Fixing the Firefox 1.0PR Default Theme on OSX

As I recently reported, I’ve been disappointed by the differences in the Firefox 1.0PR default theme on Windows and OS X. Using both platforms daily, I value Firefox’s cross-platform voodoo more than any other feature… but that means it really has to feel the same. As I stated last time:

The Win and Mac default themes are similar, but different enough to really bug me. I prefer the Windows default theme. Also, Piro’s TabBrowser Extensions made weird looking tabs under the default Mac theme. Changing themes fixed that (I tried pinball for a while). Of course, you can’t download the Windows default theme (or any default) from the update website. Today, I finally got tired of the issue, and tried to overcome the problem. I copied classic.jar from the chrome folder of my windows install, and used it to replace the version in my OS X install. It’s almost perfect. The only problem is the scroll bars… they don’t appear. There’s room for them, and If I click in the right place, they function, they just aren’t displayed.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. After digging around for a while, I found that the scrollbars.css file in the OS X version was much smaller than in the Windows version, apparently delgating functionality to the OS scrollbars. So, I patched up my copy of the Windows jar file with the original OS X scrollbars.css, and it worked. Beautifully.

Screen shots. First, the “Before”:

Default Firefox Theme on OS X

This is the true default OS X theme. I’m running Piro’s TabBrowser Extensions, which accounts for the tab bar being fubar… it doesn’t mix with the default OS X theme. Also, compare the toolbar icons and the Bookmark Bar’s bookmark folders with the next screen shot- the “After”:

Modified Firefox Default Theme on OS X

As you can see, the toolbar icons are a little different; to my eye they’re much better. The bookmark folders in the bookmarks bar contain folder icons, which makes it easier to visually separate the folders from each other. These feature were gained just by dropping in the windows version of classic.jar. But also notice the visible scrollbar; this was made possible by modifying the jar as described above.

If you’re using OS X and like the second screenshot better than the first, you’re welcome to download my modified classic.jar, however: I take no responsibility if it breaks your browser, your computer, or your leg. You’ve been warned.

Instructions: Download it, say to your Desktop. Shutdown Firefox (print these instructions, memorize them, or open this page in Safari while you work). In Terminal, go to Firefox’s application (not profile) chrome directory. Assuming a default drag-n-drop install to Applications, should look like this:

cd /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome

Don’t be a shmuck. Back up the original: :

cp classic.jar classic.jar.orig

Put the shiny new one in place:

cp ~/Desktop/classic.jar .

Fire up the ‘Fox. Bask in the glow of your monitor.

Eventually, I need to just extract the thematic elements of the windows version from the jar file, and bundle it as an installable theme. For now, this is working.

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2 Responses to “Fixing the Firefox 1.0PR Default Theme on OSX”

  1. TwisterMc Says:

    Nice….. not quite though.<br/>

    I like your edits however I don’t like the square google box or the windows load animation icon thingey. Maybe I’ll go in and try to edit it. ;)

  2. tomfoolery Says:

    Nice….. very nice indeed.<br/>

    This mod is great. In my opinion the square Google box is more in keeping with the address bar, and the load animation thing looks really neat. Furthermore the Aqua tabs are just great.

    I think this gives Firefox more of a unique identity, which is far better than the standard Safari clone that it comes with.

    Nice work, thanks for sharing it.