Meet the Full Fullscreen Developer

Why was Full Fullscreen created?

I initially made this add-on for Firefox 1.0. Back then Firefox still had the location bar, bookmarks bar, and tab bar visible when you went into fullscreen. It was like maximizing the browser except with no window borders, no title bar, and no menu. The restore, minimize, and close buttons were integrated into the location bar, at least.

Having a bunch of toolbars on the screen didn't really work for the kiosk environment I was setting up, so I made an extension that hid all that stuff when you were in fullscreen, but brought them back when you left fullscreen. A "full" fullscreen. Since I was using it for unattended kiosks (no keyboards or touchscreens) I also added an option to go directly into fullscreen when you started Firefox.

Auto-hiding (where all the toolbars I was hiding would show back up if you brought the mouse to the top of the screen) was a feature in version 2.0 of my extension in mid-2007, which I was pretty excited about. A year later, though, Firefox 3.0 beta 5 (I think) introduced collapsing of toolbars while in fullscreen. My extension wasn't so unique and useful any more! Except, they had a "large" 4-6 pixel bar at the top that was used to pick up mouse movement, so I changed made my extension to provide a "no auto-hide" feature that meant that instead of using 3.x's hiding feature, the toolbars would be completely gone (essentially a rewind to my version 1.0!). (The point was to get rid of the 4-6 pixel bar at the top, which it did ... oddly some people still had a bug where in this no-autohide mode they still had 1 pixel line at the top ... sorry I never was able to reproduce or fix this, folks!)

More recently, Firefox 4 has come out with an even better built-in auto-hide feature that natively collapses the toolbars with no pixels showing. My initial reason for creating this extension is now provided by Firefox core, and I can retire happy, right?

What's next for Full Fullscreen

Well, despite my comment above about retiring, I still am getting requests to update Full Fullscreen to 4. Hmm. Most want an extension to support fullscreen on browser start. I can understand this. Unfortunately if I make an extension that only does this I'd have to change the name! (Init Fullscreen?)

However, to stay true to the simplistic purpose of Full Fullscreen, I'd need to find something lacking in Firefox's fullscreen and fix that. One thing remains: scroll bar hiding. Back when I started this, scrollbars were rendered by the application and could be modified (or hidden), and the first version of my add-on did in fact hide scrollbars. At some point, Mozilla switched to using native operating-system-rendered scroll bars, meaning you can't easily theme or hide them from Firefox. There still is a way, though: create a OS-native component for my add-on (using XPCOM, for the devs out there) that goes and nicely asks the OS to hide the scroll bar. Seems doable.

So, that's the plan. I don't intend to update my extension to Firefox 4 until I build an XPCOM component, for at least one OS, to do scrollbar hiding. Will I get around to it? Maybe.

Thanks for the support over the years, everyone.

About the Developer

Developer Information
Name emsearcy
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 2 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Rated 4 out of 5 stars