/chrome/community?hl=en
/chrome/community?hl=en
2/10/16
Original Poster
Romek Ch.

What happened with pageAction?

Hi, I'm testing my browser extension on Chrome (48.0.2564.103) and Chromium (50.0.2645.0) and there is strange difference in pageAction feature. As you can on screen for some reason pageAction button in Chromium doesn't show in omnibox as in Chrome:



And also I cannot hide pageAction button in Chromium. If I use hide() function icon turns into grayscale. Can somebody tell me what is happening?

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All Replies (14)
sarjoor
2/11/16
sarjoor
Hi Romek,

Per the thread Introducing Chrome 48!  /chrome/forum/AAAAP1KN0B0t9AHfd90OAE
  • Extensions buttons in your toolbar

    • Extensions that you can interact with will now display a button icon in the Chrome toolbar. No longer want to use an extension? You can now remove an extension by right clicking on the extension button in your toolbar and selecting “Remove from Chrome.”

      • Note: Toolbar is found to the right of your address/URL bar (Omnibox).

    • You can also hide your toolbar extensions in the Chrome menu by right clicking on the extension button and selecting “Hide in Chrome menu.”

      • Note: you have to individually hide each extension that you don’t want displayed in your toolbar

      • From the Chrome Menu, right click “Show in Toolbar” to bring a button back to your Chrome toolbar.



2/11/16
Original Poster
Romek Ch.
So as I understand now there will be no difference between pageAction and buttonAction? Or there is an option to put icon in omnibox and control if it is hidden or not?
sarjoor
2/11/16
sarjoor
Hi Romek,

At least in terms of extensions placement, I believe there is no difference now.  It looks like both extension types all show either "in toolbar" or "in Chrome Menu".

For specific questions regarding extensions type, functionality, and development, you may get better answers in the Chrome Extensions forum:
(Previous, read-only Chrome extensions forum: https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/#!forum/chromium-extensions)

2/11/16
Original Poster
Romek Ch.
But why? Previous solution was superior to this. For example CanvasFingerprintBlock show itself only if it block something, so when I see it's icon I know something was blocked. Now I must choose between hidding icon all the time or place holding icon that is useless most of the time. It make no sense...
sarjoor
2/12/16
sarjoor
Hi Romek,

This was noted by the Chrome developers for the extensions UI change:

This can lead to a little more UI clutter, but we've noticed that for the majority of users, this is relatively little concern (most users have few, if any, page actions installed, and those that are can be reasonably determined when they would want to act).  We have discussed a variety of ways for indicating that an extension wants to act, but in the end, none of them felt right.  We may revisit that decision, though.

And yes, the reason for this is to increase extension visibility.  A surprising number of users are unaware of which extensions have been installed, whether by themselves or via phishing or sideloading programs.  Greater visibility and transparency into what is installed is a necessary step into protecting our users.

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2/22/16
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You could have increased extension visibility without breaking pageactions. Now users have to guess if the extension works on certain pages. Why break things without notifying developers? Pageaction is extremely useful especially for new extension users because they don't know exactly the pages where the extension can work. Not to mention the new extension layout is abhorrent, I have over 50 extensions. I have to look through all of them every time I need to use a pageaction.
swrobel
2/29/16
swrobel
Bring back extension icons in the omnibox! HTTP/2 and SPDY indicator is a perfect example of one that should live in the Omnibox.
Mr Link
3/3/16
Mr Link
I thought my extension was broken or corrupt in some way. Spent time debugging and checking files and settings for corruption. God damn it I'm pissed! I want pageAction back. Stop allowing stupid users to dictate things. How about you think of us other users too. Racism against average intelligent people! Inequality!
Alan Dong
3/4/16
Alan Dong
Myself is also curious to know how to get pageAction back, so the icons are showing in the address bar like they used to.
10basetom
3/8/16
10basetom
I agree with many that Google could've handled this better. By moving the pageAction icon to the same place as the browserAction icon, they have essentially...

1. killed the contextual benefit of showing the pageAction icon only when the extension can interact with that particular page
2. made pageAction redundant
3. confused users and developers alike (I was in the process of filing a bug report until I stumbled on this post)
4. compounded the confusion by not updating their documentation (https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/pageAction)

There's another discussion thread about this and some people are not too thrilled either.

To extension developers: to recover from this Google fumble, you're going to have to add code to update the icon depending on the context/state.
jason.capriotti
3/10/16
jason.capriotti
I randomly reinstalled my laptop OS on the day this was released and thought the OS was losing its sh-t. Then a few days later my other PCs updated and suddenly I had 12 new nasty gray icons on my toolbar. So yeah... I thought I had problems until I finally looked for the cause and found this thread.

I'm probably not in the majority in terms of how many extensions I use (or have installed that I forgot about). But count me as unimpressed with this change.

I also just spent a few minutes weeding out the extensions on one PC, only to find the "Hide in Chrome menu" setting doesn't seem to be synced. At least it hasn't in the last 30 minutes. So that's cool.
Jess Austin
3/31/16
Jess Austin
On chrome's very own extension developer site, a useful distinction is made between browser actions and page actions:

Choose a browser action when the extension is relevant to most pages. Choose a page action when the extensions icon should be active or inactive (and grayed out), depending on the page.

If only Chrome UX product managers had an opportunity to read basic documentation like that! Both users and extension developers could have been spared this pointless and annoying regression. Many domain-specific extensions would still be smart enough to hide themselves when not in use. I wouldn't have a NASCAR race obscuring the omnibox...

Please fix this.
sarjoor
4/1/16
sarjoor
Hi Everyone,

There's been lots of user feedback about this UI change in the following bug report:

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=572522  -  Icons of all extensions shown in toolbar

Indeed, the developer document is behind and has not been updated yet to reflect to the current UI behavior.

I'm sure that if the decision is to maintain this new UI extensions layout, the PageAction documentation will be removed/corrected to reflect to new UI.

sarjoor
4/1/16
sarjoor
Hi Everyone,

The Chrome developers have filed below followup issue regarding different methods to handle PageAction extensions in the new toolbar redesign.

You can assist by providing clear, constructive comments, and also add a STAR to the issue to be notified of updates:

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=597657  -  Evaluate page action UX in new toolbar design

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