Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Mozilla’s big back button

May 20, 2008

John Lilly, Mozilla CEOSay what you will, but Mozilla got back. In Firefox 3, the latest version of its Web browser, the foundation has made more than 15,000 changes from the last version. According to Chief Executive John Lilly, they range from big to small, including making the back button bigger.

“We did user studies that say people click the back button more than they click the forward,” he told reporters and editors at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

Apparently none of us ever learned the old Bob Dylan line about not looking back.

Mozilla also is making some other interesting decisions for Firefox 3, including releasing it in 50 languages.

More from Lilly: “That’s not a commercial decision. That’s a health of the World Wide Web mission-based decision… We think there are important non-commercial considerations that need to be made by people who are innovating with the product. So there’s a difference between policy groups and product groups. We’re innovating with product; we’re competing with product, but with a mission.”

Maybe Firefox 4 will have a one-click solution for forgiving third-world debt.

(Photo: Mozilla Corp)

Comments

The larger Back button must be one of the silliest things they’ve changes, and for one of the most ridiculous reasons (next to, of course, changing the default zoom method to the point where you just can’t zoom the way you can in Firefox 2, unless you have an older extension). I’m curious to see how many people get and use themes that at least visually kill the “keyhole.”

 

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