I can't count the number of times I've updated/upgraded only to be kicked in the teeth by some smartass programmer's bright idea for a feature.
It's one thing to add bloat to a program, it's another to force it down your users throat.
I really don't mind having a featureful program. Really, I don't. However, when I'm used to things working one way I don't like having things change without my permission.
I also really hate when that happens and I can't figure out how to change things back the way they were.
Phoenix, I mean Firebird, I mean Firefox is one of those annoying programs. I've been really REALLY pissed off to have fundamental functionality become really clumsy, slow and generally annoying.
Pissed off by 3.5b99's (see 3.5 release notes) gigantic and pointless preview image when dragging a tab, I did some searching to find this blog post:
It took me a couple of tries to get the search phrase to find this posting, and I'm glad I did. This was exactly the right solution.
This also solved a long-standing issue I've had with dragging-and-dropping within the bookmark area. A gigantic image would pop up and obscure the mouse, so I couldn't see the destination. I would often miss my drop, sending various bookmarks off into a folder near where I wanted it to go. This is especially annoying since some of my folders have enough bookmarks that I'd have to open the folder up and scroll way way down to fetch the stuff I accidentally dropped there.
Now I can deal with the fact that programmers make bad decisions with defaults. However, I really cannot deal with programmers deciding to force a long-time user into that default. It's just common sense to approach the whole situation differently.
- Create a new feature.
- Create a preference for it. Do not toggle it on.
When launching after the update/upgrade, show the user that preference. Sell it with a nice description, and give them the choice to use it.
- Heck, you could even ask for feedback from your users, and get a report on how many users actually toggled it on. If few did, then you probably did a lot of programming all for nothing. =p
For new users, you can make the feature a default if you wish.
- I wonder who makes that decision. It shouldn't be the original programmer. Usability with a programmer is like water on Mars.. frozen.
One of these days I'll do a complete fresh reinstall of Firefox and do a thorough rundown of all the things I have to change to make it a sensible browser again. This isn't just a "top 25 add-ons" thing, but all the hackish things I need to do to my preferences, all the about:config stuff, all the add-ons, any theme or whatever random crap I end up needing to do.
PS, I really hate "add-ons". I much prefer "addons" with no hyphen. It slides across my brain easier.