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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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 Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Anyone try it?
by Alfman on Fri 28th Oct 2011 12:20 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Anyone try it?
by ssokolow on Fri 28th Oct 2011 18:37 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 Parent Score: 1