One of the biggest complaints that Mac OS X users have about Firefox is that the default form widgets look, well, terrible. Besides the fact that they look rather austere, it’s also a constant reminder that the application you’re using orginated on a different operating system.
Up until now, the option was either to grin and bear it, use a program called “Firefoxy” to apply prettier (but still not Mac-like) form widgets, or to use Camino, which uses Mac native form widgets but doesn’t support any of the great Firefox extensions. Firefox is supposed to get native form widgets at some point, but this looks like it won’t happen until Firefox 3.0.
Thanks to the efforts of a wily fellow named “Pu7o” in the Mozillazine forums, you can now enjoy the ultimate browser mashup: Firefox with the more native-looking form widgets from Camino. Here’s what they look like:
Because these use the OS’s resources to draw the form widgets, even themes work. Here’s what they look like under Max Rudberg’s awesome Milk theme:
In celebration of this geeky but momentous occasion, I’ve built a Firefox 1.5 G4-optimized build that incorporates this hack. Yes, it’s a hack, but from everything I can see it works just great. There are a few small alignment issues here and there, and I’ve seen a couple of places where the very edge of buttons are cut off, but it’s 100% usable and looks so, so much better.
There are also G5-optimized Firefox versions built from the latest nightly code - cutting edge, potentially unstable, but with all of the latest changes and updates - that have the aqua form controls applied.