Australis Slimmr slims down the new Firefox interface
It did not take long before first extensions appeared in the Mozilla Add-ons store that changed various aspects of Firefox's new interface Australis.
In fact, the first extension was launched to store less than a day after Australis was integrated into the Firefox Nightly Channel.
It was clear, that this would not be the only solution to restore original functionality, or modify the new interface to improve its usability.
Australis Slimmr is a brand new extension that was published to the add-on store a couple of days ago. Unlike the previously mentioned Classic Theme Restorer which restores previous functionality, it changes how parts of the new interface look and feel.
In particular, it offers the following options that you can configure individually:
- Place the Bookmarks bar on top of the navigation bar.
- Compress bookmarks toolbar items.
- Automatically hide the navigation bar of Firefox.
- Display tabs in the titlebar.
- Compress toolbar and navigation bar items.
The Firefox add-on will make the interface look like the one on the screenshot after installation. This is with all options enabled. Note that the navigation bar is hidden automatically, and will display when you move the mouse into the area that it occupies.
It is possible to disable one or multiple of the interface modifications that the extension makes available. If you do not like an automatically hidden navigation bar, or prefer tabs to be in their original position, then you can uncheck those items in the preferences of the extension to do so.
It is clear that the extension is not suitable for Firefox users who do not like Australis, as it does not remove the new browser interface.
Users who like the new Firefox interface on the other hand, but dislike some elements of it, may find Australis Slimmr useful as it can modify several of those.
Especially the option to compress toolbar icons is something that users may appreciate, especially since the small icons mode was removed from Firefox by Mozilla. If enabled, it will make the toolbars slimmer so that additional space is freed up for the display of websites in the web browser.
It is very likely that it won't be the last extension that tries to improve the usability or appeal of the new Firefox interface. Considering that Australis is still only available in the Nightly channel, I'd say it is a good start for users who dislike the interface.Advertisement
I like Australis though. It looks okay. It also works well on smaller displays with less screen space like 10″ to 11″ NetBooks.
@YB what? How can Australis work better on smaller display when its toolbar is so big? Do you mean Australis with this Slimmr add-on?
@Martin does the Slimmr addon compress toolbar so that it looks like current v25 Firefox with small-icons? How does the Slimmr compressed toolbar size equate to current small-icons size?
Frustrating to have to use yet another add-on. I try hard to use as little add-ons as possible to avoid performance declines. I’m interested in why Firefox feel it needs to copy everything Chrome does, even cosmetic stuff (that has no function) like rounded tabs.
Side-Tabs are the best. Anybody else tried Side-Tabs? What do you think of Side-Tabs instead of tabs on top?
Hrm. Would have preferred a screenshot showing all the options enabled *except* for the toolbar hiding. That would help to illustrate what it does better I think.
Here you go: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pay8erbtxd23gka/ux-slimmr.jpg
I did install it and noticed that the hidden navigation bar only appears when I mouse over tabs themselves. If I only have one tab open, for instance, I can’t just mouse over anywhere in the tab bar, I have to go all the way over to the left, even if what I’m wanting to do in the navigation bar is on the far right – meaning I have to keep the cursor over the newly thin nav bar corridor while I carefully move it back to the right.
I hope it’s considered a bug in the author’s eyes and not acceptable behavior.
Maybe it’s something with my setup, but it’s a pretty fresh profile with almost no addons. Are you seeing it?
Now I just don’t understand why Mozilla doesn’t design the toolbar like your photo. It looks so much better, it takes up less space and everything is clearly visible. The space saved really makes a functional difference when on smaller screens.
“If I only have one tab open, for instance, I can’t just mouse over anywhere in the tab bar, I have to go all the way over to the left, even if what I’m wanting to do in the navigation bar is on the far right – meaning I have to keep the cursor over the newly thin nav bar corridor while I carefully move it back to the right.
I hope it’s considered a bug in the author’s eyes and not acceptable behavior.”
This is a bug, currently I do not know a good way of solving this. Why this bug exist; I do listen for “hover” events with CSS on the “#navigator-toolbox” but that empty space next to the tab is just not responding to “hover” events in CSS. I will do my best to try and find a good solution to this but I will take some time as I will be away for about one month starting tomorrow with only a tablet – so I can only do research and write down theories on how to possibly fix this but won’t be able to test anything before the start of January, sorry.
Hmm. This looked promising, but without the ability to combine tabs and URLs the biggest opportunity to save vertical space is missed. Adjusting the thickness of the bars themselves can be done just with a userstyle; Iâ€™ve written one specifically for Australis here (Classic Theme Restorer required):
The best way to solve this problem is to use Ubuntu Linux. It merges title-bars and Menu-bars into Ubuntu top-panel. Very efficient design. Plus Ubuntu is a ton easier to maintain than Windows. Ive had a much better experience on ubuntu than ever had on Windows.
whoa mnml2mxml there
I am still looking to restore the “Menu Bar.” If this is not offered, it may as well be Chrome. Why use Firefox anymore? Good Grief! It’s open source. Why not give all users a choice? What could be so critical on the screen as to require an additional micrometer of a milometer screen space?
i want add-on bar :(
add-on bar for Firefox Australis: