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.)
#31 What a Shallow Article...
by TonyG <email@example.com.Yuk>
Wednesday April 12th, 2000 2:26 PM
You are replying to this message
I read the suck article and then had a beer then read it again.
Somewhere in his rambling attempt at net poetry the guy has an axe to grind which is his right. I have my own misgivings about XP widgets relating to speed.
However, the point was not missed by this guy but merely avoided. The reality is if you want your browser looking like every other grey app on your desktop then you will use the OS lookalike skin which will be everywhere. Checkout the MAC OS Skin in development in the SkinZone.
The point is that Mozilla is visionary in its view on the use of standards, on compliancy and on the need for cross - platform consistency. Whilst XUL may have initially been a means to save CPP coding time it has has led to a whole new ball game.
Greg Knauss sees the big picture for sure but chose to take the lazy approach and latch onto a line of attack devoid of any research into the product.
Wonder does he "defend the right to innovate"? ;-)