Firefox drops animated themes in version 18

Mozilla announced Tuesday on its Add-Ons Blog that animated themes would no longer work in the upcoming Firefox 18, due to performance updates packaged in that version.

Themes, formerly called "Personas", require large image files to accommodate the wide variety of screen resolutions and header heights. These images - 300 x 200 px for headers and 3000 x 100 px for footers - slow down the loading process for Firefox. Of course, animated themes had an even greater negative effect on load times and performance, since the browser has to redraw the huge images continuously.

The solution in Firefox 18 is to crop the images to the user's screen size at start-up, which improves load times by a significant amount. Bug 650968 has the full details of this change. A side effect of this solution, though, is that animated themes will no longer animate in the new version of Firefox. Truly a tragedy for user customization.

The Firefox team is looking into other solutions that might bring back animated themes at some point. However, users who refuse to go gentle into that good night can install the Personas Shuffler add-on, which will preserve the animation as it refreshes the themes on every load.

Source: Firefox Add-Ons Blog

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"a tragedy for user customization"? how many users actually use animated themes?
I prefer seeing them optimizing the startup time rather than allowing useless features.
Firefox loads significantly slower than Chrome on some machines I've tested.
Together w/ Ion Monkey, FF 18 is shaping up to be a very interesting release.
See http://www.arewefastyet.com/ for benchmarks.

You remember those times you visit your mum and go and visit one of her friends that tells you her computer is running slowly. You log on to find that she has Christmas themes on in June? That's the same kind of user that would use an animated theme because it looks pretty and makes the computer nicer to use.
To some people it's not all about how fast it runs, even though they want it fast, they would rather install things to make it pretty, even if they don't know that it slows down their machine.

Avi said,
"a tragedy for user customization"? how many users actually use animated themes?

Indeed. They can keep the silly themes, the real power of customization/flexibility is in the browser itself, something I sorely miss in other browsers.

Avi said,
Firefox loads significantly slower than Chrome on some machines I've tested.
Together w/ Ion Monkey, FF 18 is shaping up to be a very interesting release.
See http://www.arewefastyet.com/ for benchmarks.

arewefastyet only measures the performance of JavaScript in the browser. It does not measure the speed of the UI.

Avi said,
"a tragedy for user customization"? how many users actually use animated themes?
I prefer seeing them optimizing the startup time rather than allowing useless features.
Firefox loads significantly slower than Chrome on some machines I've tested.
Together w/ Ion Monkey, FF 18 is shaping up to be a very interesting release.
See http://www.arewefastyet.com/ for benchmarks.

Second to that! I didn't know that there had been animated themes at all!

Well, if Firefox can win some performance by removing a useless feature ...
I never liked Firefox themes, there's always a bug, or it makes addons bugging.

I am not looking forward to the Australis theme becoming default. I don't like its large rounded tabs. I hope I can revert back to the Firefox 17 theme.

Australis was going to be introduced in version 18, right?

i think you me and the other 99% of Firefox users feel the same about Australis and i consider all the time that they are putting into is a waste and hope that there is an option to disable those awfull looking tabs (i personally use FXChrome (the best theme IMO) and love their slanted tabs and hope Australis wont negatively impact me using that theme when it lands, because its tempting me to switching to chrome if it does, but will be sad to lose some of my addons functionality

I doubt they'll ever remove all theme support and even if the do remove the addon like themes Firefox default theme is still a bunch of CSS so unless the rewrite large parts of Firefox completely you can still apply a userstyle to that. I'm using a style in Stylish to make Firefox fit a bit better in Windows 8, those rounded tabs and the gradient in the navigation bar just looked odd.

I would find animated themes annoying. No one I know uses them. I personally use "Brushed Metal - XP".

Good news, it seems pointless to have themes at all.
You use a browser to browse the Internet. If it does that alright then that should be it.

I see your point, but casual users probably spend a good 75% of their time in web browsers these days. It's important to many of them for it to appear pleasing to their eyes.

That said, most themes look worse than the default anyway

sounds fine to me..

i have 3 lines at the top and wouldn't really see it anyway
one line has the orange firefox button on the top left
2nd line has a custom set of buttons i chose with the URL box and search box.
3rd line is the line the tabs are on..
So all this is compressed and efficient so even if there was a theme it would be pretty hard to see lol
Max real estate

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