Bug 28174: Roadmap, seeking comments

I’m looking at Bug 28174 as one which I and my employer intend to fix. The catch is no one’s said exactly how to do so.

As I see it, there are several things we need to do for this bug:

  1. Add a user-interface for the checkboxes. (Does the installer even have checkboxes in it now?)
  2. Move the checkbox names and values (checked or not) into a scope which browser.jst and friends can access. (browser.jst becomes install.js inside a generated browser.xpi file.)
  3. Edit browser.jst to read these values and, on a case-by-case basis, determine which shortcuts to create in createShortcuts().
  4. Determine exactly which checkboxes are checked by default. Note this should depend on what packages are actually in the installer.

Of these, I know I can do #3. #1 requires C code, and I’ll try to partner with one of my coworkers on this. We’ll probably need some help, at least in determining where the code goes in the source tree under xpinstall. #4 is a matter of debate, and your comments here would be useful. #2 is something we will need help on; I don’t think anyone here knows how to do that. It might be as simple as a XPCOM service from C, but I don’t know.

My concern for the moment is just to get the checkboxes part of comment 23 working

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. We’ll deal with other issues later.

I’ll update this blog entry based on your comments. So please offer useful feedback, particularly technical details.

UPDATE: Guys, having opinions on the way you want it to appear is all well and good. But I need technical expertise on how to make it work. Any takers?

7 thoughts on “Bug 28174: Roadmap, seeking comments”

  1. I realise that this is only related to step four in your list, but please don’t ignore the “All Users/Current User” options in Henrik’s original bug description, as some of the later bug commenters seem to have done.
    There are a lot of reasons why the installing person may want to specify whether the icons are placed in the All Users profile or the current users’s on a multi-user machine (especially once roaming profiles and various types of terminal access come into play). Coming from a Windows background this would be needed on NT4/2000/XP (and so on) but I’d imagine that Mac and *nix would have similar requirements too, albeit with different terminology.
    I mention this before the other checkboxes need working out as this may be more than a checkbox issue, and may need other underlying code. Many Windows apps that offer the “All Users”/”Current User” option actually disable the “All Users” option if they detect that the current user doesn’t have sufficient rights to write to the “All Users” profile.

  2. I went and thought about the usability of both things for a while. IMO, it should have the Quick Launch checked and the Desktop unchecked by default.
    Desktop icons have a bunch of things wrong:
    * They get covered up often, meaning you have to unmaximise and/or move windows to get to them
    * When you have more than one row of them this gets more of a problem, since you have to clear space in the middle of the screen instead of just one edge
    * The desktop cleanup program in XP messes around with them and changes their order every so often if it’s enabled
    The QL icons are smaller, but at the same time they’re clickable from the bottom row of pixels on the screen so they’re an easier target.
    OK, I think I’m rambling so I’ll stop now 🙂

  3. I would suggest adding a shortcut to both the desktop and the Quick Launch by default. Thinking about end users it’s easier to discover the Firefox icon in the desktop rather than the Start\programs menu. I am not sure about this but I think by default the quicklaunch toolbar is not displayed in WinXP so adding it only to it will be no help. And if you have the quicklaunch toolbar enabled you have the “Show desktop” button on hand too.
    I am pretty sure I will be unchecking both on each install though.

  4. I personally dislike when installers shove icons in the Quick Launch bar against my will. I have very few icons in there, and want it to stay the very same size…and not get the miserable chevrons appearing. I have a handful of icons on my desktop – these are things I run once at the start of the day, and don’t reopen. Firefox and Thunderbird are two of those icons.

  5. Aswell as the Quick Launch bar being disabled by default on XP, less techy users don’t know how to increase it’s size to display any icons that are added to it. So all they’ll get it the little double arrow.

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