Firefox sucks. No, really!

Warning: big rant ahead.

I received some comments on my previous post, as expected. Most of them were helpful; e.g., the oldbar extension is very useful. One of them was silly.

It depends: If your application is "fullscreened", clicking on the link without having the focus could lead to interesting situation like "Hey, It does nothing?"

Just to make a point here, let me reiterate:

There is no excuse whatsoever to steal the focus

Sorry for the shouting, but seriously. I have the following in my icewm configuration:

ClickToFocus = 0
RaiseOnFocus = 0
FocusOnMap = 0
FocusOnAppRaise = 0
FocusOnMapTransient = 0
FocusOnMapTransientActive = 1
RaiseOnClickClient = 0

What this means is that I don't want anything to either get the focus or get on top of anything else all by itself, unless it happens to be a new dialog box created by an application that already has the focus. I also don't want windows to appear on top of anything else just because they received the focus. I also happen to prefer focus-follows-mouse, which you can get by way of the ClickToFocus thing.

The reason I prefer it this way, is that often I have several applications open all at once. For instance, when I read RSS feeds, I have my RSS reader open on one virtual desktop, and read through the articles. Since my laptop's processor is much, much faster in certain things than is my network, I also make use of its multitasking abilities to have it preload links in the background (on another virtual desktop, preferably).

Unfortunately, somehow, firefox manages to bypass all that configuration and shows up in front, stealing the focus; and in the process, it completely interferes with the way I work. No doubt they do this in order to help some hypothetical "grandma" or other stupid clueless person who's never used a computer before, but let me tell you something: software should be written for people who actually do use software, not for stupid nitwits who can't even read an error message that tells them "you cannot do A, please go ahead and do B instead".

But I guess I'm too stupid or something to understand the usability "experts" who know it all best and say that software should be "intuitive" so that those who are 53 and see a computer for the first time in their live can sit right next to it and start emailing.


As if the above wasn't enough, firefox 3 also is a crashing load of shit. I just spent the better part of an hour to try and make a payment using my bank's excellent online payment software which requires nothing more than javascript, SSL, and a digipass 810 that is provided by the bank as part of the online banking contract. Unfortunately firefox insisted on crashing halfway through entering the required information, for six times in a row. You'd think I'd be filing a bug now, but no, it managed to crash in a different location every time. I'd probably have to start debugging firefox to get this done, which is not something I'll do in this life.

You know what the problem is? Webbrowser developers think they're developing the most important application for any computer. They're not. It's just a webbrowser, no more important than an xterm or a mail client: a tool to get a job done. Period.