Noticed over on The Burning Edge that several changes have been made to the tabbed interface;
* Close buttons on tabs, including background tabs (as long as browser.tabs.disableBackgroundClose is true & each tab is at least browser.tabs.tabClipWidth pixels wide).
* Make it easier to get back to the “parent tab” when you click a link that opens in a new window: if a link opens a new tab with focus, when that tab is closed, focus returns to its parent tab only if you have not manually switched to another tab.
* Simplify the preferences available for tabs.
* Improve the visual appearance of keyboard-focused tabs.
Seemingly these were conceived a little too late to make it into Firefox 1.5, though will certainly be in Firefox 2.0.
Speaking of next version Browsers, I’ve also had a look at Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 (As you may have seen in the news in the past few days). The interface is actually quite like Firefox in some regards (Address bar + Search bar on top, along with menu to add/modify search engine). While the Delete Browsing History feature is the exact same as Firefox 1.5’s Clear Private Data. IE 7 also features a phishing filter (Firefox 2.0 is due to implement one also).
It’ll be interesting to see how rapidly site developers conform to the security & other changes in IE 7 though. We’ve all read how Firefox & Opera have compatibility issues with certain sites & ironically IE 7 will encounter these in part due to actually improving compliance with standards, e.g. by default I was unable to download iPod Updater from Apple’s site (Due to the security pop-up after submitting my details), at an iVillage forum my wife visits the layout was incorrect.