Firefox/Feature Brainstorming:Profiles

From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

« Firefox/Feature Brainstorming

Profile creation/switching

  • Improve profile/user management and switching
    • Make the profile manager accessible through the menu
  • Allow Firefox running in separate windows to run separate profiles.
    • Our PC in the kitchen at home has to run 4 separate browsers, they are all running concurrently so that each of us can access our own gmail/bookmarks/cookies without logging out & back in as a different users all the time. There are no security issues between us, & it would be better to use Firefox only & have different profiles concurrently active. We'd need different colored logos in the system tray so we could quickly select our own browser. --ChippendaleMupp
    • Interestingly I have the same problem at work. We use some google apps for work related issues, but I also want to access my personal gmail at work. So I have to use two separate browsers running at the same time to do this.

Profile privacy

  • Password-protected user profiles
  • Encryption of all stored data and profiles

Profile data

  • Have a common profile that contains bookmarks,addons, etc. common to all profiles.Also when you install an addon/ create a bookmark have the option to set it as shared(in common profile) or not(in the profile currently used.
  • Profile export/import
  • Accept only relative paths in the various files to allow users to easily transfer their profiles from/to any computer with a simple copy of the profile directory
  • Remote profiles hosted on a server and available to multiple installations.
  • Remote profiles able to save sessions
  • Remote profiles should perhaps be versionable
  • Remote profiles should support a plug-able backend, LDAP, WebDav, FTP, etc..
  • Full profile sync, including bookmarks, history, passwords, cookies, add-ons, preferences, etc.
  • Provide a more advanced export so bookmarks and bookmark settings as well as Toolbar settings are saved.
  • Automatic Sync/backup of profile data using same plug-able backends as remote profiles.
  • Built-in AutoFill, which allows users to save their web passwords with Fiefox (like Avant Browser)
  • Encrypted during sync/transmission
  • Preference for where profile data is saved including settings, bookmarks, add-ons, passwords, etc.
  • Platform-independence of remote profiles, share the same profile between installations on different operating systems
  • Allow cache to be configured to be stored in a directory that is not under the profile directory. This will allow us to put the profile directory under a directory that is regularly backed up, and to put the cache directory on a faster disk/volume (e.g., RAID0) that is not regularly backed up. The backup procedure should be automated and in-place (i.e., without exporting the profile).

EULA display on first run of new profile

  • Display EULA (required for distribution opportunities)
    • This is probably not required for distribution opportunities, and is indeed probably a bad idea (reduces usability, no benefit). This is only required for programs having license clauses stronger than copyright law (e.g. no reverse engineering), and not for GPL/MPL/NPL-style licenses.
    • Firefox binaries are not under the GPL/MPL or NPL, they are under the (linked) EULA, which has clauses unrelated to copyright law (e.g. trademarks).
      • Such things need no EULA. Trademarks, patents, and trade secrets are protected be default. No EULA is required to protect them. (What, you think GPL/MPL/NPL suddenly gives up your trademark rights??? Where is that?) It's like the lame statements that I can't export to North Korea: your EULA makes no difference, because I can't do that anyway.
      • According to [1] Firefox binaries _are_ under the MPL. In my opinion we gain nothing by showing an EULA, that only annoys users.

Profile content access management

  • Basic concepts: User - Profile - Environment - Page - Page View.
  • User can open different profiles simultaneously in multiple FF instances.
    • This would work perfectly with the grouping of extensions and the common profile.Practically you would be able to have separete windows at the same time one for downloading(Downloadhelper, bittorrent client, DownThemAll, etc.), one for website development(firebug and others), etc, but keep general bookmarks and addons like all-in-one Sidebar in the common profile for use in all of the windows.
  • Environment is the scope available to a page and its scripts: cookies, passwords, other open pages, history, and other privacy and security settings. Similar to IE security zones but more customizable (including sets of ad, popup and content blocking rules), and not limited in number.
  • Ability to use several environments in one profile and/or share them between profiles.
  • Ability to set rules to determine environment by site.
  • Ability to switch environment for a page or for all pages from a certain site.
  • Ability to clean up environments of private data, not touching this data in other environments.
  • Page views are described in Developer-facing Features

Enterprise support

  • Be able to force a profile to be stored in some location like \\server\user_home\firefox (for windows) and /mnt/nfs/users/firefox (linux)
  • Existing profile storage is not useful for making defaults settings for whole groups of users - so it is impossible to switch large groups of users to Firefox with shared policies and settings
  • Make ability to make sets for multiple users at one editing of profile - changing their profiles
  • Ability to make MAIN profile.
    • If firefox configured to use MAIN profile, then it gets policy sets from this profile (so, user can't make "not allowed" changes, until he switch off using of MAIN profile in browser (so, needs ability for administrators to block switch off MAIN profile)) Example: all default sets getting from MAIN profile and then firefox apply user settings, if this allowed by the MAIN profile for this group of sets)

Make it harder for users to accidentally switch to a new profile

Users (especially on Mac) are likely to see the profile manager for the first time when they run into a locked profile (either due to a stuck lock, or, on Mac, multiple copies of Firefox). They may tend to work around this problem by creating a new profile (not knowing what creating a new profile actually does). Then when they start Firefox with their new profile, they've lost their bookmarks, history, preferences, etc., and nothing ever shows them the Profile Manager dialog again once the lock condition goes away.

There are a number of ways to solve this:

  • don't show the profile manager in response to a profile being locked if there's only one profile
  • by default, show the profile manager if there are multiple profiles
  • remove the entire concept of multiple profiles (since the OS should have a concept of users). This may be the best, since the testing need for multiple profiles has been relieved by "-profile". -David Baron 23:54, 26 October 2006 (PDT)

Export / Import Profiles

Export and import profiles just like I described [in the Preferences section]

Profile Reset

  • When loading Firefox Safe Mode a list of settings is displayed. The user can check these off and select Make Changes and Restart which permanently changes the profile. I don't feel this feature is appropriate in the Safe Mode dialog and I don't think the user is made fully aware of the effects of choosing this action. A final OK/Cancel warning should be given before resetting the profile or this functionality should be part of the Profile Manager (I prefer the latter). --TastyWheat (talk - contribs) 19:33, 23 January 2009 (UTC)