Latest Mac OS X Firefox Nightly Build has Native Form Controls

I turned on native form controls yesterday, in time for today’s nightly build. There is more work to be done on them, but this is a big step. Pull new nightlies as time goes on and you should see the remaining kinks get worked out.

It took us approximately 5 years and a few failed attempts to get here. Camino has had native form controls for a while now, but those were a series of hacks that came with some significant negative consequences. The hacks are finally gone, a lot of code has been rewritten, and now we are comfortable turning on native form controls for all of Mozilla’s Mac OS X products. I owe a big thank-you to Robert O’Callahan, David Baron, and Boris Zbarsky for helping me with troubles I was having in layout code during the home stretch. This would have taken a lot longer without them.

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About Josh Aas

Josh Aas is a Gecko platform software engineer with Mozilla Corporation.
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16 Responses to Latest Mac OS X Firefox Nightly Build has Native Form Controls

  1. giandrea says:

    I know this is a stupid question, but what are the advantages of having native widgets? Or better, what is different visually or functionally between FF 2 and the nightly? Thanks

  2. Another stupid question: any news on when Linux will get the same treatment?

  3. Tobu says:

    Will this include native XUL, like epiphany does on linux?

  4. Allen Pike says:

    The buttons and other controls have the look of OS X’s Aqua buttons and controls, with the sort of glassy appearance. Previous versions of Firefox just use generic gray boxy controls. Thanks Josh!

  5. Tobu, XUL controls have been natively themed on Mac for a long time.

  6. dempsey775 says:

    Very nice work. Makes me want Firefox 3 final even more now :)

  7. Just got it and looking good. Thanks for all the hard work. While the Camino hacks were nice to get a good OS X browser, but it’s nice to see things being cleaned up and Firefox being officially usable on the Mac. Now if we can just get a non crappy theme. Luckily the Nightly tester tools has made the GrApple theme working and pretty.

  8. giandrea says:

    What about switching back to Pinstripe on Mac OS X? The new Firefox 2 theme is horrible…

  9. René says:

    Hi there,

    first of all, great work, I really appreciate it!

    Stupid question, are there any attmepts to make dropdown lists scrollable with the mousewheel? it’s set up like that in Safari and one of the key features/enhancements I’m missing in Firefox.

    Cheers, René

  10. Boris says:

    The mousewheel thing is a bug that’s filed. It should get fixed, yes.

  11. joe says:

    Great job, been waiting for this!

    Now onward to implementing other Camino features, like Keychain support ;)

  12. Very nice! Now if we could only have native GTK controls… :-)

  13. Chris says:

    I would love to see native text fields, too. If they are native, I wonder why I’m unable to use Shift-CMD-D while hovering a word. Typically this brings up the dictionary helper but it’s never worked in Firefox. I always guessed it was because Firefox was using its own widgets but hopefully this can be fixed now. :)

    Excellent work!

  14. Josh says:

    Are there Camino builds using these updated form controls?

  15. Chris, the Dictionary pop-up while hovering depends on accessibility support; someone was working on Mac accessibility support for Gecko last summer, but no work has happened lately. (Note also that the “new” “native widgets” are not “native” in the sense most Mac programmers use; the widgets are instead “native themed,” which means they’re drawn with HITheme rather than being NSButtons and the like directly. Or, put another way, they’re only “native” in the sense they look Aqua rather than the ugly grey Gecko boxes that Firefox had been using since day 1.)

    Josh (the other one), any Camino trunk nightly will have all these changes; Aqua themed form controls were never turned off in Camino, and Josh’s last checkin when turning on the controls for Firefox was to remove the last bits of things that only Camino was using.

  16. godavemon says:

    Josh, looks pretty cool. Too bad I hear C Smith doesn’t use the internet, she only plays Xbox.

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