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Post by trog @ 06:07am 30/04/14 | 26 Comments
The Mozilla team have released version 29 of Firefox - one of the biggest updates in recent times thanks to the addition of their new 'Australis' interface which has been in development for several years. From their announcement post:
Elegant New Design: Sleek new tabs and an overall modern look that makes it easier to experience the Web the way you want.
  • Customization Mode: Makes it easy for you to personalize your Web experience to access the features you use the most. You can easily drag and drop your favorite feature, tool or add-on in the menu or toolbar.

  • Firefox Menu: Includes popular browser controls, features and add-ons in one place to make it easier and faster to access them. The menu is completely customizable so you can edit or add features you use most.

  • Fun and Simple Bookmarks: You can create bookmarks with a single click and manage them from the same place.

  • Easy Access to Add-ons Manager: Firefox includes an Add-ons Manager you can access directly from the menu to help easily discover and install add-ons.

  • Enhanced Firefox Sync Powered by Firefox Accounts: Just create a Firefox Account and our sync feature makes it even easier to setup and add multiple devices with end-to-end encryption. Firefox Sync gives you access to Awesome Bar history, saved passwords, bookmarks, open tabs and form data across your computers and mobile Android devices.
  • The official release notes contain the full list of new features and changes.

    It should be noted that their feature list and blog post don't really talk about some of the things that are missing from this new version - for example, the Add-on bar is now gone, as is the option to have tabs below the address bar. Those who depend or just really want those missing features can restore most of them with the Classic Theme Restorer add-on.

    You can download the installers for v29.0 now locally from AusGamers in Windows, Mac OS X or Linux flavours.

    They've released a video with some of the highlights:

    Latest Comments
    Posted 07:18am 30/4/14
    Looks like Chrome...
    Nerf Stormborn
    Posted 07:40am 30/4/14
    Yeah, that top right menu is identical to chrome's menu icon in the exact same position at least... Although that UI editor is nifty, would love to see that standardized.
    Posted 07:57am 30/4/14
    I like it but yes it does remind me of chrome.
    Posted 08:05am 30/4/14
    haha what the f***

    so original guys
    Posted 09:53am 30/4/14
    Chrome has been crashing my box lately so I've been using IE. It too operates close to Chrome now, with how tabs work, the menus, the way you can search in the address bar.

    Posted 09:53am 30/4/14
    wish they would implement support for WPAD via DHCP. Chrome ftw.
    Posted 10:04am 30/4/14
    will this update to firefox make it half as good as chrome or will it continue to lag horribly behind?
    Posted 10:17am 30/4/14
    works sweet, thanks firefox!
    Posted 10:39am 30/4/14
    Will take some getting used too, but I guess everyone wants to look like chrome now.
    Posted 08:58pm 30/4/14
    The browser feels more fluid now and page rendering seems a bit faster too, after a day of use I already love it. Surely it looks very similar to Chrome but it's still Firefox under the hood.

    Never liked Chrome personally mainly cause it's like a plague, bundled with many software and even dodgy (malware) versions of it exist. Haven't seen Firefox having such problems.
    Posted 09:04pm 30/4/14
    Chrome has been crashing my box lately so I've been using IE. It too operates close to Chrome now, with how tabs work, the menus, the way you can search in the address bar.

    Such a lazy mofo here that I've only ever used IE, unless I've been forced to use chrome once or twice for certain things.
    Posted 09:41pm 30/4/14
    It's pretty sleek, I like it.
    Posted 09:54pm 30/4/14
    Having just updated, what I don't like is the little refresh button at the end of the address bar, instead of a proper button you can move around. That is really annoying.
    Posted 10:00pm 30/4/14
    I am sure you can change that
    Nerf Stormborn
    Posted 10:26pm 30/4/14
    It's mostly good, though with a jillion historical tabs open, I find them hard to read against the faded/transparent tab colour, compared to Chrome's or previous FF's opaque colour. edit: Or it might have (alternatively/also) been that tabs used to be under the URL bar, either way I'm struggling to read them, looks like I'll need an extension to fix it after looking through the settings.
    Posted 10:57pm 30/4/14
    I am sure you can change that

    only if you install the classic theme restorer.

    Posted 11:01pm 30/4/14
    Nerf Stormborn
    Posted 11:06pm 30/4/14
    Yep I got that, but ty. Tabs on bottom, classic themed squares, bam.

    Though it takes up a bit of vertical real estate since I can't seem to get rid of the title bar (plus might not want to, since it has the window controls in it), but at least it's readable.
    Posted 10:22am 01/5/14
    Having just updated, what I don't like is the little refresh button at the end of the address bar, instead of a proper button you can move around. That is really annoying.

    I'm past the refresh button now, I just click the address bar once and press Enter.
    Posted 10:23pm 01/5/14
    hmm i installed the classic theme restorer and added the reload button and it doesn't work. it's permanently greyed out.

    edit: and it fixed itself.

    last edited by ravn0s at 22:23:14 01/May/14
    Posted 10:23pm 01/5/14
    Mine was like that before I restarted Firefox, then it was fine.
    Posted 10:24pm 01/5/14
    I am loving this new release. It is a lot faster, and less of a memory hog.
    Posted 03:00am 02/5/14
    The new release completely destroyed the interface that I've been using since Firefox 3, so I was pretty pissed off, along with most of the rest of the "Firefox power user" clique that haven't abandoned it for Chrome. Fortunately the Classic Theme Restorer fixes most of the problems.

    This release is I think indicative of Mozilla's direction - they've stopped innovating and are just following. I have ignored most of the complaints that "they're trying to be Chrome" but as of this release that conclusion is simply inescapable.

    The worst part is though they've gone back on years of promises about the customisability of Firefox for the most spurious and ridiculous of reasons. It's no longer "use Firefox the way you want", it's "use Firefox the way we tell you".

    As an interesting view of Firefox's market share, here's what Firefox usage looks like on AusGamers. Note that this is not representative of the Internet as a whole (Wikipedia stats for example don't show as much of a dropoff, probably because gamers tend to be more cutting edge and performance focus). Most of the dropoff has been replaced by Chrome:

    Posted 07:47am 02/5/14
    +10 points for Trog

    Firefox is what I mainly use so when they change the interface around it pisses me off. I use chrome for a few things but its too lightweight for me. Classic theme restorter is great, I installed it last night. I was going to keep using v28 if that was not available.
    Posted 08:06am 02/5/14
    It took me two seconds to adjust to the new layout
    Posted 08:46am 02/5/14
    practically nothing noticeable changed for me except some minor look and feel
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