Australis is landing in Firefox Nightly

Madhava Enros

303

Australis in Firefox on Linux, Mac, and Windows

A very exciting set of changes is landing in Firefox Nightly. We’ve been calling the project Australis, but, simply, it’s the next iteration of the Firefox user interface. It’s not quite finished, and it needs more polish, which is exactly why we’re so eager to get it out to a wider set of the community.

So, what is Australis?

1. It’s the most beautiful and detail-obsessed iteration of Firefox’s visual design yet: modern, clean, and comfortable.
2. More fundamentally, it’s a streamlining and simplification of the default interface, to declutter and better focus on how people use a browser today.
3. Finally, it includes a new simple way to customize the browser and make it your own.

There are also many side-benefits: a better more extensible interface model that will accommodate future features and additions; a simpler presentation of add-ons as equals to built-in browser features; and a familiar look and feel across all our platforms so that Firefox feels like Firefox everywhere. We’ll be writing more about all of these in future posts.

Need a quick concrete demonstration of what we mean? Here’s a two minute overview and walkthrough:

Intro to Australis from Madhava Enros on Vimeo
(The same video on YouTube for an HTML5 player.)

Let’s take the main three points one at a time and explain what we mean.

1. Detail and beauty

Australis is largest refinement of the Firefox interface in a long time, and it touches almost everything, from the big picture of overall layout to the tiny corners of icon design.

One of the most noticeable changes is our tab shape. Ours is Firefoxy — organic, friendly, and fluid — and a good fit for the general feel of Firefox.

New curvy tab shape. Background tab in cursor-hover state.

As important, though, is the distinction between foreground and background tabs. Background tabs are visually de-emphasized, leaving a space that’s uncluttered and calm, where it’s quick and easy to see which tab is currently selected. Tabs also slide forward into focus as you mouse over them, so you can better see where you’re heading.

Incidentally, the less cluttered tab bar means that lightweight browser themes look the best they ever have.

Firefox with Glowbug theme installed

2. Streamlining and simplification

Firefox has grown with the web, bringing new tools and capabilities — tabbed browsing, one click bookmarking, download management — to the forefront the whole time. But you can’t just keep adding without pausing, taking stock of what’s broadly used and what’s not, and cleaning up. Firefox, like all software, has accumulated baggage over time, but our users have become seasoned light travelers.

Where does this simplification show up? You’ll see it in the streamlined way that Firefox’s tabs sit higher in the titlebar, getting out of the way and leaving more screen space for web pages.

You’ll also see it in how carefully and sparingly the default toolbar is filled. Some examples have already landed in earlier releases, like the forward button that only appears when there’s somewhere to go forward to, and the download button that shows progress when that’s relevant and hides it otherwise. New, landing in Nightly now, you’ll see this in a more prominent one-click bookmarking button paired with a button to get at those bookmarks.

Left to right: forward button, download progress indication, bookmarks list.

These always-used-by-everybody controls are front and center. Widely- but less frequently-used controls are quickly close at hand in the new (and touch friendly!) menu at far right. For the rest, the 2% use-cases, new simpler customization is easier than ever to find and use.

3. Easy Customization

Firefox can’t simplify by just removing things and still be Firefox — the same less isn’t more for everybody, and Firefox has been successful by being the browser that does things that people, including power-users, want. It’s even in our Firefox Design Values (PDF) (see You Help Make It).

We realized that Australis was the perfect time to make browser customization easier and more discoverable. This provides power and control to people who have specific feature needs and allows them to create their own perfect setup while giving new users an understandable starting point.

To this end, a new, easy and fun-to-use customization mode is very prominent in the interface. We’re hoping that it will serve as an on-ramp for more users than ever to make Firefox into exactly what they need. It works with features we ship by default as well as with features that people add through add-ons. We’ll dive deeper into the customization mode in a future Firefox UX blog post.

Entering and using Customization Mode.

That’s the new Firefox – beautiful, streamlined, and customizable.

What’s landed in Nightly is enough for intrepid users to have a solid day-to-day experience and help us finish Australis off — there’s more to come (interactive mockup!), so please keep trying it out!

Madhava Enros and Stephen Horlander, for the Firefox User Experience team

303 responses

  1. Ramses II wrote on :

    It’ll be easy to customize the new Firefox? Can I customize it to remain as it is now?

  2. Danish Prakash wrote on ::

    This is just great, was just avoiding FF due to the GUI and now i hope i’ll be back to it now.
    really good work

  3. Stanislav Marek wrote on ::

    Hi,
    I love the new UI, it’s nicely clean. But i have some questions:

    1.) Why there’s no option to use small buttons? On most devices, vertical space is very precious. Couldn’t find particular reason why this option vanished anywhere.

    2.) Why did developers go back to old style notifications? I mean the content-moving notification bar appearing under navbar. It only steals more vertical space and can be easily overseen. Is there an option to bring back bubble-style notifications (particularly the plugin related ones) ?

    3.) Why preferences.InContent is not enabled in UX? It just doesn’t make sense and it totally breaks the experience of a nice, clean, consistent UI.

    Thanks again for great work on UX and hopefully for your answers

  4. uli wrote on :

    Hi! as KDE user, i like australis – it fits much better than the old design.

    BUT: As a lot of people already said: Why do you use so much vertical pixels? the space between address bar and bookmarks bar is about 15 pixel of blank nothing – its not necessary for the visual appeal and there is no touch area, so i just don’t understand why you would waste that space?

    as well the space between tab bar and address bar is maybe 9 pixel – why so much? 5 would be enough!

    if you would use 8 instead of 15 between bookmarks and address and 5 instead of 9, we would gain 12 more pixels in vertical – without ANY change in the ui or functionality.

    Keep in mind that most people are using displays with 768 pixels height (1366×768, ~25% market share!, –> http://gs.statcounter.com/#resolution-ww-monthly-201210-201310 )

  5. Arnab De wrote on :

    This is really fast, fluid and stable. I’m loving the speed and new design philosophy. Good work guys…keep it up!!!

  6. Anonymous wrote on :

    Why cant you just use default native look-and-feel, then it blends in perfectly with the system then I can chose what theme I use.

    If I wanted rounded tabs, I would simply install a theme that had rounded tabs.
    If my desktop theme don’t have rounded tabs then I don’t think Firefox should force rounded tabs.

    1. Kate wrote on :

      And this is the reason why I will have to look for alternatives. The lack of customizability.
      I don’t want none of this “future look” It is just not appealing to me.

  7. Roman wrote on :

    All I miss from this new UI is movable “new menu button”. I would prefer it to be on the left side, as Firefox menu was by default.

    1. C.C wrote on :

      Same, I send them an email about a year ago but it did not changed anything :D

    2. exa wrote on :

      It’s a nightly so the interface might not be over yet and they just made what is required to be able to use it for tests

    3. kroltan wrote on :

      I like the new interface, but as @exa said, the option to customize the menu button would be great, since many users are already used to its location. Another thing is that this new design uses much more vertical space than before, and an option for adjusting that would be great, even if inside about:config.

  8. krzysieks wrote on :

    OK, you did the work and we see a lot of comments ranging from “unusable” to “awesome”. Before I give it a try (which means compiling from source and disabling as much useless features as possible, as I’m not going to buy a new, faster computer because of browser’s requirements), I would like to hear about Australis’ impact on speed and memory consumption.
    I’m serious, as I observe that in the world of computers: modern = big and slow. I use the seamonkey branch od mozilla browser and I see that every time I upgrade, the beast is more resource hungry and renders WWW pages slower than the older version. So what about Australis: does it make firefox bigger and slower (not worth a try then), or it doesn’t or even makes things smaller and faster?

    1. yzekskri wrote on :

      Hopefully it shall live up to the demanding needs of internet proto-hipsters everywhere. How else will we efficiently browse our message boards for the latest phreaking techniques?

    2. Madhava Enros wrote on ::

      There are others who can address this better, but my understanding is that the most recent versions of Firefox are the lowest memory consumption and most performant that we’ve built. This is not necessarily because of Australis, but is true nonetheless. Please gIve it a try and see.

      1. kroltan wrote on :

        The version just before Australis was using 400mb of RAM for this page, a Facebook feed, a forum and a GMail tab, now it is using mere 300mb.

  9. Brent wrote on ::

    I’ve been using the UX build for a week and love it! Good work guys – much nicer simpler look and feel.

    1. Madhava Enros wrote on ::

      Thank you! That’s great to hear!

      1. mma173 wrote on :

        Well, standard users will like it, but the power users will hate it.

  10. olvlvl wrote on :

    This new tabs layout wastes a lot of space and look too much like Chrome. You moved the “Firefox” menu and now I have to aim to click on it. I can’t throw my cursor to the upper left corner, confident that it would land on the menu (Windows). Also, looking at the browser window, there’s no telling which browser it is. Is this “de-branding” voluntary ?

  11. Nicolas Bourdais wrote on :

    I’m on australis channel for some weeks now and I like the new look, particularly the ability to customize the menu, but there are two things that I dislike

    1- Not a big dislike, but I’d prefer having the menu on the left.
    2- The bookmark star being removed from the address bar. I’m using the bookmark widget for now, but it clutters my bar with an access to the list which I never use. So I’d like to have the star back in the address bar or at least having the ability to use it without the list

  12. Awebb wrote on :

    First I didn’t like it, then I played around with it, now I find it an acceptable replacement for the old interface. Now all I want is that thing to be so kind and actually memorize my interface configuration when I close the browser (no matter how, Exit, window manager button, Alt+F4). Have not tried it on Linux yet, though.

    1. Gavin Sharp wrote on :

      If you’re having issues specifically with add-on SDK widgets, it could be a variant of https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=854226 (existing issue further exposed by Australis), which we’re going to fix. If it’s something else, it’s worth filing a new bug in Bugzilla and we’ll try to figure it out!

      1. Andreas wrote on :

        Some of it could be because I have not gotten used to it yet, but the fact that the border radius is so much larger than anything else on Xfce does reallu make them stand out. Also the fading separators between inactive tabs also has no equivalent on Xfce.

        What worries me more in the long term though (I might get used to Firefox breaking the desktop covnentions) is all the wasted screen real estate. The new header is 115 pixels while the old was 104 and the text on tabs is much shorter now.

        http://i.imgur.com/fZ9mXa4.png

        1. Andreas wrote on :

          Damn, replied to the wrong post.

          Intended to reply to: https://blog.mozilla.org/ux/2013/11/australis-is-landing-in-firefox-nightly/comment-page-2/#comment-32480

  13. Al wrote on :

    Looking forward using it (in Aurora)!

    Kudos for all the work done so far and the pieces landed already in desktop and mobile versions ;)

  14. Joe wrote on :

    Just installed the Nightly. There appears to be no option to have a bar at the bottom of the window (previously the “Add-on Bar”). Please don’t remove this option, personally I like to have a persistent status bar at the bottom, which I can do with the Status-4-Evar plugin in current versions, but with Australis I can only place this (and other plugins) in either the tab bar or address bar.

    As others have said, I prefer Firefox over Chrome because I dislike the minimal interface of Chrome. While recent changes have moved in that direction, it has generally been possible to retain a similar interface to older versions of Firefox through customisation options. The new customisation options are certainly easier to use (which is a welcome improvement), but actually leave less options than we had in the past. Please add an option to add extra toolbars in the customise screen, including at the bottom of the window.

    1. Chas wrote on :

      I’m with you Joe…no status bar means that I’ll stop upgrading Firefox to keep what I already have (and I guess I’ll find a new browser when it eventually gets deprecated). I’ve been using Status-4-Evar since Mozilla inexplicably removed the old status bar. (I can see having it disabled by default, but what was the point of removing it completely?) Moving it to the top is a deal-killer for me.

      Personally, I could see having a function key that would maximize screen real-estate by temporarily turning off the status bar, menus, tabs, et cetera…that would make a lot of sense for those few times when I really need it. Oh wait, we already have it: F11. The only bad thing about F11 is that it fills the entire monitor. Why don’t you make a function (say CTRL-F11) that does the same thing, but only within the current window boundaries?

    2. I NEED the add-on bar too!! wrote on :

      Seconded. We absolutely need the add-on bar. Please don’t remove it.

      1. Mel wrote on :

        Make that thirded. I freaking still don’t understand why on Planet-Earth Mozilla Firefox removed the “Status” Bar. A absolutely NECESSARY and EXTREMELY-*NEEDED*-and-**WANTED** feature [and characteristic of Firefox].

    3. Mark wrote on :

      Curious, what disadvantage would it be if what you have in the add-on bar was on the upper right instead? There you only lose a little bit of width from the URL bar instead of the entire row taken up by the add-on bar.

      1. Dennis wrote on :

        Mark,
        The old add on bar actually took up less screen real estate because the icons were smaller. If you have several add ons the new design dramatically shortens the URL bar. The old design allowed you to hide the add-on bar if you were worried about screen real estate. The removal of the addon bar not only makes Firefox less visually appealing but it also makes it less functional.

    4. Mario wrote on :

      +1!

      there are a lot of extensions running in the status bar, at least give the option to disable/able with Ctrl+/ like in previous versions…

    5. GiT (Geek in Training) wrote on :

      I am currently working on a addon that brings back the addon bar, I’ll let you know when I finish!

      Currently the one I am making is not hidable (by ctrl + / or in the menu), but I hope to add that soon.

      1. GiT (Geek in Training) wrote on :

        P.S. You can install the beta version here: https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/the-addon-bar

  15. mike wrote on :

    And how much memory will this new interface consume because a problem that has never been really fixed is the fact Firefox consumes too much Memory when it is running.

    1. Chas wrote on :

      I don’t understand where people get this “too much memory” thing. If I load 10 tabs in Internet Explorer 10 and leave it running for 24 hours, it will usually be consuming somewhere around 2 GB of RAM (if you add up all of the iexplore.exe processes). I can have 500 tabs open in Firefox and leave it open for 24 hours (or a month) and it’s still not using that much memory.

      1. Mel wrote on :

        i completely agree @Chas.

    2. Andy wrote on :

      I disagree with the comment about too much memory. I use Firefox on OSX and in-between using the ‘group your tabs’ feature routinely have 400+ tabs open. It doesn’t stop me from having lots of other apps open at the same time on a 2008 iMac. In fact, Chrome and even Safari make my iMac more sluggish.

      1. Mel wrote on :

        I completely agree @Andy.

  16. Juarez R. wrote on :

    Congrats for the feature.
    I followed the hard work the team have done!

    What are the well successfull points that I think you have done:
    - The visual change by itself was needed and is well justified.
    - The announce of a new big feature/new visual as “Australis” will be a good marketing strategy for your ex-users.
    - The approach to design, not inventing nothing new, just copying and making the whole thing concise is a good strategy. For those who do not received well or do not liked the design or the change, they must agreed that the change is needed for consistency and the think could be much more worse than this result.
    - The Addon approach to revert changes. Is the right think for the people who want the old visual.

    What I think you didn’t achieve success:
    - The strategy maybe could be of incremental landing with the “rounded corners” at end. This could reduce the criticism. But I think the criticism is not deserved. Is a good point to debate.
    - It’s late on the game. How long Chrome is getting the hype? (I know how hard is the work done and it is dangerous to get a not polished feature is this area.)
    - Screen state, vertical pixels, minimalist, etc… People with netbooks, 10′ laptops will complain. This should be straightforward to users like: under X by Y pixels use minimized options independent of screen.

    What I think could be improved:
    - Tab count handling: I see mockups with 4 small titles tabs. What happen if the hardcore user have 10? And if the average user has only one? The toolbar mix with the tab bar like in IE?
    - Message box interruption: today is very annoying the messages globally displayed from alerts and site authentications. Maybe a content modal with a visual indication resolve it.
    - Jank and responsiveness: Is today the unique significative Chrome advantage.
    - VPN: if you close the Windows VPN connection and try to navigate to anything FF just don’t get any data from network. You should restart and to solve. Other browsers do not suffer this.

    Resuming from 1 to 5:
    - Design: 4,5
    - Strategy: 3
    - Value: 5
    - Consistency: 5
    - Completeness: 4

    1. Mel wrote on :

      @Juarez-R: You should see the screenshots that I posted a few hours ago :-P :-) (referring to your comment “Tab count handling: I see mockups with 4 small titles tabs. What happen if the hardcore user have 10? And if the average user has only one? The toolbar mix with the tab bar like in IE?”).

  17. stqn wrote on :

    I hope the new tabs can be disabled. I like my program to have the look and feel I have chosen in my OS settings (that is to say, my Gtk theme of choice).

    Since Firefox 4 almost everything you’ve done has been to make Firefox less and less user-friendly.

  18. Wellington Torrejais da Silva wrote on :

    waiting for linux version…….
    I like it !!! :-)

    1. Madhava Enros wrote on ::

      Thanks! The Nightly build is available for testing on LInux now. You can get it at nightly.mozilla.org.

  19. Batbayar wrote on :

    I don’t like this curved tabs. current one is much better and i’m using mainly Firefox because of current very cool usable interface. :(

    1. Mel wrote on :

      I agree completely with you @Batbayar.

  20. Batbayar wrote on :

    But except this pointless curved tabs, other features are cool

  21. Wyatt wrote on :

    So now that this is done, will Panorama get some love too? I’d love scrollable Panorama areas and more control over how groups are displayed and arranged! It’s not exaggerating at all to say it is THE single most-useful feature in Firefox since tabs.

    As for what I can see here, I’m ambivalent on these changes at best. It doesn’t look like it’ll work well with very narrow tabs and it’s not clear if I can put my bookmark bar above the tabs or not.

  22. snake wrote on :

    Why did you remove “use small icons”?? please bring it back since not everyone has 1440p monitors. Anyone knows of a way to “fix” (I’ve already tried CTTB but it’s not the same thing).

    Also, the email field on this commenting section doesn’t support tags (youname+tag@example.com)

  23. p1z0n1 wrote on :

    I really appreciated this new look & feel. Perhaps a small, pin tab like, firefox button would be nice.

  24. Jorge Zimmerman wrote on :

    It takes up more vertical space on the screen! Blending the tabs into the title bar should have reduced the overall height of the toolbar by a third. How on Earth did they manage to screw this up? Now the title bar is extra large so it isn’t uniform with the title bars of any other applications. Why isn’t any of this mentioned in the article?

  25. Peter wrote on :

    One thing I love about firefox: its addons.
    Looks like the solutions for all of us who dislike “organic, friendly, and fluid” tabs (especially on Win8) is
    https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/

  26. Dan wrote on :

    This is a step in the right direction for design. Especially on the Mac. The Windows version has fit in aesthetically for quite some time, but the Mac version has been a little on the “ugly” side. This new look is great. Can’t wait for this to hit the final release channel so I can really give it a shot as my main browser. Right now, 1Password and web developer toolbar aren’t working in nightly so I’ll have to wait.

    Any ETA on when this is going to make it’s way into the main release channel?

  27. foobar wrote on :

    I like it. I wish the History and Bookmarks opened into a tab instead of a separate window though.

  28. Bjoern wrote on :

    Good Job,

    hi ! I was expecting to hate australis, since I like firefox add-ons and I like it plain and simple.
    After reading some comments I really expected to hate australis but to my surprise most
    add-ons are working fine and the UI change is ok. I’m relieved !

  29. clyde wrote on :

    I have been dreading the Australis apocalypse more than anyone else, but if you retain the menu bar on Linux and Mac as shown on the Mac in the video, I will be quite happy. Unfortunately, I tried Nightly on Linux and there is no menu. Removing or obfuscating half the browser’s functionality is not how you make a good user experience, guys.

    1. KWierso wrote on :

      Right-click a blank spot on the tab bar and then check “Menu bar”, and it should bring back the menu bar…

  30. Brian wrote on ::

    It’s exciting to see some focus on the UI; It’s the main thing that has kept me using chrome for years now. Here’s hoping that tab tearing and window management get some polish.

  31. Bob J wrote on :

    Hi. The rounded corners look marginally more “modern” or whatever you want to call it. But in my view you are doing that at the sacrifice of great functionality. The current tabs take up as much space as possible. There is lots and lots of clicking area to click. It’s clear when I click which tab will be opening up next. I am not an accurate clicker.

    http://i.imgur.com/WDhGNZo.png

    I can’t imagine a functionality upgrade over what you have right now. These changes you are making are sacrificing functionality for the sake of being “pretty”.

    1. Blake Winton wrote on ::

      Hi Bob,

      as it happens, the clickable area is exactly the same. Give it a try! :)

      (I know it looks like you can’t click the top corners, but you can see by the currently highlighted background tab which one will open when you click, which is arguably an improvement over the current state, where it’s unclear when you’re on the border which tab will open.)

      Thanks for your comment!

    2. Batbayar wrote on :

      I agree with Bob, i use Chromes as my 2nd browser behind FF, because of this curved tabs i sometims accidentally closed tabs.

  32. Ram wrote on ::

    I am loving it. But unable to open Firefox OS Simulator with this UX, I have to press F10 and use Tools menu for this. Anyways I think its a great improvement :)

    1. Madhava Enros wrote on ::

      Thanks for pointing this out! We’re adding to our list of issues to track.

  33. Dag Wieers wrote on ::

    Looks great. A lot of good stuff from Chrome, but expanded to some new interesting ideas. I like it.

    There’s one thing I don’t like, that’s the behavior of the URL bar (and how this behavior differs to Chrome). In Chrome the URL bar is both the web location as well as the search bar.

    I do understand that for some people having the trusted search box around, but please do also allow search strings in the URL box. Currently it sometimes works, but often it does not.

    Try typing “define: something” in the Firefox URL bar and you get an error. Very frustrating if you are so used to doing this. (Yes, I am a reconverted Chrome use ;-))

  34. Adam wrote on :

    Wasn’t the status bar removed to conserve space? Why then the ridiculously large tabs? I’d rather have the status bar back.

  35. Andreas wrote on :

    Those cruved tabs will not work well with the common Xfce themes. I really hope they can be disabled.

    1. Blake Winton wrote on ::

      Hi Andreas!

      The curved tabs can certainly be disabled, but it will require an add-on, since it’s a fairly large change. I expect one of the tabs-on-the-side add-ons will include this functionality when they get updated for the new theme.

      (I would also love to see a screenshot of the curved tabs with one of the common Xfce themes which you think don’t work well together… Please email it to me at bwinton@latte.ca, if you have the time. Thanks!)

      1. Andreas wrote on :

        See my reply at: https://blog.mozilla.org/ux/2013/11/australis-is-landing-in-firefox-nightly/comment-page-2/#comment-32528

  36. Kate wrote on :

    Yeah, that’s nice and all.
    But wheres the customization to allow me to change it back to how I like to use it?
    You can change all you want, but don’t take away the ability to customize.

    I know I’ll be looking for a way to revert. Even if I’ll be stuck using older versions.

  37. vK wrote on :

    Well done team UX! Hearty congrats. One thing is that whether maximized or otherwise, the new UI seems to have one line less in the content area, whether browser.tabs.drawInTitlebar is true or false; the tab bar seems to have gained height. Also, is the left-side curve on the first tab/pinned tab needed, instead it could perhaps be moved to the left edge… Anyway thanks for misplacing my misgivings :)

  38. Mohan wrote on :

    How can I change the default color from blue to something else? I’d prefer going back to grey that is easier on my eyes.

    1. George wrote on :

      I’m having this problem as well. The toolbar and active tab are an ugly blue gradient as opposed to the grey color seen in the screenshot above. I’m running Win 8.

  39. Billy McIntosh wrote on :

    Why restrict the placement of the forward/back buttons?

    It’s a personal preference but having them to the right of the url bar makes more logical sense.

    My mouse is generally closer to the right side scroll bar so it’s quicker to get to the back and forward buttons.

  40. Detergent wrote on :

    I like the new GUI. But can you please add a new tab button next to the last tab on the right, like Chrome?

    1. Stephen Horlander wrote on :

      There should be a new tab button on the right. It has been there since Firefox 3.

  41. Victor50 wrote on :

    Doubt if it makes any sense posting this as my previous comment has not been approved and in general the author does not seem to care about this thread anymore.

    There are no icons to add to the toolbar to open the history- and bookmarks-sidebars. Only in the menu they can be found. The (x) on those sidebars doesn’t work i.e. does not close it. Unacceptable
    No statusbar is unacceptable.
    Add-on check icon superfluous.
    In general: a lot ado about nothing. Will uninstall. Possiblility of switching to other browser if this is to become of FF greatly increased.

    1. Madhava Enros wrote on ::

      Hi -

      There are no icons to open the sidebars in this version, but neither were there any in the last version. We’ve tried to make those options sensibly placed in the History and Bookmarks menus. Do you find that you need to open and close those sidebars frequently?

      If the (x) button on the sidebars isn’t working, that’s a bug.

      1. Victor50 wrote on :

        Tx for replying, my previous comment is still “waiting on moderation” but that’s on the side, also because it *seems* the perfomance is getting better in 25.01.

        What do you mean by “last version”? FF 25.01 still has these options. And indeed I use it a lot, i.e. a few times a day. What is the big problem letting those icons as options? They don’t have to be installed by default.

  42. Flo Ebnet wrote on :

    In general I like the new design very much. Though I personally find the unified iconised menu cumbersome to use there surely will at some point be an extension that offers a more traditional replacement, so I can live with it for the time being. For casual users who only ever use a fraction of all available options it should be a considerable improvement.

    What I cannot live without is the Add-on Toolbar. The Australis designers apparently have only ever used extensions that put nothing more than a single icon into the toolbar. For an example of why your approach is highly problematic look no further than the widely used NoScript extension and its option to have – occasionally quite long – text in the toolbar. Other examples abound. Forcing all extension buttons into the same interface row as the nav and search bars also causes those two to become quite small even on large screens when there are a lot of extensions. Not to mention the rather cramped look.

    1. GiT (Geek in Training) wrote on :

      There is an addon that adds it back.

      (If you like you install it now, just know that as of yet it has not been reviewed by Mozilla: http://addons.mozilla.org/addon/the-addon-bar)

  43. [Q] wrote on :

    Back & Forward buttons and the Refresh/Stop button are now inseparable from the address bar, as they were a time back before being rightly reverted to being separable.
    Custom Menu bars have become useless, I can’t place anything on them.
    The “Menu” button is absolutely useless for me, yet isn’t something removable.

    I understand the design standards of GUI have a lot of focus on accessibility and usability, but it seems to have taken precedence over making it customisable for personal use, it feels like there’s been complete disregard for maintaining previous customisation options so I can’t say this is a total improvement.

  44. anatoly wrote on ::

    How do I get the add-ons bar back? I have plugins like Forecastfox that I can’t see any more.

  45. Tim wrote on :

    Australis’ overall interface is quite unfinished especially on Windows but I know that should be fixed soon by looking at the mockups.
    But the main problems of Australis are :
    - Hard-coded customization, it breaks all toolbar-related addons. If you’re breaking so much addons, rather make a brand new browser from scratch.
    - The removal of the addon bar, my nav bar and the panel just looks so ugly with my addons in it, but not the worse problem since an addon restores it.

  46. John wrote on :

    Could at least let us toggle the old interface and Australis, while many disliked FF4′s new design, you at least allowed us to use the classic menu bar through an option. Another complaint is what Tim wrote above “Hard-coded customization, it breaks all toolbar-related addons. If you’re breaking so much addons, rather make a brand new browser from scratch.”

  47. Ciencisto wrote on :

    Looks great! Looking forward for it to come to Linux (crossing my fingers for it to be in Ubuntu 14.04…)

    Will we (finally) be able to merge the URL and search bars? It should be offered as an option, I think (of course some would complain, as it always happen…)

  48. Andrew wrote on :

    Well, the new stuff is probably too modern, no idea, if I will ever get used to it, when it hits the crowd as a stable release. (No alpha- or beta-testing, sorry)
    So I definitely will have to be content with what I get when it is ready. Of course I can still complain about lack of usability and the like, but it will most probably too late then for major changes.
    This is the tragic cruelty of open-source software-development and -lifecycles, I guess.
    I do remember dimly however, that there were plans about changing the search-engine selector for quick-search, but these seem to be off the table now. I still do think that is good the way it is.
    Are there changes under the hood as well ? In fact I would like to know whether the interface redesign reflects technical changes of the engine, that are invisible to average users.

  49. Sebastian Freundt wrote on :

    I hope you’ll fix the massive performance impact that comes with this change.

    For instance an australis firefox displaying a blank page for 10 minutes:
    $ timeout 10m firefox
    timeout 10m firefox 94.16s user 10.10s system 17% cpu 10:00.31 total

    Compare this to a FF 24:
    $ timeout 10m /usr/bin/firefox
    timeout 10m /usr/bin/firefox 5.52s user 1.36s system 1% cpu 10:00.20 total

    1. Stephen Horlander wrote on :

      Not sure if this is related to Australis. Please file a bug.

  50. Alan wrote on :

    I really like the new tab design. It’s a lot cleaner than the old look with background tabs taking on a minimalist appearance.

    However the restrictions on button placement are really frustrating me. I like to have all buttons grouped together for easy access, and with the new design I’m forced to have back/forward separated from stop/refresh by the enormous gulf of the address bar (which really is big when maximised on a widescreen monitor). Not only that, but if I try to group my other icons near back/forward, I’m left with back/forward on the right hand side of the group, which is counter-intuitive when every browser I’ve ever used has had back/forward at the far left. Not to mention the menu button stuck on the right.

    I also eagerly await the return of small icons, as the new look takes a fair bit more vertical space than I’m used to. Any word on whether that option will return?

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