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.)
#21 Who gives a rip about looks?
Wednesday April 12th, 2000 8:32 AM
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I am inclined to agree with some of these people who have their heads on strait as far the browser development is concerned in that I don't care if the entire UI of Mozilla/Netscape is hot pink so long as it will work without crashing every five minutes and will speed my web browsing. Yes, at present the Mozilla/Netscape effort has a ways to go as for as bug fixes but what I have seen so far is exceptional. No, it still isn't quite as stable or bug-free as earlier versions of Netscape, or even IE for that matter, but it is on the right track. I am so looking forward to the day when I can run my Windows based system without IE embeded in the system to screw things up and seems that Mozilla/Netscape will do just that.