firefox 34 de-improves search


firefox design team, 2004-2014

We've been tracking Firefox changes-for-the-sake-of-change that occur with its new accelerated update schedule. The latest is de-improved search. Before, you could select which engine you wanted to use before you began typing in the search bar. Now you don't get the engine dropdown until you type something, and once you've typed a few letters, if it's a search you've done before, the browser provides you a list of search terms with those letters. If you choose any of those terms, you must go wherever your default search engine takes you.

Thus, if your default search engine is Google, let's say you type the letters "re," and the word "renoise" comes up on the list of previous searches. If you choose "renoise" from that list you are automatically taken to Google. If you want Wikipedia, tough luck, you have to go to Google first. But if you type out the entire word "renoise" you are then given a selection of other providers' icons to choose from.

It worked fine before -- why do this? (Apologies to the innate smarts of chimpanzees.)

Update: Sorry, had to pull this post briefly and rewrite while I figured out the sophisticated awfulness of the new search and how to describe it.