Consider disabling middlemouse.contentLoadURL by default

Jason Pearce jason_pearce at
Fri Oct 1 22:30:16 CDT 2004

I submitted this as a bug and was told the best thing
to do was to raise the issue for discussion
ubuntu-devel. The text from my bug submission is
copied in full below. It is an argument for disabling
the middlemouse.contentLoadURL feature of Firefox by
default. I submitted the bug late at night, but it
should be sufficient to at least start the discussion

-Jason Pearce

---- Copied text from

While running the firefox browser is mostly an
intuitive experience, it is very disconcerting when
you meant to middle-click on a link to pop it open in
a new tab and instead the tab your on loads some
seemingly random page from the web. Yet this is what
happens any time you miss click with the middle mouse
button in the firefox browser. This is a feature of
firefox, enabled by default, that can only be adjusted
in the about:config URL, so it cannot be turned off by
normal users. The preference name is
middlemouse.contentLoadURL. Please disable this by
default. I cannot stress this enough.

Please disable middlemouse.contentLoadURL by default.

It is non-intuitive. It is very disconcerting to
someone who doesn't know why their browser suddenly
changed pages when they didn't intend for it to
change. And it is very annoying when you miss click
when trying to middle-click a link and the browser is
suddenly highjacked by whatever text happens to be in
the select buffer.

While the feature may be a boon to advanced users who
never miss their mark with a mouse and know what the
browser is doing when they middle click in the middle
of nowhere on thier browser window, it is a very
serious bane to every other user. Especially to any
new users. Among other things it will give new users
the impression that the browser is buggy and doesn't
always go where they want it to. That is not the kind
of impression that I think new users should get about
the default browser included in Ubuntu.

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