MozillaZine

Netscape's Plans for M14 and Beyond

Monday February 7th, 2000

Cmad writes, "Want to know more about Netscape's release plan? Another interesting article has been posted on that matter by Jim A. Roskind in the SeaMonkey newsgroup."

If the link above doesn't work for you, try this Deja.com link.

Jim goes into detail about what Netscape is expecting to do with M14 - it could turn into an alpha Netscape product, a beta product, or, worst case, they might end up holding off to M15 for a branded version. They're expecting that M16 will be feature complete (presumably the skin-switching code and security module will be in by that time, too).

Beyond the obvious performance issues, I think Netscape should really try to address the usability issues with the current skin if they are looking to push out a beta product. For example, the toolbar buttons should be labeled, and the buttons themselves should not extend over the grey space below the main toolbar -- it looks like an unintended effect (or defect).

What do you think? Post your thoughts and ideas in the forum for this news item, but since this has been a contentious issue in the past, I'm asking that you please keep your post civil.

--MozineAdmin


#1 Widgets!

by havoc

Monday February 7th, 2000 8:50 AM

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What Mozilla *really* lacks at this moment is nice-looking widgets.

Especially the buttons and comboboxes. I mean, mouseovers suck. And if you HAVE to do mouseovers, at least make them subtle ones, do not draw a thick black box around a widget making it look like it came straight out of the libXaw age.

The same goes for the thick stipply lines around combo boxes.

On a more positive note: The scrollbar rocks! Keep it this way (perhaps NeXT-style arrows would be nice, but oh well... That's not as important as the matter stated above).

<DAYDREAM> It'd be REALLY froody if they could be made to look like the platform they're run on - e.g. a GTK or Qt look for Unix, a Mac look for the Mac, a Windows look for Windows etc.

Heeey... what about Widget themes? </DAYDREAM>

#7 Re: Widgets!

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 11:38 AM

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I think the scrollbars should stay the same too. While making them match the individual operating systems may make people more comfortable with the software, making them better than the "native widgets" would impress people like me. Making it possible to customize the "widgets" would be even better, but I suppose that is as unlikely as the scrollbars staying the same.

#8 Re: Widgets!

by petejc <pete@mozdev.org>

Monday February 7th, 2000 11:52 AM

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Well i filed a bug concerning native looking scrollbars.

<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=26828>

My plan is to have these scrollbars kicking butt by the time beta rolls around.

pete

#31 Re: Widgets! ???

by damian <daemonc@netscape.net>

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:26 PM

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If you really like your native scroll bars, you can turn off the GFX scrollbars in preferences. However, my GTK theme scroll bars don't match anything in mozilla. By the way, there is some bug which makes mozilla use the GTK scrollbars for list boxes, I could never find the bug number for it. I was under the impression that scrollbars could be changed with the skin, it would be nice if this were true, seems like the only sensible solution.

#35 Widgets? Schmidets!

by damian <daemonc@netscape.net>

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:55 PM

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Are the widgets or are they not part of the XUL skin? If not then WHY NOT? If they are, then that should put an end to all this senseless bitching about how ugly the scroll bars are. Just download the skin to match your OS of choice. For myself, I look forward to either finding or making some completely wacked out skins that look nothing like any other OS, more like some of my favorite GTK themes and skins for mp3 players. oh yeah.

#38 Re: Scrollbars

by WillyWonka

Monday February 7th, 2000 7:23 PM

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The scrollbars are already customizable. Thats what XBL was developed for. Currently the scrollbars are the only xbl widgets but the colour picker is being worked on by someone. xbl is a lot like xul but its stuck in a xul when its needed (Not sure how exactly... it just works)

BTW There are already GTK, Windows, and Mac look-a-like scrollbars for mozilla. They are just not checked into the tree. (The mac one doesn't have one of the shadows and the windows one is slow from what I've heard)

#39 Here are the GTK, Windows & Mac scrollbars.

by Waldo

Monday February 7th, 2000 7:32 PM

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As mentioned earlier they are here: <news://news.mozilla.org/3…49D8A%40alphanumerica.com>

Pete is aware of the problems and said he'd be working on them this week, but it's still cool to try them.

W

#40 That makes me happy :)

by damian <daemonc@netscape.net>

Monday February 7th, 2000 9:12 PM

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So what's up with all these people complaining? Be happy, mozilla will make everything good. (Now if I can just convince someone to fix the bugs that annoy me most by beta release)

#60 platform themes

by julianm <julian@zereau.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 4:52 AM

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If experience with GTK themes should tell you anything, that thing should be that THEY MAY LOOK THE SAME BUT THEY NEVER FEEL THE SAME.

For example, drag 'n drop will work differently, keybindings will be different, scrollbars will behave differently, system-wide theme/color settings will be ignored, etc etc.

The only solution to this is to replace the theme widgets with fully fledged genuine local widgets - but then, they will probably break the assumptions of the moz codebase.

In other words: it's more trouble than it's worth.

#2 Layout competition?

by bjornte

Monday February 7th, 2000 9:40 AM

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Hello, I'm new as a poster and have never tried to run any mozilla build, so pardon me if this is out of the blue. But as "havoc", I too find the appearance and functionality of the UI to be of major importance. Is there a part of this "tree" of yours where non-programmers can contribute?

Having designed some complex web sites like a stock exchange, I found Photoshop images pretty much did the job when it came to discussing usability. A mock-up screendump, possibly assisted by some text-and-arrows, very much tells the story.

I just have to stress this: at beta release, the UI must be both polished and really, really usable. As one of the first well-funded software products suggesting third-party co-developement, one should expect to be impressed by a very smooth, quality-controlled UI.

Some concluding questions. 1) What about a layout (skin AND functionality) competition to quality-control the official UI? 2) What about semitransparent UI components like Apple is boasting in OS X? 3) Where can one discuss beyond-current-browser-technology issues, like "what should Communicator 8 be like"?

Bjørn Tennøe

#3 Re: Layout competition?

by sdm

Monday February 7th, 2000 10:17 AM

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1) There has been some good discussion (you could almost call it a competition) in the netscape.public.mozilla.ui newsgroup.

2) The OS would need to support transparent windows for this to happen. Right now, mozilla uses native windows for things like menu drop downs and main browser windows.

3) You can certainly disucss this! The most apropos newsgroup is probably netscape.public.mozilla.wishlist, if anyone really reads that anymore, or one of the more specific newsgroups if you have more specific ideas.

#33 W2K supports transparent windows

by roman

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:49 PM

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I believe Windows 2000 support transparent windows.

#41 Re: W2K supports transparent windows

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 9:37 PM

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I wonder where they got that idea from...

#42 Re: W2K supports transparent windows

by damian <daemonc@netscape.net>

Monday February 7th, 2000 9:59 PM

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How much longer until someone thinks of a good way to implement transparent windows in X ?

#4 Layout change

by non

Monday February 7th, 2000 10:31 AM

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I think we can't complain about the tech side of Mozilla, since the rendering engine is really damn good and best of all, very fast and exact in interpreting the tags.

But I have to agree that the design doesn't fit the rest of the good work. Get rid of these cheesy gfx and the cheap "loading status" at the lower left bottom. I don't think that having a blue layout with those huge buttons suits very well. Why not ask some people out there to make some spicy new layout? This worked out very well with the animated Mozilla sign.

And before going alpha or beta with the next releases the usability has to be improved much. Switching to the prompt still doesn't work with <TAB>, the mouse over Buttons seem to be displaced and finally get rid of the blue color. There are skins out there, so if you want your browser to be blue you can add those.

#5 UI

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Monday February 7th, 2000 10:38 AM

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I'm a little confused on the Mozilla UI bit. I was under the impression that Netscape would have its own UI, but then the new Netcenter came out and looks just like the new Mozilla UI. If you want to see how well they fit together go to <http://www.netscape.com> and check it out. This more than anything tells me they'll stick with this design.

#29 Re: UI

by just

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:21 PM

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While they might stick with the current design, there's still room for significant improvements in it. For example, on n.p.m.ui several people have contributed ideas for small changes to make the UI cleaner and more attractive. See: <news://news.mozilla.org/8…ews.netscape.com?part=1.2> <news://news.mozilla.org/8…s.netscape.com?part=1.2.2>

Any changes that are made to the UI could easily been applied to Netcenter and besides, I'm sure everyone would rather Moz had a clean interface that didn't completely correspond to Netcenter than an ineffective one that matched it perfectly.

#37 Re: UI

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday February 7th, 2000 7:10 PM

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Yeehhh! UI suck and must die! I don't want UI for kids. It must be smth. more conservative.

#6 More NS Employees working on Moz?

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Monday February 7th, 2000 11:21 AM

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Okay, does this mean that the Netscape people who have been working Communicator can finally switch over and help out Mozilla?

<:3)~~

#61 Re: More NS Employees working on Moz?

by spacecow <spacecow@mis.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 7:07 AM

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Always remember: more programmers on a late project only makes it more late!!!

#9 B.E. stability and performance is most important

by Ben_Goodger

Monday February 7th, 2000 12:54 PM

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Numerous very good points have been raised here and on m.ui. However we will not achieve these goals if we do not have a solid back end. I do not wish to make light of people's concerns about the UI, but performance issues like messenger threadpane scrolling etc are things I'd personally rather see fixed so I can start using Mozilla as my browser instead of 4.7.

#11 Re: B.E. stability and performance is most importa

by mozineAdmin

Monday February 7th, 2000 1:08 PM

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Yes - if those issues are addressed, I think Netscape could put out a reasonable alpha or developer preview.

#12 Re: B.E. stability and performance is most importa

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Monday February 7th, 2000 1:40 PM

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Performance on the Win32 builds seemed to have slowed the last two weeks, while at the same time the Mac builds seem to be faster. I don't know about the Linux builds. Here's what I'm talking about:

Just last night while I was at work, I tested Mozilla on the PowerComputing PowerTower (Mac-clone, before they got bought out) with 48 megs RAM and a 200 MHz 604e processor (pre-G3), and it started and felt FASTER and less painful to use than Mozilla on my 233MHz Pentium with 96 megs RAM.

<:3)~~

#44 Memory Consumption

by ghaz

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 4:03 AM

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At the moment, mozilla's memory consumption is horrendous, and for me is barely usable with 32mb of ram (that is, it swaps excessively and pages take ages to render on screen). This _is_ a problem. It should be able to run comfortably with 16-24mb ram if it wants to gain marketshare. The whole reason why I'm looking forward to mozilla is basically the hope of better performance / memory usage and a usable and productive ui.

#50 I Agree

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 7:12 AM

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As I said before, the Mozilla developers should be required to run Mozilla on 32 megabyte computers.

#51 What about compiling?

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 10:00 AM

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I'm no expert, but doesn't compiling take up quite a bit of memory? So that case being that it is necessary that they have lots of memory ...

<:3)~~

#55 Re: What about compiling?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 5:36 PM

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Yes, it does. I do not think they should be required to compile Mozilla on 32 megabyte computers but I do think they should be required to run it on 32 megabyte computers. I also think the computers should have 300 megahertz processors. How will they be able to make a product that runs on minimal computers if they test it on computers with much more RAM and speed?

#56 300 MHz?

by FrodoB

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 9:02 PM

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Isn't that a little excessive? I've never seen a machine of 300 or above with less than 48.

I'd say a P233 (note, not PII233) would be more up the alley of a 32 meg machine.

#57 Re: 300 MHz?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 9:50 PM

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I made that suggestion with the assumption that the newest versions of Windows would not function properly with less than 300 megahertz. I suppose Linux or Macintosh does.

For your information, my computer has a 333MHz processor and only 32 megabytes of RAM.

Really I think it should run with less than 200 MHz, but I doubt they would even try. I do not think Windows 98 or Internet Explorer operates properly at those speeds. When we ran them on a 120MHz computer, they were both awful.

I want an iMac.

#72 Re: Re: 300 MHz?

by asim

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 8:37 PM

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Kick back, buddy. I'm running M13 on a WinNT SP5 box, a no-name Penitum running at 120Mhz. Remeber them? :) Startup is slow compared to 4.7, but load speeds are easily comparable. Given the status, and what I recall the early build did in speed (blinding), I suspect the best is yet to come.

#58 Re: Re: What about compiling?

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 11:07 PM

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Please dont think that we dont know we have a memory footprint problem. That is NOT the case.

As a result, suggesting we maintain a set of extra computers for qualitative testing on lower memory systems is absurd. (We can get quantitative performance results from sophisticated tools) How much desk space do you think we have? ;)

Note however that until mid january all my development (including the new Profile Manager, Prefwindow, etc) was done on a 64Mb K6/166. ;)

#63 Re: Re: Re: What about compiling?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:13 AM

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You are calling my suggestion absurd? Maybe your programming is absurd. Other people have done it right. It is not my fault that it is taking you years to produce something worthwhile. Nothing I type is absurd.

#68 A little too far now ...

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 1:55 PM

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I don't want to sound like the bitch but let's calm down now and just stick with good old fashion debate.

Mud slinging doesn't do anything good.

<:3)~~

#73 Re: A little too far now ...

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:07 PM

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Is calling my thoughts absurd not "mud slinging"?

#78 I was talking about both sides <:3)~~ (n/t)

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 11:34 PM

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<:3)~~

#80 Re: What about compiling?

by arpa

Thursday February 10th, 2000 4:04 AM

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>You are calling my suggestion absurd? >Maybe your programming is absurd.

Calm down... I don't think reducing memoryprint is #1 priority at the moment in Mozilla developement. Getting it bugfree and feature complete is. After beta I quess there's more time for that. If developers have good fast machines the time they wait a program to compile is shorter so they have more time to make the program better. Also they use programs that analyze the code, see whats taking time and memory etc.

Panu

#81 Re: Re: What about compiling?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 12:51 PM

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He should stop calling people absurd when they make suggestions.

#84 You missed the point

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 5:11 PM

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I cannot see anywhere Ben calling you absurd. He said that your suggestion was absurd and gave a reason why he thought so (they have software tools that provide quantitative results).

So, can you point out exactly how he was calling you, or anybody else, absurd?

<:3)~~

#86 No, you missed the point.

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 7:59 PM

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He stated why he thought my suggestion was absurd and I stated why I thought he was a lame Netscape flunkie. How long are you going to argue with me about this?

#88 No, you missed the point

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 9:40 PM

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He gave a reason why your suggestion wouldn't work, so you called him a name? Okay I think my logic is finally straightened now ::insert sarcasm here::

I only give up an argument when I am 100% sure that it will not go anywhere, which is now.

<:3)~~

#90 Re: No, you missed the point

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday February 11th, 2000 9:52 AM

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I did not call him "a name" because of his "reason". I typed my words because he chose to call my suggestion absurd rather than being respectful.

#92 Re: Re: Re: Re: What about compiling?

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday February 13th, 2000 9:03 PM

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a) testing on a P100 = qualitative testing. b) testing with profiling software = quantitative testing.

(b) = helpful to developers because it shows WHICH code is using cycles, WHICH code is leaking. (a) offers none of this.

Do you actually have any idea of what you're talking about? I think not. good day.

#10 Scrollbars and stuff

by Waldo

Monday February 7th, 2000 12:56 PM

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There's been a, uh, semi-civil discussion over at netscape.public.mozilla.ui regarding the very issues you all are talking about.

The arguments have been over (A) the look and feel of the current UI and (B) whether native-looking widgets should be used.

There was a seperate argument (C) over whether or not ACTUAL native OS widgets (as opposed to XUL "look-alikes") should be used, and the decision was essentially that the current technology makes it too unfeasable/hard. In other words "if you want it, write it."

Regarding (A) and (B), there are a number of people who like the current UI. Others, such as myself, believe that it's crucial for the browser to look like it belongs in the OS it's running. That is, normal people want a native-y looking UI with familiar scrollbars, etc.

The issue of native-looking vs. "cross-platform" has lead to a lot of, uh, tension.

Anyway, lots of alternate skin, widgets and modifications have been proposed by various people.

In my opinion, the best alternative to the "official" theme/skin started about three months ago when Jeff Campbell came up with a photoshopped "mock up" of what he saw as being a better skin. It's at <http://jeff.newdream.net/…r/mozilla/ui/concept.html> . Much discussion followed. Then around christmas, Pete Collins began hacking together a theme that made it work. (see <http://bab71-131.optonlin…een-shots/new-UI-done.jpg> and get the code at <http://bab71-131.optonline.net/package.tar.gz> in gz and <http://bab71-131.optonline.net/package.zip> in a zip)

More recently, Pete has been working on a set of native-looking scrollbars (for MacOS, GTK and Win 95). The latest version is available here: <news://news.mozilla.org/3…lphanumerica.com?part=1.2> and directions for using it are here: <news://news.mozilla.org/3…49D8A%40alphanumerica.com>

It's still being worked on.

Ben Goodger is also working on a new theme (at least I think it's new) called the "conservative" theme) which will NOT be using Pete's scrollbars.

Anyway, it's confusing, but I invite everyone to join the newsgroup (NNTP server: news.mozilla.org, group: netscape.public.mozilla.ui) and contribute if you can.

(Hope I haven't stepped on any toes here. If I've said anything incorrect, I'm sure someone will jump on my ass with a correction.)

W

#13 more on native widgets

by Maroney

Monday February 7th, 2000 2:18 PM

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The first Java user interface system used native widgets and they found it made it very difficult to maintain the software and to deliver on "write once, run anywhere." The second generation went to pure Java widgets. Hard to say how well that worked because no one seems to be using them on the Web.

HTML layout is a lot more forgiving than Java direct positioning, and minor changes in widget size are easy to compensate for across platforms. What one can do with widgets in JavaScript/DOM is also much more constrained than it is in Java. I don't see the AWT difficulties with native widgets as being much of an issue in HTML.

Apple and Microsoft have both put millions into designing and implementing their widget systems, and the way they work is subtle and intricate. Many of the unobvious facets of interaction are deeply wired into eyes and fingers at this point. Using Mozilla already feels "weird" due to the differences from platform standards.

In Mac OS X and Aqua, the widgets have become so challenging that there is no chance that Mozilla could possibly duplicate them with a parallel implementation. When Microsoft rips off Aqua in two years, then there will be yet another set of impossibly hard widgets for Mozilla to duplicate. And so for every platform (e.g., whenever there is an Aqua equivalent for Linux).

Re-implementing the widgets is a serious mistake that can't be made up for by platform-specific "skins". Appearance can be partially duplicated by skins, except that appearance may be protected by design patents, and Aqua widgets require more capability than skins offer. Interaction is even less "skinnable" and has even greater consequences on whether the user feels comfortable and in control.

Some thought needs to go into how feasible it would be for Mozilla to fall back to using platform widgets.

#16 You assume it is a mistake

by mozineAdmin

Monday February 7th, 2000 3:04 PM

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You've made the assumption that these issues haven't already been dealt with. They have been -- over a year ago. Simply put, you're a little late to the party. If this is the direction you think Mozilla should go, then you need to fork the tree and start a new project.

To paraphrase a developer in the .ui newsgroup, for Mozilla to go back to native widgets now would essentially mean you would have Mozilla development on Windows only. They just wouldn't have the resources for anything else. It would also mean that you lose the extensibility and cross-platform nature of Mozilla that is its very reason for being.

Mozilla will come with an ActiveX control for HTML rendering. If Windows users are so distraught over the skinnable interface, someone will come along to create a Communicator clone using VB and the control. It wouldn't be a trivial task, but it would be far from impossible for someone to do something similar for the Mac.

Mozilla is not Communicator (although the new Communicator will be of Mozilla). Think of Mozilla as akin to Java except with a more focused goal set. Think of it as not just a displayer of Web-standardized documents, but a creature born of those same standards. I think it's safe to say that Mozilla isn't a web browser anymore. It's much more than that. A correct focus would be to say, "How can we better define Mozilla, so that people understand this?" Netscape is going to have to wrestle with this issue themselves. But I think that it can be made understandable, and it will be accepted, especially when a user's platform starts getting applications that would have previously been developed solely for Windows.

BTW, I have seen a breakdown of the Aqua interface, and I must say it's the most confounding thing I've seen in a long time. Who benefits from a genie effect as an app swirls out of its place in the launchbar? Who benefits from translucent panes in which the content underneath shows through? Who benefits from gumdrop buttons with no indication of use *until you roll over them*? Everything I mentioned above is just superfluous fluff that gets in the way of usability. (For what reasons? Certainly not aesthetic!) Personally, I'd like to know how the Mac community can _possibly_ tolerate such a radical departure in their user interface, or the fact that their default and only UI now looks like it's been squeezed out of a tube in the Candyland factory. I'd be mortified. If they can tolerate that, methinks they can tolerate Mozilla.

#17 Why the current widget set won't work for Macs

by Waldo

Monday February 7th, 2000 3:27 PM

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You said:

Personally, I'd like to know how the Mac community can _possibly_ tolerate such a radical departure in their user interface, or the fact that their default and only UI now looks like it's been squeezed out of a tube in the Candyland factory. I'd be mortified. If they can tolerate that, methinks they can tolerate Mozilla

-----

1. There's no evidence that Mac users *ARE* willing to accept that interface. It's pretty controversial (Apple UI people have slammed it already) and no end-users that I'm aware of have gotten their hands on it yet.

2. If they do accept it, it's cuz it looks GOOD. At least to some people, anyway. Looks count for a lot. It's part of the overall experience.

3. If Mozilla is to use some non-standard widgets, it's gonna have to look good *at the very least*. The current scrollbars may be comparable in look to the Win32 or even GTK scrollbars, but they are DEFINITELY an aesthetic step down from the current Mac OS scrollbars. It's gonna look worse to use them for us Mac users. No disrespect to whomever designed them, but take a look at the mac scrollbars with their subtle shading, their drop shadows, their texture, etc. and then look at the monochromatic grey drab ones in Mozilla. Never mind the fact that they aren't familiar-- they're just plain worse.

So, yeah, ok... Maybe we won't get the ACTUAL widgets, I accept that and was never one of the ones who said we should have them (they're not adaptable the way Mozilla's are). But I have two requests:

(1) Please, please at least give us mac users the native-looking scroll bar on the outside browser window. I can rationalize everything inside the window as being foreign since it's enclose din the window and conceptually "part of the program itself", but that outside scrollbar is presenting itself as an OS phenomenon because the border on the larger window is the familiar platinum and the adjacent scrollbar should integrate in a way that looks familiar.

(2) - Ok, so we're gonna have some "universal" widgets for the browser. I know that. But does it have to look so- so simple and drab? The aesthetic "step-down" factor really is true-- going to that mushy grey thing from the mac scrollbar is an abrupt degradation.

W

#21 Re: Why the current widget set won't work for Macs

by Maroney

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:26 PM

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I agree, Waldo, and while the scroll bar is the most obvious and egregious example, other widgets are almost as badly hosed.

Neither check boxes nor radio buttons look anything like the platform standard, and in both cases they have the serious interaction problem that you can't click on the text label, which is many times as large as the tiny square or circle. They do not implement the correct mouse behavior, which is that clicking is "undoable" by moving outside the clickable region while the mouse is down. And they have this peculiar dotted-outline state the meaning of which is completely opaque to me.

Buttons do not look at all like platform buttons either in their frame or their font, but at least they do implement "click undo". They are also not placed according to the platform standards for dialog buttons.

The level of UI decision-making on the Mozilla project seems to be on a Windows 3.1 level, where ugliness is considered acceptable and the basic importance of UI standards -- which Microsoft figured out five years ago -- is still not grasped. It's hard for me to believe there are professional graphic artists or interaction designers on the project at all, unless they are simply being ignored.

In any case, the taste of the market (on both platforms) has evolved, and this level of nonstandard look and feel and outright unattractiveness is bound to be a serious barrier to adoption. If any user tests or focus groups have been done, then the team must already be aware of that -- but I suspect they have not been done.

#27 Re: Re: Why the current widget set won't work for

by Maroney

Monday February 7th, 2000 5:32 PM

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Let's see, a few more widget problems. My hope is to make the Mozilla developers aware that this UI is a problem and that they need to bring qualified resources to bear on it. Otherwise they are creating major adoption barriers for the tastes of today's relatively demanding user community.

The lack of drop shadow and other dimensionality cues in the scroll bar makes the thumb indistinguishable as the foreground element. It actually looks as if the trough background is the foreground given the color choices. Neither the Windows nor Mac platform scroll bar has this problem.

Moving the mouse in and out of the click region while it's held down doesn't work correctly for scroll bars.

Popup menus (also known as dropdown menus) are even uglier than scroll bars. And that's saying something.

The dotted line outlines are apparently supposed to represent keyboard focus. Mac users are only used to keyboard focus on text items and will be baffled by focus on other items. The dotted lines don't match either the Windows or Mac conventions for indicating item focus and so will be baffling to users on both platforms -- it's a very different message to change a control's whole frame as opposed to putting a dotted line inside it.

Windows text controls sometimes show a cut-out to the window underneath rather than a blank background. Presumably this is a known bug.

Drag-selecting text is overly sensitive to moving outside the clickable area, aborting sweeping mouse drags instantly as soon as they go outside the text box.

The show/hide control on the leftmost browser window bar (the tall blue rectangle) looks like a mutant scroll bar. It really doesn't suggest a minimize/maximize function at all.

What the heck are menu titles ("Mozilla", "Open Windows") doing in the bottom page frame under the horizontal scroll bar? Who is going to see them there? And what are they for? Clicking on them does nothing.

Why are there three different kinds of menus in the browser window? There are the top-of-window menus like File, which have one appearance, then the ones like Bookmarks and Channels which have yet another appearance, and finally the bottom-page-frame ones which have yet a third appearance.

(Then there's a fourth kind of menu, the in-page drop-downs, with yet another appearance.)

(Wait, there's a fifth kind, the black arrow in a green rounded rectangle next to the Search button. This doesn't do anything but it makes the Search button look like a drop-down menu even though it's a button.)

The Search button looks different from all other buttons, in both color and frame. You leave the current page when you click it expecting to bring up a menu. It's by no means clear what it is you're searching for -- instead of going to a query page or query dialog, you search for the current page's URL, which is unanticipated and useless. Apparently the URL text box is being used for both URLs and search strings, which is confusing and inconsistent.

The light-blue tiny down-pointing arrow means different things in different contexts. For menus like Bookmarks it means there's a drop-down menu. For the URL bar it's a show-hide control.

When the arrow is a show-hide control, it has a different appearance from the leftmost tool bar's "mutant scroll bar" show-hide control.

At the bottom left, under the horizontal scroll bar, there are unlabeled icons that have no tool tips. The placement is wrong for any useful function, and the lack of tool tips means no one will know what they are for. People are afraid to click things if they can't make a reasonable guess as to the result.

Because the widgets are not platform widgets, they don't participate in the color scheme selected by the user (in the Display or Appearance Control Panels).

Windows lack a resize handle at the bottom right, so users won't know how to change their size. (Note that Windows Explorer has added a resize handle because users were having this problem, even though it's not required by the Windows platform standard.)

I'm sure I could continue all day but I have a day job. I hope these observations are useful. It would be great if they all get fixed, but more important is that they reveal a core problem with usability and appearance review on the Mozilla project. This is a fixable problem but given release schedules time is running out.

Tim Maroney former Appearance lead for Mac OS

#28 They are useful, but here's what you need to do...

by mozineAdmin

Monday February 7th, 2000 5:55 PM

Reply to this message

Search for bugs that address these issues, and if you don't find them, file them. That's the way that they can be addressed (assuming that you are not a coder). You make a number of good points, many of which I know are addressed by already-filed bugs.

The current UI, in all its non-complete glory, is not indicative of how the final UI will end up. The fact of the matter is that every Mozilla developer you may talk to will state that there is still *much* work to be done on the UI front, but there are much more important tasks that need to be dealt with *now*. That does not mean, however, that you should not file bugs against all usability issues you see. Just be sure to check for dupes first.

I must state, however, that these issues do not, in *any* way, "reveal a core problem with usability and appearance review on the Mozilla project". When the UI is at a state where the developers are actually stating "this is done", that's when you should worry. They are keenly aware that there are many many loose threads on the UI at this point. They will address them.

Well written bug reports help a lot. Please consider submitting them. Please be sure, however, to file bugs separately (don't list all of your issues in one big bug). If you do, the bug will probably be marked invalid for lack of specificity (but they'll probably contact you first).

The Bugzilla Helper recently created by Christine Begle is an easy way to get started filing bugs with BugZilla. The URL for it is below.

<http://www.mozilla.org/quality/help/bug-form.html>

#36 PLEASE file these!

by Waldo

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:56 PM

Reply to this message

These are all great issues--

What I've learned from the .ui newsgroup is that if you make a list like that people totally read it and agree... and nothing gets done.

But if you actually file it, then the people with the power look at them and take 'em seriously.

Also, if they DO end up ignored, there's a record of who blew them off, why, and when...

So PLEASE file them... you made some excellent points and I'd hate for them to fall on deaf ears.

W

#45 Re: Why the current widget set won't work for Macs

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 4:45 AM

Reply to this message

Waldo wrote : ------------- 1) Please, please at least give us mac users the native-looking scroll bar on the outside browser window. I can rationalize everything inside the window as being foreign since it's enclose din the window and conceptually "part of the program itself", but that outside scrollbar is presenting itself as an OS phenomenon

Isn't it a great idea ?!!

I think it may be the answer to all those complaints about UI... I agree that the outer scrollbar (be it on the left or right or bottom side of the window) looks as a part of the OS look & feel. While all other widgets in the window look like inner parts of Mozilla...

Would it be a real problem if there were only that native scrollbar while the rest is XP ?

yes, i know, that's a question to ask in the dev newsgroups rather than here in MZ, but i would like to have you opinion...

#47 petec has scrollbars for mac, gtk, and win

by mozineAdmin

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 5:26 AM

Reply to this message

It's just a matter of hooking them up (and eventually dealing with core behavioral issues that occur on each platform).

#48 Yes, but...

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 5:52 AM

Reply to this message

Chris, you know that the problem is/will be Aqua and all those fancy UIs that are coming in the future... and the themable GTK/KDE environment on Linux.

I'm affraid it's too much work to duplicate each new UI/Theme coming around, instead of leaving only the outer scrollbar (let me insist: *Only the outer scrollbar*) be a native one. Don't you think it's a small trade-off that could calm down things and make the new Mozilla XP-widgets concept more acceptable "to the masses" ???

I'm just asking the question. Mozilla.org really should experiment with a few newbie users (not computer geeks like us :)

ps: the only thing i'm sure about, is that XPwidgets is a new concept (afaik), and, unfortunately, most people do not see the meaning of it because they only care about _their_ own UI. That's why we see all these religious wars around the UI...

#46 Scrollbars are the most touchy subject, so...

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 4:46 AM

Reply to this message

(reposted for a better title/layout)

Waldo wrote : -------------

1) Please, please at least give us mac users the native-looking scroll bar on the outside browser window. I can rationalize everything inside the window as being foreign since it's enclose din the window and conceptually "part of the program itself", but that outside scrollbar is presenting itself as an OS phenomenon

Isn't it a great idea ?!!

I think it may be the answer to all those complaints about UI... I agree that the outer scrollbar (be it on the left or right or bottom side of the window) looks as a part of the OS look & feel. While all other widgets in the window look like inner parts of Mozilla...

Would it be a real problem if there were only that native scrollbar while the rest is XP ?

yes, i know, that's a question to ask in the dev newsgroups rather than here in MZ, but i would like to have you opinion...

#19 Re: You assume it is a mistake

by Maroney

Monday February 7th, 2000 3:57 PM

Reply to this message

I don't "assume" it's a mistake. I pointed out specific reasons that it is a mistake.

It is impossible to meet the expectations of platform users without duplicating the entire platform toolbox. That is not feasible now and will become even less feasible in the future as existing platforms advance and new ones appear.

"Skins" do not deal with interaction problems, only with appearance, and new platforms are exceeding the capability of skins to even reproduce their appearance. There are also intellectual property issues such as design patents.

If you'd like to discuss these issues -- which you do not do in your message -- feel free. I must admit I do not see the point in your response as it stands.

#20 Chris's entire post, boiled down into one point.

by FrodoB

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:17 PM

Reply to this message

If native widgets are used, the Mac and Linux ports of Mozilla are dead. Mike Pinkerton, Mac weenie, made this crystal clear at the UI IRC session. Without Netscape actively porting them, the following consequences will happen:

1) At best, we can hope for someone to pick up the ports. But who would hold out hope that the ports would even partially keep up with Windows, if they lose a couple dozen dedicated programmers who are getting paid to work on nothing but those areas?

2) Because of the dropping of the Linux port, we lose all the other various Unixes, as the Linux port is used as a base for most of the other ports. Best case scenario is that we keep the ones that are supported by commercial entities (like Sun, for instance) but lose the rest.

3) Mozilla is put SEVERAL months back, if somehow the Mac and Linux ports don't get whacked, because it has to redesign a new UI for every platform.

4) Mozilla won't be CSS compliant. The specs require styleable widgets, to my knowledge (IE 5.0's widgets are actually a lot like gfx [they're not native], except that they only support one platform each [the Mac and Windows versions are separate] and can devote their resources to making their widgets look and feel exactly like that platform).

#22 Re: Chris's entire post, boiled down into one poin

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:28 PM

Reply to this message

I think he just wanted to slam Macintosh.

#25 Nonsense. (n/t)

by mozineAdmin

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:57 PM

Reply to this message

#53 Re: You assume it is a mistake

by sunose

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 12:08 PM

Reply to this message

...How can we better define Mozilla, so that people understand this?" .. Yes,Stand more high,see more far. :--) I think Netscape´s Mozliia brand Browser.All in this sentence.

#54 Re: You assume it is a mistake

by sunose

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 12:10 PM

Reply to this message

...How can we better define Mozilla, so that people understand this?" .. Yes,Stand more high,see more far. :--) I think Netscape´s Mozliia brand Browser.All in this sentence.

#69 Re: You assume it is a mistake

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 4:56 PM

Reply to this message

I agree. Sorry all, there's nothing that special about "native" UIs. Mac's is ugly, Aqua is pretty much the same but with white Window title bars instead of gray, Windows is ugly, even my beloved Amiga has ugly windows (at least it has an excuse, having been in limbo for nearly a decade). There's certainly nothing special enough about these UIs to warrant ruining Mozilla's XP potential, and as Chris notes, driving all development back to Windows anyway.

I tend to like the new UI alright, better than Windows' ugly-ass gray, flat, and oh, gray standard UI. I'll like it better once it's really cleaned up and the Mail/News stuff works properly.

Re: Aqua, it's no more intuitive than Mac's standard UI, that's for sure. Anyway, there's few enough Mac users that it could matter less if they use IE anyway -- that is after all their only alternative. If they miss their bumpy stripe thingies that bad, well, that's the one thing IE has over Mozilla, isn't it?

#14 UI is drab and ugly

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 2:31 PM

Reply to this message

I think the basic theme of the UI is a step in the right direction, but the colors and contrasting is really crappy. That teal has to be the most drab and ugliest shade I have ever seen.

Netscape can do what they want, but I think that a Mozilla, final skin contest is due. The goal should be to make a nice looking variation on the current UI.

It would be a lot of work to do for a submission, but I think getting teams together would make for better results.

#18 must-haves for beta

by caseyperkins <caseyperkins@mindspring.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 3:42 PM

Reply to this message

I've been following Mozilla since M5, and I must say that I'm very impressed by the progress. Nevertheless, there are still some missing features which I believe should be implemented before beta: Autocomplete - Whatever happened to URL autocompletion? Not only have I never seen it in any of the builds, but I haven't even heard any discussion of it for a year or more. Mozilla HAS to have this; to leave it out is a step backwards. I'm sure many others would agree. Back/Forward history lists - Remember having the ability to right-click or click and hold down on the back or forward buttons to get a history list and to navigate back to a site several steps back? This is a sorely missed feature. Changing font size - Enlarging/Reducing font size still doesn't work. Neither does overiding with other style sheets. These things would be greatly appreciated. FTP - I like the current implementation to some degree, but I still want drag-and-drop uploading just as in Netscape 4. A few other FTP capabilities would be excellent as well, such as mkdir, del, copy, etc. Speed - it seems as though the renderer in M13 took a performance hit as compared with some of the post M12 builds. Smaller, but still important issues: javascript: - as a developer, I can't live without the javascript debugger. Also, it would be nice if Javascript could still change the status bar! Has anyone else noticed this deficiency? DOM viewer - this hasn't been working for a while. This also is helpful for developers. :-) Filing bookmarks - instead of moving a bookmark into a folder, let's have the ability to file it into a folder when we first bookmark it, just as in Netscape 4. Maybe this one should be in my must-have list. Nitpicks: The white menubar! Another color would be preferable. Actually, I dislike the skin in general, except in the browser. Mail, address book, etc...yuck! What's Related - put it back on the toolbar please. It's much more convenient there than in the sidebar. By the way, whatever happened to the flash panel? That's about it. Overall, I think the developers are doing an excellent job. Thanks for listening to our suggestions.

#23 Re: must-haves for beta

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:46 PM

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Like it was said, M16 should be feature complete so we should be seeing features rolling in between now than M16.

Multiple backs/forwards has been discussed before, but I am not aware of the current progress on this.

Yup, I want my autocompletion too but my question is URL autocompletion is in what form it will be in? I currently hate the current auto-complete in Netscape because it always gives me the wrong URL and by the time it suggests the right one, I already typed most of the URL already. I like how IE 5 on Windoze does this, it creates a list of possible URLs and you can pick the right one.

I have never had a use for What's Related, so I'm don't care for this feature but if it's in demand, then it should be included.

Okay, I'm starting to feel like I can rant but I won't, I'll cut it off here :)

#26 Re: Re: must-haves for beta

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 5:07 PM

Reply to this message

You are right about the autocompletion. The Internet Explorer autocomplete feature is much better than the Netscape autocomplete feature. However, it is incredibly slow on my computer. If Mozilla comes with an autocomplete like Internet Explorer that works at the speed of Netscape then typing URL's will much less difficult.

I think you are also right about the What's Related feature. It has been useful to me at times but it is never able to find "related" sites for member pages made under an ISP's domain name. If I used it on Kovu's site, instead of finding more Amiga sites, it would find sites related to AT&T. Die, What's Related! Live, autocomplete!

#24 My Suggestions

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday February 7th, 2000 4:52 PM

Reply to this message

Let's see... maybe there should be at least two "skins", one for people who like the current look and one for people who like more creativity. That may solve some of the problems and fix ArielB's nervous breakdown.

If Mozilla must use its own "widgets" instead of "native widgets" then it should use those "widgets" that are the best from each operating system.

Caseyperkins is right. Get rid of the teal and white, for goodness sake.

Support for the ALT attribute of the IMAGE tag would be nice. Support for the TITLE attribute of the LINK tag would be even more nice, or is that only in Internet Explorer?

Some type of history list is necessary. Some Websites make it nearly impossible to leave them by clicking the "Back" button. I think it is that darn redirection thing.

I think it would be good if there was a button on the Web browser that would open a Window with a form similar to the Bugzilla form, so people could submit bugs without going to the site, and it could automatically insert the Platform and Build ID information, and the URL of the Webpage. Bug submission would be faster. Is it "URI" instead of "URL" now? What is the reason for that change?

When I use CSS, the background color only goes down as far as the text, and does not fill the entire window. This did not happen in M13. Is it supposed to be that way? Is "background-image" nonfunctional? If the answer to either of those questions is "yes" then I think some more consideration should be put into the CSS implementation.

Finally, to all of the people who respond to suggestions with words like "if you want it, code it," I do not think this is a good response. I think it translates to "we don't like you, use Internet Explorer".

Oh, one more thing... put a big Shop@Mozilla button on it. Everybody loves those :)

#30 Re: My Suggestions

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:21 PM

Reply to this message

"I think it would be good if there was a button on the Web browser that would open a Window with a form similar to the Bugzilla form,"

I submitted an RFE last week for this very thing (I think) Look at <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25700> and if you can add anything to it please do.

#32 What the heck is a URI anyway? (n/t)

by brobinson

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:28 PM

Reply to this message

(n/t)

#43 Re: What the heck is a URI anyway? (n/t)

by bergie

Monday February 7th, 2000 10:21 PM

Reply to this message

It is the /path/to/file part of an URL.

#34 Get over it. Widgets for 5.0 are XP.

by kerz <jason@mozillazine.org>

Monday February 7th, 2000 6:50 PM

Reply to this message

Unless you want fork, and form your own developement team, there will be no native widgets in 5.0. You can argue all you want, but you won't get anything out of it. This is the way it will be.

If you want to actually help, file bugs on the widgets, so they look more like the examples, and are more functional. Help make Mozilla as good as we all know it can be.

To be totally uncool, there's no I in team.

#70 Hallellujah brutha!

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 5:16 PM

Reply to this message

I'm currently leading (or trying to) an Amiga port of Mozilla, and do you think I would want to have to hassle with native UI crap? Not in a million years. That's the POINT. EASE of porting. Of course you can always fork and make your own native Mozilla, but it won't be Netscape.

#94 re:there's no i in team

by shk41

Saturday March 18th, 2000 12:53 AM

Reply to this message

There;s no 'I' in TEAM, but there IS an M and an E!!!!!!!!

#49 Tooltips!!!

by danielhill <danielhill@hotmail.com>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 6:33 AM

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We need tooltips, people! For alt tags on images, toolbar buttons, everything! I remember tooltips sort-of-working on an early build, does anyone know what happened?

I just checked Bugzilla - it's a post beta issue. I disagree with that - tooltips are an important part of the user experience. Nutbag reporters from CNET and ZDNet will immediately diss the beta if basic features like autocomplete, tooltips, etc aren't fully implemented.

#52 Re: Tooltips!!!

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 10:05 AM

Reply to this message

Autocomplete should be in if you follow the statement that M16 should be feature complete.

And I want my tooltips, it's not a huge feature that will ultimately change the course of my browsing experience but I want it! GO alt attribute (it's not a tag, but I'm not gripping since "tag" is more natural to say)!

<:3)~~

#59 Re: Tooltips!!!

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday February 8th, 2000 11:11 PM

Reply to this message

AutoComplete!

HAHAHAHAHAHAH

There's something I dont think anyone has even begun to think about...

#64 And another thing...

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:20 AM

Reply to this message

Lame Netscape flunkie... Stop criticizing people who are trying to help you and get your project done. If it is so funny to you then why have you not got it working? How dare you call my suggestion absurd? Idiot. Stop laughing at people because your project is behind schedule.

I have supported Mozilla even though most of my colleagues say a person would have to be an idiot to waste time on Netscape. Now you suggest that I am stupid for trying to make a helpful suggestion. My suggestions are not absurd. Saying Mozilla is useful as an "everyday browser" is absurd if it does not run well on computers that "everyday browsers" run fine on. Your comments are about as useful as AOL tech support. Lame Netscape flunkie...

#67 As much as I want it ...

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 1:47 PM

Reply to this message

As much as I want features like autocomplete, I was able to laugh at that.

Yes, problems must be taken seriously, but you can't expect sleepless drones working on code 27 hours a day when they are only human and need to be able to laugh at both the good side and bad side of things.

Now okay Ben, BACK TO WORK! ::cracks whip::

<:3)~~

#74 Re: As much as I want it ...

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:14 PM

Reply to this message

The "sleepless" lame Netscape flunkie "drone" should not be calling me absurd. This has offended me greatly. I do not think my suggestion was offensive. Why should the responses to the suggestion be offensive?

#79 Re: Re: As much as I want it ...

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 11:41 PM

Reply to this message

I wasn't calling anybody's ideas, or anyone, absurd. I was only remaking the impression that you made (not saying that you had intended) and some of us shouldn't be a little humorous. And Ben_G was obviously trying to do that, I seriously doubt that he was saying that Autocomplete will never make it to Mozilla.

Ironically, this is the thing that offends me: people taking issues too personally. Other people, including myself in this message, do it, but it can easily get too far.

<:3)~~

#82 Re: Re: Re: As much as I want it ...

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 1:00 PM

Reply to this message

I believe humour is good. Calling my idea absurd was a personal attack. He said they knew the project requires too much memory, and said they have ways to test that. That was the response of someone who considered my suggestion. Calling me absurd is not necessary, and is the response of a lame Netscape flunkie.

#83 The term you use is ironic....

by FrodoB

Thursday February 10th, 2000 1:49 PM

Reply to this message

Considering that Ben's only been working at Netscape for somewhere in the neighborhood of a month. ;)

#85 Wrong thread

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 5:16 PM

Reply to this message

The absurd postings isn't on this thread, so why are you bringing it over here?

<:3)~~

#87 Right Thread

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday February 10th, 2000 8:05 PM

Reply to this message

You seemed to imply that what he stated was humourous, in this thread.

I provided the necessary background information to explain to you that it seemed more like a personal attack than humour to me, in this thread.

#62 UI Skin to look like Navigator 4.x

by dhickey <f43@hotmail.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 8:01 AM

Reply to this message

If any of you work in Information Services in a company, you'll know exactly what I am talking about. You'll have people noncomputer-savvy (such as Sales people and Marketing types - very broad generalization, not flaimbait!)using netscape at the moment and if you put Moz if front of them they will freak.

I have had dealings where they are more interested in the colour of the font on a button, instead of what it does. These users (and there are many in the corporate land) that don't understand that software has to evolve:

"I have netscape on my machine and I can't see this page"

"What version are you using?"

"What do you mean version? I said netscape"

"Click on help->about"

"It says 3.02" (if they find the help menu).

"Grrr"

So they get upgraded and then feel complete confused/ lost / dazed/ bewildered because there has been another button added to the toolbar or the icons change slightly.

Soooo...make a skin that makes Moz look like 4.x and you could prevent a killing spree....

#66 Re: UI Skin to look like Navigator 4.x

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 1:37 PM

Reply to this message

This is just generalizing what I remember but here's a little story I heard from someone doing a survey at his company:

He wanted to gather statistics on what browsers were being used by the people working at his company, so he sent out a mass email to everyone asking for their browser and version.

Although most of them emailed back the browser and version of the software they were using, an interesting percentage of people asked how do they find out what version they are using. One email even asked the following question:

"What's a browser?"

That person, apparently, just referred the browser as something along the lines of "the Internet thing."

<:3)~~

#71 Tee hee

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 5:25 PM

Reply to this message

Sorry, I'm just not seeing how special this "native" UI is. I don't like Mac's, I like Windows' even less, I just don't see the obsession here. God forbid don't take away my flat, gray, featureless UI! No one gives that much of a damn anyway. The sad fact is that Mozilla will be used by roughly the same number of users that it would be if it had native UIs. If Mac users want to support Microsoft and IE that badly, they can and will continue to use it. Windows users historically use whatever is there, except a small percentage of Net geeks, myself included. Every other platform other than Windows (and any IE using Macers) will use Mozilla and will be able to because the native UI issue isn't bogging Netscape down in the ports. Mac and Windows users can snivel about scrollbars while Amiga users eagerly await a browser that works properly because it isn't bogged down by the very native crap that some (mostly Mac) people want to add back in.

#75 Re: Tee hee

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:22 PM

Reply to this message

I agree that the scrollbars are a small issue. I tend to be much more concerned with the actual Webpages than the scrollbars. As long as the scrollbars are functional, I do not think most people will care what they look like. I still think the current scroll bars are better than the Windows ones anyway. Maybe improving on the appearance of the "native widgets" would impress users.

#76 Re: Re: UI Skin to look like Navigator 4.x

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 9:29 PM

Reply to this message

I like that. From now on, whenever I am near a computer tech person, I am going to refer to the Web browser as the Internet thing and the word processor as the typing thing.

I have an associate who works in a custome service department and he often asks me, "What Internet are you using?" Apparently, they refer to each ISP as an Internet.

Now I am going to take advantage of my new clicking thing to send this message and possibly file some bugs with the bug thing.

#65 netscape 4 ui

by caseyperkins <caseyperkins@mindspring.com>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 11:30 AM

Reply to this message

I agree with whoever it was who suggested going with a nav 4-like UI. There needs to be some continuity with the four series that is obvious. In my view, the UI should look like an updated and sharper Netscape 4 ui, kind of like the way the mail and editor components looked way back at M10. I wish they had stayed that way.

#95 Re: netscape 4 ui

by shk41

Saturday March 18th, 2000 1:07 AM

Reply to this message

One of the things some are looking forward to is an improved UI look! The Netscape 4 look is so "eye-bothering"!!! I mean, the dumb, green icon is STUPID. When you move the mouse over one of the back or forward (etc.) buttons, the contrast is WAY too much. This is one of the reasons I use IE, it is so much more pleasing to the eye!

Don't you think they should make it look BETTER than Netscape 4??? I do!

Personally, I think the blue interface is a little much. There are some really good examples of a GOOD interface at this URL:

<http://jeff.newdream.net/…r/mozilla/ui/concept.html>

I think it is an important business decision to go with a new and improved look. This is a very easy way to progress against IE.

#77 Skins as switchable

by vagyvag <vagrant@avana.net>

Wednesday February 9th, 2000 10:22 PM

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With the way that people have put together alternate skins/themes for their Mozilla builds, and since so many people are familiar with the code -- <being an open source project> -- why not just treat the UI like WinAmp does, and people just release skins that can be fairly easily plugged into their installs? The source code is available, apparently people have already gone off and done their own UI's, why not choose what you like and don't like. Arguing over look and feel is a valid point, as most people <I work in IT for a Fortune 100 corporation -- people with <gasp> business degrees> aren't going to have a clue how to switch out, as Steve Jobs called it, "look and feel," but the rest of us seem to have a fairly broad range of options. Certainly better than IE.

#89 Re: Skins as switchable

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Friday February 11th, 2000 2:51 AM

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yes, skins are going to be switchable on the fly, with a simple click.

The ChromeZone here on MZ (<http://www.mozillazine.org/chrome/>) shows some examples, though they are rather old now (for M6, M8, M9,...)

Read James Russel's excellent article too, it gives an example of how you could switch to you favorite StarWars skin :) it's at <http://www.mozillazine.or…alkback.html?article=1110>

i guess there are other documents on this subject but those are the two i can think of at the moment.

regards.

#91 I thought I saw that... :) (n/t)

by vagyvag <vagrant@avana.net>

Friday February 11th, 2000 4:23 PM

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n/t

#93 User-defined toolbar

by KUFreak <Psych0AsparaguS@cs.com>

Sunday March 12th, 2000 1:29 PM

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It would be cool if the toolbar could be customized - if the button order could be changed or the toolbar could be resized by dragging it - much like the Windows toolbar. I would like to see preset toolbars that could be chosen from like skins. I like to go with a small toolbar, so it would be really spiffy.

#96 User denied! Developers wanted!

by IndpdntMind

Friday April 14th, 2000 4:32 AM

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It seems that the mozilla.org project has so far served the developer community and denied what the common users need in a modern BROWSER. What USER needs something that was supposed to be a browser but is now primarily called an OS by the people who created it? I would have served the USER first and then the DEVELOPER, but mozilla.org did it all backwards. Why?