Just a few days on from teasing us about how Firefox 3.7 might eventually look, Mozilla has spun out another set of mockups – this time capturing Firefox 4.0 in the headlights. The open source browser maker has splashed colour over 4.0's location bar. It will turn green when a user starts typing, will blend with the bar when …
Why do the Mozilla team currently seem to be obsessed with changing Firefox to look and feel exactly the same as IE8?
If I wanted to loose my (useful) button bar and (useful) File/etc menus I'd use IE8. I like having my button bar and I like having my File/etc menus, which is part of the reason I use Firefox and not IE8!
Sure, extend the skinning options to let people achieve this with custom skins but stop at that and focus on NEW ideas, not trying to duplicate a competitor.
Inline progress bar, tabs at the top (address bar and controls correctly made a property of the tab), combined stop/refresh - all rather Opera-like. Whilst I personally see that as a good thing, given the complaints that people tend to have with the Opera UI I'm not sure if it'll end up being popular with the Firefox crowd. :-\
"...is the most customisable browser out there"
Customisation usually means you can take something quite good and break it beyond all recognition. Customisation rarely makes the life of the user any better. Most people when they get something new just turn everything on - " ooo, that looks neat, lets try that"... More often than not they overdo it and destroy all the hard work in the first place.
Come Mozilla, You've taken your eye off the ball, here!... Fcuk Microsoft style visuals. Concentrate on making your browser lighter and more streamlined.
As a Systems Admin, the only Microsoft related improvement I'd like to see is an official .msi installation with easily configurable .adm templates. Mozilla have lost out big time on market share in the corporate environment because of this continued omission.
On reflection, though articles like this probably highlight that it's a good thing that Firefox hasn't got bigger market share if they are gonna fcuk their product up this much....
There's no reason why any of these developments should come at the expense of speed/stability, and there's no reason why they should cause any bloat either. It's just a change. Yes, I know the word "change" strikes fear into the hears of some of you, but really, get a life. Firefox has been getting less bloated, faster, and more stable, since 2.0.
I grant you, the usefulness of these cosmetic enhancements is debatable, but Firefox has always been customisable enough that you can change it to the way you like it, and I'd warrant that will continue. If you want it to look virtually indistinguishable from IE8 right now, the Vista-Aero theme plus the Personal Menus add-on to hide the menu bar, will do that for you. It's not as if the UI developments are the only thing they are working on, far from it. But it doesn't hurt for them to toss these ideas around and stir up a little debate, now does it?
Firefox has got out of control and is like a really badly written Microsoft product! I'm referring to the memory leaks and instability of Firefox running on Windows.
It's not uncommon for PCs with 2GB+ of RAM to run out of virtual memory. I've seen Firefox eat 600Mb of virtual memory, it rarely consumes less than 200Mb after an hour of use.
I love the plugins for Firefox but Mozilla must go back to basics and sort out its bloatyness. Chrome on the other hand lacks the wealth of cool plugins but benefits from a light footprint, very fast loading of the app, and memory protected tabs.
There ought to be a Moore -50 law. Users of computing resources must ensure that their RAM expansion/CPU cycle use expands no more than 50% of the growth in computing systems. Hence we would get more efficient, more environmentally friendly, cheaper and faster kit.
Given that would force designers to write tighter code which well might be more reliable, less vulnerabilities ... Nirvana. Now where did I put that LP?
Once upon a time questions like this were answered by performing controled user studies (i.e actually working out what worked in real life, with real users) and developing design guidlines. Sadly no more. Apple disbanded their UI group a decade odd ago, MS probably never had one, and quite clearly, open source is incapable of ever doing such a thing.
When it comes to UI design, everyone is suddenly an expert. Despite ample evidence that the vast majority of programmers should never be let anywhere near it.
A hint for any multinational megacorporation with a vested interest in the success of open source and Gnu/Linux. Fund a proper scientific HCI group and develop standards and code libraries for a proper _designed_ UI system. Provide a certification mechanism for software that uses it. No other competing OS out there has this anymore, and rather than the current disaster, the UI experience could be market leading. As the leading light of open source software on close operating systems Firefox could well benefit from a bit of such discipline. Arguing the merits of UI design on forums is the last place such decisions should be made.
I use it everywhere, on my work XP machine it's been running for days and has about 150meg in use. It's stable, I'm happy.
In fact I never have any FF problems these days, and even FF 1.5 and 2.0 didn't give me much grief.
And of course you have access to all the Add-Ons, Themes, Plugins etc. None of them appear to make it unstable at all.
Please stop pi55ing around and wasting time on the way Firefox looks. Instead, please spend your time plugging security holes, stopping memory leaks, speeding up the browsing process, lightening the load on the host system, making it start much faster and be totally compliant with standards. If I want it to look different to standard, I will add a theme.
In addition, please build in the following add-ons as standard functionality:
- AdBlock Plus
I haven't used Internet Explorer since version 5.5, so why would I be interested in (or even tolerate) something "familiar" to IE8 users (both of them)? As for the tabs on top idea, the browser isn't the be-all-and- end-all of my computing life, so why should it look different from everything else on the computer? The browser ought to blend in, not stick out like some sort of multicolored clown car at the circus.
Smaller, faster, secure, and standards-compliant. That's all I want and need in a browser.
Tabs on top - Like Opera has always done it, you mean? because the URL is in context to the tab, not the other way around?
They'll copy full MDI next... or even complaining to the EU about IE. Oh, wait! I forgot Mozilla and Google already did that, they just never got the coverage.
Did they ever get spacial navigation working in the end? I seem to recall they reconed it would take them a few years to implement it after they 'innovated' it from Opera.
Having read the other comments on here I can't help wondering if browsers have hit the Office point.
The last feature that users though was missing from Microsoft Office was probably added back in Office 97 but you have to keep shipping new versions to keep the sales up so...you just move things around, change the way a few task are performed and change the GUI. Everything looks shiny and new but all you've really done is make life harder for the user as they have to re-learn how to do tasks.
Have browsers reached the same point on the desktop?
Was the last real innovation tabbed browsing, in Opera since 2000?
Sure there have been new browsers and everyone catching up with everyone else but have we run out of new ideas and fallen in to the trap of just changing the GUI to make it look new?
If you look at it, it looks as if they are trying to save some screen space by getting rid of useless items that you don't use all the time. Looks good to me.
If you dont like it download the old theme... nothing stopping you from doing that. Looks like those screens were taken on windows 7 with some of the default wallpapers as well...
"In addition, please build in the following add-ons as standard functionality:"
- AdBlock Plus
No thanks. I don't really like adverts, but if I'm getting a service for no financial cost (or as near to nothing as makes no matter) ... well I'd consider putting up with ads a fair alternative.
No thanks. I'm more than capable of using my own databases to store information I find interesting.
As for the rest of you, a change a day keeps senility at bay.
Which isn't a bad thing, but it's a shame that FX is now following design cues from the big boys.
I have one thing to sayt though, TAB on top, TAB on bottom, as long as i can move them to where I want them. AND, Where is the bookmarks bar? That had better be customisable too, other wise I'm sticking to previous versions.
A pint, because FX/Mozilla have had too many of these by the looks.
Don't necessarily render content until the user switches to the tab. Discard the rendered content after a user-specifiable time (typically a few hours), keeping the raw markup/css to re-render if needed. Or keep an LRU/MRU list, just render the top few entries.
I'd make this suggestions on the Moz page but I can't see how.
@ Gary F: Fix the darn memory leaks! --- I don't see a problem, but I disable flash + scripting. If I close tabs, mem use shrinks. I'm sure it ain't FF's fault (it certainly was in FF 2.x, it was terrible. No longer IME)
That will push me over to Seamonkey full time instead of experimenting with it. Mozilla is forgetting that it is good to be different in many ways. Imitating IE is NOT helping Firefox maintain whatever unique image they have developed.
Paris: Knows better than to change her interfaces......
I see we've reached that stage in the development that I call, "rearranging the deck chairs." There is nothing significant needed so the developers add bloat, continually rearrange the user interface to confuse their users, and recode stuff so they can introduce new bugs. Meanwhile the hardware requirements increase, the executable size increases, the performance decreases, and the users are off looking for a replacement. It is development driven only by the need to change things to suit the current direction of the wind.
I absolutely hated what MS did with moving the IE8 menu bar away from the top of the window so undoubtedly Firefox thinks its imperative to copy that nonstandard interface design.
Sorry, But although in theory you're right, practical history of Mozilla development has proven that these cosmetic tweaks DO have an sizable impact on resources and performance.
FF 3+ has become a sluggish memory hog. Load times have become a disgrace, and FF is now actually one of the slowest of the browsers to fire up.
Speed and tabbed browsing were the reasons I switched to using FF. Now, FF is starting to look the least favourable when you use those criteria.
That's before you start sticking add-ons into it, before anyone nit-picks.
I'm assuming that all my bookmarks will be wiped YET AGAIN when FF autodownloads the latest major version iteration without asking.
IE retained favourites even on a network with roaming profiles
2 major revisions on, and Mozilla still haven't made their software windows compliant by using the registry correctly or documents&settings, which is why their software can't be properly managed on a network, and hence no corporate adoption.
Fix these major problems first, THEN start looking at more features
Like most Vista themed apps, it seems to waste an unnecessary amount of screen space with blank spots and redioused corners and whatnot. I assume that could be changed with themes or similar.
At least it, and most modern firefoxen have looked better than the standard GTK2 bleakness, which also seemed to waste lots of pixels with sheer bulkyness.
Ah well, I probably won't switch back until they demonstrate the speed and slimness of Kazehakase with the polish of Opera. So never, since I think those two things are mutually exclusive.
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Looks like a nice UI. Well thought out, simple, and hopefully with enough depth that the user will be able to get to the other stuff fairly easily. good to see Mozilla spending time on improving usability. I do like a pleasant user experience, and this is the way to achieve it, if you ask me.
As for the rest of you: you're quite welcome to keep your grey / black box with its tiers of rarely used button bars. That's FINE by me. Always nice to hear from such an appreciative bunch.
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1) Multiprocess or multithreaded operation so that one web site can't hang the entire fucking browser.
1a) isolation from misbehaving plugins
2) More memory efficiency
3) Proper multi language support. Currently it sucks - you need a browser per language.
4) If the browser hasn't changed significantly, don't disable all the addons for only a point upgrade.
5) More search options for history
6) Ability to close all tabs without closing browser
I had to roll back to 3.0.12 because of "Server not found" problems with 3.5.
I've tried startup bat files to flushdns and disabled the IPv6 default setting. I updated the firmware on the firewall and the performance of 3.5 was still infuriating. I have not been able to find any information that actually fixes the 3.5 "server not found" bug. How 'bout we focus on the functionality before we start making FF look all pretty and colorful, hmm?
Could they not run two, switchable versions?
a) F*ck-Off Fast, no-frills-I-just-want-to-get-to-the-site-now-RIGHT-NOW
b) I have all the time in the world and I'm easily impressed by pretty stuff going on around my screen. Paris (pictured) would certainly choose this one.
Allow them to capture usage stats and eventually, perhaps release a lean version b) to compare again with a)
Since we already have IE8, I'm with option a)
...are the nitwits in Mozilla Central going to realize that the second I notice their application they've failed? A browser that is noticeable is preventing me from immersing myself in whatever it is that I immerse myself in. But their egoes are probably too big to take that realization in.
Personally I'm staying on FF3.0 until it goes offline, then I'll switch to something else. Damn me if I'm going to accept decreased functionality because someone can't stop fiddling with the code.
And yes, I build code for a living. Lean, mean fightin' code. Not the bloaty crap we see in the UI these days.
Really - more and more people are using widescreen monitors, and the logical place for your tabs is stacked vertically down the side of your browser. I use the Tree Style Tab extension in Firefox, and it's one of the main reasons I prefer FF over IE8 - if I could get vertical tabs in IE8, it might become my default browser again.
When Vista came out, people were saying "drop the menu from FF!", "provide proper support for Aero Glass!". So, Mozilla listens and people say the opposite (probably not the same subset of users, though).
And for the people complaining about Mozilla just concentrating on fancy UI, https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Namoroka#Firefox.next_Platform_Requirements lists the "[P1] new default theme for Windows using Aero Glass" under system integration (from user request), which is *just one* of the planned features.
Also, this does not include the various bugs that have been reported, including memory leaks and standard support (such as improvements to HTML5) and the out-of-process plug-in support. If you want to get a good idea of what is going on, check the weekly status meetings (https://wiki.mozilla.org/Platform#Meeting_Notes) and the feature discussions.
Anyone using Firefox today who wants to open lots of tabs, download the Tabkit plug-in. Instant tabs heaven (down the left-hand side rather than at the top, makes great use of a wide-screen monitor).
Maybe something like his shuld be the FF 4 default ... but there again, it's customisable, so defaults matter a lot less.
So I can look forward to several more occasions where my plug-ins are not compatible with
Firefox and I have to confirm my desire to have Firefox go and search for upgrades. On the other hand my plug-ins for IE7 have been carried over to IE8 with no fuss.
It does seem that Firefox is going for the title of the most annoying browser upgrades.
That said it does have some nice features such as remembering where it was when it crashed so that I do not have to open a dozen tabs manually.
on how much memory it will leak?
Seriously, I don't understand why anyone here that considers themselves technically minded still uses Firefox, it went off the boil a VERY long time ago.
Opera is where it's at, hell even Safari or Chrome is a better choice (if you don't mind Google knowing where you surf and what you type).
I remember a time when windowed graphical user interfaces were cool because they didn't force you to run all your applications in full screen. You could have more things going on at once and it was actually quite practical. Then Microsoft and Apple ruined that by putting it into people's heads that it should be natural for a window to pop to the front when activated, and out went any relationship the virtual desktop had to a physical desktop. Now most users run their apps full-screen (because thanks to the pop-to-front paradigm and apps that like to dominate the workspace you can only really have one thing going on anyway) and use the taskbar as a tab bar. Of course that becomes mighty cluttered, so to make it worse every self-respecting application includes its own sub-taskbar in the form of a tab bar, located at the other end of the screen.
Especially now that the whole web trend is to blur the line between web apps and locally run software, why is it so hard to realise that the elegant solution is merging all tab functionality into the system task bar?
This is all I hear: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.
More specifically this is what I hear: WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH, an organization which owes me no favours at all plans to make a change in its software which doesn't suit my exact requirements! HOW DARE THEY!
There are a number of browsers out there, I'm sure each of you can find one to suit your purposes. Also I'm not sure but I think releases.mozilla.org or ftp.mozilla.org lets you download old versions of firefox if you are butt hurt about newer releases.
Personally I use Chrome because the UI is clean and un-fussy and takes full advantage of the screen real estate I have available. Also, anecdotal testing (i.e. my user experience) seems to suggest faster page loading times and lower memory usage, even with a fair few tabs open. I do miss some of the Add-ons from back in my FX days but I hold out hope that more people will jump on the bandwagon and start developing for Chrome.
Mines the one with Our Internet Overlords' hand firmly in my pocket.
Yes GaryF has hit the button on the head. Firfox uses all my memory when I use it by accident - that is why I must use the IE for my efficiency. It seem obvious to me that they are silly to use Jav for a browser - it always slow and leaks the memory as we have no way to destruct the objects.
but lets not forget... this is just a theme, no bloat should added other than a few lines of code to turn aero on when required. Other than that, it should just be using the current theme functionality. For those of you who are worried that Mozilla are focusing too much on form rather than function, I'm sure the function peoples haven't stopped what they're doing because some arty guy wants to try and make it look pretty. Hopefully someone is working on memory management, isolated processes per tab and a task manager - what's the point in looking like chrome if it doesn't do exactly the same things!?
The Linux version of 3.5 (well, 3.5.2) still has a few stability issues - it doesn't like loading a YouTube video while the One & Other feed is running, and last night it decided to crash when loading a Wikipedia article...
The clearer connection between tab and page on the 'tabs below address bar' version is to be welcomed (the current four pixel stripe, of which only the central two are the same colour as the tab - so 2px effective - isn't very clear, especially if you have similarly coloured tabs), although I'm not too convinced on the same shade of translucent grey for everything - especially as it looks as though it's optimised for Windoze rather than platforms in general. How about having no 'background' colour, and allow themes to use gifs/pngs with an alpha channel, so the theme can decide how much transparency you get and where?
"...why is it so hard to realise that the elegant solution is merging all tab functionality into the system task bar?"
Maybe for some people, as an option that could be turned on if desired, but not if it was mandatory.
It wouldn't work at all for me (which is why I'd want it turned off), because I auto-hide the taskbar in both XP and Linux - the taskbar only becomes visible (temporarily for a few seconds when I pass the mouse over it) only when I actually need it, mostly just as a quick occasional reminder of what other apps/windows/HDD/whatever I've got open at any given moment - easier to see it visually in one glance there instead of Alt-Tabbing through everything - although I usually do use Alt-Tab to actually switch apps.
If Firefox tabs were all on the taskbar, it would horribly compete for space with the other apps' windows/folders/HDD(several)/etc on the taskbar - no way 60 tabs + other apps' windows are going to fit there, nor should they have to. Also I would not want Firefox tabs autohiding, yet I have no intention to turn off the taskbar-autohide feature (I like it).
More space-saving: At the top of the Firefox window, I deleted the entire button bar - I never click those buttons anyway - use keyboard shortcuts instead, I mean seriously, come on, does anyone over the age of 5 actually *click* "Back" or "Home" or "Refresh" etc when keyboard shortcuts are so much easier? I also hid the bookmarks toolbar (I wrote out a quick HTML page of links for that, instead; it's easier), and the address/URL bar is on the SAME LINE as the File/Menu/etc menu things. Deleted search thingie (never use it). So there is far less space wasted at the top of the monitor. But don't EVEN think about taking away my menus! True I use keyboard shortcuts to operate the menus (I'm lazy), instead of clicking them, but I like to have them there anyway. As I said they're on the same line as the URL field, so there would be no space advantage to getting rid of them.
Of course, everyone's aware, right, that you can set Firefox's minimum tab width to less than the standard, to fit lots more tabs on screen (normal top placement), using Firefox's about:config.
I can see having the various options that other people have suggested here AS LONG AS those new options were turn-off-able ;) so that people who wanted the normal UI could use that instead, and people who wanted the fancy new cutting-edge UI could use that.
"Can everyone stop adopting all these Fisher Price interfaces. Just coz Apple did it doesn't mean we all want patronising Teletubbies bouncy icons and graphics!"
I agree completely.
Let's just hope that Apple has patented those goddamned pinstripes, lest they hopelessly infest other OSes or apps.
If Firefox or Windows or Linux ever turn up with mandatory pinstripes everywhere (shhh, don't give them any more dumb ideas than they already have), that's where they and I will part company.
<rant>The UI designers of these companies are shooting themselves in the foot with those idiotic dumbed-down designs. They're driving away serious users and pandering to the worst of the lowest common denominator. I would have got a new Mac years ago but I can't stand the apparent lack of user-configurability in OSX, so I keep the old "classic Mac" (therefore Apple is losing money from lost sales of new equipment) because the *old* OS has a calm, subdued appearance that doesn't distract from whatever work you're trying to get accomplished. The focus should be on the work you're doing, not on worthless eye candy that serves no purpose except to make you want to throw the damn thing out the window.</rant>
- user of nice old "classic Mac", modern Linux, and XP Pro, not necessarily in that order, and sometimes all at once :)