May 04 2020 12:44 PM
May 04 2020 12:44 PM
Updated Canary to 84.0.505.0, and I notice options have disappeared from the new tab page. The greeting that turns into simple weather report has gone, as has the option for the user to select their own background image. Can't find anything in flags that looks like it controls them.
Is this a bug, a deliberate simplifying of the page options, or some A/B testing where I went from A to B during the update? While I didn't use the choose-own-background (I like the pictures of the day which have given me several to save out into my desktop wallpaper slideshow folder) I did have the greeting on, and I generally think options are a good idea and removing them is NOT a good idea.
May 04 2020 03:46 PM
Looks like A/B testing, then, where one can be switched from A to B and vice versa during an update.
I really hate this - you get a feature, get used to the feature, then it disappears without any indication of whether it's testing, deliberate abandonment, something breaking or what.
In Android Edge (and I'm very disappointed by the lack of Android Edge development, BTW), in 'About this app' there's a 'remote configuration' section that at least gives an indication of various features being 'rollout:on' and 'rollout:off' which lets me know. Could we have something similar in desktop Edge? Or is there a bit on an edge:// url I've missed?
May 05 2020 01:20 AM
@DavidGB I agree that it's a bit frustrating to have a feature then have it removed, but I guess that's the nature of the Canary channel - being the most experimental, and most fluid in terms of features & reliability. I suppose that if we want a more stable version (for reliability and feature set) there are always the other channels.
To me, Canary channel is like a science lab where different ideas and permutations are tossed around. Maybe also certain minor issues in other channels that don't effect the use of those particular features normally but are being improved in the Canary channel.
I'm a committed Canary tester, but I'd like to reiterate that from a testing perspective, it would make more sense to provide a change log (including new flag options) for the channel so we testers know specifically what we're supposed to be testing. Otherwise, there's no guarantee that we'll notice new items that need to be tested, defeating the whole object of the exercise. It also keeps it interesting for the enquiring mind!
Any input from Microsoft please?
May 05 2020 12:18 PM
Update today to 84.0.506.0 and my new tab page options are back to what they were. Seems a bit .... pointless.
Yes, I know it's Canary and what that means. I have Dev installed too, and I don't actually use either to browse with other than minimal testing of certain things each update. There's absolutely no question of me moving to Edge unless and until some things I need appear in Android Edge (my requirement to sync between laptop and Android phone means both platform's versions of a browser have to be acceptable for me to consider moving - it's either both or none, and with the lack of progress in certain areas in the Android Edge that's currently 'none'). But as I said above, I think it is very counterproductive to Edge testing for there not to be somewhere where one can easily see which features are A/B testing, so in situations like mine yesterday I can know if something disappearing is A<>B switch or a bug that needs reporting.
I must say that after hunting through the edge:// pages looking for any list of remotely configured off or on features and not finding one, but seeing all the telemetry being sent in to Microsoft down to e.g. max number of tabs open at the same time, I can't help wondering how useful such telemetry really is. The figures for me, for example, only represent daily (in Canary) and weekly (in Dev) quick checks of a few things and are not remotely like they would be if Edge was actually my default browser. I wonder if they discard much of the telemetry from people like me who don't have Edge configured as default browser as otherwise we'd be skewing the analysis away from normal usage cases.