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Mozilla Ponders Major Firefox UI Refresh

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the fresh-new-face dept.

Firefox 282

CWmike writes "Mozilla is working on a revamp of Firefox to synchronize its various versions — desktop, tablet, phone and Windows 8 Metro — into a single visual style, according to documents posted by members of its user interface (UI) design team. The project, which does not have a name, and the earlier blending of Mozilla's mobile and desktop design groups, is meant to bring more coherence to the various versions of the open-source browser. 'One of our major goals for the year [is] getting Firefox to feel more like one product — more 'Firefoxy' — across all our platforms, desktop to tablet to phone,' Madhava Enro of the Mozilla UI design team, said in a post to his personal blog on Tuesday. Enro posted a slideshow he and others used the week before to present their proposals at a company get-together. According to the presentation, some UI elements will be shared across all Firefox editions, among them a lean toward 'softer texture' and smoother curves in the design."

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282 comments

The beauty of Open Source. (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#39877183)

Thank the gods for Iceweasel.

Re:Thank God (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39877201)

Or maybe even if not fully open source, at least forks.

Cometbird. PaleMoon. Your choice of others. Someone's going to keep the classic UI.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877219)

And also SeaMonkey.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (3, Informative)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#39877267)

It's like Firefox only without all the desperate attempts to copy Chrome at every turn. Just a shame more addons aren't marked as compatible with it.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (3, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#39877243)

If they're going to start copying Chrome's UI, why wouldn't I just install Chrome?

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877283)

Because there's a difference between a UI and the entire product?

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (3, Insightful)

Theophany (2519296) | about 2 years ago | (#39877437)

Yeah, if you're going to mimic the UI of a better product, you may as well just use the better product.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877885)

Yeah, if you're going to mimic the UI of a better product, you may as well just use the better product.

Yeah, being tracked even more than normal is great! Also, helping to line the pockets of some marketers without ever being compensated one dime yourself is really fun. See how they line up for this. Hooray for voluntary exploitation! Why, it's like an act of charity, giving so selflessly to those poor helpless starving product-hawkers.

Or did you mean Chromium? No, I guess you would have said that if you meant it...

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39877557)

What about Iceweasel? It's not a fork, it's Firefox with the trademarkes replaced. Where Firefox goes, so goes Iceweasel.

What Firefox should do is go UI agnostic. Just focus on rendering HTML, and publish an API for front end designers. That way anyone could make Firefox look however they want without giving up features.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877673)

anyone could make Firefox look however they want without giving up features.

You're kidding right ? never heard of extensions and themes [mozilla.org] ?

Granted many themes are just lame, but some are very helpful. I'm still using one of the Firefox 2 themes [mozilla.org] because I couldn't get used to the constant changes of UI

Same goes for status bar disappearing and the so-called "awesome bar", there are extensions taking care of all that (if you need to).

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39877849)

You're kidding right ? never heard of extensions and themes ?

They keep stuffing more and more of firefox into the base when it should be handled by extensions.

Re:The beauty of Open Source. (5, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39877757)

I hope their new, single visual style will be "whatever the rest of the current host OS looks like".

finalized? (4, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#39877187)

When it's finalized THEN post it.

Doing a story about "pondering" sounds like a MSN bullshit story. Even though it's more likely to happen, you might as well do a story title "moon may fall into Atlantic tomorrow."

Re:finalized? (4, Insightful)

mrjatsun (543322) | about 2 years ago | (#39877347)

> When it's finalized THEN post it.

I think your missing the point of open development. Discussions like this happen all the time. A lot of proposals never see the light of day or have drastically changed when the source is finally pushed.

Re:finalized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877555)

I think your missing the point of open development.

I think you're missing the way contractions work.

Re:finalized? (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 2 years ago | (#39877643)

Discussions like this happen all the time. A lot of proposals never see the light of day or have drastically changed when the source is finally pushed.

Exactly. So, this isn't really news for anyone except for someone on the UI team who missed the discussion - for the rest of us, this is "meh" and some filler until today's news cycle picks up (which, on /., means I'll finally figure out what happened Monday through Wednesday...of last week.)

Re:finalized? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#39877371)

When it's finalized THEN post it.

As for actual implementation, I agree with you. There's more than enough half-baked crap out there that the world could do without.

As a UI project, I disagree. Throwing some concepts out there fits in nicely with the "release early, release often" philosophy that's practiced in the open source world. If users like it: proceed. If users think it's crap: leave things as they are, or try something else (of course this assumes developers are listening to their users, which as we know isn't always the case ;-).

A story like this then simply serves as a spotlight on the subject, an entry point to encourage discussion about pro's & cons. What's wrong with that?

Re:finalized? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#39877429)

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain, but how will we get the pantyhose on the goat?"

DoNotWant (3, Insightful)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#39877197)

see subject

Re:DoNotWant (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39877211)

Somebody over there is feeling desperate to "Metro-ize" Firefox. Or something.

Why can't there just be an interface for a 24" Desktop and a second for a Tablet? Is it suddenly that hard to maintain "two products"?

Re:DoNotWant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877249)

Because of the urban market.

Re:DoNotWant (3, Interesting)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 2 years ago | (#39877415)

That's exactly what they're proposing. They have different layouts and designs for different environments. From the slideshow the different layouts seem quite distinct, but have a couple of things in common (new tab button, shape of tabs) to make them all recognisable as variations of the same product. The desktop UI is called Australis and it's fairly similar to what we've had since FF4 but with some changes I like and a few I don't. The only Metro-ized one is the Metro version, but I can't comment on that because my eyes refused to focus when I looked at it.

Re:DoNotWant (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#39877431)

Anyone who's familiar with MVC, services, etc, knows the benefits of separating presentation and functionality. This may be marketing people making these sort or decisions, as you would think a decent designer or developer would know better.

Re:DoNotWant (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39877705)

not just metro-ize. but to unify it over ios, osx, desktop windows, metro-windows, unity and different android flavors! if you put it on paper like that you'd notice that it's a stupid, stupid, stupid idea to begin with, unless they just delete everything from the ui - which is actually what they've been up to. so everything is behind multiple clicks and you just have to "intuitively" know that, fucking vim and emacs heads if you ask me!

Re:DoNotWant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877841)

I agree. The one thing I don't like about Chrome is that they don't use the system visual styles, and now Firefox is going the same route?
Attention developers and graphics designers: newsflash - you have no taste. Please, please, stop forcing your ugly horror designs upon me.
If I wanted my computer to look different, I'd install a different visual style - and you can count on it that it wouldn't be anything like the crap you're peddling.

Best of luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877213)

Personally I am not going to judge efforts before trying the result, so good luck to this new endeavor. But I also hope that retaining compatibility of existing extensions will be a high priority task. And hopefully forks like iceweasel on Debian will keep letting user browse with the old FAMILIAR and big-screen-friendly interface.

Chrome? (0)

Poeli (573204) | about 2 years ago | (#39877215)

Why is mozilla so desperately trying to clone Chrome? The UI is fine as it is on the desktop, not to big, not to small.

Re:Chrome? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39877273)

Chrome is massively popular and eating into Mozilla's "marketshare," that's why.

Re:Chrome? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877311)

Chrome is eating into Mozilla's marketspace because Mozilla are trying to copy Chrome by producing an inferior clone of it rather than a browser which survives on it's own strengths.

If both are trying to be exactly the same thing, why use the cheap knock-off when both cost the same?

Re:Chrome? (2)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#39877327)

doesn't mean it's better... just that they (google) spend more on marketing and distribution (tv commercials, streaming video spots, bundleware, pc makers, etc)

Re:Chrome? (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 2 years ago | (#39877339)

Wait... are you serious? There are TV ads for a web browser?

Re:Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877351)

Yes there are. Just the other day in the cinema I saw an ad for IE9 and the those we my EXACT first thoughts.

Re:Chrome? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#39877425)

They're really pushing IE 9 adverts in the UK. It's fucking hillarious since all they do is show whooshy graphics and flash buzzwords up in between it. It's all "The web is more beautiful!" and stuff

It's on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/37918278 [vimeo.com]

Re:Chrome? (4, Insightful)

PybusJ (30549) | about 2 years ago | (#39877349)

As a Firefox user, I see literally dozens of google Ads suggesting I install Chrome, or upgrade to a faster browsing experience, or other similar messages, every day. Google put popups to that effect on their search homepage. I'll hazard a guess that this bears some responsibility for market share decline. Some is no doubt due to perceptions that FF is slow/a memory hog in comparison to Chrome.

Neither of these factors will be affected by changing UI to copy your competitor. Firefox needs to carve out their own niche, and the seemingly deliberate activities to remove all discernible difference, and hence possible competitive advantage they have over their more highly resourced competitor, seems stupidly short sited.

Re:Chrome? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39877659)

Google put popups to that effect on their search homepage

Google doesn't use any pop-up advertising, period. If you are getting pop-ups on Google sites then your PC is probably infected.

Re:Chrome? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39877391)

Chrome is massively popular and eating into Mozilla's "marketshare," that's why.

Yes, the problem is when you start thinking that everything they did must be right and everything we did must be wrong. Chrome annoys me at times, still somewhat less than Firefox did but they both have pros and cons. Just because they do it doesn't mean it's a good thing if Mozilla copies it.

Re:Chrome? (1)

SniperJoe (1984152) | about 2 years ago | (#39877381)

I think they're trying to clone Windows 8, which is far, far worse. I don't want to encourage Microsoft, as I'd rather Windows 8 die in the corner of ignominy.

I don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877221)

As long as they c

Change Windows version (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#39877227)

I use Linux, and everything in Firefox is accessible mostly with a few choices at the top of the titlebar. On the rare occasion I need to boot back into Windows, the Firefox version now has one icon where most the features now live, so now you have to dig under multiple menus to find what you want.

Get the Windows version back to the way it was, and stop expecting me to hunt through multiple menu layers to find what I want.

Re:Change Windows version (5, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#39877263)

You realize you can change the Windows version to behaving like it used to, by turning on the menu bar in the view options? And that you can get the Linux version to behave like the Windows version by turning off the menu bar and enabling a sidebar?

Re:Change Windows version (5, Informative)

bluescrn (2120492) | about 2 years ago | (#39877315)

The menu bar rendering on Windows has been broken/fugly since FF4

Looks seriously unprofessional and quite obviously broken, but as the menubar is off by default, nobody's bothered to fix it.

Re:Change Windows version (1, Informative)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#39877443)

Actually, if you are referring to the traditional menu bar in Windows, it just comes up when you use the key to access the traditional menu bar: Alt.

Alt and let go.... or Alt-F for file or Alt-E for Edit, Alt-Spacebar for the window menu and so on. I don't know why all these hardcore geeks complain about something they don't see, when the command line is all about key combinations.

Re:Change Windows version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877685)

You realize you can change the

You realize they could preserve my settings when it updates, so I don't have to fuck around with putting things back to where I liked them?

Re:Change Windows version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877289)

Click the Firefox icon, go under options, and check Menu Bar. I think that will do what you want.

Internet Explorer appeal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877229)

I'm starting to understand why people stuck to outdated versions of IE for so long.
Firefox in the recent two years managed to break compatibility with 100% of the addons I liked, only slightly above half of them got updated, then it broke compatibility again and even less addons got updated. In the mean time they have managed to force me to use new addons which return the old look to which I am used to, and now they want to revamp the UI completely.

Well fuck me. I think I'll have to find an old FF 2 install and just run it in a virtual machine to have what I liked again and still retain some security.

Re:why people stuck to... (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39877343)

Dunno if it's just me, but there feels like a massive shift in computing coming through soon. It's this weird Tech version of the Mayan doomsday where everybody is going all "OMG Mobile!"

So desktop users will be sorta pushed to the sidelines, and then we're all supposed to live on our phones or something.

But once those UI switches are made, ... then what? It's creating a kind of "block in the prophetic visions of the future", so everyone scrambles for two years because Mobile Is Da Hotness, ... then what?

Are we just going to stare at each other in a kind of giant fishbowl meta-boredom having reached a point where there "isn't any innovation left"? Oh, they'll do small things, like add ons, and maybe "smart clothing" with GPS enhancements, etc etc, but after everyone finishes this big "Mobile or Die" push, it feels like it will be almost a letdown of "what do we do with ourselves now?"

Re:why people stuck to... (5, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#39877525)

Why strive for a "one size fits all" anyway ?

Yes, mobile devices are on the rise. Often with small (touch)screens where it makes sense to minimize control elements, in order not to clutter that screen.

At the same time, big screens aren't disappearing either. Browsing the web on a 40" TV at home isn't unheard of, maybe those screens are wall-size in a decade or so. And the average laptop / PC on a desk with mouse beside it, is yet another way to go about it.

The intelligent thing would be to realize that those devices & user experiences are different, and applications + their user interfaces should adjust accordingly. Or if that's too difficult, have different applications & different user interfaces for different devices. Like what has always been the case, really.

Re:why people stuck to... (1)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#39877553)

I rather think it will be along the lines of Galactic Moronic Convergence. The poles will flip and what you saw on your phone will appear on your desktop and what appeared on your desktop will appear on your phone, all on Dec. 21. At that point, marketdroids will become engineers and engineers will become marketdroids. China and India will outsource to the U.S. Republicans will become Democrats and Democrats will become Republicans.

The U.S. Patent Office will finally admit it has no idea what it's doing and will shut down for 5 years to become one with itself and study Zen Buddhism. Lawyers will slit their throats, but no one will notice except to wash off the sidewalks. Larry Ellison will reveal he's an alien and attempt medical procedures to become human, but he will fail miserably. Jesus will return, stay awhile, and then leave with the excuse that he's a busy guy.

I'm looking for one gonzo-whopper of a Moronic Convergence.

Re:why people stuck to... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39877663)

So desktop users will be sorta pushed to the sidelines, and then we're all supposed to live on our phones or something.

Well, makes sense, doesn't it? On the hardware end everything is being pushed towards non-upgradeable, throwaway devices like cellphones and tablets, designed for the dump. I've been using and reusing the same ATX computer case on my desktop PC for the last decade at least but in the same number of years I've accrued five cell phones, four of which are currently rotting in a drawer because I don't know what the hell else to do with them. Sell them on eBay for $3? Not worth my time...

I don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877237)

As long as they keep tabs on bottom as an option

Just for a change (5, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | about 2 years ago | (#39877247)

Another day, another Firefox UI 'revamp'. And another major version number to go with it, no doubt.

Meanwhile, if a download times out Firefox still reports it as having completed successfully. This has been the case since at least Phoenix 0.4, and presumably since it's conception. Yet it remains unfixed. Apparently in 11 major versions and 9 years, not to mention countless UI revamps it seems the FF team still haven't realised that an HTTP connection can fail.

Re:Just for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877419)

And you can't resume failed downloads. I've got an ancient (i.e. > ten years old) version of wget compiled for win32 that does a better job downloading than the latest Firefox.

Re:Just for a change (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 2 years ago | (#39877477)

I've been following the Opera development team and they haven't changed the UI recently, so I think Firefox is safe for a while.

No. Please Stop (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#39877253)

Please stop. Just stop. To re-purpose what I've written before: Stop turning my computer programs into children's toys.

Stop taking away all my menu bars, tables, text boxes, whites spaces, status bars. Stop replacing them giant coloured icons and disappearing peelback tabs and menus. Am I expected to just intuitively "feel" where all the controls and options are now? I don't understand why you are doing this.

This has to stop, as it's happening across the program spectrum. I blame the influence of smartphones and similar touch oriented devices.Speaking as someone who has never owed a smart phone I have always found them restrictive and confusing. Using one is like navigating a theme park without a map. Eventually you'll want to just find a place to sit down but you'll only get more lost among the theme rides and hot dog stands.

The encroaching presence of fatuous smartphone UIs onto my desktop annoys and increasingly frustrates me, and has to stop. I never liked Macs, and Ubuntu's unity is driving me off the distro. I don't want this and I have trouble believing that most FF users do, or will ever. Stop shoving this down the throats of your misfortune users.

Stop. Firefox does not need this. Its UI does not need to be "refreshed" or "toned down" or "streamlined" or even "supercharged". It is a good UI. Title bars and menubars are a desired and productive element of its interface. It's OK to have little icons, buttons, and text around the screen; I use a keyboard and mouse instead of fat fingers and caressing gestures. Stop assuming a smart-phone has been my primary computing device for the last five years.

Please stop this. Just stop. Someone, please tell them to stop.

Re:No. Please Stop (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39877285)

Stop turning my computer programs into children's toys.

A typical view of computer users is that they are children -- toddlers who need their hands held wherever they go.

No. Please Continue (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877317)

I blame the influence of smartphones and similar touch oriented devices.

There's a pretty big reason why all these changes are being implemented; that's where a large portion of the users are at, and these devices are getting more popular. It only makes sense that people using your software across devices will at least want a consistent UI, and it should be accessible no matter what type of device you are using.

That being said, looking over the Firefox designs, I see nothing that looks substantially different (or difficult) about how the new UI will be used.

Stop turning my computer programs into children's toys.

Conversely, I could say the old style of fiddly menus and unnecessary buttons and icons everywhere is more toylike than what we are moving towards, because those are all a big distraction and just make the software more difficult to use 95% of the time than it needs to be.

Re:No. Please Continue (5, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#39877491)

"that's where a large portion of the users are at,"

Really? Got any evidence for that?

"t only makes sense that people using your software across devices will at least want a consistent UI"

No it doesn't. What works on a 4 inch screen doesn't necessarily work on a 19 inch monitor and vice verca.

"because those are all a big distraction"

Having a button for "back" or "reload" or a "Tools" menu is not a distraction. Unless you have some sort of dyslexia.

Does not look user friendly (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about 2 years ago | (#39877355)

The new design strongly highlights the current tab, but subdues the other tabs into an ambiguous text and icon soup; they do not have shape. I'm having a hard enough time getting my parents to grasp the concept of tabbed browsing, must Mozilla and Google make it so much harder with this and the obfuscation of the new tab button?

Re:No. Please Stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877383)

I don't want the program to be built imposed by the restrictions of 4" phone display, I have plenty of space!
My two monitors provide enough space for having menus and other options.

I get this Gnome2 -> Gnome3 deja-vu feeling.
I'm not using a small touch screen thingy, I have a _personal computer_, please take advantage of its possibilities!

Re:No. Please Stop (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39877697)

Personal computer? What kind of socialist nonsense is that?! You should ditch the computer and just get a tablet! Sure, you can't upgrade it at all and you'll end up with 4 of them rotting in a drawer just like your old cell phones currently do, but consumerism is good for America! Buy buy buy!!

Your PC has a wide variety of uses and applications, but tablets have touch screens! Ooooooh, touch screens......aaaarrrrggghhhhhhh /homer

I HAVE A HAMMER AND IT IS SHINY! (5, Funny)

bertok (226922) | about 2 years ago | (#39877479)

Why don't you like my hammer? Can't you see how shiny it is? Every working man is getting one, clearly it is the tool of the future! You're just preducided against hammers because you don't appreciate how flexible and intuitive it is. It's so ergonomic, it fits the human hand so perfectly! Feel the weight of it, the balance. Don't you want one too? I bet you secretly do.

Sure, some people might insist that those old-style hydraulic drop hammers gets more hammering done, but they're so... loud... and heavy. Not all portable, or shiny. Who would want to use something like that? You clearly don't understand the manifest benefits of a light-weight, hand-held, ergonomic implement that anyone can use! So pretty to look at too -- you can see that mine is chrome plated and comes with a doe-skin suede hip holster. It's the latest style. You'll love it, trust me.

The market has clearly spoken: more people are purchasing shiny hand-held hammers than heavy and dull hydraulic drop hammers. You're just slow to get with the times. It's time for you to join the rest of us in the future.

Re:No. Please Stop (2)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | about 2 years ago | (#39877543)

I'd have modded you up if you weren't already at +5. This echoes my own feelings on the subject quite eloquently, although I have owned a smartphone, and browsed on it. IMO, the ONLY reason to browse on a smartphone is that you don't have a desktop available - it's a terrible experience all around; I'm glad that developers are trying to get all the functionality they can into mobile browsers, but when you throw a current mobile browser against a web site that's designed for a desktop PC, which have the ability to make changes to the page on the "mouseover" event, usually a lot more processing power, and a far wider range of available plug-ins for browsers....it's seems likely to utterly fail, not because it's not a good for mobile, but because it's not a good for desktop.

I can see some purpose to HAVING a mobile interface...but mobile is SUCH a different environment from desktop that it deserves to have a totally separate UI. A mobile UI might also be worth copying for, say, an Android-on-a-TV type device that use Wiimote style pointer for input...but is definitely NOT worth copying for the desktop space, where a mouse and keyboard are the expected interface devices.

Re:No. Please Stop (2)

Like2Byte (542992) | about 2 years ago | (#39877559)

This has to stop, as it's happening across the program spectrum. I blame the influence of smartphones and similar touch oriented devices.Speaking as someone who has never owed a smart phone I have always found them restrictive and confusing. Using one is like navigating a theme park without a map. Eventually you'll want to just find a place to sit down but you'll only get more lost among the theme rides and hot dog stands.

emphasis mine

Welcome to Web 3.0. They're banking on it. The future is turning your computer into a money making machine for them. Google's doing it by turning your page views into dollars from advertisers. Other corporations are hoping you'll use their software, they'll peek and poke around your habits, churn information that is useful to them in the hopes that they can get you to stick around and give your money to them.

The Hot Dog stands and amusement rides of today are applications like Angry Birds and such. You think the web of 1997-2000 was ad-ridden? Wait until your OS is! Apple is working on one now (or at the least, it considering it! [ipwatchdog.com]).

Re:No. Please Stop (0, Flamebait)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#39877573)

THIS!

The change over from FF2.x to 3.x was bad enough (I hate you "awesome" bar!) We don't NEED another major UI overhaul. I personally won't touch the Chrome browser with a thousand-foot pole, precisely because it's more a TOY than a browser.

Focus on making FF faster and lighten it's footprint while retaining the nice BOXY, MODULAR look of the browser.

Freakin' UI designers are out of control. Stop making everything look so damn minimalist and shiny! I want my browser boxy, ugly and crammed full of useful features that I can access with a MOUSE. I don't want to have half the features stripped out, and then half of what's left buried under a set of complex and obscure keyboard commands. This isn't the DOS days. Keyboards are for TYPING. The mouse is there for navigation on the PC. DESIGN FOR IT!

Oh, and NO software designers should design for the Win8 PC Metro UI. That POS should be starved to death from lack of software and allowed to die a Vista-esque death. Seriously. Think of the users, IGNORE the PC METRO UI when you design your software. Pretend it doesn't exist. If enough designers do this then Microsoft will be forced to drop this horror and get back to a proper desktop UI.

Re:No. Please Stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877671)

"Someone, please tell them to stop."

What makes you think they will listen?

Re:No. Please Stop (1)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#39877881)

I hear you. I switched to SeaMonkey long ago just because Firefox couldn't leave well enough alone. Yep, it is big, fat slow browser, but the interface rarely changes. And NoScript works with it. There is a candified interface skin I could use but I prefer the more traditional skin.

Okay, maybe it is about time to fork it... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877281)

I may get accused of being a cranky old man but seriously, what I want from a browser UI is to access the functions of the browser like back/forward, refresh, an address bar that actually displays the address including the protocol, maybe start page button and bookmarks. What I don't need (and this apparently includes, from the mock-ups) is a "twitter" button.

I'm starting to think the problem is that Mozilla is hiring a lot of people who then (naturally) feel obligated to "do something" and weird changes are the result. Also, why copy everyone else? Why not, ahem, think different for once? Not everyone wants a Chrome-style browser and those that do probably use Chrome (and they should, more power to them).

Re:Okay, maybe it is about time to fork it... (2)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#39877385)

It already exists http://www.seamonkey-project.org/ [seamonkey-project.org]

Re:Okay, maybe it is about time to fork it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877499)

It already exists http://www.seamonkey-project.org/ [seamonkey-project.org]

No, actually SeaMonkey is not the same, it's a classic Internet "Suite" that includes all kinds of stuff like a news reader and an e-mail client. If you just want a browser and/or use a different e-mail program, it's probably the wrong thing for you.

Re:Okay, maybe it is about time to fork it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877607)

That twitter button is _probably_ a bookmark shortcut. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Re:Okay, maybe it is about time to fork it... (5, Informative)

jeti (105266) | about 2 years ago | (#39877707)

No worries, Firefox won't have a Twitter button. What you see in the mockup are a number of App tabs. You can simply right-click a tab and tell the browser to keep it there. The tab title gets reduced to the icon. This is a generic mechanism and not specific to any webpage or service. The mechanism already exists in the current versions of Firefox.

The protocol only gets hidden for http / https and the rest of the features are all there.

If you complain without bothering to check the facts, you do, indeed, sound like a cranky old man.

The abortion that is the state of UI design (1)

gremlin_591002 (548935) | about 2 years ago | (#39877299)

Remember back when there was an iron grip on how menus were laid out? Remember when it frustrated us all that we had to use the same keyboard shortcuts to reach simliar functions? I miss those days. From the current nightmare that is Microsoft Office, where it took me twenty minutes to find the print command for the first time. To drilling down through three menus to find my bookmarks!

While you're at it, knock off that rapid release cycle! Version 12 looks just like Version 3, except that I had to completely wipe my copy of firefox, delete every single firefox folder on the machine, then had scrub the registry just so I could reinstall and not have weird errors and random things not work. Boy that was a fun way to spend my evening.

Re:The abortion that is the state of UI design (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#39877617)

I'm a Firefox user too, but if something like that happened to me I would switch to Chromium and do something else with my evening.

Oh noez! (1)

Roman Grazhdan (2483616) | about 2 years ago | (#39877363)

I hope they won't break pentadactyl compatibility. Seriously, why my desktop browser experience should be influenced by that metro thing and tablets? It's so unfair.

Keep those "desktop metaphor" morons... (1)

voss (52565) | about 2 years ago | (#39877365)

and their GD box of unity/gnome3/metro8 crayons away from my web browser, email, and desktop GUI!

OK .... (1)

garry_g (106621) | about 2 years ago | (#39877379)

... as long as it's not the broken, mis-designed (assuming it has been designed and not just the result of a failed Rohrschach test) and for a desktop utterly unusable "Metro" look ...

Search Bar (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#39877407)

Don't take away the separate search bar. It's one thing I like about Firefox is that it's not sending all my keystrokes in the URL bar to Google. Looks like they're now gonna take that away (from the screenshot).

Re:Search Bar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877523)

Don't take away the separate search bar. It's one thing I like about Firefox is that it's not sending all my keystrokes in the URL bar to Google. Looks like they're now gonna take that away (from the screenshot).

This.

If I wanted to search from the Address Bar, I'd be an AOL subscriber.

Opera (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39877457)

Opera makes a fine browser choice. They are not constantly trying to fix something that's not broken, and updates are released more infrequently. Plus it comes with things like tabs-on-left and plugin blocker out of the box.

I wondered if this Madhava Enro was the same clown (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#39877511)

who was boasting about how great it was to have 4(!) versions of FireFox under development at the same time, not to mention all the different platform flavours.

Sadly, it turns out that it's a different clown, so there are at least two of them at Mozilla. I has a sad.

What they need to do is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877533)

Worry about how more vulnerable their users are than any other browser. This was something that used to be in reverse, IE was the biggest gaping hole, and FF was better. The others....Opera is a bloated joke, and I simply don't like/trust Chrome, I don't care how fast it is. I won't even go into the failure that is Safari on windows.

As far as the UI goes....IT'S A FRICKIN BROWSER....it has all the controls it needs, nothing vital has changed in navigation, as long as it supports the major web standards....nobody needs/nor asked for another UI change.

Stop worrying about Windows 8 on the desktop....that's a problem Microsoft will have to solve, I don't need my f'king browser even more bloated because you guys think "Live Tiles" are all the rage in W8, Let FF have the shitty icons MS left us with for regular programs, it's their failure, not yours.

Between this childish nonsense, the vulnerabilities, the crappy addon support, lack of full web support...I think I'm done donating money to them, all they do is waste time and money chasing dumb ideas meant for other platforms.

NOOOOO! (5, Insightful)

ukemike (956477) | about 2 years ago | (#39877627)

Do I use finger to poke, swipe, and pinch when I am on my desktop? Do I use a mouse to point and click when I use my phone? Is my desktop screen 3" x 2"? Is my phone screen 24" x 12"? No. No. No. No. These are two totally different operating environments with totally different requirements and limitations. They each need different interfaces. Besides who uses Firefox on their phone? It's all about Dolphin baby.

Why are all the software producers abandoning 30 years of desktop user interface improvements to make it more like mobile interfaces which are new and still developing, and by needs totally different. Just when they get it right and are just in need of the slightest refinements, they think it's time to make radical changes. Is this about improving the product or is it about keeping programers employed?

MOZILLA LISTEN!!! A browser should be so easy to use that it almost becomes transparent. It becomes that way by maintaining a nice user interface for a long time so use of the features becomes deeply ingrained habit. STOP CHANGING THINGS AROUND! PLEEEAAASE!!!

Re:NOOOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877829)

They should fix it not responsing all the time when I start a download at least first. Forget the UI (or even switch back to the old one).

Meh... (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 2 years ago | (#39877637)

For my personal usage, the only reason I still use it is at work it's nice to have Live Bookmarks. Seeing the RSS feed titles without having to use yet another service to manage is great. But I'd have switched completely to Chrome earlier if it wasn't for this. Now all my installs and managed pc's run Chrome. It's just so much easier and simpler, esp when the client is already in the Google domain.

Somewhere there's an alarm going off at Apple HQ.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877723)

Whatever you do, DON'T mention rounded corners!!!!

Don't Stop There (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | about 2 years ago | (#39877765)

Firefox, in their efforts to streamline the experience, should progress by replacing all UI interaction with a single button labeled with the word "Do".

Bike Shed (2)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 2 years ago | (#39877865)

How's the view from the bike shed, guys? Figure out which color to paint it today? Screw the UI overhaul, some of the engine needs overhauling too, but that's no fun. We'd rather bicker endlessly over how curvy to make the soft curves, while the memory leaks and weird crashes go on, unabated.

The important stuff is hard to fix, and no one wants to do that stuff. Arguing over UI rehashes is more fun, and "feels" productive whether or not it actually is.

How about inventing mechanism so themes and plugins don't need constant updating and are so frequently uninstallable because of version issues? Wouldn't that be more useful - and thus attract more users - than a sexy new bit of graphics?

But don't mind me, I'll be over here using Opera, which I find more useful, and Chrome, which is way faster.

You know what color would be good for your bike shed? Fail-Red, with nice, soft curves...

OH COME ON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39877899)

I am still getting use to the new UI as it is when Firefox 4 and stuff came out. Now they plan to screw everyone over by moving stuff around.

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