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 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.


#10 Scrollbars and stuff

by Waldo

Monday February 7th, 2000 12:56 PM

You are replying to this message

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 <…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 <> in gz and <> 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://…> and directions for using it are here: <news://…>

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:, 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.)