Interestingly here is Ben Goodger’s original plan for Firebird web panels (via Phil Ringnalda). Confirming my suspicions, this is definitely not what we see in the current Firebird release, despite the fact that web panels are on the current feature list.

In fact, web panels are currently only even marked as different from any other bookmark by a WEB_PANEL="true" attribute in the bookmarks.html file, meaning that you can’t target it properly. Hence, when I use one of the Netscape devedge sidebars as a web panel and click a link within it, which should update the page in the sidebar, it loads that link in the main browser window, despite a target="_self" attribute.

Web panels are explicitly not sidebars, and they need to be. I’ve heard rumours that code was backed out at the last minute, but delivering no feature at all would be better than delivering just half a feature. Instead of just being left looking forward to the next release, I’m really annoyed that what I’ve been told I’ll get (and what the feature list tells me I’m getting) isn’t really there and doesn’t really work.

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