MozillaZine

Anyone 'losing faith'?

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
bengoodger

User avatar
 
Posts: 318
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 4:24 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:09 am

TheOneKEA wrote:
bengoodger wrote:
TheOneKEA wrote:That may be true. But a leader can't stay in the lead if his followers feel that he no longer pays adequate attention to him.


The thing is, feedback from each successive release leads me to believe we are doing far more right than we are wrong. Feedback from the wider "community".


Where is this feedback?


I don't know... Forbes? Maximum PC? thousands of people openly recommending others ditch IE?

Dunderklumpen
 
Posts: 16224
Joined: March 9th, 2003, 8:12 am

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:09 am

bengoodger wrote:
Dunderklumpen wrote:I for one would like to see more developers just spending some time in here - from time to time.


Aside from the work that Pierre has done improving Bookmarks and digging around in the toolkit, patches from individual contributors and the infrasturcture work Brian has been doing on an ongoing basis, Firefox is basically just me at the moment. I don't think many people understand or appreciate that. I don't think people realize that I have to:


For those that want to complain, look at the list above. Could you do any better?

-Ben


Complaint is a sign of that people care. You can either look upon them in a positive manner and try to deal with them - within in reason - or you can look upon them as just nagging and whining. I for one can fully understand the lack of time and the many things each and everyone has to do - but I see at least two other names in there. Impossible to get them involved? If they are involved in branding and marketing there are stuff in here that they could answer.

And this was not intended at you or anyone else so do not take it personally - but the simple fact that you now, in this thread has provided us with very usefull information will, and have cleared things. Wich is my point - communication is good and makes things better.

TheOneKEA

User avatar
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: October 16th, 2003, 5:47 am
Location: Somewhere in London, riding the Underground

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:13 am

bengoodger wrote:
TheOneKEA wrote:
bengoodger wrote:
TheOneKEA wrote:That may be true. But a leader can't stay in the lead if his followers feel that he no longer pays adequate attention to him.


The thing is, feedback from each successive release leads me to believe we are doing far more right than we are wrong. Feedback from the wider "community".


Where is this feedback?


I don't know... Forbes? Maximum PC? thousands of people openly recommending others ditch IE?


That is true. But IMO all feedback has its place, even unrestrained whining.

Dunderklumpen wrote:
bengoodger wrote:
Dunderklumpen wrote:I for one would like to see more developers just spending some time in here - from time to time.


Aside from the work that Pierre has done improving Bookmarks and digging around in the toolkit, patches from individual contributors and the infrasturcture work Brian has been doing on an ongoing basis, Firefox is basically just me at the moment. I don't think many people understand or appreciate that. I don't think people realize that I have to:


For those that want to complain, look at the list above. Could you do any better?

-Ben


Complaint is a sign of that people care. You can either look upon them in a positive manner and try to deal with them - within in reason - or you can look upon them as just nagging and whining. I for one can fully understand the lack of time and the many things each and everyone has to do - but I see at least two other names in there. Impossible to get them involved? If they are involved in branding and marketing there are stuff in here that they could answer.

And this was not intended at you or anyone else so do not take it personally - but the simple fact that you now, in this thread has provided us with very usefull information will, and have cleared things. Wich is my point - communication is good and makes things better.


Again, Dunderklumpen understands the situation precisely.
Proud user of teh Fox of Fire
Registered Linux User #289618

Alphab

User avatar
 
Posts: 146
Joined: June 14th, 2003, 7:32 am
Location: Paris, France

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:19 am

Keep going ben !
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040707 Firefox/0.9.2
Mozilla Thunderbird 0.7 (20040616)

bengoodger

User avatar
 
Posts: 318
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 4:24 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:26 am

Dunderklumpen wrote:
bengoodger wrote:
Dunderklumpen wrote:I for one would like to see more developers just spending some time in here - from time to time.


Aside from the work that Pierre has done improving Bookmarks and digging around in the toolkit, patches from individual contributors and the infrasturcture work Brian has been doing on an ongoing basis, Firefox is basically just me at the moment. I don't think many people understand or appreciate that. I don't think people realize that I have to:


For those that want to complain, look at the list above. Could you do any better?

-Ben


Complaint is a sign of that people care. You can either look upon them in a positive manner and try to deal with them - within in reason - or you can look upon them as just nagging and whining. I for one can fully understand the lack of time and the many things each and everyone has to do - but I see at least two other names in there. Impossible to get them involved? If they are involved in branding and marketing there are stuff in here that they could answer.

And this was not intended at you or anyone else so do not take it personally - but the simple fact that you now, in this thread has provided us with very usefull information will, and have cleared things. Wich is my point - communication is good and makes things better.


OK... while we're being productive...

here's a framework for discussing any decision that is made by the project that people want to talk about:
- try and think about why the decision was made, if possible with reference to documentation on mozilla.org, such as the charter, roadmap, etc. I think I'm generally pretty good at explaining why things have been done in here as well when I enable new features.
This usually means putting one's own personal thoughts aside for a moment and considering a different criteria. It's good to try be objective like this at least once a week ;-) It helps keep one's mind from rusting shut.
- what are the assumptions that were made when the decision was made? (1)
- were there reasons beyond our control that caused the decision to be made? (2)
- and any number of other mental excercises.

(1) For example, Myk came to me the other week and asked me about the "Save Link to Disk..." context menu item. Firstly, he correctly pointed out that the item had an ellipsis on the end of it when it did not prompt for any user input. Secondly, he said that when he used that function he was primarily saving files into a specific, that-time-only location, such as saving patches from bugzilla, and the default behavior of automatically saving to Desktop when selected was very counter-productive. He said he didn't want to turn off the auto-save behavior because he liked it when clicking on links. Myk asked me some hard questions about the assumptions I had made when I made the right click menu item auto-save... the primary one was that at that time our content type sniffing wasn't as good as it is now, and that often just clicking on a link would result in garbage being displayed. Now that we've fixed that bug, that assumption no longer has a basis, and thus the context menu item is a good place to stick an action that differs from the default single link click action. (Note: I haven't actually done this yet, but I will do so soon). This is a good case where investigating the assumptions made in designing a feature have caused an improvement. Don't be afraid to question decisions we've made, but try to ask good questions!

(2) As an example, in the name change case, Brendan had promised the database folks that we'd change the name by 0.8. Once a word has been given, legal standing, project dissimilarity etc go out the window if you want to remain credible. We had no choice. We had to keep our name choice quiet too because we did not want to jeopardize legal negotiations allowing us use of the name in various markets. Finally we wanted to keep the fact that we were changing the name at all quiet since we wanted to try and deflect as much of the inevitable negative publicity as possible by having a strong release to back it up. That seems to be working.

Also, when people talk about features in the UI, it'd be helpful if people thought of the context in which they were using a feature, and what they were trying to do, before insisting that a particular piece of UI is implemeted. For instance, rather than just saying we need a new window for this, try and think about your problem not as a lack of that window, but as the task you were trying to achieve. This brings you closer to "contextual design," a highly regarded methodology for UI design. Think about your problem from many angles, explore alternatives, and present them all. There may be gems, even among solutions that are not completely adopted!

TheOneKEA

User avatar
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: October 16th, 2003, 5:47 am
Location: Somewhere in London, riding the Underground

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:35 am

bengoodger wrote:
Dunderklumpen wrote:
bengoodger wrote:
Dunderklumpen wrote:I for one would like to see more developers just spending some time in here - from time to time.


Aside from the work that Pierre has done improving Bookmarks and digging around in the toolkit, patches from individual contributors and the infrasturcture work Brian has been doing on an ongoing basis, Firefox is basically just me at the moment. I don't think many people understand or appreciate that. I don't think people realize that I have to:


For those that want to complain, look at the list above. Could you do any better?

-Ben


Complaint is a sign of that people care. You can either look upon them in a positive manner and try to deal with them - within in reason - or you can look upon them as just nagging and whining. I for one can fully understand the lack of time and the many things each and everyone has to do - but I see at least two other names in there. Impossible to get them involved? If they are involved in branding and marketing there are stuff in here that they could answer.

And this was not intended at you or anyone else so do not take it personally - but the simple fact that you now, in this thread has provided us with very usefull information will, and have cleared things. Wich is my point - communication is good and makes things better.


OK... while we're being productive...

here's a framework for discussing any decision that is made by the project that people want to talk about:
- try and think about why the decision was made, if possible with reference to documentation on mozilla.org, such as the charter, roadmap, etc. I think I'm generally pretty good at explaining why things have been done in here as well when I enable new features.
This usually means putting one's own personal thoughts aside for a moment and considering a different criteria. It's good to try be objective like this at least once a week ;-) It helps keep one's mind from rusting shut.
- what are the assumptions that were made when the decision was made? (1)
- were there reasons beyond our control that caused the decision to be made? (2)
- and any number of other mental excercises.


Precisely. This is the sort of information that needs to be as open and available as possible.

bengoodger wrote:(1) For example, Myk came to me the other week and asked me about the "Save Link to Disk..." context menu item. Firstly, he correctly pointed out that the item had an ellipsis on the end of it when it did not prompt for any user input. Secondly, he said that when he used that function he was primarily saving files into a specific, that-time-only location, such as saving patches from bugzilla, and the default behavior of automatically saving to Desktop when selected was very counter-productive. He said he didn't want to turn off the auto-save behavior because he liked it when clicking on links. Myk asked me some hard questions about the assumptions I had made when I made the right click menu item auto-save... the primary one was that at that time our content type sniffing wasn't as good as it is now, and that often just clicking on a link would result in garbage being displayed. Now that we've fixed that bug, that assumption no longer has a basis, and thus the context menu item is a good place to stick an action that differs from the default single link click action. (Note: I haven't actually done this yet, but I will do so soon). This is a good case where investigating the assumptions made in designing a feature have caused an improvement. Don't be afraid to question decisions we've made, but try to ask good questions!


Exactly - your example of Myk's questioning is PRECISELY the sort of calm, thorough feedback that is encouraged by having you, or your proxy, available and approachable.

bengoodger wrote:(2) As an example, in the name change case, Brendan had promised the database folks that we'd change the name by 0.8. Once a word has been given, legal standing, project dissimilarity etc go out the window if you want to remain credible. We had no choice. We had to keep our name choice quiet too because we did not want to jeopardize legal negotiations allowing us use of the name in various markets. Finally we wanted to keep the fact that we were changing the name at all quiet since we wanted to try and deflect as much of the inevitable negative publicity as possible by having a strong release to back it up. That seems to be working.


Understandable, and another fine example.

bengoodger wrote:Also, when people talk about features in the UI, it'd be helpful if people thought of the context in which they were using a feature, and what they were trying to do, before insisting that a particular piece of UI is implemeted. For instance, rather than just saying we need a new window for this, try and think about your problem not as a lack of that window, but as the task you were trying to achieve. This brings you closer to "contextual design," a highly regarded methodology for UI design. Think about your problem from many angles, explore alternatives, and present them all. There may be gems, even among solutions that are not completely adopted!


Yup. Perhaps links should be put up to places that explain UI design and other concepts to help the advanced users figure out how to appropriately ask such questions.
Proud user of teh Fox of Fire
Registered Linux User #289618

bengoodger

User avatar
 
Posts: 318
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 4:24 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:45 am

TheOneKEA wrote:Yup. Perhaps links should be put up to places that explain UI design and other concepts to help the advanced users figure out how to appropriately ask such questions.


When a problem with the product is framed as "I need this button now!" or "I hate the single download manager window!" it is so easy to dismiss it.

This is why it's critical that people try and identify why they don't like something, especially with my limited time (I can't always trace back from a UI request such as I mentioned to an actual usability problem in a short enough time).

I think one of the reasons that people dislike the download manager for instance is that they like getting a subliminal notification that a download has begun, and in many cases this is not the case with the new download manager. In the old system a progress dialog would open when something started happening, which was a pretty obvious indicator that the download had begun. Rather than relent and reintroduce what I consider to be clumsy and information-heavy UI that is mutually exclusive with the cross-session resumable download system we eventually hope to achieve, I began looking for other ways to indicate that something had happened. That's why I have begun pursuing the "flash the window in the taskbar a couple of times" approach. Maybe there's an even better way.

Another thing with the download manager - people often complain about the lack of fields for source URL etc. The complaint is usually of the form "There isn't a source URL field! You should add one!" When you ask them why, they say, "Because I want to copy the URL into an instant message or email" So if that's really what they wanted to do, why not a context menu item, "Copy Source URL" (for want of better verbage) - this accomplishes the task in actually fewer clicks - with a selectable field you'd need to double click to select all, then hit Ctrl+C or right click and choose copy. With a context menu item it's just two clicks - one to bring up the menu and another to select the item.

When people frame things as usability problems it's much easier to think of creative and innovative solutions to them, rather than when the problem comes masked by a pre-packaged and potentially inferior solution.

Oh, and I do read these forums almost daily.

rue
 
Posts: 673
Joined: June 10th, 2003, 2:20 pm

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:49 am

The simple fact is: most users don't really know what they want.

Don't sweat it Ben. You've got a lot on your hands, and these forums are here for you -- not you for them.

bengoodger

User avatar
 
Posts: 318
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 4:24 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:52 am

bengoodger wrote:This is why it's critical that people try and identify why they don't like something, especially with my limited time (I can't always trace back from a UI request such as I mentioned to an actual usability problem in a short enough time).


I know that thinking about things from a UE designer's point of view might be challenging for people without UE experience... but I'm confident there are a number of bright people here that can help. If you see another forum member struggling to express his or her needs, it'd be great for others to try and help them.

It'd also be great if this forum system had post scoring, so that I could easily see the end result of this collaboration without having to read through the genesis ;-) Sort of like what Slashdot does.

MORA

User avatar
 
Posts: 1192
Joined: May 17th, 2003, 1:30 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:55 am

The reasonings behind some important changes to the browser have not always been clearly explained to the community. For instance, there is currently much debate over the new download manager: some love it, some hate it, some feel this should be moved to an extension instead of the base package, others want more functionality in the base package itself. This has resulted in a whole lot of complaints, speculations, rants, flames, whines, and more. Other heated discussion topics concern the password manager, the installer, extensions-management, tabbed browser extensions, and bookmark management.

It would be much more productive, for all sides involved, if the developers would participate a little more in those debates about such important issues. Maybe make such debates sticky more often, so that you can focus on the hotspots, instead of the noise. Your participation in this thread alone has already cleared up many questions for me, and has actually helped me 'keep the faith'. I acknowledge the enormous complexity of this task, and I am deeply impressed by all the work you have put into this project. I can see how keeping up with the growing community can be a daunting task, but keeping the community involved will be vital for the project in the long run.
Last edited by MORA on February 11th, 2004, 4:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them - Winnie the Pooh

Dunderklumpen
 
Posts: 16224
Joined: March 9th, 2003, 8:12 am

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 3:56 am

Excellent information Ben - usefull and very good. Now some of us can pass this on and make your work a little easier.
I know how hard it is to get everyone satisfied - it is impossible in a project as large as this and with the large userbase. I know how hard it is to keep everyone happy - also almost impossible.

I know that someone has to make the decissions - finally and that the outcome might not be the one you like. Things you have to live with and accept or use another software.

I do not see the use of you getting involved in every little thing in here. Your work is better used elsewehere - but a little information - such as this from time to time is usefull and valuable. Heck, you might even find that some of us will stand up for you and the project and pass the information on. :-) We can not do your work but we can spread the word and that might help a little.

TheOneKEA

User avatar
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: October 16th, 2003, 5:47 am
Location: Somewhere in London, riding the Underground

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 4:01 am

MORA wrote:The reasonings behind some important changes to the browser have not always been clearly explained to the community. For instance, there is currently much debate over the new download manager: some love it, some hate it, some feel this should be moved to an extension instead of the base package, others want more functionality in the base package itself. This has resulted in a whole lot of complaints, speculations, rants, flames, whines, and more. Other heated discussion topics concern the password manager, the installer, extensions-management, tabbed browser extensions, and bookmark management.

It would be much more productive, for all sides involved, if the developers would participate a little more in such debates. Maybe make such debates sticky more often, so that you can focus on the hotspots, instead of the noise. Your participation in this thread alone has already cleared up many questions for me, and has actually helped me 'keep the faith'. I acknowledge the enormous complexity of this task, and I am deeply impressed by all the work you have put into this project. I can see how keeping up with the growing community can be a daunting task, but keeping the community involved will be vital for the project in the long run.


Exactly. Stickying the name thread is a fine example of concentrating debate on a particular topic. Stickying more threads dealing with the hotspots MORA has illuminated would be even better.

As Dunderklumpen said, make the information available and we will spread it.
Proud user of teh Fox of Fire
Registered Linux User #289618

jgraham

User avatar
 
Posts: 558
Joined: November 28th, 2002, 10:20 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 4:10 am

bengoodger wrote:Aside from the work that Pierre has done improving Bookmarks and digging around in the toolkit, patches from individual contributors and the infrasturcture work Brian has been doing on an ongoing basis


And the work that the community is doing in the core browser (gecko, necko and friends). And in documentation (the help files, Mozillazine and the Mozillazine Knowledgebase, Mozilla Firefox Help, plugindoc.mozdev.org). And in extensions. And in numerous other areas of community support that you've entirely overlooked when you say you're doing everything yourself.
Last edited by jgraham on February 11th, 2004, 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tancred

User avatar
 
Posts: 33
Joined: September 12th, 2003, 9:05 am
Location: London

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 4:19 am

DO I like the new name? Not really but I can understand that a decision had to be made so I can live with it. It's also not registered so this new name should stick around for a while.

Am I losing faith? Not at all. 12-18 months ago I was working at a different Uni and needed to upgrade a large number of student computers from Netscape 4.7x. Mozilla included mail and other extras and was, well somwhat buggy. IE was looming as the only real option. Then a few months later, a browser only version of mozilla was anounced.

This product really is needed. It works very well "out of the box" and if you want to, extentions make it even better. Not everyone needs the mozilla suite. We all know that tabs rock. Its nice to slide between the same browser on the Linux box and my Mac.

Overall I'm very happy with whats going on.

user X
 
Posts: 51
Joined: October 15th, 2003, 2:26 pm

Post Posted February 11th, 2004, 4:30 am

Whoa there!!! For a small but passionate group of your users, this whole thing just isn't working! I am neither kidding nor exaggerating nor talking about moving buttons or making it look nicer. Using the current versions of Firefox on Mac OSX (10.2.x), attempting to load new extensions causes a crash. Every single time. Attempting to search bookmarks (in the bookmark manager) causes a crash. Every time. Mailtos do not work (any of them). And Thunderbird is loaded with non-working features.

The point is, many Mac users have posted here (and on the Thunderbird forums) about bugs (the bookmark search bug has existed over several versions) and yet, NOTHING GETS FIXED!!!! In fact, with all the bugs Firebird had, Firefox has added the crashing when trying to add extensions. So, in a way, things are getting worse!

I certainly sympathize with you about overwork, but as you said, you do it because you can't/won't delegate. OK. But, for god's sake, listen to us! You've got great ideas, some great implementations, but a lot of problems that need to be addressed _before_ you start moving on!

Speaking strictly for myself, I'm willing to test your products and let them crash on my machine, but for how much longer? I and others have been posting here about bugs from several generations ago, and yet, they don't get fixed. When are you going to start to listen?

And, just to be clear, Firefox, Thunderbird, et. al. are all great products waiting to achieve their greatness. That's why we are here, isn't it?

Return to Firefox General


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests