Firefox v57 ('Quantum'?)

Coda Coder codacodercodacoder at
Thu Nov 16 22:56:54 UTC 2017

On 2017-11-16 11:20, mhoye wrote:
> On 2017-11-15 10:42 PM, Daniel Ford wrote:
>> Maybe this is not the best list to post this to, but here goes...
>> I'm puzzled as to why the dev team trumpets the great processing speed
>> improvements, but at the same time slow down users because of poor
>> ergonomics.  Where are these people getting their training in user
>> ergonomics??  And where was the user-survey they should have done
>> beforehand, to find out what 'real people' (users, not developers) want?
> We did!  Not only ergonomic studies, but eye tracking studies, 
> cognitive-association work and disciplined testing across a huge range 
> of hardware as well.

Not everything can be measured, or, indeed, tested.  I'm a developer 
using Nightly "all day" and 57 for general browsing.  I subscribe to 
most of your email lists and have been watching your photon/quantum 
progress with great interest.

And... I agree with the OP.

So, FWIW, here's my opinion...

The speed improvements? meh.  Really. Unnoticeable just browsing 
around.  And yes, I compare sites in multiple browsers "all day long".

Fancy-dancy animations in the toolbar(s).  Nice, even clever, but hardly 

Customizability.  Frustrating.  I'm looking at a copy of 56 running on 
my Win10 laptop -- it's much easier to customize.  I have nothing in the 
toolbar I don't want to see.  Can't seem to do that on 57:
    The ellipsis menu is annoying and provides options I don't need and 
can't get rid of plus things I would like to have on the toolbar but 
can't seem to change them.
    I have things in the address bar I don't want and things missing I 
do want and no way to add them.
    Example.  Pocket.  No thank you.  Answer: tough, we're gonna put it 
in the menu AND in the address bar.  And no you can't change it.

I use many different profiles, hence many virtual copies of 57 I now 
need to wrestle with to gain control again.  First thing I do is 
customize to get rid of "flexible space", "search" and "Home". Tedious.

> The cognitive-association studies we did helped us redesign our menus 
> and preferences so that options people expected to be grouped together 
> were easier to find. 

They're called Options in the UI and to anyone not familiar with the 
code base or "ancient history".

My personal 2 cents, they were better organized before the big "crush".  
Now we have three broad categories (ignoring accounts) which are way too 

> The eye tracking studies gave us a good sense how we could improve 
> perceived performance as well, for example by understanding where 
> users anticipated "next-action" UI elements would be so we could put 
> them there (often faster than your eyes can scan across the screen).
> We learned a lot, an implemented a lot, from those studies. Putting 
> the tabs at the very top of the screen, for example, incurs a very 
> slight cost in pointer travel time, but effectively means that your 
> hit-box at the top of the screen is infinitely tall;

yet places them furthest from where I'm focused, surely?  I think of the 
innermost area of the window as "the site".  Stuff pertaining to "the 
site" should be nearby on the chrome, surely?  Not as far away as you 
can possibly make it.  The further into the chrome my eyes/mouse travel, 
the more I'm focusing on the browser, not the site or sites.

> when Firefox is full-screen, you can just throw your mouse pointer at 
> the top of the screen, not care about where it stops, and be 
> guaranteed to land on a tab, likely the one you'd intended. Not having 
> to hunt along both the vertical and the horizontal

Is that really how you think?  What will you do in a 3D space? Remove 
two axes or still just the one?  In a hotel room, where would you place 
"info about the hotel", all on one wall/ceiling?  No, you'd put it by 
the phone or TV or back of the door.

Why?  I think you know why.  And without "measuring" *anything*.

> Better yet, we didn't just invite "real" users into our offices to 
> test this stuff out so we could treat this whole process like a 
> science. The reference hardware we chose to gauge the overall 
> experience and calibrate for real and perceived performance wasn't 
> some eight-thousand-dollar brushed-aluminum pixel furnace, it was a 
> vanilla, $300 entry-level laptop with a standard platter disk. We knew 
> from the beginning that the experience we'd aspired to build needed to 
> be accessible to everyone, not just developers with cutting-edge 
> hardware they didn't have to pay for themselves.  The same engineers 
> whose work has given Firefox its new high-performance, multi-process 
> architecture have 10" netbooks with four-year-old Atom CPUs on their 
> desks specifically so they can have the same experience that people 
> with absolutely baseline, entry-level-on-a-tight-budget hardware have, 
> and try to make that experience for those users better.
> Having said all that: If Photon is not meeting your personal needs 
> here, I encourage you to take a look at the "customize" options that 
> are available in the rightmost pulldown menu next to the URL bar. 
> There is a lot of flexibility there for you to tweak the UI until it's 
> just what you'd want,

Like I said, not yet it isn't.

One other thing: dragging the FF window around is now much more 
difficult.  The trend to squeeze out "wasted space" at the top of the 
window has meant a competition between age-old but standard window 
dragging behavior and open tab count.  The trend is favoring the 
latter.  Wrongly, in my view.  IT simply doesn't scale well.

Okay.  I'm done.

This wasn't meant to sound like a rant.  Sorry if it did.  Really, FF is 
a great browser.  The DevTools are second to none (for the most part) 
but some of the developments are showing signs of echo-chamber 
thinking.  I hope someone realizes that sooner rather than later.

More information about the firefox-dev mailing list