Firefox 3's Annoying Address Bar

I blindly heralded Firefox as the best thing since sliced bread way back in 2003-2004. At least for developing on.

It wasn’t too shabby with the personal use either, mind you. 

At the time I was using Firefox 1.x on a Windows 2000 machine using a 21” CRT monitor.  Fast forward a few years to 2009 and here I am on my Macbook Pro using Firefox 3.  It’s still the best for developing on (except for the lockups after repeated refreshes), but for personal use I find it pretty annoying. 

For example, let’s say I mistyped a web address and forgot one letter in the url. I instinctively go to the address bar and click on it in the position in the address where I wanted to fix the typo.  Any other time in the past the browser would have allowed me to simply make the change and hit Enter again.

Now Firefox 3 has this “cute” little behavior where the whole address bar is highlighted by that initial click and when I press my letter and hit Enter, instead of the page I have one letter in the address bar.  This has happened many times now. 

Then I have to press CMD+Z, which brings me back to the whole address bar being highlighted, so then I have to press the right arrow key which takes me to the end of the address and finally with a flashing cursor that indicates I can finally begin editing my url.  That’s close to 2 extra steps…2! 

Clearly Firefox thinks that it needs to overstep the human in the equation and assume any click in the address bar means wipe everything out and type a new address. At the same time this behavior is probably really nifty for those of you who never make typos. I don’t like you people anyway.  As each day goes by I find myself trying to get other browsers open so I can fix my own typos without having to curse and lose hair.

Firefox still manages to get the best of me though.  I’ve been trained to press the Firefox icon to the point where simply thinking that I need to look something up causes a click on the icon. 

It’s a little scary. If only they’d make Firebug (a development tool) for Safari…sigh…


About Joseph R. B. Taylor

Joseph R. B. Taylor is a humble designer/developer who makes stuff for screens of all shapes and sizes. He is currently the lead UI/UX Architect at MScience, LLC, where he works to create simple experiences on top of large rich datasets for their customers and clients.