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Strollin' around
Status: New idea

 @mconca  (I saw you replied in another Idea about this dialog, so I thought it may be good to alert you to this one.)

What & Why?

I am proposing changes to Firefox web browser's settings UI which will allow users to much more quickly search for existing cookies permissions in long lists, making troubleshooting easier and surer when determining if problems with a website are because of missing cookies. (I believe this applies only to the desktop version.  I don't *think* there is an equivalent in the mobile versions.)

Target of the proposal
The dialog opened by
Tools|Settings|Privacy & Security|Cookies And Site Data|Manage Exceptions...

One bit of work this dialog needs -- okay, would be VERY much improved by -- is the addition of a way to filter the display of websites in the list, making it easier and surer to find specific websites quickly.  It may also prevent needless duplicate entry of websites already in the list.  Allow entry of text in an InputBox which then makes the dialog's list hide all websites that don't contain that text in their URL.  This is such a common and standard sort of functionality nowadays that it is surprising that it isn't already implemented here.

Summary of proposed changes

1)  Add text to the existing InputBox's label, and add two new checkboxes and their labels.

2)  Add functionality to the field that would filter displayed websites in the list, and to the checkboxes that would modify the filtering behavior, requiring an exact match when checked, and ignoring protocols in the entered text and in the list when checked.


1)  'Address of website' InputBox & its label

In fact, I would use the existing 'Address of website' InputBox for determining what is filtered.  In order to make it clear in the UI that this is an allowed and expected usage, add text to the label -- change it to, for example, "Address of website (Entering text here hides websites in the list below that do not contain what is typed.)".

Default setting:  No change.  (When the dialog opens, this field is empty.)

Any time someone starts to enter text in that field, start filtering the list of websites to hide any that do not contain the entered text.

2)  "Hide websites that are not an exact match" checkbox

Also, so that "exact match" filtering is allowed, add a checkbox (a choice consistent with the existing UI in this part of the program) with the label "Hide websites that are not an exact match".

Default setting:  When the dialog opens, the "Hide websites that are not an exact match" checkbox should be unchecked.
*** My reasoning is that I think partial-match searches will be desired more often than full-match searches, and in many cases, find the desired match(es) sooner than requiring a website's full URL to be typed.  Additionally, full-match also can be achieved without checking this box by simply typing the complete URL anyway, since top-level domains (such as .com and .edu and so on) end every website URL, and few actually contain other top-level domains.  And there is no need to use this checkbox to expose the next one about to be mentioned, since partial-match searching automatically accepts all protocols.

When this box is checked, only the website that is an exact match at any point of text entry will be displayed.  For instance, if the list contains both "" and "", and the user types "", then only the first website will be displayed after the "o" is typed and before the "m" is typed; and as soon as the "m" is typed, only the second website will be displayed.  If anything is typed after the "m", neither of those sites will be displayed.  If the user typed "https" as the beginning portion, neither of those sites would be displayed (which brings us to my next proposal ...).


And for convenience, add another checkbox with the label "Ignore protocols (such as http & https) when hiding websites".  To be clear, the protocol portion of what is entered should be ignored as well as the protocol portion of the websites in the list.  Whenever "Hide websites that are not an exact match" is not checked or gets unchecked, this checkbox has no effect and should be greyed out.  But when that option is checked, this one would allow the user to enter "" to see "" and "" and "", while hiding "" and "" from view; and don't forget, with this option checked, entering "" preceded by any protocol (such as "https://" or "about://" or the non-existent "pootmonkey://") would yield exactly the same results.

Default setting:  When the dialog opens, the "Ignore protocols (such as http & https) when hiding websites" checkbox should be greyed out and unchecked, because the "Hide websites that are not an exact match" checkbox should be unchecked (see above).

When "Hide websites that are not an exact match" gets checked, this "Ignore protocols (such as http & https) when hiding websites" checkbox should get un-greyed and checked
*** My reasoning is that allowing matching websites with multiple protocols to be displayed will likely result in very few items shown for the vast majority of website domains, and will not interfere if the user only wants to find one of them; whereas I believe that most of the time, users would prefer to see at once whether cookies are blocked/allowed for each of a website's protocols.  So if I am right, this choice for this checkbox will require user action less often than the opposite choice.

The following image shows the proposed UI design & layout changes, as well as example usage results.


I believe that that all describes my Idea's proposal well and completely enough.  If anybody has anything to add, or suggestions for improvement, I welcome them.  And of course, vote for this Idea frequently!  😉


06/25/22 edit:  Layout changes, labeling sections; no serious content change.  Added default settings.

05/01/23 edit:  Added the word "duplicate" in this sentence, just to make it clearer:  "It may also prevent needless duplicate entry of websites already in the list."


Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

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Community Manager
Community Manager

@pootmonkey should be visible again 😀 just a reminder, if an idea is edited it goes through moderation again. But thanks again for reaching out about this!