Simon Willison’s Weblog


Mozilla 1.2 alpha

13th September 2002

The first alpha version of Mozilla 1.2 has been released, with the most notable new feature being Type Ahead Find. I’ve played with this on previous Mozilla builds (it was available as an addon) and it’s an interesting feature—you can navigate around a page by typing the names of links on that page (as soon as you type enough of the link for it to be recognisable the browser selects the link for you). The implementation in 1.2 also allows you to search for items on the page by typing a backslash followed by the search terms.

While this is a very clever feature I’m not sure I support it’s inclusion in the main Mozilla distribution, for one simple reason: It rules out pretty much every key on the keyboard as a keyboard shortcut. I’ve been playing with Opera a bit more recently (inspired by Tim Luoma’s 30 Days to becoming an Opera Lover series) and one of my favourite features is Opera’s keyboard shortcut support, in particular the images key. To toggle images, hit ’g’—with images off pages load a great deal faster (especially on a modem) and if you need to see them you can toggle tham back on again with a single key press. Now that Mozilla has Type Ahead shortcuts like this are pretty much out of the question.

Normally I install new releases of Mozilla as soon as they come out, but this time I am holding back—not because of type ahead (I’m looking forward to trying it out, my objections being purely hypothetical seeing as Mozilla has no keyboard shortcuts that will be affected) but because I’ve just started using Mozilla Calendar which is currently incompatible with 1.2. Calendar is a superb piece of software—it looks gorgeous, has an intuitive interface and seems to be everything I’ve been looking for in a Calendar application. It also has the ability to export calendars as iCalendar XML, an open format documented here (as an IETF draft).

This is Mozilla 1.2 alpha by Simon Willison, posted on 13th September 2002.

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