Suck on Skins
Tuesday April 11th, 2000
TheUIGuy wrote in about a Suck.com article that talks about Mozilla/Netscape 6 and it's skinnability. It takes a very negative view on what we feel is a very positive technology.
Skins allow the user to pick their interface. Packages allow them to extend it. This customization allows anyone to choose how they browse the Web, manage mail, or use any of Mozilla's other applications. The author of the Suck piece, Greg Knauss, seems to feel that choice is bad, because there is the possibility for poorly designed or useless skins. That comes close to saying, "there could be ugly pages on the Web, so shut it down."
Greg also states, "by adding in all the flexibility of XUL, the Mozilla programmers have removed our ability to make the application use the native controls of the operating system." This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Open Source. The direction Mozilla is taking doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything. The capability to do exactly what Greg wants is right there, in the code sitting on the CVS server, and in the mind and will of someone who needs something done differently. Mozilla might not be doing what you want, but that does not mean that you are prevented from doing it yourself.
(FYI, there are projects for Windows and Linux -- and nothing preventing a Mac project -- for embedding the HTML renderer into a native wrapper application.)
#15 Three years? Can you COUNT?
Tuesday April 11th, 2000 10:56 PM
You are replying to this message
It's only been TWO years since Netscape released the source for what was then Communicator 5. The current Mozilla has only been in development since October (or so) of 1998, about 19 months. Long for a software project, but it's open source, with hundreds of developers from around the world. As they said in 'Code Rush, it's like herding cats. It's been a long ride, but they've covered some good ground.
Of course, I think October is a bit longer than a lot of people would like to see. When M14 hit, I figured M16 would wind up being the Release. I'm starting to doubt that...