Mouse click to bring Firefox to the foreground should be ignored

NEW
Unassigned

Status

()

Core
Widget: Cocoa
5 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: peter.eastman, Unassigned)

Tracking

22 Branch
x86
Mac OS X
Points:
---

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

5 years ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0 (Beta/Release)
Build ID: 20130618035212

Steps to reproduce:

Using Firefox 22.0 on Mac OS X 10.8.4:

Have a Firefox window open, but a different window (either from Firefox or from a different application) in the foreground.  Now click on the Firefox window to bring it to the foreground.


Actual results:

If you click in the body of the web page, the click is ignored (as it should be) and the window is simply brought to the foreground.  But if you click on any of the controls along the top of the window (to select or close a tab, select a bookmark, etc.), the click is not ignored.  It is processed and activates the control (closing the tab, opening the bookmarked page, etc.).


Expected results:

On OS X, a mouse click in a background window should never be interpreted.  Its only effect should be to bring the window to the foreground.  Mac users do not pay attention to where they click in a background window, and they should not be required to carefully select a click location that won't have unwanted side effects.
(In reply to peter.eastman from comment #0)
> 
> Expected results:
> 
> On OS X, a mouse click in a background window should never be interpreted. 
> Its only effect should be to bring the window to the foreground.  Mac users
> do not pay attention to where they click in a background window, and they
> should not be required to carefully select a click location that won't have
> unwanted side effects.

Thanks for reporting this Peter.
I don't think this is a bug but the intended behavior and it reflects other Mac OS X application behavior. 
I've tested this issue on other Mac OS X applications. A mouse click in the background window 
is always interpreted if it affects menus but if you click in the body is ignored.
For examples using Note Application you can click "+" or "delete" or "send" button and interact with them when the application is not in foreground.
(Reporter)

Comment 2

5 years ago
See Apple's human interface guidelines:

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidelines/Windows/Windows.html

Search for the section titled "Enabling Click-Through".  It discusses when this should or should not be enabled.  Some of the specific rules they list include, "Avoid providing click-through for an item or action whose result might be dangerous or undesirable," and, "Think twice before supporting click-through for items that don’t provide confirmation feedback."  I don't know what Note application you were looking at, but "delete" and "send" buttons are two examples Apple specifically cites when click-through should not be enabled.

In the case of Firefox, closing a tab and activating a bookmark are clear examples of things that should not allow click-through.  They can have undesirable results, and the application doesn't ask for confirmation.

My personal advice is never to support click-through except in cases where the user is expected to click back and forth between two windows frequently, such as when one window contains a tool palette for another window.  In any other case, it almost always does more harm than good.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Component: Untriaged → Widget: Cocoa
Ever confirmed: true
Product: Firefox → Core
(In reply to comment #0)

> But if you click on any of the controls along the top of the window
> (to select or close a tab, select a bookmark, etc.), the click is
> not ignored.

Same thing happens in Safari.  I tested selecting a tab on OS X
10.8.4.
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