From the ‘Enhanced Porn Mode’ files:
All the way back in 2008, Mozilla brought Private Mode (aka Porn Mode) to Firefox 3.1. Over the last four years, not a whole lot has changed in Firefox’s implementation of private mode, but that might change with Firefox 20 in 2013.
Currently when a user enters Private Mode, a new browser window spins up in Firefox (it works the same for Google Chrome’s Incognito mode). The problem with Firefox is that the Private Browsing mode can only operate with the one Private window – that is users cannot concurrently have a regular Firefox window and a Private Browsing Firefox Window open at the same time.
Firefox 20 could change that model (maybe)
There is a ‘bug’that has been in Mozilla Bugzilla since November of 2008 to fix the issue. It’s a bug that has also had some ‘heated’ discussion.
“Keeping a highly frustrating bug like this around for nearly four years has certainly caused some users to switch to Chrome,” one bugzilla commenter wrote.
On a positive note, this week I noticed at least 8 code checkins on Mozilla Central for Private Tab features on Firefox for Android. It looks to me like this is work that would likely show up as Firefox 20, though it’s unclear exactly how and if that would finally actually fix the private browsing bug – but I am hopeful and I have seen some chatter that makes me think that this bug might finally be squashed in 2013.
**UPDATE** Experimental builds are now available with the Private Browsing fix!!