Avant is headed in the wrong direction

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mbrazil
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Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by mbrazil » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:17 pm

It seems like Anderson is making a lot of changes that make Avant less configurable, more difficult to manage, and just plain fragile (encrypted config files, loss of features and/or components, loss of ability to specify search engine strings, inability to move search-bar buttons, etc.). If he continues in this direction, he's going to drive away a lot of users. I'm very disappointed in this trend. It's ruining the configurablity advantage that Avant has traditionally had over all the other browsers, which was at the core of what made Avant great.

If the intent is to make Avant seem more user-friendly for inexperienced, non-technical users, it's going to backfire, because Avant has always appealed mostly to users who appreciate the ability to configure it to work the way they want it to, even if that means editing configuration files, etc. It's definitely possible to satisfy the inexperienced, non-technical users without alienating those of us who are not intimidated by a bit of complexity. Restricting configurability and removing features and components (search-engine strings, status bar, etc.) is going to ruin Avant.

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Tinman57
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by Tinman57 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:20 am

mbrazil wrote:Restricting configurability and removing features and components (search-engine strings, status bar, etc.) is going to ruin Avant.
I AGREE 100%
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hornakapopolis
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by hornakapopolis » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:45 am

From what I've seen, the status bar going has been confirmed, but the rest of it is all based on what we're seeing from the beta, right? How much of that is just the fact that it's in beta. I don't remember the thread right off, but isn't the issue with the search strings that they're visible in Options, but not editable? Why show you something you can't edit? If the capability is being taken away, wouldn't you just get rid of all of it? It seems more likely to me that it's something that needs to be added/corrected in the beta. Mouse gestures trails aren't in the latest beta, but the setting is there. My first assumption wasn't that they were going away.

I am wondering about the config files, though. Did they go back to being in plain text after awhile? I remember when they used to be plain text and then were encrypted, but that was when I was still an admin here, I think... which has been over 5 years ago. I think they changed when online storage was added. I'm just curious if they were changed back at some point.

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xiaobing
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by xiaobing » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:09 am

Mouse gestures trails aren't in the latest beta, but the setting is there. My first assumption wasn't that they were going away.
This problem has been fixed in beta 3: http://dl.filekicker.com/send/file/1422 ... abbeta.exe

mbrazil
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by mbrazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:13 am

hornakapopolis wrote:isn't the issue with the search strings that they're visible in Options, but not editable?
No, the search-engine configuration strings are no longer visible at all. As long as they're not editable, visible or not, the issue is that you can no longer configure the search strings -- you can only choose a search engine. This is a loss of configurability and flexibility. It appears as though that function has been removed. I don't think this is an issue of it being a beta, as there would be no need to remove them on a temporary basis, even if they were temporarily non-functional.

This became an issue even before the search-string access was removed. There have recently been a couple of threads relating to a change in the default Google search string that users were objecting to. I believe this change was made in build 197 or thereabouts. If the change they were objecting to is made permanent, and the search strings can no longer be edited, we'll effectively lose functionality of the search bar, as we'll have to open a Google tab to be able to get the search results the way we want or need them.
hornakapopolis wrote:I am wondering about the config files, though. Did they go back to being in plain text after awhile? I remember when they used to be plain text and then were encrypted, but that was when I was still an admin here, I think... which has been over 5 years ago. I think they changed when online storage was added. I'm just curious if they were changed back at some point.
I'm not sure when the change occurred. As you said, it didn't happen recently, but that kind of a long-term trend of reduced configurability is what I'm referring to. I don't know whether it's intentional or a side effect of other changes, but it should not be happening. Rather than encrypt the configuration files, the code should be reworked to allow online storage and other features to work without removing the ability to edit the configuration files.

Overall, there appears to be a definite long-term trend of features and/or UI components being removed and configurability being reduced. That's what I'm referring to.

As an aside, it would be beneficial to everyone if there would be some release notes for regular and beta releases that would detail changes like this that might be misconstrued. If a beta is released with a previously available function removed, and there's no documentation of why this was done, we can only assume that it's gone, probably for good. If something's still there, but not working properly, or not working at all, it wouldn't be reasonable to assume it's never going to work again, but if something goes away, it's reasonable to assume it won't be back.

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xiaobing
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by xiaobing » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:15 am

loss of ability to specify search engine strings
The user-defined area is used for adding any search engine you want. If you don'y like the preset engine, just uncheck it and use the user-defined ones which are editable
search engine.jpg
search engine.jpg (12.58 KiB) Viewed 2103 times

mbrazil
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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by mbrazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:22 am

xiaobing wrote:
loss of ability to specify search engine strings
The user-defined area is used for adding any search engine you want. If you don'y like the preset engine, just uncheck it and use the user-defined ones which are editable
search engine.jpg
Oops. :oops:

It might be a good idea to make that capability more clearly labeled and a little easier to find. I had looked at that, but I didn't try it, thinking User Defined related only to shortcuts, not specifying search strings.

I'd still really, really love to see editable configuration files, though. Why won't this be done?

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Re: Avant is headed in the wrong direction

Post by xiaobing » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:20 am

mbrazil wrote: I'd still really, really love to see editable configuration files, though. Why won't this be done?
I have recorded your request,but I don't know whether or when Anderson will change it. Once I get any news about this problem,I will tell you.

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