Gripes about propose Firefox 3.7/4.0 mockups

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supernova_00

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Aug 31, 2009, 12:47:42 PM8/31/09
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I've made comments in blogs and bugs about the various proposed UI
changes for upcoming Firefox releases 3.7 and 4.0 but I figured I
should start a post of this as I'm tired of repeating myself and
wanted to have an actual discussion on the issues I have.

My biggest gripe (and really the one one I'm going to talk about here)
is that the proposed changes that are reflected in the few wireframes
floating around and bugs filed in the past week or two that seem to
all be wanting to make changes that will make Firefox look and behave
like Chrome and/or IE8.

I think for the most part the Firefox UI looks and works fine. There
are over 400 polish bugs that would make Firefox look, work, and feel
even better but yet Steven Holander and Alex Faaborg want to change
Firefox to look and act more like Chrome and IE8...why? Let Chrome be
chrome and don't copy what the heck they are doing with their UI.
Come up with some original stuff and let those browsers target
whatever group they are trying to target that isn't working for them.

Bill Barry

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Aug 31, 2009, 2:20:52 PM8/31/09
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
Mostly I agree with you:
Firefox feel is right how it is. Moving the tab bar around to mimic
IE/Opera/Chrome isn't a good idea. Firefox loses originality for very
questionable benefits (Fitts law isn't a good one because there is very
little point to maximizing the browser on a 21+ inch monitor; it is
almost useless on my 24 and I like it best at around 1400x1000).

That said, the default skin doesn't look very good in Win7. The mostly
glass frames do look better. The skin "Classic Remix for Windows 7"
makes the browser fit in much better than it did before. There does also
need to be something done to make it easier to deal with a bunch of tabs.

It would be nice if these blogs/bugs illustrated the problems with the
current UI and how the proposed UI changes should fix them rather than
just presenting the changes as "I think this looks better".

Anyways regardless of the new default UI, I expect the window to be at
least as customizable as it currently is. For instance I do:
1. move the search bar up to the line with the menubar
2. hide the bookmarks toolbar
3. awesomebar line has from left to right: back/foward combo button;
awesomebar; refresh; stop

I would hate to have the menu forever stuck in a menu under some
"Personal" button (I'm fine with it moving into the titlebar as long as
there is sufficient space available for a big drag area; my window is
almost always at least partially obscured if it isn't focused and the
drag area makes it easy to move around without first clicking on the
window to focus it). I also fail to see any reason to make the tab area
smaller (which would be unavoidable by moving it to the titlebar to
"take advantage of fitts law"). I fail to see how to that even remotely
attempts to solve the central issue with it (finding pages you already
have open). This is why I hate IE as well.

I also think everyone is going the wrong way with the statusbar. It
should not be gotten rid of but rather made larger. It could have icons
and show things like (taking my current page open in my browser as an
example:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
### Marilyn Manson - The Fall of Adam - Last.fm | Scrobbling ON
### Logged in as: after_fallout | Playing
After_fallout's library
### transferring from s24.last.fm | 0 messages in Inbox

where the ### is the site provided icon; the first line is the browser
title, the second gets the user that is logged in using the password
manager API (could be selectable to allow you to forget it or if you are
not logged in, you can click there and log in to sites which you have
remembered logins for). The third line is the current statusbar text.
The second column would have 3 javascript-set-able lines of text which
may have hyperlinks and operate within the page context (but are styled
by the browser theme instead of the page style)

> _______________________________________________
> dev-apps-firefox mailing list
> dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-firefox
>
>

David Dahl

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Aug 31, 2009, 2:45:06 PM8/31/09
to Bill Barry, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
After using Firefox on a netbook for several weeks, I think the only way forward is to pare down the top heavy UI. I don't think it is an attempt at mimicking Chrome or IE, it seems inevitable to provide screen real estate as well as to simplify the design.

Extension authors and theme developers will no doubt create "Firefox 3.6" style UI tools.

d

DigDug

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Aug 31, 2009, 3:46:02 PM8/31/09
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I don't hate the idea of changes that don't benefit me. I mean, I
think Personas are just about the dumbest thing I've seen pushed
towards the Firefox core for awhile, but they're apparently somewhat
popular and I'll live with them when they appear. I do feel like a lot
of the new UI ideas being pushed around are more "me too" than the
group sitting down and thinking up something (or better yet,
implementing them as extensions). It seems like it was just a month
ago people were excitedly talking about new metaphores for tabs, and
now the big thing in the FF4 mockups (for a version that's two
releases away from what I can see) is just having tabs on top like
chrome does... plus a replacing the menubar with a couple new
buttons... which look a whole lot like buttons that Chrome has...

The new notifications stuff for the page/identity button at least
looks interesting. I'm not sure how I'll feel having a page menu that
constantly changes depending on if I've saved passwords or given
geolocation permission to a page before, but hell, I'll try. At this
point I'd rather see something implemented to play with than have a
bunch of people sit around and ponder what it will be like.

JM

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Aug 31, 2009, 4:02:00 PM8/31/09
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supernova_00 wrote:
> I've made comments in blogs and bugs about the various proposed UI
> changes for upcoming Firefox releases 3.7 and 4.0 but I figured I
> should start a post of this as I'm tired of repeating myself and
> wanted to have an actual discussion on the issues I have.
>
> My biggest gripe (and really the one one I'm going to talk about here)
> is that the proposed changes that are reflected in the few wireframes
> floating around and bugs filed in the past week or two that seem to
> all be wanting to make changes that will make Firefox look and behave
> like Chrome and/or IE8.
>
From what I've seen of 3.7/4.0, there isn't a bookmarks bar or menu
bar. I use those all the time and don't want them gone. If they get rid
of them, I won't upgrade.


> I think for the most part the Firefox UI looks and works fine. There
> are over 400 polish bugs that would make Firefox look, work, and feel
> even better but yet Steven Holander and Alex Faaborg want to change
> Firefox to look and act more like Chrome and IE8...why? Let Chrome be
> chrome and don't copy what the heck they are doing with their UI.
> Come up with some original stuff and let those browsers target
> whatever group they are trying to target that isn't working for them.

I definitely think they should fix the bugs, then worry about changing
things like the appearance.

However, something I thought might be kind of neat would be the address
bar inside the tab.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/File:FF4_larini.jpg

I'm also fine with putting the home button to the left of all the tabs.

Peter Lairo

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Aug 31, 2009, 4:07:35 PM8/31/09
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On 31.08.2009 20:45, David Dahl wrote:
> After using Firefox on a netbook for several weeks, I think the only
> way forward is to pare down the top heavy UI.

Have you tried:

- Customize Toolbar: Show Icons (no text) and use Small Icons
- View / Toolbars / deselect the Menubar (ALT un-hides it)
- View / Toolbars / deselect the Bookmarks Toolbar

That makes the UI about as small as reasonably can be. You could even
drag your Bookmarks Toolbar onto the Navigation Toolbar (but the
min-width of the address- and search fields would need to be increased)

I think the current mockups look too much like IE/Chrome and yield too
few benefits (they are not any smaller than my suggestion above), yield
too many disadvantages (Tabs on top: eek! And the UI fragmented all
over!), and throws away Firefoxs unique identity (don't copy others'
brand recognition).
--
Regards,

Peter Lairo

The browser you can trust: www.Firefox.com
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Omega X

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Aug 31, 2009, 4:18:05 PM8/31/09
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David Dahl wrote:
> After using Firefox on a netbook for several weeks, I think the only way forward is to pare down the top heavy UI. I don't think it is an attempt at mimicking Chrome or IE, it seems inevitable to provide screen real estate as well as to simplify the design.
>
> Extension authors and theme developers will no doubt create "Firefox 3.6" style UI tools.
>

There are such things as oversimplification and alienating the user
base. A few of those mockups do just that.

Peter Lairo

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Aug 31, 2009, 4:40:18 PM8/31/09
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On 31.08.2009 22:07, Peter Lairo wrote:
> On 31.08.2009 20:45, David Dahl wrote:
>> After using Firefox on a netbook for several weeks, I think the only
>> way forward is to pare down the top heavy UI.
>
> Have you tried:
>
> - Customize Toolbar: Show Icons (no text) and use Small Icons
> - View / Toolbars / deselect the Menubar (ALT un-hides it)
> - View / Toolbars / deselect the Bookmarks Toolbar

You can even move the Bookmarks Toolbar up into the Menubar, and
deselect the Menubar. The ALT key will un-hide the Menubar *and* the
Bookmarks Toolbar. :-)

Alex Faaborg

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Aug 31, 2009, 5:40:15 PM8/31/09
to supernova_00, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
> wanting to make changes that will make Firefox look and behave
> like Chrome and/or IE8.

To make this more specific, I assume you are referring to the move
from menus to page/tools (IE7, IE8, Chrome, Safari), and tabs on top
(Chrome, Opera).

> why?

Here is our list of motivations for each change

Switching from a menu bar to page/tools
1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
especially important on smaller screen devices
* 2) allows us to leverage external consistency with the rest of the
marketplace, which makes it easier for users to transition to Firefox
from another browser (with the only exception being Opera).
3) allows us to support Aero glass, which is important for appearing
native and modern, as opposed to appearing like a legacy application
that has been abandoned by developers

Tabs on top
1) Ability to support "app tabs" that don't contain chrome, contain
only the favicon and appear and appear the far right side (by default
the only app tab is the home tab, but you can create new ones by
dragging a tab to the left of the home tab). This is a feature that
will be entirely unique to Firefox when it is released.
2) Reduce the level of redundancy in our UI (title in the title bar
and on the tab)
3) Create a cleaner and more pure conceptual modal (there is no visual
indication in the current UI or IE that back and forward are tab
specific instead of acting on the application as a whole).
4) Fitts law win when the window is maximized
5) Small savings with the UI footprint when the tabs share some of the
space of the title bar

So from those 8 motivations between the two core changes, you can see
that really only one of them (#2 of page/tools) is directly based on
mirroring other browsers for the sake of behaving like them. External
consistency is important for building our user base, and the Internet
is growing fast enough that there are and will be a lot of people who
are familiar with the page/tools distinction (IE7, IE8, Chrome,
Safari) and will actually not be familiar with a menu bar (browsers
prior to 2006).

Also, I don't think originality should be the only metric we use to
gauge how well we are doing. If another product introduced a good
idea before we were able to (either because they were more liberal
with change, their ship cycle lined up so that they got to launch
first, or because they actually had a novel idea), failing to
implement the feature solely out of pride is illogical. A lot of
products and organizations suffer from "not invented here." However
external consistency is one of the most important attributes of
interface design, so that ideology rules out the value of leveraging
user's existing knowledge.

-Alex

Mike Beltzner

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Aug 31, 2009, 6:15:09 PM8/31/09
to supernova_00, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
This discussion is a little strange to me, as it's not really
revolving around specifics.

Stephen has been extremely diligent in describing the goals of a theme
refresh on Windows, starting here with an analysis of the problems
with the existing Windows theme:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/3.0_Windows_Default_Theme_Issues

He then continued to iterate through a variety of treatments and
proposals, all documented on a combination of his blog and the overall
project page on the wiki:

http://blog.stephenhorlander.com/
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Projects/Windows_Theme_Revamp
^ admittedly this has been a little less up to date recently

Throughout, he's asked for feedback and been up front about what the
pros and cons of the various design elements are, meticulous in his
dissection and rationale for making various changes.

I don't think anyone expects theme changes to be universally
successful, and we do take overall reaction and feelings into account,
but will not make changes based on purely aesthetic objections from an
outspoken group. On the other hand, feedback on specific issues would
be appreciated, especially if alternative approaches to solving the
identified problems can be identified.

On 31-Aug-09, at 12:47 PM, supernova_00 wrote:

> My biggest gripe (and really the one one I'm going to talk about here)
> is that the proposed changes that are reflected in the few wireframes
> floating around and bugs filed in the past week or two that seem to
> all be wanting to make changes that will make Firefox look and behave
> like Chrome and/or IE8.

I think that the proposed changes are definitely informed by what
those browsers did in order to solve some of the same problems that
we're facing right now. As Alex mentioned earlier today, where we see
a good idea, we'll take it. (I remind you that Firefox 1.0 had an
explicit goal to look and feel exactly like Internet Explorer, and not
reinvent the wheel simply because we didn't want to admit that other
development groups had identified UI that met users' expectations).

From what I've seen to date (and trust me, I'm watching) though, the
Firefox 3.7 proposals are focused on gaining OS parity (removing the
menu bar by default) as well as reducing the footprint of chrome in
terms of pixels (the rest of the changes). Pretty tame, and indeed
informed by but not identical to Safari, IE8 or Chrome. The team has
leveraged emerging conventions (Page/Tools) but also focused on
interaction requirements (the home tab, f.e., seems quite clever).

The Firefox 4.0 proposals are couched in language that makes it clear
that they are under evaluation and by no means final. I'd encourage
people on this thread to speak of specifics as identified by Stephen
and the team in the blog post. Tabs on top is an obvious debate, and I
think work can be done to make it an option at the least (along with
tabs on either side, a la Tree Style Tabs) and we can determine what
to do as default.

Overall, though, this "critique" lacks specific feedback. Saying "I
don't like it, and the current UI works fine" begins from an
operational premise that I think is inconsistent with the feeling of
all the Firefox project leads, though I'd be keen to hear why you
think the current UI looks modern and in line with other Windows
applications.

> are over 400 polish bugs that would make Firefox look, work, and feel
> even better but yet Steven Holander and Alex Faaborg want to change

And Alex continues to drive that list, so I don't think it's at all
fair to imply that he's abandoning that effort.

cheers,
mike

Ziru Zhu

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Sep 1, 2009, 3:01:28 AM9/1/09
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On Aug 31, 3:15 pm, Mike Beltzner <beltz...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Overall, though, this "critique" lacks specific feedback. Saying "I  
> don't like it, and the current UI works fine" begins from an  
> operational premise that I think is inconsistent with the feeling of  
> all the Firefox project leads, though I'd be keen to hear why you  
> think the current UI looks modern and in line with other Windows  
> applications.

I do not know what the modern browser UI should look like, but I do
like to keep the status bar (at least not taking it away completely as
Chrome does). Although the status bar occupies some screen space, it
gives me feelings of security, which can inform users what is
currently happening to the browser (though not every event). I think
part of the feelings come from the fact that malicious javascript code
often hide the status bar in old days.

It would be OK if FF UI allows users to toggle the status bar and do
things similar to Chrome (via a floating bar) to show some events for
those who toggled off the status bar. But I do hope users could
reserve the right to force status bar on (I would use full-screen mode
to save space).

Moreover, status bar is not really a wasted place since many
extensions choose to display indicators there.

k m

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Sep 1, 2009, 6:18:00 AM9/1/09
to
The best way to go forward will be to create an official theme
incorporating the mockup changes and to integrate them in future
versions if they prove to be popular. Afterall user satisfaction
reigns supreme.

If we are really worried about vertical space, then the over-sized
back button should be reduced in size. Thats the most easiest way to
recover space or atleast give us an option to substitute it with a
normal sized icon. The back button is inconsistent with the rest of
the icons.

The default theme in XP is too multi-colored and cartoonish. If there
is no need to make the stop button red in Vista/Windows 7 then why is
it so in XP? After all XP constitutes around 65% of the market and
Firefox would do good if the default theme is visually appealing.

Native looking is not synonymous with ugly or unattractive, there
should be ways to make the theme both native and attractive. It looks
like theme developers are ignoring XP because even the mockups are
unappealing.

Robert Kaiser

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Sep 1, 2009, 6:38:00 AM9/1/09
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k m wrote:
> If there
> is no need to make the stop button red in Vista/Windows 7 then why is
> it so in XP?

I'm actually wondering the other way round. Back when the theme was
introduced that way, and also in what I read about Tango icon design and
in other places, color clues for those icons are quite helpful for most
people to more easily find the correct buttons, and that's why we and
others all use green for back/forward, blue for reload, red for stop.
Maybe our users became color-blind by now that we are planning to remove
that now, but if so, then Mac users must have become color-blind even
longer ago. :P
Of course, it's also possible that this theory was wrong - or that we as
well as OS creators nowadays place design over helpfulness for the user.

Robert Kaiser

k m

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Sep 1, 2009, 7:18:35 AM9/1/09
to
I have been using Opera 10 for the past 2 weeks and I have to say even
though the theme is not native looking it feels very smooth and
polished. Its an absolute pleasure to use, it is snappy there are no
jerks when there is a new tab loading or when a flash-heavy page is
being rendered. Even when the page is zoomed in the scrolling is
smooth and consistent.

I don't think I can expect the same elegance and polish in Firefox for
the next year or two. Its just my opinion I have no theory or
technical knowledge to defend it succesfully. The "Firefox 3/3.5"
chrome even after two years of tweaking, polish and development is
still jerky, inconsistent, clunky and raw. Now it is abandoned and new
UI elements are being added, I dont know when I can expect to feel the
same elegence and smoothness as the other browsers.

Other than IE in Windows and Safari in Mac no other major browsers are
native looking. Ofcourse Chrome and Safari use some native UI elements
in their themes but they are not too strict and rigid in the quest for
a consistent, polished and smooth UI.

k m

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Sep 1, 2009, 8:54:22 AM9/1/09
to
reply to Robert Kaiser

Robert Kaiser"

Well even the folder icons are different: the "Most Visited, Recently
Bokmarked and Recent Tags" are Blue, but the RSS folder and bookmark
folders are Yellow. Guess there is another theory for that.

supernova_00

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Sep 1, 2009, 10:02:09 AM9/1/09
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On Aug 31, 5:40 pm, Alex Faaborg <faab...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Here is our list of motivations for each change
>
> Switching from a menu bar to page/tools
> 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is  
> especially important on smaller screen devices
Well do this on those devices then, not windows and other OSes which
do not have a crappy 10 inch screen. Most laptops now-a-days have
wide screens. I think the the hiding of the menu bar, by default on
Vista/Win7, is a perfectly acceptable change. But don't shove every
single thing into two buttons are are growing to crowd a different bar
like IE does.

> * 2) allows us to leverage external consistency with the rest of the  
> marketplace, which makes it easier for users to transition to Firefox  
> from another browser (with the only exception being Opera).

This was fine and dandy in Firefox 1.0 but not now-a-days. We have a
good chuck of user base that are familiar with Firefox and its
layout. Shouldn't go changing things around to try and attrack new
users because you allienate the existing user base. I'm fine with OS
intergration but only OS integration, mocking IE8 is not OS
intergration but copying ideas from that since application that tends
to not even follow anything else on the OS. Copying Chrome is an even
bigger no no because it has basically no OS integration


> 3) allows us to support Aero glass, which is important for appearing  
> native and modern, as opposed to appearing like a legacy application  
> that has been abandoned by developers
>

No one is complaining about Aero glass other than the fact that it has
been put off for this long and your point has nothing at all to do
with the other points in your post.

> Tabs on top
> 1) Ability to support "app tabs" that don't contain chrome, contain  
> only the favicon and appear and appear the far right side (by default  
> the only app tab is the home tab, but you can create new ones by  
> dragging a tab to the left of the home tab).  This is a feature that  
> will be entirely unique to Firefox when it is released.

What the heck are "app tabs". Web slices? Why does that require the
tab bar on top? I hate the tab bar on the top with a passion. It is
freaking ridicuolous that I'd have to scroll an extra 30 some pixels
higher over the navigation bar to switch tabs. The tabs are supposed
to be connected to document you are reading. This has been the
standard since forever. Even MS does this in its windows dialogs that
have tabs. Also with shoving the tabs above the navigation bar like
shown here https://wiki.mozilla.org/File:(Windows)-(Firefox.next)-(3.7%E2%80%934.0-Evolution)-Wireframe-(Ver-001).png,
you are adding this button "Stephen" and the minimize, restore and
close buttons into the tab bar when those have nothing to do with tabs
and reduce the ammount of room for tab titles which already sucks in
the current UI. We would end up with only being able to read the
title of like 3 tabs. Same comment for point 5 just below this
comment.

> 5) Small savings with the UI footprint when the tabs share some of the  
> space of the title bar
>
> So from those 8 motivations between the two core changes, you can see  
> that really only one of them (#2 of page/tools) is directly based on  
> mirroring other browsers for the sake of behaving like them.  

Umm moving the stop and reload or stop/reload button after the
location bar is copying IE7 and above. Which is another change I
don't like. For one, when typing a URL, hitting enter and wanting to
stop the page from loading or want to refresh, I now would have to
move by mouse all the way to the end of the location bar to do this.
I use IE7 at work everyday and want to shoot whoever thought that was
a good idea with a 800 pixel long address bar.

> External  
> consistency is important for building our user base, and the Internet  
> is growing fast enough that there are and will be a lot of people who  
> are familiar with the page/tools distinction (IE7, IE8, Chrome,  
> Safari) and will actually not be familiar with a menu bar (browsers  
> prior to 2006).

And these buttons again clutter the location bar and make the address
bar and search bar's even smaller.

You didn't mention the statusbar but I don't you have a vendetta out
to kill it. I don't think that is a good thing to do. How am I
supposed to know when the link that says "http://www.google.com will
actually go there if I can't hover over the link and see in the
statusbar what address is actually going to be loaded? How about my
download status? Lock box? Pop-up blocked box (I have it set to not
show the notification bar since it happens so frequently). If I'm
online or offline? What about extensions?

I agree with one of the above posters about Personas. Why oh why oh
why? Leave it as an extension!! No need to bloat the damn code for
something that is doing just fine and dandy as an extension so someone
can add a picture of a llama as a toolbar background. Or even do it
through css. I know, I know but new users... It is funny how even
the topic title for the group mentions how Firefox is supposed to be a
lightweight something (sorry I can't find it again) but yet we keep
bloating (or going to bloat) the browser with all kinds of crap like
personas, micro something, taskfox and stuff that should just stay an
extension!

supernova_00

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Sep 1, 2009, 10:06:45 AM9/1/09
to
And thank you Alex and Mike for your responses.

supernova_00

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Sep 1, 2009, 10:26:46 AM9/1/09
to
On Aug 31, 6:15 pm, Mike Beltzner <beltz...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> (I remind you that Firefox 1.0 had an  
> explicit goal to look and feel exactly like Internet Explorer, and not  
> reinvent the wheel simply because we didn't want to admit that other  
> development groups had identified UI that met users' expectations).

Oh I remember and complained about it back then but understood the
reasoning even though I still don't agree with it. Firefox needs
brand recognition and copying other browsers now-a-days make it very,
very hard to tell the difference. I can't even tell safari and
Firefox apart anymore when shown on TV in a show or ad. I used to be
able to pick it out easily and I haven't touched or even seen a Mac in
real life in about 15 years since middle school. Yeah I know every
Mac fanactic could pick it out based on 1 pixels differences *laugh*.
I can easily pick Firefox out on windows as it is now but with the
proposed changes it will be very hard.

>  From what I've seen to date (and trust me, I'm watching) though, the  
> Firefox 3.7 proposals are focused on gaining OS parity (removing the  
> menu bar by default) as well as reducing the footprint of chrome in  

> terms of pixels (the rest of the changes).Pretty tame, and indeed  


> informed by but not identical to Safari, IE8 or Chrome

Easy way to reduce the chrome footprint is the set icons to small.
That would save about 8 pixels right there.

>The team has  
> leveraged emerging conventions (Page/Tools) but also focused on  
> interaction requirements (the home tab, f.e., seems quite clever).
>

I think calling it emerging conventions is giving them a little too
much credit. They are basically menu-buttons. Hell I'd probably be
fine with just having one button but not two!

> The Firefox 4.0 proposals are couched in language that makes it clear  
> that they are under evaluation and by no means final. I'd encourage  
> people on this thread to speak of specifics as identified by Stephen  
> and the team in the blog post. Tabs on top is an obvious debate, and I  
> think work can be done to make it an option at the least (along with  
> tabs on either side, a la Tree Style Tabs) and we can determine what  
> to do as default.

Tabs on top if definitely my biggest gripe out of any of the propsed
changes. Not just for my sake for all other users, new or veterans
since before Firefox was Firefox. I explained in my reply to Alex's
most on most of the reasons.

> > are over 400 polish bugs that would make Firefox look, work, and feel
> > even better but yet Steven Holander and Alex Faaborg want to change
>
> And Alex continues to drive that list, so I don't think it's at all  
> fair to imply that he's abandoning that effort.

That may be true but I haven't seen a huge chuck of those bugs touched
in over a year and I watch it frequently. Hell, most of the bugs
haven't even been commented on by any one dealing with the UI be it
Dao, Alex, Stephen, or you yourself. Well you have commented on a lot
of them a long time ago but no where near recently. most of the bugs
would be easy fixed but just need to the go head on this is wanted and
someone could easily create a patch but without the go head most won't
take the time to create a patch just to get it blocked because it
isn't wanted.

John J. Barton

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 11:38:56 AM9/1/09
to
Ziru Zhu wrote:
...

> Moreover, status bar is not really a wasted place since many
> extensions choose to display indicators there.

I could not find a reference to any proposed alternative to the
statusbar, but the status bar icon in Firebug is both a display
indicator and a primary control essential to the usability of Firebug.

jjb

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 11:31:14 AM9/1/09
to Alex Faaborg, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 5:40 PM, Alex Faaborg <faa...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> Here is our list of motivations for each change
>
> Switching from a menu bar to page/tools
> 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
> especially important on smaller screen devices


Well sure, but there are still plenty of users who don't have small devices.
I don't feel like Firefox takes up too much vertical space on my 15.4 inch
screen.


> * 2) allows us to leverage external consistency with the rest of the
> marketplace, which makes it easier for users to transition to Firefox from
> another browser (with the only exception being Opera).


There's another exception: previous versions of Firefox. It's also
inconsistent with many non-browser applications out there (Office, Adobe's
Creative Suite, Thunderbird, Visual Studio, etc...)


> 3) allows us to support Aero glass, which is important for appearing native
> and modern, as opposed to appearing like a legacy application that has been
> abandoned by developers


You don't need Aero glass to look native and modern. Windows Media Player 12
*dropped* glass on Windows 7 and it feels just as native as IE8. I think our
choices of color and some layout (perhaps like the organize bookmarks
window?) will go a long way towards making Firefox feel native/"right" on
Windows.

Also not addressed is how is this button/menu accessible via familiar
keyboard shortcut? I use keyboard navigation quite a bit so I'd hate to lose
some ability to control my browser.


> Tabs on top
> 1) Ability to support "app tabs" that don't contain chrome, contain only
> the favicon and appear and appear the far right side (by default the only
> app tab is the home tab, but you can create new ones by dragging a tab to
> the left of the home tab). This is a feature that will be entirely unique
> to Firefox when it is released.


What will go into these application tabs? Downloads? Bookmarks? What's the
specific motivation here? If bookmarks/history goes into here, I'm worried
about losing the ability to see them independently of the web content in
another tab (and losing them in the sea of tabs that is my reading list). I
guess what I'm saying is that we should be careful of adding more tabs when
we don't have a good tab search/management UI.


> 2) Reduce the level of redundancy in our UI (title in the title bar and on
> the tab)


Ah but it's not entirely redundant - the titlebar has the full, uncropped
page title. The tab bar almost never does (see this email thread in gmail
for instance).


> 3) Create a cleaner and more pure conceptual modal (there is no visual
> indication in the current UI or IE that back and forward are tab specific
> instead of acting on the application as a whole).


This I can see. So let's put back/foward, stop/refresh, home and the address
bar in (maybe search?) the tab pane. What about the bookmarks toolbar (or
other toolbars). They aren't part of the tab, they're part of the entire
application so they go above the tab bar. This would be a gentler way to
iterate towards the goal you want.


> 4) Fitts law win when the window is maximized


We could come up with a different maximized ui just as we do for fullscreen.
When I want to maximize my reading area and focus only on the content, I go
to fullscreen (essentially chromeless), not maximized.


> 5) Small savings with the UI footprint when the tabs share some of the
> space of the title bar


This does worry me that the tabs will creep into the titlebar. I'm not
convinced yet that it is necessary. Do you have a with/without titlebar
creep mockups?


> So from those 8 motivations between the two core changes, you can see that
> really only one of them (#2 of page/tools) is directly based on mirroring

> other browsers for the sake of behaving like them. External consistency is


> important for building our user base, and the Internet is growing fast
> enough that there are and will be a lot of people who are familiar with the
> page/tools distinction (IE7, IE8, Chrome, Safari) and will actually not be
> familiar with a menu bar (browsers prior to 2006).


Except that the browser isn't the only application and menu bars are fairly
standard. It's not obvious to the average user that bookmarks/history is
under page/tools.


> Also, I don't think originality should be the only metric we use to gauge
> how well we are doing. If another product introduced a good idea before we
> were able to (either because they were more liberal with change, their ship
> cycle lined up so that they got to launch first, or because they actually
> had a novel idea), failing to implement the feature solely out of pride is
> illogical. A lot of products and organizations suffer from "not invented
> here." However external consistency is one of the most important attributes
> of interface design, so that ideology rules out the value of leveraging
> user's existing knowledge.


I'm not convinced that 'other browsers are doing it' should be a motivation
to do something. It can be a motivation to do something at a higher priority
but we should motivate our changes in terms of users and consider more
aspects of their computer usage than just their browser. If "external


consistency is one of the most important attributes of interface design"

then why be inconsistent with a number of other popular applications on the
same platform?

-Rob

Brian Polidoro

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 11:57:55 AM9/1/09
to
JM wrote:
> From what I've seen of 3.7/4.0, there isn't a bookmarks bar or menu
> bar. I use those all the time and don't want them gone. If they get rid
> of them, I won't upgrade.

What Menu items are used regularly? I did a quick evaluation my use:
File Menu - I never use it.

Edit Menu - Those functions on the edit menu I use on a context menu -
not on the edit menu.

View Menu - I use the zoom function but I always use the keyboard
shortcuts. I do use the bookmarks sidebar but I think I could use what I
think is proposed. From what I see what's proposed is a bookmarks
button which opens a small pop-up like what IE7 has and I think that
will work for me. The only thing I use bookmarks for is feed reading.
So I want something that will stay open while I open articles in my
feeds. So a menu doesn't work for that purpose. I use the bookmark
sidebar for this currently.

History Menu: the only item I use here is the undo close tab feature.
But usually I right click on the tabs to unclose the last mistakenly
closed tab. Rarely I search the list of recently closed tabs under the
history menu.

Bookmarks menu: As I said before I generally don't use bookmarks
anymore. I find sites in my history and starred sites with the location
bar. I know others do use bookmarks but like I said I think the
bookmarks pop-up will be there for bookmark access which uses minimal
screen size.

Tools menu: now this is the one I use. And it seems I'm not alone since
this will be present in the new UI. Important things to access are
mainly addons and options.

Help menu: Not matter how often you use it I think help needs to be
accessible somewhere for when it's needed. And I don't see a way to
access help from the proposed primary UI. The only thing I can think of
is perhaps you are expected to access the help from the options dialog.
What might work here is to use the ? button that can be added along
with the minimize and maximize buttons. Then you can click on something
you need help with like the tab bar.

Now I know everyone uses a browser differently. But I wanted illustrate
that I didn't realize how little I used the menu until I took a look
at my use of the menus.

One reason why many menu items are included is for keyboard
accessibility. But I think I saw that the menu is supposed to appear if
you press the Alt key.

But my other point is about the chrome UI. I doubt many users use the
default configuration of the browser. This will just change the
default. You should still be able to customize the browser to your
liking. If you can't then that's a problem with which the devs may have
to deal. What's needed is to still have the same flexibility with
customization.

Brian Polidoro


Boris Zbarsky

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 12:46:09 PM9/1/09
to
Brian Polidoro wrote:
> What Menu items are used regularly? I did a quick evaluation my use:

I seem to recall that for a keyboard shortcut to work correctly on Mac
the corresponding menu option needs to be present. Is that still the case?

> File Menu - I never use it.

On Windows, I believe you have to use it if you want to quit without
closing every single one of your windows individually.

I also use the "Work Offline" option here somewhat often.

I use all the options here that have keyboard shortcuts via those
shortcuts, except Close Window (which I just do from the window titlebar).


> Edit Menu - Those functions on the edit menu I use on a context menu -
> not on the edit menu.

Most of this stuff I just use keyboard shortcuts for; the one exception
is the "Special Characters" option on Mac.

> View Menu - I use the zoom function but I always use the keyboard
> shortcuts. I do use the bookmarks sidebar but I think I could use what I
> think is proposed. From what I see what's proposed is a bookmarks
> button which opens a small pop-up like what IE7 has and I think that
> will work for me. The only thing I use bookmarks for is feed reading.
> So I want something that will stay open while I open articles in my
> feeds. So a menu doesn't work for that purpose. I use the bookmark
> sidebar for this currently.

The only parts of the View menu I use are via the menu are the character
encoding and style selectors. I use Reload and View Source via keyboard
shortcuts.

> History Menu: the only item I use here is the undo close tab feature.
> But usually I right click on the tabs to unclose the last mistakenly
> closed tab. Rarely I search the list of recently closed tabs under the
> history menu.

I only use this menu for reopening recently closed windows. I use the
context menu for tabs, as you described.

> Bookmarks menu: As I said before I generally don't use bookmarks
> anymore. I find sites in my history and starred sites with the location
> bar. I know others do use bookmarks but like I said I think the
> bookmarks pop-up will be there for bookmark access which uses minimal
> screen size.

I have a few folders of bookmarks that I actually use.

> Tools menu: now this is the one I use. And it seems I'm not alone since
> this will be present in the new UI. Important things to access are
> mainly addons and options.

Yeah, I use a number of things here: some extension stuff, private
browsing, add-ons, clear recent history, error console. I use the
keyboard shortcut for DOM Inspector. I use the keyboard shortcut for
Web Search.

Window menu: I never use this.

-Boris

Ria

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 1:49:17 PM9/1/09
to
I think the mockups are really pieces of art, no doubt about that.
They beat Opera and Google Chrome easily. There will be a lot of fans
who sacrify comfort for the nice looks. I will do that too - for a few
hours. Then I will park it somewhere on my desktop and start it up
from time to time just to admire it.

But I won't use it for a long time, for in daily life I just want to
browse comfortably, so soon I will sacrify the looks for a more
comfortable browser. And then I want:

- no glassy look when maximized, for it is really irritating to see
the icons on your desktop shine through your browser;
- a titlebar because I want to see the full title; my tabs are only 3
cm wide so they can't contain much text;
- the tabs on top are OK, but I want to be able to put the tabbar on
the bottom of my screen just above the statusbar like usually;
- be able to use my own toolbar icons;
- the full menubar; I once used the Compact Menu extension but I
stopped with it because there were more disadvantages (mouse clicks)
than advantages (extra space for important stuff);
- a statusbar for the weather notifications and other messages;
- (off course!!) a personal toolbar;
- a separate one click bookmarks button and one click history button.

If the theme can be adjusted for all these things that I really need
it would be great. Otherwise I would have to hunt for extensions but
that shouldn't be necessary for a default theme.

Oh, and the problem with vertical space: I think this is typically a
task for the notebook manufacturers: just let them make the screens a
bit higher and all is solved.

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 2:37:33 PM9/1/09
to Ria, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM, Ria <ria.kl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Oh, and the problem with vertical space: I think this is typically a
> task for the notebook manufacturers: just let them make the screens a
> bit higher and all is solved.


This won't solve the problem (rather, that solution won't be implemented). A
higher resolution doesn't help everything (especially once non-96 DPI
settings are more common). The physical dimensions of netbooks are such
because they are convenient to carry around and use; I don't foresee an
increase in physical size for them. It would be nice if we could change the
UI based on the screen size - some sort of natural scaling rather than a
jarring change (because consistency across machines is important). I can
just imagine Clippy popping up: "Hey, I see you're using a netbook! Would
you like me to change your theme to suit your screen size?" (well ok, we'd
use a first-run page instead of a talking paperclip but it's a similar
idea).

-Rob

Robert Buecheler

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 2:41:40 PM9/1/09
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Boris Zbarsky<bzba...@mit.edu> wrote:
> Brian Polidoro wrote:
>>
>> What Menu items are used regularly?  I did a quick evaluation my use:
>
> I seem to recall that for a keyboard shortcut to work correctly on Mac the
> corresponding menu option needs to be present.  Is that still the case?
>
>> File Menu - I never use it.
>
> On Windows, I believe you have to use it if you want to quit without closing
> every single one of your windows individually.

that's the "big white [ X ] in red" on the upper right corner
other than that, print and print preview is what I use on the File Menu

> I also use the "Work Offline" option here somewhat often.
>
> I use all the options here that have keyboard shortcuts via those shortcuts,
> except Close Window (which I just do from the window titlebar).
>
>
>> Edit Menu - Those functions on the edit menu I use on a context menu - not
>> on the edit menu.

dito

> Most of this stuff I just use keyboard shortcuts for; the one exception is
> the "Special Characters" option on Mac.
>
>> View Menu - I use the zoom function but I always use the keyboard
>> shortcuts. I do use the bookmarks sidebar but I think I could use what I
>> think is proposed.  From what I see what's proposed is a bookmarks button
>> which opens a small pop-up like what IE7 has and I think that will work for
>> me.  The only thing I use bookmarks for is feed reading. So I want something
>> that will stay open while I open articles in my feeds.  So a menu doesn't
>> work for that purpose.  I use the bookmark sidebar for this currently.
>
> The only parts of the View menu I use are via the menu are the character
> encoding and style selectors.  I use Reload and View Source via keyboard
> shortcuts.

The only thing I use in View are char-encoding and page style.
Zoom with ctrl-mousewheel, view source via context menu.

>> History Menu: the only item I use here is the undo close tab feature. But
>> usually I right click on the tabs to unclose the last mistakenly closed tab.
>>  Rarely I search the list of recently closed tabs under the history menu.
>
> I only use this menu for reopening recently closed windows.  I use the
> context menu for tabs, as you described.

sometimes I use either the History menu or the "Recent pages" arrow in
the Navigation Toolbar.

>> Bookmarks menu: As I said before I generally don't use bookmarks anymore.
>>  I find sites in my history and starred sites with the location bar.  I know
>> others do use bookmarks but like I said I think the bookmarks pop-up will be
>> there for bookmark access which uses minimal screen size.
>
> I have a few folders of bookmarks that I actually use.

keyboard shortcut to the bookmarks sidebar or just start typing for
the amazing bar to help me out.

>> Tools menu: now this is the one I use.  And it seems I'm not alone since
>> this will be present in the new UI.  Important things to access are mainly
>> addons and options.

dito.

>
> Yeah, I use a number of things here: some extension stuff, private browsing,
> add-ons, clear recent history, error console.  I use the keyboard shortcut
> for DOM Inspector.  I use the keyboard shortcut for Web Search.
>
> Window menu: I never use this.
>
> -Boris

Boris Zbarsky

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 2:49:00 PM9/1/09
to
Robert Buecheler wrote:
>> On Windows, I believe you have to use it if you want to quit without closing
>> every single one of your windows individually.
>
> that's the "big white [ X ] in red" on the upper right corner

The big X closes the window. I want to quit the app while leaving all
windows there so they'll get restored by session restore next time. I
thought I was pretty clear on that... How could I have made it clearer?

>> I have a few folders of bookmarks that I actually use.
>
> keyboard shortcut to the bookmarks sidebar or just start typing for
> the amazing bar to help me out.

The latter sort of works. The former is a PITA depending on the page
I'm using (e.g. multi-second lag if that page is HTML5 single-page spec).

-Boris

Marco Bonardo

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 3:14:47 PM9/1/09
to
supernova_00 ha scritto:

> On Aug 31, 5:40 pm, Alex Faaborg <faab...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> Here is our list of motivations for each change
>>
>> Switching from a menu bar to page/tools
>> 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
>> especially important on smaller screen devices
> Well do this on those devices then, not windows and other OSes which
> do not have a crappy 10 inch screen. Most laptops now-a-days have
> wide screens.

that sounds like a good reason to gain on vertical space, if i can get
more vertical content on my 22 inch wide screen, why not? It would be a
win for everyone i think, not only for small screen devices, escpecially
with wide screens.

> Umm moving the stop and reload or stop/reload button after the
> location bar is copying IE7 and above. Which is another change I
> don't like. For one, when typing a URL, hitting enter and wanting to
> stop the page from loading or want to refresh, I now would have to
> move by mouse all the way to the end of the location bar to do this.

i largely think you'll still be able to add back the old buttons, but
you can also use keyboard shortcuts.

> And these buttons again clutter the location bar and make the address
> bar and search bar's even smaller.

iirc locationbar and searchbar would be unified, so it would not make
them smaller than they currently are

> You didn't mention the statusbar but I don't you have a vendetta out
> to kill it. I don't think that is a good thing to do. How am I
> supposed to know when the link that says "http://www.google.com will

> actually go [...]

i don't think ux team wants to remove functionality, probably that and
other things actually in the status can be done elsewhere, giving the
same functionality, we should just wait and see iterations.

> I agree with one of the above posters about Personas. Why oh why oh
> why? Leave it as an extension!! No need to bloat the damn code for
> something that is doing just fine and dandy as an extension so someone
> can add a picture of a llama as a toolbar background.

i think we should look at the required code changes before speaking of
bloating something, if it can make theming easier and lighter, why not.
Better than having to create a full theme just to change some color and
a background, that is really bloating.

I think ux team is still iterating on most things, and waiting for
feedback and reports of use-cases that the changes can bring.
I'd not be too negative toward changing even everything, if the
alternative is working fine and providing functionality, it's just
matter of getting used to the new approach.

cheers,
Marco

Robert Buecheler

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 3:26:17 PM9/1/09
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM, Boris Zbarsky<bzba...@mit.edu> wrote:
> Robert Buecheler wrote:
>>>
>>> On Windows, I believe you have to use it if you want to quit without
>>> closing
>>> every single one of your windows individually.
>>
>> that's the "big white [ X ] in red" on the upper right corner
>
> The big X closes the window.  I want to quit the app while leaving all
> windows there so they'll get restored by session restore next time.  I
> thought I was pretty clear on that... How could I have made it clearer?

sorry, didn't get that. did now tho :)

Robert Buecheler

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 3:32:19 PM9/1/09
to dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Robert Buecheler<rf.bue...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM, Boris Zbarsky<bzba...@mit.edu> wrote:
>> Robert Buecheler wrote:
>>>>
>>>> On Windows, I believe you have to use it if you want to quit without
>>>> closing
>>>> every single one of your windows individually.
>>>
>>> that's the "big white [ X ] in red" on the upper right corner
>>
>> The big X closes the window.  I want to quit the app while leaving all
>> windows there so they'll get restored by session restore next time.  I
>> thought I was pretty clear on that... How could I have made it clearer?
>
> sorry, didn't get that. did now tho :)

besides, when I hit the big X (and it's the only window of the app I have open)
FF asks me "Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?"

[save and quit] [quit] [cancel]

and upon save and quit, I get the restored session upon restarting.

--
Robi

Boris Zbarsky

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 3:58:17 PM9/1/09
to
Robert Buecheler wrote:
> besides, when I hit the big X (and it's the only window of the app I have open)
> FF asks me "Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?"
>
> [save and quit] [quit] [cancel]
>
> and upon save and quit, I get the restored session upon restarting.

OK. Now repeat all that if you have two app windows open and want to
quit and have both windows come back on restart.

-Boris

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:21:53 PM9/1/09
to

We all know this code is buggy as hell but why not just fix it to
include windows?

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:23:00 PM9/1/09
to
I had submitted two posts but apparently they got lost at around the
same time I couldn't connect to gmail even though google groups told
me they went through :( If they happen to show up later please still
read this one as I think I added a little more thought and touched on
some other things. Sorry Marco, I thought reply to author would still
post to everyone.


On Sep 1, 3:14 pm, Marco Bonardo <mak77NONSPA...@supereva.it> wrote:
> supernova_00 ha scritto:
>
> > On Aug 31, 5:40 pm, Alex Faaborg <faab...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> >> Here is our list of motivations for each change
>
> >> Switching from a menu bar to page/tools
> >> 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
> >> especially important on smaller screen devices
> > Well do this on those devices then, not windows and other OSes which
> > do not have a crappy 10 inch screen. Most laptops now-a-days have
> > wide screens.
>
> that sounds like a good reason to gain on vertical space, if i can get
> more vertical content on my 22 inch wide screen, why not? It would be a
> win for everyone i think, not only for small screen devices, escpecially
> with wide screens.

True but why make everyone else suffer because companies think the
next big thing is to sell crappy old hardware with very small screens
like it is the next big thing. How many users do you really think are
on "netbooks"? Alter the theme for them not the other 300 million
users.

> > Umm moving the stop and reload or stop/reload button after the
> > location bar is copying IE7 and above. Which is another change I
> > don't like. For one, when typing a URL, hitting enter and wanting to
> > stop the page from loading or want to refresh, I now would have to
> > move by mouse all the way to the end of the location bar to do this.
>
> i largely think you'll still be able to add back the old buttons, but
> you can also use keyboard shortcuts.

Yeah, the devs always say that but it barely ever happens, just look
at the new tab button which is still not customizable. I think the
home button is the same way (not being able to move it off the tabbar)
but somehow I have it on the navigation bar which I think is like that
because I had it there before the switch. What about the all-tabs
button? Same thing. And I hate when someone says there are keyboard
shortcuts. Really, how many people only browsr with a keyboard now-a-
days? This isn't the 70's or 80's when mice were scarce. New users
definitely DO NOT use keyboard shortcuts except maybe to copy and
paste. They do not live and breathe computers like us and remember
what shortcut keys are what between programs. And the way the
combined refresh/stop/go button looks, it looks like it is permanently
attached to the end of the location bar. I think I explained earlier
that on my widescreen laptop at work using IE7, it annoys the crap out
of me having to move my touchpad 900 pixels or more to stop or refresh
a page. That is the other thing, not everyone has a mouse...move the
pointer across the screen is a pain in the arse for touchpad users.

> > And these buttons again clutter the location bar and make the address
> > bar and search bar's even smaller.
>
> iirc locationbar and searchbar would be unified, so it would not make
> them smaller than they currently are

Geeze, just cram every type of input related function into the damn
location bar. Why not just add the master password prompt and
password manager? Let me edit my cookies from there. How about I be
able to just input into every input field by typing into the location
bar. I do not want anything else except for my "URLs" in the location
bar. NOTE: I do love the awesome bar but that related to my "URLs"
e.g. bookmarks, typed addresses.

> > You didn't mention the statusbar but I don't you have a vendetta out
> > to kill it. I don't think that is a good thing to do. How am I
> > supposed to know when the link that says "http://www.google.comwill
> > actually go [...]
>
> i don't think ux team wants to remove functionality, probably that and
> other things actually in the status can be done elsewhere, giving the
> same functionality, we should just wait and see iterations.

How the heck am I going to resize the window? What about the lock
icon? How about extensions? What about the progress meter? Yes, I
know that there are bugs filed to integrate the progress meter into
the location bar or the tabs themself (which is a better place for it
anyway) but that would never land the same time as the statusbar being
hidden. What about me knowing that Firefox blocked popups? I have
the notification bar set to not show for blocked popups because I'd
have to dismiss the damn thing all the time. What about download
status?

How do I know what page is going to load when I can't hover over a
link to see where it is going? Tooltips are not the answer there. I'm
not waiting a few seconds to read the damn tooltip.

> > I agree with one of the above posters about Personas. Why oh why oh
> > why? Leave it as an extension!! No need to bloat the damn code for
> > something that is doing just fine and dandy as an extension so someone
> > can add a picture of a llama as a toolbar background.
>
> i think we should look at the required code changes before speaking of
> bloating something, if it can make theming easier and lighter, why not.
> Better than having to create a full theme just to change some color and
> a background, that is really bloating.

I agree but I want to get my feelings out before someone codes 2000
lines to be able to add a picture over the toolbars. It could be done
it about 20 lines but this will turn into 2000 by letting users be
able to update, have options, adding them to the add-ons manager, and
whatever else code bloat can be thought of. And if we are down to one
toolbar and no statusbar, what the hell would the point of personas be
for a 20 some pixel toolbar? Just leave it as an extension!

> I think ux team is still iterating on most things, and waiting for
> feedback and reports of use-cases that the changes can bring.
> I'd not be too negative toward changing even everything, if the
> alternative is working fine and providing functionality, it's just
> matter of getting used to the new approach.

That is why I'm giving my feedback now. I will admit that I am pretty
much assuming based on wireframes that don't give much detail and any
explanation of why the changes would be better. Maybe Alex should
make the posts since he always gives great details explanation on why
the old way was bad and the new way is good!

Omega X

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:33:05 PM9/1/09
to
Rob Arnold wrote:

>> Tabs on top
>> 1) Ability to support "app tabs" that don't contain chrome, contain only
>> the favicon and appear and appear the far right side (by default the only
>> app tab is the home tab, but you can create new ones by dragging a tab to
>> the left of the home tab). This is a feature that will be entirely unique
>> to Firefox when it is released.
>
>
> What will go into these application tabs? Downloads? Bookmarks? What's the
> specific motivation here? If bookmarks/history goes into here, I'm worried
> about losing the ability to see them independently of the web content in
> another tab (and losing them in the sea of tabs that is my reading list). I
> guess what I'm saying is that we should be careful of adding more tabs when
> we don't have a good tab search/management UI.
>

This is something I would like to know as well. Can someone related to
this "App Tabs" work give us some kind of information on this "feature"?
Perhaps in the form of a detailed MozOrg Wiki page?

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:34:19 PM9/1/09
to supernova_00, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org


I don't understand what you're proposing. Closing one window should not
close them all. If you want to restore a group of tabs later, there's
bookmarks. Ideally there would be something in between - is partial sessions
what you're looking for? Undo close window helps with that but is not saved
in session restore.

-Rob

Benjamin Smedberg

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:41:32 PM9/1/09
to
On 9/1/09 6:34 PM, Rob Arnold wrote:

> I don't understand what you're proposing. Closing one window should not
> close them all. If you want to restore a group of tabs later, there's
> bookmarks. Ideally there would be something in between - is partial sessions
> what you're looking for? Undo close window helps with that but is not saved
> in session restore.

The workflow that is very confusing for my wife is:

* I want to restart my computer
* So I close all my Firefox windows, by clicking on the closebox, because
that's how you do it, y'know?
* I restart my computer
* When I launch Firefox again, all my stuff is gone, even though doesn't
Firefox save sessions for next time when you quit?

I have to agree that in the Windows mindset which I mostly share, closing
all your windows and hitting File -> Exit should produce basically the same
result. The dichotomy between quitting and closing all your windows is a
very unpleasant mac-like behavior.

--BDS

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:42:52 PM9/1/09
to
On Sep 1, 6:34 pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:On Sep 1, 6:34
pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:

I meant to say that I never see this dialog so I don't know exactly
when and why it shows. I'm assuming when session restore isn't on by
default and the close button at the top right is clicked and the
prompt comes up for just that window? My suggestion had to do with
when closing through the file menu. It may already do what I was
suggesting though.

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:46:06 PM9/1/09
to supernova_00, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 6:23 PM, supernova_00 <super...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > > You didn't mention the statusbar but I don't you have a vendetta out
> > > to kill it. I don't think that is a good thing to do. How am I
> > > supposed to know when the link that says "http://www.google.comwill
> > > actually go [...]
> >
> > i don't think ux team wants to remove functionality, probably that and
> > other things actually in the status can be done elsewhere, giving the
> > same functionality, we should just wait and see iterations.
>
>
> How the heck am I going to resize the window?


Any edge of the window on windows, not sure on OS X (what do other browsers
do?).


> What about the lock
> icon?


To the left of the URL! Whether or not the lock icon is useful is another
fun debate.


> How about extensions?


They'll break or add it back.


> What about the progress meter? Yes, I
> know that there are bugs filed to integrate the progress meter into
> the location bar or the tabs themself (which is a better place for it
> anyway) but that would never land the same time as the statusbar being
> hidden.


They could land before the status bar disappears. I've found I don't look at
it anymore (the progress bar doesn't represent time or when the page
initially displays which is what I ultimately care about).


> What about me knowing that Firefox blocked popups? I have
> the notification bar set to not show for blocked popups because I'd
> have to dismiss the damn thing all the time.


I'm not familiar with this bit of UI in the statusbar (I manage to avoid
popups somehow). The notification system also has proposed changes.


> What about download
> status?


In the download manager window? Or perhaps an App Tab.


> How do I know what page is going to load when I can't hover over a
> link to see where it is going? Tooltips are not the answer there. I'm
> not waiting a few seconds to read the damn tooltip.


The status bar text can be faked but this is a good point. What do other
browsers do?


> > > I agree with one of the above posters about Personas. Why oh why oh
> > > why? Leave it as an extension!! No need to bloat the damn code for
> > > something that is doing just fine and dandy as an extension so someone
> > > can add a picture of a llama as a toolbar background.
> >
> > i think we should look at the required code changes before speaking of
> > bloating something, if it can make theming easier and lighter, why not.
> > Better than having to create a full theme just to change some color and
> > a background, that is really bloating.
>
> I agree but I want to get my feelings out before someone codes 2000
> lines to be able to add a picture over the toolbars. It could be done
> it about 20 lines but this will turn into 2000 by letting users be
> able to update, have options, adding them to the add-ons manager, and
> whatever else code bloat can be thought of. And if we are down to one
> toolbar and no statusbar, what the hell would the point of personas be
> for a 20 some pixel toolbar? Just leave it as an extension!


I'd like to see what the runtime performance and shipped code size changes
are before starting to worry about code bloat. It could very well be that
there is essentially no runtime overhead to supporting personas and very
little code size added. There are plenty of firefox features I don't use
(some that I've written myself) and they don't bother me.

-Rob

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 6:49:44 PM9/1/09
to Benjamin Smedberg, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org


Agreed but it's not possible to know when the user is closing windows
because they want to shut firefox down vs. dismissing the window for some
other reason. FWIW, I think we do respond to the 'system is shutting down'
notification from windows and will save your session accordingly (new in fx3
iirc). I don't have a good answer here but I'd like to.

Perhaps we could include recently closed windows in some sort of startup
page or the recently closed windows menu?

-Rob

Zack Weinberg

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 7:07:13 PM9/1/09
to Rob Arnold, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
Rob Arnold <tel...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 6:41 PM, Benjamin Smedberg
> <benj...@smedbergs.us>wrote:
> >

> > I have to agree that in the Windows mindset which I mostly share,
> > closing all your windows and hitting File -> Exit should produce
> > basically the same result. The dichotomy between quitting and
> > closing all your windows is a very unpleasant mac-like behavior.
>

> Agreed but it's not possible to know when the user is closing windows
> because they want to shut firefox down vs. dismissing the window for
> some other reason.

Couldn't we detect when the user has just systematically closed all
of our windows without taking any other action (within the application)
and include all of the windows in the session to restore?

Not that I should really talk about session restore since I never ever
use it; windows and tabs are ephemeral for me.

zw

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 7:32:49 PM9/1/09
to
On Sep 1, 6:46 pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > How the heck am I going to resize the window?
>
> Any edge of the window on windows, not sure on OS X (what do other browsers
> do?).
That is not one bit intuitive. I don't know what other OSes do and
don't care just because I user Windows. Not trying to sound like an
ass but I really only care about the OS I use since that is all I know
just like probably 99% of other users. Without a resizer, users will
have no clue on how to resize the window when it somehow becomes
smaller.

> > What about the lock
> > icon?
>
> To the left of the URL! Whether or not the lock icon is useful is another
> fun debate.

What larry? That is basically different info. It doesn't show the
broken lock icon only if the certificate is verified or whatever you
want to call it.

> > How about extensions?
>
> They'll break or add it back.

Which would account for how many extensions? If the majority of
extensions are going to be adding it back then what is the point of
removing it when all of the extension will implement their own
statusbar and we'd end up like the toolbar mess where users have one
toolbar per extension like the yahoo toolbar, google toolbar, etc. Is
the status bar like the tab bar in where only one extension can easily
add a button to it and then basically no other extension can add a
button to it due to xbl binding?

> > What about the progress meter?  Yes, I
> > know that there are bugs filed to integrate the progress meter into
> > the location bar or the tabs themself (which is a better place for it
> > anyway) but that would never land the same time as the statusbar being
> > hidden.
>
> They could land before the status bar disappears. I've found I don't look at
> it anymore (the progress bar doesn't represent time or when the page
> initially displays which is what I ultimately care about).

Yeah it could but no work has been going on in those bugs and we are
now talking about the theme and forgetting all the work that would
have to go into Firefox before changing the theme around as proposed.
Which goes back to my earlier comments on the 400+ "polish" bugs.

> > What about me knowing that Firefox blocked popups?  I have
> > the notification bar set to not show for blocked popups because I'd
> > have to dismiss the damn thing all the time.
>
> I'm not familiar with this bit of UI in the statusbar (I manage to avoid
> popups somehow). The notification system also has proposed changes.

So I'll just get a different pop-up from the favicon that I won't
check per tab and page load in each tab to see if I may be missing a
pop-up that I want?

> > What about download
> > status?
>
> In the download manager window? Or perhaps an App Tab.

I don't want to switch between windows or stare at the download
manager window just to see if my important download is done.

> > How do I know what page is going to load when I can't hover over a
> > link to see where it is going?  Tooltips are not the answer there. I'm
> > not waiting a few seconds to read the damn tooltip.
>
> The status bar text can be faked but this is a good point. What do other
> browsers do?

Chrome has two tooltips *shutters* One near the pointer that give the
title. The other at the bottom left of the screen where the statusbar
would be that shows the URL. If the link is in that row, the tooltip
is shown at the right side. I wonder what happens for very long
links? IE8 does nothing to show the URL.

> > > > I agree with one of the above posters about Personas.  Why oh why oh
> > > > why?  Leave it as an extension!!  No need to bloat the damn code for
> > > > something that is doing just fine and dandy as an extension so someone
> > > > can add a picture of a llama as a toolbar background.
>
> > > i think we should look at the required code changes before speaking of
> > > bloating something, if it can make theming easier and lighter, why not.
> > > Better than having to create a full theme just to change some color and
> > > a background, that is really bloating.
>
> > I agree but I want to get my feelings out before someone codes 2000
> > lines to be able to add a picture over the toolbars.  It could be done
> > it about 20 lines but this will turn into 2000 by letting users be
> > able to update, have options, adding them to the add-ons manager, and
> > whatever else code bloat can be thought of.  And if we are down to one
> > toolbar and no statusbar, what the hell would the point of personas be
> > for a 20 some pixel toolbar?  Just leave it as an extension!
>
> I'd like to see what the runtime performance and shipped code size changes
> are before starting to worry about code bloat. It could very well be that
> there is essentially no runtime overhead to supporting personas and very
> little code size added. There are plenty of firefox features I don't use
> (some that I've written myself) and they don't bother me.
>
> -Rob

Yeah but why wait til after the thing is coded? Why potentially
waster valuable coding time on something that isn't even set in stone
that it is wanted? What is the impact now? I still don't understand
the point on them as light weight themes. Themes aren't that big to
begin with and personas is basically just a picture over the toolbars
which doesn't make sense when potentially only one toolbar is going to
be shown from now on.

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 7:39:54 PM9/1/09
to
One thing I just noticed when using Chrome and see that Stephen also
has proposed is the missing drop-down arrow in the location. God help
us all, there was a big enough b**** fest about the awesome bar not
showing recent typed URLs and now you want to complete get rid of the
drop-down arrow? Marco, you should be the main person against this as
you got to see first hand the complaining related to this after the
awesome bar landed and into 3.0. I use this during lunch while I'm
stuffing my face and don't want to try and type an address or even a
few letters of it.

Littlemutt

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 7:58:04 PM9/1/09
to

I don't know what OS or about your IE8 setup, but IE8 on WinXP SP3,
shows the URL in status bar when hovering over links.

Seems to me that I remember at one point during the run-up to 3.5 the
idea was floated to put the progress meter in the URL bar and it was
met with pretty severe performance regressions on the t-boxen, and was
backed out, what makes this go any different ? I rather suspect that
many of the changes proposed will meet the same fate and cause various
regressions, and be back out and never looked at again and added to
the 400+ heap of 'polish bugs'.

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 8:23:01 PM9/1/09
to
On Sep 1, 7:58 pm, Littlemutt <jmjjeff...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't know what OS or about your IE8 setup, but IE8 on WinXP SP3,
> shows the URL in status bar when hovering over links.
>
> Seems to me that I remember at one point during the run-up to 3.5 the
> idea was floated to put the progress meter in the URL bar and it was
> met with pretty severe performance regressions on the t-boxen, and was
> backed out, what makes this go any different ?  I rather suspect that
> many of the changes proposed will meet the same fate and cause various
> regressions, and be back out and never looked at again and added to
> the 400+ heap of 'polish bugs'.

IE8 by default (I believe I haven't changed anything but who knows
since I only remember using it once) on my Vista install doesn't have
the statusbar hidden by default but I hid it just to see what happened
and I found what I explained earlier.

John J. Barton

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 9:32:49 PM9/1/09
to
Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
...

> I have to agree that in the Windows mindset which I mostly share, closing
> all your windows and hitting File -> Exit should produce basically the same
> result. The dichotomy between quitting and closing all your windows is a
> very unpleasant mac-like behavior.

BTW Firebug had (has?) a long running debate about the meaning of
"closing", with adamant proponents of "close == minimize, background,
still listening" vs "close == exit, quit, off, don't show up again".
Lots of confusion because the words don't mean the same to everyone. A
red [X] absolutely certainly means two different things, depending.
Better words would be helpful perhaps.

jjb

Rob Arnold

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 9:38:08 PM9/1/09
to supernova_00, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 7:32 PM, supernova_00 <super...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sep 1, 6:46 pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > How the heck am I going to resize the window?
> >
> > Any edge of the window on windows, not sure on OS X (what do other
> browsers
> > do?).
> That is not one bit intuitive. I don't know what other OSes do and
> don't care just because I user Windows. Not trying to sound like an
> ass but I really only care about the OS I use since that is all I know
> just like probably 99% of other users. Without a resizer, users will
> have no clue on how to resize the window when it somehow becomes
> smaller.


As a Windows user, you should probably be aware that every window that can
be resized (ex: not Calculator) can be resized from any edge (unlike OSX).
If that's not intuitive then I don't know what is. The cursor even changes
for you. Not new behavior.


> > > What about the lock
> > > icon?
> >
> > To the left of the URL! Whether or not the lock icon is useful is another
> > fun debate.
> What larry? That is basically different info. It doesn't show the
> broken lock icon only if the certificate is verified or whatever you
> want to call it.


It could be thrown up there is my point. Larry might be going on vacation so
who knows what it will look like.


> > > How about extensions?
> >
> > They'll break or add it back.
>
> Which would account for how many extensions? If the majority of
> extensions are going to be adding it back then what is the point of
> removing it when all of the extension will implement their own
> statusbar and we'd end up like the toolbar mess where users have one
> toolbar per extension like the yahoo toolbar, google toolbar, etc. Is
> the status bar like the tab bar in where only one extension can easily
> add a button to it and then basically no other extension can add a
> button to it due to xbl binding?


Not everyone uses extensions which modify the status bar. The extensions
might also change their behavior.


> > > What about the progress meter? Yes, I
> > > know that there are bugs filed to integrate the progress meter into
> > > the location bar or the tabs themself (which is a better place for it
> > > anyway) but that would never land the same time as the statusbar being
> > > hidden.
> >
> > They could land before the status bar disappears. I've found I don't look
> at
> > it anymore (the progress bar doesn't represent time or when the page
> > initially displays which is what I ultimately care about).
> Yeah it could but no work has been going on in those bugs and we are
> now talking about the theme and forgetting all the work that would
> have to go into Firefox before changing the theme around as proposed.
> Which goes back to my earlier comments on the 400+ "polish" bugs.


There are bugs that go years without activity only to be revived later. It's
a matter of priorities. If the progress bar needs to move to accommodate the
removal of the status bar, then it will.


> > > What about me knowing that Firefox blocked popups? I have
> > > the notification bar set to not show for blocked popups because I'd
> > > have to dismiss the damn thing all the time.
> >
> > I'm not familiar with this bit of UI in the statusbar (I manage to avoid
> > popups somehow). The notification system also has proposed changes.
>
> So I'll just get a different pop-up from the favicon that I won't
> check per tab and page load in each tab to see if I may be missing a
> pop-up that I want?


You want popups for a page that you aren't paying attention to that you
haven't whitelisted? I don't understand how this is a common use case (or if
it's a real use case - please explain more). Paging in is a legitimate
concern but I'm not sure if the proposed changes make it any worse (you
currently have to switch to a tab to see if it tried to open a popup). I'm
not entirely sure what you're saying here actually.


> > > What about download
> > > status?
> >
> > In the download manager window? Or perhaps an App Tab.
>
> I don't want to switch between windows or stare at the download
> manager window just to see if my important download is done.


You can hit Ctrl+J to bring it up and Ctrl+J to put it away technically
that's switching but it's pretty painless. There's also a pref (I think) to
throw up a notification when the downloads finish - this may be on by
default. On Windows 7, the download progress will be on the taskbar behind
the icon so that's less effort unless you hide your taskbar.


> > > How do I know what page is going to load when I can't hover over a
> > > link to see where it is going? Tooltips are not the answer there. I'm
> > > not waiting a few seconds to read the damn tooltip.
> >
> > The status bar text can be faked but this is a good point. What do other
> > browsers do?
> Chrome has two tooltips *shutters* One near the pointer that give the
> title. The other at the bottom left of the screen where the statusbar
> would be that shows the URL. If the link is in that row, the tooltip
> is shown at the right side. I wonder what happens for very long
> links? IE8 does nothing to show the URL.


This seems like a hard problem to fix. I don't like two tooltips (I'm not
sure if we can even do that).


> > I'd like to see what the runtime performance and shipped code size
> changes
> > are before starting to worry about code bloat. It could very well be that
> > there is essentially no runtime overhead to supporting personas and very
> > little code size added. There are plenty of firefox features I don't use
> > (some that I've written myself) and they don't bother me.
> >
> > -Rob
> Yeah but why wait til after the thing is coded? Why potentially
> waster valuable coding time on something that isn't even set in stone
> that it is wanted? What is the impact now? I still don't understand
> the point on them as light weight themes. Themes aren't that big to
> begin with and personas is basically just a picture over the toolbars
> which doesn't make sense when potentially only one toolbar is going to
> be shown from now on.
>
>

Why shoot it down before we have some idea of how feasible it is? Sometimes
the best way to know for sure is to actually write it. And the extension has
already been written - this is just an uplift into the main codebase so I
imagine we have a fairly good idea of what the changes will require. And
like the progress bar behind the location bar - performance impact will be
taken into consideration.

Themes currently require a restart (it's been a while since I've played with
them but I think that's still the case). Personas don't. Themes need an
overhaul - this has been known for some time. And it turns out that lots of
people like Personas.

-Rob

Bill Barry

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 10:22:40 PM9/1/09
to John J. Barton, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On 9/1/2009 7:32 PM, John J. Barton wrote:
> BTW Firebug had (has?) a long running debate about the meaning of
> "closing", with adamant proponents of "close == minimize, background,
> still listening" vs "close == exit, quit, off, don't show up again".
> Lots of confusion because the words don't mean the same to everyone. A
> red [X] absolutely certainly means two different things, depending.
> Better words would be helpful perhaps.
That and the 1.4 change to how the whitelist/blacklist thingy works have
been basically the only two topics on the list since 1.4 was released. I
for one applaud your efforts here (big fan of the 1.4 way compared to
the far more confusing 1.3 way and a proponent of close==exit).

Omega X

unread,
Sep 1, 2009, 11:04:59 PM9/1/09
to

A compromise to that would be allowing a drop down dialog to
automatically appear when the location bar is clicked even though
Chrome's prized location bar interface doesn't do that.

Ria

unread,
Sep 2, 2009, 4:13:55 AM9/2/09
to
On Sep 1, 8:37 pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:

> This won't solve the problem (rather, that solution won't be implemented). A
> higher resolution doesn't help everything (especially once non-96 DPI
> settings are more common). The physical dimensions of netbooks are such
> because they are convenient to carry around and use; I don't foresee an
> increase in physical size for them. It would be nice if we could change the
> UI based on the screen size - some sort of natural scaling rather than a
> jarring change (because consistency across machines is important). I can
> just imagine Clippy popping up: "Hey, I see you're using a netbook! Would
> you like me to change your theme to suit your screen size?" (well ok, we'd
> use a first-run page instead of a talking paperclip but it's a similar
> idea).
>
> -Rob

For unknown reason all manufacturers have decided at the same time
that watching widescreen movies on laptops is the most important
function for a laptop for everyone from now on. So they changed the
most common type from 1280 x 800 screen resolution to 1366 x 768.
The truth for me at least is that the time I spend to watch widescreen
movies on a notebook takes less than one day per year while browsing
is a much more common function which takes more than 360 days per year
and I want at least that 800 pixels vertical space (I'd prefer even
more), while the horizontal space is less important and even ennoying.
You need to free up a larger spot to place your notebook somewhere.
So I had to rush to the store to buy the last 1280 x 800 notebook
before it was sold out. :(


Gervase Markham

unread,
Sep 2, 2009, 7:47:41 AM9/2/09
to
On 01/09/09 23:49, Rob Arnold wrote:
> Agreed but it's not possible to know when the user is closing windows
> because they want to shut firefox down vs. dismissing the window for some
> other reason.

That's not hard to work out, surely? One could keep track of windows
when they are closed, and empty that cache if the user e.g. opens a new
tab, or browses in an existing one. Once the last window is closed, the
"saved session" consists of that last window plus all the windows in the
cache.

In other words, group the last window with "all the windows closed
immediately before the last one" and call that the saved session.

Gerv

Gervase Markham

unread,
Sep 2, 2009, 7:54:46 AM9/2/09
to
On 31/08/09 22:40, Alex Faaborg wrote:
> 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
> especially important on smaller screen devices

But we have an entirely different and excellent UI (Fennec) for small
screen devices. The standard Firefox UI can't be all things to all
people. If you want to argue we need to reduce the UI footprint, do, but
I don't think you can use small screen devices as a justification.

> * 2) allows us to leverage external consistency with the rest of the
> marketplace, which makes it easier for users to transition to Firefox
> from another browser (with the only exception being Opera).

Are we applying that logic with equal rigour on all the platforms? Does
this desire now generally trump cross-platform consistency?

> 3) allows us to support Aero glass, which is important for appearing
> native and modern, as opposed to appearing like a legacy application
> that has been abandoned by developers

Changing the way we do menus is required for us to support a particular
graphical look? I'm afraid I don't understand the linkage.

Will users really think all Windows applications with menus have been
"abandoned by developers"?

> 4) Fitts law win when the window is maximized

Are we certain we can technically get this on the 3 major platforms?

Gerv

supernova_00

unread,
Sep 2, 2009, 7:58:58 AM9/2/09
to
On Sep 1, 9:38 pm, Rob Arnold <tell...@gmail.com> wrote:
> As a Windows user, you should probably be aware that every window that can
> be resized (ex: not Calculator) can be resized from any edge (unlike OSX).
> If that's not intuitive then I don't know what is. The cursor even changes
> for you. Not new behavior.

I am aware but that doesn't mean everyone is or even will be. Almost
every major Windows program allows for resizing using a resizer in a
status bar (Office, Paint, Notepad, Windows Explorer, IE7/8), WMP does
not but does with the border and you can't resize the calculator at
all. My point is that most of the apps have a status bar with a
resizer when not maximized. One of the main purposes of the theme
change is for further OS integration but removing the statusbar will
do the opposite.

> > > > What about the lock
> > > > icon?
>
> > > To the left of the URL! Whether or not the lock icon is useful is another
> > > fun debate.
> > What larry?  That is basically different info.  It doesn't show the
> > broken lock icon only if the certificate is verified or whatever you
> > want to call it.
>
> It could be thrown up there is my point. Larry might be going on vacation so
> who knows what it will look like.

Yeah it definitely could but then we will be cluttering and craming
too much uptop in the limited number of toolbars. Larry might go on
vacation as in killing a feature that is now in almost every browser
that lets users know important information? Do you have a bug number
for this or a link to a discussion on it?

> > > > How about extensions?
>
> > > They'll break or add it back.
>
> > Which would account for how many extensions?  If the majority of
> > extensions are going to be adding it back then what is the point of
> > removing it when all of the extension will implement their own
> > statusbar and we'd end up like the toolbar mess where users have one
> > toolbar per extension like the yahoo toolbar, google toolbar, etc.  Is
> > the status bar like the tab bar in where only one extension can easily
> > add a button to it and then basically no other extension can add a
> > button to it due to xbl binding?
>
> Not everyone uses extensions which modify the status bar. The extensions
> might also change their behavior.

True but didn't we just cross the one billionth add-on download? With
around 300 million users, I'd say a good majority of users use add-
ons. They may not add content to the status bar but a lot of add-ons
do. I can't find the link on AMO for popular extensions anymore since
the collections thing took over so I can't provided any numbers for
the top extensions using the statusbar. NOTE: I know the one billion
number includes updates.

> There are bugs that go years without activity only to be revived later. It's
> a matter of priorities. If the progress bar needs to move to accommodate the
> removal of the status bar, then it will.

Also true but how many features have landed in the last few years that
either caused regressions, loss of customizeability or weren't fully
implemented that have still not been refined to this day? Examples:
New tab button, all-tabs list, ctrl+tab, private browsing (Ehsan has
kept up with a lot of these though!).

> You want popups for a page that you aren't paying attention to that you
> haven't whitelisted? I don't understand how this is a common use case (or if
> it's a real use case - please explain more). Paging in is a legitimate
> concern but I'm not sure if the proposed changes make it any worse (you
> currently have to switch to a tab to see if it tried to open a popup). I'm
> not entirely sure what you're saying here actually.

My point was that how am I supposed to know if a site had a blocked
pop-up without physically opening the "doorhanger" notification? I go
to new sites all the time and I may be missing features or content I
would never know about since there would be no visual indicator.

> You can hit Ctrl+J to bring it up and Ctrl+J to put it away technically
> that's switching but it's pretty painless. There's also a pref (I think) to
> throw up a notification when the downloads finish - this may be on by
> default. On Windows 7, the download progress will be on the taskbar behind
> the icon so that's less effort unless you hide your taskbar.

Again, keyboard shortcuts are not the save all. I feel that sometimes
it is thought to be the answer when good UI to invoke something can't
be thought up ;) The download progress on the taskbar in Windows 7
makes me feel a lot better about this then.

> This seems like a hard problem to fix. I don't like two tooltips (I'm not
> sure if we can even do that).

About the statusbar text can be faked. Good point but my thought is
that it won't be faked on legitimate sites, only on sites that want to
trick you into going somewhere that you don't want to and I would hope
that safe browsing would kick in here and let me know the site is
"bad". I hope we can't and wouldn't show two tooltips.

> Why shoot it down before we have some idea of how feasible it is?

My main concern is that it just seems completely pointless to add this
feature in when one toolbar is potentially going to be the default. I
believe no one would then use this to add an image to one toolbar that
is around 24 pixels tall.

> Themes currently require a restart (it's been a while since I've played with
> them but I think that's still the case). Personas don't. Themes need an
> overhaul - this has been known for some time. And it turns out that lots of
> people like Personas.

It is still the case. It sjust eems more efficient to just fix this
then and it goes back to the "polish" issue I talked about earlier. I
know the bug has been around for ages and I think fantasia even took
a stab at this years ago but yet we still can't switch themes "on the
fly" without restarting years later.

supernova_00

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Sep 2, 2009, 8:01:39 AM9/2/09
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That is a good idea but it seems that the location bar is already
going to do this with the integration of taskfox and searching. We
would just end up with a cramped "location bar" with all kinds of
possibilities on what to do there causing users to be confused and
overburdened with choice.

supernova_00

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Sep 2, 2009, 8:05:43 AM9/2/09
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On Sep 2, 7:54 am, Gervase Markham <g...@mozilla.org> wrote:
> On 31/08/09 22:40, Alex Faaborg wrote:
>
> > 1) one of the only remaining ways to reduce our UI footprint, which is
> > especially important on smaller screen devices
>
> But we have an entirely different and excellent UI (Fennec) for small
> screen devices. The standard Firefox UI can't be all things to all
> people. If you want to argue we need to reduce the UI footprint, do, but
> I don't think you can use small screen devices as a justification.
Excellent point Gerv! I used Fennec on my laptop a long time ago but
from what I can remember, the Fennec UI would work great on these
netbooks.

WildcatRay

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Sep 2, 2009, 9:19:10 AM9/2/09
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My concerns:

Regarding whatever ends up happening with the UI changes, I hope that
users will still have the ability to show/arrange the various bars as
we wish. We should not have to download and install the browser and
then add extensions to restore things like the menu and bookmark bars
to what we have with the current browser. (From all the discussions I
have read, I am assuming that what will remain are the navigation and
tab bars.) Many of us still make regular use of the menu and bookmark
bars. Not only hiding them, but going so far as "removing" them in
favor of adding them through extensions will certainly alienate many
users who will simply stop using Firefox in favor of Safari, Opera or
some other browser.

What, IMO, would be wise is to keep all the bars with the user having
the choice to display those they wish, and also to arrange them in the
order they wish. Those users who wish to have tabs at the top can opt
to do that while those of us who prefer them where they are currently
can keep them there. (I am annoyed that Micro$oft moved the menu bar
below the address/navigation bar in IE7/8 and, skipped enabling the
user to change where we want them located.) I believe I speak for many
users when I say that tabs on top is not what we want. We make use of
the mouse to switch tabs. Placing tabs at the top of the screen will
make us have to move the mouse that much further to reach the tab bar
to switch tabs.

Another concern I have is why should there be any "resistance" to the
suggestion that the user be prompted to choose the appearance of the
browser either during the installation/updating process or--as I have
just thought of--on the first run of the browser and/or (new) profile.
To "advertise" tabbed browsing, the default was changed to always
display the tab bar. Wouldn't such a prompt like this be in line with
"educating" users as to the choices they have when they choose to use
Firefox?

DigDug

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Sep 2, 2009, 11:17:06 AM9/2/09
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I just think, especially if you're looking two or three versions out
for this stuff, that you can do better than copying others
functionality because it "works". If you're looking that far out you
should be developing new ideas. And despite the claim that feedback
was asked for, I haven't seen a single change to any of the mockups
since the first iteration that seems to have been prompted by any
feedback, let alone a real call for mockups or ideas (i.e. "Here's
some of wireframe/SVG models (so you don't have to buy Illustrator
just to contribute) we're using in this process. Generate a mockup or
an addon and send it to <blank>.").

None of the posts indicate that either. They mostly read, "Revisions
based on meeting with <blank>". Apparently the meetings are about
pedantic things because the posts usually focus on things like "what
color should buttons be" or "should the bookmarks bar have a clear or
solid background behind it" not "Here's a wild new Jim came up with
idea for how to represent a url". I really get the feeling that you're
scared if you ask for the community to submit ideas, suddenly you're
going to be in a UI design by committee situation. Requesting
community ideas is NOT the same as asking everyone to vote on their
favorite. You can have community involvement that is more than just
"Post a comment on my blog" but doesn't involve making the entire
process a democracy.

I'm fine with killing the menubar, as long as its available via. alt
or something for users who want it, and can be toggled using the
customize options. I can even understand the impetus behind the page/
tools thing, but I think it can be done better.

Off the top of my head, the page menu could, for instance, be moved
onto the selected tab. Make selected tabs into a button of sorts, with
a little drop down arrow or UI magic to indicate it can be clicked.
From the tab you can show all these page notifications you want to
show, along with cut copy paste zoom, etc. Heck, you don't even have
to show the notifications then. Just change flash/highlight the tab a
bit. Heck, it doesn't even need to be a menu. You could have it show
something a bit nutso like the Office ribbon UI. Maybe clicking the
arrow will scroll down a little special toolbar with page tools/
options/information all wrapped into one tidy little UI.

At least add the standard help icon/menu somewhere though (Firefox
just throws the Windows UX guidelines for help out all over its UI,
despite our current implementation being relatively crappy). If we're
feeling really adventurous, we could even include some of OSX's
"Search for commands" stuff in there. That's copying something, but at
least its something that is fairly useful, especially for new users.

Tabs on top - I've used Chrome for awhile, and Safari 4 while it had
this feature. Neither really ever felt natural, and in fact its a bit
confusing to look through the list and figure out what page you're on
or where you want to go. And heck, its an interface that, at this
point in time, only one vendor is shipping for one application. That
means its not really very intuitive for anyone to transition to except
the 2% of the market who will use anything Google produces. I remember
people talking about this years ago... well at least tabs above the
navigation bar years ago, so I don't even think its Chrome feature
copying necessarily. But Chrome has almost exactly what you're
proposing, and Opera has something a bit similar so the testing phase
is easy. I don't think it really works that well, but that's my
opinion.

I agree that that space could be used for something more than just a
big handle for dragging the window around though, and I'd love to see
some ideas/experiments dealing with it. I still think you could do
something like the urlbar on the titlebar instead, and do some magic
logic to have the urlbar show page titles instead of urls at
appropriate times too. It makes sense to me that if you to change to a
different page, you should be able to just change the titlebar.

I'd love to see the XUL platform gain the ability to make these sorts
of interfaces quickly and easily, and then we can get on to trying
them out and finding out if they succeed or fail.

Shawn Wilsher

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Sep 2, 2009, 2:10:21 PM9/2/09