Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:23 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones "Firefox is receiving yet another interface overhaul. Dubbed Australis, the new UI (and UX) will span, embrace, and unify the desktop, tablet, and smartphone versions of Firefox." I like the Metro one - very curious to see what Chrome has up its sleeve for Metro.
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Is combining mobile and PC UI's good?
by benali72 on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:49 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

All the major players seem to have decided they must combine their PC and mobile interfaces (eg: Microsoft with Metro, Ubuntu with Unity, etc).

Is this really a good idea?

Vendors think so because they see the growth figures and understand the mobile internet is where we're all heading.

But from the user perspective, I'm not so sure combining mobile and stationary PC UIs is always beneficial.

For example, based on the evidence of the latest Windows version, I don't see how adding Metro helps my desktop experience. Ditto for Unity.

So leave desktop FF alone and don't twist it out of shape for the benefit of mobile users.

Reply Score: 5

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

<whiiiiine>Nooooooo!</whiiiiine> Mobile is the future, THE FUTURE I tell you! Even though it still accounts for, what, 15% of devices used for browsing the web (if that) and mobile UIs are basically prettied-up throwbacks to GUIs from the late 80s.... but it's still THE FUTURE! Every interface has to be "touch-friendly" first and foremost, even those where touch won't be the primary input method and even if the focus on "touch-friendliness" is detrimental when mice & keyboards are the primary/only input...

FUTURE, damn it!

Reply Score: 6

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

According to analysts mobile web passed PC web last year

Edited 2012-05-03 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

According to analysts mobile web passed PC web last year


Analysts such as...?

Not according to any reputable stats that I can find:

http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/02/2001-all-over-again-in...

Reply Score: 3

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

No it's not. At least it's not when it's done blindly. 24" desktop display is definitely a different use case than mobile screen.

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Is this really a good idea?


No. 24'' screens are different from little ones. Using touchscreens is different than using mouses and keyboards. That's why, for example, KDE, has "Plasma Desktop" for desktop computers and "Plasma Active" for smartphones and tablets.

http://dot.kde.org/2010/12/03/kdes-mobile-team-meets-first-sprint

Edited 2012-05-02 20:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I think its a stupid idea personally and figure many if not most of these ideas will bomb. We are talking about VERY different devices with VERY different methods of input and usage patterns, so trying to be a jack of all trades will make them naturally a master of none.

BTW for those that don't want to deal with this mess may I suggest Pale Moon which has forked as of version 12 because they have no desire to follow FFs UI mess? for those that don't know of the project Pale Moon is optimized for more modern chips by using the SSE flags in compiling and has both 32 and 64 bit versions. I would post a link but OSNews has always been hit or miss for me when it comes to posting links and Pale Moon seems to be a miss since i can't get it to parse, sorry.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

All the major players seem to have decided they must combine their PC and mobile interfaces (eg: Microsoft with Metro, Ubuntu with Unity, etc).

Is this really a good idea?


I dunno but I do know that I really like Unity. In fact, it's the one of the reasons I just switched back to Ubuntu from many years of using Kubuntu.
Also, considering how keyboard-driven Unity is I don't know if it's right to think of it as a mobile UI.
As for the new Firefox interface I might like it, seeing as I like Chromium.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Gusar
by Gusar on Wed 2nd May 2012 19:16 UTC
Gusar
Member since:
2010-07-16

I don't like Metro browsers. At all. Tablets have enough resolution and screen real-estate for an always visible, classic tabbar. It works fine on Android tablets. Heck, I use a browser with such a tabbar even on my phone!

Does Microsoft really expect people will use Metro browsers on a desktop/laptop? As benali72 above, I too don't see anything good in the tabletification of desktop UIs.

As for Australis in general, it doesn't move me either. I use Linux, and I patch Firefox to give me back native GTK tabs.

Edited 2012-05-02 19:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Gusar
by No it isnt on Wed 2nd May 2012 22:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Gusar"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

+1. The first really good tablet browser I tried was Chrome.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Wed 2nd May 2012 21:00 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Oh damn, NO! they're going Google Chrome way ... damn it! I highly dislike this childish, fisher-price-like interface. And ... it breaks GTK integration so bad ... Mozilla, don't go wrong way!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by marcp
by Xight on Wed 2nd May 2012 21:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Xight Member since:
2012-01-06

I was going to say the same thing... An industry was born off the PC users back and we seem to be the first rolled under in the name of... progress? I can't stand goofy bubble gum UI's. It's Ugly and looks like chrome.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by redshift
by redshift on Wed 2nd May 2012 22:38 UTC
redshift
Member since:
2006-05-06

I haven't found these thumbnail top site view that useful. It was cool in safari for about a day and then the charm went away.

There is nothing wrong with a lists. Just because the tile seems the be the new pharaoh in town, does not mean you need to chisel off every list from every UI in an attempt to remove hierarchical lists from living memory. Sometimes they are more efficient to parse. These tiled interfaces get tedious when they insist on showing large lists as a half dozen tiles per view. I don't enjoy having to page endlessly through screen after screen. I know... all the trendy UI designers find lists to be boring. Well, that is because they are... compact, information free of extraneous crap often is. But it is also efficient.

Reply Score: 2

gtk
by _xmv on Thu 3rd May 2012 03:55 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

in the gtk mockup they don't break it like chrome does actually. it looks like a regular gtk app with a regular gtk window.
Same on OSX.

They do seem to do away with the window frame on Windows tho. Bleh.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Thu 3rd May 2012 06:37 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I agree Metro is stupid as a desktop UI, but the main issues with it as an OS interface is how you're forced to use a tablet-styled launcher and a crippled tablet-style WM for your "legacy" desktop apps. I'm not really sure you can compare it with Unity on that basis.

Unity may have its warts (godawful MacOS-style detached menubars anyone?) but it's actually something I could comfortably use if I had to and my younger brother and his friend actually do. It uses a full-blown Compiz installation for window management, the Compiz tiling plugin works well on dual-monitor desktops, and the launcher is basically a more OSXy version of what I already do using a second LXPanel.

If I weren't so focused on squeezing all the performance out of my system that I comfortably can, I'd actually consider switching to Unity for the messaging menu if their experiment with restoring menubars to applications ever becomes more than just an experiment.

However, these days, I have really mixed feelings about Firefox's vision. On the one hand, I love the new download manager panel and their plans to integrate PDF.js but, on the other, I loathe their mockup for a new, icon-based equivalent to the Chrome wrench menu and I expect that bookmark button will be yet another thing I need to undo with an extension. (I'm already using one to move the RSS icon back into the address bar)

Making Firefox more like Chrome doesn't actually bother me that much as long as the theme is suitably compact and eye-pleasing. That's actually one of the main reasons I hack Firefox to look and act so much like Chrome. (Chrome is crippled, baby-ish, and starting to get commercialized, but its UI is more space-efficient. Firefox is flexible and easy to customize but you need XUL userstyles to trim the fat from the toolbars and context menu and restore certain style tweaks that were lifted from Chrome without the context that made them sensible.)

Firefox is already far superior to Chrome simply by the virtue of letting you replace the new tab page simply by editing an about:config key.

What annoys me about it all is that I get the impression I'm seeing the results of two different designers' visions smushed into the same plan and I like one and hate the other.

Edited 2012-05-03 06:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by gmlongo on Thu 3rd May 2012 13:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
gmlongo Member since:
2005-07-07

I agree Metro is stupid as a desktop UI,


You agree with whom? That has nothing to do with the article.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by PresentIt on Thu 3rd May 2012 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

"I agree Metro is stupid as a desktop UI,


You agree with whom? That has nothing to do with the article.
"
He's replying to other comments about Metro, not the actual article.

Reply Score: 1