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29 looks just awefull, how to completly revert back to 28?

  • 35 replies
  • 131 have this problem
  • Last reply by Moses

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I did update to FF 29 and to my horror it just looks awful and makes no sense at all anymore :( Seems somehow FF thinks it's wise to make it look like other browsers :( I did try the "old look"-add on, did try the add-ons to get buttons back on the bottom (which is the most logical place for them), and so on. But the overall look just stays awful :( Until there is an option where I can get the real and logical version 28 layout back, where is a complete version of FF 28 so I can use a logical layout FF browser?

All Replies (20)

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Hi meegja,

I'm one of the developers of the new Firefox UI and I hope I'll be able to answer your question.

You can indeed use the Classic Theme Restorer add-on to bring back many things to way they were.

However, I strongly suggest to try working with this version and layout for a while, even though this change might not be comfortable for you at first. We came up with this new look after thorough testing, user interviews and usability studies for over four years. I understand this might feel for you to drop out of the sky on you all of a sudden, but please understand that all of the new/ updated UI elements are carefully considered.

I hope you understand,


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Hello Mike

I do understand that this all has been tested, developed and so on.

But there is just one thing I completely do not understand: the removal of the bottom placing of add-on icons. For example, the NoScript add on. The icon itself shows warnings. What is the most logical place for warnings/notifications on a Windows system? Yep, the lower right part of your screen because Windows (but also anti virus software and so on) warnings/notifications are there too.
I am working on a 27" screen and the placement of the icons on top instead of the bottom is totally not logical. Literary looking up and down now each time. So besides that that is *very* uncomfortable, it now also enhances that change that I overlook something.

About the overall layout itself: it is awful. I understand that you suggest to give it a change. But I already did that with the layouts of IE and Chrome and those are awful. So what change do you think I will like to work with this new Crome-like clone? ;)

So my question remains: is there a download for the previous FF 28 version?

Modified by meegja

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Okay, never mind. I just made a minimalistic, old school version of FF with just 4 simple add-ons.
Got a normal, productive FF now again that looks logical and works productively (in contradiction to the default FF 29 lay out).
Info here:

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Hi Meegja,

Thanks for your reply!

> I do understand that this all has been tested, developed and so on.

I think that's an understatement :)

> But there is just one thing I completely do not understand: the removal of the bottom placing of add-on icons. For example, the NoScript add on. The icon itself shows warnings.

The idea is that you put the icons/ buttons you want to see all the time on the top toolbar. The fact that you're looking down all the time to find something that is not there anymore is called muscle memory and it will take a bit of time to get used to the new situation. Trust me, you'll get used to it! The add-on toolbar is not coming back. There's always choice, however! You can install this add-on to get the toolbar back.

> So what change do you think I will like to work with this new Crome-like clone? ;)

sigh. Please take a close look at Chrome and then back at Firefox. Now back at Chrome. It's completely different! Now try to install a Chrome extension and put it where you want it. It won't let you. Try the same in Firefox. Completely different! And that's what it's all about; difference. Whether the new look appeals to you aesthetically is a matter of taste and I won't argue with you over that. I use Chrome everyday, as well as Firefox, because it's different and to stay sharp.

> So my question remains: is there a download for the previous FF 28 version?

Yes, there is, but I won't provide a link here, because

  1. You can Google it with ease
  2. I'd be promoting an older, potentially less secure, version of Firefox.

Modified by mikedeboer

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I did say Chrome-like clone. So not Chrome look-a-like ;) And it seems I am not alone with that same feeling when I look at the reactions here and on other forums.
And all I can say for me: it's a very bad and totally useless idea. Once Firefox stood out because it handled and looked way better then other browsers.
Now, for some weird reason, it is decided that is has to look and act like other browsers. And the weird thing is, there is this total make over and at the same time there is a manual at Mozilla Support to make it look like 28 again? Okay, good support :) but a weird action, showing that there is a big demand for the old look.
Granted, it still is faster then IE though :)

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Her is the link for the Win32, US English version:

This page lists all versions of FF28:

Modified by romad

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Was looking on other sites and forums on other stuff about FF29. And multiple times I stumbled over a public re-brand of the Firefox name.
It's been called Chromefox now (sorry Mike, that's really how it's called).

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That's all well and good for some, Mike. But what about the handicapped?

I'm a stroke survivor, and it takes me anywhere from weeks to months to adapt to a new user interface. I had to have Windows 7 custom retools to look like Windows XP just to be able to us it.

Then you - yes, YOU - slip in an update that breaks all of the adaptations I use to keep Firefox looking like version 2.0 (yes, I said two point oh!) and it sends FF into a crashing loop. When I get it into safe mode, it's some damned chrome lookalike that I wasn't able to use!!

I was lucky I still had an old full install copy of version 28 and all of my themes and extensions.

It's all well and good to cater to the majority, Mike. But when you steamroll the physically disabled? That's shallow.

Go contact the author of "Firefox 2, The Theme, Reloaded." Give him professional assistance - even a full programming team if need be. Do the same for the Status4Evah add-on.

There are those of us who CANNOT - are physically UNABLE! - to use your new look-and-feel. Are you going to discriminate against us? Tell us "So sorry, you're in the way of the future, kindly lay down and die so we can modernize"?

It look me three months to re-learn how to use one new user interface, Mike. Three months. It'll take me the same amount of time to relearn this new interface you're so enthusiastic for. Months where I won't be able to read my web-mail or attend my forums.

Do you really have such disdain for the handicapped, Mike? Would you condemn me to that?


Ed Becerra

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Meegja, that does sound funny indeed :) Not very original, but funny, yes.

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Ed, thank you for voicing your opinion here!

First of all, I'm very sorry to hear that our efforts to make the web better actually have the opposite effect for you!

I don't know if you'll appreciate hearing this, but we've gone great lengths at making Firefox 29 as accessible as possible for our audience with disabilities. In fact, we've had people who lost their eyesight test it - long before we released and were still able to make adjustments - and provide feedback with numerous points for improvement. We listened and implemented them with all the effort we could. This is just one example of many.

Fact is, we strive to make the web, thus Firefox, open and accessible to anyone as much as possible, given the resources we have. This includes you!

Practically, this does not mean we can revert the release back to the way it was and continue to keep Firefox the way it was since the past 5 years or so. The web evolves and so do we. Additionally, we only have a relatively small team of engineers working on Firefox; much of our progress depends on the work of volunteers!

What we can do, however, is fix bugs. If there are specific parts of Firefox that are not working for you in your current condition, we'll try to do something about it. But I need you to help; tell me what needs to improved to make your daily Firefox usage better. I'll file bugs and from there we can work towards a solution in future versions.



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Not the Firefox team of old, where the developers were responsive and willing to listen to the users! We now have a close of Microsoft-thought: here it is, it will not change, GET USED TO IT. Sad to see the degradation of a formerly "family" to the typical corporate mind-set that is impervious to outside pleadings from its users.

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emathis01, I'm afraid you're mistaken.

The Mozilla/ Firefox community is the most open and communicative environment I have ever worked with. Firefox is one of the few truly community-driven open source projects.

Australis (now live in Firefox 29) has been in development for several years and during that time many community members influenced the direction of this project immensely. Watch (~2mins).

You didn't hear or see any of us say 'GET USED TO IT', only 'please, give it a try first'.

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One question I asked that was not answered: WHY was the setting removed/disabled in the about:config setup at all? That makes it much more difficult for us non-programming types to make the change back. Why instead couldn't that setting just lie in the configuration with a different default (for the "new" look) so that a simple switch of its state could change it back to what the rest of us want? Someone made a decision that "THIS IS THE WAY IT'S GOING TO BE" from now on without regard to many of the rest of us that might not like the new look or may find it harder to use; why make it so difficult to get the old look/functionality back???

I personally don't like having to put in more add-ons to put back something that the programmers had in before, and could easily have kept in, if they had given a little more consideration to the consequences of their decision.

I have been using Firefox/Thunderbird for years and years because of their different look and feel, both of which appealed to me much more strongly than the MS offerings. The configurability was a very pleasant bonus. That seems to be going away now as Firefox is being made to look more and more like IE (and some say Chrome). Is Firefox trying to look more like the others because the majority of people using those other products are "used to" their look and operation and would feel more at home if they tried Firefox? If so, I think it's a major strategic mistake to pander to that idea and abandon little by little exactly what has made Firefox so appealing for so long.

As before, I still say..... STUPID DECISION.

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"You didn't hear or see any of us say 'GET USED TO IT', only 'please, give it a try first'.

But it is implied. Then when we do try it and decide that the previous version is better , we're chastised for it, told that it was done for "more security". That is along the lines "If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. PERIOD" or "The check is in the mail". It is just BS as the security can be upgraded WITHOUT a massive change to the "look-and-feel"

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I tend to agree with what is said.
Indeed it's implied that we just have to get used to it. The whole overhaul itself just says that but also the removal of certain things in about:config.

FF had it's own special UI and handling and that was one of the main reasons that people made their choice to use FF.
Now with the overhaul to make it look and handle like the other browsers, that reason is gone.
Sure, FF can be customized a lot. But understand that a lot of people just want to use their browser without customizing the hell out of it or with just a few addons.
But even with the customizing, a lot of things are not the same anymore.
So after many, many years of FF use, I am looking now for a FF replacement (never thought I ever would say that :( ). Did found a version based on FF, it's called Pale Moon. It looks definitely 1000% better then FF29 does now.
Going to give that a try for sure.

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When I opened the browser I thought Internet RExplorer was opening and someone put a bug in PC? I will give it a try, but do not like it so far. I also tried to put tabs on bottom by typing: about:config and press Enter.

In the Search field box at the top, type browser.tabs.onTop.

Double-click the browser.tabs.onTop preference to set its value to false.

Nothing happened, tried closing and reopening browser??

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TERRIBLE, just terrible.

Why are you forcing such major changes down people's throats? Why not give us an option to opt out of these new crappy UIs you're coming up with (this isn't the first one), or at least WARN us that updating will cause our browser to suddenly require HOURS of work to restore it to its old look? WHY?

"We did 999999 hours of testing yadda yadda" WHAT DO I CARE IF YOUR MOTHER AND HER 999998 FRIENDS LIKE THE NEW UI? That's right, I don't give a fudge if they do.

Do NOT force these UI changes on me, give me an OPTION to use them or not OR AT THE VERY LEAST warn me that if I update, there will be such major changes so I can then NOT UPDATE. IS this really so much to ask for?

YEs, security risks yadda yadda WHATEVER, if I don't want to fasten the seat belt that's MY choice so fudge off ktxh, you warned me thx now buzz off.


Guess this time shame on me as you've played this prank on me before and here I am falling for it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dumb me!!!!! But worry not, it won't happen again!!!!!!

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Here now with the PaleMoon browser and I think I can recommend this to everybody who dislikes FF29. Mozilla should give the URL to their page ( instead of making a whole support page with a customization manual for FF29.
The main page of PaleMoon maybe does not look slick but the browser itself acts, feels, behaves and so on the way FF should.
I really think this is my new browser, trust me it, looks and feels WAY better then FF29!!! :)

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emathis01, I understand what you mean. One important thing many people often overlook is that maintaining software is a lot of hard work. Especially the cost of (hidden) settings is very high.

Each setting you see in a computer program you use requires work; when a developer wants to build something new or improve something, he or she has to go through each related (hidden) setting and test if it still works like before and do that on each platform Firefox runs on. That's Apple's Mac OSX, various flavours of Linux and various flavours of Windows, including Windows XP. This costs time, lots of it, and that amount grows exponentially with each setting that's added. This comes on top of our work to continuously fix, improve and innovate Firefox.

Gliss, that's why we also removed the tabs.onTop preference. Awesome community members, who were unhappy about that change, created the Classic Theme Restorer add-on. They deserve our collective hugs.

meegja, You can use Palemoon, but please keep in mind that it's several versions behind Firefox and there's no trusted organization, like Mozilla, behind it to issue security updates when needed.

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retracted info that Mike has already mentioned

Modified by Moses

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