View Source to become a developer option?

Asa Dotzler writes:
Are there any XUL application or extension hackers out there that could help us with a bugfix. We want to move the JavaScript Console and the View Source window into the developer pack with the DOM Inspector. Normal installs wouldn't have UI access points to these tools unless they did a custom install to get the developer tools.

Ohhh no! How is View Source a developer option? I just dont understand. View source is an essential browser feature. Please dont move it into a developer package.

I can just see it. A friend of mine are having problems with a page. "Please have a look at this page that doesn't render correct in Mozilla Firefox". I check it out by saying "Let me just look at the source of the page. Ups. Cant help you. You first have to download Mozila Firefox again and then do a custom install". Come on!

Read more in Asa's blog and in the bug report.

August 20, 2004 07:31 AM | Posted in Mozilla


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Or you could type or you could type ctrl+u or you could install an extension from that enables a menu item for the feature. Oh, the horror. The horror. Life is pain.

Comment by Asa Dotzler at August 20, 2004 08:17 AM | Permalink

Asa: it says "move View Source window into the developer pack"

With that I understood that it would not be possible anymore to press CTRL+U

Can you confirm that CTRL+U will still work?

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal at August 20, 2004 08:35 AM | Permalink

as far is i understood it, the fix looks just for a front-end-patch, at least for the source-code-thing. nevertheless i wouldn't be really happy with that. view source is quite essential, and at least i didn't know the ctrl+u-shortcut ;)

Site icon Comment by Sebastian at August 20, 2004 08:56 AM | Permalink

ASA: Or you could type or you could type ctrl+u or you could install an extension from that enables a menu item for the feature

Lets say I'm a webmaster getting a complain about my site doesn't work in his Firefox browser (which I don't use myself and don't know anything about). I tell him to look after something in the sourcecode telling me which version of the page he's looking at, because I have some serverside detection on browsertype or loginstatus or language or something. How do I do that he asks? Well look for something with "source" in the menus I tell him...

Also I suspect there might be a javascript error involved, so I tell him to look for that too...

Removing those entries from the menus must be a joke, even if they still are available from a keyboard shortcut! Also how would new users know the keyboard shortcuts if they can't see them in the menus? I believe that both view-source and javascript error reporting are used by a lot of people who would never think of themselves as developers, or maybe they just always use another tool when developing and really don't consider installing a speciel developer-pack in the browser.

View source and Javascript error reporting are such basic functions that the should not be removed or hidden in any browser. I can't believe anybody can't even consider the posibility?!

Site icon Comment by Stig at August 20, 2004 11:21 AM | Permalink

Stig: I think you're exaggerating the problem. Removing menu entries is no big deal. Esp. for a feature that someone who does not understand html (90% of web users?) would never use.

Site icon Comment by vfwlkr at August 20, 2004 12:06 PM | Permalink

I also think that removing such an essential tool or an easy access to it is not a smart move. First removing back/reload from the context menu on images and now this :(

Site icon Comment by Jure Repinc at August 20, 2004 02:28 PM | Permalink

Who are going to view source?
Mostly, they are developers.

Open view source to html editor applications will be much helpful for developers.

Please consider :
[Bug 8589] make view source optionally open in text/plain helper app

Site icon Comment by Alex Peng at August 20, 2004 04:08 PM | Permalink

I'm glad the bug was updated to only include removing the JS console from the menu (I'm already used to shortcutting 'javascript:' and sticking it on the bookmarks toolbar, so at least for me the damage is minimal).

Removing View Source from a default load would just suck. Next to zero improvement in user experience (gee, 1 less menu item), at the cost of inconveniencing technical users/web geeks: your traditional userbase and marketing department. Your grandpa/ma may not understand what it's for, but if they're smart enough to find, install and use moz, they're smart enough to ignore it. Someone please take away Steffen Wilberg's badge and gun.

Comment by DhC at August 20, 2004 04:15 PM | Permalink

I don't think it's something that should be removed for 1.0 but if it has to go maybe it should be phased out after 1.0

It'll be another thing for webmasters who have switched to Firefox because it's finally non-beta to bitch about.

Site icon Comment by GURT at August 20, 2004 04:26 PM | Permalink

Benjamin Smedberg, Daniel Glazman, Henrik Germal, Michael Kaply also appear to be part of 'the resistance' (can't beat the nerdy name). View Source and JS Console are needed. Especially view source. This wouldn't be a wise move....

Site icon TrackBack from I'm glad I'm not the only one at August 20, 2004 04:53 PM | Permalink

I wonder how come no one mention "View Selection Source". It is a cool feature that allow one to view selected source, even if it is generated from JavaScript!

If view source will be remove from content menus, what about view selection source? Because view selection source can't be fired by Ctrl +U or "view-source" handler...

Site icon Comment by minghong at August 20, 2004 05:06 PM | Permalink

I think it should all be removed. The average web-user does not view the source, does not know what Javascript is and should not be expected to debug your site.

Firefox is available on most platforms, so you have no excuse for not having it installed if you're a web developer.

Comment by Hemebond at August 21, 2004 12:40 AM | Permalink

Firefox bug

Comment by alanjstr at August 21, 2004 05:32 AM | Permalink

It is marked as WONTFIXED by Asa.

Site icon Comment by minghong at August 21, 2004 07:56 AM | Permalink

Style switcher is going to be removed too, see comments on Asa's blog.

Comment by Adam Hauner at August 23, 2004 07:35 AM | Permalink

Why so rude, Asa? You seem bent on becoming the Dave Winer of Mozilla.

Comment by Rod at August 24, 2004 04:29 PM | Permalink

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