×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Mozilla Plans Major Design Overhaul With Firefox 25 Release In October

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the taking-cues dept.

Firefox 250

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla is planning a major design overhaul of its flagship browser with the release of Firefox 25, slated to arrive in October. The company makes a point to discuss its plans for changes openly, and this upcoming new version is by no means an exception. In fact, even though Firefox 22 is in the Beta channel, Firefox 23 is in the Aurora channel, and Firefox 24 is in the Nightly channel, Mozilla has set up a special Nightly UX channel for Firefox 25. Grab it here."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

250 comments

Finally looks exactly like Chrome (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#43917527)

From the screenshot [thenextweb.com], it looks like they are finally completing the project of making Firefox completely indistinguishable from Chrome.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43917571)

Don't worry you still have your separate useless search bar you never use and hide from the toolbar (well, I did).

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43917621)

One can argue it's only useless if you have nothing to search for... making you useless in turn :)

I use mine all the time and appreciate it.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917643)

One can argue it's only useless if you have nothing to search for...

<troll>Or we act like sane people and just use the address bar to search.</troll>

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43917693)

The address bar is for addresses. It is a horrible horrible UI mistake to have turned it into a search feature. The url is correct or it isn't. Don't bullshit around with it.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (4, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43917713)

coincidentally, IE gets confused on the corporate intranet with aliases seemingly all the time, where i have to put the http:/// [http] in there to show I'm not searching for a corporate server on google.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43917937)

Exactly. not every valid URL has a top level domain, and this can consistently confuse browsers who have the UI error of using an address bar for searches.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43917973)

basically it doesn't play nice with local DNS always.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (-1, Flamebait)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about a year ago | (#43918063)

I doesn't play nice with greybeards who navigate the web by remembering URLs. Normal people can handle the concept of there being a search box that treats valid URLs as a search term specific enough to bypass google, in the spot where Netscape 4 used to have the URL box.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43918115)

Its completely broken with perfectly legitimate local DNS URLs. And can also error on IP addresses entered manually.

Like it or not, it breaks standards. That may be cool with you, but its worth shit to anyone who is more than a trivial user.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918491)

What about this, the address bar is for addresses, the search bar for searches and the smart bar (or whatever you want to call it) is decides if it should search for it or treat it as an address (making assumptions that might not be standards compliant, but works for most people).

Then everyone can customize their browser interface to use 1, 2 or even all 3 of these and get the browser experence they want.

But I do agree that retooling the address bar to a "smart bar" is not the wisest move from a usability standpoint. It blurs the edges. So I agree with the earlier complaints.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (3, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43917817)

I don't like the "type in something and it will search" much, but what I do really like is the named searches you can do from it. For me, "g " will search Google, "w " wikipedia, "nws " will bring up the weather forecast, etc.

It's almost like a command line for common searches, and the space means it basically can't be confused with a URL.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43917841)

Oh good... this should have said, for example "g <blah<" and "g <zip>", etc.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43917829)

Actually, on Chrome, it's not an address bar, it's the Omnibox. The browser only tries to use the input as an URI if none of the installed extensions matches the keyword used. Technically, there is no address bar.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43917913)

Yes. And that makes it a horrible horrible UI mistake. Search and URL are two very different things and should never ever be entered from the same UI element.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43917959)

"'ls' and 'cat' are two very different things and should never ever be entered from the same UI element."

I don't think they're as different as you do. Entering a URL means "go to this URL exactly"; search means "go to a URL which I am abbreviating a bit."

How different the tasks are depends greatly on what level of abstraction you view them at.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43918061)

ls and cat are not entered from the same ui element, not really. once you enter the ls or cat command the following data is distinct for its intended purpose. Your command line doesn't have to figure out what if you wanted to ls or car "stuff", because you used the appropriate command.

With a combo search/url bar, "stuff" can be a valid domain under your local DNS, but your shit-tastic box will search for it instead of navigating there.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43918105)

ls and cat are not entered from the same ui element, not really. once you enter the ls or cat command the following data is distinct for its intended purpose.

What? I type both in the same place, and it shows the results in the same place. Works the same in a browser.

With a combo search/url bar, "stuff" can be a valid domain under your local DNS, but your shit-tastic box will search for it instead of navigating there.

That's an implementation problem with the search, not a conceptual problem with the combined address bar. If it tried single words as addresses first, it'd pretty much work the same as the command line.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43918177)

except your command line isn't "stuff" its "ls stuff" or "cat stuff". Entering the specific command changes the intent of the data that comes after it. Effectively making the "stuff" a different part of the UI based on the context of the "ls"|"cat" command that preceded it. But when you enter text in a combo url/search bar, you just enter "stuff" and then hit enter or the "Go to the address in the location bar" arrow. There is nothing you can do to distinctly tell it to search or navigate.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43918325)

Effectively making the "stuff" a different part of the UI based on the context of the "ls"|"cat" command that preceded it

Why the focus on the "stuff" part of the line? What about if I just type "emacs" or "ls", no arguments to either?

There is nothing you can do to distinctly tell it to search or navigate

Sure there is. If you enter http:/// [http] and it won't search, and if you enter a search keyword it won't try to navigate.

Elsewhere in the thread I said the main thing I like about the combined box is not so much the fact that you can just type search terms but the fact that you can set up keyworded searches. I'm willing to concede that searching without a keyword is somewhat questionable (probably useful for most people, bad for power users) and not going to DNS first for things which could be a URL is definitely bad. (That's probably true for everyone: power users won't like it for obvious reasons, and normal people will have a harder time figuring out how to go to a weird URL if the browser searches than they will figuring out how to search if it goes to the page.) So I'd agree there's room for improvement with current design.

However, I stand by the idea of having just the single address bar. And the difference is such that if you offered me the choice of (1) a Firefox or Chrome-like address bar which does searches or (2) a really old style address bar which only accepts real URLs, I'd take the former one in a heartbeat and never regret it.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43918347)

I'm willing to concede that searching without a keyword is somewhat questionable (probably useful for most people, bad for power users)

Maybe I should upgrade that to neutral for power users. The main reason it's bad IMO is the interference with DNS, which is covered by my following statement.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43918487)

Why am I focusing on "stuff" instead of the command? Hello! because that is what you are acting on. entering data into a command line is pointless without a command to run.

The thing is, you already have full access to a perfectly useful search tool in the search box (on firefox).

There is absolutely no need to dilute the purpose of the url bar with it.

This is a thing that has NO positive benefits, only negative.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43918689)

Why am I focusing on "stuff" instead of the command? Hello! because that is what you are acting on. entering data into a command line is pointless without a command to run.

IMO, the line between data vs command is blurrier than you make it out to be. From some point of view, typing "example.com" into your browser is giving it data. But I'd argue it's just as reasonable to look at it is a command -- "go to example.com". I think this is even stronger with searches: "g blah" is a command saying "search Google for blah". So I think that it's not so outrageous for me to compare entering whatever into the address bar of a browser to entering "emacs" vs "ls".

The thing is, you already have full access to a perfectly useful search tool in the search box (on firefox). ... This is a thing that has NO positive benefits, only negative.

There are at least three benefits, though admittedly two of them are merely deficiencies with the current implementation in Firefox:

1) Having a unified bar means that I can see both long URLs and long search queries. In Firefox, if I copy and paste an error message or something like that into the search box, it will almost certainly be too small to view the entire query. [This deficiency could be remedied by having the search box expand to cover most of the URL as I'm typing stuff into it.]

2) Having a unified bar means I only have to learn and use one shortcut for changing focus to the bar. [This deficiency is very minor, but fundamental.]

3) The address bar keyword searches actually work better for searching than does the search bar IMO (not for everyone, but I suspect many power users would agree) because of the ability to set up keyword searches that use multiple search engines. In Firefox, to change what search provider is used I have to use alt + the arrow keys to change what I want. I can far faster type a couple letters and not worry about what the program is doing. (In addition, adding new keyword searches is easier in my experience than adding a new search provider.) [This deficiency could be remedied by supporting keyword searches from the search bar -- but at the cost of either introducing yet another ambiguity or requiring them.]

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43918313)

ls and cat are not entered from the same ui element, not really. once you enter the ls or cat command the following data is distinct for its intended purpose.

What? I type both in the same place, and it shows the results in the same place. Works the same in a browser.

I'm positive that Nadaka is trying to gently remind you that you should actually have one keyboard for typing URI addresses and another keyboard for typing search queries. :-)

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (3, Insightful)

aix tom (902140) | about a year ago | (#43918509)

In the comparison with ls and cat, a unified search/url input in the same GUI element you would basically have to type something like "http://xxxxx" to go to an url ans something like "search://xxxxx" to do a search, wo work like the CLI. There is a huge difference between "ls 30_gig_file" or "cat 30_gig_file" or even "rm 30_gig_file". You have to tell the software somehow to do WHAT action with WHICH object when you want to be sure about the result.

So far in the browser there where two fields for the two different actions ( directly navigate somewhere / search for something. ) The problem is when the software tries to "guess" what you want to do. Either the guessing algorithm is dumb, and annoys the user, or it is really sophisticated, in which case it took probably away a huge amount of developer manpower to implement in a way that pleases both the "I want to shop for something vague" vague user and the "Shit, the system is down, we are losing $100,000 a minute, and this shitty browser is trying to do a search, which he can't do since the connection to the internet is down, and locks up while waiting for the time-out, instead of just going to the web fronted for the NAS!!".

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918583)

What? I type both in the same place, and it shows the results in the same place. Works the same in a browser.

I was going to explain why you're completely wrong, but then realized the only reason you'd say such a thing is that you're either an idiot or a troll. Either way, waste of time.

It was kinda fun calling you names though. :)

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918715)

It would be fine if it actually did go to a URL when given one, but most of the time it seems to delight in redirecting valid URLs to searches.

e.g.
http://192.168.1.1/
http://intranet/
  - ooh! I know, the user is wanting to search for those on google!!

Yes, it does seem stupid, but something I've seen happen all too often.

And of course it's like that in Chrome & Firefox - because it generates revenue for them!

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Gort65 (1464371) | about a year ago | (#43918139)

Yes. And that makes it a horrible horrible UI mistake. Search and URL are two very different things and should never ever be entered from the same UI element.

Well, I suppose if you have OCD or something like that, then you'd be disturbed by such a combination. The rest of us are flexible enough to recognise its benefits. First thing I do with a new install is remove the search bar, create relevant keyword searches, etc.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43918205)

It breaks web standards and conflicts with local DNS and often times the manual entry of IP addresses.

It has no benefits compared to a separate search field, only flaws.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | about a year ago | (#43918653)

It has no benefits compared to a separate search field, only flaws.

I disagree. In my opinion there is benefit to not wasting screen real estate. Some of us don't have much. That search bar is usually in the address bar, which shortens the address field, causing me to be unable to see some of the web address. If I am wanting to know what the web address says, then at that moment, I am not in need of a search field, and it would be nice if it could go away and make way for more address field. In fact, I cannot think of a time when I am even in need of an address field and search field at the same moment. So, for those of us with limited screen real estate, it makes perfect sense to combine the two.

As for it breaking web standards, I am not an expert on this topic. The developers of Opera, however, are (and real sticklers about it, to my understanding), and Opera was the first browser of which I am aware that allowed searching from the address bar. I haven't had any issues with local DNS or manual entry of IP addresses.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918267)

It's really just a way for Google to know the URLs you're directly going to without searching. If I type in a URL, I don't want Google knowing it.

It's also a security risk if you type in a URL with an IP address. Leaking internal network information to a 3rd party is considered a bad thing.

For example, say you're browsing your intranet AP system and you want keep the current page open, but want to look up something different. You copy the current URL, open a new tab and paste the URL back in, like this: https://10.1.23.45/accountsPayable/bigAccountName?JSESSIONID=ASDFZXCV

Google now knows your internal network is a 10.x.x.x subnet, your accounting system is located at 10.1.23.45 and can hijack your session using the JSESSIONID. Now Google has as much control over your AP system as you do. Granted this is an edge case and can be secured through other means, but it is certainly possible and was a perfectly secure thing to do when a URL bar was a URL bar.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917727)

The address bar is for... wait for it... addresses!

For me the search bar is invaluable, my browsing would be severely hampered without it.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43917781)

Actually, it's called an address bar, not a search bar. By your logic, why don't we just open our OS's with a single blinking cursor and imply what we want by typing it in. Thankfully we moved away from that in the 90s, lets not re-invent history.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#43918371)

My "useless search bar" lets me select between Google, Wikipedia, Amazon and (if I ever wanted to use it, which alas I don't) Twitter. So I can think "I wonder how much a breadmaker costs" or "which year did Henry VIII die" and find out the answer in one click. Can't do that by mashing keywords into the URL bar (as far as I know). I'd have to navigate to the site's front page first, and I've become accustomed to my technologically enhanced laziness.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43918741)

Can't do that by mashing keywords into the URL bar (as far as I know).

You can.

In Firefox, go to any website you want to set up a search for, right click on the search box, and choose "add keyword for this search". If you add, say, a keyword of "g" on Google, then "g foo" in your address bar will search Google. In Chrome, you'll choose "add as search engine."

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43917733)

You can type in the address bar to search. :)

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43917835)

Can I quickly and easily change what website I am searching using the address bar? At present in my search box, I can search nine different websites. Four are search engines (DuckDuckGo, Ixquick, Google & Yahoo), Wikipedia (used all the time when I know that's what I want), Wiktionary (similarly), Urban Dictionary (same again), Wolfram Alpha (good for many calculations), and the WordPress Codex. Can I search all of these easily from the address bar without having to remember a shortcut? (Some of them, e.g. the Codex, Urban Dictionary, Google & Yahoo, I use very occasionally).

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (3, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | about a year ago | (#43918005)

not useless for me, it allow me to write things in the URL without sending every keystroke to Google, you know, like which host names I write there. The integrated search and URL field on Chrome behaves for me like the Ubuntu integrated search. I don't want to send everything I write there to Google. You can disable this in Chrome but you loose search predictions, so or you send eveything or we (Google) will not give you predictions. With Firefox I have predictions without sending every keystroke when I write a url

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43917589)

But seriously, Chrome did a LOT of stuff right. The menu button thing is still odd if you ask me Firefox's old choice was also valid) but now we have more room for tabs by using Chrome's method.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (2, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | about a year ago | (#43917677)

No, they made a lot of bad stuff fashionable. The only thing they did right was "Paste & Go" on the location bar context menu.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

All_One_Mind (945389) | about a year ago | (#43918419)

they borrowed that from Opera. Back when Opera was still a paid browser, the Paste & Go feature was unique to Opera, and an amazing feature. I'm glad it has been copied.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918461)

That's Opera's invention, not Chrome. (I ain't even an Opera user)

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43918097)

The problem with Chrome is its complete lack of user customization. Compare that to Firefox (and Opera) where an about:config lets you change nearly anything.

Perhaps the thing that bothered me most about Chrome is there was no option to change history to:

Keep cookies
Keep downloads
But don't keep a log of the pages I've visited and don't change the colour of URLs that I've already clicked on (yeah, I know its minor but it bugs the crap out of me)

Instead, Google thinks you either need to be in super-secret-pr0n-surfing mode or keep a log of anything you visited (and show it in the address bar when you're searching).

Heck, I think even IE lets me have more control of my browsing history than Chrome does!

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43918411)

Chrome also does a LOT of stuff wrong. I'd dump firefox but there's no reasonable alternative yet.

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917731)

If that means that they gonna unfuck their broken ssl nanny implementation, great.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=435013

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917775)

So if Mozilla is making products on behalf of the people, does that mean the people want Chrome?

Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918291)

WTF is all of that wasted space at the top?! Tabs should be flush with the top of the screen, at least optionally.

Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917535)

Fuck me, curved tabs instead of square ones. This major change has totally changed my mind about Firefox.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917915)

You'll always have addon and themes. It's not the end of the world.

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918527)

Fuck me, curved tabs instead of square ones. This major change has totally changed my mind about Firefox.

You see that browser from Mozilla? They’ve got curved tabs. Curved. Tabs.

Re:Wow (1)

Gertlex (722812) | about a year ago | (#43918643)

Well it also does more damage to the default UI... Those curved tabs are just wasting space horizontal space.

Definitely taking the "be like google" approach to UI's seriously. E.g. recollect how Google Reader's UI continued to add wasteful whitespace everywhere over the years. The remake, CommaFeed is glorious in its compact nature. Thankfully, Google Reader is dead.

And thank goodness Firefox at least remains straight-forward to customize, unlike the various Google sites. (And I've tried; greasemonkey script fixes something about a Google page? stops working a few weeks later)

Let me guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917559)

This time we can't turn off "tabs on top."

Re:Let me guess (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917789)

Oh no, they have an even better system, even less in your face!
We have now added "tabs behind browser" so you never need to see your tabs unless you minimize the browser! AWE!

Coming soon to a theatre near you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917583)

Firefox Eclipse ultra turbo deluxe channel.

Seriously, this is slowly becoming abusive.
Nightly, Beta, Stable. (and Standalone I guess in some cases)

Are Mozilla trying to reach googol before Google do?

Re:Coming soon to a theatre near you (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43917921)

They have had nightly, beta, and stable forever. I remember tinkering with those channels back in 2005.

The only thing that has changed is that today's geeks apparently have a hangup with any sort of change in version numbering.

Mozilla About To Change Everything, Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917627)

Mozilla really needs to focus on getting its shit in order and stop fiddling around with the interface. Perhaps they should leave interface fiddling to Microsoft and Ubuntu and just focus on making the browser work, reliably, and quickly.

Interface design is not why people are using Chrome more than Firefox. A virtual thirty minute startup time(mozilla) and a marketing push(Chrome) are what's causing that.

Re:Mozilla About To Change Everything, Again. (1)

dosius (230542) | about a year ago | (#43917983)

Good thing Seamonkey's UI is still pretty much Netscape 4's.

Re:Mozilla About To Change Everything, Again. (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year ago | (#43918023)

Also,I use Firefox because (among other things) its interface is not like Chrome. I hate Chrome style interface. If FF forces me to use Chrome style interface I'll switch to Opera - last time I checked it was possible to configure it as I want.

Re:Mozilla About To Change Everything, Again. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43918119)

Yep, I hate how I can't customize Chrome. I love the speed of Chrome, like its rendering engine but even the most basic settings you can't change. You can't change history or even put the tabs below the address bar! I suppose if you're the type of person who doesn't change anything Chrome might be for you, but since I spend most of my time on the computer using a browser, I like one that I can customize to my needs exactly.

Re:Mozilla About To Change Everything, Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918707)

Also,I use Firefox because (among other things) its interface is not like Chrome. I hate Chrome style interface. If FF forces me to use Chrome style interface I'll switch to Opera - last time I checked it was possible to configure it as I want.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha switch to Opera. My dear slashdotter, Opera has fallen off the cliff way before Mozilla.
At this rate of dumbing down the UI the only viable browser will be (puke puke puke) IE10 and it doesn't fucking work on linux.
Dark days ahead for those that want a functionning/configurable browser. :(

Curved Tabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917635)

Curved Tabs. Curved. Tabs.

More change for change's sake? (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#43917649)

If you do this to Seamonkey.... then I don't know what i'm going to do.

Re:More change for change's sake? (3, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#43917791)

I came here to post a similar comment. Keep your damn fingers off of my Seamonkey, you god-damned dirty apes. It's the last bastion for those of us who want an old-school browser.

Also, "What, another major design overhaul? How many is that so far in the past 2-3 years?"

For a certain definition of "design" (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43917657)

Based on the headline, I mistook this story for something that might interest me.

From TFA, it's clear that the design overhaul refers to design in the sense of "graphic design," i.e., superficial appearance, not design in the sense of software architecture. So the headline would be better phrased, "Mozilla is planning changes in how the browser looks."

From experience (4, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43917659)

Don't redesign the UI once it's accepted by the users, you can't possibly improve it, it's already been accepted... just add features as you need to and stay within the design constraints of the UI.

However, if their goal is to have new devs join their team and venting their frustration, then... score!

Re:From experience (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about a year ago | (#43917943)

Don't redesign the UI once it's accepted by the users, you can't possibly improve it, it's already been accepted... just add features as you need to and stay within the design constraints of the UI.

THIS! I wish the hell Microsoft would follow this behavior.... Witness the crapfest known as Windows 8...

Re:From experience (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43918173)

Exactly.

Once something has been learned, its really hard to un-learn it. I don't care if your alternative solution is "better" or not its automatically less usable because I have to change my muscle memory. Incremental changes can be good and in places where the "normal" UI hasn't been solidified change can be good! For example, with smartphones and consoles its quite possible to create a new UI that improves usability, because the technology to interface with the hardware is fairly new (capacitive touch-screens for phones, new controllers for consoles), but when it comes to the keyboard and mouse, just keep it the same, Firefox hasn't added anything beneficial UI-wise in the past 3 or 4 "design overhauls" and instead has added a good 15 minutes of tweaks I have to do to any fresh install.

Re:From experience (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43918239)

Dedicated developers seem to have a brain tumor in regards to this, they're always looking for ways to improve an application, but can't emphasize with the users that they are creating for. My biggest criticism of the Moz team is this disconnect and the fact that anybody with leadership/management experience can spot it in under 5 seconds, yet they haven't remedied it and instead maintain the attitude of we do w/e we cause we're OSI.

Re:From experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918295)

Pretty much, they lost me as a user when they added the so-called "Awesome Bar".

By that time I had lost my irrational need for plugins for every little app and jumped ship to Chrome

I find it somewhat interesting that the new design is very Chrome-like

The big feature is rounded tabs (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43917675)

The new big feature is rounded tabs. Really. I'm so impressed.

Re:The big feature is rounded tabs (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43917769)

But they're moving the menu button!

You totally needed an add-on to do that before.

But yeah the last time I checked out the UX channel there was an awesome new Customize toolbar UI. It was broken at the time, but it looked like it would be great when they got it working.

Also the XP theming support looks nice. Chrome doesn't even bother to go that far.

it looks better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917683)

that may be an argument for some users, but ever since the developers had the debate about keep it tiny in memory against cache pages my user experience with firefox gets worse. today i even find error messages cached, so that i got in trouble once i wanted to reconfigure a router, which had been disconnected before. the developers should concentrate on firefox functionality, when this -in my humble opinion- useless design-contest is over.

Kill the link (5, Informative)

phizi0n (1237812) | about a year ago | (#43917735)

It is very irresponsible to link to a dev branch of firefox without even including instructions on how to set up a separate profile for it. There is a good chance that it will mangle your profile in ways that will be incompatible with the final release or the current release should you choose to go back.

Story has to be BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917763)

Mozilla Plans Major Design Overhaul With Firefox 25 Release In October

Impossible. Firefox should be up to version 246 by October.

Kill off the add-on bar? (5, Insightful)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year ago | (#43917767)

They're outta control with the "minimalistic interface" BS.. No one wants to go through submenu after submenu to get to something.
It's a balance between clutter and functionality. They're obsessed with what they must consider to be a "clutter problem" where there really isn't any; it's not clutter if the user wants it that way. Clutter is in the mind of the beholder.

There IS a clutter problem (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | about a year ago | (#43918163)

There is a major clutter problem. Have you ever looked at a browser on a small 16:9 screen? Count the number of lines of menus/tabs/messages/titles there are on the top and bottom of the already-too-short screen. (Heaven help you if you're also using gnome2.) It's a UI disaster. My solution is to stick with 3:4 screens (and not use gnome), but someday duct tape will not be enough to hold that old thinkpad together.

Re:There IS a clutter problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918297)

What you're saying is Firefox on small screens is less usable because it is designed for larger screens, and that you'd rather have Firefox on _large_ screens become less usable in favour of small screens. The real solution may not require either experience to suffer.

Re:There IS a clutter problem (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#43918639)

I'm currently typing this in Firefox 21 via Ubuntu (with Unity) on a 10" screen, and I don't see any clutter problem. The top line of my screen is taken up with the system tray, including the File, Edit etc. menus. Next row is the tabs. Next row is my URL bar and Search bar. Rest of the screen is all content. What on earth could be further reduced without breaking my experience? Get rid of the tabs? Get rid of the URL & search bars?

At some point, there is nothing to be gained from reduction, only things to be lost. For me, Firefox is now hovering right at that point.

Although I should point out that I'm not really worried; Firefox remains easy to customise to almost any extent you could want- as long as they don't cock that up, the worst they can do to me is inflict the mild annoyance of needing to spend time tweaking settings...

Booo, hissss (5, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43917785)

First: Search for the addon Status-4-evar [sic] to keep/replace your status bar.

Second: Product manager Asa Dotzler, is this the same person responsible for some of the abominable changes in 4.0?

Third: "Separate Bookmark Star from locationBar and merge with Bookmarks Menu item", well that sucks. (Also, if you hate having stop and refresh as one button, edit the tool bar and drag stop to the left of refresh. Who's bright idea was it to combine those two? I want to hit stop, and if I hit it more than once, it starts to refresh the entire page. The exact opposite of what I want!)

Fourth: Tabs under the address bar please. I don't care about your ideas about how it's illogical, I am more likely to want to change tabs than to click on the address bar, and if I need to get to the address bar I can use ctrl-L or alt-D.

Fifth: I hate the Chrome UI, the new MSIE UI and similar. Don't do it to Firefox as well!

Sixth: From the article: "In this vein, there is a discussion of removing the Add-on Bar completely, killing user-created custom toolbars, and having the main toolbar feature a dedicated area for add-on buttons and widgets instead." What a bloody awful idea. What will I do with my Web Developer toolbar [chrispederick.com] than?

Seventh: It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, Mozilla will push these changes through regardless. Just because. We can only hope that addons will be developed to revert the more moronic changes (like getting rid of the status bar).

Re:Booo, hissss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917893)

Seventh: It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, Mozilla will push these changes through regardless. Just because. We can only hope that addons will be developed to revert the more moronic changes (like getting rid of the status bar).

News at 11 :: A user thinks their opinion matters more.

Re:Booo, hissss (4, Informative)

Dagger2 (1177377) | about a year ago | (#43918215)

Sixth: From the article: "In this vein, there is a discussion of removing the Add-on Bar completely, killing user-created custom toolbars, and having the main toolbar feature a dedicated area for add-on buttons and widgets instead."

Heh. "Discussion". This is what discussion means [mozilla.org].

So long as the original design is always an option (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917867)

Firefox has power users, and simple-minded Metro loving clowns as a user base. The former group do NOT mind the later group of idiots being offered a crippled and braindead version of Firefox so long as it remains possible and straightforward to run any future version of Firefox with a proper interface and access to the same powerful plug-ins.

However, we all know that scum rises, and in a big organisation like Microsoft or Mozilla, that scum like to prove its absolute authority by telling, never asking, the user. The rubbish at the very top of management hob-nobs with cretins in high-fashion design houses, and all technical and practical considerations are thrown out of the window. "It's what the kids want" is the mantra of these morons.

Modern computers have enough power and resources to allow the front-end of any important application to be controlled by scripts and the like created by end-users. This should mean that people can have any form of interface they desire on a browser, but empowered users make upper management feel VERY inadequate.

Now we'll see the influx of shills arguing that change is 'essential' and opponents of change are scared, out-of-date oldsters. Of course, they are hoping the betas that fall prey to such a pathetic argument never consider the unchanging fundamentals of their automobile's interface. Change for change's sake is a classic ploy from PR and ad companies, when the market for a given product is considered to be really really stupid. 'New Coke'. New and improved washing powder. You all know how this goes. What most of you do NOT know is how powerful the PR agencies are in working upper management and getting them to spend millions on pointless changes.

There are a million things that need fixing with Firefox, and none of them revolved around dumbing-down the application interface. Of course, finding people to code proper memory management is (apparently) hard, whereas finding clowns to endlessly 'prettify' the interface is easy.

Dear Mozilla, (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917919)

If I wanted such Chrome, I would have installed Chrome. Fuck off.

Signed, the internet

Why Do Users Need Two Chromes? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917967)

It's been widely known for sometime that Firefox developers have been suffering from a terrible case of Chrome-Envy. When Chrome started gaining market share, and Firefox stagnated(market-share wise) there was great gnashing of teeth. What did people see in Chrome? They couldn't figure it out, so their answer was to slowly but surely turn Firefox into a Chrome clone. Rapid release? Check! Remove most of the UI? Check!

Much to their shock, however, this strategy hasn't increased their market share any as users continue to defect to Chrome over Firefox.

In the very near future, Firefox will be almost completely indistinguishable from Chrome. Oh, sure, Gecko and Blink will still have some differences in the way they will handle things, there will be some minor differences in the browsers themselves-but these will be the kind of differences that are completely non-apparent to your average user.

Once this happens, and Mozilla has successfully eliminated everything that made Firefox unique and valuable, people will ask 'why do we need a browser that looks and acts like just like Chrome when we already have Chrome?'

Forgettaboutit..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918011)

I hate the look of Chrome. And if they take my RSS feed tabs away I will be super pissed.

Its obvious Mozilla has no balls anymore and just wants to suck up to Google..

How about OS integratoin (4, Insightful)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#43918051)

Yeah, nice going making a new look and feel that you carry over across OSs. But how about respecting the look and feel the user chose? You know, on gnome, use gnome-like tabs, and gnome-like menus. On plain linux, try and see if the user configured gtk or qt with some theme, and use that. On KDE, use KDE's theme, etc...

It looks like firefox worries more about branding these days than it does about OS integration. Sure, we love firefox, but why don't you make it more integrated into our everyday lives, instead of making it stick out so much? We already have Chrome for that!

Ahhhh (4, Insightful)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#43918053)

Don't you just love change for the sake of change?. Incidentally, can any of you fine /.ers point me in the direction of some Firefox forks so I can be prepared when they force this change on everyone?. I'm not a slave last time I checked, I hate being forced for silly reasons; especially reasons that are the result of jealousy of other browsers.

If they do this, you might as well just use Chromium or Chrome, it would be a whole lot faster at least.

Curved Tabs? (4, Insightful)

Nathanbp (599369) | about a year ago | (#43918153)

I'm not really sure what the point of changing to curved tabs is except to make Firefox look exactly like Chrome. And I'll be pretty annoyed if this takes away the ability to enable the menu bar at all.

No HiDPI support? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#43918207)

According to these mockups [mozilla.com], all the sizes are pixel-based. One would think that with hidpi displays already coming out (including retina), they'be be designing vector-based and some unit relative to font-size or something.

A hostage to fortune. (1)

Robert Frazier (17363) | about a year ago | (#43918343)

One of the things I've liked most about linux (and other *nix systems, such as FreeBSD) is that a system is build up of small programs that you can combine in various ways to get someone that pleases you, the user. That's the unix way. For example, my "desktop" is a combination of a number of programs, including a display manager, window manager, terminal, and file manager. It turns out that I can replace one part (for whatever reason) and get an overall desktop that works in the same way. And it has looked the same for some time. Some might think it reflects an unwillingness to change, others might think it reflects a desire for some consistency and predictability. Take your pick.

This consistency over time is difficult to maintain with the monolithic, graphically orientated programs such as firefox/iceweasel, thunderbird/icedove[1], and the Gimp. This is sad making. What would be nice is if firefox provided basic services, e.g., a first rate rendering engine/Gecko, while making most of the rest of it (e.g., interface) simply a set of addons. That would be the unix way.

[1] For a variety of reasons, I had to move from using mutt and remind to icedove and iceowl. This was over a year ago, and I'm still trying to recover from the shock.

Best wishes,
Bob

NCSA Mosaic (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about a year ago | (#43918369)

maybe going OT here but this morning while digging through files on my Mac G3, I found a Mosaic application (transferred from my Performa back in 1990s) and so I fired it up and see how it views Google and Yahoo. Not that great with a lot of text of the script, but it downloaded those pages fast (this G3 uses dialup). It can still be used to search the web (again fast as it doesn't have any ability to run all them script and cannot download all the ads).

Security not eyecandy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918497)

Please mozilla fire the rounded-corner-transparent-tab and the 3d inspector view guys and make instead firefox implement tls v1.2 please? better sandboxing would be also beneficial. thx, a loyal but disgruntled user.

Fixed address munging yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918635)

Have they fixed that bug where if you go to http://somelocalserver and it doesn't find it, it changes the address to http://www.somelocalserver.com? No? Then stop fucking around with the interface and try fixing some ACTUAL bugs that have only been outstanding for like, the past five years.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...