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Mozilla Labs: the URL Bar Has To Go 591

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the command-line-strikes-back dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an editorial from ConceivableTech "Since Google's move to enable users to hide the URL bar, we have seen what could be the beginning of the end of one of the key features of the web browser. Mozilla has its own thoughts, but there is little doubt that Mozilla is reconsidering the purpose of the URL bar in future versions of its browsers. In a Mozilla Labs post today, David Regev suggests that the location bar should be replaced with a tool to support more than just one command."
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Mozilla Labs: the URL Bar Has To Go

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  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:07PM (#36239866) Journal

    Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not? There's a good reason to keep the URL bar - it's a quick and easy way to check for phishing 2 out of 3 times. Hiding the URL bar is just dumb, because now we're reliant on Google or Mozilla or other third-party maintained lists to protect us from phishing, or we have to jump through hoops to check the URL. No, thank you!

    Plus, what is wrong with keeping the URL bar where it is? I use the Omnibar addon and it adds the ability to do all sorts of query commands into the URL bar already. It works well and it's convenient to use, and best of all, I keep my URL bar (albeit it's now a long address bar that incorporates the search bar into it). Why not go that direction? Why follow Google towards stupid design decisions? Just making it look nifty is not a good reason to change something or to remove functionality and features.

    • by NervousWreck (1399445) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:12PM (#36239930)
      Maybe a smarter move would be integrating Omnibar into firefox by default.
    • by kbitz (847782) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:13PM (#36239948) Homepage
      If Mozilla is going to start "following Google" then there's no reason for me to use their browser when I could go straight to the source and use Chrome. I use Firefox because I don't like Chrome. There is no reason to start emulating it.
    • by HermMunster (972336) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:18PM (#36240014)

      It's not about following Google's move (to me). Their efforts seem disingenuous. The URL bar is fine and there's nothing wrong with it. The purpose behind the move? More screen real-estate, or just an effort to confuse the customer?

      It it isn't broken do not fix it. It means that I'll have to put in extra effort on all the machines I repair to find and put back the URL bar for my customers.

      Seriously, they need to rethink their purpose.

      • by fafaforza (248976) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:49PM (#36240514)

        I was livid when LCD producers stopped making 4:3 screens, forcing me into a bulbous 15" widescreen behemoth. Now, having forced us into these widescreen laptops, they're bitching that there isn't enough realestate. Well, gee whiz! You think that a widescreen display has a really wide horizontal spread (wasted on an oversized and mostly empty address bar) and less vertical space?

        • Yes, because software developers are totally to blame for the shift to widescreen displays.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @01:15PM (#36240936)

        That's been my complaint with Firefox lately, they seem to forget that some of us have large monitors and that it's actually a decrease in usability to take away parts of the interface. I've got a 1900x1200 display, I've got no problem having a status bar and a URL bar, I've still got probably 1100 pixels or more of height to work with. If they're so obsessed about being space efficient, perhaps they ought to move those things to the side of the window as horizontal space tends to be poorly utilized anyways. And with the increased focus on 16:9 displays, that's even more significant than it used to be.

    • by The Moof (859402) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:18PM (#36240024)
      Well, they ignored the massive backlash about removing the status bar, so what makes you think they'll listen to the masses about the location bar? Mozilla's been making some really questionable design decisions lately, and their response always seems to be "find an add-on to do it." Extensions are nifty and all, but they should be required for what some would consider basic interface functionality.

      There is an extension [mozilla.org] to make the "add-on" bar act like the old status bar, but it's got some issues (might be FF, might be the add-on).
    • That was my first thought, since I just got a Mozilla Labs update that changed my Firefox AwesomeBar to the Google Chrome EvenMoreAwesomeBar. Firefox is trying to be Chrome to stay relevant.
    • I use the Omnibar addon and it adds the ability to do all sorts of query commands into the URL bar already. It works well and it's convenient to use, and best of all, I keep my URL bar (albeit it's now a long address bar that incorporates the search bar into it). Why not go that direction?

      Umm...

      David Regev suggests that the location bar should be replaced with a tool to support more than just one command.

      Isn't that exactly what he's suggesting?

      Granted, if you look at the fine article, it isn't exactly a bar so much as a box... But it's the same idea. A multi-function interface element that allows you to enter searches, addresses, get page info, and whatever else.

      I think the observation is that most folks don't actually use the URL bar to type in a URL these days. That's why so many browsers allow you to search directly from the URL bar - because people don't type out URLs, they type out searches.

    • Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not?

      They're the Soviet Union to Google's USA.

      Every little thing US military did, from the 5.56mm ammo to the Space Shuttle, the Soviets copied... even the boneheaded moves (such as these two). Their rationale was that "Well if the Americans are doing it, it must be good".

      There was also a bit of Cover Your Ass mentality, similar to "I can't get fired for buying IBM". If I authorize development of new tech, and it fails, I could be sent to the goulags... but if I just copy American shit, I'm safe.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:34PM (#36240256) Homepage

      Gah, what is with Mozilla following Google's every example, no matter how stupid or not?

      Complacency followed by panic. Two years ago Firefox looked secure, according to statcounter IE had 62% marketshare, Firefox 29% and Opera/Safari/Chrome fought over the last 9% - Firefox was almost 10x bigger than than the third browser and everybody agreed nobody runs IE because it's better so in many ways they felt like #1. All they had to do was convert more IE users and world domination was at hand.

      Then came Chrome:
      May 2009: 2.45%
      May 2010: 8.61%
      May 2010 (est): 19.22%

      Extrapolation is always a dangerous thing but Chrome has been eating almost one full percentage point per month now. One more year like this and Chrome would pass Firefox. And Mozilla's search engine agreement with Google ends in November this year, what's the deal going to be now that Chrome goes toe to toe with Firefox? I doubt they'll get as generous terms this time around. In short, they really feel the competition breathing down their necks now.

      • "One more year like this and Chrome would pass Firefox."

        Yep, one more year taking away everything FF has that Chrome doesn't and people may stop bothering with FF.

      • Something I'll never understand: people's obsession to be everything to all people. It doesn't work with cars, it doesn't work in politics, and it doesn't work in software projects. What's wrong with being the browser for the computer literate? The extensible browser? Those are all things you can design into a product. You can't design something to be "the browser with 100% market share". Any attempts to do so will be met by total failure.

    • by BZ (40346) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:46PM (#36240470)

      You're confusing "Mozilla" (like the people who are shipping the Firefox browser) and "Mozilla Labs" (the people whose job it is to brainstorm and come up with ideas, prototype them, and see if they work).

      Some Labs ideas end up in the browser after they've been prototyped and the like. Most don't.

      The only difference between that and what Apple and Google do is that they keep their prototyping work hidden for the most part, so you don't get articles about all the things they're thinking of trying that then don't pan out.

  • Great idea! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You know who else didn't have a URL bar?

    AOL.

    • AOL actually added one, I thought.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:10PM (#36239906)

    Nothing gets under my skin more than devs who like to follow the latest trends without considering whether what they are doing actually delivers concrete value to the end user or at least makes the codebase more maintainable in a real measurable way. Newer is not always better.

    • Not to mention that the last link in TFS effectively calls for a CLI based browser, which would suck for handheld devices or people who aren't seasoned keyboard jockeys.

    • by neoform (551705)

      They should change the URL bar to be limited to 140 chars, that'll make web programmers make their urls more concise and to the point!

    • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:53PM (#36240566)

      Nothing gets under my skin more than devs who like to follow the latest trends without considering whether what they are doing actually delivers concrete value to the end user or at least makes the codebase more maintainable in a real measurable way. Newer is not always better.

      I understand when a commercial software company (Microsoft, Adobe, etc) does this. They must constantly release "new" versions of their products in order to generate sales. Constantly changing things, re-arranging the entire program and constantly "fixing" things that aren't broken is stupid, but I understand why they do it.

      Using this approach with Firefox, however, makes absolutely no sense at all. Firefox is given away for free. There is no sales revenue. Mozilla may get money from Google for making them the default search engine in Firefox, but that will happen regardless of any changes that are made toFirefox.

      Firefox 2.0, which was released several years ago, was feature-complete as a web browser. Since then, their focus should have been strictly on things that are "under the hood" -- (a) fix any security holes or other bugs that are discovered (b ) improve rendering speed (javascript, etc).and memory use (3) When needed add new stuff that comes along (HTML 5, etc).

      That's it. Period.

      There is no need to constantly fuck with the user interface, adding pointless crap, removing useful features.

  • I <3 URL Bars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vinn (4370) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:15PM (#36239970) Homepage Journal

    I like URL bars. They're quick and easy to type into, they let me see exactly where I'm browsing at (in theory), and when it comes time to copy and paste a link it's simple. The added 33 pixels means nothing to me.

    Alternatively, we could consider removing the URL bar if it was replaced with a button that gave David Regev electroshock therapy every time it was clicked. Oh, and that Google guy too who's removing it.

  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:15PM (#36239974) Homepage Journal

    ....why I don't want a URL bar? How the hell am I supposed to type in the places I want to go. What are they thinking? I don't get it. I also tend not to change my habits. Is typing in URLs passe now? Am I supposed to rely on my browser to take me where I want to go? What's the deal?

    Not trolling here. I'm serious, I don't get this 'feature' at all. I open a blank page and search on google and hope my search term works the next time?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jdastrup (1075795)
      You still type in URL's? So old fashioned. I just think where I want to go and, BING, I'm there!
    • by PvtVoid (1252388) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:25PM (#36240122)

      ....why I don't want a URL bar? How the hell am I supposed to type in the places I want to go. What are they thinking? I don't get it.

      Everything is on Facebook now, so other URLs are obsolete. Didn't you get the tweet?

    • by jfengel (409917)

      A blank page is different from ordinary web pages. A blank page will require some tool that allows you to type in where you want to go, including the option of typing in a URL. If you're going to have that, it might as well be a big feature of the page, in large text, rather than an inconspicuous and often unlabeled bar at the top.

      It's inconspicuous and unlabeled in your current browser because you rarely refer to it. Most of it is meaningless, to you if not to the server. This URL is http://news.slashd [slashdot.org]

    • I'm guessing Google picked up on how several of my family members (and many, many other computer users I'm afraid) actually enter URLs:
      1. Click browser home button, arrive at google.com
      2. Type URL in search box, then click first link (for advanced users: click "I'm feeling lucky")
      No matter how I try to explain how backwards this is, they keep doing it. Take away the search bar and I can't even argue the sane alternative.

      More hits for google.com - more data, ads and more money for them. Only makes sense, really.

      • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @03:12PM (#36242486) Homepage

        I'm guessing Google picked up on how several of my family members (and many, many other computer users I'm afraid) actually enter URLs:
        1. Click browser home button, arrive at google.com
        2. Type URL in search box, then click first link (for advanced users: click "I'm feeling lucky")
        No matter how I try to explain how backwards this is, they keep doing it. Take away the search bar and I can't even argue the sane alternative.

        More hits for google.com - more data, ads and more money for them. Only makes sense, really.

        You know what this seemingly clumsy approach prevents? The dreaded 404.
        Typing your URL into Google gives you the following:
        1) A malformed URL 90% of the time is corrected by Google
        2) Google provides cached results if the original site has been slashdotted/LOIC'd
        3) Google can sometimes guess the original context of the content, and provide alternate content to match (this helps in veracity/context testing the content before you jump.. what happens if all the Google-provided results shout warnings or show pr0n while you link at work... useful to know).

        It's a very user-friendly and helpful bonus at a cost of one additional click. It certainly feels like Google understood this use case, improved it's benefits/outcomes and promoted it's use (hell if you type a non-crawled URL Google thinks it goes to nowhere, so it actively pushes site-owners to get their content

        People are often not as stupid as they seem. Don't underestimate the users; often you can learn and profit from where they do things "wrong".

        • by mcmonkey (96054)

          I'm guessing Google picked up on how several of my family members (and many, many other computer users I'm afraid) actually enter URLs:
          1. Click browser home button, arrive at google.com
          2. Type URL in search box, then click first link (for advanced users: click "I'm feeling lucky")
          No matter how I try to explain how backwards this is, they keep doing it. Take away the search bar and I can't even argue the sane alternative.

          More hits for google.com - more data, ads and more money for them. Only makes sense, really.

          You know what this seemingly clumsy approach prevents? The dreaded 404.

          And that is just one more reason why it is a bad idea. Why is a 404 dreaded? If a site is down or returning an error code, the user should see that.

          I have to deal with this in my employer's IS department. The standard browser is IE and errors redirect the bing. That makes my job a lot harder. If my server isn't responding, I don't need to be directed to a search engine.

          Yes, I know I'm not an average user. But what's wrong with even the average user seeing an error message?

          It's like replacing the check

    • by fermion (181285)
      Right now most of the structure of a web page are customizable by the user. The question is then will the URL be off by default, and will there be options to turn it back on? If the URL is going to go away completely, then this is just the MS vision of an application front end controlled by a subscribed service.

      From a usability point of view the URL has been criticized from at least 1999 [useit.com], mostly due to influx of machine generated addresses on dynamic web pages. Since that time, the url has only become

      • by epyT-R (613989)

        first paragraph

        more often than not, the url bar is the only way I can get to where I want to be on a site.. more often, where I want to go, and how I want to go is different than the idiot 'web master' who coded the site intended. changing the url and hitting enter is a lot faster than wading through the stupifyingly obtuse web 2.1 interfaces common today...most of them won't even work with the 'back' button.

        second paragraph

        this is less so because the URL bar can be manipulated. it was never a secure means of figuring out what your brow

  • Ok, I understand tabs on top after using them. I understand the awesome bar's usefulness after having used it for a while. But no URL bar? Whatever happened to full-screen mode if you really need that much vertical real estate? I don't want to lose my URL bar, nor do I want to help support users who aren't knowledgeable who get a browser update containing this (if Mozilla and Google are both going in this direction, I expect IE10 to also be URL bar-less). Is this going to finally validate all those people w

  • by avandesande (143899) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:17PM (#36239998) Journal

    When you lack inspiration, fix something that isn't broken!

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:28PM (#36240158) Homepage

      But with mozilla it's , "when you don't want to bother with working on the pile of bug reports to fix the problems that have been there for a while.... Work on a new shiny!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because it's demonstrably true.

        But with mozilla it's , "when you don't want to bother with working on the pile of bug reports to fix the problems that have been there for a while.... Work on a new shiny!

        Sadly, most programmers (there are notable exceptions) will always choose to do the work that is less important, but more likely to gather recognition.

        So to fix this, stop lionizing idiots who want to remove useful information from the display and start standing up and cheering for the guys who are committin

    • When you lack inspiration, fix something that isn't broken!

      Sadly, this seems to be exactly the philosophy of the Firefox developers. Along with "we must imitate everything Google Chrome does".

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      For Google's Chrome having URL address bar in the window IS broken.

      They do not want you to be able to type in a URL and go around their wonderful search engine. Of-course this means they will exclude a very large number of people and businesses from their user base, who do not need to find the site they are going to, they know where they are going and if the site is not indexed by Google's search engine, then these people can't even get there, but Google doesn't care, they just want the majority of users to

  • So how about a fork of Firefox for sane people? Just some defaults tweaked.

    Some suggestions
    - Ask me where I want to save things instead of just dumping things in a folder
    - URL bar with konqueror style commands like 'ggm:' for google maps, 'gg' for google, 'imdb' for imdb...
    - One click pass through when an SSL certificate doesn't match (yes, tell me, but probably I knew this already)
    - One click toggle of plugins
    - history off by default (who uses that?)

    Anything else?

    • by fyngyrz (762201)

      Anything else?

      Firefox 4 broke the ability to display a table as it is being generated line-by-line, leaving the user staring at a blank browser for as long as it takes to emit the </TABLE> tag. That's REALLY annoying, especially for reports that take a while.

      It took me a little while to figure out how to put the tabs back on top of the page, instead of on top of the URL bar; I'd add that to your list of things for sane people.

    • - Ask me where I want to save things instead of just dumping things in a folder

      That option already exists, and has for a long time. Tools -> Options -> General -> Always ask me where to save files

      - history off by default (who uses that?)

      I do. A lot.

      So how about a fork of Firefox for sane people?

      I have thought the same thing for a long time. I would love to see a fork of Firefox that undoes all the stupid bullshit and all the "we have to imitate Google Chrome" nonsense. However, if you spend some time with Firefox's train-wreck source code (some of which dates back to 1999), and the insanely complicated, convoluted build process that would make Rube Goldberg

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      This would be called the "Not and idiot" mode... it should require some basic math to enable it to keep the typical idiot from accidentally enabling it.

  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Uthic (931553) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:18PM (#36240018)
    Really don't get what's the problem with the URL bar. I don't buy that reasoning that it's "confusing" for people to see an URL or that it eats up too much space. If they must follow through with this ridiculous idea hopefully they'll put in an option to keep it (nothing wrong with allowing customization) - or an addon for it will be made.
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rockoon (1252108) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:45PM (#36240440)

      Really don't get what's the problem with the URL bar.

      The problem with the URL bar is that it doesnt always send people directly to Google.

      FACT: The majority of Mozilla revenue comes directly from Google payments to be the default search engine.
      FACT: The current default search deal, extended for 3 more years in august 2008, ends this year.
      FACT: Mozilla big-wigs would see substantial paycuts if this deal isnt renewed.

      End of story.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:21PM (#36240054) Homepage

    Crap, another move to ensure that new users will never understand how their computers work.

  • Let's get rid of all typing! Just click on pretty pictures for everything! No one actually needs a keyboard.

  • Just....no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Windwraith (932426) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:22PM (#36240076)

    Don't do it Mozilla. Don't lose your identity. Don't f*ck with users just to copy another browser. Another browser that is popular because of internal stuff rather than interface.
    Why not copying the GOOD aspects of Chrome? You know, the stuff Chrome fans like to point out, like speed and such.

  • "Secondly, it’s hard to read, since people don’t really understand URLs"

    Do we always have to cater to the lowest common denominator. At this rate we will have nothing but a browser sidebar with predefined url buttons to the most popular social sites.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      As long as the list of sites was configurable, I expect that a lot of users would really like that. I mean, how many different sites do you hit on a typical day, really? More to the point, how many sites does your non-technical mom use on a typical day?

  • While the Downloads are looking at them from that Ugly Default External Window.

    Fix that instead, Mozilla.

  • by Simulant (528590)
    This is what I call "pulling a Microsoft", or dumbing down your interface to the point where a professional can't use it. Please don't. You will just end up producing ignorant users.
  • An anonymous Firefox dev has suggested adding a futuristic "TaskBar" to replace to old fashioned URL Bar. "Imagine, it could house a menu, tabs, perhaps widgets like a clock or volume control... ". This new bar might be moved to the bottom of the screen to maximize usability. "We ran extensive user tests - selecting our users randomly from a large pool of Gnome 3 enthusiasts and Unity developers alike".
    When reached for comment, reps from competing browsers had this to say:
    IE: "Hawt."
    Safari: "Who need
  • by zzsmirkzz (974536) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:28PM (#36240150)
    Who the hell wants the URL bar removed (other than spammers/phishers/scammers)?? Seriously, isn't that the best practice to prevent phishing attacks is to manually type the URL of the website you are trying to connect to?? What are they thinking? Not too mention being able to verify the site you are on, easily copy/paste links, etc.

    What should be done is to increase the functionality of the URL bar. The one thing that always pisses me off and should be fixed is not allowing a web page to steal the focus from the URL bar. I don't know how many times I've started typing in a URL only to have the Yahoo or Google bar steal the focus 3-5 characters in. Improve it, don't remove it.
  • How do you connect to sites on an Intranet without a location bar. I don't want a google search of my intranet, for my dev products.

  • Microsoft-ian? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bp+m_i_k_e (901456) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:28PM (#36240156)
    This reminds me of the dubious decision to hide file name extensions in Windows Explorer by default - you know, since users don't really need that information.
  • The real purpose for Google putting everything into one entry box is that everything you type gets turned into a search, and therefore gets sent to Google. It adds a very significant amount of data to their user search information database - essentially monetizing everything you type up there (Microsoft does this with IE as well). My guess is that Mozilla is getting something under the table for this as well. Fork time?

  • User plug-ins...buttons where users wanted them....themes..

  • And I just finished the long and arduous process of teaching a dozen of my relatives older than 40 what a phishing attack is and how to spot it.

    Thanks for making my life miserable again, Mozilla.
  • Any GOOD reason? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demonbug (309515) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:29PM (#36240180) Journal

    This from the article:

    “The location bar has to go. It has many problems. For one, it’s always visible and constantly takes up a large amount of space. Secondly, it’s hard to read, since people don’t really understand URLs. Moreover, it’s modal: it has a mode for displaying the current page’s location and a mode for entering your next destination. It’s not always immediately obvious which mode you’re in and what the current text is indicating, and switching modes is not easy either."

    That is the stupidest thing I've read in a while. Really? The URL bar takes up too much space? It is slightly larger than one line of text. If they aer so concerned about saving space, maybe they should get rid of the title bar and the little mozilla icon in the corner - that is a hell of a lot less useful than the URL bar. Sure, hiding the bar might be a great idea on a smart phone or something with severely limited screen real estate, but to apply this across the board as the default is just stupid.

    The URL is hard to read? Seriously? It tells you the address of the page you are looking at. That's pretty damn simple. Yes, it is a long string of characters, which I'm sure offends graphic designers everywhere (which seem to be the people driving the current rash of browser UI changes - screw usability, it has to look "nice"), but it really is a simple way to tell you what you are looking at.

    It isn't always obvious if you are entering the next destination or looking at your current location? Really? There are people that click in the bar, start typing a new address, and then forget what they are doing and think that the address they just (partially) typed is what they are looking at right now? That argument simply doesn't make any sense.

    Mozilla seems to have a serious case of me-too-itis lately. Chrome's version is increasing too fast? Fine, we'll start pumping out new version numbers to compete - yeah, 4.0 just came out, that's okay; this next version we'll just call 5.0 instead of the 4.0.4 that it really is. We'll catch up in no time! Chrome offers the option to hide the URL bar? Hah! Those losers! We're going to get rid of it entirely because we're awesome like that! Here's some made-up BS to justify it even though approximately zero users want this!

  • Secondly, itâ(TM)s hard to read, since people donâ(TM)t really understand URLs.

    Really? On what planet?
    I submit to you this: If someone doesn't understand a URL after all this time, then they don't have even a rudimentary understanding of the basic workings of the Internet.
    My concern is this: that this path leads to a "Playskool" internet browser, that may be fine and dandy for 6-year-olds and great-grandma, but that will frustrate the rest of us. If you must insist on taking this path, then at least give us the option to turn the URL bar back on if we want it.

  • Most everyone who uses vimperator [vimperator.org] has their browser configured to not use an URL bar. I personally don't miss it at all.

  • Computers have been around for decades; many interface designs were tried, and we have a pretty good clue about what works and what does not. But lately it seems that everyone has decided to ignore this knowledge and just try to make things flashy. Those morons may think they'll attract a new userbase this way, but actually will just alienate the one they already have.

  • Once upon a time, in the days of yore, we had something fairly similar to what it sounds like they are proposing: The Command Line [cryptonomicon.com]. A recent slashdot.org [slashdot.org] post even demonstrated the concept [telehack.com] for younger folks who cannot remember back that far back. While there is new rhetoric about commands being issuable in putative 'natural language', this is something that has been heard before, with diminishing plausibility. So, why does Mozilla insist on going backwards? I like the URL bar. If they do away with it, I'll
  • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:42PM (#36240400) Homepage

    I haven't seen so much unjustified criticism from so many people who so poorly understand the topic since... well, this being /., I guess it was yesterday.

    But anyway, please read the article. It does not say what you think it says, if you only read the summary.

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CFBMoo1 (157453) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @01:23PM (#36241030) Homepage
    Why is every software project changing its interface drastically for tablets and phones? Did desktops just fall off the face of the Earth? Seriously, get off the mobile bandwagon if your doing Desktop software and stick with Desktop design ideas. That goes for Mozilla, Gnome, and anyone else. Stop making half and half crappy designs changes and and focus up on one or the other but no half way crap that ruins the experience.

    I don't care if the UI for Gnome 3 is better for tablets and such. I don't care that you think the URL bar is too big at 33 pixels or whatever it is. Stop messing up things that work as they are. Start a new project and give the existing stuff to someone else who won't have mobile on the brain for a desktop product.

    Sorry for the rant but this is getting old watching good and decent desktop software become hybrid mobile nightmare designs.
  • by dregev (466696) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @04:23PM (#36243398)

    I'm the author of the guest blog post. I have some clarifications that should clear things up a lot.

    First, I'm just a member of the large community of Firefox users. I do not work for Mozilla (though that would be awesome), and I do not speak for Mozilla. As far as I know, no one within Mozilla is working on implementing any of my ideas at the moment. I simply had a concept and was offered the amazing opportunity to write some guest blog posts. The linked post is Part 1. Part 2 is coming.

    Second, contrary to the article summary and to the many comments from people who clearly did not read the post, I am not proposing to hide the location. The location will be completely visible at the top of each page, with even more information. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that the location bar can do that is not possible in my concept.

    Finally, the arguments behind each step are available in much more detail on the Mozilla Wiki [mozilla.org]. That should answer many questions.

    if you want to contribute to the discussion in a substantive manner, please first read the article [mozillalabs.com] and then go to the discussion page [google.com]. I've already responded to a number of excellent comments there. Also, if anyone is interested in helping me implement some of these ideas, please let me know!

    David

  • by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:42PM (#36246194) Homepage

    So now every Firefox user is going to need to install URL-4-Evar right after they install Status-4-Evar.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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