Tech Musings

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thumbs Down For Firefox

I have long championed Firefox as the preferred browser to use with OS X. But I'm waning a bit after what happened to me today. I tried to make what I thought would be an easy preference change but discovered after a few hours of research I can't do it; or at least I haven't figured out a way yet to fully do it through either an extension or twiddling around with my about:config file.

All I want to do is have the current page load when I open a new window. WHY CAN'T I DO THIS??? It's the default setting in Internet Explorer for Windows, do don't tell me it's a feature that 99% of the user community doesn't care about.

Initially, I thought it was going to be easy. I figured I could do this by setting the status value to integer 2 for according to information I found here:

Based on what I had thought I read, setting the integer value to 2 in my about:config would load the last visited page in a new window, which is exactly the functionality I was looking for. But, after asking in a mozilla forum why making this change was not doing what I thought it should do, I was told this feature only has an effect in "Mozilla Suite", of which Firefox is not a part of. Huh?

Sometimes the developer community absolutely baffles me. Why the f@%$ didn't this option available in "Mozilla Suite" not carry over to Firefox? It's as if Mozilla decided it would be a good idea to abandon baseline, common functionality to their users because... well, I can't even begin to guess. I feel Apple seemingly engages in this kind of poor engineering, too. As my colleague says, it's as if Apple's right hand "doesn't communicate with its left." Now I can Mozilla to this short list.

I did find an extension called OpenNewWindowFromHere that offers this functionality, but I needed to remember to select this option (or keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+N) from the file menu to use it. Through my persistence I found another cool little extension that gives you the ability to change the default keyboard shortcuts for Firefox. Using keyconfig, I was able to set my default shortcut for OpenNewWindowFromHere to Command+N, but that seems to be the best I can do for now.



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