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Australis customization (or lack of thereof)

Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
Drumbrake

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 10:14 am

lithopsian wrote:Why is simple. Read the blogs and you will see that (the UX team at least) is deliberately aiming for "the 98%" as they see it, and sod the rest.


In doing so,they're IMHO missing the whole picture:I must first of all give them (them being the developers and the ones actually in charge) credit for taking on this huge task of taking Firefox on the mobile devices and tackle such big competitors with their comparatively small resources-I have a feeling that the majority of us here don't care so much about these gizmos,we can be a bunch of luddites sometimes,I suspect some of us would still happily use Firefox 2.0 (not me,I would use 3.6.x).

But these devices account for the biggest part of the market (probably),and can actually be useful and fun to use,so if I can have an open source Mozilla branded device/OS instead of the usual big names,why not...

Having said that,they are actually won over by this idea of "consistency",meaning that all Mozilla applications should look and feel the same across devices,which sounds good in theory:unfortunately,the practical outcome is that the application we care about the most,our desktop browser,is being relentlessly crippled and shamelessly patterned after a mobile device,gradually losing versatility,ease of customization and forcing us all to resort to all kind of extensions/hacks/workarounds to get back what we are used to have,which at times looks more like a losing battle than anything else.

Aesthetical matters,curved tabs,icon design and colour,shape of widgets,who really cares in the end,but if I've chosen to buy and use a desktop computer with a fully functional browser it is because is a far more powerful and versatile tool to browse the web and locally save interesting data than any other device,and they should respect that.

Everytime I show off Firefox to someone using Chrome,illustrating the usage of the awesome bar,bookmarks and tags,keyword searches,security addons like Adblock and NoScript,useful addons like Scrapbook or Context Search,or Site Searcher,they say "what a nice browser,that's far more smart than Chrome".

Mozilla should push with all means the knowledge of all these Firefox feature to all users,that 98% you are talking about,instead of slowly depriving the browser of features that "no one uses" because no one really knows that they are actually there,sometimes I think,looking at all the stuff that is buried inside Firefox,that they're even better at hiding stuff then coding.Every now and then,I still find something that I didn't know about after using Firefox since the release 2.0 and spending quite some time on customizing it to my liking...

IMHO,they should fight that inferiority complex that they have towards Chrome and accept that it isn't better at all,Google simply has more money to throw into publicizing it and making it available (sometimes forcibly,bundled with some "freeware" applications) literally everywhere,simple as that.

KarmaQ

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 5:16 pm

I hope we're just seeing an unfinished product, which will ultimately allow most of the present customisation. Failing that, I hope someone manages to find a way to undo this idiocy.

MattN
 
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:08 pm

KarmaQ wrote:I hope we're just seeing an unfinished product, which will ultimately allow most of the present customisation.

Hello, I'm one of the Firefox developers working on Australis and I have good news :) :
What everyone is seeing on the UX branch are work in progress patches. I will guarantee that we won't ship Australis with only the current customizable regions. I saw the concerns about customizability in the previous UX build thread and brought up the topic at the Australis weekly meeting on Thursday. I got confirmation that the existing customizable regions are not out of the question:
2013-04-04 Australis Meeting Notes wrote:Q: Which regions will be customizable?
A: Existing [pre-Australis] regions are not out of the question

Note that updated customization patches are only landing on the UX branch every two weeks so don't assume that no movement in that area means that it's ready. The next iteration of the work-in-progress is aiming for April 10th but it is focusing on getting the various panel buttons working and fixing brokenness milestone 1 caused.

The UX branch is for unfinished and often unreviewed changes in order to get testing and feedback from people who don't mind experiments with new UI/UX. If the project was complete, the patches would be landing on mozilla-central and show up in regular nightlies. To be honest, I warned others that it was too early to land the customization stuff on UX but others decided it was acceptable for testing interactions.

Drumbrake wrote:…full themes (as discussed already) aren't usable anymore

I tested Nasa Night Launch in a UX build prior to the WIP v.1 customization landing and it works perfectly fine on Windows. I do see 3rd-party theme issues with the customization patches but that is simply because it is still in a prototype stage and so there are many bugs with it. We're not intentionally breaking third-party themes but we also can't guarantee absolutely everything will work perfectly upon release. If you're a theme developer and you think there is some change we can make to avoid breaking a third-party theme, then file a bug.
Updated 2013-03-07 to clarify meaning of "existing".
Last edited by MattN on April 7th, 2013, 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

ferongr

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:13 pm

Thank you MattN for the valuable insight. I'm eagerly awaiting the finished patches to land into mozilla-central. Personally, I'll refrain from whining until then, and probably even a bit more, after they ride the train to Aurora.
Last edited by ferongr on April 5th, 2013, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheVisitor
 
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:24 pm

With the news from MattN, it would seem that perhaps its still weeks if not months away from being finished, or even landed in m-c, much less Aurora anytime soon.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:26 pm

Thanks for dropping by MattN.
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Omega X

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:30 pm

TheVisitor wrote:
Srap wrote:One would expect to see a post from a participating UX developer to confirm or deny the theories flying in this shaftstorm. I do not know why it isn't happening.


Well sadly, over the years many of the dev's have developed a disdain for us Nightly testers and generally consider us a bunch of whiners and cry-babies. Some will peek into the forums from time-to-time and some even participate, but generally they shy away from here.



It depends on the team. The bulk of UX team actively shutters itself from outside input. Some of Graphics and JS Team will show up when its time to test a new addition. A visit from layout team is rare though.
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trieste
 
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 6:57 pm

Drumbrake wrote:IMHO,they should fight that inferiority complex that they have towards Chrome and accept that it isn't better at all,Google simply has more money to throw into publicizing it and making it available (sometimes forcibly,bundled with some "freeware" applications) literally everywhere,simple as that.

Word. Envy disguises your true potential and makes you chase a goal that you're not meant to chase.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 7:02 pm

Image
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KarmaQ

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 10:05 pm

Thanks for the update Matt, it's appreciated.

_matt_
 
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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 10:14 pm

speciesx wrote:
mayankleoboy1 wrote:They are removing the "small icons" mode ?
I always use the small icons, to save vertical space on a 16:9 notebook.

yeap https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=736179

That's a bummer. :( I've always used small icons mode, no matter the theme.

Grantius

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Post Posted April 5th, 2013, 11:00 pm

_matt_ wrote:
speciesx wrote:
mayankleoboy1 wrote:They are removing the "small icons" mode ?
I always use the small icons, to save vertical space on a 16:9 notebook.

yeap https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=736179

That's a bummer. :( I've always used small icons mode, no matter the theme.


I hope the new theme has some big advantages, because this is just getting worse and worse.
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Jadugar
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2013, 1:31 am

I think a lot of developers are out of touch with the users they're trying to serve or just don't care. While it is true that most users of Firefox won't even go into the options menu and use Firefox as is, there is still a large chunk of users who do choose to customize and use other options especially without an obvious rationale (short of this is how I wanna do it so tough luck everyone else)

avixaqo
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2013, 1:54 am

Big icons for everyone!
I can't wait to use Firefox Australis on Windows 8 with a touch screen and my greasy sausage fingers.

KWierso
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2013, 2:00 am

avixaqo wrote:I can't wait to use Firefox Australis on Windows 8 with a touch screen and my greasy sausage fingers.

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