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Australis customization (or lack of thereof)

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Omega X

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Post Posted April 16th, 2013, 8:13 pm

Australocalypse now. The navbar seems the biggest hit by this.
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Grantius

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Post Posted April 16th, 2013, 8:15 pm

marty60 wrote:
Grantius wrote:I believe its hardcoded, for performance reasons. I remember reading it somewhere.


Some of us may just wind up sticking with an older version for as long as we can. I'll be watching to see what Pale Moon does with Australis.


I think the ESR is coming up, might have to use that.
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Post Posted April 16th, 2013, 8:36 pm

_matt_ wrote:

Wow, that was a depressing read.



This is amusing:
Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:Example, the "Ask" toolbar, "Norton", etc. These will be untouched.


I see that they are making Firefox UX safe for search hijackers.

Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:Another goal is to make Firefox more beautiful.


I am assuming that "beautiful" and "Constructive feedback" are being define by mconley.

For once I would like to see Mozilla use focus groups rather then the "we know better then you because-- well, just because" on any issue.

There are a number of dumb things about this but I think the one that earns first prize is this:

Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:One of the points of Australis is to make it harder for users to render their browsers un-usable with their customizations.


The support burden caused by user customizations is almost nil. Few users customize Fx on their own and those that do are either trying to learn something or have found a cool hack that unhappy applied to version more then three past. The fix in the first case to is having one of the folks who knows how to do it work with the person on how to fix the problem. The fix in the second case is to vacuum userchrome.css. In both cases the result is more of visual annoyance rather then Firefox becoming unusable. I honestly don't remember the last time it became an issue in Firefox or Thunderbird support. I would sincerely doubt Mike Conley hangs out around SUMO so I suspect any problems he sees comes from reality.

So the problem must be with Themes! Asa, as noted around here, thinks they are evil. The problem with this is that the very few theme problems that appear in either Support or General are either quickly directed to the Extension/Theme thread supporting it or the user is told that the poor sod who wrote the theme has given up (Remember Pinstripe?). Again, I really don't remember that last time we had a post in Support that dealt with a Theme.

On the other hand, threads about ask.com is one of our and SUMO's evergreens. It is a real pain-in-the-ass remove. One of the sources of this is Personas. There are over a hundred Personas by Brand Thunder that exist only to add this sort of tripe.
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Post Posted April 16th, 2013, 10:54 pm

LoudNoise wrote:This is amusing:
Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:Example, the "Ask" toolbar, "Norton", etc. These will be untouched.


I see that they are making Firefox UX safe for search hijackers.

Indeed. I'll rest easy knowing that although I can't use small icons, and I can't move the stop and reload buttons to the left of the URL bar, and I can't put my NoScript button to the immediate right of the forward button as a simple means of disabling the forward button's disappear/reappear act, at least I'll still be able to "customize" Firefox by loading it up with my favorite third-party toolbars. #-o

LoudNoise wrote:There are a number of dumb things about this but I think the one that earns first prize is this:

Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:One of the points of Australis is to make it harder for users to render their browsers un-usable with their customizations.


The support burden caused by user customizations is almost nil. Few users customize Fx on their own and those that do are either trying to learn something or have found a cool hack that unhappy applied to version more then three past. The fix in the first case to is having one of the folks who knows how to do it work with the person on how to fix the problem. The fix in the second case is to vacuum userchrome.css. In both cases the result is more of visual annoyance rather then Firefox becoming unusable. I honestly don't remember the last time it became an issue in Firefox or Thunderbird support. I would sincerely doubt Mike Conley hangs out around SUMO so I suspect any problems he sees comes from reality.

It's as if Limi's recent post about the simple ways users can "break" Firefox was the unveiling of this new officially-agreed-upon go-to excuse for why the browser is on track to be so locked down. If that truly was the impetus for these sweeping changes, it sure feels like one hell of an over-reaction.

Grantius wrote:I think the ESR is coming up, might have to use that.

"Just use the ESR" is quick, simple advice that I won't be surprised to see parroted all over blog posts if that long list of customization restrictions makes it to the regular stable release.

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Post Posted April 16th, 2013, 11:30 pm

The only place I don't use ESR is on this computer. Everything at work and almost everything at home is happily puttering away with ver. 17.x. If I wasn't a moderator and had a need to run the release I won't.

I certainly parrot the advice when it is useful. Support is only fun when your experience allows you to answer an easy question or when the hard questions allows you to work out the solution from your experience (which becomes an easy question the next time it is asked).
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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 2:02 am

Oh lord that is awful.

The add-ons toolbar will be removed. The items in this toolbar will be placed in the customization target of the nav-bar.

"Small icons" mode will no longer be supported.


Excuse me, I use those. Does this mean that I am no longer wanted as a Firefox user? What's the point in Firefox, last I checked Chrome was doing almost everything better, except customization. If the customization has become "user hostile" (is our target market 3-year olds?!), then perhaps I should just bugger off to chome?

The UX people have to remember that power users like myself built the Firefox userbase (through advocacy, using our authority to get it deployed/family members/friends to switch, etc), and if they lose us then I think they'll find Firefox's market share on a slow slide downwards - when without Australis, Firefox is well on its way to becoming the dream power user browser - fast, light and heavily customizable.

What I don't understand is why Australis can't just be another theme? The existing theme framework is incredibly powerful, and I doubt there is much of Australis' visual design that could not be implemented there. That way, there is user choice (everyone knows that normal users especially don't like change), as people can simply change back to the old theme.

Gotta love the UX people ruining firefox so much that the advice for *power users* who wish to customize their browser is "Use the old version". Seriously?

Someone fire these guys before they run this ship onto the reef.

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 2:36 am

If all this unbeliavable nonsense lands in the release channel,for the first time since I'm using Firefox I will deliberately choose to not upgrade and live with an outdated version of the browser.

I've put up (with lots of workarounds/extensions/hacks/userChrome/userContent) with all this new "fast" releases since version 4.0,and it still works as I like (well,for the most part),blocking customization and removing keyword.URL will be a deal breaker.

I don't use Chrome also because of its lack of customization,after they're done we'll probably see not much difference.

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 4:56 am

I notice that they're censoring correspondence to the firefox-dev mailing list despite sending us there.

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 6:16 am

sabret00the wrote:I notice that they're censoring correspondence to the firefox-dev mailing list despite sending us there.


Moderating, just like they do on these forums.

The main reason the mailing list was created.

Gavin's blog » announcing the firefox-dev mailing list
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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 6:28 am

LoudNoise wrote:
Mike Conley (:mconley) wrote:Another goal is to make Firefox more beautiful.

I am assuming that "beautiful" and "Constructive feedback" are being define by mconley.

Well, they do actually know this stuff is not beautiful at all.

I mean, while the poor slobs out there are being fed stuff like this - https://bug813786.bugzilla.mozilla.org/ ... ?id=733565 (which uses exactly the same tricks as I do/did when doing screenshots) .....the devs are actually seeing this as well - https://bug813786.bugzilla.mozilla.org/ ... ?id=706148

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=813786

Anyone want to tell me that second screenshot looks beautiful or even practical? Yeah, maybe in 1998 might have been considered a great look, with long flat white tapeworms of urlbars and searchbars just lying there or the 'tombstone' tabs looking like that, who knows? These days though, not really such a 'good look'.

So, yeah, they know what this stuff really looks like when in normal use, so don't buy this 'Hey! looking great at my end!' stuff.

Oh, someone was asking me about the UX tab height and, er, why they are so tall. It's just a simple technical problem that can happen when you take your eye off the ball, i.e.

#1. Forget that the goal is to reduce chrome UI.
#2. Forget that tab width reduces as more tabs are opened.
#3. Concentrate on just one part of your graphics too much.

In this case, the problem is caused by the convex/concave arcs of the tabs. Once you use bend radii as tight as that, you lock yourself into a tab height like that. That's why as soon as you open a few tabs and the tab width reduces, it screams at you that the tab height/tab width ratio is all wrong. It is not your imagination.

If it was me, I'd just fix the tabs. But expect to see a lot of 3 tab screenshots from Mozilla and, if the going gets too tough, a Heatmap to be produced showing that you are the only user on the planet who ever opens more than 3 tabs.

Bet Beltzner's bloody glad he got out. :P
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sabret00the

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 7:21 am

WLS wrote:
sabret00the wrote:I notice that they're censoring correspondence to the firefox-dev mailing list despite sending us there.


Moderating, just like they do on these forums.

The main reason the mailing list was created.

Gavin's blog » announcing the firefox-dev mailing list

I posted at 0940 GMT this morning, it's now 1520 GMT. I'd say after five hours it stops looking like moderating and beings to look like censorship. Which is odd since I merely made a request for some data to support the decision.

There was a blog post on the Planet a while back, where it highlighted the growing discontent within the community based on the perception that the community was less involved in decisions and that transparency had become a second class citizen of Mozilla's principles. I'll be the first to admit that the community, at least here hasn't made it easy by creating a hostile reception to the Mozilla staff. However, it's not without truth that the disconnect is growing and a decision regarding customisation of the browser without any public conversation or support data is exactly the type of thing which Mozilla was opposed to.

It's not hugely unexpected, as I remember reading a post by a developer where he stated that the majority of the UX staff don't read the mozilla.dev.usability mailing list due to the signal-to-noise ratio which in reality is user feedback. I find it pretty disappointing that the very users they're supposed to represent are considered as such.

Just for the record, my message that required five hours of moderation was
Regarding bug 860814 ([meta] Australis Customization - Milestone 3 - User Migration), is there research data available to demonstrate that there are more users who "render their browsers un-usable with their customizations" than there are users who customise their browser's UI and retain usability?

Amusingly, I'm not against the Australis design. However I am interested in how the decision was made, what are the defining factors and what other factors have been considered? I believe that users in general dislike change and for some changes, you must push on. But that's in regards to design. That doesn't explain why users are being prevented from reorganising their buttons? I know of a few users, who aren't particularly tech-savvy, but don't feel that default Firefox is a good fit for them. After all, we've had clothes a lot longer than we've had browsers and we don't make clothes in one-size-fits-all. As a long term user of Firefox, and a long term advocate of Mozilla, I don't think it's a log to be given the opportunity to understand a decision in logical terms whether I agree or disagree with it.

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 7:47 am

A good artist should have his head in the clouds sometimes, but his feet always on the ground.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 8:23 am

sabret00the wrote:
I'll be the first to admit that the community, at least here hasn't made it easy by creating a hostile reception to the Mozilla staff


Part of our remit is being an advocacy site. By the time controversial things hit these pages folks have pretty well tried normal avenues and are sincerely pissed off. Since our moderation philosophy has always been more a matter of corralling rather then strictly defining "Constructive feedback" things can get heated. Mozilla's weakness for stuff like what Frank quoted here viewtopic.php?p=12803021#p12803021 doesn't exactly inspire a get deal of confidence nor is it usual. Such is life.
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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 8:24 am

In some circles, the current Firefox customization is considered 'bloat' amusingly enough.

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Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 8:54 am

I didn't see this coming:yes,the shift from 3.x to 4.x and the faster release cycle has not been all smooth sailing,yet Firefox 4 is actually better than 3.x in some way (albeit requiring a fair amount of work and a massive number of addons to restore missing features),but Australis attacks some of the browser's main features at a different level-aside of the cosmetic changes (which don't bother me at all),they are actively crippling Firefox and hard coding (very) bad changes.

In essence,they are now in the process of making a worse browser.

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