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Firefox 75.0 (mozilla.org)
390 points by abhiminator 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 340 comments

Related from a couple days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22804149

The new style of the address bar is extremely jarring, and (imo) ugly. It breaks all kinds of UI conventions, drawing itself over other UI elements like the tab bar and the toolbar to the left and right of it.

For this reason alone, at least I've found that setting `browser.urlbar.update1` to false in about:config reverts to the old code--mostly. Firefox 75 still seems to have changed the click behavior of the bar to be totally unlike any other program too; it highlights the entire text by default, without putting it in the selection buffer, and in general makes handling it with the mouse a lot more tedious than it used to be.

I'm ragging on this a lot, but seriously, it's a major regression in UX.

Fully agree that this change is needless, gratuitous and downright ugly. But it gets worse...

The pref that disables the ugly behaviour is going away. Indeed, in some sense it's already gone: ["Remove the megabar pref"](https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1627969) is already marked as `closed`.

I think the UI change is not merely ugly, but actively harmful. When the user's attention is elsewhere, but the focus of the urlbar changes there's a nasty UI animation that occurs in the user's peripheral vision. As any real UI designer should know, human peripheral vision is primarily for motion detection, directly tied to fight-or-flight stress reactions and triggers an adrenal stress reaction which in this case is not merely "undesirable" but downright harmfully misleading. The last thing the world needs is more stress just because some delusional UI designers thought an animation upon receiving/losing focus was a good thing to implement.

This abomination has to die, and today would not be soon enough.

I'm guessing this change was pushed forward after a Mozilla employee noticed the new Chrome and Google Search design [1] (click on the search bar to see it pop out and expand in a similar way), and nobody found the power to protest against it internally. This was a deliberate move by Google to reduce the visual distinction between Chrome's browser frame and the search site, and it was copied by Firefox without consideration.

Experimentation is needed, but there should be more checks along the way, and feedback should be requested from the target audience, so that a designer's fever dream does not land on hundreds of millions of devices, to the bemusement of everyone.

[1] https://www.google.com/search?gl=us&hl=en&gws_rd=cr&q=firefo...

I understand Mozilla's need to target base users in this losing war against google, so I'm forgiving when they make Firefox more like Chrome, but I just wish that in their releases they could say "hey, loyal Firefox fans - just disable this, this, and this to keep the previous behaviour".

That way they can pander to the masses as much as they want and still keep their fan base. Right now it feels like the fanbase is being ignored.

You (and others in this thread) are way, way underestimating the cost of configuration options in software used by lots of people. There's the cost of having to support that huge fractal in the code. And there's the cost of things being broken for users who don't understand the options and broke things for themselves. Configuration options are bad news for software not intended exclusively for technical users.

Alienating some of your most loyal users whom have spent decades advocating for Firefox has its costs too, and there are always ways to safeguard or hide configuration options, such as about:config.

Personally I wouldn't mind a slight expansion to highlight the search bar, but the current design is crude and over the top, and it has led to usability issues.

For some balance:

As someone who is one of those most loyal users and has been using Mozilla since they were releasing milestones of the app suite after the 1998 open-sourcing, then moving on to Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox... I can say I just don't care about this change. I run beta channel, and it was a weird jarring surprise when I first saw it a month or so ago, but within a few hours I just stopped noticing it, and stopped caring.

I just don't get why people end up in arms about such trivial changes to software. Admittedly I used to be like that, to some extent, but at some point I realized this sort of thing doesn't actually affect my life in any meaningful way and so there's no point worrying about it.

Change your mindset. This sort of thing is not worth even the tiniest raise in blood pressure. It's a waste of time and energy to even give it a second thought. Doing so provides no value to anyone, especially yourself.

If nobody cared about the quality of software we'd still be using internet explorer.

Nothing about this change applies a change in quality. It's the opinion of a few vocal people that this is bad, nothing more.

I don't like this change but haven't publicly remarked about it until now. What about the vast majority of people who don't browse hn or haven't been provoked into making their opinions heard? Dismissing opinions you don't agree with as vocal minority won't help you and certainly won't help Mozilla.

Mozilla like other companies providing user-centric products must conduct focus groups to see what works and what doesn't. Relying on designers' ideas without proper validation is a recipe for disaster.

> but within a few hours I just stopped noticing it, and stopped caring

> there's no point worrying about it

So continuing that logic, people should not care about, or notice about something mozilla spent time and resources on, and made a risk on. Bad project management IMO then.

> Change your mindset

why? if it's not worth the frustration, why is it worth the change?

I'll admit, I didn't directly notice it immediately, but it felt off. What annoyed me was reading the reasoning - "Focused, clean search experience that's optimized for smaller laptop screens", yeah, I don't want that optimization. This "help you focus" crap (in general, for years) is ridiculous. I like density, but not stupid density. I didn't pay for screen real estate to get "beautiful" whitespace.

True but look at about:config.. there are a lot of options already! It's one reason people use Firefox

about:config is not for typical users.

This discussion is about a preference which would be (and is/was) in about:config

It would be nice if Firefox stayed friendly to technical users then. They have a large market factor that Chrome does not have in that it's favorable to us techies; we then contribute to Firefox in return. Shooting tinkerers in the foot loses the value we provide.

Indeed, Chrome removing the option to use backspace to go back is why I dropped it years ago.

Tell that to people who A/B test…

and companies copying features no user asked for from the top competition is even more expensive and dumb.

it's like gnome giving up all its good differentiating features during the great rewrite just to mimic osx, no matter they were in a cargo cult mindset copying even the flaws, shortcomings and bugs.

here Mozilla is copying Chrome's abusive forceful use of google's services from the UI, no matter if the user wants or not

I loved firefox actually for the ability to style the UI using user styles. IMHO they need to bring back the old way of customizing. In constrast to Thunderbird (which allows it but has even less of a community) allowing webextension experiments and unsigned addons in any version might bring back freedom even in the times of webextensions. I really hate how they started patronizing their loyal users with all its colateral damage. It has become easier to customize chrome than firefox, strange times...

Ah I'm not using Google anymore so I did not notice it, but the recent Slack update has the search box behaving kind of the same.

So there's a trend (fad?) here in design language, and I would be fine by it... if it wasn't clashing with every other part of the UI language, from Material cards to good old desktop windows. But this way, the extra Z value, size and color flash attention grab is just cognitively dissonant.

I place the new pointer support on iPad OS on the same trend, as the pointer moves, the target has varying physical changes and hints the user with a little poppiness on the Z axis (parallax as the pointing device is operated, extra box around), but it's 1. a hint, not shovelled in your face and 2. consistent with the surrounding design language.

The same weird design can be found on the updated confluence search box too. This is like websites implementing their own smooth scrolling with Javascript. We all know how that worked out.

> This abomination has to die, and today would not be soon enough.

These are some harsh words for a user interface change. One would think reading from this thread that Mozilla has committed a crime against humanity.

(Quite a few people think my language was overly harsh. I'll reply to this one, but take it as read that it's much the same reply to all similar comments. Nothing personal, just this one seems to best sum up the (perfectly valid) criticism.)

Yes, indeed, it is a (very small) crime against humanity. (Not a BIG Crime Against Humanity, which sounds almost like a game of some sort.)

To be human is to have a hardwired hormonal stress response to this changed UI. It's something that evolved when we still lived up in trees. It's not something we can learn our way out of or train ourselves to not experience. And it is unnecessary, nay, inappropriate in a world already over-filled with stressors and noise.

And I would expect UI professionals to know about this and to avoid it except in places where a stress-response would be appropriate (time critical warnings, for example).

So I'll stick with the harsh language, thanks. As pointed out by some, it was not (and never intended to be) personal.

At the very least they could retain an option to disable to it, but no...

Sometimes I really miss my pre-internet computers, with software that was exactly the same every time I used it, until I decided that I wanted a new version.

The about:config flag only ever existed so people running beta and nightly builds could easily switch for testing purposes. According to Mozilla employees, a big part of the new URL bar behind the scenes was cleaning up a mess of legacy code, so I can totally understand why they're not going to keep the old code around indefinitely.

Good for Mozilla on the code cleanup, I just wish they hadn't also felt the need to make the URL bar expand...

I'm willing to accept that as the original purpose. However it is now used to cover up and patch over poor design, missing features and unwanted sponsored content features.

man that is as horrible as the firefox update dialogs.

they keep on moving them around so you can't disable updates.

I have a machine on a private network and I CANNOT get rid of the "firefox can't update to the latest version" nag no matter what setting I play with.

user-hostile "features"

Maybe an updated version of Firefox has the feature to remove the nag?

I've been waiting a long long time. probably ff 6x?

I even dug into the doorhanger source code.


Indeed Firefox 77 has removed the preference already, you can check if you download Nightly.

> This abomination has to die, and today would not be soon enough.

Please don't use this kind of language. It's software, and a lot of people work hard on it. Sometimes they make decisions you disagree with. There's no need to be rude.

Working hard on something doesn't make it exempt from criticism. And they didn't even say anything about the devs, just the feature. It's not like you can be rude to a web browser.

No one said it was exempt from criticism. Saying that someone else's work is an "abomination that has to die" is rude and an inappropriate way to express your opinion.

"abomination /əbɒmɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/ noun: a thing that causes disgust or loathing." It perfectly describes that new address bar.

If that were true, they wouldn't have released it. I don't understand why you are so eager to defend that choice of words. I don't think it is too much to ask that conversations remain cordial, even when people disagree.

Because those words perfectly describe how I feel about those changes to address bar.

And they released it for the same reason Slack released their input box update https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21589647. Some manager wanted to leave a mark and nobody was there to oppose them.

Your feelings are valid, and understandable for a piece of software which is so intimately integrated into your daily life. However, allowing those feelings to influence the way you discuss this software seems unwise, especially if you intend to convince the software's developers to change their minds about it. When people feel that core parts of their identity are being attacked, they tend to shut down and stop listening. Developers of complex software like a web browser, who have dedicated large parts of their professional lives to the nitty-gritty details of its creation, surely feel as emotionally attached to it as you do, and they are likely to perceive an attack on it as an attack on themselves. If the impact of this change is so great, then you have a responsibility to present your criticism of it in such a way as to maximize the likelihood of it being received and accepted.

I'm not sure if "responsibility" is the right word. Perhaps there's a responsibility to HN to avoid such language. But I don't think disgruntled users have a responsibility to pose their feedback in a constructive way.

s/you have a responsibility to/it would be most effective if you were to/, perhaps.

Otherwise, I agree with everything you said.

(And hey, I work for Mozilla, though not on UX stuff. When I saw the original description of poor UX, I was planning on checking it myself and possibly filing a bug if I agreed. But once the thread got into "abominations", I lost interest and subconsciously recategorized the complaint as coming from the subset of users who complain loudly and whose opinions I generally find too unrepresentative of more than a small niche. Which could be right or wrong in this case, but I have found it to be a very useful heuristic to consider the constructiveness of criticism as a signal of how useful it would be to examine further.)

Constructive criticism was being given during beta and ignored.


Yikes, posting like this will get you banned here. If you wouldn't mind taking a look at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and using HN only in the intended spirit, we'd appreciate it.

With https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron in my hands i stand my grounds and refuse to be disciplined into mindless tribalism.

We don't want mindlessness either. The scorched earth of internet flamewars, which is the direction your GP post pointed in, is truly mindless. That's the fate we're hoping to avoid here. To maximize signal/noise we need to minimize indignation/information.

Ah, well... I've thought about this, and if i should waste your, or others time by making even more 'noise', or saying nothing at all. There are a few sides to this, one would be that it is a free product, even open source and one is free to either deliver patches or fork it, otherwise there should be no feeling of entitlement at all.

BUT... i've read the whole thread, and the other too, and the only 'signal' between all the 'noise' of annoyed users is more or less: take it or leave it (because we say so)

This is arrogant. And politeness and politically correct speech under all circumstances leads to nothing but mediocrity, while the groupthinking celebrates the emperors new clothes, over and over again. I think sometimes it is necessary to bang the fist hard on the table, to recalibrate the signal processing. If this is too stressful for all the special snowflakes to bear, they maybe should stay in their safe spaces and don't babble about niche minorities. Or maybe smoke less weed?

How can they stop listening if they didn't listen in the first place?

Just because you know words to perfectly describe what you think of a person or thing doesn't mean you should use them.

> If that were true, they wouldn't have released it.

I was with you until this. "Abomination and needs to die" is too colorful and dramatic for my tastes. But the new address bar's design is indeed (mildly) offensive from a design perspective. It's visually jarring and, as I said elsewhere in this thread, it simply looks broken. When a long-time Firefox user first sees it, they might think their Firefox installation has gone haywire (I certainly did). This is an off-putting feeling often coupled with a bit of dread about having to rebuild your browser profile to fix whatever caused the chrome-layout to break. Yuck!

Mozilla is not alone in releasing features or design changes that cause users to get upset. Some might even call the features abominations. Here's hoping Mozilla reads this thread and considers some reversal.

"North Korea's missile program is an abomination and has to die."

"That eyesore art project that my local city paid too much for is an abomination and has to die."

On a related note, I recently started my first dev job. I found an issue and told one of my mentors "I wonder if something stupid is going on in <insert library name>". She called me out in front of the entire office saying "I don't appreciate you calling our work stupid, we worked really hard on these libraries for years". What? Are most developers this sensitive about wording? I should have said "weird" or "strange" instead of "stupid", but give me a break. I obviously wasn't attacking anyone, it was just a figure of speech and we all have moments of stupidity.

It's just a figure of speech. It's not meant to be taken literally. It's a valid description of a lot of people's feelings for this user-hostile feature.

It may be a figure of speech but it is a ridiculous overreaction to call it an abomination. You may not like it but it’s nowhere near enough to describe that way. What term will you use when something truly bad comes up?

> What term will you use when something truly bad comes up?

So you are saying it would be OK to call some feature of a piece of software "an abomination" if it were "something truly bad", then?

Well, then why should mikro2nd be prevented from calling this feature "an abomination" if that is an accurate description of how he feels about it?

> What term will you use when something truly bad comes up?

Surely you can imagine genuinely offensive overreactions, plain use of 'abomination' is nowhere near over the top.

Consult some of Linus Torvalds' famous rants for examples.


Is it a valid description of people's feelings, or is it hyperbole? I struggle to see how it can be both at once.

Subjectivity is a bitch ain’t it?

Did you think the GP meant that Firefox "has to die"? Because that's not how I took it. I think he means just this new feature needs to die.

And yeah, it's a bit over the top (I haven't looked at the new feature yet, just read descriptions of it), but I didn't feel like it needed a "don't talk like this" response.

I'd agree on a lot of things in life, but UX is an exception because decisions made about how we interact with something have an area of effect.

I've railed against Google's UX approach for years. Their UX approach requires too many steps between states. Where does this get dangerous, even potentially lethal? Android Auto.

If one lock screen is too distracting while driving, Android Auto adds one more. None of your non-Google App notifications will appear on your dashboard, but Android Auto doesn't let you access your notifications unless you completely exit the app. You can't open Messages in Android Auto, even when the vehicle is not in motion. Android Auto disables all touch controls when the vehicle is in motion, and if you disabled Google Voice on your phone, you won't know until you're going 80MPH down a highway and need to adjust your GPS that you can't use touch, you can't use Voice, and you'd have to exit Android Auto just to re-enable it, and it can't just be enabled for Android Auto, it has to be enabled for your whole device... and Google owns any data you generate with the Voice Assistant, and you have no right to restrict how Google uses it, including the sale of that data to a third party.

So, I agree on most things to not be rude. But with UX, the goal is to prevent conflicts by modeling features around our most likely approach to using said features. When professionals at Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple, force end users to use features in a specific (rather than intuitive) way, the consequences are wide and deep and the terms of service make it impossible to hold them accountable to change it.


Surely arguing that it's ok to be sensitive is the only self-consistent position.

Complaining people are sensitive denotes sensitivity.

That comment would be rude if it personally insulted the developers.

"This abomination has to die, and today would not be soon enough." Ouch!

I, for one, am absolutely fine with this. I have updated FF recently and didn't even notice any changes, had to look up what had changed after stumbling on this comment. I interact with address bar a lot, copy-pasting parts of URL all the time.

As long as they don't by default hide https:// and parts of URL from the address bar itself in Safari/Chrome style , I'm ok with it not shown in suggestions.

(I have a big 24" screen though, maybe that affects somehow).

Not only do they by default hide that, they've also removed the preference to show it.


I don't know what you're talking about. Here's what I see [1], I actually like highlighting on main domain. If they'll remove https:// from my URL box, I'll grab a pitchfork myself, but for now I see no signs of it happening.

[1]: https://tinyurl.com/umluadw

The patch was pushed 18 hours ago: https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/rev/5b1cfd31cdb7

That patch seems to remove the option of striping the http(s) from the url bar. That is, you always get the http(s) and there's no option not to view that anymore.

Am I missing something?

Yes. Scroll down to the code change in UrlbarResult.jsm.

The option to control stripping was removed, and the code, rather than checking that option, /always/ strips.

Is that only in Nightly? My Firefox 75 shows the https and the full URL, and I havent changed any about:config settings.

My Nightly 77 shows the full URL and https and I also haven't changed about:config settings.

That's a temporary entry so, of course, it would be removed eventually.

I don't believe for a single second you haven't noticed the new url bar animation.

It’s really not bad. It is a change. You might consider keeping it enabled for a couple of weeks and see if you still hate it so much after the new wears off.

I barely noticed it even after reading HNers whine about it. They said it covered other UI components. In reality it grows a few pixels. I wouldn't have noticed it had I not read HN, that's for sure.

What animation???

I assume the GP is talking about the search bar becoming slightly bigger on focus.

Oh, the horror!

I’ve been using Nightly for a long time and I have no idea what this is about.

I still legitimately don't see what people are describing about the address bar. I haven't noticed a change the entire time I've used Firefox (about year). Could someone post a before-and-after screenshot or something? (I've been using Firefox Developer Edition too if that makes a difference?)

Yeah, my nightly build just got it. I hate it. I hate the new tab style too. And they got rid of dark mode?

One of my most common action sequences in Firefox is:

Open new tab -> Click on one of the links in the Bookmarks Bar [1]

But now, when I open a new tab, the address bar is expanded and partially hides the Bookmarks Bar. So it's hard to click on my favourites. Needless to say, I disabled the new address bar straight away.

[1] I'm pretty sure that I do this more often compared to typing something in the address bar.

There's a bug filed for this.

"Bookmark toolbar items are harder to touch in the new megabar redesign"


Why not just middle click (or Ctrl click if you don't have a middle mouse button) on the link to open it in a new tab directly and skip a step?

Can't answer for parent post, but I do my living room browsing on a 1360x768 dumb TV and having the bookmarks toolbar open in any tab other than a blank new tab eats a noticeable amount of screen real state, so I default to new tab & click on bookmark.

It's a bummer that Firefox is not respecting its own compact layout by needlessly enlarging the address bar while on focus, but the shadow dropped from the new monstrosity obscures the bookmarks toolbar in my desktop with default layout, too, and that's a real usability concern.

How does this work for you? The only thing I miss about Chrome is it's default exposure of the bookmarks bar on new tab page.

Until FF 72, adding the following to userchrome worked fine to mimic this behavior, but now it is broken:


I think I'm using a tweaked version of this one:


I changed it into "transform 125ms linear 43ms" and removed the "transition-delay" lines because it felt too slow.

Because GUIs have have more then one workflow since their invention. Same reason that there are multiple designs of physical tools, user preference.

Sure, but in this case this is the intended workflow, and works so well that if another, alternate workflow is affected it's not much of a problem.

well for me, because I had no idea.

That's interesting, it doesn't auto-expand for me. When I make a new tab, the URL bar is active, but it doesn't expand the dropdown thingy. If I start typing, or click on the URL bar, then it shows the dropdown. Maybe it's a platform difference (I'm on Linux), or some configuration tweak (I use the "compact" layout option), or buggy for one of us :)

On Linux with FF 75 for me, clicking in the URL bar (or Ctrl+L) sets focus to the bar (as it used to), but also causes the bar to expand downwards (open) with suggestions.

FF 74 didn't use to do this, neither does Chrome for me.

The dropdown list of suggestions/search results is not the expanding thing that people are complaining about. The URL box itself expands. Maybe you wouldn't have been so dismissive of people's complaints if you had fully understood what this change does.

I don't think I've been dismissive of anyone's complaints?

You've called people rude for feeling strongly about their objections to this change, you've denied that Mozilla would have shipped a negative change, you've accused the detractors of this change of not understanding that it could pose a maintenance burden to keep it optional, and you've asserted that said maintenance burden outweighs the usability benefit of letting existing users keep the existing behavior.

You've done everything except provide an actual argument in favor of why Mozilla should introduce this new UI behavior that breaks existing conventions and interferes with other features in ways that are as-yet unresolved.

And you're doing similar stuff elsewhere in the thread about other questionable Mozilla UI decisions.

My URL box does not expand. I'm on MacOS with FF 75. Very odd. There must be settings that affect the behavior of the new address bar

Can you provide a screenshot? For me, the address bar partly overlaps the bookmarks bar but not the actual bookmarks. Also, the increased size of the address bar is purely visual and the clickable area of the bookmarks did not change at all. You can verify that by hovering the bookmarks while moving the mouse pointer inside the address bar. The bookmarks are still clickable even when the pointer is visually within in the address bar.

It partially hides the bar, you can still click the bookmarks but it makes it uncomfortable.

Hardcore Firefox fanboy since its humble beginnings.

Since 60/Quantum, I can't think of a single UX change which hasn't been detrimental. Someone up top is souring the entire product in a misguided attempt to recapture market share. But all they're doing is continuing to bleed out remaining users, the majority of whom are likely somewhere between the casual and power user.

> Hardcore Firefox fanboy since its humble beginnings.

Same here. And although I may stick with it due to my loathing of the alternatives, I'm increasingly sick of it. The complaints about the new URL bar/bookmarks toolbar were exactly my experience, but what's worse is Mozilla just doesn't care[0].

They also have a mobile browser called Firefox Lite which after a recent update displayed sponsored ads as top sites on the home screen.

Not a problem though, just remove them and put your own chosen sites, right? Wrong. It's not possible.

Repeat: Mozilla forces unremovable advertising as top sites on the home screen of one of their mobile browsers, used by millions of people.

On the download page for this product[1] Mozilla modestly promotes itself as:

"dedicated to keeping the power of the internet in people's hands"

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22832729

[1] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.ro...

The splintering of their mobile platform into several overlapping apps is its own hot pile of garbage, if you ask me. I haven't even tried Firefox Lite but if they do that with Focus then I'll be pretty incensed.

There's a more complete set of flags to disable more stuff:

  browser.urlbar.openViewOnFocus = false
  browser.urlbar.update1 = false
  browser.urlbar.update1.interventions = false
  browser.urlbar.update1.searchTips = false
Does any of that help the click behavior?

There's also

which limits the number of sites shown in the dropdown, and which can be set to 0. This fixes my biggest complaint about the new URL bar.

If by click behaviour, you mean `clickSelectsAll` I'm afraid its not going to be fixed. Here's the relevant bugzilla page: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1621570

The bad click behavior persists.

I haven't updated yet, still on 74.0 -- but does

  browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll = false 
still work?

I regret to be on 75.0 and I can not find that parameter. Removed?

1. You have to restart the browser for changes of those prefs to take effect.

2. `browser.urlbar.update1` is going away (is already gone in nightly builds -- see my other comment elsewhere for details.)

I already assumed a restart was required (the plain update1 one requires a restart, too). Still makes no difference to click behavior.

And I can't for the life of me even understand what the purpose is! The URL bar already had a very noticeable focus state outline. Are there users who couldn't tell it was in focus?

People on reddit have been complaining about how the bookmarks bar is harder to access now. The developer response has been something to the effect of "it's only covering the bar by a few pixels, it's really not a substantial difference."

I'd be inclined to agree with the evelopers, except, what is the advantage of that trade-off? Sure, you're only making the bookmarks bar very marginally harder to use, but, it's still something, and if users aren't getting anything out of it in return... why do it?

I should google the design process but maybe they're doing it to make the input box match the padding of the drop down menu. I don't remember how it worked in FF74 (it's one of those things that I don't notice if they just work) but disabling the new behavior with browser.urlbar.update1 false makes the drop down menu expand to the full width of the window, so no problems with padding. The new menu is as narrow as the URL box and padded, so they had a problem.

I don't like moving interfaces (I disabled all the movable parts in Gnome Shell, extensions authors be blessed) so I'm sticking with browser.urlbar.update1 false until it goes away in FF 77.

I was confused at first and did not like it. But a few hours later got used to it. Perhaps the reason being I'm mostly interacting with a keyboard instead of mouse. The thing I like about this change is when you press Cmd+L it immediately expands most visited list and you can quickly select with the keyboard.

Same here. Confusion at first, then I started liking the whole thing. I consider it an improvement.

Would be nice to have a setting for enabling/disabling it so everyone could make it work the way they like; I feel lucky to like it the way it is now.

Completely agreed. When this first landed in Firefox Developer Edition, I thought something was broken with the layout. It looks especially broken to me when using the "compact" layout mode. It took me some time to find the "browser.urlbar.update1" setting that disabled it, and it was a relief to finally see the address bar return to normal size.

I've historically found the address bar in Firefox superior to all other browsers precisely because it is not biased toward being a gateway to search engines. It has always done a superb job of finding what I am looking for from my history and bookmarks. I worry that the new algorithm will reduce the utility of the address bar for me, making it similar to other browsers'.

> it highlights the entire text by default, without putting it in the selection buffer

That selection buffer inaction is desired behaviour IMHO. Changing the selection buffer should only happen with explicit user selecting. GTK screws this up and constantly clobbers my selection buffer, which is a real pain. That's one reason I stick with KDE and Qt applications whenever possible.

Automatically putting highlighted text into the clipboard is an old, old Unix convention. I personally hate it, along with the middle-click to paste action. AFAIK neither of those behaviors can be disabled, and I find them both extremely surprising, unintuitive and harmful. I guess some people like it, but if I could turn all that off, I'd be thrilled.

Manually highlighted text going into the selection buffer for quick middle-click pasting is great, and makes me much more efficient at manipulating text on Linux than Windows. If you don't like it, you can just ignore it: don't click the middle mouse button on text areas. The selection buffer is independent of the explicit cut-copy-paste clipboard (if you have some program running that's trying to synchronise them, you can turn that off).

Yeah yeah, it's totally a preference thing. I can't ignore it, because I use the scroll wheel a _ton_ (have you ever used the middle-click autoscroll thing in Firefox? it rules). So sometimes the scroll wheel gets accidentally clicked and I paste some junk into the middle of the document I happen to be scrolling through. I'd much rather have a strong, confirmative action like pressing Ctrl-C and V to interact with the clipboard, rather than overloaded functions like highlighting text or interacting with the scroll wheel. It sucks, but after 10+ years on X11, I've mostly gotten used to it.

This feature predates scrollwheels multiplexed with middle buttons. You could source a scrollpoint mouse to split the behavior. The "modern" ones with the large saddle are a nicer experience than the laptop erasers.

Maybe get a better mouse? My scroolwheel is harder to click than other buttons.

Or you could always disable the middle button:

  xinput set-button-map <input> 1 0 3

i have a habit of selecting text i'm reading. auto-copy into the clipboard totally wrecks my productivity.

It goes into the selection buffer, separate from and independent of the clipboard.

It's a feature I absolutely depend on, I can't even imagine being productive without it.

At any rate, if you use GNOME, you can disable it. Open Tweaks, go to "Keyboard & Mouse" and disable "Middle Click Paste"

Oh trust, me I've tried. That setting only affects Gnome/GTK applications. Some applications that use other toolkits, or no toolkit, have direct support for middle-click paste, which then can't be disabled at all. It's just a platform convention I dislike; I know it won't be going away.

XMousePasteBlock is apparently effective.

It keeps the primary clipboard clear, so it should also work for non-GTK applications.


i actually like middle-click paste, but there's no denying that having two distinct OS-level copy/paste buffers with subtly different semantics is a rough edge.

It's not just the tab bar. I use Tree Style Tab and so have tabs down the left side of my window and the horizontal tab bar hidden. However, my bookmarks toolbar is right under the URL and search boxes, and that toolbar is probably my most frequently used interface to the browser, with the search bar not far off. The URL bar is a distant third, but now a slight misclick opens the ohmygoditshuge URL bar area and then the bookmark toolbar I was probably aiming for is mostly obscured. Not only that, but clicking in the area above the URL bar then has different results depending on exactly where you click, but they range from not closing anything to closing the drop-down but still leaving the oversize URL bar partially hiding the bookmarks. None of them just closes the whole thing again, the way you would expect an expandable control to do when you move the focus elsewhere.

"Infuriating" is not an adequate description for this change in something I use hundreds if not thousands of times per day. It really is as annoying as when MS Office switched to the ribbon UI.

> Firefox 75 still seems to have changed the click behavior of the bar to be totally unlike any other program too

It never acted like any other program. Double-click selected everything while normally it would select a word.

They changed it to behave like one other program: Chrome.

> They changed it to behave like one other program: Chrome.

Oh man, I recently had the displeasure of using Chrome on someone else's computer and was driven absolutely insane by that behavior-- it made it extremely hard to edit a url.

Do you have any idea what the justification for this behavior is? (surely it's not just "be like chrome")

The justification that the most common task when clicking the address bar is typing a new one. Now it's just one click -> type new url. I love it, there was a about tweak you could do to get this before that I had to do over and over on every new new FF install. They made the right choice making this a default.

As for editing a url: just double click the part you want to change, then type to change it.

Interesting. I think I edit urls many times more often then I type one.

> Do you have any idea what the justification for this behavior is?

I don't know, but I would hazard a guess that the most common action in the URL bar is to copy the URL to paste elsewhere. Highlighting the text automatically gives the user the opportunity to immediately hit Ctrl-C. I think it's an improvement.

> Double-click selected everything while normally it would select a word.

In Firefox 75 on MacOS, double-clicking in the address bar selects a word.

I think it was Linux-only.

Do you have the URL and search bar separated or the same input box like Chrome? I've got them as separate input boxes and text selection still works with a single click for the whole URL string.

> It never acted like any other program. Double-click selected everything while normally it would select a word.

Maybe, but at least a single click (in Firefox 74) brought a text caret to type at a location, just like any other GTK text box on my system.

> They changed it to behave like one other program: Chrome.

If I wanted Chrome's bizarro NIH-induced UI fantasies, I'd use Chrome. I like that Firefox had a semblance of sanity and consistency with the rest of the world (even if not perfect).

>changed the click behavior of the bar to be totally unlike any other program too

I am using Firefox Developer Edition, and I was also stunned at first a while ago. But now as I'm getting used to it, I tend to like it more and more. It was really hard to select just one part of the path (word) before this change, and now I can just double-click those parts to delete them then (useful when you want to cleanup the URL from some mess).

Also here is the description and justification for this change from OP link:

On Linux, the behavior when clicking on the Address Bar and the Search Bar now matches other desktop platforms: a single click selects all without primary selection, a double click selects a word, and a triple click selects all with primary selection

Since people are posting their opinions (although presenting them as facts), I would like to share mine:

I actually like the new address bar. It makes it clear it's selected, it makes it larger, which improves readabilty and I find the dropshadow aesthetic.

The new address bar is a disaster for me since I use i3wm and give Firefox half of my screen. Given half the screen the new address bar drop-down menu is very small and struggles to efficiently display the possible completions when it is selected.

I think there's a great market niche for Mozilla - they could be the browser for people who want more control and configurability than the competition. People who don't want an "intelligent" URL bar. I have a feeling they could capture a lot of the developer market that way.

Unfortunately, that's not the direction they seem to be taking.

They might still get a bunch of Manifest V3 refugees in the near future though.

Aren't there already multiple forks that move slower than Firefox and resist change? Presumably the people who call minor feature changes "abominations that need to die" (seen in these HN comments) don't actually care enough to use those forks, so I'm not very convinced that there's any market in being a niche.

All the HNers who pile on modern browsers couldn't even agree on the features their ideal browser should have, yet these same users are quite hostile in comments sections. Talk about a thankless niche.

The top comment thread so far are people seemingly emotional because the new URL bar expands a few pixels when selected and selects all its text upon focus like Chrome's and Safari's UX teams have already decided is most useful to most people (including myself).

> Aren't there already multiple forks that move slower than Firefox and resist change?

Not really. Pale Moon is much, much more than just a UI change at this point—their goal is to maintain compatibility with the old extension system, which is a much bigger deal.

And it's increasingly incompatible with the modern web as a result.

I agree the new experience is poor, and "select all" part is the worst. I haven't needed or wanted that feature since 1993 and I don't know why someone thought it was the thing for me in 2020. Every desktop environment I've used provides an easy way to select lots of text (double- or triple-click). That's still how every other application works, so what's the point here? Who really needs to select-all-and-copy the URL bar all the time?

Here's why selecting the entire URL is good. The most common action performed with the URL bar is to search for something or to navigate. Selecting everything helps you type your search query without having to double click or triple click.

Can you describe your use-case? Why do you need to place the caret inside the address bar and not have it all selected? In the few cases where I want to copy/delete a part of the URL I can do a 2nd click after I clicked once.

Ever since I saw this behavior in Chrome I wanted it in all my browsers. I'm very glad Firefox copied this feature.

> The most common action performed with the URL bar is to search for something or to navigate.

Ctrl-K or Ctrl-L followed by the search text or address. If I'm pointing with the mouse, it's because I want to point to a specific location on the URL bar, not fat-fingering the whole bar.

I can tell you my interactions with FF's URL bar are now always: click once, type, realize I just deleted everything, furiously ESC ESC ESC, curse, click once, twice, wrong double click, wait to be able to single click, deep breath, curse, click again.

Getting the user to curse twice is the hallmark of successful UI design!

> I can tell you my interactions with FF's URL bar are now always: click once, type, realize I just deleted everything, furiously ESC ESC ESC, curse, click once, twice, wrong double click, wait to be able to single click, deep breath, curse, click again.

This doesn't add up. After "furiously ESC ESC ESC, curse, click once" you would already have put the cursor.

Ah, ok, that makes the feature useful now. </sarcasm>

That's not the thing that makes the feature useful. The thing that makes it useful is that it makes it easier to do common tasks.

It makes the feature useful if you only use your web browser. If you use a variety of applications on your computer in combination with each other, it’s also useful that they follow certain consistent UI design patterns so you don’t have to learn and remember how each different application works. That’s part of what makes PCs so much more powerful than the sum of the individual programs you run on them.

I agree. The vast majority of all cases were I click on the URL bar is because I want to replace or copy what's there. In the few cases when I want to modify the address I can just click an extra time. Select all optimizes for the common case for me and probably most users.

I also like that the list of previous visited sites are shown wherever I click now, the down arrow wasn't really necessary. But I don't have anything under the URL bar, I have all my bookmarks next to it.

Replace www with old on reddit. Removing some large query parameter before submitting to HN, removing the last parts of the URL to get to a higher section of a web site.

I edit URLs all the time.

You don't even have to click a second time to select part of the URL. You simply click and drag at the same time. It's ideal for everyone.

> The most common action performed with the URL bar is to search for something or to navigate.

No. The only thing the URL bar (Ctrl-L) is used for is to navigate to explicitly typed URLs or URLs in your browser-history.

The search bar (Ctrl-K) is used for searching.

Having 2 distinct bars and keyboard shortcuts for 2 distinct actions makes all this mess they are trying to “solve” with this mega-bar go away.

I don't want any of that. I don't need it. I will disable it and userChrome.css all and everything I can of it away.

God damn it.

On Linux, selecting text normally places it in the X buffer (a clipboard, but not!). This change apparently selects the text while avoiding the buffer unless you click more, which is really odd.

I'm also surprised (well, maybe not really) that people have never learned about the Alt+D shortcut.

I use Control-K to search, or click in the search box, not the URL box.

This is just my opinion :) but, clicking in the address bar in order to type a URL seems pretty inefficient. Why not activate the address bar with the keyboard, which you will need to use to type the URL anyway?

It's similar to typing a URL in the address bar and instead of typing Enter to navigate, you grab the mouse and click the little 'go' arrow on the right.

99% of people who use web browsers don't use shortcuts like ctrl-L, they just use the mouse to click.

It's kind of like asking why people don't just run irssi on ec2 if they don't want to be disconnected from IRC when they close their laptop: it just fixes it for a few nerds, not for anyone else.

I think the comparison is a bit exaggerated. People generally know how to use ctrl+c and ctrl+v. Keyboard shortcuts aren't that nerdy, some of them are explained in the Windows 95 User Guide.

Meanwhile UI consistency is useful for everyone, not just nerds. I think optimising software for some minimal set of lowest-common-denominator use cases like this is a slippery slope.

I don't need default select all, but it's convenient for me. My top two uses of the address bar are to

1. enter a new url 2. copy the url

The first step of both is to select the entire url, so this is good for me. I have a few programs that automatically copy on selection, but thankfully, firefox isn't one of them. That behavior really irritates me.

The number one rule of UX changes, people shit on everything no matter what you do. Counter-anecdote: it's a fine-to-good change.

Best part of this laptop first address bar is that it shows less (half of) information than the old one (lengthwise)

Would have to agree. The new style of the address bar is unsettling and invasive to say the least.

I'm on the developer edition so I've had it for a month now. I didn't like it at first, but now I don't even remember any differences.

Extremely jarring, ugly to me, and what's more: the escape key still doesn't escape the address bar to focus back on the page!

It's the first thing I did after ff updated itself again in the background and I saw that: google for a fix (https://www.ghacks.net/2020/04/08/how-to-restore-the-old-fir...).

Bend over and embrace the change. This setting is going away in ff77, AFAIK.

Or you could just file a bug report upstream, that would produce more long term results.

Agreed, the address bar popup is very annoying. It should be possible to disable, permanently.

I restarted Firefox because I thought it was crashing...then I noted the new version and came here. Yeah this address bar UI change is both jarring and disorienting.

The select-all Chrome-like behaviour is so horrible. It makes the two most useful interactions with the address bar much more difficult - putting the address into the primary buffer (on X11) so you can paste it somewhere else (this now requires a triple click), and putting the caret inside the address to edit the URL (which now requires clicking twice, but not double clicking because that is different, so you have to click with exactly the right pause inbetween, which is a horrible interaction).

What's extra annoying is that a single click will select the whole address but not put it in the primary buffer! Another UI convention broken.

All of this is to optimise for the most useless address bar interaction - clicking into it with the mouse and then changing to the keyboard to type a new URL, instead of just using ctrl+L. This is a feature made to optimise for people using the software (IMO) incorrectly.

This behavior long predates Chrome and has been this way on other platforms IIRC since the browser was still called Phoenix, and probably inherited from Netscape at that; the change here brings Firefox's behavior on Linux in line with its behavior elsewhere.

I can understand how the people who develop Firefox think that's a good idea, but not how they imagine anyone wanting it other than themselves...

indeed, why do i care if firefox on my linux desktop behaves the same as firefox on someone elses windows desktop?

sure, consistent behavior is good in many cases. (it drives me crazy that VLC on mac is different from elsewhere) but more important that crossplatform consistency is to follow the common UI behavior of your desktop environment. text selection on X11 (and wayland) is inherently different than text selection on windows. this breaks common expectations


Could you please stop posting unsubstantive and/or flamebait comments to Hacker News? You've been doing it repeatedly, and we ban that sort of account.

If you wouldn't mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and sticking to the rules when posting here, we'd be grateful. The idea is: if you have a substantive point to make, make it thoughtfully; if you don't, please don't comment until you do.

Completely disagree. I had to do a config tweak on every new FF install to make it behave like this new default. Love that I don't have to do that anymore.

I don't think using the mouse to select the address bar is incorrect, it seem a very normal and logical thing to do to me.

I am not sure whether it’s logical but it doesn’t seem normal in the sense that it’s not how a text input box normally works. It’s idiosyncratic (of course, except for Chrome who did it first)

Same. I never thought they would change it, but I'm glad they did.

This chrome behaviour also drives me mad. At least they allow middle click on new tab button to open a new tab and browse to whatever is in the primary clipboard.

I think I basically never replace the contents of a tab by entering something directly in the address bar. Usually I would just be opening a new tab and my reason to click the url bar is to primary-select its contents or to make a weird edit to the url. But presumably my use case isn’t so common

I've been using nightlies for a while, and the address bar seems fine to me. I haven't even noticed when it changed.

It's a central piece of user interface, so it makes sense to make it more prominent than what a '90s design of a bog-standard dropdown menu allows.

It even logically makes sense to make it like a little popover window, because when you edit the address, you're navigating to a new page, not editing a property of the existing page.

Anyway, overall it's a small issue.

Agreed. I like the change.

I think it's a rather small change too (I've had it on nightly for a while and barely noticed it), so I don't understand why the top voted comments are complaints about this :S

One of the complains is that the select-all on single-click is anti-idiomatic for Linux and *BSD users, and when text is selected in X11 it is automatically copied. The standard way to select the whole content in a text box is to triple-click it.

I see. I'm also on Linux, but i guess i've mostly been doing ctrl+L to go to the address bar, and that's been selecting the whole text since before the change? Because i didn't notice that change...

But i understand it's frustrating to have the behavior of clicking on it change all of a sudden. I see the point of the change too (if i click on the address bar, i'd assume it's because i want to go to another site, or copy the URL, so selecting all text is convenient), but UI changes will always bother people who are used to the existing behavior.

I just don't think it's so black and white bad as some people paint it to be. And at some point i feel that harsh criticism is not constructive at all.

I also use ^L, but many times I just want to modify part of the URL (sometimes even with text from the clipboard buffer). As a web developer this change is going to be pretty irritating.

Web dev here. Simply doubleclick the part you want to change.

Unfortunately that doesn't work as it selects the doubleclicked word (after selecting the whole URL) which modifies X11 clipboard.

Don’t worry. The single click behaviour is secondarily broken in that it doesn’t save the url to your primary clipboard so you can click again (but slowly enough for it to not be a double click) to edit the url

Uhm so if I do two slow clicks I can actually edit without changing my clipboard (even when the first click renders it selected)... and if I want to copy the URL I have to do two slow clicks and then a quick triple-click. It's awful but I least I still have copy paste functionality. Thanks!

By the way, is there any workaround for the Esc issue? (i.e. a way to unfocus the new address bar)

In fact you can go straight for a confusing fast triple click to select everything and copy to clipboard. The first selects everything, second click selects and saves the word, and the third selects and saves the whole address.

No idea about escaping from anything

I'm not over the moon about the new address bar, but I don't care too much either way.

I agree it's a small issue. So I think it's really sad that Mozilla are spending UX resources on this fluff, instead of working on making the unique Firefox features better.

For example, I really wish the official container extension got some love. That could help make Firefox a lot better than Chrome, instead of making it less distinguishable from Chrome.

> We’ve enlarged the address bar anytime you want to do a search and simplified it in a single view with larger font, shorter URLs, adjusts to multiple sizes and a shortcut to the most popular sites to search.

Almost every single point in that sentence is a negative change. Which is +1 for my personal pet theory: all software gets worse over time

Some things are just good as they are, but then designers and developers keep tinkering with it for its own sake. If you've used android you've perhaps noticed that for the last 4 or 5 releases google keeps changing core parts of interface the every, single, time (button navigation, notifications, quick toggles... you name it).

Think of a gradient descent optimizer that after hitting a maximum just... keeps going.

Agreed, really disliking all of these new behaviours. I too subscribe to that theory, in that developers keep looking for ways to "make it better" and end up layering so many useless UI items on top of each other software becomes messy over time.

For what it's worth, my parents like the new address bar.

So do I. So do the vast majority of people, I bet.

Many pieces of large software are like a Shepard tone. It's constantly getting improvements yet doesn't get better (or even gets worse) in the long run.

> A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the bass pitch of the tone moving upward or downward, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.[1]


Have you ever considered that you just don't like change?

I think there are absolute negative effects to just about every change because of reasons like invalidating muscle memory, unintended consequences, documentation synchronisation, config options, and the chance of introducing bugs. If one cares about certain things a lot, these effects may be larger than developers expected. For example, if you are blind, user interface changes may suck a lot more than for sighted people.

Changes can still have net positive effects, however.

Almost every single point in that sentence is a positive for the vast majority of users. We're power users, not the majority.

A statement I'm sure many of their product managers have made about many "features" that have whittled away at their power userbase.

IMO if they want to be slightly different Chrome, they should just take a full leap and cut out the functionality not used by or confusing to the users they're trying to target. Drop the pretense of control or customization. They're only hurting themselves in the long run by trying to slowly drag one userbase into the other and satisfying both poorly as a result.

Well they could've at least made a setting to permanently disable it...

firefox used to be known as a highly configurable browser. now, mozilla is just pushing changes that can't be configured.

there are some about:config tweaks to change the url bar back to the old one, but they are going to go away for sure.

FF was never particularly configurable. Actually it started its life as bare-bones, stream lined variant of larger Mozilla Suite.

But perhaps you meant FF was heavily extensible which is true, but it was also very costly.

But Chrome already has a stranglehold on the majority market.

In my opinion, Mozilla should put the vast majority of their energy and resources towards targeting power users and developers - they've already lost the other battle.

Look how hostile just one HNer is about a tiny feature change as if they are the spokesperson of all power users. I can't think of a worse niche to target than a bunch of hostile, opinionated power users who play Chicken Little in comment sections around the internet because of any minor UI change they personally dislike.

Btw, you aren't a browser power user just because you use ctrl-L to focus the url bar. HNers like to think they're power users because they think their opinion matters the most, but it doesn't make much sense when it comes to web browsers imo.

(I like the new url bar, and I'm a power user if there's such a thing)

Power users press Alt-D

I'm a power user and have like zero issues with the re-design. I noticed it the first time, said "meh" and continued like usual ...

Also FF/Mozilla cannot survive on power users & developers alone.

I'm a "power user" and I like the change. It's not like it gets in the way when you're not using it.

By the way, what even is a power user on the web?

Someone who uses ctrl+shift+i to change the webpage they're viewing, either to fix a problem or change an annoyance.

For me possibly the most interesting feature of this release is the possibility Of good GPU support on Gnu/Linux/Wayland.


I'm really struggling for reasons to care about what happens on Wayland... because I have yet to find any decent desktop environments or window managers for Wayland. Sway is a close contender, but the one major problem I have with it is the fact that on high-DPI displays XWayland applications appear blurry.

Do you have any recommendations for Wayland desktop environments or window managers?

Slightly confused, is that PR ready for use right now?

Think of it like this instead: if more applications support wayland, then more people can switch to it, some of those will be developers who are then more willing to build/port DEs and WMs for it.

Except that it hasn't been a problem for years on e.g. GNOME. X11 applications work fine and are not blurry. They generally use 2x scaling. Only old Gtk2+ applications such as Inkscape and GIMP have small icons, but there is probably a workaround.

Sure, if you use Sway, you get blurry X11 applications. If this is a problem for you, don't use Sway ;).

gnome-shell has worked for years with HiDPI and Wayland. XWayland applications are not blurry, GNOME configures them to use to use the GNOME scaling setting and they look as sharp as native Wayland applications.

I haven't tried Wayfire yet, but it looks fun enough that it might get me to install Wayland: https://wayfire.org/

No idea how practical it is, but I miss Compiz Fusion with the windows wobbling and burning up, and if it will bring some joy to my desktop in these trying times, that's all I ask.

The out-of-the-box setup on Fedora $Beta is probably the best Wayland environment that exists right now.


How do Chromebooks fare on this? I would naively assume Google forces some quality and conformance testing for Chromebook vendors, so they should at least have a basic GPU stack working.

Of course (not meaning to be snarky to you) Chromebooks can do hardware acceleration. Off the shelf hardware that supports Linux can also do it with no issue if you compile ChromiumOS yourself.

You can see it for yourself if you have a reasonably modern non-Nvidia device. You can find a build here [1], and 7z x it to a device or use Rufus, and when you boot it you can check a guest session and see how watching a YouTube video does not light your laptop on fire.

I am very glad that Firefox is getting there too. Judging by this Reddit comment [2] it's still got a long way to go, but that's quite fair when it's just the one Red Hatter working on it I believe.

[1] https://chromium.arnoldthebat.co.uk/?dir=daily&order=modifie...

[2] https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/fwk3yt/firefox_750_r...

Interestingly (maybe not), a lot of people seem to be upset about the new address bar. To me, this is the biggest improvement. I don’t have a lot of custom config in Firefox, mainly use it and DuckDuckGo to no be using Google, and find it refreshingly easy to see my search engines and have more information available in a spot that I use all the time rather than having to know where to look or have it hidden in the first place

I love the new address bar. I'm on the developer builds, so I've been seeing it for a while. I use both Safari and Firefox, and the new Firefox address bar makes me want to use it more. I haven't analyzed what I like about it--I just really like it.

No wonder, i was trying to look for changes but i was already on them too, i haven't felt any cons to using the new address bar

I've been using FFX 75.0 for a few hours and I very much like the new address bar. When I ctrl-L my eyes fix on the address bar, where they should, because of the blue outline and the chunky left/right margins. I like this and I wish others here would stop calling this an objective UX fail. To the contrary, I think the FFX devs have done a splendid job once again.

The biggest change in this release that I'm _so_ happy about is that they finally fixed session restore to preserve which macOS Spaces your windows were originally on! I believe the Linux equivalent with virtual desktops was also fixed. It was an outstanding issue for years that made me loath restarting. I typically have 50 or more windows spread across several spaces, each with a different context, and it was a huge pain to have to move them back to their original place.

Looking forward to try it on macos! The original bug report seems to be 12 (!) years old: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440895

i noticed this too! it was probably my most common pain point of firefox. i actually questioned whether it really happened and would happen again on the next restart.

I wish they would do the same for Windows 10 multiple desktops

I find it interesting that the fact so many comments mention config flags mean not many here are actually using the same Firefox, and not even close to the default one used by the 99% of its users.

I don't even know how default Firefox looks like. For all the changes going on, my configuration seems to persist fine.

Being highly user-configurable used to be the best reason to use Firefox, but Mozilla seem to be have become openly hostile towards that flexibility in recent times, even when it made the experience far worse for lots of users. These days, being probably more trustworthy when it comes to privacy and phoning home is more-or-less the only benefit Firefox has compared to just using Chrome/Safari/Edge that comes out of the box with your device.

Supporting all that flexibility is challenging for development, and could cause issues for the end user.

I can imagine that people over-customize Firefox, forget about their changes, then have bugs, finally abandon Firefox thinking it's unstable.

No doubt some people do. On the other hand, that flexibility was Firefox's main selling point.

Even today, there are several things I used to use on a frequent basis that are missing or limited because the Quantum changes broke so many add-ons. The equivalent functionality hasn't been or in some cases can't be implemented by add-ons using the new APIs instead.

I'm a programmer. I understand the technical arguments for why they wanted to make the internal changes. But when you are dumping your #1 competitive advantage because of technical details, it's probably time to start asking some tough questions.

Being fair, they dumped their #1 competitive advantage in order to relieve their #1 competitive disadvantage - keeping XUL made desperately needed performance improvements impossible to implement. Calling that "technical details" rather understates the case.

FWIW, I didn't find Firefox noticeably slow on any device I was using before, nor did I notice any big speed up after those changes. I understand that others had varying experiences, but unfortunately I can't relate to them at all myself.

The only time pre-e10s Firefox performed well was anecdotally, in threads relating to pre-e10s Firefox not performing well.

That might be your experience; I have no reason to doubt you. Mine is that no-one I know personally ever expressed any dissatisfaction with the speed of Firefox before anyway, and the only time people complain about the performance of pre-e10s Firefox is when they're trying to justify all the broken useful functionality that was caused by the change.

You're right that people weren't all that likely to complain loudly about Firefox's pre-e10s performance. Much more often, they just quietly switched to Chrome.

You're making a significant assumption there. Let's not pretend that people only switch to Chrome because of some perception about performance. If that were the main or only reason, shouldn't lots of people have switched to Firefox later, if Quantum made it so much faster?

Who's pretending anything of the sort? I hope it doesn't really need to be explained that saying this is a reason why some people switched to Chrome doesn't preclude other people doing it for other reasons, or that once there, they're likely to stick instead of going through the headache of switching back again.

None of this needs to be taken on faith. There were Mozillians here and elsewhere talking at length around the time of the change about why it was necessary, and maintaining market share against Webkit browsers and especially Chrome was a major reason. I don't care enough to spend any of my Friday night digging up those references from a couple of years ago, but they shouldn't take all that much finding if you do.

Firefox comes pretty much broken out of the box if you don't use config flags.

I've been using firefox for over ages and I've pretty much never changed a config flag. No complaints.

That is quite subjective...

Using old, broken system APIs without going into about:config is not really that subjective.

Hmm? The only pref I change is "image.animation_mode=none" to disable animated GIFs and videos, and I can understand why they don't set that to the default. What do you find is broken about Firefox's default state? Do you really think most users feel the same way you do?

My own pet feature, and prior to 75, the only config I changed, is "middlemouse.contentLoadURL=true" -- the default middle button action is some goofy scrolling feature copied from IE; much more useful to use it to load links.

Thank you for mentioning this. Even I've never really understood the Firefox dev team's rationale behind making the DEFAULT action of middle mouse click of that of auto-scrolling.

In my years of using the web, never have I ever come across a scenario where I'd need middle-mouse-click triggered auto-scrolling.

Oh man, the middle click autoscrolling is one of my favorite features. To scroll all over a huge page, you just middle-click once and nudge your hand a couple pixels up and down. Boom, free scrolling with just tiny nudges of your hand. It's probably how I do 90% of my scrolling in Firefox. (No opinion on the default setting; it's easily findable in the Settings dialog.)

>What do you find is broken about Firefox's default state?

Firefox uses a self-made fullscreen implementation by default on macOS, which is buggy and causes menubar issues. Firefox has code to use the macOS native fullscreen feature, but it's actually hidden behind "full-screen-api.macos-native-full-screen" about:config flag. So if you're on macOS and want to fullscreen something on another monitor (and actually have it work proper), you need to figure out that the fix is hidden there.

Surely you can understand that an issue in a platform-specific implementation of a fairly obscure feature doesn't really support your assertion that it is "broken out of the box". It's likely that config option is not set by default because it's known to be buggy in some other way. You can read some discussion of this setting here, which has seen some activity in the past year, so it is being worked on: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1403085

A fairly obscure feature, what? Fullscreen is a fairly obscure feature?

Uh, this was the first I'd heard about this setting, so I went ahead and tried it.

I don't know what's happening for you, but when I toggle that setting, full-screen becomes quite broken: https://i.ibb.co/7tJYHPf/Screen-Shot-2020-04-10-at-9-30-25-A... (Note all the empty space at the top and bottom.) Breaks the fullscreen animation too.

I don't have problems with the standard full screen in Firefox—I never knew it wasn't using the native mac method—although I only have one monitor.

The one big problem I do have with Firefox on Mac is that it intercepts the system keyboard shortcuts. So if you set up custom keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences for menu items, they won't work in Firefox.

That's not happening to me with full-screen-api.macos-native-full-screen and single screen.

Still though, you can probably understand now why it's not the default.

I can't actually for a myriad of reasons. Not only has the native fullscreen functionality been around for years (eight to be exact), it's pretty mature. Other applications, like mpv, have migrated over to the native fullscreen functionality just fine. And as I already mentioned, the current Firefox implementation is just downright broken.

> And as I already mentioned, the current Firefox implementation is just downright broken.

Yes, and as others mentioned, the "native" implementation in Firefox is also downright broken. Without knowing which one is more broken, there doesn't seem to be a strong reason to change the default. I understand that the native one works better for you, but you're not the only user.

The strong reason to change the default is that only one of them is supported on macOS and it's the one that's not default.

Not to mention the fact that Firefox already uses the native fullscreen functionality. It just doesn't use it fully and consistently.

And what's with the quotes around native?

I'm trying to indicate that I'm using your words. I have roughly zero experience with macos, and I don't know what native fullscreen means. In windows, I don't think browsers use any separate apis for rendering fullscreen, so I just don't really understand it.

> one of them is supported on macOS

Assuming "support" means it actually works, there seems to be conflicting information about which one is actually supported.

Support means that Apple has APIs for it.


It seems that in some cases, the way Firefox is calling those APIs is incorrect, or causes undesirable behavior.

Who the fuck knows what's happening in Wowfunhappy's screenshot. I doubt it's because of the native fullscreen because it's something that's been a part of macOS for the past 8 years. And again, Firefox is already using the native fullscreen functionality in some cases. The issue is that some of the time it's not actually a fullscreen application and is merely just pretending to be one.

It's working fine for me.

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