Breaking url-bar search

Madhava Enros madhava at
Thu Aug 15 16:25:05 UTC 2013

Hi William -

The bug and Tyler both explain our rationale here; the intention is to surface an clear way to control default search engine choice while also simplifying the overall model.

That said - I'd love to hear more about how you think we might have lessened the confusion about what was happening, or how we might have explained how to resolve it more directly and clearly. We think this is a change for the better, but that only helps if people understand what we're doing. Feel free to respond to me at this address, if you'd like, vs. firefox-dev.


Madhava Enros
Firefox User Experience

On Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM, Tyler Downer wrote:

> William,
> This change was made because of a very significant portion of our users 
> having a keyword.url pref that had been hijacked by an add-on and then 
> unable to turn it back to what they actually want (due to the pref being 
> hidden in about:config). There is an add-on to restore the previous 
> functionality if you'd like, 
> Tyler Downer
> User Advocate for All Things Firefoxy
> On 8/15/13 7:31 AM, William Pietri wrote:
> > Hi! I'm writing in regard to this bug:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > I spent the last day or so swearing because suddenly every attempt I 
> > made to Google something was giving me a useless Wikipedia search. In 
> > the middle of trying to repair a downed server, this was deeply 
> > frustrating. Now that I had some time to look, it took me a fair bit 
> > of searching this morning to discover that this was an intentional 
> > change.
> > 
> > I have some concerns about how this happened, but first I'm wondering: 
> > on what sort of data was the decision made? In the bug discussions, I 
> > see my use case dismissed as "not a real-world concern", but I'm not 
> > seeing any reference to actual usage numbers. And there's a reference 
> > to data about hijacking. What data was there about use of this feature?
> > 
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > 
> > William
> > _______________________________________________
> > firefox-dev mailing list
> > firefox-dev at (mailto:firefox-dev at
> >
> > 
> _______________________________________________
> firefox-dev mailing list
> firefox-dev at (mailto:firefox-dev at

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