Firefox customization
September 25, 2004 5:58 AM   Subscribe

Firefox question. Unmodified, just-installed firefox opens a new tab behind the current tab, instead of on top as Mozilla does; and the right-click popup menu for tabs does not have "close this tab" first in the list, as in Mozilla. Are these two behaviors customizable? I know I'm being lazy but these two misfeatures are deal-killers for me. If you knowledgeable firefox users tell me they're fixable in userChrome.css or users.js or whatever I promise I'll rtfm-rtfm-rtfm and become as rabid a firefox zealot as you might desire. But if they're not changeable then it's all wasted effort and I'll stay with Mozilla (or whatever they're calling it this week.) Thanks!
posted by jfuller to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Preferences → Advanced → Browsing: There are two check boxes: "Select new tabs opened from links" and "Select new tabs opened from bookmarks or history". If checked, new tabs will open in the foreground. As for closing a tab, I use "Ctrl+W".
posted by golo at 6:09 AM on September 25, 2004

Or you can download the tabbrowser extensions which add all sorts of other features - tab reordering, drag n drop etc etc
posted by Mossy at 6:52 AM on September 25, 2004

Or you can just carry on using Mozilla if you prefer it. It's essentially the same browser. And it's not IE, which is the main point.
posted by chrismear at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2004

As long as we're here. I like the URL auto-complete feature in Moz. Firefox drops down a menu of matching URLs, but the URL bar itself only has what I've typed so far, so I need to arrow down and enter instead of just enter when I have the best match.

Anyway to replicate the Mozilla behavior in Firefox?
posted by willnot at 7:23 AM on September 25, 2004

Just hit the tab key to cycle through the autocompletion matches.
posted by Galvatron at 8:01 AM on September 25, 2004

If you don't mind going to a bit of trouble, you can reorder the menu --

Go to your Firefox/chrome directory and find toolkit.jar. Make a copy for safekeeping.

Extract toolkit.jar somewhere with your archiver. It'll dump a folder named "content".

Go to content/global/bindings/tabbrowser.xml and open it in a text editor.

Look for this line, it's not far from the top:

<xul:menupopup onpopupshowing="this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode.updatePopupMenu(this);">

Everything between that and:


are your menu items. Just reorder them the way you like. The line you want at the top is:

<xul:menuitem label="&closeTab.label;" accesskey="&closeTab.accesskey;"
oncommand="var tabbrowser = this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode;

Save and re-archive the content directory as toolkit.jar, and place it in Firefox/chrome. Close and restart Firefox.

(An aside: my archiver can extract, but not create jar files. I've read that renaming zip files with the jar extension will work okay with Moz/Firefox, and it does seem to be so, I'm looking at a reconfigured tab menu right now. You can try this if your program doesn't do jar compression, but hang onto that copy of toolkit.jar for a while just in case)
posted by nikzhowz at 8:22 AM on September 25, 2004

"I've read that renaming zip files with the jar extension will work okay"

JAR files are ZIP files. It's more than "okay," it's exactly what you're supposed to do in the absence of a utility (like jar) that calls its ZIP output "JAR."

"Anyway to replicate the Mozilla [address bar] behavior in Firefox?"

The Phoneix/Firebird/Firefox guys broke this quite a while ago and I vaguely remember there being some WONTFIX bug about it. It's apparently intentionally broken. This is a good candidate for an enterprising extension to come along and fix, but I haven't seen one yet.

Given that the bloat difference between Mozilla trunk and Firefox is converging on negligable as they re-add all the crap they stripped out in the first place, if Firefox UI quirks annoy you it might just be worth it to stay with Mozilla, which does in fact still exist despite the change in in emphasis on the home page.
posted by majick at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2004

JAR files are ZIP files...

Dag. I spent an hour looking for a no-installation jar archiver. That's good to know, thanks! Wonder why some zip programs don't offer to save with a jar extension, when it's a freebie "feature" they can claim.
posted by nikzhowz at 9:06 AM on September 25, 2004

As a new Firefox user, I highly recommend going here and getting the tabbrowser extension. Autofill is great too. The Gmail notifier if you need it. And the Bugmenot thingie, which automatically fills in a username/password without you doing anything, is the greatest thing since sliced bread was put in a toaster.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2004

The JAR format uses ZIP for file archiving/compression, but it also contains specific provisions for storing certain types of meta-information that is mainly useful to java programs. See e.g. here for more info. Since this extra information is stored in files inside the archive, treating the jar file as a zip file will work fine, like others said. What I don't know is why mozilla decided to use the jar extension specifically, since I don't think they use any of the meta-information capabilities.

People who have java installed may already have a command line tool called "jar" which can deal with them, if you want to add manifests or something, or use a program that will create its archives already with the .jar extension. You definitely have this if you have the jdk.
posted by advil at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2004

I should point out for the record that middle-clicking on a tab will also close it in Firefox. Very handy.
posted by neckro23 at 6:40 PM on September 26, 2004

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