The trouble with Firefox

browsergoggles I know that Firefox is considered a superior browser by many, with its close adherence to Web standards and a lot of flexibility thanks to the wide variety of plug-ins available. And if you’re on a Windows machine, and thus are having Internet Exploder foisted on you, it’s always recommended (though Apple’s also-excellent Safari has also been available on the PC for some time).  However, I’ve come to realize that I find Firefox’s way of doing certain things to be quite annoying, especially after having seen how Safari does the same things far more logically and elegantly. Is the following just me? Is there a “better way” to achieve these in Safari?
  1. When you enter a username and password, and Firefox offers to remember it, you have to click a tiny button at the upper right of the page. Safari pops up a dialogue box with a highlighted button you can just hit “Enter” to agree to or “Esc” to cancel. Theoretically more obtrusive on the browsing experience, but far easier to actually use quickly.
  2. When returning to a page with a username/password “remembered” by Firefox, you still have to enter the username yourself before the password will get autofilled-in. Safari pops the last user/pass combo in automatically, with no typing at all required. Theoretically less secure, but on my home machine, I don’t care.
  3. Firefox tabs – how do you convert them into freestanding windows? Unless I’m mistaken, you can’t. Safari – a direct drag-and-drop does it, intuitively and attractively.
  4. Firefox requires a window to be already open before any items selected from the History menu will actually work. (Strangely, not the case for the Bookmarks menu.) Same for calling up your Home page with option-Home on the keyboard – unless a window is already open you can’t do it. Isn’t it obvious behaviour to open a window if the user has performed either of these actions?
  5. As you type an address, both browsers suggest an auto-complete option. But Firefox keeps the popup list of suggestions separate – below the address bar and requiring you to arrow down or click on them. Safari keeps trying to fill in the address bar, which you can ignore, or – if the suggestion is correct – just hit Enter to accept. Potentially, one less step (and I find Safari’s autofilled-in suggestion is often corrrect).
Even if there is some way to resolve these complaints in Firefox, I have to say, if it involves adding a plug-in or changing some deeply-buried preference setting, then Firefox still comes up short – since Safari does these things so much better, right out of the box. I’ve tried to switch to Firefox more than once, but with no discernible speed difference, and these nagging interface kludges, I just can’t do it. And now that Safari 4 has come out and does indeed seem to be faster (along with a few other nice improvements), I’m not going to try to switch again. Unless someone can convince me why I should. Anyone?

2 thoughts on “The trouble with Firefox

  1. Hahaha…. your points might be valid, but I like the way Firefox works. Point #1, #2, & #5 are exactly as I want it to be. I don’t like opening multiple windows (#3), and never need to use #4.

    So in my Windows world, all is well. ^_^

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