MozillaZine on Skins
Tuesday April 11th, 2000
I have decided to put my own head on the chopping block and weigh in on the Mozilla skins and native widgets debate. To read more, click "Full Article" below.
#5 Good article, good points
Tuesday April 11th, 2000 8:27 PM
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I think one thing you danced about but never quite said:
Mozilla came from code that was a browser, e-mail client, etc., and has morphed into something that even the Netscape developers working on the 5.0 code then could never have dreamed -- an open standards Web platform.
About this we have to realize one thing: Mozilla is in its infancy. It is a one of a kind. The only thing that approaches this is Linux, and Linux is relegated to being an OS. Mozilla is not an OS, not yet in any case. Not while NSPR still relies on the underlying platform. But again, Mozilla is an infant, hell, it ain't been born yet even. Anyone who saw Windows 1.0 will know that infant technologies don't look all that great.
Those who point to the loss of native widgets (some claiming keeping them would have saved time, even! Ha!) aren't looking at the bigger picture: those native UIs are at the end of their development cycle, Mozilla's is at the beginning, and Mozilla's have the greater advantage -- they look the same from Amiga (well, they WILL) to Mac to Unix to Linux to Windows. Developers can write a UI once and never again, instead of developing it 15 times for as many platforms. Can you imagine what Mozilla's UI will look like after the embryotic stage?
Basically, all the whining about the UI boils down to two things: stubborn blustering about native UIs that don't look THAT great anyway (sorry Mac, the only thing I like is the colored scrollbars) -- and don't think someone didn't bitch about the loss of the wooden wheel when the rubber ones came out -- and 2, impatience.
I for one think that cross-platform development is worth the wait, and that native UIs are a reasonable sacrifice.