SpreadFirefox.com Likes Me

Slice illustration

Being as humble as I am, it can be difficult for me when I’m showered with praise. However, it does soften the humility blow when the praise is written cleverly and with wit. Such is the case in my selection as Volunteer of the Week at SpreadFirefox.com.

SpreadFirefox.com, is a community site focused on promoting the Firefox browser through a variety of campaigns. They’ve been tracking the progress as 2 million copies of Firefox Preview Release 1 have been downloaded in the last 10 days.

The best part (after, of course, the illustration of myself in the style of the Slice of the Month) is being referred to as the “Martha Stewart of Web Browsers”.



Firefox on Local CBC Radio

CBC Radio’s head geek, Tod Maffin, did a great piece about Firefox for CBC Radio today. I was invited into the local evening CBC Radio show, Mainstreet with Matt Rainnie to talk about the local connection we have to Firefox.

Today, Mainstreet played Todd’s piece and followed up with my interview. Listen to the two pieces together (6.4MB MP3 – 16 minutes).

I’m reluctantly becoming a local media representative for all things Firefox. I’m talking to the evening TV news tomorrow afternoon. It’s not a full-page spread in the New Zealand Herald, but it’ll do.


New Mozilla.org Design is Live!

It’s up! The new design for Mozilla.org by Daniel Burka, myself, and the others here at silverorange, working with the brilliant and patient people at the Mozilla Foundation has just gone live.

Here’s the CVS checkin:

dbaron%dbaron.org – 2004-08-31 14:31
Landing BETA_20040721_BRANCH: new template, homepage, and product page design by Steven Garrity and Daniel Burka from silverorange, and required tools changes by Myk Melez.

Be sure to refresh! Thanks to all involved (especially bart, dbaron, and myk).

Of course, there is still lots to do to improve the site, and we’ll keep working on it – but for now, it feels good to be live.


Luna Blue Theme (v0.3) for Mozilla Thunderbird Update

I was contacted this week by Alexander Klimetschek, who has built on the work of Hal Hockersmith to get finally get out a version 0.3 of the Luna Blue Theme for Mozilla Thunderbird.

My motivation for working on this theme was purely selfish, and now that I’m running Linux instead of Windows, I don’t have that motivation anymore. Fortunately, others have picked up the slack.

This version should work with Thunderbird 0.7.

Zip Icon Download/Install Luna Blue (v0.3) for Mozilla Thunderbird

lunablue-thunderbird-0.2.jar – 703Kb RAR File

UPDATE: Alexander Klimetschek has created an updated version of this theme (Download v0.4) as mentioned in this comment.

I know this won’t make any difference, but it’s worth a shot: I am not maintaining this theme anymore. I’ve just posted it here as a convenient location for people to find it.


New Mozilla.org Website Beta: Cavendish

Mozilla.org Website Beta screenshot

The team at silverorange has been working on a redesign of the mozilla.org website. We’re keeping most of the content as it is (especially historical content, like documentation, etc.). We have a new visual template and redesigned some of the key top-level pages. We call the new style: Cavendish

Please take a look through the site with your favourite web browser and post any issues/bugs on this MozillaZine thread. We’re most concerned about technical issues and bugs (rendering problems, etc.).

See the website beta now at website-beta.mozilla.org and post feedback on this MozillaZine thread.

This is still a beta, so there are some outstanding issues. Some in particular that we’re aware of (so don’t bother pointing them out):

  • The home page has not been updated yet (except for the template, of course)
  • Round box corners not appearing in Internet Explorer (this is a known and accepted issue, we’re using :before and :after pseudo-elements, which aren’t supported in IE, but degrade gracefully)
  • The main logo/wordmark shows sporadically in IE5
  • Some extra margins in left menus in IE5/5.5
  • Main site tabs do not indicate current section
  • Mozilla Store is not included in the template yet

Aesthetic feedback is welcome, but we reserve the right to respectfully ignore it. We have no illusions of being able to please everyone. Rather, we’re aiming for a clean, simple, and professional overall look and feel.


Mozilla Foundation Looking for Quality Design Help

The Mozilla team is looking for some help with some design work. The work would involve a variety of design tasks for the web and for print. For example, banner ads, small HTML page designs, print ad layout/design, etc.

What we’d like to do is assemble a loose team of people to whom we can throw out a quick piece of work and have someone who’s able speak-up and take on each piece of work.

Here are some of the conditions:

  • It’s all volunteer – no cash, sorry.
  • Be prepared to work within an existing defined (if still evolving) visual style – we’re not looking for people to put their personal stamp on any given piece of work.
  • Accept direction and vetoes – you will be given direction and iterations may be required.
  • Timelines are tight and notice is short.
  • We’re looking for experienced designers with demonstrated abilities.

If that doesn’t sound too terrible and you are an experienced designer, please send a brief introduction, overview of your interest, information on your availability, and a selection of portfolio URLs to: blake at cs dot stanford
dot edu
and bart at decrem dot com.

We’ll be choosing a small team from those interested to help us out. Thanks!


New Default Theme Coming to Firefox 0.9

The crusade to make the world a more beautiful place inches forward. The Mozilla Visual Identity Team is happy to see the preview of a new default theme for Firefox, which will be included in the next release (0.9 – in the next couple of weeks).

Winstripe Theme Preview

The new theme was designed by Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander, the dynamic duo behind Pinstripe, the default Firefox theme on Mac OS X.

The new theme, called Winstripe (“Pinstripe” and “Windows” – get it?), aims to bring more polish and consistency to the Firefox interface. While it is based on the original artwork behind the Mac Pinstripe theme, it has been heavily reworked to blend in nicely with the Windows look and feel.

There will inevitably be a lot of feedback by those who loved the previous theme (called Qute), and might not like the new theme. Constructive feedback is appreciated, but “I hate it” doesn’t count as constructive feedback.

We realize that the new theme doesn’t blend perfectly with the Gnome / Linux interface, and we do hope to make improvements in that regard. That said, we find that Winstripe does work relatively well in Gnome for the time being. All kinds of good work is going on to make Firefox look and feel better in Gnome. Also, the Winstripe theme was rushed in to make it into the 0.9 release, so you will see improvements and refinements over the coming months.

If you aren’t a fan of the new look, give it time. Wait until the new release and try it out for a few days. See how you feel then. If you still don’t like it, you can always install the previous theme.

People tend to get very attached to the look and feel of an application, especially when it is an open-source application. I get the impression from some of the early reaction that people feel like we went into their living room and painted the walls.

I can understand this reaction, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • At the rate that Firefox is growing, there will be thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people who use the 0.9 even more, the 1.0 releases as their first introduction to Firefox. They won’t have any attachment or familiarity with any previous default themes.
  • We see familiarity as quality. People are used to the previous theme and anything different will take a bit of getting used to. Give it time – reserve judgment until you’ve used it for a week.
  • We’re not trying to create great art here – we’re trying to create a clear, simple, elegant, and unobtrusive set of toolbar icons that are easy to understand and don’t get in the way.

Great work Kevin and Stephen.