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Mozilla The Internet

A New Look For Firefox 416

ben writes "Regular users of Mozilla Firefox may be interested to know a new default theme is planned for 0.9 in preparation for the road to 1.0. 0.9 will also feature new improved theme and extension management, which will make it easy to make Firefox look the way you want it to."
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A New Look For Firefox

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  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by G-funk ( 22712 ) <> on Sunday June 06, 2004 @09:58AM (#9350021) Homepage Journal
    ...They leave everything as it is, and fix the resource leak in windows? It's hard to try and convince people to switch to my browser when I have to "end process tree" the thing once a day.
    • Re:How about... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      eh? i use FF loads and don't have to do that, ever. could it be one of your extensions or sommat?
    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:04AM (#9350047)
      Well remember the people who design themes aren't the same sort of people who can fix resource leaks!

      Also have you got a bug number for this? I've not had any major problems with Mozilla or Firefox for ages.
    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hattig ( 47930 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:05AM (#9350054) Journal
      Definitely. It looks fine at the moment, but that resource leak is the biggest annoyance. Especially when everything stops responding because Firefox running as the only application starts paging on a 512MB machine.

      • I reported the memory leak on October 17, 2003:

        Firefox 0.8: All instances crash. Memory leaks. 0

        (Copy and paste the link to view the bug report.)

        Please add your experiences to the report.

        I reported the same bug in Mozilla browser, a long time ago. Huge memory leaks have existed since Mozilla version 1.0.

        A recent experience: After two days of opening and closing instances of FireFox, with two FireFox instances open and maybe 5 tabs total
      • Re:How about... (Score:5, Informative)

        by xandroid ( 680978 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @01:11PM (#9351200) Homepage Journal
        A thread I stumbled upon at MozillaZine mentioned that these resource issues won't be fixed in 0.9, or even 1.0.

        (Not sure if this is gospel truth, but I sure hope not... kill -9 firefox is getting old...)
      • Re:How about... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thakadu ( 776967 )
        I am sorry that you are experiencing these leaks as I am fortunate enough not to have had them yet. I also am running a 512MB machine (WinXP) and I have almost always got at least 3 FireFox tabs open and I very seldom reboot. The one thing I don't have is the Flash plugin. Could it be this causing the leaks you are experiencing? The only instability problems I currently have are:
        1) Bookmark icons on the bookmarks toolbar seam to come and go as they please. (Also happens in IE)
        2) Text entered in a form f
    • Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Safety Cap ( 253500 )
      The important things like fixing the preferences, the weird [], fatal [] bugs can wait! We want fun eye candy!!!
      • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Informative)

        by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:03AM (#9350402)
        I've just had a look at the bugs mentioned and they're both being worked on. Therefore it's unlikely you'll see them when 1.0 comes out. However, like I said previously, the type of person who can design a good theme is unlikely to be able to help with the other bugs
      • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by irokitt ( 663593 )
        Well, in my experience, they key to getting software to be accepted in the wild world out there is the way it looks, not the performance or reliability. After all, look at IE. When a friend of mine switched his families browser to Firefox, the biggest beef was "it looks hokey" (he hadn't installed any of the pretty themes). So perhaps the dev team has realized that the development path should include parallel development on the eye candy, instead waiting until everything else is done to work on the interfac
    • Re:How about... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Raven42rac ( 448205 )
      First of all, it is a free browser, they have no obligation to fix anything. Buy a shirt, then whine. Second, if they are having legal issues with their art, then to ensure the continued existence of their browser, or else they will have no chance to fix the bugs. On another note, I have never had any problems with the browser from Phoenix to Firefox. Are you using the nightly builds or the official release. If you are using the nightly release, be careful what you wish for.
    • by gtaluvit ( 218726 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:09AM (#9350438)
      I've seen IE barf on pages before. No browser is going to be perfect and I think explaining to people that you may have to close and restart a browser during the day (if they keep it open THAT long) is a lot easier than saying "ok, if you close those 5 pop ups and uninstall CometCursor, you'd see the page you're lookin for."
      • Parent has a very good point. IE still freaks out with regular use, bloating up to tremendous size and crashing. Opera (which I'm writing this on now) also crashes, perhaps once a day. It's not such a big deal in Opera, because it saves what pages you're looking at, but it still happens. Mozilla crashes. iCab crashes. I can't vouch for Konqueror or Safari, as I haven't spent enough time with either.

        In short, while bugs are annoying, FireFox isn't buggier than any of the other browsers out there, and
        • It's not such a big deal in Opera, because it saves what pages you're looking at

          If I understand you correctly, there is a way to do this in mozilla as well. Set the pref to the integer '2', and mozilla/firefox/et al will start up on the page last loaded.

      • by Kyouryuu ( 685884 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @03:11PM (#9351832) Homepage
        Just because IE isn't stable doesn't mean Firefox can't aspire to be. IE is an archaic browser as far as I'm concerned, and that's why Mozilla and Netscape are actually gaining momentum. Prior to Mozilla 1.0, IE dominated. Now, at least according to my statistic, it's more of a 90%-10% or 85%-15% distribution. And although that may seem small, in something as gigantic as the browser market, that's actually quite a lot of people.

        Why are they gaining? They offer technologies people want. Tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, and are generally less crashy. They are also generally more immune to the various sorts of crap unscrupulous advertisers have been pulling that "infects" IE. To keep gaining, these browsers need to keep doing this. That means not allowing large and highly documented bugs like the memory leak in question to be ignored.

    • It is fixed... (Score:3, Informative)

      by WD ( 96061 )
      Assuming you're talking about this bug: 205893
    • Re:How about... (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) *
      I have only ever experienced this with Tabbrowser Extensions installed. Once I disabled it, Firefox was VERY stable again. Could this be the same with your issue?
  • I liked the old look (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:00AM (#9350030)
    I did prefer the old look, but then again the new one hasn't been finalised yet and is still under active development (it's been checked in but not enabled yet).

    Whatever the case, 0.9 will be an excellent release and well worth trying. However, please remember this release will have some major new features (better extension/theme management, migration of prefs from other browsers such as IE, Netscape and Opera) and then focus will be on polish and stability up to a successful 1.0 release.
    • by Conor Turton ( 639827 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:04AM (#9350048)
      The preferences importing from Opera works extremely well. In fact I wasn't aware it was there, installed FF 0.9 and fired it up for the first time to set it up just to find it loading up my homepage and my Opera bookmarks were all there.

      A welcome suprise and it means I can get shut of my 3rd party bookmark convertor.

  • Thunderbird? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:04AM (#9350044) Homepage
    One reason given is for consistency across platform. I agree with this, but part of the 'platform' is the other software you're likely to use with it. In my case and I suspect in many others, that means Thunderbird.

    Will Thunderbird be following suite and changing default theme too?


  • by Xshare ( 762241 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:06AM (#9350059) Homepage
    Qute was a great Default theme. It looked great as a default theme, and really made switchers from IE feel comfortable. This new theme just doesnt fit in Windows or Linux... it looks good for OSX, but just not in other OSes.
    • Agreed. One of the issues was the license for the grafics, the author has stated he would be willing to change it for

      While the new theme isn't *bad*, it is not nearly as profesional as QUTE is, and a terrible first impression for new users who are coming off of IE.

      Sad, sad, sad. Wish this could have been discussed first like in the old days (pheonix).
    • This new theme just doesnt fit in Windows or Linux... it looks good for OSX, but just not in other OSes.

      I disagree. I have been using the windows version of the theme for weeks, and it's really fine. Check this screenshot [] for an example.

      If you really want it to look windowsish, you'd have to use those big, kitch, flashy buttons that are used in IE. No thanks, the general window interface (flashy window frames) is already ugly enough !
      • IE has 2 sets of buttons.. Large (default) and Small (that I've always used).

        The current Qute buttons look a lot like IE's Small buttons.

        IMHO, The theme in the screenshot you give is _terrible_. I hate those "apple" style buttons.. this is a web browser I'm running under Windows here, not an iPod.
      • by Xshare ( 762241 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:19AM (#9350134) Homepage
        First off: That's not the new skin: This is. [] Second:Exactly. You have been using this skin. You know how to change a skin. Hell, you know what a skin is. You are also a reader of slashdot. That already means that you most likely are an advanced computer user, prolly use linux at times, and etc. Most people aren't. The people who we want to convert from MSIE don't like change. They don't want to go into the skinning thing and get a new skin. It's too complicated. First impressions are also crucial, and most "new users" would see this new skin as alien to them, and they won't want to go through the trouble of changing it, and will just slump back to IE. Just my take on things.
        • In this case, I guess the best choice is to release Firefox with an IE theme and let power-users change themes if they feel like it ?

          IE is just so horrible that both Qute and the new firefox theme are way ahead esthetically. However, if people don't want a new interface at all, would you push an IE looking default theme ?
        • Idiots love skins (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:33AM (#9350566) Homepage Journal
          Actually, the look of things is about the only thing that even total idiots do change about their computers.

          Many, many thousands of machines out there run without having ever been update since install, with every service under the sun enabled, and probably with the default passwords still in place. However, these same machines have custom backgrounds, colour cursors, sound effects and a dozen screensavers.

          Skins are big with people who don't know how to change the Start menu and believe Linux must be a windos program, because how can something run on a computer if it isn't a windos program?
    • by igrp ( 732252 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:18AM (#9350125)
      I agree. Most people I introduced to Mozilla were impressed by two features: the pop-up blocker and its feeling. Many remarked that it just felt "right". That's one of the biggest compliments you can pay to a UI designer: if the user doesn't feel that there's a transition period and can get started right away then you've done something right.

      Personally, I'm more of an "I don't care how it looks as long as it works" guy but I agree that the Qute theme looks great and I always felt comfortable using it. I guess variety is a good thing but I'd much rather see them sort out their differences and stick with Qute.

    • by j7953 ( 457666 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:41AM (#9350607)
      Qute was a great Default theme. It looked great as a default theme, and really made switchers from IE feel comfortable.

      I agree. Replacing this comfortable feeling with a uniform cross-platform look is a stupid idea. Who benefits from a uniform cross-platform look, anyway? Most computer users use only a single platform. They probably don't care at all how the browser looks on some other platform (hell, many don't even know that there are other platforms), but they do care if it looks like it was designed for the platform they use.

      People who use multiple platforms are likely to be experienced computer users anyway, so if they want a uniform look, they'll probably be able to install whatever theme they prefer on all the platforms they use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:08AM (#9350068)
    in the browser market, you'd be looking to take it from Internet Explorer (duh). That's Internet Explorer on Windows ... not the Mac. I think that it is important to have a default theme that makes it easy for the mums and dads to identify with (because they are not likely to change it). I think the current default theme does this and the proposed change is a mistake. But what do I know?
  • opera vs firefox? (Score:2, Informative)

    by zlel ( 736107 )
    Just tried firefox this afternoon - but switched back to Opera. Am I trying the wrong thing, or does firefox not expose as may options as opera? I wanna be able to do stuff like set my default encoding, browser id, source viewer n stuff like that... without recompling of course...
    • by pmjordan ( 745016 )
      Some people prefer FireFox, some prefer Opera. It's really a matter of opinion. I'm tempted to say that for your average end-user, FireFox is the better choice, and for many power users, installing lots of plugins is the way to go.

      Personally, I agree with you, I've been a happy Opera user for years. That doesn't mean that FireFox should be more like Opera, it's just a different approach.
    • Re:opera vs firefox? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by elFarto the 2nd ( 709099 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:20AM (#9350137)

      May I suggest you fire up Firefox again, and type

      into the address bar and hit enter.

      More options than you could shake a very large stick at

      Also, Character Encoding is in the view menu.

      • Wow, it's good that they explain _any_ of it...

        Seriously, opera allows the same "do whatever the hell you want with this software" attitude of open source, yet they keep the usability of a company that actually wants to make money. Give it a whirl and you'll be surprised.

    • Re:opera vs firefox? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Pahalial ( 580781 )
      Extensions, my friend. For example, there's a user agent switcher [] that you can customize. there's also a lot more on that page of course, and for the other stuff there's the about:config mentioned in another reply.
  • by m00nun1t ( 588082 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:14AM (#9350099) Homepage
    They are changing the name!

    It's now known as ThunderFox.
  • Yay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by W2k ( 540424 ) <{wilhelm.svenselius} {at} {}> on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:15AM (#9350106) Homepage Journal
    This is why I like open source software development. Just look at that forum thread. Inside a company like IBM or Microsoft, a debate like this would be kept covered up out of PR fears. Open source developers more often than not do not give a shit about PR (which is a good thing), they just want to make the best possible program. They also don't have to be afraid of losing their jobs, getting their salaries lowered, or whatnot. So we get to see the nitty gritty details of intra-project disputes and arguments from the front row, even silly things like what theme ships with Firefox as the default.

    Gotta love it.
    • Re:Yay (Score:4, Insightful)

      by geeber ( 520231 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:39AM (#9350259)
      This forum thread was started by taking a private email and posting to a public forum without the author's permission. This is not the sort of behavior that should be celebrated, whether it is done inside a private company or in an open source community. It is a serious violation of ettiquite.

      • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

        by eyeye ( 653962 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @01:00PM (#9351128) Homepage Journal
        Firefox devs make their decisions (e.g name changes!) behind closed doors and the first you know about it is when they have already made the change.

        I am glad he released this info.
  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:15AM (#9350109)
    Sorry to sound like a prick, but some of the lead Mozilla developers have turned into incredibly unresponsive pricks that don't know how to delegate and assign authority properly. I respect their hard work immensely, but their attitude and arrogance on certain issues continues to mystify me. Look at this new theme at the top of this thread []. This is beyond atrocious. This is because the Mozilla devs don't know how to resolve differences with other people, and they REPEATEDLY have shown a complete indifference to aesthetic issues in the browser and an unwillingness to make use of the talents of the many artists out there who would be very willing to help create good splashscreens, icons and so on, a rather critical part of a mass market desktop application that we want people to adopt (in the interests of a more secure, standards-compliant web).

    Yes, Arvid Axelsson, the author of the current default theme (Qute), may have a bit of an ego himself, and may have been reluctant to freely license his artwork under the same MPL terms as the Mozilla codebase. But he's a reasonable person, and he's indicated he's willing to compromise and do a Free license that works for the Mozilla team, because he wants to make sure that Firefox succeeds, and has the best, most aesthetically pleasing look and feel possible.

    For God's FUCKING sake you egomaniacs (and anybody who has followed some of these discussions over the last few years knows this is true - see the splashscreen debacle in Bugzilla, the many UI layout discussions, and the naming debacles for examples), we are relying on you and the excellent browser you have created and maintained. We respect immensely all the hard work the Mozilla and Firefox core developers have done, but their lackadaisical attitude towards branding of their product (Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox?), the terrible aesthetics of the splashscreens and icon sets they keep putting back in are just unacceptable. Qute was the best thing that ever happened to Firefox and the Mozilla project - compare to the awful looking old versions of the Mozilla browser - ugh.

    You are the developers and project leaders of a critical mass-market product. If there is truly an unresolvable licensing issue with the current icons and their author is unwilling to compromise, come out and tell us, and assign a group of artists or other aesthetically inclined technology professionals to consider submissions for a new default. Realize that your contributions, while critical, do not need to include drawing shitty icons or making terrible off-the-cuff aesthetic decisions that have a negative impact on the adoption of a critical product for the entire Internet's wellbeing.

    • by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:25AM (#9350171)
      The problem is when you debate every little detail to death you get a browser like the Mozilla suite which progressed relatively slowly because everything was a committee decision.

      Yes I do think this could have been handled a *lot* better because Arvid but a lot of work into this excellent theme and now is word will be getting a lot less attention as it'll now just be a downloadable theme on

      Also as you can see from the forum thread mentioned in the original article you can see the information process wasn't the best.

      However, ultimately difficult decisions have to be made and they can't satisfy everyone all of the time.

      If you look at the original charter [] for m/b, Phoenix, Firebird, Firefox you'll see that they intended from the very beginning to have only a small group of people making the decisions.

      To quote:
      The size of the team working on the trunk is one of the many reasons that development on the trunk is so slow. We feel that fewer dependencies (no marketing constraints), faster innovation (no UI committees), and more freedom to experiment (no backwards compatibility requirements) will lead to a better end product.

      • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:37AM (#9350237)
        Those difficult decisions should not be made by Ben Goodger. I'm sure he's a great, stand-up guy. I've worked with engineers like him before - their code may be fabulous, but their sense of aesthetics is fundamentally broken. I support the idea of a small group *of artists and UI designers* making UI decisions, and a group with some marketing experience to make branding decisions.

        I've managed plenty of software development teams before, and you just don't assign any random engineer to make important UI decisions. Some people have the talent for this and some don't. It's part aesthetics, part usability, part style. Very important stuff, and not something you learn getting a computer science degree, hacking Unix, writing HTML rendering engines and so on.

    • "..We respect immensely all the hard work the Mozilla and Firefox core developers have done, but.."

      Read your own subject line and then tell me during which part of your response you were respectful of them and their work.
      • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:49AM (#9350318)
        I've spent a lot of time on the Mozillazine forums and so have many others who've contributed code, artwork, testing and hundreds upon hundreds of hours of their time. I am talking here about the core developers from who have actively displayed their arrogance repeatedly to the rest of the community. In particular, I think Ben Goodger has stood out as a tremendous prick. In fact, my original post said "Fuck Ben Goodger" in the title, but I decided it was too much of an ad hominem, when many of the others have stood up far too strongly for Goodger.

        Ben Goodger is the strongest anti-advocate for Mozilla I have ever seen. There are hundreds of other developers who have contributed lots of code to the original Mozilla project and the Firefox codebase. Many of these are great people who have quietly contributed tens of thousands of hours of their work over the years to the community. And those people I respect immensely. The ones who insist on repeatedly driving rifts through and disrespecting the fabulous community of Mozilla supporters that have evangelized their product and fought for a better, more standards-compliant internet everywhere else have been done a tremendous disservice to the rest of the Internet, and I have simply lost my respect for them.

        • by STrinity ( 723872 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @12:04PM (#9350781) Homepage
          I think the most telling thing about Goodger is that he absolutely hates TBE [], probably the most popular extension out there, because it makes drastic alterations to the code, but he's made no effort to change Firefox so that TBE would be unnecessary.
        • You are clearly talking about a larger issue, which I can't really speak to, but I can definitely say that the thread you linked to does *not* support your case.

          I read it through, and here's what I saw:
          1) A professional email from Ben Gooder saying that Firefox was taking a new direction due to a combination of licencing and UI considerations
          2) A less-than-polite response from the Qute designer, with both the original and the reply posted to a public forum in violation of basic decency
          3) A lot of ignorant
    • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:55AM (#9350350) Homepage Journal
      The Mozilla devs did the right thing and asked about having Qute freely licenced 6 months ago. They were apparently told no and have therefore taken the only reasonable course left to them, sourcing another theme.

      The new theme might not be brilliant but it is a work in progress and rather importantly is freely licenced so other people will be able to tweak it over time.
    • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:13AM (#9350456) Journal
      This is just indicitive of the way the entire Phoenix/Firefox project has been handled from day one on issues that actual users are interested in. They devs simple are not interested in taking in and responding to feedback from users on issues that users really care about like aesthetics. Look at the bugzilla voting system for an example. No matter how many votes a bug gets the devs could care less. Yes at some point someone needs to step in and say "This is how its going to be", but jeez at least try to make it look like you value the opinion of the people who have been bug testing and promoting *zilla for years and years now.

      I still use Firefox but I don't particpate anymore. I don't file bugs and I don't post in the forums. If the developers are going to continue to not pay attention to the users then they are losing IMHO their greatest strength outside the actual merit of the products themselves.

      Call me a drama queen. Explain how I'm wrong. But don't discount the fact that many people right or wrong feel the same way as I do.
      • by Malc ( 1751 )
        You're right, and it's been going on for years. Just look at the duplicating/cloning new window bug. People have been begging for it for years because they like the way IE does it. The devs didn't like that feature and acted like pricks about it. I lost interest in even considering getting involved. These days you can get the functionality via the excellent Tabbrowser extension... I just wish it were implemented in the core code base with an option to enable or disable it. Oh well, and you wonder why
  • ...poor forum server is screaming...
    Consistency across platforms or within platforms is quite a non-issue to us KDE users : the Plastik and Keramik themes for Mozilla and Firefox are beautifully integrated in the KDE desktop, so whatever the default themes becomes, we'll still be happy.
    As long as skinning is avaible, everybody should be happy.
  • by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:35AM (#9350225)
    Can I configure Firefox back to the sane Ok/Cancel button order?

    No or Yes?

    • by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:41AM (#9350268)
      That order is only in Mac/Linux builds.

      The reason for it in Mac is because all apps should be that way due to the UI guidelines.

      As for Linux apparently it's in the GNOME UI guidelines. However, I rarely use any other GNOME apps in Linux, most things I do are either in browser or in a terminal window - therefore the button ordering is frustrating for me when I'm in Linux because I switch between Windows and Linux more than Linux and Mac.

      But technically they're doing the right thing - although ideally it'd only display in that order if you're actually using GNOME.
    • by marq00z ( 732044 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:59AM (#9350375) Homepage
      It's not a bug, it's a feature. The Cancel|OK order appears only in Linux and Mac OS X and it's done this way to be compliant with Gnome and Apple Human Interface Guidelines. If you want to have the Windows-like OK|Cancel order, just add these lines to your userChrome.css in your .firefox//xxxxxx.slt/chrome directory:
      .dialog-button-box {
      -moz-box-direction: reverse;
      -moz-box-pack: center;

      .dialog-button-box spacer {
      display: none !important;
    • Ok/Cancel or Cancel/OK buttons are fundamentally flawed, and outdated. Both GNOME and KDE use action verbs, just like MacOS X. So instead ok Cancel/OK you can Discard/Save or something.
  • Theme choice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Epistax ( 544591 ) <epistax&gmail,com> on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:46AM (#9350297) Journal
    Now I know you can just download themes to your heart's content. I'm using a tiny theme because that's the way I like it. However there's no reason not to have several default themes to choose from at install time. I would suggest the themes be "Default", "Internet Explorer", "Netscape", "Opera" and perhaps a Macish theme. As long as it is explained that this is simply the look and feel and has no real functionality differences (explained in a calm and simple manner), things should be less scary. Previous posters are absolutely right-- the more different it looks, the more scared the user will be, even if everything is in exactly the same place.
  • HCI anyone?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_true_cirrus ( 559825 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @10:50AM (#9350320) Homepage
    Why oh why do they want cross platform uniformity??

    One of the most basic principles of human-computer interaction is consistency. Windows users expect to see Windows-like apps, Mac OS X ppl expect native OS X looking apps and likewise for GNOME, KDE and whatever else.

    Anything that breaks that (for example an OS X app that looks and/or behaves like a Windows app goes against the user's expections. And ultimately that makes the app harder for them to use and hence less appealing.

    Granted there is a lot of similarity between the various desktop environments but they do each also have their own quirks. For example OS X apps have the toolbar along the top of the screen (not part of the app window) and have that little window-resizing thing in the bottom-right corner of a window (not part of the window's border). GNOME and KDE generally have different standard back, forward, reload etc icons for buttons that all apps should use rather than their own.

    If you make Firefox look the same on every platform you will be breaking such little quirks and conventions on some (possibly all) platforms and the users will suffer.

    I say make a different, native looking (and feeling) theme for each major platform and ship it as the default for that platform!

    As for branding - you've got the name, you've got the firefox icon - they stay the same on every platform - surely that's all that's needed.

    Personally I think that's a good thing too. I for one perceive it as really annoying and intrusive when I install an app that insists on planting it's icons all over my desktop, installing a pointless system tray icon and making itself the default player/browser/whatever (eg RealPlayer or QuickTime on Windows) - it feels like I get the branding forced down my throat and that does NOT make me a happy user! Apps that don't feel the need to do that are a breath of fresh air and it would be a real shame for Firefox to go down the road of excessive branding.
    • Personally I think that's a good thing too. I for one perceive it as really annoying and intrusive when I install an app that insists on planting it's icons all over my desktop

      Good news is they've checked into the installer options where you'd like to place your icons on the Windows desktop so you've now got full control over this (I think you might have to do a custom install which I do anyways)

  • To: Mozilla Devs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Please don't end up like the XFree86 developers, and completely ruin your project. Listen to the users, just give it a try. Now that wasn't that hard now was it?

    I love Firefox, without doubt the best browser yet, and it isn't even 1.0. Keep it fast and light, bloat is what made regular Mozilla suck, face it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:07AM (#9350422)

    do not install 0.9 until (if) the extensions have been updated as it will break

    once again backwards compatibility has been sacrificed (and we are not even at 1.0 yet) we had now 200+ extensions have to be updated and some have been abandoned as they worked, now they will be broken and useless

    i hope all this aggro was worth it, or you might find a lot of people just give up with it and go back to IE while its got a lot of failings at least you know where you are with it and it doesn't keep breaking every month

  • Slashdot Rendering (Score:2, Interesting)

    by md81544 ( 619625 )
    Apologies for only just vaguely being on-topic - but does anyone know what the progress is on the Slashdot rendering problem under Firefox (it gets mentioned regularly when Firefox comes up as a topic). I would have thought it would be an important fix for the Slash guys to put in, as I regularly have to refresh a page three or four times before I get any text in the main boxes. This can't help bandwidth...
  • Plastikfox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twener ( 603089 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @11:14AM (#9350465)
    I don't care about the default look as long there is Plastik for Firefox [] available which also includes Crystal icons and Cancel<->OK button swap.
  • by sgarrity ( 262297 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @12:17PM (#9350887) Homepage
    Here is a screenshot of the new theme [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2004 @12:36PM (#9350989)
    The author of the new theme, Kevin Gerich, has posted a screenshot in his blog: []
  • SVG Support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kiyut ( 785172 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @01:02PM (#9351148) Homepage
    How about firefox native SVG support? Does anyone know if native SVG is included by default install?
  • FireFork? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gumpish ( 682245 ) on Sunday June 06, 2004 @01:31PM (#9351301) Journal
    Will this blunder by Goodger & Co. be the straw the broke the camel's back and cause a FireFox fork (FireFork?) to rise to prominence, a la the XFree86 story?

    We can only hope.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"