Alphanumerica Announcement

Friday February 18th, 2000

David Boswell of Alphanumerica writes in with a link to a press release from his company. Alphanumerica is the first services-oriented firm to commit in-house developers to Mozilla (one of them is Pete Collins, a regular Mozilla contributor and someone familiar to those of you who hang out in the newsgroups). They're working on lots of interesting projects like Mozilla crash recovery and new skins.

On the skins front, we have some screenshots from Alphanumerica for you. The first is a cleaned up version of a skin (let's call it a "package", because it contains behavior changes to the UI) many of you may be familiar with. The next two are examples of how that same package can be "dressed" differently with new skins. You can see them here and here. You might be thinking, "Ack! those are some wild colors!", but that was the point of the skin - to show you what *could* be done, not necessarily what should be done. Whatever you think about it, you've just gotta see it in action - animated GIF rollovers, collapsing panels, the whole nine yards. It looks great, and is quite usable. Where can you see this skin in action? Well, you're going to have to wait just a little bit longer to find that out. Stay tuned!

#1 source

by petejc

Friday February 18th, 2000 3:30 PM

I posted the source for these packages here:


you will need M14(current) for them to work.


#2 Waitasec...

by beastie

Friday February 18th, 2000 3:57 PM

This looks like BeOS to me. Is it becoming stable enough to use again?

#3 Hope So

by Tekhir

Friday February 18th, 2000 4:02 PM

I don't use Be that often because I really need a kickass browser, Opera doesn't cut it and Net+ needs better js.

#4 Re: Waitasec...

by alliswell

Friday February 18th, 2000 4:08 PM

it isn't the beos, but i was using a beos theme for linux when i made the screenshot. sorry for the confusion.

#21 Re: Re: Waitasec...

by beastie

Saturday February 19th, 2000 9:41 PM

Damn. Soon...

#6 NOT BeOS, I don't think

by mozineAdmin

Friday February 18th, 2000 4:41 PM

It's a theme - maybe WindowBlinds

#5 Outside contributors AND skin projects!

by gerbilpower

Friday February 18th, 2000 4:41 PM


Well first of all I installed the skin and I like it, eventhough it's incomplete (for example right-click context menu's don't work yet).


#13 Re: Outside contributors AND skin projects!

by pmg

Saturday February 19th, 2000 1:32 PM! (Sorry.for.`...' accept.spaces!)

#14 Re: Re: Outside contributors AND skin projects!

by gerbilpower

Saturday February 19th, 2000 2:53 PM

Pete posted the URL above:

Download the right one for you (ZIP for Windoze, GZ for Unix, HQX for Mac, etc).

And there's a file there simple called INSTALL that has details on where to put decompress the files and how to make Mozilla use them.


#16 Re: Re: Re: Outside contributors AND skin projects

by pmg

Saturday February 19th, 2000 3:51 PM

Duh! I looked for install instructions in the tar ball, but found nothing. -Didnt think about the ftp site. Thanks!

#20 sorry

by petejc

Saturday February 19th, 2000 5:27 PM

Sorry guys, the install instructions are quite lame. I actually posted the code unofficially. We are going to have proper install instructions on our site next week. We just didn't have the time to finish things.


#27 Re: sorry

by jlerner

Sunday February 20th, 2000 5:56 PM

Instructions have been posted to Enjoy.

#7 Looks better than the current blue & white (n/

by gwalla

Friday February 18th, 2000 6:58 PM


#8 I really like that first one

by Mike_S

Saturday February 19th, 2000 12:42 AM

The first one has got a nice, clean look that would fit in on both Mac OS (classic) and Windows. It's much more desirable than the out of place, but nice, blue and white look.

The only change I'd make is to do something similar to IE 4.5 on the Mac. Rather than having the two sets of sliding buttons, one on each side. I'd consolodate all of them into a single sliding bar on the left, keeping the throbber in it's normal position on the far right.

The button order should be user defineable so if the user only wants back, forward, refresh, stop and print they don't have to have buttons they don't want displayed and taking up space.

Should Mozilla/Netscape <name of the week> ship with the current B&W scheme please, somebody fix the way the blue buttons overlap into the white. It looks really tacky and is my only real complaint with the look.

#15 Re: I really like that first one

by cbarrett

Saturday February 19th, 2000 3:45 PM

I will be doing a Mozilla skin based on IE 5.0 for the Mac, distributed by Alphanumerica. It's in the works, and you can expect in a few weeks.

#22 Cool

by Mike_S

Saturday February 19th, 2000 10:25 PM

I guess Mozilla/Fizzilla will have a good looking Aqua skin ready to roll when Mac OS X hits the street then :)

While I've not had a chance to try your work, this new stuff you're woking on sounds really cool and is a great showcase for XULs abilities and customizations.

Did I read correctly that you've found a way to use native scrollbars?

#23 Re: Cool

by shiva

Sunday February 20th, 2000 7:44 AM

>Did I read correctly that >you've found a way to >use native scrollbars?

Yes, that is correct

#25 That's kind of correct...

by Waldo

Sunday February 20th, 2000 3:19 PM

Pete's been working to build a native scrollbar look-alike for mac, windows, and GTK+. It doesn't act 100% the same as your native version, but it looks pretty close. Pete's working to update it so that it looks and feels even better.

You can find a link to it by looking under history in the HELP menu of Pete's Open Source UI. (I'd post it here, but I don't have it offhand)


#9 My notes...

by Waldo

Saturday February 19th, 2000 2:21 AM

Posted this to .ui, but wanted to get some mozilla regular's comments:



I'm running the Open Source UI on the Mac. Today's build. (note: Not the new widget set which was checked in today. I don't know how that will affect performance or the look of this, but doesn't really matter much I should think...)

Here are some notes:

* On the macintosh, the right-bottom part of the window has a resize-box which overlaps the "pen" icon. I can show you if you don't know what I mean. the solution would be move the icons a little to the left to give the resize box some room.

* Doing mouseovers on the buttons causes a quick "flash" when it's updating the image where I can see a box outline before the new image is drawn. Dunno if this is a flaw w/XUL or what, but I thought I'd let you know.

* On the fruitygum UI, holding the mouse over a button caused it to redraw the icon quite rapidly, creating a kind of strobing effect.

* The grey color behind the buttons is just a tad darker than the grey of the rest of the menu, so they don't quite mesh right. (NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN THE SCREEN SHOT. IS THE MAC GRAY DIFFERENT THAN GRAY ON OTHER PLATFORMS?)

* There is a "collapse/expand the menu bar" expansion arrow & row along the very top of the browser, but there's no content there (remember, there's no window-based menubar on the mac version of mozilla). This problem doesn't seem to exist on the fruitygum version.

* I love the little text area that tells you what each icon does.

* I also think the slider panel works really well. Looks cool too.

* There doesn't seem to be a bookmark window or bookmark functionality... (or side panel, which I can live without, esp. if it quickens the redraws)

Ideas for improvements

* Could the descriptive text for shaded buttons also be shaded? (Ie, still there but greyed out)?

* Center the "Open Source UI (room for improvement)" across the whole window, not just the location bar. I see that there's kinda no space, but it looks a little odd for some reason, aesthetically speaking. Maybe someone else can offer a suggestion about making this look better.

* Could the "lock" icon on the right be made to turn a certain color when a secure page is loaded?

* Any way to incorporate that pulldown described in ? This was something that everyone on the .ui newsgroup unanimously wanted to try.

* Since you've got those great OS scrollbars workin', is there any way to incorporate them into this UI? Maybe put a little secret "easter egg" button (maybe the title text) or control-key sequence somewhere to cycle between the different scrollbars? I think this would be a cool little "extra" to have to show off the abilities of XUL and especially THIS UI (!), plus it'll serve as a starting point for others who want to work off of that graphics/code.

* It would be cool to be able to dynamically add buttons to the control panel on the right side (as originally proposed by Jeff in his outline and kinda like how IE 5.0 for mac will work), taken from some kind of template of pre-defined buttons. I don't have any idea how or if this could work, but just throwing out my pie-in-the-sky suggestion.

Anyway, it's awesome. Keep up the good work! W

#10 Mac gray

by chainsaw

Saturday February 19th, 2000 3:08 AM

Yes, Mac gray is slightly lighter than on most other platforms. Windows uses #C0C0C0, OS/2 uses #CCCCCC and Mac uses either the same as OS/2 or a slightly lighter tone.

#18 Re: My notes...

by cbarrett

Saturday February 19th, 2000 4:02 PM

Great comments, Waldo. I'm the resident Mac user at Alphanumerica, and spotted most of these problems right before we released the first version of the skins.

We believe that the quick "flash" is a latency issue in the Mozilla browser, related somehow to the way our layers abd images are set up. I'm sure Pete or David can explain this better.

#19 Re: Re: My notes...

by thelem

Saturday February 19th, 2000 4:38 PM

I believe what is happening is when you mouseover the actual image on the toolbar changes, while mozilla is fetching the image from disk you see the default 'image loading' frame.

Not really sure how you could fix this, other than loading all images into memory when Mozilla loads (not that it will only happen the first time you mouseover a button).


#11 Quick Note...

by mozineAdmin

Saturday February 19th, 2000 6:08 AM

"* On the fruitygum UI, holding the mouse over a button caused it to redraw the icon quite rapidly, creating a kind of strobing effect. "

That's actually an animated gif!!! :-)

#12 animated gif

by alliswell

Saturday February 19th, 2000 9:27 AM

the hover state for the buttons in the fruitygum ui is done with an animated gif, and for some reason it is amazingly sped up on the mac. unix and windows has the animation at a slower pace, but i'm not sure why there is a difference across platforms.

#17 Re: animated gif

by cbarrett

Saturday February 19th, 2000 3:52 PM

You can verify this by loading one of the animated GIFs into a regular browser -- they animate at the same speed as in Mozilla.

The problem likely lies in the way the animated GIFs were saved/exported and the GIF89a image format. We're working on a fix, which will be included in the next version of the skins to be distributed.

#24 Modified M14 default skin (no more grey or white)

by erich

Sunday February 20th, 2000 2:04 PM

I modified the original mozilla skin to remove all the gray and white most users finde quite annoying. The result can be seen here: If you are interested, i will release the modified css files. (all modifications were done in css only) But this is just a quick hack...

#26 Wow, interesting.

by Waldo

Sunday February 20th, 2000 3:23 PM

It does seem much tighter, I have to say.

I still don't really like the overall look of it (As someone said on .ui the other day, it's like how museums have their walls painted a non-distracting white so the paintings stand out-- same should go for the default browser chrome-- keep them colors muted and non-imposing)...

Nice job! W