It’s time to finally end my theming efforts. I have no plans to update my themes for Firefox 4 or later. Reasons for this include a better default theme, a lower number of users of my themes and a large amount of work required just for maintenance. Thanks to everyone who has been using them.
I welcome suggestions of opportunities to make use of my design skills.
The new Kempelton version has an updated back and forward button style just like Qute 4.1, as well as a few more improvements. Each of the default set of toolbar icons has been carefully tweaked in color and shape. The back and forward buttons are slightly lighter and the stop icon is more subdued and shaded more consistent with the other icons.
With such a simple design as that of the Kempelton reload icon, you might think it would be easy to find the right shape, but I have kept finding the need to refine it in pretty much every version.
Together, I think, the impression is lighter and more balanced and harmonic.
Kempelton Large is also updated.
Icon set additions
The SVG set is updated as well and has a few additions not in the Firefox theme, seen here. They were for an updated Thunderbird theme, but then I lost interest and got less time.
With a new Firefox version almost out, it is time for my “traditional” theme updates. Other than Firefox 3.6 compatibility, Qute 4.1 hasn’t changed very much. An exception being a few changes to the back and forward buttons.
The forward button has a revised shape, inspired by Firefox 4 mock-ups. It is shaded with more depth to better match the back button. The etching around the buttons is removed which helps reducing clutter, and the drop-down arrow has a clearer mouse-over indication.
The icons in Qute 3.* date back to late 2004, shortly after the release of Firefox 1.0. It has remained fairly popular, but has increasingly lagged behind my skills as well as in completeness. To maintain the theme properly, the only option was doing everything from scratch. And here it is.
With this being a new version, I naturally tried to stay pretty close to the old icons. Still, to make the style consistent, and generally improve the quality, I felt some significant changes were necessary. The result is I think 4 is closer to the original “spirit” of Qute, not to mention just simply better. See for yourself in this comparison.
In addition, as with Kempelton, I’m making the Qute 4 SVG files available and allowed for use under license. Just get Inkscape, which is free and easy to use, and you can edit, convert to PNG or learn from them.
Supporting Mac OS X has turned out to be too difficult. I was able to fix the scrollbar issue but it’s a clumsy solution I’d rather not have to deal with. And even then, a host of other issues remain. So I will just consider it unsupported. If anyone wants to create Mac OS X versions of my themes, let me know.
I’ve marked the themes as for Windows on Firefox Add-ons. I’m not sure it’s necessary to mark other systems such as Linux unsupported, but they only allow the choice of a single platform or all. There appears to be many problems on Linux anyway, so it might be best. You can always download and install it manually.
It appears that I’m hardly capable of producing a minor update to a theme. I keep finding things to improve until I’ve remade almost every single icon. Together with the need to create lots of new icons for Firefox 3 (a few are still left), this new Kempelton version turned into another massive project which, I think, is another substantial improvement and sets a new standard for native, functional themes.
I’ll introduce some of the changes. Obviously, the unified back and forward buttons have been adapted from the default theme, something that took a lot of effort to do well. The border radius, arrow shapes and obviously, color and gradients are some of the aspects that have been through countless iterations to find the right appearance. There are also hand-tuned active and disabled state images and, a notable usability advantage over the default, a subtle drop-down hover indication.
Should you prefer to use text labels there are simple arrow-only icons for that. Yet another back/forward variation is seen in the library, glass versions to suit the Vista style.
The Home and Downloads icons are now seen from the front, for better visual balance and consistency. The New Window and New Tab icons now lack the plus signs, which seemed kind of superfluous, although I’m not quite sure about this yet.
A smoothly animated activity indicator makes use of the returning capability for alpha transparency.
Kempelton Large 3.0 and an updated SVG set will be out in the next couple of weeks, I estimate. As always, comments are welcome.
Qute 3.3.2 for Firefox has been released. This version adds Firefox 3 compatibility, but doesn’t replace the default icons for any new features. I’m not happy with the quality of this release. A proper update necessitates a complete remake, which I’ve begun developing, but the focus of my efforts lately has been Kempelton 3.