Closed Bug 447570 Opened 12 years ago Closed 2 years ago

Improve the usability of the add-on install notification

Categories

(Toolkit :: Add-ons Manager, enhancement)

enhancement
Not set
normal

Tracking

()

RESOLVED INACTIVE

People

(Reporter: the1edmeister, Unassigned)

References

()

Details

(Keywords: uiwanted)

Attachments

(2 files)

User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.9.0.1) Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.9.0.1) Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1

Provide a pref to suppress the appearance of the Extensions Manager dialog after an extension installation restart.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.
2.
3.
Can you give some reasoning behind the need for such a preference?
I think you can disable this by adding the boolean value "extensions.newAddons" under about:config and setting it false. It works for me.
To be blunt about it, Dave, it's just obnoxious and annoying. I don't need to be reminded that extensions I just approved to be updated were updated. A bit redundant in my opinion. 
(In reply to comment #2)
> I think you can disable this by adding the boolean value "extensions.newAddons"
> under about:config and setting it false. It works for me.

Just a warning. While this does work, it does so by throwing the extension manager into a minor failure state. Thankfully it does it late enough in the startup process that it won't actually break anything, but that isn't guaranteed not to change. It is sheer chance that two other places the preference is used it is handled in such a way as to not cause a more serious failure.

(In reply to comment #3)
> To be blunt about it, Dave, it's just obnoxious and annoying. I don't need to
> be reminded that extensions I just approved to be updated were updated. A bit
> redundant in my opinion. 

So it is irritating. How often do you install new add-ons?
(In reply to comment #4)
> (In reply to comment #2)
> > I think you can disable this by adding the boolean value "extensions.newAddons"
> > under about:config and setting it false. It works for me.
> 
> Just a warning. While this does work, it does so by throwing the extension
> manager into a minor failure state. Thankfully it does it late enough in the
> startup process that it won't actually break anything, but that isn't
> guaranteed not to change. It is sheer chance that two other places the
> preference is used it is handled in such a way as to not cause a more serious
> failure.

I forgot to add, everytime you install a new add-on there will be a failure added to the extensions.log file in your profile, I guess if you leave it long enough and install enough add-ons that might be irritating.
Dave, I'm wondering if the alert service would be adequate for this as it is for notifying of updates? It could open the add-ons manager when clicked, etc. I'm an advocate of never putting dialogs in front of the user that interferes with their intended action and this would solve it.
Possibly yes. My only concern there is that the alerts service is pretty short lived and so may not be noticeable along with the whole startup.
Maybe it can be modified for either a long / short / etc. length to display or so the call site can set the display length. As is, the user is more likely to be in front of the system at startup for add-on install / upgrade notification vs. other notifications that happen after startup plus the notification tends to stay up longer wen displayed during startup which is most likely due to other churn happening during startup.
Also see bug 347585 comment #10 for another solution to the short time of display with the alert service
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
I think as it stands we can improve how the add-on install notification works. I don't think a pref to just get rid of it is necessarily the right way forward, let's think through all the options available here.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
Summary: new Preference to suppress the Extensions Manager window → Improve the usability of the add-on install notification
Firefox already has a notification system in download manager that is subtle and works really well. Perhaps more types of notifications that don't require user intervention (such as this one) could use a similar system.
Firefox already has a notification system in the download manager that is subtle and works really well. Perhaps more types of notifications that don't require user intervention (such as this one) could use a similar system.
I like the new notification look.
(In reply to comment #13)
> Created an attachment (id=332325) [details]
> A mock-up of a new notification.

This is the same notification discussed in comment 6 and 7.

Boriss do you have any input here?
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk
I agree with Dave, that the current system of bringing up the add-ons window is disruptive to most tasks the user wants to accomplish next.  However, giving some notification that the add-on install was successful is also important.

Stephen's attachment seems like a good solution - I'm assuming this works like a Growl warning, persisting if the user mouses over it but fading otherwise.  That way, a quick indication is given with a link for more info, but the user is free to go on with their tasks. 

Another possible way to do it would be with a notification similar to the pop-up block which appears with the first webpage opened (see attachment).  The risk here is that it may seem to the user that the notification is associated with webpage content rather than the unrelated add-on install - another reason Stephen's may be preferable.
(In reply to comment #16)
> (In reply to comment #13)
> > Created an attachment (id=332325) [details] [details]
> > A mock-up of a new notification.
> 
> This is the same notification discussed in comment 6 and 7.
> 
> Boriss do you have any input here?
> 

I much prefer this form of notification to the one suggested in Comment #17.

I would like to suggest that the notification persist until the user acknowledges it. I, for one, may not be in front of the computer when I (re)start the browser. Because of that I may not see a non-persistent notification as it may close before I get back to the computer.

If a simple "X" close button in the upper right corner (like those on active tabs) to close the notification window could be added, that would do the job.
I agree, Stephen's is most likely best, with a growl.
Flags: wanted1.9.1?
Jenny, the notification bar only deals with webpage related information e.g. the popup or password notification bar. Global information should be displayed as a notification alert (growl, toast message).
Stephen's is a good way to go then.  Screenshots for Mac and Linux will be needed too - if this is going forward I can bang those together.
Well we already have the alerts service to use to make those notifications, however there is no way to make it sticky if we wanted (bug 374538) or alternatively no way to make it persist when the mouse is on it (bug 449595) except on OSX.
That's unfortunate.  (bug 374538) strikes me as the more important one for this - such as use cases like Ray's in #18 - but if it can't happen now it can't.  Even without those two bugs it seems worth going forward with using the notifications for add-on install.
I added a comment to Bug 374538 to "tie" these together. I think it is important to have a persistent, sticky notification to meet the original intent of the add-on installation alert. Users can and should make sure that only add-ons they want installed are indeed the ones being installed. Java and Free Download Manager are 2 examples of software installations that add extensions to Firefox that, without this alert, inexperienced users may not otherwise be aware of.
My new add-on notification seems to appear every time I reboot and then run Firefox, even if I did not install a new add-on since the last reboot / firefox open. If this is do to a regular (daily?) update, I'd at least like to know which add-on it was that has been updated.
(In reply to comment #25)
> My new add-on notification seems to appear every time I reboot and then run
> Firefox, even if I did not install a new add-on since the last reboot / firefox
> open. If this is do to a regular (daily?) update, I'd at least like to know
> which add-on it was that has been updated.

This is a different issue, please file it in a new bug rather than cluttering up existing ones.
Another place that I see this issue is on public use workstations/ computer labs.  Each and every user gets a pop up that there has been an add-on install on their first launch of Firefox.  I believe that it is the same issue, where a method to alter or suppress the notification would improve usage in my computer labs.
(In reply to comment #27)
> Another place that I see this issue is on public use workstations/ computer
> labs.  Each and every user gets a pop up that there has been an add-on install
> on their first launch of Firefox.  I believe that it is the same issue, where a
> method to alter or suppress the notification would improve usage in my computer
> labs.

Users should not get any notification on their first launch of Firefox. Please file a bug for this issue
Justin: this sounds like the kind of problem you'd get if the add ons were installed from an admin session, then used in a user session (while the admin didn't restart the browser, and so didn't see the notification, making it so it can't be dismissed).

At my university, we had a similar problem with Firefox updates, where it'd try and fail to update on each startup (admin apparently downloaded the update but didn't restart the browser, and users couldn't apply it).
Duplicate of this bug: 455375
I agree that a less invasive notification should be provided when the update is successfully completed. The provided dropdown notification mock-up is really nice. However, I think that the notification should be invasive when the
add-on fails to update.
Agreed. If something fails to install, it should notify in a way that can not be missed. This is probably to late to get in 1.9.1, but 1.9.2 may be a possibility.
Flags: wanted1.9.1? → wanted1.9.2?
(In reply to comment #31)
> I agree that a less invasive notification should be provided when the update is
> successfully completed. The provided dropdown notification mock-up is really
> nice. However, I think that the notification should be invasive when the
> add-on fails to update.

This bug is not about updates, only brand new installs of add-ons

(In reply to comment #32)
> Agreed. If something fails to install, it should notify in a way that can not
> be missed. This is probably to late to get in 1.9.1, but 1.9.2 may be a
> possibility.

This bug is not about failure to install, only about new successful installs after the application has restarted.
Right, maybe a new bug?
(In reply to comment #34)
> Right, maybe a new bug?

If you have some issue that is not covered by an existing bug then yes you should file a new one.
Corporate environments have a hard time eating these types of notifications that require user interactions.  The corporate configurations are usually deployed as an add-on and we are constantly pressured to not interrupt the user with interactive dialogs especially with a success condition.
The answer to why there should be an option to disable this is multi boots:
If we share our profile between Vista and XP, we always get a message that the add-on was installed whenever we switch to using Vista from XP, even though no add-on was actually installed. Please provide an option to disable this notification.
Duplicate of this bug: 484003
Duplicate of this bug: 486566
When the browser starts, most likely the user is expecting to be able to browse the web immediately, as they most likely start the process with access a Web site in mind. Interruppting this flow with various popup windows, reminds, and what have you annoys and distracts the user, perhaps decreasing productivity in the workplace. 

Personally, my style is to log everything, but only alert when there is an issue requiring the users intervention/attention. Long term, some type of addon-log with associated viewing panel could be justified for on-demand viewing success/failure of installations, but I think popping up a Window at startup is excessive and unwarranted.
Yes, but...  software should never download and install an update without getting my approval first.  That's a sure malware vector.

This bug specifically addresses the useless extra dialog that appears after a successful install/update of an addon.

I hope we all now agree that this bug has morphed from being about new installs only, to being about both installs AND updates.  My bug 486566 about updates was closed as a duplicate of this one.
(In reply to comment #42)
> I hope we all now agree that this bug has morphed from being about new installs
> only, to being about both installs AND updates.  My bug 486566 about updates
> was closed as a duplicate of this one.

No, this bug is only about installs. Whoever duped your bug here made a simple mistake. The dialog we are talking about should not be appearing for updates only installs. Any times it appears for updates (and there appear to be a few cases we cannot reproduce) it is a separate bug that should be fixed.
It happens to me with all update and installs
(In reply to comment #44)
> It happens to me with all update and installs

Then like I said it is a separate bug, you should file it so we can try to determine why and fix it.
Here's a reason why I'd like a pref to just disable the notice all together: When using FF with Selenium RC, selenium automatically installs 3 add-ons everytime you run your tests. So every single time that I start my tests (which is a lot since we use TDD), I see this popup. I gets annoying to have to close it everytime or move it to see the window I actually care about - the running test.

I tried the "extensions.newAddons" work around, but with 3.0.13 that just prevents FF from starting all together (at least when started by selenium)
Depends on: 408115
Flags: wanted1.9.2?
Here's another reason why I'd like to just disable the notifications:

I have dual boot: fedora12 and winXP, and the same firefox's profile shared between the 2 SO's. When i run firefox in winxp, all ok, but with all first run of firefox in fedora after rebooting from xp I get the notification for 70+ new add-ons: for all the language packs. This is really irritant.

I didn't test the "extensions.newAddons" workaround yet, but i hope that this request can to be considered.
I would also like to see this two years old bug fixed!

Like others have reported I also get this popup on every add-on update. 
First I get the "add-on updates available popup" that demands a click. Then this "new add-on has been installed" popup. 

I have, as an end user, ~20 add-ons which results in update notifications maybe once a week. It is disruptive since I always start the browser with a website task in mind. I have in fact uninstalled some add-ons that update very frequently just because of the repetitious popup disruptiveness they caused.

Add-ons is where Firefox has the advantage over other browsers. It is therefore essential that no part of the add-ons experience disrupts or annoys users.

In general, if an action succeeds then the end user needs no invasive notification of it. If I enter a url to a website I expect firefox to show that website. I do not need a popup telling me that the website has loaded. Only if there is some problem should I be notified. The same principle should apply to add-on notifications. 

I suggest:
- use the small non-invasive notification (mock-up by Stephen Preston above) 
- use it for both "new add-ons available" and "add-ons installed" notification
- consider skipping the "add-ons installed" notification completely for add-on updates
I would also like to see this issues addressed with a preference that cleanly disables the notification that a new add-on has been installed.

The problem I'm running into is that we have 300 windows computers that are using locked mandatory profiles, so no profile changes get saved from one log in to the next.  The Firefox profile always gets set back to the state it was in when the system was locked.

When I deploy a java update, and the new java console add-on gets installed, every time firefox is started on those computers after a reboot, the dialog pops up with this notification.

Adding the "extension.newaddons" pref to the mozilla.cfg file does seem to take care of the problem, but I would like there to be a solution without a caveat that things may break in the future.

The preference should disable notification of add-on install and update.  I understand that an end user running firefox wouldn't want this, because of the security implications, but in my use case, only administrators are every going to vet and install add-ons, and any user notification is unwanted.
Thanks
Josh
Per policy at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Bug_Triage/Projects/Bug_Handling/Bug_Husbandry#Inactive_Bugs. If this bug is not an enhancement request or a bug not present in a supported release of Firefox, then it may be reopened.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 2 years ago
Resolution: --- → INACTIVE
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.