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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16 thoughts on “Latest Mac OS X Firefox Nightly Build has Native Form Controls

  1. 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. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Great job, been waiting for this!

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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