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.
“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.