Firefox facelift

This entry was posted by Tuesday, 7 April, 2009
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Following on from some stuff I wrote in my blog about making Firefox look a bit more native on OS X. Just to prove I’m still a Linux user, here’s more of the same for Linux…

Firefox does a pretty good job of pretending to be a Gnome application, but it gets it wrong in a couple of places.

1. Toolbar images.

The toolbar images in Firefox are not the same as in Gnome or KDE applications, and the gnomestripe and kdestripe theme jar files that can be generated optionally when compiling Firefox seem not to be included by most distributions. I extracted them from a Mandrake RPM and have made them available for download…kdestripe gnomestripe

Once downloaded, you may need to use this page to install them. Strangely the page doesn’t work unless it’s saved and viewed locally. After this the Gnome or KDE theme can be selected from Tools->Themes.

Users of the Ximian Industrial Gtk theme might appreciate this theme which makes Firefox feel even more like a real Gnome application.

2. Form controls.

Form controls are the proper name for the little buttons and drop down menus that you see on a page. The standard buttons supplied for anything except windows look like rejects from the Motif tryouts and don’t fit well with any theme. Fortunately using one of these Form widget hacks you should be able to get something looking a bit more like your theme…

For themes with V like arrows on scrollbars like BlueCurve
For themes with wedge like arrows on scrollbars (most themes)

Once you’ve downloaded the files and extracted the contents, you need to move the files from the /res/ directory into your /lib/mozilla-firefox/res/ directory (or whatever it’s called on your system). Restart firefox, and presto you’ll see the new form controls instead of the old chiselled looking ones.

3. Tabs.

The tabs in Firefox have no close button, instead a close-button is shown at the end of the tab bar. This is the correct behavior for KDE, but wrong for Gnome. A nice extension to correct this problem is tabx, which puts close buttons on each tab and eliminates the close button from the end of the tab bar.

The tabs also use a bold font on the focused tab, this is wrong behavior for both Gnome and KDE. It can be corrected by using the tip on this page.

The result

Last-Modified: 2007-03-07 19:38:50

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