|| ||Johnathan Nightingale <johnath-AT-mozilla.com> |
|| ||Zack Weinberg <zackw-AT-panix.com> |
|| ||Re: Security fallout of hiding tabs-on-bottom mode |
|| ||Mon, 12 Nov 2012 11:45:04 -0500|
|| ||Article, Thread
On Nov 12, 2012, at 9:46 AM, Zack Weinberg wrote:
> Obviously, refusing to upgrade Firefox opens up these users to serious security risks. I would
like to suggest that we put that toggle back in, and commit to preserving tabs-on-bottom mode for
the foreseeable future, *just because* it will encourage this upset minority of users to continue
upgrading. Remember that the actual size of the upset minority here is probably at least 100x
larger than the number of people who have gone to the trouble of complaining about it in the
newsgroups and/or the bug report.
It's true that sometimes non-security changes have major security impacts (c.f. session restore
making people more willing to apply updates). I also agree that each poster in our newsgroups
represents a constituency (100x may or may not be right, let's say it is).
Nevertheless, I disagree. We've got a decade of experience with UI changes having vocal critics
that turn out, in hindsight, to be minorities (e.g. tab close button position militancy around
FF2). That doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to feedback about UI change (e.g. adding more uninstall
UI for social API because users found it undiscoverable) but on balance I believe we bias far too
much towards letting vocal, conservative complaint chill the evolution of our products.
Every community has conservative elements. They are helpful; they remind us who we are when we
forget. But conservative forces prevent change (by definition!) and we have important aspects of
our code that need changing. I don't believe that the discussion around tabs on bottom will result
in any significant portion of our user base turning off updates. I do believe that our tab strip
code is in desperate need of clean up, and full of edge cases that hurt performance,
maintainability, and quality.
VP Firefox Engineering
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