My usability experience - Asa Dotzler should be fired

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kis...@viprinet.com

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Aug 15, 2011, 11:37:00 PM8/15/11
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I'm a long-term Firefox user, and also have pushed Firefox into our
company.

Due to various reasons, I've got automatic updates turned off on
pretty much all software I run. It is
*my* computer, I decide when I'm ready to update software. I'm happy
to get hints, though.

I'm probably also pretty old-school in the regard that I'm a keyboard
user and like menus, and the SAA standard in general. I want to see
the facts, I want a well-structured UI with a menu, and I want to know
the status about the application I know.

With FF4, suddenly "Open in new Tab" and "Open in new Window" got
exchanged in the context menu without any reason. The status bar got
removed. The menu bar hidden. For none of these changes I could
imagine any kind of usability justification. I noticed that the IT
press reception on the new release could have been better.

I also noticed that again there were claims on Firefox being so much
faster now, and so much more stable, but in reality due to the bunch
of memory leaks as a heavy user I still had to kill the Firefox
process every few days. I still saw the random hangs which completely
block all tabs for several seconds without any reason that everybody
loves.

The only good thing I got from the update to FF4 was the insight that
obviously the memory leaks and hangs of Firefox were not related to
extensions I had installed, because all of those got disabled.

Again, keep in mind: I'm one of those "I own my PC, nobody is going to
install anything on it without my approval".

Can you imagine how shocked I was to suddenly see Firefox update to
FF5 *even after I had configured it not to do so*? According to the
german law I'm under, this could even be regarded as a felony
(modifcation of computer data without consent from the owner). In any
case: It pissed me off big time. And pretty much everyone I spoke to
about it, too.

Again there has been lots of coverage in the IT press. Unlike with the
release of FF4, where the press response had been rather sceptical,
this time it was pretty much entirely negative. People on the biggest
german IT news site (heise.de) started to make fun about Mozilla and
the Firefox team. Friends on Facebook made negative comments.

Then I found out that with FF5 the online banking of a large german
bank doesn't work any more. You can log in, but no longer transfer
money. I tried to warn friends who use the same bank.. but too late,
they got updated to FF5. I don't care if this is Firefox' fault or
maybe the fault of bad browser version detection of the bank or
whatever. Mozilla interupted me in the middle of a work day, to update
my browser against my will, to then break one of the most important
applications I had.

I've resorted to using IE for that online banking for now. The only
reason I have not fully switched is because there is no Flashblock
extension available for IE.

Now during the last days, there again has been extensive coverage in
regards of Firefox in the press. Now the tone has mostly shifted to
"have these guys gone insane?". The "business users go away!"
statements from Asa, and now this extremely silly "remove version
number thing".

This is INSANE.

Obviously, for the company I work for Firefox is now dead. Silently
updating an application against adminstrative decisions is a no-go.
We'll drop Firefox.

But you are not only killing Firefox for any serious business use. You
are killing it for pretty much any kind of professional / poweruser
use. Not having a stable release of a software which is maintained
with security updates is unacceptable to a lot of people even outside
the enterprises. If a new version of some software comes out, I want
to be able to FIRST gather feedback, read from the press etc on if it
is a good idea to update or not. This is best practice in the whole
industry.

The only exception to this are non-breaking changes, in other words:
Security updates.

So, after you have decided that it's a good idea to break usability,
you have decided that breaking trust by violating my right to chose
what to install on my PC would be OK, and you have decided that I no
longer have the right NOT to be a first-mover for a software, but to
learn from the experience from others. And now you announce that in
future you even wish to hide the fact from me that you have updated
software on my computer without asking me, and making it hard to
actually report a simple thing like "Dear bank, your online banking
has stopped working with FF5, with FF4 it's fine, please fix that"?

From all I have read now it appears to me that all of these decisions
that I regard as completely stupid and wrong come from one person: Asa
Dotzler. And I can not understand why people show this much patience
with this guy, while obviously the whole f-ing industry is LAUGHING
about Mozilla right now, and at least "power users" appear to drop
Firefox in masses.

I've just uninstalled FF5, and re-installed FF3.6. The day security
updates for 3.6 end I'll move somewhere else, probably Opera or IE.
For my company, I'll talk to our IT support guys for a decision, but
obviously without a sane release/support policy, Firefox is out of
question for any business use. From what I've read here, you are going
to drop support for FF3.6 soon. So you are forcing me to move to a
different browser.

After telling all my friends, family, suppliers and business partners
for years to move to Firefox and stop using IE I feel extremely
alienated by all this.

Asa Dotzler should be fired, and the team at Mozilla should get their
act together and understand that agile software development might be a
good thing internally, but that software without a stable and
supported branch is unacceptable by any standard. The rapid release
cycle concept is a mistake, the UI changes are a mistake, the focus on
changing the usability all the time instead of making the browser more
robust is a mistake, forced updates are a mistake, abusing major
version numbers for updates is a mistake, and hiding version numbers
is a mistake.

Basically it looks like all your product management decisions during
the last months have been wrong. Get rid of the product manager that
always is wrong.

You've turned from doing good for the web to doing bad. Please stop it.

Asa Dotzler

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Aug 16, 2011, 1:19:50 AM8/16/11
to kis...@viprinet.com
kis...@viprinet.com wrote:
> From all I have read now it appears to me that all of these decisions
> that I regard as completely stupid and wrong come from one person: Asa
> Dotzler.

While I'm flattered that you credit me with everything Mozilla's done
from moving to a rapid release cadence to the interface changes in
Firefox 4, to our increasingly silent updates, I'm afraid I can't take
credit for any of those things. I support them, and I was tangentially
involved in them, but those were decisions made by groups of people and
not individuals, myself or others. Those were also changes that happened
well before I became the Firefox Product Manager. Again, I'm flattered
that you think one person, especially me, could do all those things, but
it would be unfair for me to take all the credit.

Cheers,
- A

kis...@viprinet.com

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Aug 16, 2011, 7:40:26 AM8/16/11
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> While I'm flattered that you credit me with everything Mozilla's done
> from moving to a rapid release cadence to the interface changes in
> Firefox 4, to our increasingly silent updates, I'm afraid I can't take
> credit for any of those things.

My impression is that you are the main driving force pushing
Firefox development into this ill direction.

The posts from other FF devs I've seen appear to be in the range
of "let's first see if this rapid release cycle really works for our
users" to "this is not a good idea".

But no matter what, you are the one standing in front, doing
statements to the press, and the one responsible for damaging
Firefox' and Mozillas reputation. You've managed to piss of
the press, the enterprise, and the power users. That should be
far enough for you to step down and let someone else try a
different management style and product vision.

I'm both in the power user and enterprise camp, and I want
a stable, memory-leak-free Firefox where I can trust on a
stable version that I like to get security updates for a few
months, trust that you won't mess with my computer against
my will, and don't make me look silly in front of those who
I recommended Firefox to. These wishes obviously are
incompatible with your person.

Regards,

Simon

Robert Kaiser

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Aug 16, 2011, 11:47:00 AM8/16/11
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kis...@viprinet.com schrieb:
> Asa Dotzler should be fired

Once you're done insulting the very people who created Firefox in the
first place, can we come back to constructive debates and talking about
how we actually can make the future better and bring openness,
innovation and opportunity on the web to users as fast and efficiently
as possible?

Robert Kaiser

--
Note that any statements of mine - no matter how passionate - are never
meant to be offensive but very often as food for thought or possible
arguments that we as a community should think about. And most of the
time, I even appreciate irony and fun! :)

didi_X8

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Aug 16, 2011, 1:30:18 PM8/16/11
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On Aug 16, 5:47 pm, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> kis...@viprinet.com schrieb:
>
> > Asa Dotzler should be fired
>
> Once you're done insulting the very people who created Firefox in the
> first place, can we come back to constructive debates and talking about
> how we actually can make the future better and bring openness,
> innovation and opportunity on the web to users as fast and efficiently
> as possible?

I think in the context of what Simon describes, this could even be
seen as "constructive" proposal.

kis...@viprinet.com

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Aug 16, 2011, 2:51:16 PM8/16/11
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On 16 Aug., 19:30, didi_X8 <didi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Asa Dotzler should be fired
>
> > Once you're done insulting the very people who created Firefox in the
> > first place, can we come back to constructive debates and talking about
> > how we actually can make the future better and bring openness,
> > innovation and opportunity on the web to users as fast and efficiently
> > as possible?
>
> I think in the context of what Simon describes, this could even be
> seen as "constructive" proposal.

Indeed. I think Firefox getting a new product manager would
be constructive.

kis...@viprinet.com

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Aug 16, 2011, 3:10:28 PM8/16/11
to
> > Asa Dotzler should be fired
>
> Once you're done insulting the very people who created Firefox in the
> first place, can we come back to constructive debates and talking about
> how we actually can make the future better and bring openness,
> innovation and opportunity on the web to users as fast and efficiently
> as possible?

Having read through all the various threads on this on various
sites, newsgroups and bugzilla, I've come to the impression
that such a debate is impossibe. Asa has decided that the
opinion of "power users" don't matter (negative remarks about
Slasdot users), through the IT press he's communicated he
doesn't give a sh*t about the enterprise including IBM,
previously he's alienated Mozillas main financial contributor.
He also doesn't appear to read IT press on all this.

As far as what I've read, the only input Asa really accepts
is the browser statistics. And sadly he's wrong here, too.
That most people moved from FF4 to FF5 is *not* a sign
that people like the rapid release cycle or the new browser
version. It's the consequence of installing the update against
the users will even if they had automatic updates turned off.
These statistics do not take into account the number of
people who after this encounter have *uninstalled* Firefox.

In a fast moving market like that of web browsers, waiting
to realize that you might be on the wrong path until your
market share drops is not a clever thing to do. In such
a market you need to listen carefully.The signs that
something is rotten with Asa's strategy for the product
really couldn't be that more visible.

And in all debates on rapid deployment, on UI changes and
now this version number stuff he's pretty much contributed
to the debate in a kind of "we do it the way I want" and
"you can debate all you want, but I still will do it the way
I want" kind of way.

Asa doesn't listen to the users, the power users, the
enterprise, the IT press, nor his fellow developers. He thinks
he's right and that everyone else will one day realize his
strategy was correct. I doubt that this is going to happen.

I therefore think a constructive debate that actually is allowed to
have a change of direction as a result and not a waste of
time will require Asa to no longer be product manager of
Firefox.

And that's why I think Asa needs to be fired. If combined
with a somewhat good PR strategy, this move could also be
used to get back some confidence inside the markets.
I'm pretty sure there would be quite some relief for those
who got alienated by Asa, and this would give Mozilla
some time to actually discuss and develop a new
strategy.

Petter Andersson

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Aug 16, 2011, 5:25:23 PM8/16/11
to

Why don't you stop being part of the problem? Be part of the solution
for a change! You do read people's comments, in here and many other
places, do you not? ACT UPON IT THEN. This is not some random noise
you're hearing; I would strongly caution against dismissing what we
have to say so lightly, we made you and we can break you. UX/UI team
may think whatever they want, but you, having heard our comments,
SHOULD have the obligation to tell them: NO, people do not want this,
so just forget it already. If you are unable to do this, you are part
of the problem and you should be removed from the equation.

Asa Dotzler

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Aug 16, 2011, 7:17:17 PM8/16/11
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kis...@viprinet.com wrote:
>> While I'm flattered that you credit me with everything Mozilla's done
>> from moving to a rapid release cadence to the interface changes in
>> Firefox 4, to our increasingly silent updates, I'm afraid I can't take
>> credit for any of those things.
>
> My impression is that you are the main driving force pushing
> Firefox development into this ill direction.


Then you're simply mistaken. Mozilla doesn't work like that.

> I'm both in the power user and enterprise camp

Ah. OK. So not really representative of most Mozilla users? That's
useful information for this discussion and this usability newsgroup.

- A

Asa Dotzler

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Aug 16, 2011, 7:28:59 PM8/16/11
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Petter Andersson wrote:
> On Aug 16, 8:19 am, Asa Dotzler<a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> kis...@viprinet.com wrote:
>>> From all I have read now it appears to me that all of these decisions
>>> that I regard as completely stupid and wrong come from one person: Asa
>>> Dotzler.
>> While I'm flattered that you credit me with everything Mozilla's done
>> from moving to a rapid release cadence to the interface changes in
>> Firefox 4, to our increasingly silent updates, I'm afraid I can't take
>> credit for any of those things. I support them, and I was tangentially
>> involved in them, but those were decisions made by groups of people and
>> not individuals, myself or others. Those were also changes that happened
>> well before I became the Firefox Product Manager. Again, I'm flattered
>> that you think one person, especially me, could do all those things, but
>> it would be unfair for me to take all the credit.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> - A
>

> Why don't you stop being part of the problem? ...UX/UI team


> may think whatever they want, but you, having heard our comments,
> SHOULD have the obligation to tell them: NO, people do not want this,
> so just forget it already.

If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
billion to a billion users.

I'm not dismissing your concerns or your feedback, but the proposal that
we should design a product based on such a small sliver of feedback is
basically a non-starter.

Even if you represented a majority of users, that's still not how we
design software. We are not a democracy and have never been a democracy.
Mozilla is a meritocracy with an decision-making system that dates back
more than a decade and which places final authority in the hands of
individuals who have earned it through good works on the project.

Again, that is not to dismiss feedback, yours or anyone else's. I
appreciate almost all of this feedback (I actually read it all) -- with
maybe the exception of the people calling for me to be murdered or
otherwise physically harmed.

Mozilla listens to all of the feedback that it possibly can. But we
don't design by votes.

Let me say it one more time so there's no mistake. I read and consider
all feedback. I respond to some of it but not all or I wouldn't have
time to do anything else. I care about feedback and believe that the
huge community of people who take the time to offer feedback is one of
the things that distinguishes Mozilla in the industry. I appreciate
your feedback. I've read it, and I've taken the time to respond to what
of it I have the time to respond to. The same goes for all of the other
feedback here, in the bug report, on slashdot, on other tech sites, with
the press, with my colleagues and my co-workers. I do not dismiss any
but the most gregarious forms of participation (my rule is attack things
not people, when that's violated I walk away.)

But successful design rarely, if ever, comes from only changing things
when you get a majority to agree. As the old but probably not precisely
true anecdote claims, if Henry Ford would have asked his customers what
they wanted most, they'd have told him "faster horses".

- A

Simon Kissel

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Aug 16, 2011, 7:48:01 PM8/16/11
to
> > I'm both in the power user and enterprise camp
>
> Ah. OK. So not really representative of most Mozilla users? That's
> useful information for this discussion and this usability newsgroup.

Ahaha! Hooray, so now I'm in the same group as Google and IBM!

You ARE aware that Firefox became a mass thing mostly due
to the viral actions (telling their friends, family, non tech-savy
co-workers) of power users / it guys / nerds, yes? You are aware
that lots of people will use the browser at home they are used
/got got learn at work? What do you think will happen once in
our company the IT guys replace Firefox. What browsers will
the non-tech-guys switch to at home?

According your statements Firefox is no longer meant for

- Business users
- Enterprises
- Users that have Firefox provided by their OS
- Power users / nerds / it guys / developers
- IBM
- Web developers or website owners
- People who need to know what software version
they are running

OK, understood. According to you Firefox now officially
is a browser only targetted at my grandma, with an UI
focus on giving my grandma an experience similar to
Chrome.

And I guess your long term plan is to piss people off until you are
the
last user left of Firefox 73. Which features only one hardcoded
URL, but no adress bar or other distracting things, but
leaks 200 MB RAM per second, which is only not causing
crashes because every 5 minutes a new don't-call-it-version
is downloaded and Firefox restarted.

Epic WIN ;)

Steve

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Aug 16, 2011, 7:54:52 PM8/16/11
to

Sarcasm does nothing to facilitate constructive discussion or
criticism.

Steve

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Aug 16, 2011, 8:01:31 PM8/16/11
to

Kudos on the irony above. Spot on.

I can't find any professionals who agree with the decisions of Mozilla
around Firefox now that we see the impact.

I still want Asa to explain how the insight of billions of user's who
can't tell the difference between firefox and android OS are going to
contribute more to the integrity and usability of the platform than
the hundreds of thousands of people to whom he OWES EVERYTHING.

I also agree that while losing Asa might be a blow to Mozilla from a
product management standpoint, losing his "voice" would benefit them
greatly. I fear however, that as he pointed out, the problem runs
deeper...

Now we see the impact of the decisions earlier this year... a browser
that is no longer usable by the most influential and powerful users in
the world... seriously - a major release cycle shorter than a
quarter?!?! What planet are they from? The risk of adopting such a
platform is just too great for someone trying to be seriously
productive.

Epic Marketing FAIL.

Petter Andersson

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Aug 16, 2011, 8:07:31 PM8/16/11
to
On Aug 17, 2:28 am, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
> software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
> participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
> view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
> billion to a billion users.
>
> I'm not dismissing your concerns or your feedback, but the proposal that
> we should design a product based on such a small sliver of feedback is
> basically a non-starter.

Exactly the tiny self-selecting sample membership is the key here;
we're here because we're way above average technically, usually
quarter of a century or more computing under our belts. That in itself
is a merit. It would be ludicrous to expect all one billion to take
part in design process. Pareto's principle must apply; I'd wager less
than 1% are interested and 99% aren't. (Except for, why doesn't my
browser behave like last week and the years before that.)

> Even if you represented a majority of users, that's still not how we
> design software. We are not a democracy and have never been a democracy.
> Mozilla is a meritocracy with an decision-making system that dates back
> more than a decade and which places final authority in the hands of
> individuals who have earned it through good works on the project.

Things that do not make sense, do not make sense. Case in point: would
you call Windows Vista a triumph in UI redesign? Because I wouldn't.
That was an exercise of pointing a shotgun at a perfectly functional
UI (WinXP), firing, and seeing where everything lands. Whole thing
felt quite arbitrary - not to say futile. Firefox 4.0, IMO, did bit of
the same. I see nothing wrong with old Back/Forward/Reload/Stop/Home
arrangement, with tabs below address bar. (Actually, tabs above
address bar is less efficient arrangement to anyone who has back/
forward buttons in their mouse; such person has no need to reach for
back/forward buttons, but tabs get more/most frequently accessed and
"on top" is simply a slowdown at that point.)

> Again, that is not to dismiss feedback, yours or anyone else's. I
> appreciate almost all of this feedback (I actually read it all) -- with
> maybe the exception of the people calling for me to be murdered or
> otherwise physically harmed.

That is certainly good to know. As for physical harm, I'm pretty sure
there are many who are feeling emotional enough at this moment to send
you death threats and to promise to beat you up, or whatever. But,
reality check: these things do not, thankfully, materialize. We're
geeks and nerds, not the Taliban. And IMO there are no good enough
reasons in realm of zeros and ones to physically harm someone.

> But successful design rarely, if ever, comes from only changing things
> when you get a majority to agree. As the old but probably not precisely
> true anecdote claims, if Henry Ford would have asked his customers what
> they wanted most, they'd have told him "faster horses".

Sure, a strong dictator with a vision is a necessity for any
successful design. But the dictator needs to be enlightened enough to
grant drones (users) enough freedoms and flexibility so they wouldn't
rebel. My view is, Firefox is headed to Chrome's general direction,
and Chrome is known as a fairly spartan browser which doesn't offer
much bells and whistles; while it's at that, there's much less user
freedom than we're used to. Google is definitely in charge. Now, I'd
hate to see all locked down, non-customizable Firefox one day which
even updates itself without express permission from me. By designing
everything for the dumbest imaginable user (general trend of computing
is, everything is being dumbed down gradually), advanced users are
going to be pretty thoroughly pissed.

ya knygar

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Aug 16, 2011, 9:33:31 PM8/16/11
to dev-us...@lists.mozilla.org
> ..for other, as Aza said -
Excuse me please, Asa Dotzler,
i know your name, it is a mistype. (pretty cool nick could be;)

ya knygar

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Aug 16, 2011, 9:31:19 PM8/16/11
to dev-us...@lists.mozilla.org
> Google is definitely in charge. Now, I'd
> hate to see all locked down, non-customizable Firefox one day which
> even updates itself without express permission from me. By designing
> everything for the dumbest imaginable user (general trend of computing
> is, everything is being dumbed down gradually), advanced users are
> going to be pretty thoroughly pissed.

:)

it should be variety, degrees, isn't UX of Mozilla should reflect the
variety of its users?

> My view is, Firefox is headed to Chrome's general direction,

headed by whom?

people are developing the staff like LessChrome HD, because they like it
(https://mozillalabs.com/prospector/2011/05/20/lesschrome-hd-more-space-to-browse/)

> That was an exercise of pointing a shotgun at a perfectly functional
> UI (WinXP), firing, and seeing where everything lands.

Personally - i highly disrespect MS but i'v seen a good things in
UI-UX design of the every Windows system i'v seen,
and i'v seen/tried all of them (including these - before 3.1), all in
various environments.

For me - it's like a continues community patching of a hopeless,
likely to be defective-by-design game, that you, unfortunately - like.
If you like it - you will see the bright sides and there would be
actually a bright sides.
Same i could say for apple's;
For every - hellishly hard-able to really customize thing.

It is just a perception based on habits,
If you do your own designed OS or browser or cup of coffee, you could
see - how it all bad and wrong for you,
how they "disrespect" your, personal, needs. waste your, personal, time and
it may be realized as a horrible mistake and lead to hate.

If you just use the systems, like browsers for example - because they
kind of works and than -
try to follow the UI-UX that meant for you - only in that case you
could try hard
but, eventually, bend your mind over the experience that is meant to
be, even if it all would be un-consistent
or rotten or etc. in places.
You could think of it as being made by
big and highly-paid teams that hack your mind and sell you the
desire.. or, at least, receive the enormous amount of lulz in process.

There are bright sides in Vista, there are bright sides in current
Firefox for Linux design :)

There are always a bright sides - even in worst games and movies,
depending on POV, am i wrong?
You always could learn something.

Once i have heard that in comparison to other browsers, all the other
mass-used-browsers
- Firefox is a browser with soul.

UX with soul, UI with soul.
I hope it would remain like this,
whatever soul it will be,

example -
that back/forward buttons that are the same for IE
and back is bigger than forward for FF,
that is a soul for me, someone have lived through
the experience of using back more often than forward,
though it would be nice to distinguish these, to make
it more - "for the end-user"

example - that back button is big and by that dominates
the forward and whole the bar by that - it depresses someone.

which is a reality?


..for other, as Aza said -

>> What I mean exactly - is a future - where people could receive exactly what
>> they need by a combined add-ons+themes+persona affords
> This is in the roadmap for Firefox. The UX team gave a public presentation on just such a feature two weeks ago. You may be able to find more participation on this kind of topic in the UX or Firefox lists rather than the mozilla dev planning list.

i'd be cool with this ability, total customization, what could be more
inspiring and useful for end-users. Only excellently done tools ofc.


PS: I like the current approach of surveying for usability and etc. On
other side i guess that it could be that first
step to mass surveillance, depending on who would lead Mozilla or kinds.

What can we do with it.. there are always the shades (as for me:) and
every tech and UX-UI could be used for Evil :)

Asa Dotzler

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Aug 17, 2011, 1:19:39 AM8/17/11
to

That wasn't sarcasm at all. The audience you represent when you make
assertions or suggestions about usability is pretty relevant information
in a usability forum. No sarcasm here at all.

- A

Asa Dotzler

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Aug 17, 2011, 1:39:06 AM8/17/11
to
Petter Andersson wrote:
> On Aug 17, 2:28 am, Asa Dotzler<a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
>> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
>> software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
>> participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
>> view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
>> billion to a billion users.
>>
>> I'm not dismissing your concerns or your feedback, but the proposal that
>> we should design a product based on such a small sliver of feedback is
>> basically a non-starter.
>
> Exactly the tiny self-selecting sample membership is the key here;
> we're here because we're way above average technically, usually
> quarter of a century or more computing under our belts. That in itself
> is a merit. It would be ludicrous to expect all one billion to take
> part in design process. Pareto's principle must apply; I'd wager less
> than 1% are interested and 99% aren't. (Except for, why doesn't my
> browser behave like last week and the years before that.)
>
>> Even if you represented a majority of users, that's still not how we
>> design software. We are not a democracy and have never been a democracy.
>> Mozilla is a meritocracy with an decision-making system that dates back
>> more than a decade and which places final authority in the hands of
>> individuals who have earned it through good works on the project.
>
> Things that do not make sense, do not make sense. Case in point: would
> you call Windows Vista a triumph in UI redesign? Because I wouldn't.

We part ways here then. I think that Vista was a huge improvement over
XP. Windows 7 is pretty amazing and almost all of what's great about 7
debuted in Windows Vista. The problem with vista wasn't bad design. It
was lack of polish and lack of a compelling new browser when browsers
were increasingly the killer app.


> That was an exercise of pointing a shotgun at a perfectly functional
> UI (WinXP), firing, and seeing where everything lands. Whole thing
> felt quite arbitrary - not to say futile.

I think you don't know or you're discounting what actually happened with
Vista. Vista user experience was fairly well designed, but there was a
war between the .Net/CLR (Avalon) platform and the win32 platform and
there were some overly-ambitious behind the scenes platform goals like
winFS (remember that?). Because they couldn't pull off a new front-end
in .Net/Avalon and all that, they had to restart development back on the
classic win32 platform and that put them behind. Once behind, they were
in a position where they needed to ship before they could get all their
features polished. But the features were good. They're the backbone of
Win 7 which is the best thing Microsoft's ever shipped.


> Firefox 4.0, IMO, did bit of the same. I see nothing wrong with old
> Back/Forward/Reload/Stop/Home arrangement, with tabs below address bar.
> (Actually, tabs above address bar is less efficient arrangement to

> anyone who has back/forward buttons in their mouse; such person has no


> need to reach for back/forward buttons, but tabs get more/most frequently
> accessed and "on top" is simply a slowdown at that point.)

All reasonable things to discuss in a usability forum. What this has to
do with whether or not the version number appears in the Help->About
dialog, I'm not at all clear.


>> Again, that is not to dismiss feedback, yours or anyone else's. I
>> appreciate almost all of this feedback (I actually read it all) -- with
>> maybe the exception of the people calling for me to be murdered or
>> otherwise physically harmed.
>
> That is certainly good to know. As for physical harm, I'm pretty sure
> there are many who are feeling emotional enough at this moment to send
> you death threats and to promise to beat you up, or whatever.

Yeah. That's pretty crazy. I guess I grew up different than a lot of
folks. My parents taught me that if I'm upset enough to threaten someone
physically, that I probably need to walk away.

> But, reality check: these things do not, thankfully, materialize.
> We're geeks and nerds, not the Taliban. And IMO there are no good
> enough reasons in realm of zeros and ones to physically harm someone.

That doesn't make them any less unacceptable. I don't care how upset
anyone is with a decision about a piece of software, threats are threats
and any tolerance of them is too much. If you disagree, and you think
that threats of violence are OK in an open source project, I'd love to
hear you make the case for that or to tell me which other projects
accept that as normal.

>> But successful design rarely, if ever, comes from only changing things
>> when you get a majority to agree. As the old but probably not precisely
>> true anecdote claims, if Henry Ford would have asked his customers what
>> they wanted most, they'd have told him "faster horses".
>
> Sure, a strong dictator with a vision is a necessity for any
> successful design. But the dictator needs to be enlightened enough to
> grant drones (users) enough freedoms and flexibility so they wouldn't
> rebel. My view is, Firefox is headed to Chrome's general direction,
> and Chrome is known as a fairly spartan browser which doesn't offer
> much bells and whistles; while it's at that, there's much less user
> freedom than we're used to. Google is definitely in charge. Now, I'd
> hate to see all locked down, non-customizable Firefox one day which
> even updates itself without express permission from me. By designing
> everything for the dumbest imaginable user (general trend of computing
> is, everything is being dumbed down gradually), advanced users are
> going to be pretty thoroughly pissed.

I think you mis-characterize an unfairly malign design philosophy when
you say it's "designing for the dumbest imaginable user". Mozilla has
never done that and never will. We design for the widest possible
audience with the resources we have. That audience isn't dumb and I
suspect that the overwhelming majority of them would object to you
characterizing them as such.

Advanced users have advanced skills and can customize a browser more
ways than they can any other piece of software on the planet -- and
that's all browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, even IE. Firefox has always
been and will hopefully always be the most customizable browser exactly
for the reason you opened with: to give the advanced users (and even
some of the less advanced users) the features that they want that aren't
necessarily applicable to the largest possible audience.

So, being spartan and being customizable are not at odds here at all as
long as customization is easy and the variety of customizations is wide.

I believe in customization. It's one of the reasons I've been a part of
the Mozilla project for the last 13 years. It's one of the reasons I was
willing to join the Product team. I want Firefox to be the most
customizable browser on the planet and with such usability that anyone
can customize Firefox in what ever way they want.

Firefox answers to no one but you. Firefox is your user agent on the
Web. Firefox fits you like a glove. These are just taglines to some, but
they're why I'm here. Power users have an ally with me. I'm the guy that
wants more than any other to see customization become so easy and so
powerful that no one would even consider another browser. But I'm also
very considerate of the people who don't need to or want to customize
and I think they should have an experience with Firefox "out of the box"
that "just works" and doesn't require learning an overloaded,
heavy-weight, or power-user focused interface.

- A

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 1:41:32 AM8/17/11
to
ya knygar wrote:
>> ..for other, as Aza said -
> Excuse me please, Asa Dotzler,
> i know your name, it is a mistype. (pretty cool nick could be;)\

It's not a common name and there was, for a brief period of time,
another person in the Mozilla project named Aza. I take no offense.

- A

Petter Andersson

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 7:38:33 AM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 8:39 am, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:

Petter Andersson wrote:
> > That was an exercise of pointing a shotgun at a perfectly functional
> > UI (WinXP), firing, and seeing where everything lands. Whole thing
> > felt quite arbitrary - not to say futile.
>
> I think you don't know or you're discounting what actually happened with
> Vista. Vista user experience was fairly well designed, but there was a
> war between the .Net/CLR (Avalon) platform and the win32 platform and
> there were some overly-ambitious behind the scenes platform goals like
> winFS (remember that?). Because they couldn't pull off a new front-end
> in .Net/Avalon and all that, they had to restart development back on the
> classic win32 platform and that put them behind. Once behind, they were
> in a position where they needed to ship before they could get all their
> features polished.  But the features were good. They're the backbone of
> Win 7 which is the best thing Microsoft's ever shipped.
>
> > Firefox 4.0, IMO, did bit of the same. I see nothing wrong with old
> > Back/Forward/Reload/Stop/Home arrangement, with tabs below address bar.
> > (Actually, tabs above address bar is less efficient arrangement to
> > anyone who has back/forward buttons in their mouse; such person has no
> > need to reach for back/forward buttons, but tabs get more/most frequently
> > accessed and "on top" is simply a slowdown at that point.)
>
> All reasonable things to discuss in a usability forum. What this has to
> do with whether or not the version number appears in the Help->About
> dialog, I'm not at all clear.

I'm talking about shuffling things around for the sake of shuffling
things around "because we can" or "we believe it will be more trendy
this way". In Vista/Win7's case, I agree the architectural under the
hood changes (such as drivers being ring3) were for the better, but
why, oh why, should UI be all scrambled around? Since the days of
Netscape, browsers have looked the same. For comparable amount of
time, Windows UI has looked the same. That's easily 15-16 years worth
of "muscle memory", or usage through spinal cord reflexes so to speak.
Any UI change should target to giving more clarity, more power to the
end-user, instead of hiding things and making user guess "where did
they put feature N now...?". Microsoft had a convenient set of
guidelines as to UI design and what you should expect to find and
where. They were the first to violate against these guidelines, with
Internet Explorer 7 (which did look completely out of place vs. rest
of programs back in its day). More came with Windows Media Player 11.
Everyone else just sort of took it from there, and now this disease is
even with Firefox, to a degree. I guess what I'm saying, if a browser
still resembles Netscape Navigator 4.71 + Tab Bar, then all is well
and everyone feels right at home :)

Neil

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 9:50:42 AM8/17/11
to
Asa Dotzler wrote:

> The problem with vista wasn't bad design. It was lack of polish and
> lack of a compelling new browser

But it had tabs!

--
Warning: May contain traces of nuts.

David Tenser

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 11:00:25 AM8/17/11
to
On 2011-08-17 02:07, Petter Andersson wrote:
> Firefox 4.0, IMO, did bit of
> the same. I see nothing wrong with old Back/Forward/Reload/Stop/Home
> arrangement, with tabs below address bar. (Actually, tabs above
> address bar is less efficient arrangement to anyone who has back/
> forward buttons in their mouse; such person has no need to reach for
> back/forward buttons, but tabs get more/most frequently accessed and
> "on top" is simply a slowdown at that point.)

(While this is off-topic in this particular thread, it's on-topic in the
usability newsgroup, so I'll respond anyway.)

From a usability point of view, I beg to differ. With tabs on top, you
can just reach for the top edge of the screen (assuming the window is
maximized, which most browser windows are for power users). This is far
easier than pointing precisely where the tab strip is, even if it's a
few pixels closer to the web page with tabs under the toolbars.

You can read more about this here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts%27s_law#Success_and_implications

"Edges and corners of the computer monitor (e.g., the location of the
Start button in Microsoft Windows and the menus and Dock of Mac OS X)
are particularly easy to acquire with a mouse, touchpad or trackball
because the pointer remains at the screen edge regardless of how much
further the mouse is moved, thus can be considered as having infinite
width.[5][6] This doesn't apply to touchscreens, though."

- David

Petter Andersson

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 12:23:56 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 6:00 pm, David Tenser <djst.mozi...@gmail.com> wrote:

>  From a usability point of view, I beg to differ. With tabs on top, you
> can just reach for the top edge of the screen (assuming the window is
> maximized, which most browser windows are for power users). This is far
> easier than pointing precisely where the tab strip is, even if it's a
> few pixels closer to the web page with tabs under the toolbars.
>
> You can read more about this here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts%27s_law#Success_and_implications

Browser window is maximized, but you assume tabs are at very top.
Sorry... Windows XP, classic theme here (good old grey and blue and no
stupid transparencies a'la Aero). Titlebar is on top, then come File|
Edit|View|History|Bookmarks|Tools|Help etc.

If you have difficulties aiming for the tabs, you need stronger
glasses or more accurate mouse or steadier hand or combination of
these :) Tabs on bottom works for me perfect.

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 12:27:32 PM8/17/11
to
Steve schrieb:

> Sarcasm does nothing to facilitate constructive discussion or
> criticism.

Forgive him. Wouldn't you be equally annoyed in a thread where people
request you to be fired for things you didn't even decide primarily?

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 12:32:39 PM8/17/11
to
didi_X8 schrieb:

Attacking people who live for Firefox is not constructive at all.
Attacking people personally never is. Looking for solutions that can
satisfy an even larger audience is. Note that firing Asa would not
satisfy a larger audience, as the version number would still get removed
from the About dialog, as it never was his primary decision, and Firefox
would lose one of its strongest proponents of all times.

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 12:46:13 PM8/17/11
to
Petter Andersson wrote:

> I'm talking about shuffling things around for the sake of shuffling
> things around "because we can" or "we believe it will be more trendy
> this way".

If you're saying that's what Firefox designers spend their time on,
that's rather insulting. Can you re-read that and actually consider if
you think that's what the professionals working on this product are doing?

> even with Firefox, to a degree. I guess what I'm saying, if a browser
> still resembles Netscape Navigator 4.71 + Tab Bar, then all is well
> and everyone feels right at home :)

OK. That's an interesting point of view. Not one I share, but certainly
not unreasonable. Most people do not like change, even when that change
can be really helpful to them. I have a suggestion for you. If you like
how Netscape Navigator 4.71 would look with a Tab bar (and a modern
rendering engine) Mozilla supports such a product and it's called
SeaMonkey. Maybe give that a try. http://www.seamonkey-project.org/

I'm also curious, since we do have pretty much exactly what you propose
in Seamonkey, how do you think users would react in a side-by-side
comparison between Seamonkey and Firefox? Would they all flock to
Seamonkey because "everyone would feel right at home there"? (A quick
reminder though -- about 90% of the people on the web today came onto
the web after Netscape Navigator had already faded from view)

- A

Dick Cheney

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 1:10:33 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 12:32 pm, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> Attacking people who live for Firefox is not constructive at all.
> Attacking people personally never is. Looking for solutions that can
> satisfy an even larger audience is. Note that firing Asa would not
> satisfy a larger audience, as the version number would still get removed
> from the About dialog, as it never was his primary decision, and Firefox
> would lose one of its strongest proponents of all times.
>
> Robert Kaiser


Well, then everyone involved in that decision should resign
immediately. The whole fast release cycle is eroding the FF base as we
speak. Go back to a sane version numbering scheme or face
obsolescence.

You can now dismiss this post.

Thanks

Petter Andersson

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 1:35:13 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 7:46 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Petter Andersson wrote:
> > I'm talking about shuffling things around for the sake of shuffling
> > things around "because we can" or "we believe it will be more trendy
> > this way".
>
> If you're saying that's what Firefox designers spend their time on,
> that's rather insulting. Can you re-read that and actually consider if
> you think that's what the professionals working on this product are doing?

My view is, it's difficult - if not impossible - to improve
perfection. Of course, that won't stop most from trying. But, IMO, if
it works, there's no reason to "re-imagine" it. Conservative approach
is always a good bet. I would think Firefox designers are trying hard
to stay on top of the game, but often times to stay on top of one's
respective game is to simply keep on doing what you do best. There are
much better chances to screw it up for everyone if you try too damn
hard. OK, take music for example. AC/DC, not complex or even
imaginative (two riffs and a handful of licks), but it works and you
know what you're going to get. Year after year, decade after
decade. :)

> > even with Firefox, to a degree. I guess what I'm saying, if a browser
> > still resembles Netscape Navigator 4.71 + Tab Bar, then all is well
> > and everyone feels right at home :)
>
> OK. That's an interesting point of view. Not one I share, but certainly
> not unreasonable. Most people do not like change, even when that change
> can be really helpful to them. I have a suggestion for you. If you like
> how Netscape Navigator 4.71  would look with a Tab bar (and a modern
> rendering engine) Mozilla supports such a product and it's called

> SeaMonkey. Maybe give that a try.http://www.seamonkey-project.org/


>
> I'm also curious, since we do have pretty much exactly what you propose
> in Seamonkey, how do you think users would react in a side-by-side
> comparison between Seamonkey and Firefox? Would they all flock to
> Seamonkey because "everyone would feel right at home there"? (A quick
> reminder though -- about 90% of the people on the web today came onto
> the web after Netscape Navigator had already faded from view)

I'm aware Netscape Navigator style would not necessarily win beauty
contests today, but placed side by side, there is a possibility less
colors/less flashiness equals more serious attitude thus more
desirable option to certain kind of people (stiff engineers such as
myself, heh). My history with Firefox begins precisely from
discontinuation of the Mozilla Suite. It seemed all the mainstream
action focuses on Firefox and Suite is becoming discontinued or/and
marginalized at best (Seamonkey fork seemed a little so-so). There was
no choice but to move on really. By the way, it is the view of many
that Netscape Communicator was the best damn mail/news client ever and
still unrivaled by anything that newer Suites or Thunderbird (3.0
really blew it - TB 2.x forever) could offer. A friend of mine used to
run Netscape Communicator for his mail needs up to about 2009 before
finally giving it up :) Today, as I run Firefox 3.6.20 with its
numerous add-ons, I still have a "Past Modern" theme in use which is
essentially just Mozilla Suite/Seamonkey Suite look for Firefox, sadly
not ported for FF4+. :(

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 2:23:43 PM8/17/11
to
Petter Andersson wrote:
> On Aug 17, 7:46 pm, Asa Dotzler<a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> Petter Andersson wrote:
>>> I'm talking about shuffling things around for the sake of shuffling
>>> things around "because we can" or "we believe it will be more trendy
>>> this way".
>> If you're saying that's what Firefox designers spend their time on,
>> that's rather insulting. Can you re-read that and actually consider if
>> you think that's what the professionals working on this product are doing?
>
> My view is, it's difficult - if not impossible - to improve
> perfection. Of course, that won't stop most from trying. But, IMO, if
> it works, there's no reason to "re-imagine" it. Conservative approach
> is always a good bet. I would think Firefox designers are trying hard
> to stay on top of the game, but often times to stay on top of one's
> respective game is to simply keep on doing what you do best. There are
> much better chances to screw it up for everyone if you try too damn
> hard. OK, take music for example. AC/DC, not complex or even
> imaginative (two riffs and a handful of licks), but it works and you
> know what you're going to get. Year after year, decade after
> decade. :)

I hear what you're saying, but it sounds to me a lot like "You all
should just go home. Netscape 4 was good enough. You're wasting
everyone's time by trying to improve."

Maybe that's not your intent, but I'm having a difficult time figuring
out what it is you think Mozilla should exist for if Netscape 4 was good
enough.

- A

Bruce

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 2:13:00 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 16, 6:28 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
> software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
> participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
> view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
> billion to a billion users.

Forgive me if I paraphrase an idea that comes through loud and clear
with each and every post you make... ANYWHERE! :

So, in your world view, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ME (US) WHAT IS GOOD FOR
ME (US), AND, BY GOD, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE TO IT THAT WE ALL LIVE IN
THE CONFINES OF YOUR VISION OF WHAT THE WORLD SHOULD BE LIKE.

Perhaps we would all feel a little better if you would just state for
the record who your corporate handlers are. (I know I would!) Because
your way of working with the FLOSS (that's FREE LIBRE OPEN SOURCE
SOFTWARE, btw) community is eerily similar to the jack booted thug
manner with which corporations deal with their user community!

You are dissing all the very people who have made it possible for you
to perch atop your heap of dung (poor decisions and poor
communications skills) and look out over the masses of poor, ignorant
people who have no vision and don't know how to care for their selves.

I have led hundreds to FF over the years. That stops NOW. Someone will
do with FF what LO did with OO.o. And we all see what a floundering
mess OO.o has become. And then your "heap" won't be nearly as high nor
your "masses" be nearly as... massive. You think dissing the people
who made you is a good idea? We'll see.

Enjoy, Your Highness.

Petter Andersson

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 2:41:44 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 9:23 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> I hear what you're saying, but it sounds to me a lot like "You all
> should just go home. Netscape 4 was good enough. You're wasting
> everyone's time by trying to improve."
>
> Maybe that's not your intent, but I'm having a difficult time figuring
> out what it is you think Mozilla should exist for if Netscape 4 was good
> enough.

That's not what I'm saying at all. Netscape 4 as a web browser was
prone to crashing and had too many bugs to list. If Netscape 4 was
"don't even breathe that way, lest it not crash"-grade, Firefox 3.6 is
earthquake-proof by comparison. So clearly there has been progress.
Addition of tabs I embraced instantly, no difficulty whatsoever - but
only Tab Mix Plus (I fail to remember what was the comparable add-on
for Mozilla Suite, but it was very much necessary indeed) made it
really good for me. Bookmarks ceased to exist for me, as everything
relevant is now "limboing" in open tabs (most often 50+ at a time,
before cleanup a few weeks back I was with well over 120 open tabs -
and thanks to TMP fairly well crash-proofed too). I guess what I'm
saying is, I expect things getting better under the hood but not
necessarily any surprises in the UI. The Good Old Way wins.

Chris Eaton

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 3:30:19 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 16, 8:17 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> kis...@viprinet.com wrote:
>
> > I'm both in the power user and enterprise camp
>
> Ah. OK. So not really representative of most Mozilla users? That's
> useful information for this discussion and this usability newsgroup.
>
> - A

You do realize that grandma got FF because a power user put it there,
right? The people you're dismissing and insulting are your best
marketing tool.

Chase them off, and they start changing grandma's browser to something
else you'll find the other users you apparently care so much about
following. It doesn't make sense, particularly for something as minor
as a version number in a dialog box that nobody who isn't a power user
*ever* uses.

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 3:48:06 PM8/17/11
to

I'm sorry if you feel it's insulting. I think it's relevant though. It
turns out that we're trying really really hard to build a browser that's
perfect for your grandma and my neighbor who's an aerospace engineer but
doesn't spend a lot of time on the Web. We're not trying to build a
browser for ourselves that's perfect for our use case "out of the box".
I don't think it's insulting to say that. The good news for power
users like you and me, are that Firefox is customizable. We can make it
work the way we want it to.

As far as enterprise features goes, there is a discussion going on in a
dedicated forum that would be a far better audience with which to share
your enterprise concerns. You can continue to share them here, but they
won't have the impact they could if you were in the appropriate forum.

Putting enterprise aside, you and I are power users and we will manage
what ever happens because Firefox is very focused on customizability.
But most regular people don't do a lot of customizing and basically
"take what's handed them" and so we absolutely do need to be thinking
about how to make the default Firefox behave in ways that are empowering
for those regular people.

- A

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 3:54:20 PM8/17/11
to
Bruce wrote:
> On Aug 16, 6:28 pm, Asa Dotzler<a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
>> software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
>> participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
>> view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
>> billion to a billion users.
>
> Forgive me if I paraphrase an idea that comes through loud and clear
> with each and every post you make... ANYWHERE! :
>
> So, in your world view, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ME (US) WHAT IS GOOD FOR
> ME (US), AND, BY GOD, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE TO IT THAT WE ALL LIVE IN
> THE CONFINES OF YOUR VISION OF WHAT THE WORLD SHOULD BE LIKE.

Bruce, in my world view, Mozilla has a system of owernship and decision
making that empower individuals to lead teams and projects that advance
the Mozilla mission. In my world view, the owners that lead these
projects and teams almost always know better than me what's right for
that module or project. I, along with every other Mozilla contributor
generally defer to their judgment and decision making on most things. I
also expect those module owners and leaders to listen to feedback and to
respond where appropriate. I don't demand that they abide by all the
feedback they hear or that they put their decisions up to a popular vote.

This is how Mozilla operates. It's how Mozilla has operated since its
inception more than 13 years ago. I realize that might be news to you
and that Mozilla's structure may be different from other open source
projects, but Mozilla is not and has never been a democracy.

If you're interested, I can point you to some documentation on how this
works and we could even continue this discussion here or in a more
appropriate forum.

- A

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 3:58:22 PM8/17/11
to

So stability (not crashing) plus one new feature every 15 years or so
would probably satisfy you. That's a completely reasonable position.
I'll bet there are others who feel the same. I don't think that most
people would agree with that or that Mozilla could possibly advance its
mission (the reason Firefox exists in the first place) using that approach.

Have you read the Mozilla mission documents? I think they might help
explain why we're not just a more stable Netscape 4 with Tabs.

- A

http://www.mozilla.org/about/mission.html
http://www.mozilla.org/about/manifesto.en.html
and just about everything that Mitchell Baker, a Mozilla founder and the
leader of the Mozilla project, has to say at:
http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/

Stanimir Stamenkov

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 4:31:29 PM8/17/11
to
Wed, 17 Aug 2011 10:10:33 -0700 (PDT), /Dick Cheney/:

> On Aug 17, 12:32 pm, Robert Kaiser wrote:
>
>> Attacking people who live for Firefox is not constructive at all.
>> Attacking people personally never is. Looking for solutions that can
>> satisfy an even larger audience is. Note that firing Asa would not
>> satisfy a larger audience, as the version number would still get removed
>> from the About dialog, as it never was his primary decision, and Firefox
>> would lose one of its strongest proponents of all times.
>
> Well, then everyone involved in that decision should resign
> immediately. The whole fast release cycle is eroding the FF base as we
> speak. Go back to a sane version numbering scheme or face
> obsolescence.
>
> You can now dismiss this post.

Well, then everyone involved in supporting the opinion you express
should immediately stop posting this nonsense to the Mozilla groups.

You can now stop posting to this group.

--
Stanimir

ya knygar

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 5:11:06 PM8/17/11
to dev-us...@lists.mozilla.org
As i understand:
(besides what i'v read on several blog posts,
regarding)

This versions policy was introduced to make every Firefox
release - something special.
I was ok (besides some crazy sys-admins) on 4 release,
it wasn't ok for 5 release,
because 5 release and probably 6
has not introduced any significant changes
to UX and UI and end-users features
that is increasingly leading to misunderstanding.
(even so there are significantly important "under the hood" changes)

I propose - include 1 most popular in the month (oh, 3 weeks) add-one
in each release, or, even some of the labs feature to each new release.

Why not? are other - "closed room" - decisions are better than what people vote
up for real?

other way
i propose - get rid of the importance of the version number since it
is "unimportant"
to "end-users" at least - currently. Provide the smooth updating(i
have suggested some useful
UXfixes)
after each bug and let it be.
Maybe - leave the Firefox (ain't Firefox is a too personal name,
for a stated "personification for user" politics?) naming at all,
aren't there people who doesn't really like foxes, or hate them,
why disrespect them? Are there many people like foxes? or fire?
i'm just curious of statistics..maybe somebody could kindly argue for me.)


Maybe -
Call it Mozilla, call every new feature by the name of some dead
species of animals or plants
(resembling the "dead" dino of the Main Logo that kind of alive and
named Mozilla, maybe plants would
be cooler - stating their Mozilla is a vegetarian and still - very
mighty, One Of a Kind as i say)
Be cool.

Personally - i feel bad for Firefox 6,10,11
it reminds me the animals that being tortured
in one-way space ships and kinds:)

Am i the only one?

For corporations and other people which can't offer an instant updating
- there should another case, that is all.

What do you think?
Asa?

ya knygar

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 5:19:00 PM8/17/11
to dev-us...@lists.mozilla.org
ah, i didn't thought that there are people who hate foxes less than
Latin in names of plants,
well, some local names could be used, by this - showing a respect for
international community,
providing/organizing the camps in the country of plant name..

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 5:34:48 PM8/17/11
to
Bruce schrieb:

> And we all see what a floundering
> mess OO.o has become.

You mean like a successful Apache project with rising amounts of
contributors? ;-)

> You think dissing the people
> who made you is a good idea? We'll see.

You realized that Asa is one of the very first people that started to
work on what is Firefox today, right?

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 5:36:13 PM8/17/11
to
Dick Cheney schrieb:

> Well, then everyone involved in that decision should resign
> immediately.

If you think stopping the Firefox project entirely is a better thing
than removing the version number display from the About dialog, then
sure. If you want the project to continue, please go constructive.

Dick Cheney

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 6:29:02 PM8/17/11
to
On Aug 17, 5:36 pm, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> Dick Cheney schrieb:
>
> > Well, then everyone involved in that decision should resign
> > immediately.
>
> If you think stopping the Firefox project entirely is a better thing
> than removing the version number display from the About dialog, then
> sure. If you want the project to continue, please go constructive.
>
> Robert Kaiser

This isnt about the About window anymore. Do you not see the writing
on the wall?

Or if you are not interested in looking at it like him:


> Well, then everyone involved in supporting the opinion you express
> should immediately stop posting this nonsense to the Mozilla groups.
>
> You can now stop posting to this group.
>
> --
> Stanimir

Then there is not much I can tell you.

I never said a thing about stopping the Firefox project. But if the
current course of action will lead to a faster shrinking user base,
there might be something wrong with it. At this point, only releasing
security fixes would be preferable to adding new ''features'' like
this one. If you go around the internet, or in IT departments, you
will notice that the love for FF is dying rather fast. This started
right after FF4 with the introduction of the fast release cycle
thingy. The removal of the version number from the main -about window
is just a useless middle finger to the core FF user base (those
responsible for spreading the word) which happen to be composed of
control freaks, if they weren't they would be running IE or Chrome.
Who else use the about window anyway? Just put a option--check for
update if that is your big problem. Its so painfully obvious its not
even funny. Also the response from the project leadership was
dismissive at best, since I intend to staying polite ITT this is all I
will say on that subject.

Want a constructive comment? Listen to your users instead of telling
them what they want. People expect this kind of attitude from Apple,
not from Mozilla.

Or one could pretend that this is just a very vocal minority who are
just opposed to any change in general. Time will show who was right
and Id hate to be right cause I really enjoyed your work for years.

Thanks for everything (up to 3.6.x)

Message has been deleted

Chris Eaton

unread,
Aug 17, 2011, 8:01:18 PM8/17/11
to

But how does this help my parents, or grandma, or anybody else like
them? Those people don't go to Help > About. To test this out I
actually called my parents and asked them what version of FF they use.

They have absolutely no idea. They don't know Help > About exists.
They don't care. Long as the browser works they don't think about it.
If it doesn't work, they still don't think to check that. They just
call me and then I tell them to go there as the first step of
troubleshooting.

Removing the version number from Help > About does nothing for them.
Clearly it causes inconvenience for other people. That's the whole
issue here. I've not seen it explained well just what the *gain* from
this change is. The loss is pretty clear because the power user
community is screaming about it.

If the number itself is the issue, switch to a text representation
like "July 2011 Release" instead. That still tells people who need to
know what they're running just what they have, but without being an
arbitrary number that doesn't mean anything anymore (it's the
information I'm attached to, not that it comes as an integer). But
don't take a useful piece of information and remove it entirely when
the people its meant to help don't know its even there to begin with.

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 2:04:44 AM8/18/11
to
Chris Eaton wrote:
> But how does this help my parents, or grandma, or anybody else like
> them? Those people don't go to Help> About. To test this out I
> actually called my parents and asked them what version of FF they use.

Well, I actually dealt with half a dozen people last month who read
about the new 5.0.1 release and were upset that they were't getting it.
They were confused and became distrustfull of Firefox because the about
dialog told them they were up to date with Firefox 5 but the thing they
read on the Web told them that 5.0.1 was the latest.

I had another interesting encounter with an irate Linux user who was
ticked off because he heard that Firefox 7 had some huge memory
improvements but he'd checked his about window and it said he was on the
up to date version called 5.0. He thought we were ignoring Linux and
leaving it behind on an older version.

Your grandma might not open that dialog, but plenty of people do and
right now it can cause them to be mislead or to not trust Firefox when
Firefox is telling them they're up to date.

And this is just starting to be a problem. A year from now when we've
shipped a dozen or so rapid releases, we'll have even more incorect and
outdated articles on the web saying that some version which isn't is
actually the latest version.

> They have absolutely no idea. They don't know Help> About exists.
> They don't care. Long as the browser works they don't think about it.
> If it doesn't work, they still don't think to check that. They just
> call me and then I tell them to go there as the first step of
> troubleshooting.

And next time you call them, you won't have to tell them to go there.
You'll know that they're on whatever the latest version of Firefox is
because updates are automatic and seamless and their problems will be
with some other thing besides being out of date -- perhaps a rogue
add-on or a bad preference setting. You'll tell them to go to
Help->Troubleshooting and they'll tell you what add-ons they have and
what prefs they have set and you'll be able to help them. Oh, and if
you absolutely must verify that they're on the latest version, you can
ask them what number the About->Troubleshooting says and you can compare
that to what wikipedia says is the latest version of Firefox.


> Removing the version number from Help> About does nothing for them.
> Clearly it causes inconvenience for other people. That's the whole
> issue here. I've not seen it explained well just what the *gain* from
> this change is. The loss is pretty clear because the power user
> community is screaming about it.

Most of the "power user community" isn't screaming about the version
number moving. Actually most of the power user community is completely
silent and a few dozen people are screaming. But I don't think that
most of them are screaming about the version number being relocated. I
think if you read carefully and try to read between the lines more,
you'll see that most people in this tread and in the other forums are
upset about other issues like the rapid release cadence or the lack of
concern for enterprise users or other only tangentially related issues.
That's the real outcry and it's a rehashing of the same outcry that
happened 6 months ago when we started the rapid release process. I think
that the version number issue is mostly a chance to re-hash those other,
older and more meaningful issues and not so much really about the
version number.

That being said, there are clearly a few people making good arguments
for why the version number should be removed. I'm trying to respond to
those. I'm mostly not responding to the "rapid releases suck" or "you
suck because you're not making an enterprise product" comments and I'm
certainly not responding to the death threats, comparisons to Hitler or
the suggestions that I be forcibly castrated :) I've got way more
important things to do than that.

- A

- A

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 2:57:24 AM8/18/11
to
Asa Dotzler schrieb:

> I had another interesting encounter with an irate Linux user who was
> ticked off because he heard that Firefox 7 had some huge memory
> improvements but he'd checked his about window and it said he was on the
> up to date version called 5.0. He thought we were ignoring Linux and
> leaving it behind on an older version.

Removing the version from the About dialog is not going to fix this
problem, though. This is a matter of the developers not communicating
enough that this was Aurora only at that time (and is Beta now). If
anything, having the version in the About window makes it easier for him
to notice once he is on 7, actually.

> That being said, there are clearly a few people making good arguments
> for why the version number should be removed.

You're right in that there are few, while there are more giving good
arguments why they think it should *not* be removed. But I feel like you
were typoing there.
In any case, there are some arguments in this thread in both directions,
and it's hard to see which are stronger, esp. since you and others did
not explain the story enough from the beginning for people to understand
it. Of course, other people coming back with insults is also the wrong
thing. We need to get to a track where we can constructively arrive at a
well-explained solution that helps as many people as possible.

Chris Eaton

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 7:30:11 AM8/18/11
to
On Aug 18, 3:04 am, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Your grandma might not open that dialog, but plenty of people do and
> right now it can cause them to be mislead or to not trust Firefox when
> Firefox is telling them they're up to date.
>
> And this is just starting to be a problem. A year from now when we've
> shipped a dozen or so rapid releases, we'll have even more incorect and
> outdated articles on the web saying that some version which isn't is
> actually the latest version.

Funny story there... my home computer grabbed FF 6 this morning in a
totally painless way (even the update installation was fast, which is
nice).

My work computer? Help > About at this very second says "5.0. Firefox
is up to date." I just started it up this morning, so it's not an old
version of the check.

Without the version number there, what's left to do except trust the
thing telling me that I'm up to date when I'm really not? A release
date would work too, if it told me I still have the July 2011 release
then I'd be able to figure out pretty easily that there's now an
August 2011 release and something's gone wrong (and if I ignore it for
3 months, a November or December 2011 one). But if the only thing I
see is "FF is up to date" then a normal user really has to believe it.
I only know its wrong because my home computer installed an update and
you notice a UAC prompt at 6:30am. :)

Adam Kowalczyk

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 1:58:53 PM8/18/11
to
On 2011-08-18 08:04, Asa Dotzler wrote: > Chris Eaton wrote:
>> But how does this help my parents, or grandma, or anybody else like
>> them? Those people don't go to Help> About. To test this out I
>> actually called my parents and asked them what version of FF they use.
>
> Well, I actually dealt with half a dozen people last month who read
> about the new 5.0.1 release and were upset that they were't getting it.
> They were confused and became distrustfull of Firefox because the about
> dialog told them they were up to date with Firefox 5 but the thing they
> read on the Web told them that 5.0.1 was the latest.
>
> I had another interesting encounter with an irate Linux user who was
> ticked off because he heard that Firefox 7 had some huge memory
> improvements but he'd checked his about window and it said he was on the
> up to date version called 5.0. He thought we were ignoring Linux and
> leaving it behind on an older version.

Interesting scenario but I think you're looking at it the wrong way.
This is actually a good example of how people sometimes need to find out
what version they have, even under the new release paradigm.

The situation is this: the user has heard about improvements in Firefox
7 and wants to know if the version they are running includes them. In
the proposed design they would see a statement saying they are running
the latest version and it would do nothing whatsoever to help them. If
it were me I imagine I would become frustrated that I can't find the
version information where I expect it to be. Or perhaps I would be
misled into thinking that since it's the latest version, it must be it.
And if it was a user-facing feature that I was looking to use, I would
be very frustrated for not being able to find it.

You are probably going to say that it's the question of communication
and that Mozilla is going to stop talking about releases in terms of
version numbers. However, this still doesn't help our user. OK, so the
user would have heard about the memory improvements without any version
number mentioned, just that it "landed on Aurora channel" at some point.
How are they supposed to find out if they've already got them?

Anyway, our user probably didn't hear about the improvements directly
from Mozilla but read about it at some forum, blog, or wherever. I
assert that many people, including plenty of journalists, will keep
talking in terms of version numbers. It has become instinctive to think
in terms of version numbers and it is unrealistic to expect everybody to
switch - even worse, keep switching back and forth - between completely
different frames of thinking in regard to Firefox than in case of every
other application. As long as a significant portion of the public thinks
and talks in terms of versions numbers, we can't pretend they are obsolete.

- Adam

Ray Morris

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 3:10:00 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 16, 6:28 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
> software based on ... people who know how to participate in online discussion forums ...


Wow. "People who know how to participate in online discussion forums"
includes
the users of the SpongeBob forums at http://www.unitedspongebob.com/forums/
. Six year olds.
Six year olds are too smart for Firefox. Wow.

I'm sorry, but I have to agree that there does seem to a sudden change
to ignoring the needs
of the users in favor of doggedly defending a new idea someone had no
matter how bad
the idea is proven to be.

Let's take the About dialog as the current example.
What's mystifying to me is that the proponents of the change basically
keep saying "it's OK
because everyone will be updated automatically", yet that's been
thoroughly and absolutely
shown to be completely false. I haven't seen any response from Asa or
anyone on the "pro" side
other than to keep repeating that when clearly that's impossible. I
would love to hear a response,
any response, to that fact. I also haven't seen a single reason posted
that when it's out of date
the version number should not be shown.

Asa has contrived an example of where it could make Linux user's
"feel" neglected.
What REALLY makes people feel neglected, I think, is when they
actually ARE neglected,
such as with this. Linux users, Mac users, FreeBSD users, Android
users, and pretty much
everyone other than Windows Home users will NOT be automatically
updated. These systems
and others do not give the browser the ability to alter system
software. You don't want XSS
bugs to be able install software on the system, so the browser can not
have access to change
system software, including itself. That's being completely ignored so
far as I can tell.

Also, at this very moment I have an "updating" window sitting there
hung trying to access
the update server. For these any many other reasons, about 40% of the
Firefox user base is
not up to date. So simply repeating that everyone is up to date is, in
my opinion, ignoring
reality and neglecting a lot of users. So clearly the statement that
"everyone will always be up
to date" is false. We can agree on that, right? It seems clear to me
that any reasonable person
has to agree with that's false. It could be true that "most Windows 7
Home Basic users will be
kept up to date automatically and we don't care about anyone else",
but that's a very different
statement.

If we agree that many users will not have constant automatic updates,
meaning that many
users will have older versions, I think it's agreed that it's helpful
to be able to easily determine
WHICH version they are using. The Firefox bugzilla form itself asks
for the version number,
because it's important information.

Given these facts, reasonable people might construe that one of the
following must be true.
Either:
a) Some Firefox leaders have decided that only Windows Home Basic
users matter, (and now only ones too dumb to be part of a SpongeBob
forum) or
b) Some Firefox leaders are simply ignoring all user and community
input, so they are unaware of the problems or
c) Some Firefox leaders are so defensive or ego driven that they are
unable to admit their idea could use any improvement, despite
overwhelming evidence.

I'm very much hoping d) Asa gives us another explanation. An
explanation other than "everybody is always up to date" because that's
not true and never will be. If any of a through c were true, a call
to replace such leaders would be reasonable.

Steve

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 3:48:50 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 17, 11:04 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> That being said, there are clearly a few people making good arguments
> for why the version number should be removed. I'm trying to respond to
> those. I'm mostly not responding to the "rapid releases suck" or "you
> suck because you're not making an enterprise product" comments and I'm
> certainly not responding to the death threats, comparisons to Hitler or
> the suggestions that I be forcibly castrated :) I've got way more
> important things to do than that.

In other words, you are responding to those who "agree" with you and
ignoring
the rest. Whether you like it or not the above post IS in fact a
RESPONSE.

A very insulting one.

We have tried to make the point that Firefox has been enormously
powerful
and beneficial in our effort to make the web world a better place. We
have
tried to make the point that this "symptom of a problem" which you
call an
"idea" is just that a symptom that the underlying strategy is
misguided and
is affecting the more influential constituents in the community in an
adverse
way.

Yes you have a "few dozen" so-called "power users" here... but you
don't
know us. We are many. I represent dozens if not hundreds of
developers
and professionals who use your product but have "way more important
things
to do than" argue with you and your organization about what is best
for us.
I am personally responsible for no less than 200 conversions to FF
from
IE, by now the number may very well be more than 1000 (or more).
Thank
for providing us in the PAST with a product that met that need.

It took Mozilla MONTHS to even restart the Enterprise Working Group,
and
even now it appears their influence is more to "placate" the press
than to
actually effect core change. After seeing the attitudes you
(personally) have
displayed in the press and elsewhere, you will be hard pressed to get
much
interest from those of us with better things to do.

It might behoove you to stifle it a bit before you destroy what little
credibility
we have left in "professional" circles when we advocate Firefox.

Because you aren't alone in your stature any more.
(and you can take that to the bank)

Steve

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 3:34:08 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 17, 9:46 am, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Petter Andersson wrote:
> > I'm talking about shuffling things around for the sake of shuffling
> > things around "because we can" or "we believe it will be more trendy
> > this way".
>
> If you're saying that's what Firefox designers spend their time on,
> that's rather insulting. Can you re-read that and actually consider if
> you think that's what the professionals working on this product are doing?
>

I think the "professionals" working on the product should:
(a) act like professionals that work with a COMMUNITY and not
dictate to it
(b) hold positions that benefit all in the community without
resorting to
bigotry (against enterprise), arrogance (against any who
disagree),
and narcissism (as evidenced by that last paragraph)

> > even with Firefox, to a degree. I guess what I'm saying, if a browser
> > still resembles Netscape Navigator 4.71 + Tab Bar, then all is well
> > and everyone feels right at home :)
>
> OK. That's an interesting point of view. Not one I share, but certainly
> not unreasonable. Most people do not like change, even when that change
> can be really helpful to them. I have a suggestion for you. If you like
> how Netscape Navigator 4.71  would look with a Tab bar (and a modern
> rendering engine) Mozilla supports such a product and it's called
> SeaMonkey. Maybe give that a try.http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
>

In other words if we have been loyal, supporting, and have input then
jump
ship, but if we don't give a hoot about how the product is going to
look and
behave then we stay on it. Seriously.

> I'm also curious, since we do have pretty much exactly what you propose
> in Seamonkey, how do you think users would react in a side-by-side
> comparison between Seamonkey and Firefox? Would they all flock to
> Seamonkey because "everyone would feel right at home there"? (A quick
> reminder though -- about 90% of the people on the web today came onto
> the web after Netscape Navigator had already faded from view)
>

Are you really curious, or is this just more troll-bait?!?! I have
been watching
this discussion intensely for days... I have not seen one inkling that
you have
any real idea what the community is concerned about. NOT ONE.

Every valid and real concern is dismissed with retreat into an
entrenched
position. Moreover, the most vocal and invested in existing
installations are
dismissed off-hand as either "irrelevant" or "adverse-to-change".

At this point, it appears to be the "pot calling the kettle black".
You CLEARLY
do not understand your community - your assessment of your user base
is
all about "metrics" and "hypothesis". If you want to understand your
community - read between the lines. Your outspoken adherence to the
principle that Blue-Collar Joe is more important to Mozilla than CEO
Sally
is, well, ridiculous. Your constant sarcasm and dismissive attitude
is
damaging to your company's reputation in ALL circles. And the abject
failure to GROK what we are saying, or worse grok it and dismiss it as
if
YOU KNOW US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSELVES is downright
INSULTING to use your words. Seriously, man... take a break.
Rethink.

While you still can.

Because all this press will shake things up... just not in the way you
intend.

And besides, the whole "web-like" attitude is immature foolishness.
You provide
a WEB BROWSER that I install on MY MACHINE - not a WEBAPP that is
installed on a WEB SERVER. I assure you that developers' concerns are
real and not to be dismissed. I assure that the business community is
far more relevant than you imagine. Most of all I assure you that you
do
NOT understand your most vocal and adherent supporters - we are at
least
as "right" as you are on this... probably more considering the outcry.

It is easier to marginalize those in the know who threaten your
perspectives
(like enterprise PROFESSIONALS [at least as "professional" as those at
Mozilla]) and exercise power over the ignorant (like forced updates
and lack
of discretion between security and feature) than it is to do the real
work of
investing time and energy into understanding your place in the
community
and how we have valued and used Firefox in the past.

This is not about resistance to change, it is about resistance to
supporting a
product which essentially is becoming irrelevant to a huge segment of
the
community. A product which we grew to value and depend upon because
it
WAS a great product, managed in a respectable way.

Three "rapid release" cycles in, it has become apparent both intent
and
direction. We object to the intent, and decline the offer to go in
the same
direction.

And I am sorry if I "insulted" you.

Steve

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 3:57:37 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 17, 11:04 pm, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Chris Eaton wrote:
> > But how does this help my parents, or grandma, or anybody else like
> > them? Those people don't go to Help>  About. To test this out I
> > actually called my parents and asked them what version of FF they use.
>
> Well, I actually dealt with half a dozen people last month who read
> about the new 5.0.1 release and were upset [...] confused [...] distrustfull
> of Firefox because [...] the thing they read on the Web [...]

Good argument against the current impact of "rapid-release" strategy
as
implemented by Mozilla. EPIC MARKETING FAIL.

> I had another interesting encounter with an irate Linux user who [...]


> thought we were ignoring Linux and leaving it behind on an older version.

Good argument against the current impact of "rapid-release" strategy
as
implemented by Mozilla. EPIC MARKETING FAIL.

>
> Your grandma might not open that dialog, but plenty of people do [...]


> not trust Firefox when Firefox is telling them they're up to date.

Good argument against the current impact of "rapid-release" strategy
as
implemented by Mozilla. EPIC MARKETING FAIL.

>
> And this is just starting to be a problem. A year from now when we've

> shipped a dozen or so rapid releases, we'll have even more [...]
> outdated articles on the web [...]

Good argument against the current impact of "rapid-release" strategy
as
implemented by Mozilla. EPIC MARKETING FAIL.

Sorry to repeat myself... but this is ridiculous.

PATIENT: "Doctor, my arm hurts when I do this."
DOCTOR: "Well stop doing that."

We are reacting to the impact of the current Mozilla strategy, as
evidenced by this "bad idea". It is perfectly reasonable to assert
that
removing the version number is a BAD IDEA because a BROWSER is
not a WEBAPP. It is perfectly reasonable to shift the argument from
the impact to "Grandma" to the impact on developers who will use it
as an excuse NOT TO RESPECT ESTABLISHED NORMS AND
MODALITIES IN FAVOR OF INEFFECTIVE AND UNPROVEN
TRENDS. Putting the version number in there, and dealing with the
impact thereof is PART OF THE JOB. Seriously.

panos

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 4:27:31 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 16, 6:37 am, kis...@viprinet.com wrote:

> Due to various reasons, I've got automatic updates turned off on
> pretty much all software I run.

> With FF4 [gripes]

Makes no sense. Why did you update to a version you didn't like ?
Power users always test new versions before updating.

> Then I found out that with FF5 the online banking of a large german
> bank doesn't work any more. [...]
> I don't care if this is Firefox' fault

You should. Your bank's cheap labor hiring practices...

> I've resorted to using IE for that online banking for now.

...is hurting your option to use a better browser.

> Silently updating an application against
> adminstrative decisions is a no-go.

What are you talking of ? Are you aware that you can disable automatic
updates ?

> After telling all my friends, family, suppliers and business partners
> for years to move to Firefox and stop using IE I feel extremely
> alienated by all this.

I didn't like some of the recent changes in Firefox development
either, but requesting the firing of a developer who has worked his
ass for more than a decade on a free open source application that has
been useful to millions of users is a real shame.

I shall attribute this to a bad moment on your part and hope that
you'll get over it soon.

David Tenser

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 5:28:11 PM8/18/11
to Petter Andersson
On 2011-08-17 18:23, Petter Andersson wrote:
> On Aug 17, 6:00 pm, David Tenser<djst.mozi...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> From a usability point of view, I beg to differ. With tabs on top, you
>> can just reach for the top edge of the screen (assuming the window is
>> maximized, which most browser windows are for power users). This is far
>> easier than pointing precisely where the tab strip is, even if it's a
>> few pixels closer to the web page with tabs under the toolbars.
>>
>> You can read more about this here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts%27s_law#Success_and_implications
>
> Browser window is maximized, but you assume tabs are at very top.
> Sorry... Windows XP, classic theme here (good old grey and blue and no
> stupid transparencies a'la Aero). Titlebar is on top, then come File|
> Edit|View|History|Bookmarks|Tools|Help etc.
>

Ah. On Windows 7 (aero) the tabs are truly on top. I assumed that was
the case in XP as well, but I guess I was wrong.

> If you have difficulties aiming for the tabs, you need stronger
> glasses or more accurate mouse or steadier hand or combination of
> these :) Tabs on bottom works for me perfect.
>

It isn't about bad vision or mouse accuracy, it's about the time it
takes to stop the mouse/touchpad movement precisely over the tab strip,
which is a small vertical area. If the tabs are at the very top of the
screen (as is the case in Win7/Vista and Mac OS X at least), the
movement becomes a lot quicker.

Compare this to adjusting the volume of an amplifier. It's a lot easier
to adjust it to the max than it is to adjust it to, say, -30 dB. (Your
ears will say otherwise though...;) )

- david

Message has been deleted

Ron Hunter

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 6:13:49 PM8/18/11
to
Ahhhh, so that is why so many people play their music at max volume.
Poor coordination.

David Tenser

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 6:21:05 PM8/18/11
to

:)

Petter Andersson

unread,
Aug 18, 2011, 7:08:04 PM8/18/11
to
On Aug 19, 12:28 am, David Tenser <djst.mozi...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > If you have difficulties aiming for the tabs, you need stronger
> > glasses or more accurate mouse or steadier hand or combination of
> > these :) Tabs on bottom works for me perfect.
>
> It isn't about bad vision or mouse accuracy, it's about the time it
> takes to stop the mouse/touchpad movement precisely over the tab strip,
> which is a small vertical area. If the tabs are at the very top of the
> screen (as is the case in Win7/Vista and Mac OS X at least), the
> movement becomes a lot quicker.

I understand how this could be a benefit with a high-inertia pointing
device such as touchpad using certain "usage-easing
settings" (synaptics driver feature, I fail to remember its name) or
why not trackpoint for that matter. However, what you're describing is
fundamentally a lack of accuracy. I have no such issues myself, being
primarily a desktop computer user (and even my notebooks have external
wireless mice to go with them). My mouse pointer lands precisely on
the pixel where I want it to land, every time, all the time ;) All I
care about is the distance traveled, and it's simple math. When
majority of navigation takes place using mouse's back/forward buttons,
you have very little need to visit the navigation toolbar, which is
right below titlebar/pull-down menus. Then come tabs, and mouse
pointer spends most of its time in actual web content window. Most
frequently accessed feature is indeed tabbar and, were it at very top,
with navbar and whatnot in between, this is just unnecessary back/
forth traffic to user of a pixel-perfect pointing device.

Asa Dotzler

unread,
Aug 19, 2011, 4:27:32 AM8/19/11
to Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton wrote:

> Funny story there... my home computer grabbed FF 6 this morning in a
> totally painless way (even the update installation was fast, which is
> nice).
>
> My work computer? Help> About at this very second says "5.0. Firefox
> is up to date." I just started it up this morning, so it's not an old
> version of the check.

Sounds like you found a bug. Report it?

- A

André Neves

unread,
Aug 19, 2011, 5:49:35 AM8/19/11
to FF Usability
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 1:08 AM, Petter Andersson wrote:
> ...

> My mouse pointer lands precisely on
> the pixel where I want it to land, every time, all the time ;) All I
> care about is the distance traveled, and it's simple math. When
> majority of navigation takes place using mouse's back/forward buttons,
> you have very little need to visit the navigation toolbar, which is
> right below titlebar/pull-down menus. Then come tabs, and mouse
> pointer spends most of its time in actual web content window. Most
> frequently accessed feature is indeed tabbar and, were it at very top,
> with navbar and whatnot in between, this is just unnecessary back/
> forth traffic to user of a pixel-perfect pointing device.

I'm jealous of your robotic-precision hand-eye coordination.
But can't you just toggle the "View>Toolbars>Tabs on top" option?

This discussion is already too lengthy, even without the off-topic diversions.
Thanks.

Robert Kaiser

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Aug 19, 2011, 12:45:09 PM8/19/11
to
Asa Dotzler schrieb:

Could very well be another instance of
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=679742 - in short, when the
check for updates fails, we say it's "up to date" even though we don't
know that.

sirald66

unread,
Aug 19, 2011, 5:52:47 PM8/19/11
to
Worth repeating...

"Respect your users or you will lose them... Play nice or face
extinction." -Asa Dotzler

mk

unread,
Aug 19, 2011, 9:18:34 PM8/19/11
to
On Aug 17, 1:28 am, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Petter Andersson wrote:
> > On Aug 16, 8:19 am, Asa Dotzler<a...@mozilla.com>  wrote:
> >> kis...@viprinet.com wrote:
> >>>  From all I have read now it appears to me that all of these decisions
> >>> that I regard as completely stupid and wrong come from one person: Asa
> >>> Dotzler.
> >> While I'm flattered that you credit me with everything Mozilla's done
> >> from moving to a rapid release cadence to the interface changes in
> >> Firefox 4, to our increasingly silent updates, I'm afraid I can't take
> >> credit for any of those things. I support them, and I was tangentially
> >> involved in them, but those were decisions made by groups of people and
> >> not individuals, myself or others. Those were also changes that happened
> >> well before I became the Firefox Product Manager. Again, I'm flattered
> >> that you think one person, especially me, could do all those things, but
> >> it would be unfair for me to take all the credit.
>
> >> Cheers,
> >> - A
>
> > Why don't you stop being part of the problem? ...UX/UI team
> > may think whatever they want, but you, having heard our comments,
> > SHOULD have the obligation to tell them: NO, people do not want this,
> > so just forget it already.

>
> If you think that Mozilla should make decisions about how it develops
> software based on a tiny self-selecting sample of people who know how to
> participate in online discussion forums, you've got a very different
> view than I do about how to develop software that is growing from half a
> billion to a billion users.
>
> I'm not dismissing your concerns or your feedback, but the proposal that
> we should design a product based on such a small sliver of feedback is
> basically a non-starter.
>
> Even if you represented a majority of users, that's still not how we
> design software. We are not a democracy and have never been a democracy.
> Mozilla is a meritocracy with an decision-making system that dates back
> more than a decade and which places final authority in the hands of
> individuals who have earned it through good works on the project.
>
> Again, that is not to dismiss feedback, yours or anyone else's. I
> appreciate almost all of this feedback (I actually read it all) -- with
> maybe the exception of the people calling for me to be murdered or
> otherwise physically harmed.
>
> Mozilla listens to all of the feedback that it possibly can. But we
> don't design by votes.
>
> Let me say it one more time so there's no mistake. I read and consider
> all feedback. I respond to some of it but not all or I wouldn't have
> time to do anything else. I care about feedback and believe that the
> huge community of people who take the time to offer feedback is one of
> the things that distinguishes Mozilla in the industry.  I appreciate
> your feedback. I've read it, and I've taken the time to respond to what
> of it I have the time to respond to. The same goes for all of the other
> feedback here, in the bug report, on slashdot, on other tech sites, with
> the press, with my colleagues and my co-workers.  I do not dismiss any
&g