So this is your idea of a great user interface, Mozilla?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2013
Updated • Oct 24, 2013

I'm a Firefox user, have been for years and even the rise of Google Chrome did not change that fact. I like Mozilla a lot, how they have turned the browser around technology-wise, the organization's stance on privacy, and how everyone can chime in and help out, or voice concern.

The dark cloud of a Firefox redesign hung over the browser for several years, and while Mozilla designers did release mockups of how the new and improved version of Firefox could look like, everything remained relatively stable after Firefox 4.

Australis, the new Firefox theme, will be launched when Firefox 25 comes along in October 2013. It is a major change and while some things are not yet decided upon, it is almost certain that Mozilla will change Firefox's interface radically.

Update: As it stands now, Australis has been postponed to at least Firefox 28.

If you download the latest Nightly UX version for example, you will notice the following in the browser''s interface (again, subject to change)

  • The Firefox button is gone, replaced by a single Chrome-like settings button on the right.
  • Tabs are on top and there is no option to change that anymore so that they are displayed on the bottom instead.
  • The add-ons bar is removed and cannot be brought back.
  • There is only one toolbar and it shares the search, navigational elements and all add-on icons.
  • The search bar is no longer displayed, but can be added to that single toolbar as well.
  • The menu bar and the bookmarks bar are hidden by default but can be displayed again.
  • Curved tabs that look oh so pretty.

You are probably wondering what this looks like if you have a couple of add-ons installed. Take a look:

firefox ui madness

And that is with less than ten add-ons installed in the browser. The browser window takes up half of the screen on a 1920x1080 monitor. Imagine adding the search bar back to the interface, and maybe a couple of other extensions that you work with normally.

Does this look like something that you can work with?

I have several issues with the new interface, including that it is madness to force users to display all icons in the only toolbar left in the browser. It is taking up too much space that is then missing for other things there, for instance the full web address of the website you are connected to.

I probably can get used to tabs on tops, even though I dislike the fact that Mozilla is forcing users again into this.

What made Firefox great were two things: its customizations giving users the freedom to choose how they want to use the browser, and its extensions support.

Mozilla seems hellbent to take away one of those features that makes Firefox special in a world where browsers do not offer any customizations whatsoever, and that is a shame. I stuck my head out for Firefox when Chrome came along and kept using it despite its lacking performance in the beginning, but taking away one of the two features that sets the browser apart is just something that I cannot get my head around.

Addendum: Extensions that rely on placing icons and information in Firefox's add-on bar or another bar may stop working when Firefox 25 comes along because of that change. The majority of extension developers will probably fix the issue before that happens, but it is very likely that some won't.

Firefox 24 will be an extended support release, which means that you can theoretically use it for the next eight or so release cycles without having to deal with the interface changes in Firefox 25.

Closing Words

If this is getting implemented the way it looks like, then I'm considering moving to a different browser. This can be Seamonkey provided that it won't make the switch to Australis as well, another custom build of Firefox, or maybe even -yuck- back to Internet Explorer.


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  1. Daniel said on January 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Do you think Mozilla developers like this crap? No!
    They are forced by Google to destroy Firefox.
    In exchange for money. A lot.

  2. Questor G. said on December 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I always try to use several browsers, for different purposes. Gradually, I dropped IE because of an eternal conflict with Microsoft’s autocracy; I used to like Opera, but it became rather rigid and Chrome-like, so I dropped it too; I never liked Google’s Chrome, because Google is no better than Microsoft in its rigid approach to its clients and Chrome reflects that – the philosophy of “whatever makes programming more standardized, client be damned.” Mozilla has been a breath of fresh air, but the general sliding of the developed world into totalitarian thought patterns seems to be catching up with Mozilla, too.
    In my personal case, there are several factors endearing the Firefox family to me – the use of the “Menu” bar, the ability to create an array of download add-on tools, and the creative array of “Speed Dial” utilities, though I have stuck with Jesorek’s simplest format. I am not into “cutesies,” being primarily a utilitarian – I just find it “oh, so easy” using that visual bookmark display system, arranged by topics. And, being an older person, I am not into socializing by grunts and monosyllables over mass communication means. I hope these media recognize that older people are the fastest growing group of human beings on the planet, and that we are accustomed to “converse” with each other, and exchange full thoughts, rather than bytes over smart phones and one-liners over Twitter!
    I trust there will be alternatives springing up, regardless of Mozilla’s policies. After all, many corporations have perished because of wrong strategic decisions – maybe that is Mozilla’s curse [destiny] too. I know, I am already looking for such alternatives, even if it takes me to Chinese and Indian browsers . . .

  3. Nicolas B. said on October 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm


    Mozilla must have made a deal with the display makers !

    More seriously, I don’t know what the “search bar” is.

    Your two paragraphs at the end about Firefox 24 and Firefox 25 seem contradictory. What are they supposed to mean ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Firefox 24 is released as a “regular release” that gets updated every six weeks, and as Firefox 24 ESR which won’t get Australis for the next eight update cycles (8×6 weeks).

  4. Ryan said on October 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

    It’s not coming out with 25, maybe FF30..

  5. L.M. Morganetti said on October 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    If you like Firefox but hate Australius, switch to Pale Moon.

    And to correct a post above, Pale Moon has never gotten rid of the Status Bar. It’s still there.

  6. deadalus said on September 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    opera 12, FF 20., and trying ice dragon. The days of highly configurable fast browsers without bloat and security breaches are over, we must pick and choose which works best for us individually.

  7. tayls said on September 25, 2013 at 6:53 am

    i have ff 25, my search box is still there, though redunant as the url bar also serves as a search box…

    but i am quite unhappy with ff25 and it’s flash components.. very slow

    as a result, i am looking for another browser, even though i’ve used the mozilla offering ever since netscape gave up the code. that was a very long time ago.

  8. Patrick Dreier said on September 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm


    The Mozilla Firefox 25 has not search box.

    With king regards!

    1. Patrick Dreier said on September 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Please let the search box.

    2. Matt said on September 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      This is simply not true. If you are missing your search box, add it back from customization mode. It was not intentionally removed by Mozilla.

  9. Anonymous said on August 20, 2013 at 12:44 am

    an x64 browser doesn’t have any sense

  10. Iulius said on August 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    i have a dejavu, the same stupidity was shown is win8 creation this is my firefox customized windows, i dont use firefox bookmarks at all, i rely on delicious site to manage them. i created few tags containing groups of bookmarks so i can have them easier to click if needed, most of the time using 2-4 letters as you can see in “bar”, the same way i have bar2, bar3, and so on. if i need a specific site i just click delicious sidebar and just look for it

    my bet is that this bar is impossible to be shown there is the same way, so this will be the moment i say bye forever to firefox.

    this is from the win8 “creation time”
    i saw their stupidity same with the rest of people, but this kind of designers never learn the easy way :( they need to break something so bad that companies lose clients to understand a basic stuff.

    in the second post i made the prediction of 10/20% of market share after 1st year :) guess i was very optimistic. win8.1 is not the solution for the problem, is just the stupidity ver2 – almost nothing solved

    Iulius Saturday, October 8, 2011 10:15 AM #
    i always try new OS since the Win Millennium. there were things that i first dislike and than loved – Xp colors were too strong at start ( i was using Win NT at work ) but i got used. Vista was a nightmare on my computer but i`ve tried each and every thing on it and after a while i`ve bought a new computer a home just to have it. win7 was a first meet love and even if some things differ a little from Vista i was a very pleased customer.
    now win8 is crazy, i dislike it from the first moment, new start menu? – imagine assisting somebody which uses win8 and all the things are misplaced over the start menu and current open app. facebook, emails, photos, weather, economic projections -?? what i never want those. i have in my browsers a *facebook* block, i dislike that social network; email – hey it`s called outlook and i can open it as i do`nt wanna see a personal and very private email being displayed in my desktop because win8 was made stupid ok? photos – > same with the private emails, and wtf, i know how to get to profile\ photos, also did you check a widget photos using % ? i always disable those useless garbage widgets. weather ? – just look outside, if you anyway stay in house the weather is useless for you, and if you go out from time to time you just feel it, almost 30% of times when really matters ( snow, heavy rain) the weather projections are not good, so it`s another useless thing. economic projections and NYSE on desktop?? wtf i don`t need to see stocks as i don`t buy them or transaction them. i doubt there is more than 0.5% users that really need it.
    if win8 will have only one start menu than bye bye win8
    btw, you know the cycle :
    win98 – good, win millennium -bad, win xp – good , vista – bad, win7- good, win 8 > bad ?

    13 Oct 2011 7:54 AM

    no offense but your “start menu” is “my desktop” set up with fences

    for what i use the start menu: – few apps, less than 10 most of the time, the task bar has 6-7 pinpointed apps ( 22” monitor) .

    let`s just think task bar: iexplore, firefox, chrome, excel, word, outlook

    start menu : excel, outlook, word irfan view (for fast print screen save), yahoo, notepad, DVD player, 2 games, calculator, winamp. ( some of this are used for their jump lists)

    other than this what do i click from start menu – start – run cmd / notepad / paint /mmc. or right click my computer – manage .

    except those i 95% of time use star – search – done

    for 5% of times used for other stuff you want to kill my lovely start menu?

    A “classic” (win7) start menu & classic desktop option are the minimum requirements for me to move to win8. if any of this is missing my bet is that the sales in first year on win8 will be something like 10-20% of the market. my personal option will be to stay out, and i mean very far from a closed OS (no option offered to switch it = close system)

    <> maybe you should take this in discussion also when you refuse the “switch button”

  11. David Tenser said on August 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for your article and for identifying two of the many things that make Firefox stand out — and of course for using Firefox as your main browser. :) I’m late to the game here but as I was reading this, I felt that I wanted to respond. Sorry if this has already been brought up several times before; I haven’t taken the time to read the many comments above.

    It looks like your use case isn’t representing the average user in that you have a large number of add-ons installed. Most people have add-ons, but typically they’re limited to a handful. So, you’re right in the sense that Australis hasn’t been optimized based on this particular use case.

    That said, it’s still entirely possible to place any or all of the add-ons buttons in the drop-down menu instead. Think of it as your own custom add-ons toolbar that isn’t cluttering the UI when you don’t need it. :) If you’ve already considered this and think I’m missing the point, please hit me back!


    1. Orhin said on August 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Sadly it is not only the add-on Bar going away, also custom Toolbars.

      In my opinion Mozilla has gone way too far with all that Chrome like moves. Seeing therefor no more reason to use Firefox, of course i know that all can be brought back using add-ons, but no guarantee is that these add-ons are developed for long time.

      And i dislike it very much to ride an unserious hourse – So i and for sure many others will go to a browser which still has that functions – at least the add-on bar.

      May that be Palemoon or Cyberfox.

      Hell, even Midori and Qupzilla are way better browsers as a Firefox with Australis in my opinion!

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      David, the new drop-down menu is not really an option for me as I prefer to have all icons visible at all times. I understand that I’m not the average user who may run none or only a handful of add-ons, and of those, not all place icons in the interface anyway.

      I still think that Mozilla is heading in the wrong direction in regards to this as it is irritating long-time Firefox users who have stood by it even when Chrome came along. For me, it fells like Mozilla is “dumbing down” the browser for the masses who may or may not appreciate that move.

      I understand that much of the functionality that is removed can be added again via add-ons, and while I’m not opposed to the idea, it raises additional questions of long-term support for those features.

      Anyway, I’m not alone with my resentment as you can see when you look at the comments.

  12. Leland said on August 1, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Firefox is so extensible you could easily make it look like Chrome already if you wanted. Forcing this on people may be the final nail in the coffin. I expect many will be looking for Firefox based alternatives to fill the hole. I really dislike Chrome and have stuck with Firefox through the years because I could make the browser work the way I want. If they take that away I will be looking for something else…

  13. Patrick said on July 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Well, I tried them all. In my opinion, the fastest, most secure and can use Chrome extension add-on’s is COMODO DRAGON. This browser beats them all. Don’t believe me, just try it.

    1. Dougle said on July 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      I don’t personally like any of the ‘Chromium’ like browsers, but if I was forced to use one, it wouldn’t be Dragon. It’s a horrible variation. But each to his own.

  14. Lagkiller said on July 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Pale Moon ftw!

  15. Richard Steven Hack said on July 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Here’s the reality: ALL the browsers suck. ALL OF THEM. They are all bloated with “features” no one but the developers wanted. I’ve switched back and forth from Firefox to Chrome back to Firefox with side ventures into Opera and Chromium. NONE of them last long because they ALL do something utterly stupid. Currently I’m back to Firefox mostly because of certain extensions and the previous difficulties I had I found ways to fix (no thanks to Mozilla who keeps such things hidden.)

    This is the reality of the software industry today. As Woody Allen said, “Nothing works and nobody cares.” We just tolerate this crap because we have no alternative except suicide.

    Mozilla needs to fix the hundreds of bugs in their product before they change ANYTHING else.

    The software industry needs to “delegitimize” developers, i.e., remove from them the ability to make design decisions. Design decisions should be made by experts in design in consultation with as many end users as humanly possible. Developers should design program structures and CODE and NOTHING ELSE – because they are NOT competent to do anything else.

    1. Yaractys said on October 29, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Great. However, it might also be a good idea to lock down on the management as well, and force a consumer vote on UI changes. I am not joking at all. This is really what I think would work best. However, the entire thing sounds too good to be true.

      1. Nicolas B. said on November 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        Yaractys, I don’t know about you, but I am not a consumer of Firefox, I am a user of Firefox.

  16. Pierre said on July 31, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I tried UX with the new Australis Interface.
    I don’t really like it (much less beautiful than Chrome’s one) but afterall I think it’s a detail and the former interface was very old-fashioned.

    FF is my second browser. I have abandoned it and I have taken Chrome (in spite of it is a proprietary software) since Chrome 4 exactly (when it admitted extensions). For 3 or 4 years ?

    Unfortunately, in spite of it’s qualities, FF is a heavy program and very slow in Windows.

  17. Anomaly said on July 31, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Does anybody know the names of the jack offs at Mozilla responsible for this idiotic new UI? We need to start some kind of action to have these idiots removed. Anyone stupid enough to think these new changes are a good thing needs to be kicked to the curb fast. They will destroy Firefox if they go through with it.

  18. PJGU said on July 31, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Well heck! I have been increasingly unhappy with Firefox for about a year and a half. The reasons don’t particularly matter. They have been mentioned for the most part already. What I have found and considered switching to is Maxthon. It is no Firefox, but I really dislike Chrome (crashes constantly on me, no matter what machine I put it on nor how many times I uninstall and reinstall), I HATE IE on principal, and Opera was fun in the early 2000s, but later became something I just did not enjoy.

    I really have loved FF since about 1999 I think, but I do NOT want a Chrome look-alike…or act-alike. And please don’t bother trying to argue with me about my opinion on this peeps. I don’t get into internet forum tiffs.

    Thanks Martin, for this article. I DO like to know what may be coming in my tech.

  19. JT said on July 30, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Martin, I share your sadness about the impending changes to Firefox. However, if you do decide to “jump ship,” I hope you won’t make the same mistake as Mozilla, and forfeit a major source of your blog’s appeal: your coverage of Firefox. You are one of the few sources of info about Firefox on the net, and certainly the best. I’m sure there are many who have come to your blog (and stayed) because of that. As one of those, I promise I won’t hold it against you if you are “untrue” to Firefox, just so long as you continue your coverage. Thanks for your work.

  20. Zero said on July 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I went back to IE and I really love it now. I still use FF but only as a secondary option. Looks like chrome’s marketshare is declining for world usage which was almost 20% but since has declined to 17% and it’s still declining at a slow pace.

    IE: 56.15%
    FF: 19.15%
    Chrome: 17.17%
    Safari: 5.55%
    Opera: 1.58%
    Other: 0.23%

  21. Lance Lingle said on July 30, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I know that I’ve switched to Cyberfox as my main browser. They even have Intel and AMD optimized versions. I remember that the developer (compiler?) of Cyberfox posted quite a bit about Australis on their forums and posted a test version of 25 without it.

    If anyone is interested. :)

    1. Orhin said on July 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      That looks nice, i will watch how it turns out for Cyberfox – and Palemoon Mod tries too to stay Australis Free…

      If one of these 2 Firefox Windows Mods manages to keep up with that plan to ignore Australis, i would happily install one of these 2 as secondary Browser :)

  22. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Ya, I’m unsubscribing from this particular topic.
    It’s just going to continue to be filled with hate and negativity.

    For the record, -you will still be able to customize Firefox-
    If you don’t like the look, the functionality, grab a theme or an add-on and be sure to support add-on developers with praise and monetarily. They provide their work for free, it’s a lot of work, especially for theme developers.

    If you don’t like any of the above, then choose a browser with less options.

    1. Dougle said on July 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Ken Saunders wrote:

      “If you don’t like the look, the functionality, grab a theme or an add-on and be sure to support add-on developers with praise and monetarily. They provide their work for free, it’s a lot of work, especially for theme developers.”

      That just about takes the biscuit.. Mozilla, to support some bad UI changes, decide to remove/make more difficult various aspects of customisation, but that’s ok, because we’re encouraged to simply others – addon develop[ers – to fix the issues!

      1. Dougle said on July 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        Bah! Typos;
        … because we’re encouraged to simply pay others – addon developers – to fix the issues!

    2. Transcontinental said on July 30, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Bah, you know how it goes on the Web : 90% hysteria, one day we yell, the day after we cry, the day after we laugh. Not relevant of what users really choose, think, do.

  23. kalmly said on July 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

    FF: Thumbs down
    Opera: Thumbs down
    Chrome: Middle finger up

  24. José Moreira said on July 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

    If Mozilla goes ahead with this, I just have two options:
    – remain with the last version of FF with the current look (which means later I may have problems with security (or the lack of it));
    – I’d definitely change to SRWare Iron. It’s based on Chromium, looks like Chrome, is as fast as Chrome, but it’s way much safer regarding privacy ( Currently is my 2nd browser.

  25. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I prefer power myself

  26. Sam said on July 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Why don’t you use Opera 15? Much faster than Chrome & Firefox!

  27. Adrian Miller said on July 30, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I like it

    Dont see the issue myself….

    A couple of points..

    “And that is with less than ten add-ons installed in the browser. The browser window takes up half of the screen on a 1920×1080 monitor. Imagine adding the search bar back to the interface, and maybe a couple of other extensions that you work with normally.”

    I have 20 addons, for ones that i dont need immediate access to, i remove from the addon bar…..debunked

    “for instance the full web address of the website you are connected to.”

    hover your mouse over the address/ most people arent religiously looking at the full address anyhow…..debunked

    some people like whinging just for the sake of it….

    1. Orhin said on July 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Keep in mind that not everyone wants to use Basic stuff, because some People like it, that does not mean it is right that all others are now forced to use things like they will become too – The only fair way would have been offering a choice!

      For example with a Checkbox during Installation…. Customization yes or not

  28. tPenguinLTG said on July 30, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Oh, and I wonder how badly this new interface looks on Windows Classic. Chrome looks terribly out of place because the look (including the window decoration) is hard-coded into the browser.

  29. lainiwaku said on July 30, 2013 at 4:26 am

    you don’t need to put every extension on the bar !
    I’m sorry, but i’m not agree with you for this time !
    i just tried the nightly, and i like it !
    i have 15 addons, and i never use the addons bar, the only addon icon i have is WOT, lastpass, dowloadhelper and facebook
    the other addon like im translator can be acceded by right click etc … no need to have all your addons on a bar !!!!
    furthermore, tabs still have more square shape than chrome, and when you have lot of tabs , it’s not horribly small down like chrome ! it still keep the firefox spirits on tabs !

    1. ReX said on July 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

      “I don’t need it, so it’s okay for others to not have the choice to do so!”

      That’s what you just said.

  30. tPenguinLTG said on July 30, 2013 at 4:25 am

    I’ve been on the ESR channel since Fx17 (I would have started at v10, but v12 was too good to pass up). After support for Fx24ESR ends, I think I might have to start looking elsewhere.

    I felt this way in the transition from Fx3.6 to Fx4, and I used Fx3.6 until support ended (good thing Firefox greatly improved by that point), but this time will probably be worse.

    Oh, why hasn’t anyone made a decent fork yet, with cross-platform compatibility? I was sure someone would fork Fx3.6 when v4 came out, but no…
    I would consider Lunascape, but it’s Windows only. Most of my Firefox add-ons don’t work on Seamonkey, so that’s out, too.

    Considering I’ve tweaked my browser to look like Fx2 and installed too many add-ons to revert functionality, I really don’t want this to happen.

    How about we all just go back to Netscape in protest?

    Isn’t anyone at Mozilla listening? Please, don’t do this to your users!

    (By the way, the official abbreviation for Firefox is Fx, not FF)

  31. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 4:12 am

    What concerns me much more about the changes are that you may drop Firefox.
    You’ve been very fair about Firefox, offering both criticism, and praise.
    You have been a friend to Firefox, and one of the very few online that has continued to point out the good in it, and with Mozilla especially after everyone jumped on the trash Firefox bandwagon. Many are still on it.

    You of all people know very well that software changes and there usually isn’t a lot that you can do about it unless you write your own, fork it, etc, and you also know that Firefox, above every other browser out there is still the most customizable, so I’m wondering what you have seen (aside from what you noted), to make you believe that it won’t continue to be, and, that add-on developers won’t pull through as always and offer tweaks, fixes, substitutes, etc?
    I posted a long list (here on your site), of changes that were made to Firefox in the past, and add-ons that were written to address them and that are still maintained.
    It will happen again with the release of Firefox 25.

    We Firefox users tend to, in a way, take things personally when our Firefox is messed with. The our word is the key. There are very few pieces of software where we feel a sense of ownership. In fact, I can only name Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. Perhaps because we work hard to make it our own. Perhaps because we can bitch about it and someone listen. Maybe because we work hard to promote and support, or, it could be all of that.

    Just keep the the faith bro.
    I’m an amateur add-ons developer and I barely know what I’m doing yet I was able to start tweaking and moving things around in UX in a matter of minutes. Imagine what all of the current and new, talented and skilled add-on developers will come up with.
    I’d say that a majority of add-ons are or were made by Firefox users that wanted something fixed for themselves that they didn’t care for and then decided to share it with other users. I’ve done it, and have known other developers that started out the same way.

    The only way that I would be highly concerned about my ability to make Firefox my own is if XUL were killed off, and/or Firefox became closed source, but I see none of that happening, so I’m fine.

    You have a loud megaphone, so please, as always, show solutions too.
    Hang in there man.

    1. Orhin said on July 30, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Basically you are saying no matter how bad Firefox will become thanks to the UX Team we still should stay using it, because Add-On Developers will fix the issues?

      Sorry, Firefox is in the first place a Standard program, a browser. No matter how much i loved Firefox, the Point where it is about removing core Browser Features away from the codebase is the Point where it is indeed a reasonable why not to think about dropping it!

      The blog owner has valid Points, you can and you SHOULD consider at some Point a Switch. Mozilla may not care for protest, but they do care for a market share, so remove your voice, and they learn it eventually!

      1. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

        “Basically you are saying no matter how bad Firefox will become thanks to the UX Team we still should stay using it, because Add-On Developers will fix the issues?”

        I’m mostly saying that according to your current and past comments, you stopped using Firefox a while ago so why bothering discussing it all except to continue bashing it.

        “you can and you SHOULD consider at some Point a Switch.”

        I will use Mozilla Firefox until it no longer exists, or I do. Which ever comes first of course. I mean that sincerely.

        People can go to Chrome, the other Chrome (Opera), IE, whatever, see what your customization options are with those. If you have no problems with that, then you have no problems with the changes that Mozilla is making.

        I use Firefox because I love it, and for me, it is the best, but I support Firefox because of the organization the develops it. They do a whole lot of good for the Web, and the World in general.
        Do some of the changes annoy me? Initially, but I’ve never come across anything that I or an add-on can’t overcome.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 30, 2013 at 4:29 am

      I really do not like where part-of Mozilla is heading with Firefox. I see all the good things they do, like making the browser faster, more stable or secure, but I also see the feature removals or changes all for the sake of appealing to a mass market of “inexperienced” users who Mozilla does not want to confuse or bring into temptation.

      Those users will never become experienced users if they do not have the options to experiment with the browser. Yes, turning off JavaScript or moving toolbar elements around may wreck the browser or site’s displayed in a way, but that is all part of the learning process in my opinion.

      It may be painful for those users to figure out what is going on, and some may even uninstall Firefox as they cannot resolve the issue on their own, but how many users are we talking about here? I cannot believe that there are many users who by accident remove one of the important toolbars or navigational elements from Firefox, it just does not make lots of sense.

      If those “making things simpler” affects experienced users in a way that it does with Australis, then it is a plain stupid move in my opinion.

      Yes, add-on developers will probably start to create add-ons that add custom toolbars and the add-on bar back to Firefox, but that is a lot of wasted resources just for that in my opinion that could have been spend better otherwise.

      1. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

        “Those users will never become experienced users if they do not have the options to experiment with the browser.’

        Great point

  32. ReX said on July 30, 2013 at 1:45 am

    As far as I’m concerned, Pale Moon is the official Firefox fork.

  33. Cattleya said on July 30, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Bugzilla topic for removal of add-on bar and move all icon to navbar:

    Someone who love Firefox old UI, please expain what is the advantage of add-on bar for Mozilla’s developer, and hope they will revert back the add-on bar.

    I also don’t like this change, my toolbar over 100 icons, terrible to figure what will be happen if I update to Firefox 25.

  34. Glenn said on July 30, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Yes, Mozilla (aka MoFo) seems more and more intent on convincing me to stop using Firefox. I’ve been with Mozilla since Phoenix and before, but I’m really getting tired of their crap. This browser no longer belongs to its users; Mozilla must be crazy. I certainly won’t use anything from Google, so I don’t know what browser I’ll have to switch to… maybe I’ll just go back to the Fx6 code and fork it from there for myself.

  35. greg said on July 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I like the Firefox UI just how it is. Mozilla wants to dumb down the customizability for avoiding support-requests, okay. But why adopt a Chrome UI?

    I use side-tabs so curved tabs is stupid–why waste resources on this? Vertical space is so limited in wide displays, why not make a side-tabs options instead of curving the tabs that are already there?

    Why force Large Icons on everybody? One of the things I HATED about Chrome was not being able to use small icons. Now the browser I turned to to fix that problem is becoming more and more Chrome-Like with every iteration. Dangit Mozilla, STOP IT!

  36. hessam said on July 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    UI Chrome is for chrome not for Firefox.the current ui ff is very good
    i dont like single Chrome-like settings button
    i like the tap on top(save more space)
    about addon bar and tool bar i really dont use both normally
    but i added url-addon-bar extension so i its move add on-bar to url-bar
    then i can move and arrange my icon in tool bar in add on-bar(this is a save a lot space)
    so if by default all tool bar and addon bar icon moved to url bar i like that.
    (even if allow change location of icon in right or left of url bar,its make it a lot better, like star bookmark)
    as in below screen shot you can see i orange button with user style(no menu bar bar)
    and no search bar(just type in address bar and go to Google )
    so if ff become like NX i dont use any more or stay in old version
    i test that for 10 minuets then Uninstalled(some icon like Privacy Protector and flagfox remine in urlbar)

    this is my custom Firefox screen shot :)

  37. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I ran into a couple of WordPress errors BTW
    with replies duplicated and misplaced.
    First time that’s happened here.

  38. fokka said on July 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    wow, this has to be one of the most commented articles in a long time!

    although most of the expected changes wouldn’t really affect me, since i’ve already stripped my ff ui down to the bare minimum, i’m absolutely against the severe loss of options.

    like most other ff users, i’m using the browser _just because_ i can customize and tune it the way i want. so taking that away from users is directly abolishing the foundation on which firefox’ (market share) is built.

    i don’t know exactly how mozilla is making their decisions, but if all else fails, we absolutely should do a petition to show them how serious we are. if such a petition would hit sites like engadget or reddit it would be hard for mozilla to ignore the masses of firefox-aficionados.

    what do you guys think?

  39. Matt said on July 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    There are so many errors in the article that a correction should be posted to avoid more spreading of misinformation. The following bullets are totally incorrect:
    * There is only one toolbar and it shares the search, navigational elements and all add-on icons.
    => The only toolbar that was removed was the add-on bar. Nothing stops add-ons from adding (customizable) toolbars. Also, all of the add-on icons don’t have to be in the navigation bar. They can be removed and put in the palette or they can be put in the new panel menu which you didn’t note as a new feature. (The Firefox menu was not customizable.)
    * The search bar is no longer displayed, but can be added to that single toolbar as well.
    => This did not change at all for Australis. There are no plans to remove the search box for Australis.
    * The menu bar and the bookmarks bar are hidden by default but can be displayed again.
    => There was no change to this in Australis.

    Again, Australis adds customization by letting you customize the contents of the panel menu.

    1. Chris said on August 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      The question is which you havent answered, what is the purpose of removing the addon bar, something introduced recently and now removed again.

      Are you seriously suggesting addons each having their own toolbar is some kind of adequate solution to a problem created out of nothing by silly developers on google’s payroll.

      In fact what is the UX team there for? there is nothing to fix, they are changing things that are not broken.

      I will also be going to the v24 ESR, that is firefox’s lifeline to fix this rubbish before I jump to another browser. Chrome doesnt have its userbase for a dumbed down GUI, it has it because it has paid for it software to be put into a crap load of installers and its also advertised on every other website. Mozilla will only lose users by breaking their browser not gain.

    2. Orhin said on July 30, 2013 at 2:08 am

      You really believe this works better as the already existing customization? Panel… Seriously… If i would want to use Chrome, i would use it!

      Why are developers so hellbent to move all to upper bars, whats the reason why suddenly only because Google made a trend bars at the bottom of a browser are considered as ugly?

    3. Dougle said on July 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Regardless of what you may believe, Australis removes major customisation features – one of the main firefox selling points – from the browser.

      I have numerous addons that display ‘real-time’ information and hiding them away, not only adds an additional click, but makes the nature of the addon redundant.

      Most of the bastardisation of the UI, committed in the name of Australis, has made firefox a nasty chrome clone that will need numerous addons just to replace the parts that have been removed.

      It just doesn’t make any sense.

    4. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      You are right about the menu and bookmarks bar. I have edited one sentence in the article and removed the “changes” from it to make it clearer what I meant.

      We have different understandings of what appears to be practicable and what not. I know that you can hide add-on icons, but if I wanted to do so, I would have done so. Most icons are there for a reason, and moving them into a location that I need to click to activate is not a solution.

      Mozilla removed the add-on bar and the option to create custom toolbars for users. You depend on add-on authors to add the feature again to Firefox.

      About the search bar: is it hidden by default in newer versions of Firefox? I have not installed the browser for a long time and do not know the answer to that. I assumed it is still displayed by default just like it has been in the past.

      1. Matt said on July 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        “The menu bar and the bookmarks bar are hidden by default but can be displayed again.”
        You should remove this altogether because it hasn’t changed. The menubar is still visible by default on platforms where it makes sense (XP) and the bookmark toolbar is visible by default if you import bookmarks from another browser. If you don’t have any bookmarks on the toolbar, it’s not displayed by default. None of these things changed with Australis.

      2. Matt said on July 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        No, the search bar location hasn’t changed with Australis or in other versions of Firefox for a long time. You can confirm this by testing with a new profile or by clicking “Restore defaults” in the customization page. The search bar should be on the nav-bar in both cases. If not, then that’s a bug that should be filed.

  40. Wayfarer said on July 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve said it before – two phrases – “goose” and “golden egg” – re-arrange them to make a well-known phrase or saying, Mozilla.

    Plus – quite possibly the way Mozilla is heading – one further phrase current in a couple of year’s time – “Remember Firefox?”

  41. greg said on July 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Love Firefox. Everything I love about it is being removed ;(

    Mozilla, if I wanted Chrome look, I’d use Chrome. Why you ruin what was a great browser?

  42. Brian said on July 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I know chrome is popular but I just don;t like it’s UI, among many other things. And having long been a fan of Firefox and it’s UI options, add ons and configuration abilities, I’m not happy with the Australis lock down. I may start using a version of chrome that I find tolerable CoolNovo. It seems to fix most of my issues with chrome and seems so far, to look and work well. Mozilla please don’t try to fix the parts that aren’t broke, not everyone is happy with chrome clones.

  43. Pfff said on July 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    As someone mentioned before Opera users went through this not long ago. Seems like Google is setting standards and I bet they pay well for it, or everybody has lost their minds.

    1. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      If one would following conspiracy stuff one could argue that the one who pays the bill decides how stuff gets implemented..

      In this case.. customization will be turned into chromification :D

  44. El-D said on July 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    This is a stupid article. 90% percent bitching and moaning about eventual non-issues, and 10% bitching and moaning about features that aren’t complete yet.

    I really hope all of you whiners just stop using Firefox. These are the defaults they’re setting up for users who don’t like customizing their browser and just want it to be more like the other entry-level browsers, not for power users.

    Plus, if you’re too damn lazy to get a theme and toolbar addon when this is released (given that you’ve got more than ten installed anyway apparently) then perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your existence.

    1. wtf said on August 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      “bitching and moaning” “whiners” “damn lazy” “perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your existence”

      winner of the most disgusting and autistic post in the thread. should definitely be deleted and IP banned

    2. Finvana said on July 30, 2013 at 3:52 am

      It’s not me ho has to adapt to a dumbed down (aka chrome) browser so average joe can visit gmail after searching it every single time because he doesn’t know or wants to know how to use a browser.

    3. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      If you do not like Customizations, that is not the problem of the ones which do like these kind of features :)

      There is a difference WHAT should be put into add-On Form. Additional stuff like Adblock, Noscript, Theming – with that i DO agree. But stuff like Bars, Customization options where i want to move some Browser Elements, small icons – this kind of stuff is BASIC software behaviour which should never been put into add-on developers hands.

      And Developers who are not interested in understanding that or are unable to understand that at least a basic set of options how a program should be allowed to be changed from the inside … these kind of guys seriously should go and find another job!

      1. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 5:02 am

        I almost never get into a back and forth with someone in comments, but you and I have already gone at it. You said (paraphrasing), that you do not trash Firefox or speak negatively about it, yet every time that there’s an article with some sort of criticism towards Firefox, you jump right in and flame.

        I’ve also made my points about the fact that having to instal an add-on to fix or replace something is no big deal, it’s always been done, and I even showed you that your former favorite browser, Palemoon, never added the status bar back, they used an add-on

        People add add-ons all of the time to their software and beyond browsers.

        I guess that my main point is that you’ve made your point, you don’t use Firefox, you don’t like Firefox, Mozilla devs are idiots, etc and so forth.
        As a Mozilla volunteer, it’s offensive to me to see someone constantly beating the board.

        Say it sucks, it blows, whatever, and then move on.
        You don’t even use the freakin’ thing.

        a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

  45. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Basically all what chrome does not have Australis will also not have. I guess what falls next are the Sidebars. Since Mozilla also decided in a Bugzilla post that Sidebars are no customization targets anymore.

  46. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I suppose icons can be moved to a new added customized toolbar?
    If the Bookmarks Toolbar takes them why not another toolbar.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Because there is no other toolbar. It is not clear if add-ons can add toolbars to Firefox though when Australis comes along.

      1. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 4:47 am

        Yes, they can. new toolbars can be added via an add-on

      2. Matt said on July 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        This has not changed. Add-ons can create (customizable) toolbars still.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        That’s good to know. Mozilla’s own employee who would the news post linked in the article was not so sure about this on the other hand.

      4. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        That may be dumbest change of all.
        This is going backwards not forwards.

      5. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        I presume you can still create a new toolbar in the customize menu?
        This was the kind of toolbar I was referring to in my earlier comment.

      6. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        No, users are not allowed to create custom toolbars in Australis if things stay as they are now.

      7. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        But Status4Ever Add-On Creator wrote in a Mozillazine Boardpost that he perhaps plans to add a non-customizable toolbar which could work as a new “Status Bar” in the Browser.

        But that is all what is known so far.

    2. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      No, there is nothing like own toolbars anymore, add-on bars and custom toolbars are dead in Australis.

  47. freaktechnik said on July 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I can’t take this post seriously. Sorry. You rely on a development build here. And development builds normally aren’t feature complete – especially if they’re UX. I know, there has been a lot of buzz about the removal of the add-on bar and everything. And I know, not everybody likes the new tabs. But I know, that mozilla is aware of the porblem of users being addicted to install a lot of buttons. There are (or at least were) plans to do something like a overflow (I am talking of something like this: . Yes the feature is not finished. But it’s freaking UX and not Beta). You can also put buttons into the menu panel if you so desire. And there will still be custom toolbars trought add-ons. They are just not finished as of yet.

    1. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      I do take this post seriously as it well deserves.
      Raising awareness of what very well might happen
      is valuable information and I appreciate the heads-up.
      Some of this might not happen and some of it surely will.

    2. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      I take this post seriously as it well deserves.
      Raising awareness of what very well might happen
      is valuable information and I appreciate the heads-up.
      Some of this might not happen and some of it surely will.

    3. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Sorry, i really see no reason why i should want to install another add-on to be allowed to have custom toolbars!

      Stuff like Toolbars get killed and instead stuff which TRULY should be put in as add-ons only get added to the browser’s codebase like Social API or Content personalization.

      Mozilla removes truly unique features and replaces them with stuff which only creates more browser bloat. No good exchange value in my opinion ;)

    4. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      I understand that this is not finished, but Mozilla has not really made any step towards user concerns in the past year or so. With Australis now being released in Firefox 25 – that is just four months from now – it is unlikely that many of the things you see right now will change dramatically.

      Yes, I hope that Mozilla reconsiders and keeps the add-on bar or provides users with another bar where those add-on icons can be placed in. There seems to be a driving force in Mozilla that tries to make the browser UI as compact as Chrome’s, and that in my opinion is a big mistake.

      I may be a minority with that opinion, I do not know.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        Plus, I do not want to write about it when it already has happened. I want that readers of this blog know what is going on, to raise awareness for the issue. This discussion shows that it is possible and that there are users who do not agree with the current build.

  48. Gonzo said on July 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I plan on moving to ESR when FF 24 is released. The stable branch feels too much like a beta product these days.

    I too am loyal to FF. I won’t use Chrome, although I’d consider Chromium if a stable release was maintained. Even then, it’s all about the add-ons and FF wins in a landslide.

    1. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      There are many other nice Browsers which use Webkit not only Chrome :) As i wrote above Midori is a nice alternative.

      Qupzilla also offers many Browser customizations which are not available anymore when Australis is hitting stable. Smaller Browser projects should get more love because the Developers of these kind of Projects are the really ones which do show that they care about their users, unlike these Day’s big Players in the Browsermarket. :D

      1. Ahmad said on July 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        Midori has ugly UI and fonts by default on Windows and it does not have JIT enabled which means Javascript heavy sites will bog it down to hell and it consumer too much memory with JS heavy site.

  49. Orhin said on July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    As predicted, looks and works like Chrome – Gratulations Mozilla, you have managed to emulate chrome without adding Webkit’s/Blinks actual good features like Web Standards Compatibility and massive Speed!

    After seeing this finally as a whole, i see no more reason why i should not make Midori to my Single in-Use-Browser :)

    I have still my small Icons, i have a Status Bar, i even have something like keywords.url which enables me to have 2 Search engines in the Browser. Luckily for me that i never installed many add-ons and my interest in themes was restricted to Grey and Dark ones.

    So a a Browser Switch for me was no problem. And i really feel sorry for the ones who also dislike “Googlezilla Firechrome” but are unable to change to another Browser because of special Add-ons and Themes.

    This was really an unfair move, at least Mozilla should have given People during install of Firefox the Choice of which “System” they want to use – Chrome’s little Brother or Firefox with Customizations!

    If Mozilla dislike anything which are not looking and working like Google Chrome… fine! But a little “Switch” in the Installer which unlocks the “Old Customizable Interface” would have been the perfect way for Mozilla to keep staying true to their new Dedication without butt kicking the Users which want it the other Way!

    This is… Just.. Unbelievable!

  50. ilev said on July 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I have dumped Firefox the moment I saw version 4.

  51. Bob said on July 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    As an Opera fan, I’ve been there. We went from the extremely usable interface in Opera 12 to the Chrome-like garbage in Opera 15. If I wanted Chrome-like, I’d go Chrome or Chromium. Firefox looks to be headed down the same road, without transitioning to Blink at least.

  52. Robert Palmar said on July 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Looks like I’ll be using Firefox 24 as in the extended support release.
    I am expecting huge blowback from this planned fiasco redesign
    and things should get sorted out during the extended release
    with add-ons, workarounds, and even returned features.

  53. BobbyPhoenix said on July 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    If you don’t mind using the space above the tabs you can put your extensions there like I have them.

    1. PixelWizard said on July 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      @BobbyPhoenix: How was that done? Some kind of drag-and-drop I imagine, but if so, where were all those toolbar icons before you dragged them into the across-top area? Thanks.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Is that powered by an add-on?

      1. BobbyPhoenix said on July 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        I had some in the toolbar, some on the bookmark bar, and some on the add-on bar. All I did was right click on the home button, click customize, and then drag all the icons to the menu bar. I used the flexible separator to put those spaces between each of the “sets” I created.

      2. Transcontinental said on July 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        Not as far as I know. Icons should just stick almost anywhere. But no advantages of the Bookmarks toolbar.

  54. DavidGX said on July 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “You are probably wondering how this looks like if you have a couple of add-ons installed.”

    HOW something LOOKS. WHAT something LOOKS LIKE.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks, I think I get it the next time ;)

  55. Nebulus said on July 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I’ll stick to the latest ESR before this abomination, and use Opera 12.15 as a secondary browser. I have the feeling they will continue to work well for a few years from now on, and then I will make a decision. (And hoping that by then Mozilla will either wake up or fade into the sunset and be replaced by another browser which is not a Chrome clone).

  56. SciFikshun said on July 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Last I heard, the browser wars break down was roughly:
    45% Chrome
    25% IE
    20% FF
    10% everybody else.

    Firefox used to be the Chrome of it’s day but it’s rapidly losing market share. What Mozilla doesn’t seem to realize is the success of Chrome is tied to it’s:
    1) rendering speed
    2) it’s integration to Google products/services
    The UI has nothing to do with it’s marketing loss. In fact, as Martin has mentioned, the UI customizability is 1/2 the reason why it still has loyal users.

    New users who would rather just use Chrome instead of a ‘chrome clone’. The only thing keeping loyal hardcore users will be the extensions. The former loyal users will end up migrating to Palemoon or Waterfox.

    What’s the solution?
    Make a solid, native x64 browser EVERYBODY has been wanting for the last 5 years. This would ALMOST INSTANTLY put them on top overnight because it would:

    – fill a desperately desired area currently unoccupied and uncontested
    – immediately attract opinion makers / early adopters / power users / and every person working in an online profession which will trickle down to the masses (this is how all new tech gets big).
    – Blogs would be talking about how FINALLY someone made a decent x64 browser = Weeks of free viral marketing.
    – show everybody they are cutting edge and not playing chrome clone catchup.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people in companies are so blind to their shortcomings that they end up cannibalizing their strengths in lieu of developing the obvious.

    1. Ken Saunders said on July 30, 2013 at 4:42 am

      Chrome’s market share and success are mostly due the fact that Chrome is offered up in a crapload of product installs, Google’s pretty much unlimited marketing war chest, and because they can promote everywhere and not only in/on their own properties

    2. SuilAmhain said on July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Chrome’s usage share can be attributed to it magically appearing on peoples Windows computers as the default browser and most people not knowing how to the get the “proper one” back.

  57. MOYcano said on July 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Hmn… how about putting those icons in the Bookmarks toolbar? It certainly works for me.

    1. Transcontinental said on July 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      That’s what I did at this time. But I hear that was is planned is a one and only navigation toolbar, and that would be the real problem.

      1. Transcontinental said on July 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        EDIT :
        “The menu bar and the bookmarks bar are hidden by default but can be displayed again.” — Looks like I missed that. That makes it less dramatic.

  58. Yoav said on July 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

    This looks real bad. I just don’t understand why Mozilla is giving up on its best features in order to copy a browser that already exists. It’s baffling.

  59. Transcontinental said on July 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I have over 90 add-ons (other users more even) and I just cannot figure out how I will relate to those who have a toolbar button in what Mozilla is planning for FF25
    I’m not an artist nor a techie, but I do appreciate having a browser interface set up for my convenience. Hereafter an image of my FF22 GUI ( ). From this, and considering what is planned, tell me how I will manage …

    1. Club 9 Volt said on July 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I’m hearing ya on the failed use of space. ;o)

      (Aurora / FoxDie / Scrapbook / ProxySel)

  60. Swapnil said on July 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

    “or maybe even -yuck- back to Internet Explorer.”

    I accept that Firefox and Chrome are better in a way as they can be highly customized, from look and feel to the functionality. But not everybody, and not even every advanced user needs that. I hate Chrome and while many might disagree, I believe it is actually less configurable (referring to browser settings) than IE. IE 10 and 11 are very good. And I used to use Opera 12 before. I don’t think I would be using extensions. Ad blocking can be done using Tracking Protection Lists.
    So, IE 10 and 11 are good enough for me, with Firefox installed just as a rarely used secondary browser. So it’s not IE is that bad.

  61. Karl J. Gephart said on July 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Well, Martin, you warned us about Firefox throwing customization away way back when. Not much left – Seamonkey has some FF addons, or there’s Pale Moon. 64-bit Cyberfox and Waterfox don’t update enough. Another Gecko-based browser is Alienforce. I won’t consider Opera since their transformation to webkit. As a last resort, I’ll be forced to go with Chrome, since Google is where so many developers flocked to in recent times. In the end, it’ll probably have more add-ons than Mozilla. Mozilla’s really disappointed in recent years – abandoned projects (like a stable 64-bit client), error updates after most every final browser release (X.01), and more recently, trying to get the browser to personalize your search experience. Oh well.

  62. Transcontinental said on July 29, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I’m hesitating between ugliness and stupidness. Both, perhaps.
    I just do not understand Mozilla’s point. What is their quest, a Chrome looking, inspired (one toolbar) browser ?
    They can change the menu, but if it becomes impossible to choose ‘la carte’ (I ignore the word in English) then there’s going to be a mighty bunch of users to yell, I mean to disagree.
    Maybe the aim is to grasp a wider audience, insisting on simplicity. But why oppose the simplicity of a ready to use browser with the fact of allowing modifications by more advanced users ? Code ?

    1. toto said on July 30, 2013 at 5:29 am

      You mean “à la carte” :)

  63. Ficho said on July 29, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Australis will be death to Firefox.Why would anyone use “chromified” Firefox
    when they can use Chrome.

    1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Simple: because Chrome has a great interface, but Firefox is made by Mozilla, which, following the PRISM scandal, means a lot. Unfortunately, Moz botched the design by making the plugin bar *way* too tall.

      1. pd said on October 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm

        Chrome has a crap user interface. Actually, that’s not completely true: Chrome pretty much doesn’t have a user interface! The UX security lines are blurred by it’s lack of dialogues; the ‘menu’ is on the wrong side and doesn’t have an identifiable icon; there’s almost zero colour distinction between browser UI and content UI; the new tab oblong lacks even a simple + icon; there’s no drop-down option for commonly typed location-bar URLs; the settings page is a half-arsed attempt to remove dialogues when to do anything substantial, the dialogues are still there, they’re just lightbox-style. The Task Manager is a separate window when everything else that is browser-level is displayed in a web page content context. The History search results are strangely double-spaced, which contradicts the initial listing; the status space is artificially short, preventing users from self-managing their security awareness by watching what URLs they are actually going to visit when they click.

  64. Ahmed said on July 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm


    I was stuck on Firefox 13 because of an add-on that was really useful (Read It Later) that broke with later versions. I gave it up because I wanted the increased performance and memory usage with the later versions and now I am again stuck at Firefox 22 because new versions break the add-ons I now use. I have over 70 add-ons installed.

    But here’s my way of thinking. Firefox 22 is awesome. It gives me everything I want in a browser. Should I be concerned that I can’t run some newer version full of features I don’t really care about but breaks my add-ons and reduces the functionality I now enjoy.

    As I see it, Firefox got better and better and now it’s going downhill. So use the latest version that meets your needs. Chances are, as they keep dumbing down the browser, someone will fork it and produce even better versions in the future.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Well the danger in running old versions is security, as you may run a browser with unpatched vulnerabilities that may be exploited in the wild. While you can mitigate the majority by running it in a sandbox, it is not really a secure thing to do.

      1. Bob said on July 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

        Plus, you’ll have web developers hating you as much as they hate IE6 users.

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