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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Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Thu 3rd May 2012 06:37 UTC
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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