A few days ago, a product planning bug was filed to document the removal of support for Complete Themes in Firefox. The intent of the bug was to start the process of outlining how Complete Themes must evolve to make life easier for theme designers, Firefox contributors, and users. Unfortunately, this intent was lost in the brevity of information supplied and the medium of communication.
As an organization, we didn’t meet our own standards of openness and discourse for a change of this magnitude, and we’ll continue to work to improve how we communicate to ensure we make our intentions clear with everyone from the start. The bug has garnered over 70 comments to date, and needs to be moved to a more appropriate platform that can support collaboration and dialogue. Going forward, we’ll be limiting comments on the bug and moving the discussion to this thread. The bug is linked here for your reference.
It’s important to understand that we’re not “killing” Complete Themes, but we are changing how they’re implemented in the name of simplification for developers and users alike. The current model has served us well for many years, but it has become unsustainable given the current rapid pace of Firefox development. Complete Themes as they exist don’t adapt well to our nearer-term engineering plans, including the transition from the XUL technology our current front-end is built upon, and this is an opportunity to improve upon a system that has a steep learning curve and declining use.
Our goal is to continue to meet the majority of user needs for Complete Themes today, while making it easier to develop and maintain them independently of technology platforms. Complete Themes must evolve, and we’d like to understand from everyone that has an interest in developing and using themes what they expect from Complete Themes as we continue to evolve Firefox.
We’re looking for feedback on what the supported customizations should be, and this is where you can influence the direction we take. We want Firefox to continue being the most customizable browser available, and we’d like to ensure we’re meeting as many of the needs everyone has as is possible. It is a complex task, and we don’t claim to know all the answers. It will take collaboration and discussion, and we want to be able to continue to support Complete Themes as Firefox evolves. Let’s start it in this thread, and see where it takes us over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for your patience, and we’ll make additional information available on what changes are being made, why they’re being made, and when they’re being made. That information is still a work in progress, and we’ll post it here and the Add-ons blog as we develop it.