back to article Firefox 3.7 swivels glassy eye

Mozilla developers have revealed mockups of Firefox 3.7 to give users a taster of what that version of the popular open source browser might eventually look like. The org spun out screenshots of the browser earlier this week, even though it hasn’t yet released the next iteration — Firefox 3.6. Mozilla main man Mike Beltzner …


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  1. Steve Mason
    Thumb Down


    So purely look and feel, with added bloat and no more actual functionality or features ?

    Don't get me wrong, I love FF, but I detest changing things for change's sake just to make them appear more sparkly. Give me Function over Form every day, not vice versa


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spot the features

    they nicked from Chrome

  3. Tom 7

    Taking a leaf out of MS book?

    So no actual change in functionality - just move a few icons around, change a font here or there, make it look different, give it a new release number.

    At least they don't charge for the illusion....

  4. Stef 4


    Glossy buttons!!!!!!!

    That will show those unnovators responsible for MS Explorer.

    Will it still haemorrhage memory when I have more then 5 tabs open?

  5. Rob Crawford


    It's damned ugly for a start

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    playing nicely with glass

    seems to confirm dropped support for xp anyway.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Transparency everywhere - the ultimate UI disaster

    This is a really horrible UI. As much as the transparency is cool, it adds nothing beyond shininess and makes the whole UI much more confusing to look at. First thing I turn off on vista systems!

  8. Chronos

    @Steve Mason

    Exactly. Some of us, a group of people which seems to include you and I, would prefer a release that doesn't immediately attract a Milw0rm post over just added eye candy and a version bump.

    It's getting hard to know who to trust in the browser game these days. Perhaps the mantra should be "trust nobody."

  9. Mark C Casey

    About time

    It's about time, Vista has been available how long now? And only just now have they started to take into consideration of making Firefox actually look good under Vista. Up to this point when I've been using Firefox under Vista i've been using the glasser, stylish and personal menu extensions to make it look good rather than the backside of a donkey.

    Hell, even Safari which lets face it sucks under Windows has managed to make itself look near native under Vista. Which considering it's an Apple application on Windows is a tad bit surprising.

  10. Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

    What's wrong with competing on aesthetics?

    Mind you, on functionality it already beats IE hands down, why not attack the remaining angles?

    Although if those folks are really targeting widespread enterprise wide adoption they should officially support some form of integration with Windows policies.

  11. Nextweek

    Bad User Interface Design

    Think about it from a brains perspective. It now has to work harder to recognise a button because the colours behind it might be different based on what is currently behind it. Humans are great at recognising colours but not if they keep changing.

    Its like the ribbon bar in Office 2007. It lowers the learning curve by showing you everything but your eye's have to scan further because of the large icons.

    For those that use computers every day this just quickens the pace at which we get eye strain.

  12. EdwardP


    Fix the fucking bugs you introduced in 3.5 and then we'll talk.

    Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but most people don't want glossy bloody buttons. They want a simple, stable, low footprint browser that can be trusted not to eat more RAM than most video games.

    At the moment my Firefox is using 340mb of RAM.

    Visual Studio 2008 with a BIG ASP.NET project and a class diagram open is using 185mb.

    This should be totally unacceptable. 5 years ago we had browsers that operated better than this, and before you say it, no, it's not because the Web has evolved; Geko itself is an compliant and lightweight rendering engine, all the problems are with the UI.

    In my opinion Firefox needs shooting. It should be totally rewritten, this time with performance in mind.

    It is no coincidence that large chunks of the laptop/netbook market are now moving toward cheaper, lower spec machines.

    With Moore's law in trouble, people know it's not about raw power anymore, it's about targetted performance (as in, buy what you need, not want), portability and ease of use.

    I'm not going to get into a rant (today) about the general sloppyness that has crept into software development, but it's a trend that WILL reverse, and if the key players don't fill the opening gaps, others will.

  13. A. Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear...

    So they've actually stopped trying to compete with IE now? Are they just going for a second-rate copy of it instead?

    That looks incredibly ugly, and the menus look like they suffer from the same terrible design as IE. If that's the way FF is going I might actually go back to IE!

  14. Anonymous Coward


    It looks great! Niah!

  15. Graham Marsden


    ... how do I turn off the fancy see-through rubbish and the pretty buttons and so on which add absolutely nothing to my ability to browse but just slow everything else down by increasing the unnecessary processor overhead?

  16. Anonymous Coward


    ASP.NET? Sounds like FF is the least of your problems!

  17. Psymon

    Thanks Stef 4

    Couldn't have put it better myself (but I'll try)!

    Seriously, how about focusing on sorting out that appalling memory management, and improving stability? (I'm getting seriously sick and tired of Mozilla crash detection!)

    FF was my first venture away from IE. Then I discovered the more innovative features in Opera and started using that. Then I discovered Operas innovative methods of maxing out my CPU usage, and switched back to FF.

    Then FF 'upgraded' and started eating all my memory, so I thought I'd give Chrome a try. It didn't take me long to get sick and tired of staring at the word "whoops", and that bloody patronising Fisher Price interface.

    By then, IE8 had come out, and you know what? It just works!

    OK, so it's not got all the features I liked in the other browsers (Operas and then Chromes thumbnail page) and yes, they've still not scrapped that ungodly mistake called ActiveX, which periodically comes back to haunt us with yet another vulnerability, but it doesn't bomb out every other page, I've not had it get the page layout wrong, the interface layout complies with windows standards, and most importantly, it doesn't use up resources like it's trying to recode a HD feature film on my machine


  18. Steve Mason

    @competing on aesthetics

    the trouble with competing on aesthetics is it bloats the software more than necessary and 9 times out of 10 slows down the experience of using the app as well as consuming more resources as if Vista doesn't do that enough already.

    dammit, you made me get on my soapbox again

  19. Anonymous Coward

    sigh ...

    For all the people who complain about features - this is only a proposed change for the default theme. Yes. Firefox 3.7 will have other changes, not just the theme ofcourse.

    For all the Aero haters - this is just to blend in with the rest of the operating systems. If you don't like it, use another theme. If you have disabled Aero (or your graphics card isn't powerful enough), then you won't see it. If you use XP (which is still supported), then you won't see it.

  20. Greg J Preece


    Might I venture that the reason IE doesn't use much in the way of *additional* resources is that half of it comes from the OS you're already running.

    But I do agree with the other posters here. I don't like the idea of pointless eye candy, and by Christ, could they not find a more garish background for that first screen? And having a see-through menu bar just makes it harder to use! Urgh.

  21. MarkOne

    I like it. Opera needs to do something similar

    I like how the active tab is opaque, and the inactive ones transparent. However I wouldn't adopt firefix just to get that, I'm perfectly happy (and much more secure) using Opera.

    I just wish Opera will update its look and feel, as even the work in Opera10 is not enough...

  22. Walt Leipold

    What, no menus?

    Where's the friggin' menu bar? Pointless eye candy, but harder to get to the functions I need. Guess I'll have to try Chrome. Thanks, Mozilla!

  23. Lee 31
    Thumb Down

    Moaning munters

    Anyone would think you are paying for this application and there are no other free alternatives or older versions available. I can only imagine the kerfuffle this would have caused if it was posted on a Monday morning.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    ... what it will look like on Linux? After all, that's what I use! All this Vista junk, you can keep.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't newspapers come on acetate?

    I for one would really like to read a newspaper printed on acetate sheets. I often find when I'm sitting down, I'd like to see what is behind my newspaper at the same time as the text itself.

    Why right now, I wonder what is behind the monitor??? I looked but it was nothing special, however what about now? Nope, same. But maybe it will change and I will be interested in seeing it, so I'd like a transparent monitor to see what is behind the screen at all times.

    I too like my desktop wall paper so much, that I need to see it 24/7, so can I have glass eyelids too?

  26. EdwardP

    @Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad you choose to pick up on that, and I also like how you backed up your assertion with reasoned argument...oh, wait...

    Ever used ASP.NET? Or did you just Google it and then execute a perfect kneejerk reaction to the word "Microsoft"?

  27. Neil Stansbury

    Memory Moaners

    Using: Gecko/20090624 Firefox/3.5

    17 tabs open, inc. one with a Silverlight plugin video loaded

    6 extensions installed, including SQLite Manager and Personas

    Current memory usage: 188,672 K

    Not exactly being greedy is it?

    I would suggest the people with the memory issues clear their caches - especially the off-line ones. I have had memory problems when upgrading version with my caches intact.

  28. marc 9

    @Walt Leipold

    @Walt Leipold

    Chrome doesn't have a menu bar either! IE4 for you!

  29. Alastair 7

    @Walt Leipold

    "Where's the friggin' menu bar? Pointless eye candy, but harder to get to the functions I need. Guess I'll have to try Chrome. Thanks, Mozilla!"

    If you're making the move to Chrome because it has more menus then I suspect you're going to be sorely disappointed.

  30. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    I like the progress towards transparency..

    You know, eventually I'll get to a point where randomly clicking on what appears to be the desktop background will always do at least *something* if I have enough open but fully transparent programs, as opposed to Windows trying to access a Samba mounted drive becoming absolutely f*cking useless for minutes at a time.

    Oh, heck, no, that might still happen.


  31. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Memory Moaners

    An average of 10MB per tab and you think that's acceptable?! Lose an *order of magnitude* and then we'll talk, ok? Seriously, 10MB for an average web page is obscene.

  32. Doug Glass

    @Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

    Nothing at all, if you're of a mind to favor form over substance. But if all it does is what the US auto makers did for so long (add more chrome, more colors, and more hype) you'll eventually end up in a financial death spiral.

    The average consumer today is too savvy to keep buying glossy junk.

    Well, everybody but the AG of South Carolina apparently.

  33. Fazal Majid


    There's a reason why people use opaque white paper instead of tracing paper or transparencies...

  34. Jacob Reid
    Thumb Down

    Looks fugly.

    I hope there will be options/addons to disable all the crap they are adding, and not another Firefox 3, forcing users who don't like the useless bloat to wait a year for them to fix it...

  35. The other Ross

    I hope you can turn the shiny OFF

    'cos "Glass" looks like "Shit." It's getting harder and harder to find a browser that isn't crap any more. At this rate, I might just turn back to Lynx.

  36. passionate indifference

    concentrating specifically on aesthetics...

    ...which, as the linked-to page specifies (as well as el reg's article)...

    ...and noting that they "...are NOT FINAL! THEY ARE ONLY FOR BRAINSTORMING/EXPLORATION"... looks nice. Just like any other Windows 7 app really. Concerns regarding UI design and usability I'd say are ill-founded - they've not moved stuff around (or resized stuff) from the previous version, apart from the search bar, so muscle memory is still useful. People who don't like translucent UIs can switch Aero off (can you switch this off per-app, like you could in the old NVidia drivers?) instead of shouting about it on IT tabloid comment pages. My two cents regarding usability would be along the lines of keeping the colours in the toolbar - having distinctive green back or forward buttons is a good visual key, rather than having them shaded.

    What this article (or the wiki page it links to) DOESN'T talk about is performance or memory usage. That's still something we get to look forward to arguing about...

  37. passionate indifference

    wups, forgot about the title bar

    I don't personally use it very often so think it's justifiable to tuck away

  38. Trixr


    Obviously you're not using a distro/desktop manager with transparency effects enabled...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instead of trying to copy Microsoft...

    products, even if only an interface, OSS should stick to what it's good at. IMHO, that is creating increased functionality, security, and and lower power requirements. These are the main reasons that most of us whom use OSS choose to use OSS. Security should be of the utmost importance in any program. The Internet is a big and increasingly nasty place.

    People will continue to come OSS as they become increasingly tired of the Microsoft tax, which includes the necessity of increasing powerful computers to do the same work.

    Tangentially, all hardware drivers should be open source, even if this requires governmental mandate. To have it otherwise invites collusion (I have no proof that this is happening) and inhibits software development and OS functionality.

  40. SilverWave

    128.9MB on a 4GB system with 7tabs and 29 Add-ons

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090716 Ubuntu/9.04 (jaunty) Shiretoko/3.5.1 - Build ID: 20090716174136

    But I have flash toggled off ATM as (npwrapper.bin) was eating 8% of my CPU...

    I don't think this was such a problem with 3.5.0 Hmmm.

    The mockup looks OK if you are into windows.

  41. Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

    @Doug Glass

    For a product to win the hearts of the consumers, not the technically minded ones, it has to be perceived as "better" in all dimensions they care about. So they have to work on the aesthetics and usability as well as the underlying rendering engine, Javascript performance, etc.

    My perception is that FF is already over IE in the technical areas. Yes, it's not perfect. Yes, it could be better. But is already perceived as better by consumers. It is logical then to focus on appearance and usability. I agree that if you keep doing that only you'll stagnate and die, but it's not bad to have some time devoted to eye candy.

    For a proof of the argument, look at Ubuntu. Already superior to anything MS has behind the desktop, yet people keep saying that they don't switch because of usability problems. Would not then make sense for Ubuntu to focus on usability?

  42. kurucu


    I can't believe they've just copied Google. I always thought Mozilla were the innovators, but I'm finding Firefox to be bigger, bulkier and more useless with each release. I use Safari everywhere now, not becuase IE's not any good (it really is, now) but because many of my machines are Macs.

    Back to the point. Mozilla seem to ignore their users' messages all the time. The "make exception" feature is one that comes to mind, something I have to do for every secure website on every visit because the proxy rotates. It's a UI workflow disaster. And it can't be turned off.

    What will be turned off is people. I can quickly see Firefox being hated by all but those that love toys, hundreds of plug-ins and clichés.

  43. Glen 9


    Am I the only one that ran Vista and is currently on Windows 7 RC and hates the transparency?



    Just me then....

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