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Big Theme change again in Firefox 4?

Discuss application theming and theme development.
Aronnax!
 
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Post Posted July 26th, 2009, 2:27 pm

tcmediatech wrote:I think Mozilla might be trying actively to discourage the continued development of third-party themes ...


I don`t think so :D
Personas is (only) for "light weight" themes .. now and in the future. Some Personas developer have a different option about it, but not the leading Firefox developer. And the same with Jetpack as "light weight" extensions.
It is simply much easier to built Personas themes ... therefore much more Personas theme developer .. and there is nothing wrong about it.

Mozilla obviously wants to build a strong and consistent visual identity for Firefox,

Naturally and it is a good idea =D>

Themes like mine have got to be the worst in their eyes.

Firefox identity is customizing and every leading Firefox developer know it and they have for sure not a problem with it :D

It's my guess that Mozilla might see that as a failure on their part to keep users within their desired visual identity.

Mozilla hire after six years the first time a visual designer. That is one of main reasons for a missing visual identity ... for example had build only ONE volunteer developer nearly all Mac UI improvements and not a Mozilla employee. When they don`t really care about UI stuff is the result naturally not satisfying .. that`s all.

Perhaps it's Mozilla's goal to make enough improvements (or what they see as improvements) to the Firefox default theme so that the vast majority of users won't even want to replace it.

They should immediately fire every employee, who has not this intention :D

In the meantime, third-party theme developers will grow more and more frustrated with all the changes they have to keep up with, and they'll eventually stop making their own themes.

Why? One theme to rule them all, one theme to find them,
One theme to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Is not possible :mrgreen:

falconer.
 
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Post Posted July 26th, 2009, 3:24 pm

Triton wrote:I definitely feel your pain! Although I have had to redevelop some of the UI's graphics because Chromium just doesn't have the feature set yet. Do you think that Firefox is suffering from a identity crisis or personality disorder? Of coarse it doesn't make total sense to phase themes out, that would be backward step in progress.

Firefox is too extensible to phase it out entirely; I think someone would find a way to re-implement it anyway if they ever did get rid of it. I do think there is some kind of identity crisis going on, though. I appreciate Mozilla's efforts to make a better default theme. But some of this stuff they have planned (particularly, the tabs on top, a la Google Chrome) just says to me, "we want to do it 'cause they did it." I don't really see a reason for it.

Aronnax! wrote:Why? One theme to rule them all, one theme to find them,
One theme to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Is not possible :mrgreen:

haha. I agree completely. I simply hope that Mozilla doesn't begin to believe that's the case. No matter what they do to the Firefox default theme, and no matter how good or bad it becomes in the future, the functionality to customize every little detail of Firefox must remain. It's one of the greatest things about Firefox.

patheticcockroach
 
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Post Posted July 27th, 2009, 9:48 am

tcmediatech wrote:But some of this stuff they have planned (particularly, the tabs on top, a la Google Chrome) just says to me, "we want to do it 'cause they did it." I don't really see a reason for it.

Yup, I like a Firefox that sets the trend. Not a Firefox that follows the trend, particularly if it's Google's or Microsoft's trend. :evil:

tcmediatech wrote:No matter what they do to the Firefox default theme, and no matter how good or bad it becomes in the future, the functionality to customize every little detail of Firefox must remain. It's one of the greatest things about Firefox.

Totally. The identity of Firefox is its customizability. It doesn't matter that much if they move the tabs up and down as long as themes can EASILY fix that. By easily I mean stop making theme developers waste dozens of hours upgrading their theme with every new minor version.

Triton wrote:Do you think that Firefox is suffering from a identity crisis or personality disorder?

Yeah, every updates breaks $#!tloads of extensions & themes, which hurts their customizability = which hurts their identity :mrgreen:

Euchre

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Post Posted July 27th, 2009, 12:00 pm

I find terms like 'brand identity' and 'community oriented' to be severely contradictory. Sure, Mozilla has a corporate entity, but wasn't that mainly to secure the legal protection and stability of the project for the community, not to secure it from the community?

If brand identity is what Mozilla is thinking about in marginalizing 3rd party themes and it's proposals for these new default theme changes, what brand are they trying to identify with? Seems like it's someone else's and not their own.
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WattsvilleBlues

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Post Posted July 27th, 2009, 4:37 pm

For the interested, here are mockups (not wireframes) for Firefox 4.0.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/4.0_Wi ... me_Mockups

Discuss:-)
I think they're more interested in my epididymis

KLB

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Post Posted July 27th, 2009, 5:03 pm

WattsvilleBlues wrote:For the interested, here are mockups (not wireframes) for Firefox 4.0.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/4.0_Wi ... me_Mockups

Discuss:-)


ewww! :-k

It looks like an IE clone. :cry:


As long as I can return the menus to their rightful place AND have a separate search bar via the customize toolbars options I won't have to go hunt anyone down

I love how folks talk about saving space in their design by removing useful stuff (e.g. menus, search boxes, etc.) while leave lots of extra whitespace around everything. Oh wait, I'd better stay quiet about reducing margins and padding to save space less I put an end to the biggest selling point for my theme. #-o
Ken Barbalace - AMO Editor (I focus on reviewing themes)
I maintain Classic Compact, a very compact yet clean Firefox theme.
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Jeff.Tet

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Post Posted July 27th, 2009, 7:22 pm

WattsvilleBlues wrote:For the interested, here are mockups (not wireframes) for Firefox 4.0.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/4.0_Wi ... me_Mockups

Discuss:-)



I like the first mock up. Here are some of my ideas:

Incorporate bookmarks on the active tab. make it part of the tab (left side), like a menubutton. one part of the button can be to bookmark/edit bookmark and the menu side can be list saved bookmarks or a kind of click gester that click and hold and then scroll to a favorite of your choice.

Sense 95% of laptops and pc monitor will have plenty of real estate put the back/forward/home on the tabbar

tools and page buttons next to the urlbar

urlbar should incorporate searching to elimate the searchbar

I don't know anyone that uses a go button?

of coarse make the UI completely configurable. drag n drop all elements to any location, giving the EU the ability to config their UI. I think in this day and age a UI should be fully configurable.

I don't know...just some of my ideas :-k
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DonGato

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 12:26 am

Yes, it doesn't look that nice and a lot like IE/Chrome and they admit it there.

Bookmarks, tools and page buttons have useless text that waste space. You use it once you know what they are.
The search bar is essential for people that use it a lot (multiple search engines and advanced search behavior).
The home icon looks nice where it stands but please, give an option to remove it. Most people don't use it.
I miss the download button but I think I could live using the shortcut.
Tabs on top as I explained is not so good. Having an option for both styles is welcomed anyway.
I suppose the stop button is integrated in the navigation ones. If not it's stupid to remove it without a (GUI) counterpart.

Instead of playing with the design why don't they work on making Firefox less crash prone, speedier and add features that would be welcomed like synchronizing configuration between different places. Of course, that's a lot of work. :P

Euchre

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 1:07 am

I thought IE was at version 8, not 4? What did they do to that Forward button? It used to be nice and round like the Back button.

Oh wait...

:-"
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WattsvilleBlues

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 4:13 am

DonGato wrote:Instead of playing with the design why don't they work on making Firefox less crash prone, speedier and add features that would be welcomed like synchronizing configuration between different places. Of course, that's a lot of work. :P

Not to get off topic, but I believe Mozilla Weave is partly addressing your last issue there. Also, Firefox 3.5 is faster and has more features than any of its predecessors, plus minor point releases include stability fixes. And I doubt the UI guys would be working on lower level code if they weren't working on the UI - they are UI guys after all.
I think they're more interested in my epididymis

BobCFC
 
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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 2:44 pm

"I gave up!"

lol. Thanks to the OP for keeping it updated, very useful

Aronnax!
 
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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 5:16 pm

Likely interesting:
http://digg.com/software/Firefox_4_0_Ea ... s_Released
Hi, Alexander Limi from the Firefox User Experience team here.

Let me try to clear up some common questions that are raised here — and feel free to ask more questions, I'll try to keep an eye on replies to this comment. Some of these are taken from the Reddit thread, since it hit there a little bit earlier, I hope you don't mind me re-using my answers. :)

"I really like this, but hope that all the interface customization ability stays in place" — That is indeed one of our goals with this. You should be able to go back to something very, very close to what you're using right now, regardless of what that is.

"I love tabs on top! / I hate tabs on top!" — Fortunately, we want to support both. What we ship with as the default isn't decided yet, but it's pretty clear that there are compelling reasons to have both available as options.

"It looks just like Chrome! Where's the innovation?" — Chrome was not the first browser to have tabs on top, not the first browser to have glyphs instead of icons for the buttons, etc. If you read the proposal, there's a lot of new interesting things hidden here (home tab, progress bar, the stop/reload/go combination), but it's not all expanded on at once. Just because another browser has something, doesn't mean we *have* to do it differently. There's a lot of cool things in all the major browsers these days.

"Why are they doing this instead of focusing on speed and memory usage optimizations?" — Because they are done by different people, and once does not preclude the other. We can do both, and there's a lot of effort invested in stuff like this as we speak — vastly improved startup time for Firefox 3.6, etc. Follow the Mozilla blogs at planet.mozilla.org if you want the inside scoop. :)

"Whoever thought it was a good idea to remove the menu bar?" — Quite a number of other browsers. But to give you a proper answer, the amount of functionality you use in day-to-day use of the browser really isn't that large, so having a dedicated bar for the menu makes less sense. On the Mac side, things work differently, and the menu bar will probably stay in place, as the OS X user interface has a different approach to menus.

Also, we have some cool s—t lined up for this that isn't in these mock-ups yet. ;)

"I think tabs on the side or having no tabs at all is a better approach" — We want to support this too. See the article on this here: http://limi.net/articles/reinventing-ta ... e-browser/

Let me know if you have other questions! I'll keep an eye out and try to answer as many as I can.

— Alexander Limi · Firefox User Experience

ehume

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 6:21 pm

Do you realize that if they do away with the searchbar, that the only fully usable browser will be . . . IE?
Firefox: Sic transit gloria mundi.

ehume

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 6:21 pm

Too bad this Alexander Limi doesn't read comments here as well as Digg.
Firefox: Sic transit gloria mundi.

Euchre

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Post Posted July 28th, 2009, 9:15 pm

ehume wrote:Too bad this Alexander Limi doesn't read comments here as well as Digg.

You could try prodding him over there to come here. For whatever reason, I gather most of the Firefox devs are wary of coming here. I imagine it's because they feel ripped apart when faced with so much (often passionate) response to issues users have. Takes a rather solid constitution to see your work picked apart, assailed, twisted and contorted, and not feel a bit under the gun if not purely insulted.

(My compliments to theme and extension devs who are brave enough to use these forums as their main channel of support for their work. It'd be so easy for them to provide support through a means completely within their control - which would of course make it an easier pill to swallow.)
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