Mozilla has been preparing a new look for Firefox, one that takes its cues from both mobile and touch screens, but it will be difficult to reverse course once implemented.
Seth RosenblattFormer Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Code-named Australis, the design project aims to unify the browser's look across multiple platforms, from desktops to mobile devices. Visually, it sports some button placement changes, emphasizes icon-based menus, and is touch-friendly.
"Due to its large scope, Australis couldn't be implemented with the ability to toggle its presence via an about:config preference," wrote Jared Wein, a senior software engineer at Mozilla. "This unfortunately carries with it a more burdensome plan to undo the changes should there be issues that lead us to delay the release of Australis."
Mozilla plans to track the nonvisual elements in a separate nightly build, in case it chooses to keep Australis in a holding pattern for a release cycle or two.
Mozilla also gave us an early look at menu design tweaks, which include large icons in menus that look big enough to handle touch screens -- almost an Android-ification of the browser.