[Techtalk] Mozilla v. Firefox

Almut Behrens almut-behrens at gmx.net
Tue Feb 1 19:24:18 EST 2005

On Mon, Jan 31, 2005 at 03:57:44PM -0800, Kai MacTane wrote:
> At 1/31/05 12:51 PM , Akkana Peck wrote:
> >Bug 233853:
> >  They changed the definitions of ctrl-enter in the urlbar to
> >  blindly copy IE's behavior.  (...)
> 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.

Although that modified Ctrl-Enter behaviour doesn't personally bother
me too much, the problem is, where do we draw the line?  Not wanting
to bring up the ActiveX issue from that other recent thread, but along
similar lines you could argue that, when they find that whatever silly
feature doesn't work, they might equally come to the conclusion that
Firefox is broken.  Consequently, we'd have to mimick IE in its
entirety -- if we care so much for those hotmail-type users.  IMO, when
making changes, those should be based on improvements in usability,
better security, or - more generally - technical superiority -- not
trying everything to avoid irritating the Clueless User, whatever it

Fore example, I find it annoying that that useful Shift-click-on-link
feature (like Akk mentioned) has been removed for no apparent technical
reason.  This already did work beautifully way back in prehistoric
Netscape days.  Why not - at least - make it configurable?

Initially, I switched to Firefox (well, Phoenix, at the time), because
it was more lightweight than Mozilla, both in memory footprint and
speed/responsiveness.  However, Mozilla has improved since, while
Firefox seems to be getting bigger again, so that particular argument
is no longer as convincing as it once was...

> 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.

...and for .uk its "Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Enter"?  And for .de or .fr I'll
additionally have to press my knee against the bottom of the keyboard... ;)

OK, I guess I'll better shut up -- and simply return to Mozilla (as
long as I still have that option). My apologies for behaving like a zealot.



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