How Would You Change Firefox?

By | March 10, 2011 | 30 Comments


How Would You Change Firefox?

The time has come yet again…

How would you change the Firefox web browser to make it better?


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • http://ipoesc.myopenid.com/ iPoesc

    I would merge navigation and google bar to one (with search suggestions). That’s the only thing I miss, actually :D

  • Figjam88au

    add a integrated notepad with tabs, see in maxthon/opera

  • http://twitter.com/Darklink88 Daniele

    Looking at how things are going the right question should be: how would you change Opera?
    :-)

  • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

    Make Firefox have a similar Web Inspector tool like WebKit. ATM Firefox isn’t the best when it comes to this but it would make tweaking pages better/easier.

    Also I wish Gecko got completely rewritten because of the complicated codebase but I know that’s never a possibility. :(

    • Nobody

      go and install Firebug and some plugins for it (depending on your reall requirements – but firebug is enough for ‘simple’ tasks you seem to be talking about [also for the very complicated, but if you were into them, youd know firebug already])

      • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

        I am a fan of Firebug but if you ask me it’s limited when compared to WebKit’s Web Inspector.

  • Zzz

    Make it Opera then Firefox would be perfect

  • Domain

    1) Make flash built in like chrome so wont have to keep downloading the latest plugin
    2) Take out orange menu bar looks too much like opera knock off
    3) Make the tabs short they are too long take to much space (longest tabs ive ever seen)

  • Nobody

    a) add some ‘neutral’ area that can be used to shift focus from other application WITHOUT doing any action (ff for windows is click = focus+action, not click = focus only type of app). with the ‘menubar less’ interface there is almost no area to do ‘click without action’
    it sounds niche, but it affects my work at this moment enough to move back to ‘with menu bar’ UI.

    b) make paralel installs a bit easier than now – opera can be installed separately, instances do not affect (well, almost) eachother, firefox can be tinkered, but it reminds me of manual ini editing of opera config files

    c) more descriptive names for options in about:config – due to naming conventions used by coders, some names are VERY similar to eachother.

    d) limit UI areas that extensions can affect – i hate dumbed down opera approach, but i also hate ‘lets put another stupid bar here and button here’ approach some addon makers use. it is Yet Another Bar With One Icon design paradigm (YABWIC). something between opera minimalistic approach and firefox total freedom would do

    e) make ‘check for updates’ NOT start after ‘about firefox’ (or give an option in about:config)

    f) built in ‘resize textarea’

    g) add option to ‘re-download’ files in download manager – opera makes it easy, and it comes quite in handy when you have one profile on few machines, or use ram-discs for downloads to save on SSD wear and tear

    h) option to ‘export saved passwords’ [i know it is a security hazard, so make it opt-in], password are written in clear text anyway

    i) it is a political stuff – make stronger noise around html5/webm, it seems that google took the role of ‘we know it all’ and leaving it to them alone is a risky business (they own youtube anyway, do in media trasfer/consumer market, it is a conflict of interest at its finest). opera is too small and to geeky to matter, apple has its own agenda (and can pay all royalties for h264 for next million years anyway)

    j) ‘reload’ button – option to place it in the ‘normal’ position – this concept from IE is the stupid one, i prefer big button to small button anyday

    k) better privacy options built in – there are excelent extensions that manage cookies/lso etc, but at least some robust features should be present

    l) ‘a bit shorter’ release cycles. i prefer delayed release of firefox, than ‘set date, because we have got press event sheduled’ of opera, but one can only wait for so long

    m) some of us use more than one monitor, and firefox has some slight issues with triple+ setups, it is minor, but given that win specs are quite clear in this respect, it strange that these things happen

    n) built in ‘sessions’ or other (non panorama – this kills my i7 rig with 100 tabs) grouping/tab management system. again, extensions provide here, but this stuff should be standard, opera does it well and for many years now. their solution needs polishing, but nonetheless is a mature solution.

    o) do not copy opera new speeddial magic or any recent opera ‘improvements’, it is good that they improve, but their ‘auto thumb generation algorithm’ is dumb as a brick unfortunately.

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      I think point F has already been done as Firefox has the same resize behaviour of WebKit by only resizing muli-line text areas. The other points I’m not sure but would make a difference. :)

  • werwolf

    by uninstalingl it :D

    • Scorpion3003

      Oh be quite you damn troll. next time spell the damn word right.

      • werwolf

        for you scorpion-troll: by uninstalling it :P

  • http://twitter.com/st0rmbr1nger MrG

    Less bloat, less memory leaks, get rid of the ancient Netscape rendering core that’s been hacked to death by opensource hackers over the years.

    Better security

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Firefox’s memory usage is actually really good because of how it manages memory. But I do agree that the core should be rewritten as I’ve said above because the codebase is only going to make it bigger and more complicated.

      • http://twitter.com/st0rmbr1nger MrG

        I’m seeing 2-3 times more memory use in Firefox after prolonged but casual browsing. Opera seems to be 2-3 times more efficient in this area.

        Chrome is also bloaty when it comes to memory use, but that’s the unfortunate side-effect of their a process per tab model, which is more robust but very wasteful with regards to memory and resource usage.

  • http://twitter.com/cristianer304 Cristian

    A better score in Peacekeeper!! Firefox need that.

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Not really. It’s biased towards Chrome because of how WebKit is modified. The JS timers are shorter so it’s able to run ‘faster’ in the benchmark.

      • http://twitter.com/cristianer304 Cristian

        So Firefox can be better although it has a lower score in Peacekeeper? That’s nice, isn’t it?

  • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

    Just to start, shift + click definitely shouldn’t open the things in a new window.
    But Firefox would have to fix a lot of things like this one just to be more like Opera (which means being better), so better just use Opera.

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      I’m used to ctrl + click to open a page in a new background tab (like firefox) but ctrl + shift + click is something I’m not used to in opera.

      • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

        You don’t get it. Shift + click or mouse gesture down on a link opens that link in a new tab in the FOREGROUND! In Firefox: “I’m a stupid software -> new window!! daaaw”.

    • Ronin

      If you use internet for productivity, simply use Firefox. For all the rest, just use all the rest.

      • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

        You just ignored how better Opera works in comparison to Firefox in my example example above.

  • Mjb1307

    Lr agregaria una nextensin que cambia color de fondo y tipografia
    Chrome ya la tiene, es “Change colors”

  • Mathnucl

    There is a bug that shows up when I download video clips. It occurs at random. Specifically Firefox freezes up. Also Firefox freezes up on occasion when I try to change to another web site. Is there anyway to communicate this problem directly to Firefox people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/itpastorn Lars Gunther

    The roadmap is solid, so my change proposal is: Keep going according to plan!

    BTW, I love having separate search and location fields. The awesomebar is actualle less useful when combined.

    As for the core needing a rewrite, have you guys checked exactly what has been changed for Firefox 4. The new retained layers infrastructure is as solid as they come

    Of course web developers like me always have a wish list, so here are things that I look forward to, knowing that they are in the works:

    - WebP support
    - 3D transformations and transitions
    - CSS perspective
    - Static analysis for improved JIT
    - More HTML5 form features
    - Etc

    However. i have a similar list of features from Firefox that I wish (and in some cases expect) we’ll see in Chrome, Safari and Opera soon:

    - The sound API (S and O)
    - Accessible HTML5 form features
    - Full ARIA Support (Chrome….)
    - Better accessibility on the whole (once again Chrome….)
    - The any() selector
    - CSS calc()
    - The element() property
    - SVG filters and clip paths on non SVG content
    - Native support for ogg/vorbis (essential for games) in Safari
    - Native support for WebM and theora in Safari
    - JavaScript proxies
    - Etc

    But one thing really stands out: ECMAScript 5 strict mode! IE9 will probably get it before Chrome, Safari or Opera. Shame on them!

    I also wish Chrome would stop putting out half baked features but have the courage to wait until the implementation is more. (HTML5 form features come to mind.)

    But then again, IE 9 is still years behind every other browser feature wise, so this won’t affect the day job for some time yet.

  • Mohan

    I would like it where a normal window and a private browsing window can co-exists. I like that feature in IE, Chrome and Opera. That reason being, I have multiple Google accounts for work and personal stuff and I can have two GMail windows going with my favorite browser.