#389 Firefox: Firefox Home could be used by default
Closed: Won't fix 9 months ago by aday. Opened 11 months ago by ananas-comosus.

The Firefox version shipped with Fedora uses start.fedoraproject.org, which disables Firefox Home. Albeit this behavior can be changed, I think the Firefox experience should be closer to upstream one (and this is something that Fedora is known for, to offer software closer to upstream as possible). Also, Firefox Home can be useful to a lot of people, specially because of the shortcuts feature, and it offers a more personalized user experience.

Fedora start page, however, seems to be getting in the way unnecessarily. Perhaps start page can be transformed into a bookmark or into a shortcut from Firefox Home?


The point of start.fedoraproject.org is to give an obvious entry point for people to learn more about Fedora.

If a user wants to use something else, that can be easily configured in Firefox preferences.

I've seen users not knowing how to tweak basic settings or not bothering to change them. I believe Firefox Home offers a better default to both cases.

Firefox uses a less intrusive way to learn more about the browser: the "Getting Started" bookmark.

It's not about learning more about the browser, it's about exposing users to the Fedora community.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue tagged with: meeting

11 months ago

Discussed this week and agreed that the upstream Firefox default homepage (the new tab page) is a better default user experience for most Fedora users. However, we're also sensitive to concerns that changing the default homepage would reduce visibility of Fedora community websites and could reduce the amount of new Fedora contributors, which would be harmful.

This topic remains scheduled for next week's meeting. @mattdm we understand you blocked this same change roughly a decade ago. Any thoughts on this?

Many years ago, I failed in an attempt to change the default home page to Firefox home. I still believe that Firefox home is the better default - it's a useful and effective part of the browsing experience, and is what users expect from a browser.

The argument that people can easily change the home page setting doesn't make sense to me.

  1. We should default to the best possible experience, and not expect people to have to change the settings in order to achieve this
  2. It should be possible for someone to learn about what is happening in Fedora and have an browser experience which allows them to easily navigate to sites they've recently used

Here's an idea: could we initially pin start.fedoraproject.org to the Firefox home page? There would be one additional level of indirection, but it's still prominently featured. And if you don't like it there, you would just remove the pin.

Here's an idea: could we initially pin start.fedoraproject.org to the Firefox home page? There would be one additional level of indirection, but it's still prominently featured. And if you don't like it there, you would just remove the pin.

It's already pined, but it doesn't have a name:

Screenshot_from_2023-08-31_02-59-49.png

I tested creating a new profile and the issue persists.

Another option is a shortcut for the website installed as an app (it would just open the page in the default browser), which could be uninstalled if the user doesn't want it. The app could have a nice icon and such, to bring the user attention.

It's pinned there because it's the default home page.

Previously, that page was a significant driver of traffic to Fedora Magazine and our other communications channels. I don't think we have analytics for that right now, so it's hard to say if that's changed.

It's also one of the few places where we display Fedora identity clearly on the desktop, and connect people into the project and community. I don't want to lose that.

I'm open to the idea of having a link as a default app pinned to the dash....

When I open a new tab, it appears to default to Firefox Home, regardless of what I have set as my initial home page. IMO Firefox Home is already quite visible. Removing Fedora's website as the default would only hurt Fedora's visibility. Let's give Fedora's new website a chance. Make https://fedoraproject.org/start/ the default home page in Firefox for the F39 release. Then we can revisit this issue after a year or so of user feedback.

Just redirect start.fedoraproject.org to it then. Everyone will see it at once.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue untagged with: meeting
- Issue tagged with: meeting-request

10 months ago

The working group discussed this issue last week on 3 October. The consensus seemed to be that the group isn't willing to change the homepage. This is largely on the basis of not wanting to remove the community presence that the Fedora start page brings.

A side note from the design side: having separate settings "home" on new window and new tab is not good. It's confusing to get one thing when you open a new window and another when you open a new tab. The user intent in each case is not that different.

Metadata Update from @aday:
- Issue close_status updated to: Won't fix
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

9 months ago

A side note from the design side: having separate settings "home" on new window and new tab is not good. It's confusing to get one thing when you open a new window and another when you open a new tab. The user intent in each case is not that different.

Well we surely don't want the new tab page to be a remote document, so if this is a concern then changing the homepage is the only reasonable solution.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue untagged with: meeting-request

9 months ago

I'm pretty sure that new tabs used to initialize as blank pages. That's the best option for new tabs IMHO.

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