Removing Firefox’s Status Bar and Rehousing Add-on Icons (Part 3 of 2) (wut)

June 16, 2010

It’s World Cup month! Let’s start it out right. With another post about removing the status bar.

I know I implied in my last post that you’d be free of this topic forever, but something was bothering me. A piece of the puzzle was missing. I talked it over with my skilled user experience cohorts last week. Whiteboards were involved. I think the kinks were worked out.

The problem with putting add-on icons in the bookmark bar by default is that Firefox’s interface could become easily overcrowded if add-ons add more than just a 16 by 16 pixel icon. If an add-on creates a long horizontal widget, for instance, the whole bookmark bar could taken up after its installation.

Also, many add-ons have come to rely on bottom-anchored functionality – partially because of the location of the status bar. Firebug, for instance, uses a status bar button because its interface is anchored to the status bar.

My first post on this topic noted that users should be able to easily move their add-on icons and widgets wherever they want just by dragging it – to the bookmarks bar, the UI panel, the title bar, wherever. This is still going to be a huge benefit to users who wish to configure their browser. Where add-on icons should be encouraged to install by default is the open question. My proposal is this:

When a user has no add-on installed, there is no status bar.

As soon as the user installs one add-on that wants to use the status bar, a small bar appears in the bottom right of the Firefox window. It’s only long enough to accommodate the add-on icons and widgets the user currently has installed.

If the user hovers over the status bar, a small arrow appears on its left.  If the user clicks this arrow, the status bar shrinks into a small button in the bottom of the window.  This button gives a faint glow as the status bar animates into it.  If clicked, this button will bring the status bar into visibility again.  The button is only visible if the user mouses near it, minimizing visual clutter.

The benefit of this design is that only the smallest possible status bar is shown, and if the user prefers it can be entirely dismissed. The panels for rich interaction would still be added to the API, as well as a way for add-ons to identify themselves as acting on the current page content (perhaps via a subtle “glow” effect).

I think this design addresses the multiple goals for add-ons in the ui: minimal disruption to current add-on functionality, minimal visual clutter, and trivial configuration if the user wishes to modify the default behavior.

86 Responses to “Removing Firefox’s Status Bar and Rehousing Add-on Icons (Part 3 of 2) (wut)”


  1. Boriss, the collapsed state looks a little small, is there a larger hit region? and if so does that interfere with the user clicking on that region of the page?

  2. Colby Russell Says:

    1. If the expand button disappears entirely, that’s a problem. I have a feeling a couple dozen other replies will shortly say the same, so I’m going to defer to them for further comment here.

    2. Why does the collapse/expand button give the impression that it will collapse/expand to/from the right when it collapses/expands to/from the bottom?

    3. Why not reduce the status bar to the notch in the right corner where it currently takes up space?

    4. More painting in the window border is weird. It’s also undoable in some cases; e.g., the theme I’m using has 1px window borders.

    5. Has no consideration been given to roc’s suggestion in part 1 to do an optional add-ons panel on the side?

  3. Marco Says:

    Ditto for Jared’s comment. The rest of the proposal is good, and I really do think addon icons should be “Status Bar’d” by default.

    Keep touch UX in mind: Making a widget totally invisible until the user hovers is an iffy solution in touch, since it’s impossible to “hover” in touch. The user has an ambiguous clue on where to press his finger, and any guess-and-check touching results in unwanted window resizes or unfocuses. Also, the touch region _should_ be bigger than a tiny arrow, to accommodate fingers. Other than that, the basic idea is quite agreeable!


  4. Taking over the bottom-right corner of every web page is potentially more disruptive than adding a status bar. It covers the item count in Google Reader, the date of the oldest document in the Google Docs list, and the formula in Google Spreadsheets. I don’t think it’s acceptable to tell web developers “your space is now non-rectangular; the bottom-right might be covered, or the bottom-left in RTL locales”.

    The “button in the bottom of the window” idea assumes you have a window border, which isn’t true on Mac, or on Windows 7 when Firefox is maximized. It also assumes you can screw with the window border, which seems slightly sketchy.

  5. mucinch Says:

    Looks great! Many addons have active/inactive states, so instead of hiding the addons bar automatically, will it be possible to hide the icons when they are inactive and prop it back when they are active on the current page? E.g., addons like greasemonkey, stylish to be visible on some pages and hidden on others. Auto-hiding addons bar can be distracting and not necessary with a small toolbar.

  6. Sebastian Says:

    Adding to number 4 in Colby’s comment, hiding a bar in the border is completely undoable on the Mac interface since there isn’t a border, windows are distinguished by artificial shadows drawn outside of the window to give a feeling of depth.

    It doesn’t have to default to the right either, it could just as easily be a small tab sticking out of the left since the resizing widget is in the right corner…although, having it on the right could help discover-ability since the cursor is often around there out of necessity when users want to re-size the window, it could also be in the way for the same reasons if users missed the target (who would be annoyed since they’d have to shift their target x number of pixels to the left just to hide it again). Alternatively, don’t allow show/hide directly in the GUI, but just make it a command in the View menu where users already need to go to hide the bookmarks bar & the current status bar, that way a little arrow constantly popping into & out of view when focus is on the bottom won’t be a visual nuisance (that just won’t go away no matter how many times you try to swat it…err, keep the cursor away).

    Other than that, I love the idea of a dynamically resizing add-ons bar whose widgets can be moved to anywhere else in the GUI.

    @Marco, touch interfaces shouldn’t matter in Firefox per se, but rather, in Fennec instead. The standard input methods for “desktop” software is still keyboards & proxy pointing devices.


  7. Any reason to still call this toolbar “status bar”? Isn’t it an “Add-ons Panel” with this design?

    It seems to have a significant disadvantage compared to the current status bar – it displays on top of the page content. This means that it might obscure important content thus forcing the user to collapse it. For a user who needs to have the add-on buttons (or generally some info in this toolbar) visible this might result in the necessity to hide/unhide regularly, that’s annoying.

    Please also note that the window doesn’t have borders when maximized, where will you place the button then?

  8. Karlosak Says:

    I generally agree with the proposed solution. But where can we find the URL link preview? For many this is a very important functionality.

  9. Aleksey Says:

    excellent browser, nothing would have changed, thanks
    ——-
    Board

  10. auscompgeek Says:

    Karlosak, it is likely that the URL preview will move to the hover tooltip.

    To add to Wladimir Palant’s comment, I agree. However, we could have another hover affect, oh wait, that will be bad for touch users, add it as a preference, and allow the user to move the “add-ons panel” wherever the user wishes.

    The button in the border? I think that’s bad. It’s pretty much a not to be used idea.

  11. pd Says:

    Am I still waiting for you to magically re-create the href display on hover over links? Or did you address this critical priority in a post I’ve not seen?

    Why bother discussing anything else until this issue is resolved?

  12. Tiago Sá Says:

    Here’s my feedback.

    The good:
    - It’s small and, frankly, the best solution if you want to show as much page content as possible;
    - The user can treat the add-on toolbar (or whatever it’s called) as a normal toolbar, and drag and drop the icons into and out of it.

    The bad:
    - It may be very weird for some users to have a toolbar that doesn’t span across the whole width of the window, particularly in terms of discoverability (a perfect example of how a small horizontal bar that doesn’t go across the screen is not discoverable is the Find Bar in Google Chrome: it’s practically invisible!);
    - The user may want to have a full blown status bar (that will hopefully be customizable as a normal toolbar with smaller icons) and, as it appears in the mockups, he has no way of doing that. A small “expand” button at the left of the add-ons toolbar would do the trick. Probably;
    - This implementation is probably very hard to code and get ready for Firefox 4.0 in comparison to a simple and straightforward treat-the-status-bar-as-a-normal-toolbar-and-make-it-hidden-by-default-and-show-if-there’s-stuff-in-it approach.

    The ugly:
    - The button to show the add-ons toolbar is extremely small, and I have no idea how it will work with a maximized window, but I am absolutely sure it will NOT work on a maximized window on Windows, with the taskbar on autohide. As it stands now, if you have your Firefox maximized with the taskbar in autohide, using the status bar (on any program) is a bit harder, because you tend to open the task bar by mistake and thus hide the status bar. So, finding a 16px high icon is hard enough (well, it’s not TOO hard, and I’m perfectly ok with it), but finding a 2px high icon is definitely impossible.

    Conclusion:
    I don’t like this idea. It’s too complex to implement, and I don’t like how the add-ons toolbar looks, what with it being only as large as it needs to be and all. I believe that, if you do find a suitable place to show the hovered link and loading status of the page (which, honestly, I’m not seeing where else you can put it*), the best approach would be to have the status bar hidden by default (like the bookmarks toolbar will be), treat it as a normal toolbar (just like the bookmarks toolbar), allow the user to drag the load indicators, the hovered links and all that into the toolbar if he wants (like the bookmark items for the bookmarks toolbar), and make the status bar visible if there’s stuff in it. If the user doesn’t want it to be there, he can drag the stuff out and it will hide right there and then. Simple as that.

    *there’s still no solution for that, is there? Because surely you won’t be going for the Chrome approach with the awful popup nagging me all the time? Seriously, that is NOT a solution! It’s intrusive, it behaves weirdly, it moves and pops up and steals concentration, it has a terrible delay! It’s just not, no, don’t do that… For your own good, because many people hate Chrome for little stuff like that. The absence of a search bar, which breaks the workflow, the absence of proper bookmark handling, which breaks the workflow, the absence of toolbar customize, which breaks the workflow, the annoying popups as the statusbar, which break the worflow…

    In the end, not hiding the status bar by default is probably the best idea…

  13. Fritz Says:

    My main question for most of these posts has been maximized. Your button seems to be in the glass of a non-maximized window. What happens when you have a maximized window?

  14. Tiago Sá Says:

    Also, what Jesse Ruderman said is very relevant: you can’t have a small (semi)permanent non-full-width toolbar because it will hide whatever it is that’s in the bottom corner of the page. If there’s something behind it, the user will never know. Adding a scrollable region to the bottom could be a solution, where we just scroll a bit further and get a full width status bar to cope with those limitations, but that will look so weird and will change the aspect so much from page to page (pages that are taller or shorter than the window’s content height) that it will be a nightmare for many users. Again, as I said, I think non-full-width toolbars are a very bad idea.

  15. Wyatt Childers Says:

    I think if the status bar is to be removed this is the way to do it. I admit I did not read all the comments but I would like to comment on the first post.

    “3. Why not reduce the status bar to the notch in the right corner where it currently takes up space?” There are many online games, applications, and other things that use the bottom corner and making a notch in the right corner could block important buttons

    “4. More painting in the window border is weird. It’s also undoable in some cases; e.g., the theme I’m using has 1px window borders.” This may seem like an odd idea but have you ever thought how you or some other people thought about tabs before they became popular. It’s not about what is best or works extremely well for the average user and possibly you. I believe this is about about preventing change. And as for the 1px border maybe an appropriate thing to do instead of making the window border the anchor is having a border expanded making a very small status bar that is still themed like the rest of the boarder frame this could also fix the problem when maxing out your window size would leave you completely without this button

  16. laszlo Says:

    A potentially non-rectangular viewport with an area of unknown size in its corner hidden by a UI element is totally unacceptable. Sorry.

  17. voracity Says:

    I think this is a solution that many users will like (so long as window.innerHeight and everything related stretches to the *top* of this bar, not the bottom).

    But I think you need a simpler solution. I assume the problem is that a status bar makes the window feel ‘heavy’ or ‘bloated’. One possible solution to this is to just cut the height (similar to a switch for small/large icons). Atm, the bar has a very generous line-height and probably font-size. Cut all of that down. I did a test mockup, and I was able to cut the current 22px down to 14px and it still looks perfectly reasonable — even with the current font-size — and very lightweight. (You will also want to drop the shadow — no pun intended.)

    If users want it larger, they can right click on it and say ‘Medium height status bar’. Of course, for this to work properly, you’ll want to provide guidelines to add-on authors for creating UI to this smaller height. Icons would need to be reworked into their 16:9 widescreen equivalents.

  18. Says:

    The “hidden content problem” could be solved by allowing the user to scroll “past the bottom” of the page.

    +1 for users with a 1px window border!

  19. Ricmacas Says:

    If an addon changes state, for example – my gmail alerter wants to alert me of a new message, the UI should pop-up immediately, right?

  20. Wyatt Childers Says:

    “The “hidden content problem” could be solved by allowing the user to scroll “past the bottom” of the page.” This would still not work in an instance where a java or flash app was using the full window especially if the app was created to resize you would get an infinite loop glitch.

  21. starwed Says:

    I use a netbook, so vertical space is pretty important to me.

    Overall I felt the status bar was much more important than the bookmarks toolbar. I got rid of both at one point, but the status bar was the one I missed and re-enabled.

    Even an extension that auto-hid the status bar was a little annoying, since I couldn’t see link/loading information so easily.

  22. Says:

    @Wyatt
    I meant that the content wouldn’t know that you scrolled past the bottom.
    It would behave as if the statusbar took up the whole horizontal space once you reached the bottom.

    @starwed
    Have you tried the Hide GUI Bars extension?

  23. BrianMojo Says:

    Suggestion:

    Keep the same concept, but apply it to the bookmarks bar. Minimize “button” is part of the bookmarks bar, to the right. Pressing the button minimizes your addons to a single arrow icon, pressing it again re-expands them.

  24. Nuss Says:

    This is great. I love that you used my proposal of my comment in part 1! I still think it should be placed between the scroll buttons and resize grip, though. Perhaps easier considering the problems of drawing in the title bar? This is definitely on the right track. There’s a couple of UX issues to work out, I guess, as Jesse Ruderman mentioned above.

    And I still would like to hear about Link URL preview!


  25. It suddenly looks like you’re dropping WinXP support, where window borders are not that large.

  26. sabret00the Says:

    I love the idea, but can we have it as aero glass on systems that allow it?


  27. [...] Jennifer Boriss – user experience designer with the Mozilla Corporation – has been discussing the removal of the status bar on her blog in a three part series. [...]

  28. kaiko Says:

    Awful idea!

    Most commentators already explained what’s wrong.

    The biggest problem with this solution is its overcomplexity.

    The simplest solution is always the best one.

    Solution: vertical bar!

    There’s a lot of empty space on the sides.

    Most screens are wider than taller!

    Most websites have vertical content shown in one column, like this one.

    Why browsers have so poor ergonomics and usability?

    Google Chrome is even worse:

    Auto-hide status bar

    An enormous and always shown “Downloads Bar”!

    No proper place to put Extensions Icons, so their placed all over the interface, it’s a nightmare in usability.

    Don’t do the same mistakes.

    Create a proper place for extensions, make it a vertical bar.

  29. Wyatt Childers Says:

    A vertical bar is NOT the way to go. There is a reason that the status bar is on the bottom. There is more length for room just for one small thing a vertical bar would take multiple rows fro some people’s add-ons and doing this would put the web content out of center and would distract people more from what they are trying to do.

  30. Wyatt Childers Says:

    Sorry about the spelling in the last part. Here is what I think should be done as the best solution. Just keep it! I have never heard a complaint from an average user who doesn’t use add-ons about it and it is a home for add-ons so getting rid of it would destroy a space for add-ons as well as cause problems for more average users because add-on authors would need more time to change there add-on possibly making the switch to Firefox 4 even more annoying. This conversation here is more than enough proof that this is a big deal. We are thinking about this too much are there any other ways u can cut down on the interface. I’ve came to one conclusion in watching all the average people that use a web browser. They don’t care about how it looks or how much room unless they have a ridiculously small screen they just want it to move as fast as possible. Also face it they are making larger and larger screens now anyways.

  31. Mic Says:

    Honestly I’m not sure why you’re dropping the status bar in favor for the bookmarks bar. Isn’t there a better solution for bookmarks maybe?

    As far as I can tell the bookmarks bar is only useful if you have a few bookmarks.
    If you have none, it’s not of use, if you have many it’s most likely not either? At least I quickly decided to use the awesomebar to search through my bookmarks as they wouldn’t possibly fit into the bookmarks bar.

    An idea: why don’t you treat bookmarks similiar to extensions? People can move the favicon of the websites around in the UI like they can with extensions. If they chose to move them into the title bar, well. If they should go into the status bar it’s good as well.

    Maybe this could be a way to save some vertical space.

    By the way: you’re giving explanations what should happen to the items in the status bar but I’m not sure I remember what the exact reason was to remove the status bar in the first place?

    Waiting for part 4 of 2,
    Mic

  32. Mic Says:

    By the way I agree with almost any of the objections given others before …

  33. sabret00the Says:

    In my opinion, the bookmarks toolbar should be merged with the tab bar and allow the opening of a quick bookmarks panel which in turns allows you to browse your full bookmarks. It’ll never happen though.

  34. Axel Hecht Says:

    FWIW, the main use I have for the bookmarks toolbar is actually bookmarklets modifying or working on the current tab. So a tab with those would be counter productive for me.

  35. Mic Says:

    @Axel Hecht: in contrary to now you wouldn’t even be limited to putting your bookmarklets into the bookmark toolbar but you could place them anywhere else as well.

  36. pd Says:

    I was aggressively against the removal of the status bar by default. I still do not see the need to remove it. However …

    Pending that the regular status bar can, and will forever be, available on an opt-in basis, I’m now quite satisfied with the changes suggested in this post. In fact I’m a little excited that this strange anti-status bar motivation seems like it will provide a more configurable interface. Everything from the title bar to the tab bar (?) seems like it will be customizable in Firefox 4. I look forward to experimenting with my own pro-status bar content maximization approaches. Full access to customizing the status bar itself, by dragging icons from the customise pallete to the status bar, is long overdue.

    I don’t use the bookmarks bar at all, I turn it off by default immediately upon install.

    I think the solutions offered for allowing add-on icons on the bookmark bar are fine for those who use the bookmark bar however the option of dynamic-appearing mini add-on UI in case add-on icons on the bookmark bar get too long is excellent. The point about the arrow button seemingly being embedded into the fat Aero window border is valid though. I don’t float my browser, I maximize it all the time. You would have to come up with a solution for that. Also there should be an option to keep this mini add-on UI maximised all the time. I use NoScript, ABP, Firebug, NoSquint and Stylish. All of these add-ons have status notifcation changes that I want to see at a glance every time I open a page. Having them hidden or only represented by a glowing ring around the maximize arrow button is not acceptable. Furthermore despite stupid heat map user tests, I grew up with the status bar and I’m familiar with looking down at it. So I do not want to drag those icons to the top of the screen, although it’s nice to have to option to do so, and vice versa.

    Overall I think this is a much bigger task that you thought it might be Boriss. I think you’ve done pretty well so far but there’s now very good commentary evidence in this post for a case of leave well enough alone. The status bar is clearly useful and trying to replace it clearly offends pro-bookmark bar users and ant-bookmark bar, pro-status bar users like myself!

  37. Nawfel Says:

    An idea for the App button

    The complexity of the list to be branched to other lists Making it difficult for users to access the options. Therefore,Google chrome solve the problem Using 2 lists So I suggest using a single list containing all the options It may seem impossible or ugly because the number of options is more than 20 So I thought to offer options on the form of icons As in the picture

    File:https://wiki.mozilla.org/images/8/83/An_idea_for_Appbutton.jpg

  38. Trevor Says:

    Do whatever you like with the status bar, just allow me to EASILY keep it exactly how it is.

  39. pd Says:

    @Trevor

    Haha, could not agree more. Such simple language says it all!

  40. Charles Says:

    Is there going to at least be a configurable option (*not* a userChrome hack!!!) to *not* hide the status bar, and have it behave the way it currently does?

    I *like* the current status bar – it is small and unobtrusive and provides a lot of bang (information) for the buck (minimal space it takes up).

  41. Charles Says:

    Oh – and I haven’t used the bookmarks toolbar in ages – I use the Context Bookmarks extension and access them from a quick right-click anywhere on any web page.

    I also move all of the navigation stuff up onto the Menu bar – so I only have one toolbar at the top (menu toolbar), which I have set to auto-hide using the Hide Menubar extenion, so I have NO toolbars in my way when reading web pages, just the window title bar at the top, and the status bar at the bottom.

    This is the way I like it, and I have no desire to change anything.

  42. Dave R. Says:

    A bad idea all round. Non-standard UI, lack of discoverability, no consistency in widget placement, unsuitable for beginners…

    If add-ons take up too much horizontal space, then that’s a problem with the add-on, not the browser. There should be an easy way to toggle the 16×16 icon to full width instead.

    You should note that Chrome will shift the URL popup to the bottom-right of the screen if the link appears at the bottom-left, so you’re not obscuring it. If you put your add-on crap at the right hand side, you’re going to stuff this up. Having the URL appended to the tooltip on-hover is god-awful for usability, accessibility, and consistency with other browsers.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  43. pd Says:

    There’s a lot of love for the status bar as it is in the commentary on this post.

    How about reconsidering butchering the status bar?

  44. Charles Says:

    There are also comments leading me to believe that the current status bar will still be there – and hopefuly the default – so, as long as that is true, I’m ok with having an *optional* new kind of status bar, but I think most won’t use it…

    Radically new UI changes should *always* be optional, and/or easily reverted, until a general consensus is reached by *the* *user* *base* as to whether or not it is a good thing.

    I want the old Quickfilter box back (with the addition of the little sticky pin), I don’t want/need a new Quickfilter Toolbar!

  45. pd Says:

    I think the plan is to make current status bar the optional one, with the new fangled UI the default.

    The question for me is what sort of analysis will be done post Fx4 regarding what the user base prefers, current status bar or new UI. This is because I am sure in the medium to long term someone will stick their nose in and ask the question of whether maintaining two versions of a similar concept is a waste of developer time.

    In short, keep the traditional status bar forever. Swear on your mum’s eyesight Mozilla!

  46. Charles Says:

    I hope you’re wrong about making the new one the default…

    I’m getting tired of having massive changes forced on me…


  47. - I don’t think I would like a browser without URL preview. Putting it in the tooltip won’t cut it, we expect other things there already (from the website).

    - Non-rectangular space for website (as pointed out by Jesse Ruderman) will create problems for site developers and users alike, for example if it covers content positioned in that corner.

    What might work is a full width status bar that is optionally collapsible into something smaller.

  48. Charles Says:

    What might work is not wasting time and effort fixing something that isn’t broken.

    There are a lot more things in TB that need some love, without looking for things that are fine just as they are.

  49. pd Says:

    Vote 1 For Not Broke Don’t Fix!

    I’ve been waiting forever to hear what the magical suggestion is for replacing *the* most critical function of the status bar: URL preview. I still have not read anything official however if Otto de Voogd’s suggestion that a tooltip is the proposed solution, I think that’s a bad idea.

    Moving URL preview to a tooltip :

    - creates a blurring of the distinction between browser and content

    - removes the ability for content authors to use tooltips for their own purposes (as surely you could not allow authors to over-write standard behaviour in the browser since this would introduce potential for phishing and so forth – over-writing status bar URL preview should never have been allowed in JS and was rightfully turned off by default since Firefox’s alpha days)

    - creates excess clutter on top of the content, which AFAIK is one of the few justifications for removing the status bar in the first place. Sometimes this clutter would span the whole width of the content area for very long URLs and abbreviating URL preview is one of the current weaknesses of the existing status bar so we would not want to repeat that.

    I’ll try and pre more constructive by suggesting that a mooted alternative of moving URL preview to the location bar would at least be a better solution that tooltip URL preview.

    However I still favour leaving well enough alone. Screens are getting bigger; everyone is working hard to make the top of browser flexible enough to provide more content space. How about delaying this change until a future version. Too much change in one version can be disorienting at best, damn annoying at worst. Don’t forget that a lot of the demand for Chrome may just be ‘new toy’ factor. No need to clone Chrome completely just yet.

  50. Charles Says:

    The bottom line is, virtually every program I have ever used has a status bar, and they all provide similar relevant info to the user about what is being displayed in the current window.


  51. [...] propósito de la propuesta de Jennifer Boriss para rediseñar/suprimir la barra de estado del navegador en Firefox 4 se está montando una de esas bonitas discusiones antológicas que me hacen morir de envidia y en [...]

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  60. Charles Says:

    Boris – please add a ‘report this post’ to your blog comments section so we can report this spam garbage…

  61. LaFIe Says:

    While you are at it, rework the title bar and put tabs in it like Chrome.

  62. Charles Says:

    As long as it is optional… I use TreeStyleTab and like my tabs on the left side, since I have far more horizontal space than vertical space…

  63. broccauley Says:

    As others have said, the little arrow won’t work in a maximized window or on Macs. In such situations you would need a small bar — say 2-3px high — that would stretch across the entire width of the bottom of the screen with the arrow as in mock-up image 4.

    There should also be the option to make the add-on area auto-hide after a short time-out period. The add-on display will make itself visible in 2 situations:

    1. on mouse-over of the bottom window border / small 2-3px bar at the bottom of the screen.

    2.when an add-on wants to notify you of a status update.

  64. broccauley Says:

    PS: I also don’t like the idea of the small “show add-ons area” arrow disappearing – it should always be visible when the add-ons area is not visible.

  65. broccauley Says:

    … another idea – instead of having a “small 2-3px bar at the bottom of the screen” to activate this add-ons area, you could have a small button below the right scroll-bar (similar to the “select browse object” button in MS Word). The disadvantage of this is that the right scroll-bar would always be visible (even for pages that don’t require scrolling).

  66. Charles Says:

    I’ll restate it again…

    Why waste time on this at all? It is silly:

    1. The status bar takes up a tiny amount of room

    2. It can be hidden

    The only thing that I can see that might be a valuable addition and not a waste of time and resources is to provide a way to toggle it ono/off with the keyboard (and maybe a toolbar button).

    Anything else is absolutely a waste of time and resources that would be better spent making Firefox and Thunderbird more stable, use less RAM/system resources and be more resistant to crashes causd by buggy 3rd part extensions and/or plugins.

  67. Ed Says:

    Is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic a job history requirement for working for Mozilla?
    I would rather see Mozilla fix all the printing Bugs in Firefox, instead of putting lipstick on a pig with all these UI changes. The same printing Bugs I saw in Phoenix 0.4 in 2002 are still present today. Use Firefox to browse and then print from Opera is silly.

    4.0 is going to eliminate the wasted space that is now occupied by the Menu bar, and also make some use of the Titlebar, so what’s the big deal with eliminating the Statusbar, too? If users want a maximum page viewing window they can hit F11 and go into Fullscreen – and be chromeless.

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  69. Charles Says:

    @Ed:

    My menu bar has no wasted space. I put everything on it, then hide all other toolbars, then use the Hide MenuBar extension so that the Menu bar auto-shows/hides itself when I mouseover the Window Title Bar – just like how the Task bar in Windows auto hides/shows itself on my desktop.

    This results in the only ‘wasted’ space being the Window Title bar, and the status bar – which is about the same height as the window title bar – so, in my opinion, there is no wasted space in 3.6 right now.

    Like I said, fix the real problems, stop creating new ones.

  70. broccauley Says:

    I don’t care so much if you remove the status bar or not. If you decide to keep it though, I would really really like a zoom control in the bottom-right – often I zoom in on a page and then later will forget if I’m viewing the page at default zoom or not.

    Another point – have you considered Fitts’s Law for these add-on buttons. The screen edges are the easiest parts of the screen to reach with the mouse. In a default Windows set-up with a maximized window we have the Windows Taskbar on the bottom edge, the scroll-bars on the right edge and I assume the tabs will eventually be on the top-edge. This leaves the left-edge completely free – perhaps the left screen edge could somehow be used for the add-ons or other notification functions?

  71. Charles Says:

    Not everyone works the same. I *never* maximize my windows, especially my browser windows. I use TreeStyle Tab to put my tabs on the left side (best use of a widescreen monitor), but I don’t expect everyone to work that way (although I wonder when I see someone with a maximized firefox screen on a 24″ widescreen LCS)…

    Detachable toolbars would be cool, and nice for some people, just don’t make them mandatory.

    I *loathe* how on a Mac all app menu bars are part of the OS window rather than the app window.

  72. verbatim Says:

    Please also provide an option to keep permanently visible. Some status bar icons provide feedback to user, such as HTML Validator.

  73. Mic Says:

    Is there a part 4 of 2 coming that includes some clarification on the situation with the status bar?

  74. teohhanhui Says:

    This seems like a brilliant idea. Just make sure the user can choose to always show all add-on bar icons (not unlike Windows’s notification area).

  75. kustodian Says:

    I like the idea of giving more space for viewing pages, but I don’t like the idea of removing the statusbar, since it does have a lot of good functionality.

    Why not just hide the statusbar by default and when you hover your mouse over the area of the status bar it would instantly appear (with fade in effect). Also if you hover over a link, the statusbar would also appear to display the link (like in Chrome). The statusbar would also appear when one of the addons that is on it, makes some kind of a change. This is the most logical way for me to resolve this issue, since it gives you more space for viewing pages, and it also gives you easy access to the satusbar and it’s features and addons. Also you could give an option to remove it as a whole if someone wouldn’t want to use it.

    I like the idea of moving the icons from the satusbar to the tolbar and vice versa.

  76. John Says:

    This helps hardcore users I’m sure, but most people don’t even have a single extension. If it’s to move like Chrome, Chrome is popular for performance, not it’s bareness, and it is getting beefy, but still clean as time passes.

    Firefox is moving in the wrong direction, features targeting hardcore folks (removal of status bar, inclusion of panaroma).

  77. egza Says:

    what i cat understand its why continue with this, we all see that the addon bar so far its USELESS, its just the status bar but BIGGER, with less option and more anoyance, so if you want to make addons buttons customizable and movable to all toolbars that can be done with inventing this addon bar and removing the status bar.

    Previously if people dont want he status bar they can hide it and its like nothing happened, but now YOU GUYS ARE FORCING the removal of something that people might find useful, firefox its one of the best customizable browser and i hope that this all forced chromemania didnt affect mozilla team.

    The position of the stop and reload button by default should stay on the left, why put it at the end of the url box, even chrome realize that on the left its the best place.

    as i said before stop messing with the UI and improve the performance, stability and memory usage thats why its making people switch to chrome and not the UI

  78. Dmitriy Says:

    This proposal has been implemented in a Barlesque extension:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/259879/

  79. heraldo Says:

    So this excellent idea has been scraped for the ugly find in page like toolbar?

  80. Sanju Says:

    Is it possible to show the Bookmark Toolbar Items on the status bar? And if you disable the Bookmark Toolbar, you will be getting a bit more vertical space.But unfortunately, there seems to be no way of moving it to the status bar from the Customize menu.Is there any add-on that will do the job?


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  82. bill Says:

    the static unremovable close button on the status bar is ugly, inconsistent and frustrating – it makes absolutely no sense to people that want to use the status bar, and ONLY makes sense to people that don’t use it.


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