Firefox 1.5RC1 released today, and I have problems already

I’ve been using Firefox 1.5 beta 2 for a few weeks now, and I’ve been very impressed overall.

The first thing that impressed me was the fact that instead of a getting a nasty little popup whenever a page doesn’t load for whatever reason you’re shown a nicely formatted page with a more verbose description of the problem, and a button to allow you to try loading the page again. For me, this rather small UI change has made the browser much much friendlier to use - which is always a good thing.

The other thing which made me really rather happy when I started using beta 2 was that I no longer had to have the tabbrowser extensions addon installed. When I’m using a tabbed web-browser, I find it very annoying to have extra windows being opened for me. I don’t like having lots of windows open - it looks untidy, and if I gain a new window I end up opening new tabs in it. Having multiple windows with multiple tabs open at once is hardly my idea of fun. So, until beta 2 I had to have an add-on installed which would stop new windows being opened and instead open links in a new tab. With beta 2 this functionality was built straight into Firefox - and there was much rejoicing.

With Release Candidate 1, however, this functionality has been broken again. Although the “Tabs” tab in the Options dialog gives you the option to “Force links that open new windows to open in a new tab”, apparently this functionality has been changed to exclude windows which are authored to be a certain size. These links are now opened in separate windows once again. For me, this is broken behaviour. As the user of the software I have made a decision to change from the default behaviour of allowing new windows to be created to forcing “links that open new windows to open in a new tab”. If this does not happen then I deem the functionality broken. While I can understand the reasoning behind this change being made, I really don’t agree with it.

Thankfully for me, it’s nice and easy to force all links that open new windows to open in new tabs once more. Here’s how:

  1. Open the about:config page in Firefox.
  2. Type into the “Filter” textbox.
  3. Right click on the preference and choose “modify”.
  4. Change the value to “0” (zero) and press “OK”.
  5. Marvel as links that normally open new windows begin opening in new tabs again.

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.