I’m a sucker for these kind of posts. I love users who share opinions, even if I disagree. There’s a blog post circulating about 9 things Firefox should steal from Safari. I’d like to go over it quickly:
1. Highlight the current text field
I agree. I really like the feature at least on the Mac. I’m not sure it really works in an application that wants to feel native to Windows, but I guess you can debate that for a long time. There was a stalled effort to do this in Bug 251198. There hasn’t been any activity there for a while. As I recall the general opinion around the web was lukewarm.
2. Font rendering
I personally agree that Apple’s font rendering is awesome. But there are many that think it’s an abomination. Joel on Software did a great writeup on font rendering recently that’s worth a read if your interested in the topic.
3. The Downloads dialog
I’m ambivalent on this point. I kinda like how Firefox shows where it’s downloaded. Other than that, I don’t see much of a difference. Then again, I don’t live in the download manager. The only thing I really care about is the download status. Perhaps that’s just me.
4. HTML rendering Speeds
There is a lot at play here. At a minimum David Hyatt’s post on speed testing is mandatory reading. A lot has been changed in Firefox 3.0, including a rewrite of incremental rendering and moving to Cairo. How will this effect performance both perceived and actual? I think it’s still to early to say.
5. The bug reporter
I’d love to know what people think about this one, considering I wrote reporter for Firefox. At over a half million reports, I think it’s been pretty successful despite being buried in a menu and pretty much unadvertised. I’d also love to improve it if someone has some UI enhancements to improve usability that make sense (I’m against change for the sake of change). We don’t show “the bug” by default in the toolbar. You need to customize the toolbar and add it yourself. Obviously it isn’t a feature worthy of such valuable screen real estate. Maybe it could be good to enable by default for debug/nightly builds? We talked about that at one time, but never took action on it.
6. The Find dialog
I hate the find dialog on the top, I think it belongs on the bottom. But I do agree that displaying the total number of results found would be a great little enhancement.
7. Detachable tabs
I still think this is such a Mac thing, but I do like it (I’m a Mac guy, so perhaps I’m bias). There was talk of this at one point. There is a mention of it in the brainstorming page for tabs, sidebar, windows for Firefox 3.0, as well as an old bug (Bug 113934). Currently you can drag a tab between windows, but it reopens in the new window (doesn’t carry the state).
8. Draggable images
Is this a problem in Firefox?
Update: I think it’s only an issue on the Mac.
9. Resizable Text Areas
I like the feature. There is an extension that will give you this functionality. Should it be part of the build? I’m really not sure. Definately not for text inputs (it mucks up at times making a mess), only text areas where it’s handy. Though I wonder if this feature exists in more browsers, will designers by start making text areas so small that we have to expand them all before we can use them?