Fwd: Australis Toolbar and Sidebar Buttons

Erik Vold evold at mozilla.com
Tue Aug 6 19:58:21 UTC 2013

If the problem is that add-ons are displaying too much UI when they are installed, I don't see how forcing them to add more UI is a solution to the problem.

The sidebars and toolbars can be closed easily by clicking the associated close (the X) button, whereas removing a button is hard, and requires multiple steps (start customization, drag and drop the button out of the nav-bar, end customization), and the latter cannot be done with a hotkey.

Furthermore, there are good add-on developers out there that do not auto show their sidebars and toolbars, and with this requirement they will be forced to add a button, probably in addition to the one they normally provide, so installing these add-ons will show 2+ toolbar buttons installed..

As someone that uses add-ons, lots of them, I can tell you this will be a greatly harm my user experience.  I think if we go forward with this then we ought to have an opt-out preference for power users at the very least, which would hide all of these buttons and save them from this hell.  This is not easy for an add-on to do, especially if we do not standardize the implementation of this requirement.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Madhava Enros" <madhava at mozilla.com>
To: "Dave Townsend" <dtownsend at mozilla.com>
Cc: "Firefox Dev" <firefox-dev at mozilla.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 1, 2013 9:31:43 AM
Subject: Re: Australis Toolbar and Sidebar Buttons

Hi all - 

I'm new to this particular issue, but I think there's some nuance here about the differences. 

For the Bookmarks or History Sidebars, they are secondary or tertiary UI for those purposes. In other words, people already have other more-likely-used ways to get at their bookmarks and history. Having a dedicated button to open them seems like overkill, given that we're providing logically-placed menu items to do it. 

In the case of add-ons -- it seems like a sidebar or toolbar, if one is added, is meant to be the primary way to use it, making it more important. It's also, given that the user has gone to the trouble of installing a given add-on (not always the case, I know, but…) likely to be important enough to the user that we can make the case for placing a button. 

I think history also tells us that add-ons will tend to show as much of their UI as possible by default, so giving users a prominent way to choose whether to show all of it seems worthwhile. 

Please tell me why I'm wrong here. All of this said -- I don't see a huge downside to including (but not showing by default) buttons for showing some of these built-in UI pieces in Firefox's customization pane. Also, it may give flexibility to add-ons authors to put options to show/hide sidebars and toolbars in an existing menu, or one created by the add-on -- it's just that there won't always be a menu that is a sensible location for items to do with all add-ons. 


Madhava Enros 
Firefox User Experience 

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