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Mozilla Labs: the URL Bar Has To Go

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the command-line-strikes-back dept.

Firefox 591

An anonymous reader writes with an editorial from ConceivableTech "Since Google's move to enable users to hide the URL bar, we have seen what could be the beginning of the end of one of the key features of the web browser. Mozilla has its own thoughts, but there is little doubt that Mozilla is reconsidering the purpose of the URL bar in future versions of its browsers. In a Mozilla Labs post today, David Regev suggests that the location bar should be replaced with a tool to support more than just one command."

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Following Google to Stupidity (5, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239866)

Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not? There's a good reason to keep the URL bar - it's a quick and easy way to check for phishing 2 out of 3 times. Hiding the URL bar is just dumb, because now we're reliant on Google or Mozilla or other third-party maintained lists to protect us from phishing, or we have to jump through hoops to check the URL. No, thank you!

Plus, what is wrong with keeping the URL bar where it is? I use the Omnibar addon and it adds the ability to do all sorts of query commands into the URL bar already. It works well and it's convenient to use, and best of all, I keep my URL bar (albeit it's now a long address bar that incorporates the search bar into it). Why not go that direction? Why follow Google towards stupid design decisions? Just making it look nifty is not a good reason to change something or to remove functionality and features.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239892)

It's because Mozilla is struggling to stay relevant when they are losing market share year after year to Chrome.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240044)

The day FF will start up as fast as Chrome, I'll switch back. Never before.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (5, Interesting)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240200)

The day Chrome has true support for NoScript, I'll switch back. Never before.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240226)

What do you measure in? Nanoseconds? How old is your computer that either takes more than a second to load?

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (5, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240246)

the day chrome fixes it's theming colors, and print system I will switch back.

Seriously chrome is the only browser not to support page margins. So it is useless for printing out web forms.

As for theme's when a website requests a new window theme colors default to the original colors.

Two very simple things chrome does wrong.

now let me actually delete history on a regular basis and all will be good. I don't need 6 months of browser history saved.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240380)

I don't need 6 months of browser history saved.

Ah, but Google does.

"Don't be Evil" is a pretty low hurdle to clear, btw.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240214)

It's because Mozilla is struggling to stay relevant when they are losing market share year after year to Chrome.

Which, of course, just decreases their relevancy further and faster.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (3, Insightful)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239930)

Maybe a smarter move would be integrating Omnibar into firefox by default.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (5, Insightful)

kbitz (847782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239948)

If Mozilla is going to start "following Google" then there's no reason for me to use their browser when I could go straight to the source and use Chrome. I use Firefox because I don't like Chrome. There is no reason to start emulating it.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240098)

I agree completely your statement. This is why I won't "upgrade," if you call it that, to 4.x for FF. I'm on 3.6 and don't see any good reason for me to switch. If I could, I would gladly go back to 2.c which was far faster and easier to use. I can't see how using Chrome or the latest version of FF makes it easier for you to do any productive work. Seems like it is all being based on the social media factor. Ha.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240318)

As a web developer, I cry for you.

FF 4 (and 5 and 6) is significantly faster, enables GPU acceleration (granted on "select chipsets"), Web Apps 1 somewhat compat, expose-like feature for grouping, and a slew of features. It's more secure, faster, and enables a richer experience.

By staying on FF 3.6.* tree, you're saying that upgrading to the latest version of something is really needed. Just like XP users. Guess what, you should always stay current with your software for a multitude of reasons, which I really shouldn't have to explain. Just like IE 9 needs to die, FF 4, Safari 5, Opera 10.10 all need to die.

You are effectively stopping everyone else from having RIA's, without flash / silverlight, by keeping a non-current web browser.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240216)

I don't use chrome because I assume it will be tougher to block tracking from a web browser from a company whose main business is selling information gained from tracking users.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240260)

And that doesn't fit Firefox too? Their main source of revenue is from Google searches through their browser.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240336)

I was a big Firefox fan for seven or eight years, but Firefox 4 is such a dog on older hardware that I finally dumped it for Chrome, and after a bit of a learning curve, I actually don't mind it at all. It still needs a few features, but all in all, it works damned well.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

bmuon (1814306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240000)

This is just an experiment by the community. It doesn't mean Mozilla is going in any direction. Mozilla Labs is a place for breaking the web and learning from the broken pieces. Sometimes, interesting ideas arise, like the Awesome Bar HD [mozilla.org] (which still needs a lot of work). Other times, they go too far (Home Dash).

Anyway, Mozilla's motto for Firefox is to keep it being completely customizable, so you'll still be able to have the browser look any way you want, even if they change the standard UI.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (5, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240368)

"Mozilla's motto for Firefox is to keep it being completely customizable..."

Ah yes. That's why I can turn the status bar back on in FF4, right?

I appreciate the desire to reduce clutter and give us more browsing space, but the stupid floating URL at the bottom in lieu of a status bar does NOT save space, it just overlaps and obscures content--and I can't turn it off or move it.

The Mozilla foundation needs to stop screwing around until they take a good hard look at the direction they've been drifting in the last two years.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240008)

I don't care if they disable it be default as long as there is some officially supported way to turn it back on.

Many normal users are confused by URL's and the like anyway so removing it might be a good idea as long as "power" users have a way to keep doing what they can do now (unlike GNOME3, Unity, and the other crap that effectively cripples the system for people that know what they are doing).

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240130)

"Many normal users are confused by URL's and the like anyway ".....

And we all know that it's far easier to hide it than to educate someone or GASP! they take effort to learn.

This kind of mentality will bring us the car without access to the engine bay and computers that only let you install software from the AppStore(tm)....

Why are we dumbing things down to cater to the bottom of the pool? What the hell is wrong with society, It's encouraging people to be illiterate and undecuated?

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240218)

Why are we dumbing things down to cater to the bottom of the pool?

Because if you don't, someone else will come out with a product that does, and users will switch to that product, thus making 'dumbing down' an inevitability.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (-1, Offtopic)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240282)

It's because the United States of America is rapidly becoming a third-world country, and what's worse our politicians and corporations are doing everything they can to destroy the middle class once and for all and bring us back to some form of fuedalism, that's why. Information is power. You want to control the peasant class? Don't educate them, convince them that education is bad, knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking are bad, obeying your leaders and letting your "betters" do the thinking for you is good -- and mercilessly crush anyone who starts getting all uppity, pretending above their "station".

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240304)

You miss the point. There are clearly and identifiably two classes of users: knowledgable and those that are using an appliance.

For the appliance users, taking away the URL entry capability is good. Taking away the ability to install random malware is good. Administering the computer remotely (when needed at all) is good. In short, anything that can be done to make it so people that aren't interested in learning "about" computers only how to basically used one do not have to is good.

For the minority that is really interested, they can use something else.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (4, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240014)

It's not about following Google's move (to me). Their efforts seem disingenuous. The URL bar is fine and there's nothing wrong with it. The purpose behind the move? More screen real-estate, or just an effort to confuse the customer?

It it isn't broken do not fix it. It means that I'll have to put in extra effort on all the machines I repair to find and put back the URL bar for my customers.

Seriously, they need to rethink their purpose.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (5, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240024)

Well, they ignored the massive backlash about removing the status bar, so what makes you think they'll listen to the masses about the location bar? Mozilla's been making some really questionable design decisions lately, and their response always seems to be "find an add-on to do it." Extensions are nifty and all, but they should be required for what some would consider basic interface functionality.

There is an extension [mozilla.org] to make the "add-on" bar act like the old status bar, but it's got some issues (might be FF, might be the add-on).

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240124)

The "massive backlash" honestly comes from the noisy minority; and the behavior in Chrome and Firefox is actually pretty spot-on. It does everything the status bar did that I cared about (i.e. everything except displaying "Document Done") without wasting the screen space all the time.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240192)

It does everything the status bar did that I cared about (i.e. everything except displaying "Document Done") without wasting the screen space all the time.

Which is great, if you're running Firefox on a phone. On a real PC it looks pretty clunky.

And removing the URL bar is simply retarded.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240240)

It sounds to me like Mozilla wants to merge Ubiquity into the URL bar...

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240210)

Mozilla's been making some really questionable design decisions lately, and their response always seems to be "find an add-on to do it."

The funny thing is, when the project first started the attitude was "find an add-on" if you wanted something besides basic typical browser functionality. Now, they're just terrified of Chome ... and whatever Chrome does becomes gospel. Hide the "File Edit View" menus ... tabs in the title bar ... remove the status bar. And now that the URL bar is gone ... suddenly it "has to go."

Grow a pair, Mozilla.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240072)

I think the idea is to destroy the command line interface at all costs. Look at comments on non tech sites. Try to imagine people that write youtube reviews when they are confronted with a CLI.

It's all in the effort to make it easy, pretty, and simple. Drop down menus were too hard to use so now we have a ribbon. Now they want to get rid of that confusing nonsensical text at the top of your browser and search bar.

It will make sharing links much harder, but I imagine they'll have a button for that incorporated at some point as well. If you share it or email it on the website, they can harvest the email address you put in, and perhaps force you to log in and send it for you, thus netting your info and of who you are sending it to. They can't track you if you email it. And if you send it via an on page button, they can track if the recipient used it or ignored it or not by sending a trackable object in the email or message. They could even send an ad along with it!

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240086)

That was my first thought, since I just got a Mozilla Labs update that changed my Firefox AwesomeBar to the Google Chrome EvenMoreAwesomeBar. Firefox is trying to be Chrome to stay relevant.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240104)

I use the Omnibar addon and it adds the ability to do all sorts of query commands into the URL bar already. It works well and it's convenient to use, and best of all, I keep my URL bar (albeit it's now a long address bar that incorporates the search bar into it). Why not go that direction?

Umm...

David Regev suggests that the location bar should be replaced with a tool to support more than just one command.

Isn't that exactly what he's suggesting?

Granted, if you look at the fine article, it isn't exactly a bar so much as a box... But it's the same idea. A multi-function interface element that allows you to enter searches, addresses, get page info, and whatever else.

I think the observation is that most folks don't actually use the URL bar to type in a URL these days. That's why so many browsers allow you to search directly from the URL bar - because people don't type out URLs, they type out searches. This is just a logical extension of that.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240194)

Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not?

They're the Soviet Union to Google's USA.

Every little thing US military did, from the 5.56mm ammo to the Space Shuttle, the Soviets copied... even the boneheaded moves (such as these two). Their rationale was that "Well if the Americans are doing it, it must be good".

There was also a bit of Cover Your Ass mentality, similar to "I can't get fired for buying IBM". If I authorize development of new tech, and it fails, I could be sent to the goulags... but if I just copy American shit, I'm safe.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240256)

Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not?

Complacency followed by panic. Two years ago Firefox looked secure, according to statcounter IE had 62% marketshare, Firefox 29% and Opera/Safari/Chrome fought over the last 9% - Firefox was almost 10x bigger than than the third browser and everybody agreed nobody runs IE because it's better so in many ways they felt like #1. All they had to do was convert more IE users and world domination was at hand.

Then came Chrome:
May 2009: 2.45%
May 2010: 8.61%
May 2010 (est): 19.22%

Extrapolation is always a dangerous thing but Chrome has been eating almost one full percentage point per month now. One more year like this and Chrome would pass Firefox. And Mozilla's search engine agreement with Google ends in November this year, what's the deal going to be now that Chrome goes toe to toe with Firefox? I doubt they'll get as generous terms this time around. In short, they really feel the competition breathing down their necks now.

Re:Following Google to Stupidity (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240358)

Opera has a useful adress bar, combined with custom search engines:
"wk stargate" takes me to wikipedia's english entrey on starget,
"a blackdeathkiller" takes me to my realm's blackdeathkiller wow armory page
"g santorum" takes me to the very interesting google search on santorum

plus there's an option to hide it already, and F2 pops up an "enter URL" page.

I don't see what the fuss is about.

Great idea! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239890)

You know who else didn't have a URL bar?

AOL.

Re:Great idea! (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239936)

AOL actually added one, I thought.

Re:Great idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240038)

I remember that. People on AOL could not use the Internet unless it was "approved" by AOL. You would say something like, "Go to this site, it's so cool!" And people on AOL said, "I can't". I would say, "No way, let me try" and sure enough it wouldn't let you.

A quick search brings back memories...

http://www.isomedia.com/homes/vertical/aol.htm

Re:Great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240108)

That's bull. I used AOL for years before broadband came to my area. I would log in to AOL, then minimize it and use Netscape to browse. I never had any problem going anywhere on the Web. I even used my own FTP client. The only thing AOL forced you to use their software for was email. You were probably just to stupid to adjust your parental settings.

Re:Great idea! (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240242)

How early exactly did you use AOL? Because I recall using AOL back in the days before Netscape hit 1.0 (Netscape 0.9 was what my first ISP bundled with their startup package) I certainly recall frustrations with AOL back then (1992-1993ish)..., so I'm curious as to what exactly your timeline was for AOL use....

I hate devs who follow "trends". (5, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239906)

Nothing gets under my skin more than devs who like to follow the latest trends without considering whether what they are doing actually delivers concrete value to the end user or at least makes the codebase more maintainable in a real measurable way. Newer is not always better.

Re:I hate devs who follow "trends". (2)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240152)

Not to mention that the last link in TFS effectively calls for a CLI based browser, which would suck for handheld devices or people who aren't seasoned keyboard jockeys.

Re:I hate devs who follow "trends". (2)

neoform (551705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240308)

They should change the URL bar to be limited to 140 chars, that'll make web programmers make their urls more concise and to the point!

Stop It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239914)

Every time Mozilla releases a new version of Firefox, they make it uglier and more annoying. Please STOP IT! The so-called "Awesome Bar" is NOT awesome. Every time upgrade, I have to hunt around for options and add-ons, to put Firefox back to the way I like it.

Re:Stop It! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240310)

It's [twotoasts.de] not [opera.com] like [caminobrowser.org] you can't find alternatives.

No way (1)

frizop (831236) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239950)

You can pry the URL bar from my cold dead hands

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240160)

Your proposal is acceptable.

The latest GUI innovation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239966)

... the command line! Brilliant...

Re:The latest GUI innovation... (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240048)

So now I have to wget http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] | firefox

Re:The latest GUI innovation... (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240070)

Mod parent up for great snark.

I <3 URL Bars (4, Insightful)

vinn (4370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239970)

I like URL bars. They're quick and easy to type into, they let me see exactly where I'm browsing at (in theory), and when it comes time to copy and paste a link it's simple. The added 33 pixels means nothing to me.

Alternatively, we could consider removing the URL bar if it was replaced with a button that gave David Regev electroshock therapy every time it was clicked. Oh, and that Google guy too who's removing it.

Could Someone Explain to me... (5, Insightful)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239974)

....why I don't want a URL bar? How the hell am I supposed to type in the places I want to go. What are they thinking? I don't get it. I also tend not to change my habits. Is typing in URLs passe now? Am I supposed to rely on my browser to take me where I want to go? What's the deal?

Not trolling here. I'm serious, I don't get this 'feature' at all. I open a blank page and search on google and hope my search term works the next time?

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (3, Funny)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240012)

You still type in URL's? So old fashioned. I just think where I want to go and, BING, I'm there!

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240132)

I do it with butterflies. It takes ages but you feel like you accomplished something.

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240370)

That must suck to have porn as every other page you go to... or not.

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240080)

It's simple really. Rather than type in a URL, they want you to use the search box. This is why google loves it.

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (3, Insightful)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240122)

....why I don't want a URL bar? How the hell am I supposed to type in the places I want to go. What are they thinking? I don't get it.

Everything is on Facebook now, so other URLs are obsolete. Didn't you get the tweet?

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240136)

IT DOESN'T GET RID OF THEM.
Why the hell don't people READ?
The last article on Google removing them had me wanting to smash my face through my desk due to the amount of stupidity in it.
Where the hell did all these people come from? Reddit? Facebook?

It is an option to HIDE the bar behind an icon, menu item, context access, whatever. It isn't to remove it from the interface completely.

I certainly welcome it. The location bar is terribly wasteful.
Considering how websites are designed vertically (most of the time), I would rather have as much space as possible vertically.
Hence the reason I have loads of tabs over to my left via side tab navigation.
Now if only Google would let me collapse that bar when I don't need it, and ditch the whole top bar with buttons, or at least move it on to the sidebar where it should be. Just have an arrow on every sidetab entry that lets you pop out the controls, bham, sorted.

As for people who are scared about phishing, I probably don't care about these people enough as it is since they are probably part of the growing number of people who shouldn't be on computers in the first place, never mind the Internet!

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (1)

kirjoittaessani (2109350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240306)

Apparently, many people nowadays you Google to find their favourite sites. Even if they do know the URL. Like this: http://google.com?q=slashdot.org [google.com] .

Re:Could Someone Explain to me... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240312)

A blank page is different from ordinary web pages. A blank page will require some tool that allows you to type in where you want to go, including the option of typing in a URL. If you're going to have that, it might as well be a big feature of the page, in large text, rather than an inconspicuous and often unlabeled bar at the top.

It's inconspicuous and unlabeled in your current browser because you rarely refer to it. Most of it is meaningless, to you if not to the server. This URL is http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/05/25/1532246/Mozilla-Labs-the-URL-Bar-Has-To-Go [slashdot.org] . "Slashdot" and the article title are repeated in the browser's frame bar (and in fact the server probably ignores it). A Slashdot reader can eke out more meaning, but nearly all other users find it impenetrable.

Removing it would give it a cleaner look and show you slightly more of the web page at once without scrolling. 90% of the time, your next web page will be arrived at by clicking a link. The rest of the time, when you want an unrelated page, you bring it up in a new tab/window, which will have a conspicuous place for you to type a URL.

My one remaining concern is that while the URL is mostly meaningless, the domain name is not. It's nice to know for sure that this is "slashdot.org", and that I'm not typing this into a malicious page. I'm glad to be able to glance up and get that information, rather than having to bring it up. But given the various ways of disguising URLs, it may well be better to show me precisely and explicitly just the domain name, rather than having me parse the URL myself (something grandma is unlikely to do).

I don't know where they'd put it, though. Cleaning up the look was the goal, and hiding it means I have to go find it when I need it.

What's wrong with a classic browser? (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239978)

Ok, I understand tabs on top after using them. I understand the awesome bar's usefulness after having used it for a while. But no URL bar? Whatever happened to full-screen mode if you really need that much vertical real estate? I don't want to lose my URL bar, nor do I want to help support users who aren't knowledgeable who get a browser update containing this (if Mozilla and Google are both going in this direction, I expect IE10 to also be URL bar-less). Is this going to finally validate all those people who think that a search engine text entry field equals a URL bar? Those who type in "google.com" to a Bing or Yahoo search page?

I'd much rather have the rendering and processing backends optimized to hell and back, and it least it seems they've been doing that - thanks to hardware acceleration and a better JS engine, Firefox 4 runs much faster for me than 3.x did. Keep that up and quit fucking with our UI!

When you lack inspiration.... (5, Insightful)

avandesande (143899) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239998)

When you lack inspiration, fix something that isn't broken!

Re:When you lack inspiration.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240158)

But with mozilla it's , "when you don't want to bother with working on the pile of bug reports to fix the problems that have been there for a while.... Work on a new shiny!

Re:When you lack inspiration.... (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240244)

When you lack inspiration, fix something that isn't broken!

Sadly, this seems to be exactly the philosophy of the Firefox developers. Along with "we must imitate everything Google Chrome does".

Re:When you lack inspiration.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240298)

It is broken, unless you've never used a 1366x768 12" laptop. Or is it the laptop that's broken?

FF 3 is plain ridiculous on aforementioned laptop, and Chrome 12 still isn't perfect.

Fork for sane people? (2)

KFT (663082) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240002)

So how about a fork of Firefox for sane people? Just some defaults tweaked.

Some suggestions
- Ask me where I want to save things instead of just dumping things in a folder
- URL bar with konqueror style commands like 'ggm:' for google maps, 'gg' for google, 'imdb' for imdb...
- One click pass through when an SSL certificate doesn't match (yes, tell me, but probably I knew this already)
- One click toggle of plugins
- history off by default (who uses that?)

Anything else?

Re:Fork for sane people? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240092)

Anything else?

Firefox 4 broke the ability to display a table as it is being generated line-by-line, leaving the user staring at a blank browser for as long as it takes to emit the </TABLE> tag. That's REALLY annoying, especially for reports that take a while.

It took me a little while to figure out how to put the tabs back on top of the page, instead of on top of the URL bar; I'd add that to your list of things for sane people.

Re:Fork for sane people? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240182)

- Ask me where I want to save things instead of just dumping things in a folder

That option already exists, and has for a long time. Tools -> Options -> General -> Always ask me where to save files

- history off by default (who uses that?)

I do. A lot.

So how about a fork of Firefox for sane people?

I have thought the same thing for a long time. I would love to see a fork of Firefox that undoes all the stupid bullshit and all the "we have to imitate Google Chrome" nonsense. However, if you spend some time with Firefox's train-wreck source code (some of which dates back to 1999), and the insanely complicated, convoluted build process that would make Rube Goldberg vomit, you will quickly lose interest in creating your own fork of Firefox.

Re:Fork for sane people? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240190)

This would be called the "Not and idiot" mode... it should require some basic math to enable it to keep the typical idiot from accidentally enabling it.

Mozilla relevance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240004)

Are they even around any more?
After Chrome came out I thought they just vanished from the planet.

derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240010)

like search?

I don't get it (4, Insightful)

Uthic (931553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240018)

Really don't get what's the problem with the URL bar. I don't buy that reasoning that it's "confusing" for people to see an URL or that it eats up too much space. If they must follow through with this ridiculous idea hopefully they'll put in an option to keep it (nothing wrong with allowing customization) - or an addon for it will be made.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240270)

URL bars can be very confusing -- Whenever Im using my (norwegian) bank service it seems to show a russian domain for some reason.

I'm getting out of user support, now. (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240054)

Crap, another move to ensure that new users will never understand how their computers work.

And these stupid CLIs! (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240064)

Let's get rid of all typing! Just click on pretty pictures for everything! No one actually needs a keyboard.

Just....no (3, Insightful)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240076)

Don't do it Mozilla. Don't lose your identity. Don't f*ck with users just to copy another browser. Another browser that is popular because of internal stuff rather than interface.
Why not copying the GOOD aspects of Chrome? You know, the stuff Chrome fans like to point out, like speed and such.

Enough already (2)

Kabloink (834009) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240084)

"Secondly, it’s hard to read, since people don’t really understand URLs"

Do we always have to cater to the lowest common denominator. At this rate we will have nothing but a browser sidebar with predefined url buttons to the most popular social sites.

All this... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240088)

While the Downloads are looking at them from that Ugly Default External Window.

Fix that instead, Mozilla.

NO! (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240106)

This is what I call "pulling a Microsoft", or dumbing down your interface to the point where a professional can't use it. Please don't. You will just end up producing ignorant users.

Functionality already exists (1)

Avalon73 (215477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240114)

Why do anything with it? You can already remove the URL bar from Firefox if you want to. That's what the "Customize Toolbars" menu option is all about. If they do muck around with it, then I don't have an objection as long as there's an option to bring it back, as there are with the menu and status (er, 'scuse me, add-on) bars.

Mozilla Considering a "TaskBar" (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240128)

An anonymous Firefox dev has suggested adding a futuristic "TaskBar" to replace to old fashioned URL Bar. "Imagine, it could house a menu, tabs, perhaps widgets like a clock or volume control... ". This new bar might be moved to the bottom of the screen to maximize usability. "We ran extensive user tests - selecting our users randomly from a large pool of Gnome 3 enthusiasts and Unity developers alike".
When reached for comment, reps from competing browsers had this to say:
IE: "Hawt."
Safari: "Who needs any sort of bar? You should be able to control your browser simply by caressing the screen with predefined strokes."
Chrome: "Oh yeah? In our next version the TaskBar and Menu will each run in their own process! Eat THAT Mozilla."

No more dial on radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240140)

just presets.

that point to their stations.

How about fixing the URL Bar instead (4, Insightful)

zzsmirkzz (974536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240150)

Who the hell wants the URL bar removed (other than spammers/phishers/scammers)?? Seriously, isn't that the best practice to prevent phishing attacks is to manually type the URL of the website you are trying to connect to?? What are they thinking? Not too mention being able to verify the site you are on, easily copy/paste links, etc.

What should be done is to increase the functionality of the URL bar. The one thing that always pisses me off and should be fixed is not allowing a web page to steal the focus from the URL bar. I don't know how many times I've started typing in a URL only to have the Yahoo or Google bar steal the focus 3-5 characters in. Improve it, don't remove it.

Intranet (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240154)

How do you connect to sites on an Intranet without a location bar. I don't want a google search of my intranet, for my dev products.

Microsoft-ian? (5, Insightful)

bp+m_i_k_e (901456) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240156)

This reminds me of the dubious decision to hide file name extensions in Windows Explorer by default - you know, since users don't really need that information.

Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240162)

Either that, or great minds think a like. Seriously though. This isn't that revolutionary. Mobile browsers hide the URL bar to try and save real estate on tiny tiny phone screens. www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

The real purpose (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240164)

The real purpose for Google putting everything into one entry box is that everything you type gets turned into a search, and therefore gets sent to Google. It adds a very significant amount of data to their user search information database - essentially monetizing everything you type up there (Microsoft does this with IE as well). My guess is that Mozilla is getting something under the table for this as well. Fork time?

Re:The real purpose (1)

LQ (188043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240314)

The real purpose for Google putting everything into one entry box is that everything you type gets turned into a search, and therefore gets sent to Google

I'm a keyboarder rather than a mouser so I know C-L takes me to the address bar with autocomplete from history and bookmarks, C-K to search. C-L plus a few letters is a lot faster than a bookmarks menu. C-T,C-K is probably one of my most used key combos. Either way, they can hide the bar when not in use as long as I can get there via a handy shortcut.

Remember when Mozilla was about the users? (1)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240170)

User plug-ins...buttons where users wanted them....themes..

God Dammit (1)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240176)

And I just finished the long and arduous process of teaching a dozen of my relatives older than 40 what a phishing attack is and how to spot it.

Thanks for making my life miserable again, Mozilla.

Any GOOD reason? (4, Insightful)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240180)

This from the article:

“The location bar has to go. It has many problems. For one, it’s always visible and constantly takes up a large amount of space. Secondly, it’s hard to read, since people don’t really understand URLs. Moreover, it’s modal: it has a mode for displaying the current page’s location and a mode for entering your next destination. It’s not always immediately obvious which mode you’re in and what the current text is indicating, and switching modes is not easy either."

That is the stupidest thing I've read in a while. Really? The URL bar takes up too much space? It is slightly larger than one line of text. If they aer so concerned about saving space, maybe they should get rid of the title bar and the little mozilla icon in the corner - that is a hell of a lot less useful than the URL bar. Sure, hiding the bar might be a great idea on a smart phone or something with severely limited screen real estate, but to apply this across the board as the default is just stupid.

The URL is hard to read? Seriously? It tells you the address of the page you are looking at. That's pretty damn simple. Yes, it is a long string of characters, which I'm sure offends graphic designers everywhere (which seem to be the people driving the current rash of browser UI changes - screw usability, it has to look "nice"), but it really is a simple way to tell you what you are looking at.

It isn't always obvious if you are entering the next destination or looking at your current location? Really? There are people that click in the bar, start typing a new address, and then forget what they are doing and think that the address they just (partially) typed is what they are looking at right now? That argument simply doesn't make any sense.

Mozilla seems to have a serious case of me-too-itis lately. Chrome's version is increasing too fast? Fine, we'll start pumping out new version numbers to compete - yeah, 4.0 just came out, that's okay; this next version we'll just call 5.0 instead of the 4.0.4 that it really is. We'll catch up in no time! Chrome offers the option to hide the URL bar? Hah! Those losers! We're going to get rid of it entirely because we're awesome like that! Here's some made-up BS to justify it even though approximately zero users want this!

Location bar (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240188)

Secondly, itâ(TM)s hard to read, since people donâ(TM)t really understand URLs.

Really? On what planet?
I submit to you this: If someone doesn't understand a URL after all this time, then they don't have even a rudimentary understanding of the basic workings of the Internet.
My concern is this: that this path leads to a "Playskool" internet browser, that may be fine and dandy for 6-year-olds and great-grandma, but that will frustrate the rest of us. If you must insist on taking this path, then at least give us the option to turn the URL bar back on if we want it.

Vimperator :set gui=none,addons,tabs (1)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240212)

Most everyone who uses vimperator [vimperator.org] has their browser configured to not use an URL bar. I personally don't miss it at all.

Designers gone dumb (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240228)

Computers have been around for decades; many interface designs were tried, and we have a pretty good clue about what works and what does not. But lately it seems that everyone has decided to ignore this knowledge and just try to make things flashy. Those morons may think they'll attract a new userbase this way, but actually will just alienate the one they already have.

Return of The Command Line? (1)

Dr_Ish (639005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240234)

Once upon a time, in the days of yore, we had something fairly similar to what it sounds like they are proposing: The Command Line [cryptonomicon.com] . A recent slashdot.org [slashdot.org] post even demonstrated the concept [telehack.com] for younger folks who cannot remember back that far back. While there is new rhetoric about commands being issuable in putative 'natural language', this is something that has been heard before, with diminishing plausibility. So, why does Mozilla insist on going backwards? I like the URL bar. If they do away with it, I'll just have to find an add-on to bring it back. So, I think that this is silly.

Same guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240238)

It's the same people who decided to remove the status bar, isn't it?

His face when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240300)

...he hits F11.

Makes perfect sense - NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240334)

I mean, who doesn't want to replace the readily-editable standard text box that's the URL bar with an interface where you have to, "hover over the current location or a link in a web page and hold Alt."? That's TOTALLY something that I would think to do, not to mention how completely easy it is to perform on a touch-input device or with the keyboard alone...

Widescreen (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240382)

I think the URL bar ideas stem from the reduction of vertical screen real estate, primarily as a result of the Widescreen adoption. Rather than using the same vertical resolution, screens have smushed down on average, making vertical real estate extremely valuable. This problem is also exacerbated by the ubiquity of tabs. Unfortunately, there's no good way to make text vertical, so I think that's where this idea comes from.

Maybe they could just make it like the default menu bar settings in a lot of new browsers, where they don't appear until you press alt? That way you aren't getting rid of it but allow more real estate for those that need it. Of course, this is already an option so maybe they are trying to be more extreme in their attempts to get rid of it. A rollover on the left side of the screen that pops out with a bar for both search and URL could be a possibility.

Rapid Keyword Searches (1)

dhj (110274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240388)

Replace the URL bar with a tool to support more than just one command? Isn't that what keyword searches are for? I find the firefox URL bar to be extremely useful when combined with keyword searches. Here's how:

Go to any search field for instance the google search box, right click and choose "Add a Keyword for this Search...".

Give the search a single character "keyword" (eg g for google).

Now when you want to do a search you can do the following sequence:

Ctl-L # access the URL bar
Keyword [SEARCH TERMS] # eg "g slashdot" will perform a google search for slashdot

These are some of the keyword searches I use most often:

p for pubmed
g for google
gs for google scholar
gm for google maps
w for wikipedia
d for duckduckgo
ed for english dictionary
sd for spanish dictionary

The URL bar is by far the most useful feature of Firefox!

'tis bonkers (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36240390)

After 10 years or so of evangelical promotion of web browsers in some quarters - Firefox advocates can be almost as mental as Apple fans - it seems that we have ground to a halt in terms of advances but no-one is willing to admit it.

The Firefox and Chrome lot have put so much effort and capital into their brands that they can't stop farting new versions out any more. They have plateaued like MS Office did in 2000.
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