Security Vs. Utility
by Doc Searls
Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 05:12 PM EDT
Starting a few upgrades back, Firefox started showing thisâ€¦
â€¦ when you clicked on that little icon at the left end of the location bar. (Whatâ€™s the name for that?) Now, with version 3.5.3 (and perhaps earlier versions â€” the last one I used before this was 3.0.9), it still shows that same pop-down thing, but no longer selects the location text to the right. Thatâ€™s not a problem, because you can still select all the location text with one click anywhere within that text. I only discovered that feature by experimenting around. Searching the Mozilla site was useless. The feature also violates normal expectations of what happens when you click once (place cursor), twice (select word), or three times (select all) on text, but I donâ€™t mind. A little conditionality doesnâ€™t hurt, and itâ€™s good to be able to select a whole URI easily.
What I donâ€™t get is why itâ€™s worth mentioning that a site â€œdoes not supply identity informationâ€ and that the site â€œis not encryptedâ€ when these two conditions prevail for approximatly every site on the Web, including Firefoxâ€™s own, which is the case I used above to demonstrate the feature. Yes, I understand why the pop-down is there, but Iâ€™d rather return to having a click on the icon select all the text to the right. Is there a way to go back to that?
Meanwhile what â€œidentity informationâ€ are they talking about? Mine? Mozillaâ€™s? If I click on â€œMore Informationâ€¦â€ a Page Info window opens, telling me next to â€œOwnerâ€ that â€œThis web site does not supply ownership information.â€ Of whom? Of what? To whom? Not clear.
Hey, Iâ€™ll cop to being a second-rate geek (which is true); but itâ€™s a safe bet that if I donâ€™t know what this is about, regular old Web surfers donâ€™t know, either.
So, as long as weâ€™re being unclear, itâ€™s better (at least for me) to go back a few steps toward something thatâ€™s both plain and useful. Bury this pop-downâ€™s functionality in the Tools menu or something.
This article originally appeared on Doc Searls Weblog.