Mozilla Firefox will soon drop support for complete themes
Earlier today, we reported that Mozilla is moving Pocket to a built-in add-on in Firefox, instead of a built-in feature, due to user backlash.
And now, it appears that there is one more change which may soon impact the browser.
It is a major change too, and not one that you may like. Mozilla is planning to remove support for complete themes. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it may be because you have never used the feature. Let me explain more about the two briefly.
Mozilla Firefox has two types of themes: Complete themes and Lightweight themes. The latter was launched in 2010, and has been showcased by Mozilla ever since, as observed by Ghacks.
Complete themes are also known as heavyweight themes, due to the fact that they change the entire GUI of the browser and the way it works. They are actually pretty good ones, despite what Mozilla claims. Lightweight themes on the other hand, are rather simplistic and may change only part of the browser’s interface.
The news to drop support for complete themes, comes from a bug report (Bug 1222546) filed by a Senior Engineering Manager at Mozilla, called Benjamin Smedberg. This is what he had to say about the removal of the complete themes:
As part of Firefox great-or-dead, we’ve decided to stop support for “heavyweight” themes which can do arbitrary styling and replace chrome packages.
Smedberg also dropped a strong hint that the feature may not be dropped entirely. Instead lightweight themes could gain some additional options like the ability to change colors, icons, etc. But he did not detail as to when the change will come into effect, although he did mention the due date as the 1st of December.
Mozilla has been killing off a lot of features lately, with the most recent one being Tab Groups (panoramas) in Firefox. Support for Tab Groups are being dropped, on the grounds that “very few users use the feature”.
If Mozilla continues on its, shall we call it, self destructing phase?, it may very well lose what is left of the number of “very few users” who use the browser, in the day that is dominated by Google Chrome, and sadly for the most part, by the obsolete and insecure Internet Explorer. I for one am deeply disappointed with the dropping of complete themes from Firefox. They can surely update them to work better with the latest versions. If anything, this is a huge step backwards.
Firefox is becoming more and more Chrome-like, which is not a good thing, if I may say so.