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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!


#14 Re:Configurable Chrome Spec Released! Screenshot A

by Ric Grosh <ric@sunwebdesign.com>

Tuesday October 6th, 1998 4:40 PM

You are replying 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.