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The I-do-not-like-Firefox-29-layout topic

  • 108 replies
  • 420 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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(For Forum Moderators: Please read /forums/forum-moderators/710264?last=59300)

Moderators, please read first before closing/removing this topic right away?
To those wanting to react here on this topic: please, also read ;)
Since my original posting was closed because one of the moderators felt it was going off-topic (although it was red a lot and had 131 "have-this-problem" in just a few days), here a kind of re-opening but on-topic.
Why? Because I feel we have the right to express our feelings on this major change. And publicly there is actually only this forum where that can be done on the domain.
Sure, the change is there and we have to live with it (if we choose to). But that doesn't mean we can not have our voice here because after many, many years of supporting FF with our use, we suddenly are facing a layout we were always running away from.
So yes, that can cause ranting and so on (within the forum rules of course) because people feel strongly about there beloved browser.
(edit rules link note the whole topic is ordinarily outside the scope of the forum ... Posts in the Mozilla support forum must be either questions about the use of Firefox, ... Users who post about things other than Mozilla support will be directed to an alternative discussion place .... . ~J99)

Plus this way you can centralize all the negatives here instead of a lot of separate postings about the same subject ;)
To the people reacting here in this topic: there is only 1 real way to let Mozilla itself know how you feel on the new lay out and that is not through this forum. The way is to go to and let it know there.
edit You need to use a supported Firefox to post Feedback so that will soon not be possible from Fx28 2nd edit. I was wrong feedback works with any version of Fiefpx now~J99

And I think when that is done in normal words (so no f*ck you rants and so on) and suggestions, then maybe, just maybe, it has some effect.
Also, there is an Mozilla support page with info on how to get the "old look" back, see How to make the new Firefox look like the old FirefoxBut it will only partly restore the old look, certain FF29 things can not be changed.

And yes, I myself am back to Firefox 28 which is not supported or suggested by Mozilla because it has things (bugs and security) that are not fixed in it. (Edit Please use Official downloads if you must downgrade links in Install an older version of Firefox and the growing list of exploits you will open yourself up to is listed here: ~J99)

I am not suggesting or advertising to others to do the same. It is a risk I am willing to take and only say it is an option.
edit My reason to go back to FF 28 is because that version still has the intuitive feel and look Firefox one was praised for. With a logical lay out and a good way to simply customize it (also in about:config).
For those who say/think "Come one man, stop whining! Grow up and just accept that Firefox has to go with its time!", to them I say: nope ;)

First edit Modified May 10, 2014 7:54:58 PM BST by John99
2nd: re feedback

Modified by John99

Chosen solution

Spread the word:

Comment by a Moderator Some of the subjects in the long thread

Modified May 27, 2014 10:17:21 AM BST by John99

P.S. Feedback & discussions options see also links in /questions/998106?page=2#answer-568374

Read this answer in context 👍 2

All Replies (20)

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The third-party builds of Pale Moon is just somebody's idea of

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Yep, and it's a great idea :)

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@ Alex Remington
The same here: using FF for such a long time now and I too will not abandon it just yet. Really hoping Mozilla will see the light and see that it is the browser itself that can be configured and not depending on add-ons and altering userChrome.css and so on. Maybe cool for the techies and those who like to dig around but totally not good for the "normal" users and those (like in your case I believe) in a working environment.
As for your screenshots: the 2nd one definitely looks logical, functional and clear. That is also the bit I do not like (and do not understand): with FF29 Mozilla did choose eyecandy overfunctionality. Other then the reason to look more like the 2 other big browsers and get more users because of that, I see no reason what so ever why they choose that.

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But how will Palemoon cope when the code it is based on updates to Australis. IIRC I read somewhere Palemoom would try not to update but that sounds like a very sudden increase in workload later this year after Fx31-2 Release.

I will tag this thread as escalate, that way HelpDesk Admins will follow the thread. We may even get input from Development or UX

Ordinarily discussion of Development decisions & policy is out of scope on this forum.

I agree you may find problems trying to find somewhere for discussions with the developers, maybe they will let you know where they prefer the discussions. maybe they have at least a specific thread in a mailing list. Or maybe UX is taking up the baton on this.

Speaking personally I see no prospect of this sort of discussion remaining on topic here after the next few days or so, other than

  • Support
    - In helping end users to use Firefox 29.
  • Possibly limited discussion
    - confined to existing / specified threads.
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@ John99
What does "I will tag this thread as escalate" mean?
And I do understand your view on this topic. It is indeed not really a support topic but more a "View on Firefox 29"-topic. But out of this views some valuable information may occur.
And also venting of some feelings/opinions about the change because FF has some very dedicated users.
But if you feel that this topic has to be closed because it is outside the forum rules, feel free to do so. I made my points, others did too. Personally I made my decision to abandon FF29 for now and will keep an eye out to see if Mozilla will (or can) bring back some default functionality like Alex Remington did mention. Functionality that is build in and not brought back by all kind of add-ons and/or tweaking the userChrome.css.
Sure, customizing can be cool. But depending heavily on add-ons (like FF29 is really doing now) is making it actually less customizable for the normal/regular user who does not want add-ons or does not even know about them.

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(Personal rant only; not Official Policy or Official comment as a Moderator )

I think this is an important topic.

I think Mozilla needs better methods of discussing and communicating about changes. I think also when it gets to a major change like F29 it would probably be beneficial to look at the following

  • Advance warning
    To advise users individually the change will occur in advance of the upgrade itself. (No idea how to do that but it should be easy enough possibly through the UI or a temporary change to the homepage or new tab - there has to be some way )
    • Yes the tour is good and the changes can best be seen from within
    • But at least give the user a chance to read up about and understand the major changes before they are implemented. The user is then suddenly struggling to complete ordinary browsing and tasks with a UI that has changed and probably broken things or made them difficult to see or find.
  • Accessibility
    I pity those with less than optimal eyesight with the small icons and faded tabs. Or using now broken acessibility addons from
  • Trial it large scale before Release
    • So maybe leave it in Beta for one or two more 6 week cycles
    • Publicise it heavily whilst in Beta, (At least in the more geeky sites) rather than only on Launch day for the Release.
    • Personally, and no one else agrees, publicise Beta channel much more widely and encourage its use, it will potentially save problems with costly Chemspill point releases that are needed with most Releases of Firefox. The majority will benefit from the additional testing and use of the Beta.
  • Suitable public none technical use friendly discussion. There should be somewhere to discuss the prospective changes where odrinary users can take part.
    • It may not influence the outcome unduly, but users should be able to take an interest and see explanations at least from other community members.
    • Don't forget to use Feedback, but by that stage changes are out on Release and unlikely to get more than minor tweaks and revisions.

My concern is not whether or not changes to Fx29 & Australis are good or bad. It is that they take too many by surprise and possibly could have been tested with a much wider group and publicised better.

I do not think this Forum is the best place for such discussions, but unfortunately I find it hard to say that Mozilla has anywhere else to offer.

 What does "I will tag this thread as escalate" mean?

The tag flags the post and sends a message to the professional HelpDesk Admins. I am hoping that it will mean it will get replies from Staff maybe even the teams involved with some of these changes.

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This is a list of some things I hope will be of interest and help to readers of this thread. (Mostly courtesy of Joni the site content manager)

Known Issues

  • Privacy Master passwords & History, see under if you use sync.
  • Acesssibility issues and hard to see tabs.
    Some of that may be addressed later. Some are probably remaining unanswered issues Q Good to note important addons for those needing accessibility assistance are now fixed to be Firefox 29 compatible
  • Hangs on closedown, (see *)
    This means you can not use Firefox unless you kill the Firefox process before restarting Firefox. The workaround is to set Firefox to Remember History at close down. This should be fixed in some later version possibly as soon as Firefox 30.
    (A separate issue causing hangs has a work around built in to Firefox 29.0.1)

General information about the redesign -



  • Bookmarks in Firefox -
    Note the new bookmarks star and menu item. In Firefox 29 to bookmark remember if you want it somewhere other than the unsorted bookmarks click the star a second time

Firefox Sync

Toolbars and controls

 Modified May 27, 2014 11:07:06 AM BST by John99 



Besides the feedback where you could leave a short comment

( The and the aggregated results are made available for developers, and the comments are publicly available on an interactive webpage ) You could consider the developers mailing list

Or to an alternate discussion forum such as

Modified by John99

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@ John99 ('s first post 11:31)

Sorry but I do not see your point there in relation to help users to use FF29:

  • At this point of the current release there is no easy way to get it back to the older appearance and behavior. This involves a huge amount of work and time for everyone which some do not have or are not able to invest!
  • Sometimes it is the only solution to use an other product and this is not an easy way to offer to customers. This happens on an regular basis to Microsoft and maybe Mozilla has to learn this now with FF29. As Mozilla is/was more focused on the development of other products (e.g. Firefox OS) and did not invest so much focus to the remaining products.

For some people like me Pale Moon might be the right solution at this point.

For others like meegja and Alex the solution is not that easy and they have to find something else. Wouldn't it be nice to hear in the Support Forum: listen there is no official solution at this time for your problem, but if you look at this product (which is not ours and we do not support it) it might be a solution for you.

Therefore I hope this thread will be kept open for poeple who are not happy with FF29 and can't/don't want to invest a huge work load to get the older appearance and behavior of FF back.

I felt quite happy when I came across meegja's tip to use Pale Moon and this was something I did not want to do easily as I use Firefox (and Netscape before) and Thunderbird from the start on different Windows (3.1 to 7) and Linux systems.

@ John's second post (1:16):

Thank you for this and I agree and support this 100%

Modified by guareire

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@ John99
Contradictory as it seems since I started this topic: I totally agree that this is not the best place for this. It's indeed because of lack of a better option somewhere (other then which btw works fine in FF28 ;) ) to express our concerns as end users.
And yes, maybe they should use a larger based alpha/beta platform with users in it who use Firefox as it is, so no modders, tweakers and so on.
As a matter of fact I went over to and will participate :) Question on that then: is there a way to have two versions of Firefox installed? So I keep my normal Firefox but also can use the beta version?

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 Question on that then: is there a way to have two versions of Firefox installed? So I keep my normal Firefox but also can use the beta version? 

It is not the sort of thing we document in the KB, and do not discuss it much here other than as a troubleshooting step.

The ordinary install of Firefox Beta installs over the top of your existing Firefox and uses the existing profile. For more advanced users wishing to test out customisations and pre release versions of Firefox it can be done and is relatively straightforward as long as you are not new to using computers.

Basically you do three things, and the details will vary slightly according to OS

  1. Create at least one new profile, because it is good practice; almost essential; to have separate profiles for each version
  2. Do a custom install and so install the other Firefox in a different location, usually a folder alongside the main one. Or in some cases an install for one account only. At least on Windows I think the options are offered as you do the ordinary install.
  3. Have some means of launching the new version. The install process may well create a suitable launcher/shortcut. That may need modifying to use the correct profile, or to choose the profile. The built in profile manger may be used. There are other methods.

If you need more information or specific help doing that please ask in another question. It is also possible to run multiple instances of Firefox by using different profiles, simultaneously even if the -no-remote argument is used. Besides the Beta channel there is also the Aurora channel and for testing the experimental stuff Nightly

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@ John99
Thanx for the complete explanation. Have to read it good now. Never have used a profile or whatever so that's all new to me.

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Hi meegja,

May be rather a steep learning curve sometimes. There can be a lot to take in at once. Sorry to add to your reading list but this may be a good article to start with.

Never have used a profile or whatever so that's all new to me.

Firefox separates the instruction code files from the user settings and customisations. Your bookmarks, passwords and other settings and customisations, including the extensions are in the Firefox Profile.

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I just did read and decided not to break into that topic but mention it here :)
But that topic is one of the many examples on how FF 29 actually became less customizable for the normal user. Where in FF 28 (and earlier) things easily could be changed with no or just a few add-ons, now there are more add-ons, changing of userChrome.css and so on for a simple change. A simple change has become way to complicated.
And also mentioned in the same topic: again (like almost all of us) a user who was surprised and not warned by the "upgrade" and the layout he made very simply in FF28 was suddenly gone and almost 2 pages in that topic now about it on how to get something simple back. Just ridiculous :(
Firefox 29 has become a tweakers Walhalla (kind of Heaven) but a normal user's Niflheim (kind of Hell). Okay, I know that is overdone but it's just a figure of speech ;)

Modified by meegja

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My primary issue with this upgrade (other than the upgrade itself which I'm sure is wonderful in all sorts of subtle ways that I don't see) is there was no warning that it was going to be such a dramatic change from the previous version.

Surely when the look and feel of the interface is going to change (for any product) the user base deserves some kind of warning before they install it. This feels like a sneaky way to get me to try something new (which I was perfectly willing to do) but be stuck with it whether I end up liking it or not. Is Mozilla's vision of how I should use their program more important than how I actually want to use it?

On my end I now have to jump through hoops to get restore the previous version to the way it was before this upgrade. On Mozilla's end they've lost the trust of a long time user and made me dubious of any future upgrades they send me. Besides, the old version of Firefox worked flawlessly for me so ending support is a non-issue when I can't trust that I won't be similarly screwed over next time.

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My primary issue with this upgrade (other than the upgrade itself which I'm sure is wonderful in all sorts of subtle ways that I don't see) is there was no warning that it was going to be such a dramatic change from the previous version. 

Personally I agree with that.

To me it is common sense (Then again such feelings are often not fact based or correct ! ) I am sure a lot of problems would have been avoided if users had known roughly what would be changing, what was likely to break. That would have allowed them to plan things and if necessary try to ensue Firefox was not going to upgrade in the middle of of an important work or browsing session.

From what I can make out Mozilla (Sumo) User Advocacy sees no problem with the current upgrade procedure. As has been said before this is work in progress to some extent, and certainly Mozilla may learn from the experience of users. The official advice is to use feedback.

As has been advised before please make your feelings known by using the Feedback option.

Quite possibly no one from User Advocacy and no developers will comment in this thread it is now over a week since the Australis upgrade and questions relating to it are drying up. This thread is mainly just for talking amongst yourselves; but if you remain polite, make reasonable points, and remember to use feedback maybe at least official HelpDesk staff will review and add official replies to some of these concerns.

Also remember to vote on this thread, although the point you are making is slightly different from the thread title. (Currently 77 votes 513 views so this thread is not seeing major activity)

You could start a thread by asking a question about the lack of advance notice. If that got a lot of views and a lot of votes at least it would be a sort of straw poll showing whether or not this is a valid concern shared by others.

  • If you want to give it a go starting a thread on advance warning of upgrade changes use this
    Special Link
    (Users and moderators will recognise it as relating to this thread. Ordinarily it may otherwise be closed as off topic)
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All of this might have been called User Acceptance Testing a stage in software development that most companies use.

I know that FF is very much driven by the community but users should not have to do all this nonsense.

You should ALWAYS allow people to maintain their interface, it seems that they new that things would get "broken" but had a casual disdain for their users.

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Thanks to the OP I made a similar complaint here

I was also pissed off to see other posts that complained just shut down.

I was most annoyed by the way it was implemented and the restrictions on moving the address bar and other things including plugins.

One thing I did do was go get Colorful Tabs which at least makes the tabs square so they take up less space. This was installed before but was deleted rather than upgraded for some reason.

Now I am going to run V29 on one of my systems to see if they have at least made improvements to memory and cpu management. So far it seems to be a bit faster and not using Flash, what I want to know is if it will RELEASE memory when I close tabs. Previously it would grow and grow and grow until the bubble burst (usually between 1.6gb and 2gb).

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One other comment, how dumb is this, I found it on the page where you can download the old version: "If you can't use the latest version of Firefox, we recommend that you use the latest version of another browser:

   Internet Explorer
   Google Chrome

Commercial madness and also a bit insulting

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One other comment, how dumb is this, ....  Commercial madness and also a bit insulting   

I do not find that odd, and it is certainly not intended to be insulting.

I like Firefox and would hope others like and use it. We all know some users will not be really aware security wise; whereas others will be prepared to assess and take risks. Possibly then mitigating those risks by for instance using Virtual Machines.

It does make sense to me to see a recommendation to use an alternative browser, if you re not going to use a supported and secure version of Firefox. Possibly something you will not see on a commercial browsers website, but Firefox is different it if Free and open source from an organisation interested in Web freedom and safety.

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Right, so a lot of people are angry about this change in look and I definitely can understand how they feel. I'm not going to say that I'm not going to use firefox from now and so on, etc, but I can't help but feel disappointed and frustrated about this as well...

To me this new look seems an attempt, and please correct me if I'm wrong, to make the browser look the same across a multitude of devices and platforms (tablets, phones and so on). If the goal is to maintain one single UI across all devices, I can certainly understand that, as it is easier than maintaining multiple versions for multiple devices. But guys please bear in mind that there are people out there who have a more than two seconds attention span and do not necessarily feel the need to be distracted by sliding menus, windows or little animations. I am one of them and if this should be the case for tablets fine, but why does our desktop browser needs to be affected by this as well?

Now I'm sure that the large community of firefox enthusiasts aren't simply just users of this browser but also like to contribute regularly with donations in order to support the great work you guys are doing, mainly because we can recognise that competition is tough out there and things are just not free in this world unfortunately. Since I'm one of these users as well, I need to ask you, should I support now the guys behind "classic theme restorer" as well? They were certainly prepared for this very moment and solved a problem for me (and many other users as well as it turns out) that didn't exist and, with your permission, should not have materialised in the first place. If this new theme is so modern and flexibile could you guys not add a quick menu option saying "Restore firefox 28 look" rather than having to install yet another addon and its perpetual updates. And if you're saying that with any change there will always be a group of people who will stand against it please consider that, contrary to popular believe, not all change is good. If a change introduces security fixes and performance improvements, fine by me, but if it merely changes the UI then that's just inconvenient and some would say annoying (for example the "new" three horizontal lines button doesn't add anything new at all - it's just more of the same stuff that we knew how to do already)

All in all this update has cost me about an hour of productive time: - installing the update and then double checking whether I installed a different browser by mistake - searching and reading forums for a suitable way to revert to the more "traditional" version of the UI - writing this post If you guys were a real business I would have sent you a bill for this time :-), but you are not, so you will probably continue in this direction and we'll just have to take it, which is unfortunate, because not long ago one of the best things about firefox was it's close contact with its user base, its ability to respond quickly and provide unintrusive innovation and simply designing an application people could rely on and hold in high esteem.

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