It’s a known issue that I hate the new zoom paradigm in Firefox 3, but someone’s posted a comment in the bug for it that brings up an interesting point. I’d comment there but I’ve done enough advocacy commenting there so I’ll post it here in hopes of getting my comment seen and generating a little discussion.
Radek ‘sysKin’ Czyz posted
I’ve been using full zoom since it became possible and I never ever missed old
weird behaviour. Image zoom might be ugly, but I manage to switch it back to
100% if I ever need to appreciate a high quality image, if I need to.
Anyway, changing font size while keeping anything but font size unchanged is
conceptually as weird as doing the opposite. Either you want the page bigger or
Bloating options or menus for that is pointless, most users don’t even open the
options dialogue in their lives (and when they do, they want to change an
option they expect there to be beforehand). People who actually understand the
difference between font size and everything-else-size are people capable of
installing extensions for whatever zoom-one-thing-but-not-other they fancy.
Apologies for another advocacy post, just wanted to make it clear that there
are people with opposite views in that matter.
I copied his comment (#54) in it’s entirety so I don’t get anything out of context, but he’s brought up an interesting point. Why are we needing an extension to use text zoom rather than someone writing an extension to utilize full page zoom? Here’s a clue card for The Powers That Be: One of Firefox’s selling points has been text zoom, not full page zoom. It’s been that way for as long as this user can remember. Why the frack do we need an extension to get back to an existing goramm behavior instead of getting an extension to do something new?
The problem with page zoom vs. text zoom isn’t how easy it is to get back to 100%, it’s that sometimes the font on a page is friggin’ tiny without zooming it in, but zooming the page (with the images) doesn’t just make it more readable. It can also move the page content as images get enlarged, which can mean that we have to scroll to the left or right to see the same amount of text, which can get to be a pain in the ass after a while. Plus, and please forgive me for being a broken record, it’s not how Firefox has worked for as long as I can remember.
But wow, what an intriguing concept! Writing an extension to get Mozilla Firefox to do something new that’s not a built in function. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? What an incredible selling point! I mean, maybe someone could even write a theme or something to let Firefox look like IE7 for people who prefer that look. Oh, wait. It’s been done.
I’m sure you guys know what I’m saying. What do you think? Am I being a stubborn old coot who refuses to change? Or am I actually making a little sense in my rants about this major change to using Firefox as we know it?