Prepare Yourself – Australis Landing on Firefox Nightly on Monday

I’ve been reading a heck of a lot about Australis (both good and bad) for months now … and now it looks like I’ll finally be able to check it out for myself …

If things go as planned, Mozilla will move the controversial interface update for its Firefox browser to the browser’s Nightly channel on Monday, November 18th. Up until now, Australis was tested in special UX Builds of the browser and not available in any of the regular release channels of it.

The push to the Nightly channel marks the beginning of the final part of Australis’ development. From there, it will remain in Nightly for the next release cycle (Firefox 29 Nightly) and then be moved through the other release channels to land in Firefox Stable finally on April 15th if things go according to Mozilla’s release plans.

When it is released in Firefox Stable, which will happen when Firefox 29 comes along as it appears right now, it has been deployed to all versions of the browser that Mozilla maintains with the exception of the ESR versions which will receive Australis at a later point in time.

Mozilla does not that it will hold back Australis if required. The company will maintain a temporary branch of Firefox — codenamed holly — which does not included Australis.

Australis may break some add-ons. Fixes may be trivial for some, while others may require more work, Mozilla notes. Firefox users are encouraged to file bugs about broken add-ons.

Firefox Australis


We have covered Australis extensively before here on Ghacks and I do not want to rehash all that has been said in the past. Most of it still stands, and I suggest you check out the following articles if you want to find out more about it:

Mozilla has addressed all performance blockers that prevented Australis from being moved to the Nightly channel.

The latest UX version of Australis is displayed on the screenshot above. As you can see on first glance, it introduces several core changes to the Firefox web browser.

  1. The Firefox menu is gone. It has been moved to the right side of the main toolbar of the browser instead. It looks and behaves different now.
  2. The add-on bar is gone. If you run extensions that add icons to the browser chrome, they are now all placed in the main toolbar as well.
  3. There is only a menu bar and a bookmarks toolbar that you can enable. There are no custom toolbar anymore, and the tabs on bottom option is gone as well.
  4. The bookmark star and the bookmark list have been merged and can only be moved together.
  5. Tabs display less title text than before.
  6. The new tab page is completely different, now sporting a big Google search box in the middle and an icon bar at the bottom leading to downloads, history and other features.

Screenshots of Australis



Closing Words

If things go along as planned, Australis will launch in Firefox 29 on April 15th. The browser extension to fix Australis annoyances — at least for users who do not like it — will be released shortly after Australis is moved to the Nightly channel. It is possible that this will happen on Monday as well or shortly thereafter. As always, you can be sure that we inform you in a timely manner about it.

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