Customization panel, where are you?

23 January, 2013 § 16 Comments

As a hat tip towards Matthew Noorenberghe who has been working on implementing the Australis tabs for Firefox, I decided it would be a good idea to give an update on the progress of the new customization panel for desktop Firefox.

Back in July 2012, Blair McBride starting working on the new customization panel in bug 770135. This task is a major rewrite of Firefox’ customization and application menu interaction. It is by no means a small feat. From July to today, Blair has made amazing progress on the customization panel.

Zhenshuo Fang and others on the Firefox UX team have put together an overview of the goals of the Australis Customization features if you would like to learn more background about them.

Blake Winton of the Firefox UX team has built an interactive mockup of the new menu and customization interactions that runs right in Firefox.

Last week Is started helping Blair bring the implementation of the new customization and menu to completion. Blair’s availability has been extremely limited for the past couple months, so it will be good to get some extra hands on deck.

I updated Blair’s patches to work against the latest mozilla-central code and have pushed them to the try server to get builds out to people that want to play with it. I only generated builds for Windows and Mac for this first pass.

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§ 16 Responses to Customization panel, where are you?

  • Great news but where’s the Windows build at?

    • msujaws says:

      They are still being built. The OSX ones have been having an issue on the tryserver that I didn’t see on my local machine. If you are comfortable building Firefox, you can use apply the patches in the associated bug to get your own local build.

  • [...] While I’d agree that the customize menu needs improvements in some regards, I’m not really sure if an integrated panel is the best way to achieve the goal. Still, Mozilla seems intend to go forward and first test builds have been released for Windows and Mac that highlight how it could look like. [...]

  • kensaunders says:

    It’s cool to see this in an actual build.
    Is it currently just limited to performing actions when clicking on the buttons (History, zoom, etc)?
    That seems to be all that I can do in the Windows build.

  • ferongr says:

    So, I guess we’ll lose small icons mode, stop-reload and non-hiding forward button (that applies with by small icons)?

    Also, the deletion of the Firefox button, in combination with tabs on top means that nowhere will the browser name show and that a familiar design associated with Firefox will be lost, making it too similar to Chrome.

  • ochameau says:

    Whaaa the html demo is impressive! It is now time to switch to html for browser UI ;)

    Otherwise, is this still an experiment? (The original bug comment tends to say so) If not, is there any timeframe planned?

    I’m asking that as the Addon SDK team is really easer to see such patch being landed as we already started working on one specific part of that UX plan, but ended up shuffling priorities…
    The idea was to focus on the widget bar on the right of the location bar, where we drop icons and have some overflow feature that would allow putting unlimited amount of icons.
    See bug 695913, 787384.

    • msujaws says:

      This is more than an experiment now. We have plans to finish this implementation and ship it with the rest of the Australis changes. Glad to hear that you like the progress so far :)

  • tapper says:

    Hi i just clicked on the interactive mockup of the new menu and customization interactions sad to say it dus not work with screenreaders. i tested it with jaws 13 and NVDA i hope it wont be like that in the reel build.

    • msujaws says:

      Hi Tapper,

      The accessibility of the interactive mockup won’t represent the accessibility of the final implementation. It is a requirement that the final implementation be accessible to screen readers.

  • kensaundersk says:

    I was just checking out the zoom feature in the panel.
    I’m not sure what the final plans are, but if the current zoom value isn’t going to be displayed, wouldn’t it be better to just have a reset icon or text? IE does display the current zoom value (when the status bar is showing). That is a very old requested feature for Firefox anyway, so why not add it since it does add value?

    By the way, is Gecko/20130123 Firefox/21.0 the latest for that build?

  • kensaunders says:

    Hey this is sweeeet and coming along nicely.

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