Firefox 4 introduces several controversial new features to the browser. I have already mentioned my opinion on the Panorama feature. Another feature that I'm not very fond of to say the least is the removal of the status bar, which was replaced with the add-on bar. The add-on bar has been designed as a place for all add-on icons that have previously used the status bar to display information to the user.
One essential piece of information has been removed from the add-on bar: Link destination information when hovering over them in the web browser with the mouse cursor. Mozilla has moved link destination information to the Firefox location bar, where it shares the place with the address of the active page.
The main problem that I see is that it is a huge change for Internet users. Every browser under the sun, since web browsers made their first appearance, has been displaying link destinations in the status bar or the location where the status bar is. This change will confuse many users, as everyone is used to seeing the information in the status bar area.
The second problem linked to this new display location for link destinations is that the the space in the location bar is sometimes not wide enough to display the url and the url of the active page fully.
Users like me, who like to move the information from the location bar back to the Firefox add-on bar can do so with the new Firefox 4 add-on Status-4-Evar. It is a stupid name but it restores the functionality so that it exactly replicates the functionality of Firefox 3. The add-on hides the link text in the location bar of the browser as well, so that the irritating text is removed from that location.
Firefox users who install the add-on need to add the widget to the add-on bar manually after installation. This is done by selecting View > Toolbars > Customize first. This opens a new window with items that can be dragged and dropped to the toolbars in the browser. Locate the icon named Done and drag it on the add-on bar. If you have not enabled the add-on bar yet do it in the toolbars menu before dragging and dropping the item. There are also icons to add the progress meter and download status to the add-on bar.
The Firefox add-on offers several additional features, like showing the network status or download status in the add-on bar as well. The add-on is available at the official Mozilla add-on site.
I'm happy that add-on developers are producing add-ons that revert some of the new changes in the web browser. It is on the other hand not reassuring that I have to run several add-ons to get core functionality back the way it was pre-Firefox 4.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.