User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0 Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0 When browser is started with a file on my local machine specified as the URL, or when it is started by double-clicking on a file of type .html or .htm, the browser ought to automatically start in offline mode. (Conversely, when invoked on a network URL, it should start online.) Because the browser fails to make this distinction at startup (and I can't change this in Preferences -- the only options are to always start online, always offline, or remember the state from last run), it keeps initiating needless dialup connections. While we're at it, if I'm working offline and then type a non-local URL, I want the browser to automatically go online without requiring an explicit command or even a dialog-box confirmation first. I realize that not everyone uses the browser the way I do, so both of these new behaviors should be options settable within Preferences. Reproducible: Always Steps to Reproduce: I'm not using the very newest version of Firefox, but I doubt this behavior has changed any time recently. I considered "Enhancement" rather than "Minor" for severity -- it's borderline.
This is an enhancement, the current behaviour is intended. I don't think we really want to go down this path, since it does involve a lot of guesswork. And of course, this really falls into the bounds of extension material, since this is certainly something that isn't expected behaviour for many people, especially with the growth of cheaper broadband services around the world.
Assignee: bugs → benjamin
Severity: minor → enhancement
Component: OS Integration → Startup and Profile System
QA Contact: os-integration → benjamin
What guesswork? If the URL begins with file: or about: you start offline, for any other prefix you start online. The underlying problem, in my opinion, is that the browser hooks into and uses the bizarre Windows concept of a "URL" (of which files are one type) rather than simply make itself the application that opens files with extensions such as .html and .htm (which would allow "-offline" to be included in the command line for that file-type action).
I think the reporter is asking for a "half-offline" mode whose only difference from "online" mode is that the browser does not try to access the automatic update service. That seems like a reasonable enhancement request to me.
I disagree with comment #3. Not only would a "half-offline mode" fail to work sensibly (as in the following examples), it is also more complicated, both in concept and implementation, than the simple and correct behavior in comment #2. Example 1. User starts browser with a local file URL, then types a remote URL. Under "half-offline mode" the browser would initiate a phone connection, unasked, as soon as the remote URL is typed. The sensible and correct behavior would be to stay in offline mode (displaying the URL from cache if present there) until the user makes an explicit mode switch. Example 2. User starts browser with a remote URL. Under "half-offline mode" the browser initiates a phone connection as now, but the auto-update feature is still silently disabled. The sensible and correct behavior is for auto-update always to operate normally once a connection to the Net has been made.
As a general user I would like to make the comment that this is non-intuitive. If I double-click a local .html file to view it in Firefox, as a user I would expect that any URL in the file will work immediately. If the application is changed to switch into off-line mode, online URL's won't work and will cause the user to become annoyed. In these current days of broadband and permanent connections, making this a default feature will detract from Firefox. If such behaviour is desired by some people, I would suggest keeping it off by default.
I see no conflict here. If you start by opening a local .html file, and later click on a remote URL, the browser should silently go online <b>then</b>, as already requested in bug 290543. That's perfectly intuitive.
(In reply to comment #6) > I see no conflict here. If you start by opening a local .html file, and later > click on a remote URL, the browser should silently go online <b>then</b>, as > already requested in bug 290543. That's perfectly intuitive. If that does happen, then its okay. But if I'm in off-line mode in 1.0.3 it is anything but silent. Firefox pops up a dialog saying I'm in offline mode and need to online to view the page. That dialog should be able to take you out of offline mode like IE does, but it doesn't as outlined in the referenced bug. That one's been around since Firefox first came out. If they fix that, one of my pet hates, then I agree with your suggestion.
Assignee: mconnor → nobody
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
QA Contact: benjamin → startup
I still believe this enhancement is needed.
If I could find the code in Firefox that controls online/offline status, I would have submitted a patch long since. Here is how I have in mind for the new feature to work: (a) Modify the openURL() command and its underlying C++ method to have an additional argument: "requested". This will be boolean and TRUE by default. If TRUE it means that the user explicitly requested that the URL be loaded (by typing the URL, clicking on a link to it, or getting redirected there by another explicitly requested page); if FALSE it means the openURL() request came from Mozilla's auto-update feature or similar. If the browser is off-line and an attempt is made to load a page that is not on a local disk or in the cache, then "requested" should determine openURL's behavior. If "requested" is true, the browser should switch to online mode (with or without asking first, according to preference settings) as it does now; but if "requested" is FALSE, openURL() should simply return a "page not found" error.
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