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Mozilla Prepares to Re-Invent Firefox with Australis Update
Datamation ^ | 3 June 2013 | Sean Michael Kerner

Posted on 06/04/2013 4:37:34 PM PDT by ShadowAce

Mozilla is gearing up for a major user interface overhaul for the open source Firefox web browser. Code-named Australis, the new UI is likely to debut as part of Firefox 25, due out in October of his year.

The Australis overhaul will be the biggest UI change since Firefox 4, which became generally available in March of 2011. After Firefox 4, Mozilla changed its release approach, from having only one or two releases in a year, to a rapid release cycle with new browsers released every six to eight weeks.

"Australis is our internal code name for a set of UI changes that is about answering the question of how do we build a browser that fits today's web user," Johnathan Nightingale, VP of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla, told Datamation.

There are multiple pieces that are part of the Australis overhaul and not all of the pieces are landing in Firefox 25.

For example, Firefox 20, which was released in April of this year, included a new Download Manager component, which is part of the Australis refresh.

The bulk of the Australis update that is set to land in Firefox 25 involves two major changes. The first is a simplification of the main UI and the other pieces are improvements to the customization interface.

"Every part of the Australis interface is tuned to get rid of distractions," Nightingale said. "Your tab titles and icons and titles are still there, it's easy to get to something if you want to get to it, but really we only need subtle hints there, so simplifying the UI just makes good sense."

From a customization perspective, Nightingale noted that to date, users have been able to customize Firefox through add-ons. With Australis, Firefox will have a more intuitive drag and drop approach for browser customization.

"It makes it easier for people to say, this is how I want to experience the web and these are the tools that I need," Nightingale said.

The customization can include options for how a first level browser menu will look, which isn't necessarily something all users will want to do. But the point is that Mozilla will now give users that choice.

Timing

Though Firefox 25 is currently targeted as the landing place for Australis, Nightingale stressed that Mozilla is listening very carefully to users about how they feel about the changes.

Mozilla now has a multi-channel approach to Firefox development that includes a stable release, beta and aurora channels as well as a bleeding edge, nightly release. The most recent Firefox release is Firefox 21, with Firefox 22 now in beta.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: browser; computer; firefox; internet; mozilla; tech

1 posted on 06/04/2013 4:37:34 PM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

2 posted on 06/04/2013 4:37:50 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

FWIW, I don’t care for Mozilla’s “release of the week” approach. Too much for me to keep track of.

I much prefer 2-3 releases per year.

I’m currently running FF 12 and really see no reason to update.


3 posted on 06/04/2013 4:42:57 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: ShadowAce

4 posted on 06/04/2013 4:42:59 PM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: upchuck
Firefox ESR
5 posted on 06/04/2013 4:44:44 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: LegendHasIt

Yeah. I bet I quit using FF after this.


6 posted on 06/04/2013 4:45:03 PM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

yeah sounds like a game quitter.

Look into ‘Pale Moon’ a Firefox compiled variant browser.
and there is SeaMonkey.


7 posted on 06/04/2013 4:58:51 PM PDT by RBStealth
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To: upchuck
FWIW, I don’t care for Mozilla’s “release of the week” approach. Too much for me to keep track of.
I much prefer 2-3 releases per year.

The problem with that is it would force them to look at design issues, instead of just throwing code-monkey/script-kiddies at it.
[/semi-sarc]

8 posted on 06/04/2013 5:00:21 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

GUI overhauls never go well. I’m speaking as a Principal level Software QA engineer.

Maybe I should donate my services.


9 posted on 06/04/2013 5:08:02 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: ShadowAce

How to kill a browser: rapid release insanity.

Mozilla ruined a good brower with the rapid release idiocy. I am at FF 15. If I upgrade, I lose several add-ons that the developers quit updating because they got tired of frequently updating their add-ons to fit the rapid release.

My bank updates its tunnel security software to the latest FF, but does not make the version retroactive. Thus, it no longer works with with older (FF 15) versions.

Around FF version 11 or 12, Firefox and Adobe Flash had conflicts with each other. That created headaches — update one and the other went haywire. Those conflicts continued for several updates of both FF and Flash.

Mozilla: It wasn’t broken, but we fixed that.


10 posted on 06/04/2013 5:13:06 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: ShadowAce

Although a bane to some, I love the Add-on customization capabilities of Firefox — some extensions like Tab Utilities should really be intrinsic to the browser.

If it didn’t seize so much with Speech Recognition (the later versions anyway) I wouldn’t have any problems with it...


11 posted on 06/04/2013 5:16:37 PM PDT by mikrofon (FF on FR Bump)
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To: ShadowAce

Thank you.


12 posted on 06/04/2013 5:17:30 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: ShadowAce

i was pretty alright with 3.6


13 posted on 06/04/2013 5:23:30 PM PDT by bigheadfred ( barry your mouth is writing checks your ass cant cash)
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To: ShadowAce

It’s about time for Firefox to fork, with a clean, light stable version and a continued development of the bloatware everything for everybody version, new release a week line.


14 posted on 06/04/2013 5:25:07 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: TomGuy

I’ve been using Waterfox 64 bit browser for a few months now. Seems ok but I noticed it will not let you checkout at Amazon.com. You can sign into your account but cannot complete the checkout process. Firefox Portable was what I used part time prior to Waterfox. Of course Chrome seems to be my goto browser.


15 posted on 06/04/2013 5:29:02 PM PDT by Blue Highway
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To: ShadowAce

I saw a previous reference to FF ESR. Does it accept add-ons, etc.?

I used to have an add-on that checked versions for other add-ons, but the developer quit updating it around FF version 16.

I don’t want to try another FF and have it mess up my current version+add-ons.


16 posted on 06/04/2013 5:35:25 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: Blue Highway

I have several different browsers, and they each have their quirks.

I use IE9 occasionally — my bank’s tunnel security software does work with it. But, I can’t download bank statements, etc., because IE9 doesn’t seem to know how to download PDF files.

It is rather frustrating to have a different browser for different occasions.


17 posted on 06/04/2013 5:38:41 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: TheRhinelander; All

18 posted on 06/04/2013 5:39:39 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: Blue Highway

Hmm, I have been using Waterfox for probably a year with no problems. Amazon works perfectly.

The only thing I can’t do is reliably log into my work’s remote email.


19 posted on 06/04/2013 5:50:57 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: ican'tbelieveit

Does anyone know if this will affect Mozilla “Seamonkey”...browser? We use this with NO problems at all!


20 posted on 06/04/2013 6:03:55 PM PDT by Birdlady
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To: ShadowAce

I’m still using FF as bread-and-butter browser, mostly because I’ve customized it to the nth degree with add-ons etc but Google Chrome tempts me every time I use it.

FF is getting slooooooow (and add-ons are probably mostly to blame).


21 posted on 06/04/2013 6:05:04 PM PDT by relictele (A place dedicated to economic, racial and social equality. It was called Jonestown.)
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To: PAR35

I like your premise.
Probably too logical to be adopted, sadly....


22 posted on 06/04/2013 6:07:12 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: bigheadfred

Just got forced out 3.6

Even though I had things set not to check for updates. A couple of weeks ago I started up Firefox and it just updated on its own. Messed everything up to. All my custom
settings and such. They all went to the default. And some features are just plain not available in settings anymore.

It took me quite a while to figure out what they did with the reload button. Very frustrating.

And I can’t figure out how to stop the automatic updates from the add ons. They don’t even ask.


23 posted on 06/04/2013 6:29:02 PM PDT by Revel
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To: ShadowAce
CHECK IT
24 posted on 06/04/2013 6:31:43 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: ShadowAce

Same rendering engine (Gecko)...how is this a re-invention?


25 posted on 06/04/2013 6:34:10 PM PDT by joseph20 (...to ourselves and our Posterity...)
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To: ShadowAce

I like Firefox, but I really hope they fix the issues with memory leaks. 500-600 MBytes memory usage is not unusual,


26 posted on 06/04/2013 6:46:27 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: gura

ping


27 posted on 06/04/2013 6:48:13 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: TomGuy
I saw a previous reference to FF ESR. Does it accept add-ons, etc.?

Yes, it does. It is merely a stabilized version that doesn't update so frequently. I believe it is currently at 17. It does backport the security fixes Mozilla releases.

28 posted on 06/04/2013 7:03:15 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Hmmm...

Sounds like FF is following Microsoft’s lead, with its minimal distractions in Internet Explorer.


29 posted on 06/04/2013 7:56:23 PM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: ShadowAce
Firefox updates: I no longer call them updates. I call them breakpoints, because I know damn well that when I install them something will break.

I know, can't complain at the price, but, bah!

30 posted on 06/04/2013 9:36:08 PM PDT by TChad
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To: ShadowAce

I guess we will see whether this is an improvement


31 posted on 06/04/2013 10:18:41 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: upchuck

it’s using Agile Management structures. The idea being that they release some small piece, get customer feedback, then either roll it back or improve it or keep it as-is. This lessens the chance of a big-bang failure like Windows 8


32 posted on 06/04/2013 11:35:35 PM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: ShadowAce

I’ve dropped both FF and Chrome lately and started usi9ng the latest version of the Opera browser. Seems to handle pressure better than FF or chrome.


33 posted on 06/05/2013 5:11:32 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: ShadowAce

Been with Mozilla Fire Fox since Netscape ended. I sure dam no fan of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer because both companies lean tot he left and support democrats. Nothing I can do about the Operation system though. Apple is as left as Microsoft. SO changing wouldn’t make a difference. But I like FireFox. Though I have used Opera and Explorer and I did test Chrome before I decided that I shouldn’t support Google. In fact I wouldn’t use Google Fiber which is not far from me if you payed me.


34 posted on 06/05/2013 5:50:49 AM PDT by Mozilla
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To: ShadowAce

Been with Mozilla FireFox since Netscape ended. I sure am no fan of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer because both companies lean tot he left and support democrats. Nothing I can do about the Operation system though. Apple is as left as Microsoft. So changing wouldn’t make a difference. But I like FireFox. Though I have used Opera and Explorer and I did test Chrome before I decided that I shouldn’t support Google. In fact I wouldn’t use Google Fiber which is not far from me if you payed me.


35 posted on 06/05/2013 5:52:12 AM PDT by Mozilla
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To: TChad

The thing with updates is that although it improves some features, the plugins and software devices used with Firefox tend to quit working with a update. Most recently the very latest update which it auto updated for me stopped working with my internet downloader software, the Internet Download Manager. So I uninstalled and re-installed the previous version using a site that houses old versions of applications. I then changed the setting to ask me if it wanted to update. And when it does I don’t install. In honesty there is no need to update especially since everything works right and the websites will be the same anyways. But also since there is a big change coming this fall then why not wait till then in 5 months.


36 posted on 06/05/2013 6:01:16 AM PDT by Mozilla
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To: ShadowAce

I’ve been using Mozilla’s Aurora... Works ok for me. Can be a bit of a memory hog when you have multiple tabs and multiple Windows open.


37 posted on 06/05/2013 6:06:53 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Revel
And I can’t figure out how to stop the automatic updates from the add ons. They don’t even ask.

Tools/Options/Advanced/Updates. Pick your option - from never update to automatically install

38 posted on 06/05/2013 6:47:14 AM PDT by CedarDave
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To: Cronos
it’s using Agile Management structures. The idea being that they release some small piece, get customer feedback, then either roll it back or improve it or keep it as-is. This lessens the chance of a big-bang failure like Windows 8

The problem is that it takes the pendulum too far. Yes, you're supposed to have a functional (if not necessarily full-featured) product at the end of each sprint, but that does not mean that the sprint result has to be a public release. They would do better to have a beta program where those who want to preview and test upcoming changes get the latest sprint releases, but the public distribution gets updated less often.

39 posted on 06/05/2013 6:54:24 AM PDT by kevkrom (Obama: less class than Bill Clinton)
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To: TChad
Firefox updates: I no longer call them updates. I call them breakpoints, because I know damn well that when I install them something will break.

Agree completely. And it likes to put tabs on top instead of bottom and you have to go into the code via "about:config" to change it.

There is one add-on that does help in making add-ons work that have been previously disabled due to a FF update:

Disable Add-on Compatibility Checks 1.3

40 posted on 06/05/2013 6:58:13 AM PDT by CedarDave
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To: Mozilla
Been with Mozilla FireFox since Netscape ended.

Who would've guessed! ;>))

41 posted on 06/05/2013 7:06:28 AM PDT by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

Yes I know that one. But after I set it the Add ons were still updating on their own.


42 posted on 06/05/2013 8:27:22 AM PDT by Revel
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To: Blue Highway
I tried using Waterfox 64 but it was just too quirky for my tastes.

Regarding the current Firefox, I had to email the developer of the "Save As" plugin because it stopped working one night and he told me it was due to Firefox changing the code. I got an updated version but now I'm thinking of going back towards FF 12 or 13.

43 posted on 06/05/2013 12:52:02 PM PDT by ducttape45
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To: martin_fierro
omg, no, no, no, no, no, no!

It looks like Chrome!

44 posted on 06/05/2013 12:54:53 PM PDT by ducttape45
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To: ShadowAce
Oh crap... why don't they leave well enough alone!

Thanks for the info, though, ShadowAce... ;-)

45 posted on 06/05/2013 2:01:50 PM PDT by nutmeg (Rest in Peace, FReeper Extraordinaire Doctor Raoul...)
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To: RBStealth

I’ve never heard of Pale Moon. How does it stack up against the current FF?


46 posted on 06/05/2013 3:09:37 PM PDT by ducttape45
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To: gura

That is a great Dilbert. This agile stuff is not going to end well. It is going to take some people getting killed before they decide it might make sense to sit down and figure out what you are going to do before you do it.


47 posted on 06/05/2013 3:27:03 PM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: CedarDave
Disable Add-on Compatibility Checks 1.3

Thanks, I'll look at it.

48 posted on 06/05/2013 9:42:10 PM PDT by TChad
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