MozillaZine

Ten Things Phoenix is Better at Than Mozilla

Monday January 27th, 2003

rizzo sent us a link to an article at vbRad that gives one user's opinion of why Phoenix is better than Mozilla.


#1 some rubbish

by TheK <kl@3dots.de>

Monday January 27th, 2003 3:54 PM

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some things are in Mozilla, but are a bit different to do (leike going to adressbar oder save link)

#2 Slightly tangental to the article

by jgraham

Monday January 27th, 2003 4:09 PM

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Why is everyone obsessed with having small-as-possible icons (or putting everything all on one line). I can see why it might be appealing running at a low resolution, but on a larger display (anything above 880 by 600 really) the increase in viewport size seems a poor trade off for the smaller icon area and hence longer time to click (you need to be more precise, so it takes longer to position the mouse correctly). I can't help but wonder if this would also be a problem with having everything on a single bar (not least because this requires small icons so it doesn't look stupid).

I admit that I don't use full screen much, but it should offer fast browsing as all the buttons are really at the top of the screen, so you get mac-like 'fling the mouse and click' speeds, especially for 'back' which is by far the most common button.

#11 Re: Slightly tangental to the article

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday January 27th, 2003 7:13 PM

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I have 1600x1200, but I use the smallest icons available in Orbit theme becose:

1. I want more vertical space, so I must not work too hard with a wheel on my mouse.

2. I own Microsoft Explorer mouse (why does Microsoft is only a hardware manufacturer? The devices are greate instead of software they produce...). It has 2 additional buttons - Forward and Back, so I do not need to move my mouse when I want go back.

3. I'm crying when I work on my 14" 1024x768 notebook... No space, but I use branded Netscape with standart Modern, so people can see that I have some browser they never saw and they get used to that interface... :)

#15 Nope.

by ogiesen

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 4:41 AM

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First, to stay on topic: I like my icons small and if possible on one line. The main reaon is that I like to open multiple (browser) windows, e.g. to compare stuff, IOW, my browser windows are usually far from 1024x768, even though my actual screen resolution is actually 2176x864 (dual monitor setup). That's why I'd like as little screen space wasted by toolbars as possible. Furthermore, I use radial context menus and similar stuff, so I really only need the toolbar buttons at all when I couldn't customize the relevant command into the context menu.

Now, why I really had to respond to this: DON'T remove the Online/Offline button from Mozilla! In fact, PLEASE put it in Phoenix too! I'm on dial-up and I really use Offline mode a lot. At least I do so in Mozilla and IEx. Phoenix doesn't even have it. It's *very* useful if you're on a slow and metered connection.

Oliver

#16 Re: Nope.

by ogiesen

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 4:45 AM

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Whoops! This was meant as a reply to leafdigital's post "You're right". Sorry for the confusion.

Oliver

#19 Re: Nope.

by jgraham

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 6:22 AM

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I agree that there are special use cases where minimal chrome is good. But in general large icons== fast time to icons and so faster browsing. That will be true regardless of how much mouse-practice you have (although maybe the gap decreases). Having special mouse buttons / guestures / radial context / etc. is an alternative solution to the problem. My original point still stands - lots of people seem to want very small icons just to gain ~ 1 line extra of text in the window. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't read a whole screenful of text in one glance and tend to scroll before I reach the extremities of the text area anyway. So I don't buy the 'having everything small/ close together means (significantly) less scrolling' argument.

OTOH I agree that the online status indicator is useful when using a connection that actually has online/offline modes (e.g. dialup) and trying to work offline (composing email, reading a long text, etc.). I also don't see how it detracts in except by perhaps causing visual clutter. But really it's insignificant unless you are one of the obsessivley-tidying-up-my-screen crowd who probably also do a lot of the illogical things I've already mentioned.

#40 Re: Offline mode

by ogiesen

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 4:07 AM

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<quote> OTOH I agree that the online status indicator is useful when using a connection that actually has online/offline modes (e.g. dialup) and trying to work offline (composing email, reading a long text, etc.).</quote>

The important thing is that is not (only) an indicator! In Netscape and Mozilla it is also a clickable control you could use to actually toggle betwen Online and Offline mode. This is much more convenient than having to go to the menu, as in IEx where the offline icon really is only an indicator and nothing else.

#13 You're right

by leafdigital

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 3:49 AM

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It's one of those cases where people *think* they're being more efficent, when actually they are being less efficient. Larger icons are clearly helpful.

(Sure, if you always use keys or mouse buttons and don't use icons at all then it's not a problem - in that case turn them off altogether, don't go for stupid ones that are too small to easily click anyhow.)

There are lots of other cases of the same thing: for instance, people often *think* that a Web page that doesn't fill their browser width is 'wasting' screen space, when in fact the chances are good that the page uses an appropriate text column width, thus making it easier to read.

So, yes the ability to put menu on same line as toolbar is a gimmick, but hey, it pleases some people who think they're making their life easier when in fact they're making it harder - fine. More importantly, the ability to control toolbar in general *is* useful. And actually, even the menu positioning - I can see it might be kind of cool to have the bookmarks bar/personal toolbar on the same line as the menu, that would save space without a particular cost.

In other words, though putting everything on one line is pretty foolish, the ability to control toolbars is very good and I hope that moves over to Mozilla (looks like it will; good).

Also re status bar he's absolutely right - the 'online' icon is useless in browser, should be removed at least by default. And there's no real need to show broken padlock all the time, closed padlock would do. The application icons aren't needed, they're unclear and really tiny anyhow - better to use the Tools menu. Again, I hope these lessons are learnt in Mozilla.

--quen

#14 you sure?

by niner

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 4:03 AM

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Maybe some people do just know how to control their mouse and have no problems at all hitting small icons? I'ts not as hard as you tell.

Maybe you should just train a bit. Playing any kind of game where you need to target very precisely and quickly with your mouse would help. That's not only first person shooters but even strategy games where you have to control many little units (think of them as icons...). This can make pretty much difference and can help in every day's use of your mouse

#27 Yeah, I'm sure.

by leafdigital

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 9:03 AM

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Fine, you may be shit hot at hitting small icons quickly - but you'll be shit *hotter* at hitting big ones.

This is a UI principle called Fitts's Law. I did a quick Google search to get you some info.

(Basic info) <http://www.asktog.com/bas…ciples.html#fitts's%20law>

(Detail) <http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5724/g1/glance.html>

If you want to test whether Fitts's Law works for you, there's a Java applet at the following site that lets you have a go: <http://www.tele-actor.net/cgi-bin/fitts/applet2.pl>

--sam

#39 Use the context menus.

by CaptnMArk

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 1:28 AM

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Fitt's law is right. That's why I use the context menu 99.9% of the time.

#45 Too bad context menus are broken

by brianmurphy

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 2:13 PM

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I always hit the right mouse button to go back. It seems like almost half of the time some text might be selected, the mouse pointer is over an image, etc, so the context menu doesn't display the correct options. I have to move the mouse off of the image (sometimes hard to do when viewing screenshots or pages with lots of images) or I have to left click in the viewport several times to deselect the text. Deselecting text is the most annoying because it usually takes at least 3 clicks. 1 click closes the context menu. The second click is interpreted as a double-click, so some other text is usually highlighted. A third click to get rid of the new highlight. This is an area where Netscape 4.x shines over mozilla.

#25 I like them

by thelem

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:24 AM

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I always use the icons in the bottom left corner, they are much more convenient than the tools menu. The online/offline indicator is very useful for those on dialup connections, so just because you have broadband don't complain about it. As for the padlock, on one of the rare occasions I use IE I found myself searching the status bar to see if I was on a secure site, and couldn't find a padlock, which made me think that microsoft had removed the icon from the status bar all together.

Besides, when is the whole space for text in the status bar used anyway?

#32 Re: You're right

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 1:57 PM

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"for instance, people often *think* that a Web page that doesn't fill their browser width is 'wasting' screen space, when in fact the chances are good that the page uses an appropriate text column width, thus making it easier to read. "

That's fine and dandy if the website happens to know what my fontsize is or specifies its width in ems, but the overwhelming majority of pages that make columns narrow aren't doing it to improve readability and aren't specifying width in ems. They're doing it because they assume a 800x600 screen with default font sizes and with the margins, navigation columns, or ad banners that usually take up 25-50% of that screen width, the 400px column is all they're left with and they hardcode it at 400px. Now assume that I've got a 1600x1200 screen and I like to read from a distance of about 3 feet so I zoom the fonts up to about 200%. Now instead of getting about 10 words per line I'm getting 4 or five. That's not a usability win.

--Asa

#42 Re: Re: You're right

by leafdigital

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 6:18 AM

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Partly, you're right - I agree that fixed pixel widths aren't ideal. (There are good reasons for using them, too; it's a trade-off.) I think they are preferable to not having fixed widths at all, if your site is likely to end up with too-wide columns by default on a typical Web browser.

But, as regards intent, I think you're wrong: I do believe that many (half-decent professional) Web designers do specify narrow columns with full intention to keep the word-per-line count reasonable. That's actually one reason why we *have* navigation columns - it's a way to use up that space in order to have a narrower text column, not the other way round as some kind of evil thing that forces narrow text columns.

It's fairly amusing to note that I'm typing this in a text box that's approximately twice as wide as it should be - or, to be accurate, is a little bit too wide but with a font that's far too small... I do sometimes use ctrl-+ to improve the situation, but I wonder why that miniscule font is the default...

--sam

#20 True

by wvw

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 7:04 AM

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I like big icons. At a 1152 resolution, small icons are just too, ehh small, to click.

#34 Re: True

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 3:30 PM

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<//www.menelon.ee/moz/mozilla@1600x1200.jpg>" rel="nofollow"><http:<//www.menelon.ee/moz/mozilla@1600x1200.jpg>>

1600x1200, small icons. I would make the bittom spatusbar a bit smaller too...

#23 Re: Slightly tangental to the article

by grayrest

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:08 AM

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I use the small icons and have the bookmarks toolbar turned off. The only reason I need the back/forward buttons at all are to go back/forward multiple pages, as there is no other way to do this. The area for hitting the multiple page back/forward is about the same in either case. I usually just use tabs so back isn't very useful anyway (just close the tab). BTW, I tend not to use the mouse at all, instead preferring the typeahead find to navigate.

#3 Mozilla/NN7.x will have custom toolbars

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday January 27th, 2003 4:39 PM

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Read this document: <http://www.mozilla.org/pr…/general/CustomTbarV7.pdf>

Can't wait to see it working...

#22 Re: Mozilla/NN7.x will have custom toolbars

by mbokil

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:07 AM

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Oh my God! finally overflow (chevrons) will make it into mozilla! I am giddy with delight. Seriously, custom toolbars will be great for us laptop users with tiny screens that want the butoons we use all on one toolbar.

Can't wait to see it in the build. What is the target release for this new functionality?

#29 Re: Re: Mozilla/NN7.x will have custom toolbars

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 11:36 AM

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I do not believe it will be in next Netscape 7.1(?) release. I believe they branch from Mozilla 1.3 and the time for new features is out.

I also believe they must release a branded release every 2 mozilla milestones, not 3, since mozilla is getting better and better and I cannot offer my clients all the benefits Mozilla already has againts NN7.01. :(

So I bet it will be in mozilla 1.4xxxx and in Netscape 7.2(?).

#31 Re: Re: Re: whatever it was (the next Netscape)

by Sander

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 12:50 PM

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Since the design document for the custom toolbars is for Buffy, which is the codename of the next Netscape release (barring perhaps a 7.0.2), logic dictates that the custom toolbars will thus be in the next Netscape release.

We don't know which build Netscape will use to base said Netscape release on, but if they want to use 1.3 for it and drivers won't approve customizable toolbars to be added to the trunk, they can always only apply it to their own branch before moving it to the trunk in the 1.4 cycle. (However, since the document talks about lack of time for a lot of extended features, I personally assume that they're not going to wait for 1.4, which is after all some 4 months away.)

#35 Re: Re: Re: Re: whatever it was (the next Netscape

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 3:39 PM

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I'd named the 7.01 like 7.05, since it has some feature add-on's over 7.0. An the next major release (Buffy) will be defenetly a 7.x release.

#33 No Home Button

by amutch

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 3:16 PM

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Am I reading that spec correctly that you can add every possible toolbar button but not the home button?

#4 Does this guy used mozilla?

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday January 27th, 2003 5:01 PM

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nr. 4 - Change theme on the fly. This indeed currently really sux in Mozilla. :(

nr 6 - Popup windows disallowed as default. This is sux since when I pay thrue may online bank it opens a new window. How do I get that there is the blocking turned on by default? I would like, I'll blosk it thrue pref.

nr. 7 - Popup windows allow-lists It is in Mozilla (and in NN7.01)

nr. 9 - Non-cluttered status bar I do not use it and really do not care it is there, but someone find it very usefull...

nr. 10 - Forms intellisense, a la IE. Yep, this is really needed in mozilla/nn (heard many complains from ex-ie users, for some this holds them to move from ie away. Netscape, do you hear?).

nr. 11 - favicon in bookmark. A greate and wanted one, but not really a blocker.

nr. 12 - Alt-D takes you to the address bar. Just give it a try in mozilla... Does not work with every locale and this sucks since I use cyrillic at the 75% of surfing. :(

#5 Re: Does this guy used mozilla?

by GAThrawn

Monday January 27th, 2003 5:27 PM

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> nr. 12 - Alt-D takes you to the address bar. Just give it a try in mozilla... Does not work with every locale and this sucks since I use cyrillic at the 75% of surfing. :(

Have you tried Ctrl-L ?

Works in Mozilla, and in Phoenix.

#10 Re: Re: Does this guy used mozilla?

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday January 27th, 2003 7:00 PM

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I use CTRL-L, but this need my hand off the mouse...

#43 Re: Alt+D

by Tar

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 12:21 PM

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You can customize the XUL to have Alt+D and any other key combination u want

comm.jar/content/navigator/navigatorOverlay.xul en-US.jar/locale/en-US/navigator/navigator.dtd

#6 Re: Does this guy used mozilla?

by dutch

Monday January 27th, 2003 5:54 PM

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The title of your post (Does this guy used mozilla?) does not make any sense, since you agree with most of the points.

Btw, point 12. Alt-D depends on whether the build is a release or a daily build. In daily builds, Alt-D gets you the debug menu.

#9 Re: Re: Does this guy used mozilla?

by ezh <ezh@menelon.ee>

Monday January 27th, 2003 6:59 PM

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The title of your post (Does this guy used mozilla?) does not make any sense, since you agree with most of the points.

I agree with some of them, but he doesn't used mozilla, so he doesn't know that some of them already are in mozilla.

Btw, point 12. Alt-D depends on whether the build is a release or a daily build. In daily builds, Alt-D gets you the debug menu.

Debug is ALT-U.

#7 The real reason why I use Phoenix

by boily

Monday January 27th, 2003 6:12 PM

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Because my internet connexion is slow (56kbps) and I wanted the fastest browser to download. And, by the way, I wanted the best browser ever.

#21 Re: The real reason why I use Phoenix

by Hendikins

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:05 AM

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...but my internet connection is slower than your one (28.8k), and I use Mozilla.

I build my own to save bandwidth :-)

#24 Re: Re: The real reason why I use Phoenix

by grayrest

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:10 AM

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But the source size is much larger than the binary build size ;].

#28 Re: Re: Re: The real reason why I use Phoenix

by Hendikins

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 9:55 AM

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That's why I use "gmake -f client.mk" ;)

Grab the source once, and run a cron task :)

#8 one more thing

by morg

Monday January 27th, 2003 6:42 PM

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One more reason. Bookmarks don't totally suck.

I use Phoenix 0.5 as my main browser. I'm only going back to Mozilla once it is possible to use Bookmarks Manager in Mozilla without all the data loss.

#17 Re: one more thing

by CatamountJck

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 4:57 AM

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What dataloss is that?

#18 Re: one more thing

by pepejeria

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 5:47 AM

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Bookmarks totally suck in Mozilla, you cannot sort (bug 139396) them (you get a javascript error), the IE Favororites are not imported anymore (176715), and before when that worked, they were not sorted (bug 21263). Setting a new folder as Personal Toolbar does nothing (bug 139136) and the adding bookmarks to the personal toolbar is pointless if you want to add for example swedish sites (bug 174197).

#12 Number 11

by ed_welch

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 2:11 AM

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"When you place something on the bookmark toolbar, it remembers the favicon." ...but not necessarily with the correct favicon! and it doesn't remember it permently.

#26 CTRL-L

by sinchi

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:58 AM

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>I use CTRL-L, but this need my hand off the mouse...

Use right CTRL ;)

#30 Customizable toolbars is the only better thing

by oliversl

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 12:07 PM

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Phoenix has many things (better) than Mozilla, but if I should choose only 1 and only 1 thing that Phoenix is better than Mozilla, I would choose the Customizable Toolbars.

#36 I Dun Totally Agree

by gigsvoo

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 6:57 PM

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Both Mozilla and Phoenix using Gecko? It is is rely on the bottom quality thing, should not only see the surface features... IE users will laugh at us.

Furthermore why wouldn't Mozilla try to fix the lousy printing problem? Look at IE with the great printing problem...

Personally I use Mozilla running in Linux. I dispute MS software on their vulnerable and tired to get sick when have to lock down my box to keep virii and hackers out of the yard. If Mozilla does a good enhancement think printing support first... there are more important thing to fix rather than doing some eye candy stuff.

#38 Re: I Dun Totally Agree

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 10:52 PM

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#37 Id love to switch..

by ph1nn <ph1nn@earthlink.net>

Tuesday January 28th, 2003 8:38 PM

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I'd love to switch from Mozillla to Pheonix but what would i use for Email? I dont know a better program than mozilla mail

#41 Re: Id love to switch..

by metalcrypt <michelr@metalcrypt.com>

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 4:36 AM

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Here: <http://www.ritlabs.com/the_bat/index.html>

Not free (not very expensive either), but it's the best out there, period.

#44 And where's the news reader? Another $35?

by skeeter

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 2:05 PM

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#

#47 Re: And where's the news reader? Another $35?

by sconest

Thursday January 30th, 2003 4:39 AM

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For news, Xnews is nice (and costs 0&#8364;) <http://xnews.newsguy.com/>

#48 Re: Re: And where's the news reader? Another $35?

by sconest

Thursday January 30th, 2003 4:40 AM

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Hmm... that was supposed to be 0 EUR

#46 Re: Id love to switch..

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Wednesday January 29th, 2003 10:27 PM

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Use Mozilla mail. It works great.

--Asa