November 28th, 2017

Tell me this

Why, oh why, did the new version of Firefox change the location of the “refresh” button?

I’ve had the new version for a while and I still go to the old location rather than the new. Incredibly annoying, and I can’t see a single advantage to the change. But apparently they just had to mess with it.

31 Responses to “Tell me this”

  1. Molly NH Says:

    to keep you on your toes, neo….
    Change name of the game you baby boomer you

  2. Cornflour Says:

    I understand Neo’s not really looking for an answer, and luckily I don’t really have one.

    For what it’s worth, the new Firefox is reportedly much faster, and it’s supposed to work better on newer hardware. Useful goals, I think.

    People who yearn for the old Firefox should test Pale Moon, which is a Firefox “fork” that emphasizes users’ freedom to customize, as well as an absence of tracking features (aka spyware). Pale Moon is completely legitimate, non-buggy browser software, and it looks a lot like the old, familiar desktop-style version of Firefox.

    Also, there are other small-market browsers. Lately, I’ve been using Vivaldi.

    Finally, as a budget-conscious recent retiree, I try to remind myself that the stuff is free.

  3. steve walsh Says:

    Apple is forever doing such things to its products. It annoys me too, especially when the value of the change provides, at best, a marginally positive improvement.

  4. Frederick Says:

    There’s a lot of browsers out there. I use Vivaldi at home.

  5. Liz Says:

    That change also bugs me but I think it might relate to finger use on a tablet so that one finger can get to the forward, back and refresh options. If you use a laptop with a pad or a mouse, there is actually more movement. There is always real old school and use the F5 key.

    Amazon Silk also changed their format. There is now a huge black line across the screen telling me that book marks added to the favorite folder now appear on the most visited tab, so they are now in two places. But, with the black bar, if I access another folder, I only see two lines and scrolling on the small page is harder. Amazon can’t tell me why the bar stays or how to work around it, so it’s a bug that they haven’t quite gotten enough complaints.

  6. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Changing things around is a constant in computer software. It’s very frustrating because all of the important lessons learned in 70s, 80s and into the 90s by smart people like IBM and Microsoft have been rejected for ideas that are often awful. Consistency is probably the biggest idea that’s been thrown out.

    I have a lot of experience in user interface design over the years, and I find the current trends in UI to be pretty awful, particularly on the desktop, where people seem to think importing the limitations of phone and tablet UIs is a good thing. Microsoft used to be the king of GUI, in my opinion, 20-30 years ago. Now they are awful, and everything they’ve done since Windows 2000 is ugly.

    As far as browsers go, I use Chrome and PaleMoon. PaleMoon is a fork of Firefox, which I stopped using after how Mozilla treated Brendan Eich. I figure it’s only a matter of time until a lot of people will have to choose between their principles and their jobs, and Eich was Patient Zero of the politicization of regular jobs.

  7. Sam L. Says:

    What bugged me was finding where my bookmarks were hidden. And yes, I look for refresh on the right side, too.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    Seems to me that FF is just following the default web browser these day, Chrome.

  9. vanderleun Says:

    Typical SJW browser design moving “Refresh” to the far left.

  10. CW Says:

    Must be run by liberals. They’re always fixing what isn’t broken.

  11. David Aitken Says:

    I hate what the new FF did to the bookmarks, too. Looks like they got rid of the bookmark folders, where you could have subfolders for different groups of bookmarks – govt, investments, friends, etc. Thought about going to something else, not chrome, but am too lazy to switch.

  12. parker Says:

    One of the things I like about, beyond the posts and most of the comments, is that it stays the same. Yes, things change, but not all change is good or necessary.

    I am an old fart and glad I was a farm kid in the 1950s and obsessed with baseball.

  13. GRA Says:

    Yea, I was looking for it too once my browser updated. It was originally on my right now it’s on the left. I’m still getting use to it. Intuitively it’s strange since many of the buttons on my toolbar are flushed to the right.

  14. arfldgrs Says:

    Want an answer from an applications engineer who writes software for a partial living?


    marketing first task is not to market, its to isolate the CEO, have the ear, and then negate other departments and things… (very agressive)… if a ceo is not careful they can take over and then doom them…

    young marketing people think NEW for new sake is better
    and CHANGE for change sake is better

    They have no concept that something can be best and all other improvements being lesser and so, disimprovement

    dilbert has made a whole lot of money trying to explain this to you all… 🙂

    one day, i came in and marketers had convinced the ceo that f1 which was always help all over, should have a new function, and maybe switch with F3…

    i explained to them that while this is not a de facto standard, there are standards that are more tradition because people get used to them… you know, like your refresh button (there is also the desire if you cant beat the other the easiest thing is to get closer to them so less distinction so maybe you can catch up a bit later)

    so… what happened? marketers win. they always win as they have the ears of people without you. you find out later that they say things like “he just didnt want to do it” (this was i answer to them wanting me to number over 70 million but not use more than 6 spaces and only numbers… they could NOT understand that you cant count higher than 999999 and told the CEO who was worth 300 million, i was just not wanting to do it!!!!)

    so they force me to program things that i know wont work
    this is always a given in programming!!!

    AND when it fails, they are great at blaming others.
    its the most liberal leftist part of business you can find dominated by pretty people and very pretty (often vacuous who like lena dunham isnt so smart really) women.

    another one told me we could not use more than 9 places because people cant use that and dont like numbers.. when i said to them that your referring to an old BELL Telephone study that no longer has any bearing as we will dial a lot more than 9 internationally and to chek our balances we will dial 10 digits, then a pin, then a 16 digit credit card and a three digit number..

    if you give them value they will do it..
    nope… we have to do what they want as they learned in podunk U and college is everything.

    so, someone in marketing told them that firefox needed these improvements… so you have less panels on the page that gives you your most visited sites (because more choices confuse people, dont ya know)..

    and they moved the refresh button.. why? cause they want firefox to look mnore like chrome… which that copies

    but chrome is winning because firefox is a memory hog! so those running older systems moved to chrome a lighter weight framework for the browser that had yet to bloat…

    be prepared to see the new firefox in a few editions to have your reduced favorites on a landing page.. ie. chrome copied them by putting google search and the frequent visit panel together… firefox had the freqyent panel firs.. then added a search bar that called google.

    but why? cause microsoft has theirs where firefox had theirs

    one reason you may here is this…
    we have it on the right, they have it on the left, those that use both browsers get annoyed and then want to use one of them more often.. but if they are more alike, its easier to get them to swtich…

    lots of stuff like this
    but like the phone companies they dont mind punking loyal people they have to get new peope.. why? cause the ceo and businessed dont consider people leaving to be as important as people arriving..

    lot of stuff like this
    if you want to now more, then look up Drunken Lemurs

    even better dilbert on marketing!!

  15. Ruth H Says:

    I really, really dislike the new Firefox. The least they could do for us is have a “classic” look such as Windows “classic menu.”

    As for bookmarks, I do still have my folders in place and my bookmarks is exactly where I keep it, as a sidebar.

  16. Kae Arby Says:


    One thing that you can try is to right click on the tool bar and select customize. You should be able to drag the refresh button somewhere more pleasing to you.


  17. Sam L. Says:

    David Aitken, those folders are still there; you just have to work thru the library to find them.

  18. Cornflour Says:

    Kae Arby:

    Thanks for writing a note about customizing the toolbar. I meant to do that in my comment above, but then forgot.

    This trick might actually solve Neo’s problem, so now I’m wondering whether I unconsciously avoided doing the one thing that mattered.

    Wait a minute while I take another gaze at my navel. Better mine than yours.

  19. AesopFan Says:

    arfldgrs Says:
    November 28th, 2017 at 4:38 pm
    Want an answer from an applications engineer who writes software for a partial living?
    * *
    Back when I was in the biz, we were fond of saying that the Software was what made the Hardware do what the salesmen sold.

  20. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I suggest using Brave, as I remember someone mentioned. It is better.

    That mozilla ceo that got fired? He made Brave.

  21. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Thought about going to something else, not chrome, but am too lazy to switch.

    Brave has almost same ui as chrome.

    It just imports all the bookmarks and even your passwords if you do a encryption program.

  22. Jim Says:

    Bugged the crap out of me, too, at first. Now I know where it is and look at the logic of it: right next to the back and forward arrows and the home button. And love the one space for both searching and typing in a web address with auto finish. And unlike Apple and most tech companies, they make ease of learning how to use their stuff their priority. Help for anything is very fast and pops up in a new tab (boy, could Apple learn from that). Love it. Would never use Chrome, Safari or the old Explorer (is it still around?). I do not trust the companies behind that software. Also love all the addons, plugins, etc. for Firefox. And the new Firefox is blazing fast compared to the previous version.

  23. watt Says:

    You can move the Refresh or any control to wherever you like on the toolbar. Right-click on a blank/gray area of the toolbar and select Customize. Hover the cursor (now a hand icon) over the Refresh button. Drag it with the left mouse button to your desired position on the toolbar.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Thanks to everyone who suggested I customize the toolbar. I had no idea you could do that.

    I moved the refresh button to the right of the new position, although it dosn’t seem to be possible to put it exactly where it used to be. But a great improvement.

  25. Eric J. Says:

    With the new extensions format for Firefox, Sage, the RSS reader I’d been using for 15+ years no longer works. Which means I no longer have a reason to use Firefox.

  26. Gringo Says:

    but chrome is winning because firefox is a memory hog

    I don’t know about Chrome. I am not going to use a Google product, as I try to keep Google use to a minimum. However, I have tested Firefox, Brave, and Microsoft- all use about the same. Though Brave uses a little less- 450 MB versus 600 MB for Firefox.

    What annoyed me about the new Firefox update was that the homepage was no longer on the toolbar.

  27. Mac Says:

    Just chiming in to say I’m another who quit Firefox over the Eich firing. It was my favorite browser but I’ll never go back unless they repudiate that mentality, which is hard to imagine. Also have become very reluctant to use Google, Apple, and Amazon products because of their Borg-like ambition to absorb your whole life into their domain. I currently use Opera, which I like. The company is probably no less leftish than others but they don’t have that much clout. Hadn’t heard of Brave but will check it out.

  28. kevino Says:

    RE: “Apparently they just had to mess with it.”
    It’s a common problem. A lot of software engineers like to play with the user interface (UI), and they don’t think about the end user. But it’s the end user that actually uses the UI, sometimes for hours each day, and they frequently memorize mouse movements well ahead of the application.

    Many moons ago I worked on a joint project with a certain software company that made some of the most important application development tools of our time. I was introduced to the young woman who was holding court at a party, bragging about how she personally changed the UI of their major product just before it shipped. I was supposed to bow to her. Instead, I told her that the application, “Isn’t your personal plaything. People play real money to use those tools, and they rely on those tools working as expected. How would you like it if I went into your kitchen are re-arranged all the drawers?” She was dumb-founded and silent. Hope she got the point.

    Good UI design — or API design — is a lost art. Do it once; do it right; plan ahead for everything that you might add; and keep it consistent over time.

  29. Cornflour Says:


    I used Opera when it was still a Norwegian company, but about two years ago it was sold to a Chinese consortium.

    A leading member of the consortium, Qihoo 360, is a Chinese computer security company with a shady reputation and close ties to the Chinese government.

    Opera offers a built-in VPN, which could supply an easy route for monitoring users’ traffic in great detail, and then passing it on to the Chinese government.

    There’s been some debate about whether these suspicions are realistic or of the tinfoil hat variety, but I’d err on the side of caution and use a different browser. You could do some research and decide I’ve over-reacted, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to mention my concerns.

  30. chuck Says:

    I finally gave up on Firefox and switched to Chrome. Each release of Firefox on my platform (linux) seemed worse than the last and after several years I finally had enough of it. Other alternatives I’ve looked at or considered are Brave (not yet stable on Linux), and Vivaldi. I’ll probably give Vivaldi a shot sometime, but as it isn’t in the Fedora repos and it might be hard to support. Fedora is bleeding edge and things tend to fail with the twice yearly new releases.

  31. chuck Says:


    As one of the core maintainers of NumPy, which sits at the bottom of the scientific python stack, dealing with change is a hassle. People depend on us not to change things, but we also need to move forward and adapt to the changes in Python itself. It can be painful being stuck with a poorly designed interface from days of yore, or wanting to add or drop features. Add to that the current movement toward reproducible results in science, and things get sticky. At this point I expect we have several millions of users that we try to keep happy, and it really isn’t feasible to be completely successful at that.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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