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New Experimental Tabbed Browsing Builds

Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 2:46 pm

hhh wrote:
Cusser wrote:
hhh wrote:Wrong, it's not "natural" to navigate to "Start" to turn _off_ your computer, but people do it.

How does that in any way relate to Ben's point? Bad Windows UI doesn't justify failing to cater for people who struggle with tabs.
It relates to his statement that education won't help. I disagree, education helps, new user behavior is possible. If not, tabs wouldn't even exist.

Personally, I think a close button on each tab will just shift tab problems from those who don't know how to close individual tabs to those who keep accidentally closing individual tabs.


i agree with hhh, though again, if only people knew about all the things you can do with middle-click...

i personally use the middle-click and am training myself to learn the context menu method, which saves the time of having to move the mouse to the tabbar when trying to close the selected tab.

rodness

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:07 pm

hhh wrote:Personally, I think a close button on each tab will just shift tab problems from those who don't know how to close individual tabs to those who keep accidentally closing individual tabs.


Eclipse does it this way (a close button on each tab) and not only is it incredibly intuitive, I've been trying to do it in Firefox ever since I started using Eclipse regularly. I've also never managed to close a tab accidently in Eclipse, although I don't know if there's any underlying heuristics trying to make sure that's what I meant to do (measurements on mouse speed or something, dunno).

a;skdjfajf;ak

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:12 pm

An 'X' on each tab will only create tons of questions on how to 'hack' the userChrome to 'remove' them.

Options need to be:
1. X on tabs
2. No X on tabs
3. Only display X when hovered over

hhh

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:15 pm

rodness wrote:
hhh wrote:Personally, I think a close button on each tab will just shift tab problems from those who don't know how to close individual tabs to those who keep accidentally closing individual tabs.
Eclipse does it this way (a close button on each tab) and not only is it incredibly intuitive, I've been trying to do it in Firefox ever since I started using Eclipse regularly.
<a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&category=Tabbed%20Browsing&numpg=10&id=785">Tab X</a>.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:16 pm

Here's how to display the close button on selected tabs and non-selected tabs when hovered over:

1. use TMP 0.3 alpha
2. select Show Close Button on All tabs
3. add this to userChrome.css:

tab:not([selected="true"]) .tabs-closebutton {
visibility: collapse !important;
}

tab:not([selected="true"]):hover .tabs-closebutton {
visibility: visible !important;
}

4. restart and tada! it works!

or to make it so the close button only shows up on ANY tab when it's hovered over, just change the added code to this:

tab .tabs-closebutton {
visibility: collapse !important;
}

tab:hover .tabs-closebutton {
visibility: visible !important;
}

BenBasson
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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:21 pm

hhh wrote:It relates to his statement that education won't help. I disagree, education helps, new user behavior is possible. If not, tabs wouldn't even exist.

New user behaviour stems from a feature being intuitive and well designed, not being read in a random FAQ or an obtrusive "hints" dialog. To quite a lot of people, tabs don't exist. The whole point that Ben has made throughout his blog was that we can do more for these people, but that has to be done with action, not documentation.

Ben Goodger wrote:The challenges that face us building the Firefox UI is how to make Tabbed Browsing useful to those who want it, discoverable to those whose lives would be made easier by it, and transparent to those who don't need it.


hhh wrote:Personally, I think a close button on each tab will just shift tab problems from those who don't know how to close individual tabs to those who keep accidentally closing individual tabs.

Assuming that Ben made these builds available for purposes other than provoking outrage among the vocal minority, we'll find out in due course how well this argument stands up.
Last edited by BenBasson on November 7th, 2005, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:22 pm

Cusser wrote:
hhh wrote:Personally, I think a close button on each tab will just shift tab problems from those who don't know how to close individual tabs to those who keep accidentally closing individual tabs.

Assuming that Ben made these builds available for purposes other than provoking outrage among the vocal minority, we'll find out in due course how well this argument stands up.


i say again, teach people how to use middle-click. it's just so much easier.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:24 pm

desertfox wrote:i say again, teach people how to use middle-click. it's just so much easier.

There's been about 100 million Firefox downloads that ship without an obvious way to close tabs if the Google usability studies are anything to go by. Good luck!

Also (on the previous page of this very thread):

bengoodger wrote:I know it's there, just like I know the absurd double-click to make-a-new-tab feature is there. It's just that neither action seems "natural" - neither action is what you'd logically associate with closing a document. That's why even education won't help. Even folk who are familiar enough with the workings of the browser (me) to know that a feature is there are unlikely to actually associate it with an action if it doesn't feel logical.

Similarly, many people don't have three button mice, or if they do, they're a wheel and clicking on a wheel is much more difficult to do than click on a button that doesn't move around while you're trying to push down on it.

Emphasis mine. If you don't think it's a valid point, try middle clicking with essentially any Logitech wheel mouse. If my MX1000 didn't have a thumb button, I wouldn't be "middle clicking".

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:28 pm

Cusser wrote:
desertfox wrote:i say again, teach people how to use middle-click. it's just so much easier.

There's been about 100 million Firefox downloads that ship without an obvious way to close tabs if the Google usability studies are anything to go by. Good luck!

Also (on the previous page of this very thread):

bengoodger wrote:I know it's there, just like I know the absurd double-click to make-a-new-tab feature is there. It's just that neither action seems "natural" - neither action is what you'd logically associate with closing a document. That's why even education won't help. Even folk who are familiar enough with the workings of the browser (me) to know that a feature is there are unlikely to actually associate it with an action if it doesn't feel logical.

Similarly, many people don't have three button mice, or if they do, they're a wheel and clicking on a wheel is much more difficult to do than click on a button that doesn't move around while you're trying to push down on it.

Emphasis mine.


i see your point. i guess the best way in to just display close buttons for selected tabs and hopefully figure out a way to close non-selected tabs when you want to and not accidentally.

for me, middle-click and context menu work fine.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 3:56 pm

Well, like i said, at least the firefox peple are trying to work on this issue.

for the power users like us, tab extensions will do for now, but i do agree that firefox's tabbed browsing implementation still needs much work and refining for improved efficiency.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 4:00 pm

desertfox wrote:Well, like i said, at least the firefox peple are trying to work on this issue.

Yep, this is the reason I originally started using Firefox and I hope that the continued dedication to trying out new ideas (and improving older ones) will hook many other people too.

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 4:03 pm

Cusser wrote:
desertfox wrote:Well, like i said, at least the firefox peple are trying to work on this issue.

Yep, this is the reason I originally started using Firefox and I hope that the continued dedication to trying out new ideas (and improving older ones) will hook many other people too.


ditto :)

i just submitted some code for the improvement of the credits dialog.
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=315297

i'm proud to contribute my share, however small it may be, to the firefox project. :D

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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 4:42 pm

desertfox wrote:
for me, middle-click and context menu work fine.


A few people have mentioned closing by context menu. Correct me if I am wrong, but right clicking in the body of a page to get the main context menu does NOT have the close tab option unless you added it with an extension (like one of the tab manager extensions or closetabcontext). I still think the active tab having a close button would help beginners (and those without middle buttons or with non-functional ones), but I also think that if I am right and the main context menu does not normally have the close tab option, that adding it would help.

The context menu that does always exist is to right click on the title of a tab, but that seems barely any more clear than the middle click option, and if you have a middle click button seems like more effort.

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Post Posted November 8th, 2005, 4:41 am

Well, i've already tried the 'having a close button in every tab' through extensions and in other browsers and yes, i managed to close accidentally many, many tabs. Having it only on the selected tab would help, though then all the buttons would have to be redrawn on every tab change. Another solution i've seen in another browser is making it clickable only with the right click, though i guess that would steal the "intuitiveness" from it. Anyway, one way or the other, i think it should be better to not have a close button on each and every tab - and for those of us that would rather have none, the option to do that. Mouse gestures are a much faster way to do... well, anything ;) .

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Post Posted November 8th, 2005, 5:41 am

Even though I think adding a close button to every tab might be good for regular users, background-tabs should not have this button, lest someone accidentaly closes the tab instead of selecting it. Also it would reduce the clutter. Nowadays (correct me if I'm wrong) you can only close the active tab anyway, so I don't think users would feel deprived of a feature.

As for different methods to close a tab: users employing mouse-gestures (including myself) usually don't use the close-button anyway, so they won't benefit from this change, just like the ones using middle-click.

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