Chapter 16: Setting Your Options


Options are heresy among Firefox developers. We don't hate the idea of customization; we just want Firefox to cater to you automatically. It should fit your needs out of the box, so we consider every preference we add a personal failure.

That said, different people have different tastes. Just because I find reality better than reality TV doesn't mean the latter shouldn't be an option. The Firefox Options window helps you configure every aspect of your browsing experience, from home page to shutdown. This chapter provides a brief overview of the Options window and points you to additional information about each option.

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The right choice

As strange as it sounds, one of our primary goals in developing Firefox is to reduce a user's choices. If you've ever used an application that buried one or two useful options in a sea of absurd ones — and I think that's most software applications these days — you can probably appreciate our intentions. We want to deliver the best possible experience out of the box, and then allow a level of customization that most people are likely to need. For those who really want to trick out Firefox, our community offers a sea of extensions.

So how do applications end up so bloated and, if I may invent an apt word, featureful? Having observed or participated in the development processes of many applications, I can tell you the answer is simple: Developers are an indecisive bunch. Much of the time, the addition of a setting has little to do with what you might want; it's a compromise between two developers who disagree about how a feature should behave. Rather than discussing with users to figure out the right behavior, it's generally much faster just to make it an option.

In Firefox, we force ourselves to make decisions about feature behavior rather than adding an option and calling it a day. The only way an option makes it into the product is if the world at large disagrees about how the feature should behave — not two developers.

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Firefox For Dummies
Firefox For Dummies
ISBN: 0471748994
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 157
Authors: Blake Ross © 2008-2017.
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