Mozilla launches Get Australis: invites everyone to install the latest Firefox Australis version

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2013
Updated • Jul 6, 2019

The new Australis interface that Mozilla plans to ship in one of the future versions of the Firefox web browser is as controversial as it can get in the community. While some applaud Mozilla for the fresh modern look that it ships with, others dislike it because of its resemblance to Google Chrome's interface or because of the interface elements that Mozilla will change or remove from the browser in the process.

I have covered the proposed list of changes of Australis previously here on Ghacks, and also tried to highlight why it is not a good idea to remove the status bar add-on bar from the browser.

Things are not as dire as they seem, and this can be mostly attributed to Firefox's add-on support. Browser extensions are in the making that will restore features that were removed in Australis from the browser. While that is not the same as native features, it is the next best thing and probably the only hope of Firefox users who do not want to miss features that Mozilla removes from the browser.

Get Australis

firefox australis 27

Note: the screenshot above is how Firefox looked like when I loaded Australis using my main browser profile. I'm running only eight extensions in the browser, and it already looks crowded in the address bar.

Australis is still only available as a special UX build that is independently updated from all other browser channels that Mozilla makes available. It looks as if the deployment of Australis will get delayed, considering that the nightly version of the browser reached version 27 recently and that Australis was said to be launched way before that.

The Get Australis website aims to promote Australis to users of the browser. It enables interested users to download the latest Australis UX build to their system so that they can check it out and take it for a test ride.

The builds are provided for every desktop operating system Firefox supports, Mac, Windows and Linux.

If you launch Australis for the first time, you will notice several differences to regular Firefox versions.

  • The add-on bar is gone and cannot be enabled again.
  • All add-on icons are placed in the address bar toolbar.
  • The Firefox menu at the top left is gone, it has been replaced with a single Chrome style menu that links to even less options than the Firefox menu did.
  • Tabs are now curved and above the address bar.
  • Only the menu bar and bookmarks toolbar can be displayed, custom toolbars are gone, as is the option to hide the navigational toolbar.

firefox menu

Lets do a menu comparison: old Firefox button menu versus new Australis menu:

Australis menu:

  • New Window
  • New Private Window
  • Save Page
  • Downloads
  • History
  • Find
  • Options
  • Add-ons
  • Help
  • Customize
  • Exit

Old Firefox menu

  1. New Tab (New Tab, New Window, Open File)
  2. New Private Window
  3. Edit
  4. Save Page As
  5. Email Link
  6. Print (Print, Print Preview, Page Setup)
  7. Web Developer
  8. Full Screen
  9. Set Up Sync
  10. Exit
  12. History
  13. Add-ons
  14. Options
  15. Help (direct access to help pages)

To be fair, it needs to be said that you can customize the new Firefox panel menu. You can add or remove items that you use or do not use from it. If you are a web developer, you can simply drag and drop the developer options back to the menu, or add-on icons so that they do not take up all that space in the address bar.

I'm fairly certain however that the interface change will be highly confusing to many Firefox users. If you look at all the support threads that are caused by minor changes in the browser, it is almost a given that support requests will explode when Australis launches.

Users may want to know where this or that option went, how they can access a particular feature of the browser, or why Mozilla made the decision to remove or change a feature in first place.

Anyway, if you want to test Australis on your system right now, head over to the Get Australis website to get a taste of it. It installs next to any copy of Firefox you have running (but will use the same profile).

Note 2: The installation will use the same profile as your main Firefox installation. While that should not pose any issues, you will notice that it will move a few icons around in the interface as a consequence. That's easily repaired though, but we suggest that you do create a secondary profile instead for the purpose of testing the new Australis version of Firefox.

Update: Mozilla has altered the website and removed the download links that were previously hosted on it. You can download the latest Australis UX build from Mozilla's ftp server.

Update 2: Australis was launched. Links to Get the new Firefox design have been removed as a consequence. Check out What's Next after Australis to find out about Mozilla's plans going forward.

Mozilla launches Get Australis: invites everyone to install the latest Firefox Australis version
Article Name
Mozilla launches Get Australis: invites everyone to install the latest Firefox Australis version
Mozilla launched the Get Australis campaign in 2013 to get Firefox users to install and test the new Australis interface of the web browser.
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  1. Jimmy Johnny said on May 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    FF from the beginning. No more.

    Australis blows chunks, Yet another example of forcing desktop/laptop users to pretend they’re using a giant phone.

    Phones are NOT computing devices, idiots, they’re CONSUMPTION devices.

    Way to emulate Microsoft, Firefox. Burn in hell.

  2. Spade said on November 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Wow… if you could bottle and sell all the whine here, you’d make a fortune. ;)

    Joking aside, there’s definitely a serious issue here I don’t think anyone has really touched on. In software, any lost of functionality (perceived or real) needs to be counterbalanced by something beneficial in exchange.

    To use a couple Apple examples, people can enjoy iPad apps, even if they lack full feature parity with desktop apps, due to the benefit of a well-designed, touch-focused interface and an OS that doesn’t get in your way. In contrast, their completely changed & feature-minimal versions of desktop apps such as iMovie or the iWork apps were met with strong negativity, as features were removed for minimal discernible gain.

    Microsoft’s “no compromise” decision to mash mouse/keyboard and touch computing interfaces together with Windows 8 seems to be driving the latter kind of changes for developers who focus at least partially on the Windows platform, and I think that’s what’s infecting Firefox here.

    If the Windows 8 touch interface were a completely separate OS from the Windows 8 desktop stuff, it would be more acceptable for devs to create separate apps for the touch interface, which would start with minimal feature-sets and work their way upwards from there. Instead, developers are forced to devise one-size-fits-all approaches, which are guaranteed to find the middle ground all bad compromises end up at: making everyone unhappy.

    Firefox still has the advantage of *not* being created by a creepy ad company, but it also has the disadvantage of resting on top of a badly aging codebase (and being almost entirely dependent on funding from a creepy ad company). I definitely hope they can make the changes they need to survive and thrive, but moves like this don’t seem to be helping any.

    1. Clas said on November 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Well said, and not a drop of whine.

  3. Don Gateley said on November 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    It’s not at all that I hate it. I’ve never used it. I just don’t want to be forced into a time wasting learning curve just to keep updated with regard to performance and security. To me it ain’t broke so I don’t need it fixed.

  4. Firanolfind said on November 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    LOL, As I read comments, are here commenting only FF haters?
    I am using Australis couple months, and it works perfect. Design is so simple and useful, without any unused space on display.
    Excellent Download manager, easy to understand Control panel, and plugin bar.
    Australis haters sucks

    1. imthereandthere said on November 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Get a heart attack….NOW!

      Australis sucks. Not customizable, no add-on bar, a lot of things hidden behind menu’s.

  5. Neal said on October 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    If you read their meeting notes and dev mail list, they are tuning out any criticism and in meeting notes they claim Australis has been well received. Not sure how they can make any claims. It is relegated to the highly specific UX branch within the specialized nightly branch and relying on focus groups to dictate design is laughable, something I expect from MS not Mozilla.

    1. Orhin said on October 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Shows only the mindset of Mozilla these days. Turn statistics as long until they are justified to copy the chrome design and remove all Basic Customizations out of the Browser.

      You remember the first UX offer to the userbase.. they even did not plan to give the chance to bring back customizations with Add-Ons!

      I really dislike that Chrome copy mentality Mozilla has today. I use better the real thing in that case – has the look and no customization too but at least it has speed and New Age Technology support!

      Mozilla are hackers without creativity these days!

  6. Tom said on October 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    As long as the Userstyles and Greasemonkey add-ons still are supported users in the known can likely modify the UI in almost any way once Australis launches.

    1. Orhin said on October 17, 2013 at 8:04 am

      But it should not be necessary to use now Third Party Solutions for Basic customizations which was before available in the Browser out of the box. For me its a Dealbreaker = Different Browser in the Future.

  7. coop said on October 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

    The getaustralis site is only saying it will be available Nightly branch soon; is there anywhere I can download a test build now?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

      The downloads on the Get Australis website include the new interface. They are special builds.

      1. coop said on October 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

        Thanks. :)

      2. coop said on October 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

        I’m not getting any download links on the getaustralis website. It looks like this for me:

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on October 10, 2013 at 9:12 am

        Oh, they have changed the website. That is strange. You can download the latest UX builds from here:

  8. XenoSilvano said on October 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I actually used to drink coffee without sugar because I was under the assumption that it was the natural way to drink coffee, I often wonder why on earth anyone would drink that bitter stuff.

    I don’t drink it any more though… it makes me feel awful.

    Bringing up the topic of Australis allows people to vent their disdain at Mozilla’s decision to push forward with this initiative it also keeps everyone up-to-date with the progress of this upcoming user interface alteration.
    A technology blog site doesn’t always have to be about reporting the latest tech news.

  9. Ken Saunders said on October 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Aside from a new website that offers nothing but a link to Nightly versions, how is any of this news? Am I missing something?

    I am running the latest UX and as of a few minutes ago.
    The complete Menu Bar is still available with all options.
    Toolbar buttons can be placed on and/or moved to the Bookmarks Toolbar, the Navigation Toolbar, and the Tab Bar.
    I’ve demonstrated in the past how tabs can be moved back to the bottom with just CSS, I’ve shown a pretty long list of add-ons that have been created over the years (and are still updated and used), to restore old functionality and you have highlighted such an add-on yourself that will address the changes in Australis, so, how about we start focusing on how to move forward with Australis instead of continuing to reiterate the same things and the Chicken Little’s can stay in their bomb shelters and those of us who are still using Firefox and will continue to don’t have to read the same comments trashing Mozilla/Firefox and how others have stopped using Firefox and have moved to x-browser or will when Armageddon strikes.

    Australis is going to come. It is what it is.
    I personally think that incrementally rolling out changes would be better, but I’m not in the business of browser making. I’ve left that up to Mozilla and even though I’ve disagreed with some things from time to time, I and millions of others have adjusted and it is and will continue to be my browser of choice the same way that it’s been for just under 9 years.

    A tip.
    A lot programs can be run without installation (so essentially portable) by using a zip utility to extract the contents and then by clicking the .exe. That’s how I run Firefox UX, Nightly, Aurora, and Beta all with their own profiles and they can all be run at the same time.

    1. Alhaitham said on October 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      well said and totally agree with you

      Mozilla Firefox all the way

    2. Orhin said on October 9, 2013 at 1:06 am

      In terms of Customizability Australis is a big step backwards. As someone wrote… To use add-ons to make Firefox look like Firefox.. it is a valid argument not to use Mozillas “Australis Chrome”.

      Ken, how would it be to find a proper use of language and not continue to talk about Australis critics or the ones who will no longer go with Mozilla because of Australis in such a low amount of manner you have shown in this post. And the critics and the ones who will not use an Australis Firefox are for sure not in low nubers. Mozilla will likely lose more users with Australis as instead of getting them back.

      At least it would make me wonder to them coming in big numbers back :D But well, we will see what happens.

      Still, learn to use proper language when you talk about people who will leave Firefox because of Australis or are critics against Australis. I guess that only would be fair.

    3. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I think the main point is to increase the visibility of Australis. Sure, it is just another link and some basic information, but I have the feeling that this is the beginning of Mozilla’s marketing campaign. Just a thought.

  10. lol said on October 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    look, it is bloody awful that firefox bеcome such pile of something.
    sadly there are only two alternatives now: chrome and internet explorer,
    but most important to me, as ex-firefox user is encryption. seems like chrome does it better:
    you can test your browser here:
    if you anyone interested, i described how i moved to chrome
    its a bit tricky, if you want to have some privacy in that botnet (-:

    1. Orhin said on October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Not only that, also in HTML5 and CSS3 recent Chromium 32 versions are way beyond compared to Mozilla’s Firefox. One of the benefits of Chromium. Btw. there is no need for Google Chrome – Why using the closed source variant when there is also the open source original available!

      These are the categories which i value after Customizability. When there is no Gecko product anymore which can stay free of Australis influences, i will choose such a “second choice browser” like Chromium, which i otherwise would not touch if the situation would be different!

  11. XenoSilvano said on October 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    As an additional note, in spite of Australis, I like the add-ons available for Firefox, I’ve been using Firefox for many years now, I like the features that it offers and the way it functions, therefore, switching to a new browser because of Australis I far too extreme for me (I see more loss there than benefit). Although I don’t like the idea of having to use an add-on to maintain the user interface as it is now but if that is what it takes to continue using Firefox without resorting to pulling all my hair out in the light of that unsightly user interface then that is the way it is going to have to be.

    1. XenoSilvano said on October 10, 2013 at 12:54 am

      I suppose I could use one of the alternative browsers based on Firefox, I would rather not, but we’ll see how things pan out.

      1. tribaljet said on October 10, 2013 at 5:55 am

        Look into Pale Moon, you’ll retain every single customization option, improved base performance and actual improvements over vanilla Firefox given that it’s not just the UI that’s different, or a vanilla Firefox using unstable Nightly builds as a few others do.

  12. XenoSilvano said on October 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    @ penu

    Great idea, that is a choice that Microsoft should be offering Windows 8 users, I don’t see why these they can’t walk the line by offering a user interface that is amiable to both tablet and desktop users.

    By altering the size of the user interface slight to catered to tablet and desktop users or fingers and mice, Mozilla could offer the same uniform Firefox user interface across all platforms and devices.

    I’ve read that one of the reasons why Mozilla is seeking to implement this new interface cease supporting ‘extraneous’ features in Firefox and allow the user to navigate through a browser user interface that is more efficiently laid-out.

    Can’t we all write nasty letters to Mozilla to ask them to stop all this foolishness.

    It’s quite obvious that many people who frequent ghacks, and many other sites as well, clearly don’t want Australis.

    1. Orhin said on October 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Nasty letters.. THAT does not help at all, Mozilla cares only for one thing.. Market Share!

      And since they believe that Australis aka Mozilla-Chrome brings so many many Chrome Users to Firefox, the only partly useful option to make Mozilla PERHAPS listen to the user base – is switching browsers and take away your own small piece of marketshare from Mozilla. It is already enough if using Seamonkey for example, that way one does not directly support Firefox, but still supporting Gecko products.

      And even with doing something like that it is not sure, that they will think in a different direction. Australis seems to be their last resort creative move, to find a way to gain users back :D

      But i wonder how that will happen when the real Problems, Gecko has, will be ignored and not taken care of. Best thing for Mozilla to gain market share back would be finally finishing the Servo Engine and putting it in the Browser. Because in a direct comparison with Gecko and for example Webkit/Blink… Gecko is no more in a very good position. Same as Opera had troubles with Presto.

  13. Ficho said on October 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Comment from Moonchild (Pale Moon dev.) :
    I’ve said it before as well: if need be I’ll redesign the UI if I can’t bring the current one forward when I have to switch code base. I’m not going to use Australis, period – because it’s just a hideous monstrosity and completely redundant (because we already have Chrome).

    I’ll find a solution one way or another.

    1. Don Gateley said on October 10, 2013 at 5:48 am

      Kind sir, you are truly a hero. Switched a couple of weeks ago and hope never to look back.

      1. Don Gateley said on October 10, 2013 at 5:55 am

        Oops, thought you were Moonchild. The sentiment stands. I can’t believe he doesn’t even have a click to contribute. He should.

  14. Jon said on October 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Longtime Firefox user here – heck, I first started using it when it was still called Firebird. I’m giving Australis a try, and I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it. I like that I have access to Adblock settings right in the main toolbar instead of having to enable an extra ugly addon bar at the bottom of the window. I like that the “bookmark this page” button is semi-joined to the bookmarks button, and I like the new bookmarks panel which is now done in a similar style to the downloads panel. The speed-dial style of the main menu seems pointless to me, though – I would have preferred a more traditional menu, but it’s not like my day is ruined because of it. Being able to fully customize it and add extension buttons to it is nice, at least.

    I don’t use a lot of extensions, though (I think of them as bloat), so my user case is not really affected adversely by the changes. I understand why others are peeved, though.

    By no means do I consider myself a Mozilla loyalist. I’m only glued to Firefox because I have yet to find a viable alternative to the DownThemAll extension, otherwise I’d have no qualms about switching.

    1. tribaljet said on October 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      You should look into (stock) toolbar customization options, as I do have Adblock right on the toolbar, no need to have it at the bottom.

    2. Orhin said on October 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Fact is, if Mozilla would have let the Choice like we have it now, the new Redesign would have been no problem after all. All what would have been necessary is a full theme and all the people who do complain about Australis right now would have felt better. I really like round tabs, i have them in my old Firefox 22 too thanks to some cheap css hack :D

      But when it’s about taking away the choice out of Users hands… something like that you always have been expecting from Google with Chrome… But Mozilla too now?

      Sure, there are different angles of how you can look at it – some people are happy or not so happy but instead will adjust with using add-ons, some are angry and are willing to leave, most Users will simply not care and use what they get.

      But taking away the choice is just a Full Turn Betrayal from an organization which does say that they value User’s Freedom above everything. IF they do, where is the choice now?

      1. Jon said on October 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        I agree. It’s a poor decision for them to not include a choice, and I hope they realize this and actually do let people choose. Otherwise, it looks like they’ll be losing a significant portion of their users.

        > I really like round tabs, i have them in my old Firefox 22 too thanks to some cheap css hack :D

        That’s neat! I actually prefer current Firefox’s rectangular tabs… maybe I can use a similar trick to bring them back to Australis. :P

  15. clas said on October 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    hi martin, some good yakking back and forth here. some real old-time, die-hard firefox fans…i am one of them. i will stick with my old version (a couple months) and really enjoy how everything works smoothly and well together. my add-ons and extensions are great, browser is fast enough (a millisecond doesnt make much difference to me). i see no need at all to “upgrade” to a new version. i read the release notes and nothing seems that important to me in terms of safety, performance or plain old browsing. it seems the mozilla developers are in their “change for change sake mode” and also are using googles renowned client services department as their own. Its my way or the doorway and dont listen to any feedback at all and of course dont say why you are changing or eliminating any features. that would be too much to even think about…hahahh as usual, Martin, thanks for the updates and info, you are always a first look in the a.m.

  16. Ray said on October 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I use Personas (not the extension) on my Firefox browser. Does Personas work on this new Australis theme?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Themes are working fine in Australis.

  17. michaelpaul said on October 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Been using fff since ff3
    iF This is what the future of FF is going to be ,Well then i guess chrome will have to do ,I see here dont worry addons are being worked on ,WT……… have addons to make FF look like FF.. fffff dont think so
    ..Thanks for the ride FF ..but cya…..

  18. penu said on October 8, 2013 at 8:00 am

    What mozilla should do upon installing a new firefox version is to ask the user if they plan on using Firefox with touch. If not they can use the old firefox and there should be an easy way to switch between the two interfaces. …sucks there’s 0% chance of this happening. Mozilla’s digging their own grave on this. The only reason for Australis is that all major OEM laptops/desktops come with touchscreen monitors, and Australis is their answer to it.
    Current FF = optimized for mouse. Australis = optimized for touch monitors

  19. XenoSilvano said on October 8, 2013 at 12:19 am

    @ Orhin

    Yeah I have to agree, regardless of whether or not an add-on is implemented into the browser, the sheer thought of ‘Australis’ being the underlying default user interface is very unsettling, I really don’t want this.

    (Currently I do not use any add-ons to alter the user interface of the Firefox browser that I use.)

    I’m worried that Australis will cripple certain aspects of Firefox and that the proposed user interface add-on may not compensate against this.

    I would prefer that Mozilla made Australis optional, but that is highly unlikely to happen.

    1. Orhin said on October 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Big Problem, which everyone knows, if the add-on with the Basic Customization dies at one point… when no one takes over, you only have Australis-Chrome left.

      Add-ons are second class solutions, which do break more often the more complicated they are. And that upcoming Add-On will be hell of complicated, it has to restore toolbars, have to create a moveable toolbar button, most make Navigation Toolbar Elements moveable…. This is no amateur work – if that add-on gets lost and no capable person which is able to continue the work is found, it will be a great loss…..

      If Mozilla REALLY leaves me with no option and curses also all Firefox Mods or even Seamonkey with it’s Australis changes, i am forced to rate Firefox in other terms compared with the competition, and that is technology Support (Start-up Speed, general Performance, HTML5, Youtube Video/audio Codec Support) – and that means i will use Chromium, because at such a point, even the Original would be in my opinion more honest in character as Mozilla’s “Chrome”…. and it has the better “second rate arguments”

  20. lol said on October 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    still using 3.6.29

    1. greend said on October 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Haha, 3.6.28 here. (:

      I will never switch.

  21. Orhin said on October 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    No.. Absolutely no! Now i am even more willing to stay either with V22, Palemoon/Cyberfox if they can revert this Firechrome, Seamonkey or even Chromium if all other Gecko Possibilites are forced to switch to the Australis changes.

    Before i would use Firechrome, i rather would use the real thing!

    And to the Add-On Topic.. Coffee with Sugar may taste sweeter, but it is still bitter coffee! Means Firefox without Customization Inside the Browser is nothing better as compared to the Competition.

    Because Add-Ons have the others too! You sure can restore some stuff with add-ons in Australis, but it does not change the fact that Mozilla these days thinks very low of Customization Options and sees them unworthy to be in the Browser.

    What a shame!

  22. Karl J. Gephart said on October 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    This is one version I won’t welcome because of the loss of customizations. At best, it’s going to create a lot of work for me trying to regain my design losses and, in some cases, hoping and waiting for new addons to come along. I’ll test this with a back-up as late as possible. I’m very happy with that I have; I’ve worked hard on my customizations for a very long time. The ONLY thing Australis has going for it is the Chrome-like tabs, which means I’ll be able to ditch my resource-heavy FX Chrome theme. Overall, a BIG mistake, Mozilla!

  23. greg said on October 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    my lord is the toolbar thick! Why does it have to take up so much space?

    One of the things I like about the current Firefox is that I can use small icons and keep the toolbar/URL-bar thin and out of the way. The Australis is taking up way too much vertical space.

  24. RG said on October 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Back to Lynx for me


    Won’t repeat the other comments, obvious how I feel about it

  25. Rick said on October 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    A few notes: 1) installing FF27 does affect setting in FF24 (removing / moving icons etc) unless you create a new profile. 2) I tried the addon noted here to bring back the old look and it doesn’t work on many addons so depending on what you have, this is not an option as of yet.

    So make sure you backup your FF settings (I use mozbackup and it restored just fine) before you “try” this out.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      The “real” add-on has not been released yet as far as I know. I have added information about the profile handling to the end of the article.

  26. Nebulus said on October 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    In other news, Mozilla invites all its Firefox users to switch to Chrome… /sarcasm

    1. Robert Tipping said on October 8, 2013 at 2:29 am

      It’s funny that was my first thought also -this is exactly why I don’t use chrome -magic meat interface is not my Idea of ease of use.

    2. Coyote said on October 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      At one point the features and look of firefox was perfect… that was about 10 versions ago. After the last big update I jumped ship and went to Chrome. Never looked back. The extension/addon index of Chrome is actually sorted thanks to the market structure, as opposed to firefox that has let it become a wasteland…

  27. Caspy7 said on October 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    This is not a thread for happy people, and presumably my comment will be met with vitriol and disdain, but thought I’d mention that there will be an addon which undoes most or all of the changes from the new Australis theme.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      You are right, I mentioned that in the article.

  28. zemaitux said on October 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    As long as i wont be forced to update, i will stay with unsafe, not shiny, complex interface old FF. After i will be foced, will move to another browser.

    1. opener said on October 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      There is no way for them to force you to update if you have the basic level of intelligence required to change the default settings and I’ve yet to meet someone who lacks it. What is more you can chose the extended support release and be free of Australis for a long time.

      1. Orhin said on October 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        My temporary solution is disable Java/Flash plugins, Noscript set to maximum restrictions without compromise also for whitelistings, using Greasemonkey with Youtube Center Script for being able to watch HTML5 Videos on Youtube and i am set for at least 1,5 – 3 years of using Version 22 Aurora… before i have to make a decison if i can use an alternative Gecko Solution which stays Australis free if there really will be any available or if i am forced to use something like Chromium if it will turn out that Australis will destroy also Seamonkey and any possible Firefox Mod Project like Palemoon or Cyberfox.

        Anyway, i am not afraid of using an outdated Browser if it as to be that way – But i rather hope that i have my final solution before the next year is over :)

  29. Ficho said on October 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Why would anyone get Australis ?
    It is just ugly.That Greasmonkey icon is ridiculously big.I am already using Pale Moon as
    default browser so I don’t really care.

    1. tribaljet said on October 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Spot on. I’ve moved from Firefox to Pale Moon quite some time now, not only due to having oh so useful features that were removed/crippled on Firefox restored on Pale Moon, but also because the core browser itself is optimized for modern architectures, not being manufacturer agnostic. I pretty much recommend everyone to give Pale Moon a try if they’re not satisfied with the way Mozilla is leading Firefox.

      In any case, for anyone who still uses Firefox, keep in mind ESR is a very valid alternative to the rabid release cycle and all the unwanted changes that come with it.

      1. tribaljet said on October 8, 2013 at 1:09 am

        Still, the fact is despite Chrome being slightly faster on some (special emphasis on “some”) operation, its addon library is laughable and being forced to use multiple processes (another thing that should be optional) is quite a bad move.

        Did you know that despite massive numbers of people complaining that they wanted Chrome to have the option to move tabs to the bottom, developers have always refused to do so? It’s a feature I just can’t deal with at all.

        Also, not a lot of people know this but Mozilla receives significant funds from Google, and having a browser that would outperform Chrome on all metrics wouldn’t turn up to be a good thing for Mozilla as Google could just stop funding development, something that initially started due to the mass popularity Firefox had at the time, leading up to ad deals on Google’s search engine when ran on Firefox.

        Politics… *sigh*

      2. Orhin said on October 8, 2013 at 1:04 am

        Most easiest way would just have been if Mozilla included in the Firefox Installer/Updater the option to add customization modules or not.

        That would have been for sure not a too complicated way, but fact is, they do not want to give a choice, because they are so confident that Chrome’s Way is the only one to go, also for Firefox.

        So i highly doubt it is only because of maintenance costs, sure, partly it will be, but the biggest factor for Mozilla is that they have lost because of Chrome since the Beginning quite a lot of users. What these Users have done in the end, if also moved away from Chrome to IE, Opera, Safari.. that does not matter in that direction. Fact is, Mozilla has lost quite some marketshare points since Google Chrome has entered the competition Battlefield. And many Users have switched because of Chrome’s minimalism and barbone System.

        What is the worse problem, is that Mozilla is not able to find any other way to attract Users back other then switching too to a minimalistic and barebone System.

        When no more creativity is available to find any other way, well, then its time to retreat and stop developing, because it s clear sign that they are at the end of the line. And that makes me very worried.

      3. tribaljet said on October 8, 2013 at 12:56 am

        Well, given that the latest Pale Moon version is based on ESR, you can be safe that for at least a year you’ll be fully up to date with security patches as well as the usual custom patches (current and future ones). Also, Pale Moon’s developer is pretty much on top of things, especially when it comes to changes that can break browser usage as we know it, and given he has stated on how he has no desire to add fluff that either bogs the browser down or removes customization options, I’m confident that’s not really an issue.

        BTW, an interesting tidbit about Pale Moon is that Mozilla did try to hire the developer :)

        There is no logical reason as to why Australis is a good option, but the very least they could do is make it optional. However, I do understand that maintaining separate code bases isn’t really desirable.

      4. Orhin said on October 8, 2013 at 12:50 am

        Of course i know about Palemoon, i have it installed on my Server PC at home, i will just wait until the dust has settled and it is really 100% stated that Palemoon can maintain most of the customization settings.

        But with Australis it is not clear that that will really be possible. Even many expert users on Mozillazine do not believe that that can be maintained over a longer time or being managed at all, since Mozilla itself makes from update to update too many changes which will make it nearly impossible to keep up maintaining a fully customizable Browser Variant.

        Right now it is still too insecure for me to really switch to it. And yes, ESR gives at least one more year of silence :D

  30. Transcontinental said on October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Happier than ever to have switched to Pale Moon browser. Not only faster, but smarter. I am a Mozilla fan, but Firefox is IMO taking the wrong path. Australis design is idiot in terms of space, ugly aesthetically (I know, beauty is subjective, except for the market). Things get removed, others are added, in the perspective more of getting new users than in that of remaining faithful to what had always set Firefox apart: an approach based on singularity.

    1. Don Gateley said on October 10, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Besides that, why should I let mozilla waste a significant amount of my good time figuring out what the hell they’ve done to me and trying to correct it with plugins. I will not patronize anyone but Microsoft who attempts that. With MS, I’m afraid there is little choice.

      I, too, am very glad for the switch to Pale Moon which, as with most things these days, I found out about here. I simply don’t know how you do it and do it so well, Martin. :-)

  31. yoav said on October 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    This version will probably end my decade long relationship with Firefox. Too bad it had to end like this…

    1. Anonymous said on October 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Too bad for you. I on the other hand will use Firefox with this new interface when it becomes available. I hate the classic interface, sorry. But you can always use the old interface since that is an option. Or you can use Pale Moon…

      1. Orhin said on October 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        For people which plan to not customize the Browser, Australis is good enough, But Australis is a curse for all who likes to have the Options to Customize inside the Browser and not being forced to add them back without add-ons.

        Let’s see if Palemoon is really able to keep the features which Mozilla removes with their Australis-Chrome.

    2. sekoasa said on October 8, 2013 at 1:03 am

      Australis, Windows 8, etc., all in the push to meet tablet and phone screen size limitations and interface and to get everyone so disgusted with local software management that the consumer is forced to become dependent on a cloud.

      Not for me. NO Windows 8i and No Australis ever.

    3. XenoSilvano said on October 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      No worries, members of the add-on community are working diligently to create an extension that will allow Firefox users to maintain their browsers previous layout and functionality.

      [ ]

      1. Orhin said on October 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Coffee without Sugar is still bitter coffee! Even if i would install that add-on i would have the ugly Australis-Chrome as browser source.

        And if for one day that Add-On dies for whatever for reasons or Electroylsis makes it impossible to have more advanced add-ons anymore.. whats next? Firechrome forever?

        No thanks, i refuse and use something differently!

  32. George said on October 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    From their Get Australis website:

    “With a refined and polished style, we thinks this is the most beautiful and detail-obsessed version of the Firefox interface yet.”

    I thinks they are not as detail-obsessed as they thinks they are.


  33. Robert Palmar said on October 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I would like to see a portable version of this where I could import a copy
    of my profile to see what happens without disrupting my main Firefox.
    Of course, I could make one myself but why bother at this stage.

    1. Caspy7 said on October 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Australis should install into its own folder (‘UX’) leaving your default install of Firefox alone.

      If you just open it, it will use your default profile. You can’t have two copies of Firefox open simultaneously though (at least not without the -no-remote flag, but I don’t know if I’d recommend that on the *same* profile simultaneously if it’s possible).

      1. Robert Palmar said on October 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

        Because of any changes it makes to the default profile
        creating a secondary profile as Martin recommends
        is the way to go but since I am not dying to try
        this that represents too much effort now.

        There are ways to make this portable
        but that is even more effort to do.

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