Support Advanced Locationbar as a webextension or make new omnibox APIs

RESOLVED WONTFIX

Status

P5
enhancement
RESOLVED WONTFIX
a year ago
25 days ago

People

(Reporter: mata987, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Whiteboard: [design-decision-needed])

(Reporter)

Description

a year ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:56.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/56.0
Build ID: 20170825011442




Expected results:

Will any webextension APIs for omnibox be made to support similar functionality to
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/advanced-locationbar ?

To me, the way it can be handled through the API is just a function linkifyOmniboxUrl() with some configuration added to it (e.g. which parts to linkify).

Make middlemouse event react in same manner as <a> tag in HTML (open in new tab).

As far as security is concerned, I don't see any types of misuse there, as API will just linkify it, without the possibility for extension to change the url.
Component: WebExtensions: Untriaged → WebExtensions: Frontend
Whiteboard: [design-decision-needed]
(Reporter)

Comment 1

a year ago
Hi,

Any news on this?

Updated

11 months ago
Severity: normal → enhancement
status-firefox57: --- → wontfix
Priority: -- → P5
Hi Mata, this has been added to the agenda for the September 26 WebExtensions APIs triage meeting. Would you be able to join us? 

Wiki: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Add-ons/Contribute/Triage

Agenda: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pw5y-GHwDLPV9bYK4HWCiZtslqFtAeL3G9bC4ZDbdjs/edit#

Comment 3

11 months ago
Not sure if it should be added here but Advanced Locationbar also give our possibility to change colours based for example on file type or file transfer protocol:
https://userstyles.org/styles/123598/firefox-advanced-locationbar-style
(Reporter)

Comment 4

11 months ago
I could join.

Please update the part on joining with VidyoDesktop for Linux users as I cannot install it on
KDE Neon. (or for that matter, it seems it isn't supported for Linux at all anymore)
-more on http://information-technology.web.cern.ch/services/fe/howto/users-use-vidyo-linux
Flags: needinfo?(amckay)

Comment 5

11 months ago
There's probably two ways to go on this, either add the functionality to the URL bar and then we somehow hook into that in a WebExtension API or allow the WebExtension API to replace enough of the URL bar to do something else. There's a real concern that replacing any part of the URL bar ends up with real security and privacy issues so I don't think that's likely to happen.

Changing the URL bar functionality somehow in a security manner might be possible, so I'm needinfo'ing Panos to get his opinion.

The add-on in question has over 2,000 users which unfortunately doesn't really provide a compelling number of users to implement this API. At this time I can't really support this API and the discussion in the meeting came to the same conclusion.

There are many other ways of displaying this kind of navigation of a site URL and you'd probably have to go with that.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 11 months ago
Flags: needinfo?(amckay) → needinfo?(past)
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX

Comment 6

11 months ago
Well, it's not like there is only one add-on providing such functionality:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ui-enhancer (5,818 users)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/locationbar² (3,356 users)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/smart-text (420 users)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/all-about-location-bar (133 users)

Too bad it won't be implemented because it make browsing faster and simpler.
I suppose a very strict API surface could be implemented in a way that preserves security, but it seems there isn't even a small enough subset to make everyone happy. The legacy add-ons mentioned above range from using underlines or changing colors, all the way to a radically different breadcrumb-like appearance.

Apart from the security implications, we are currently investing a lot of effort into making the location bar appear as fast as possible, avoiding reflows and the like in order to improve perceived performance. In the midst of all this work it is not the right time to consider such an API.
Flags: needinfo?(past)
(Reporter)

Comment 8

11 months ago
The number of users (in need of such functionality) probably isn't that accurate, taking in account that a lot of "normal" users don't install that many extensions, or are not aware of the possibilities introduced by the extensions (until someone installs them for the end user showing them 'the way')

When I work with ordinary users, I see most of them deleting long urls (up to the point of domain) by clicking in the address bar and using backspace from the end, for a couple of seconds, depending on url length.
I see the WOW effect on their faces when I show them the possibility of block/word deletion by using CTRL + Backspace.

Point being, most of users don't dig deeper than the basic browser (+ adblocking addons).
That's why, in my humble opinion, UX is there to guide them.

As I see, and from my use of the above extension I see the following benefits in "making browsing faster and simpler" (quoting Dobroslaw here)

GENERAL USE CASES:
- a page doesn't implement home button or doesn't link the logo back to homepage
- user are located in a subdomain and want to go to the domain level
- a page (filter) adds hash or GET parameters that give different results per page
- on a page you go a link deeper (and if url segments follow some kind of history principle, by that I mean that they build on previous segment, you can use it as a history shortcut), e.g. news site or a site that constantly updates info on main page (or a subpage) you need to keep track of and you need it opened at times without using history (aka back-button which can contain several items)

DEVELOPMENT CASES:
- duplicate tab functionality (currently implemented) through middle-clicking the current url
whilst possibly changing the duplication if you omit, let's say query part of the url

That's just from the top of my head...

As far as security is concerned, I wouldn't go in the way of implementing any functionality to change the url, just to transform it (linkify, change CSS props (font weight, style and color))
(Reporter)

Comment 9

11 months ago
(In reply to Panos Astithas [:past] (56 Regression Engineering Owner) (please ni?) from comment #7)
> I suppose a very strict API surface could be implemented in a way that
> preserves security, but it seems there isn't even a small enough subset to
> make everyone happy. The legacy add-ons mentioned above range from using
> underlines or changing colors, all the way to a radically different
> breadcrumb-like appearance.

IMHO, there is no need for changing the visual of the url bar. It should preserve the same basic look not to throw off users. A simple underline on hover for a user to know which par he is going to activate and that's mostly it for the visuals.
Something similar Advanced Locationbar does it. Minimalistic.

To me small enough subset would be to be able to select:
- domain
- subdomain
- url without hash part
- url without query+hash parts
- url by segments (some/thing/over/here)

I think that would go a long way for most users.

Updated

2 months ago
Product: Toolkit → WebExtensions

Comment 10

25 days ago
Could this be reopened then even if a limited form is being considered?
status-firefox57: wontfix → ---
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