Things that shouldn’t be

  • Popup Blocker UI is a yellow bar on top notifying the user. They can simply click on it to get a contextual menu with options. That’s good. XPI blocker is the same yellow bar, but you have to click on a button to get option. Should be 1 interface.
  • When you save an image to a disk, there’s no need for the download manager. It’s bothersome more than helpful. People use the download manager to track download times. An exception should be large (>500k) images perhaps. But not all images
  • Extensions, and Themes shouldn’t be listed separately in the tools menu. Should be 1 option. The dialog that opens should have 2 tabs. One for extensions, one for themes.
  • While were at it, we should have one for plugins to, since people are confused about the difference between plugins and extensions. That’s a 3rd tab. Same format. about:plugins content, but formatted for consistency. No it’s not unnecessary duplication. look at about: and the about dialog.
  • Smooth Scrolling should be enabled by default. This just ticks end-users off. They don’t see it.
  • Download Manager gets slow as heck when it’s full of downloads (100+). This delay is annoying, especially with small files that should be done in the bat of an eye. Should notify user first time they exceed the threshold, and allow them to ignore (forever), or purge.
  • Preferences (especially in privacy) should contain a little ‘?’ icon that opens up the help and takes them to relevant document ion, so they can make an informed choice should they want more info. Ideally, it should popup a specialized shortened detailed explanation of the option, and it’s consequences
  • Viewsource should show line numbers. Goes good with “Go to Line” menu option.
  • Auto-Update should have option to automatically install (at a minimum) security patches. As MIcrosoft learned, people aren’t inclined to do it themselves. Stuff like this can easily be automatic. We are asking for trouble if we don’t. People will still credit Mozilla as insecure, even if it is their fault for ignoring requests to upgrade. This should be a default, and warn if you disable it.
  • When not using auto-update you should get a dialog clearly stating if it’s a security fix. Perhaps a different color.
  • Wikipedia should be an included search option. Were looking to get end users. End users like searching stuff like that. We want them to have stuff they like. We aren’t Microsoft after all.
  • A script as follows is in the page
    <script language="Javascript" type="text/javascript">
    var $x = ‘@’;
    var $a = ‘accettura.com’;
    var $r = ‘robert’;
    document.write(‘<a href="mailto:’ + $r + $x + $a +’" title="Email Robert Accettura">‘+ $r + $x + $a + ‘< \/a>‘);
    </a></script>

    When you view source of the page, you see:

    <script language="Javascript" type="text/javascript">
    var $x = ‘@’;
    var $a = ‘accettura.com’;
    var $r = ‘robert’;
    document.write(‘<a href="mailto:’ + $r + $x + $a +’" title="Email Robert Accettura">‘+ $r + $x + $a + ‘< \/a>‘);
    </a></script><strong><a href="mailto:robert@accettura.com" title="Email Robert Accettura">robert@accettura.com</a></strong>

    That’s not right. The output isn’t in my source. The script is. Only the script. Grr.

There bugs for some, no bugs for others. Feel free to link to relevant bugs, feel free to create bugs (cc me if you do), feel free to link to this post to advocate some things mentioned. Bla bla bla. Gripe, disagree, debate, as long as it’s peaceful, and done with an open mind…. you know the deal.

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10 Responses to “Things that shouldn’t be”

  1. Tim says:

    The download manager save image and slowness problems seem to be bug 159107.
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=159107

  2. Talou says:

    Concerning wikipedia, there is a first step : in default bookmarks, there is a quick search entry, so you can type “wp keyword” in the adress bar to go directly in the wikipedia item corresopnding to your keyword.

  3. jgraham says:

    Popup blocker/XPI block UI: Neither are good. Where else does simply clicking on something other than a menu give a menu? There should be a very obvious close button and a button marked ‘options’ or somesuch to present the actual options.

    Extensions / themes : Conceptually totally different. They should be different menu items. Plugins should be listed with extensions since they’re conceptually identical.

    Smooth scrolling: Causes problems for many users (at least it used to).

    Download manager: One (better) solution would be to have a preset pref to retain only n items after they finish downloading (for most people n=0 would be fine). A better solution would be to have a download manager that didn’t suck.

    Prefrences / help : Indeed.

    View source: AIUI that’s an fundamental limitation of the view-source implementation – it works from the DOM rather than from a copy of the actual source. So it’s a big deal to fix. Oh and document.write is evil (the proper DOM methods are much better)

  4. Martin says:

    Extensions and themes should both be moved back into the options dialog. Or, at the very least, they should also be accessible from their old places within the Options dialog.

    The current extensions dialog fits easily within the space available in the Options screen. The themes one is a little more questionable, since the screen shots can be of any size: but it used to work, so why was it ever changed?

    The options screen now has a blank space on the left where the Extensions/Themes icons used to be; we now have more top level menu-items (which everyone keeps arguing is a Bad Thing); and we have more, different dialogs. Why?

    (Plugins could probably go in to the extensions screen. i’m not sure how the new Plugins thing works, but it sounds like they’ll be installed as XPI, so why could they not appear as extensions?)

    Martin

  5. Blake Kaplan says:

    While it’s non-obvious, the view-source line numbers are actually in the status bar (not optimal, but it works).

    If you’re referring to ‘View selection source’ as opposed to just ‘View Source’, (there is a huge difference): Viewing the selection source actually views the DOM source of a page. This makes sense, once you think about it. If you write your entire document out through javascript, and you ‘view selection source’ on a part of it, what is Mozilla supposed to show? What if the source was modified by more than one script?

    If you’re talking about regular view-source, then that’s a bug.

  6. Blake, are you referring to View Source in the Suite, or in Firefox? Unless I’ve screwed something up, Firefox’s View Source doesn’t even have a status bar.

  7. mcsmurf says:

    re: View Source
    this seems to be a feature, not a bug i was told. When you want the real webpage, do Save Page As…, Web Page HTML Only.

  8. Boris says:

    View source in the suite has a status bar that shows line and column numbers.

    View source in Firefox… well…. 😉

    As for download manager, the issues you raised were raised when it first landed in the tree, all those years ago. They’ve gone neatly unaddressed since then (except for repeated attempts to remove the progress window UI, which is much more reasonable for image saves and the like).

  9. Some ideas on improving Firefox usability
    Firefox is great, in fact I’d say it’s the best browser around. However, there’s still a few things we can do to improve the usability of this browser. Robert Accettura has posted his suggest

  10. Marc says:

    Has somebody logged a bug for the line numbers in Firefox to get them displayed by default like NVU does ?

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