Firefox 3 is in Release Candidate 1 stage. But it shouldn’t go out yet. Yes, there are improvements but I think there’s one big regression: its AppleScript is broken.
There’s two pieces of data that’s critical for several apps to get from Firefox: the current URL and the current Title. The title portion is broken in Firefox 3. That’s a regression from Firefox 2. Except, it isn’t officially, since Firefox never officially supported AppleScript. There were just some good programmers who added it in.
So what happens when you request the title? It returns random garbage data. That’s pretty bad.
So who depends on AppleScript working for Firefox? WebnoteHappy for one. Adium is another app that needs it. There’s probably a lot of private scripts out there that require it too. Here’s two that have been mentioned around the blogosphere: Firefox 3.0 b3 (Mac) – AppleScript Problems/Bug? and Firefox 3.0bX and AppleScript – What’s gone wrong?
I want to help fix Firefox 3’s Applescript, what can I do about it?
1. Vote for the bug that covers this specific regression: Bug 427448 – AppleScript curl & ptit query worked in FF2 fails in FF3. You’ll have to register to do this, but I think every vote counts.
2. Vote for the general Add AppleScript support to Firefox bug 125419.
3. Cheer me on – I decided to dive in after asking some fellow Mozilla Mac Devs and found that noone was actively working on this specific bug. I submitted a patch on Friday and a better one today to fix this specific bug. I’ve tested locally and it fixes the bug!
Hopefully my patch will get reviewed and accepted before Firefox 3 goes out. Thanks to Josh and Gavin for helping me along in my foray into fixing this little piece of Firefox.
Great stuff, Luis. I weighted in on the bug with some comments about your patch.
I really hope this gets fixed either in rc2 or in 3.0.1!
Consider yourself cheered on. We have a widget for ma.gnolia.com that relies on being able to grab title and description.
I’m cheering you on, too. A huge thanks for picking this up! I’m optimistic things will be addressed now. Just hope it is timely. And btw, the Mozilla forums link you posted is mine, too… :-)
As I state in my latest blog post I’ve switched over to Safari for my daily work even though I’ve found a FF3 work-around using the excellent Copy URL + along with gui-scripting. It just isn’t an elegant solution, and I don’t want to rely on a plug-in when it should be built in to the app architecture to begin with.
Lots of Mac-isms are broken in FF. The Services menu is completely dead. The metal area of the window can’t be dragged. The standard text-editing keyboard shortcuts don’t all work.
I suppose on some theoretical level I can appreciate that it’s a shame that Applescript doesn’t work, but if I had to make a list of “Most Important Mac Integration Points that Firefox Misses”, Applescript would be solidly in about 17th place.
Way to go, Louie!
100% behind you, man! I hate telling my users “Oh no, you can only do that in Safari.” time and time again, especially when there are so many other things where I have to tell them “Oh, no, you can only do that in Firefox”. Mac users need to keep open like 3 browsers (1 in a virtual machine!) at all times just to go about their business… this would help eliminate at least one of them.
I use Mac OS X 10.5.4, 2008061004 Firefox 3, and URL Manager Pro 3.5b11.
URL Manager Pro does not work with Firefox3.
It does work with SeaMonkey 1.1.10.
I am considering switching.
Is SeaMonkey preferable to Safari?
Any progress on getting this fix pushed out? I was going to try Firefox 3, but without a fully functional WebnoteHappy it’s dead to me.
Al: I wouldn’t recommend SeaMonkey to anyone, especially not over Safari. However, if that combination works for you, then use that. But could I interest you in a Safari + WebnoteHappy combination instead? :)
Andy: Its still going through patch approval and has been included in the trunk. I hope it will make it through soon.
Some more cheering you on coming from here! URL Manager Pro is essential for me, and I am concerned about so-called “security issues” with the older Firefox browsers in the meantime.. and I can’t switch to Safari because of the need for SU..