John Gruber has switched back to Safari after a dalliance with Firefox 3, and outlined some of the reasons for switching back. It's a feature comparison, and I don't know some of the Safari features or care about some of the Firefox shortcomings he mentions, but there isn't anything in his post that I disagree with. I've used Firefox exclusively for a number of years, and while there are definitely things about it that shit me, I can't see myself using any other browser any time soon. Gruber mentions the reason himself.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Safari and Firefox is that Firefox offers an official, supported extension API.
A host of incredibly useful extensions have been written using this API and, as a developer, there are some that I just couldn't live without, especially Firebug, and to a lesser extent the Web Developer Toolbar and Greasemonkey. Gruber says he suspects some developers browse with Safari and then move back to Firefox for development. That certainly wouldn't work for me, for two reasons. First, if you're moving between browsers—different shortcuts, different UIs, different metaphors—you're invariably going to be slower on both because there's extra cognitive load. Second, there isn't really much difference between my daily browsing and my development. I jump back and forth between things all the time, and that level of separation wouldn't work for me. My daily browsing overlaps too much with my development.
So, what shits me? I'll start off by agreeing with Gruber.
Location Field—The new Firefox 3 location field, the so-called “AwesomeBar”, is too clever. When I click the mouse in the middle of a URL, I just want to place the insertion point. I don’t want to select the entire URL. If I wanted to select the entire URL, I’d double-click. Click to place, double-click to select—just like any other text field.
[Update: Not long after I posted, and via Gruber, I came across an about:config change to insert the cursor rather than select the entire URL, as well as a post that goes through Gruber's list point by point and provides a justification for this behaviour that sounds pretty reasonable.]
Related to this is that if you're in the location or search fields and switch away from Firefox to another application, switching back selects the entire field. I was also bothered by the fact that if you start typing in the AwesomeBar and a match is selected from your history, and you backspace over the last part of the URL to, for example, go to a different page on that site, then hit enter, you don't go to the URL in the location bar but to the matched URL. Thankfully, this has been fixed in beta 5.
Firefox 3 adds a new inline toolbar for password saving, similar to the inline text search bar that both Safari and Firefox now have. This password bar is very slick — it’s small and non-modal, staying out of the way until after you’ve finished logging into a site, at which point you can decide whether you want to allow Firefox to save your credentials for this site.
I agree it's great that I can avoid saving incorrect passwords and that the page can be loading while I'm thinking about whether I want to save the password, but I used to be able to dismiss the modal window with the keyboard. Now if I want Firefox to remember my password I have to use the mouse. I don't like to use the mouse. If I'm wrong, and I can do it from the keyboard, someone please enlighten me.
Anyone else using the Firefox 3 beta and have things that shit them?