Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Firefox Now Uses Native Contextual Menus

Matthew T, 21 years ago (via Hacker News):

Mozilla on MacOS is using native main menus -- the XUL menu items are being translated into native menu structures, allowing Mozilla to use the Mac’s main menu bar.

Why couldn’t this be done with context menus as well?


Firstly I just want to say I am very happy to see this long standing bug fixed. Trying out Nightly all looks so much better than the Firefox custom context menu so excellent job!



It has nothing to do with engineering resources, and we always wanted native context menus, but they were not customizable enough to meet the perceived needs of web, XUL, and extension developers at the time. People expected to be able to change colors and layout with CSS, for example. The native APIs put heavy limitations on what you could do with a native context menu and it was just not compatible with the expectations of people building against the rendering engine at the time.

There was some discussion of switching back and forth between native and non-native menus based on styling, but that got complicated quickly and it wasn’t thought to be worthwhile.

It sounds like perceived needs have changed, and maybe the native APIs allow for bit more flexibility now.

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