Consider disabling middlemouse.contentLoadURL by default

Jason Pearce jason_pearce at
Tue Oct 5 09:41:05 CDT 2004

To be sure that we're all on the same page. This is not middle clicking
to open a link in a new tab. This is middle clicking where there is not
a link to open a page in the current tab using whatever is in the
select buffer as a URL. (The select buffer being the Primary Selection
mentioned here.

The name is poorly chosen and has confused others already.

The difference to me is that middle clicking to open a link in a tab is
enabled _and_ doesn't get in the way of someone exploring the browser
interface or using it for the first time. The same _cannot_ be said of
middle clicking where there is no link to open a page in the current
tab using the select buffer as the URL. middlemouse.contentLoadURL gets
in the way of someone using the browser if they don't understand or
don't like the feature.

Some features it is OK if not everyone learns about them. Especially if
the feature has a high potential to be obnoxious and is impossible or
not obvious to turn off for the uninitiated.

For instance, I did not realise that I could middle click a tab to
close it. That is awesome. I will use that tho improve my browsing
experience every time I use Firefox. However, before I understood the
feature, it never got in my way. It was unobtrusive. It was seemlessly
integrated. That is a good feature to have enabled by default. It
doesn't change the interface paradigm and it doesn't get in the way.

--- Tollef Fog Heen <tfheen at> wrote:

> * Jason Pearce 
> | Disabling middlemouse.contentLoadURL brings the
> | interface more in line with what new users will
> | expect. It is easy to enable for the advanced users
> | that do want it enabled and impossible to disable for
> | the simple users that will find it troubling.
> I disagree, I'm a fairly advanced user, but as Firefox evidently has
> lots of undocumented configuration options, I'm usually at a loss on
> how to actually get Firefox to do what I want.  The about:config URL
> was something I heard about in this thread.
> Yes, it might possibly be a bit surprising to new users the first
> time, but if you don't have it enabled, they probably won't ever
> discover the feature.
> -- 
> Tollef Fog Heen                                                      
>  ,''`.
> UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are     
> : :' :
> `. `' 
>   `-  
> -- 
> ubuntu-devel mailing list
> ubuntu-devel at

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