Past its expiration date

You’d think that I’m talking about food here, but nope; I’m talking about my browser – the vernerable Firefox I’ve been using version 1.5 since it was in the Beta 2 stage, in last 2005. However, the introduction of version 2, along with some policy changes, means that Mozilla have terminated support for version 1.5. I have this sneaking suspicion that I will have to adapt sooner or later to changing the look of my browser.

You see, in 2005, I had made a choice to save some space on my screen by removing the Navigation toolbar, removing buttons that I hardly ever used such as Reload, Stop and Home. Included in the things that I removed from my toolbar was the Search Box. A really neat feature that occurred because of that is that when I hit Ctrl+K to start a search, this pops up –

Pretty simple and neat, no? Add that to the fact that, combined with the tabbar, the top area of my window covers the same real estate as if I were to have the “proper” arrangement of toolbars and such (never mind the fact that the whole space next to the menu bar is wasted space in that configuration).

However, it was decided to remove this feature on the basis that it was a) something most users don’t see (fair enough, I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t hidden the search box myself) and b) buggy (something that the developers probably had a good reason to declare it so, and, most likely, if they were to explain the reason it was buggy, it would just kinda float above my head and blow by. :)).

I had said in October that this was the only thing keeping me from upgrading. As it is, I have a widescreen monitor (1680 x 1050 resolution at that) and horizontal space isn’t that big of a concern. There are also extensions that will allow you to make the size of the search bar so I can always sort that out after installation.

Considering that there aren’t any plans to release any additional security upgrades for version 1.5, it’s best for me to just build a bridge, donate a little screen space to the search bar, and keep my hopes up that someone will be innovative and come up with an extension to bring back the search dialog (considering that 7 months have gone by without one coming out, it might just be nearly impossible for it to be fixed without breaking the browser).

Update: I’ve upgraded to version 2 now. So far everything is going well; the only minor issue now is that new tabs from searches focus instead of load in the background. 🙂

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