As you may know, Mozilla is making an effort to enhance the usability of Firefox in Firefox 2, and part of this plan is a new default theme. Well, recently Aronnax, maker of the lovely GrApple Firefox theme, and myself were talking about the changes in the Mac version of the theme. Both of us are not liking the direction the Mozilla team is taking on the Mac side of things. They’re making visual tweaks which are not common on the Mac platform. Everything from the icon size, to hover effects are all non-standard features of Mac UI design.
I’ve personally been running the Firefox 2 nightlies since shortly after beta 1, and things just aren’t right on Mac. I could go into a long spiel, but instead I’m just going to present you the visuals and let the images speak for themselves (click images for larger versions).
This first image is the current state of the default Firefox theme on Mac:
Here’s the same theme on Windows:
Now, here’s what the Firefox team is currently aiming the theme to look like on Mac:
Finally, this is the proposed final theme on Windows:
I don’t know about you, but I think the Mac theme is coming off looking very XPish, and I can see why. Right now Mozilla is in a heated battle with Internet Explorer. IE7 went through a complete graphic overhaul, and Mozilla is just trying to keep up with IE. That’s fine for Windows, but Mac Firefox users should not be feeling the effects of this battle. Instead, Mozilla should be focusing in competing with Safari on Mac, not Internet Explorer.
If this bugs you, help change this. The Firefox team is supposedly listening to user feedback during this beta testing phase; so if you don’t like something, let them know! There are tons of bugs related to the Mac theme currently stalled in Bugzilla. Put you support behind them and Firefox 2′s theme might not come out looking so crappy.