Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Oct 2011 22:34 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones "In a move that will raise eyebrows, Mozilla is now distributing a version of Firefox that uses Bing as the default search provider instead of Google. Rest assured that this is a joint project, though: the creatively-named Firefox with Bing website is run by Microsoft, and both Mozilla and MS are clear that this is a joint venture. Now, don't get too excited - the default version of Firefox available from Mozilla.com is still backed by Google, and there's no mention of an alternative, Bingy download anywhere on the site - but it's worth noting that Mozilla has been testing Bing's capabilities using Test Pilot over the last couple of months, and the release of Firefox with Bing indicates that Mozilla is now confident in Bing's ability to provide a top-notch service to Firefox users." Test pilot or not, I'm stockpiling more baked beans.
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Hmmm ...
by WorknMan on Wed 26th Oct 2011 22:46 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Now why don't they just ship this with Windows 8 and get rid of IE ;)

Reply Score: 10

Alternatives to Google
by joekiser on Wed 26th Oct 2011 22:57 UTC
joekiser
Member since:
2005-06-30

Why not just create a dialog box which asks what search engine you want to use the first time you run Firefox? Google Chrome and IE do this already. Give a choice between Google, Bing/Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo and let the user decide.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Alternatives to Google
by jbauer on Wed 26th Oct 2011 23:16 UTC in reply to "Alternatives to Google"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

Why not just create a dialog box which asks what search engine you want to use the first time you run Firefox? Google Chrome and IE do this already. Give a choice between Google, Bing/Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo and let the user decide.


But that wouldn't make the headlines ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Alternatives to Google
by robojerk on Thu 27th Oct 2011 00:30 UTC in reply to "Alternatives to Google"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

Firefox probably gets some revenue from Bing by making it the default search engine.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Alternatives to Google
by muszek on Thu 27th Oct 2011 13:20 UTC in reply to "Alternatives to Google"
muszek Member since:
2007-04-25

Because Mozilla makes most of its money in a deal with Google that makes it a default search engine.

If they let users choose, that money would be gone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Alternatives to Google
by ThomasFuhringer on Fri 28th Oct 2011 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Alternatives to Google"
ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

And that is most probably the strategy behind the Bing thing: to keep pressure on Google to pay enough by flirting with the competition.

Reply Score: 1

Anyone try it?
by Alfman on Thu 27th Oct 2011 00:01 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

http://www.firefoxwithbing.com/

"Firefox with Bing
Sorry, this download is not supported by your system."

...It blows already!

I wanted to load it up to see if address-bar searches were hard coded to google (or bing) as they are with the normal version of firefox. It's always peeved me that address bar searches ignore the user's selected search engine in favor of google. (I've been criticized for saying this in the past, so please test it for yourself first to see that it is indeed true.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Anyone try it?
by Kivada on Thu 27th Oct 2011 05:45 UTC in reply to "Anyone try it?"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

The only way that isn't true is when Firefox is hijacked by some browser crapware like yahoo toolbar or mywebsearch.

I'd guess you could change it to whatever you like by tinkering around in about:config, but I've never bothered changing it from Google, though the idea of using DuckDuckGo SSL as the default sounds nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Anyone try it?
by ssokolow on Thu 27th Oct 2011 05:57 UTC in reply to "Anyone try it?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The address bar search isn't hard-coded at all, just older than the search box and not integrated with it.

Pop open about:config and filter for keyword..

I also usually get rid of the search box altogether and re-implement keyword searches like "yt Nyan Cat" via keyword bookmarks (also been around since pre-1.x Mozilla Suite) because search box keywords don't show in the awesome bar while keyword bookmarks do.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Anyone try it?
by Icaria on Thu 27th Oct 2011 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Anyone try it?"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

I do the same thing (and use the same format: first letter of the first two syllables - yt, gg, etc).

Of course, it would help if FF properly supported this use case and didn't force you to put the search box back on your toolbar, in order to manage your search engines.

The only way to get around this is to launch FF straight in to the manager chrome al la firefox -chrome chrome://browser/content/search/engineManager.xul

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Anyone try it?
by ssokolow on Thu 27th Oct 2011 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anyone try it?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I do the same thing (and use the same format: first letter of the first two syllables - yt, gg, etc).

Of course, it would help if FF properly supported this use case and didn't force you to put the search box back on your toolbar, in order to manage your search engines.

The only way to get around this is to launch FF straight in to the manager chrome al la firefox -chrome chrome://browser/content/search/engineManager.xul


Actually, you don't have to if you use "Quick Searches". That's another reason I use them.

If you go into your bookmark manager (The "Library" window) and use the "More" button that appears when a bookmark is selected, you can set up something like this instead of using the search box:

Location: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s
Keyword: yt

They behave the same as search box keywords except:
1. You can't choose them in the search box drop-down (which neither of us seem to care about)
2. They actually show up as proper results in the AwesomeBar when you type something like "yt foo" so you can be sure you know what pressing Enter will do.

What really surprises me is how Firefox essentially has two independent keyword-searching systems, each with bits the other could benefit from.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Anyone try it?
by Alfman on Thu 27th Oct 2011 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Anyone try it?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ssokolow,

"The address bar search isn't hard-coded at all, just older than the search box and not integrated with it."

There's no legitimate reason for one to be easily configurable by end users, and the other to have no visible means of switching away from google.


"Pop open about:config and filter for keyword.."

Yes, you can override many of the hard coded values this way. But it is not meant for end users as it's not discoverable and it even displays a ridiculous "void your warranty" warning screen. It's a major pain to manually fix the settings to match the user's preferred search engine - especially when there are lots of user logins.


Also, you and I are more capable than ordinary users, who get confused why their searches don't use their selected search provider. In fact I've learned that these users are far more likely to search by typing terms into the address bar. Even I was quite surprised myself when a user showed me this (I had always searched in the search box).


Edit: I really would like to know whether Firefox Bing version has either google or bing hardcoded the same way in the address bar searches? Anyone with a windows machine able to test this?

Edited 2011-10-27 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Anyone try it?
by ssokolow on Fri 28th Oct 2011 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anyone try it?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21


ssokolow,

"The address bar search isn't hard-coded at all, just older than the search box and not integrated with it."

There's no legitimate reason for one to be easily configurable by end users, and the other to have no visible means of switching away from google.


Depending on your definition of "legitimate", there is. Mozilla is a non-profit, which generally means they can't afford to hire as many paid employees as a company like Google and the volunteers don't see that as an itch worth the effort to scratch.


"Pop open about:config and filter for keyword.."

Yes, you can override many of the hard coded values this way. But it is not meant for end users as it's not discoverable and it even displays a ridiculous "void your warranty" warning screen. It's a major pain to manually fix the settings to match the user's preferred search engine - especially when there are lots of user logins.


When I say "hard-coded", I mean things that you actually need to edit the source code to change.

By your definition, any setting not exposed by a GUI is "hard-coded" and the Windows registry, OSX .plist files, and /etc on UNIXy systems are all "hard-coded" too.

There's a big difference between, say, AwesomeWM (configurable by editing ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua) and dwm (configurable by editing the raw C code and recompiling).


Also, you and I are more capable than ordinary users, who get confused why their searches don't use their selected search provider. In fact I've learned that these users are far more likely to search by typing terms into the address bar. Even I was quite surprised myself when a user showed me this (I had always searched in the search box).


I never said I defended it. In fact, I'm quite annoyed at how much more polished Chrome's Omnibar is for non-local searching. (Though Firefox's AwesomeBar is miles ahead of Chrome as far as searching local bookmarks and history when it comes to returning relevant results and doing it quickly)

If I had my way, Firefox would incorporate an exact copy of Omnibar's remote search handiling into AwesomeBar. (Auto-gathering of OpenSearch endpoints, no separate search box, in-bar visual indication of search target, etc.)

Edited 2011-10-28 09:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Anyone try it?
by Alfman on Fri 28th Oct 2011 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Anyone try it?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ssokolow,

"Depending on your definition of 'legitimate', there is. Mozilla is a non-profit, which generally means they can't afford to hire as many paid employees as a company like Google and the volunteers don't see that as an itch worth the effort to scratch."

Well, as a programmer myself, I highly doubt the reason users don't have a way to change the address bar search is due to laziness or technical difficulty. In fact it was probably a little bit more work to have two separate search functions than to share the same one. It makes much more sense to use the user's preferred search engine by default.

This is unless of course I've misread your comment completely and you are suggesting that since google pays the bills, google is entitled to the address bar searches.

"If I had my way, Firefox would incorporate an exact copy of Omnibar's remote search handiling into AwesomeBar."

It's probably time I try chrome to see what it offers. As you say, FF does have it's annoyances. For me the poor SSL handling is the major one (mozilla deliberately ignores end user complaints about it). But...it is never-the-less good enough for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Anyone try it?
by ssokolow on Fri 28th Oct 2011 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Anyone try it?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21


ssokolow,

"Depending on your definition of 'legitimate', there is. Mozilla is a non-profit, which generally means they can't afford to hire as many paid employees as a company like Google and the volunteers don't see that as an itch worth the effort to scratch."

Well, as a programmer myself, I highly doubt the reason users don't have a way to change the address bar search is due to laziness or technical difficulty. In fact it was probably a little bit more work to have two separate search functions than to share the same one. It makes much more sense to use the user's preferred search engine by default.


I'm sure you'll agree that there's a certain overhead to learning a new codebase. I'm not sure what the order of events was, but I suspect the current state of things is the result of a lot of different contributors over the years not wanting to learn more of the codebase than they have to. (Same reason there are half a million half-finished IRC clients kicking around)

I haven't tried myself, but I keep hearing that it's more hassle to get used to than many other open-source codebases of similar size.

Wouldn't surprise me if that, combined with the inability of the original search code to do OpenSearch, lies at the root of everything. (Implement a new, more powerful system, shy away from porting over the old features, ???, PROFIT)


"If I had my way, Firefox would incorporate an exact copy of Omnibar's remote search handiling into AwesomeBar."

It's probably time I try chrome to see what it offers. As you say, FF does have it's annoyances. For me the poor SSL handling is the major one (mozilla deliberately ignores end user complaints about it). But...it is never-the-less good enough for me.


I actually find Firefox superior to Chrome for my day-to-day browsing for a variety of reasons. (It has its advantages, but its flaws just hit a little too close for me)

I blogged about it a couple of months ago if you'd like to see my reasoning in detail.

http://blog.ssokolow.com/archives/2011/08/22/chrome-vs-firefox-augu...

(At the time I wrote it, search didn't occur to me because I'd manually fixed it, but I've added that now, so thank you for reminding me)

I mainly use Chrome for Incognito Window and for testing websites I create.

Edited 2011-10-28 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Firefox Included
by ghostdawg on Thu 27th Oct 2011 00:51 UTC
ghostdawg
Member since:
2005-12-31

It would be nice if Firefox be included with Win8 when it's released. Wishful thinking...As someone else mention, Mozilla must be getting paid.

Reply Score: 1

Ice age blooming
by timosa on Thu 27th Oct 2011 04:52 UTC
timosa
Member since:
2005-07-06

When one of the most trusted browsers and the one of the worst patent troll ever make an agreement like this, we can just imagine, what has happened behind the scene...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by tuma324
by tuma324 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 08:12 UTC
tuma324
Member since:
2010-04-09

So Mozilla is Microsoft's bitch now? WTF?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Thu 27th Oct 2011 14:32 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

Incestuos!

Reply Score: 1

Meh ...
by marcus0263 on Thu 27th Oct 2011 19:16 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

There's a wonderful option, it's called "Manage Search Engines"

........... 9_9 .......

Reply Score: 1

Multiple firefox versions side-by-side
by arpan on Fri 28th Oct 2011 14:28 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

I only have one question: Can I run this along side the regular Firefox, meaning could I use this to run a different version of Firefox? Normally there are issues running different versions of Firefox and the associated plugins etc.

Reply Score: 2

Wyy do we need a different version
by Soulbender on Fri 28th Oct 2011 14:47 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

for a feature that is already in the searchbox dropdown menu?

Reply Score: 3