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.
#17 Why the current widget set won't work for Macs
Monday February 7th, 2000 3:27 PM
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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.