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20 June 2012, 11:35

New "Australis" theme for Firefox previewed

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Zoom A test nightly build of Firefox 16 on Windows shows off the new "Australis" design
A developer at Mozilla has created a new test build of Firefox 16 that features a preview of the project's upcoming "Australis" user interface for the open source web browser. According to Firefox Team Software Engineer Jared Wein, Australis, which was shown in mock-up form earlier this year, promises to offer "more customisability in a cleaner and fresher user interface".

The most visible change in the preview build is to the browser's tabs: Australis introduces a new tab shape similar to that used by Google Chrome. Tabs now have curved edges, but, unlike Chrome, only the active tab is rendered using a curve. The remaining inactive tabs are rendered without a background and fade into the window's title bar.

As Australis still a work in progress, it is likely to change before finally arriving in a stable version of Firefox later this year. Those interested in trying out Australis can download Wein's preview build of Firefox 16 for Windows; however, use of development builds in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Wein says that Australis should appear in the Nightly versions of Firefox "soon".

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