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.
#67 Re: What about the end users?
Friday April 14th, 2000 7:57 AM
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I think that you're right about how intimidating the new interface will be for general users. I recently downloaded and installed Netscape 6PR1 on a friends PC, and she doesn't use it because the interface is different, it's still crashes every now and then, and because the performance (greater lag time and starting time) is less than that of Netscape 4.7.
I'm used to working on different systems, so personally, I have little or no problem acclimating to new interfaces or environments. But i think that an important distinction has to be made about which audience Mozilla and Netscape cater to.
True, Mozilla was spawned out of Netscape's decision to release its original code base to the public, but ultimately, their mission is to crank out a cross-platform browser-suite /development environment. They are naturally going to be more concerned with the internal workings of Mozilla and the stability of the infrastructure than the usability of the interface. They're in the manner of making engines, rather than cars.
Netscape on the other hand, is in the business of making cars (browsers), So it's in their best interests to ensure that the final release of Netscape 6 has a polished, good looking, and easy to use interface. But in this particular case, i think that Netscape was busy enough trying to incorporate the proprietary aspects (net2phone, AIM, etc) into their branded browser in time for a beta release, that revising the current interface became a lesser priority.
I think it would be very beneficial to Netscape if the current users of PR1 would give suggestions as to how to better the interface. I've been thinking about sitting down to hack together an UI myself, but I know very little about human-computer interaction or XUL, and i don't have the time to get started right now. Maybe more people could get involved in that aspect and submit fruits of their labor to chromeZone?