MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot Available!

Friday October 2nd, 1998

The configurable chrome spec has been release on an unsuspecting mozillaZine, and we have the scoop for you!

What's configurable chrome? Well, you're about to find out, and get a screenshot, to boot! So read on!


#1 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by george <beg1@netscape.net>

Friday October 2nd, 1998 12:05 PM

Reply to this message

Well, this is just one more reason to choose Netscape. more choice.

That's why i want Netscape to release a version for older computers.

but i was wondering, can you make it like IE? Like when you click on bookmarks will it open a 3rd windows or is that not possible with this so called 'chrome' thingy?

#2 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Ben Smith <bensmith@biz1.net>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 8:56 AM

Reply to this message

Man, when I read this thing about configurable chrome, I thought it meant that I as a web developer could change a viewer's chrome to make a smooth interface with my website...

That would be a cool idea, if I could specify graphics for all the chrome and have them change the viewers browser while they're at my site.

Though, this could cause some security problems...

Still, I think it would definitely improve the browser if developers could have the opportunity to immerse a viewer even more into our sites.

#3 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Frank Hecker <hecker@netscape.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 10:13 AM

Reply to this message

Re Ben Smith's question about web developers being able to change the user's chrome for a particular web site: Though I'm not involved in any way in the development of this feature, the configurable chrome specification seems to allow for the possibility of using JavaScript to set custom chrome for a particular site (and even for a particular window).

As noted, this raises potential security issues, so this would have to be done using digitally signed JavaScript, and the user would have to explicitly permit the JavaScript to change the chrome. (Some users of course would want to disable downloadable chrome altogether, and they could do that.)

#4 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by DaveHyatt <hyatt@netscape.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 12:31 PM

Reply to this message

The user has his/her own chrome, and we decided that it would be too jarring if that chrome were to change with each site the user visited.

Think about that for a moment. :) Do you really want your toolbars going from black to chartreuse to teal as you surf the Web?

We want to preserve the idea that the toolbars are still the user's to some degree. In other words, the user has a contract with a trusted chrome provider, and the user counts on this site to serve up his/her chrome. This is the chrome he/she wants.

That said, a site can use unsigned JavaScript to open a NEW window that would contain its own custom chrome.

A site can also use signed JavaScript to alter the user's chrome (by making its own local annotations that are superimposed onto the chrome provider's remotely supplied graph), but at the moment such changes would be permanent.

I'd be curious to know how people would feel about their toolbars changing from site to site. Would you be irritated if only the presentation scheme changed but the buttons remained the same? Would you be irritated if the whole content of the toolbars changed?

#5 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Guillermo S. Romero <gsromero@euitt.upm.es>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 4:47 PM

Reply to this message

Config is done via javascript... Why so much javascript? I dislike it (slows the machine and the most uses you see are intrusive and insecure).

Will it be possible to have skins without JS? Will it be possible to have 0% JS in Mozilla?

[Just a user who still uses old Mozillas (of course no Java, no JS: really fast and more secure) and does not understand why "better" or "newer" must be synonimum of "forced to eat it all"]

GSR

#6 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Guillermo S. Romero <gsromero@euitt.upm.es>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 4:47 PM

Reply to this message

Config is done via javascript... Why so much javascript? I dislike it (slows the machine and the most uses you see are intrusive and insecure).

Will it be possible to have skins without JS? Will it be possible to have 0% JS in Mozilla?

[Just a user who still uses old Mozillas (of course no Java, no JS: really fast and more secure) and does not understand why "better" or "newer" must be synonimum of "forced to eat it all"]

GSR

#7 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Hacksaw <hacksaw@channel1.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 6:29 PM

Reply to this message

The outer bars should not change (outer equals what we have now). The web developer should be able to put up a real toolbar that emulates some of those functions.

On the other hand, I can also see much abusability coming. Imagine if you have a toolbar who labels are misleading, and which get you to do thing you don't want to.

In any case, I sure hope the Mozilla tyeam remembers the first and formost problem with 4.0x: It's slow. Netscape used to be "the fast one", lets get back to that.

Obsuggest: Why can't I move the toolbars to the bottom of the screen, or to the sides?

#8 Re: Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot

by arielb <haviv@erols.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 6:32 PM

Reply to this message

whoa! configurable chrome by the user is so cool! whoa! configurable chrome by the web page designer is super cool! I think that for many sites, the chrome you get just gets in the way of the style of certain sites. If you truly love a website so that you feel that the default chrome gets in the way, you'd allow the website designer to config your chrome for that particular site.

#9 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Seth Arnold <sarnold@willamette.edu>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 10:16 PM

Reply to this message

Dave, I would be royally upset if my toolbars changed as I visited sites. I honestly don't want the content designers to have access to my toolbars. I really like the idea of customizability though -- it would be nice to shrink the footprint of the browser on screen (although in memory would be nice too! :) so that the content I am interested in is given more space.

$.02. :)

#10 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Bradley Robinson <brobinson@mail.gcnet.net>

Sunday October 4th, 1998 2:37 PM

Reply to this message

I've already used the chrome sample to make my own chrome. I didn't use any of the images or colors though. I moved the location bar to the other toolbar. Added most of the buttons I could from the 4.0. Got some icons from 4.0 so I can use them for the chrome. Bookmarks icon and What's Related icon. Added a Links Menu to the Navigation bar. Put the History button right beside the location bar. Threw a few separators in and now I seem to put up with the crashing just see my chrome. It's very configurable. Even though users who don't know how to do this stuff might not like the default interface at all and decide to use IE. Hopefully some more configuration preferances are added for inexperienced users.

#11 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Brian Mathis <bmathis@directedge.com>

Monday October 5th, 1998 9:25 AM

Reply to this message

I wholeheartedly agree with Seth. Configuring toolbars is going too far. Web site desginers have the HTML space to create thier content and presentation style. I wouldn't want to go through all the trouble of creating my own chrome, just to have it reconfigured for every site I go to. I want all of my critical functions to be in one spot, controlled by me.

#12 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Dave Hyatt <hyatt@netscape.com>

Monday October 5th, 1998 8:36 PM

Reply to this message

Yep, that's how I think it should be. I don't really mind if the site is allowed to add an additional toolbar underneath your toolbars, but actually changing the way your current toolbars look and behave is going to far.

#13 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Dave Hyatt <hyatt@netscape.com>

Monday October 5th, 1998 8:37 PM

Reply to this message

Or rather "going TOO far". It's late. I'm tired. :)

#14 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Ric Grosh <ric@sunwebdesign.com>

Tuesday October 6th, 1998 4:40 PM

Reply to this message

I think letting users or designers choose their own chrome is a good idea but it does not solve the problems web designers experience when designing "web applications", that is web sites using advanced frames, tables and JavaScript. These types of sites use exact positioning and usually force the designer to open a new window with little or no toolbars in order to preserve the exact dimensions of the layout. The problem with this, is that different browsers have different specifications for opening widows. For instance, if you open a new 400x400 browser with no toolbars, the window will be about 20-30 pixels smaller in Netscape 3 and 4 Vs. I.E. 4. So you then have to do a JavaScript detect to route different browsers to different templates. So what we have done to revolve some of these issues is to create what we call the SunNav Navigation and design system for advanced framed sites. Our system uses extensive JavaScript to detect the users browsers and resolution and then opens a full widow to fit the available screen size of the user with no browser toolbars. This widow is called the NavShell which encloses the NavNest using nested frames. There is NavShell- NavNest pair for each browser that is exactly formatted for that particular browser. Each NavShell comes with its own custom graphical toolbar that has several buttons that work using JavaScript. Back, Forward, Reload, Print, email, Help and Exit. Once you have the templates set, you just add your content with no additional formatting. All the different templates use the same content. We are now in the process of installing the SunNav system on several of our clients web sites. For an example of the first site so far, see <http://www.groshguitars.com> This site uses frames and exact positioning, so we had to design it for 800x600 to preserve the positioning, but depending on how many toolbars the user has on, and what browser, the look can be ruined. Now the site looks perfect in all the major browsers and the all resolutions above the target 800x600 resolution. So basically what I want as a designer is for the browsers to make is easier to turn off the toolbars and or specify the amount of screen space or something like that. Now Microsoft has caught on to this and is implementing a new specification called Browser-less applications (.hta). I got the following quote from here: <http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie5/overview.htm>

"Applications are being built today with the powerful technologies that the Internet brings, from HTML to scripting, ActiveX, and Java. However, it doesn't always make sense to require these applications to appear inside a browser. By building a "browser-less" application, developers can create anything from a calculator to a 401K tool that is not cluttered by the user interface of browsing software."

So this seems to me the exact solution many web designers have been looking for.