December 17th, 2007


Ohhhh, now Firefox is getting SKINS!

In May, Mozilla Labs vice president Chris Beard developed Personas, an experimental Firefox add-on for lightweight theming. The add-on makes it possible to apply custom artwork to the Firefox chrome, including the toolbars, tabs, and status bar. The addon is compatible with Firefox on all three major platforms.

The Personas addon started out as Beard's personal project, but has now found a new home at Mozilla Labs and has undergone a major rewrite that is compatible with the latest Firefox 3 beta. Beard says that Personas will become the starting point for experiments in dynamic personalization that Mozilla Labs will pursue in an effort to provide users with a richer browsing experience.

Excuse me while I rattle my walker furiously and wave my cane above my head...

If skins for Firefox was just some guy's personal project for fun, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But when the Moz foundation starts officially wasting project time on it, I think a line has been crossed. Skins are the stupidest, most masturbatory, least useful "feature" ever invented. They are the current equivalent of when people used to put 1400x2000 jpg's as the background of their web pages. Who gives a damn about skinning anyway? A few 14 year olds?

There's nothing wrong with having a good UI, but when you've got so much spare time on your hands that you're doing a skinning add-on to your project... just stop. Your UI is plenty good enough. Go back and fix your god-awful memory fragmentation problems instead.
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