23 May 2011

Why I think the Firefox 4 designers are retarded

I’ve long since been an Internet Explorer holdout.  Living daily in the SharePoint world as I do, I’ve had to stick with IE through some really bad versions.  Now to be fair, what makes a version bad for ME is personal, biased and based completely on my experience with the product.  Unfortunately, like I always tell my Boot Camp attendees, “Perception IS Reality!”
To an end user, that is the absolute truth and as the consumer of the browser product, I am that user… and I am VERY unforgiving.  So why did I consider IE 6, 7 & 8 to be “bad”.  It all revolved around one thing.  The way I work.  I am always browsing in a dozen different places and then opening tabs that I want to get back to later.  In IE6, we didn’t even HAVE tabs.  That was such an annoyance because we were forced to open multiple IE windows instead.  It annoyed me to the point of writing a special app that would save your open IE windows and reload them after a reboot.
Then came IE7 and it brought with it tabs.  Too bad it lost all the tabs when it crashed.  At that point Firefox 3 was around with tabs and it DID restore tabs after a crash.  It even had a cute little “Oops, we’re sorry” message.  That was the point where many people started moving to Firefox as their main browser.  I started using Firefox but IE remained my main browser.  When I was browsing something I wanted to save for later, I’d do it in Firefox.  When I was doing anything else I ‘d be using IE.
Next came IE8… surely they’d have fixed the tab loss bug by this point, right?  Nope.  To my dismay, IE still lost my tabs after a crash.  At least I had a workaround in Firefox so I kept on doing that.  Now I think it’s a good thing that Firefox always tries to get you to upgrade to the latest version.
But then came Firefox 4.  With great fanfare I went along and upgraded to the latest version.  Imagine my horror when I re-opened Firefox expecting 20 odd tabs to open and there was just the home screen!!!  AAARRRGGGHHH!!!  What happened?  OK, I figured it must now be an optional settings somewhere.  I looked for it, but I couldn’t find it in any obvious location… and I’m a developer!  So if I couldn’t find it, I knew other people were having trouble too.  I ended having to search the Mozilla support site to finally find the answer and here it is:
This is where everyone in their right mind would look, right?  Under the “Tabs” menu… maybe something like “Restore tabs after crash” or something to that effect.


No, no, that would makes sense.  Nope, it’s not under that tab.  The tabs option for restoring your tabs is actually on the “General” tab.  Well of course!  Why didn’t I see that.  If you’re like me, you’re looking at the “General” tab and saying… um… where exactly is that option?  Well you have to look at the hidden dropdown values in the “When Firefox starts” item.


And change that item to be thus:


NOW Firefox is back to NORMAL and will save your tabs again.  Sigh.  So why my soapbox moment?
  1. Tabs is what MADE Firefox popular to begin with.
  2. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet that appreciated the fact it would ALWAYS recover you tabs.
  3. So having such great tab features, why for Pete’s sake would you go and make that an OPTIONAL settings???!!!   If you have to make it an optional setting, at least turn it on by default!
  4. And if you’re gonna make us hunt and peck for the answer, please just put the thing where we can actually FIND it without having to waste time searching your support forum for answers and then writing long winded tirades blog posts that waste even more time!
Whoever decided to change how tabs works in 4 is… well… nuf said…
And THAT, dear reader, is why this post is titled as it is.
Point in case…

So I want to point out that IE9 finally seems to do the tabs right and correctly restores tabs in a new session… and it does it BY DEFAULT Firefox!


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