[Techtalk] Mozilla v. Firefox

Kai MacTane kmactane at GothPunk.com
Tue Feb 1 10:57:44 EST 2005

At 1/31/05 12:51 PM , Akkana Peck wrote:

>My main issues with firefox are:
>Bug 233853:
>   They changed the definitions of ctrl-enter in the urlbar to
>   blindly copy IE's behavior.  In mozilla, I can type, say,
>   "mozilla key bindings" in the urlbar, hit ctrl-enter, and
>   I get a new tab with a google (or other chosen search engine)
>   search page on those terms.  In firefox, it tries to open, in
>   the current tab, "http://www.mozilla key bindings.com/"
>   and of course gives me an error saying that page cannot
>   be found.

I can totally understand why this is driving you nuts. But I can also 
totally understand why the Firefox folks set it up to prepend 
"http://www.", append ".com" and open in the current tab:

Because when someone first tries to switch over from IE, they're going to 
try to use it the way they previously used IE. Remember, up until a few 
days ago, this user may have thought "that big blue E" *was* "the 
Internet". To them, the behaviors they've grown accustomed to in IE are not 
simply "IE's default behavior", but rather "the only way it could or should 
be; the Right Way(tm)".

So, when they want to check their email, and they type in "hotmail" and hit 
Ctrl+Enter, if they get some kind of weird error, they'll figure "this 
Firefox thing is broken". I don't think the Firefox behavior is "blindly 
copying" IE's behavior; I think it's *deliberately mimicking* it.

That said, it also seems calculated to drive long-time Mozilla users nuts.

In Firefox, the preferred way to run an immediate Google search would be 
hit Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E (which puts the focus on the search bar, as Ctrl+L or 
Alt+D does for the location bar), type "whatever search terms", and hit 
enter. Prefixing it all with a Ctrl+T if you want it in a new tab.

>   Firefox still has "open in a new tab", but it's alt-enter in
>   the urlbar, ctrl-click on a link.  I'm forever getting those two
>   mixed up.  Mozilla uses the same key (ctrl) in both places, so
>   it's easy to remember.

Yeah, but Firefox also extends the IE-ish "Ctrl+Enter for .com" behavior to 
include "Shift+Enter for .net" and "Ctrl+Shift+Enter for .org". It's kind 
of a trade-off.

                                                 --Kai MacTane
"Friends of science and sensuality,
  They seek the silence and the horror of the shadows..."
                                                 --Charles Baudelaire,

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