Having tried to use Firefox 3 as my main browser for a while it just strikes me how little it actually conforms with the rest of Mac OS X. I haven’t found a decent summary of this yet on the web, so I decided to do one myself.
Let me give a brief summary…
Firefox does not use Cocoa controls. However when they tried to copy the OS X buttons they must apparantly made a few mistakes, because the buttons does not look anything like the OS X buttons. And as soon as a few effects are added it just gets worse and worse.
Standard Safari button
Standard Firefox button - notice the difference on the edge
In Leopard all menus now have rounded corners. Well not in Firefox. All Firefox menus have the old style look, and when used with items such as list boxes it just turns out way wrong.
Standard Safari list box
Standard Firefox list box - wrong in just so many ways (it doesn’t even respect my graphite setting)
Firefox 3 RC2 added the possibility to differentiate between foreground and background windows. However there is still something very wrong with the Firefox window. Check below
Here’s the standard Safari window. Nice and linear gradient.
Here’s the standard Firefox window. Notice how the gradient is BRIGHTER in the middle! This is a three-component gradient, going from mid-gray, to light-gray, to dark-gray. This has been noticed by many others, but the Firefox team either thinks it’s better looking or they just cannot spot the difference.
Heres a Firefox window skinned with the theme GrApple Yummy (graphite). Notice how the three-component gradient gets compressed in a weird way.
Finally I think Firefox renders content in a very ugly way. Just check the two pictures below from http://www.google.se/. There is nothing special in the form layout, but just look at the way the buttons OVERLAP with the input field, and how the radio button text is located UNDER the actual buttons. It’s so ugly it’s almost funny.
Using Firefox 3 is really a different experience from using OS X. It’s not Windows, it’s not OS X and it’s not Linux. It’s something else. It’s too much apparent that there is no overall design team involved in Firefox development, and for me personally it’s enough reason to not want to use Firefox at all.
** Update. Markus Stange, Firefox OS X developer, posted some clarifications below. Well worth a read.