Stop using Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" search for keyword.URL

VERIFIED WONTFIX

Status

()

VERIFIED WONTFIX
15 years ago
7 years ago

People

(Reporter: momokatte, Assigned: bugs)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

15 years ago
User-Agent:       
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040206 Firefox/0.8

The Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" search, while useful in some situations, is not
appropriate for a default Location Bar search. The user is not made aware of the
redirection of their request, and it causes confusion in new users who are not
aware of the feature.

I am requesting that the default value for keyword.URL be changed to use
Google's normal search, which provides the user with a list of search results
and an obvious cue that the text in their Location Bar was used for a search
instead of some other behavior (spyware HOSTS hijacking, DNS redirection, server
redirection).

Examples of confusing "I'm Feeling Lucky" searches:
localhost -> http://www.localhost.net.au/
www -> http://www.microsoft.com/
settings -> http://www.altavista.com/res
www.hol.dk (currently unresponsive) -> http://www.altavista.com/


Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:

Comment 1

15 years ago
workaround: set "keyword.enabled" to FALSE in about:config
(Reporter)

Comment 2

15 years ago
Update: It turns out that http://www.hol.dk/ is trying to frame
http://http://frip.dk/thomashol , and the extra http:// is triggering a keyword
search for "http".

Regarding #2:
Another workaround is for users to set "keyword.URL" to
"http://google.com/search?q=" in about:config.

Comment 4

15 years ago
localhost is fixed on the trunk. Everything else is intended behaviour.

I don't understand why the keyword search needs to be fired in situations where
it wasn't directly typed in the address bar (like in the www.hol.dk situation).
Component: Preferences → General
OS: Windows 98 → All
Hardware: PC → All

Updated

15 years ago
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 15 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
*** Bug 245469 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 6

14 years ago
*** Bug 248953 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 7

14 years ago
I think Michael O is right. Intended behaviour is broken and confusing. For a
browser to take a user to an entirely unrelated site after they type one word in
the URL bar will have users thinking they have "a virus". There's no
notification a google search is being done.

When google is broken, well, that breaks firefox too.

Setting "keyword.enabled" to FALSE in about:config not only speeds up the URL
process massively, it gives expected behaviour in all situations. 

THERE IS A GOOGLE SEARCH BOX. Why not use that for, er, searching? Ctrl-enter in
there could do the precious I'm Feeling Lucky search. 

Would reopen if I could.

Comment 8

14 years ago
*** Bug 254094 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 9

14 years ago
Reopening, asking to reconsider this bug resolution
Why is it better to perform "I'm feeling lucky" instead of "Google Search" ?
see my comment in bug 254094

Status: RESOLVED → UNCONFIRMED
Resolution: WONTFIX → ---

Updated

14 years ago
Component: General → Location Bar and Autocomplete
Flags: blocking-aviary1.0?

Updated

14 years ago
Assignee: firefox → bugs
QA Contact: mconnor → davidpjames
restoring resolution.  Unless you have some compelling reason why a decision
should be reconsidered that wasn't part of the original decision, please don't
abuse bugzilla privs by reopening bugs just because you disagree.  This debate
has been attempted a number of times, but the answer is the same.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 15 years ago14 years ago
Flags: blocking-aviary1.0?
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX

Comment 11

14 years ago
> abuse bugzilla privs by reopening bugs just because you disagree.

I'm not the only one who disagrees

> has been attempted a number of times, but the answer is the same.

So far the only compelling reason I've seen so far is "It is not a bug". Don't
be surprised if this bug was reopened.

Personally, a friend of mine has installed firefox and was turned away because
he doesn't want the browser to redirect to some arbitrary web site when one of
his children just types something in the location bar.

> restoring resolution.  Unless you have some compelling reason why a decision
> should be reconsidered that wasn't part of the original decision,

Can you point to the bug or newsgroup discussion or forum where I can find the
compelling reasons to wontfix this bug ? Thank you.

Comment 12

14 years ago
does mozilla need or have authorization from google to use google search as part
of an automated search that isn't specifically user-requested?  google's terms
of service policy explicitly states that "[y]ou may not send automated queries
of any sort to Google's system without express permission in advance from
Google".  is about:config access sufficient for using google as the default
keyword engine to be considered "personal, non-commercial use", or is an option
in the preferences ui required (as is provided in seamonkey)?  

if there is a legal issue involved, it should ideally be clarified before 1.0 is
released.

ccing mike connor and asa, who resolved this bug as wontfix.

Comment 13

14 years ago
There are no legal issues that need to be worked out in this bug.

Comment 14

14 years ago
Asa: 
 
What is the rationale for using the Google IFL search rather than a regular 
Google search (or nothing at all)? On a basis of least damage ("damage" being 
least confusion in this case) the regular search would seem more logical since 
it's clearer to the user what just happened to them. I also somehow doubt that 
changing this to a regular search will result in people wanting the IFL search 
back. 

Comment 15

14 years ago
Mike: I can't find anywhere this has been debated either, beyond people saying
"this is right, we won't fix". Nobody attempts to justify being the only browser
to silently hijack single-word entries in the location field.

Even if the technology should remain, the default should be switched to off.
This is not a beginner feature, especially not with the google search field
available. 
There's been bugs, irc discussions, MZ forum flamewars, etc.

Rationale is basically this:
if someone means to search for "foo" they'll use the search bar to search for
foo, not type it in the URL bar.  They're probably expecting some form of domain
guessing along the lines of NS4, or just hoping they'll get the right site for
what they're typing.

Doing nothing wouldn't be better, doing a search would be redundant, so we used
the rationale above.  Agree or disagree, that's the decision we've made, and
we're not currently looking at changing this.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED

Comment 17

14 years ago
> foo, not type it in the URL bar.  They're probably expecting some form of domain
> guessing along the lines of NS4, or just hoping they'll get the right site for
> what they're typing.

> Doing nothing wouldn't be better, doing a search would be redundant, so we used
> the rationale above.  Agree or disagree, that's the decision we've made, and
> we're not currently looking at changing this.

Wouldn't making "foo" into www.foo.com be better? Your way doesn't tell the user what is happening, 
only works with single-term entries and can give results wildly different from the typed url. I'd say that 
since www.foo.com is what *every other browser* does, that's what users will be expecting. Not 
anything NS4 did.
IE doesn't use that.  Its also a bad assumption that appending .com is the right
thing enough of the time that its the best case.

Comment 19

14 years ago
*** Bug 262060 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 20

14 years ago
*** Bug 262606 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 21

14 years ago
How about a compromise: Google's Browse By Name search. If there is an extremely
high probability that the I'm Feeling Lucky is correct, then it will go there.
Otherwise (and most of the time) it will return the usual list of Google search
results:

keyword.URL=http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

More info: http://toolbar.google.com/bbn_help.html

that was filed, and separately brought up on the aviary mailing list.  The
general consensus was that its too conservative for how we intend this to work,
and the bug was wontfixed as a result.

Comment 23

13 years ago
*** Bug 294502 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 24

13 years ago
*** Bug 290289 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 25

13 years ago
*** Bug 309378 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 26

13 years ago
*** Bug 318345 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 27

13 years ago
wrt comment #16: you are very wrong. the NS4 stuff isn't only long over now, there is also domain guessing for exactly the purpose you name. Also, there's the Google search box where users have _fast_ access to a Google search, AND I've just discovered that setting keyword.enable to false does NOT prevent FF 1.5 from doing the Google **** (reporting that separately).

Voting for this bug.
*** Bug 336468 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 29

13 years ago
I completely agree about the confusion this creates - it doesn't follow the
precident set in the Mosaic/Netscape (from whom you derive your license) for abbreviations defaulting to the
.com site appropriate to the abreviation in its URL window - i.e. type boats
you'll get boats.com fine, but type houses and you'll get
http://www.parliament.uk/ - wtf? - that's because it's basically taking
whatever sits at the number one slot of google's search list... How long before
that's an paid for advert? I can see with open source that there'd be nothing
to stop this being an option in preferences - but why make this a dafault? -
especially as there's a google window sitting right next to the URL window.
Sooner or later one of the big boys who's paid a lot for their domain name is
going to litigate because their links are effectively diverting to a rival I'd
have thought?

Couple of forum debates about it at your forums - and here too 

http://forums.maccentral.com/wwwthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=838814&page=0&view=expanded&sb=5&o=7

It's effectively acting more like an illegal redirection than a URL window

Comment 30

13 years ago
I still get bugmail from time to time and I have to admit to some mild chuckling as I read bug this over and write this. I'm using Konqueror and it does what most people would expect - it performs a regular search. But never mind that.

This bug is notable for its lack of process. Asa resolved it as WONTFIX (2004-03-02) without comment (which is very poor form IMHO) and without actually changing the component from general to location bar and without adding me as the QA (which I was at the time). Bernard Alleysson picked up on this fact and did what should have been done - set the component and QA properly, and, given the lack of any explanation, re-opened the bug - but only to UNCONFIRMED, not NEW (which would have been my job). For his troubles, he was taken to task by Mike who accused him of abusing his bugzilla privileges and who promptly reWONTFIXed the bug, stating that this debate had been "attempted" a number of times before. This is a curious statement, since this very bug is the lowest numbered bug that I could find on the topic. If this issue had been raised before then this bug should have been duped against whatever bug was relevant, but of course there is no such bug.

It wasn't until someone followed up on my comment #14 that a rationale for WONTFIXing this bug was finally given by Mike in comment #16 some 6 months after its initial WONTFIXing. The rationale is essentially that someone typing something into the URL bar is expecting to be taken to some site and not a search, which I think is a reasonable position. Too bad it took 6 months to be explained.

At any rate, bug 275957 is still in a confirmed state (guess who was responsible for that...) and it concerns the first time the IFL feature is invoked. I would suggest that this current bug is done and dead and all attention with respect to at least improving the user's understanding of the IFL feature and what is going on should be directed to bug 275957.

So, please, no more comments - the decision has been taken and further comments will change nothing (I know from experience which is amongst the reasons why I no longer participate much in Mozilla).

-->Changing QA away from myself to default
QA Contact: davidpjames → location.bar

Comment 31

13 years ago
Maybe someome at Mozilla has a vested interest in redirecting traffic to their site at the expense of thousands if not millions of other .com users ?
That accusation has absolutely no merit, but given your earlier comments I see little likelihood that you'd believe that.

Especially with domain squatting, and the increasing attempts to end the .com-first mentality on the web, it doesn't make sense to assume or enforce "foo" being absolutely equivalent to "www.foo.com"  I don't care what domain owners are assuming to be the rules of the game, because we're in the business of doing the best thing for users.

To cite two examples for not bringing back the old Mosaic behaviour:

trillian (well-known IM client for Windows) doesn't own trillian.com.  instead, a fairly 1998-era site for a business in Oregon is there.  But the most likely expectation if a user types "trillian" in the URL bar is that they're looking for the IM client, not the business that isn't even called Trillian at all.

whitehouse (aka home of the US President) doesn't own whitehouse.com, but most users, if they type in whitehouse, aren't looking for a free speech (formerly porn) site, they're looking for whitehouse.gov

Doing a search instead, now that we have more capabilities to manage search, seems like the right path forward, and we've been considering how to best change that, but more exploration is needed there.

Comment 33

13 years ago
It's not a question of "bringing back Mosaic behaviour" but simply of Firefox not being out of step with every other browser on the market, the expectations of all the consumers, and more importantly sill of not needlessly annoying all the .com domain owners... it's open to shut to me, but it's looking increasingly like I'm wasting my time. 

Comment 34

13 years ago
I can't speak for Safari, but Konqueror at least goes to a regular Google search - it doesn't take you to either houses.com or parliament.uk - so your claim that every other browser does as you expect is not true. You seem to overly concerned with .com domains - this is exactly the sort of mentality that lead to the dubious Ctrl+Enter .com feature in Firefox that I can't stand.

Anyway, here is a solution for you: type 'houses' into the URL bar. Hit Ctrl+Enter. Firefox goes to www.houses.com - all those suffering .com domain owners can now go back to sleep at night knowing that some poor American looking for houses.com won't instead end up learning about British Parliamentary democracy. You should be rejoicing - this US- and .com-centric feature was put in just for people like you. So quit wasting everyone's time on a topic that is only tangentially related to this bug.
(In reply to comment #33)
> It's not a question of "bringing back Mosaic behaviour" but simply of Firefox
> not being out of step with every other browser on the market, the expectations
> of all the consumers, and more importantly sill of not needlessly annoying all
> the .com domain owners... it's open to shut to me, but it's looking
> increasingly like I'm wasting my time. 

It's certainly open and shut for you, given that knopfler goes to mark-knopfler.co.uk site, and not knopfler.com.  (Personal bias is always hard to overcome, so I won't hold that against you!)

Just because other browsers do something doesn't mean we have to do it too, especially if we feel that the behaviour can be improved upon.  The first-come-first-served nature of the early .com domain land grab (and the ever-presnt problem of domain squatting) means that if you're looking for foo, foo.com is often enough not what you're looking for that blindly sending you to foo.com is undesirable.  If you really want foo.com, Ctrl-Enter automatically adds that, or typing ".com" still works.  If you're not specific, the user expectation we're serving is that you want to go to "foo"

Comment 36

13 years ago
> all those suffering .com domain
> owners can now go back to sleep at night knowing that some poor American
> looking for houses.com won't instead end up learning about British
> Parliamentary democracy. You should be rejoicing - this US- and .com-centric
> feature was put in just for people like you. So quit wasting everyone's time on
> a topic that is only tangentially related to this bug.

David - I was redirected to this page because someone who manages this site, in their wisdom, decided my initial posting about the inappropriate use of the URL window was a duplicate of your initial complaint. I would have been happier had it been left where it was... as clearly would you.  

The feature you refer to ( that in reality only one user in a million would ever employ or know about) is actually irrelevant to any of the concerns I've posited and does nothing whatever to address it. I'm done here however and will get myself unlisted anon so please spare me further sarcasm and condescension in the
interim - thanks  

Comment 37

13 years ago
The problem is not so much that .com is a perfect solution to location
box guessing, it's that silent auto-search as a default is absolutely
the worst solution -- particularly when it results in bizarre and
incomprehensible results like the house one.

It makes little sense that the URL box should search automatically
only on one-word terms, and it makes even less sense that it does any
*searching* at all, given that there's a search box six pixels to the
right. It handles URLs, and should either autocomplete them, do a
best-guess at the domain for the letters typed, or give up.

It shouldn't pretend to be artifically intelligent.

Comment 38

13 years ago
> 
> David - I was redirected to this page because someone who manages this site, in
> their wisdom, decided my initial posting about the inappropriate use of the URL
> window was a duplicate of your initial complaint. I would have been happier had
> it been left where it was... as clearly would you.

This bug is not my bug. While I disagree with the decision that was taken with respect to this issue, I do support it, once the rationale had finally been presented. My complaint was the lack of process, which is part of a much wider issue at Mozilla. As to the issue you originally raised in bug 336468, arguably that bug should have been marked WONTFIX as well with a reference to see this bug for details as to why IFL is being used but I can understand why it was duplicated too.

> 
> The feature you refer to ( that in reality only one user in a million would
> ever employ or know about) is actually irrelevant to any of the concerns I've
> posited and does nothing whatever to address it. I'm done here however and will
> get myself unlisted anon so please spare me further sarcasm and condescension
> in the
> interim - thanks  

The main concern that you have posited is .com-centric. You're essentially declaring that all users, regardless of the country they are in, should be sent to a site ending in .com if they type a word into the URL bar. You're saying that .com domain names should be given preference over all other domain names. That is completely contrary to the international spirit of Open Source specifically and the internet generally. From a non-American perspective, your concerns are incredibly amusing (even condescending), especially considering that the Ctrl+Enter .com feature was implemented (copying IE) to do essentially what you're asking for. That other browsers still add .com is an anachronism and an annoyance that leads to non-American companies having to buy up .com domain names that they shouldn't have to. But I do apologize for the excessive sarcasm in my previous post.

As to the issue of Google "fixing" IFL searches based on a payment, well, evidently they are not at this point as the example you give directs to the UK's Houses of Parliament, which I doubt would be paying Google off. If, in the future, there is evidence of Google fixing its results based on a payment then this policy may have to be reconsidered, but you'll have to ask Mike or Asa about that, not me.

Finally, I do not speak for Mozilla and any opinions I have expressed are my own, not Mozilla's, so you should not draw inferences about Mozilla policy based on what I say. I believe that Mike's opinions can generally be regarded as being representative of Mozilla's however. I used to be active in Mozilla as a QA but after a long stretch of no communication I felt I was no longer able to do the job I had volunteered for. On several occasions my decisions had been overruled because I had not been kept in the loop. This bug's six month delay in providing a rationale for a decision is symptomatic of this kind of thing.

Anyway, that is all from me on this.

Comment 39

12 years ago
While there are philosphical discussions about what's better, lucky or not too lucky, could you consider adding "Search" into the location bar popup like in mozilla? The google search entry is way too small and incovenient (you may laugh but it's physically harder to put cursor in there because it's *small*, and you can't see what you type because it's small). This single google search thing is one of terrible regressions in firefox comparing to mozilla. And while it's good there is a workaround, it's hard to apply it on every machine out there. Say, my department likes Suse and that likes firefox because it's fashionable, so it's not like I have choice or something.

Comment 40

12 years ago
Oh, the bug is closed! Nice to see a good comment here saying "It's the final decision to use Feeling Lucky search, which is good and right". So no luck for mozilla users? Hopefully damage caused by renaming Mozilla to Seamonkey (and Iceape!) will not warrant sysadmins refusing to install Mozilla for users who want  working application instead of fashionable one.
We actually switched to Browse By Name for Fx2, which only directly sends users to  sites if its a high-probably match.  Not to everyone's liking, but it's had a lot of positive feedback (not likely here, since this bug is old and no longer relevant).

Comment 42

7 years ago
I use Chrome now:  One bar, type an address or a search.  Makes more sense.

I actually switched to try out YouTube without Flash.
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