Firefox 4

Firefox 4 leaked out a bit early so I’ve managed to have a little quality time with it. First I’ll state that I haven’t tested many of the new features and mostly played with the interface and realized several of my most beloved add-ons no longer work. But one key thing did pop into my mind when I used it, Firefox is trying too hard to be Chrome.

Listen Mozilla if I wanted to use Chrome I would be using Chrome. The fact of the matter is I don’t really like Chrome’s interface. Personally I think placing tabs at the top of the window is stupid. I interface with tabs far more often then I interact with the URL bar and having to move my mouse a bit further to get to the more used interface element is really just poor design. Likewise I miss my status bar, and popping up the URL of a link when I hover my mouse over it doesn’t count. There was also no reason to move the home button to the other side of the window. Yeah that last one is nitpicking but seriously if it’s not broken don’t fix it.

I admit nobody is asking me my opinion but that’s why I have a website, so I can express it anyways. Firefox had a good interface that worked well and there was little need to fix it. Mozilla should have spent their time on performance and security related issues. What would be great is if Firefox ran inside of a sandbox as Chrome does. Combining a sandbox with NoScript would make for some pretty heavy armor when browsing online.

Maybe the under the hood features will win me over but the interface changes haven’t. I will give Firefox kudos on one thing, having an actual title bar. Chrome’s biggest problem is the fact there are roughly four pixels above the tab bar that you can click to drag the window. It’s probably one of the most annoying interface elements I’ve seen in modern software since… I don’t know. Firefox has a full title bar that you can click on just like every other application on the planet. Good jobs on that.