Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fuck the awesomebar, pass it on.

I'm enjoying the Firefox 3 builds, but the Awesome bar generally sucks, all around.

The reason?

Most hackers will expect when they type something like:


you will get back a list of urls beginning with gma in your location bar. This is similar to the way that completion works on the command line and in our text editors, and is how Firefox has always worked up until now.

Instead, FF3 searches page titles, bookmarks, tags, recently visited urls, most visited urls, and does a full text search on these string rather than starting at the beginning of them. Great for people who don't know what a URL is, fucking unbearably annoying to someone who just wants to type two or three characters and be done with it.

I think the awesome bar would be quite awesome for some people, so long as it could be disabled. However, from the rumor-mill, it sounds like the FF2 url bar has been scrapped to avoid code bloat.

To me, this is just a sign of how Firefox is increasingly becoming an end user commodity, which encourages ass-raping developers in the name of more downloads. Sad... really


Keith Fahlgren said...

Yeah, I've had the same complaints since I've been using the nightlies. It does apparently seem to rank the stuff by usage, so it is finally sorting better, but I'd like to be able to either turn it off or have it weight a /^match/ much more highly...

Anonymous said...

Firefox was always an end-user commodity, that was the entire point of it existing.

Gregory Brown said...

Not so. I've been using it since the Phoenix days, where the purpose was to make a lightweight, fast version of mozilla that was easy to extend.

But I guess ever since the Mozilla Foundation got all its money, that has changed.

Morbus said...

Have you tried using bookmarks for sites you use normally? Before the AwesomeBar I never used the auto-completion function on the location bar, because I had bookmarks. After I got used to AB, there's no going back.

Seriously, try bookmarks.

Also, if you simply type "//" before "gma", you get the exact same behavior as before.

Gregory Brown said...


I really have no need for bookmarks, except perhaps del.icio.us for pages I want to share with others. I remember the URLs I go to quite easily, so typing the first couple characters is the most efficient thing for me.

It sounds like the AwesomeBar is exactly what you were looking for, which is great, but it really grinds against the common muscle-memory of a lot of hackers.

Anyway, I'll try the // tip, thanks for suggesting it. I've gone back to firefox 2 because the AwesomeBar was doing such an awesome job of annoying me :-/

Anonymous said...

anonymous #2
everybody i know hates awesomebar. not just developers.