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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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Though I don't see how the feedback tool is quite as useful as a dedicated forum (or something like GetSatisfaction) because there is no way for users to vote or comment on ideas they agree or disagree with, since that is how the development team wants us to communicate with them I have used it to suggest:

a) The update notice include a link to a list of changes in the current version with feature changes being highlighted followed by bug fixes. -- Anyone updating after that will have been forewarned and have no-one to blame but themselves if they proceed with the update. [addendum] I mean the small "Update Now" notice, not the large, 3/4 screen-sized update notice which does have the link to view the changes (though the link could be much more obvious).

b) The link to "downgrade" to a previous version (that should really be renamed "revert") be placed anywhere you can download the current version in case of problems because no amount of testing can ensure some users won't experience difficulties. -- Perhaps it was my choice of search terms, but every attempt I made to find out how to revert to v28 lead me to this or a closed forum thread which did not provide this simple solution to the problem. Making this easier to find grants users the benefit of the doubt that they have a good reason for wanting to do so which is tantamount to good customer service.

c) The "downgrade" link should automatically request feedback as to why the user wants to revert to the previous version. -- This could provide useful information to the development team to identify system conflicts, bugs, or (as seems to be the majority of complaints this time) displeasure with changes to the interface.

Modified by KADC

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I do a lot of browsing as a function of my work, and except for the addition of tabs (which was a great improvement), no other cosmetic change has improved my productivity; often quite the opposite. I've also done technical support so I know firsthand the problems faced by companies when even the most minor of interface changes are implemented.

If the developers want people to view Firefox as a serious product rather than something aimed at hobbyists they need to consider interface changes as "opt in" rather than "trust us, you'll get used to it in time" because while casual users may not care if figuring out how to do something that has changed cuts into their leisure time, the same can not be said for users where doing so affects their productivity.

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This is pretty much my last post on Firefox, and only because these tabs are still open.

Switched to Palemoon browswer. It's like a firefox knock-off, before Firefox became a Chrome Knock-Off.

Seriously, after a decade, having to download a knockoff to replace good-program-turned-knock-off?

Sooooo dumb. Thanks for nothing Mozilla.

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KADC I can see your point.

I think Firefox probably has been used more by individuals than by organisations, although I do not have metrics to back that up. (Mozilla clearly at least has ESR download stats if nothing else)

When the Rapid Release Cycle was introduced Mozilla discovered with hindsight that it was damaging corporate use & deployment of Firefox. Discussion of developing Firefox for suitability of enterprise deployment and use is out of scope in this forum. I would not even be sure where it could be discussed.

Obtaining Development attention or opinion, is difficult

Note there has been no Developer or even Mozilla forum staff involvement in this thread, even though it is flagged as escalate (The escalate flag ensures HelpDesk staff are pinged). Developers were around in the forum for a few days but are unlikely now to see any comments or threads in this forum. The official advice would be to make a comment in Feedback, although to be honest I doubt that a comment on enterprise use would do any good or even get noticed.

If it were not for the fact that Fx29 was a major change this sort of discussion would simply be closed immediately as off topic on an end users support forum. Development decisions, and policy are not normally permitted as discussion subjects on this forum.

Mozilla Support rules and guidelines

 .... Posts in the Mozilla support forum must be either questions about the use of Firefox, ....  answers to those questions. Users who post about things other than Mozilla support will be directed to an alternative discussion place ... [external third party ! ]...  if appropriate. ...  

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting you stop posting. Just hoping Admin staff may either suggest a more effective place for you to post. They should even be able to obtain Developer opinion or even invite a developer to look over some of the many outstanding questions on the forum relating to development or Fx29 but I doubt that will happen.

I am not saying you should not be posting here, just that there should be somewhere better to discuss this, but I am not sure there is !

You could ask on the ESR mailing list, they should at least be able to advise where to discuss this and it will have Developer participation

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I'm disappointed to hear that even after realizing they were hurting corporate deployment they haven't reconsidered the update policy. The lack of a suitable discussion forum might be a contributing factor as the development team is effectively isolating themselves from a manageable form of outside input. (I don't see how the feedback option can yield usable results for analysis without a lot of manual sorting.)

Though I don't know what's involved in the licensing, something like GetSatisfaction seems ideal, or even the software used for this support forum could be easily repurposed by replacing "I have this problem" with "I like this idea" and replacing "was this helpful to you" with "good point" and tracking the "votes" internally for review.

I'm just a humble end-user and I've sent my suggestions via "feedback" and I've reverted to v28 for the time being. All I can do at this point is hope the development team reviews their update and discussion policies and puts more serious consideration into how Firefox can become more business friendly.

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Totally agree with OP.

Glad I updated my work PC first so I could stop my home PC update.

There will be a few people wondering how to downgrade... After some extensive searching, I found all of the previous FF releases:

Please see under ~J99 

To roll back to 28 (last update before 29) use this link:

Then select your OS, then select your Locale.

For example EN-GB is: STUB !

> Edit updated URLs as per meegja's post below.

> Also as per meegja's post below, you can use however the only option I could see was for Firefox 27.0.1 (US English)

Comments from a Moderator
Thanks for trying to offer correct links. I will try to tidy up slightly

  • Please read this article first. Install an older version of Firefox
    (A good link as it is able to redirect for other languages)
    And remember you will be open to exploits see also
  • I personally, and Mozilla do not recommend downgrading.
    If you do the full version will be better than the stub, and the files are available for differing languages.
  • Example path for Windows en-GB. Note also to avoid 64 bit versions for Windows even if you have a 64 bit system.
                * all languages :

Modified by John99

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@ Freshbru
Thank you :)
But could you please alter your text? The sites you point towards are correct but I think it's wise to use this link instead:
There there are also the same links but also the warning about reverting back.
But more important: you are giving wrong links! The links you provide are BETA versions, not FINAL. For version 28 you want the latest date, NOT the highest number. In this case 28.0b9 mean Beta 9 of version 28. There only was 1 version of FF 28 and that was 28.0.

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May I just say that I loved FF exactly the way it was, precisely because it didn't have a 'Chrome' look or feel about it, it was simple to use and not in the least confusing.

Now it's messy and decidedly very 'Chrome'. I don't like the big ugly blue strip across the top, either. The change has also cost me a long list of bookmarks, which I'm not happy about.

I can't help but wonder why things that aren't broken keep being 'fixed'? Isn't it Google mentality to keep fixing things that aren't broken just for the sake of angering users?

If I sound a little angry, it's because I am. I thought Mozilla was better than that and I've supported them 100%, but now they just seem to be selling out to Google's way of thinking and doing things.

If I wanted to be corralled and forced into change for the sake of change, I'd have remained a user of the dictator known as Google.

Modified by notthenineoclocknews

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@ notthenineoclocknews (great comic show btw :) )
I too was (and still am a bit) angry. And although FF29 has the Chrome-look, I don't think it's a Google sell out.
I do think though that Mozilla felt that (in some mysterious way) Firefox had to be made in-line with the 2 other major ones (IE and Chrome). And what is the best way to lure Chrome and IE users to Firefox? Yep, make it more look like them :(

Modified by meegja

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Okay, I did a lot of reading online on FF29 and there is a pattern emerging. And it is not a good pattern (surprise, surprise).
On multiple sites FF29 has been reviewed now. And most reviews are rather good actually. But ... the reactions on the reviews are really in majority negative. A lot of things about FF29 that are good in the reviews, are marked bad in the reactions. Those reactions are done by the normal users.
And no, I am not exaggerating. Just do a search for "Firefox 29 review" for the last month (if you look longer ago you get the beta reviews too), see the reviews and then look at the reactions in those reviews.
Seems that FF29 is being praised by the techies, the tweakers, and so on. They see the browser through different eyes then the normal, average user.

And I really think that Mozilla went wrong there: they forgot (or maybe: ignored?) the normal, standard Firefox user. Most of them/us did have Firefox for the reason that Firefox made great: the look, the feel, the easy default customization.
For us, the normal user, all these things are gone or at least way less. Like I said before: FF29 actually has become less easy to customize because more add-ons now have to be used to alter things ... if it can be altered at all now.
So if anyone from Mozilla is reading this, please do the same: do a search like I described and do not only read the reviews by the sites but also read all the reactions on those reviews. So, so many reactions ranging from anger to disgust to disappointment to unbelief. And also see then that the major question is: "Why? Why!". Many many trustful users who used Firefox for years are feeling totally let down.

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@ meegja: In a way it's heartening that you discovered the majority of negatives, but really, it all hinges on weather Mozilla still have a care factor for the end user - y'know - the people they created FF for in the first place.

Right now, I'm seeing greedy Google bloody-minded mentality pervading Mozilla - ie: make changes willy nilly and to hell with those who've been loyal to Mozilla and gotten them where they are today.

Is nothing safe from corporate greed anymore?

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@ notthenineoclocknews
I think Mozilla still has the "care factor" for it's users. I believe them when they say that this all took 4 years to develop, test, and so on. That is also the reason that I think we are barking upon a tree that can not / will not change anymore. The changes are simply too big to revert :(
But these kind of situations never stopped me before from barking. Sometimes it helps to bark (with the Start-button of Windows 8 in mind ;) )
But somehow it all was developed, tested and so on without having the normal users in mind. If they had the normal users also in mind, I can not imagine that they did all of this.
So for now I prefer the view that they just did not think it through with the normal users in mind rather then corporate greed. Although there are things that are pointing that way: the new looks are there for a big portion to gain users who are now using IE and Chrome. I can not imagine any other reason for the new look other then to gain IE and Chrome users.

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Are you also waiting for Santa Clause? Sorry bro, don't meen to be mean, but, Occums Razor- the most probable solution(corporate greed in this case) is probably the correct one. Judging by your post, I would guess you're one of those people that like to give people the benefit of the doubt, because you truly like/care about people. I applaud the sentiment, but think carefully about this, as its very relevant to our corporate and political problems currently: In those cases where 'party x' has done wrongdoing, people giving them the benefit of the doubt give them the validity to practice their wrongdoing for even longer, or indefinitely in some cases, and often to those you do really care about, and very often to people just like you, who no offense, are easy to take advantage of sometimes. Think about it.

Also, sorry for the run-on, I know, it was terrible.

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Freshbru's post made me realize that I stupidly installed the US language version without thinking after using the link a moderator gave me in another thread. Besides several misspelled words in the menus and toolbars, the US version has that annoying dictionary-swapping bug (fixed by deleting the US dictionary files after installing a proper dictionary).

Note to Meegia: The links the moderator edited into Freshbru's post are better -- you don't want to point people towards the US language version as that's only useful for Americans.

Modified by KADC

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Yep, I am someone who gives the benefit of doubt. But only if the past is giving a reason for that doubt, only when it is deserved. Don't get me wrong: the whole FF29 is just awful. I truly hate it and feel strongly about it.
But Firefox has been my favourite and only browser for a very, very long time. As such I simply can not do a 180 degrees turn from supporting it to not supporting it.
If it turns out that this really is a matter of Mozilla taking advantage of my (our) sentiment as long time user and they think "Well old time users, you are out of luck. This is it and nothing you say or do can change it. Just get used to it. There are enough other people who will use Firefox, so if you leave: Goodbye!.", then I turn my back and leave Firefox for an alternative.
So yes, maybe I am sentimental (and wrong) in my hopes that Mozilla will listen and brings back functionality that still is there in FF28. And yes, probably Mozilla can care less that a lot of old time users are totally unhappy with this change because they will get new users because of the change. So for Mozilla it is in balance with the hope that Firefox will gain ground again.
If it turns out that you are right (which you probably are), then I can only feel sorry for Mozilla that they left their users behind who made them who they are today. Feel sorry for Mozilla that they abandoned the grounds they were building on, namely us. Feel sorry that they decided to move away from their users.
And then move along to Waterfox, Palemoon or even completely away to Opera.

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Which link do you mean? I am not linking directly to a download version, at least not that I am aware of?
The URL on the Mozilla page for older version is going to the FTP part and in there, there are the languages to choose from.

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Also, I found this article today, it was spot on my feelings on this whole thing, and had the most awesome comment ever.

"There's nothing worse than a Jedi turning to the dark side, and this is exactly what you did." - Only thing about this whole fiasco that made me laugh. Thought some of you might enjoy article and get a kick out of the comment.

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@ Meegia My mistake: I saw the "en-US" in the address and assumed it was a direct link to the US language version. You are quite right -- I should have checked the link first before posting but I was still a little frustrated after having to re-fix the US dictionary swapping problem again. I apologize.

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@ Trupiaar
Great article and sadly very true.
And I think he has a point: lets see and what happens and maybe a browser comes around which will have the philosophy, the ideal that Mozilla seems to have abandoned.
"A browser not as a technology, but as an ideal." as he says in the article and that is saying a lot I think.
And again: if someone from Mozilla is following this topic (yes Trupiaar, I know: idle hope ;) ), I hope you really are aware what impact your decision has and that the trust is breaking down or is even completely gone. This whole topic is not about just venting our dismay.
It is so much more then that.

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I actually posted that article as a forum question, and they closed it already. Feelings of current userbase-apparently not important at Mozilla.

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