Towards Mozilla 1.0
Tuesday June 26th, 2001
Gervase Markham recently posted his feelings on what a 1.0 release of Mozilla would be. Gerv has sent us the follow-up to that posting, including much of the feedback he received. To read it, click the full article link. Once you have read through it, we welcome you to post your feelings on what you think a 1.0 release would have. [As Gerv says, please don't post your favorite list of bugs, only the criteria for choosing what bugs to fix.]
#251 Re: End-user experience might be important
Saturday July 7th, 2001 10:17 PM
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The points made by Nilse and some of the others are important. The "end-user experience" is important!
Think about this for a little while. While Mozilla has made great progress with version 0.92, there remains one nagging issue: "end-user" usability. In comparison with Netscape Navigator 4.7, Mozilla 0.92 has some great features which Mozilla developers can readily appreciate: the Gecko rendering engine, better XML standards compliance, support for skins(thus a more flexible user interface), the Sidebar, among others. However, if I were to pull the "average Internet user" out of his office or home and ask that he compare Netscape 4.7 with Mozilla 0.92 (with its "classic" skin on, not the modern one), he may be hard pressed to come up with a long list of items. To him, it is important whether that he can print webpages, and perhaps get a preview of how it will look before he prints it out. It is important to him, that he can save a webpage to his computer and have it look the same as it offline as it online (In other words (or "geek-speak" if you like), he hopes the pictures in webpage are saved to the hard drive along with the HTML file). Also, he would not think it unreasonable to expect that he be able to publish the latest version of his webpage to say, Geocities, through the "Publish" feature available in Netscape 3, 4 and 4.75. He doesn't know what Ws_FTP is and why he should/could use it instead.
I may be wrong, but I think all these features are missing from Mozilla 0.92 and their absence detracts greatly from the end-product's appeal to the "average" user.
In my humble (and not-so-technically-aware opinion), Mozilla 1.0 should be a browser that is "elegant" in its look and feel. In all honesty - and with great respect for all the technical wizardry that made Mozilla 0.92 possible today - I would have to admit that Mozilla today is not elegant in its look or feel. Elegance is subjective, you get at least a general idea of what I am getting at.
I use a fairly slow laptop (380 Mhz AMD chip, 32 mb of RAM) , with AOL. My laptop had been running so slowly lately with AOL along with either IE or Netscape, that I decided to try out and older version of Opera (ver.4), which I had installed some time ago. I was so stunned by the gentleness with which it treated my computer (no thrashing of the hard drive, no sucking out the remnants of the available RAM) and the beautiful simplicity of its interface. I tried out version 5.12 after that, and was even more impressed. Forgive me for stirring up the equivalent of sibling-rivalry in the browser world, but I do have one observation from this digression into and comparison with Opera. Opera's design philosophy seems to be "more is less" and "simple is better than complex." With Mozilla, this cannot be said.
I hope my comments will prove useful.
Regards, - Jayesh