Meet the Back IS Close Developer

Why was Back IS Close created?

When I'm done with a page that opened from a link, I hit the back button and I go back to the page where I clicked the link.

For pages that open in a new tab or new window, I wanted exactly the same, so that one consistent action brought one consistent result.

Furthermore, I wanted to rely on muscle memory, so that my key presses or mouse clicks could be exactly the same. That's why Back IS Close works very carefully to ensure the "Close" button is exactly the same size as the "Back" button (when buttons are in icon mode), and that everywhere there's a "Back" menu item (on the right-click context menu and in the History menu) it's replaced with a "Close" item. It even works with the keyboard: Alt-Left Arrow and Backspace also close instead of going back when "Back" is unavailable.

This consistency means I can concentrate on browsing, not on whether a particular page happened to be opened in an existing tab or new tab.

What's next for Back IS Close

In Firefox 2, Back IS Close had a dropdown menu that allowed access to its settings. This was initially added mostly for cosmetic reasons: Back IS Close has always tried to have exactly the same width as the "Back" button, so that other buttons on the toolbar won't distractingly shift right or left when the "Close" button replaces the disabled "Back" button.

In Firefox 2, the "Back" button had a dropdown arrow to show the previous pages in the "history" that you could go back to. Back IS Close, in order to look like the "Back" button, got the same dropdown, and so the mini-preferences menu was designed to have something to put there. It proved usual, however, because rather than going to Tools | Addons | Preferences to change Back IS Close's preferences, it could be done in any window or tab where the back IS Close button was currently displayed.

In Firefox 3, the "Back" buttons dropdown got <I>shared the "Forward" button's -- instead of each having it own dropdown, they shared one in the middle. Now, having Back IS Close display its dropdown that would either mean not allowing the user to access the "Forward" dropdown, or some confusing mish-mash of "forward" pages and Back IS Close preferences. Too ugly, too confusing, so I sadly scrapped the Back IS Close"mini-preferences".

In Firefix 4, the dropdown arrow is gone. Instead, right-clicking on the "Back" or "Forward" buttons, or left-clicking and holding, brings up the tab history menu.

And so for Back IS Close <I>2.2, right-clicking on the "Close" button will bring up the mini-preferences once again. (Left click and hold does not; the "Back" and "Forward" buttons implement that in a somewhat complicated way, that may have runtime costs, and I see it as a mis-feature anyway, when right-click is available.)

About the Developer

Developer Information
Name TP Diffenbach
Homepage http://www.diffenbach.org/back-is-close/usage.html
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 1 add-on
Average rating of developer's add-ons Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Who is TP Diffenbach?

Hi, I'm TP, and I write a little code. The picture is, obviously, from when I was much younger.