Weekend Discussion

Friday March 24th, 2000

Time for another weekend discussion. The question this weekend:

What do you feel is an appropriate level of integration between a browser and an Operating System? And at the other end of the spectrum, what are your feelings about Mozilla's cross-platform approach?

#56 Re: XPCOM and XUL are the future

by socbyset <>

Monday March 27th, 2000 1:04 AM

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The idea of something like XUL/Mozilla taking UI out of the hands of the OS and turning it into a open source and Web standards-based application architecture is compelling. It would make NC's more viable and fulfill a lot of the cross-platform hype that used to surround Java. It would also be a great leap forward for open standards-based computing. It's something that I would love to see. But I still think that in practice it may have a hard time gathering steam. Say I am a graphic artist working on the MacOS. I spend maybe 60% of my time in Photoshop and Illustrator and 10% doing miscellaneous tasks like copying files, organizing my stuff, etc; and 20% doing tasks on the Web. Well, if my browser is Mozilla then I will be frustrated by its ignorance of the way my Mac and my Mac apps do things. Not just widgets but all the Mac interface guidelines, look and feel, dialogs, copy/paste, etc. I will choose IE in a second. The point is, I get good standards compliance and a browser that genuinely tries to be "mac". What will make me switch to Mozilla?

Maybe I'm not thinking big enough, maybe the landscape will have so many different wierd devices and set top boxes and NC's in a few years that XUL/Mozilla etc. will multiply and dominate the universe, and traditional desktop computing will be a much smaller share of internet computing. But I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that we will get from here to there.