Firefox Page Info gets a face lift

Do you know Page Info? It’s a central point for information about the web page you are currently visiting. To reach it just select Page Info in the Tools menu or right click the current web page and select View Page Info. It includes the document type, character encoding, the referring URL, the render mode Firefox used (web standards compliant or with quirks mode), last time modified, it lists the web forms and the fields present in each, a list of links the page points to including not only hyperlinks but support files like stylesheets and external JavaScript pieces. Another page lets you browse all images present and save them, and another one informs about encrypted web pages.

While it provides lots of information that can be useful for web developers it results overwhelming for end users. So, as one of Mozilla mentored Google 2006 Summer of Code projects, Florian Queze took this challenge with the goal of simplifying the page info dialog to make it something really useful for all users.

His work has landed in Firefox main code (the trunk) and is already available in today’s nightly. Here are some screenshots of the new window:

[kml_flashembed movie="/swf/newpageinfo.swf" height="571" width="428" /]

As you can see, some information has been removed to make it clearer, while two new tabs have been added:

  • Feeds, appears for web pages serving web feeds only, so it is just another point to subscribe to web feeds.
  • Permissions, is a welcome enhancement that allows to set per page settings like allow images, cookies and pop ups. I see great potential in this new interface specially if combined with Myk Melez’s Content Preferences, an extension which currently lets users set a text zoom level for each page, but also provides a foundation for storing more of them and making them accessible for extensions to set things like the dictionary and page encoding. This tab would morph then into a setting page rather than Permissions.

This is a nice improvement and the first relevant visible change coming to Firefox 3.

Via Henrik Gemal’s blog.

26 Comments

  1. Simon Proctor April 14, 2007 4:29 pm 

    Wait a sec? Where’s my Standards Mode indicator gone? I like my Standards Mode indicator. It’s useful.

  2. Firefox 3 Alpha 4 released : Mozilla Links April 28, 2007 12:03 am 

    [...] also features the new Page Info dialog released a few weeks ago. It has kept improving with easier wording specially in the security and [...]

  3. 小叮当 » Blog Archive » firefox3çš„Alpha4版本今日发布 April 30, 2007 9:17 am 

    [...] 另一特性是几个星期前发布的新的页面信息对话框。Alpha4版本的页面信息对话框的措辞更为简洁,尤其在security(安全)页面和general(一般)页面,这里有几张更新过的屏幕截图。 [...]

  4. Vi August 13, 2007 3:25 pm 

    With all due respect, removing the “Links” tab is not an improvement. This is a serious regression. Per-page permissions are nice but what does it that have to do with Page Info? Links are arguably the most important info on a page. I assume there already is a bug filed. I will surely keep pressing on putting Links back to Page Info. Really, think about it.

    • Moz June 22, 2008 10:00 pm 

      I have to agree with Vi. The loss of the “Links” tab is a deal breaker for me. I’ll try to find a workaround, but if I can’t find anything, or if what I find is too much of a hassle, I won’t be able to continue using Firefox 3.

      Very unfortunate. And very shortsighted.

      • Tonya September 6, 2008 10:32 am 

        FireFox 3.0 is JUNK now and just worthless! We have to have the link feature back or it’s the end of the line for me with FireFox.

        This just S U X X big time!!!

  5. Jason June 17, 2008 11:49 pm 

    As a developer, I hardly see how removing some of the most pertinent information about the page (the form data) is a “nice improvement”. At work, I use this feature at least once an hour for debugging. I recently installed Ubuntu 8 at home and was shocked to find that the accompanying Firefox 3 has removed this tab. The argument that it is to overwhelming for the “end user” does not fly. If the user doesn’t understand form fields, they probably won’t be opening the Page Info dialog anyway. At least I still have firebug.

  6. Sophi June 18, 2008 5:40 am 

    I have to agree with Vi on this!!
    The LINKS tab was of immense value!! It was practically the only way I could see whether websites had links in them that were not supposed to be there!! Please reinstate the Links tab!!!

  7. Tuesday Weld June 22, 2008 6:37 pm 

    No Links?
    You Gotta Be Shitting Me.
    Never Fails, Without Exception.

  8. David June 24, 2008 9:18 am 

    The links tab isn’t the only fumble committed here. The FORM info tab is also gone. It was one of the big advantages Firefox had over other browsers, and now it’s gone. This new Page Info window can hardly be regarded as a “nice improvement.” The developer-specific tools were tucked nicely out of the way for those who didn’t need them, but were still quickly accessible for those who do. A huge step backwards by Mozilla.

  9. J June 28, 2008 9:40 am 

    I agree with David. I used the forms tab often. I was shocked to see it removed. This is a real problem for me. I may have to go back to Firefox 2

    • edwig September 6, 2008 12:13 am 

      Thx for sharing! ….Also the two tab options to open or remove is gone from the ff download window! Crazy Mozilla!

    • KB September 17, 2008 11:42 am 

      Thanks a lot. I was desperate to get back forms and links tabs after upgrading to FF 3.

  10. popzzz August 2, 2008 10:24 pm 

    We, us, (ff users) need/want the links tab/function back!

    WHAT were you thinking???

  11. Frank R September 6, 2008 10:14 am 

    I cannot believe you have did away with the links feature!!!

    That has become a very necessary feature that cannot be missed.

    Have to downgrade now for sure!

    Are they going to bring it back?

  12. Josh September 13, 2008 5:23 pm 

    I found this thread via google while searching for a way to get the forms info back in firefox 3… Very shortsighted on the part of the developers.

  13. Ilya October 13, 2008 5:17 pm 

    It’s not a face-lift.

    It’s more like a nose amputation. ;-)

    In fact, at this point, I am considering going back to firefox 2. (and I’ll definitely advise everyone to postpone the firefox3 migration).

    Please put it back.

    Also note: that this dialog is mostly used by people who know how to look through the links (and normally want to see all links), so I don’t see any justification for this regression.

  14. Frustrated Luser November 4, 2008 3:50 pm 

    1 step forward 3 steps back. Where is the forms information? Tards keep rearranging the furniture and forget why things were the way they were. And this isn’t an alpha or a beta, this is 303!

    While I’m ranting, I remember when I went from Mozilla to Firefox 1. I was pissed because they took a lot of useful stuff out of the Preferences dialog but the party line was that about:config was so much more flexible, blah, blah, blah. Now, I STILL have to go to about:config to configure numerous settings that *used*to*be* in Preferences but NOW I get some stoopidass warning about how I might screw things up. Make up your minds, tards, is about:config for normal configuration or is it a danger zone that people should be warned away from?

  15. Adam November 12, 2008 2:06 pm 

    I’m really missing the forms info too. I can probably get by with FireBug, but for mashup-type development, it’s really useful. I’ve used the forms info extensively to extend a commercial PHP app we use in-house (insert LDAP look-aside pop-ups), and was going to use it to see how easy it would be to script a command-line end-user password change in FreeNAS. I can dual-boot to Fedora Core 8 which is still running FF2, but ugh.

  16. alater November 15, 2008 1:14 pm 

    Hi there,
    I cannot agree more with what the others said above.
    That’s a huge mistake !
    I regularly used it to analyse and report phishing pages without crawling trough the whole page source.

    May I suggest that the programmers bring back the old page info with an option (somewhere in the options page) to use either the new one or the old one, depending on user preferences.

  17. Luís Guilherme December 10, 2008 6:48 pm 

    Page Info was my primary source for making Mechanize scripts. I didn’t have to crawl long and bloated html files. I pressed Ctrl+I and “tada”, I’ve got the info. Now it’s no longer there. Like someone said, this is a nose amputation, please take it back in next version of FF.

    And no, it’s not an “extension”, I won’t or can’t install it in every FF I use. It is a *core* funcionality.

  18. Mike February 9, 2009 11:33 pm 

    I cannot believe anyone with any sense at all would consider removing the most valuable Page Info links information. This was one of the most useful features, and I often would use FireFox for this reason alone, given that some applications I have had to use require MS IE.

    The Page Info links information was useful for much more than developer and debug purposes. It is very useful to create a list of URLs to be downloaded using wget with the -i option.

    Now many FireFox users will have to use an old and possibly vulnerable FireFox version to have this valuable feature, and leave the automatic update feature turned off.

    The form information was also useful.

    It is very disappointing when things get broken because one of the most basic rules has been violated -

    “If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it!”

    Now FireFox is broke and needs fixing – to put back the Page Info links (and form) information.

  19. Zhang September 3, 2009 12:49 am 

    I have been using the links from “Page info” to download my data searched on a online server. After I upgraded Firefox to 3.x, all links disappeared from “Page Info”. There is no workaround available. I don’t think this is an improvement. I hope the new update or new release can fix the problem. Otherwise, I guess all users of the online server have to continue to use the old Firefox to keep the functionality. Too sad!

Comments are closed.