November 22, 2004

Firefox 1.0 annoyance

Back blogging after a brief weekend hiatus.

Like many people, I upgraded to Firefox 1.0 when it was released a couple of weeks ago. Though I'm not sure if I wasn't better off with version 0.9.

First, it seems far less stable. I've had 1.0 crash on me three times now, for no apparent reason. The previous release sometimes slowed to an absolute crawl, but always recovered.

Second, every once in a while it does this aggravating thing where suddenly all the cursor control keys and cut-and-paste functions seem to lose all functionality in a text box. This is a major annoyance because it seriously limits how you can enter text, and only a restart of the browser solves it.

Third, what genius came up with the brilliant idea of making the slash symbol (/) one of the hotkeys for the find-as-you-type feature and turned it on by default? It "works" even when the cursor is in a text box, and so every time I type a closing HTML tag or a simple construction like "either/or," the text box loses focus and I wind up typing blog entries into the find window.

At least I found a solution for the last problem. Choose Tools > Options, then click the Advanced icon. Under Accessibility, check the box marked "Begin finding when you begin typing." Now in a text box, the slash behaves as a slash, not a hotkey. Elsewhere, it continues to turn on the Find toolbar. (It took me nearly all that two weeks to find that solution, since "Begin finding when you begin typing" isn't exactly an accurate description of this feature, which is more like "Don't find-as-you-type when you type a slash in a text box.")

Now, if only the options had check boxes to solve Firefox's stability problems.

Update: Now I've found a new annoyance. Every once in awhile, just the mere act of typing - into a text box, not just a static Web page - pops up the Find toolbar. What's up with that?

Update update: The above "fix" didn't help.

Update update update: When I added the second update, above, I discovered that the apostrophe key also activates the Find toolbar, meaning typing normal, everyday words like "it's" and "you're" changes the focus of the browser away from typing text. What drunkard designed this?

Update update update update: It appears that the above problem and the malfuntioning cursor keys are all related to the Find toolbar. Unfortunately, there appears to be no way to disable this "feature." Meanwhile, I continue to claw out my eyeballs and think of clever ways to type blog entries up without using slashes, apostrophes, or cursor keys. (E.g. reverting to version 0.9.)