Dapper feature request: Firefox bookmarks

Ian Jackson ian at davenant.greenend.org.uk
Wed Mar 8 14:39:18 GMT 2006

Karl Hegbloom writes ("Dapper feature request: Firefox bookmarks"):
> Please create a default bookmark to the WikiMedia sites; at least to
> Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikibooks.

I've already added a Wikipedia topic search to the set of searches you
get in the dropdown box.  It doesn't seem worthwhile to have the same
reference twice.

> Some of my friends are saying that "a lot of people" would also like to
> have bookmarks to indymedia.org and other non-commercial news media
> sites.

We want to keep the number of these kind of things reasonably low both
because we're not trying to turn the browser into a portal (which just
gets in the way of the user's tasks) and because they require
maintenance effort.

We already have the BBC supplying `Latest headlines'.  Now I know that
the BBC isn't quite Indymedia but it is at least fairly good at being
neutral (and it is of course noncommercial and pretty much
independent).  It is clearly a mistake that it says `Latest headlines'
rather than `Latest BBC headlines' - it is wrong of us not to state
the source, even though clicking through will tell you the source of
course.  So I will correct that.

Arguably we should have a more serious conversation about the default
contents of the bookmarks toolbar; the current two entries (Firefox
Getting Started and Latest (BBC) Headlines) are rather oddly-chosen.

You could argue that the bookmarks toolbar ought to be eliminated
because it just gives the browser portal-itis, but we want people to
know that it exists so that they can use it themselves (and of course
we want them to know that they can control what appears in it).

> Others would like to see links to a sampling of OSS project pages.
> (Gnuradio, OpenDesktop.org, etc.)

Under Bookmarks / Ubuntu and Free Software links there are four
Ubuntu-related entries and a link each for the FSF and Debian.
I don't think a list of Free Software project pages is a good idea
here - it would be too long, we'd have to spend lots of time arguing
about what should and shouldn't be included, and mixing the
maintainence and distribution of such a thing with that of the firefox
package doesn't make sense.

If there were a suitable, stable, website with these kind of
references that would be of _general interest_ to _normal people_ (ie,
not just geeks like us!) then I would consider adding it to that
section of the bookmarks.  NB, this does not include freshmeat or
slashdot !

MadMan2k writes ("Re: Dapper feature request: Firefox bookmarks"):
> If I start a program I want to use it and not be spammed with $anything.
> If you want to make the user aware of OSS projects, create a page in 
> help and link it on the desktop or something, but dont spread the 
> information all over the desktop, forcing the user to invest time in 
> order to get rid of it.

I don't think putting things in the default bookmarks is `spreading it
all over the desktop'.  Currently, in Ubuntu we
  * add the wikipedia search to the search box;
  * add the Ubuntu and Free Software links bookmarks folder;
  * set the default home page to a local file describing Ubuntu.

I don't think that's excessive.


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