Mozilla 0.9.1 Released
Thursday June 7th, 2001
mozilla.org released milestone 0.9.1 today, which continues to move Mozilla towards the 1.0 release. New features include Bi-directional text support, LDAP Autocomplete in mail, new combined taskbar, an overhaul of the Modern skin with all new colors and buttons, and a slew of performance and stability fixes, with over 30 of the topcrash bugs fixed.
#4 better, but....
Thursday June 7th, 2001 7:44 PM
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This is still a not-ready-for-prime-time UI. Installing the Mac version, I saw two windows during startup that had text clipped off the edges. Going into Preferences, I see all sorts of gaps -- unbalanced white space, disabled checkboxes that respond to mouse clicks, disabled checkboxes with labels in black text instead of gray, no stickiness of location or disclosure state when bringing up the dialog a second time, clipped list boxes in Send Format, a clickable section label (Privacy & Security) that brings up a blank pane, modal help dialogs instead of modeless (also, preferences itself is modal instead of modeless), no balloon help or tool tips on any item (including very obscure ones), radio buttons outside a grouping box, and so on.
Looking in the menu bars, after I close the last window I still see enabled commands like Send Page, Page Source, and Save As which should be disabled when there's no window. And so on.
The Search button works in a bizarre way, switching out a sidebar in a totally different part of the window. Feature grouping, anyone?
I can't see a control to close the sidebar. In the sidebar under Bookmarks, empty folders have an enabled disclosure control that does nothing when you click it.
The top left disclosure controls iterate through their states in a way that is totally unclear to me. I click on one expecting to open it and instead I close something else. In the undisclosed state the controls are blank and provide no clue as to their function. They have no tool tips in either open or closed state although their function is unclear.
The top right Print button has a popup menu control attached. The button and arrow light up when you click Print but nothing drops down. If you click on just the arrow, there's a different visual pressed-down state and a single menu command comes up, which is Print -- exactly the same effect as just pushing the button. What?
Sidebar control is mostly through the Tabs menu in the sidebar, but for some strange reason there's also a sidebar customization menu command under Search.
Where the Window menu? Where's the Rotate Windows command? How do I deal with multiple windows open?
There are two incomprehensible icons at the lower right. Clicking on the lock icon brings up Page Info, a binding that does not seem to make sense. Command-W does not close the Page Info window, nor does File: Close. Buttons in browser windows behind the Page Info window light up when you mouse over them, but clicking on them just switches the window instead of hitting the button. Page Info has a lot of menu commands enabled that only apply to browser HTML windows, but they don't do anything when you select them. The Security pane of Page Info is mostly empty except for a divider line in the middle of nowhere and a View button that does nothing. The lock icon says in its tool tip that it brings up security information, but it does not go to the Security pane of Page Info.
Some tool tips are complete sentences; others are sentence fragments; and not all sentences end with a period.
There's been a lot of improvement since the last time I looked, and I'm especially glad to see there aren't five different styles of popup menus scattered randomly around the window frame any more. Now there are only three or four different styles and they're not quite so scattered.
I have to wonder why the organization can't deliver a professional GUI. Wasn't XUL/XBL supposed to make cross-platform interfaces dead easy to create? I don't think the teams understands that Mac users are not going to accept this kind of thing. Eli, where are you?