Print 20 comment(s) - last by bodar.. on Oct 5 at 11:43 PM

With Firefox 3.7, Mozilla is making its browser shinier, and is switching its frame top to a fancier Aero-ized design (see the glass look and lack of File/Edit/etc... in the pic below). It cites Office 2007 and Windows Explorer (Vista) as examples of what it considers optimal interfaces.  (Source: Firefox Developers Wiki)
For better or worse, Firefox is getting Officized

Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular browser behind Internet Explorer.  Mozilla is constantly looking to refine its user interface, engine, and features.

Now it's turning to a surprising source for inspiration -- Microsoft.  Mozilla wrote in their developers wiki, "Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, the menubar has been systematically removed from Windows applications built by Microsoft and other vendors. It has been replaced with alternatives like the Windows Explorer contextual strip or the Ribbon found in Office 2007. The Ribbon UI is now also used in Paint and Wordpad for Windows 7."

Mozilla is not adopting a ribbon, but will be adopting a similar approach in cleaning up its menu bar.  It says that the perks of the change will be giving the browser window more space, something nice for netbooks.  it will also bring the Windows Aero Glass effect, currently only in the frame, to the entire controls strip.

Currently Firefox just isn't shiny enough says Mozilla.  Writes the company in its development notes, "Firefox feels dated and behind on Windows. Issues include the absence of Glass, anemic purple toolbar color on Vista, tall and bulky UI footprint, element overload, inconsistent toolbar icon usage/style, lack of a tactile look and feel and perhaps too great of a divergence between the look on XP and Vista/7."

Under the current plan, the new look will be rolled out with Firefox 3.7 set to air in March 2010.  Users will be able to switch between the new and old look by clicking the "ALT" key inside the Firefox frame.

Mozilla is still open to suggestions, though, and the change isn't set in stone.  Writes Mozilla, "This direction is at the team proposal stage, to be approved by drivers and subject for constructive community feedback."

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RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By mindless1 on 10/3/2009 9:52:13 PM , Rating: 3
It's the principle you are missing. Leave the defaults alone, if someone wants this then a virtue of firefox is it can take add-ons. Requiring people to click even once to keep everything the same is always a decision made in poor judgment.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By wolrah on 10/4/2009 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 1
So Windows 95 should have come with the Windows 3.1 Program Manager running by default? XP, Vista, and 7 should all run in Classic mode out of the box? People are fucking idiots, if you want them to do something a different way, be it better or not, you have to force them to. If it really is worse, you can switch it back yourself. Mozilla is doing it right. Change the defaults, but allow the user to set things back if they prefer. Otherwise the lazy and apathetic masses will never see the new feature.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By mindless1 on 10/4/2009 9:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think people need to be forced to do something a different way?

Let them choose how to use the computer they own.

There's nothing apathetic and lazy about simply wanting to use a computer for real world work, not be a monkey fascinated by a shiny new toy.

By bodar on 10/5/2009 8:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
What is the problem, as long as they are ultimately given a choice? You act like they make it impossible to change ANYTHING about the new UI.

Here's some examples:
Reverting to the XP Start Menu in Vista --

or how about:

Disabling Aero in Vista --

If you want to completely disable the Aero interface, click the Adjust for best performance checkbox. The Windows Vista interface will look very similar to the one in Windows 2000 but will not eat so much of your system's resources.

Wow. So easy, even a monkey could do it. If you like your UI to look like Win2000, awesome, then change it. Just quit crying about it.

By bodar on 10/5/2009 11:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would be a poorer decision not to enable new interfaces/features by default? How are people supposed to know that they're even there? Most people are only going to be prompted to explore the option menus if they don't like something. Sometimes a new UI is better than the old one, and other times it isn't. The only way to know is to try it.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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