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About:Home Customization

Feature/Meta Bug

bug 783312 - Make top sites customizable on about:home

Mock Ups
Value Proposition for Users
  • "quick, comfortable access to my stuff"
  • enable more user control over the content that is displayed on about:home
Original UX Requirements
  • Currently, by default, the top sites thumbnails should match to the highest ranked items in the awesomebar. But in addition, we should build on this by allowing users to:


  1. Add specific sites to the start page
  2. Remove sites from the start page
  3. Pin sites to a specific position <== I tried to do this with sites on my tablet a la Android Homescreen Style so that I can drag and drop but instead I get the floating context menu with the 'Edit', 'Pin Site', or 'Unpin All'


  1. Decide how many sites to show on the start page (4, 6, 8, 10 etc)
  2. Customize top site layout grid? (2x2, 3x3 etc)

Open Question
Nomenclature: "Top Sites" title to something else

Other Drivers

MWC: Customization is the #1 feature Product Marketing has slated for demos in order to fortify selling Fx Android as the most desirable browser out there. Clearly, about:home top sites customization is a key component to the overall story aside from lightweight themes

Current State
A Walkthrough

(Fx 20 Aurora, on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. FWIW, FX Nightly Fx21 quits upon launch starting just after the merge on the 11th)

  1. Launch
  2. See some of the thumbnails populated, on the about:home screen, see that some are not
  3. Go to Awesome Bar and type in a URL, for the showcase, let's do something fun:
  4. See the pretty website and then hit the "back" button to go to about:home and view the Thumbnail
  5. Long tap on the thumbnail and see: "edit", "pin site", "unpin site", and "unpin all"
  6. Try "edit" = this takes you back to the awesome bar and the user is able to edit the URL to change the thumbail; erin to show the gun control case last page was the gun control article, I don't want to see that every time so when I close the tab, and get to about:home, I long tap on the thumbnail and delete the URL < == this doesn't really work for me... I still have to go unpin it
  7. Try "pin" = this
  8. Try "unpin all" = this seems to make it so that site never gets populated in about:home
  9. Try "unpin site" = ditto, this does the same thing in the 11/14 aurora build
  10. Go back to URL Bar and navigate to said URL; you are prevented from ever pinning such a site < == showing this one last

Engineering Schedule, Open Bugs
  • Landed and testable in Fx20, we have 4 more betas after we go-to build today (tuesday)
  • bug 825422 - Intermittent Android robocop Shutdown | application crashed [@ mozalloc_abort(char const*)] after testMigration from java.lang.IllegalStateException: attempt to re-open an already-closed object: android.database.sqlite.SQLiteQuery
  • bug 826639 - about:home shows Firefox logo instead of 'plus' icon in empty top sites fields after clearing private data
  • bug 756912 - Some thumbnails missing from Firefox Beta home screen <== not sure if we still need this
    • There seem to be improvements we could make for the user experience but they need to get filed (i.e. the unpin all case)
  • bug 826075 - Add Indicator to pinned sites.
    • Work is done, needs to be uplifted
  • bug 830756 - Unpinning a site from about:home sometimes blows away title information
  • bug 830758 - Pinned sites should not show "pin site" in context menu
  • bug 830761 - Add a way to undo Clear Pin(s)