I already made a post about the top five Firefox extensions. Now’s time to rant about the four things I absolutely hate in Firefox. Why four? Because I couldn’t think of a fifth one, so I just gave up and made it four. This is not about extensions, since you can easily ignore those, but rather about forced features of the browser.
#4 – Serious lack of default features
I honestly think Firefox is the best browser — but only for home use. When you have the chance to customise every aspect of it and download a bunch of extensions, it’s great. However, it is seriously lacking by default. For environments like school or foreign computers (i.e., when you fix your uncle’s PC), Firefox isn’t really appropriate. I usually use Opera for such things because it has mouse gestures by default, as well as some other useful things. Although it’s not really important, I’d like Firefox to be more useful for mobile use.
#3 – The little “ghost” images in Firefox 3
In Firefox 3, highlighting and dragging something will cause a semi-transparent copy of the highlighted stuff to follow your cursor around. Not a big deal, but why even bother adding this? Firefox 2 didn’t have it, and everything was fine. This feature annoys me especially when I’m dragging tabs. Put simply, it is hideous as hell. Get rid of it, or give an option to turn it off.
#2 – Unremovable bookmark structure
This is something I can’t stand that all newer browsers seem to have. Whatever happened to bookmarks being 100% user-created and -maintained? In Firefox 3, you MUST have those three bookmark directories that the browser starts with, and they MUST use those specific default icons. This is infuriating. However, I will give credit to the fact that you CAN rename the directories, which is better than most browsers. Why this feature needs to exist at all is beyond me, though — especially since, again, it wasn’t in Firefox 2.
#1 – Chrome customisation
What’s the difference between the toolbar and the statusbar? Answer: absolutely nothing. Their names imply that they’re two completely different things, but they’re almost the exact same in practice. Firefox has a great toolbar customisation feature that lets you rearrange your toolbar, create new bars, move them around, and all kinds of nice things. The problem is, this feature only works with the toolbars. The statusbar is inexplicably un-customisable! This can be extremely frustrating when you consider the number of extensions that force you to use the statusbar — an irritatingly-high number. Why can’t I put the Greasemonkey options in my toolbar? Why can’t I show the target URL in the toolbar? Why not put the back button in the statusbar? (Note: I would never put the back button in the statusbar, but you get the point.)
This one bugs me the most, because I really dislike the statusbar. It’s a hideous space-wasting grey blob on my screen. I put all my important extension options in the toolbar next to the URL bar, and use a Greasemonkey script to display target URLs in tooltips. But, I can’t put some of my extensions in the toolbar. If I try to move everything into the statusbar, I get stuck with stuff that only goes in the toolbar. This is ridiculous. True, extensions themselves can fix this problem with their options, but they shouldn’t have to. The toolbars and statusbar in Firefox should be completely interchangeable on their own.
Overall, Firefox is a great browser. I just felt the need to gripe about some small issues I have with it.
Coming soon: a blog post that isn’t about Firefox! No, really!