great UI in an open source application is Inkscape []. It's got one tool bar on top, one on the side, and one status bar below, so you have almost the entire screen for the actual drawing. There's no floating windows. Strangely enough, everything I wanted to do was easy to find and use without the 5 levels of toolbar something like visio has. Basically, instead of having 100 controls for stroke, fill, pattern, etc these are on a dialog that is one-click away. It doesn't sound good, but it really works well in practice. Also, when you are dragging or hovering the mouse it gives useful tips like "Ctrl to scale uniformly Shift to scale around center of rotation" or "Enter completes the path" that also look slick.

    Inkscape is a much better example than firefox imo, because a browser only has like a dozen common actions whereas the svg drawing program has hundreds. You just have to see it. The windows version has a few GTK related bugs, but the unix one is absolutely amazing.
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:46PM (#13568249) Homepage Journal
    When I was installing FF on this linux box (Slackware/KDE) the first installation dialog said something like "Click 'Next' to continue", but the button was labeled 'Proceed', might not have been those exact words, and not exactly confusing, but it didn't inspire confidence.

    Also in a scrolling text box within a page (such as this new comment form) the vertical line of pixels to the left of the 'thumb' of the scrollbar appears to be semi-random colors, it looks like it's getting a blit from the wrong place in memory. FF does this on both Windows and Linux... dosn't crash, so I don't think its accessing random/null memory, but it's something in the 'not good' category.
  • Some suggestions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MoogMan ( 442253 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:07PM (#13568542)
    I must agree with the majority of the points there. I can suggest, however, Download Statusbar [], to do what he asks of the status bar.

    I don't have a problem with the find bar, it has a low profile (more screen visible) and has as much as you really need to search. I would like to see regular expression support (or a subset of), and to highlight all matches to the search word, rather than just the current found word.
  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:59PM (#13569662)
    Firefox goes against IE behavior and starts each browser instance from scratch. IE intentionally brings the browser history into the new window: the bet being that users who want to continue from where they left off can, and those that want to go their home page can do that with one click.

    That has to be my least favorite IE feature. Open a new window when you're on a poorly-designed dynamically-generated page, and all sorts of unanticipated behaviors can happen when Javascript re-executes and triggers server-side behaviors through GET arguments passed to dynamically-loaded graphics. At the very least, you get to wait for some slow-ass ad site -- cough cough cough coughnew window, not a copy of an old one.

    How about we do something completely old-fashioned and make this a configurable option with the status quo behavior as the default?
  • by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @05:33PM (#13570577)
    For a GUI guy, he's complaining on some issues that are very apparent, while there are others that are at least as questionable.
    - no customization (with key's/menu's including some saved defaults) - should be part of the widget toolkit really
    - no site centered options (I like to trust my bank site for opening popups, images from other (media) sites, certificates etc)
    - close tab is featured at the bottom of the drop down list (I don't like clicking the wheel, and most users would not find it anyway)
    - the find bar is *totally* useless, it's on the spot where my mouse never is, it's small and just typing a search term on the URL bar and clicking "find" would be twenty times easier
    - the close tab button is somewhere where it should not be
    - it's pretty hard to take away mime types assigned to certain programs like quicktime (who's interface/plugin I hate with a vengance)
    - a search feature for options would be nice

    I also would like a (seperate) version of firefox for using my bank sites etc. No caching, no saving of history, no sharing of data, no XUL scripts etc. That would really be something to put your trust in.

    All this said, I really prefer the GUI of firefox to IE (or most other browsers). It's pretty, you can change the looks and it's really uncluttered. I hate almost every new GUI feature that Microsoft has brought the last years (since windows 2k really).
    • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @05:57PM (#13570766) Journal
      - the find bar is *totally* useless, it's on the spot where my mouse never is, it's small and just typing a search term on the URL bar and clicking "find" would be twenty times easier

      The find bar is one of the features I like most about FireFox. It's small, out of the way, and does exactly what I expect it to do.

      Now, if you were refering to the search box (next to the address bar) I do wish it were a little bigger, and I had the ability to easily add/remove search engines... Still one of the features I use the most.

      One thing I do know -- I don't want my address bar to do *anything* except change and display a site address. It's the address bar -- it should have one function and one function only. One thing I absolutly hate about IE is its address bar search 'feature'. Not only is it often inconvenient (Mistyped URL? MSN search results page loads! [yuck]) it poisions the minds unskilled web users by allowing them to not only avoid learning what a web address is, but discourage them from learning as well!

      <end rant>
  • by Fujisawa Sensei ( 207127 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @05:58PM (#13570770) Journal

    Please UI is not why peole use IE.

    The average smuck uses IE for a variety of reasons.

    • It's already installed on his desktop.
    • People code websites that are IE specific.
    • It works well enough, and people are basically lazy
    • People use stuff based on marketing and not reality or sense.

    Through the late 90's I would try nearly every browser, OS, and email package.

    My favorite email package? Airmail for the Amiga; it had some fairly idiotic issues for setting up, but it was still better than anything else out there.

    Favorite browser? NONE I loathed them all. Netscape, IE, Hotjava, Voyager, Aweb .

    Favorite OS, tossup between Linux running BlackBox WM, and Amiga OS 3.1 . The biggest limitation of the Amiga OS was the lack of a built in TCP/IP stack. Mac OS 8 was a buggy downgrade from System 7. Win9x? Bring up Netscape and IE and watch your system reboot. NT 4, at least worked somewhat, but I still felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill. NetBSD, I only used .9x to 1.1 it was very much a work in progress, especially installation. Though I did get the experimental bootloader to work.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev