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My take on 0.5

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
jmd
 
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Joined: December 8th, 2002, 11:12 am

Post Posted December 8th, 2002, 12:08 pm

I haven't used the new form manager stuff yet, but it looks like it will be a God send. But then again, anything's better than Mozilla's.

Wow, 'go' menu saves between runs. Smart. Very smart.

The file menu is much easier to use than Mozilla's. No sub menus, and only 1 open item. But can we combine some of the printing entries? As someone who's never owned a printer in the nine years I've owned a PC, I know how much they can get in the way. Why not move 'page setup' to a button in the print dialog? That's the only place you would need it, and it would better combine the printing options. I can understand preview staying in the menu, if people are really using it, but it also needs to be in the print dialog. For when you only want to print page N, or only the selection, so you can preview THAT change.

Grr... too used to alt-e, e for prefs. Move em back!

Page info is a "tool"? It doesn't DO anything though. Just gives you information, like page source. Seems more normal (and discoverable) to have it there.

There's no way to manage plugins (not themes, not extentions, but plugins). Please heed this. Themes and Extentions is the only pref page with tabs. It's hard to notice and, well, ugly in it's inconsistency. Why not make them an expanding addon section...

Add-ons (tentative name)
\--------- Themes
\--------- Extentions
\--------- Plugins
\--------- Search Plugins/Sherlock files/Internet Search/whatever they're called.
\--------- Keywords (maybe have a manager for these, and let web sites install them (similar to XPI install). Would be very neat.

It should be exanded by default, as those entries are things you'd want to show off.

Speaking of plugins, my biggest annoyence with Phoenix is the null plugin deal. I don't need every page I go to to pop up a "You don't have flash!" box. I know I don't. I don't want it. Thanks anyway. Yes I can remove the nullplugin.so. Most other users can't. And that requires write access to the system-wide install directory, which isn't always available. Something must be done! Please!

The FAQ mentions numerous times the size of Windows builds next to the (larger) size of Linux builds, which leaves me wondering why that is the case. Perhaps a sentence should be added, I imagine it's a FTQ ("thought"), if not asked. Are ELF executables just naturally larger, or does it take more code to do what Phoenix does under X vs win32. Since Phoenix is all about being small, this seems a natural curiousity. If the predictions are accurate and win32 phoenix is 5m, and linux is 8m, that's a 60% size increase.

No visable pref to disable favicons in the bookmarks/PT. I have 12 bookmarks in my PT and having 12 multicolored icons become PART OF MY BROWSERS UI is incredibly distracting and tacky looking. I think a visable pref is warented. Conversely, bookmarked favicons need to be cached to disk even if disk cache is set to 0. IE does this. Worse then the 12 multicolored icon distraction is having them be reset to the defeault bookmark icon every browser restart, and having them change 1 by 1 as a browse. Throws the whole UI off, as it looks different depending on how many bookmarks I've visited recently.

No visable pref to change memory cache size. How about a performance pref group? Wouldn't it be useful to have the user set their connection speed, to make certain rendering tweaks? I like a very large mem cache since I disable disk cache...

Misc. bugs:

The X close button for the sidebar is stretched funny.
The history toolbar button has a white bg, instead of transparent.
Another annoying thing, especially when looking through the default bookmarks (which every new user is likely to due). Mozilla bug 41766, which I filed over 2 and a half YEARS ago. "when expanded menus unexpand, takes highlight with it". Assigned to pinkerton. Maybe the phoenix team wants to knock this one out, since it very much affects their product. (or redo the default bookmarks to not be submenus next to each other).

Thanks for listening! (yay, phoenix didn't crash in the middle of typing all that!)

/jmd

maubp
 
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Location: UK

Post Posted December 8th, 2002, 2:56 pm

The FAQ mentions numerous times the size of Windows builds next to the (larger) size of Linux builds, which leaves me wondering why that is the case. Perhaps a sentence should be added, I imagine it's a FTQ ("thought"), if not asked. Are ELF executables just naturally larger, or does it take more code to do what Phoenix does under X vs win32. Since Phoenix is all about being small, this seems a natural curiousity. If the predictions are accurate and win32 phoenix is 5m, and linux is 8m, that's a 60% size increase.


I've read its to compile in assorts widgets that they cannot assume will be present & compatible. Makes sense to me that the Windows platform is going to be more uniform, which does have its plus points.

As a (recently converted) Phoenix user, I'm with you on some of your points - like not having Themes and Extentions on tabs (in the prefs page).

On bookmarks icons, I would like to be able to override the icons in the bookmark manager (for those sites that don't specify and icon, and for sites with an ugly icon).

Thanks to all the developers - keep up the good work please!

Edit: Does anyone else find typing Phoenix always comes out as Pheonix?
Peter

djst
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Post Posted December 8th, 2002, 3:51 pm

I fully agree that the Extensions and Themes should be split up into two list items instead of sharing one and using tabs. That <i>is</i> inconsistent. However, there are lots of other stuff that's not how it should be in the Preferences window. Stuff that really belongs to the advanced settings are placed everywhere, and stuff that really isn't advanced settings (Images for example) is a child-node under Advanced.

However, I'm pretty sure most of these issues will be fixed in a future release. The best approach would probably be to get rid of those parent/child nodes completely, and just make a one-level list.

MXN

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Post Posted December 8th, 2002, 5:36 pm

jmd wrote:Grr... too used to alt-e, e for prefs. Move em back!


I agree that putting Preferences under Tools is contrary to muscle memory for us former Mozilla users, but <em>something's</em> gotta be under Tools, you know. :) I think they just did it because IE did it.

jmd wrote:Page info is a "tool"? It doesn't DO anything though. Just gives you information, like page source. Seems more normal (and discoverable) to have it there.


And putting Page Source and Page Info together just <em>looks</em> better.

jmd wrote: Add-ons (tentative name)
\--------- Themes
\--------- Extentions
\--------- Plugins
\--------- Search Plugins/Sherlock files/Internet Search/whatever they're called.
\--------- Keywords (maybe have a manager for these, and let web sites install them (similar to XPI install). Would be very neat.


I think the Phoenix developers were against "pref-proliferation".

maubp wrote:Does anyone else find typing Phoenix always comes out as Pheonix?


Yep.

djst wrote:Stuff that really belongs to the advanced settings are placed everywhere, and stuff that really isn't advanced settings (Images for example) is a child-node under Advanced.


And Connections and Downloads should probably go under Advanced, unless the next point is addressed:

djst wrote:However, I'm pretty sure most of these issues will be fixed in a future release. The best approach would probably be to get rid of those parent/child nodes completely, and just make a one-level list.


Better yet, the Prefs dialog could be made into a tabbed dialog, instead of having that Communicator-reminiscent category list.

djst
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Post Posted December 8th, 2002, 10:01 pm

MXN wrote:
djst wrote:However, I'm pretty sure most of these issues will be fixed in a future release. The best approach would probably be to get rid of those parent/child nodes completely, and just make a one-level list.


Better yet, the Prefs dialog could be made into a tabbed dialog, instead of having that Communicator-reminiscent category list.


Tabs are often more confusing, especially when using more tabs than can fit on one row. That's why a list is preferred in a usability point of view. However, that list could be an icon-and-text list, to make it even easier to distinguish the different sections.

Stefan

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Post Posted December 9th, 2002, 5:41 am

MXN wrote:
jmd wrote:Grr... too used to alt-e, e for prefs. Move em back!


I agree that putting Preferences under Tools is contrary to muscle memory for us former Mozilla users, but <em>something's</em> gotta be under Tools, you know. :) I think they just did it because IE did it.


I think it's ok that they moved it to tools (it actuall makes more sences under tools then edit).

But what on earth does Customize do in View > Toolbars > Customize ???
Not only would it be consistent to put also this TOOL under tools, but you would also find it right next to the preference item, instead of hunting around for it "in a submenu somewhere".

(BTW I would rename Customize to Customize UI or toolbars for added clarity)

MXN

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Post Posted December 9th, 2002, 3:18 pm

djst wrote:Tabs are often more confusing, especially when using more tabs than can fit on one row. That's why a list is preferred in a usability point of view. However, that list could be an icon-and-text list, to make it even easier to distinguish the different sections.


Well, I was thinking that they could squeeze the options on fewer tabs, then maybe push some options into their own dialogs (for example, Fonts & Colors could be a separate dialog accessible via a button on a Display tab).

Stefan wrote:I think it's ok that they moved it to tools (it actuall makes more sences under tools then edit).


I think so too. This makes Phoenix more consistent with the Windows interface, so it wouldn't mess up people used to other Windows apps.

Stefan wrote:But what on earth does Customize do in View > Toolbars > Customize ???
Not only would it be consistent to put also this TOOL under tools, but you would also find it right next to the preference item, instead of hunting around for it "in a submenu somewhere".

(BTW I would rename Customize to Customize UI or toolbars for added clarity)


Moving Customize... under Tools and renaming it to Customize Toolbars... would make a lot more sense. I think the Phoenix developers were once again copying IE by putting under View | Toolbars. And renaming it Customize Toolbars... would be a <em>lot</em> better than just calling it Customize... like <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/office/word/">some</a> <a href="http://www.macromedia.com/software/homesite/">programs</a> do. :)

jmd
 
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Joined: December 8th, 2002, 11:12 am

Post Posted December 9th, 2002, 9:47 pm

MXN wrote:And putting Page Source and Page Info together just <em>looks</em> better.


SO SO SOOO much better.

MXN wrote:
jmd wrote: Add-ons (tentative name)
\--------- Themes
\--------- Extentions
\--------- Plugins
\--------- Search Plugins/Sherlock files/Internet Search/whatever they're called.
\--------- Keywords (maybe have a manager for these, and let web sites install them (similar to XPI install). Would be very neat.


I think the Phoenix developers were against "pref-proliferation".


Well, the idea with ALL of those is they're empty by default, but they make Phoenix expandable by the user. I thought THAT was the point. A few empty pref panes add very little bloat, but they let the user add exactly what he or she wants.

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