The Firefox UI team has been depressing me for at least a decade with mind-boggling changes that appear self-defeating. I wish I could get an ear to talk sense to someone in Mozilla. I’ve grownup using FF (I’m almost 40yo) but I definitely would not use it today because I would find unusable and would not have the justification to find solutions to these problems (which add-ons used to largely solve, although they shouldn’t have to have) that today require unbelievable CSS scripts to fix basic functionality … until FF 86 (current) has an egregious problem that can no longer be solved, and isn’t addressable by any means.
I’ve also written this here (https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1327597) earlier today, but in short here are 3 basic problems that require immediate solutions, I believe by amending the Preferences pages (not about:config) to add settings.
X buttons on hovering over tabs. Many of these problems are given cryptic solutions like clicking middle mouse buttons, that’s not always possible or a good experience by any measure. My middle mouse button is a wheel, it doesn’t feel right to close tabs by clicking a slippery wheel. And clicking a tab loads that page, which is unacceptable. This is not a CSS editing problem, user-styles aren’t for things like X buttons on tabs. They’re for styles, quit making us abuse chrome CSS.
Make the address bar removable and replaceable by add-ons … or give users a measure of control over it. Many have written that it should go back to behaving like a regular form element (like it does in all software I’ve ever used) but if you think people want the address bar to spaz constantly, please at least give us an option to tame it. It’s distressing to be alarmed by a spastic UI element. It’s distracting, and distracts users from important work and tasks. This is a quality-assurance problem if there ever was one.
Again with the middle mouse button and address bar, as of Firefox 86 search via the address bar no longer works without the middle mouse button. There should be a rule that if your solution is the middle mouse button then just fire that guy on the spot. But if you’re married to it, give us an option to use the middle-mouse button to do the thing that the normal button does and vice versa. Please for the love of god and all that’s holy.
Give us basic preferences for these outrageous problems the UI team has visited upon us. Everyone of these are the result of changes no one asked for, that would not exist if Firefox returned to how it worked in past times.
And there was a time when the Search element couldn’t search (maybe it required the middle mouse button?) so I had to remove it. And that wasn’t so bad because it freed up space for the address bar. But now the tables have turned: now the address bar doesn’t search and the Search bar does search… do you see the problem here? These elements aren’t even consistent in their behavior. Do you really believe if these changes were presented as preferences that anyone would choose these preferences? These only seem to hamper daily use of Firefox.
To have a function for search not work if you click on it never gets old, it’s a constant frustration everyday. Also the default focus element when a new page is opened is the address bar, not the search bar. This means to search we have to switch to a different element. This is just not defensible design.
It feels like Mozilla is pranking us or has a death wish for Firefox… maybe competitors are pulling strings behind the UI team? As crazy as that would be it’s not as crazy as the UI changes in the course of the past 10 years have been. Why? What’s in it for FF? Who at Mozilla is getting off on abusing users en masse? Why not add a checkbox to the Preferences screen? Please defend yourselves, this is immoral… and of course, please, please fix Firefox. (Current version is 86. I feel like maybe it’s time to just forget it and never look back, try to find a new browser, “86” Firefox?)
Edited: It’s worth adding that breaking our address bar (default “focus” element) is justified by a feature that doesn’t even work if the existing Preference to “not receive search suggestions” is turned on, while there’s no preference to let us use our normal mouse button like every software that’s ever existed, including Firefox’s own Search element, ironically.