Firefox’s New Winstripe Theme

Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander’s Winstripe is the new default theme for the Windows version of Mozilla Firefox, replacing Arvid’s Qute.

Qute Theme

Qute Theme

Winstripe 0.1 Theme

Winstripe 0.1 Theme

Winstripe 0.2 Theme

Update: The new Winstripe 0.2 Theme

Personally, I think there’s two issues at hand over this current controversy:

  • Open-Sourcing Artwork
    I can understand the difficulty Ben Goodger (and the rest of the Firefox team) faced working without a proper Mozilla-compatible license for Arvid’s Qute theme. But as a fellow artist, the idea of “open-sourcing” artwork (with derivatives!) is a very tricky and controversial issue. While Arvid’s being extremely difficult, I can still see why it’s hard for him to give up his “creation” initially.

    While this may ultimately be the best possible compromise for the Mozilla Firefox team, can’t possibily be good for the future of visual artists interested in open source projects. If Qute designer Arvid could be so quickly dropped on such a high profile project, who’s next?

  • Sacrifices Towards a Unified Theme
    Keeping in mind that Winstripe is still a work in progress, the branding team still needs to decide how far they are willing to develop a unified theme. Will changes be made to both Pinstripe and Winstripe to make them respectful of both operating systems’ user interface guidelines? Right now, it feels like the Windows theme is the only one being sacrificed in the name of a “unified theme”.

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