Firefox 0.9 And It's New Default Theme

Firefox 0.8 came with a great default theme called “Qute”. Thunderbird, is still delivered with this theme. Unfortunately, due to copyright and controversy, “Qute” got the axe when Firefox 0.9 was released.

Qute was created by Arvid Axelsson. While it has a number of usability issues, I thought it was a great theme, definately the best candidate for “default theme” out there.

But Mozilla Firefox is open-source. In an effort to minimize the use of proprietary material, the creators of Firefox wanted a new theme. This was about the time when Arvid posted this mozilla forum thread which was slashdotted.

Too bad.

“I hope you understand that I, personally, am reluctant to continue a close working relationship with someone who posts our private email in a public forum without consulting me. I am replying here since you have brought this discussion here, so that the forum community can see my response. ” – Ben Goodger

It looks as though Qute will never become default theme. In fact, I think it’s likely that Thunderbird 0.8 will also be distributed with the new “Winstripe” theme.

I think it is too bad that a little feud between two developers can result in an overall decline in application quality. I mean… it’s open-source, so that shouldn’t be able to happen, should it?

Fans of Qute can still download the theme manually, and apply it. It’ll look like before, it’s just not default anymore.

7 thoughts on “Firefox 0.9 And It's New Default Theme”

  1. Michael says:

    Personally I never understood people’s facination with Qute. I’ve always thought that it was horrible. The new theme is better I think, but still not good enough.

    Unfortunatly something tells me this is what it’ll end up ‘shipping’ with.

  2. Joen says:

    Indeed, I also think “Winstripe” will be the final one. One can hope they’ll tweak and improve it over time, though.

    Another important reason for the new theme, as I’ve read, is to make the UI similar between platforms. This is a good reason.

    I hear that Winstripe, or “Pinstripe” as it’s called on Mac looks much better (due to glassy effects) than it’s Windows counterpart. True?

  3. Ruben says:

    I’m afraid that it is open-source in fact helps the decline in overall quality. Especially in open-source development there is the risk that people could claim their own parts as their property.

  4. Joen says:

    Interesting idea. But how would that work with the GPL license? I’m not sure exactly how the GPL works currently, but I thought it prevented such from happening?

  5. Ruben, I think you are wrong. The GPL prevents blacklogs of code from becoming inhibited by less free licenses.

    The most inhibiting thing you can do with your code once it’s GPLed is to decide to take your own part (without any contributed code) and decide not to open source that part any more.

    That means any work you make AFTER that decision will be closed, but the originally GPLed source will still be GPLed.

  6. Joen says:

    Ah, thanks for clarifying.

    So if someone made some mutations to the original mozilla code, and suddenly decided not to be open source anymore, it would just be a tiny step back to before that mutation, not?

  7. Joen, yes, that’s correct.

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