Why I think the Firefox 4 designers are retarded

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

I’ve long since been an Internet Explorer holdout.  Living daily in the SharePoint world as I do, I’ve had to stick with IE through some really bad versions.  Now to be fair, what makes a version bad for ME is personal, biased and based completely on my experience with the product.  Unfortunately, like I always tell my Boot Camp attendees, “Perception IS Reality!”

To an end user, that is the absolute truth and as the consumer of the browser product, I am that user… and I am VERY unforgiving.  So why did I consider IE 6, 7 & 8 to be “bad”.  It all revolved around one thing.  The way I work.  I am always browsing in a dozen different places and then opening tabs that I want to get back to later.  In IE6, we didn’t even HAVE tabs.  That was such an annoyance because we were forced to open multiple IE windows instead.  It annoyed me to the point of writing a special app that would save your open IE windows and reload them after a reboot.

Then came IE7 and it brought with it tabs.  Too bad it lost all the tabs when it crashed.  At that point Firefox 3 was around with tabs and it DID restore tabs after a crash.  It even had a cute little “Oops, we’re sorry” message.  That was the point where many people started moving to Firefox as their main browser.  I started using Firefox but IE remained my main browser.  When I was browsing something I wanted to save for later, I’d do it in Firefox.  When I was doing anything else I ‘d be using IE.

Next came IE8… surely they’d have fixed the tab loss bug by this point, right?  Nope.  To my dismay, IE still lost my tabs after a crash.  At least I had a workaround in Firefox so I kept on doing that.  Now I think it’s a good thing that Firefox always tries to get you to upgrade to the latest version.

But then came Firefox 4.  With great fanfare I went along and upgraded to the latest version.  Imagine my horror when I re-opened Firefox expecting 20 odd tabs to open and there was just the home screen!!!  AAARRRGGGHHH!!!  What happened?  OK, I figured it must now be an optional settings somewhere.  I looked for it, but I couldn’t find it in any obvious location… and I’m a developer!  So if I couldn’t find it, I knew other people were having trouble too.  I ended having to search the Mozilla support site to finally find the answer and here it is:

This is where everyone in their right mind would look, right?  Under the “Tabs” menu… maybe something like “Restore tabs after crash” or something to that effect.




No, no, that would makes sense.  Nope, it’s not under that tab.  The tabs option for restoring your tabs is actually on the “General” tab.  Well of course!  Why didn’t I see that.  If you’re like me, you’re looking at the “General” tab and saying… um… where exactly is that option?  Well you have to look at the hidden dropdown values in the “When Firefox starts” item.




And change that item to be thus:




NOW Firefox is back to NORMAL and will save your tabs again.  Sigh.  So why my soapbox moment?

  1. Tabs is what MADE Firefox popular to begin with.
  2. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet that appreciated the fact it would ALWAYS recover you tabs.
  3. So having such great tab features, why for Pete’s sake would you go and make that an OPTIONAL settings???!!!   If you have to make it an optional setting, at least turn it on by default!
  4. And if you’re gonna make us hunt and peck for the answer, please just put the thing where we can actually FIND it without having to waste time searching your support forum for answers and then writing long winded tirades blog posts that waste even more time!

Whoever decided to change how tabs works in 4 is… well… nuf said…

And THAT, dear reader, is why this post is titled as it is.

Point in case…



So I want to point out that IE9 finally seems to do the tabs right and correctly restores tabs in a new session… and it does it BY DEFAULT Firefox!





Trackback from your site.

Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.