Firefox 4 alert boxes

I mentioned on Twitter that I’m impressed so far with Firefox 4. Here’s a very minor, change I’ve noticed, that I’m a fan of; the treatment of javascript terminal dialogs.

Firefox 4 alert box

The overlay makes it clear to the user that they need to interact with the alert box before they can use the page. Much nicer than the old style, where the page remained unaltered and the alert dropped from the top (at least on a Mac, I understand Windows versions appeared mid-screen).

Firefox 3 alert

There’s still some room for improvement here, and I don’t think this style of modal will (or even should) replace current solutions for modal windows, but I like how the Mozilla team is working to draw more attention to the box.

That said, I hope the Firefox team doesn’t give in to the inevitable cries from either the “we hate any and all change” camp, or the “now I want to use an image as the overlay and control the opacity” camp.


Erik wrote on

In my opinion the biggest improvement of the modal prompt is that it no longer blocks the entire browser, but only the tab where it is active. No more force quitting the browser because of some annoying loop of alert boxes, simply close the tab and be done with it!

Gerard wrote on

Yeah, for a second I thought, “oh hey, Firefox created alerts that developers can style, that’s awesome” ... but that isn’t the case.  So it is required that the alert look and behave the same way.  I’ll give you a scenario where this is terrible… you have a lightview/modal, if the user tries to leave without saving changes, they’re given an alert asking them to confirm that they want to abandon… with this new style… Firefox has an opacity change overlaid on an existing opacity change layer…

If Firefox allowed us to style the alerts, that would be great… furthermore, if we could limit the scope of the alerts, I would be very happy…

john wrote on

I have nothing against the way the FF4 alerts operate.  But just look at them!  They look half finished and amateurish.  The look is completely at odds with the advances in presentation on the rest of the product.

Chris wrote on

FireFox has succeeded in having the ugliest alert box now.  If their goal is to discourage me from using it, they are winning.

Seeker wrote on

I’m not a member of the “we hate any and all change” camp, and I don’t like it. Honestly, if something works, why break it and change it. Old javascript alerts worked just fine on Windows and you couldn’t click anywhere else on the page until you confirmed the dialog. It blinked when you tried to click elsewhere. Perfectly natural dialog window and functionality. If it didn’t work well on Mac, that’s something for a lenghty argument about the fact OS X is and always will be inferior, however it doesn’t justify the change from good to something as ugly as this. Not to mention the fact if you already use some kind of lightbox-overlay on your site, and have it in your own, different color/style, this FF4’s own overlay adds its own and can seriously confuse or disgust people. Yes, I’m a member of a “If it works, why break it?” camp. Firefox team should focus on bigger issues, like the critical slowdown of a browser if you have XX windows opened. With 100 tabs in Chrome, I can still play videos (flash or other) flawlessly, however in Firefox, the video locks/hangs/jams (or whatever is the proper term) here and there.

Fox wrote on

It’s only annoying that you can’t move the alert box around anymore.

martin wrote on

i agree with john. really looks like some kindergarten kid designed it

Dick Ippel wrote on

Did anybody try to use the back button while an alert is up?
You can! wtf!!!

Orion wrote on

Found it buggy.
Tried random searches on the about:config screen.
Looks like setting prompts.tab_modal.enabled to false reverts to the good old behaviour with system boxes.

Frank de Jonge wrote on

Although I don’t use FF a lot. I do like the new alert box when getting my ajax on. Alerting source was never so awesome!

senigami wrote on

A agree about the alert design looking bad.  I had upgraded from version 3 and when I saw the alerts I thought something was screwed up and completely uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled only to find out that the alerts really are supposed to look screwed up.