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back to article Mozilla axes HATED Firefox-ad-tab plan ... but will try again

Mozilla has scrapped its plan to show in-browser adverts to new users of Firefox. Back in February, Moz talked up “Directory Tiles” that “suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users” of the open-source web browser. Some of the suggestions would be paid-for – ads in other words. The organisation now says the idea “didn’t …

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ok

So long as the first two recommendations are adblock plus and privacy badger...

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Dictionary Definition

"Ads in Tabs"

To shoot oneself in the foot.

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Holmes

Here's an idea!

How about a new tab opens your home page, a search engine for most of us.

Oh wait, that's what used to happen.

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Re: Here's an idea!

They could even stick an ad or two on that Firefox Start Page (which respect the user's DNT setting, of course). I think few people could get their pants in a twist over that.

Mozilla lately seem to want to find new beautiful web-standard ways to shoot themselves in the foot though.

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kb
Windows

Re: Here's an idea!

This actually CAN be done right, look at the default start screen for Palemoon for instance...its got such a good selection that frankly I have kept it as a home screen.

Here is what you get on its start screen...palemoon home page, gmail,twitter,G+,Linkedin,BBCNews,Wikipedia, second row..FF addons, Outlook livemail,FB,yahoo,deviantart,imdb,download crew, final row.lifehacker,newgrounds,youtube,microsoft,stumbleupon,wordpress,livejournal.

With that selection there is more than enough places that I use a lot to make it worth keeping...is Palemoon getting paid for having some of those there? Maybe,probably,but I really don't care since I use those sites anyway and if it keeps palemoon cranking while making my browsing a little faster win/win.

So I think it all comes down to selection and usefulness. If they make sure you have a wide selection of popular websites that are heavily used? I could see folks keeping it and even finding it useful, if they just let anybody with cash buy the slots? Then it'll bomb.

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Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

If advertisers want to send me unsolicited data, then I require payment for the bandwidth, which I have paid for, that they use. Anything else is theft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

Sure. As soon as you pay for the content you currently get for free.

Cuts both ways.

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Re: Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

> As soon as you pay for the content you currently get for free.

Quite. Ads are not a technical problem but a commercial one. Only way to deal with them effectively, and the you-are-the-product approach of social networking (and most other) sites is to have a payment for contents system.

We could pretend that ads are not self-inflicted from our expectation of stuff for free, or maybe we could have a discussion about micropayments, like I've asked before. Shall we?

...

(Harken to that ringing silence)

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Re: Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

Ah, the old "adverts are mandatory or you are a thief" argument.

The Internet does NOT revolve around the advert model. I know, heresy, right?

But it doesn't. Read on before you downvote...

You want to pay for your website, then sell something. A service or a product. Adverts are gravy.

There are literally MILLIONS of websites that do not rely on the advert model. If this would put Yahoo and the like out of business, I won't miss them for a second. Just like no one really misses AOL's business model, do they? There are plenty of people willing to step up and take their place and even do a better job.

I personally don't mind adverts as long as they aren't the annoying far-too-loud-pop-up-video and I do not begrudge websites making money from them. But NOBODY is obliged to look at them. That's how it works.

If Mozilla wants a way to make (more) money, they should go to the apps store model for their plug ins, but only for the high quality ones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

> Ah, the old "adverts are mandatory or you are a thief" argument.

No one said that - stop building straw men.

> You want to pay for your website, then sell something. A service or a product.

Content is the product, but no one wants to pay. Where does the money come from them? Your newspapers, TV and magazines are subsidised by adverts, it's the same on the Internet just with a different balance.

> There are plenty of people willing to step up and take their place and even do a better job.

Yeah, I can see the droves of people willing to blow a few million a month running (say) a news site in order to give you content for free.

> I do not begrudge websites making money from them.

Nor me, but people should not demand advertisers pay for bandwidth when the advertiser has already paid for the content the user is getting for free.

> If Mozilla wants a way to make (more) money, they should go to the apps store

Or people could simply pay them for their browser. Y'know, that product thing you bang on about!

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Pirate

Re: Pay me for the bandwidth you steal.

"Your newspapers, TV and magazines are subsidized by adverts, it's the same on the Internet just with a different balance."

Yes, but you have already paid all you are going to pay for Newspaper, TV and Mazagines (SP - intentional).

As with the internet service, most of us have a data cap, albeit some of them are very large (mine is 300GB/month).

BUT, those adverts eat into that allotment of data. How much? I don't rightly know as I haven't had time or the inclination to measure it.

It is the principal of the thing.

What if you mobile rang you up on occasion, or during a call to play a little jingle for you? And it used up some of your minutes?

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How about fixing the UI to one that works?

I keep letting my Screen Reader Environment (SRE) read the latest versions of FF, and the only thing I can conclude is that your design team is smoking something that even Microsoft's Win8 UI team refused to tamp into their pipe.

There's a phrase I like to use for such things: Situation Normal All F@#ed Up Beyond Recognition, or SNAFUBAR.

Your UI is SNAFUBAR and until you can navigate it with the monitor turned off, you've failed at design.

No seriously, install Jaws from Freedom Scientific, load up the browser, & turn off the monitor.

If you can navigate the Fuster Cluck that is FF entirely by SRE alone, then the design is Logical, Well Thought Out, and Useable.

Until then, I'm stuck using IE while you morons take SNAFUBAR to new & ever depressing lows.

I used to like FF, but haven't in a very long time, because every time I turn around, the UI has changed, the buttons different &/or moved, the options changed &/or moved, and nothing feels the same.

Then there's the hideous roadkill mess you make of the plug in's, with compatibility breaking with every new release, and whom has the time to bother?

It ends up being a infinite game of "Install latest version, determine which plug in's work, determine which ones are broken, set notifications to favorite plug in's so I know when they work, and wait..." Only to do it all over again a few days later because you've released a new version that breaks all the plug in's *AGAIN*...

Don't waste time slapping advertisements into the mix, pull your heads out, take off the blinders, and fix the damned UI.

Once you get THAT done & the browser stable, THEN you can think about ways to make money from the thing.

Until then, your ads will themselves be broken by the very update path you foist upon the very people you want to advertise to.

Brilliant.

Morons.

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Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

Try Firefox ESR which should still have the previous interface and should do for several more months. It only gets security fixes, no UI changes.

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Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

A Firefox update has never broken a plugin, that interface was set back in the early Netscape Navigator days and has barely changed since. They used to break extensions on a regular basis but I can't remember the last time one of my dozen or so extensions didn't already work with the latest version.

I can't comment on screen reader issues and agree they should leave the UI alone but with the theme I use I haven't seen any of the UI changes in recent versions. I don't like the Chrome UI so my Firefox still looks like Firefox, main menu and everything.

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Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

"Try Firefox ESR"?

I read that and thought what has Eric Raymond associated himself with now??!

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Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

To just cut a snipet...

I used to like FF, but haven't in a very long time, because every time I turn around, the UI has changed, the buttons different &/or moved, the options changed &/or moved, and nothing feels the same.

I know how you feel! That's why I can only recommend that everyone should uninstall their current Firefox installation, and install Firefox 24ESR instead. Yes you'll need to do some judicious work in about:config to bring it back in to line.

I used this Video as a guide. It should be required viewing for EVERYONE at Mozilla!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C51X1DCMtwI

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Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

Extensions always break. It's tedious.

Download Statusbar, an essential one that many people used, broke with 26. Yes, someone coded a replacement, but this shit is seriously tiring.

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Joke

Re: How about fixing the UI to one that works?

How the hell do you browse pr0n with the monitor off??

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Sounds to me like...

"I'm getting pressure from my bosses to think of ways to make money from Firefox, and I'm pretty much stumped."

I've used other browsers that do this (e.g. some versions of Opera, UCBrowser, Safari), and honestly I have no objection, so long as I have the option to customise it for myself.

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Re: Sounds to me like...

That is the whole point. Firefox would display a few (maximum of 9?) sponsored links, until you have visited your first 9 web sites after a CLEAN installation.

The Mozilla Foundation needs money to keep on developing Firefox. Firefox is a free browser. That means that they have to find a few cents here and there to keep the whole operation afloat.

Existing users would never see these links, unless they install it on a new PC, where they will see it until they have set up synchronisation of their settings.

New users will see a list of sponsored sites until they start using the browser to visit sites of their own choosing.

People are happy to use free products, yet they complain when the makers of said products try and find a way to keep the product going and feed themselves... Maybe Firefox users should donate money to Mozilla if they don't want to see 9 sponsored tiles on a clean installation of Firefox.

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Re: Sounds to me like...

Given the widespread dislike of Australis and all the other feature-removing "improvements" they've made to Firefox over the years ... well, perhaps it would be better if Mozilla was paid to stop developing it?

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Re: Sounds to me like...

Ironically of course, Mozilla is funded in no small part from the many millions Google pay them to be the default engine in the search bar (which incidentally is why a search engine is no longer my home page, because why default to search when I have a search bar permanently available?).

I'm not sure why people should be so conflicted with a few ads or sponsored add-ons here and there - provided they are not overly intrusive, and respectful of DNT settings, etc.

Firefox is already funded from sponsorship, ironically from their biggest competitor, which is why I'm sure they're keen to diversify their income stream.

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Re: Sounds to me like...

Not conflicted so much as short-sighted. As digital consumers we've embraced free content like it's our right, and spew indignation over the forums whenever someone who has put their heart and soul into a web project has the temerity to ask us to consider turning AdBlock off. It pisses me off.

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Re: Sounds to me like...

Given the widespread dislike of Australis and all the other feature-removing "improvements" they've made to Firefox over the years ... well, perhaps it would be better if Mozilla was paid to stop developing it?

Forking HEAR HEAR!!

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Re: Sounds to me like...

There used to be absolutely loads of great stuff with no adverts whatsoever when I first started using the internet. Just people posting about stuff that they were passionate about.

That was the stuff worth having and it is almost impossible to find any more. Everything is just made to show advertising content. (Or copy pasting from other similar sites).

The old systems were good.

Usenet (Still miles better than web forums both in terms of the idea and the implimentation).

Web (Displaying Content nothing else).

Email (Plain Text only).

IRC (Chat - Seperate terminal window so not distracting to anywhere near the same extent as instant messages).

There was a pretty good solution for every problem. Now everything is forced to be done via the web for which it is badly suited.

If Google (Or anybody else) had a way to search for advertising free content I would certainly use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Obviously, it's time...

... to change the browser I use.

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Re: Obviously, it's time...

Because they're trying out changes that, as an existing user, you wouldn't even see? How very pointlessly principled of you.

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Re: Obviously, it's time...

I've used the mozilla/google homepage for a decade, Mozilla get a cut from that. I certainly don't begrudge it.

Just bored of change for changes sake. Seeing the last 10 pages I visited when opening a new tab is not at all useful, i have to squint to even make out what most of them are.

To this day i still type in well used url's, letting autocomplete or history take care of typos. No doubt Google or some other bunch (of c**ts) will find a reason to remove ALL unseemly text from the browsers.

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Re: Obviously, it's time...

The new tab page doesn't show the last 10 pages you visited. It shows 9 pages for a start. These are made up of the pages you visit most frequently, pages you've pinned to the new tab page and doesn't include any you have told it to remove from the page. And if you have to squint to see what they are you need to see an optician, one who specialises in coke bottle lenses, coz you have serious sight problems.

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Re: Obviously, it's time...

... to change the browser I use.

I know right? Problem is, (And I'll send it back to you!), what would you replace it with? Nothing currently does, what Firefox did. Before it went all derp on us! Infection Exploiter? Ughh NOPE I only fire that fail up Once a Month (i.e. Every second Tuesday of the Month). Safari? I'm no fan of the Fruits. I guess that might leave Opera. But, that sucks too!

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Re: Obviously, it's time...

The new tab page doesn't show the last 10 pages you visited. It shows 9 pages for a start. These are made up of the pages you visit most frequently, pages you've pinned to the new tab page and doesn't include any you have told it to remove from the page. And if you have to squint to see what they are you need to see an optician, one who specialises in coke bottle lenses, coz you have serious sight problems.

And I'd say that in 9 outta 10 instances. When I do decide to open a "New Tab", its so I can quickly get back to Google w/o having to close the other Tab I was on. Makes ya wonder how we got on w/o 'em!? I do not need a fecking "Awesome Screen" for my PC. I seen how awesome the "Awesome Screen" was already on Android. Which is why I just stick with the more awesome AOSP Browser. That takes me directly to my Homepage quickly, simply with out having to forking shout at it. Or wanting to pitch the fecking thing at the ground!

And, now they want to bring this sh-- to my PC! OH HELL NO!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obviously, it's time...

Pale Moon www.palemoon.org

An optimised version of Firefox without the crap.

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FAIL

Re: Obviously, it's time...

Pale Moon www.palemoon.org

Just want to throw it out there that Pale Moon is just another Word for Firefox 24ESR.

Why use that crap when you can just use the same environment as always. (Icons, and such).

Its also worth noting that since Pale Moon IS FIREFOX 24ESR w/another name. It will also suffer the same fate once Mozilla get 'round to killing 24ESR off. Make no mistake it might be a short while before that actually happens. But make NO MISTAKE IT WILL HAPPEN!

And, then what?! If Pale Moon were able to do more then a cosmetic brush-up on 24ESR I'd use it. As it is I fell better off just sticking to Firefox24ESR, for now.

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Time to escape google

I suspect they want to escape google being their main contributor.

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Re: Time to escape google

You realize that's not how business works right? To move away from Google they've got to have a replacement revenue source or they die. Not soldier on with a limp or the occasional voilent flashback, just die. You can't lop that kind of revenue off most regular companies, much less an extra lean organization like Mozilla.

The Google revenue has always been Mozilla's biggest liability. They're fairly boxed in.

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Firefox are getting seriously annoying.

They are changing the sync thing again and making it less secure. (If it was on more than one PC then you always had a way to resync).

I had to change my colour scheme to make the inactive tabs readable.

It is a POS

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This is why

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/23/mozilla_2012_annual_report/

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox turned into windows

An update is required, an update is required, another fucking update is required.

And honestly, it's slower and uglier than Chrome.

Game over.

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Re: Firefox turned into windows

If all the updates were really just to fix bugs and security issues it would be fine. But the constant mucking with the UI is getting rather annoying.

I really need to go check the themes to find me a 2.x/3.x theme..

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Re: Firefox turned into windows

Slower? Perhaps.... Uglier? Well its getting their with each new update. Thankfully I'm still able to use the 24ESR version which still retains traces of common sense.

Makes ya wonder what those Clowns over at Mozilla are currently using. I'd bet my Left Maplenut, its also 24ESR. Perhaps they should be made to suffer their sh-- first before throwing it at the walls?

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Re: Firefox turned into windows

>I really need to go check the themes to find me a 2.x/3.x theme..

Pfft, good luck with that. Last I looked, the Themes directory is a wasteland; you're lucky if you get one per page that's "supported by your version".

I imagine that this is because only those with serious devotion and time on their hands can keep up with the moving target that is the base UI spec. All the good themes I used to use eventually fell by the wayside, leaving little but sports- or cutesy-animal-themed monstrosities or 1337 eye-bleeders.

I actually don't mind Australis, and used it for a while before it was default, but the forced tabs-on-top and removal of the addon bar really pissed me off. Thank heavens for Classic Theme Restorer.

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Mozilla have completely lost their way

This is as far as it gets from the original days of "let's keep the Internet free from proprietary stuff". In the last few years, everything emanating from Mozilla has been more and more emulation of their "commercial" competitors - and that is, mainly Google. More and more muddling of why Mozilla exists in the first place. After receiving 300 millions a year from Google, they still nag everybody that they need more money. What for? To plaster more billboards throughout California promoting, err, themselves? Does it really take that much money to release one zillion releases per month which show no discernible or useful progress? Or maybe creating rounded tabs to match the ones from Chrome has been a massively costly exercise? I bet leaving Thunderbird, Lightning and some of their other projects aside, while singing "la-la-la" to the users who need them has really costed them a lot of money. And then there is all the muddling of lines between Mozilla Foundation the charity, and Mozilla Corporation the for-profit enterprise. Where exactly does the money, influence and branding rights go to nowadays - to which one of them? Here is an idea Mozilla - if you want to make some money, maybe it is time to get rid of some of that fat at the top - which is dreaming of more and more ways of being evil while telling everybody not to be evil. Oh, well, another idea you've borrowed, we all know from where.

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Am I the last person on Earth...

...who would be willing to pay for software?

Seriously, if it's good, I'm happy to buy it. Free as in Speech, not Free as in Beer. Yes, someone can take the source and make their own version and distribute for free, or just compile it for their own use. But the latter are no threat to the wider market and the former would then have to come up with a long-term business model to support the free distribution. Which would probably mean going back to ads to them so it still wouldn't be quite a competitor to the ad-free Firefox. And indeed, Mozilla could pull the rug out from under any would-be competitor who tried that by simply doing an ad-supported version in parallel with their paid one.

Like YouTube - if I could pay a pittance (e.g. a fiver for a year subscription) to not have all those ads, that would be worth it to me.

Do we really have to have everything for free?

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Re: Am I the last person on Earth...

*YES*. Very much in agreement, not just about a Browser, but about a Imap mail client also. I use Thunderbird and find it jolly useful, however, there are some aspects that I despair over, not in the least the amount of memory it consumes when linked to a Gmail account.

I would pay to help support and keep independent. I truly would. I bought Eudora back in 1999 and would certainly pay fees for well developed and supported software.

I suspect, though I have no basis for it, that the majority of people who only use FF and TB feel the same way*.

*So what? MARKETING DROiDS and politicians get away with it so why can't I?

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Go

Re: Am I the last person on Earth...

Sounds fair. Afterall, plenty of "free" phone apps have a "donate 69p to disable ads" option (I've even used it for games that I've actually enjoyed).

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Re: Am I the last person on Earth...

There isn't much money to be made out of a web browser. Ask Opera. If there was a premium version of FF available, what features would it include ? Since it is already ad-free (so far), the Mozilla foundation can only rely on donations and revenue from ads via searches to keep itself going.

It's the perennial question: how to make enough money from Free Software to sustain the organisation without losing its ethos ? How can the Mozilla foundation stay independent from monetary influence by bigger players while still staying solvent ?

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Re: Am I the last person on Earth...

" Am I the last person on Earth......who would be willing to pay for software?"

No. There's three other commentards who've claimed they would pay as well. Will all four of you be able to support the development and maintenance of a new paid for browser, even forked from existing versions?

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Re: Am I the last person on Earth...

Well, I pay for good apps on my phone, and I doubt I'm the only one, so there is a market. I don't like being force-fed ads, and so one value-added way for FF to go would be to introduce a "sorry folks, we need money, so it's ads or a small fee". By small, I mean small - about the same as a decent app on a phone. I wouldn't pay the same as CoPilot premium (£36 at the moment) for a browser, but I'd pay £3-4 a year for, say, four machines - I want the option to clearly vote with my wallet if Mozilla continue making such a pig's ear of the browser as they seem committed to doing at the moment.

Really, though, we need someone to produce a light, effective browser like Firefox used to be.

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MJI
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FF at home has gone nearly unuusable

Blue header, rounded tabs you can't see, Managed to download something which makes it a bit better but how do I get back and forwards back to the left?

Tempted to ty other browsers now.

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Re: FF at home has gone nearly unuusable

@MJI how do I get back and forwards back to the left?

The Restore Classic Shell add-on has an option to make the back button moveable, which actually converts it to left and right buttons, which you can then move to the far left.

The options in RCS aren't very intuitive. I found the best way was to check each box in turn and see what changed.

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