Firefox 1.0 RC1: Tabs Done Right

1 minute read

I recently dumped Safari on my Macs in favor of Firefox. Nearly everything worked as I wanted, but one very important function was still misbehaving (at least as far as I was concerned). Every, and I mean every, link I clicked on in an external program would open a new window. This was slightly annoying at work with Windows, but it was a genuine PITA on my Macs because Firefox would attempt to offset the new window, inevitably resulting in part of the window being off screen.

I’m very particular about my web browser. I want a single window with tabs. That’s all. Safari handled this superbly. Now, before you jump all over me to point out that there were extensions to add this functionality, the fact is, they don’t count. This is for two reasons. The first is that none of them ever worked on OS X right. Most essentially killed the browser and the one that didn’t made it nearly impossible to open a tab. Great.

Thankfully, some of the Mozilla folks saw that the inability to force external links to open in a new tab instead of a window or internal links that attempt to opena new window open in a new tab instead, was a mistake. It translated into a half-assed adoption of tabbed browsing. It had the meat, but left out the dressing.

Release Candidate 1 (now available on Mozilla’s servers) has controls in the preferences to set behavior for external links (new window, current tab/window, new tab in current window) as well as a preference to force new window links to open in either the current window or a new tab. Finally.

This will appear in the final 1.0 version of Firefox (due on Novermber 9th). If you don’t desperately want these freatures, you can simply wait. Can you stand the excitement?