Thursday 10 May 2012

Improved key input in fullscreen mode plus pointer lock changes

I've landed bug 716107 which removes the "Press ESC to exit fullscreen" warning upon alphanumeric key input in fullscreen mode.

This will mean fullscreen web apps can use the full range of keys without having the annoying warning message pop up every time the user presses an alphanumeric key, i.e. the WASD keys!

In order to make change safe, we altered the security model a bit: now when entering fullscreen we explicitly ask the user to approve/deny entering fullscreen using a modal prompt, something like this:

Fullscreen approval user interface
Fullscreen approval prompt.
The prompt has a "remember decision for $" checkbox, so if the user trusts the domain they can avoid having to approve fullscreen every time. If the user opts to "remember" an allow fullscreen decision, we'll still show a "$ entered fullscreen, press ESC to exit" warning when entering fullscreen, but it goes away after a few seconds.

Once the user has approved entering fullscreen, we won't show a warning upon alphanumeric key input.

I also landed bug 746885 which makes pointer lock wait until fullscreen has been approved using the new approval UI before granting the pointer lock request. It may take the user several seconds to approve fullscreen, so authors need to be aware that the "mozpointerlockchange" event may come in several seconds after the "mozfullscreenchange" event. Authors shouldn't assume the pointer is locked until after they've received a "mozpointerlockchange" event!

We also changed our spelling to use "fullscreen" rather than "full-screen", since everybody (including the fullscreen draft spec) was spelling it "fullscreen" anyway.

These changes are in Firefox Nightly builds from 9 May 2012 onwards, and will ship in Firefox 15, which is scheduled for release on 28 August 2012.

These changes should greatly improve the experience for HTML5 games using fullscreen and pointer lock!

Monday 7 May 2012

When you encounter a bug, always file a bug

If you find a bug in Firefox, or any other software for that matter, please please please file a bug! It's completely possible that the developers simply aren't aware of the bug.

The developers may not be aware of the bug because they don't run on the same hardware, operating system, or environment as you, or they may not use the browser the same way as you do.

Even if we already have the bug on file and we mark your bug as a duplicate, at the very least this is allows us to get a coarse feel for how often the bug is encountered in the wild.

If the developers aren't aware of a bug, there's no way they can fix it! Please file bugs!