Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3

Fantastic!  Borr has ported the Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3.

Full power of new gecko engine with a good old Firefox 2 face.

His blog is written in both Russian and English, if you want to practice your Cyrillic character recognition skills.

Why I prefer the Fx2 theme

I’m a happy Firefox user again — I just find that theme really easy to use and clearer than the Fx3 offering.

  • The BACK and FORWARD arrows are clearly left and right arrows, and not primarily circles with arrows inside.  To my eye with the Fx3 theme I see a circle first, then the arrow inside.  With the Fx2 theme I see the arrow first.
  • The RELOAD icon is chunkier and I find easier to see — I really am quite myopic!
  • The STOP icon is solid, red, reliable.
  • The PRINT icon in Fx2 is, I find, easier to read.  In Fx3 to my mind it looks more like a hard drive icon.

Tab Mix Plus issue (and workaround)

It appears that the Tab Mix Plus (TMP) add-on has an issue with this theme.  For some reason TMP interferes (their developer used the word ‘handles’) with the icon, and so it depends on the size of the images that the theme author uses.

What happens, with this and other themes, is a mismatch in which icon is being shown on background tabs, so you get half red icon / half grey icon:

Tab icons are wrong

However, there is a work-around that requires the Stylish add-on to be installed.  Use this Stylish code to overrule the TMP meddling: Custom Firefox tabs close button (Firefox 3).

A bit of a faff, but at least there is a workaround that still allows me to use my favourite Firefox 2 buttons.

Firefox 3 has landed

I should be in bed: I’m pretty tired and am fighting another kidney-related bug (but the good news is that the antibiotics do appear to be kicking in), but I just wanted to check in and say this:

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 is pretty fantastic.

I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant about upgrading. It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to checking it out — I’d tried out v.3.0 beta 5, and v.3.0 RC1 after all.  It’s just that I really do rely on a number of key add-ons for my everyday browsing and Web development.

I needn’t have worried. At work 1/20 didn’t work with Firefox 3, and at home it was 2/17.  The offending add-ons were “Tails” (a microformats add-on) and “X-Ray” (which shows HTML tags in the page).  Nothing show-stopping, nothing that couldn’t be replaced with something else or dropped.

Firefox 3 is so much faster, both loading and rendering pages. The new features on the address bar are fantastic. My only niggle is that I really don’t like the default theme.  I loved the chunky look of versions 1.0.x, 1.5.x and 2.x.  So I’m using CrystalFox Modern until someone ports the old theme to version 3!

Oh, and it passes the Acid2 test and scores 71/100 on Acid3.

But hey! if that’s my only criticism of Fx3 then they must be doing something pretty darned well!

Right, now I’m off to bed!

Book on WordPress theme design

Packt Publishing have a new book on WordPress theme design:

“This book walks through clear, step-by-step instructions to build a custom theme for the WordPress open-source blog engine.

The author provides design tips and suggestions and covers setting up your WordPress sandbox, and reviews the best practices from setting up your theme’s template structure, through coding markup, testing, and debugging, to taking it live.

The last three chapters cover additional tips, tricks, and various cookbook recipes for adding popular site enhancements to your WordPress theme designs using 3rd-party plugins as well as creating API hooks to add your own custom plugins.

Whether you’re working with a pre-existing theme or creating a new one from the ground up, WordPress Theme Design will give you the know-how to effectively understand how themes work within the WordPress blog system enabling you to have full control over your site’s design and branding.”