The Red Death

Uhm, Firefox programmers? I have a question for you: What does this thing [enlarged image of red button with central 'x' from Navigation Toolbar] actually mean? You know, that red button with the central white x on the Navigation Toolbar. [image of red button on Navigation Toolbar] What's s'posed to happen when I click on it?

Let me explain my question. Traditionally, browsers gave me something like this [image of hexagon] It looks a lot like a stop sign, and clicking on it was a lot like stepping on a brake. The browser stopped what it was doing. That's not exactly what happens when I click on your little red-circle-with-the-eks. Now, it's as if my brakes have been redesigned by a passive-aggressive sociopath. Metaphorically speaking, the car will no longer stop before it goes into the intersection; instead, it will stop either on the other side or just in the intersection.

Really, I mean, when I'd discover that a site was trying to send me some big-ass graphic, I would use the friendly stop-sign button, and it would stop the loading of that thing. The new red button says Just a minute; let me finish loading this big-ass graphic. Or I'd click on a link, and things would churn and churn, so I'd decide to bail. With the stop-sign button, the browser just stopped, leaving me at the prior page on which the link was; with the new red button, it goes to a blank screen (and then, to back-up, Firefox demands that the server of the previous page be re-sent everything to reload the page from scratch, which might not even be directly possible).

Anyway, I'd like either to get the functionality associated with the old button restored, or at least some honest revelation of the functionality associated with this new button. It seems, well, evil.


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3 Responses to The Red Death

  • borky says:

    Daniel, everyone I know uses and recommends Firefox to me, and from time to time I try out the latest version, but I personally tend to use Chrome, which I never seem to have any problems with, (unlike Firefox).

    One of the things I personally find irritating about Firefox, though, is precisely the sort of thing you've identified - innovation for innovation sake.

    I'm all for innovation, but not this sort of thing that's even spreading to Japanese cars, now, where something gets tweaked and 'new improved', but then left for the mugs out there to discover the only way you can make your brakes work as you and your kids bomb down the motorway is for everyone to stick their left leg out a side window and continuously rotate it counter clockwise while singing the collected works of Andrew LLoyd Webber backwards.

    But instead of awarding the credit to the ingenious members of the public who unentangle these 'knots', the 'innovators' bask in the glory of their own snazzy wacky 'brilliance'!

    • Daniel says:

      I don't know what has gone wrong with the programming in this particular case, and I don't think that it would be worth my time to explore the code or the communications at Mozilla to find out. But my guess is that two things are at play here. First, that there is probably some over-all architecture that has been embraced for what seem like excellent reasons, but which makes it difficult or impracticable to effect decent functionality in this case. Second, that there is an attitude that, because Firefox is free, behavior that would otherwise be outrageous is acceptable.

      I've had various problems with Chrome. For example, Chrome was not ported to RHEL 5.5, and the Chromium team behaved very badly when they were told that their packages would not build on RHEL (nor on CEntOS 5.5).

      During some past intervals, my principal browser was Opera; if it handled identity-management a bit better, then it would probably be my principal browser now. As it is, I tend to have it running, and call upon it for specific tasks.

  • the apocolyte says:

    While I don't possess any knowledge of the programs and/or systems you describe, I feel the need to speak about the terrible trend of supposed technological advancements that, while claiming to be a new and improved version of something, are actually inferior to the previous versions in so many ways. I feel there is an inordinant compulsion by developers of tech products to release a new "upgraded" version of their products periodically with too much rapidity and with only moderate changes that are, in the most part, offering less functionality than the previous releases. It's all about $$$'s and not enough sense.

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