Last Comment Bug 70501 - (link-modifiers) The middle mouse button should work more consistently (also ctrl+click)
: The middle mouse button should work more consistently (also ctrl+click)
Status: NEW
: meta
Product: Firefox
Classification: Client Software
Component: Tabbed Browser (show other bugs)
: Trunk
: All All
-- enhancement with 30 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody; OK to take it and work on it
: Jonas Jørgensen
: Dão Gottwald [:dao]
Depends on: 17754 55696 69882 97032 102380 138198 151142 164008 233411 454976 794900 33761 59132 68753 72361 75731 89922 93033 93034 97123 135708 142683 152845 154105 162189 198028 213908 214816 224132 232172 236864 246719 250074 254542 263942 267169 272800 304458 355761 440702 865953
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Reported: 2001-02-28 13:32 PST by Deven Corzine
Modified: 2016-06-28 09:55 PDT (History)
39 users (show)
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Crash Signature:
QA Whiteboard:
Iteration: ---
Points: ---
Has Regression Range: ---
Has STR: ---


Description User image Deven Corzine 2001-02-28 13:32:07 PST
The functionality of using the middle mouse button to open a new window is very
useful, and currently works about as well in Mozilla as in NN4.

I'd like to propose improving this functionality by making it function as much
as possible like the left mouse button, except for the window target behavior.

For example, it's common for help links to contain Javascript code that will pop
up a new window instead of replacing the content in the current window.  Not
knowing this, a user may use the middle mouse button to preserve the original
window, and find that a new window has been created with a nonworking Javascript
code block as the "location", when left-clicking the link would have actually
done exactly what the user actually wanted in this example.

Similarly, there's no reason why the middle button shouldn't work on form
submission buttons to bring up the results in a new window while leaving the
original window intact.

Similarly, the middle mouse button should work on the personal toolbar just like
the left mouse button -- except that the content should open in a new window.

My suggestion would be something akin to a "copy-on-write" feature in a virtual
memory system.  Have the middle mouse button do whatever the left mouse button
would have done, but flag the contents of the window first -- if anything tries
to replace those contents with a new page, force that new content into a new
window, otherwise do everything else the same.  (For cases where the content is
modified rather than replaced, allow the modification to take place -- a form
submission button should open the results in a new window, but it's okay for the
form reset button to reset the fields with either mouse button.)

I realize this might not be trivial, which is why I marked it [RFE], but what
does everyone think of the concept?
Comment 1 User image Jesse Ruderman 2001-03-02 00:54:37 PST
Adding dependencies.
Comment 2 User image Jesse Ruderman 2001-03-02 18:58:15 PST
Changing summary to include ctrl+click, which is the other way to open links in 
new windows in Mozilla.
Comment 3 User image Asa Dotzler [:asa] 2001-03-08 20:16:18 PST
updating to new owner. sorry for the spam.
Comment 4 User image Stephen Ostermiller 2001-04-12 08:22:22 PDT
This should depend on bug 33761 ([RFE] Middle click to open in new window should
work in bookmark pulldown menu).

I also just filed bug 75731 ([RFE] Middle click to open in new window should
work on back and forward buttons).
Comment 5 User image Matthew Paul Thomas 2001-04-13 01:16:02 PDT
Methinks there should be a standard binding for items-which-act-as-links. These 
include bookmarks in the sidebar or the Bookmarks Bar (but not in the Bookmarks 
Manager), history items in the sidebar (but not in the History window), and 
(maybe) the Back, Forward, Reload, Home, and Search buttons.

This binding would do the following:
(1) set up the middle mouse button to open the item in a new window;
(2) set up the keyboard modifiers -- Control+click, Alt+click, etc, to do the
    expected things;
(3) set up a default context menu with `Open', `Open in New Window', `Save Link
    Target', `Copy Link Address', etc (different opions for mailto: links,
(4) set up drag-and-drop so that the item can be dragged to your file manager.

Obviously (3) and (4) wouldn't apply to the toolbar buttons (otherwise they 
interfere with normal button behavior and with toolbar customization). But (1) 
and (2) would.

I think Blake has a bug for something like this already.
Comment 6 User image Jim Crumley 2001-10-23 06:59:13 PDT
Adding dependacy on bug 97032 which deals with middle mouse clicks and mailto:
Comment 7 User image Jesse Ruderman 2001-10-23 14:11:37 PDT
Adding the similar bug 102380, which deals with middle-clicking on links that 
result in a download window appearing.  (Note that with mailto:, the extra 
browser window should never be opened, but with .zip files served through http, 
the browser window has to be created and then destroyed.)
Comment 8 User image Mikko Rantalainen 2001-10-31 05:30:06 PST
Now that mozilla has tabbed browsing I'd really want to see a pref for middle
mouse button to open link in new tab instead of new window. This should probably
be on the same page as wheel configuration. Page name should be mouse settings
of something like that instead of "Mouse Wheel". I fully agree that middle
button for open in new window/tab should be extended to bookmarks and stuff
also. Perhaps an option to pass through middle mouse button to enable OS to
handle it. At least Logitech tries to make use of middle mouse button in their
Comment 9 User image Jim Crumley 2001-10-31 07:29:09 PST
Mira: some prefs for the middle mouse button are now available under
Navigator|Tabbed Browsing.
Comment 10 User image Andy Edmonds 2002-02-14 15:15:16 PST
Middle click should also new window/tab links in the url bar history dropdown.
Comment 11 User image Jonas Jørgensen 2002-09-19 04:54:49 PDT
Comment 12 User image Deven Corzine 2002-09-20 06:55:20 PDT
I reported this bug, but should I be the QA contact?  I don't think I was before!
Comment 13 User image Jonas Jørgensen 2002-09-20 07:07:11 PDT
Very well.
Comment 14 User image Bogdan Stroe 2004-01-21 12:18:28 PST
Nominating bug 231621 and bug 230051 about middle click use in Chatzilla.
Comment 15 User image Richard Neill 2005-07-01 15:30:33 PDT
Here's a good example of this: the new RS website. If you go here:
then you will find that the site cannot be used for tabbed browsing, which makes
component selection essentially impossible. (Well, I have to do it the really
laborious way that I.E. users do!). The reason is that each link contains *only*
a javascript function, eg: 
<a href="JavaScript:showBrowseCategory('-1600746337','4', ' ')">Surface Data
So when opened in a new tab, we get nothing.

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