Updated: Fix Firefox Keybindings on OS X (Now with Trophy Mount)

January 30th, 2005  |  Published in Uncategorized

Weird. A post having to do with software and stuff. Gross. Let’s get it over with:

If you have Firefox 1.0, and if you’re running it on a Mac, and if you’re pining for the standard keyboard shortcuts you might be used to from every Cocoa app under the sun (and Emacs), and if you haven’t already found one of several other pages that explain how to do this, you might want to download platformHTMLBindings.xml.zip from here, and drop it into your Firefox app bundle:

  1. Right-click Firefox and select “Show Package Contents”

  2. Visit MacOS/res/builtin

  3. plop the unzipped platformHTMLBindings.xml in the builtin directory.

Alternately, visit the page on Mozillazine with the correct keybindings to add and then download a diff file that didn’t seem to work but did, at least, point out where to stick the proper <handler event> directives, and use it to apply the changes you need. But my file really ought to work without doing that.

“But Michael,” say Ed, Gretchin, and eleventy-thousand other people I’ve been gushing about OmniWeb 5 to these past few months, “you’ve been gushing to me about OmniWeb 5 these past few months! What happened?”

And about all I have to say about that is that while OmniWeb 5 is a wondrous tool that makes browsing a pleasure, the latest betas have been a nightmare of memory leaks, sudden spurts of CPU-hogging insanity that make me sorry I even use a computer, and sluggishness. When it comes out of beta, I’ll be recouping my investment, hopefully.

Until then, I’m adrift in a sea of adequate to excellent browsers, and I haven’t given Firefox a fair shake owing to its previous inability to act like a real Mac app. Now it kind of does act that way a little more, and more of my coworkers are beginning to use it (even the people from down the organizational hall at ClickZ seem to have noticed it), and it has all those nifty extensions. So I’m going to give it a spin.

Update: On second thought, this little hack might be introducing other weirdnesses in places like the search bar.

Cue Ed:

“Mike, it’s comin’ right for ya!”


Updated in Safari

Second Update, 1/30/05: Well, cool. A fellow by the name of Mark Eichin wrote to tell me he put together a Python script that handles this task with a little more flair (and extensibility). fixfirefoxbindings.py will process the problematic platformHTMLbindings.xml file and use a more human-readable list of bindings to give Firefox on OS X proper Emacs-like keybindings. Make sure to read the script before trying to use it.

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