Firefox sees the light: Defaults to tabbed browsing

Now, I try to stay out of discussions about who's following who and all that, since it's usually pointless and nothing good usually comes from it. However, after we changed our terminology from "pages" to "tabs" in Opera 9 to make it easier to migrate from other browsers such as Safari, Konqueror and the upcoming IE7, there are certain people who believe this to be evidence that Opera is "falling into line" or "following Firefox's lead".

After Firefox 1.5 was released to catch up with more Opera features, it does look like the Firefox team is learning from Opera again with Firefox 2. Not only will there be a close button on each tab just like in Opera, but it will default to tabs instead of new windows.

It's great to see that Firefox "falls into line" and makes it easier for people to learn about tabbed browsing – functionality that Opera users have already enjoyed for many, many years 🙂


10 thoughts on “Firefox sees the light: Defaults to tabbed browsing

  1. All user agents are wrong to be changing to be the same as other user agents, making it easy to migrate is a stupid claim, people don't need it to be easy to change between browsers, they use one browser.Continuing to be able to use the same browser is the most important, Opera 9 is a disaster, lots of things I learnt in 8.5 now no longer work, what do I do if I can't understand the complex configuration options – I stay with 8.54, that leaves me at risk of security flaws when it goes out of support. If you're going to change things, provide a 1 click solution to make it go back to how it was in a previous version.IE7 has so far done an even worse job, changing many more UI conventions, but it's a nasty move to have everything the same, it'll keep people using old less secure software.

  2. two wrongs don't make a right, moral high-ground, an eye for an eye makes everyone blind… ah heck, who am kidding….touche indeed :)I would like to see more of this, but it can only result in flamewars. And once you get into the nitty-gritty, it's always going to come down to "scoreboard" as Jim Rome likes to say. I will say that in the last year (or since Opera is ad-free), it's been utterly refreshing to see more Opera fans on sites like Slashdot ('m excited that Opera is finally getting the respect it deserves for the innovation and quality product they produce. I try not to get wrapped up in one product, I say use the right tool for the right job, if FireFox works for you, then great! But I do feel Opera is an innovative company that is doing good things for everyone, so that's why I've thrown my support in for them. It's also why I've taken to heart more than any reasonable person should when Asa states that Opera is following Firefox's lead. If anyone is being innovative at FireFox, it's strickly the extension creators and the community. I know most would argue that FireFox *is* the community, but I'm differentiating between the community at large and the Mozilla Foundation/core developers… the bare bones FireFox.

  3. And they actually implemented feature that Opera had once in some TP of Opera 7… It called "instant search results" and was burried in following builds (by Google request I believe). BTW, in comparison with Firefox Opera showed results of search not Google Suggest results…So, is it now time to "recover" this feature? 😉

  4. When you close tabs in the latest Firefox release, does the focus shift to the last open tab (the way Opera does it) or have they not implemented that yet? I remember reading it was something they wanted to do.

  5. Lawmune: I hope not. I don't surf the same way I edit documents. The way Firefox currently sends you to the next tab is much more convenient for my standard use case, which is to open interesting-looking links in background tabs as I read or skim a page (middle-click makes this very easy), then read the new pages one by one.

  6. @Fatal:I was reminded of this thing as well. But the Firefox feature you discuss is something else. Firefox does not show the top 10 search results after typing a word, as Opera did once. Instead, it shows possible search terms, the Google Suggest feature. This means the Google search result page will not be bypassed, which was the case with the experimental feature Opera once had.

  7. It would be better if guys from Mozilla "falled into line" and finally started to patch stupid bugs with CSS/JS which live for year or two now. I can not care about nice features when simple rendering works faulty.

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