Sunday, May 29, 2011

Firefox capitulates!

I blogged earlier about how Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 has a U/I that is very similar to that of Chrome, and the several drawbacks as a result.

Well, I've finally gotten around to upgrading from Firefox 3.6.17 to 4.0.1 and, guess what? They made the essentially same changes.

Not to detail the many shortcomings here, but only highlight the first "positive" element of the design from a review at
... the user interface for Firefox 4 is completely different from earlier versions. It is similar to what other browser look like including Internet Explorer 9, Opera and Google Chrome.

This is definitely good because users will have a unified experience across multiple browsers. Firefox 4 has combined all the menu items into a single menu item. ...
Why bother with having a good user interface? Just do what others are doing - even if it's crummy - and you get kudos.

You've gotta love Firefox ditching "all the menu items" - which were a massive total of seven, and quick to access - with "a single menu item". That's progress for you.

CODA: Several add-ins don't work with 4.0.1, so even if you don't agree with this assessment of the U/I, you might want to wait a little longer before making the transition.

ALSO: The default Firefox 4 does not remember tabs when you close the application. Boo! But there is a way to re-enable that valuable feature.

FINALLY: A remark that pretty much explains why this is happening:
Mozilla also is experimenting with another idea that's all the rage, a minimalist user interface frame. Firefox 4 did away with some items, such as its menu bar ...

Chrome, which has long embodied the minimal-UI ethos, has a similar option called compact navigation under way that makes the address bar part of the tab, too, so that a few more precious pixels of Web page are visible.
So get a bigger display. Or make the browser minimalist only when it's on a small screen.

Trying to do something effectively within a small space is like knitting inside a mailbox. You can only do that with three-inch knitting needles. So now everybody has to do it that way? It's a terrible design philosophy.


Right-click, enable Menu Bar. Then it's not so bad.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/30/2011 4:25 AM  

Stickin' with 3.6.17 in Snow Leopard.

My wife upgraded to 4 on her HP laptop. She hates it.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 5/31/2011 12:19 AM  

I briefly upgraded to Firefox 4, but it crashed multiple times a day...egads. I quickly wiped it from my computer and went back to using 3.6.16-17, which only crashes once or twice a day. At least it remembers all my tabs and what's underneath them. Firefox 4 is a real bust. I haven't heard anything good about it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/31/2011 6:54 PM  

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