Recently Firefox has been pushing a more aggressive upgrade schedule. There is little doubt that they are feeling the pressure from Google Chrome, which is becoming increasingly popular and has an aggressive upgrade cycle as well.
In the last year Chrome has become nearly as popular as Firefox. Many of the recent changes with Firefox, like the shorter release cycles, make it look like it is trying to play catch up with Chrome. Perhaps desperately so. Unfortunately with release of Firefox 7 it appears they are also desperate to copy the same mistakes Chrome has made.
It is no secret that I really don’t like the way Chrome broke copy and paste in the URL field. That was a horrible decision that irritates me on an almost daily basis. When I select something to be copied I expect to have an exact copy of what was selected, altering that under the hood completely breaks the concept of copy and paste.
So guess what new “feature” was added to Firefox 7? You got it:
The ‘http://’ URL prefix is now hidden by default
And it behaves in exactly the same broken way that Chrome does.
To the Mozilla team: look, I understand that you’re concerned about losing market share to Chrome, but please, please, please don’t mimic their mistakes. Now in order to copy and paste the URL properly I have to copy everything but the first character of the hostname, then manually type in that first character then paste in the remainder. Absolutely horrible. This is one feature of Chrome that no one should ever copy, and I’d be thrilled to see it removed from Chrome as well.
If you want to no longer show ‘http://’ in the URL field, fine, but please stop breaking copy and paste.
UPDATE: Turns out Firefox has an option for disabling this “feature” ( kudos to @ozh ):
- Enter about:config in the URL field
- Filter on browser.urlbar.trimURLs
- Set the value for browser.urlbar.trimURLs to false
Not great that this is on by default, but at least there is an easy way to turn it off. Now, if only it were that easy to turn off this “feature” in Chrome.