Themes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2006 by El Guru in Firefox, Mozilla News

The other major add-on for Firefox is Themes. From the Firefox Update Themes Page:

“Themes are skins for Firefox. They allow you to change the look and feel of the user interface and personalize it to your tastes. A theme can simply change the colors of Firefox or it can change every piece of its appearance.”

There are some creative themes out there some are just simple color or icon changes. Others are well…how do I put it? I guess I’ll let the author of one such theme, PimpZilla describe it “It’s overdone… It’s tacky… It’s PimpZilla !!!’ See for yourself below…


Click for large view

Some themes are cool to look at and really well done, but sometimes they make changes to the way Firefox behaves that are not just cosmetic. One member on Go Firefox! could not access some of their menus from the menu bar while using a particular theme.

Take for example the Mostly Crystal theme which has been download over 1/2 million times. With that many downloads one would think it must work okay, right? Not exactly, under the FAQs in the developers home page, there are several extensions which don’t play well with this theme. Also the Google Toolbar does not function correctly with this theme.

A side note about the Google Toolbar, I have found it to be a bit troublesome and caused my Firefox to freeze up and nearly crash several times.

Another example is iPox Theme, also downloaded over 1/2 million times. But it too is not without issues. I’ll give credit to the developer for fully disclosing upfront:

” I have not worked with many extensions except Sage in this theme. I have no idea how other extensions will react to my edits. If you have issues please report them in the form and possible fixes. I can’t install and theme every extension. Sorry.”

This is not to say that all themes are going to be troublesome and break your Firefox. There may be (and I am sure are) many good themes out there that work flawlessly. But if you start having troubles with Firefox behaving oddly and/or your extensions don’t function as they should, try switching over the ‘default’ theme to see if it is your newly installed theme giving you the troubles. To do this:

  1. From the Tools Menu select Themes (FF 2.0 select ‘Add-Ons, then click ‘Themes’)
  2. Highlight Firefox (default) and click ‘Use Theme’
  3. Close and restart Firefox.
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Comments
  1. Gary Canupp says:

    java is disabeled in firefox 1.5.0.7. How Do I Fix This ? Any Help Please!!

  2. […] Themes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Revisited June 23rd, 2006 — ffextensionguru I mentioned in my first post about Themes (Themes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), how they can cause Firefox to odd things when paired up with certain extensions. A member on Go Firefox! came to us with an unusual problem, their Firefox was ‘jumpy’ after updating some of their extensions. Now, I have seen this before when I had had the NoScript extension installed. In fact my Firefox would un-maximize itself and do all kinds of odd stuff. Unfortunately, I do not recall what theme I may have been using at that time, but I am somewhat sure it was the standard Firefox theme. […]

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