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The new Search engine functions are AWFUL!

Discussion of features in Mozilla Firefox
DAC324
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 7:36 am

patrickjdempsey wrote:And I cannot see any possible advantage in people coming here to complain about something that was coded a year ago by people who aren't us.


See the discussions in bug 1119250. There seems to be no really good place where you can place user feedback which is then really taken into account by decision makers.

There are two things about Mozilla which become more and more annoying:

1. There seem to be almost only UI developers and no developers for other things in Firefox. Printing is broken since Firefox was introduced, and nobody is going to fix it. Just an example. But the UI, on the other hand, is changed with almost every major update. But there are things in the UI developers do not seem to like working on. Example: about:addons and about:plugins. Apart from the different appearance of these pages, do we really need both of them?

2. As discussed: No possibility for Joe User to provide any feedback about development decisions. You either will have to accept what Mozilla has decided or avoid using Firefox.

In our particular case, it is not understandable why browser.search.showOneOffButtons was removed. There are still a lot of users, including me, who are familiar and satisfied with the old search bar.
I do not comprehend why I now have to install two add-ons and a user script to restore functionality which was removed without any need.

Kind regards,
DAC324

the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 8:53 am

DAC324 wrote:
patrickjdempsey wrote:And I cannot see any possible advantage in people coming here to complain about something that was coded a year ago by people who aren't us.


See the discussions in bug 1119250. There seems to be no really good place where you can place user feedback which is then really taken into account by decision makers.

1. There seem to be almost only UI developers and no developers for other things in Firefox. Printing is broken since Firefox was introduced, and nobody is going to fix it. Just an example. But the UI, on the other hand, is changed with almost every major update.

2. As discussed: No possibility for Joe User to provide any feedback about development decisions. You either will have to accept what Mozilla has decided or avoid using Firefox.

In our particular case, it is not understandable why browser.search.showOneOffButtons was removed. There are still a lot of users, including me, who are familiar and satisfied with the old search bar.
I do not comprehend why I now have to install two add-ons and a user script to restore functionality which was removed without any need.

Kind regards,
DAC324

Bugzilla ain't for "discussion" or personal comments! https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html

As far as letting the Mozilla developers know how you feel via Bug reports goes, IMO the more "comments" that are posted the less chance the Mozilla developers will even consider the logical suggestions or points that users bring up; the logical suggestions may be getting "drowned out" by the whiners. Bugzilla reports aren't for pointless personal comments,it is intended for constructive and useful suggestions before the Status becomes Verified Fixed. After that if a true fault is found with the "fix" the correct action is to file another Bug labeled as a "Regression" and citing the original,"fixed" Bug report,

Overall, the time to make suggestions is while the Bug is in the process of being "fixed" - which usually happens in the Nightly channel, but "tweaks" may be made in the Developer Edition and Beta channels, too. By the time it hits Release, there is little chance of anything being done unless there a major regression "slipped thru the cracks". If you aren't "testing" the Nightly version you will miss being part of the "discussion" and "you don't get a say" it what's going on.

1. IMO, printing was never "right" from the day Mozilla started building Phoenix back in 2002 - long before this browser was called "Firefox". It is based on the original Netscape code that was written back in 1994 and hasn't been changed much in the last 22 years. I don't think there is anyone still associated with Mozilla development that really knows much about the print code in Firefox. IMO, anytime printing has been "enhanced" or they try to "fix" anything, they manage to "dick it up". A "Print" button that opens Print Preview first? And then when the user tries to "Print - a selection" of text, the "selection" is lost when going thru the Print Preview window. And one of the "basics" that every other browser that I have ever used has been missing since "day one" in Phoenix; there is no contextual menu item for "Print"! On the positive side of Mozilla doing nothing, "we" know its faults and have learned to live with them; no unexpected surprises from developers who don't know what the hell they are doing.

2. There's a menu item in the Help menu in every version of Firefox going back a good number of years that says Submit Feedback ... - that is how to provide feedback to Mozilla. Just let them know which version your "feedback" pertains to, especially when it concerns a pre-release version.That is how to make your opinion known to Mozilla.

As far as the browser.search.showOneOffButtons pref goes, that was introduced in Firefox 34 (December 1, 2014) - 9 versions before it was removed. And the speculation around here about that pref probably being a temporary pref was mentioned and discussed repeatedly in a number of threads, starting long before Firefox 34 was released and continues to this day. Hell, I alone probably mentioned that a few dozen times in the last year. And as always, if you don't like something in Firefox, look for an add-on to make it how you want it; as it is with features the user considers "missing", use an add-on to get it in your Firefox. Many of us expected that pref to be around for like 3 or 4 versions and were surprised that Mozilla kept it around so long. I switched my primary browser to the Firefox 38 ESR version weeks before Firefox 43 was released in Dec; but I had installed it many months prior because I was anticipating the loss of that pref.


Ed
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

DAC324
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 9:04 am

the-edmeister wrote:And as always, if you don't like something in Firefox, look for an add-on to make it how you want it; as it is with features the user considers "missing", use an add-on to get it in your Firefox.

Unfortunately, there is no single add-on available to restore the old search bar as well as the context menu behavior. You will have to install at least:

Stylish
Show Engine Names user script for Stylish
ContextSearch

For me, that is not really an improvement.

the-edmeister wrote:2. There's a menu item in the Help menu in every version of Firefox going back a good number of years that says Submit Feedback ... - that is how to provide feedback to Mozilla. Just let them know which version your "feedback" pertains to, especially when it concerns a pre-release version.That is how to make your opinion known to Mozilla.

See comment 56 in bug 1119250. Seems that actually nobody takes care of feedback received via that feature.

Kind regards,
DAC324

the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 9:30 am

IMO, the new Search Bar scheme is preparation towards the goal of eliminating the separate search bar altogether, which searches being done via the Location Bar or the default homepage - about:home.


Exactly one of the points I made - posted 2015-12-30 - 2 weeks after Firefox 43 was released. Like closing the barn down after all the horses got out.
No system is perfect, but if you don't provide feedback your voice will never be heard.
IMO, the biggest problem with "Feedback" is that too many users are posting support related problems and not using Firefox Support and asking for help with their issues.

Ed
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

mod_wastrel

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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 11:41 am

As Mozilla endeavors to make the "Awesome Bar" more awesome, they're really making Firefox less awesome. There's an old saying: "A place for everything, and everything in its place." Well, Mozilla is trying to place everything in one box, which--organizationally and ergonomically--seldom works out all that well when you're dealing with [still] large numbers of people. There's another saying: "When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." Basically, I think Mozilla sees us all as a bunch of nails, and not even different types and sizes of nails--just one. They get all of these stats back for "UX", and then some guy in charge says "eh, let's just do it my way [period]". Yeah, the control freaks are taking over more and more at Mozilla.

And into the Fireswamp we go...
;) mozillaZine is not Mozilla; just as Godzilla is not God. Neither is Mozilla God... they just think they are (what's that about:mozilla?).
Hey, Mozilla... are you sure you wish to do this? (bug 1121291)

Izzy
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2016, 1:46 pm

the-edmeister wrote:And as always, if you don't like something in Firefox, look for an add-on to make it how you want it; as it is with features the user considers "missing", use an add-on to get it in your Firefox.


Nice theory. I'm using the Second Search addon for years and love it. FF43 broke it, completely. I somehow managed to restore its functionality on my Windows machine at work (don't ask me how, I'm afraid I cannot reproduce) – but had absolutely no success with that on my Linux machine at home: FF behaves as if the addon wouldn't be there at all. Except that it shows up enables in about:addons and lets me edit its settings.

And yes, I've tried several approaches discussed here and there. Used CTR to get the classic search back (still didn't work – just left a very basic search bar), tried userstyles and whats-nots. No way.

You've mentioned Phoenix. Yes, that was the time I started using it (v0.8). It was a light-weight browser to replace the "monster" Communicator had become. Now look at Firefox today: the ideals of "back then" are completely forgotten. Instead of providing a light-weight fundament to built on – a browser one could customize, adding wanted features via addons and leaving "bloat" out – we got a new, even bigger monster. Time for a new Phoenix to rise from those ashes.

Why not leave those "awesome" additions to the search bar as an addon those interested in could install? Now I've got to permanently switch between mouse and keyboard to initiate a single search. With FF42 and Second Search, a few keystrokes were all needed for that. Same for all the other bloat. Honestly: who uses that crazy chat? who really prefers the crippled Pocket integration to the much better functionality the addon had provided? Which normal user has even touched all those built-in web-developer stuff from the Tools menu? And I could continue with many more examples, which would be fine addons for those in need.

Sorry.</rant> Ideas for getting Second Search working again are welcome. I don't mind those "OneOff" buttons, as I can disable each search engine for that to get rid of them ;)

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 13th, 2016, 5:47 pm

DAC324 wrote:In our particular case, it is not understandable why browser.search.showOneOffButtons was removed. There are still a lot of users, including me, who are familiar and satisfied with the old search bar.
I do not comprehend why I now have to install two add-ons and a user script to restore functionality which was removed without any need.


What's not understandable about it? The preference was never created for YOU to begin with. When Mozilla adds new features it often keeps the old feature around hidden behind a preference just in case they discover a critical bug at the last minute before a release and need to back it out. Once the new feature is verified as stable the old feature and preference are removed. In a few odd cases Mozilla has simply forgotten to remove the old versions of things and people who wanted it got lucky. These preferences are not and have never been about user "options", they are about mitigating risks within the development and release environment. Myself and others who understand this reality have been trying to warn people about depending on these preferences for many years but nobody wants to listen because everyone thinks they are special and are owed something. You aren't. Good luck.
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Izzy
 
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Post Posted January 14th, 2016, 12:30 am

patrickjdempsey wrote:Myself and others who understand this reality have been trying to warn people about depending on these preferences for many years but nobody wants to listen because everyone thinks they are special and are owed something. You aren't. Good luck.


Sorry if this sounds like a rant again – but aren't you basically saying "People be warned: don't rely on any features Firefox offers, as the Mozilla team might render them unusable any time"? Unfortunately, you're being right with that. Doesn't seem like Mozilla is much listening to the community of their users, but rather lives in some ivory tower.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 14th, 2016, 2:17 am

No, I'm saying that when they disable a feature you shouldn't think you are being clever by re-enabling it through a preference as it will likely be completely removed in short order. I don't see how that could be any more clear or simple.
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DAC324
 
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Post Posted January 14th, 2016, 7:43 am

Hello,

I must second Izzy. You simply cannot rely on _any_ feature built into firefox to reliably last. In particular, when it comes to UI features.
As Mozilla's development team in its majority now consists of UI developers, at least all UI elements are subject to constant discussion and could be replaced by something different at every time.
Or at least, method and variable names as well as entities for localization are renamed and moved back and forth without any apparent reason.

If my memory serves me right, XUL is to be removed somewhere in the near future as well. Which means, all extensions which change or add UI elements have to be rewritten.

That often catches extension developers surprisingly because there is no well-known means of communicating such decisions to the public. As a result, quite some developers have been frustrated and quit working on their extensions.

Kind regards,
DAC324

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 15th, 2016, 2:02 pm

DAC324 wrote:I must second Izzy. You simply cannot rely on _any_ feature built into firefox to reliably last. In particular, when it comes to UI features.


Really? What tipped you off? Maybe the fact that Firefox has gotten a UI refresh nearly every 6 months since before it was even called Firefox? The longest "stable" period was between the release of Firefox 2.0 in October 2006 and Firefox 3.0 in June 2008 and Mozilla devs were freaking out the whole time about it being frozen for so long so they couldn't deliver new features. This isn't some new attitude within Mozilla folks. That was BTW also the first and last time Mozilla tried to put out a whole brand new UI with all new icons and code in one release. Previous releases all had left-over bits from older versions including some Netscape/Mozilla Suite stuff, and all subsequent versions still have left-over bits from Firefox 3.0.

And yes, XUL and powerful extensions that allow for the creation of new UI features or for the restoration of old UI features is slated to be axed at some time before the end of the year. But there are already several threads about that here.
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Izzy
 
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Post Posted January 15th, 2016, 5:56 pm

Right, users shouldn't have power. We are the product to be consumed. "Normal users" soon cannot even test extensions if a dev wants proof of a bug fixed (which I would volunteer for happily in many cases), as unsigned addons won't install (and no, no sane end-user would go for the dev edition just to do that). All with the premise of safety.

Benjamin Franklin wrote:He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.


Back to topic: I wouldn't mind if those funny search stuff would be an addon – I'd simply replace it by something more convenient. But unfortunately, it's built in like so much other stuff I don't use/need. Admitted, the definition of "need" and "not need" is very subjective. Which is exactly why the browser should be stripped to the core, and all those additional things offered as separate packages – so we could combine them everybody exactly to our needs. Would save us this discussion ;)

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 18th, 2016, 6:02 pm

You can remove the searchbar in Customize mode if you want and use the urlbar instead. So you do have choice, just not the choice you want. At least they haven't completely stripped it out (yet) like they've been threatening to do for nearly a decade now. I'll bet that the Servo version of Firefox won't ship with it.
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Azula
 
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Post Posted November 15th, 2017, 9:39 am

So now it has happened, Classic Theme Restorer is an add.on of the old type and no longer works for the new Firefox.
I was hoping until the end that they were working on an update that would be compatible. Is there any news from the developers that they are still trying? Or is there another add-on tha gives me the old searchengine.

2 I also used CTR to get an X on everey open tab. I hate that now I have to click on and open a tab to close it.
Aside from CRT, is there any way I can get this feature back. (Maybe also remove that awful dark blue tab color, though that is the least of my problems, but it annoys me.)

Izzy
 
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Post Posted November 15th, 2017, 1:27 pm

Azula, a simple look at their issue tracker will answer your question. As they've stated for quite a while, the addon cannot and will not support FF57+ for technical reasons, namely Mozilla no longer offering the APIs required for it. Part of the features can be achieved with another project they've named.

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