Warbrain wrote: kalleboo wrote:
Are you kidding? They can't even get _pop up menus_ to look right. It doesn't use OS X spelling. It doesn't support things like the cmd-ctrl-D dictionary. Copying and pasting text doesn't bring along formatting and images. The list goes on. At least it seems like they fixed the horrible font rendering from FF2.
That's more of a holdover from a Linux port than anything. While it finally runs natively, there are issues - but there are OS integration issues with Safari as well!
These issues are going to be fixed and Firefox will take over.
No. Sorry Warbrain, but that is just completely, patently false.
The myriad UI issues and idiosyncrasies that are endemic to Firefox on the Mac are tied into the Mozilla Foundation's decision to use XUL as the basis for its implementation of the Gecko engine. In fact, they're a necessity as XUL is what allows Firefox to have an extensible infrastructure supporting themes and plug-ins. Therefore, by its very nature, Firefox simply will not have a thoroughly native Mac UI fully supporting and leveraging Mac UI elements and technologies.
In fact, on their project documentation pages they're quite happy with this - the point of using XUL was to share UI code between Linux (Gtk), Windows, and the Mac, the rationale being that instead of exerting the effort to create a custom UI for each platform, they could standardize a customizable UI across all three. (Because hey, it worked for Microsoft back in the early 90's when they decided to put a Windows UI on a Mac app for Word 6...right?)
In the words of the one of the Camino developers:
What it means for Firefox to be Cocoa based has been widely misunderstood. Essentially three (largely unrelated) things happened:
- Firefox now skins form widgets on pages to look like OS X widgets, just as Camino always has. Neither browser uses actual Cocoa controls for web content (nor, for that matter, does WebKit).
- Firefox uses Cocoa APIs rather than Carbon APIs for most of its integration with the OS--things like converting between OS X's event model and Gecko's, menu creation, etc.
- Firefox got a new default theme that better matches the Leopard look.
What did *not* happen, but many people are interpreting "Cocoa Firefox" to mean, is that the browser chrome (everything that isn't the web page) is now using standard Cocoa controls. Firefox still uses XUL for all of its chrome. The toolbar isn't an NSToolbar, the URL bar isn't an NSTextField, the search bar isn't an NSSearchField, the bookmark manager isn't NSOutlineView or NSTableView based, context menus aren't NSMenus, etc. As a result, lots of things--some subtle, some less so--still do not behave the way they would be in any other OS X application, just as was the case in Firefox 2.
Beyond skinning form controls and differently, and some specific targeted fixes like emulating most of the Leopard window look, there's nothing more Mac-like about Firefox 3, which is why it still doesn't feel that way. Carbon vs. Cocoa is an implementation detail, not a look-and-feel issue, and not at all related to what people generally mean when they say "native".
This is why I use Camino and not Firefox - because a Mac-targeted, Mac-native UI is one of their goals. I appreciate how the Firefox team went the extra mile to provide a better-looking theme, but it doesn't make up for the UI inconsistencies which still mar Firefox.
And yes, you could easily ask "why bother" - indeed, many Mac users, both here and across the Mac web, find Firefox's trademark flexibility more than worth the price paid in terms of UI consistency. However, in my opinion, attention to the design of the UI and its consistency with established norms is one of the reasons why the Mac delivers a superior user experience - between a word processor, spreadsheet, email app, personal organizer, and a web browser, you can and should expect interface conventions to remain constant and consistent. That's all the more important in an app as front and centre as a web browser (and it's why Apple's own flagrantly hypocritical violations of its own HIG set a ridiculous precedent).
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