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The future of Firefox - Themes/Personas, Extensions/Jetpack

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 12:17 pm

Eice wrote:
patrickjdempsey wrote:Percentage games are sticky business. We hear that 69% of Firefox users do not use any add-ons. OK. That sounds like a big percentage, but out of 350 million users, that leaves over 108 million users who DO.

Don't let the Mozilla devs hear you. They might hit the brilliant idea of removing extensions entirely next ("Our users want it!").


Exactly. "Only 108 million? Meh, they'll get over it!"
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aaron

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 12:20 pm

There also isn't a getextensions.com or getthemes.com either.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 12:48 pm

BTW, I'm pretty sure that NASA Night Launch, Vista-aero and Noia 2.0 (aside from all being top-notch themes) got their high download numbers by appearing on the AMO Recommended Add-ons list as well as the browser Get Add-ons list. I remember all three appearing in Get Add-ons at one time or another, which proves just how powerful being on that list really is.
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aaron

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 12:55 pm

Yes, I saw them on those lists before.

AlfonsoML
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 1:19 pm

The post is quite clear "Add-ons are here to stay". So for the moment Add-ons will remain.

On the other side... goodbye to themes. Not a single word that denies this fact.

I've never used a theme, but yesterday I tested this Personas stuff with the 3.6RC and I don't understand why they they are announcing this as such a big thing. I would have thought that putting a background image its a task that can be done in a few minutes and should be called just that way: "wallpapers for Firefox"
Obviously I tested the gallery and after one minute I removed that image, I prefer my programs as clear as possible and having a background makes it harder for me to use the program and its menus, toolbars and buttons.

Bluefang

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 1:51 pm

ShareBird wrote:Add-ons are here to stay

I'm not surprised by that, as I'm pretty sure that was always the intention.

What little communication there was about this, even within Mozilla, seems to have been miscommunication.

AlfonsoML wrote:On the other side... goodbye to themes. Not a single word that denies this fact.

Like I've already said, I seriously doubt that there will be any significant changes to themes until there is a comparable replacement available.

In my skimming of some of the discussions, I've seen comments about making traditional themes act more like extensions (as they kind of already are), then continuing to develop Personas as a lightweight replacement (adding the ability to change icons, etc...). Overall, this is probably a good direction to move in, but as the developers have pointed out, there is still a lot of work needed.

But as aaron has pointed out, there are extensions available that allow for more extensive themeing than Personas (and from the sounds of it, easier and more robust than traditional themes)... So theming is not in danger of disappearing.
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LoudNoise
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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 2:00 pm

If folks are not able to easily get themes then the themes will die. Who wants to work that hard when no one can get to their work?
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AlfonsoML
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 2:14 pm

Bluefang wrote:
AlfonsoML wrote:On the other side... goodbye to themes. Not a single word that denies this fact.

Like I've already said, I seriously doubt that there will be any significant changes to themes until there is a comparable replacement available.


If they hide the current themes, they try to make people think that the way to change the appearance is just Personas, include UI into Firefox to push this thing down our throat...
Do you really think that they will care when a theme isn't updated or there's some bug related to themes?
By pushing this to a dark corner they are trying to make everyone forget about themes and then they will disappear.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 2:45 pm

I don't think that current users will forget anytime soon. The problem is going to be, how do we cultivate and attract new users if themes do not appear in the browser Get Add-ons panel, do not appear on the AMO Recommended Add-ons list, are literally at the bottom of the AMO Categories list (which depending on your configuration may require you to scroll down to find), are (in the future) pushed out of the browser Themes panel, and currently the browser Get Themes button leads to a link where there are not only NO Themes listed, but it's a "can't get there from here" page with absolutely NO links leading back to AMO? Individually those seem like small issues, but altogether that makes for one heck of a deterrent.

Fortunately, there are other means... Many tech bloggers and twitters continuously pump out "Best Firefox Themes" articles. But 3rd party promotions are not enough IMO because from the official Mozilla stand point, Themes don't exist. Many users are accustomed to software distributors being the trusted source for information about their software. You can have all of the bloggers in the world talking up themes, but if the trusted source doesn't seem to think they exist, then they don't exist. That is exactly why Internet Explorer still maintains such a powerful market share for web browsers even in a world with four major competitors, all of whom are considered to be superior in just about every way. Because it's what the trusted source recommends. And if the trusted source doesn't acknowledge the existence of Themes (unless you just HAPPEN to use the ONE door in the building that leads there) then they don't exist.
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Bluefang

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 2:47 pm

Well before we all get worked up again, let's wait until Mozilla actually has a plan about what they're going to do. So far all they've really said is that they're continuing to develop and improve Personas.

AFAIK, they HAVE NOT given specific details on their plans for themes, nor have they given any sort of time-table on when said unannounced changes would happen. So don't get your panties in a bunch... yet.

Also, I'm not sure if this has been posted yet, but this is another worthwhile read about the future of JetPack and Extensions:
http://mozillalabs.com/blog/2010/01/the ... f-add-ons/
There have always been ghosts in the machine... random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul...

jsjag
 
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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm

I don't like what I hear!

Several years ago I switched from Opera to FF and one of the dominant reason was themes and add-on extensions. Do away with it and FF then becomes like Opera. So why stay with FF? Why switch to FF. The reasons will be gone.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 3:34 pm

Well, if there ever IS a complete abandonment, hopefully it won't happen for a long long time to come. For people who want themes, they can definitely get them. It's just going to be harder and harder for new users to discover this very cool part of Firefox. And that's really a shame because Firefox has the single most powerful themeing system of any web browser, ever.
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malliz
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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Bluefang wrote:AFAIK, they HAVE NOT given specific details on their plans for themes, nor have they given any sort of time-table on when said unannounced changes would happen.


As usual.
I thought John Lilly was going to improve the communication from Mozilla.
Instead we are still treated like mushrooms.
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WildcatRay

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 3:58 pm

Here is my prediction. If--and that is a very big if--Fx goes to a more sterile environment--think approaching IE with it having a more closely controlled level of customization--someone will "break away" from this and recreate Fx in its original form; a lean, fast, safe, secure, extensible and themeable web browser.
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WildcatRay

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Post Posted January 12th, 2010, 3:59 pm

malliz wrote:
Bluefang wrote:AFAIK, they HAVE NOT given specific details on their plans for themes, nor have they given any sort of time-table on when said unannounced changes would happen.


As usual.
I thought John Lilly was going to improve the communication from Mozilla.
Instead we are still treated like mushrooms.

Hey malliz,

Long time, no see! How have you been?
Ray

OS'es: 4 computers with Win10 Pro 64-bit; Current Firefox, Beta, Nightly, Chrome, Vivaldi

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