Fix hover display of target links in Firefox 4

Problem: After upgrading to Firefox 4 the first "improvement" that you'll notice is possibly the all-too-distracting popup which displays the full target URL whenever you move the mouse pointer over any link. Apparently they got rid of the status bar, but decided that for security's sake the information must still be displayed somewhere and chose a popup. Unfortunately, a popup which keeps appearing and disappearing over the main page display area feels much more intrusive than a fixed status bar area (which you could also hide altogether).

Solution: Install the poorly named add-on Status-4-Evar. It will instantly restore the original status bar without any further configuration.

And by the way, you can also disable "View > Toolbars > Tabs on Top" to restore the original proper location of tabs. To move the Home and Reload buttons back to where they belong left of the address entry field, you can right-click on the little arrow within that field (or almost anywhere else on the toolbar), select "Customize" and then drag the buttons back.

The most comfortable GUIs are the ones we're used to.


David said...

The most comfortable GUIs are the ones we're used to.
The most usable and efficient GUIs are the ones that have hours of thought, testing and discussion behind them.

I dislike change as much as the next man, but I don't think the past can be used as a measure for what's right and wrong.

Target URL popup? Annoying, yes. Wrong, not for me to say.

jpl said...

David, I mostly agree. Progress (of any kind) at the macro-level occurs despite people at the micro-level revolting against it. The next generation of FF users who haven't got used to the older UI aren't going to care and the newer UI might be better "overall".

However, those who aren't new to the game are typically much more interested in defending their local optima and "protecting time investments" rather than pursuing any (real or imagined) global ones and undertaking "risks". So in the end, for those offering products and services it becomes a matter of market politics - experimenting with new or catering to existing audiences.

It would be interesting to know whether the decision in this particular case came from such deliberation, or whether someone simply saw URL popups in Chrome and said "gee, that's cool, why don't we do it the same way!"

Anonymous said...

As a UX designer, I find this "feature" to be utterly frustrating. Why would someone thing this was a bright idea? It seems completely obnoxious to me. So much so that I would uninstall it, except for the fact that I will now have to change my UI designs to not use the area at the bottom. Not only is it annoying, but for a Web App, this is a Browser Killer.

Anonymous said...

those in power
have to learn
how to give it away

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