Firefox/Projects/Eradicate Startup Dialogs

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Startup dialogs significantly impact the amount of time it takes users to get on the Web and retrieve a piece of information or complete a task, which is Firefox's primary purpose.

In many cases start up dialogs represent some form of failing, ranging from a failing of engineering (unable to find or implement a cleaner solution), a failing of design (unable to determine the best approach) or a failing of security (delegating a decision so that we can blame the victim). In all of these cases the dialog itself is simply the manifestation of a larger problem that we need to attack. So perhaps "the eradication of start up dialogs" is an overly negative title, this is really more about "solving a range of complex problems, but entirely behind the scenes."

Faaborg's blog post

Current Status

Currently working on locating all of the dialogs, and finding solutions to eradicate as many of them as possible.

Next Steps

Getting Bugs filed on every dialog.

Related Bugs

  • Add-on updates bug 511529 (fixed-2.0.0)
  • Add-on installed, at least when incorrect bug 528423
  • Add-on may not be compatible
    • Update and check for compatibility updates in the background before Firefox updates bug 579990
    • Allow major update offers to be shown only to users who have no incompatible extensions (and do that for the first major update for each release, perhaps) bug 468072
  • Updating progress bar
    • bug 307181 Install the update with a separate process so the time to switch over on load is insignificant
  • Default browser
    • Testing profile bug 513492
    • Windows users who already went through the trouble of unchecking the box in the installer bug 433249
    • Firefox incorrectly thinks it's not the default bug 213733
  • "Firefox is already running" dialog
    • Wait a few seconds and try again, kill the process bug 513419
    • Fix slow-shutdown bugs, such as bug 453178
    • Fix shutdown hang bugs, such as bug 479373
    • Gather statistics on why Firefox hangs, like we do for crashes bug 429592
  • Master Password
    • Only request master password when needed
      • ... not because a background tab contains a login form bug 513534
      • ... not because I loaded a page containing a login form bug 400680
    • bug 499233, bug 475053 (fixed-1.9.2) Don't ask the master password multiple times.
  • http Auth
    • Content area page instead of a dialog box bug 399583 would also fix spoofability
    • Automatically log in bug 223636
    • Consolidate by login domain (bug 385239?)
  • Choose a client cert (bug 395399? bug 32010?)
  • NTLM? bug 318253
  • Possible to get a postdata dialog on session restore?
    • Not with the default settings (see bug 493436) (nonetheless, bug 451250 is about replacing the postdata prompt)

Might not be worth removing (significant problems):

  • Locked sqlite file
  • Locked profile

Dialogs on exit

  • Save and quit
  • Downloads in progress that can't be resumed
  • Update restart bug 434987


  • Project Lead: faaborg
  • Help with gathering bugs: jesse
  • Extensions related work: mossop


This space intentionally left blank :)

Goals/Use Cases

  • Zero start up dialogs

Non Goals

  • >0 start up dialogs