Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Stopping the status bar

I posted about what changes to expect in XP SP2 to Smaller World this morning but one thing occurred to me just now, relating to status bars.
The next IE will always show the status bar and title bar, even in popup windows, as a security precaution. That way, the user always knows what’s going on, and I’d certainly say it’s welcome. What made me think was that, by default, in Mozilla and Firebird, scripts are allowed to disable the status bar when opening windows (whether requested or not). Now, while there has been an option to prevent scripts from being able to open windows like that since Mozilla 1.0 (and almost certainly earlier), it is only an option, and not something that is turned on by default. Maybe the Mozilla developers should think about that one.
It’s particularly important when you consider how buried the option is in Firebird. You have to go to Tools, Options, Web Features, and then next to ‘Enable Javascript’ click the ‘Advanced’ button, and then clear the tick next to ‘Hide the status bar’. Joe User isn’t going to see that.
The update to IE is, in general, very welcome, as it not only peps up security but will make the browser considerably less annoying to use. Of course, in some ways it’s bad news for the Mozilla and Opera devs as I’m sure a number of people switch to the dark side over annoyances with IE – this will give them less reason to switch. Although I’m sure hell will freeze over the day that IE gets tabbed browsing.
Update: Looks like the Mozilla devs are considering it. Wahey! Also, have a look at this OS News article about IE in Longhorn which shows you what to expect and how the features will look – the same IE changes will make into the new version for XP in SP2.


  1. Internet Explorer WinXP SP2 changes

    An interesting article listing several changes in IE for WINXP SP 2. “Internet Explorer has been modified to not turn off the status bar for any windows. The status bar is always visible for all Internet Explorer windows.” Does this…

  2. I think the most annoying thing with the IE status bar is that it seems to disappear now and then. It remembers the last settings (as in, the settings on the last IE window you got open before you shut down the application), and if you close a window without a status bar, the new window will miss the status bar.

  3. Well, I’m guessing that in future the status bar will be there all the time.

  4. The reason why internet explorer needs it more than mozilla/firebird is because internet explorer can open windows full screen with no title bar and no status bar.
    If that was done well, you could fool a user into thinking he’d crashed out to his desktop. Especially if that new window had activex stuff embedded.