As of today’s nightly firefox build, we’ve turned on EV support and activated the Verisign EV root for testing purposes. What this means is that when you go to sites that have Verisign-issued EV certificates like, say, British Airways, the site-identity button (shall we call it Larry? Yes. Let’s.) will pick up the name of the site owner, all green-like.
I rather suspect this might startle a few of you.
I’ve talked a lot about identity and security in Firefox 3, but some of the actual changes were easy to ignore if you weren’t looking for them. The site button has been around for a while, with Larry telling you what he knows about a site, but you could choose not to click on him, not to get that information. A while ago, I mentioned a way to get the EV behaviour ahead of schedule, if you wanted to test, but now those steps are no longer necessary.
So things are going to feel a little weird for a few days. There are about 4000 EV sites these days (the AOTA has a pretty long list) so you will probably hit a few, and it will probably feel weird. By all means, open bugs. The whole reason we’re doing this is to get more sunlight on the code, because it’s required weird custom builds and secret handshakes for too long.
The story goes that when London first introduced street signs, there was significant protest. They were gaudy, the argument went, and anyhow the locals already knew where they were going. Many streets in London still don’t have them. I’m excited about getting feedback into the UI to help users know better who they’re dealing with online, help them orient themselves, and rebuild some of the cues that we all take for granted in the real world. But like the London signposts, I suspect it’ll take some getting used to. Especially on Proto. Where it currently looks, as Shaver so eloquently puts it, like the South end of a North-facing horse.