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Case Study 5 - Mozilla Firefox page 2

I have now upgraded to Firefox 1.5, but somehow things are not all getting better… The following pictures are from both 1.0.7 and 1.5 but the bugs typically remain in 1.5.

Part of the Open Source case study.

You may remember this really curious bug:

Firefox 1.5 fixes the problem with the auto-complete menu automatically opening for ntl Web mail (the first picture). However, the peculiar tooltips problem persists, and I now know why. All the items in the Back menu simply take on the tooltip of the most recently seen tooltip from the navigation toolbar. Try it, put the cursor over Refresh and then open the Back menu…

The following bug, however (also 1.5), I have no explanation for:

Firefox is one of those cross-platforms that, instead of being built on a solid foundation of a native controls library, builds simulacra of all of its controls from scratch. Granted, this permits it to be skinned, but skinning is not something software should handle, but should be left to the graphical interface. And building simulacra tends to lead to ropey controls that don’t match their native equivalents or even work properly. For example, this pop-up menu of memorised values for the Summary text box covers over the control itself so I cannot see what I am typing:

Here, it is disobeying the Windows colour scheme, preventing button captions from showing up (where any program using native controls would display usable buttons):

Don’t get me started on Firefox’s abominable list boxes.

The tabbrowser is also defective; JavaScript-opened windows, including those with no tab bar, are candidates for receiving addresses from other processes (including shortcut files and pages on your hard drive), leaving a window that is now visually impossible to navigate:

Firefox also has major caching problems. For example, here I have clicked View Source (by using an extension to put back this sorely missed toolbar button) but what I got was not actually the page I was looking at:

Another take on the screwy download manager:

Personally I am more concerned that you cannot resume downloads that have stalled or dropped.

Finally, Firefox 1.5 creates favicons from images, but compare the aspect of the image and the favicon here:

Scarily, this is quite normal.