Firefox URL Bar

Lakin Wecker lakin.wecker at
Wed Jan 4 05:37:44 GMT 2006

On 1/3/06, Jens Bech Madsen <jbmadsen at> wrote:
> What you're asking for is simply less efficient, and I would hate to
> have applications made inferior to cater for people who are ignorant.

I don't appreciate being called ignorant, simply because I refuse to use
some arbitrary shortcut to perform what should be a simple task.
The reason I do not use it, is that most people I know will not know about
this shortcut, or how to find this shortcut, and will be forced to use the
old, inefficient way to replace URLs.   I am their tech-support, and when
they call me, I want to know how to teach them to do it in a way that is
intuitive, and efficient.

Editing URL:
> If you want to edit an URL, it is usually most efficient to use the
> mouse to select the part of the URL that needs to be removed/edited,
> then use the keyboard to make the correction. Ie. using the mouse is the
> natural thing here and it will normally pay off to remove one hand from
> the keyboard.

I really doubt that many average users edit URLS. This is typically reserved
to developers working on their own web-applications, or power users who have
found that they can navigate sites faster this way.

Replace URL:
> If you want to type in a new URL, it is more natural to use a keyboard
> shortcut (ctrl-l) to focus the URL-bar and then type the new address. No
> mouse involved, faster operation.

Many of them will only use the URL bar to replace the URL.  Currently,
without the shortcut, the fastest way is to select the entire text in the
bar, which is time consuming if the URL is long, and also is very annoying
when your cursor moves to far below the URL bar while highlighting(which
results in nothing being highlighted).

> If the behaviour is changed as you suggest, we lose efficiency in the
> first case, while nothing is gained in the second case.

As per my previous letter, I no longer think my original suggestion solves
any of these situations.  I still believe that we need to rethink the the
current behavior.

Ubuntu is supposed to be Linux for Human beings.  Most of the arguments that
I've heard for leaving the behavior as is are based on above-average
computer users wanting to keep the behavior so that they can continue using
it the way that they have been accustomed to.   While we should still allow
an above average user to continue using it in their own efficient manner,
I'd like to improve it so that average users can efficiently perform their
everyday tasks.

As it currently stands, FireFox defaults to a local start page.  For an
average user without knowledge of how to set a home page, or bookmarks,
their only option to start browsing the Internet is to replace the currently
URL with the one to which they want to go.

That just so
> Windows users don't have to think.

This is completely unfounded.  Memorizing shortcuts is not equivalent to
smart thinking.  If an application forces users to remember magic keystrokes
in order to efficiently perform tasks, we're reverting to a CLI-type
situation.  The CLI is a powerful tool, we should leave it there for those
who want to and know how to use it.  However, we should still try and make
everyday tasks easy, and intuitive for average users, who don't want to
remember magic keystrokes.

I'd prefer that the people not
> willing to learn to do things the smart way, get to do things the dumb
> way. And the people willing to learn the smart stuff, get the benefits.

Again, at least for my sake, try to not turn this into an insult-fest.
Using the words such as dumb, and smart to discuss two ways of performing a
task is not an effective way of arguing your point.

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