Tweaking Camino

Published 16 years, 9 months past

A while back, I got fed up with the memory leaks of Safari, but found Firefox to be a bit too poky for everyday browsing.  Also, I can’t even find words to describe my seething hatred of Firefox’s insistence on keeping a blank window open when I close the last tab in said window.

So I started using Camino as my default surfing browser.  Firefox is still my web development environment, of course; I just seethe for a moment when a blank window occurs and then keep going.  Life in Camino has been a mostly positive experience, but there are a few things that really irk me.  I’m wondering if the (Lazy)web can help me fix them.  To wit:

  • The form autofill routines latched on to some early mistakes of mine, and now just will not let go (for example, my name gets filled into the e-mail field and vice versa when commenting on WordPress blogs).  I want to fix this.  Where do I find that information?

  • Safari has an autofill feature I really like, which is that it remembers every input ever made for a given field on a given page, and uses them for autocompletion.  For example, it remembers every blog post title I’ve ever input through it, which helps me avoid duplicates.  Is there a way to get or add something similar for Camino?

  • Is there a way to turn off all favicons, including the default green diagonal bookmark, in the Bookmarks bar, but leave them in the Bookmarks menu?  All I can find is, which seems to kill all favicons everywhere, and doesn’t seem to turn off the green guys (unless I did something wrong).

Camino hasn’t been all pain, certainly.  I absolutely love its state restoration feature, for one.  And once I got into about:config and flipped a few settings (such as disabling “Delete” as a back button equivalent), and ran the shell command to get inline URL autocompletion (as documented most of the way down this “Hidden Preferences” page), I was much more satisfied with my Camino experience.  I’d just like to get it the rest of the way there, if I can.

Comments (32)

  1. Also, I can”t even find words to describe my seething hatred of Firefox”s insistence on keeping a blank window open when I close the last tab in the window.

    Not to be horrendously off-topic or anything, but is there any chance some extension’s causing that to happen? I’ve never had that happen on a Firefox install—just tested it a few times for good measure, and the window closes normally once the last tab’s gone.

  2. There’s always a chance, but I don’t know which one would do that. I also seem to remember seeing a Bugzilla entry about this behavior, but can’t find it now. Perhaps we’re on different operating systems? (OS X here.)

    Update: turns out it was a wiki page, not a Bugzilla entry.

  3. The empty-last-blank-tab annoyed the hell out of me when a new version of Firefox started doing it for me too. You just need to retrain your brain to move from cmd-w to cmd-shift-w when you’re on the last tab, and problem solvered.

    Soon I even came to understand and agree with the philosophy that my tab-close shortcut shouldn’t close my window.

  4. I’ve got the same frustration as Eric with regard to the last window not closing when I close the last tab. I sure hope the lazy web helps us with this one. It’s an end-of-the day pain every day! I think it might have started with 2.0 as I recall it not always being that way.

    Can’t help with Camino, but I do remember it being fast. I just wish it had WDT support.

  5. Have you looked at It’s a version of Firefox optimized for Intel Macs. It supports all the Firefox extensions plus it is compiled for the Intel platform. You can choose Firefox form widgets or Aqua form widgets. It won’t fix your blank tab issue, but it makes Firefox much nicer for Mac users. I use it when I’m doing web development since it supports Firebug.

  6. Off-topic:
    Quiting Fx when the last tab is closed is, I believe, the default behavior. Tab Mix Plus (and I think others too) allows you not to quit Fx, so maybe Ethan is right. If you have just a few installed you could list them and maybe someone would be able to give you a hint.

    By the way, if the memory leaks in Safari bother you, I’m not sure Fx was a better option. I have to reset it every now and then because of its tendency to eat most of my RAM —it’s still my development and everyday usage browser, though.

    Back on topic:
    Sorry, no clue. I could help you if you send me a Mac :)

  7. On Windows, my copy of Firefox ( behaves differently. When I close the next-to-last tab, the last page is not shown in a tab at all. So there is no last tab to close. I didn’t see a setting in options or about:config to change this behavior.

  8. Ralph, Eric wasn”t talking about Firefox”s “quit[ting]” when the last tab is closed. I know it”s very difficult for Windows and Linux users to accept the idea that an application might be open with no windows, but that is how we do things on Macintosh and it only makes sense. (Really. Please think about it for half a second. It does.) “No window when no tab” is the same principle in microcosm.

  9. The “window remaining after closing last tab” problem goes away if you turn off the “Always show tab bar” setting in Preferences (under Tabs).

  10. In Windows, and possibly in Linux too, the relevant setting is in the Tabs section of the prefs dialog: “Always show tab bar”. If it’s ticked, you get the blank window when you Ctrl+W the last tab; if it’s clear, Ctrl+W closes the window too if there are no more tabs. No idea at all if this is relevant to the Mac situation, but it explains the odd differences that other Windows users are reporting.

    Me, I hate the dual effect of Ctrl+W so I always tick the box.

  11. Eric: Camino stores autofill information in your Mac Keychain. Go to Home > Utilities > Keychain Access to edit/delete the info.

  12. There”s always a chance, but I don”t know which one would do that. I also seem to remember seeing a Bugzilla entry about this behavior, but can”t find it now. Perhaps we”re on different operating systems? (OS X here.)

    OS X here as well, running Firefox (20070725). Don’t know if that behavior’s new to the nightlies, but man—I hope not.

  13. To all and sundry: yep, if I set Firefox to not always show the tab bar, then closing the last “tab” closes the window. Well, that’s just great. Now I can choose between two behaviors I greatly dislike: have the viewport jump around as I go to and from two-plus tabs if I disable the persistent tab-bar, or have the window sit there after I close the last tab in a persistent tab-bar. I’m really glad Camino doesn’t force me to make that choice. (And I should’ve known that throwing in that aside would hijack the comments.)

    Dale, I must be blind because all I see in there is site logins and passwords. Nothing remotely resembling generic form autofill information that I can see…

  14. 1. The only ‘form autofill routine’ build into Camino is filling a form based on the ‘Me’ card in your address book (option-command-F). Which seems to fill in the wrong way on your site… puzzling. I usually works quite well for me.
    If the field is ever remembered on a site, it is due to cookies.
    2. no available yet in Camino (I think there is an open bug on that).
    3. not possible: it is an all or nothing setting: favicon yes or no, with the hidden pref you mention.
    The little green globe that is used then is a page proxy when you see it on a tab. You can drag it around to the bookmarks bar, the desktop or where-ever you feel like.
    In the bookmarks bar and the bookmarks manager you can customise the look by using you own images. I think it is possible to remove the icon in the bookmarks bar completely by some extension. Check on PMC.

  15. Have to say I’m surprised there’s so many people who close all their tabs – I always quit my browser with a bunch of tabs open that I use every day.

  16. Further off-topic (sorry):

    Now I can choose between two behaviors I greatly dislike:

    What’s wrong with the third option: install an extension which adapts Firefox to your expectations? Or just go and get some new traction on bug 348031 (which BTW was briefly fixed for Firefox and you might even get this fixed properly for Firefox 3…

  17. At last, somebody is speaking my pain. I’ve loved Safari’s Safari-ness, but have finally stopped using it because of the memory leaks – over a gig at times. And, as well, I like Firefox’s complexity, but I don’t need complexity when I’m surfing. So, I too turned to Camino two weeks ago and have ditched Safari for now; except for Safari’s way with RSS feeds. Hope Safari lifts its game again. I lament it’s ailing ways.

  18. As Philippe said, the *only* autofill information (other than usernames and passwords) that Camino stores is the “Me” card of your Address Book. We’re planning to expand this in the future to be more like what Safari and Firefox do, but for now, ensure that the “Me” card is filled with the data you want.

    For some odd reason, and I’m not quite sure why at this point, the form on this page does not play nice with the automatic “detection” in Camino’s code, and the wrong data gets filled in. We’re looking into it.

    Like most of the others here, Firefox’s new Cmd-W-on-last-tab behaviour drives me batshit insane. Honestly, I’m beginning to think the Firefox devs should stop trying to make the Mac version *look* anything like a Mac app, because its behaviours are NOTHING like a Mac app and getting less Mac-like with every new release.


  19. Ah, there we go:

    is the bug you’re looking for. The problem occurs when the label for the field is after the field itself.


  20. I may start doing as you do, John, but right now I’m still fairly stuck in the “close everything before quitting” paragidm. (Yes, I just used that word without irony.) But that’s not the only time Firefox’s behavior bites me. I often want to close all of my browser tabs and windows without quitting the application.

    I did some Googling, Simon, but didn’t find an extension that does what I want. I’ll see if I can dig up my Bugzilla login and comment on it.

    Thanks for the pointer and the autofill information, Chris! I’m disheartened to see that the bug is so old, but at least it’s there and commentable… again, assuming I can remember my login. And yeah, that seems to be my problem– that, and the e-mail information in the “Me” card isn’t being applied to lots of forms I use.

  21. Thanks for the answers, Philippe!

    1. I’m pretty sure the wrongness on my site is due to the Bugzilla bug Chris mentioned
    2. Yep, looks like that’s on the to-do list as well. I strongly encourage the Camino team to study how Safari handles form-field memory; it’s quite excellent.
    3. Well, bummer. Not a deal-breaker, but it would be really nice to switch off the favicons in the Bookmarks bar in order to reclaim some of that real estate they’re chewing up.

  22. but didn”t find an extension that does what I want

    Tab Mix Plus surely offers that option (admittedly among a plethora of other stuff) and other tabbed browsing extensions might/should do so as well. Should you however prefer a surgical strike, download and install fixbug348031.xpi (1KB, easy to unpack and review before installation).

  23. Still off-topic (still sorry):
    Alright, so your blog software doesn’t know how to properly handle data: URIs. Try this attachment to bug 348031 instead (resp. feel free to correct the link from my previous comment and remove this comment).

  24. The add-on that Philippe was thinking of to make your Bookmark Bar more Safari-like is AsceticBar. (Note it needed a “recent nightly” back in March, but will work just fine with 1.5.x release builds.)

  25. Thank you, Simon and Smokey! Having installed both the 348031 extension and AsceticBar, I’m now a good deal happier with both Firefox and Camino. Time to go blog the results!

  26. Eric,

    I’m curious how the memory leaks in Safari that were irritating you so were manifesting themselves.


  27. This might help raise your comfort level some as you tweak Camino to your satisfaction: More Camino. Gives you control over Find-As-You-Type, change your search engine, etc.
    Despite the fact that the page says it’s “AWOL”, the download link works–I just tested it, to make certain. :)
    Don’t be fooled by its appearance or icon, however; it’s not a System Preference Pane. It’s internal:
    Applications > Camino > Contents > PreferencesPanes.

    Hope this helps.

  28. I recently got Safari 3.0.3 for Windows beta working on Windows XP and I had the same infuriated response when it would close down instead of keeping that last blank tab open like Firefox does!

    Horses for courses, I suppose. :)

  29. I guess it would have been best to look up the term memory leak before asking.
    I admit to being less than knowledgeable about such things, and not knowing enough to know if I may or may not have been affected by these things is like an itch you can’t scratch enough to relieve. Forgive me if I hide behind “no such thing as a stupid question” however skinny that tree may be. I take solace in the fact that I did learn something, sorry to bother.


  30. Never mind Firefox…..look at the header image…..sometimes honest respect speaks for itself…..


  31. Here’s something else that might help (I’m giving similar tips to a Mac-using co-worker :D ):

    allows you to search for “things with spaces in” using find-as-you-type

    session management:

    Hope this helps!

  32. I really totally completely HATE how camino gets stuck and stalls when loading the apple address book — just like safari (when enabled), it totally slows things down but unlike safari, there’s no place to uncheck it in preferences… isn’t there a way to disable that? I don’t want or need it with 1Password. it really burns my … load time

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