I have a dark, dirty little secret. For the first year I worked at Mozilla, I did nearly all of my editing of Mozilla Developer Center documentation using… Safari.
I wasn’t proud of it. In fact, whenever I was visiting coworkers, I would bravely do my work in Firefox.
But it wasn’t easy. Firefox 2 had some really frustrating text layout issues that made heavy editing like what I do on a daily basis nearly impossible. The worst problem was that as I typed, the typing caret would drift, winding up farther and farther out of alignment with where the text insertion point really was. Eventually, editing became impossible just because I had no idea where I was actually typing. It looked a lot like this much of the time:
See how the word “with” is cut off, with only part of the “h” drawn? That’s a result of the insertion point slowly sliding its way to the left as I type. It got worse and worse the more I typed, until finally the edit box was so messed up I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
With the new Cairo rendering engine used in Firefox 3, all those problems are gone. Text is crisp and clear, and the strange problems with text overlapping or the typing caret being in the wrong place are all fixed.
For a guy that lives and dies in text editing fields, that’s a huge, huge deal.