Mozilla plans to remove the Compact Density option from Firefox's Customize menu

Mozilla plans to remove the Compact Density option from the Firefox browser's customize menu.

Firefox is one of the few browsers that supports different densities for the user chrome. The default one is normal, but users may set it to compact or to touch in the customize menu.

Customize can be accessed via Menu > Customize, or through a right-click on a blank spot on the browser's toolbar.

Compact reduces the height of the user chrome, touch makes it bigger as it is optimized for use on touch devices.

The upcoming Proton design refresh of the Firefox web browser could increase the default size of that interface significantly. Current previews make use of more space, and while things may change before the final release later this year, it seems unlikely that Mozilla is going to keep the current status quo.

Here is a comparison of the densities of the latest stable version of Firefox, the latest Proton design (still in development), and Chrome.

Firefox header size

A new Bugzilla listing suggests that Mozilla will remove the Compact option from Firefox's Customize menu.

Mozilla notes that the compact design is "fairly hard to discover" and that it assumes that it "gets low engagement". Based on these, Mozilla decided to retire compact mode from the menu.

Touch, the second customize option next to Compact, will be retained because of its accessibility use.

The organization plans to remove the Compact option from the customize menu and migrate users who use Compact to the Normal mode once the change happens. The preference browser.uidensity will remain for the time being, but it is possible that it will get removed at one point in time as well or that the compact mode value won't change it anymore at the very least.

Mozilla wants to design Firefox with a minimum height of 768 pixels going forward, noting that Firefox would take up 12% of screen height in the worst case scenario on 768 height pixel displays.

Mozilla bases its decision to remove compact mode on an assumption; while it may be correct that compact is not used by the majority of Firefox users, it is still used by a percentage of users, and these users are understandably unhappy about the decision.

Criticism focuses on the following main points:

  • Mozilla does not seem to have hard data about usage numbers.
  • Compact mode gives more height to the displayed sites in the browser.
  • The upcoming Proton design refresh takes up even more space than current versions of Firefox.
  • Lack of discoverability could be changed.
  • Operating system toolbars and docks take away space as well.
  • Compact mode is used on screens of all sizes, e.g. when users display two browser windows side-by-side.

Removing features and consequences

Compact mode might indeed be used by a low number of Firefox users only. Naturally, these are unhappy about the decision, and with the upcoming Proton refresh, tabs and user chrome will look even bigger than before to them (as Proton normal density is larger than current normal density, and even larger than compact density).

What will these unhappy users do? Some may discover that the about:config preference continues to work for the time being, others may use userChrome.css to create a compact design. Those less technical inclined might switch to a different browser that has a more compact design, or stay on an older version of Firefox instead. Most may use the normal density design of Firefox once Proton lands.

Closing Words

One of the main issues with Firefox is that things get changed a lot, especially when it comes to the user interface. Say what you want about Chrome, but Google seems to understand that many users prefer continuity when it comes to the programs that they use daily on their devices.

Removing features that a percentage, low or not, of Firefox users uses, and without any or low engineering benefits, looks like a change for change's sake kind of decision.

Now You: if you use Firefox, which density do you prefer?

Summary
Mozilla plans to remove the Compact Density option from Firefox's Customize menu
Article Name
Mozilla plans to remove the Compact Density option from Firefox's Customize menu
Description
Mozilla plans to remove the Compact Density option from the Firefox browser's customize menu, which allows users to reduce the size of the browser chrome.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Theo said on March 14, 2021 at 8:22 am
    Reply

    Well, I hope they don’t make the mistake of removing compact mode. I’ve used compact mode for years, and I’m more productive using it.

    It’s also an accessibility issue for those with physical movement limitations. Constantly having to scroll is not easy as a result of the effects of many different illnesses (and can lead to painful carpel tunnel syndrome, even in the healthiest of individuals).

    Since Mozilla allows users to turn off all telemetry, and it’s typically more sophisticated users that do so, they have no idea how many of us use compact mode. We know for certain that many millions of people have telemetry turned off because the “installed users” numbers plummeted when Mozilla stopped collecting that data from non-telemetry users.

    I’ve seen this before where some company will say “well, telemetry tell us few people are using xyz”. Ya, well, anyone with half a brain turned off telemetry years ago, so they really have no idea what they are talking about. It’s like claiming that 100% of people use Apple devices by only using telemetry from Apple devices. I seriously wonder how bright some of these people are who are making these foolish decisions.

    1. Ryan said on June 2, 2021 at 4:25 am
      Reply

      Sadly, the day has come, the user chrome is now very tall :(

      1. Matt said on June 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm
        Reply

        You can go into about:config and search compact to reenable it!

      2. Anonymous said on June 7, 2021 at 9:16 pm
        Reply

        For now.

      3. Kuiri said on June 25, 2021 at 9:51 pm
        Reply

        Thank you! This works even tho it says unsupported. The string is browser.compactmode.show

  2. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 8:44 am
    Reply

    Yes! That’s exactly what we all need on laptops. Larger tabs, that are not tabs, and less vertical space for content.

    They seem to be competing who will do more damage.

  3. asdas said on March 14, 2021 at 9:05 am
    Reply

    I’ve been using compact for as long as i can remember.
    I’m fine with it, as long as you can still set it through about:config (browser.uidensity 1)

  4. John C. said on March 14, 2021 at 9:11 am
    Reply

    I use “Compact”. I will stop updating Firefox before they disable the Density feature, and plan to avoid using the Proton interface.

  5. ZeN said on March 14, 2021 at 9:12 am
    Reply

    I use Compact

    1. Anonymous said on April 7, 2021 at 5:15 pm
      Reply

      Me too.

  6. Allwynd said on March 14, 2021 at 9:16 am
    Reply

    I don’t use or like Firefox, but each time when I tried using it, I opted for the Compact Density option. Otherwise everything looks like Touch UI. If it gets removed, then it only solidifies my opinion that Mozilla is trying to turn Firefox into a Chrome clone with zero UI customization.

    When I was using Firefox between 2006 and 2009 (when it became trash after version 4), the best thing about it was UI customization. Heck, even in version 4 up to version Quantum-Whatever, UI was still very customizable. I could make it look like Firefox 2 or 3 and it gave me a reason to use it, but after that they’ve just been trimming it and I honestly don’t see the point.

    I thought Firefox’ users liked customization and that’s why they use it over Chrome, but when Firefox becomes a 1:1 Chrome clone, then there is no reason for them to use it.

    I would imagine in the future, Firefox will switch to Blink and this will be soooo hilarious.

  7. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 9:44 am
    Reply

    Recall that (shameful, offensive) tirade evangelizing censorship. All Firefox users share the same views on all topics. They are in agreement in all things. So, this change is a non-issue. Everybody wanted this.

    Ni Hao, Maozilla!

    i prefer the option where i abandon software that offers upgrades in the form of reduced functionality (the iTunes model?). i prefer developers who aren’t trying to be my big brother.

    1. eli b. said on March 15, 2021 at 9:13 pm
      Reply

      I loved it when this was added to the UI as I was using janky extensions to accomplish similar things before, until they stopped being supported. It would be a shame if this were removed; honestly it should be the default mode.

  8. mozilla CEOs, please resign said on March 14, 2021 at 10:11 am
    Reply

    Process of firefox to try to become a useless chrome clone:

    1: Hide a cool feature that differentiates it from chrome, so that almost nobody can see it and those who use it don’t complain too much.
    2: Wait until almost nobody uses it.
    3: Remove it arguing that almost nobody uses it.

    We have been like this for years and there is no good alternative outside the clutches of google or mozilla. While firefox keeps losing developers by the hundreds and mozilla invests more and more in its useless foundation and increase the salary of the bosses. It is not even possible to donate money to firefox development (only to the foundation), this is hopeless.

  9. ShintoPlasm said on March 14, 2021 at 10:14 am
    Reply

    The jettisoning of useful features continues apace. Worth dropping a line on the Bugzilla page and potentially the Reddit discussion, but I’m not holding my breath that the devs will be overly bothered.

  10. kikezilla said on March 14, 2021 at 10:16 am
    Reply

    das gae…

  11. blackborro said on March 14, 2021 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    the amount of work mozilla is putting into making it’s shrinking user group even smaller will always amaze me

  12. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 10:31 am
    Reply

    if that happens.. Bye, bye, Mozilla :(

  13. Corky said on March 14, 2021 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    I use compact and i dare say people who know how to turn off telemetry use it more than your average user, Mozilla seem to be making the same mistake as other companies that gather data (Microsoft) in that they’re being lead by the data but the data isn’t painting the whole picture.

  14. sigh said on March 14, 2021 at 11:02 am
    Reply

    like i say before if that new ui land on stable im gonna quit firefox, this article alone convincing me enough to prepare for migration. since chromium is the only route left might as well take the heaviest & most customizable of them a.k.a vivaldi.

  15. Sorryno said on March 14, 2021 at 11:26 am
    Reply

    I swear to god there are more than a couple of retarded people working on Firefox. “We can remove this option that noone has ever stumbled upon by accident or is even in the options because noone uses it! Yay, we are so minimalist!”

    1. Allwynd said on March 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm
      Reply

      How are they gonna be minimalist if they are removing the minimalistic option? xD

      1. ShintoPlasm said on March 15, 2021 at 9:09 am
        Reply

        Minimalist = minimal features

      2. Allwynd said on March 16, 2021 at 9:41 am
        Reply

        Are you really correcting me? xD

        It was a joke, a play of words… Please go download a sense of humor.

        https://i.imgur.com/bm9AeBs.gif

      3. ShintoPlasm said on March 17, 2021 at 12:13 am
        Reply

        No, actually I was trying to develop the theme… :P

  16. Pedro said on March 14, 2021 at 11:30 am
    Reply

    I do prefer the normal density. I tried the compact when setting up Firefox to my tastes but disliked it.
    But I do agree with you. They need consistency, and not to make changes for changes sake, and especially they should not be removing functionalities.

    Also the new UI sucks. Users lose vertical space at a time when 16:9 displays are the most common format. The new design exacerbates this issue. Why do they need to change their design??? The current one looks great, and the themes already designed around it are great as well. Heck, I made a Zotero dark theme based on it!

    It says a lot when the Mozilla product that is going through a renaissance is the one with less commercial ambitions: Thunderbird. They should really reflect upon why this is. And maybe consider looking into what other browser devs are doing to finance themselves. Namely Brave.

    If they keep this up, I might eventually be forced into Chromium based browsers, which I dislike. Edge is looking really good these days with their vertical tabs.

  17. madame Baker said on March 14, 2021 at 11:37 am
    Reply
  18. asd said on March 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    Reply

    Let me put it nicely:
    God what FU**** idiots. Stop messing with the browser for no reason at all and stop removing shit. I already have to compile my own FF because of that.

  19. Tony said on March 14, 2021 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    They just “assume” compact mode isn’t used by many.They have zero data to confirm this.The new Proton design is way too big and clunky,and when media is being played the tab bar grows even bigger.I’m done with Firefox.I hope more will follow and ditch them,then they can “assume” all they want.

    1. Kirin said on March 15, 2021 at 5:52 am
      Reply

      >> when media is being played the tab bar grows even bigger

      Proton is indeed big and clunky, but in the latest Nightlies they did change this at least so that the tab bar height doesn’t increase further during media playback.

  20. switchToVivaldi said on March 14, 2021 at 12:49 pm
    Reply

    Firefox needs to die so that people who want customizability switch to Vivaldi and give that browser a boost.

    At this point Firefox is a malignant tumor which slowly kills its host but not fast enough for them to notice. With every year the browser gets worse and more limited, while at the same time Opera and Vivaldi continuously improve, but don’t have enough users because powerusers have a Stockholm syndrome towards Firefox.

    1. sigh said on March 14, 2021 at 2:35 pm
      Reply

      not exactly stockholm, it just opera with its own controversy & vivaldi with its heavy ui(many user complained its laggy).

  21. Bob Hill said on March 14, 2021 at 12:52 pm
    Reply

    In answer to your question, Firefox is my main browser, and I have always used “Compact” density.

    Removing “Compact” is yet another example of Mozilla putting effort into unnecessarily fiddling with the UI (which is easy to do), rather than fixing difficult long-outstanding bugs (which is hard to do).

    This is a systemic problem with open source in general. Open source developers like to do “new” things (like redesigning UI’s over and over again), but do not like to do “old” things (like the hard, tedious and often unrewarding work of fixing difficult old bugs). In most open source environments there is no Bill Gates or Steve Jobs going around kicking butts to get difficult old bugs fixed. Furthermore, because most open source software is free, there are no paying customers who can apply real pressure to get what they want.

    Firefox will continue to lose market share as long as Mozilla continues to ignore its users.

    1. OpenSourcePerfection said on March 15, 2021 at 5:11 am
      Reply

      B-B-But open source software is magical and perfect whereas closed source software (especially that which costs money) is Evilâ„¢ and buggy! How can any open source software have bugs/vulnerabilities (leave alone longstanding ones) when so many users spend hours going through and meticulously auditing the sources? What blasphemy is this?

      (Heartbleed? WTF’s that? Never heard of it.)

  22. Mike Harris said on March 14, 2021 at 12:53 pm
    Reply

    Of course! Perhaps they could, you know, remove the browser window altogether. Soon it’s just going to make sense to drop Firefox altogether. They’ve certainly entirely and totally abdicated their former position as the browser for power users by removing every damn option and feature they can get their hands on. I wonder what people at Mozilla have left to do?

  23. GeckoEngine said on March 14, 2021 at 12:58 pm
    Reply

    Yeah, removing customization from plain sight it’s not a great move, but we’re used to this from the time being, i.e. after comm*ies have taken total control over the browser; and they will continue, it’s their nature (“There has to be only one goo*lagChrome, and only puppetClones/puppetChromes [like brave & other chromish-rubb*ish staff] would be allowed”). But until they keep the about:config option browser.uidensity (0, 1, 2) and until we can still custumize this preference with userChrome.css, it’s not a big deal. Still remains the only customizable browser out there (in terms of ui and in terms of privacy); of corse together with other gecko-family browsers (SeaMonkey, IceCat, Librewolf …). God save the gecko-engine.

    1. Lemegeton said on March 15, 2021 at 9:26 am
      Reply

      Vivaldi’s interface is written in HTML-CSS-JS: theoretically it can be remade for yourself as you like.
      But even without that, the customizability of the interface is now much greater than in Firefox.

    2. Goolaag said on March 15, 2021 at 3:17 pm
      Reply

      Watis goolag? Whatya mean?

  24. owl said on March 14, 2021 at 1:18 pm
    Reply

    It’s shocking, and Stunned!

    I’m a Firefox user, and I’m choosing “compact”. Because the display is a wide type of 27-inch.
    “Touch” may be good for mobile applications, but not for desktop machines.
    For users with large displays, “Normal” occupies the screen wastefully.

    Mozilla’s view does not correctly understand the reality of end users.
    Mobile users don’t like Firefox in the first place.
    At the very least, don’t let existing users alienate you.
    This decision will hurt Firefox’s user base.

    1. owl said on March 14, 2021 at 1:37 pm
      Reply

      Correction of conclusion:
      This decision will give a blow to Firefox’s user base.

    2. owl said on March 15, 2021 at 3:04 am
      Reply

      Perhaps Mozilla wants to shift its focus from the shrinking “desktop” market for home use to the mainstream “mobile” market in emerging markets (such as Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia).

      In order to increase business profits, they want to streamline product maintainability and limit specifications (For example, customization ability).
      Even if focus on existing users in Firefox, can not expect big growth, so it seems that it is a step to make every effort to acquire new users (mobile users).

      However, the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is rampant all over the world and cannot be expected to converge. Everyone is restricted from going out and the number of unemployed is increasing.
      As the outing rate is declining and the rate of staying at home is rising, the demand for “desktop PCs” for home use is increasing.
      Mozilla (Firefox)’s business strategy is worried that it will be “out of focus and misplaced.”

      For me is necessary “Compact density”, and I would like to have “freedom of height and density”, I sincerely hope.

      1. Kirin said on March 15, 2021 at 5:16 am
        Reply

        What makes you think users even in emerging markets would opt for mobile Firefox?

      2. owl said on March 15, 2021 at 7:07 am
        Reply

        @Kirin,

        You are lacking attention span.
        If you are going to reply, please first read the full text of the comment and understand it correctly.
        I have already made the following “clear comment”.
        ● Mobile users don’t like Firefox in the first place.
        ● Mozilla (Firefox)’s business strategy is worried that it will be “out of focus and misplaced.”

      3. FormerFirefoxUser said on March 15, 2021 at 7:37 am
        Reply

        @Kirin
        Also mobile browsers do not work on desktop because of difference in architecture and OS. The touch UI is most for touch screen laptops and PCs with tablet like monitors.

      4. FormerFirefoxUser said on March 15, 2021 at 7:15 am
        Reply

        Mobile browsers do not work in Desktop since they usually have usually different operating systems and different architecture and hence they have separate source code which is not compatible with desktop browser source code. “Touch” mode is good for Touchscreen Laptops and PCs having Tablet or slate like monitors. I think Normal mode is okay for all PCs. “Compact” mode may be good only for devices with no touch screens. Hence your assumption that Mozilla wants to shift its focus from the shrinking “desktop” market for home use to the mainstream “mobile” market in emerging markets is not correct.

      5. owl said on March 15, 2021 at 8:00 am
        Reply

        @FormerFirefoxUser,
        > Hence your assumption that Mozilla wants to shift its focus from the shrinking “desktop” market for home use to the mainstream “mobile” market in emerging markets is not correct.

        I’ve acknowledged!
        Thank you for the commentary.

  25. Lain said on March 14, 2021 at 1:22 pm
    Reply

    I use the compact option in Firefox and don’t understand why they want to remove it.
    I like to customize my browser as far as Add-ons and the build in features allow and the argument that this option is “hard to discover” is laughable. It is not.
    For those who want to optimize their browser UI the Option is in plain site.
    I guess it is a trend to have one universal version for anything nowadays.
    I am not able to write my own scripts so the only other option is to rely on Add-ons (a strong suit of firefox) and Scripts by other users.

    It is not a huge deal but unnecessary tbh.
    Still better then using chrome. But decisions like these don’t help.

  26. jimbo said on March 14, 2021 at 1:28 pm
    Reply

    Compact is sympathetic for older screens. Decisions like this typical of someone with a big one. Sometimes wonder if Mozilla is too big personnel wise (like ideas dept?) and obsession with GUI tweaking. Thinking comes down in the end I suppose to the inexorable shift to mobile.
    Makes fascinating struggle between users and policy direction.

    1. FormerFirefoxUser said on March 15, 2021 at 7:39 am
      Reply

      @jimbo
      Mobile browsers do not work on desktop because of difference in architecture and OS. The touch compatible UI is mostly for touch screen laptops and PCs with tablet like monitors.

  27. tired said on March 14, 2021 at 1:39 pm
    Reply

    Idiots @mozilla again at what they do best – user-hostile antidesign and dropping of useful features.

  28. Daniel Gauthier said on March 14, 2021 at 2:01 pm
    Reply

    Just one more reason to steer away from using this browser.

    Maybe the Flow will pick up the creativity Firefox left behind a few years ago.

  29. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 2:10 pm
    Reply

    What a terrible idea! thats the first thing I do when I install Firefox, I hate big tabs, I think chrome now looks ugly of how large the tabs look.
    Firefox keeps getting worse IMO, their designers probably using big iMac high-res monitors thats why it suits them

  30. John Bilicki said on March 14, 2021 at 2:24 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla has long been detached from reality and even worse: their users. Yeah sure, there are some decent developers over there though the very wrong people are the ones calling the shots. Worst yet: they’re copying Chrome because they think it’s popular: it’s not! It just installed itself with every free anti-virus and most people never do custom installations so they are “stuck” with Chrome.

    If you want a customizable browser your only option (until I get mine released) is basically Waterfox Classic + Classic Theme Restorer.

    1. Chrome is Malware said on March 15, 2021 at 5:20 am
      Reply

      You’re absolutely right – Chrome did proliferate using shady malware-like behavior. And of course having it as the default on the largest mobile OS helps boost usage tremendously.

      1. Iron Heart said on March 15, 2021 at 3:14 pm
        Reply

        LOL, nope. The real reason why Chrome was (and is) so successful is performance: It processed JavaScript 30 x faster than its competitors initially and is still ahead of the curve today. It pioneered multiprocessing which every other relevant browser subsequently adopted, and that made it much more stable and resistant to crashes compared to the competition. It also had (and still has) top notch developer tools, which made web devs flock to it early on.

        You guys clearly don’t know what you are talking about. 75%+ worldwide market share can’t be explained by some bundle installations (which might well have occurred), that is just… DELUSIONAL.

  31. owl said on March 14, 2021 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    But if you’re a really worried user, you should act calmly.
    This topic, “Remove the Compact Density Option,” is an ongoing issue in a public discussion.

    It is no use doing a speaking choir in the “Outside the venue”.
    If Mozilla analyzes that “no users are choosing compact,” anti-Mozilla claims that “Mozilla is collecting usability” is proof that it was a lie.
    Then, let’s convey the raw voice of the user to the developer.
    That is the democratic means and the solution. Hope still remains.
    Disputed users should actively express their intentions in the public forums below before a decision is made.
    Bug 1693028 – Remove compact mode inside Density menu of customize palette | bugzilla.mozilla.org
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1693028#c64

    1. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 5:40 pm
      Reply

      They are already silencing everyone on there who are against it. They will continue to ignore us. I cant wait till their user base hits 0.1%, then they will start listening again.

      1. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 5:23 am
        Reply

        Nah, I think even at 0.1% they won’t listen. They seem to be intentionally killing the browser now.

  32. Sunkast said on March 14, 2021 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    What a boneheaded move. I have used compact mode for as long as I can remember. I prefer more space for web pages than tabs. I don’t get why on Earth Chrome and Mozilla insist on having tabs that take up so much space. This is the equivalent of going from the latest iPhone with no bezels, to an old iPhone with large bezels.

  33. Straspey said on March 14, 2021 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    Here’s what my Firefox currently looks like —

    http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger/1856/2130/1600/548131/Fullscreen.jpg

    Any suggestions would be welcome…

    1. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 4:54 pm
      Reply

      Looks perfect! Why do you want to change it?

    2. Perfection said on March 15, 2021 at 4:56 pm
      Reply

      Looks perfect! Why do you want to change it?

    3. yenic said on March 16, 2021 at 5:10 am
      Reply

      If you have any connection to that screenshot I’d be interested to hear it.. I worked with the guy that started and operated Cybernetnews.com. He died of cancer a few years ago, he was only 34.. and I have to wonder if he created that screenshot. He had a great sense of humor and probably did it as a form of guerilla marketing.

  34. anonymous (another one) said on March 14, 2021 at 4:48 pm
    Reply

    I already have to auto-zoom every damn webpage (not to mention blacken the stupidly faint text) in order to be able to read! I guess now I’ll be seeing only an inch or so of vertical content on my laptop screen. This is idiotic.

  35. Anonymous said on March 14, 2021 at 4:59 pm
    Reply

    The end is near for Firefox. It will be dead once this failed Proton redesign is released. It seems like all the developers with common sense has left Mozilla.

    RIP Firefox https://i.imgur.com/aQ3XMYQ.png

  36. Firefox-User said on March 14, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    Reply

    If Mozilla says that no one uses compact mode, then no one uses it … and after all, Mozilla knows what users want.

    1. Randall said on March 15, 2021 at 1:59 pm
      Reply

      They sure do know best. That’s why they lost 100 million users after Quantum was released. Remove all the user preferences till there’s nothing unique about Firefox anymore. We all might as well migrate to Chrome. Proton will end Firefox.

  37. computer said no said on March 14, 2021 at 6:53 pm
    Reply

    it is all fine and dandy people saying steer away from firefox..but then what are you left with…?..
    here is a clue:
    chrome/looks like chrome/tries to be chrome/based on chrome/!!….
    So basically the choices are very limited.

    If firefox dies then google will own the entire browser sphere.

  38. VioletMoon said on March 14, 2021 at 7:08 pm
    Reply

    Fine by me; the difference on my frameless laptop is so negligible that I remain with normal.

    @ Straspey – I do like the old Noia Fox design–or I did at one time. I would never go back to it. Cluttered.

    What little it takes to disgruntle browser fans.

    about:config option browser.uidensity (0, 1, 2)

    If it’s easy enough to circumvent as the above illustrates, then I don’t understand the issue–non-issue, please turn the page.

    1. Chrome is Malware said on March 15, 2021 at 5:31 am
      Reply

      And how long will the about:config setting continue to work and allow users to select a UI mode (Compact) that users can no longer choose via options? No, you clearly don’t understand the issue or why people are complaining.

      1. VioletMoon said on March 15, 2021 at 5:36 pm
        Reply

        @Chrome is Malware–I clearly understand the concept of freewill, choice, the existential dilemma, etc.; more important, however, is evolution.

        If one understands the concept of evolution, then one understands why certain appendages no longer exist in a species or why a species completely disappears from the planet–whatever it is that changes or disappears no longer serves a useful purpose.

        In the “compact” mode discussion, users are complaining about, in essence, evolution of a browser and change. Unable to cope with such change in the paradigm of technology, the users resort to illogical whining rather than logical thinking that may help them survive the changing strata over which they have no control.

        Users who are unable to adapt to the changing climate–the Firefox climate–will, no doubt, move to another, more hospitable environment-climate which they mistakenly think they can control and will never change.

        Such a failure to adapt will lead to more disappointment when the new environment-climate suddenly changes. Again, they will whine and move on . . . and again and again and again meeting with disappointment again and again and again.

        I read in the comments that many users admit to having smaller, older laptops with little screen real estate. Rather than find a better screen, which nearly all newer laptops have, they continue with the old and complain. It’s their right, but certainly not logical.

        Recommended reading: “Who Moved My Cheese.”

      2. Lemegeton said on March 16, 2021 at 12:26 pm
        Reply

        This “evolution of a browser” will cause Firefox to cease to exist. We will have a “Stuffed fire fox” (little panda) in the browsers museum. Near Netscape.
        This is not Firefox is the climate in which users live. These users are the climate in which firefox lives. And when, as a result of the actions of the firefox, this climate disappears (users will become a different climate by moving to other browsers) – firefox will become extinct.
        Each subsequent iteration of major changes in Firefox (especially in the interface) leads to the loss of some of the remaining users.

      3. WearyWulf said on April 3, 2021 at 3:58 pm
        Reply

        “Oh, those poor people can’t afford better laptops. I know! I shall dehumanise them—No! Better yet, I will eliminate them from my mindspace. Yes. Yes. This is excellent. Now there are only rich people, no filthy peasants. It’s a choice to own a screen that isn’t the newest in UHD resolutions. It’s a choice! Yes, this solves everything! Oh, where would humanity be without selective empathy?”

        I mean… Wow. I was so lost for words at how grotesque this was that all I could do was satire it. I’ll leave it at that.

  39. Herman Cost said on March 14, 2021 at 7:55 pm
    Reply

    I don’t like compact mode, and I don’t use it, so this does not affect me. Nonetheless, as is made clear by the sentiments expressed above, Mozilla seemingly continues to do whatever i possibly can to alienate the sophisticated potion of its user base. While its true that people who actaully want to use the flexibility available in the browser are a minority (and probably a small one, at that) of users, they are precisely those people who less knowledgeable people will lean on to help them set up a computer/find a new browser, change settings because they are having a hard time using the browser, etc. And those kind of sophisticated users will not only leave Firefox, but will be more and more reluctant to recommend or install a browser whose designers continually ignores their wishes. And that is true even if they want nothing to do with Google or Microsoft.

    And, oh yeah, all that self-righteous woke rhetoric can’t be helping.

  40. microfix said on March 14, 2021 at 7:57 pm
    Reply

    I’ve used ‘compact density’ for both Windows and Linux on small and larger monitor screens for years. Makes for a larger viewable content area within a nominal sized browser resolution
    (I never use full screen, as it’s a canvas giveaway).
    Reducing the browser interface font size helps when on netbooks and older small screen laptops with ‘compact density’ as the ‘normal’ option tabsize wastes too much screen real estate.

    Just because Mozilla can’t monitor who uses compact density, doesn’t mean no-one uses it. /facepalm

  41. Real user of firefox and not a troll. said on March 14, 2021 at 8:24 pm
    Reply

    As a user that use mostly firefox from earliest release and love to configure stuff- I never used compact interface. i don’t see lot of use in it also and the difference is so little than normal mode. Most of the time after I install firefox i first enable the top menu and add the toolbar. I have plenty of space for the webpages I view and it more functional for me. Again i believe that as usual all the comments here in Ghacks are made by trolls and not real users of firefox.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on March 15, 2021 at 9:18 am
      Reply

      “Again i believe that as usual all the comments here in Ghacks are made by trolls and not real users of firefox.”

      Quite an assumption to make, similar to Mozilla ‘assuming’ a low take-up of the Compact mode. If you view the comments on the Bugzilla page, the various discussions on r/Firefox and the comments here, you’ll hopefully realise it’s not (just) trolls. I’ve only ever used Compact mode in FF since forever and it would seriously bug me if they removed it.

      On the whole, this issue is emblematic of Mozilla’s wider attitude towards its users. Just look at the way negative comments on Bugzilla are brushed aside by the wishes of the Firefox ‘Product Management’.

    2. Lemegeton said on March 15, 2021 at 11:41 am
      Reply

      Don’t worry, Mozilla thinks the same way, and that’s why they lose marketshare (users).

    3. Randall said on March 15, 2021 at 1:48 pm
      Reply

      So Reddit Firefox community are also trolls? Thousands of loyal users on there are also against this nonsense change.

  42. lukasz said on March 14, 2021 at 8:32 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla authorities are viciously sabotaging Firefox.

  43. allen said on March 14, 2021 at 8:37 pm
    Reply

    Back when I still used Firefox, probably the most consistent thing I’d do with every release was to keep the chrome as minimal as possible. If Mozilla offered UI settings which enabled reducing the space used by chrome to a sufficiently small size, then I’d use that. If not, then I’d create my own CSS to do it. Ultimately, I wound up working on Fx chrome most of the time, to the point of creating themes for Stylish (back when np was still the dev–aka, “the good ole days”). Mozilla completely ignoring the wants and wishes of Firefox users is why I no longer use Firefox. It seems Mozilla has not changed at all.

  44. Tsami said on March 14, 2021 at 9:00 pm
    Reply

    I have used compact density for years; no problem with finding it in the ‘customize’ section.

    There are constructive comments provided by Asif Youssuff and others at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1693028 in support of keeping the compact density option. Any feature that increases usable vertical space without impacting functionality is beneficial to an application’s usability. This proposed change would do just the opposite.

  45. Yuliya said on March 14, 2021 at 9:20 pm
    Reply

    >Firefox remains simple to use
    >The “Compact” density is a feature of the “Customize toolbar” view
    >which is currently fairly hard to discover

    Oh shit, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT, present the average mozillian with more than two options. It will confuse them to no end. lmao Mozilla is treating their own userbase like they are unable to think for themselves.

  46. Greg Luginbill said on March 14, 2021 at 9:46 pm
    Reply

    I started using Firefox because you could customize it. I use compact on all
    four of my machines. Leave things alone!

  47. Jeff M.S. said on March 14, 2021 at 10:05 pm
    Reply

    A reminder of why decisions like these sank this browser and made it so unpopular. Clowns at Mozilla.

  48. how to keep compact? said on March 14, 2021 at 11:32 pm
    Reply

    Is it possible to do something with the userChrome.css file to keep the compact view, does anyone know how to do it?

  49. Simeon Aziz said on March 15, 2021 at 12:22 am
    Reply

    I’m so thankful that I don’t use this junk browser anymore. My life is much easier without worrying about the next firefox update changing the UI that no body asked for

  50. Rodndtube said on March 15, 2021 at 1:00 am
    Reply

    When Firefox limited UI a couple of years ago I looked at a half dozen options, initially Pale Moon and migrating to Basilisk as soon as it was released. It does not work on all websites as so many get coded by Chrome kiddies. So I use Firefox or Edge as a backup.

    1. owl said on March 15, 2021 at 4:22 am
      Reply

      I have a similar experience.

      As an alternative, I started using “Pale Moon”, then Waterfox, then Vivaldi, then Iridium Browser, then Brave. Then in the end, I returned to “Firefox ESR”.
      “Chromium” had decisive complaints (such as not being able to use the “Tree Style Tab” extension), and Firefox was the only one that made me happy.

      After all, it’s user interface design. ….. I may have to accept that.
      What is important is the degree of perfection as a browser “safety, comfort, practicality, customization ability”.
      It is important that they are not compromised and that they have an “only one” appeal to other browsers.

      Technology has moved from human power to steam engines, diesel engines, gasoline engines, motor engines, solar engines, and so on.
      I like to walk, but I also like road biking. I also love motorbikes. Furthermore, I prefer sports cars with manual transmissions. I prefer analog output audio to output digital.
      My taste is by no means up to date. I prefer manual ones that feel warm to mechanically automated ones.
      Users have a wide variety of preferences, but companies prioritize economics (whether they can generate profits). It’s a theorem of the market economy, so it can’t be helped.

  51. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 4:37 am
    Reply

    I use compact mode everytime, why you remove them? Im not sure to update if firefox remove that.

  52. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 5:22 am
    Reply

    How can Mozilla assume that compact mode is “unused” when they don’t even include it in their browser’s telemetry?

    1. owl said on March 15, 2021 at 7:41 am
      Reply

      @Anonymous,
      > How can Mozilla assume that compact mode is “unused”

      Mozilla’s telemetry is limited to very basic data (browser version, screen size, etc.), but if the user has disabled telemetry or used spoofing techniques, etc., the data that Mozilla obtains is likely to be different from the user’s actual situation (That is, with the default specification).

      I have been involved in Mozilla’s user community for many years, and in my experience in user support, I have found that “many users who are interested in customization are also interested in telemetry and fingerprinting”.

  53. Bob said on March 15, 2021 at 5:38 am
    Reply

    Funny how those who keep blabbing about the extent of Firefox’s telemetry are nowhere to be seen here.

    1. Lemegeton said on March 15, 2021 at 12:43 pm
      Reply

      If Mozilla knows that many Firefox users turn off telemetry, but Mozilla still makes decisions based on such incomplete telemetry, then this is Mozilla’s mistake, and not those who turn off telemetry.
      After all, with each such iteration of decision-making, they lose some of the userbase.

      And if they continue to expand telemetry, but continue to rapidly lose userbase, it means that they do not know how to use the results of this telemetry correctly. And then it would be better (for everyone) not to rely on this telemetry data.
      After all, judging by the telemetry data only of those who REMAINED, one can be greatly mistaken in the reasons why those who left were LOST. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

  54. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 7:35 am
    Reply

    It’s not just about removing compact density. The default mode is significantly larger in Proton (100 vs 88 pixels).

  55. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 11:05 am
    Reply

    Not everyone are using large monitor, I am still using laptop with 768 screen height.

  56. Iron Heart said on March 15, 2021 at 11:37 am
    Reply

    I get so much criticism for being negative about Mozilla, so I will just come out and say it: Dear fellow commenters, just chill! Mozilla is the best browser developer in the world, and the very best is just good enough for its users. You are just an ungrateful bunch, all of you!

    1. Tony said on March 15, 2021 at 2:02 pm
      Reply

      Still a better browser than Brave.

      1. Iron Heart said on March 15, 2021 at 3:21 pm
        Reply

        @Tony

        Computer says “No.”

        Not on any metric or scale aside from your personal feeling. Security, performance, privacy all inferior with Firefox.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on March 15, 2021 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      lol

      Now I just need Pants to promote Brave in the comments, so I can celebrate an early April 1 in peace.

  57. Thaumiel said on March 15, 2021 at 12:08 pm
    Reply

    I suppose having an already sufficiently hidden option is too much convoluted for the average userbase M*zilla is targeting. If such basic, fundamental option not to waste precious vertical space so much valued in a world of silly wide screen monitors is considered too complex to have for the seemingly considered mindless and incapable users — because the almighty data telemetry deity so dictates — I’m afraid what other malicious decisions are taken under the hood. Certainly deserving more than ever its shrinking market share, lacking any sensible, experienced lead or direction..
    First it’ll be in about:config, then away it’ll go just like all others in the past.

  58. Strangely said on March 15, 2021 at 1:21 pm
    Reply

    To be honest, I never noticed the compact option before even though FF is my main browser. [rolls eyes] Now I have it turned on it’s tons better, especially on my laptop with its letterbox screen which is only the shape it is to fit the keyboard size.
    I already use the toggles F9 for reader mode and F11 for full screen and Alt to pull down the original windows menu system.
    Thanks for pointing this out Martin.

  59. Romukas said on March 15, 2021 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    The year is 2031, Mozilla just released Firefox version 69000 with a new innovative interface called “Black Hole”, it consists of a single button called “Internet” which takes you to google, thus single-handedly solving the user confusion problem.

  60. Kent Brockman said on March 15, 2021 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

    “Mozilla notes that the compact design is “fairly hard to discover” and that it assumes that it “gets low engagement””

    Assumes?? You mean with all that telemetry they don’t KNOW? Just incredible!!

  61. Michael said on March 15, 2021 at 4:39 pm
    Reply

    I use compact mode on all my systems, even on my touch screen laptop. If Firefox drops it, that will be a game-changer for me. I would move on from Firefox.

  62. Sol Shine said on March 15, 2021 at 5:02 pm
    Reply

    I use Compact mode because I then have more space for content and that increases my productivity.
    I am angry and really fighting to not say some really nasty things about Mozilla right now.
    Their stubborn stupidity is hard to believe.
    It looks like Firefox is indeed on the path to suicide.
    I hope all the managers who caused this are not hired by other software companies.

  63. Leland said on March 15, 2021 at 7:33 pm
    Reply

    Compact all the way for me. I use my browser to get work done and need to fit everything on the screen I can. One more reason to use Waterfox.

  64. Torin Doyle said on March 15, 2021 at 9:39 pm
    Reply

    I prefer the Compact option for the Density settings.

  65. common sense computing said on March 15, 2021 at 11:52 pm
    Reply

    I use waterfox classic and it feels like the walls are closing in. I don’t want to give up my XUL.

  66. Restac said on March 16, 2021 at 3:08 am
    Reply

    I think it’s a plausible assumption that few people use Compact mode, but besides asking why rely on assumption and not real data, I note their very own rationale states the reason for this is at least partly because it is not presented in obvious way to the user… So before removing it, one might ask if it’s user presentation could be improved? (or do a real test by fully explaining the feature and it’s pros/cons/use cases and then asking how many use it after several months of having had opportunity to try it)

    I did notice that the article doesn’t mention one of it’s significant benefits: the reduced padding space also affects HORIZONTAL space usage, which is most notable for me with regards to the Bookmark Bar (which the setting also applies to, in addition to address bar and navigation/extension buttons). I would guess it save close to 10% of horizontal space, which can easily allow to fit in an extra Bookmark or 2 (before pushing them to overflow menu), which seems broadly attractive.

    I don’t really care about them changing the default size per se, and perhaps there is less difference between that and the current default size… But if they plan to further increase the difference in size between the new norm and current Compact mode, it just doesn’t make sense to remove Compact mode as Compact would become EVEN MORE attractive to the people who currently use or those who might if it were more obviously displayed.

    1. owl said on March 16, 2021 at 10:19 am
      Reply

      @Restac,

      👍
      I agree with the full text!
      The important thing is the truth, the motivation and the outcome.
      It will be necessary, Instead of reacting (denying) changes subjectively, we (beneficiaries) need to analyze it objectively and broadly.

      In my experience and that of the user community (forums.mozillazine.jp), “reasonable opinions” are treated legitimately. In other words, we are getting some reasonable results.

      Hostile words and deeds create conflicts, are rejected (moderated or account blocked), and things don’t progress. Many of these are not due to the other person, but to lack of communication skills.

      They’re a human being with the same delicate emotions as us. They’re happy when you thank them, and sad (depressed) when you blame them. If they are blamed. The relationship between the site and the user is minority vs majority. Some users are foolish or do not understand. Although users do not know the actual situation of the other party, it is the “responders” who are really exposed to a difficult and painful position. I know people who suffer from depression, mental illness, and commit suicide because of the “harshness” of their customer service. This is called CUSTOMER HARASSMENT and is a serious “human rights violation.”
      https://staging-ghacksnet.kinsta.cloud/2021/03/01/no-the-firefox-logo-isnt-being-changed/#comment-4488043

    2. Tony said on March 16, 2021 at 4:02 pm
      Reply

      No i think the majority know about compact mode and are using it.They just assume people don’t know where it is.It’s up to them to make it more visible.Then they can make a decision to remove it.But first ask the community and/or use telemetry to make an informed decision.Now they just take the easy way out by assuming most don’t use it.That’s a very flawed way of reasoning.Just look at all the compact users coming out of the woodwork on reddit and plenty of other websites. I think the number of users with compact mode on and telemetry off are very high,and do not justify a removal of compact mode.

  67. jorge santos said on March 16, 2021 at 10:01 am
    Reply

    I only use COMPACT MODE!
    What the heck is Mozilla doing?

  68. Janne said on March 16, 2021 at 11:15 am
    Reply

    First they say no to PWA on firefox desktop and now they want bloat their interface even more, no more firefox here.

  69. Martin said on March 16, 2021 at 4:53 pm
    Reply

    If they do this I’ll go back to Seamonkey. I used to use it with a classic Netscape theme and even had the old animated Navigator throbber. None of this junk that Mozilla is trying to force on us with Firefox.

  70. binocry said on March 17, 2021 at 4:08 am
    Reply

    LOL

    MEMEFOX

  71. birisi iÅŸte said on April 12, 2021 at 11:50 pm
    Reply

    Bye bye Firefox :(

  72. Mystique said on April 15, 2021 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    Why in gods green earth is proton such an ugly mess. Seriously they are called tabs for a reason, they cannot be tabs if they are detached in such an odd fashion.
    Maybe mozilla needs to just focus on more basic stuff and leave the modifications up to extension devel… oh that’s right mozilla took that option away as they deemed themselves the absolute be all and end all of everything.
    Because of this oddly grotesque design scheme the space needed for tabs is somewhat larger than previously.
    I see the motivation for this idiotic hamfisted design is to accommodate touch screens… the bastard child of the tech world. When mozilla reaches it really reaches.

  73. TelV said on April 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm
    Reply

    I use Compact to get rid of the big circle around the back button. I mean, does Moz think we’re stupid or something that we don’t know the difference between the back and forward buttons?

    Getting rid of compact mode means that ugly design is going to forced on everybody simply because whoever the idiot responsible for it is he / she doesn’t like the idea that nobody is using it.

    I only use FF when sites don’t work in Waterfox, but removing compact mode is not going to induce me to use it fulltime.

  74. Anonymous said on May 7, 2021 at 7:35 am
    Reply

    Thankfully there is Vivaldi. While Firefox removes these options, vivaldi adds them back.

  75. Yanta said on May 12, 2021 at 4:46 am
    Reply

    I use ESR as it’s less constant UI change. Sooner or later though I have to upgrade. I don’t think I’ve upgraded once without first spending months finding out how to revert all features they have removed, modified or added to maintain some semblance of sanity and usability.

    It’s just getting to be too much work.

    I think it’s time to invest some time into finding an alternative.

    Recommendations?

  76. V00p said on June 2, 2021 at 1:24 am
    Reply

    Can’t stand that “fattest minimal” web design trend anymore… loosing vertical space again is a total non-sense..

  77. rv said on June 4, 2021 at 9:11 am
    Reply

    I’ve been using Compact for years. There’s no sense in waste screen-space in emptiness. The lack of orientation and smartness in Mozilla’s UI decisions sometimes seems even intentional… With the brutal layoff of Mozilla workers some time ago and the Google funds that pay some CEOs bills you can’t but suspect and hope for some reorientation…

  78. Elena said on June 7, 2021 at 6:47 pm
    Reply

    I just got afflicted with Proteon. I was ready to abandon firefox entirely and to hell with security until I found I could turn it off. When it’s no longer removable I will remove myself instead. Such garbage.

  79. Jan said on June 10, 2021 at 3:59 pm
    Reply

    Sure we use as compact views as possible in all programms. Unfortunately crazy designers are constantly chynging webpages and UI of programms to space ones which mean that you need much more space to see the same amount of information. Bad:-(

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