New Winstripe Theme Replaces Qute as Mozilla Firefox Default

Monday June 14th, 2004

Users who have downloaded the Mozilla Firefox 0.9 Release Candidate or a recent Firefox nightly build will have noticed that the browser now has a new default theme. Created by the Mozilla Visual Identity Team, the new theme replaces the previous default, Qute. The decision to change the default theme was made by the core Firefox developers after licensing disagreements with Qute creator Arvid Axelsson. Qute continues to be available as an standalone theme and can be installed from

The new theme is still very much a work in progress. It is based on Pinstripe, the default Firefox theme on Mac OS X, and has been dubbed Winstripe on Windows and Gnomestripe on Linux. Like Qute, the new theme uses the nsITheme interface to provide native-looking XUL widgets, making it fit in with the rest of your applications.

In much the same way Firefox is the latest in a long line of names, Winstripe/Gnomestripe is the latest in a long line of default themes. The Qute theme became the default in December 2002. Theme changes for Mozilla are nothing new: old timers may remember that the original Modern theme for Mozilla was redesigned in 2000 and later reworked again in 2001.

#12 Spits fire like no ones business

by modok

Monday June 14th, 2004 8:00 PM

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Whether the visual identity team is a good or a bad idea....You guys sure know how to shake the hornets nest. I suspect much of the user ire surrounds the fact that the ex-default theme guy felt out of the loop (and appears to have been wounded); while at the same time the "Cult of personality" surrounding firefox development makes some people want to rally around the underdog (the theme developer this time).

I think perhaps less time is needed in the branding department and more should be spent in the PR department.