Revisiting how we build Firefox

Chris Hofmann chofmann at mozilla.com
Sat Jul 11 17:06:19 UTC 2015


On Sat, Jul 11, 2015 at 1:52 AM, Gijs Kruitbosch <gijskruitbosch at gmail.com>
wrote:
> 1) adding a single button to the toolbar of the main Firefox UI slows
down startup and new window openings (talos!)
> by a few milliseconds spent in XUL layout / XBL construction alone.

In its own very odd way this might be considered a benefit.  It actually
forces hard decisions and discussion on adding more buttons to the UI and
removing/replacing things if something more important needs to be added.

Imagine a world without this constraint. After many years of piling on
buttons that come for free for this, and for that, UI's start to look like
https://blog.intercom.io/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/feature-740.png

If we had a lot of discipline about having those discussions as we approach
adding best of web things we might not need crutches like perf hits for
adding buttons.   But my experience is that this discipline is hard to get
started and enforce.  Its working against the principle that If you've go
an idea on a new best of web feature its easy to want to jam it into the
main UI to gain needed exposure.  The alternative is to bury it somewhere
deeper, but then most users can't find it unless they read about it in some
side channel PR or press article.

-chofmann
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