Mods, I'm trying to construct a page for the new look for Firefox 29 (it is in beta right now, it should hit the Release for Firefox some time around the end of April/beginning of May. I'll keep it stored here, and make sure all the links and formatting is just right, and then I'll just copy and paste it into the Firefox/Tbird forum at the appropriate time. Which brings up a question: I can just copy and paste all this, right? I mean, will the hyperlinks still work? Or could a mod just move it to the FF forum? The following is meant partially as an introduction, partially as an FAQ of sorts for Firefox users who are using Firefox 29, which features the new Australis User Interface (UI). For those who haven't heard, "Australis" is the code name of the new UI that Firefox has created for its browser. I don’t know if the mods would like to make it into a sticky or not; regardless, if you simply want to dump on Firefox, please start your own thread. The purpose of this thread is simply to make the new Australis UI of Firefox more liveable. The new user-interface (UI) design with Firefox 29 is known as Australis. It is a new look, and it takes some getting used to, but there are some benefits to it. I have used it since October 2013, and as I said—it does take some getting used to. But one major advantage is that the new menu (sometimes referred to as the hamburger menu, as the three lines look a bit like a hamburger) is much more customizable. Changes in UI can be hard to deal with. I still recall the hassle that working with the new UI of Microsoft Office 2007. It took years, and three 90 day trial downloads, before I got used to it enough to permanently install it on my computer (in point of fact, by the time I got used to it enough to take the plunge, Office 2010 was released, which is what I have on my laptop now). The information below is not meant to imply a firm approval on my part, of all the changes involved in the new UI. But it is meant to make the transition easier. Overall, I'd say I'm in favor of the general direction Firefox has taken with Australis, and I'd rather use Firefox 29 than 28. The only addon I am using that changes the UI, is one that I'd be using with Firefox 28. It is PrefBar, which allows me to keep bookmarks on the navigation toolbar. When I first started surfing with Australis, I could only stand it with the Classic Theme Restorer extension, but now I find I don't need that any more. I. Working with Firefox 29 Where is the Firefox button (that used to be on the upper left corner)? It has disappeared. It has been replaced by the (hamburger) menu button, on the far right of the browser window. It is basically three horizontal lines that have a slight resemblance to a hamburger (whoever coined this term has obviously never eaten a triple-triple at In-n-Out). Click on that hamburger menu button, and you will see what has become of the Firefox button and all the options that it gave. How do I customize the hamburger menu? Click on the hamburger menu; then go down and select Customize. There, the Customization palette opens up. You can drag and drop items from the palette, onto the menu, or onto the navigation toolbar. Likewise, you can move items from the menu onto the navigation bar, and items from the navigation bar (except for the back arrow and URL bar) onto the menu. Of course, any icons that you don't want, anywhere, can be moved onto the Customize palette. When you are finished with your customizations, click again on the Customize button, which turns green when you are in the Customize mode, and it will take you back to the browser window. Keep in mind that the items in the Hamburger Menu that are greyed out (Sign in to Sync, Customize, ?, and Power Off) cannot be removed. Where did the Bookmark star go? It has been moved from the URL bar, and is now connected to the Bookmarks folder icon; by default it is on the navigation bar. It functions just like it did before. When you are on a site that you want to bookmark, just click the star button. Clicking the other bookmark icon will open up your bookmarks menu. Where did the Stop/Reload button(s) go? This has been moved to the right side of the URL bar. As part of the URL bar, like the back/forward buttons, it cannot be moved. If you want to modify this, see the Classic Theme Restorer addon, mentioned below. Where are icons for my addons supposed to go? The addon bar has been removed, and so has the status bar. You have two options if you want icons for addons to click on: (1) You can install the icons on the navigation toolbar (right next to the URL bar); (2) You can put the icons in the Hamburger Menu, which will allow you to access them after clicking on the hamburger menu button; (3) you can use Classic Theme Restorer to bring back the addon bar, where these icons will be placed. Alternately, if you want to bring back the addon bar, you can also restore another addon, Status-4-Evar. However, that addon is not designed, like Classic Theme Restorer, to revoke many of the changes in Australis, so Classic Theme Restorer might be better suited for you. But if all you want to do is simply restore the addon bar, Status-4-Evar might be simpler to use. If you have a lot of icons in the Menu, a scrollbar will be created, allowing you to scroll up and down the list. What if I want the old Menu bar (with the File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, & Help menus)? Right-click on blank space on the browser toolbar, and select Menu bar. Help! I've played around with some of the customizations and now just want to get it back to where it was when I first installed it! No problem. Click on the hamburger menu. Then click on Customize. On the palette that opens up, right to the left of the green Customize button, is one that says Restore Defaults. This will restore Firefox to the exact same way it was when you installed it. Now all this Restore Defaults button will do is restore the settings for the icons (to their default state). It will not remove bookmarks, themes, or extensions that you have installed. How can I get Firefox looking as much like it did before Australis? There is one extension that will help you out more than any other: Classic Theme Restorer. There are a LOT of options to this, so if you install it, feel free to poke around and see what you can do. Although I used it in the early days of surfing the web with Australis, eventually I got used to the new look and I no longer use it. But with Classic Theme Restorer, you can do the following:1. Put separate backward and forward buttons onto the navigation bar, and then move them around. 2. Put a combined stop/reload button onto the navigation toolbar (currently the reload button is fixed to the right side of the URL bar), and move it around. 3. Put the old Firefox menu back on. 4. Eliminate the curvy tabs. 5. Restore the Addons bar. and much, much more.II. Moving from Firefox 29 Are there current versions of Firefox that I can use that have the old UI? Yes, there is one---called Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR). It is available here: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/. Now keep in mind that the current version of Firefox (the first one to ship with Australis) is 29. The current ESR version of Firefox is 24. What you would be downloading and installing, would be Firefox 24, but with security updates inserted. Firefox ESR is supported on a seven-release cycle. The next version of Firefox ESR will be Firefox 31 (and then after that, would be Firefox 38). This means two things. (1) You can use ESR to avoid Australis only until roughly speaking, October 2014. At that point, Firefox ESR 24 would no longer receive security updates, and would no longer be advised to be used. The current version of Firefox ESR at that point would be Firefox 31, which would have the Australis UI. Can I just use Firefox 28 (the last version of Firefox not to ship with Australis)? You can, of course, but this would not at all be recommended. Firefox 28 is not going to receive any security updates, once Firefox 29 has shipped. If you have to use a browser that doesn't have Australis, I'd urge you to first see if you can't get used to Australis, even with using the Classic Theme Restorer addon; and if that won't work, then to use a browser that is receiving current security updates. What about the SeaMonkey browser? The SeaMonkey browser has been around for years (a continuation of the original Mozilla Browser suite, before Firefox was formed). From comments by SeaMonkey developers, it appears that SeaMonkey will NOT be adopting the Australis UI. One option for disaffected Firefox users, then, is to simply change to SeaMonkey. One addon creator has created an addon for people who want to use SeaMonkey, but make it look like the Firefox of old. If this appeals to you, you can download SeaMonkey at http://www.seamonkey-project.org. Then install the Sea Fox addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/seamonkey/addon/sea-fox. Aren’t there forks of Firefox? Yes there are, but they are typically one-man projects, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend using them as your everyday browser because of security implications. It is simply not realistic to expect these types of projects to be able to patch security holes in their versions of a browser with the same speed and skill that organizations with multimillion dollar budgets can. Additionally, these forks of Firefox are often abandoned (simply not further developed after a certain point in time). By far your best solution is to find a browser that is supported by an organization that can devote the manpower and financial resources required to maintain a secure browser. I heard that Mozilla was maintaining a non-Australis version of Firefox. Can't I use that? No. This was only a short-term project, in the event that the pre-release version of Firefox WITH Australis wasn't ready to be shipped. However, Firefox is shipping Firefox 29 with the Australis UI, and Mozilla hasn't maintained the non-Australis version for weeks now. It was never released to the general public and over time, just like Firefox 28, will have more and more security vulnerabilities. To summarize: if I don't want to use Firefox 29 at all, what would my only options be? (1) Firefox 24 ESR (2) SeaMonkey III. Why did the Firefox developers go in this direction? Why Australis? Here are a few blog posts from the Firefox community explaining Australis, and why Firefox moved in this direction: https://blog.mozilla.org/ux/2013/11/australis-is-landing-in-firefox-nightly/ https://blog.mozilla.org/ux/2013/12/whywhatiswhere/ https://blog.mozilla.org/metrics/2010/04/14/menu-item-usage-study-an-update-to-the-initial-analysis/ https://blog.mozilla.org/metrics/2010/04/23/menu-item-usage-study-the-80-20-rule/ In addition to the comments in the above links, from the perusing of Firefox dev message boards, I've also seen concerns raised (by FF employees) of the older UI being too complicated to develop for ( "a moving target" was a phrase one dev used), in that there were too many factors that needed to be taken into account (because there were too many ways to do too many things). Also, the back, forward, and reload buttons cannot be removed because too many people were removing them (knowing or unknowingly) and then didn't realize how to bring it back--that is why those items are attached to the URL bar and cannot be removed (without an extension). One other point that was made in (some of) the blog posts linked to above deals with the 80/20 rule. This is a traditional rule in the business and everyday work world, that has been adapted to UI design, that 80% of the time, you will only click on a certain 20% of the icons and options available. These icons that you most often click on, should be easy to access (available on the navigation toolbar). The other ones, that you click on less often, would be available via the menu option, or even only in the Customization pallete. However irritating such a major UI change might be to Firefox users, the bottom line is that the increased amount of customization that Firefox users can do now, allows us to arrange the 20% of the icons that we use the most, on the navigation toolbar. This wasn't possible in earlier versions of Firefox, at least not without addons. In the words of one Firefox developer (Mike Conley): "We want *more* users to be able to customize their browser, not less. We want more users to feel comfortable moving toolbar buttons to where they want them, while at the same time, making it harder for them to break the browser." For more reading on Mozilla's goals in rolling out Australis, you can see some comments from Mike in the same discussion. Just for the historical record, that post was dated almost a year before Australis was shipped in a Release of Firefox (version 29), in April 2013. And you can see from the date of the earlier blogs (with "Metrics" in the title), just how long a project Australis has been.