Everyone and his goldfish thinks bug 300198 should be fixed

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tjb

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Oct 6, 2006, 8:14:51 AM10/6/06
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https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=300198

And yet it's stays WONTFIXed. Why?

Mike Connor

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Oct 6, 2006, 10:53:10 AM10/6/06
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On 6-Oct-06, at 8:14 AM, tjb wrote:

> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=300198
>
> And yet it's stays WONTFIXed. Why?

Obviously not everyone, but there is a vocal group that does. There
is a semblance of a plan to balance both sides and be more consistent
with expectations (i.e. middle click should append, but left click on
Open in Tabs is more of a replace action, since its in the same
context as the bookmarks. There's a 175xxx bug where I'm going to
fix this for Fx3.

-- Mike

Adam Kowalczyk

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Oct 6, 2006, 12:24:04 PM10/6/06
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Based on the experience I had providing support for users, it seems that
the main problem here is not lack of ability to choose to append - the
problem is dataloss. I couldn't count how many times I had to explain
users what's going on with losing all their tabs when opening bookmarks.
It indicates that the current behavior is unintuitive. Indeed, how
should user know that when he chooses to "Open All [bookmarks] in Tabs",
he is going to loose his present tabs?

I realize that your proposal is somewhat consistent with the rest of our
UI, but it misses the above problem. If left-click is going to replace
then it won't help to change anything since left-clicking is what the
unaware users are going to do.

It's a matter of priorities. Dealing with dataloss and confusion on
users' part should be step one. Then we can think about satisfying the
fine-grained need to choose between the two actions.

One simple solution that comes to mind is to reverse your proposal i.e.
middle-click would replace and left-click would append, but that's just
a not thought through idea.

- Adam

ehume

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Oct 7, 2006, 1:03:06 PM10/7/06
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I think you will have to add me to the fix-this group. I just tried out
middle-clicking a bookmarks folder and was shocked that the new tabs
replaced my old ones. That is not consistent behavior. Even in the
left-click Open in Tabs menuitem, the default behavior should be
append, and not replace.

Newbie/basic/default users will not know that the first few tabs will
have a history, so they can back up and get their old pages. Of course,
some websites do not preserve data when you accidentally navigate away
from the page, so basic users will sometimes lose data.

Advanced users can use about: config to change their prefs to the
current non-intuitive default.

But think about it: Firefox is THE tabbed browser. Why would we want to
overwrite tabs, especially when our basic users are not expecting it?

Ed

Mike Connor

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Oct 8, 2006, 3:42:42 PM10/8/06
to ehume, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org

On 7-Oct-06, at 1:03 PM, ehume wrote:

> I think you will have to add me to the fix-this group. I just tried
> out
> middle-clicking a bookmarks folder and was shocked that the new tabs
> replaced my old ones. That is not consistent behavior. Even in the
> left-click Open in Tabs menuitem, the default behavior should be
> append, and not replace.

Should that be true for bookmarks as well, since the argument is
technically the same for 1 and > 1, just the impact is greater?
Should we replace the current tab with a contiguous tabset, a la the
Home behaviour in Fx2?

Really the main problem with your assertion is that if left click on
a bookmark means "replace my current tab," why is left click on the
bottom option not a replace action?

> Newbie/basic/default users will not know that the first few tabs will
> have a history, so they can back up and get their old pages. Of
> course,
> some websites do not preserve data when you accidentally navigate away
> from the page, so basic users will sometimes lose data.

basic users will sometimes lose data when they hit the back button
too, its the unexpectedness that sucks. Of course, we add
beforeunload for pages to catch this stuff.

> Advanced users can use about: config to change their prefs to the
> current non-intuitive default.
>
> But think about it: Firefox is THE tabbed browser. Why would we
> want to
> overwrite tabs, especially when our basic users are not expecting it?

Why we would want to do it is the reason we do it, the argument was
that opening a new set of tabs was a context switch as opposed to
queuing more content to read. We broke the middle-click == new tabs
piece, unfortunately.

-- Mike


Chris Ilias

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Oct 8, 2006, 7:34:20 PM10/8/06
to
_Mike Connor_ spoke thusly on 08/10/2006 3:42 PM:

> Really the main problem with your assertion is that if left click on a
> bookmark means "replace my current tab," why is left click on the bottom
> option not a replace action?

Then middle-clicking on "Open All in Tabs", should work (not replacing
the current tabs).
Anyone got a bug number?
--
Chris Ilias
mozilla.test.multimedia moderator
Mozilla links <http://ilias.ca>
(Please do not email me tech support questions)

Shadow2531

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Oct 8, 2006, 7:55:51 PM10/8/06
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
Been following this a little. Here are my thoughts.

If I were to change the menu options and behaviors, I'd set them up
like this by default: ( and I wouldn't be the only one )

bookmarks:
left-click = open in new tab [Note]
middle-click = open in new background tab
right-click -> open in current tab
right-click -> open in new tab
right-click -> open in new background tab

bookmark folders:
middle-click = open all in new background tabs
right-click -> open all in existing tabs
right-click -> open all in new tabs
right-click -> open all in new background tabs

Opening all in existing tabs, if it's an option, should only be in the
right-click menu imo.

Middle-click naturally = open in *new* background tab. It shouldn't be
different for bookmarks and bookmark folders.

Note: Left-click used to open a new tab by default and it was nice. A
bookmark is like a link with target="_blank". Left-clicking on a
bookmark should open a new tab by default. A right-click option should
be used to override.

I believe those suggestions are better for users. I don't think that
reusing tabs is more friendly to new users or more friendly to most.

--
burnout426

tjb

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Oct 9, 2006, 2:54:12 AM10/9/06
to
Mike Connor <mco...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Obviously not everyone, but there is a vocal group that does. There
> is a semblance of a plan to balance both sides and be more consistent
> with expectations (i.e. middle click should append, but left click on
> Open in Tabs is more of a replace action, since its in the same
> context as the bookmarks. There's a 175xxx bug where I'm going to
> fix this for Fx3.

Personally, I think it's simpler to *always* have "opening in new tabs"
appending. I think that's significantly easier to learn than the
relatively complex rule of "well, if you middle-click, it appends, but if
you left-click on 'Open in Tabs', it replaces".

Further, when I'm using the laptop without a mouse, I rarely middle-click
(because, to do so, I have to simultaneously press the left and right
"mouse buttons", which is quite easy to make a mistake with), and so I'd
rather use 'Open in Tabs'. Problem is, I *never* want to replace. I
always want to append. And I'd expect many (most?) others would agree
here.

Well, that's just my view, as a long-term Firefox user.

Thank you for the response. I'm glad this problem is getting some
consideration. :)

pile0...@gmail.com

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Oct 9, 2006, 5:04:13 AM10/9/06
to
Mike Connor wrote:
> Really the main problem with your assertion is that if left click on
> a bookmark means "replace my current tab," why is left click on the
> bottom option not a replace action?

When I click a bookmark, I know that I'm done with the current tab.
When I want to open a group of tabs, it doesn't (and rarely does) mean
that I'm done with all of my tabs.

Its easier to compare the tabs in Firefox to the playlist in a media
player such as Winamp. Opening a playlist file will replace the current
playlist. But a folder of bookmarks is not a "group of bookmarks" file.
The closest thing to that in Firefox, I think, is the sessions in Tab
Mix Plus's Session Manager menu under Tools. Selecting a session there
will replace the current tabs with a new session, as expected. If I add
a group of mp3s/bookmarks from a folder, it appends it to my current
playlist/tab list, as expected.

So, I think loadFolderAndReplace should be false by default, but the
option should remain for those who want it.

Hope that made sense.

pile0...@gmail.com

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Oct 9, 2006, 5:09:34 AM10/9/06
to
On a related note, has there been any headway on
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=243740 ? The usability
study? Those can't be blindly trusted, as told by the story in comment
3.

tjb

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Oct 9, 2006, 6:54:03 AM10/9/06
to
Mike Connor <mco...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Really the main problem with your assertion is that if left click on
> a bookmark means "replace my current tab," why is left click on the
> bottom option not a replace action?

What if "Open All in Tabs" were to be renamed to "Open All in Background
Tabs" or "Open All in New Tabs" or some such thing (and it were to
*append* the tabs)?

Then:

o The data-loss problem would be gone.
o The behaviour would be obvious (it would be clearly described by the
menu item).
o All "opening in tabs" behaviour would be consistent, and thus easier
to learn.
o The behaviour would be exactly what (I believe) users want.

Mike Connor

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Oct 11, 2006, 12:36:35 AM10/11/06
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org

On 6-Oct-06, at 12:24 PM, Adam Kowalczyk wrote:

> Mike Connor wrote:
>> On 6-Oct-06, at 8:14 AM, tjb wrote:
>>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=300198
>>>
>>> And yet it's stays WONTFIXed. Why?
>> Obviously not everyone, but there is a vocal group that does.
>> There is a semblance of a plan to balance both sides and be more
>> consistent with expectations (i.e. middle click should append, but
>> left click on Open in Tabs is more of a replace action, since its
>> in the same context as the bookmarks. There's a 175xxx bug where
>> I'm going to fix this for Fx3.
>
> Based on the experience I had providing support for users, it seems
> that the main problem here is not lack of ability to choose to
> append - the problem is dataloss. I couldn't count how many times I
> had to explain users what's going on with losing all their tabs
> when opening bookmarks. It indicates that the current behavior is
> unintuitive. Indeed, how should user know that when he chooses to
> "Open All [bookmarks] in Tabs", he is going to loose his present tabs?

I'd basically argue that there's no "obvious" expectation here. Is
overwriting the current tab dataloss? The wording isn't especially
obvious so I'm not sure newbies will have a clear expectation other
than an uneducated guess. (Doesn't make it "ok" but makes any
argument here less than convincing)

> It's a matter of priorities. Dealing with dataloss and confusion on
> users' part should be step one. Then we can think about satisfying
> the fine-grained need to choose between the two actions.

If dataloss subsumes all other things, all bookmarks should load new
tabs, not just tab groups. There's a balance between dataloss and
efficiency, really.

> One simple solution that comes to mind is to reverse your proposal
> i.e. middle-click would replace and left-click would append, but
> that's just a not thought through idea.

Breaking something that should be an invariant is a bad plan.

-- Mike

Gervase Markham

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Oct 13, 2006, 5:39:53 AM10/13/06
to
Mike Connor wrote:
> I'd basically argue that there's no "obvious" expectation here. Is
> overwriting the current tab dataloss?

Overwriting existing non-current tabs is certainly dataloss;
particularly if you were filling in forms in them.

IMO, the most intuitive and consistent thing is to overwrite the current
tab, and insert all the other pages in tabs between the current one and
the next one over.

People are used to a bookmark navigating them away from a page they are
viewing - that's fine. They are also used to the act of choosing a
bookmark _not_ affecting their other windows/pages.

So, if we now postulate a form of bookmark which consists of multiple
pages, the consistent behaviour is to overwrite the current page, but
not any others.

Gerv

Mike Shaver

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Oct 13, 2006, 10:41:45 AM10/13/06
to Mike Connor, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org, ehume
On 10/8/06, Mike Connor <mco...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
> On 7-Oct-06, at 1:03 PM, ehume wrote:
>
> > I think you will have to add me to the fix-this group. I just tried
> > out
> > middle-clicking a bookmarks folder and was shocked that the new tabs
> > replaced my old ones. That is not consistent behavior. Even in the
> > left-click Open in Tabs menuitem, the default behavior should be
> > append, and not replace.
>
> Should that be true for bookmarks as well, since the argument is
> technically the same for 1 and > 1, just the impact is greater?

With 1 there isn't the element of action-at-a-distance (something I'm
not looking at being replaced), and I can also use the back button to
undo an error.

> Should we replace the current tab with a contiguous tabset, a la the
> Home behaviour in Fx2?

Perhaps, though honestly given your tab reordering and such I'd almost
say that we should call the option "Open in New Tabs" and treat it as
though the user had selected "Open in New Tab" for each link in
sequence. (Meaning that they'd be appended to the current tab set,
with the last one visible.)

Mike

mlipp...@gmail.com

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Nov 10, 2006, 4:59:19 PM11/10/06
to
I've been using SeaMonkey, and thought I'd give Firefox 2.0 a try. This
is very disturbing behavior. I hadn't even encountered it yet, I was
just looking for a way to get back the SeaMonkey preference for opening
"bookmark groups" which it allows to be set to either "add tabs" or
"replace existing tabs", and I prefer the former option.

The behavior of replacing tabs that aren't the currently open one is
horrible!!! As someone stated above, clicking on a bookmark is expected
to replace the current page (along with the expectation that you can
get back to the current page using the back button).

Since I (and I think most others) view tabs as a convenient gathering
of what would otherwise be a collection of top level windows, I view an
operation that affects the contents of non-current tabs similarly to an
operation that would be modifying other inactive windows on my system.

Please fix this bug. I'd also appreciate a way to flag a bookmark
folder as a group so I could just click on it to open all of it's links
in separate tabs rather than having to right-click and select "open in
tabs" but that's just a very minor UI nit.

Mike

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