Somehow Personas is making me regress. Back to a time when I first started using Firebird 0.7, and hacked my way into theming it (the Firefox of those days did not look pretty – it looked like what it was: a quick, nifty version of the Mozilla Suite Browser). And then with Firefox 0.9, official themes could be easier downloaded from the official Firefox site. My only irritation being that you could not easily preview them. Or use them (restarting was required, as far as I remember).

Worst of all, such themes would screw up in some tiny detail.. given that by this time Firefox was a permanently opened application in my Windows – the tiny detail would eventually grow to a huge gigantic flaw. One I just could not miss. It might be just the lack of theming the edge of a particular menu. But that was enough. Yeah, I know. Big huge non-existent problem.

And so, I quit theming. Indeed I scorned the idea. Who would do something like that? I even quit theming my Thunderbird. They seemed mere frivolous activities, for someone who did not appreciate the true utilitarian look of the browser. Eventually my entire computer would be regressed to its bare-bones look, grey and blue windows and all. As simple as you can get. Stark. Snappy.


With UberT, theming developed into a challenge. How far down can you tweak XP to look like another OS? Longhorn (now Vista) previews were coming out, and just as quickly being made into themes. Flyakite OS X for the pure Mac experience. Indeed, I remember at the WWW2006 conference everyone was puzzled how my “Mac” was behaving like an XP. My Firefox? Got a Safari theme. But I remember my constant search to improve its look – none of the ones available were just quite good enough.

Yeah, I know. Continuing big huge non-existent problem.

Since I moved to Vista, though, such endeavors have ceased. Some amount of basic customization seemed enough. Wallpapers, task-bar/window color (always black!), transparency. It appeared as though Windows had evolved perfectly in this one aspect to fulfill our need for customization. Meanwhile Gmail added themes, as did iGoogle and so on and forth.

And Firefox remained in its default form. No more big huge non-existent problem! Even if UberT saw one and insisted that Glasser was the greatest thing for Firefox and Aero ever.

Now we’re at Windows 7. Themes are more neat than ever before. Nifty and pretty. One-click install into Windows from the site. Yes, yes, my Firefox remained its usual default self. Until now.

I had heard of Personas (during the Fx 3 release) but had never really paid any attention to it. Until I installed Fx 3.6 Beta. Personas built-in. Which I discovered by accident while reading the release notes.

The simplicity boggles the mind. Go to site. Hover to preview. Click to install. No restart. On-the-fly theme switching. And it styles nothing more than the window itself. I’m not irritated that the developer didn’t get the menu color quite right.


Now that I read this post in retrospect, it seems like the silliest thing to post about.

But remember Rule #32 from Zombieland: Enjoy the little things.

So here I am.


One thought on “personas-ization

  1. Themes have always been an important part of my computing experience. Granted, when we moved to Vista, plus given my work load, theming did take a back seat.

    For now, me is happy with a blackish Win 7 theme, black persona for FF. Helps when on Win 7, the glass effect is not lost when Windows are fullscreen.

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