This has become an awful community, completely agains the spirit of collaborative software

This sub lately reads like an Apple sub full of moany users, and I truly believe some of you have lost perspective on what FF is, and what's it for. This is not how a community for a collaborative, open-source project reacts to changes.

"They have no right to change what already works for me, the think they know better than I do". Yes they have, and yes they do. They know how to make a browser, you and I don't. Firefox is an amazing browser, the amount of work and talent that has gone into it is astonishing, and the fact that it's as good and sometimes better as a browser with the financial might of Google behind it is an astronomical accomplishment. They are making their best effort to make this browser better and, like it or not, the UI change is part of that. Don't like it? Go change it, it's open source. Don't have the skillset required to do that? Then accept changes as they come, provide constructive criticism when asked, and be thankful for the amazing piece of software you are given for free. When a propietary piece of software changes their design, you get annoyed and move on. But suddenly, because this is an open-source software with an open community which incoudes the devs, suddenly people feel the need to go beyond "hey, I think this should have compact mode", and throw tantrums about how the devs broke their aesthetic and workflow and they suck. You don't own the place, they can change their software for what they think is best, and unless you contribute to it, you have no right to say they're assholes for doing so. If you think developer time is better used in adding the feature you want, or tweaking the thing you don't like, instead of the things the devs are prioritizing, then fine, go do it yourself. Either redirect that energy to contribute to the project, or calm down and help construct a pleasant community that has helpful feedback and is constructive for the devs.

"This wasn't necessary! No one asked for this". Yes it was. Have you ever worked in an open-source project? Let me tell you, after years of working with a particular technology, like a ui engine, and the project evolving around it, things become messy. Extremely messy. The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time. With time, it often becomes an incomprehensible mess that weighs the project down. A full UI rewrite, in a new technology is a MASSIVE undertaking, but often the only solution. As legacy tech becomes difficult to integrate with modern features and environments, every project requires full rewrites of certain sections eveey once in a while. Otherwise, you end up becoming legacy software. This is not only for the users, this is also a blank-start for the devs, with newer, better software, that they can use to improve FF even more.

"The new design is worse!" No it isn't. Sure, aesthetical elements are subjective, and I get that you don't like it, but it isn't worse. Remember when reddit updated its UI? It sucked, right? And you still use the old design, right? Yeah, me too, I love the old design, but to be honest, to anyone not already familiarized with it, it looks like a spreadsheet in a Windows 98 computer. I've tested it myself, people who i have introduced to Reddit have found the old design to be horrible, while being familiarizing themselves quickly with the new one. The truth is, reddit needed that update desperately. And you can say that the new design is worse because you can't use certain specific feature that was previously easy to use, but the truth is that the average user (and the software itself) benefits more from a more modern UI than from catering to niche power-users. And while FF's UI wasn't as out of date as reddit's, the new UI is more modern and friendlier for new users than the old one. Sure, you lost 6px of vertical real state, and sure, the tabs look funny, being detached from the top-bar. The truth is that those things don't really matter. You and I care, and the devs probably care too, but most people won't. And while it's completely ok to tell the community and the devs that that's something you would like to see improved, it's not ok to take this amazing piece of software for granted and complain like the FF team are your employees and they should be belittled because their work doesn't match your standards. The new UI is perfectly usable, and doesn't look bad. It will obviously continue to change, and, if you want it to change in a specific way, you should contribute to the project. Every piece of software has things that you don't like. Half of Windows sucks and they still charge for it. 90% of open source projects have awful UIs that look like they are from the early 00s, and they are amazing projects worth using and contributing to. Firefox looked great, and it's still looks great, whether it's slightly better or slightly worse in your opinion. It's ok. Let it go. Be thankful for this amazing free browser. Go thank the people who have contributed to all its amazing features, including this change, even if you don't like it.

80 thoughts on “This has become an awful community, completely agains the spirit of collaborative software”

  1. Someone made the good point earlier to say that Firefox being open source and free doesn’t mean users get to dictate the direction of the browser. Its still Mozilla’s project. This is specifically why Gorhill refuses donations to uBlock Origin.

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  2. When it comes to usability, users will always have better insight than the developer. This is true for any kind of software, which is why devs should always listen to user feedback on usability regardless if it is FOSS or not.

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  3. >The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time. With time, it often becomes an incomprehensible mess that weighs the project down.

    Soooo … how do Tabuttons™ and padding serve as the foundation of a UI rewrite?

    I’ve rewritten massive blocks of messy code and managed to keep the UI as-is, and I’m a casual developer. In fact, I think I may have heard once upon a time, way back when, that the model and the view and the controller are intended to be discrete components. Hmm, can’t quite remember where I heard that …

    Anyway. Your persuasiveness is proportional to the number of paragraph breaks you use. Better luck next time.

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  4. It neglects people who have difficulty with the UI and UX, whether it be those of us who have vision problems, or people on the spectrum who cannot cope with the new changes in a productive way. Mozilla was told by such people that the new UI makes it more difficult on them, and that the minor option of them having the ability to retain what they have without having to dig into css and extensions that may not work in the next release is apparently too much to ask.

    Mozilla can do what they want with their software, but the end users are the ones who actually put it through its paces, and if it fails to stay up to the task, that’s on Mozilla, and would also explain why they continue to bleed users.

    For the record, I’ve been a user since 0.8, so it’s not like I haven’t seen changes before, but some of them are mystifying even to me, and I can only hope Mozilla turns the downward trend around by addressing the needs of people other browsers neglect, rather than trying to look like those browsers.

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  5. Let people not enjoy things. People are not entitled to have all their wishes fullfilled but the devs aren’t entitled to have us use their bad UI when we don’t want to either. If they don’t want to listen and keep making things worse, then people will just go use another browser. Is that better than having to listen to feedback?

    And as you said, this is subjective. Some people might like the new design, some might dislike parts of it, and some might just hate everything about it. You don’t get to tell people that they have to like this, you don’t get to tell people to let it go and accept it whether they want to or not.

    It’s peoples right to tell the firefox devs that they don’t appreciate the new looks. It’s the devs right to react to or ignore this criticism, and it’s the users right to then either stay with Firefox or change browser. And you don’t have a say in any of that.

    Let people enjoy things. But also let people not enjoy things. I personally don’t hate the new UI, except for the really, really bad tabs(and yes, they just look bad, period, you don’t get to decide for other people that they don’t. They 100% do), but i understand that people don’t like the constant 180’s that Firefox likes to do with pretty much every new round update.

    You say that people aren’t allowed to take Firefox for granted or treat the devs like their employees, and that’s true, but nobody does that. What people DO do is treat Firefox like any of the other big corporations that the Firefox Foundation is at this point. Free or not, at the end of the day the user is the customer. It’s the customers right to not be happy when the corporation forces changes on you that make their product less useable. It’s the customers right to let them know that their product became less usable, and it’s the customers right to ask for the problems to be fixed, or for the customer to simply use another product. And yes, many people will just change to a different browser if at least the most glaring issues like the horrible tabs aren’t adressed.

    That’s not entitlement, that’s the free market. In 99% of the cases, when people rant about other peoples entitlements, just like your rant, it’s about “How dare people not have unquestioning brand loyalty? How dare people have criticism, how dare people question our lord and savior, how dare people change to a competitor when we tell them to stop being entitled to a useable product when other competitors offer them a useable product?”. And your rant here reads pretty much the same. Yeah Firefox is free, yeah Firefox is a household name. So? Chrome is free too. Opera GX is free too. Pretty much all browsers are free. It’s not entitlement to point that out. It’s not entitlement to be unhappy about terrible changes. It’s not entitlement to let the devs know that their changes aren’t appreciated and to please adress the issues they created.

    They don’t HAVE to, we’re not entitled to Firefox fixing their problems, but Firefox isn’t entitled to it’s users either. If Firefox keeps breaking things, then people will switch to a Browser that works. That’s not entitlement, that’s how the market works. Even for a free product. Let people enjoy things. But let people not enjoy things. If you love the new design, awesome. I’m truly happy for you. But enough people don’t.

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  6. >A full UI rewrite, in a new technology is a MASSIVE undertaking, but often the only solution.

    Uhm… what full UI rewrite in a new technology are you referring to..? 🙂

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  7. The problem is, is always the people that dont like it thats yells the highest. The people that actually love the update (me) just sit here and be all happy instead of whining on r/firefox.

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  8. Seems like a lot of words just to handwave away anybody who doesn’t like what you think they should, and that you consider your feelings to be facts.

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  9. >90% of open source projects have awful UIs that look like they are from the early 00s

    Why do you say “look like they are from the early 00s” as if it was a bad thing?

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  10. I’ve been on the sub for awhile and the there have really only been 2 issues that the community has seen.

    I personally love the new UI, quite a lot actually. It makes the other interface seem very antiquated in retrospect. The new interface feels very modern and was a nice progression forward.

    The two issues that are brought up are fair points that Mozilla should take a look at.

    Personally I have always used compact mode. I took a look at the default build in a VM and…. yeah that is a massive interface. There is honestly no reason for that much space especially for people who may not use a touch screen. Compact mode with the new interface however looks BEAUTIFUL combined with dark mode. With compact mode, the buttons are still beautiful and easy to click and everything is still layed out nicely without taking up so much space. Removing compact from personalization options…. was just a dumb decision. I appreciate them still allowing it, but for many users, compact is just better.

    The second issue is that determining what tab is active is harder to see. This is fair, it is compared to the last UI, however I have not ran into an issue that I can’t easily find what tab I am on and it can also be fixed if you don’t like it with Theming, so I don’t see that one as an issue, and those complaining about that aspect are just being dumb.

    These issues compared to how absolutely beautiful and modern the new interface is, and how much work has been done to make the browser amazing are nothing. Firefox should re add compact mode. But thats it. Honestly. Thats it. I run nightly and have had the new interface for awhile and I never even missed the old one.

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  11. I like Firefox and have been using it for years, as have many people on this sub. As such, our perspective and feedback when we say that Firefox has gone downhill is the most relevant feedback Mozilla could possibly get. Criticism is not against collaboration, it’s part of it.

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  12. well jeez, im sorry your daily browsing isnt impaired by having a less readable software while having bad eyesight.

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  13. There were constructive criticisms. For example icons in menus: removing them make searching for things less convenient. Icons have been part of softwares for decades for good reasons, otherwise favicons wouldn’t be a thing, it goes the same for all icons.

    The only reason for removing them I can think of is that it makes less job for designers to maintain them when there is a visual changes.

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  14. I have very different ideas about what makes open source software great. That people who haven’t had the privilege of technical training nor money to purchase software nevertheless get a kind of input on how the digital world we all share should look and function. Your view seems to be more of a “sit down and shut up you rubes” kind of view. But is that what makes community-supported open source software cool and superior to other models?

    The smarmy ugly attitude of this post regarding frustrated people expressing frustrated opinions, it’s like, grow up. Maybe I’m just too jaded, but when I worked in a public facing role as a journalist and editor I had to develop the skill of parsing the critique from the emotion attached to it, and consider that emotion fwiw without it, like, hurting my heart. Detachment is a skill. OP would do well to learn some.

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  15. Yep, that’s ranting. But I’ll offer my two cents, like everyone else

    > “They have no right to change what already works for me, the think they know better than I do”. Yes they have, and yes they do. They know how to make a browser, you and I don’t. Firefox is an amazing browser, the amount of work and talent that has gone into it is astonishing, and the fact that it’s as good and sometimes better as a browser with the financial might of Google behind it is an astronomical accomplishment.

    Having a right and it being *right* are two entirely different things.

    Knowing how to make a browser doesn’t mean that you understand UI design and even if you know both that doesn’t mean that you understand what your users do and don’t want. So the developers don’t know better than you or I what works or is best for *us*. Maybe they’re right for >50% and maybe they aren’t, but the rest of the users are out if the majority wants X.

    Whether it’s better or worse than Google Chrome isn’t particularly relevant here.

    > They are making their best effort to make this browser better and, like it or not, the UI change is part of that. Don’t like it? Go change it, it’s open source. Don’t have the skillset required to do that? Then accept changes as they come, provide constructive criticism when asked, and be thankful for the amazing piece of software you are given for free. When a propietary piece of software changes their design, you get annoyed and move on.

    See, the problem there is that “better” is largely subjective. Better for what? Better for whom? How? And what does how the browser *looks* have to do with it? I, for one, am much more concerned about improvements in other parts of the experience like memory leaks and the overall performance of something that I might use every day.

    Something being open source doesn’t automatically make it practical to fork it or maintain that fork. And even very good programmers don’t necessarily have the exact skillset needed for a web browser. It’s absurd to ignore the real hurdles that exist in going that route and tell people to either shut up or climb Mt. Everest.

    Why should anyone just accept things as they come, never voice any real criticism, and just be “thankful for the amazing piece of software you are given for free”? That’s the same bullshit that proprietary entities spout. Sure we could get annoyed with Mozilla and move on, but what is there to move on to exactly? Chrome? A lack of a choice and the Internet playing an essential role in modern life (at least in the so-called first world) means that we *must* have/use a web browser. It’s not an option to simply go without.

    > But suddenly, because this is an open-source software with an open community which incoudes the devs, suddenly people feel the need to go beyond “hey, I think this should have compact mode”, and throw tantrums about how the devs broke their aesthetic and workflow and they suck. You don’t own the place, they can change their software for what they think is best, and unless you contribute to it, you have no right to say they’re assholes for doing so. If you think developer time is better used in adding the feature you want, or tweaking the thing you don’t like, instead of the things the devs are prioritizing, then fine, go do it yourself. Either redirect that energy to contribute to the project, or calm down and help construct a pleasant community that has helpful feedback and is constructive for the devs.

    It’s not just that it’s open-source software with an open community. And it’s more than just whining at the developers, though that’s the most obvious manifestation. What Mozilla says about it’s work and actually does regarding the software matter to the users, at least to a basic extent. If it’s open-source and being made *for the community* then it doesn’t “belong” to the devs and they *shouldn’t* just do whatever they want.

    More often that not lately it seems like they’re smoking the Google hookah and believe that they themselves know what is best for *everyone* without even asking anyone. That doesn’t mean they don’t have good intentions or that their ideas are bad, it just means that the impression is that they never stop to ask the users what they think or want.

    —–

    Alternatively, the 10,000-foot view:

    Somewhere along the way Mozilla went from aiming to displace IE (internet explorer) by making a better web browser (safer, better, faster) which also promoted user customization, contribution (via addons), and neat integrated features (RSS reader, etc) to having a grand *agenda*. That is they switched from simply making good software and contributing to open-source software as an end in itself *to* their efforts being a means to an entirely different end.

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  16. You seem delusional. Most users of any FOSS don’t care about the FOSS aspect. Most users on this sub are just that – your everyday users. They hardly care to file bug reports, let alone to go into the nitty gritty to change the code of their browser of choice.

    Aesthetical elements are subjective, sure. But let’s not pretend Mozilla didn’t sacrifice usability to achieve prettiness with Proton.

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  17. I think firefox can become a better project by getting away from Mozilla (we all know the censorship stuff) . Sure they will lose funds but the product itself will become better. Lots of good open source projects exist without much monetary backing at all.

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  18. yay! thats the open source spirit!

    criticising legit feedback!

    so shut up peasants and eat what i shove down your throat. thanks for collaborating.

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  19. This is again this bullshit forced positiveness that plagues every sub. Get real. Proton has few major flaws that the community has been vocal about for MONTHS. Mozilla team/lead just doesn’t care. At that point this kinda of slashback is totally justified.

    Honestly I don’t know how people like you make it in the world. Everything has to be only positive and flowers and roses. World doesn’t work that way.

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  20. > This is not how a community for a collaborative, open-source project reacts to changes.

    And ramming stupid design changes down our throats that are made just for change sake is not how a **community** for **collaborative**, open-source projects should be run. Mozilla is acting like Apple with overpaid CEO’s and refusing to listen to the people who use their products thinking they know better.

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  21. Yes it is mozillas project. but they will be only ones left using FF if they continue these BS UI changes and make everything less usable with every damn patch.

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  22. > Don’t like it? Go change it, it’s open source.

    > if you want it to change in a specific way, you should contribute to the project.

    > If you think developer time is better used in adding the feature you want, or tweaking the thing you don’t like, instead of the things the devs are prioritizing, then fine, go do it yourself.

    That’s exactly what people are unhappy about though. I *do* fix problems myself, but when I need to do so more and more lately for each update, I don’t trust that updates will improve my experience anymore.

    People who leave feedback usually do so on top of finding solutions for themselves, but it’s not like contributing works like magic, or they have less fear that future updates will be the same drag.

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1699128

    You’ve seen the amount of criticism the removal of this feature has gotten, the first page of top posts this year has multiple threads complaining about it. But even if I wanted to whip up a fix and contribute right now, it wouldn’t be accepted because of murmurs in the comments about if it would be used and being a waste of time, despite the threads and my own willingness to do so.

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  23. At this point, it’s because we’ve gone completely unheard on numerous bad changes for so long. There’s been NO meaningful community collaboration on things in a long time. Moz needs to find their “spirit of collaboration” first instead of going with Apple style “we know best, shut up, plebs”. closed->wontfix

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  24. Man how did this rant get so highly upvoted. There’s some insane gatekeeping here.

    People aren’t allowed to criticize or give negative feedback for such a polarizing and dramatic change?

    Ok.. if you say so.

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  25. Tabbed browsing used to be an organic feature that was intuitively integrated into the browsing experience.

    Now it looks like a clumsy, third-party add-on.

    So despite your appeals to authority, the developers clearly screwed this up.

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  26. >”This wasn’t necessary! No one asked for this”. Yes it was. Have you ever worked in an open-source project? Let me tell you, after years of working with a particular technology, like a ui engine, and the project evolving around it, things become messy. Extremely messy. The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time. With time, it often becomes an incomprehensible mess that weighs the project down. A full UI rewrite, in a new technology is a MASSIVE undertaking, but often the only solution. As legacy tech becomes difficult to integrate with modern features and environments, every project requires full rewrites of certain sections eveey once in a while.

    Let’s play a game: Name one other big browser which has subjected users to 2 major UI overhauls in 3 years. I’ll wait.

    If the UI stuff became useless unmaintainble spaghetti in 3 years, we have bigger problems than a few bad UX decisions. More likely, this is not the reason for the changes and you’re just having a bit of a reaction to people criticizing the devs.

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  27. > “The new design is worse!” No it isn’t. Sure, aesthetical elements are subjective, and I get that you don’t like it, but it isn’t worse.

    That’s wholesomely your opinion and your opinion alone. You’re arguing that “your opinion is subjective, but my subjective opinion is fact!”

    Get off the high horse.

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  28. Yes and no. It’s not a 100% volunteer effort by the developers. Lots of people are paid (perhaps even the majority?). They are paid, because the browser has a lot of users (us). That has made it possible for Mozilla, to go to a search engine provider and say “we have this many users, and we will make google the default search engine for our users the next five years, if you give us $200 million”. Besides of that, users and foundations have donated to the Mozilla foundation. So without the users, there would be no Mozilla.

    I’d wager a lot of the current developers and designers, were just looking for a job when they got hired. I don’t think they loved or cared for Firefox, or have been emotionally connected to the browser like a lot of the users on this sub.

    If a designer that was hired within the last two years drops a bomb on a piece of software you have supported for +20 years, by being a user and helping Firefox get a market share and mind share, by pushing it to your friends, by submitting bug reports, using the search engines Firefox made deals with to be the default search engine, by enabling and providing telemetry to the developers etc. then I’d wage you be a bit sad and frustrated as well.

    I believe you have some good points, but like I said, this isn’t a piece of software only developed in the spare time for free, and without users there is no income to pay their salaries in the end.

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  29. Instead of bending a bit to be more inclusive they’d rather impose their vision upon us, even when it would cost them almost nothing. It’s not the actual individual changes themselves, but this hostile attitude towards their own users across hundreds of minor changes over the span of a decade that has caused their former community to rebel against them. And they deserve every single word of criticism for it.

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  30. It’s become more intense because they’re ignoring all feedback since it came out in nightly. If people are upset that’s now on the devs

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  31. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t know why developers spend time making it “prettier” when it is not necessary. Any time you go on to make it “prettier” something gets broke. Fix bugs but stop making unnecessary changes. Maybe two versions of Firefox should be implemented. One version is just as it is with only bugs fixed. The other version is what you currently have now – made “prettier” for no real specific reason. Where is the contest to make it “prettier”.

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  32. Another odd thing is that nearly every response about not updating is met with “But yer securitah”.
    Which implies that the security is somehow inexorably linked with the UI and UX changes.

    And there is the quiet deletion of the comparison tests, of people with nine or ten versions, loading the exact same pages, with very different performance and RAM usage. \*Hint\*, after 85 it’s been in steady decline.

    But you’d be able to see and verify this for yourselves if things weren’t deleted, downvoted, et. al.

    As for your statements in particular… try these.
    ~~”They have no right to change what already works for me, the think they know better than I do”.~~
    “*They have no right to force me to update and remove my ability to decline updates.*”
    You’ll note that any attempt to explain how to keep control over your own version running on your machine, via group policy, distribution policies, etc. gets removed or shadowbanned. This is not acceptable behavior for an Open Source project.

    ~~”This wasn’t necessary! No one asked for this”.~~
    “*Removal of things that people use, like compact mode or others, seemingly for no reason is something that no one asked for.*”
    A feature doesn’t have to be constantly kept updated, but it should not be removed, or outright pushed to the far dustbins before being removed because “no one is using it”.

    “The new design is worse!” Well, yeah, the design *is* worse. Of the Mozilla items I use, I prefer Seamonkey mostly as it doesn’t change every damn time someone wants to copy the big boys. As for proof of my statement that the design is worse, simple quantization is needed.
    Count how many people have put up remarks, threads, or whole damn essays complete with pictures about how they feel things are not good.
    Then count the people who disagree with them.
    Measure A versus B.

    It’s not hard.

    As for “Being Thankful”, You do realize that the majority of the “Amazing Features™”, are in fact things other people made as addons, or are made by the Big ol’ mean Microsofts, Googles, and Apples, that get grabbed, modified and declared as to be the “new and different™”.

    In short, I disagree with you, and have explained why.
    Also I have done this on an Opera browser as that makes it even funnier.

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  33. Well, that is the natural response when the developers don’t listen to the “community”. What more can you do besides being bitter and angry?

    In Beta this sub already said that the new design is bad, countless Bugzilla entries later, nothing changed. Instead decisions are made by “product managers” (whatever that is), compact mode getting removed because they “think not many use it” … these are not good signs.

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  34. I disagree.

    Software exists to be actually used by people. The ultimate metric for user interface quality is whether the people expected to actually use it like the design.

    It’s fair to say that random joes on Reddit aren’t representative of the wider userbase, but appealing to their authority as software developers to shut down criticism of design choices completely ignores the point of **user** interface design.

    When a proprietary product changes how it does things, we either complain and move on *or we stop using it because it sucks, possibly causing the whole thing to go under.* Chances are the guys who came up with New Coke thought it was a good idea at the time, yet here we are with Old Coke selling just fine and New Coke a footnote on the list of “product launch disasters” you see passed around sometimes. The American automotive industry decided it knew better than the public buying its cars, and promptly got its ass kicked by foreign companies once Americans had the choice. User opinion and feedback *matters.*

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  35. > Go thank the people who have contributed to all its amazing features, including this change, even if you don’t like it.

    “Thank them for this change that you don’t like”
    Why on earth would you thank someone for a bad thing?
    Putting a lot of effort into making something worse doesn’t entitle you to praise.

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  36. > They are making their best effort to make this browser better and, like it or not, the UI change is part of that. Don’t like it? Go change it, it’s open source. Don’t have the skillset required to do that? Then accept changes as they come, provide constructive criticism when asked, and be thankful for the amazing piece of software you are given for free.

    This is the kind of mindset that’s gotten Firefox into the less than 10% of the market share. The belief that what you think is best IS best. No, it is not if you want users on your product. If you make a product with likeability 1 then you will have usercount 1. Hell, if we amateurs in the C64/Amiga days could figure this crap out, YOU can do it now with your modern dev environments and high level tools.

    But you don’t, because you’re under the mistaken belief that you’re somehow special because you can code. I’d tell you to get off your high horse, but you’re already lanced off it by the Chrome knight. Because unlike you, *he* knows how to please a crowd.

    /someone whose seriously thinking of abandoning FF for chrome. AGAIN.

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  37. If mozilla knows so much about making a good browser, why is it dying then? Each year we keep losing more and more users. One of the biggest and most recent examples is the whole mega bar debacle, we went from having 9.1% market share in april 2020 before the mega bar was forced down our throats and now in may of 2020 is down to 7.3%. I don’t really think that’s a coincidence.

    If it isn’t broken don’t fix it, is so easy as that, the UI wasn’t broken it was simple and it did its job well, it wasn’t limiting in any way and people were pretty happy with it, the whole UI change felt more like they decided doing it because they can and since round UIs is what all the other browsers are doing right now.

    The point is, the driving blood of firefox currently are their old users, no matter how much pretty you make firefox UI, it will never be a good enough reason from any normal user to switch from Chrome or edge. The biggest majority of people that discover firefox is by recommendations by friends and family, for example the only reason of why my mom uses firefox is because I pretty much installed it on her pc and told her to give it a try and after a while she actually did but after coming from work yesterday she asked me what happened to her browser and that she was confused with the tabs since she couldn’t figure out what tab she was on and was getting frustrated by it. I fixed that by installing ESR but that only will survive until next year before getting updated to…this.

    All that is doing mozilla currently is making their old users leave the browser and dislike and distrust mozilla searching for new users that will never come not matter how much they try to copy trends.

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  38. > Don’t like it? Go change it,

    People did that.

    First they were happy enough to use addons and about:config options to revert bad user interface changes. Then Mozilla changed addons to severely restrict them, invalidating all old addons, restricting what new addons could change, particularly for the interface, and made it difficult to install addons without going through them.

    So people settled for about:config options. Then Mozilla started removing the options to revert to previous behavior. So much so that about:config is increasingly becoming known not as the place where new features are born, or where more powerful features lurk for experience users, but as the place where Mozilla puts established features out to pasture by labeling them as “legacy” or “depreciated” before being killed off.

    With their options declining ever more rapidly, people turn to userChrome.css to fix the problematic changes. However while it’s powerful it’s not as easy to use, certainly not as easy as flipping an option or installing an addon. It also requires an option be set in about:config to use it… an option labeled **legacy**UserProfileCustomizations…

    > it’s open source.

    And that’s a magic fix? It’s an open source project run by Mozilla. Sure someone could write code that put back in the desired features. They would then see their submission rejected because Mozilla is the one who doesn’t want those features. People can fork it. Which they have! But maintaining a fork is difficult without the resources of a company, making develompent slower. Which leads to people telling you not to use this or that fork for this or that reason.

    The general result is people are left with two choices:
    – Complain loudly and early in an attempt to halt bad changes they can be confident will be forced upon them if they don’t speak up.
    – Move to a new browser.

    Reply
  39. It’s not that we aren’t for collaboration. It’s simply that we didn’t get a say, a warning, nor even user input into a pretty radical style and ui change. However, the biggest issue by far is that when we asked devs for an option to do away with it we were stonewalled and basically told this is a permanent change.

    That is our primary beef, if you will.

    Also note I’m on both sides of coin. Meaning I’m both an end user and a developer with thousands of end users. And on that note, as a developer I am happy to say I am NOTHING without my end users and clients even if they are critical. As a developer I have a service provider mentality to the end users even if they don’t directly foot my paycheck.

    Mozilla isn’t like google or even microsoft who can get away with very questionable or outright crappy design changes. Instead Mozilla has serious competition and it’s our loyalty to firefox that keeps us here not really any other compelling reason at this point.

    Misunderstand the above, take our loyalty for granted, or worse, treat us like spoiled children and in the end we’ll give up and go with something better.

    So perhaps rather than adopting a stance of how we should be thankful Mozilla even exists, turn it 180. Mozilla should adopt the belief myself and many other developers have and that is we remain thankful towards a loyal user base and should indeed LISTEN to them.

    Because users these days frankly have plenty of options and I myself am growing more fond of chrome.

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  40. This is such a stupid and condescending post. “Mozilla is always right and nobody has the right to complain about anything”.

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  41. This reads more like ‘the devs can do no wrong and we should defend everything they do’. No. This is not how it works.

    The nature of web browsers is that forks are next to impossible. You cannot simply fork Firefox with a new UI, the complexity of dealing with that is simply not worth it. Yes, I believe that they are doing what they think is the best thing, but often what a designer at Mozilla thinks is best is very deferent from what a user thinks is best. For the record my userChrome hides most of the UI so I don’t care what they do with it, but changing for the sake of change is not good.

    The nature of software, open source or not, is that things shouldn’t change without a good reason, and if people are annoyed, they have every right to complain. Being open source does not shield you from criticism, it just means your source code is open and the developmental process is done in the open.

    “It’s free therefore don’t complain and be thankful you have it at all” is a terrible argument. If the product is bad, it’s bad, free or not. Being free doesn’t infuse it with a magical shield against criticism. Sure Reddit isn’t the place to complain, do it on bugzilla and open requests to add an option for the old UI, but the criticisms are still valid.

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  42. > “The new design is worse!” No it isn’t.

    This comes across as if it is a fact and not your opinion. How dare you to mark a whole reddit community as toxic and ignorant?

    IMO, most of your words about the reality of a big open source project make sense to me and I absolutely agree with many of them, but what you say in defense of the UI/UX changes is utter reality distortion when I look at the new Firefox in front of me.

    Saying that a UI is horrible (in terms of usability, not esthetics), is indeed constructive critisism.

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  43. \- An UI looking “from the early 00s” doesn’t make it automatically “awful”. There were good designs back then and humans haven’t changed so much in 20 years.

    \- “The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time. With time, it often becomes an incomprehensible mess that weighs the project down.” You’re mixing two things here: Rewriting messy code (which is necessary) and making UI change (which is not). You can absolutely rewrite the internals of a piece of software, even the part that has to do with UI and have the UI look and act very similar as before.

    \- Yes, Firefox is open source, but I personally get equally annoyed at bad UI changes whether the software is open source or privative.

    \- I understand Mozilla have to appeal to the masses. Chielfy because their funding depends mainly on publicity (Google) and so to survive they need a large number of users. But if you remove features used by power users or make them harder to find/use don’t expect them to be happy.

    \- Of course I have no right that the Firefox UI is exactly as I like it. Maybe it’s time some people get together and develop a “classic” UI for Firefox while using the latest engine.

    Reply
  44. I find it hilarious that you don’t never know how to use whitespace and you’re telling everyone about how you’re an expert in UI and design.

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  45. > They know how to make a browser, you and I don’t.

    Fortunately there are also people who know how to make Waterfox ***and*** not @#$% up UIs.

    Mozilla developers get paid from Mozilla’s revenues, which come from its default search provider, and that depends on Firefox usage. Meaning the continuing financial health of Mozilla depends on maintaining if not increasing Firefox usage. I doubt Proton will help with that. But that’s just filthy money, not valuable *collaboration*.

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  46. > They know how to make a browser, you and I don’t.

    Do they? It’s not them who made Firefox popular. It’s the people who invented XUL, who made the browser fully extendable, themeable, and whose browser needed to have no drama on # of pixels because just theme it as you like.

    The leadership now are the people who have dismantled that. Do they know how to make a browser?

    > And you still use the old design, right?

    And you still can. Because Reddit did this right, for a change. But can you still use the old design on Firefox? Old extensions? That’s what Firefox should’ve done, yes.

    > Sure, you lost 6px of vertical real state, and sure, the tabs look funny, being detached from the top-bar. The truth is that those things don’t really matter.

    “It’s not bad. Sure, it’s bad, but it doesn’t matter. Sure, it matters for us, but not for everyone. Hey, Windows sucks and we still use it.”

    Reply
  47. You’re right, many programmers work hard and deserve gratitude despite being steered in the wrong direction. But they mustn’t become hostages held by Mozilla decision makers. “Don’t criticize us, or you’ll be ungrateful to the people who work on it”.

    No. When Mozilla’s decisions are bad, everyone should say so.

    Reply
  48. >Don’t like it? Fork it

    And when people use forks like Waterfox, this sub has a meltdown. I have been lectured 50 times since FF57 on why I should not use Waterfox

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  49. > They know how to make a browser, you and I don’t.

    Just a heads up that you have no idea what i do for a living. So easy with the generalizations you sith.

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  50. >provide constructive criticism when asked

    Which gets an INVALID or WONTFIX if you try to provide said constructive criticism.

    >But suddenly, because this is an open-source software with an open community which incoudes the devs, suddenly people feel the need to go beyond “hey, I think this should have compact mode”, and throw tantrums about how the devs broke their aesthetic and workflow and they suck.

    By the people, for the people, my ass. Why do you think it is that in its ~ first 10 years Firefox didn’t draw so much criticism for its changes but does so now? It’s because management wants to increase Firefox’ dwindling user base by generating buzz for IT news pages through cosmetic changes. Firefox has gone »Style over substance« for quite some time now.

    >unless you contribute to it, you have no right to say they’re assholes for doing so

    Yes, you do. It’s not a meritocracy system like with Debian.

    >”This wasn’t necessary! No one asked for this”.

    Please link the hundreds of bugtracker entries that cried out for yet another UI overhaul and all the other changes that get heavy flak on here. The proverb »If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it« exists for a reason.

    >The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time.

    Yeah, feels like Mozilla puts up a new UI bloke every 6 months or so and lets him live out his a e s t h e t i c design delirium of making everything minimal, more Apple, and more smartphone-like.

    >Sure, you lost 6px of vertical real state, and sure, the tabs look funny, being detached from the top-bar.

    The two cardinal sins of Proton. I can’t wrap my head around how any designer could come up with this. I’m not a design guy but I know that

    1. Vertical space on desktop is valuable. This is why there are monitors with 1200 pixels in vertical instead of 1080. Proton gave a piece of this away for … well, what actually? For nothing! Change for the sake of change. Why would you change something if you don’t gain anything from it?

    2. The concept of tabs in computers is [nearly 40 years old](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_(interface\)#History) and [its analogue counterpart](https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_(B%C3%BCromaterial\)#/media/Datei:Index_img_8334.jpg) is centuries old. Floating tabs break this concept of visual representation of the user’s currently active working space. With Proton tabs, you cannot distinguish **better** which tab is your active one, you can distinguish **worse**. This is the opposite of good design. All for looking floaty, dreamy, minimalistic, hip, and modern. Ever heard of »Form follows function«?

    Reply
  51. For me the UI looks actually refreshing. But I also understand the concerns other people have raised regarding it not being inclusive and friendly for all people. So probably there should be a way to change that for those users.

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  52. Well, this is the last straw for me. With this new update all the tabs are the same color, i can’t distinguish them. I only have two alternatives, complain or switch browser. I am doing both.

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  53. At this point I don’t just understand but also am beginning to enjoy seeing firefox’s usage share continue to slip lower and lower. This new design is horrible.

    So much wasted space. Tabs just un-bordered floating text with no separators. An ugly border around the active “tab”, making it look more like a button.

    I didn’t have to scroll my bookmarks menu before, now I do because there is so much padding. The address bar was made much less useful. Compact mode was hidden, and even that now isn’t compact enough.

    No longer possible to view an image from a page directly, it always opens in a new tab (before you could middle click it to open in a new tab, like you’d middle click anything else to open in a new tab)

    Moving options around, like screenshot from the bar menu to right click because…..?

    How hard do you want me to just use chrome?

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  54. > Don’t like it? Go change it

    I literally can’t and there not a single argument that can convince me that I or anyone else somehow benefits from the fact that bookmarks that used to fit in a full page for me now take 3-4 scrolls to get to the bottom. But I’m happy to see there are still people willing to suck up corporations for no reason, and how moderators willing allow it, while negative feedback(useful or not) get thrown into a megathread.

    Being open-source isn’t some magic fix to the absolutely moronic changes Mozilla made.

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  55. Mozilla isn’t an open source project any more, it’s a dodgy foundation that collects money based on an open source project but is now dominated by bullshit, and pisses all that money away.

    While the actual products they make that people care about gets none of that money, and suffers from the same idiot management.

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  56. In other words your conclusion is that if one day I launch Firefox and the browser window is no longer full screen but a 200px by 200px window that cannot be maximized in any way then I should react by nodding like a robot because whoever is behind the change “knows better than I do”.

    I’ve been using Firefox from pretty much the very first version so that’s almost 20 years and if after twenty years they decide to move the tabs at the bottom of the window then yes, I’m not happy, and it does matter even if for some strange reason you think you’re in my head and able to dictate what matters and what does not matter to me.

    If your mindset is, “I will accept whatever people throw at me” that’s your problem not mine, with some userChrome and about:config tweaks I’m back to where I was with FF88 but if starting with FF90 I will no longer be able to have the tabs the way they’ve always been then I might start looking for an alternative.

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  57. It is a sad thing that people actually think like you. There is this bizarre type of person on the Internet who believes that literally any update made to a piece of software, no matter how ugly, how poorly thought out, how buggy, is always an improvement.

    With these people there is no such thing as a regression, every iteration of a program is always better and if it isn’t it is always the user’s fault — new theme is ugly? “your tastes are outdated” new update runs poorly? “Upgrade” feature removed? “You don’t need it”

    It’s just so bizarre.

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  58. Not everything negative is bad. And accepting every change for the sake of “not being a negative nancy” does not make you a “positive asset to the community” — but a conformist.

    If anything, this is a reflection of the current state of the society.

    Reply
  59. > When a propietary piece of software changes their design, you get annoyed and move on.

    This is exactly what is happening and what we are witnessing right now is the annoyance phase. I don’t know what the hell the rest of your post is about.

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  60. People can complain. You are free to complain about the complaining. And I’m here to complain about the complaining towards our complaining:

    No u

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  61. Mozilla never cared about the community, why should the community care?

    They do not listen, they blindly remove and change stuff, without giving any options. Like for instance suddenly putting the page title in front of the URL in the suggestions, with no good reason at all, and it would be the easiest thing to give people the option to choose the order, but no, that’s too complicated for Mozilla …

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  62. > first paragraph

    Ahh the good old “we dev knows what is better for you / dont have the skillset then accept ” motto. Please…

    >hey, I think this should have compact mode”,
    This feature existed before they dont suddently thought about it you know? 😉

    >provide constructive criticism when asked

    Usually those constructive and polite criticism ends in WONTFIX and you have to use those fancy CSS rules .
    No wonder why people become angry when they feel no one listened to them. Thats just a natural consequence.
    Of course being rude (insults AND condescendence *wink*) doesnt help at all.

    >”This wasn’t necessary! No one asked for this”. Yes it was. Have you ever worked in an open-source project? Let me tell you, after years of working with a particular technology, like a ui engine, and the project evolving around it, things become messy. Extremely messy. The ui has been parched and hacked and modified hundreds of time by different people, and stretched to non-standard use cases countless time. With time, it often becomes an incomprehensible mess that weighs the project down. A full UI rewrite, in a new technology is a MASSIVE undertaking, but often the only solution. As legacy tech becomes difficult to integrate with modern features and environments, every project requires full rewrites of certain sections every once in a while. Otherwise, you end up becoming legacy software. This is not only for the users, this is also a blank-start for the devs, with newer, better software, that they can use to improve FF even more.

    The dev inside me approves this paragraph. And as a user, like many people, i welcome the full dark mode with open arms for example (among many things).

    Thats said, people (like me) are complaining about **minor aestethic choices**. I am asking myself HOW those controversial decisions (“everything is bigger”, “wasted space”, “the new mute button and the text underneath”, “icons removed from menus”, “cant distinguish the active tab from the others”) are really tied to important code changes and not because some UI Expert said “lets try this i like it”. Was it not possible to recode it, with improvements, and making it look similar (again with improvements)? I trust FF engineers, they are greet people, they can do it <3

    > The new UI is perfectly usable, and doesn’t look bad.

    With a magic sentence, you made all people with accessibility and usability problems disappear.

    >The average user (and the software itself) benefits more from a more modern UI than from catering to niche power-users.

    Of course. It just depends on people definition of “modern”. In my case modern mean improvement. While i see some welcomed improvements with Proton i can clearly name some regressions.

    And by regression i dont talk about tastes. Those pixels lost are a space problem, for any type of users.
    Only power users needs to distinguish which tab is active, seriously? Franckly i dont care much about menus icons but they helped visually impaired people, would you put them in the same boat that “those damn annoying power users”?

    Those are not “modern changes” , those are regressions and voiced using arguments. Claiming its just “power users complaining who cares others wont be impacted” is probably wrong.

    >And while it’s completely ok to tell the community and the devs that that’s something you would like to see improved, it’s not ok to take this amazing piece of software for granted and complain like the FF team are your employees and they should be belittled because their work doesn’t match your standards.

    If “my own” standards are the same that many people complaining, with arguments, are they still “my own standards”? Thats open to debate. I am not sure complains are just coming from power users. I understand and i accept that we PU are a minority, but the UI issues are not only impacting PU thats plain wrong imho.

    What is the sane way to answer to people complaining ? Wontfix? Code it yourself? “devs know better than you”? I dont think so. I think thats how you alienate part or your userbase.

    Thats easy. You dont have to be polite to rude people. However, when controversial changes arises, many people would like to hear the reasons. And no “its modern” is not a valid argument as our definition sounds different 🙂

    I think we can hear some explanations, instead of ad-hominem attacks regarding our numbers, our supposed skills or non-skills and without conscendence “cause devs knows better.”

    I find that funny that many people complaining about Webextension back in the days kinda changed their mind after some articles and explanations from Mozilla. I am one of them. Webextensions are a blessing. I am a reasonable being, Moz can convince me if only they try with good arguments other than “bro accept it its mOdErN”.

    Finally, i think many of us tried to stay polite. I can understand why they failed, when those type of change comes likes every 6 months and everytime complains are dissmissed by basically giving them the middle finger. I’ve also battled with my userbase about Ui changes, and after month they agreed everything is better but i think people raised valid concerns here.

    Reply
  63. \> They know how to make a browser, you and I don’t.

    Speak for yourself? I still remember arrogant Blizzard CM with “you think that you want, but you really don’t” about classic servers. Guess what? They released next expansion for Classic servers last week.

    \> Don’t like it? Go change it, it’s open source.

    BULL. SHIT. You “conveniently” forgot “and then get your changes through circlejerk bureaucracy” step. Because no matter how popular is request for you changes they can always say “you don’t know and we do” that you so faithfully parrot.

    \> make this browser better and, like it or not, the UI change is part of that

    If most people “don’t like it”, then it is not “better”.

    \> you have no right to say

    Oh yeah, who the hell died and made you a king to dictate others what rights they have and what they don’t?

    \> Be thankful for this amazing free browser

    Sure, as long as it stays “amazing” instead of jumping on “hip and cool” bandwagon in attempt to emulate other browsers. If I wanted other browser – I’d just use that browser.

    TLDR, your post: praise your gods and be thankful for anything they feed you, even on days when it happens to be shit.

    Also, people mostly complain not about them doing new work – I’m sure new design will find its fans, people complain about breaking old. If they’d have a switch to select UI that people like that WOULDN’T BREAK two version later, they’d just quietly switch back and won’t complain at all.

    It is also funny, that this “praise Mozilla!” wasn’t somehow folded into megathread unlike every post when people were displesed. Guess worship and adoration is somehow more equal than rest of feedback.

    Reply
  64. This is the same type of people that tell you to “just build your own infrastructures and create your own ISP lol” when you complain about the single vampire provider in your region

    Reply

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