TL;DR: Install this userstyle.
After about a week of delay (not bad), Gentoo Unstable finally offered up Firefox 8 and, much to my dismay, the removal of the border on the in-address bar reload button wasn’t just another graphical glitch to be fixed before it left Aurora and Beta.
You may wonder what the big deal is but, to me, it’s as big a deal as things like “Tabs on Top” and preserving the distinction between browser-scoped actions (toolbar buttons) and page-scoped actions (address bar icons).
There are two main reasons:
- Aesthetics and Consistency
- It feels sloppy and confusing to not have the drop-down arrow the right-most thing in a combo-box and the awesomebar is intuitively understood to be a very fancy combo-box. (Also, without the line, I think the spacing between the icons looks inconsistent with padding to the left and right of the drop-down arrow seeming unbalanced)
- Intuitiveness and Predictability
- While Firefox doesn’t use the “Page/Browser Action” terminology that Chrome does, the distinction is an apt one. The presence (or, in the case of the bookmark icon, state) of icons within the address bar depends on the content of the tab while icons outside it are either stateless or dependant on the state of the browser chrome. (eg. The toggle-button for the history sidebar)
- Integrating the button into the address bar but using a border to separate it is an apt design decision because it implies that it’s a mixture of the two: Stateful relative to the current page, but always present and more a browser action than a page action.
Thankfully, this is Firefox, so with a few lines of CSS, the Stylish extension can fix things.
Here’s my solution: Firefox 8 – Restore left border on reload button
Update: Switch “preserving” link to an extension that uses the proper RSS icon which fits in with things like the Share icon, rather than the borderless variant.