About the quick search bookmarks in Firefox

Andrew Conkling andrew.conkling at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 11:50:30 BST 2006

On 4/3/06, Lei Ming <ming.lei at oracle.com> wrote:
> Hi, this is for bug #36941 on Launchpad.
> I've read Ian's explanation, but I don't quite agree with him and I
> still think it's better not to remove the quick search bookmarks.
> Reasons:
> A They work properly for most cases.
> B Using quick search bookmarks (QS) is much faster than search box (SB)
> because you don't need to use mouse to select the searching services
> from the drop-down list then switch back to keyboard to type the search
> string. If you often use different searching services (I personally
> switch between wikipedia and google frequently), that means a lot of
> pointing and clicks.
> C QS is more convenient than SB because typing "wp" in the location box
> is much easier than selecting Wikipedia from the (long) drop-down list
> using the mouse (small things are difficult to select).
> D The location box is much longer than the SB. When you search for long
> strings, you can not see the whole string in the SB, and you must scroll
> the text left/right to check if there are mistakes. It's even more
> troublesome when you paste text into the SB.
> E SB is not complete. For example, there is no SB entry that is
> equivalent to the "quote" keyword in the QS.
> F It's easier to add new entries to the QS than to the SB.
> G I don't think the QS will clutter up the bookmark too much. They are
> in their own folder, adding only one entry to the top-level bookmark. If
> we want to remove some thing from the bookmark, I'd rather remove the
> "Firefox and Mozilla Links" folder and put it on the default start-up
> page or even in the GNOME menu. Anyway, if the user really thinks the QS
> is useless, he can remove them easily, only two clicks. In the contrary,
> if we don't provide the QS by default and the user do want the QS,
> adding them back is not an easy task for average users, IMHO.
> H Some users may have used the official Firefox release (from the web
> site) before. I think they will be confused because there is no QS in
> Ubuntu's Firefox.
> What do you think?

Agreed.  I'd actually been using Breezy long enough not to see these
changes, and I'm disappointed by them.

In addition to the search box being small, I'd like to mention that it
takes up room for the location bar, so that whatever is typed therein
is more easily truncated.  Turning it off is the first thing I do in

Also, a default installation (IMO) should include a quick search for
the Ubuntu wiki and, if possible (I don't think it is), the forums. 
These two are important resources to Ubuntu users, and quick search
facilitates their use.

I don't think bug 36941 makes the case for changing Firefox defaults
in the package.  For new users, the worst that will happen is that
they won't use them.  Yes, this may "clutter" up the Bookmarks (if one
extra folder can be called clutter), but most new users don't bother
to delete the crap that comes with IE on MS Windows, and these aren't

Also, new users probably won't know about this nifty feature, and
removing it will only perpetuate that.

For power users, it seems more likely that they will use them (or know
how to take 5 seconds to delete the folder), so again, why delete them
by default?

Andrew Conkling

*- Obviously, I don't recommend turning it off by default

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