I knew the day was coming. Firefox 29 has landed, and with it Australis, the UX team’s disastrous new concept. Of course it’s a disastrous concept—it’s from the UX team.
Over the last couple of years, Firefox’s UX team has gone to enormous lengths to ruin the browsing experience, by which I mean make it forcibly more identical to Google Chrome. They removed favicons from the address bar, on the basis that some people are stupid enough to think a key favicon means the site is secure. (Seriously? It was color coded before. How is that not a clue?) They removed the option to hide the tab bar when only one tab shows. Before that, they removed the status bar outright. When they introduced personas, also known as lightweight themes, they deliberately took out the ability to make them work with regular themes, rendering them useless. Now in Australis, they’ve basically taken out everything else.
So this means that sometime very soon, I’m switching to Pale Moon, a Firefox offshoot that works with the Mozilla code base but maintains none of the Firefox UX team’s terrible decisions. As a bonus, it’s supposedly also faster. I’m cool with faster. Plus I’ll get to unload half of my add-ons, a large number of which exist solely for the purpose of combating previous UX team snafus. I’m just not looking forward to the work of making the switch.
I know, of course, I won’t be the only one jumping ship. Pale Moon has been on my radar for a while now because I knew the change was coming. I find it vaguely amusing that some sites are suggesting users give the UX team their feedback—like those feckless lunks have ever given a rat’s hairy hind end about user feedback. Now I really have no problem with the Australis interface being available for people who like that sort of thing, but the incessant removal of customization has been unacceptable for a long time now.
Oh, well. I hope I’ll like Pale Moon, and I have reason to believe I will. But even if this turns out to be a vast improvement and I wonder how I ever got along without it, I’m never going to thank the Firefox UX team for forcing me into the transition. I can be magnanimous, but never to the willfully stupid.