Modern 2.0

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000

Netscape has begun working on landing the new modern skin for both Mozilla 1 and Netscape 6. The current plan is to dump the current modern skin when the new one has fully landed.

While the skin looks better than the first version of Modern, we think this time could be better spent on improving the Classic skin, which is preferred by the majority of users, rather than working on a skin that has already been shunned by most in the community. What are they thinking?

#1 Nice

by bradfitz

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 7:20 PM

That's a helluva lot better than the Modern 1.0 skin.

Now, if only it had a "Home" button on the main toolbar so I could turn off that lower toolbar with all the damn Netscape businesss-development commercial links that I don't care about..... *sigh*

#31 Re: Nice

by lordpixel

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:08 AM

You coul learn the keyboard shortcut for Home, or use the Go menu?

Dunno. Never use the home button myself these days.

#44 While you're at it

by riddley

Thursday August 24th, 2000 1:23 PM

You could post the KB-shortcut for Home?

#116 Re: Nice

by mrstottie

Wednesday September 13th, 2000 5:40 PM

Looking at the latest builds, I like it a lot. It looks good. Way to go, Mozilla (& Netscape of course!). The Classic skin is nothing compared to it. The original Modern was a bag o' sh*te though.

#71 Re: Nice

by witbrock

Friday August 25th, 2000 9:00 AM

I agree that this skin is much better. In fact, to the extent that one can tell from one screen shot, I'd say that this version is quite lovely, really. Certainly enough better to switch back from classic.

It's amazing what some rather subtle changes by a designer can achieve.

#91 Re: Nice

by onyo

Saturday August 26th, 2000 8:44 AM

I downloaded the nightly build and it is in. I like it, its better than 1.0.

#2 What is really needed is toolbar customization...

by rgelb

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 7:28 PM

I think a sure winner feature would be the ability to place sevaral toolbars on the same line. This would save a lot of space. For instance, in IE I like to place the address bar on the same line as the menu bar.

Also, ability to customize which buttons to add or remove would be nice (but it is probably too late in the project to implement).

As far as the skin goes it is much better, but I've really like the ThinIce skin which is really clean and functional

#4 Re: What is really needed is toolbar customization

by bradfitz

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 7:45 PM

Yeah, that WOULD be nice, but it won't happen too soon, if ever. I imagine adding all that support would be a ton of Javascript and XUL and even it got working, it'd look like crap because the current skins only look as nice as they do because they're tweaked for a very specific layout.

However, you can rearrange and customize the toolbars in K-Maleon (or however you spell it).

#10 That's EXACTLY why I use IE!!!

by connery4

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:49 PM

In fact, I put ALL my toolbars on a single line and it makes my workspace HUGE... almost as big as using the fullscreen feature (to which I have also added all the toolbars on a single line as well). This becomes especially important if I'm ever using one of those free internet services that makes me dock an ad banner on my screen. The net result ends up being about the same as running either mozilla or netscape without the ad banner, and when I'm not using a free service -- my 17 inch monitor feels like 19. Until Mozilla gets a clue I'll NEVER go back! (So, please get a clue, ok? I'd love to see you beat IE, but it's the end-user you've gotta win over.)

#29 Re: What is really needed is toolbar customization


Thursday August 24th, 2000 6:56 AM

With my little 'pet project' called 'AMI' (the Alternative Menu Initiative) I just managed to implement some customization of the Navigation toolbar. It now supports 'Pictures And Text', 'Pictures Only' and 'Text Only' buttons. It is also possible to show or hide any of the available buttons you wish. So it is possible and not much XUL nor JavaSript really. The tough part is making sure other skins also still work .... The customization I offer with AMI only works for the Classic skin.

I'm still working with the M17 build and I've read that some on/off customization has now turned up in the nightlies...

#51 Re: Re: What is really needed is toolbar customiza

by beastie

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:59 PM

I know that Hyatt already has done a rough hide/show toolbar buttons implementation, but I'm not aware of any progress on the display of pictures and/or text on toolbar buttons. I'm sure there's an open bug on this in bugzilla. Maybe you could attach some relevant code to that bug?

#54 Re: Pictures and/or text on buttons

by Ryouga

Thursday August 24th, 2000 3:33 PM

I certainly hope that Netscape isn't planning on relying on tooltips to label the buttons.

IMHO, a stupid idea that just doesn't work. ;)

#103 Draggable & Dockable Toolbars

by cAP5

Monday August 28th, 2000 4:41 AM

So that one could have either floating toolbars in separate "always-on-top" windows or dock them on any of the borders (top,bottom,left,right).

Would it be a good extension to XUL? Even if it's quite specialized widget, you know, there's a damn "colorpicker" also..


<toolbar dockable="top,bottom"> ..toolbar contents go here :) </toolbar>

I'm sorry this is a reply to a "quite" old message :)

Have a nice day.

#3 Majority of Users? and We?

by jelwell

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 7:37 PM

We don't agree with people bashing the modern skin. The majority of Mozilla developers may agree that Classic is better, but Netscape has more resources to find out what the Average User wants, and I'll believe that they've found something users want. I know myself and others enjoy using the modern skin over classic.

Joseph Elwell

#7 Re: Majority of Users? and We?

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:23 PM

"We" meaning a majority of the MozillaZine admins, "majority of users" being the majority of opinions that we (the majority of MozillaZine admins) have seen expressed on the matter.

Deciding to move forward with a new Modern skin while at the same time letting the Classic skin languish is essentially doing what the majority of MozillaZine readers feel is *not* the right thing to do - focusing on new features instead of stability, performance, and bloat. It is also what we as mozillaZine admins feel is the wrong thing to do.

To move the new Modern skin above the Classic skin in priority (something we didn't mention in the news item) shows a disregard for the community that has been built, and for their opinions. It shows a disregard even for the process that is required for Netscape to get a product out the door faster. It shows that above all, Netscape is more concerned with surface presentation than substance.

Note how long it has taken to get Classic up to this point. And it *still* requires tweaking. How much effort will be taken to renovate Modern, to the detriment of the Classic skin? How much time will be taken on the new widget set (scrollbars, etc) that the Modern 2 screenshot suggests? How much tweaking will be required? Which developers (and how many) will be working on this new feature?

*We* feel it makes little sense.

#8 Re: Re: Majority of Users? and We?

by sdm

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:28 PM

So, you're saying Netscape, as a company, should not put resources into skins other than the Classic one? "letting the classic skin languish" are pretty strong words.

Also, bloat, performance, and stability are critical, but, UI designers can't really help in those areas.

#11 Re: Re: Re: Majority of Users? and We?

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:52 PM

I'm saying that they're not only taking up UI designers' time, but the time of other developers who have to implement the skin (like Ben Goodger, who has *a ton* of other obligations).

Add to that the fact that they're focusing on new features *after* their own cutoff date for feature freeze, and the fact that they prioritized the skin *above* Classic.

I think both decisions were foolhardy, and I have no problem saying so.

#14 skins

by teakill

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:17 PM

I have to agree with you here. The modern skin was a nice experiment, but most people including myself are used to the classic. Why do people always feel that new software needs a new interface. I can navigate websites just fine with the classic skin. Netscape should finish the classic, then let users download some groovy new one as they wish. Make one thing and make it work. Maybe mozilla 1.0 would come out by xmas.

#12 new Netscape developers

by jhewitt

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:13 PM

Just for the record, Netscape is not stretching their current resources (such as Ben Goodger) any thinner to do this new modern skin. They are hiring new developers to take on this task. Coincidentally, I have just been hired by Netscape to be one of those developers, and will be moving to CA next week to get started. There is one other job opening in the UI group to work on skins if anyone else out there is interested.

#13 Re: new Netscape developers

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:16 PM

Interesting. This is contrary to what I had been told.

I'm curious to know why they would be hiring skin developers. Are they hiring across the board, in other areas that could use help, as well?

#16 Re: Re: new Netscape developers

by jhewitt

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:32 PM

I don't know about hiring plans across the board... but if you check the AOL job listings website you can see what openings are being publicly advertised.

#27 Re: Re: Re: new Netscape developers

by dave532

Thursday August 24th, 2000 5:07 AM

You'd have thought they would have advertised it on as I can't imagine many people who would like to work full time on this project would actually be regular checkers of the AOL site. Anyway good luck with your job at Netscape, I think this new skin shows a lot of promise. It may get me to convert from classic ;) I still think classic should be the default though

#32 Re: new Netscape developers

by sdm

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:21 AM

There have been job postings for these positions, on, mozillazine, and the newsgroups, by Paul Hangas' group.

#20 Re: Re: new Netscape developers

by Ben_Goodger

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 11:13 PM

The key focus of Netscape, I imagine, is development and testing of their default skin. Modern/2 appears to be the direction Netscape wishes to head in for Netscape 6, so it is likely that it will focus its efforts on this. I was told that this was the case, and that Classic could not achieve the same level testing as Modern/2. (a darn sight better than Blue though, which will receive none).

Classic-Win remains a pet project of mine. I'm not in the skins group, so I'm not full time staff that skins can leverage. I'll continue to work on Classic-win (as finishing it up continues to be a P1 nsbeta3+ bug for me). I will not be taking a large role in Modern/2 development, and neither will people like David Hyatt. We will merely provide consulting services to the skins group to speed the efficient development of this skin.

From the designs I've seen, this skin looks to have lots of promise, and appears to be a definite step above Modern/1. I wish its implementors the best of luck.

#43 Open Recs.

by jelwell

Thursday August 24th, 2000 1:09 PM

I know my team, and I'm sure many other teams, have Open Recs for developers. People interested in becoming a Paid Mozilla developer should check out <A HREF="">Netscape Jobs</A>, or search for mozilla at (that's how I found my job).

Joseph Elwell.

#9 Re: Majority of Users? and We?

by Kovu

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:44 PM

I think that having a decent "Modern" is as crucial as having a decent "Classic". "Blue" wasn't getting it, it was just too plain, too much like a temporary UI. I say Netscape needs to devote equal time to both a new UI and a Classic one.

#5 Do you really know that?

by blarg

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:10 PM

I know a lot of people are very vocal about their hatred for the `modern' skin, but can you actually show some kind of evidence that the classic skin `is preferred by the majority of users'?

I don't really like the (old) modern skin either, but when mozilla finally became easily themable, I tried out the classic one, and quickly realized what a clunky-ass piece of shit it was. I'm glad they're actually trying to make something better.


p.s. Online polls don't count

#6 Cool!

by wwrafter

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 8:20 PM

The new skin (at least the screen shot) looks 1000% better that the current "modern" skin. I'm starting to use the mail client more and more. I'd be intereste ffb

ffb d in a screen shot of that, too. Overall? I'd suffer through the current skin if it meant getting more bugs fixed, or better yet, XSLT implemented.


#38 Re: Cool!

by darnell

Thursday August 24th, 2000 9:19 AM


The new skin is great and the new browser should have a new look and feel, but I hope it's not at the expense of releasing the final version any later.

#15 I'm starting to like the current modern skin

by svmcguir

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:19 PM

I don't like this glossy stuff. I have no interest in making my programs look like physical,3d objects when they're not.

#30 Death to 3D!

by ess

Thursday August 24th, 2000 7:48 AM

Well, maybe not *death* to 3D, but I do agree that the glossy stuff is lame. The current modern skin is nice and flat, whatever its other sins may be (I don't mind it).

_Understanding Comics_ has a chapter on realism vs. cartoons, and how it's easier to identify with cartoon faces than with fully-rendered ones.

Do highly detailed icons and 3D-looking interface widgets repel us by preventing us from "identifying with" them? Or is it just that more complex renderings are more distracting? An animated .GIF is more distracting than a static image of a moving object, after all. Nobody would say that the "Send" button in Mail/News should be animated so as to express the motion of sending better.

#17 Quick thoughts

by archen

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 9:36 PM

My first impression is that this thing looks very cool. But on the other hand I think the arrow buttons look... well, rather stupid in my opinion. Anyone else feel this way? I do agree that Netscape needs quit with the new features already. We need a good browser and we need it yesterday.

I will however defend the new Modern skin...(yikes). If anything, I think it's important to come across right from the start that Mozilla can be cooler than any other program, because you can make it look and act like anything. I do like classic, but if you think about how a person who USED to use Netscape (I still do, but I know many who switched) would look at it, they'd think that N6 was just N4 with some stuff moved around (like IE4 -> IE5). The new modern makes it come across like "Wow, this is really different, they really must have been doing something all this time". I also think that they need to stick a button, or menu, or SOMETHING to make skin switching extremely easy, so that even novice users who don't even toy with the preferences ,can switch skins easily (and get something they like).

We're getting native widgets with this thing right? because it looks an awful lot like that's a capture on windows, and they have Mac like widgets. Now THAT would piss me off...

#39 Exactly!

by jakubusa

Thursday August 24th, 2000 9:30 AM

Let there be 50 skins. Everybody is different, and choice is always good. But realistically, Mozilla needs to be careful. The default skin will have to carefully put together. It is just inevitable that most people who download the browser will stick to the default skin. This has to appeal to the majority of users, period. And I absolutely agree with the point made above, make switching skins easy and prominent on the interface.

I do like the new modern skin much better than the old creation, but would likely stick with Classic. Just my preference.

#18 Netscape 3.0 all the way!

by tnikkel

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 10:10 PM

Why are they wasting all this valuable development time working on a skin for the 4.x browser? It is a commonly known fact that browser interfaces reached their peak with Netscape 3.0, so take all developers off of the so called "modern" skin, and the 4.x skin, and put them all onto the 3.0 skin project, it is the future.

#26 Re: Netscape 3.0 all the way!

by slm

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:58 AM

Is't NS6 at the IE2 level? Since IE3 there is a button to increase/reduce font size, I need that. In Mozilla I have to go deep into the view menu. Where are the button for turning on/off (according prefs) images; ok, that's NS4 level... Why no 'grippy' for the status bar to clean up the sceen? - If you looking for a browser-only-patch (classic), try this

#72 Re: Netscape 3.0 all the way!

by Martyr

Friday August 25th, 2000 9:20 AM

WEll, unofficially-speaking, some of us *are* working on a 3.x skin. The look-n-feel of NS3 is the best of any browser I've seen...both in appearance and ergonomics.

#19 Silent majority love modern.

by splodge

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 11:07 PM

The only reason Mozillazine keeps critizing the Modern skin is because of a vocal minority.

Modern is super!

I guess it doesn't matter since it's all customisable ...

#36 Re: Silent majority love modern.

by macpeep

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:42 AM

And what do you base those claims on? In fact Netscape is doing the Modern 2.0 skin because it got so bad reviews for the current Modern skin which sucked BIG TIME. I remember when the first skin (they gray one) came out, some people complained it sucked while others thought it was decent. Then they did the "real skin" which is the current modern one. Immediately, there was a HUGE flood of "oh my god!! NO!!!!!!!! what have you done!?!? you can't be serious!?" emails. My initial reaction was pretty much like this too and even today I think that the Modern skin is a horrible.

Modern 2 is getting great feedback and so is Classic.. It's not just Mozillazine - it's all the newsgroups, IRC, Slashdot etc. There was a poll in one newsgroup about which skin to use as default, Modern or Classic and the result was something like 90-3 for Classic and most people added a comment like "KILL modern!!".

But like I said.. Modern 2.0 has received good reviews by most people so far.

#62 Love them in the sidebar

by samfish

Friday August 25th, 2000 12:23 AM

I know the silent majority likes the modern skin because they haven't said anything!

#68 Love them in the sidebar

by macpeep

Friday August 25th, 2000 7:10 AM

hahahaha well.. I know the silent majority HATES the modern skin because they haven't said anything!

#84 What

by Tekhir

Friday August 25th, 2000 5:41 PM

The fact is most people keep things to themselves unless something really annoys them.

#86 Still ugly!

by samfish

Saturday August 26th, 2000 1:09 AM

Then it's their own fault if something they like gets changed. Positive feedback is as important as negative feedback.

#90 re: What

by macpeep

Saturday August 26th, 2000 4:22 AM

That may be true in general but the people that are involved in Mozilla now are all pretty vocal because they are involved so they could contribute; if only with an idea or an opinion. Of the vocal opinions, a VAST majority have said they dislike or STRONGLY dislike Modern/1.

I've showed Mozilla to a lot of people at work and not a SINGLE person has said anything positive about the visuals while most have reacted within 5 seconds of seeing the browser with "holy shit! that's UGLY!". This is until yesterday when I showed Modern/2 to a guy at work and his reaction was "hey! that's pretty cool! is that the next Netscape browser? it looks nice!".

Modern/2 must be doing something rihgt. :)

#113 I like the Modern 1.0 skin

by maynard

Friday September 1st, 2000 4:09 PM

I guess I really am a minority, but I thought the original modern skin was original and attractive. One look at the new 2.0 skin and I know I'll be re-themeing it back after release.

Oh well, no accounting for taste!

#21 Netscape's Decision

by dmyurych

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 11:21 PM

Last time I checked Mozilla was an open/free source project. If people prefer the Classic theme, they are free to code to thei ffb r hearts content. Netscape is but one contributor, granted the major contributor, to Mozilla. They have every right to come up with whatever look they want for there 'branded' version of Mozilla. People are still trapped in the menatally that Netscape == Mozilla. It doesn't have too. We're starting to see other 'distributions' of Mozilla, just like we see many ditributions of Linux. If Netscape is paying their developers to contribute to Mozilla, they most certainly have the freedom to make it look whatever way they wish. If people don't like it, they can make their own contributions to the Mozilla code base. Or in the worst case, like with any free software project, fork the code and do whatever they want. I personal don't plan on using Netscape's distribution of Mozilla (too much AOL crap), but I think the ability to choose between multiple distributions of Mozilla whether it be Netscape, Galeon, K-Meleon or whoever else, is great.

p.s. Regarding dynamic toolbar customization, if you really think it's such a great feature, why not work with an existing theme or create a theme that has just that ability.

#22 oh yes!

by macpeep

Wednesday August 23rd, 2000 11:25 PM

The new modern skin rules! There is just about nothing left from the original modern skin - which is GOOD! Good work Netscape!

#23 modern/2 better for joe average & his grandma

by deckard

Thursday August 24th, 2000 1:08 AM

I think, that new modern skin will be preferred by average users, that just want to browse and mail, not to use those ugly computers. look at Mac an IE for Mac. but classic skin is important to all those skilled computer users, that use browser for work, not fun. IMHO, at least.

#24 I love the modern skin

by sneakums

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:23 AM

I edited navigator.css to turn off the print and search buttons, and now Modern is just perfect. The Classic skin in nasty; Communicator 4.x is a clunky piece of shit and I have o wish to be reminded of its existence.

Just because it's olde doesn't mean it's "classic".

#25 moz has a feature to do that

by archen

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:44 AM

I downloaded tonights build 8-23, and actually under the preferences in the navigator categorey, it gives you the option of toggling bookmarks and other things (including the seach and print buttons - which I don't like either)

now... to integrate that taskbar...

#34 Not good enough

by sneakums

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:22 AM

It doesn't fix the problem with the four primary buttons being off-kilter. I forgot to mention that I turned off the throbber as well, which fixes that problem.

Also, this build doesn't want to load my homepage, which I recently redesigned; it looks beautiful in Mozilla, okay in IE, and totally screws NS 4.x up. Heh heh.

#55 it's a start anyway

by archen

Thursday August 24th, 2000 4:03 PM

seems to me if they're working on just toggling a few buttons, they'll probably have a lot of other configuration options later. I'd hope so anyway. Although I don't like the throbber so much myself, it gives me something to look at while a page is loading. And actually I had plans to modify moz so that when you click the throbber it toggles JavaScript on/off - I hate pop up windows. Of course I planned on making thr throbber smaller too.

#28 The new modern looks great!

by riddley

Thursday August 24th, 2000 6:56 AM

I think the old "modern" looks like ass.

New one looks fantastic! Good work!

#33 What I'd like to see- smaller and hide-able

by mbourgon

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:21 AM

Honestly, I played with Kmeleon last night, and apparently there is actually a nice feature on IE. I could combine all the stuff I wanted on one tiny bar. The thing I dislike most about the current Mozilla skin is how big those darn buttons are. I like the "tiny" option on Netscape, and would love for the toolbar to be out-of-the-way as much as possible. heck, here's an idea: make the top bar auto-hide, like the taskbar. Go to the top, it's there. Pull off of it, watch it disappear. That would be _real_ nice. And color me as one of the people who thinks the new one looks a bit better, even if the buttons are huge.

#35 Is that link the old or the new?

by crixus

Thursday August 24th, 2000 8:26 AM

Is that above link that says "looks better than the first version of Modern" a link showing us how cool the new skin is, or is it a link showing us how lame the old skin was? I personally don't like the new one if that is a link to the new one. Rich...

#56 You need to ask?

by jesusX

Thursday August 24th, 2000 4:37 PM

I'm sorry, but I find this an extreemly silly question. Let me answer it when another question. In 1992, when you picked up your newspaper, when the headline read: "Clinton Elected Prisident" who did you see a photo of, Bush?

It's the new Modern skin.

#66 Don't be rude

by crixus

Friday August 25th, 2000 5:54 AM

The language used in that sentence was pretty ambiguous. NOT constructed that well. Don't be a jerk. Rich...

#37 way better

by Kaoslord

Thursday August 24th, 2000 9:06 AM

ahhh... thats nice.. i wouldnt mind using the new one...its actually pleasing on the eyes.....

#40 Skin with "sensible" nav buttons on it ?

by rkl

Thursday August 24th, 2000 10:40 AM

Modern 2.0 does look better than 1.0 (which was too "cartoony" for my tastes), but still suffers some obvious problems:

1. What does the third button (a curved arrow) actually mean ? It could be "back", "home" or "reload" ! It's a very poor icon to use and arguably the worst feature on first glance of Modern 1.0/2.0

2. Why oh why isn't the home button inline with the other four nav buttons - as someone else pointed out, you can then turn off the *utterly useless* bar below (Home, MyNetscape etc.). Telling me to use CTRL-H or Go -> Home is no answer.

3. That "Search" button should be removable - it's a total waste of screen estate. I would personally replace it with a "Find" (as in "find text in page") button, which is approximately 100 times more useful than a "Search" button.

4. Do we still actually need a throbber in the top-right any more ? Internet Explorer has such a tiny and "fuzzy" throbber, that you can barely notice it working and I hardly ever look at the throbber in Nav 4.X. Would be nice to be able to toggle it off.

Some of these comments, of course, also apply to the "Classic" skin, which is also failing to put the Home button inline with the other nav icons (to me, "Classic" should NOT be the default in Nav 6.X - it should, however, as closely mimic Nav 4.X as possible to aid users to be as comfortable moving from 4.X to 6.X as is possible).

I also agree that a button or pull-down menu option for changing skins should be available - people love to tinker with such things.

#47 personal toolbar

by mattdm

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:19 PM

I don't think the personal toolbar is useless. In fact, I love it. I don't use bookmarks on the regular menu anymore. I was getting to have so many bookmarks in so many levels that it took a long time to find anything. Now, the top level of my bookmarks is right there. And it doesn't really take up very much space -- much better than NS 4.

#48 Re: personal toolbar

by rkl

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:33 PM

Yes, some people might indeed like the personal toolbar in NS 6.X (complete with highly US-biased commercial stuff on it !), but those who don't end up suffering by having the Home button on it rather than in Navigation Toolbar, meaning we lose the precious home button if we turn it off.

Seen those two words above - *Navigation Toolbar*. Why is what's clearly a navigation button - "Home" - doing on your Personal Toolbar ?! NS 4.X, quite correctly, never did this, so why should NS 6.X ? It's basically poor design in the chrome (both Modern and Classic) and really does need to be fixed.

#52 Re: Re: personal toolbar

by acwest

Thursday August 24th, 2000 3:23 PM

I agree that the home button belongs on the navigation tool-bar. Regarding the Personal Toolbar, I use it a lot. The first thing to do, how ffb




ffb ever, is remove all of the default junk from it and put your own bookmarks there...

#59 Don't be absurd.

by Ugg

Thursday August 24th, 2000 6:43 PM

Navigation buttons work with history and the present page. Bookmarks jump out of the flow by arbitrarily setting your location to something unconnected with either your history or the present page (except, perhaps, by coincidence).

My point? Home is a bookmark, not a form of navigation. Anyone who can't see this is eminently unqualified to discuss the issue. Bitch about not having your favorite button in your favorite place if you want, but don't pretend that this little "Home == navigation" semantic folly adds any weight to your complaint.

Personally, I never use the thing, and I'd be happy to have it gone forever, but that's just me.

#79 Re: Re: personal toolbar

by sremick

Friday August 25th, 2000 1:48 PM

I like and use the Personal Toolbar. And I also like being able to disable it completely when I'm going to have an extended browsing session when I know I won't be neededing it.

I don't subscribe to the whole "home page" concept, so I never use the Home button. I do NOT like having it on my personal toolbar for that reason. Now perhaps it can be argued that yes, the Home button is a bookmark of sorts and therefore, when it IS visible, it should be on the Personal Toolbar. In which case, I would expect a checkbox in preferences to take it off.

I want the Personal Toolbar to be 100% personal and ONLY have the stuff on it that I (the user) want.

#81 Re: Re: Re: personal toolbar

by dannunn

Friday August 25th, 2000 2:10 PM

"In which case, I would expect a checkbox in preferences to take [the home button] off [the personal toolbar]."

There is one. Check out the "Navigator" panel in the preferences from the latest nightlies (since Monday, I believe). You can customize the print button, the search button, the Home button, the bookmarks and a Go button.

#104 Re: Re: Re: Re: personal toolbar

by sremick

Monday August 28th, 2000 9:44 AM

Ha... wouldn't you know, I found that soon after I posted the message. I came on just now to post that I found exactly what I wanted, but you beat me to it. :)

So now I'm happy, at least. People will continue to fight over where it belongs when it's visible.

#73 Search button is NOT a wase of screen estate

by saltheart

Friday August 25th, 2000 9:25 AM

I agree that a Find button would be useful, however I use the Search button quite frequently. I use IE (for the moment) and I LOVE the sidebar search pane that displays search results so that I don't have go back and forth like I do on some search engine websites. I just wish I could add Google to that pane.

#41 Get rid of the throbber

by sneakums

Thursday August 24th, 2000 12:28 PM

Add this to the bottom of navigator.css or to your user.css:

#navigator-throbber { display: none; }

#49 Re: Get rid of the throbber - if you're a hacker..

by rkl

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:40 PM

Yes, all fine and dandy, but how many "average" NS 6.X users are going to do this ? Why not stick a right-button activated menu on the throbber to let you turn it off ? Or just a menu item or something in the prefs dialog.

Expecting users to have to edit .css files buried in the NS install tree isn't really practical for anyone but us die-hards really.

Without a friendly chrome component toggler, we've already begun to see "spin-off add-ins" to add the ability to, yes, toggle bits of your chrome on and off. Is this something too difficult to generically handle across all chromes (so that the chrome designer/coder doesn't have to code the same toggling code in every chrome they ship) ?

#58 "average" users do not want to remove it

by RvR

Thursday August 24th, 2000 5:42 PM

"average" NS 6.X users do not even think of removing the throbber. that's a pure hacker's desire only...

#61 Re: "average" users do not want to remov

by Anon

Thursday August 24th, 2000 11:20 PM

Agreed. There is absolutely no reason to clutter up the prefs menu with yet another option, enable/disable the throbber.

#65 We need a right click context menu

by dave532

Friday August 25th, 2000 4:55 AM

We need a right click context menu on the toolbars so that you can easily delete icons from the toolbar and then add then again if you want to bring them back.

#64 don't be a pissant

by sneakums

Friday August 25th, 2000 4:20 AM

Some people wanted to turn the throbber off. This is how you do it in current Mozilla builds.

As for users of Netscape 6.x, well, I am never going to use that product, and I don't care about them.

#42 i guess it should be 3d..

by prawda

Thursday August 24th, 2000 12:43 PM

i find that one has to really get used to the radical two-dimensionality of the modern skin.. i mean, everything has a 3d look, why is the "modern" skin so *utterly* two-dimensional? the new one is still quite unique but goes some way in that direction.. works for me, though the home button should be added.. i rather find the k-meleon buttons too small than the mozilla ones too big.. and since the thing is skinable, we'll see skin libraries (like the one for neoplanet) anyway.. maybe there's a point in shipping the final nc6 with a "classic" skin as default so that it's more recognizable and easy to switch for average customers.. just my two pence..

#45 Re: i guess it should be 3d..

by ess

Thursday August 24th, 2000 1:59 PM

"..."modern" skin so *utterly* two-dimensional..."

Actually, it still has 3D-ness. The scrollbar, for instance. And the toolbar buttons "press". The sidebar tabs have a 3D look to them, too, and not co-incidentally I think they look chunky and ugly. Flat rules.

#95 re:

by prawda

Sunday August 27th, 2000 12:43 PM

the 3D-ness is still minimal, compared to average windows apps at least (i triple boot win98, linux and beos).. the "search" button is the only element i can see in m17 that has a real 3D look to it.. i think it would help to set off the tool bar from the personal favorites bar by some kind of 3D-effect, for instance (which is done by the new modern skin).. this is what i meant why the old modern was something to get used to, kind of a lack of differentiation.. whether the realization is much better than a 2D version might be is not beyond argument.. and again: our aesthetic preferences can (and even should) differ, that's why skinability is so important..

#46 turning of text labels

by mattdm

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:14 PM

I don't mind the classic skin, except for the way the buttons are both graphics and text. I wish that could be toggled as in NS4.

I know I could modify the XUL, and I'll probably do that eventually, but for right now, it's too much work.

Plus, I don't really mind the modern skin, 1.0 or the new screenshots.

#50 Quite unrelated...

by odd

Thursday August 24th, 2000 2:57 PM

Something that has continually been an annoyance for me is the widget set, both of Modern and Classic. Going for Mac-like/identical widgets in "2.0" of the Modern skin is not something I find very smart. The idea of specific widgets to corresponding OS is neither appealing. What I would like to know is whatever happened to this draft:

I quite like that widget set.

#80 Me too

by sremick

Friday August 25th, 2000 1:57 PM

I've been wondering the same thing. It was brought up on another thread and I don't remember it being answered.

#53 Much better but...

by Netvigator

Thursday August 24th, 2000 3:33 PM

I think I agree that this modern theme is far, far better than its predecessor. However why don't they put at least as much effort in polishing classic. Classic deserves and it could look cooler with a bit of polishing

#57 Great work...

by jesusX

Thursday August 24th, 2000 5:07 PM

I actually liked the original Modern Skin, but I think this is a good improvement on it. I hope bug 41499 is fixed in it though.

As for buttons and prefs etc., I want to knwo if there will be a toggle to quiet a lot of the insignificant whining about the home and reload buttons. And as far as the "useless" bar goes, some of us like the personal link toolbar. If you don't, then turn it off.

That's where the Home button belongs anyway. Think about it. The Home button takes you to a website, just like any other bookmark.

#92 Re: Great work...

by rkl

Saturday August 26th, 2000 11:55 AM

It's not "insignificant whining" at all - look at NS 6 PR 2's "Personal Toolbar": it's nothing of the sort - it's full of commercial stuff (and US-biased commercial stuff at that).

As I said in a previous post, the home button does *not* belong on the personal toolbar - NS 3.X and 4.X (which you've conveniently failed to mention) and ALL IE RELEASES had the home button next to the other navigation icons, which is where it belongs - home is a *navigation* function ! By not putting Home in the correct place, about 20% of the navigation functionality of the browser is destroyed (yes, I admit I do use the Home button several times during a typical session).

The Personal toolbar is a screen-estate waster whose functionality is either wrong (Home button) or pointless.

It seems what we need is an easy way to customise this without having to load a new skin - e.g. a dialog that let's you choose which "toolbar" you put an item on (if you choose to show it at all).

BTW, the "Home" button doesn't always take you to a Website - e.g. it could go to an HTML file on my hard disk via file: URL, so I've got to disagree with you there I'm afraid.

#96 Re: Re: Great work...

by FrodoB

Sunday August 27th, 2000 4:18 PM

However, HTML files on your hard disk that are linked to by the Home button are still bookmarks.

Although I don't really give a rip where the button is placed (I've used it a grand total of 0 times since I downloaded Netscape 2.0 back in '95), it's not navigation. It's just a hard-coded bookmark. If an argument is made that Home is navigation, then all bookmarks are navigation by correlation.

#111 How to work with the "useless bar"

by eiseli

Wednesday August 30th, 2000 1:40 AM

Reading this thready is very interesting. Actually, I only thought of putting bookmarks there. But now you are saying I could even add the ability to do other stuff. If I understand you right, I could put there the menu View|Use Stylesheet| and have there a list of the alternate stylesheets I could load? that would be pretty cool.

One thing you should not forget though is that I am a power-user and I will do just anything with my browser - if I know that I can do it. But think of people who will use the browser in an intuitive manner: how will they come accross the idea doing such cool stuff?!?

#101 Re: Re: Great work...

by gwalla

Monday August 28th, 2000 12:48 AM

> BTW, the "Home" button doesn't always > take you to a Website - e.g. it could > go to an HTML file on my hard disk > via file: URL, so I've got to > disagree with you there I'm afraid.

You can set bookmarks to point to files on your hard drive too. You can even make bookmarks that run bits of JavaScript, if you like to get down and get funky with "javascript:" URLs.

There are only two differences between bookmarks and Home:

1) Home is always called Home, and can't be renamed. Whereas bookmarks are usually the title of the linked page, and their names can be edited.

2) The browser always starts at home, if you set it to Start At Homepage. If it's set to Start At Blank Screen, though, this is pretty unimportant.

Neither of these differences are particularly major. The homepage is just a bookmark you can't rename.

#106 Home-as-navigation? I think not...

by Millennium

Tuesday August 29th, 2000 8:24 AM

Let's look at navigation functions...

Back: Takes you back in the list of sites you've visited. Forward: If you've used Back, this will take you forward in the list of sites you've visited this session. Reload: Reloads the current page. Stop: Stops loading of the current page. Home: Takes you to a specific URL.

Home isn't a navigation function; it's just a bookmark. Sure, it's configured in a different spot from usual, but that doesn't change the fact that there is nothing the Home button can do that a bookmark cannot.

If it looks like a duck (Home can look like a bookmark, as a button in the "useless bar"), walks like a duck (takes you to a specified URL, just as bookmarks do), and quacks like a duck (Home provides no feedback that bookmarks don't), then I'm sorry, but *it's a duck!*

Besides which, once drag-and-drop is enabled then the "useless bar" won't be so useless. Don't like the Netscape bookmarks? Trash 'em and put your own favorite sites there. Or better yet, leverage the fact that Mozilla's UI is JavaScript-based. Using proper URL's, you could make those buttons do anything you wanted: perform browser functions not in the toolbar (View Source, anyone?), switch skins, drop down customized menus (want a Bookmarks menu in there perhaps?) or anything else Mozilla can do.

That's the problem with calling it the "useless bar." If you know how to work with it, it's actually one of Mozilla's most powerful features.

#60 UI design

by keyrate

Thursday August 24th, 2000 10:02 PM

One of the UI innovations I was hoping to see was the clean look, design, and customizability of IE5 on MacOS. Easy to look at. Easy to modify. Easy to get out of your way for more viewing pleasure.

Unfortunately sofar I don't see that level of _accessible_ customizability in the MozUI.

#63 Still ugly!

by samfish

Friday August 25th, 2000 12:33 AM

I find the skin to be just as ugly as the old one for all the same reasons. Actually, it's a bit uglier because it's got that semi Kais power tools/bryce 3d look to it and those programs have some of the worst interfaces I've ever seen. The cleaner and smaller the buttons the better. These big chileish buttons suck. Blue sucks too. It's a very late 80's/early 90's color and prominent on all of the amature web sites.

#67 Re: Still ugly!

by riddley

Friday August 25th, 2000 7:07 AM

Design a better one?

#76 Re: Still ugly!

by Jake

Friday August 25th, 2000 12:03 PM

Blue happens to be my favorite color... does that make me late 80's/early 90's? Does it make me an amature web site?

What do consider to be a late 90's early 00's color? The gray that's been with windows since 95? The slightly different gray of 2k? Or maybe it's red? Green?

#69 When does it go into the nightlies/Milestone?

by Jaapf

Friday August 25th, 2000 8:40 AM

When?, I just can't wait;-)

#70 When does it go into the nightlies/Milestone?

by Jaapf

Friday August 25th, 2000 8:43 AM

When?, I just can't wait;-)

#74 Franken-Modern?

by Millennium

Friday August 25th, 2000 10:16 AM

Looks like parts of Modern 2.0 are in the latest nightly (I'll call it "Franken-Modern")

Unfortunately, the mix is currently not very good; the 2.0 parts clash quite badly with the 1.0 parts; it makes me actually long for Modern 1.0 (something I never thought I'd hear myself say).

However, I'm guessing that they'll be putting more and more of 2.0 in the tree over the course of the next few days. With any luck, everything'll be in there in about a week.

#93 Re: Franken-Modern?

by sneakums

Saturday August 26th, 2000 5:02 PM

The Modern/1.0 has been renamed to "Blue". Still there in all its glory, and the problems the print button introduced have been fixed.

#108 Even better now

by sremick

Tuesday August 29th, 2000 1:41 PM

Check out the latest nightly. It's not perfect, but it's got a LOT more of Modern 2.0 working, so that it doesn't hurt your eyes anymore :)

#75 new classic

by ike

Friday August 25th, 2000 11:08 AM

I like Classic.If im on windows i like windows-like buttons and scroll bars. I think thats why many people like it. But im kinda tired of the buttons...ive been using ns4.x for a while now...i think a classic 2.0 or new classic or something like that would rule....more customizable and without that print button ( isnt that a place for a "go" button or something? )

#77 I'm a convert now

by arielb

Friday August 25th, 2000 12:40 PM

it looks much better than "modern" and I think it even looks better than classic. This from someone who gave up on Netscape 6/mozilla until I was able to switch to classic because I just couldn't stand using such an ugly browser hitting me in the fast. this looks cool now. Change is good

#78 But what about those darn widgets?

by avisdurgan

Friday August 25th, 2000 12:52 PM

This skin looks a lot better than Modern 1.0 (which looks like a draft of a skin rather than a skin itself IMO).

I think the Classic skin was a major improvement. But what worries me a lot is that the widgets on web pages haven't been changed - they've still got that Mozilla native look. I don't really have a problem with the fact that they are Mozilla native widges - it's just that they're so extremely ugly (especially the radio buttons).

#97 It did look like a draft

by Kovu

Sunday August 27th, 2000 6:14 PM

It did look like a draft. You were always asking yourself: are they really going to ship with this thing?

I always thought like it looked like a bunch of placeholders, much as I do like the color blue (dark blue). There was one night where the Classic skin icons bled over into the Modern skin and the component bar icons in particular looked really cool against that blue. But it was a mutant bug, it got squashed.

#98 It did look like a draft

by Kovu

Sunday August 27th, 2000 6:27 PM

It did look like a draft. You were always asking yourself: are they really going to ship with this thing?

I always thought like it looked like a bunch of placeholders, much as I do like the color blue (dark blue). There was one night where the Classic skin icons bled over into the Modern skin and the component bar icons in particular looked really cool against that blue. But it was a mutant bug, it got squashed.

#99 It did look like a draft

by Kovu

Sunday August 27th, 2000 6:30 PM

It did look like a draft. You were always asking yourself: are they really going to ship with this thing?

I always thought like it looked like a bunch of placeholders, much as I do like the color blue (dark blue). There was one night where the Classic skin icons bled over into the Modern skin and the component bar icons in particular looked really cool against that blue. But it was a mutant bug, it got squashed.

#100 S**T, D**n, Sorry!!! Link here:

by Kovu

Sunday August 27th, 2000 6:34 PM

In my humblest of apologies for posting three times, here's a pic of the blue/modern 1.0 Classic Crossover I mentioned (three times):

#102 Hey, that's actually kinda nifty!

by gwalla

Monday August 28th, 2000 12:51 AM

Could somebody make a skin that does this intentionally?

#82 Close(r), but...

by sremick

Friday August 25th, 2000 2:11 PM

From the screenshot, I have to admit this is a BIG improvement. There's promise to this skin, perhaps. I can't wait until they get all the parts of Modern 2.0 into the nightlies as currently only parts are there and it looks horrid.

Yet I still can't get over the feeling that with this skin I'm not using an application (read: "tool"), but playing a cartoon. Although parts of Modern 2.0 are more polished than Modern 1.0, a major difference between the two seems to be just assorted gradiated fills tossed in here and there. The navigation buttons still don't even look like buttons. If you're going to do 3-D, then DO IT... don't make this funky surface with buttons that just look painted on. Emboss them or something at least.

So while a significant improvement, I still can't feel all that affectionate towards it, and will probably stick with the Classic theme for now. But I will be paying close attention to any progress made on the Modern theme and haven't given up on it yet.

#83 Re: Close(r), but...

by harpoonflyby

Friday August 25th, 2000 5:38 PM

the idea was not to go OVERBOARD with 3D effects, although i get your point. We needed something neutral but new and appealing. not drawing so much attention with mindbending special effects that you can't get your browsing done ;)

#85 IE Mac and Toolbar Customisation

by tssr

Friday August 25th, 2000 10:14 PM

Perhaps, Netscape/Mozilla should implement the sort of toolbar customisation in Mac Internet Explorer 5.

In fact, according to AppleInsider, in version 5.5, they may allow users to add their own buttons to the toolbar.

If Netscape/Mozilla can get that into the product, that would be great!

#87 Location bar bug in win 2000

by samfish

Saturday August 26th, 2000 1:43 AM

I've found that there seems to be a bug in the location bar of some of the recent builds including the latest (8-25-00) where when I type ffb



ffb in a URL and then hit enter nothing happens. In 4.x this is all that it takes to load a web site. I went to but they wanted a passwork and all that crap just to report the bug and I don't feel like going through all thet just to do them a favor. Is anyone else seeing this in windows 2000? I have SP1 loaded. If anyone feels like double checking this and reporting it feel free. If not, I guess I'll have to find a new browser.

#88 Location bar bug in win 2000

by samfish

Saturday August 26th, 2000 1:44 AM

Looks like there is some kind of bug in the form submision stuff in the lates build too.

#89 more info-Location bar bug in win 2000

by samfish

Saturday August 26th, 2000 1:57 AM

Seems like this doesn't happen all the time. Shortly after posting here I went to a web site by using my bookmarks.I then removed part of the URL to chanege it from to and hit enter and it worked. I typed in a few other URLS and they worked. I then closed mozilla (opening the task manager to kill the process that was still running then tried again and it didn't work. I'm stumped.

#94 Didn't you have to get a password for MozillaZine?

by tny

Sunday August 27th, 2000 8:52 AM

[[I went to but they wanted a passwork and all that crap just to report the bug and I don't feel like going through all thet just to do them a favor.]]

I guess you just don't get the point of open source software, do you? You're getting the software, and you're expected to contribute according to your abilities. I find it remarkable that you're willing to get a password to post to MozillaZine, but not to post a bug.

#105 Location bar bug in win 2000

by samfish

Monday August 28th, 2000 5:58 PM

Why should I need a password to file a bug report? If you want people to file bug reports it should be easy as possible. If everyone who wanted to file a bug report had to fill out a for and get a password just to file a bug most probably wouldn't. I've got better things to do than fill out pointless forms. If I wanted to fill out pointless forms I'd get a government job. I have no problems posting bug reports, but If you want to make it more difficult than it has to be I've got better things to do. I have enough passwords and usernames to remember already.

#112 Re: Location bar bug in win 2000

by gwalla

Wednesday August 30th, 2000 1:08 PM

> Why should I need a password to file > a bug report?

So that other people can't use your email address to spam bugzilla in your name.

The email address is there to keep you updated on your bugs.

> I have enough passwords and usernames > to remember already.

So use one of your pre-existing passwords. And as for the username, if you can't remember your own email address, there's no hope for you.

#107 Looks good to me...

by nhubbard

Tuesday August 29th, 2000 12:05 PM

Actually, I think the new modern theme looks pretty good - better than classic, for that matter. Come on guys, this is a new browser, it doesn't have to look like Netscape 3.0. In fact, I don't want it to - that is, unless they would have kept the original modern theme. The latest downloads show this theme progressing well.

#109 Personal Toolbar

by zontar

Tuesday August 29th, 2000 8:48 PM

I keep mine stuffed with bookmarklets. Makes life about a zillion times easier. :-)

#110 After using the new daily builds...

by stevekane

Wednesday August 30th, 2000 12:44 AM

Although Modern 2.0 looks "cool", especially from the demo screen on the front page of this site, it's just not going to cut it. I initially thought it looked pretty good, but after using the current implementation in the daily builds I realize it really doesn't look any better than the Windows or Mac UI, it just looks very different and *odd*. Different can be a bad thing if it's too inconsistent. If they want to go the route of Quicktime for Windows or some other app that looks completely different than the rest of Windows, they need to make it much better than Windows in usability or functionality so it's obvious why they chose to do so.

I think Classic is much better in its current state, but I would have to say that Classic needs a lot of improvement as well. IE really is much better in this area with its customizable, draggable toolbars, and its more consistent buttons (History, Search, Favorites, and Folders as sidebar-launching buttons). I don't like the URL search button in classic, because it's too easy to confuse with the "Go" button in IE. What I'd suggest is for outside developers to help out with Classic, and continue to make it (maybe in a "new" Classic?) more usable and less like 4.x, and in the end, Netscape may make the smart decision.

#114 Mac Widgets confusion solved

by caspy7

Sunday September 3rd, 2000 3:52 PM

I think I figured out why the widgets are Mac-like on the screen shot. The page rendered was probably actually a screen shot from Netscape 4.x on a Mac. Notice the hyperlinks, how the 'y's and commas break the underline, if I remember correctly, thats how pages render on a Mac.

Just noticed that some thought it might be a migration of widgets and that doesn't look like the case here.

#115 Re: Mac Widgets confusion solved

by Jubal

Sunday September 3rd, 2000 9:09 PM

Also, if you notice, there are a few other problems with the doctored screenshot of the new skin *supposedly* rendering First off, when using any builds M17-present, you are redirected to . Secondly, the page does not match the Mozilla/NS6 version of the netscape website, but instead is comparable to the recent versions for IE/NS4.x. Thirdly, if you notice, the scrollbar is not all the way at the top of the page, as it would be if that were truly the Netscape homepage. This is definitely not a case of widget migration, but instead, blatant trickery. Obviously, Im not the only one who thinks Moz widgets look terrible, but if it is even admitted here, then why isnt something done about it? And before you come telling me to fix it, I have no knowledge of C++, and thus no way to fix it...but I can tell you that as an end user, without halfway decent widgets I would be reluctant to switch browsers, even though I am an enormous supporter of the project.