Well, get out the riot gear, this is going to get ugly

Well, I’m guessing most people have heard by now a new default theme is on the way for Firefox (and presumably Thunderbird some time soon after). I’ve taken a look at all the screenshots that I could find, and do have a few observations:

– The icons should perhaps be OS-specific. While the Winstripe icons are pretty clean looking, they don’t appear to be very Windows XP like. Qute has it beat in the icon department. Winstripe’s icons are rather plain. That works great on the ‘OS X simplicity is key’ user interface, but on XP isn’t right.

– Open source is critical to open source.

Ben Goodger made a note here I find really interesting:

…When I sent out my email about theme licensing to you Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander (“Graphics and Licensing, and ‘Source Material'” – dated December 9, 2003), you indicated that you were not comfortable with allowing us and others to make modifications and create derivative works, which is a critical piece of the Mozilla open-source nature. We were forced to look for other options.

We’ve since developed a theme that provides us, in addition to better licensing, with an appearance that is more uniform across platforms (though not identical, to respect platform UI tendencies).

I hope you understand that I, personally, am reluctant to continue a close working relationship with someone who posts our private email in a public forum without consulting me. I am replying here since you have brought this discussion here, so that the forum community can see my response.
-Ben Goodger

It appears [to me] the best solution would be for Arvid to release his theme under MPL license and allow for others to modify the the theme and make derivative works in the future. I’m not quite sure why someone would contribute to Mozilla.org under any other circumstance anyway… much less get the work checked in.

On a side note… real classy to post private communications (that’s not spam) on a forum.

And to everyone else:
“Winstripe” is a new variant of Pinstripe taking the “content” of the acclaimed Pinstripe theme and mapping it to the Luna widget set and Windows XP color palettes. Congratulations to Stephen Horlander and Kevin Gerich for their effort so far.

Winstripe is a work in progress. You are seeing it in an intermediate state that Kevin and Stephen do not usually allow their work to be released in. They have put in a tremendous amount of hard work to get a preliminary version together that we can use for 0.9. I expect there will be additions, changes and polish before 1.0.

We hope to get a version for GNOME made at some point using elements of the default GNOME/Metacity/GTK configuration in the not-too-distant-future.

We understand that theme is a subjective matter, and that not everyone will think this is an improvement. We are looking for helpful critique, so please keep feedback constructive. For those that still don’t like the new theme, we hope Arvid will make his theme available as a standalone download – after all, that’s why we have the theme system. Everyone’s taste is different.

Well, personally I think this is good, Ben sees changes still going to take place, and notes work isn’t done, especially for GNOME. That’s a good thing.

But I do think the icons in particular are pretty weak. Hopefullly Stephen Horlander and Kevin Gerich will revisit them before they become the default theme.

Curious what others think of the new theme. Most comments I’ve seen are a little disappointed by the icons.