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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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
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.
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.
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...
Good for Mozilla on the code cleanup, I just wish they hadn't also felt the need to make the URL bar expand...
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.
I even dug into the doorhanger source code.
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.
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.
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.)
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?
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.
"That eyesore art project that my local city paid too much for is an abomination and has to die."
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?
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.
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'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.
Complaining people are sensitive denotes sensitivity.
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).
Am I missing something?
The option to control stripping was removed, and the code, rather than checking that option, /always/ strips.
Open new tab -> Click on one of the links in the Bookmarks Bar 
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.
 I'm pretty sure that I do this more often compared to typing something in the address bar.
"Bookmark toolbar items are harder to touch in the new megabar redesign"
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.
Until FF 72, adding the following to userchrome worked fine to mimic this behavior, but now it is broken:
I changed it into "transform 125ms linear 43ms" and removed the "transition-delay" lines because it felt too slow.
FF 74 didn't use to do this, neither does Chrome for me.
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.
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.
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.
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 Mozilla modestly promotes itself as:
"dedicated to keeping the power of the internet in people's hands"
browser.urlbar.openViewOnFocus = false
browser.urlbar.update1 = false
browser.urlbar.update1.interventions = false
browser.urlbar.update1.searchTips = false
browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll = false
2. `browser.urlbar.update1` is going away (is already gone in nightly builds -- see my other comment elsewhere for details.)
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 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.
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.
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'.
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.
Or you could always disable the middle button:
xinput set-button-map <input> 1 0 3
At any rate, if you use GNOME, you can disable it. Open Tweaks, go to "Keyboard & Mouse" and disable "Middle Click Paste"
It keeps the primary clipboard clear, so it should also work for non-GTK applications.
"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.
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.
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")
As for editing a url: just double click the part you want to change, then type to change it.
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.
In Firefox 75 on MacOS, double-clicking in the address bar selects 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).
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
This doesn't add up. After "furiously ESC ESC ESC, curse, click once" you would already have put the cursor.
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.
I edit URLs all the time.
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.
I'm also surprised (well, maybe not really) that people have never learned about the Alt+D shortcut.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Or you could just file a bug report upstream, that would produce more long term results.
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.
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...
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
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.
By the way, is there any workaround for the Esc issue? (i.e. a way to unfocus the new address bar)
No idea about escaping from anything
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.
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
Think of a gradient descent optimizer that after hitting a maximum just... keeps going.
Changes can still have net positive effects, however.
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.
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.
But perhaps you meant FF was heavily extensible which is true, but it was also very costly.
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.
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)
Also FF/Mozilla cannot survive on power users & developers alone.
By the way, what even is a power user on the web?
Do you have any recommendations for Wayland desktop environments or window managers?
Sure, if you use Sway, you get blurry X11 applications. If this is a problem for you, don't use Sway ;).
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.
You can see it for yourself if you have a reasonably modern non-Nvidia device. You can find a build here , 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  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.
I can imagine that people over-customize Firefox, forget about their changes, then have bugs, finally abandon Firefox thinking it's unstable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
> 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.