Full Article Attached Minutes of the Staff Meeting of Monday 28th April 2003

Friday May 2nd, 2003

The minutes of the staff meeting of Monday 28th April 2003 are now online. Issues discussed include 1.4 Beta, 1.3.1, Mozilla Firebird 0.6 and 1.5 onwards.

#20 I doubt many people disagree, but....

by SmileyBen

Friday May 2nd, 2003 4:27 PM

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I think pretty much everyone will agree with the conclusion of that discussion. About:config is the place for the multitude of really niche, specialist prefs, and experts should use that. Also, about:config could be a lot more useful if it were searchable, organised into a tree, etc.

BUT, and this is the important bit, even if we agree we need fewer exposed preferences, we still need the right ones. I couldn't say it better than the person that points out that 'open tabs in the background' is no way more important as a pref than, say, image resizing, smooth scrolling, or stopping target=_blank (especially since that one on its own gets in the way of any serious tab-user).

Think about it this way: if you open tabs in the background, as should be the default, you could open fifty tabs and still keep going (well, except for screen spaces), but if you don't open in the background, well, that would be exactly the same as opening a new tab in the background, then clicking in that tab. No problem. Not much more effort, unlike replicating the opposite behaviour - imagine trying to open fifty tabs if you had to click back *every* time. So almost everyone will use the first, sane option. We still want the possibility to change it if it really annoys you, but that's what about:config is for.

On the other hand, *plenty* of people will want to stop image-resizing or smooth-scrolling. Actually, if they didn't the only reason would be that they thought they were stuck with one behaviour. Clearly *these* options should be easy to change.

And no, I'm not saying the options should be the ones *I* want, I'm saying we need serious discussion of what these should be. I'm sure serious discussion *is* occurring about exactly which ones, but I'm sure as people move over come 1.5alpha, we'll get lots of people with strong opinions on which options should be present....