It’s not very easy to innovate in the Web browser business. Except for
tab browsing and pop-up blocking, we haven’t seen a lot of innovations these
past years (and certainly not from IE, which has been stagnant for more than
five years now, although there seems to be some change on the horizon).
Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox can certainly be commended for trying to innovate
constantly, but it’s quite interesting to see that even their valiant efforts
haven’t yielded a web-browsing experience that is radically different from the
way we were surfing five years ago. I started thinking about this and I
couldn’t come up with any big hole in usability or functionality that I would
really like to see in my Web browser.
Except for… document splitting.
This is a feature that has been present in Microsoft software for years now,
and it allows you to split the current document in two different parts that can
be scrolled independently. This is a very useful feature for all kinds of
documents : Word, spreadsheets, even Java source files (still waiting on
this feature to make it into Eclipse), etc…
And of course, Web browsers.
Just recently, I was reading an article that showed a figure at the top and
which constantly referred to this figure in the rest of the article. Right
now, the only thing I can do is: open a new window, paste the current URL,
move that window side-by-side with my current document and resume reading in the
All of this would be so much easier if I could split the original document
horizontally or vertically with just one click and drag…
Does anyone know of such an extension for FireFox, or should I file an RFE?