Why Tabs are on Top in Firefox 4

(best viewed in full screen)

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In the Firefox 4 nightly builds, and in Firefox 4 Beta 1, we are changing the default tab position so that tabs are on top.  This is a preference that users can change by right clicking on any of their toolbars.  Moving the default tab position is obviously a significant and to some extent controversial change to the Firefox UI, which is why we made the video above to help explain our rationale.

Contributors who are active in the Mozilla community will know that this debate literally goes back for years.  So in some respects this video will serve as quick summary of all of the different arguments both for an against the change.  But the more interesting part isn’t about looking back, it’s about looking forward.  Recently modern browsers have been transitioning to placing tops on top, and that decision isn’t arbitrary, it isn’t about fashion.  The change to placing tabs on top isn’t about one browser versus another browser, it’s about the evolution of the Web as a platform.

 

Some of the Mockups Used in the Video

Tabs on bottom

Tabs on top

Conceptual Model of Tabs on Bottom

Conceptual Model of Tabs on Top

Conceptual Model of Firefox 3.5 (this mockup wasn’t used in the video, but is interesting nonetheless)

App Tab – Pandora

App Tab – Hypothetical HTML5 Map application

App Tab – Hypothetical HTML5 Spreadsheet application (spawned by one of the user’s app tabs, so it is has the privilege to provide its own interface)

Firefox Tab Based Library Window

Firefox Site Identity Based Notification System

Mouse Distance

Mouse Distance with the Window Edge

Mouse Distance, Bounce Off of the Window Edge (not included in the video)

 

Feedback

Please use the comments below for any questions or feedback.

386 comments

  1. “Recently modern browsers have been transitioning to placing tops on top”

    Opera has tabs on top since 2004-2005, so by “recently” and “browsers” do you mean Chrome?

    Safari and IE, as far as I know, don’t have plans to put tabs on top… So about what browsers are you talking about?

  2. If you’re placing tabs on the top, please get rid of the wasted space between the \Firefox\ button and the \Minimize, Maximize, and X\ buttons.

  3. its look like a Chrome,….

  4. Side tabs are the future!

  5. The real story here is not moving tabs to the top, but rather the fundamental shift in ideology away from Firefox acting like a first-class native citizen on whichever platform it’s running on and towards Mozilla defining its own unique UI guinelines instead. Moving tabs on top is simply the most prominent example of that shift in ideology.

  6. Stephen Thorne

    Why are the tabs on the top? For years I’ve had tabs down the left hand side in by browser, using an extension that allows a collapsible tree structure of tabs. There are many such extensions available.

    It continues to stun me that people don’t do this more – especially on widescreen monitors where it makes a huge amount of sense.

  7. Alfred Kayser

    My themes do already support tabs on top and the app-menu. They even merged the two toolbars to be more like the mockups for FF4. Download the latest FF nightly, and apply Walnut, Walnut2 or Nautipolis version 1.8.62 on it. Screenshots of this are on:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/123/
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10610/
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/122/

  8. @jrk: “And transitioning, here we see tabs placed on top and a lot of you will note that this is a configuration that’s been used by both Opera and Chrome.” At about 0:30 in the video, before your quote appears.

  9. @jrk: “And transitioning, here we see tabs placed on top and a lot of you will note that this is a configuration that’s been used by both Opera and Chrome.” At about 0:30 in the video, before your quote appears.

  10. I’m with you, Stephen — having tabs in a vertical column orientation is especially useful if you use many tabs at once. Those who are skeptical need only consider how lengthy lists of information are presented elsewhere, from phone books to bullet points.

    Casual tab users may not have such a desire, but since I started using vertical tabs several years ago (context: http://torley.com/why-my-web-browsers-vertical-tabs-rock-hardcore ) I’ve continued to enjoy it.

  11. Even though I like tabs on the bottom, I think tabs on top should be default. If anyone cares enough to change it, or has a personal opinion on it like I do, we can easily change it to be on the bottom. However if someone is new to the browser or just trying out something new, they will be getting a taste of the “new” tabs on top thing without shoving it in their faces. And if they don’t like it they also can easily change it to be on bottom.

  12. during the video, you talked about the how currently the controls (back, forward buttons, etc.) for each individual tab are being shared in the firefox level, and that reminded me of the OSX UI. I personally like UI of OSX because I think it is more consistent compare to Windows’s UI, and my argument would be the menubar of every (or most) programs will be always on top. I wonder what you think about that.

  13. Jrk, safari’s tabs are on top at least on the windows version.

  14. Be decisive! Everything is a bloody preference in Firefox, you’re making Mozilla Suite all over again. Just pick whatever your usability studies support.

    You did do usability studies, right?

  15. Yeah, I would third allowing tree-style tabs on the left/right of the window. It’s very useful and much more efficient than the standard tabs-on-top model.

  16. Why not have tabs at the very edge of the window, even when Firefox is not in fullscreen mode?

    This configuration gives you five positives and introduce a new negative (it’s harder to move the window around).

    My guess is that with tabs (as opposed to new windows), people don’t need to move windows around much, but switching tabs is very common.

    In any case, that would be my personal preference.

  17. OK, so for those who haven’t looked at the video (or haven’t got the right video software, who knows?),

    - Tabs-on-top or tabs-between-chrome-and-content (not “on bottom” which would mean next to the statusbar) is a pref.
    - There is no menubar in the video but that is another pref.

    I’m “pro-choice” (and I’m talking computers here, please leave my sex life out of discussion ;-) ), so I give this new concept a thumbs-up.

    Best regards,
    Tony.

  18. A main drawback not mentioned in the video is “eye distance.” Now a person has to spend more effort “looking up.” This becomes pretty significant when a person has to do this every single time they have to check or reach for a tab. Also not mentioned in the video is that many people use the “bookmarks toolbar”, which increases the distance even further.

    Finally, I find that the direct proximity of tabs to window content is being undervalued as well. From personal experience, it is much easier to connect tab titles with window content, than it is to connect a window title with window content.

  19. I thought I remember talk (years ago) that tabs on the bottom actually made more sense because then you don’t have duplicated UI. You have one set of back and forward buttons, one URL bar, etc. Personally I like tabs on the bottom and I guess I’ll be changing the default setting. Thank you.

  20. To echo anonymoose,

    I would fourth allowing tree-style tabs on the left/right of the window. It’s very useful and much more efficient than the standard tabs-on-top model.

    Especially seeing we’re being inundated with ‘widescreen’ monitors.

    Plus allowing it either side caters for the ‘natural’ way of thinking for both Left to Right and Right to Left languages.

  21. I call bull. This is because of Chrome and everyone knows it.

    Tab on top isn’t _bad_ as a default as less chrome is good, but…

    Why not be radical and use the wide-screen so many users have now?

    Tree Style Tabs is a complete game changer.

  22. I have tried tabs on the side multiple times but I never liked it(probably because it loses all connection with the page) and it looked really cluttered.
    Chrome is the only one that does tabs on top the right way. Chrome gets rid of the always useless titlebar. Each tab acts like a real application. The tab goes up to the screen. You can tear a tab and it is as if it was never part of the rest of the browser(this is positive).
    Opera almost has tabs on top but when you move the mouse to the top it selects the titlebar(bad opera!). The tabs still act like part of the browser and feel constrained.
    As long as Firefox has tabs almost on top with the titlebar above it it is useless just like opera.

    Could you make the tab height adjustable so that people with poor motor skills can still easily hit it? Maybe make the tabs larger when the window is not maximized?

  23. Oh and a, not so small, point about the video.

    You were clear and precise but talking, way… way too fast.

    Chipmunks on speed man ;-)

  24. Will there be app-specific context menus for app-tabs? Like windows 7 jumplists?

    And a very important comment regarding app-tabs, will there be other protection from leaving the site than hiding the url-bar? For example i might have email in an app-tab and then i click a link someone sent to me in a mail. Will this always open in a new-tab regardless of the target-attribute? And will you be able to control this with both domain, subdomain and secure vs unsecure connection.

    This is very important, especially when you can’t see the url-bar, take Google Chrome’s program shortcut feature for example. If you make a program shortcut to gmail on a secure connection, then you can click around and ecan nd up on different domains that could easily spoof the loginpage for gmail, and since you think it’s a program shortcut for gmail without any way to verify the address or secureness you can get fooled very easy.

    frankatallone: safari on windows has the tabs on bottom, but they are flipped upside down so it still looks like the url-bar etc is part of the tab-content.

    Btw, tabs on top reaching the top edge of the windows (like chrome) is aweseome.

  25. The_Scrote_From_Lanzarote

    I’m sorry to have to say this but the narration in the video is spoken too fast and monotonous (seriously, it’s more of a pain the less English is a your native language). Please slow down and enunciate a bit more.

    Also, the YouTube video has a higher audio level than the highest available in the embedded one on this page.
    Always nice to first adjust the volume once for the former and then have to jump for the volume controls again when clicking through makes your eardrums bleed.

    You folks really concerned with user experiences? :-p

    /rant

    Love Firefox though! Kudos for the browser, been a user since 0.something ;-) and looking forward to 4.0

  26. They’re putting the tabs on top to mimic chrome. Firefox has been garbage for a browser for the past two years.

  27. A possible affordance for those users who don’t run their browser full screen could be to have the title bar be a \bump\ that the mouse cursor encounters as it passes over the title bar towards the top of the screen, i.e. the cursor sticks to the title bar to make it easier for the user to hit.

    For that few milliseconds, the tabs feel much taller, way past the top of the window, making them easy to grab. The mouse hovers for a second and the tabs get temporary enlarged outlines.

    If the user pauses for longer than the time window they just get the window’s title bar to drag around.

    I should do a javascript proof of concept!

  28. With the use which I have of firefox, tap on top is not possible. Too uncomfortable, I have panel of bookmarks always opened, the first tab is very too much far.

    In Firefox 4.0, problem is a bit the same.
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=553404

  29. [http://static.zooomr.com/images/9270283_a7fba67a12.jpg] shows what tabs at the bottom really means (and I prefer it to tabs on top)

  30. This is what I love about the Mozilla UX team: when they do something, they do it right.

  31. Have you considered putting tabs and url bar all the way to the bottom of the window? It’s radically different, but it solves a lot of problems.

    I think it’s a matter of getting used to but a lot of applications already have functionality on the bottom. Many Twitter applications for example, but also the Dock on OSX and the Task Bar on Windows are on the bottom.

    This also takes away the clutter around the top of the window, because most websites have logo’s headers and buttons at the top. This means 80% of the pixels are clickable but have radically diffrent functions. Some lead you to important parts of a website, but go up 10px and you close a tab… Putting the interface of the application on the bottom means that it’s out of the way and users can click more safely without things going wrong.

    I don’t know if this solves everything, and it might be a matter of taste, but sometimes it’s fun to start from scratch and do something radically different to reset and shake up the usual thinking patterns…

    :)

    http://cl.ly/1ToQ

    sorry for the Safari screenshot by the way, it was just the browser that i had open at the time i made the mockup…

    b.t.w. This is a really quick and dirty mockup, just to show you the idea…

  32. This is what happens when you let OCD people loose without adult supervision in your design team. Holy crap.

    And bring back the damn GO button!

  33. Personally I love Chrome, everything about it. Done

  34. Please stop trying to be Chrome.

    If I liked Chrome’s UI that much, I’d be using it already. It’s a great, speedy browser – but I hate the tabs!

    Presumably those of us who still use FF do so because we LIKE the current UI over IE, Chrome or Opera.

  35. for-ward NOT fow-ard. How anoying.

  36. Very clearly presented and very well made argument for having tabs on top.

    I think the most significant reason (for me) is the emergence of HTML5 cloud app specific navigation which needs to be clear in the view once I ‘land’ onto the application.

    I also like the idea of the address bar fading out of the view when I am using something like GMail and so on.

    10/10 score for presenting this case from me. Well done!

  37. Great video! You really made the case for this change. I was a skeptic; no more. App tabs sound wonderful.

    I worry a little bit that there’s still no built-in option for a vertical tab-bar. I keep 30-50 tabs open regularly, and even with 2560 horizontal pixels, the horizontal layout can’t really keep up. Add-ons suffice for the moment, but I worry that this change will break them. As Firefox moves to become more of an operating platform, this option will likely become more important.

    Stef van der Feen: I agree with having the bottom as an option as well. One additional beautiful thing about this change is that it should allow the tab bar to be put on *any* edge of the window. I don’t think it should be default, since the conflict you describe with web application clickspace will just change to a conflict with operating system controls.

    Rudiger: That title bar space is *not* wasted! It’s critical to the operating system’s window management. It’s where you drag the window from to move it. There’s no way to do that once the tabs fill it up.

  38. I wasn’t going to comment, but having seen all the negative voices here I just want to say that this is great.

    The fact that Chrome has already done this is neither here nor there.

    I just wish you could make the design even more efficient and let the tabs fit in between the “Firefox button” and the window controls on the right.

  39. Ok, I guess the plan is to put the tabs all the way at the top when maximized? Great!

  40. This feature is already implemented in the latest Opera Version and I love it. It isn’t necessary anymore to place the standard features like “Save” or similar on the top of the Browser!
    The main question is, why so late?!

  41. Hamranhansenhansen

    I see WebM is doing its job here: driving me and my ISO standard video player to YouTube. Google FTW.

  42. NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR

    The fact you made it a preference is already an admission of UI defeat. Grow some balls and make a decision.

    Firefox gets worse every version, it’s the new IE especially with the recent focus on values rather than whats best for users e.g the video tag uproar

  43. Surely half of your notification improvements are actually true with the existing notifications? Each tab has its own notifications, which are (admittedly too) easily dismissable?

    Where do buttons for all your favourite add-ons belong?

  44. its look like a Opera…

  45. Tabs on top is the way to go. People are only bitching about it because it’s different, but if you look at it from an objective point of view (e.g. you’ve never used a tabbed browser before), it is clearly the best way to do things for all the reasons you list in your video. They are all very good reasons, and the one minor downside does not even come close to outweighing all the major upsides.

    I agree with what another commenter said. It shouldn’t be a preference. This is the way it should be, period. Anyone bitching about change can go back to MSIE for all I care – they’re living in the stone age already, might as well use a stone age browser.

  46. A very well done propaganda video. It completely ignores some important (and apparently inconvenient) facts against tabs-on-top as the default:

    - The Bookmarks Toolbar is not tab-specific and is awkwardly located between the tabs and the page.

    - With the Bookmarks Toolbar visible, the visual distance and discontinuity one has to navigate when moving from the page to the tab is even greater.

    - With the Bookmarks Toolbar visible, the visual noise one has to navigate when moving from the page to the tab is even greater.

    - What would be the proposed UI solution for the Bookmarks Toolbar? Is it going to be off by default? (that would be bad). Will the user have to click a button to make the Bookmarks Toolbar visible? (thus defeating the purpose of having a quickly accessible set of bookmarks)

    - Long page titles would no longer be fully visible without them being shown in the Windows Title Bar.

    - Page Titles would be at varying locations (wherever the currently active tab is) and thus harder to find.

    - Application tabs are being vastly overrated. Most users will not use them, care about them, or even understand them. Firefox is not and should not be an operating system. At least not in version 4 (too soon).

    Considering that these important drawbacks are being ignored gives the impression that not user-benefit but ideology and immature impulse is the driving factor in forcing through tabs-on-top as the default.

    I have been using tabs-on-top with my Bookmarks Toolbar visible for a few months now and I find it disorienting and inconvenient. I don’t like it, and I suspect most users(1) won’t like it either.

    (1) Chrome and Opera have very small market shares. The vast majority of users (of IE & Firefox) are used to tabs-above content.

  47. While it does make sense to have the tabs at the top in terms of layout consistency, for function it is far more convenient to have the tabs under the toolbar and address bars.

    When using a web browser, I very rarely need to navigate the current page with the address bar, so for the most part its only handy for seeing your URL, which on modern websites is almost pointless due to the length of the address. The most common use for the address bar is to access a new page, yet even this is infrequent, as most sites I visit will be followed links from within pages, bookmarks or external application links.

    In other words, most the functions of the bookmarks bar , toolbar, or application buttons are used for accessing information outside of the current page and open in new tabs.

    The back and forward buttons are most commonly replaced by back and forward mouse buttons on most modern multi-button mice, and for this reason, I also rarely need to access the back and forward buttons. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I needed to use them.

    So what this means for me, is that the most common function I use on my browser is closing or switching tabs between pages, and it makes sense to have that tab as close to the active page as possible, to minimize mouse movement away from that page. With the tabs at the top, I will need to navigate past the address bar, the bookmarks bar and whatever other toolbars I choose to have installed.

    With all this in mind, it makes more sense to have the tabs containing only the web page, and not devices for operating outside that tab, which is what most the other buttons and bars do.

    If I go to fullscreen in the current FF version, I get the maximum available view of the page with minimal interference from toolbars and buttons. I see the tabs, the address bar and the back,forward and home button. This is the way browsers should be moving, not cluttering up tabs with the features of the main window that are rarely used.

    I still believe its a fad.

  48. I’m pretty much fine with any location of the tabs. I do agree with how the design trends are defined among other browsers. However, much concern here is, will Firefox be the faster browser again?

  49. I like em on top personally, it just feels more natural to me.

  50. I’m glad to see Mozilla taking an approach Opera did 7 years ago. Firefox is a good browser but I’ve always been put off by the tab placement. Good work!

    And to people complaining about the distance when having bookmark toolbar: if it’s done like in Opera, the bookmarks are on top of the tab bar.

  51. Oh, great. So now I will have to make my cursor go farther from where it lives most of the time (the web page) to change tabs. Over web developer and other toolbars I have installed. Over my bookmarks bar and the URL.

    Hope there’s an option for putting it back.

  52. The mouse distance to the tabs can be slightly compensated, not only with the maximized UI, but also with the smaller distance to tab specific controls, giving an advantage to who relies heavily on navigation whiting a tab.

  53. I really like what I’ve seen even though I was skeptical at first. I would like to see some way to keep the search bar tab-independent even in “tabs on top” mode.

    Also, I frequently will drag-n-drop selected text to the search bar, but unfortunately this action searches in the current tab instead of opening a new one.

    Thanks for the great explanation!

  54. I totally understand and agree with Reason #1: Conceptual Model. Moving tabs to the top groups all related elements and controls appropriately.

    However, this thought process must be maintained when the Bookmarks Toolbar or other toolbars are added… Meaning, toolbars (when visible) must be even higher than the tabs, but below the overall window controls. When Chrome and Safari first tried the tabs-on-top design toolbars were left below the tabs, which isn’t consistent with the reason behind moving tabs to the top in the first place, and dramatically increases the mouse distance issue. Chrome still places toolbars below tabs, whereas Safari seems to have ditched the tabs-on-top idea altogether. Opera, on the other hand, handles toolbars in a manner consistent with the conceptual model, by placing them above the tabs.

    If toolbars are placed above tabs, which follows the Conceptual Model reason to it’s logical conclusion, then (and only then) will this change make complete sense, and be beneficial to users in the long term.

  55. Just seems like Firefox steals yet more off Opera. On the plus side, Opera has some pretty advanced stuff. So it means Firefox will one day steal it all and have advanced stuff.

    Advanced stuff, hooray!

  56. After watching the video I’m convinced that this is the right decision. However, the intro text says that it will give a summary of arguments for and against the change.

    I only saw an argument against it. Aren’t there any others?? Or is the descriptive text wrong?

  57. btinc, try taking a step back and reading the page – “This is a preference that users can change by right clicking on any of their toolbars. ”

    It’s hardly a long post.

  58. @btinc – Did you read past the headline? The second sentence tells you that you can change this setting. Or are you just looking for an excuse to complain?

  59. @btinc In the first 30 seconds of the video, they say it’s a preference that can be undone. They also say in the text that it’s only ‘the default’.

  60. Random Commenter

    What this is in reality is just taking ideas presented by the competition and coming up with rationalizations to cover it.

    That being said, the real problem is joining in on the minority of backward thinkers who’ve gotten this less than wonderful idea about violating the basic functionality and guidelines of the platforms themselves – in this particular case, screwing up the titlebar on Windows with nothing but negative effects. And why’s that? Yep, you guessed, because some other browers have done it too. Which in itself is no excuse.

    Please, for the love of what ever deity you believe in, leave the OS functionality as is. This implementation has no benefits apart from admiration from simpletons who call these kind of things “cool” (because you have more translucent areas in the interface, yee-haw!) and ruins the core user experience familiar from pretty much every other application on the platform apart from the VERY few misguided ones. And seriously, anyone thinking of replying with a list of them, starting with naming MS’ own apps, don’t. It’d be called ‘missing the point’.

    I’m all for replacing the tab position especially if and when it’s a user configurable thing. It’s the other things that bother me.

  61. This looks good and Im glad you are really thinking hard about your GUI changes. But, no offence intended, if you spent just half the time you spent on this into making firefox load faster, fixing the smooth scroll jerkiness, and optimizing its code so it doesnt just keep using more and more memory the more sites you visit, then maybe I wouldnt have to try so hard to think of a reason why I am using firefox over Chrome when asked by chrome users.

    Plus you might be able to update firefox faster if you spend less time time worrying about things like what effect would making users move the mouse a quarter of an inch more have.

  62. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who’s left a comment here that’s rationally outlined support or critique of the approach, and brought new information to the debate (such as the effort required by adding visual distance, or how tabs-on-the-side could take advantage of wider aspect ratio screens).

    At the same time, I’d like to let people know that blog comments are not the place for ad hominem attacks or thoughtless comments. Please remember that unlike YouTube or Slashdot, humans actually read what you’re writing here. Take the time to at least be polite, please.

  63. Basically from 1-4 the arguments are bogus. There are no ui conceptual model, for instance. The ui must serve the user, not some imaginary pr concept. If the ui steals time from the user, than it is a bad ui.The google fade in is a prime example of this, also chrome’s tabs on top.
    Its a good marketing gimmick, “look tabs on top, woaa, so excitingly creative, its “different” ” nothing more. I guess you better off not copy google these times ui -wise. But the height of the “arguments” is “gee, the notification hides the tabs if they aren’t on top” .. gee, than you can draw it maybe 15px lower ?

  64. Excellent!

    I liked so much.

    If you put the Firefox orange button before home icon, you can enable more effects and options in Firefox menus.

  65. You’ve conveniently left out one thing – toolbars.

    All toolbars – Yahoo, Google, bookmarks, other addons, etc. etc.

    How do they fit into your conceptual model?

  66. What I’m missing in the video is discussion of the bookmarks toolbar, which actually breaks the whole “tab-bound elements below the tab bar” thing…

  67. Tabs on top turned out to be one of my favorite things about Chrome.

    Initially, I thought ‘huh?’ And about four seconds later, I decided I really liked it. Couldn’t explain why – it just seemed more orderly.

  68. that is all very well, except the search box doesn’t make sense in a per-tab context.

    The search box is ‘global’, it should be on the same strip as the tabs if the tabs are on top.

    If I click to another tab and the previous search term I used in the search box is deleted because you’ve made a global concept like search per-tab, that would be extremely annoying.

    The other point you are missing is that the location bar should not be used to over-write the current tab. This is one of the first things I disable. Therefore unless I open a new blank tab first, then type in the URL, it is conceptually bizarre to type a URL in a tab-specific location bar when i know I want the subsequent page to open in a new tab because it’s a NEW site.

    I just hope you intend to forever maintain the current UI as an easy option. I can foresee you making an argument in the future to get rid of it.

    - make the notifications 15px lower, brilliant point that cuts a swathe through conceptual theory :)

    - where do toolbars go? Great question :)

    - the preface that the anybody who disagrees with you or has argued against tabs on top in the past is, in effect, preventing the ‘evolution of the web as a platform’ is completely condescending and demonstrates a lack of objectivity.

  69. What’s with all the complaining about mouse distance? I mean, there’s the really great thing called keyboard shortcuts, right? Like… amazing. Totally. ;)

    Maybe it’s not globally as common as was I’ve seen, but it seems like a lot of “power users” are using keyboard shortcuts. For the non power users, it strikes me that clear communication is a heck of a lot more important than an extra 50 pixels.

    But in any case, it’s worth mentioning/reminding about keyboard shortcuts. And if mouse distance still pisses people off, someone write a plugin that gives you a little pie menu right under your mouse. Whoooo.

  70. Another vote with Michael Kaply: I use several toolbar buttons – though they are not GOOG toolbar buttons. These are carefully omitted from the scheme. And as a result lots of stuff is getting squished into a bottom-of screen scheme (seemingly) just for a “stylish” or “cute” tabs-on-top setup.

    With the current setup, tabs are still properly and functionally adjacent to pages; room for buttons, bookmarks, address, page title above; room for edit “find” and a couple other add-ons (like colorzilla, xmarks, and download manager, and forecastbar) below.

    Think I’ll stick with it instead of cramming content rightwards with a sidebar: hopefully FF won’t ENFORCE the new standard as the FF funder GOOG did!

  71. Smart Positioning.

    Wide-screen = Left Vertical stacking.
    Small-screen = Top Tabs.
    Tiny-screen = Mobile Mode.

    Of course you have to check on startup?

    And you break the, support, expectation of new users out of the box uniformity.

    Still one size does not fit all…

  72. “What about the bookmarks toolbar? Or web developer? Or Google Toolbar? Etc etc”

    When you left-click on a bookmark in the bookmark toolbar, what happens? The bookmark opens up in the current tab. The controls on the web developer toolbar work on the current tab. Google toolbar show information about the current tab. Stumbleupon? All of those buttons affect – again – the current tab.

    It makes more sense to me to put these toolbars in the context of the currently open tab.

    Are there any toolbars that don’t follow this paradigm?

  73. Love it, thanks Moz! Looks like an improved version of Chrome/ium layout, which I find much more aesthetically pleasing and space saving than Firefox’s current setup. Keep up the great work!

  74. I don’t see really any reason why tabs shouldn’t be on top. It would be nice if websites (applications) would be able to define the not need of browser UI so that they can take full advantage of the space and, as you shown, use their own UI.

  75. This is the reason becouse we use firefox, you think in the users.

    thanks!!

  76. I think the real issue here is the App Tabs. With tabs on top, App Tabs are easy, with tabs on bottom, it becomes more cumbersome. In my mind Chrome uses tabs on top for 1 reason: web applications. As we begin to see web sites as applications instead of documents (which is how most browsers have seen them from the beginning) this makes more sense because it aids in use as well as promotes this “application” called Gmail (or Facebook, or whatever..) to the same place in the general interface of a computer as an application like Firefox, Microsoft Word, etc. Chrome has a reason for this… it’s called Chrome OS. Also, think about this. Chrome, in the context of Chrome OS.. (to my knowledge) can not easily multi-task. It can multi-tab.. but you live in the browser, so you don’t really have the opportunity to switch between a browser window and a spreadsheet program. Again, Chrome has to have tabs on the top because of this. I’m not convinced that Mozilla has a reason to do this other than pandering to those who have jumped ship to Chrome only because it has Google’s name in front of it.

  77. small request please..

    could you make the favicon appear in the Bookmarks Bar in the Mac version instead of just the name ?!!

    it help greatly to recognize the favorite website and add some eye candy to the browser …

  78. Hey there!

    Great job and very informative video. But I feel one option is completely left out of the picture: Why not place tabs at the bottom of the browser window – instead of just switching the controls and the tabs bars put both completely at the bottom.

    The reasoning for this is the following: More and more computers nowadays are laptops. Since laptops have the keyboard attached to the screen the top half of your desktop is far better visible than the bottom half – since the bottom half will be on level with your hands and arms. (Actually this is also the case for separate screens but for laptops it is simply more obvious.)

    So, to keep the actual content as the priority and not the browser it would be better to get the part you look at naturally (the top) for content and the bottom for controls since – at least I assume so – you are more interacting with the content (reading, playing, writing) than with the controls – the controls (including the tabs bar) just need a very short glance for each change.

    Putting the content on top should in that way be useful for protecting your eyes and limit the strain – and make reading and working in the browser more relaxed. – Who prefers it in the middle can still scroll down (the page top is usually anyway wasted on site logos) – but if there are toolbars you cannot get it to the complete top.

    I hope its clear what I mean: Take all bars and put them right above the windows taskbar, leave the top of the screen free of any controls and instead put the content there. Don’t do the same as Chrome… do it better ;)

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. In general the main problem would be the “change” factor – people would have to get used to it. But since – at least in windows – controls are usually at the bottom (task bar) I don’t see why that is not the case for the browser. Initially adjustment period for former users – yes. But in general for any new browser user it should be a more intuitive experience if they are used to windows – and if they are on linux they should be flexible and IT-savy enough to switch it anyway.

    But either way, great job, I love firefox!
    ~Konstantin

  79. How about tabs in-line with the ‘Firefox’ button on the top? For example:
    [Firefox] [Home] [Tabs ==>]
    [Address bar] [Google Search] [etc]
    This would result in 2 bars on top instead of 3, giving more space for the actual page, and a more aesthetically pleasing effect.

  80. What a great video! You guys have clearly put a lot of thought into this.

  81. I have a few comments:

    The one big comment I have is: you’ve chosen the two most problematic colors for visually impaired – pink and green.

    You should have used other colors, like yellow and blue, perhaps, and texture, like soft vertical striping versus horizontal, for instance.

    Second one, the speech is too fast and slurry. It’s not very easy to understand what the speakers are trying to say, plus there’s not enough time to digest the information being said.

    Third, customization is a good thing – let users choose the best option.

    Fourth, the evolution of the browser is a fashion in a way. Tabs on top are counterintuitive to human thinking hierarchy. The function menu is a wrapper that defines not only the commands but the actual idea of what the tool is meant to do.

    Having tabs on top is like having separate keyboards for dual-screen monitors. Or like trying to read three books at once.

    Dedoimedo

  82. “Opera almost has tabs on top but when you move the mouse to the top it selects the titlebar(bad opera!).”

    Fanboy BS alert.

    GOOD Opera, because Opera lets you use the OS features in Windows 7 to restore windows. Fitts law doesn’t even apply since you have to fine-tune your motion anyway to hit the right tab.

    So you are just talking nonsense.

  83. “As long as Firefox has tabs almost on top with the titlebar above it it is useless just like opera.”

    No, it’s your comment that’s useless. Opera’s implementation is useful because it lets you grab and drag the window.

  84. I just wanted to suggest that the App-Tabs remain stationary. That is they will not be scrolled when the tabs require the “arrows.”

  85. I’m using FF 3.6.4 on win. xp to try and view the HTML 5 video and it doesn’t work. BTW the Flash OOPP support is broken too. The FF plugin running in OOPP crashes almost immediately after start up. FF 3.6.3 is actually more stable with Flash. Plus FF isn’t using less memory on my system. I checked and it’s using 1.5 GB of memory!!!!!! FF 3.6.3 used about 300 – 400 MB or so on it’s worse days with the same number of tabs open. I’m fed up with all the bugs and issues I really am thinking of switching to Chrome. I just don’t get how this stuff can be in beta for so long without these kinds of bugs and problems getting fixed. *Sigh*

  86. Give us THE Choise

    Hmmmmm

    On the top tabs for work on the bottom tabs for funn pages :)

  87. First i really like the new UI of firefox.
    But i think the most logical position for tabs is at the bottom of the window. Infact the position of all menus should be on the bottom.
    Why? just make a screenshot of the whole screen :)
    In Windows+Linux+MacOs(i think) all the UI contorls are positioned at the bottom. You taskbar looks almost the same as your tab bar, why not place the next to eachother? I find that i switch between programs as often as between tabs. It is quite inlogical to place one at the top of the screen ond one of the bottom.

  88. I hope this doesn’t get lost in the sea of comments.

    I believe the tabs-on-top-by-default idea is good. But I do have a few problems with its proposed implementation.

    Firstly, there’s the thing that you cannot possibly hope to hide the navigation bar on App Tabs by default. It’s incredibly inconsistent with the whole of the interface. I have made a fairly detailed post at mozilla.dev.usability explaining my point here: http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.usability/browse_thread/thread/0dd173f268a16f34?pli=1 I know you “the big fish” already read it, but I’m bring it to everyone’s attention once again.

    Secondly, there’s the thing that you cannot possibly hope to steal horizontal space for tabs when the browser is maximized. Technically, the user will maximize the browser to have it as big as possible. If it ends up having less room for tabs, it’s just not going to cut it. This shows itself as a particularly terrible solution when you realize users who want the most room for their tabs will either get them on bottom (less than optimal) or simply stretch the browser window to the borders of their screen, instead of actually maximizing it. This is an absolute nightmare. And I do realize we’re talking about default behavior, but please allow us NOT to have tabs on the title bar (that crap!) when maximized. Because, for this issue, I couldn’t care less about users who can’t go into the options menu, to be honest. I just care about having as much horizontal space for tabs as possible.

    Which leads me to the third point: in the future, and even in Firefox 4, you’ll want to put stuff in the title bar besides the Firefox button and the window controls. This will include the possibility of the user and add-on developers to put add-on icons in the title bar, the place where the future Profile manager will be and all sorts of things. At least with the Profile manager, when you implement it in Firefox 4.n, you are going to regret it if you put tabs on the titlebar when maximized by default.

    PLEASE don’t put tabs there. Please…

    And please read this post :P

  89. Oddly, I don’t think I would use either setting. I’ve always preferred my tabs at the bottom. I mean the bottom. I use tabmix to accomplish this but would prefer to have it native. As longtime classic windows user all my other go gets are at the bottom. I prefer to have the tabs down there too as it is the place on the screen I run too to go get what I need, be it another tab or another application altogether.

    I will take this opportunity to also mention “sticky names” for tabs. In a previous life when I first exposed to tab browsing. Pre-Firefox days. I had the ability to lock the name of the tab permanently regardless of where I had navigated to in that tab. This function was great for maintaining my organization, but I’ve yet to find an effective Firefox alternative.

  90. Digging SilverWave’s idea of browser chrome that fills out (or surrenders) space according to window height/width.

  91. These are my 2.5 cents in addressing some of the five points from the video. I’ll stay on constructive path as much as it makes sense. These new features take FF into a new territory.

    App Tabs are neat feature that will be used a lot. App Tabs don’t need navigation bar, but search box still may be relevant. The question then is are we searching within the App Tab or on the web? Also, is there a UI indicator of whether App Tab is open (has been used in the current session) or not? With different browsers having the same look, the question of predictable and explainable behavior becomes a key in selecting which product to use. Also, location of App Tabs on the tab bar might need to be configurable (left vs. right placement).

    Notifications might be pushed down to the content area of the page. Let’s say have a highlighted content border and visually attach the UI to the border.

    In my mind, it’s confusing to call tabs below navigation bar as Tabs on the Bottom. One might think that the tabs would appear at the bottom of the window when this option is selected. Tabs Above Navigation Toolbar is the proper somewhat long name.

    Last but the most important aspect of this change is a loss of usability of the main product, the browser. Currently, it a short distance between page content and the next tab with content. To me it’s deal breaker. Because of this and loss of full title bar Chrome was never a contender. In the new design, content navigation still needs to take priority above any new features. Only after this is reconciled, new features will shine.

    As a side note, why maximizing browser real estate is still a priority? That seemed to go away a couple of years back when more people got larger monitors. I almost never use the browser in full screen any more. If needed, there is always F11 to go full screen.

  92. I have already adjusted my firefox 3.6 to get used to the proposed changes.

    This is what I have so far:

    http://silverwav.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/screenshot-tabs-grouped.png

    http://silverwav.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/screenshot-tabs-expanded.png

    All good fun :-)

    I have been using this day to day for a few months now.

  93. Tabs on the side is far superior to tabs on top if you have a widescreen display and more than a few tabs open at a time.

  94. HTML5 video doesn’t work in Chrome 5.

  95. One tangentially related question on the App tabs, which generally sound like a great idea. Will there still be a way to get the current URL of the content? I don’t know how many web apps this would apply to, but in GMail for instance, I can open a lengthy message that I want to get back to, or an active ongoing discussion, and create a bookmark for myself (temporary, of course) to navigate directly to that message string. I agree that the Location Bar is mostly useless for most web apps, but an option in the context menu for the page or tab to place the current URL on the clipboard would be most useful for some at least.

  96. One disadvantage with tabs on top is the very small area in which to grab the window to move it. On my Mac with Chrome, I often accidentally click on a tab where I intended to grab the title bar.

  97. I don’t think it makes any difference really, I suppose fit’s law is at play in the common “maximised” case though. I’m rarely maximised since I got a larger display however.

    (I’d also like to note that the video was unplayable inside Firefox for me, it sucked up all my cpu.)

  98. Agree with all the default decisions here Mozilla – good job!!

    I agree that the search should be per tab – most often I just use my default search, and only occasionally other searches – I hate that the search selection is global and then have to switch the search provider back to the default again after the use of the more obscure search provider.

    Tabs should most definitely be on top – I most often use my browser maximized so agree that the mouse distance is smaller. I disagree with the Opera fans here about Opera – Opera’s maximized tabs-on-top behaviour is horrendous (Chrome’s is superior) – there is an in-between solution that allows both efficient use of Fitt’s Law for a maximized window *and* the Windows 7 ‘drag to restore’ behaviour; I have summarised this solution in the following points:

    -single-click on top 1px row of tabs will switch tabs

    -double-click on tab (including top 1px row) will restore the window and switch to that tab

    -double-click on free space of tab-bar (non-top row of pixels) will open a new tab

    -double-click on top 1px row of free space will restore the window (as windows default)

    -dragging down on tab (including top 1px row) will break off the tab into a new restored window.

    -dragging down on free space of tab-bar (including top 1px row) will restore the window (as Windows 7 default).

    Lengthly discussions on this both here:
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Firefox/4.0_Windows_Theme_Mockups#Tabs-on-top:_does_not_.22take_longer_to_mouse_to_a_tab.22

    and here:
    http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=410301

  99. Tabs on top or bottom no matter for me but i think than this new design is not ergonomic , less than firefox 3.5 and before.

    Why ? because this new design have no menus and no icons by default to do basics functions i need :
    print
    save
    cut
    paste
    search ( in document)
    customize
    help
    history (not seem intuitive)
    bookmark

    Where are they ?

    It is for this reason i prefer mozilla sofware now and dislike all the new microsoft’s software .

    In year 1995 it take to me 10 seconds to know print , save data in Excel the first time.

    Now i lost in these all ‘modern’ design and can’t do same things with the news microsoft’s sofware and prefer the good old office 97 than all recent versions.

    And is for this reason i began to be a Firefox user when IE7 was launched.

    ok these designs are beautiful but not ergonomic.

    @Fred : video work fine for me under Iceweasel ( Firefox 3.5.8 ) under debian lenny

  100. In this context, the new tabbar (on top) is not an advantage :
    http://ikilote.net/Galeries/Autres/Divers/Firefox_3.6vs4pre_Tabs_Dist.png

    This example is valid with gnome and the top bar ?
    http://people.mozilla.com/~faaborg/files/20100625-tabsOnTop/mouseBounce.png

  101. Just my .02$:
    I would prefer to have the tabs in the title bar, at least if the window is maximized. Otherwise this space is wasted. Perhaps not as default setting, but there should be an option (or at least some kind of API to implement it as add-on).

    (In the video at 6:03 there is a mockup showing tabs in the title bar)

    Another interesting point: In Thunderbird (3.0/3.1) it is not possible to use all “application” windows like address book or compose new messages inside tabs. One reason is that there are individual toolbars for each task (browse and read messages, compose, addressbook, calendar, etc.). If these tasks were placed in tabs (on top) then the toolbar would be part of the tab and showing the correct tab wouldn’t be an issue at all.
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=449299

  102. “In year 1995 it take to me 10 seconds to know print , save data in Excel the first time.”

    It’s a browser. You browse the web.

  103. Here’s a possible solution to improve Fitt’s Law for tabs-on-top for those Windows 7 users who have large wide-screen displays and don’t like to maximize their browser. Windows 7 has a two new features that could help: firstly Aero Snap, allowing you to snap a window to one side of the screen; secondly, the ability to maximize a window vertically, but not horizontally. How about if a window is in one of these two modes to also place the tabs at the top-most edge of the screen in the same way as a fully maximized window does?

  104. I hadn’t given a thought to tab placement before this video, but now i’d have to agree that tabs should be on top by default, and if it turns out that i can’t adapt i can always change it back.

  105. I like the tab on top idea. I don’t know why lots of people oppose and complaint about this, since you CAN disable tab on top. I am using Vimperator in Firefox, so I had my toolbar, address bar, search bar, menu bar disable all the time(yeah only left the tab on top). So, it feels no different for me.

  106. Tried to post before, but moderators didn’t allow it – no idea why as my post only contained praise, suggestions for improvement!! :S anyway…

    Good job Mozilla – tabs are definitely better on top and I agree with all the design decisions outlined in this video.

    I like the idea of the search box being tab-specific and not global. Most often I only use my default search provider, and currently find it annoying having to change the search provider back to the default after temporarily requiring the use of a more obscure search provider.

    I also disagree with those Opera fans claiming that the Opera tab implementation is better in a maximized window – the Opera implementation is not better – IMO Opera have completely got it wrong – their implementation is horrendous and completely ignores any Fitt’s Law advantage that may be obtained by having the tabs on top!!

    A balance may be struck between allowing a maximized window with tabs on top and allowing the Windows 7 drag to restore and other gestures. This can be done by implementing the following mouse gestures for a maximized window in Windows 7:

    -single-click on top 1px row of tabs will switch tabs

    -double-click on tab (including top 1px row) will restore the window and switch to that tab

    -double-click on free space of tab-bar (non-top row of pixels) will open a new tab

    -double-click on top 1px row of free space will restore the window (as windows default).

    -dragging down on tab (including top 1px row) will break off the tab into a new restored window.

    -dragging down on free space of tab-bar (including top 1px row) will restore the window (as Windows 7 default).

    See also the lengthy discussions on this topic here:
    http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=410301
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Firefox/4.0_Windows_Theme_Mockups#Tabs-on-top:_does_not_.22take_longer_to_mouse_to_a_tab.22

  107. Wow! What a major improvements over firefox 3.0.6!

    http://yfrog.com/i3schermafdrukdzonecomwhyp

    Maybe mozilla could have put all their efforts in a real innovation…

  108. tabs on sides f—–s!
    why do people still think that screens are getting higher?
    and the UI…. yeah, I am using GNOME, so how does thin benefit me?

  109. Good job Mozilla – tabs are definitely better on top and I agree with all the design decisions outlined in this video. FYI, I almost always use my browser maximized.

    I like the idea of the search box being tab-specific and not global. Most often I only use my default search provider, and currently find it annoying having to change the search provider back to the default after temporarily requiring the use of a more obscure search provider.

    I also disagree with those Opera fans claiming that the Opera tab implementation is better in a maximized window – the Opera implementation is horrendous (Chrome’s implementation is superior) – Opera’s implementation completely ignores any Fitt’s Law advantage that may be obtained by having the tabs on top!!

  110. Here’s a possible solution that allows the Fitt’s Law advantages when maximized and having the tabs are at the extreme top edge of the screen, whilst still allowing the Windows 7 drag to restore and other gestures. This can be done by implementing the following gestures for a maximized window in Windows 7:

    -single-click on top 1px row of tabs will switch tabs

    -double-click on tab (including top 1px row) will restore the window and switch to that tab

    -double-click on free space of tab-bar (non-top row of pixels) will open a new tab

    -double-click on top 1px row of free space will restore the window (as windows default).

    -dragging down on tab (including top 1px row) will break off the tab into a new restored window.

    -dragging down on free space of tab-bar (including top 1px row) will restore the window (as Windows 7 default).

    This has been discussed in depth on the Opera desktop wishlist discussion board, and on the Mozilla development wiki, but posting the links to these discussions here seems to not get through the moderators! Let’s just say that on the Opera board there are a lot of people that don’t like the Opera behaviour!

  111. … note also that in a maximized Windows 7 Google Chrome window that between the tabs there are also small triangular areas of glass that allow you to drag the window.

  112. I would like to add my own opinion: Tabs on top should not be default on fresh install. Also, the google thing needs to go away completely. As per the “notifier” blocking the tabs in a tabs on bottom scenario… the simplest fix…. make it appear lower.. how hard is that? Don’t let your ability to be a slacker programmer help make people think tabs on top is better because you can’t figure out how to code the pop-up lower down.

    As for full page or not for browser, I use both at the same time, all day long.

    And once more harsh criticism… about paging forward or paging back… I have never seen or talked to anyone who thought that page forward or page back would cycle through the tabs. So where you come up with the logic that there is confusion there, I have absolutely no idea… maybe you smoked some good crack, I don’t know.

    This is how a default install should look, minus the skype:
    [img]http://i49.tinypic.com/kb1vzc.jpg[/img]

    http://i49.tinypic.com/kb1vzc.jpg

  113. Interesting stuff, thanks for posting

  114. If tabs are on top, we are still showing the page’s title in the same area as normal, correct? I would hope so, considering how many websites have page titles that don’t fit within the tabbar’s space. I only ask because these mockups don’t show any title in that area and I wasn’t sure if it was just left out to keep the mockup simple.

  115. Really, what an important issue, tabs above or below the web address. “I know this is ridiculous” – this is the only true statement in the whole video. Wake up people and work on something really important – memory leaks, efficiency, 64-bit Firefox, etc. who cares about tab placement?

  116. I have to agree with Josh, you can use add-ons to take care of the tab issue, and if it is a simple fix, I am sure that is why they will do it.

    One think I would like to point out, you should test your player in Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit. Not working well guys…

  117. @Slaa : you had no understand what i said : it is not because is beautiful than something is ergonomic, quoting Excel was just a sample.

    Menu is an old concept sure but everyone understand it .

    In this interface i don’t know how to do things except typing an url or make search on the web.

    Right click on the tab is not intuitive for all persons .

    For me evething must be possible with left buttons ( menu or icon ) and by default

    and what is this button list Firefox ?

    And agree with Josh : first thing important for me is efficiency and not lot memory use …

  118. If you place the tabs on top by default I’ll move to another browser rather than having to customize the browser on every computer I come across.

    Why?

    Because I’m used to it and I’m ignorant when it comes to changes.

    What is the benefit of placing tabs on top?

  119. I like my tabs at the very bottom of the screen, by the status bar. I hope this is still a valid option in the new firefox, otherwise, I hope plugins will allow me to move it there.

  120. I’m like FV, I like my tabs at the complete bottom, right above status bar. I know quite a few people that run Fox this way with Tabsmix plus, if you break this you will lose a lot of users. It would be much better to integrate this into Fox than what you propose

  121. Hi Alex,

    two crazy ideas for humanized and improve the information visualization of the URLs in Firefox 4.5

    http://www.tentandote.com/2010/06/27/two-ideas-for-humanized-and-improve-the-information-visualization-of-the-urls-in-firefox-4-5/

    from Madrid, cordial greetings

  122. Awesome analysis and conclusions. However, grouping search within the tab is wrong and basically a design copout. I’m recognizing that where to put it otherwise is tough but moving it into the tab is simply incorrect and a holdover from the previous tabs on bottom model where the address bar was thought of as grouped with the search. You are right is recognizing that it isn’t. Moving it into the tab makes no sense and substantially compromises its usefulness.

    Thanks and otherwise really great work.

  123. I turn off the navigation toolbar in my setup. So, tabs on top or bottom doesn’t matter to me as long as the option of turning off the navigation toolbar remains. For me, the navigation toolbar is a space-wasting nuisance. I use keyboard shortcuts to navigate.

  124. Do it exactly like Chrome/Iron. Actually since Chrome is
    already OpenSource you can just copy the whole
    code and rename it Firefox, to save lots of time and
    effort :D

    Seriously, every time i try FF it has gotten worse. At
    least it has it’s own nishe.

    Why not implement something useful, like Opera shortkeys
    z=Back
    x=Forward
    Shift-x=Next

  125. I disagree with you u64 – Chrome is far from perfect. I hate all the little lock-ins and reporting back to Google. Chrome is just there to make Google easier to access – even if you like Google as your default search engine, it is often useful to use other search providers – Chrome just makes this difficult by removing the search box.

    I also think the way the Firefox displays results in its Awesomebar much clearer than in Chrome.

  126. Regarding Tabs on Top, I have one comment about the design direction.
    What about Adblock Plus, obviously the setting is for the entire browser, but with the button appearing within the same pane as the address bar doesnt this now confuse the user more than having it the other way?
    http://imgur.com/QtgwF.png

  127. @u64

    “Why not implement something useful, like Opera shortkeys
    z=Back
    x=Forward
    Shift-x=Next”

    In Firefox,
    Alt + Right Arrow = Forward
    Alt + Left Arrow = Back

  128. I use keyboard shortcuts a lot.

    What counts for me is the amount of screen estate that is taken away.

    I don’t really care about the tabposition.

    What i would love to see is a manner to make firefox behave the same way as in fullscreen mode (hiding the title and menubar, showing the tabbar on hover) while not occupying the whole screen.

    Add to this some shortcuts to show the tabs (instead of having to hover over them), and my user experience is getting a bit better.

  129. So, the mockups look like Opera 10.60. How is Mozilla innovating anything?

  130. Emerson Prado

    It’s sure a nice improvement. But, above it all, the single most important thing is that tabs keep their ability to handle keyboard shortcuts, even when flash or other apps are running.
    BTW, pls make it easier on non-native English speakers. The audio is somewhat crappy and the guy speaks quite fast.
    Best regards,
    Emerson

  131. Well, Opera copied from Firefox 4 mockups (but they released it before Firefox 4).

  132. Please can the Firefox team be extremely careful to avoid the mistake of Opera and ensure that you can still double click on the browser window’s blue title bar to maximise.

    If you try Opera 10.50 on Windows XP you’ll find that double clicking the browser title bar actually opens a new tab. Whilst it is possible to avoid this you need to be super accurate with your mouse.

    This is a small point but one that I believe is pretty important.

    Cheers

  133. Shawn Stringfield

    I lobe the tabs at top, it saves room and just seems more logical. I like the way Opera displays its tabs at the top and still leaves room at the top for the title. I feel this is where Chrome gets it wrong. The title is not readable in some cases.

  134. ok i like the ideas stated here but PLEASE choose another person to speak the text or tech him how to speak in a coherent way.
    it is very difficult and stressing to follow the sentences because he is so fast and blurs one sentence or idea into another. this way your ideas will not reach the audience in a professional way, especially if non-native speakers are you target, too.

  135. WOW! Firefox 4 looks so much better. It’s badly in the need of a UI revamp. Clearly you’ve taken lots of ideas from Chrome and Opera (particularly Chrome) in the UI department.

    The core engine of Firefox 3.6 can still easily hold it’s own but next to the fresh look and feel of Chrome or Opera, it definitely feels dated.

    I just hope it opens as quickly as Chrome does. We all expect browsing speed to improve, it’s a given but Firefox takes noticeably longer to open than any of the other Big 5 browsers. I live with it but it’s definitely an annoyance.

    The look and load speed of Firefox is really my only problem. It’s otherwise a fantastic browser, that easily beats the competition (mostly because it can be tweaked so much and has such a good extensions library). I do wish it used less memory too!

    Personally I dislike how Chrome opens a new tab for History/Bookmarks/Downloads though. It’s messy and it’s a shame to see Firefox is getting the same. I often have loads of tabs open and the last thing I want is another tab (mixed in with my existing tabs) to see these. A new window is much cleaner. It’s especially cleaner for the Downloads window. Inside a tab means it takes longer to navigate to, check how much longer before it finishes and go back to the browser. I can see the Downloads tab getting lost with loads of tabs either side of it.

    If you’ve only got a handful of tabs open it’s one thing but many have loads of tabs (I can have 20-30+). With 30 tabs open and I want to check how far a download has got, it will be put at the end (or next to the existing tab) of these open tabs and will be a nightmare to find, then close. In a window it’s kept neatly separate and I can quickly Alt-Tab, check and go back to Firefox.

    The point here is: Downloads/History/Bookmarks “aren’t” part of the browsing a website experience. They’re required functions of a web browser but don’t take part in the browsing experience.

    I do hope Firefox 4 lets you revert these back to windows! Otherwise it looks ace.

    App Tabs is clearly there to compete with Chrome OS. Neat idea.

  136. p.s – Tabs on top definitely looks better. You state the case clearly and have won me over.

  137. Pardon? Please get a presenter with a normal speaking speed

  138. Comment and a question:
    I really like tabs on top, but two things about that:
    1) The Tabs should be _absolutely_ on top, like in Chrome. Even the menu bar should be below, so that when we want to edit the tab, we can move our mouse to the edge of the screen quickly.

    2) There should be a way so we can change where we want the tab based on what the windows is like– for example, if it isn’t maximized, I want the tab on bottom, and if it is maximized, I want the tab on top..

    As for the question: I’m using FF 4, how do I config an application tab? Thanks.

  139. I think this is a good idea, but I also like Opera’s options of having all toolbars & tabs on the bottom of the viewport. With the Windows taskbar on bottom, it just makes sense to keep all controls down there, too, and it makes the top of pages look nice and clean. Opera inverts the tabs as you’d expect.

  140. i hate opera default tab style..

    http://i45.tinypic.com/b87a05.jpg

    need more improvements of background not gui!! even not copying!
    new different efficiently libs
    thread optimization ?
    multicore quad core optimization?
    sse3/ ssse3/ssse4 optimization ?
    gpu power for xul not only javascripts! (jetpack)
    less paging , less i/o hdd..

    even so,
    Congratulations!
    Thanks.

  141. Let me chime in with those asking where the toolbars go.

    What about the menu toolbar? Following the design principles in this video implies that this will be split into a tab specific menu toolbar below the tabs and an overall menu toolbar above the tabs. That seems awful.

  142. Brand new to firefox and Thunderbird. Set up new email account for thunderbird: consciousmedia@thunderbird.com but i have searched and searched for a way to actually FIND where I can sign in to it…sadly, i cannot find the sight. with yahoo, their home page has a link to click that says, “mail”. where can i find this on the mozilla firefox page? i down-loaded firefox 3.3.6 , then the thunderbird email. please help! maire j warring

  143. Brand new to firefox and Thunderbird. Set up new email account for thunderbird: consciousmedia@thunderbird.com but i have searched and searched for a way to actually FIND where I can sign in to it…sadly, i cannot find the sight. with yahoo, their home page has a link to click that says, “mail”. where can i find this on the mozilla firefox page? i down-loaded firefox 3.3.6 , then the thunderbird email. please help! maire

  144. I like your thinking, but not your conclusion.

    If the user has multiple rows of tabs (I typically have over 100 open), tabs on top makes no sense at all. For starters, it would result in the search and address bars shifting up and down depending on the number of rows. Secondly, it would also move the tabs away from the window that they’re controlling. Finally, the tab metaphor suggests a file folder, in which the tab is PART of the folder. Separating the tab from the main browser window breaks this metaphor.

    Users are going to be using more tabs, not less. It’s a big Internet, and there’s more information to manage; you’re putting more Firefox panels and controls into tabs; and Web apps are going to be using tabs. Until you solve the tab-management problem once and for all, tabs should stay put.

  145. I personally already use Strata40 and it’s components to have a “Firefox 4″ mock up put to use. Personally these are my suggestions and what I think would benefit Firefox the most.

    1. Move the title to the status bar. The status bar has a lot of unused space and some of that can be filled up. This would enable you to push the screen-estate further and only use one bar for tabs/windows buttons/ff menu button.

    1b. With all that in mind, dragging a window should be enabled one ANY part of the Window UI that is visible (in between tabs, a small space near the windows buttons, a small definable pixel bar at the top most screen space, etc. etc.)

    2. I agree with the tabs on top because it moves them more out of the way and increases screen-estate. Which is a far greater benefit over having to move my mouse (which moves fast) a whole 20 pixels more. Boohoo. I got used to it, you can too.

    3. For those that keep 100+ tabs open, your insane. Utilize Bookmarks, Apptabs, and Bookmarks toolbar with only icons, and RSS Feeds on your desktop or main page. This will clean up your tabs a lot. I generally check upwards of 50-100 sites daily, hint: close the ones your done with.

    4. I would like more control over certain icons on the main bar for instance the Skype icon cannot be removed other than to remove the add-on.

    5. I’m personally excited for the use of HTML5 extensively and the way it plays on the UI. I’m a UI designer myself and I find that screen-estate is the MOST important thing to streamline. Ever. People will adjust. It’s not like you have to worry about I.E. They shoot themselves in the foot at every release, and Opera still consists of many bugs pertaining to the web/interface, and nothing else compares to Firefox in intuitiveness.

    So for everyone complaining about having to switch every time you go to a different computer for different locations/users: I’m sure your just doing a google search and various surfing, you can pull up your grown-up pants and quit your crying. Maybe go see a psychiatrist about your OCD.

  146. I understand the conceptual model explanation, and by itself it would be enough to convince me of the fundamental idea. But I have to agree with GegoXAREN about screen heights, and that tabs really need to display on the side if possible.

    Since getting a widescreen monitor, I use an extension that lets me put tabs on the right-hand side, with my bookmarks bar on the left side. Regardless of what Tabs on Top represents conceptually, I’m going to be better off with my tabs on the side.

    And if only I could switch the tabs and bookmark bar, even better — because I’d rather have my tabs on the left. But since the bookmark bar will only go to the left, I either put the tabs on the right or I lean way over to the right to read web pages.

    Falling off the chair loses its entertainment value after the first 16 or 17 times…

  147. My concern is the behavior change that the notifications may bring. Currently, if you have a bunch of tabs saved that are in the same authentication “realm” and the browser is started (or the tabs are loaded as a group) then you get prompted for every single page, even if it’s the same login details. Quite tedious.

    I currently delay/defer that with bartab’s delayed loading so that I don’t have 20 auth popups for the same thing.

    If notifications and tabs are very separate entities will there still be common authentication information?

    Or some sort of smarts to say “another tab has asked for those details, I’ll wait until it gets a response”.

  148. Whilst I can get used to tabs on top, from my point of view this is not what Firefox is doing, as there is a gap which shouldn’t exist.

    If tabs must be on top then they should be at the very top, the caption bar is not really needed, please look at opera 10.60

    http://my.opera.com/community/customize/skins/img.pl?id=9261

    Whilst Firefox should be its own beast this is a tidier solution (hopefully Firefox can copy opera and then beat it).

  149. When I download the betas, the tabs aren’t on top…
    Firefox 4 beta2

  150. Firefox is on the good way to be a fine browser but I still miss some points:
    1) The line on the top right of the name “Firefox” there are no bottoms, no information this is still wast of place.
    2) I am missing a function like that from Opera ” quick choice”. I like the one from Opera but I hate the little pictures. I would be much better if there would be a opportunity to build categories. And its enough for me to see a short name of the link.
    3) For data aspirators it would be fine to have a download function with auomatically continuous selfbuilding names. So that I could save several files with the same name (for example 1.jpg; 1.jpg …..) in the same directory without overwriting the first.
    Pheraps this idea could be used to build further developments in Firefox.

  151. I had really high expectations for the UI after seeing this video and mock-ups, but the beta that’s just been released didn’t quite meet my raised expectations. I don’t like how in Minefield 4 beta2pre how the tabs aren’t at the extreme top like they are in the video here – Fitt’s Law and extra space advantages are wasted. Also Fitt’s Law advantages w.r.t. the Back button has degraded from FF3 – in FF3 the back button could be activated at the extreme left-edge of the screen when maximized.

    I also think the App button menu could be done a lot better such as the mock-up sketch at:
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Firefox/4.0_Windows_Theme_Mockups#An_idea_for_the_App_button

  152. Seventeen seconds in, there’s something missing from your first mock-up:

    * the title bar is without the title.

    In the mocked-up tabs we see:
    * a three-character title
    * a fifteen-character title
    * a five-character title.

    As a starting point, that mock-up is unrealistic.

    Will the title of this page
    ‘Why Tabs are on Top in Firefox 4 « Alex Faaborg’
    fit in a tab?

    Simply:

    * long titles are commonplace
    * tabs fail to show them.

  153. In the mock-up, why is the title of the page
    ‘Technology News – The New York Times’
    misrepresented as
    ‘New York Times’?

  154. This comment really meant for your post on “Visualizing Usage of the Firefox Menu Bar”, but since comments are closed over there I’m commenting here instead!

    Anyway, I really don’t think that the following is a good idea:
    “For the common edit commands like Undo, Cut, Copy and Paste, we are looking into possibly placing these directly to the right of the Firefox button, but only when the user has focused a text field.”

    A better solution would be to do what Microsoft does in Word 2007/2010 – when you select text a semi-transparent formatting toolbar appears just above the selected text – in Firefox this could be activated when text is selected or when a form field is active. Inserting new modal buttons to the right of the Firefox button is just messy and non-obvious (and is taking up the space where the tabs should be!!).

    Another idea would be to just implement an ‘edit’ section of the aforementioned icon menu design at https://wiki.mozilla.org/images/8/83/An_idea_for_Appbutton.jpg
    This would be less distracting, though these options would be taking up valuable space that would be better served for more useful functions .

    The best solution of all, IMO, would be to forget trying to placate the cut/copy/paste/undo options altogether!! Surely even the most novice of computer user knows by now that on Windows you can right-click to perform such functions!! I myself even might sometimes use the edit menu to use the copy command etc. , but the overwhelmingly majority of times I will right-click.

  155. @Dave Smith: I agree that the “double-click” to open a new tab in Opera is maybe indeed a bit too complex as it is really dependent on where you click (and without a visual cue of the difference in functionality). Actually, this is not a useful feature at all as there are already several other ways to open a new tab quickly: Ctrl-T, new tab button, right-click on free space and choose “new tab”. Therefore, I’d also go with removing the double-click for new tab completely from Firefox.

    I’ve also thought of more reasons why having the tabs completely at the top in the titlebar makes logical sense – it’s called the TITLE bar for a reason – all the tabs contain the page titles and hence should also be in the title bar. You also switch windows by clicking in the title bar – tab switching is essentially also a form of window switching, so makes sense that this is done in the same place.

  156. Hi, what font do you use on your presentation title pages? It looks really cool. Thanks!

  157. I must also express a preference for Tree Style Tabs. I believe I am the sixth in this thread if I counted correctly, otherwise +1.

    I understand the rational and logic presented in this video, and it perhaps is great for the average user. I would even say that I agree with it and prefer it over the current default model.
    That all being said I would immediately switch to Tree Style Tabs as long as it were possible. The reasons vertical hierarchical tabs are so much superior to me are the following:
    - Most webpages are more vertical than horizontal. For that reason my vertical space is more valuable than my horizontal space. Reducing vertical scrolling is a huge plus for me and thanks to widescreen monitors there is an abundant amount of horizontal space to toss the tabs.
    - I frequently have between 75-125 tabs open depending on what I am working on. Having hierarchical vertical tabs allows me to group and organize these tabs based on their origin or what they relate to. I can collapse them and restore them instantly as is needed. This is a lot more efficient for me than bookmarks although I do use bookmarks heavily. Combining this with the unload feature of some extensions removes the performance hit of this quantity of tabs.
    - As tabs grow in the horizontal plane their captions become impossible to read. With 5-10 tabs, your video presentation is very applicable. With more than that you loose your page title functionality unless you go to multiple rows of tabs, but then you eat at your vertical space which forces more scrolling.

    I understand that the vertical tree style tabs may be less discoverable for a beginner from a UI perspective but it is the sole reason I have not switched to Chrome. Chrome has hardcoded tab positions. Most of the extensions I use are now available for Chrome, and Chrome runs reasonably well in linux. That being said I will never switch and give up the vertical tree style tabs unless I find a more efficient paradigm for my browser and surfing usage.

    I look forward to what the future has to bring and appreciate your apparent openess in letting end users have it however they want it. I am all for the default change you discuss even though I will be unlikely to use it.

  158. I would much prefer the tabs being all the way up the top in the titlebar, seems like the logical choice. Maybe it should be some sort of additional space saver mode for netbooks as most people pay very little attention to the full title of a website.

    I suggest having the full title appear in the status bar at the bottom after hovering over the address bar (as a URL would appear in the status bar after hovering over a link). This addresses the space problem and also the issue with the useless space in the titlebar.

    The huge orange firefox menu in the titlebar should also be made into a permanent firefox logo tab in that sense. This tab could bring up a menu containing all the items in the menubar as expandable menu entries.

    Also the top left had corner should simply be the edge of a tab instead of a backing to a tab 5 pixels from the edge. Visually losing this gap will be a lot more presentable.

  159. Disgruntled User

    Screw this “lets copy Chrome” BS. Look at them both, FF4 is damn near a carbon copy. FF was all about users who were smart enough to be at least somewhat smart about their browsing. Now by going along with chrome, FF is essentially giving people like me, people who like to tinker with their stuff and have things in a certain way, the metaphorical middle finger.

    Someone should get fired for this BS.

  160. Im sorry, but back/forward buttons confusing? Mabye to a downs kid or a 90 year old ….

    Tabs on top is a terrible idea, theres a reason i wont use crap like chrome etc, it looks terribly ascetically.

  161. omg, tabs on top its really crap! I hate Opera for that “feature”

  162. Keeping the bookmark toolbar under the navigation toolbar doesn’t make any sense with this as it’s global, not tab local…

  163. way to lead the pack, firefox devs.

  164. Good arguments and therefore a logical switch.
    Go for it! I’m convinced.

  165. I’m all for it. Especially when you push into the title bar which is a big waste of vertical space.

  166. As for the last slide (mouse distance to tabs), both “tabs on top” and “tabs on bottom” are almost equally bad. The reason is the location of mouse cursor. When a page is read completely, especially one that requires scrolling, the mouse cursor usually is located on the lower part of the screen. This is because users
    a) often use mouse pointer as a reading aid and move it along their reading area, which lowers as the reading process occurs
    b) some users (the less computer-accustomed ones) use scrollbar for scrolling (as opposed to mouse wheel); in this case the mouse pointer will of course be moved to the bottom of the screen.

    Considering the above, neither of the proposed locations is good. The best location is _below_main_window_. Like the Windows system menu, or the old Opera (7.x if I remember correctly). Reason is obvious – least mouse distance and quickest switch to another tab.

    And yes, tabs on bottom of the screen are not indeed tabs, but remember that Firefox has tabs not because users need _tabs_, what they need is _a_way_to_switch_between_open_documents_. Tabs are just one metaphor usable for this purpose. So don’t frown on this post just because “hey man who saw tabs at bottom”.

  167. I’m glad tabs on top will be an option rather than just sticking us with it. Mouse space is the only real consideration I have with tab placement as I have other tool bars that would make a great distance for me.

    You’re arguments for tabs on top are pretty weak in my opinion. Especially #1 which concerns confusion on what the back/ forward buttons do. This seems to be directed on people who have never used the internet before and have no one to teach them.

  168. I implore you to randomly select 5 real world firefox users and make the current contents of their firefox interface (toolbars, custom icons from extensions, lack of search box, etc) fit in with your mock ups.

    Not saying i like or hate anything.

    Just saying you need to incorporate “the real world” into your thought process.

  169. Saying that something is, “like all modern browsers,” isn’t really true, and also isn’t an actual argument.

    I think you’ll find the current most commonly used browsers in any good study do not have this behavior. Plus, that isn’t a reason for doing it.

  170. This is the worst presentation I have ever heard. The guy just drones on and on whilst displaying things that will make no sense to the average user.
    I presume this was meant as a presentation for the tech savvy, as no one else will possibly understand it!1

  171. Treestyle tabs +1

    Tabs above or below the address bar? Who cares?
    This doesn’t make much difference.

    Nowadays we have wide screen displays and most websites are optimized for a width of 768 and variable height.

    The height of the screen is almost always to low and the width is not utilized on most sites (also on this).

    So move the tabs to the left (or right) and gain height for the content.

    I’m sure this was stated often enough – but why is this not mentioned in the discussion “top or below”?

    Of course I can use add-ons for this, and I do.
    But they are often incompatible with the latest Firefox update.
    I hate it to fiddle to keep such basic functionality working.

    Beside this I very much appreciate the work you guys all do to continually improve Firefox.

  172. In your presentation, under the “Conceptual map” title, you color the address bar green as if it were a tab control.

    This would be true if each tab were used as an instance of the browser, if many sites were sequentially viewed in a single tab. Enter a URL or a search query, navigate to another page.

    Instead, I am using Firefox and its address bar differently. I regard tabs as mere containers for pages. Enter a URL or a search query, a new page opens in a new tab. Only rarely do I replace an already loaded page with another. When used this way, the address bar is obviously a browser control and not a tab control.

    The same goes for bookmarks. For me, bookmarks are the means to open new tabs, and only rarely to affect the current tab.

  173. The tabs on top or like they were is inconsequential to me; I do not use tabs. I much more prefer separate windows for each URL that is open. Its nice on a Windows machine to be able to ALT-TAB between windows. There is probably some gimmick to shift from tab to tab, but that’s something I just don’t care to learn. All this talk about making the interface more consistent is nonsense when you blatantly get away from the standard keyboard shortcuts of an OS.

    The first time I run a new version of firefox when I click on pictures they tend to open in a new tab. Tabs by default are an annoyance in my opinion. If I want tabs or not should be a setup option. I always have to search out the proper switches to get the desired behaviors.

    It would be nice to have the SEARCH box on the left of the address bar. I like the URL displayed where my eyes focus, the middle of the screen. Putting the search box on the right side shifts the URL needlessly to the left; a distraction for me. I have to keep customizing my toolbars to get this basic layout with every firefox revision. It would be nice if it started with this setup by default.

    I really, really wish that your team would integrate the \Fission\ address bar look. As a URL loads I have my Fission addon setup to draw a GREEN bar across the address bar. It is similar to the Safari address bar and it makes a lot of sense to see the % of a webpage loaded there!

    On a similar note it would be nice to see the \Add To Search Bar\, \Show IP\, \Screengrab\, and \Download Statusbar\ extension functionalities added by default. The default \Search Box\ behavior is annoying. \Add To Search Bar\ allows me to add a proper Google search again! \Show IP\ simply shows the IP address of the URL. \Screengrab\ allows me to save a webpage as a JPEG. And \Download Statusbar\, my favorite addon, makes the ‘Downloads’ actually functional. All of these extensions should be part of Firefox by default.

    I sure hope this isn’t a quest to become more like Google Chrome. Firefox is pretty damn good as it is once its setup properly.

  174. One more thing, Tree Style Tab rocks! Would be nice to see that as an integrated option. The author of that extension is a genius.

  175. Alex, this is great and I can’t wait for it to be released to the public.

    A couple of things, though: In Chrome, tabs run in separate processes and permit no cross-effects, so when one tab has problems, others don’t suffer. Tabs can also be separated from the main window, which is not as important, but can be convenient at times.

    Keep up the good work and communication.

  176. @Jagdeep Gill

    I agree that if the status bar is to be kept (not fussed either way) then the full page title sure would be a lot more useful than the word “Done”! I’d also like a zoom control on the bottom right of the status bar if it is to stay – often I zoom in on a page and then can’t remember if it’s being displayed in its default zoom setting or not.

    However, it may be more logical to display the full page title in the Location Bar itself. This could be done either with the title above the URL (as Location Bar search results are displayed) or side-by-side with the URL. For the former the Location Bar would need more vertical height, but given that it’s one of the most clicked elements in the whole UI then that would probably make sense to do given Fitts’s Law.

  177. If I wanted the Playskool browser known as Chrome, I’d run Chrome. You guys need to stop these plans to screw up Firefox before you lose all your users. You’ll never be anything more than a second rate Chrome if you keep at this.

    Seriously. Stop. Screwing. Up. Firefox.

  178. Tabs below or above address bar – who cares, really? This is little more than a simple design decision. The presentation’s arguments look logical enough for a designer to make this decision, go on. I really don’t care.

    With that said, I really dislike that the new version has page title removed from title bar. It often *does* matter to me. This is especially true with 15+ tabs open, many of them showing pages from the same site. This way there’s often just one quick way to distinguish pages: look at their title. Often they just aren’t to different visually for that.

    Tabs on the side may be a nice option, but not everyone has wide monitors and not every site is narrow, so that should definitely be optional.

    I *hate* the idea of placing tabs on the window title bar or window bottom. Two reasons. First, I already told about page title, and I also often use status bar. It is a quick way to see link address by just hovering over it. You don’t even need to wait for any pop-ups. Secondly, I hate often-used functional elements being near top or bottom edges of the screen, because they’re out of normal line of sight, and have a hiding Windows bar at the bottom and Office bar at the top. This means that if I try to click something near the edge the hidden bar will often float up and cover the element. Frustrating.

    Mouse move distance isn’t really an issue, because there’s a plugin for mouse gesture navigation. I think any person who really cares about browsing productivity should install it, this way I don’t care where my mouse is when I want to switch tabs or move back/forward. It’s just a quick gesture. Or you could use hotkeys, but that’s more of a taste choice.

    People who don’t care that much about their mouse moving all over the screen for simple actions like scroll/copy/back/save won’t really care about tabs moving an extra cm up.

    PS: the only problem with gestures is flash applications capturing them. With flash-heavy pages that’s a problem. I wish something could be done about that.

  179. Great arguments, enough to sell me on the idea. Some drawbacks still (I make pretty serious use of the Bookmarks Toolbar, and I don’t see how it fits into this scheme), but overall I agree now that it’s an improvement.

    That being said, some of the comments here are terrible…

    @Disgruntled User

    Not only is the entire video Mozilla’s argument for making this change independent of what Google is doing with Chrome, they make it explicitly clear at the beginning that this is an option.

    @Nighthawk

    Most user interface design discussion is not directed at the end user, just as industrial design isn’t discussed with consumers. Most people don’t care about how stuff works, just that it’s easy to use. Changing an interface that people are already using makes it inherently harder, therefore arguments need to be made to justify the changes. Ultimately it comes down to being more intuitive, faster or more discoverable to new and existing users.

    @Matt Masters
    You can Ctrl-Tab between tabs. This is a standard shortcut used by every program that I use that does tabs of any kind. It even works similarly to Alt-Tab in that adding Shift reverses direction.

    I agree that I’d love to see the progress bar integrated into the address bar, especially if the status bar is going to disappear/be minimized. I disagree that the other features you mentioned should be included in the browser; to me those would represent browser bloat and are perfectly suited to add-ons as they really do add new functionality.

    @Get Business Online

    You can already separate out tabs into new windows and join tabs from other windows into an existing window. It’s not as smooth as it could be, but it’s already functional.

    @Aaargh

    So they should ignore good arguments for doing things because someone else already does them? They offer you the option to disable Tabs on Top if you don’t like it. Personally I think they shouldn’t even do that, but I understand why they are.

  180. Perhaps Firefox can do away with the browser title bar and place the tabs up there – Chrome does it quite well and provides more screen area for the actual web page content.

  181. François de Montleau

    Why not to put in option the tabs vertically on the left side of the window. The advantages would be great :
    - more available vertical space to surf on the net
    - less scrolling
    - easier selection of the tabs. It is easier to shift the mouse to the left than to change of tab by going to the top
    - more tabs displayed in the same time. On my monitor 31 left tabs displayed compared to the 17 maximum current top tabs displayed in the same time
    - AND this solution would differentiate FF from Chrome and Opera : FF as a leader and not a follower or a copist

    Another comment:
    To be logical, with the top tabs solution, the research field and its contents must depends totally of the tabs (as the genius bar depends on) what is not currently the case with the FF 4b1. Moreover it would be also more practical

  182. I don’t like and won’t use tabs. For many, many years I have “open new window” ed, and that’s how I want to work. I have my toolbar on the right, together with what is the precursor to FF tabs, but I can see all the programs and windows I have opened–not just FF.

    I wouldn’t use tabs even if they were on the side or bottom, so this is all moot.

    One of the most important things about a browser is customizability. I want it to work the way I like (e.g., I use my own ico files for each link or file I have on my toolbar. My brain operates visually).

    Further, and FF falls greatly short here, I want all the same basic IE features in my browser. I do not want to search for various apps to allow me to continue to work the way I like. E.g., I want to click on “mail” and send a page, Ctrl+N should open a cloned page, When I download a page, I want the option to Run. I don’t like having to get Apps a la Apple, and then have them no work whenever FF does an update.

  183. Name (required)

    Sing In window should have a close or cancel button or a tip that you can click outside to cancel.
    What Firefox 4 is really missing for power users is options for vertical tabs and bookmarks, such essential for widescreen devices features should be core browser functionality not depending on add-ons that can be broken by any update. I have a notebook with 720p screen and I configured Firefox 3.6 so that the only horizontal element is the address bar plus the windows title bar, now Firefox 4 allows to place the address bar on the title bar with some user.css, unfortunately add-ons for vertical bookmarks and tabs are broken in Firefox4.

  184. Hi Alex, I do appreciate Firefox but I have one question for the user experience specialist;

    Why are millions of Firefox users forced to choose between the options below?

    * 3.6 – security holes/loading hangs/dead youtube (again) and some broken add-ons

    OR

    * FF 4.2 – more broken add-ons/no page zoom/no Flash block/Flash crash/more bugs

    Many people will need to switch browsers for something that currently works properly.

  185. Regarding App Tabs: The whole \people use web apps a lot so we’re going to start putting desktop-like features into firefox\ argument just blows. So now as a user I’m going to have multiple places where I manage my running \apps\? Why not build on things like Fluid (http://fluidapp.com/) and allow users to start integrating those things into the OS of their choice instead?

  186. While I don’t disagree with the concept of tabs on top, indeed I do find it more logical, it bothers me that bookmarks remain as an interface element of the tabs. To me, this tool bar should be above the tab toolbar , not under the location bar.

    Secondly, the address control in the navigation toolbar is superfluous. The functionality of addressing for a given tab should be embedded in the tab itself, rather than in the address box, by moving this functionality into the tab title. Much like clicking on a file name in a file browser to change its name, you could click on the tab name to change its location. A floating edit control could handle this interface element.

    That leaves navigation within the tab as the only need for the navigation toolbar. I also think that the search tool belongs on the bookmarks toolbar as a sort of interactive bookmark, rather than on the navigation toolbar. So there is very little left in the navigation control and much of its functionality could be hidden to regain lost screen real estate with no loss of functionality. This could be done as with the search toolbar which appears when one clicks Ctrl-F. Another thing I just noticed is that this search functionality is not a part of the tab itself, so if you hit search in one tab it appears in all other tabs. Each tab should rightfully have its own search control.

  187. One admits that life is expensive, nevertheless different people require money for different stuff and not every one gets enough money. Hence to receive fast credit loans or just student loan will be a correct solution.

  188. Tabs themselves are still stupid and just duplicate the functionality of Windows task bar while wasting additional screen space.

  189. I truly regret the fact that the tabs are not completely on top when the window is maximized. You lose significant vertical space, and you waste the edgeof the screen. If the tabs were really on top, one could just throw up the mouse to the top of the screen and click a tab, without having to apply the precision that is needed now.

    Also, I cannot understand why the word “Fitt” is a bad word in the feedback application. It’s like if they know that they’ve made a mistake.

  190. Simple solution to mitigate the only downside mentioned in your video: FULLY INTEGRATE MOUSE GESTURES! This is such a useful feature than has been around as an add-on for ages and yet the main development team seems to continually ignore it!

    It is always the first add-on I install simply because of how much more superfluous it makes my browsing experience. Admittedly some practicality issues will arise with some segments of users (particularly laptop users where the experience doesn’t translate very well to a touch pad and Mac users where the default mouse configuration system is set to one-button).

    Still, options are ample for Mac users to switch to a two-button layout, especially for desktop users (their touch-based mouse systems work remarkably well). Also, there may not be a direct solution for laptop users (except the addition of a mouse for them too) but as I said this will be a MITIGATORY measure, considering the VAST MAJORITY of computer users are either Windows-based (with a two-button system) or at least desktop based (where the touch pad issue doesn’t exist).

  191. It is good to see that you are giving consideration to mouse movement. I move my Windows System Menu to the top of the screen for just this reason. It seemed like, with the System Menu on the bottom, and all other menus on top, I was wearing out my mouse with a downward to the left sliding motion. With the System Menu at the top, my mouse rarely goes below the top third of my screen. Which, Atx may want to consider. Unless we are going to move menus to the bottom of the screen, which the eye just does not want to follow naturally, we should look to the top as the place to be.

  192. I’m already looking for a new browser to replace ff 3.x when you stop supporting it, arbitrary usability reduction like this just makes it even more likely.

  193. I hate this feature!

    The problem with this change is that it breaks TreeStyle tabs, which for me is the greatest UI improvement in Firefox.

    All this tab grouping eye candy looks great when you only have five or six tabs open per window, but when you have dozens of tabs, the only way to keep them sane is to put them vertically down the side, and to put them into a hierarchy so that you have working sub groups.

    Thanks to this, I am stuck at Beta 3, as the newer version are not usable to me. I am not looking forward to the Firefox 4 final release, as that will mean FF 3.6 is EOL, and I won’t have a usable browser any more.

  194. If Chrome can have a feature to stack tabs on the left side of the browser window, why can’t the same be done into Firefox??

  195. The Argument about the infinite Target Space in Maximized Window Mode is disregarding the default Setting of Gnome and maybe other Window managers where you have an additional Panel for Menus and Quickstart Buttons at the Top of the Screen. In Fact, you might accidentally start an application or shutdown the System.

  196. I just got IE9 and I really like the layout. I haven’t used IE for many years. I like how they put the tabs on the same line as the address bar. The extra space makes a difference. Also, I can’t believe that there is no ability to change the default zoom built into Firefox This alone has kept me from using Firefox 4 as I have a decent size monitor and don’t want to squint to see things. Hopefully the add-on that allows you to do this will be compatible soon.

  197. Wow, App tabs will be a nice feature, mostly because I’m using a couple addons to get the same effect for my Gmail inbox and a few other often-visited sites.

    Not sure about having tabs on top, especially since it’ll probably break TabMix Plus’ multirow tab bar option. I may have to look into alternatives, since I frequently have a large number of tabs open at once.

    I may look into TreeStyle Tabs once it’s working with FF4…

  198. The video was definitely interesting but I was surprised that tabs-on-side (or vertical tabs) was never mentioned as an option. While I had some nits with the tree tab plugin, I felt that using tabs-on-side was much superior to top or bottom.

    My suggestion: Allow users to place the tabs alon any edge as well as above or below the URL for a total of 5 possible locations.

  199. The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!!

  200. I guess i will just have to wait for FF 4 to come out to see

  201. The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!! [2]

  202. The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!! [3]

  203. Handsome Stranger

    “The change to placing tabs on top isn’t about one browser versus another browser, it’s about the evolution of the Web as a platform.”

    oh boy it sure is some bullshit buzzwords up in here

  204. Tabs at the top of the windows is a horrible idea. It completely breaks years of usage, practice and muscle memory.

    I don’t use Opera, never have. Hated tabs at the top in Safari before leaving the Mac, hate them in Chrome, and will not use them as long as I have an option to use something else.

    The fact is that tabs simply belong at the top of the page they belong to, not at the top of the app. If there is anything in between the tab and the page it belongs to, the tabs are in the wrong place.

  205. Hi
    I found using FF with the tabs at the top really awkward and uncomfortable – glad you made provision to move them down. Please make sure this is also an option on any later releases, as I love FF and would hate to have to leave it.

    But thanks for such a great browser

    PS: I gave up using Safari because it had the + for adding a tab right over on the RHS, and it didn’t have the full drop down list of bookmarks that FF has, and which is so convenient – so please dont go down either of those pathways

  206. At 2:24 in the video, it is stated that “Also, this layout assumes that the Google search field doesn’t maintain state between tabs for internal interactive consistency.” That had me excited, until I realized that this beta doesn’t actually behave that way. I think the search field should be specific to the current tab.

    If I’m searching for “cats” in one tab and later open another tab to search for “dogs”, it makes no sense to switch back to the “cats” tab and now have “dogs” in the search field.

    If the search field doesn’t behave this way, then it breaks the whole conceptual model reason for putting tabs on top. To use the colors from the video, you still have a purple box in the middle of your nice big green area.

    The Google search fields in Safari and Opera both maintain state between tabs. This is (in my opinion) the right way. But in the end, that’s all it is – my opinion.

    We can argue endlessly over who is right and who is wrong, but actually, we are all right, because each person has a unique way of working that makes sense to them. And that’s one of the greatest things about Firefox – the ability to customize it to meet your needs.

    I personally like the idea of tabs on top, while obviously many don’t. But we are just talking about a default preference here, and you will be able to set it back if you don’t like it. Personally, I hope the search field behavior is changed in future betas. But, like Tabs on Top, it would be nice if the behavior was a user preference.

  207. And what about the tabs for the add-ons? And the Bookmarks toolbar? Where they go? Above? Bellow?
    Will be my widescreen be disapointed again?
    Oh, man, i fell like my world is falling down…

    (Sorry ’bout that, couldn’t help it.)

  208. agreed with Ghul and others. Please change this.

    The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!!

  209. for an experienced user that understand the functions of the browser, most of the benefit you talk about here is naught.

    anyone that uses tabbed browsing probably changes from one tab to another far more frequently than performing tasks that would benefit from “tabs on top”

    you’re weighing costs and benefits incorrectly. multiply the benefits by the time they will actually be in effect.

    closer tabs x infinity > this other crap x 1

    at least that’s how it is for me.

  210. Please get those tabs back to the bottom where they belong…If you don’t fix this “FAIL” or I will be forced to abandon FireFox. Thank you for your time and attention to this request.

  211. The tabs aren’t at the top. Being able to just slide the mouse pointer to the top of the window and click a tab would be much faster. Is there some technical issue preventing us from placing them on the title bar?

  212. Are tabs suddenly mandatory in FireFox 4? What about all of us who do not like tabbed browsing?

  213. Sadly enough, this seems to be another application that has “peaked” and is entering the stage of overloading with new “features” and re-designs.

    Despite the glossy presentation, I doubt that any user has EVER even thought of this “control vs. content layers” model, or about whether the navigation buttons would affect anything besides the currently displayed content (i.e. tab). Isn’t it a rather far-fetched argument to justify (sell) the implementation of some new ideas? And if not, are you sure this is not about human logic submitting to the dictate of design/aesthetics? Like String Theory: no practical use, horribly complex to handle, but, hey, it’s so beautifully symmetric on an abstract level…?

    On the other hand, mouse distance is not just “a downside”, it’s the decisive argument against tabs on top, from a usability standpoint (and with everything else being in place just fine as it is). So, please, rethink this layout. There may be a reason why Firefox has more users than Opera or Chrome combined, and it might have to do with usability.

    BTW: If you feel the need to re-design, why not start with placing the search field on the left side? This will greatly improve mouse movement efficiency (bringing nav buttons more to the center; minimizing the distances from there to both the search and the URL field). Besides, it will reflect – symmetrically, on an abstract level – the hotkey assignments for search (Ctrl+K) and address (Ctrl+L) field, with K being to the left of L on most keyboards.

  214. There is one major flaw in the implementation – the personal bookmarks toolbar is between the URL (awesome) bad and the browser window. Clearly, bookmarks are something that is also browser specific and not tab specific. My proposal would be to change the option to “show navigation in tab” because this is really what you want to achieve. You’re not moving the tabs away from the content area, you’re moving the navigation into the tab!

  215. The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!! [+++]

  216. I haven’t used Firefox beta for about 2 months. I was disappointed that the status bar was integrated into the address bar!

    Since that time, I have been using Google’s Chrome and have been pretty satisfied. However, I am looking forward to installing Firefox 4 again soon.

    Though I plan to install Firefox 4 when it’s released (Beta 9 too), I’m not planning to continue to use Firefox after that time if the STATUS BAR issue is not resolved.

    I know I’m not the only one who is unhappy about the decision to remove the status bar from Firefox 4 – there is even an add-on that puts back what was removed by the Firefox dev team. Though I installed the add-on, it just didn’t “feel” the same.

    If Firefox 4 does NOT have a status bar, I will continue to use Chrome and will recommend to all folks I know to do the same (I feel that strongly).

    The dev team could redeem themselves if they simply put the status bar as an option (“Classic” versus “Super Status” or some other label).

    Mozilla, are you listening?

  217. I HATE the tabs at top, Thank god you allowed us to undo that horrible choice.

    My eyes and my pointer move to tabs constantly and much more than any other thing up there.

    I can go back with my trackball buttons.
    I can refresh with right click context menu.

    Putting the tabs on top discourages use of multiple toolbars, because every single bar adds DISTANCE between the content and the tabs.

    again, THANK YOU for having option to UNDO that awful choice.

  218. Personally, I agree with the previous posters, that say one would have to be a total idiot, and they’d STILL figure out that the address-bar is actually where you type the web-address to go to the webpage you want, and that the “tabs” are just multiple browser “windows”, within one single actual [PROGRAM] window. aka. instead of opening multiple pages of your web-browser like you had to do in the past – one per each webpage you wanted to use and/or get to – you’d just open one single web-browser window, and open multiple tabs, one tab for each webpage you wanted to access. Even a total idiot can[/will] figure that out. In no more than 2 seconds, like previous posters have said.

    I understand your logic, Alex Faaborg and Mozilla, but I really think that the “classic” [look on] Firefox should be kept; Firefox should still have its “classic” look be the default. It’s more user-friendly, more manageable, and just like tons of posters have said (and even your own video has said) there’s less mouse-movement just to reach the tab.

    Also, for those people whining that “there’s still too many bars in Firefox”, check this out: I have only TWO *BARS* [open at all times] in Firefox – the “Menu” bar, and the “Address” bar [that also has the Back & Forward buttons, as well as the Search box]. I have Firefox set to “show me the ‘Tabs’ bar ONLY if I have multiple tabs open”.

    Whereas in Internet Explorer, even after customizing it to show as few bars as possible, I still have THREE bars open, AT ALL TIMES, as “standard”: the “Tab” bar, which also contains the “Tools” menu; the “Menu” bar; and the “Address” bar. IN ADDITION TO the fact that the tabs are bulky as fuck, compared to Firefox’s very nice, clean, smooth, and more user-friendly tabs; It’s too fucking hard to access the “History” anymore (in IE, not in Firefox 3.6.13), AND, Internet Explorer just seems more unstable with websites than Firefox. Not to mention that Internet Explorer is easily beaten even by the Hare that lost to the Tortoise in “The Tortoise and the Hare”; enough said (regarding Firefox’s speed and/or stability).

    I think Firefox’s features, updates, improvements, etc, that it comes out with in each and every new release are great, but it still shouldn’t do such outrageous changes that, just like IE, it makes the browser, the web-browsing experience (ie. going from website to website, webpage to webpage. aka. everything we do when using a web-browser. that’s what I call the “web-browsing ‘experience’ “), AND, surfing the web/navigating the web, a huge ass uncomfortable chore, and/or, a huge inconvenience and a unenjoyable experience rather than an enjoyable experience. (ie. like for example: having sex with someone ugly compared to having sex with someone hot) (sorry for being so damn blunt).

  219. About the problem addressed at 5:19 where the warning message would overlap the tab strip if tabs were on bottom: In the case when the user chooses tabs on bottom, instead of the message pointing to the address bar, simply have it point to the tab strip

  220. I prefer tabs on bottom, I use image boards for Hi Def wallpaper and porn and always review the images in new tabs before I download, when doing this I ‘catch’ the menu bar when going back to the root tabs which is super annoying and if ‘bottom’ tabs was not an available option, I too after many years would probably abandon FF.

  221. A solution for the waste-of-space issue when not using the menu bar and having tabs on bottom: being able to move bookmarks/ the bookmark bar to the right of the Firefox button. That’d be really neat to see in later versions/betas of Firefox.

  222. Awesome explanation! :) :)

    I don’t see the mouse distance as downside. By fitt’s law, the infinite scrolling distance provides faster access to tabs on top than being below the location bar. I didn’t know so much of thinking goes into designing the UI always. :)

  223. The greatest and free browser, I appreciate all the hard work just to give us something for nothing. The choice to make it optional is nice but I like the new way myself. I wasn’t pleased with the status removal tho, but Im using the addon. Great job guys and to those bitching like its the end of the world, get a grip.

  224. Re: Sriram Ramani, February 9

    Mouse distance is important like many comments say – switching tabs is the most frequent task while browsing.
    But it has an extra dimension when using a touchpad – it is easy to accidentally perform a click while moving the pointer, and that can be more annoying on intervening tool bars!

  225. Tabs on top? It seems that the main justification is tabs. Why not provide another placement option – move tabs to the top when an app is in the active tab.

  226. why don’t you right click the toolbar and uncheck tabs on top?

  227. I really like the way firefox finally getting more sleek look. How ever the debate of top postition is bad is pointless. He made very clear point that it is customable back to old look but it onlu starts tabs on top in first clean install. Why the hell you debate about it being bad feature. The debate should be what is more to improve about the ui. The first one is not possible, because the top bar is windows spesifig bar where is Orange mozilla button and native Windows _ [] X controlls.

    How ever, mozilla could implement fullscreenlike -mode, where firefox behaves like fullscreen mode but leaving the START menu still there, thus removing Windows native controls and Orange button.

  228. I didn’t mean to be rude sorry I apologize .
    I did have another look at the video and it is not really convincing. I understand that is a design choice, but the technical reasons in my opinion are not solid enough. My big issue wuth 4.0 is still the status bar and if not available with the final realease I will switch. Regards

  229. I hate having the tabs at the top of the page. It’s simply inconvenient. But since users have the option to “toggle” between tab positions (top vs bottom), it seems that everyone can customize Firefox to their own liking.
    I think it will be very important for the new release page to HIGHLIGHT the fact that users have a CHOICE. I had been unhappy using Firefox 4 beta, until I found out that I could reset the tabs to the bottom position. (It took me several days to find this out)
    I agree with other comments regarding the status bar. I added the “add-on” that replaces the status bar, but would prefer to have Firefox include an option for showing the status bar on the bottom.

  230. As far as the video goes, I found it informative, however, you need to slow down. It was difficult to follow the dialogue and screenshots because the speaker was simply talking too fast.

  231. I just tried FireFox 4.0 RC1. My current browser has a personal bookmarks toolbar, and the Google toolbar. My default configuration now has (from the top): tabs, location bar, two toolbars, content. It looks *horrible*. Afaict, there’s no easy way to reorder these affordances, other than moving the tab bar back to the bottom as it was in FF3.

  232. How do I get the orange firefox button at the top left hand corner.

  233. Tabs on top are both ugly and irritating. Just moving things around doesn’t make for a good new interface – significantly more is needed.
    The FF4 beta still does not address some major ui problems:
    - getting back an accidentally closed tab
    - putting a search field in a good place (top right, always visible) inside the tab

  234. I think the tabs should be below the nav bar, but the nav bar should be way higher, like right next to the Firefox button in the title bar. That space is totally wasted, and Chrome is taking full use of that space.

    But the reason I think tabs should be below, is because I use the tabs way more than I type in addresses, so I would have to move the mouse just a little less to get to them, and it is more obvious which page you are looking at if the tab is right above the page, leave all the other stuff at the very top of the page, but don’t waste the space in the title bar.

  235. I am personally in favour of tabs on top.

    It took a few minutes to get used to the new placement but having used it over the previous beta releases I have come to prefer it.

    Although the mouse travel distance is increased slightly, it is actually easier to use. When the tab buttons are further down you have to position the mouse more precisely over the tab button. With the tabs at the top I can just whack my mouse to the top of the screen (in full screen mode) and I am directly over the tab button.

    Positioning the mouse precisely is more taxing on the wrist in the long run, as it requires greater fine control. Faster, less precise movements are less strenuous.

    It should be said though, that all issues of mouse movement can be negated by simply using the Fx keyboard short-cuts to change tabs (namely Ctrl-Tab or Ctrl+number key)

    A previous poster mentioned recovering accidentally closed tabs. Fx has for a long time now had an easy short-cut for recovering a closed tab. Ctrl+Shift+T will re-open the last closed tab. Repeated use will open further previously closed tabs.

  236. Tabs should be on top because everything under them is part of that tab. But why is there only one search box for all the tabs? That doesn’t make any sense.

    Also, this video didn’t want to play on RC1.

  237. I agreed with many of the pluses and minuses for tabs on top – especially the points about the conceptual model. And I think arguments about mouse distance are over-dramatizing that issue.

    One of the major points in this video was that this is not an argument about which is ultimately better because tabs-on-bottom can still be used. (People obviously feel strongly about their own preference, but nobody should be forced to use one scheme instead of another!) Instead, this is an argument about what makes more sense for a new user that has never seen a tabbed browser before. (And before you scream that only an idiot wouldn’t be able to understand tabs, then consider that it’s novice, ignorant users that we’re talking about – not experienced computer l33ts, such as yourself.) From a novice user’s standpoint, the conceptual model argument is paramount.

    Given how strongly people feel about this issue, it seems pretty clear that no matter if tabs-on-top or -bottom is the default, it needs to be clearly stated that the user can switch to the other layout.

    Personally, I think tabs on the side makes a lot more sense and I’ve been using add-ons in FF 3 for a long time in order to have them on the left. The laptop that I use the most at home, my office display at work, and even my netbook are all wide screen. I don’t know that last time that I saw a 3:4 format video display. On the other hand, I can’t think of one website that that makes use of a wider window. (Right now I’m looking at the 40% of wasted white space to the left and right of the content of this very web page.) And all websites scroll through a VERTICAL virtual space. Except for things like addresses and status text, it does not make sense to take up any vertical space – it ends up eating 10 to 15% of the visible area. Wheres tabs on-the-side almost always takes up only unused space. That said, I’ve never used a tablet, which is about the only device that I can think of that is typically used in portrait mode and might make use of tabs in its web browser.

    I’ll be interested to see how I feel about Panorama. I’m already getting tab grouping because my tabs on the side use a hierarchical tree. But Panorama seems like it will be much more extensible and I like the idea of sharing groups among different devices and/or users.

  238. I also hate tabs on top and not having my useful things where I loved them.
    Thankfully the tabs have been restored to their rightful place. About the other things, I still don’t know, I’m fumbling. I hope there is still time for the developers to think again before releasing the final version.
    DON’T SPOIL A GOOD THING! (or, as they say in America, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”)

  239. Sorry, I’ve been trying tabs on top, and I just can’t get used to it. It’s terrible.

    The problem, which does not appear in your videos at all, is the bookmarks bar. I use folders in the bookmarks bar for quick access to most of my bookmarks. I like to see the navigation bar and bookmarks bar on top — that’s about navigating the web — and the tabs on the bottom, which are about switching between the things I’m currently doing.

    Tabs on top + bookmarks bar = MESS.

    Tabs on top means that at the very top, I see the different pages I currently have open (the tabs), and then way at the bottom, right before the actual page content, I get my bookmarks for navigating to new pages. This makes no sense at all. It’s like a big purple stripe in your video below the green stuff, making “Tabs on top” even messier than the old tabs on bottom.

    By the way, User Interface gurus, one other thing: please, please, can we have an option to bring back the old bookmarks bar spacing and widths? I had as many bookmarks and bookmark folders as could fit on my bar across the screen, and it was incredibly convenient for navigating around. Now in the new 4.0 Release Candidate UI, all of a sudden the bookmarks are much more spaced out, so I can’t see about 1/3 of mine (they’re off to the right in a little “>>”). It’s VERY annoying, and almost enough by itself to make me go back to Firefox 3.x. And it would be a very easy fix, I’m sure, to put in an option to change the spacing back to the old way…

  240. The Tabs are “under” the orange FireFox button and the titlebar is not used. This is a waste of space and disapoints me with my widescreen!
    Change this Mozilla!!

  241. I am so used to Chrome now, and I’ve got to say I LOVE where the tabs are! Just that… I don’t have a status bar… where can I find FireFox 3.6 status bars? Or maybe Chrome statusbars? Help?

  242. Personally I hate the tabs at the top. Tabs are the most used items..so why place them further out of reach?

  243. Why put the tabs waaay up the top. Most of us use tabs all the time…putting them up the top slows us down.

  244. I love having tabs on top. As someone above wrote, it makes it so much easier to select by simply “whacking” your mouse to the top of the screen to select a tab, instead of fine-point-precisioning your hand to select a tab. Much easier to switch. For all of those people bitching about the greater mouse distance, big bloody deal. A couple of extra centimetres, it’s no fuss. Or just use Ctrl-T instead? Much easier for me.

    I would love to see greater enhancements made to app tabs though. Take a leaf from IE9 and have the favicon replace the Firefox button in app tabs, and allow pinning app tabs to the Windows taskbar as well. Also, add in an option to “lock” the location bar and hide the bookmarks bar so that the app tab can’t change without unpinning it. A notification system being added for app tabs would be sweet as well, like the Tab badge app tab.

  245. I’ve been using Firefox 4 since beta 6. At first I agreed with you guys. I thought having the tabs on top and the Firefox button was stupid. But I buckled down and tried it, and now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    The tabs to go to the title bar if you maximize. If don’t, then the title bar stays so you have something to drag the window around with, just like in Chrome.

    Finally, for anyone not getting the Firefox button: the devs made two mistakes. On Windows XP, the new layout isn’t on by default, and the way to turn it on isn’t obvious. You just have to turn off right click and turn off the menu bar.

    And, yes, a good UI always adds the new layout but allows you to shut it off. That way people know about it, and, if it’s an improvement, most people will stick with it.

    On the consumer side, the first thing you should do when a program looks different is look for a way to change it back. It should be there if the developers were competent at all. If all else fails, you should be able to google it.

  246. Nigel Strudwick

    I’m a native English speaker and I couldn’t follow this because of the speed and lack of clear intonation used by the speakers. I’m sure this is very interesting, but do think of your users!

  247. Thanks for the XP layout option trlkly.

    On the new layout issue, as a firefox user since ver 0.6 (which was firebird then), I’ll say give a chance to new layout before shouting no. You may be surprised.

  248. I like the tabs on the bottom all you have to do is right click on the tab bar and it has a option for top or bottom. All you do is unchecked the tab on top option.

  249. It is a shame to have the Tab Based Library Window in firefox 4.
    If you have tabs on top with Movable Firefox Button, you can set it up that the top is only 2 toolbars wide which reduces the size considerably. But it is still a sham that you still lose a bit of space with the same format but with tabs on the bottom.

  250. Tabs at top – or under the menu bar – are horribly inefficient. Tabs should be at the very bottom, above the status bar (yay for having no indication any more about the page loading!) where you mouse ends up when scrolling and using links.

  251. How do you get the tabs on the bottom of the screen?

  252. Point 1: the conceptual model is broken anyway because there bookmark toolbar and other customer toolbars (ie. the web developer add on’s one) are below the tabs and they should be above it (they belong to the browser, not to the tab).

    Points 2, 3 and 4: I agree that tab-on-top are better, but not enough to make me want to spend more time moving the mouse to the top of the window to switch between tabs. I’d have to move over two toolbars and the address bar. That’s way too much for me.

    Overall Mozilla made a good job because they eventually let use decide where to place the tabs. And luckily the Linux version still displays the menu (File, Edit etc) and luckily I still have a notebook with one of those old good tall LCDs with plenty of vertical space. I feel sorry for the widescreen guys out here, but these are different issues…

  253. Tabs down the side is much better.

    All these other tab features are jumping through hoops because you don’t have enough horizontal space for all the tabs. You’ve got a horizontal label, and you’re arranging them horizontally, so of course you run out of space. Stack them vertically down the side and the problem is solved.

    @Tony’s comments are spot-on… there is tons of wasted horizontal space on the web, and not enough vertical space, move the tabs into that wasted horizontal space by putting them on the side. Doing so also solves @JR’s complaint about the bookmark toolbar (and other toolbars) as well.

    Try using Tree Style Tab for a month in FF3 and tell me that vertical tabs are not 1000x times better than horizontal. I can have over 30 tabs open and see them all. And they group into a collapsible tree structure!

  254. I second what Genius said. Tabs on top is terrible design. Tabs are, for me at least, the thing I click on most frequently. They should be as close as possible to the main window. All that other menu related stuff is less frequently used, and can stay on top.

  255. no ‘stop’ button, no status bar,
    when you put the status bar back, search appears in its own bar taking up twice as much space, home button in wrong place, not possible to move home button, abort, abort, abort

  256. I think people are missing the focus of the tab placement in Chrome. While tabs on top is a conceptual model, the impact is extremely important. Each tab is in essence a memory-safe instance. If that tab loads something (bad javascript, flash player, etc.) that fubars the application, ONLY that tab dies.

    So, I don’t give a flip where mozilla puts the tabs, I want to know if they have followed that idea. I am getting pretty tired of going to a site with Flash embedded and having FF die.

    Chrome’s got it right, things WILL crash, the question is how will the browser handle it. By completely dying? Or just killing off the miscreant tab?

  257. I’d like to vote against the tabs on top for two reasons. First, as you point out, the mouse distance is further. Second, the change involves unlearning years of user behavior memory. With tabs on top I keep looking in the wrong spot for my tabs, because my hand “wants” them to be in a certain spot. I would not like to see this become the new default.

  258. I don’t mind the tabs on top, but I -do- mind the Bookmarks Toolbar being below the tabs and the Awesome bar. All the reasoning in the video is agreeable for the items discussed, but the Bookmarks Toolbar doesn’t make a lot of sense positioned inside the tabs. I believe it would make the most sense to position it beneath the menu bar and above the tabs: the Bookmarks menu and the History menu (which have similar functions) are both located above, and since the Bookmarks Toolbar doesn’t represent the content of the tabs, but rather a control to alter the content of the tabs, it would make the most sense to place them above. (This would also have the added benefit of shortening the distance to the tabs.)

  259. - If you go with conceptual model, then stick with it – put bookmarks toolbar outside tabs.

    - Let user put tabs on the side if they wish.

  260. One more vote in favor of the 3.6 toolbar layout, here. I should say that I have a huge monitor and DON’T use my browser maximized (I open it top-to-bottom but limit the width).

    As others have said, putting the tabs on top moves the content away from the tabs, and this creates a disassociation between the name of the page and the page itself (especially if one has a deep toolbar).

    Moving the Home button to the right side makes disassociates it from the forward and back button, which is where it surely belongs.

    Adding a bookmarks drop-down to the toolbar — why? The menu bar is there for a reason. Plus it’s only a key-command away.

    This update is sheer browser bloat, in a cosmetic sense if no other. Goodbye FF, it’s been nice knowing you.

  261. Bang on with the new tab design!, just switched from chrome.

  262. “A solution for the waste-of-space issue when not using the menu bar and having tabs on bottom: being able to move bookmarks/ the bookmark bar to the right of the Firefox button. That’d be really neat to see in later versions/betas of Firefox.“

    +1

  263. simon.st-georges

    i hate that orange icon and the double bar ,i wanna decide how its dispose, certainly NOT like that,

  264. “vardog
    February 27, 2011 at 12:17 am
    why don’t you right click the toolbar and uncheck tabs on top?”

    Thank you kindly, Sir.

  265. When Google Chrome appeared, I wanted to know the product to see why is it so superb. After several tentatives, I gave up because of the tabs placed on top. Theory here, concepts there but in the end practice decided to give up on that crap. So, I am completely against tabs on top.
    You said something about tab apps (stg I couldn’t follow because of you talking so fast…Why the hurry?): well, most of us use the browser to navigate on web pages. Be careful not to try to overspecialize average users. Most of us want simple things that do the work we expect them to do.
    Ah, and not mouse distance is the real issue, but focusing: you need to pay attention when your focus passes through bookmarks and address bar.
    Short version: tabs on top are a sort of Windows Vista experience.
    BUT folks, let us remember that sometimes evolution fails to go in directions that were expected to work.

  266. As someone who uses keyboard shortcuts to highlight the address bar, google search field, and uses shortcuts to swap between tabs, the location and efficiency argument is moot. We are not a majority, but we do exists!!! (ctrl+tab for tab hopping in FF)

    Also, if the newly designed notification bubble overlapped the tabs in the lower location, could you (the developer) simply have designed the bubble to appear 14 pixels lower?

    I will be glad if there is a preference left for the tab location, for those of us who are too set in our FF ways :P

  267. I have a Mac. Can someone tell me how to move the tab bar back down instead of having it at the top? I don’t have right click.

  268. I don’t much love the “Tabs on Top” feature; I’d prefer them to be above the web page to which they refer. However, if one sets up Firefox this way, one ends up (in “Maximize” mode, the way I normally use the browser) with a useless orange “Firefox” button — and nothing else — occupying an entire line of screen real estate. If, however, you use the “Tabs on Top” setup, you lose the ability to double click to the right of the last tab to open a new tab. Yes, I know, one can still mouse back to the “New Tab” button, or can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl-T,” but why should the users have to do that?

  269. I don’t think mouse distance is the only issue with tabs on top, visual distance is also a problem. At least personally I find it much easier to comprehend what I’m seeing in front of me with tabs at the bottom, right above the actual page that I am viewing. Otherwise I have to look past all the extra material that’s between the page and the tab to be able to find the tab I want to use next.

    Of course it’s a matter of what you’re used to – personally I use the address bar and other things that go with it rarely, instead I prefer to have my most frequently used sites open in various tabs and I switch between tabs often to check for updates etc.

    Having said that, I hope customization of tab location will remain an option.

  270. To the stupid people who complain about tabs location. Right click on tab bar and uncheck tabs on top option. With monitor heights getting ridiculously smaller, getting rid of title bar by placing tabs on top is the best thing Mozilla ever did. Copy the following into your userChrome.css file if you want to gain 15 pixels more vertical page area.

    #appmenu-button-container{position: fixed !important;}
    #navigator-toolbox[tabsontop="true"]
    #TabsToolbar{padding-left: 0px !important;padding-right: 0px !important;margin-top: -10px !important;
    margin-bottom: -5px !important;}

    #appmenu-button {
    padding: 6px 8px !important;
    min-width: 0 !important;
    }
    #appmenu-button .button-text {
    visibility: collapse !important;
    }
    #appmenu-button .button-menu-dropmarker {
    margin: 0 !important;
    }
    /* Tab Width */
    .tabbrowser-tab[fadein]:not([pinned])
    { max-width: 200px !important; }

  271. This is an extremely credible post from Mozillazine:
    cel4145

    Posts: 2
    Joined: July 8th, 2010, 9:07 am

    Post Posted July 8th, 2010, 9:14 am
    For those that extensively use tabbed browsing, the new location of the tab bar may be a usability design flaw in Mozilla 4x. The eye now has farther to move to switch back and forth between tabs when reading in a browser window. In my case, I have also have the bookmarks toolbar enabled and 7 tabs open. I switch back and forth between tabs quite often (I have 7 open at the moment). Now, my eyes have to move above the noise of the bookmarks toolbar and the address bar to access the tabs each time, whereas in Firefox 3, the tabs are better located in proximity to the web page display part of the browser window.

    So unless there is significant usability theory to counter this observation, I would suggest Mozilla take a lesson from the Honda Automobile design playbook and don’t fix something that doesn’t prove to have a direct design benefit (long time Honda owners who have had several Hondas know what I mean). At the very least, I would not implement this new feature without allowing the user to reposition the addressbar, bookmarks, tab list, and other items relative to each other.

  272. My preference is tabs at the bottom. Why? because with tabs at the top, address bar in the middle and website at the bottom, that address bar is just getting in my way. Thankfully Mozilla never disappoints and gives us the option to choose our layout.

  273. It is very unconfortable with tabs on top. Is there an option for the user to move tabs on bottom?

  274. Thank you for allowing us to re-position the tab bar. Having each tab closer to the content it represents makes logical sense to me, and functionally, it is wonderful not to have to move my eyes so much to search for a tab.

  275. @Endlesoul Thanks man brief and spot on, tops was giving me a headache.

  276. Tabs on top is great. Opera has an INCREDIBLE implementation of tabs; just amazing.

    They are expandable in height and they are also a visual page preview of the page you are on.

    A feature I would like to see in Firefox is the abitlity to pick what items I want in the right-click context menus and what position they are in.

    For example: 99% of the time when I right click on an image I want to save it. I wish that the Save As was the very first option on the list.

  277. I don’t even have to watch the video for an explanation. The new location is not a good idea. If there was so much debate, why not make it user selectable? I prefer the previous location.

    Obviously from the commentary above, people have different preferences on where to put it.

    It should be user selectable, top, top below bookmarks bar, side, bottom, what ever.

  278. oops, i figured out how to put tabs below bookmarks toolbar. for me, it is user selectable.

  279. So many people have all sorts of intelligent logistical complaints about tabs on top so I guess my complaint is silly but it’s still my complaint and I’m making it!

    ALL of my personas make it almost impossible to read what’s in the tabs!!! Is there some way to make the background of the tabs opaque??? Or do I have to get rid of my personas?

    Also, that WIDE UGLY orange thing at the top taking up as much space as a tab, can I replace it was the nice little (narrow square) orange and blue firefox logo?

    I tried moving the tabs to the bottom but then it just wastes too much space and I’m already on a freaking tiny netbook screen as is!

    Oh, and how do I replace my status bar? Where is it now? How will I know when the web connection is just being crappily slow from when it’s not doing anything at all?

  280. I very much dislike the new Firefox 4 – confusing, and cluttered and annoying. if there is any way I can get the old 3.0 iteration, I would much prefer to run that.
    My .02

    B.

  281. I am using Windows XP and downloaded the new version of Firefox 4.0. The page came up blank with only the little orange firefox logo. Everything else was blank, lost my green AVG page status bar button altogether. Went back and uninstalled and put back the other version, and all was OK but still do not have the AVG page status button. I guess the newer version was too much for my Windows XP????

  282. Scott Ferguson

    What was not considered in the video: people get tired of constantly learning new interfaces. Sure, we get used to it; but more than anything it feels like we are lab rats for someone’s intellectual debate.

  283. The eye travel distance is fundamental to UI design. Browsing is a visual experience. When navigating any UI eye travel equals useability friction. As we get better and better at using a UI, our expectations for response increase. The one thing that we cannot speed up is eye travel distance, so by forcing the user to look farther for navigation elements you impose a (physiological) bottleneck which cannot be improved.

    Also, tab location is unrelated to recovering screen real estate.

    For mac users who want to turn this UI choice off, uncheck Tabs on top under View-Toolbars.

  284. I’ve just installed Forefox 4 (stable) and I cannot see the option to move the tabs bar from top to bottom.
    When I right click on the tabs, only options I get are:

    Reload Tab

    Pin as App Tab
    Move to New Window

    Switch rendering engine
    Open in Ext.App

    Reload All Tabs
    Bookmark All Tabs
    Close Other Tabs

    Undo Close Tab
    Close Tab
    ———————–

    So, what am I doing wrong?
    Thanks, guys.

  285. Ahh, no worries.
    I changed it using:
    View -> Toolbars -> uncheck Tabs on Top

    thanks
    and thanks for the blog
    :)

  286. as long as you have the option of putting the tabs under the address bar there’s no problem at all, except that I cannot re size the address bar!

  287. Interesting decision.

    Here are my takes on it:

    #1: I use the bookmark toolbar with folders for my bookmarks. If the tabs are on top everything below is not exactly tab-related.

    #2: I use a Mac, so even if window is maximized, I won’t have the benefit of having the tab more accessible by moving my cursor to the top.

    #3: This is my estimate on what buttons I press on my usual work/browsing day:

    Switch between tabs: 80%
    Bookmark toolbar: 10%
    Back button: 10%

    For me switching between tabs is probably the most important feature.

    I’m keeping the tabs on the bottom for now. The current conceptual/experiential model is still a bit shaky. Good luck and thanks for all the great work.

  288. At first I was very hesitant about the changes, but with a little bit of exploration, I’m relieved to see that the customization is still there, and I can move my home/reload back to their old locations.

    I could relearn to get used to tabs on top, and conceptually I like most of the button placements.

    The biggest user behaviour I cannot overcome is double clicking the tabs bar to open a new tab, and running Firefox in Maximized window, the behaviour is not there, just to minimize the window.

    One other Feature either I have not been able to find out yet, is for the bookmarks bar, are we able to move our bookmarks drop-down menu to the left side of the screen?

    Overall Kudos on a job well done!

  289. IrritableDude

    While you did address the mouse distance issue (which I do feel is a very important consideration, that search box is useless to me, I keep google for a homepage, no cluttered BS-filled page to open when i pull my browser, just a nice clean white page with a search box right there already.) you did fail to consider user OS usability. OSX, LINUX and Windows all have either natively or as an add on program the ability to use “dock” style screen edge menus. I keep mine up top. Your idea that the top edge of a screen is “infinite space” fails because of this. my dock covers your tabs if I mindlessly mouse upwards.

    And why do you want to get rid of the home button? Do you really need a 15 inch long address bar? I don’t. I just literally have nothing else I need taking up that space. I suppose app tabs might be good, they ARE only about as big as a normal button in your demonstration. *shrug* you get rid of it I’ll just have to wait for someone to make an add on that puts it back I guess.

  290. dude, slow down.

  291. You didn’t analyse all this when people have the awesome-god-like Tab Kit module installed, which puts all tabs in a sidebar…

    As most of people now have 1280 px resolution, and most of websites use a 960 px grid, the tabs on the side are the best solution from (very) far. I use it for month and can’t see how I was doing before. You can group them, they are automatically differentiated by color, and so on, and so on.

    Your analysis is totally pointless if you don’t even consider this option. Were you really looking for the best solution?

  292. Ok, so how do I drag my FF-window now? So much harder if you have many tabs open, there’s almost no clickable space.

  293. Please leave the tab location customizable. I like tabs at the bottom with home button, back and forth beside it. I don’t need the navigation bar, maybe a hidden function or a shortcut key to open it.
    I was very worried that the location was not customizable.

    Thanks

  294. TALKS TOO FAST on Tabs video!!!!!!!!!

  295. Change for the sake of change, nothing more. I’m glad the option was put in to allow you to switch is back to the original Tab location. The original should be the default and for the users that want change then Tabs on Top should be selectable, not the other way around. I think Mozilla changing to a default of Tabs on Top is about the stupidest thing they have ever done. Why try to copy other browsers when so many are happy with FF., While you are trying to draw over some of those users, you are p!$$!ng your core users off.

  296. Tabs work better on the bottom, where I have now put them. PLEASE KEEP THIS OPTION. I sell on eBay and constantly go from tab to tab for each view of my daily activity… sold items, active items, eBay Store, Selling summary, etc., etc.
    Not only is the distance a pain when they are on top, (I am constantly going from tab to tab) but visually and logically they do not make sense on top. When a person looks into an actual file in a drawer, it has its content directly inside, so UNDER that tab, as in an real file drawer. This is how it’s been done for eons. It’s called user friendly. If it works don’t fix it.

    My day if full of selling, and even seconds count. The distance with tabs being on top also cuts into my time.
    Time is money. Yes!

  297. I get the reasoning. It makes sense. The main down side is the same as with any interface change — existing users lose the value of their already existing knowledge infrastructure (some very small but very real set of skills/knowledge has been rendered worthless and they have to learn a new routine).
    My main annoyance is the fact that f6 doesn’t work to highlight the address bar. I was originally used to using f4 from the days of IE, then had to switch to f6. Now I guess I have to get used to ctrl-L. Is there a reason you can’t try to maintain some semblance of consistency for users who enjoy the speed of keyboard shortcuts? True, it doesn’t take that long to learn a new routine, but it’s kind of annoying.
    Here’s the shortcuts I use over and over
    ctrl-t (open new tab)
    ctrl-f4/ctrl-w (close current tab — I recently switched to ctrl-w because I don’t think chrome supports ctrl-f4)
    ctrl-shift-t (reopen tab I accidentally just closed)
    ctrl-tab (move to the next tab)
    f6 (highlight address bar so I can type in wherever it is I want to go — I never bother with bookmarks because it’s faster just to type in the url — that way my fingers never have to leave the keyboard)
    I get things are changing and keyboard shortcuts will be less and less valued as we move to touch screens and tablet devices, but for us hardcore developers, the keyboard will remain golden for years to come.

  298. I very much prefer having my tabs vertical on the left. I have several tabs at the top of the list that are always present and then more that are only temporary and reflect my current interests.

    Why cannot we have this choice also?

  299. Malachi de AElfweald

    I found the new placement very annoying (and non-intuitive). Thanks for this site for showing me how to disable it.

  300. Above address bar is more mouse movement when using the mouse thus under is better. Glad we can move it.

  301. Thank you for explaining how to switch to the old way to display the tabs. I downloaded Firefox 4 beta and used it no more than 15 minutes before deciding I’d never use it – and reinstalling the old 3.6.

  302. Thank you so much for showing me how to disable this.
    I watched your entire video and it seemed to be overthinking the issue. Simple fact of the matter is that tabs on top requires more mouse movement.

    I cannot see how a user would think that clicking the ‘Back’ button would *not* affect the current window.
    I was hoping for some good reasons why tabs are now on top, but the video convinced me even more to keep them where they have always been.

  303. Tabs on top == counterintuitive

  304. Tabs are in the wrong place above there.
    More mouse movent to reach and the eye focus is lost too.
    Other more serious thing is that clicking the tab a second time still do not bring the previuos viewed tab active.
    This is keeps Firefox having the toylike feeling.

  305. Thanks for showing me how to disable this horrible new look.

  306. Thanks for the info… so mine doesn’t show the [tabs at top] option when I right click in any area of the browser, but it is found under [options], but when I disabled it in options, the tabs remained at the top (with a now reinforced border between the address bar and the tabs). After monkeying around I found that if I unchecked the [tat] option and then right clicked a tab and unchecked the [fix position and hight of tab bar] option, the tab bar moved back under the address bar. From that point, I could move it to top or under address bar with the [tat] option.

  307. Only one question? Why? I had FF4 for about 15 minutes, then upgraded back to FF3.6.17.

  308. Thanks for showing us how to move it back to the old psition. On top was very annoying.

  309. The problem is that not all toolbar controls are specific to the current tab, but there’s no way to specify which toolbars should be “internal” to the tab and which are “external”.

    While I can understand moving the location bar into the tab area (and maybe the bookmarks toolbar, since that will open in the current tab), moving ALL toolbars into the tab both breaks up the viewer’s links between the selected tab and the tab’s content, and puts “odd” buttons (things like “undo closed tab” and “synchronise bookmarks” type buttons) in an area where they’re simply not appropriate. Those buttons don’t “belong” to the selected tab and won’t be affecting the selected tab. The only other place for them would be to put them on the tab bar itself, which would waste tab real-estate – which I’m frequently extremely short of anyway.

    “Top” or “Bottom” of ALL toolbars is too restricted a choice. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could move a toolbar up to above the tab bar, while keeping the location toolbar within the tab bar…without that flexibility, top-positioning is too separated from the page content. :(

  310. agree. found this blog (and the painfully slowing loading video) while looking for how to turn off tabs on top. And after watching it, this ‘feature’ still makes no sense. It’s a kinda of emperor new-clothes kinda option and I’m more than prepared to say that with this feature defaulted that emperor Firefox isn’t wearing any clothes. The feature is counter-intuitive and just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it any better.

  311. Thank goodness we can move it back!

  312. Now I understand Tabs on top and will endeavor to get used to it. “Who moved my cheese?”

    However, now I want to get Bookmarks on top and out of the way. Why not a preference for that?

  313. As others I searched to see how I can return to the original view. But, after seeing the video I understand the logic and will give it another try! Thanks for explaining!

  314. Steve Hutton

    Thanks for this information. I was regretting installing version 4 because of the tab positioning and the position of other elements. I was even looking for a way to re-install the previous version. Could not
    understand how anyone would want them at the top and you also moved the “stop loading”, “refresh” and “home” buttons miles away to the right – a big stretch with the mouse.

    I’m so glad that I have been able to put the tabs back to the bottom (their logical spot for me!) and move everything else where I like them. I have to say that if I hadn’t found this, I would have gone back to my previous browser.

    Firefox is a superb program and I’m glad I can stay with it.

  315. Thank you very very much for this tip! I use RocketDock (all my programs are on a hidden top bar). When I want to switch to another Firefox tab, that bar always comes over the browser. Both, Firefox and that bar feature were needed for me. Even more, I wanted my “double click opens a new tab”, not only click on that “plus button” to open a new tab. Third thing, I’m sure that navigation through bottom tab toolbar is a lot more easy than navigate on top, just install more toolbars on your browser and you will see that navigating through tabs it’s a nightmare!!!

    Thank You for this tip!

  316. I have to address this:
    I appreciate the attempt to maximize page space, but the Real trade-off was additional time navigating through menus, IE bookmarks, menu and etc. Essentially you’ve optimized for netbooks and small screen devices, which are still a vast minority even if they get the attention. Setting this type of optimization as default will alienate large-screen users who want a snappy easy-to-access interface.

    Firefox appears to have a need for two versions, or at least two default overall settings for non-technical users who find the very easy customization confusing. I have no problem, but I would be concerned considering the diverse user base.

    I would also point out that you have an annoying line between the tabs and address bar when reset to default tabs. Please remove.

    I am going with the new look for now, but the occluded visibility is atypical for firefox.

  317. I, for one, prefer the tabs on top.
    All these poor people complaining that they have to move the mouse “too far.” It’s so hard! I can’t handle it! I need my bottle!

    It’s not counter-intuitive. It’s actually more intuitive, as shown in the video.

    If you are really concerned about moving the mouse too much because you spend way too much time browsing, then just learn to use the keyboard. Ctrl + PgDn and PgUp do wonders.

    Kudos to the Mozilla team here for making the right default choice.

  318. I can’t complain much, you guys keep firefox free. But there’s no reason to pretend like you’re doing the vast majority of your consumers a favor by implementing an annoyance, however temporary.

    It’s nice to have more options for tab placement, because more options are nice for almost anything (how about left, right, & bottom tabs for the next version? & for the future, the ability to move them anywhere?).

    However, changing the default was purely unnecessary. Web consumers are by nature creatures of habit, not trendsetters. Hardly anybody really cares where the tabs go, as long as they don’t move between versions.

  319. The Conceptual Model example is slightly flawed, because it assumes the user opens a new tab before doing anything. While this use case is likely when using the search or location field, bookmarks are – I suspect – more often used with a middle-click, which opens them in a new tab. Using tabs on top, the bookmark bar therefore more appropriately belongs alongside the “Firefox Button”.

    The best UI balance would therefore be:

    [Firefox controls: [Firefox Button][Bookmarks]]
    [Tab bar: [Tabs]]
    [Tab controls: [Back][Forward][Location][Search]]

    This has the added advantage of reducing the size of the “control area” at the top by one, since currently Bookmarks have their own line.

    The only disadvantage to this approach is that you lose the top-boundary win you had before.

  320. The change to “tabs on top” was irrational. Tabs should be right above the webpage display, where the highlighted tab shows which page/tab is actually being displayed right next to the page itself, without several lines of separation between them. Changing from tab to tab with the mouse is easier with tabs on the bottom, as others have said.

    Glad I found this page as I had tried right clicking on the tabs bar, the bookmarks bar, looked in Options, and everything but the menu bar before getting frustrated to search online for a way to get tabs back where they belong. Why not make it so people can right click on the tabs bar to change where it appears – that would be more logical.

  321. Having the tabs at the top is much less intuitive than having them as close as possible to the content. Much more mouse movement, too, as others have said. The fact the other browsers are moving them to the top doesn’t make it right!

  322. I really don’t understand… why is every company pushing their ideas with changes that nobody really wants. Sure, people will adapt, but people will be pissed. At least firefox had the courtesy to let us change it back. Unlike most websites like Youtube that just force their shit on you and get away with it simply thanks to there not being a decent alternative

  323. i’ve moved it to the previous position.

    the video doesn’t take bookrmarks and other toolbars into consideration at all..

    imagine: going vertically from top to bottom, you have a top caption \Website with flowers\, then a bunch of completely random stuff like your bookrmarks, image uploading toolbar, some radio toolbar and THEN, after that, the \Website with flowers\ content. this makes absolutely no sense.

    when tabs are on bottom, you get the name of the content and the content itself right after that.

  324. Thank you for this video; it’s interesting to see the logic behind the design decisions.

    I use the Bookmark Toolbar feature, so having tabs on top means an extra finger jog for me. I’m afraid it’s too jarring and I have already unchecked Tabs on Top.

    Excited to see how websites how utilise their own in-tab toolbars with HTML 5.

    I’ve had a go at trying to describe my personal concept of the parts of the browser. For me, the address bar and navigation buttons are quite seperate from the tabs, rather than controls for each tab. The dual function of the address bar (most importantly as a search/webaddress entry field, and secondarily as the address of the active tab) makes me see it as discrete and not tightly associated with an individual tab.

    Change is soo hard! I don’t envy your team having a barrage of negative comments on this decision. :(

  325. Thank you for making it so easy to undo this change. Having the tabs on top is terrible for keeping myself in the right place.

  326. Ok so I know why you moved the tabs but thanks for leaving the option to move them back down. I much prefer the old style, tabs at the bottom interface. In fact the placement of the tabs and generally non-intuitive interface is what put me of chrome and had me running back to FF within a week with my tale between my legs and mumbling apologies for making such a terrible mistake.

    Other than that good job, thanks very much Mozilla.

  327. Change for the sake of change is bad. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it! This is one of the ridiculous features in Chrome that has kept me from converting. It is stupid to have a high idea that you need to keep up with the Jones’ to stay competitive. Stay true to your roots, Mozilla!

  328. Thanks for the video. You talk awfully fast though.

    I will give tabs on top another try. Like others, I installed FF4 but went back to FF3 after 30 mins for two reasons: the tabs on top awkwardness, and the absent “recent pages” button.

    As for your quote “There’s one potential downside, mouse distance and efficiency” I’d like to point out that it definitely IS a MAJOR downside – not merely a potential one. In my opinion it is not so much about moving your hand/mouse further, but more about having to glance over other controls and optical information before your eyes can reach the desired destination/info – the tabs. I find it requiring more effort and distracting my attention even if it’s just for a fraction of a second.

    About the limited tab real-estate and the option of vertical tabs mentioned above by other users, I think it would be reasonable after opening e.g. 10 tabs, to have the next tab(s) open in a horizontal position under the first tabs bar, instead of having to scroll left/right with minuscule arrows. Yes, you would have two bars of tabs on top of each other, but you would maintain visibility of the tabs’ icons and titles at all times.

    I’ll give it another try – thanks

  329. Huh. I found this video trying to figure out how to change it back for my husband – the change didn’t really bother me.

    Now that I’ve watched it, I think the rationale is dumb and I’ve switched it back myself. Your reasons seem to be:

    1) Extremely stupid people who’ve never seen the Internet before and have no friends who can clue them in may not be able how to figure out how to use a web browser!
    2-4) Features that .000001% of the population uses and nobody is asking for will be better with this new interface!

    If/when anything in 2-4 becomes relevant for me, I’ll be happy to use this new feature – but right now you’re asking me to trade convenience and ease-of-use for… um, nothing, really.

  330. I think those who are throwing a tantrum saying the old firefox was better are acting like children considering it take two mouse-clicks to change it back, first one on the right and then a left mouse click. But I do think having tabs on top is horrible, I would also revert back to the older firefox if it was not possible to change back, it just comes out really wrong and looks very bad. So tabs on top is a step backwards but not forwards I (and it seems some others) think but it´s still good seeing as you have the option to disable it, so those that may enjoy it more get that and those that don´t (like me) can keep their old look.

  331. Thanks for the explanation – it makes sense but I’m still going tabs on the bottom to avoid the extra mouse movement.

  332. Tabs on top is wrong. As others have pointed out it’s slower because it’s a longer, visually and cognitively disruptive mouse move. It’s nice to be able to change the tab positions back where they belong, but tabs on top was an inappropriate change.

    Tabs on top could work better for trendies using the emperor’s new clothes tablets. It is not better for the vast majority using mice. Maybe make it build dependent, i.e., tabs on top for Android; otherwise not.

  333. Thanks for telling me how to disable this inane “advanceent” that forces me to traverse bookmarks & the URL every single time I want to switch tabs, Which is a lot.

    My cursor is active in the window, the distance from center should be on an ass needed basis. I need to switch tabs more than I need my bookmarks, which is more than I need the URL.

  334. I hate it! If I’d known this would happen I never would have installed firefox 4. My task bar has gone, I can’t see my tabs properly stuck up top, moving the cursor up there with a mouse pad is awkward. It keeps interfering with my wideo/webcam controls which I’d put there as the only place they didn’t keep coming up with mouse roll over. I tried listening to all the explanation as to why this awfulness has happened but it got all techie and I’m not a techie or geeky type so got completely lost. Please, just tell me how to get back to firefox 3, I really really hate this.

  335. Man. People sure get mad when you change the stuff they have for free, and give them a dead simple way to change it back.

  336. This is always going to be a matter of subjectivity, but I want to throw in my two cents as a user who doesn’t care about mouse distance (I use keyboard shortcuts like ctrl+tab and ctrl+shift+tab and corresponding apple+shortcuts on OSX to navigate through tabs rather than clicking on them).

    Tabs on top still come across as jarring and unusual to me, and even after having used thousands of GUI-based applications in graphical operating systems, and I believe it’s for this reason:

    *** When it comes to most user-interfaces, the more static (unchanging) aspects of the layout are further away from the center, while the more dynamic parts are in the center. ***

    Tabs open and close all the time, so moving them away from the center and towards the top of the application makes for a layout that’s always changing even towards the very window header of the application. It just seems to go against established trends and standards in UI design even though I agree that there’s a logical reasoning for putting tabs on top to emphasize which controls affect the current tab.

  337. … so even though I agree with the logic of putting tabs at the top to visually group elements together, I think this is still jarring because it’s ignoring a different reason to visually group elements based on whether their layouts are more static (unchanging: usually near the borders of the window) or dynamic (frequently changing: usually near the center of the window).

  338. IF it is necessary to make a video explaining changes in a programs update… FAIL HUGE FAIL

    Properly made changes would be obvious.

  339. Intuition is nice, to be sure, and I CAN see why from a design perspective it kind of makes sense (although people do make good points about non-tab-specific stuff being in there which doesn’t make sense), but come on. Tabs are a basic feature of a web browser and have been for awhile. We all know how they work, and if you don’t it should take all of a few minutes to figure out how they do work. The other 99.9999% of the time you spend not learning about the browser and instead just using it, the most frequently used stuff should be closest to the action. Tabs are the most frequently used feature of a browser, I’m sure, definitely more than any other toolbar buttons.

  340. Just d/l Ubuntu 4.04 which defaults to FF 4.

    I found Tree Style Tab before I discovered this blog. The initial reason I went to FF (and Opera) was for vertical tabs. If you take them away I guess I’ll have to use more Opera although FF IS my preferred browser.

    But what I *REALLY* don’t care for is when I slide a window to a top corner it *AUTOMATICALLY* goes to full screen. Hey, I’m a big boy, I *KNOW* what I want and that is for the window to be in the upper left or upper right. That does *NOT* by any stretch of the imagination mean that I want it to be full screen. I have a reasonable sized monitor and I want to make the best (in MY opinion) use of it. This generally does *NOT* mean full screen, something I rarely use even with this puny 1400×900 pix screen (I only said reasonable, not good 8-)

    So just how do I disable this automatic full screen when I move FF to an upper corner?

    Sincerely, Dave Cannell

  341. Thanks for the explanation. I think you’re on the right track here. However, i use the bookmarks toolbar heavily, and having that between the page and the tabs isn’t working at all. So i’ll stick to the old tabs for now. The bookmarks toolbar should be moved to the top along with the tabs.

  342. the time it takes for a newb to learn that the back button doesn’t switch tabs has got to be way less than the amount of time he’s gonna waste over the course of his life having to move the mouse that tiny bit further. and the mouse distance is about double when u have web developer toolbar installed and any bookmarks on the bookmark toolbar…so bottom it is for me.

  343. I think the only reason this design decision is questionable is because a FireFox window consists only of the one tab pane: that is the entire browser for the most part. It’s not like there are a whole bunch of other UI elements other than the tab contents, so there isn’t such a strong need to emphasize what is tab-local vs. tab-independent (global) by forcing things like the address bar into the tab.

    It’s quite self-evident and logical that the address bar affects the current tab. I doubt that anyone complaining about FireFox ever prioritized the lack of distinction between tab-related controls and global ones. With the design change, however, there are now people complaining. Fortunately there’s a way to turn this off, but perhaps it should even be considered the default.

  344. To respond specifically to the points made in the video (apologies for multiple posts: this is an interesting topic for me):

    1) Conceptual model:
    While undoubtedly more clear, I don’t think this is a problem that needed solving. The entire browser’s screen estate is occupied by a single tab pane, so what is and isn’t tab-specific tends to be quite obvious regardless. Furthermore, the implications of controls like the address bar no longer maintaining global state isn’t a trivial design change: I’d much rather keep state across tabs.

    2) App tabs:
    For a start, this video emphasizes that this only affects a default preference regarding the position of the tabs. If that’s the case and there’s no plan to deprecate the former default, what difference does it really make whether the tabs are on top or bottom with respect to app tabs? They should be capable of being hidden either way when necessary. They don’t have to be disabled in one case and hidden in another or behave differently when they are on top as opposed to being below. Granted this has a potentially more jarring effect of collapsing controls like the address bar when irrelevant, but that might be preferable to merely putting everything inside the tab. This is just the same basic argument as the conceptual model to me with what appears to be a red herring (apologies: this is probably not the intention, but I think there is a major oversight here): the exclusive control of app tabs has nothing to do with the default location of tabs. It’s back to conceptual aesthetics so I think #2 is a moot point unless we consider more alternatives.

    3) Again, I don’t think it makes much difference whether the tabs are on top or below. Like #2, they can be hidden when not applicable.

    4) This doesn’t have to be a black and white case. Putting tabs on top doesn’t have to require that the tab-modal panels that show up overlap the tab strip. That’s assuming the tab-modal panel has to appear immediately below the icon which might be more visual appealing but surely there are some interesting design alternatives that don’t require every tab-relevant control to be inside the tab.

    In essence while I agree with the logical aspects of the design, there are aesthetic and ergonomic reasons people strongly dislike it. It might be worth considering some other alternatives which preserve the former defaults.

  345. I use both Firefox and Chrome a lot (use on different PCs for different reasons.) Just thought I’d throw in my .02. First, I like that you _can_ put the tabs on top if you like. I actually hadn’t thought about it much when using Chrome, but they are up top and it looks ok. I think the issue with the Firefox implementation of tabs on top is that the tabs are square with very little space between them so they don’t really stand out as “folder tabs” like the Chrome interface. In Chrome, they actually look like old manilla folder tabs. It makes the whole page stand out as one “folder” whereas the current Firefox implementation just looks like one of the top rectangles is active. So I think if you want to have the “on top” option, the tabs need to stand out more visually making the whole tab/screen actually look like you opened a folder.

    That said, I’d have to agree with most of the above posts. I don’t see why it matters where the tabs are. That should just be user choice. You can still hide/show whatever you like while doing the tab. If the users choose to waste screen real estate by not having tabs on top, that should be fine.

    I still say kudo’s for thinking forward and giving the users options so that we could decide! Thank you!

  346. Under is better. It is less mouse movement and closer to the content window. More often used functions should be “first”, which in this case are at the bottom. Just like the iPhone icons, or a task bar, or the start menu, or the dock. It makes no sense to have this item on top.

  347. I’m not sold on change, or that change or the idea of “what’s new” is always good. For the commenter who offered “Who moved my cheese?” I offer ridiculous corporate propaganda.

    Animated tabs are no good either…it only makes you wait for something that should be instant.

    What always has made Firefox good IMO is its utility…or because it is practical. If I wanted showy tricks I would just download Safari which does them very well. So much for the evolution of the internet.

    I’m glad to find that I can still put tabs on the bottom and that is where they will stay!

  348. The old style tab position should be the default, tabs on top should be optional. I have also changed it back to the FF3 position. After all of the negative feedback you’ve received on this point I expect you to change the default back to tabs on the bottom with FF5. I appreciate that FF is free but you still need to listen to your users.

  349. The most annoying thing I find about having the tabs on top is that every time I move my mouse to click on them, the Windows toolbar (Email & Chat, Internet, Photos, …) located at the top pops up and blocks the tabs. It also means that in order to click the tab I want, I have to act fast before the Windows toolbar pops up. It makes browsing the Net rather frustrating.

  350. I almost can’t believe you guys view the advantage of having the tabs attached to the page contents they represent as just a “mouse distance” advantage. The importance is far more than that and far outweighs the 4 mediocre advantages of tabs on top.

    The tabs are minimized representations of pages/sites/content the user feels a need to have open at this time – they are meaningless if they are not instantly associated with specific pages/sites/content without having to think about it. Tabs on top breaks that direct association causing the user to have to pause and think just a little bit longer which tab corresponds to which page/site/content.

    You guys are wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

  351. We are not all the same, and we do things differently, so I feel in my comfort zone with the tabs on the bottom.
    Oh by the way…Internet Explorer 9 has the tabs on top.
    They don’t give you the option to change it back, so goodbye Internet Explorer.
    This is my computer, not the highbrows in EI or Firefox.
    Don’t dictate us you views, just let us have options

  352. I for one do not like the tabs on top, it doesn’t seem natural to navigate to the very top to close or open new tabs. I prefer the website navigation bar at the very top, like the header to a letter and the tabs are the individual paragraphs in that letter….that’s just how my brain see’s it. With the latest update, my brain literally freaked out over the changes! lol funny but true. And that “Firefox” button in the upper left hand corner is anything but intuitive. I wish i could get the “Reload” and “Home” button over where they used to be but oh well, guess I can compromise a little.

  353. I just tried “tabs on top” and my objection is exactly the one in this video: inconvenient mousing. In particular, I was mousing over the “shortcut” bar with saved pages to get to the tabs — I use tabs frequently in a single session, the shortcut/saved pages occasionally in a session. I think the further I have to go, the less accurate is my mousing, so that complicates the “distance” argument.

    All of the conceptual arguments here make a lot of sense to me, but the practical irritation of extra mousing also makes a lot of sense to me :(

  354. wow! reading these comments confirms deep suspicions… the web is full of fools.

  355. I know it’s a bit late, but thanks a lot for this video. It lays out the argument for tabs on top quite well.

    Since upgrading to FF4 I’ve gone back and forth, initially preferring the old look (even trying tabs at bottom of tab window), but now leaning toward tabs on top.

  356. “it’s about the evolution of the Web as a platform.”
    No, it’s about the user! Reconnect to the real world.

  357. Have you guys considered this? The problem I have is this. I like to setup firefox so that when I have a certain amount of tabs open firefox will create a new tab row. Now when I have tabs on top it moves the address bar down. That really annoys me for some reason. I want the address bar in the same position. once the new tab that creates the new row in made the controls move down. I don’t know… I’m trying it now and it’s not so bad.. tabs on top also seem uncomfortably close to the close and controls buttons, I feel like I might accidentally click on something I don’t want.

  358. Glad it’s easy to switch back. I really dislike how the default interface always changes so much with major version updates. Not sure why the home and reload buttons got moved across the screen either, but they too are easy to move back.

  359. Thanks for explaining the concept!

    If I think of Firefox as a \desktop,\ and the \Firefox\ button as the \Start\ button (for Windows users), then it all makes sense. It’s for the same reason that the Windows taskbar is at the edge of the Windows desktop. If you want Firefox to be your desktop, put its taskbar at the edge.

    Personally, I prefer the abandoned (?) Mozilla Prism concept, in which Web apps would be first-class apps on the host desktop. In this way, you just have one taskbar (or whatever the OS provides) for switching apps, whether local or Web-based.

    Although Prism’s unified approach is (I believe) cleaner, provides more flexibility, and places fewer demands on the user, it causes the browser to lose its identity as a self-contained program… something that Firefox and other browsers have worked so hard to create.

    If both the user and business needs could be met through a creative combination of platform integration and subtle but distinctive branding… this would be the ultimate \win-win.\

  360. Your listing a lot of personal preferences as facts and facts as personal preferences.
    I gave tabs ‘up top’ a try for 6 months or so. I tried to really like it, but I just can’t. Up top makes navigation slower and even feels wrong. Please don’t try to move in the direction on Chrome and IE9 (they are not the future… FF is and has been) they design things based on “studies” in an attempt to sell and try to control the users experience rather then giving people the option while FF has become successful because they listed to what people actually want. (Chrome has no bookmark toolbars and Ctrl+B does nothing… it is not very well though out! is actaly counterintuitive in the name of “decluttering”) Look at it this way Chrome/Google is spending millions on trying to get people to convince people that their browser is good while FF isn’t. I just ook a poll, no one in my office has tabs up top, and we only use Crome for testing, a few people switched back to FF 4 because they didn’t know about the option to fix it. I understand that its hard to build something you feel is correct (based on the opinions of “experts”)and begin building around it just to have people tell you that is wrong, but tabs up top IS wrong, and I’m sure if you ask anyone, most are gona tell you it sucks up to.

  361. I know its a year has passed from this post, but I realized how convenient the keyboard shortcuts are in FF. Ctrl+tab FTW

  362. I’m happy to try tabs on top after watching your video, but this new layout makes sense *only* if I can MOVE the GOOGLE TOOLBAR I have installed to some other location. But I can find no way to move that toolbar. Is there a way?

  363. Hello old FireFox. It seems in your old age you’ve gone somewhat deaf. Tabs on top is not what people want. Do you read your comments and feed back? Survey says the majority of the people who bothered to send you feed back want the tabs on the bottom – where they belong. Did you listen? No. Why not? What’s the big deal? Make tabs on top an option for the minority of users who want it that way. Sheesh. Perhaps it’s time to start looking for a new browser. Someone with working ears.

  364. I’ll be brief…

    1. Addons: Tab Mix Plus, Tree Style Tabs

    2. Tab Mix Plus preferences: enable scrolling to navigate through tabs and change tab on mouseover.

    3. Simply scroll in the tab bar area to change tabs (the quickest way possible from a mouse). No accuracy problems, I assure.

    4. You’ll never feel like clicking to change tabs.

    5. The advantage of having tabs on side and then scrolling? Irrespective of which tab you want to go to…you can always go to the same area on the left of your screen and simply scroll till you reach the desired tabs.

    6. The size of tab remains same irrespective of the number of tabs opened as you decide how much space you want to give to it from your wide screen.

    7. In case there are too many tabs, scrolling will be a bit slow, but anytime better than navigating through lots of tabs on top/bottom. On my 14.1 inch laptop screen, I can have 25+ tabs opened without losing view of any. Mouseover to change tabs comes in handy when lots of them are open.

    8. Rest pros and cons can be discussed. Just give it a try!

  365. Thanks for making the video about the location of the tabs. I like having them on top. It is a more logical location for the user.

  366. Thank goodness some bloggers can still write. Thanks for this blog.

  367. I am in accordance completely!

  368. You speak far to rapidly and are indistinct. You remind me of an arrogant professor who thought his concepts were irrefutable. You believe too strongly to be a spokesman. Your ram_it_down_their_throats presentation is offensive.

  369. I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I absolutely liked reading everything that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!

  370. Learn to write himself, the article from another source

  371. Just upgraded to FF8 after being nagged to “update”.
    What a disaster the new layout is, tabs-on-top.
    The most illogical layout.
    I totally agree with “Tamara” (May 2011?)
    Address is the letterhead, tabs are the paragraph.
    Why “copy” Chrome and IE.
    How do I get the old tabs-on-bottom back?

  372. At least some bloggers can write. My thanks for this writing!

  373. I hate the tabs on top, takes longer to scan to find the tab I want. I often have ten or more open at any one time.
    Please bring back the option to put the tabs on the bottom.

  374. I dont care why, I just want to know how to undue this forced travesty of usability and user centered interface ignorance!

  375. I have been sitting on FF 3.6 forever and loving it – I just hit the ok button for 8.0 and was shocked to see tabs on top and the nav tool bar all screwed up – tried to like it but can’t. (I gave it a whole hour!)

    Reason?
    I have upwards of 50 tabs open ALL the time – I have about 10 related to stock markets, another 10 for financial websites, another 15-20 for newspapers and then always about 10 for ebay items, and then maybe 20 or so on other things. I set about:config to make min width 50 and clipping 100. this way I have about 40 tabs visible all the time and they’re only 3/8ths inch wide – usually with only the favicon visible – I know what and where all my pages are – I scroll the mouse wheel to spin to those that are not visible – EASY!
    I also have the bookmark toolbar visible. I also have a couple of 3rd party toolbars visible like Zonealarm’s – So – that gives me about an inch and a quarter of used vertical space before the top of the frame. With tabs on bottom I’m straight there to my tabs from the page, but with tabs on top I have an extra inch to go and it’s a pain in the butt. I have to cross all that real estate and things are flashing and popping – nasty distraction.
    Tabs have got to be next to the pages – everything else is just other stuff – it’s logical!
    Vive tabs-under.

  376. I just see that FF3.6 will only be updated with security etc updates “for a short time” – what does that mean? Please do not kill off 3.6
    I just tried 8, and had to restore my system to an earlier state (only 3 days ago) to bring back my beloved 3.6

  377. Umm – I just watched the video. It took about two-thirds of the time it should have. Could you talk any faster? Could you run sentences and phrases together any more? What are you – a free-diver, saving breaths? The English language (unlike most others) goes “tumty tumty tumty tum” not “tumtumtumtumtumtumtumtumtum”. I suspect many (wes coast?) US under-thirtyish tech pros are too influenced by Asian English speakers (“tumtumtumtumtum”). Am I going on too much? Maybe, but THIS VIDEO WAS NEAR UNINTELLIGIBLE. It was genuinely painful to listen to. When you are trying to educate/communicate speak and enunciate clearly and with appropriate pace – it is NOT a race!

  378. And having got the awfulness of the video off my chest (And lew heghin was right “You speak far too rapidly and are indistinct.”) let me reinforce Ben’s comment. Try having 40-50 tabs open for a month or so – in multiple stacked rows (mine are stacked up to five rows high but I only ever have 3 rows showing and scroll up/down the rows) – and then come back here and say you still think the new tab position is fine!

    (and I am not the June 15th George, either – to avoid confusion)

  379. And one more thing – this business of app controls… listen csarefully – the browser navigation and tabs are about the browser and its navigation (is that plain enough?)
    If a web page or app in a tab needs some special controls THEN THEY CAN DARN WELL SIT INSIDE THE WEB PAGE OR APP. I do not want them interfering or customising my core browser navigation/controls.

  380. It’s all been said.

    but for a rare positive comment:

    Thank you for giving the option to revert back to tabs on bottom.

    Thank you for not being so self righteous that you felt compelled to force it down the users throat as Ubuntu is doing with Unity.

    Thank you for your hard work building a great application.

  381. Well, I do not use Chrome for it has tabs on the top and I haven’t changed yet to the new FF (I run 3.6.25) for the same reason. And right now I was Googling to see whether it is possible to switch back the tab position, knowing that I need to upgrade. And I came to this site, which is interesting. But the good news is that now I can dl the newest version of FF!

    By the way, I agree with most of the comments here on reasoning for not placing tabs on top. I guess it is user dependent and for me I browse with tabs a lot, I use Ctrl+Tab a lot (which Chrome is missing in the FF fashion) and the URL is less important than title on the tab for me, so I need tabs closer.

    I watched one part of the video as well and I think that theorizing is sometimes no good, because it has to feel right when using stuff, even though the video makes sense.

    By the way, I use Windows and I have the task bar positioned on the left side (Bill Gates, thank you for this possibility!), so that I have the most important buttons & links on the top of my workspace. And there are other benefits to it. I have been using this layout for years, and now when we have wide screens it is even more natural with more horizontal space than vertical. Cheers!

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