Browser Functionality vs. Extensions
June 10, 2008
It was great to get so much valuable feedback in response to my last post about possible future interactions with tabs.
There was a lot of discussion about the role of browser functionality vs. optional extension functionality. This is definitely a useful conversation to have, as our notion of what features should be in the browser will certainly change as we redefine what the browser is. I do think that the extensions that are the most useful to the most people are the ones that eventually should work their way into the browser.
The way I see the browser is the way I see my beloved Honda Civic. My Honda is not the sexiest car on the road, and it certainly doesn’t come with a ton of complicated features and aesthetic additions. What it is is a solid and fun car experience for about any user. And any feature added to a Civic, like seatbelts or a radio, has to pass many tests to be proven right for all drivers before it comes standard. So one way to look at the incredible work of the Firefox extensions community is as a unique testing-ground for what users actually want the future browser to look like. The features that are most popular give us a glimpse of how users want their browsing experience to change. And because there are so many excellent extensions regarding tabs, I take that as a sign that people love their tabs but want them to work a little harder.