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Firefox Mozilla Software

Firefox 29: Redesign 688

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-cover,-mozilla dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 29 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. This is a massive release: Firefox Sync has been revamped and is now powered by Firefox Accounts, there's a new customization mode, and the company's major user interface overhaul Australis has finally arrived. 'The tabs are sleek and smooth to help you navigate the Web faster. It’s easy to see what tab you’re currently visiting and the other tabs fade into the background to be less of a distraction when you’re not using them. The Firefox menu has moved to the right corner of the toolbar and puts all your browser controls in one place. The menu includes a “Customize” tool that transforms Firefox into a powerful customization mode where you can add or move any feature, service or add-on.' Here are the full release notes and a demo video."
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Firefox 29: Redesign

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  • more downgrades (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:03PM (#46869461)

    Firefox becomes less usable and less configurable with each release. Might as well use Chrome at this point, it's virtually indistinguishable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:14PM (#46869575)

    I'm just about over it. Now I need something like 10 different add-ons and a shitload of about:config editing just to get it back to square one. Honestly, if firefox has made any improvements since the 3.x series, I don't know what they are. All I see is regressions. OK, maybe the security is better. That's one point for firefox, and 100 points against.

    We need a new "phoenix" -- one that I can simply install and begin using, not one that I need to work for hours on before using.

  • Re:Don't care (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:17PM (#46869613)

    After "pushing out their CEO" for political / free speach reasons

    Free speach [sic], you say? Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]. The CEO has a Constitution-enshrined right to say whatever he wants without fear of criminal prosecution, but Mozilla also has a right to boot him out of the company for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:19PM (#46869647)

    According to the video you can select the icons and menus you want to display in the toolbar... that include all the addons/plugins/extensions too. What customization has been dropped?

    How about a status bar? :)

    Seriously, UX folks, just stop.

    Your profession's insistence on itself has destroyed Digg, Flickr, Yahoo's message boards, Yahoo's email interface, Slashdot, Firefox, GNOME, and even Windows 8.

    Your profession is a cancer upon this industry worse than marketing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:20PM (#46869661)

    That may be a bug or a malfunctioning/misbehaving add-on: try standard diagnostics: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Standard_diagnostic_-_Firefox

  • No, just NO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:21PM (#46869665)

    Stop redecorating my desktop. If I wanted a browser that looks like Chrome, I would install Chrome. If I wanted a browser that looks like it's meant to be used on a touch screen (just where did that menu of icons come from...), I would use a tablet. This is my NON-TOUCH DESKTOP you're ruining.

    Why does everybody seem hellbent on killing the traditional desktop? Are you bored? Running out of bugs to fix?

    Stop moving things around! Every time you do that, I lose something that I've become accustomed to for no good reason at all. That's like moving a table a couple of inches, making me bump into it for a couple weeks, and then you change it some more. Or changing the height of the stair steps. Don't do that. It's at best irritating.

    I am seriously fed up with this shit.

  • woo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:22PM (#46869675)

    The tabs are sleek and smooth to help you navigate the Web faster.

    Well that's a fucking relief. I've been slogging awa with these slightly squarer tabs for months and my productivity has been in the toilet as a result.

    Seriously, do they have any actual metrics that the new tabs actually help anyone "navigate the web faster" ?

    Itâ(TM)s easy to see what tab youâ(TM)re currently visiting

    It was already easy.

    and the other tabs fade into the background to be less of a distraction when youâ(TM)re not using them.

    Tweaking the relative brightness between current and other tabs hardly counts as revolutionary. I'm indifferent at best.

    The Firefox menu has moved to the right corner of the toolbar and puts all your browser controls in one place.

    I get how this different, but how is this, in any way 'better'?

    I can't wait for this to get into cars. Who doesn't want a perfectly empty dashboard with all the controls crammed into the right corner.

    In all seriousness, whoop-dee-doo so they moved the top left menu to the top right, but now its got that newish 3 bar icon which has come to mean "we stuck the menu here".

    I guess people who heretofore have only ever used a twitter app will will finally be able to find the firefox menu that had been eluding them, hidden away in the top left.

    The menu includes a âoeCustomizeâ tool that transforms Firefox into a powerful customization mode where you can add or move any feature, service or add-on.'

    All it needs is to say "Don't Panic!" in large friendly letters.

  • Re:more downgrades (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:30PM (#46869755) Homepage Journal

    I run with NoScript on Firefox, and unfortunately I'm finding more and more web sites are unusable without Javascript enabled not just for them (and the cloud provider, who could be serving up god-knows-what) but for zillions of "partners". I don't know what those partners are providing, either: probably mostly ancillary crap but the page won't render until it's downloaded.

    I keep a NoScripted Firefox for any time I'm visiting web sites that I don't know beforehand; if they don't render then I don't need it that badly. But on my work computers, where I'm browsing only sites that I have reason to believe have things I need and aren't too terribly likely to be hijacked, I've found I just had to turn NoScript off.

    That sucks, because the fact is that the vast majority of sites do shit with Javascript that the site would be just plain better off without. I don't object to their need to earn a living by feeding me ads, which is why I don't run with an ad blocker, but Javascript is very easy to abuse, and too many of them create abusive design.

  • Re:more downgrades (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:31PM (#46869769) Homepage
    "Firefox becomes less usable and less configurable with each release. "

    True, and it not just configurability. It's been on a persistent and unshakeable course of deteriorating functionality and usability for years. Even sticking to the long-term releases and avoiding the newest breakage it's still awful and obviously only getting worse. I think there is a real need for a fork of firefox and a sane team to maintain it, and I would be happy to contribute to some form of crowdfunding to bring it about, but...

    "Might as well use Chrome at this point, it's virtually indistinguishable."

    Sorry, I still think you are off-base here. As horrid as Firefox has become, it still has a ways to go before it can compete with Chrome for worst browser. It still uses the file system more-or-less correctly, and it's still possible (with extensions, at least) to disable javascript properly.

    Firefox is horrible but it's still the best general purpose browser available, that's what makes the whole situation so horrific. If there were any other browser that were better I would be happy to switch, but these days it seems they all aspire to become adware just like chrome.
  • So much effort... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:39PM (#46869883)

    Yet not one "feature" gives me what I really want, the ability to leave my UI the same while upgrading all the "under the hood features" and security fixes.

  • Re:Don't care (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:41PM (#46869917)

    After "pushing out their CEO" for political / free speach reasons

    Free speach [sic], you say? Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]. The CEO has a Constitution-enshrined right to say whatever he wants without fear of criminal prosecution, but Mozilla also has a right to boot him out of the company for it.

    When you can have your ability to earn a living taken away from you, even though you have done nothing that violates any law, then you have effectively created a society where there is no free speech.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:42PM (#46869927)
    Can't wait for Cinnafox and FireMate forks! Why do design guys always want to follow everyone else? For a while, everyone made a car that looked like a Honda. And that helped Honda. Suddenly these new cars come out that do not look like Honda and they do very well. Now it is Follow the Chrome. Guess what? If people want a browser to look like Chrome, they will download... (Wait for it) Fucking Chrome! This UI fascination with playing "Hide the Menus" is not appreciated. And much like the infamous "Hide the print button" Microsoft played with the original Office ribbon, guess what is back?
  • Re:Don't care (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:44PM (#46869951)

    But "morally and ethically proper" is a different concept.

    It has been a good while now that a significant percentage of the American public has supported ostracizing company heads for instances of racism. It looks like the tide is turning towards also taking a stand against those who refuse to affirm two people of the same sex expressing their love for one another through the same bond that straight couples have always had access to. At this point, suggesting that the campaign led against Eich is immoral or unethical, is a bit like impugning the civil rights struggle in the 1960s.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:51PM (#46870049)

    I dread each new Firefox release - how will they cripple and degrade the browser this time? This is the worst for me since they removed the status bar. Maybe one of the conditions of the Google funding is to gradually fuck up the browser to make it less attractive to those who don't like Chrome or IE?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:51PM (#46870063) Homepage

    Around the time that memory became $8 per fucking gigabyte, you fucking tool.

    Two things:

    1) So, Firefox et al haven't "solved" a damned thing, they've just assumed that RAM is cheap and plentiful? I hope nobody is taking credit for that bullshit reasoning.

    2) It's my fucking memory, and I may or may not be using it for other things. I've got 8GB on my machine, and every day or so I need to shut down Firefox to reclaim the memory it's been leaking. Firefox starts at around 300MB of RAM, and grows to 1GB if I let it.

    Oh, and 3), go fuck yourself.

  • by koan (80826) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:52PM (#46870075)

    And that's exactly what it is, the dumbing down, making the Internet a TV set.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:53PM (#46870085)

    Not a UI/UX designer so I have to ask, why have designers hidden these basic menus in most browsers these days? Is it because they want their browser to be "cleaner" by default? For me the 20 or so pixels that are saved by hiding the menu bar isn't worth the inconvenience of always having to turn these menus back on. I can't recall anyone I know mentioning how they hate the file menu and wish it were hidden by default on a PC.

    If they actually cared what users did with it we would never have had, KDE 4, Unity, Gnome Shell, Windows 8, and so on... They simply don't care how you use it. They are alone in their echo chamber looking at the new shiny, going "Ohh... We should do that." Then they wonder why they are suddenly abandon and running out of money. http://tech.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

  • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:57PM (#46870147)

    I actually love the lack of status bar

    And until recently people like you could simply turn it off, while people like me could turn it on.

    This seemed to be working fine for both of us. What was improved by changing this status quo?

  • Re:Don't care (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:03PM (#46870233)

    Eich's ability to earn a living has not been taken away from him. He is free to seek employment with a group of people that share his views, and it looks like that is what he has done. The state is not getting in his way, and there are still plenty of people who would hire him.

    Speaking as someone from a country where one's right to earn a living, any employment at all, really was for decades commonly taken away from people for their political views, I can only say: get a sense of perspective.

  • Re:woo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:05PM (#46870245)

    ou're right. They should have stopped at the previous version

    Never said that. I merely said 'whoop-dee-doo'.

    Damn progression! Who cares if most consumers are drawn to a minimalist interface. We want it to look the same. Forever.

    So provide it as yet another skin. Make it the new default for new installs even.

    Its not really any better or worse than the old one... but it does make it look more like chrome if that's the itch you wanted to scratch.

    I'm not mocking them because I prefer the old one, I'm mocking them because they said idiotic fluff like "Rounded tabs that make navigating the web faster"

    I don't really care one way or the other about the new look. But the features they made a big to-do about should have just been another skin.

  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:11PM (#46870313) Homepage Journal

    > It's easy to see what tab you're currently visiting
    > and the other tabs fade into the background to be
    > less of a distraction when you're not using them.

    I swear, if I ever meet a guy in a bar and he says he's on the UX team at Mozilla, I'm going to punch him in the dick as hard as I can. Now that all the background tabs are a mushy mass of grey, it is HARDER to tell them apart and jump to the one you want next. WHY DO YOU THINK TABS EXIST?!?!?

    "when you're not using them" -- do you know what constitutes USING tabs? FINDING THEM AND CLICKING ON THEM.

    Gee assholes, why don't you just put all my tabs behind that bullshit menu icon in the top right? That's be SUPER clean and easy-to-use! Out of sight, but right there when you need them! >:-|

    If I wanted to know the title of the page I'M LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW -- not usually needed because I'M LOOKING AT IT RIGHT NOW -- I can glance at the title bar OH WHOOPS WAIT THAT'S FUCKING GONE TOO. Fucking retards.

    Yes, I got the fucking extension to un-fuck-up the theme, [mozilla.org] but I shouldn't have to do this all the time.

    Now, if they actually FIXED the sync, so you can just log in and not jump through the bullshit hoops of having a DIFFERENT instance of it open so you can type in the stupid PIN (WTF are you supposed to do if you want to sync two non-portable computers in different places?), *THAT* will be some progress.

    For everything else, click here and tell them how much they suck. [mozilla.org]

    And finally, a note to ALL browser makers: "View" -> "Source" should be a top-level menu, not buried behind some "developer tools" bullshit. FF, Safari, Chrome -- you're all guilty. "View source" is what made the web great. It SHOULD be easy to get at.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:34PM (#46870573)

    ... I hate UI designers. They break everything they touch.

    UI designers are constantly trying to stay relevant. That is why they are continually changing the UI. They say the new version is better. They *always* say the new version is better. But a UI designer does not understand the very real difference between "different" and "better". To a UI designer, "different" is better, by definition. That is why they are always changing UIs, usually for the worse.

  • by trawg (308495) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:43PM (#46870677) Homepage

    I love Firefox and have used it for years. I've put up with all the updates and changes and ridiculous behaviour since they started this rapid development cycle.

    There's been some improvements. But every couple of releases my plugins break because they've removed some functionality or changed something. I can put up with that; software changes and needs maintenance.

    This is the first upgrade I've done where my interface has been changed this significantly.

    The Add-on bar is gone. Can't replace it without an extension. I have (well, had) tools in that I used daily.

    Tabs now on top. Can't move them back to the bottom. Here's a two year old Bugzilla [mozilla.org] filled with people pleading that it remain an option.

    There appears to be extensions to fix all this. But what's the fucking point any more? I'm sick of fighting to keep Firefox looking and working like Firefox if all they're going to do is take away the things that I actually use it for. It's just too much effort.

    Mozilla, you used to be a leader. Now you're a follower. I know so few people that are still using Firefox - most people I talk to are surprised that I don't use Chrome - why are you going out of your way to alienate those of us that are left?

  • by Arkh89 (2870391) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:50PM (#46870749)

    Tabs On Top -- No thanks, I want my tabs below the URL bar, where God intended them to be.

    That's because you are not using your brain. It makes strictly NO SENSE to have the address bar on top of the tab bar. For each tab in the bar, I expect the info of the particular page to be WITHIN the tab not somewhere else (like, on top).

    And, on a side note, I hate the fact that the searches are common to all tab on the same basis as previously.

  • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:54PM (#46870795)
    What we need are window managers that handle the "tabbing" natively. This whole thing with every application having to implement its own non-standard tab system is completely stupid. Not only will it simplify applications, but they'll also all be the same. Right now the way tabs works is equivalent to every application using a different window decorator with the minimize/close buttons in random places.
  • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @03:10PM (#46871579)

    If others need to turn it Off and others to turn it On, then it is broken as it can't exist.

    Or it could prompt you the first time it loads to select a preference. Just saying. I don't think is the best solution, but the dilemma is easily resolved without having an initial default state.

    I prefer the default being disabled.

    I don't care what the default is to be honest; as long as it respects my choice once i've made it. Removing the option entirely is the problem.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @04:12PM (#46872441) Homepage Journal

    And if you don't like it, then you're an "elitist."

  • by jmyers (208878) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @04:26PM (#46872613)

    I am old enough to remember when UI's were very good. text on green screen terminal that were made to do exactly what was needed and were as simple as possible. Then computers got more powerful and people started designing GUIs that did in fact suck because the keyboard functions people had learned no longer worked or worked differently. Everything was quirky and ran very slow. Then hardware caught up and design got much better. Then web apps started to take off and the UIs sucked because of limited browser features and rookie web developers. Then programming tools and browser features improved and "web 2.0" UIs took hold and they got much better. Most of this evolution in design was driven to create the "next big thing", to wow users into wanting your design.

    Now we are in a stagnant period where no new ground breaking PC technology has come along for a while. Tablets and smartphones took off so they appear to be getting all the attention. Designers and developers hungry to be on the verge of the next big thing are focusing on tablets and copying the big players like Google and Apple. At these companies design decisions are being made based on revenue streams rather than testing and user feedback. How do we make our product maintain it's branding? How to we guide the user into our revenue stream? It is no longer about what the users want tor need it is about forcing users into a tranche that can be exploited.

  • by silanea (1241518) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @05:05PM (#46872977)

    [...] With all respect, it didn't really have other uses anymore, except [...] Some extensions would display things there [...]

    Well, thank you very much for spelling out the very reason this change is a disaster. My browser toolbar is becoming more crowded by the week, and my extensions have lost the ability to display any text in the UI but are limited to one or a handful of icons. NoScript has been significantly impaired by this.

    I am all for sleek sexy interfaces and killing old cruft and clutter. But "UX" has become a term non grata around the office of late thanks to all the morons who use it as an excuse for taking away control from the user.

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