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!
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 <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=28146> ? 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