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.

#14 Not too thrilled

by DHiester

Monday June 14th, 2004 9:51 PM

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Yes, Pinstripe looked great on OS X because it's really, really sparse, much like the rest of OS X's toolbar buttons. But you can't expect the same kind of sparse toolbar buttons to fit in on Windows; maybe they'll fit in Linux, if you're using a desktop theme that's a ripoff of OS X.

I didn't even like Pinstripe at first. I went straight to iCandy Jr.

Getting John Hicks to do a logo was a GREAT way to do branding. Taking the sparse OS X icons and trying to adapt them to other, not-so-sparse platforms doesn't look as bright.

Plus, it's not very clever to include an extremely early version of a theme in a milestone build that's supposed to be pretty much a "feature-complete" beta.