Mozilla postpones Firefox 89 release date by 2 weeks

Firefox 89 will be a major new Firefox version; while all stable releases that bump the version by 1 may be considered major, there are only a few that make fundamental changes to the browser, and Firefox 89 will be such a release.

The upcoming version of Firefox is not a new ESR release version, but it will introduce the new Proton design in Firefox. We covered Photon quite a bit here already on Ghacks. Summed up, it is a visual refresh of the Firefox interface that modifies the browser's address bar, tab bar, menus, main menu, modals, and other key areas.

Mozilla enabled part of Proton in recent Firefox Nightly versions already, but the full design is still in active development, and some switches have not been flipped yet. Even with all Proton switches enabled, it is still not complete at this stage.

firefox nightly new design

Firefox 89's original release date was four weeks after the release of Firefox 88, the next stable version release of Firefox, which is scheduled for a release on April 20, 2021. Mozilla decided to extend the Firefox 89 beta period by two weeks, and that postpones the release of the new Firefox version.

The new release date is June 1, 2021; it is still possible that the release may be delayed further, depending on how development progresses. All future version releases of Firefox go back to the regular 4-week release cycle. We have updated our Firefox Release calendar here on this site to reflect the change.

The new design will make several visual changes to Firefox that were discussed heatedly. Some liked the modern look of the menus and toolbars, others criticized Mozilla's design for using too much space, lacking visual tab separators, or hiding the compact mode density in new installations.

Closing Words

Proton is still a work in progress, but it is clear already that the visual refresh will be a controversial one when it launches. (via Sören Hentzschel)

Summary
Mozilla postpones Firefox 89 release date by 2 weeks
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Mozilla postpones Firefox 89 release date by 2 weeks
Description
Mozilla made the decision to postpone the release of Firefox 89, the one with the new visual refresh enabled, by two weeks to extend the beta period.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Tom Hawack said on April 10, 2021 at 6:25 pm
    Reply

    @Martin,

    The Ghacks article mentioned/linked to above, ‘Firefox Proton design refresh is almost ready: here is what is new’ states :
    “browser.proton.enabled — This is the main preference. It will be the main preference going forward, while most of the development related proton preferences will be removed at one point in time.”

    I had forgotten to ask, when published, if this ‘browser.proton.enabled’ set to false is effectively a major-switch which disables all Proton’s changes on the GUI. Can you confirm this?

    Side-note : nice lapse when you wrote in the article “We covered Photon quite a bit here already on Ghacks.” :=)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 11, 2021 at 9:56 am
      Reply

      Good question. It is too early to tell, for now, the preference does act as a toggle. My guess is, it will be kept for a while, but will be removed eventually.

      1. Kamil said on April 17, 2021 at 11:04 am
        Reply

        @Martin

        Martin,

        do You know if the next Firefox ESR 91 Version will have new Proton look?
        New Proton design is so out of place, especially on small laptop with display 1366×768 15,4″ and similar like desktop monitors with popular resolutions, icons are not clear, too much free space, very weird floating tabs, just fugly, but anyway I would like to move to ESR.

        Do we know if ESR 91 will have previuos, I mean current look?

        Regards!

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm
        Reply

        Firefox 89 will have the new look.

  2. Anonymous said on April 10, 2021 at 8:30 pm
    Reply

    They need to postpone it indefinitely. No one asked for this downgraded useless design. I will be switching to another browser if not given a choice on the design of tabs I want. Also I want compact mode without having to dig through about:config.

  3. Holy crap :( said on April 10, 2021 at 8:43 pm
    Reply

    It’s getting worse and worse, the present version 87 have changed the about:config search function, first select “show all”, then type in something in the search bar, it will only list the preferences names which in this case is only 6, but not the values, ie. (Boolean, Number, String), containing HTTPS.. which are many more than 6 doesn’t show up at all, how the heck do I search these Boolean-Number-String values???

    For instance I want to list all with a string starting with https://….
    NOTHING comes up except if the preference itself has it in the name, This is severely handicapping!

    1. :) said on April 11, 2021 at 6:10 pm
      Reply

      > how the heck do I search these Boolean-Number-String values???

      Choose:
      * about:config, show all – Ctrl-F to search
      * about:config, show all – right click: select all then copy, paste into a spreadsheet for sort/search
      * add an old XUL-based about:config: https://github.com/earthlng/aboutconfig
      * search/filter/list on about:config using the web console: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/icpantsparti/firefox-user.js-tool/master/userjs-tool-aboutconfig-functions.js

    2. Anonymous said on April 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm
      Reply

      Exactly, that comes over as some dark pattern type of crap to stop you easily hunting urls etc. Is there even a legit reason for effort being spent on handicapping it?

      Never been too fussed about a UI, tabs top/bottom, megabar this, astralis that, dont care tbh, I just watch in amazement as privacy issues remain year on year and more intrusions happen .

      2 weeks: enough time to disable some of that nasty telemetry, profiling and google stuff, right?… right? plenty of time to ‘just turn it off’ on their end. Finally! with the next major release Firefox will be a privacy browser… or not. Lets see…

  4. Holy crap :( said on April 10, 2021 at 8:46 pm
    Reply

    Correction;

    Made a mistake, those 6 results showing up concerns the example when searching for HTTPS…

  5. Kwasiarz said on April 10, 2021 at 8:59 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla ffs please stop chrome-ifying the poor fox further.

  6. ShintoPlasm said on April 10, 2021 at 11:14 pm
    Reply

    A repulsive UI update from an arrogant, repulsive organisation.

    1. owl said on April 11, 2021 at 2:31 am
      Reply

      For users who use it, its “Abolish” declaration was a shock, but the good news is that it will not be completely abolish, but will continue to be available to existing users (or in hidden settings).

      Vivaldi Browser has declared (on the official Vivaldi user forum) that they will never remove features, and continuing to add niche features, and it is no surprise that this has led to “an accumulation of bugs and continued degradation of browser performance”.

      Everyone is happy that their favorite features add, but angry that they remove.
      I can see a difference in policy decisions between browser vendors, whether it is better to “meet niche demand” or to “remove niche features based on the convenience of the majority”.
      The right to decide lies with the vendor, and the right to choose lies with the user.
      If you want to categorically reject it as “unacceptable”, then use something else (but it’s only a mere “URL bar height and density” choice).
      I found the “Firefox developers’ intentions” to be reasonable.

      In many cases, “removing something” rather than “adding something” can be a better way to solve a problem. For example, in some European cities, the “Shared Space” approach of removing traffic lights and road signs has been adopted to improve road safety, which is the opposite of traditional traffic design.
      Shared space | Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space

      Adding is favoured over subtracting in problem solving | nature
      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00592-0
      Our Brain Typically Overlooks This Brilliant Problem-Solving Strategy | Scientific American
      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-brain-typically-overlooks-this-brilliant-problem-solving-strategy/

      It’s clear that companies and organizations tend to complicate (add elements) rather than simplify (remove elements) when solving problems, because people tend to appreciate solutions that complicate things, explains Tom Mavis, a consumer psychologist at New York University.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on April 11, 2021 at 11:01 am
        Reply

        @owl:

        Look, I don’t mind UI refreshes – as long as they’re clearly more useful and streamlined, and are driven by sound design principles. What I’m seeing with Mozilla is that time and again they change things for the sake of bloody change, and they sure do spend a hell of a lot of time redesigning and re-re-re-redesigning their UI.

        What this tells is several things:
        (1) None of the previous UIs, bar the original, were based on long-standing design principles which would have allowed it to survive for longer than a couple of years;
        (2) There is no clear direction within the dev team as to where the browser should go, and it is constantly in flux. This is bad development, and the UI is – obviously – the most visible manifestation of this deeply-engrained confusion.
        (3) Mozilla now has a design philosophy which can be summarised as ‘constant upheaval’. This is a terrible approach to design, which is always better when incremental.

        I don’t even mind whether Mozilla makes Firefox look like a clone of Chrome, but I want to understand *why* they do all of these things. So far their explanation tends to be ‘we were told to do so by the Product team’ or whatever. Clearly rubbish.

      2. owl said on April 12, 2021 at 1:23 am
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm,

        I respect your integrity.
        Thanks to you, I understood what you were trying to say because you were very specific and explicit in what you were trying to say.
        I know that you and @Yuliya make connotation and thought-provoking comments.
        Your insights and findings (knowledge and experience) are excellent, and I always check them with interest.
        Nevertheless, you and @Yuliya’s Comments make me feel that connotative “tweets” can be misleading.

      3. 2cdeepsheet said on April 14, 2021 at 11:48 pm
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm

        Let me give you a plausible explanation what is going on.

        I have been wondering over why many things in this world for seemingly little logical reasons are constantly changed, but having done quite some deeper rabbit hole dives I have come to the conclusion that it is very probably in some shape or form orchestrated by a hidden hand with tentacles in all facets of our lives being it SW development or something in a totally different discipline, that is, they keep changing only for the sake of keeping people busy so they will barely have any time left over to discover the deep conspiratorial stuff going on, in particular in the Western world.

        Other ways keeping people busy is to use mainstream media and bombard us with sensationalism, fear, uncertainty, etc., such as the current so called health crisis, all that noise is intended to make our minds overwhelmed, obtuse, desensitized to such a degree we loose the focus and attention capability, it’s all about control the cattle farm so the powers that be behind the curtain can run all their agendas.

        In the case of Mozilla I don’t think the vast majority of the developers are in the know what is really going on behind the curtain, so questioning or angering at them is probably rather pointless, the vast majority of the developers are just mere sheeples who mostly care for the income and are probably covertly coerced and nudged in the direction the shadow figures want them to head towards, and that’s imo the reasons for many seemingly inexplicable and even absurd decisions.

        my 2c

  7. owl said on April 11, 2021 at 2:26 am
    Reply

    > Closing Words
    Proton is still a work in progress, but it is clear already that the visual refresh will be a controversial one when it launches.

    Indeed, they will.
    Most ordinary home users, other than corporate users, are not interested in the release notes and do not check the official blog.
    The user community forum is going to be flooded with inquiries.
    The Japanese user community forum (forums.mozillazine.jp) shares the information in advance.

  8. Dutch said on April 11, 2021 at 7:18 am
    Reply

    I love Mozilla, but I would prefer if they postponed this release for 2 decades instead of 2 weeks.

    By then, they will have time to learn about user-centered design instead of developer-center design.

  9. Tony said on April 11, 2021 at 11:09 am
    Reply

    Maybe they finally realized the huge mistake the new Proton design is,and are now making compact mode even more compact,and the tabs much much smaller….And then i woke up.

  10. John said on April 11, 2021 at 11:13 am
    Reply

    >Mozilla postpones Firefox 89 release date by 2 weeks
    >The new release date is June 1, 2021
    I think there should be May 1, 2021.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 17, 2021 at 12:15 pm
      Reply

      No, Firefox 88 will be released in April, Firefox 89 on June 1, 2021.

  11. Honorius said on April 12, 2021 at 3:26 pm
    Reply

    > Mozilla decided to extend the Firefox 89 beta period by two weeks, and that postpones the release of the new Firefox version. The new release date is June 1, 2021; it is still possible that the release may be delayed further, depending on how development progresses.

    Very glitchy release expect. It will be a mess.

    Mozilla lacks a coherent and consistent vision of the final product (Firefox). That’s why the last years began this endless rush to redesign the interface: they make a new interface, being sure it will be better, and a couple of years later they redo it again, saying that the next one will be good. But if you have to redo it again, it means that the previous interface was bad after all. Except that those who told them this at the time, they ignored. This is the case with every major interface change now. They just can’t make a good interface now, so we get a whole series of bad ones: they make one bad interface after another, eventually realize it’s bad and redo it again. But just as they couldn’t make the previous one good, the new one turns out bad again.
    Mozilla needs to fire up both their designers and their management.

    1. owl said on April 13, 2021 at 3:16 am
      Reply

      @Honorius,

      I think you may be right.
      Well, in a way, it is the epitome of an “American” collegial democratic system.
      In Apple and Brave, absolute charisma holds the initiative.
      Both have their pros and cons, and it will be an eternal proposition that will “never be settled” from ancient times to the future.
      Like Vivaldi, We’ll be dumbfounded just rush in like a wild boar and not change course.

      For users, UI changes are “confusing”, but if they improve practicality, they will accept it. In fact, the current Firefox and Waterfox G3 are much more practical than the old Firefox (Pale Moon, Basilisk, Waterfox Classic).

      Fortunately, the Thunderbird project, which was spun off from Mozilla, has been re-launched with a coherent vision for the final product (Thunderbird), and the product has been making steady progress and doing very well.
      https://www.ghacks.net/2021/02/24/thunderbird-78-8-0-security-update-is-out/#comment-4487112
      https://www.ghacks.net/2021/03/22/thunderbird-financial-report-2020-shows-strong-year-to-year-growth/
      I have a feeling that the “Proton project” will be right on track with Firefox as well as the Thunderbird project.

      1. owl said on April 13, 2021 at 8:19 am
        Reply

        Precept: by Successful Business “Great Founders”

        Soichiro Honda (Honda Motor Company, a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles)
        > If you don’t try, you’ll never really know, right? Then do it.
        > Success is the 1% supported by 99% failure.
        > By failing, we can make discoveries, learn important lessons, and become humble, but by focusing on success, we can only produce boring, common sense things.
        > Failure and success are two sides of the same coin.
        > Everyone is afraid of failure, so success escapes them.
        > Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Don’t be afraid to try. Be afraid of doing nothing.
        > If you are interested in something and want to try it, try to do it, regardless of the outcome. That’s where success sprouts from.
        > We don’t create because there is demand. We create the demand.
        > Engineers should have a philosophy.

        Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.)
        > Stay hungry, Stay foolish.
        > It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
        > Even if you fail, the “experience” alone is worth 10 times more than what you lost.
        > It’s not just what you add, but what you remove that matters.
        > Complexity should be organized, brought to order, and made into a simple product.
        > Being simple is more difficult than being complex.
        > Common sense? Ah, rules for ordinary people to live by to get along!
        > You have to be prepared to fail.

      2. Honorius said on April 13, 2021 at 4:05 pm
        Reply

        @owl
        > Well, in a way, it is the epitome of an “American” collegial democratic system.

        What’s going on at Mozilla _CORPORATION_ has nothing to do with collegial democratic system:
        there’s a very specific person in a very specific position who made the final decision to redesign Firefox (and if that person didn’t, there would be no redesign) and there’s a very specific person in a very specific position who approved the final design result for implementation (rather than sending it for redesign). Both of these individuals can even be the same person (although they can be different – it does not change anything).
        This is not democracy at all, but a fairly ordinary vertical pyramid of subordination to a fairly ordinary corporation.

        > For users, UI changes are “confusing”, but if they improve practicality, they will accept it.
        Except that there is no evidence of “improve practicality”. But there are UI changes.
        And besides: if these changes do NOT improve practicality, another fraction of users will be lost.

        > In fact, the current Firefox and Waterfox G3 are much more practical than the old Firefox (Pale Moon, Basilisk, Waterfox Classic).
        Objective proof is needed.
        The number of people dissatisfied with the changes and leaving sinking Firefox exceeds the number of those who like the changes and switch to Firefox.
        In short, market share is falling. And this is a measurable numerical indicator, not someone’s chatter that “this time the interface is going to be better”.

  12. Matt Mann said on April 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm
    Reply

    After reading how Mozilla has taken a fall from grace which browser is equivalent to what Firefox
    was ‘back in the day’? Or does it an alternative even exist?

    1. Declan Dunn said on April 13, 2021 at 4:55 pm
      Reply

      I’d still like to see a revised and secured version of Opera 12. Once the holes are fixed and new coding to secure it better, then I would be happy to give it a try. Everything after v.12 just didn’t cut it for me.

    2. Iron Heart said on April 13, 2021 at 5:50 pm
      Reply

      @Matt Mann

      Probably either Pale Moon or Basilisk:

      https://www.palemoon.org/

      https://basilisk-browser.org/

    3. Anonymous said on April 24, 2021 at 10:21 am
      Reply

      Iron Heart promotes insecure forks, do not trust him

  13. Fabian Wenzel said on May 3, 2021 at 7:45 am
    Reply

    I deleted Firefox and the new Proton is absolutely disgusting. Now I have the MyPal browser and I am more than happy. I am the master of the UI for this browser. I can decide I want a status bar, I want the tabs below or above the address bar and much more. I prefer it if the tabs are under the address bar, and I am more than satisfied with the old Firefox 3 theme and cute buttons.

  14. harmand said on May 4, 2021 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    Maybe a good idea would be letting the user optionally “shrink” (vertically) the new menus, whose length can actually become quite uncomfortable in some custom situations (for example when you have crowded bookmarks menus).

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