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Product plan: remove support for heavyweight themes

Discuss application theming and theme development.
LoudNoise
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Post Posted November 19th, 2015, 10:02 pm

Can we return this to the topic please.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted November 20th, 2015, 6:47 am

patrickjdempsey wrote:As far as the mixed messages go Frank, it's pretty clear that the backpedalling in the OP of that discussion is nothing more than PR spin to try to do some damage control before this whole thing blows up in their face.

Not necessarily, we shouldn't judge individuals by a collective perception. Certainly, I've been to meetings where afterwards all 6 people attending somehow all arrived at 6 different conclusions about what the meeting had decided!

There may well have been a meeting where it was decided to stop Complete Themes and to bring in a less impacting system. Then again, according to Kev even that's wrong as he states this is merely the 'process of outlining how Complete Themes must evolve' (presumably in the same way that if you take someone's dog and replace it with a cat called 'dog', then nothing has changed?) etc. etc.

Does any of Mozilla's agonised writhing actually matter? No, we already know what will happen and anyway, like 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' this girl ain't exactly the young, attractive beauty she once was and no one now actually gives a damn about Mozilla's coy virgin routine of 'we may do this, we may do that, on the other hand, we might...' stuff any more.

Dead Man Walking, I reckon.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 1:43 pm

Update.

K N wrote:The bug has garnered over 70 comments to date, and needs to be moved to a more appropriate platform that can support collaboration and dialogue.

In 10 days, the more appropriate platform has 'garnered', err, 17 replies, which includes 1 by KN and 1 by BS (that's the abbrev. of the guy's name, not a critique on his post)

https://discourse.mozilla-community.org ... hemes/5306
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rsx11m
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 3:42 pm

bsmedberg wrote:We are moving Firefox addons (themes and extensions) away from a model where you can perform arbitrary styling or scripting of the browser chrome. This is an engineering-driven decision, and it's unavoidable and necessary for the long-term health of Firefox.

I'm still waiting for an explanation why this is so unavoidable and necessary; nobody of the people driving this change bothers to explain what the actual (or rather perceived) "cost" of the current theme system is, other than these superficial but absolute statements.

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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 3:47 pm

I am sure if you asked they would come up with some BS metrics (pun intended) as Mozilla seems to have a never ending supply of convenient stats. Pity the one that matters that is browser users is somehow conveniently forgotten
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rsx11m
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 3:52 pm

Sure, I don't count on any objective line of argumentation from their side.

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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 4:35 pm

These are the guys who prefer tiny print and bland, grey themes. They have not aged up where they have presbyopia yet. When these unsupervised children get old, we may see some changes . . . if Firefly - er - -fox has survived.
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 7:27 pm

ehume wrote:These are the guys who prefer tiny print and bland, grey themes. They have not aged up where they have presbyopia yet. When these unsupervised children get old, we may see some changes . . . if Firefly - er - -fox has survived.

FWIW, I am almost 65 years old, and presbyte, but with appropriate eyeglasses I can read 6pt menus with no problem. The font size used by the default theme is much too large for my liking. The problem AFAIK is not presbyopya but cataract, and even that, if detected in time, can be cured much more easily than it used to.
Bland, grey themes? Not too much. I like to marry a complete theme (one which gives me more space for content than the default theme does) with a nice lightweight theme; and that is possible, but just barely. Rather than make it easier, they're gonna dump complete themes completely. I also use a lot of extensions and the backend for them (XUL support, among other things) is also going away.
Well, AFAIK, the Mozilla I like (not only Firefox as it will probably take Thunderbird and SeaMonkey down with itself) is going to the dumps, and I don't like it a single bit. ](*,)
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 8:20 pm

rsx11m wrote:I'm still waiting for an explanation why this is so unavoidable and necessary; nobody of the people driving this change bothers to explain what the actual (or rather perceived) "cost" of the current theme system is, other than these superficial but absolute statements.


I think any mentions of "costs" of the theme system are just excuses. As far as I can tell the real point is that with XUL going away, there's going to be some serious changes in how the Firefox interface is built. I'm not at all 100% convinced that it's possible to do *everything* they currently do in XUL in HTML. I have a feeling what we are going to see is greater OS integration... meaning more reliance on OS widgets that are not themable anyway. This is a direction they've been heading for a long time... away from the universal "one-interface-to-rule-them-all" of the XUL philosophy days and towards more and more divergence in the various OS interfaces. Remember that XUL wasn't just a technology... it was a whole philosophy of software development that at the time was novel... you build one interface that runs the same on all platforms. Same themes, same extensions, same controls, even the same key commands... everything is then interpreted by the C++ back-end for each platform.

But recently, the OS's have started doing really weird things that Mozilla has been trying to support that has made for tons of code that is specific to each platform. We've seen evidence that the people doing the default theme work for each platform are in separate worlds, so that things are often fixed in Windows but then take awhile to get fixed on OSX and Linux. Or things are introduced into OSX that severely break Windows, etc. So I'm going to make a bet here that Mozilla is considering splintering interface development into branches for the major OS's. Remember, they already do this for Mobile, so such a move would bring desktop Firefox closer to the current Mobile development model.... and Mobile isn't themeable at all as it relys entirely on OS widgets.

Of course that's mostly speculation. The big point is that with XUL going away, they are probably looking at all of this code and thinking, why the heck would we bother to port the XUL theme code over to Servo when we are dropping/changing the entire extension system that it is a part of? And as I've already pointed out... styling HTML in this way won't be nearly as clean as styling XUL, so there may also be some reluctance to openly show off their default code, which is bound to be a gigantic lumbering mess. Getting rid of theming also opens them up to abandoning human-readable code altogether and compressing the heck out of it during the Build process.
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 8:29 pm

The reason Firefox has been my favorite browser for so long is the ability it offers to easily customize the UI and the ability to customize the features with all the great addons. That is it. Otherwise all browsers do the same thing and users choose their favorite mostly on its performance speed.

I understand the reason on the dev side that this decision has been made and I hope you all understand the decision the users will surely make to go elsewhere when you implement taking away the reason we use Firefox. Saying goodbye to FF will bring many tears to long time users, but this is the nature of having to deal with the dynamic nature of technology and more importantly the neverending changes in the makeup of dev teams as a company grows.

This is the worst news I've heard in a long time. :( :( :evil: :evil: :evil: [-X [-X [-X :x :x :x

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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 8:33 pm

Not much point talking to devs here we are apparently no longer part of the Mozilla community and are treated like lepers
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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 8:55 pm

KRL, we aren't Firefox devs here... this is a forum of mostly people who build or have built Firefox themes for the community. The discourse.mozilla-community link has been posted several times if you want to interact with Mozilla.

Speaking of which... Frank, I think Mozilla is moderating every post at discourse. That was after all the stated objective of closing the bug.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted November 23rd, 2015, 9:43 pm

patrickjdempsey wrote:Speaking of which... Frank, I think Mozilla is moderating every post at discourse. That was after all the stated objective of closing the bug.

Indeed. But they can't moderate here, can they?

I think it's also important to understand the point of discussing things, as I get the impression that many people think it is only valid if it can influence the perps under discussion. It's not.

Yes, some people feel strongly or disappointed and I obviously understand why, but I don't think Mozilla were quite expecting the total indifference to their plans by some theme authors.

(here comes the obligatory 'Having said that' para) That said, I wholeheartedly welcome the participation of any and all Mozilla employees here on this thread and look forward to having a productive and meaningfull interchange of views with them.
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

Frank Lion

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Post Posted November 24th, 2015, 6:58 am

Well....I wasn't going to bring the following subject up on this thread. But, there is a saying amongst barristers & QCs in the UK -

'Never ask a question, unless you already know the answer'

wisniewskit2 wrote:Just saying ridiculous stuff doesn't make you right, you know. You and the people on that MozillaZine thread seem to have a terrible persecution complex, and want very badly to vilify Mozilla for not going alo

People should read a few of those later dev comments on the following link. Pretty unpleasant stuff and I steered well clear of all that thread -

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... PZxsNDgvNA[1-25]

..and clear of this - http://web.archive.org/web/201001142214 ... and-themes

I waded into this one though, around page 3 -

viewtopic.php?p=8407855#p8407855

Point is, when a group of people have been vilified and persecuted for 8 years, then they don't have a persecution complex. They have a clear view of how things actually are behind the scenes.

Anyone from outside here prepared to grow a pair and tell me in this place that I write ridiculous stuff? Feel free.
Metal Lion latest SeaMonkey & Thunderbird Themes - Sea Monkey and Silver Sea Monkey
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

malliz
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Post Posted November 24th, 2015, 3:29 pm

Frank Lion wrote:
Anyone from outside here prepared to grow a pair and tell me in this place that I write ridiculous stuff? Feel free.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9z87viDmOo
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