I’m generally well ahead of the crowd when it comes to Firefox. In fact, I’ve been running pre-release versions as my primary browser since the days when the Mozilla browser was known as Firebird. However, early versions of 3.6 were particularly crashy (along with the Flash 10.1 beta) and buggy in inconvenient ways (couldn’t access my work email due to some sort of cert issue). So I’ve largely abstained. And thus, have been uninformed. Two updates in particular have impacted my workflow – one positive, the other negative.
First, Mac OS X finally gets a true and native full screen (aka kiosk) mode – which you can see below left. This has been my second biggest complaint (after cut & paste keyboard shortcut placements) since making OS X my primary mobile computing platform in 2007. It’s still a little unpolished, in that the sliding address bar and tab animation isn’t smooth and I can’t pin the bar. Also, unlike the traditional F11 keyboard toggle, the slightly more cumbersome Command-Shift-F is required. However, this feature is a big deal for me and will allow me to be more productive (and comfortable) on a 13″ screen. As the majority of what I do is web-based. For comparison, Opera has a native kiosk mode but I never found a way to display tabs. And select Chrome alphas have also provided fullscreen OS X web browsing, but with limited keyboard shortcuts and it’s been disabled in the current public beta build.
The other Firefox 3.6 change that surprised me is that new tabs open directly to the right of an existing tab, rather than at the far right in the last position. As I frequently have a dozen or more tabs open and often open tabs for later review, I prefer stacking new stuff at the end. Fortunately, while there isn’t a Preference pane option to restore the prior functionality, the prior behavior can be re-enabled (top pic): In the address bar, type about:config to bring up the much more granular and obscure options. Then filter those elements via ‘tab’ and change browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent from true to false by merely double clicking it.
Click to enlarge: