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Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by SHASHI NARAIN | Hi all,

I am issuing this "statement" as a means to clear up and explain some of things that have been discussed regarding the Gecko's Realm in the Talkbalk section.

The Gecko's Realm was purely created to demonstrate and test what is and what isn't working in Mozilla using the set standards. Nothing more, nothing less. Quite a few of you have inferred that the site should have been designed with the general public in mind. This was never my intent. The target audience are the engineers directly involed in the building of Mozilla and, to a lesser extent, Mozilla suppoters who are curious to know what is/isn't working. I'll jump the gun here and say that the site doesn't even claim to be a definitive guide to everything...just the things I have been experimenting on.

For those of you who have been to the site will have noticed that a lot of the DHTML exhibits involve the CSS Object Model (the dynamic manipulation of CSS properties via JavaScript). For those of you "in the know" and are regular visitors to the Mozilla.org site will know that Netscape is looking for JS hackers that will put the JS engine "through the wringer". The DHTML you see were created exactly for this reason. Let me give you two examples of what I am talking about. When you first enter the site the page performs a set of Dynamic Animations. Those with relatively powerful machines (PII/PIII) would have seen that the Animations move across the screen very smoothly. Now, if you take a look at the "JS Stress Test" in the Bugs section, you will see the exact same Animations as the main page but with one key difference. The "Test" chokes the JS engine even though the code used is nearly identical. Another example are the transitions you see. In the main page, the transitions work perfectly but in the specific transitions demo in the DHTML section you see "gaps" appear. These are the types of demos/tests that the engineers need to solve the problems.

I would like to take the opportunity now to reply to a couple of the most recent postings in Talkback.

Nick wrote on Sunday August 8th, 1999 06:55:14 PM:

By deliberately doing things in the most exciting and new ways, you exclude everyone who isn't viewing your site with the very latest (not to say extremely unstable) desktop browsers.

As I have explained above, the intent of the site is to assist the engineers in pinpointing problems. It was never meant for the general public.

It's "standards compliant" which apparently means that should be replaced by Javascript nonsense.

And what, may I ask, is wrong with using JavaScript??? If you are meaning the use of window.open to show the exhibits in a separte window then I stick by my choice. I could have easily not used JS but then the visitor would have to constantly use the back button to get back to the main page and have the Animations run all over again.

set the resolution nice and low

A lot of people seems to have a major issue with my use of 800x600 as the screen res. As I have stated in earlier postings, the site will still work on other resolutions. Say you are using 1024x768. The site will function as designed, only the positioning will be a little off. Instead of the icons appearing near the right edge of the page, it appears around the 3/4 mark. But having said all this, the screen res has nothing to do with the essence of the site's intent.

The first thing I do with these pages is view them in a nice, simple, standards compliant browser which doesn't have CSS.

If the browser is standards compliant but doesn't do CSS then how in the world do you expect it to render the pages since it has no idea what to do with the CSS??? It would be like someone running a page using JS on a browser that can't do JS...page is *not* going to work.

Anon wrote on Monday August 9th, 1999 12:52:01 AM:

If you want to do fancy absolute positioning animation then at least use an initial layout that is viewable on other browsers.

First and foremost, the site was meant for demonstrating/testing Mozilla. I am under *no* obligation to make it viewable on other browsers...not to mention it would completely defeat the purpose of the site's exsistence.

Don't write JS that *deliberately* breaks other browsers.

This is a very serious accusation you are making for which you have not offered any proof. Let me make this very clear, I have *not* used any JS code that is proprietary or meant to break other browsers. The code was written using the DOM Level 1 specs. If a browser does not fully support the DOM, then the code won't run. This is not my problem but rather that of the browser maker.

In closing, the demos/tests that I have are not the "be all and end all" of demos/tests. If any of you feel that you can create better stuff, then by all means go and do it and I will be rooting for you. I don't mind critisism as long as it is constructive and not hidden behind an Anon posting. What I do mind is some of the "cheap shots" and insults that have been aimed towards me. These do sting and I highly doubt anyone of you would like to be on the receiving end of one. At the end of the day, we are all on the same team...trying to make Mozilla an awesome browser.

This will be the last that you will here from me regarding this subject on MozillaZine.

Shashi

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