New Widget Sample Online

Thursday January 7th, 1999

If you have been following the XPFE newsgroup, you may have come across the debate about widgets in the new cross-platform mozilla application. The final decision was for the widgets displayed on HTML pages (radio-buttons, drop-down menus, etc.) and dialog boxes to be platform-neutral for the moment, with the possibility of adding in native widget-sets later. This new platform neutral widget set requires new widget images, and the new samples have come online here.

German Bauer is the creator of these sample images, and his current thoughts can be read here. This post is really worth checking out if you have a moment.

Please be advised: this is a Work In Progress! Please don't flame the creator of these widgets in talkback. However, please feel free to post constructive criticism or other thoughts on this issue.

#47 This is a good thing

by Tommy <>

Friday January 8th, 1999 6:07 PM

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Everyone seems to have their pet widget-sets, and I see people rag on Windows widgets and claim they like motif better...

What!? Motif is fat lacks some of the functionality of Windows widgets that I really like. And before you start, I am writing this in Linux. Combo-boxes in motif are awful. They pop out to the side when they are too large to fit in one column. They start filling up the whole screen. I think that is acceptable behavior for menus because they are organized somewhat like a directory structure, but with a combo-box it is just ugly.

My second biggest gripe is that I can't give a combo-box focus and then use the keyboard to scroll through the items in the list.

I realize that there are good and bad points to both ways of doing things, but as a developer, I tend to see Netscape as a platform itself. People will figure it out with relative ease. I was just viewing something that I wrote while in Windows and it is terrible with motif. The whole damn thing is bigger than it should be. If I choose to run at 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 I WANT my widgets to be small. I am in 1280x1024 right now and all of my widgets seem like they should be in 640x480(except for the little-ass scroll bars). The ability to write one and have it look the same accross platforms is a major plus. IE already uses its own widgets, so maybe MS will extend them so they will work much like the new set in Netscape. I am all for choice though, so I definitely say they should be customizable. That way if you want to make them look like native widgets to everyone you can do so with JavaScript.

There is no standard widget set in X. Or at least that is how it seems. I can open five random X apps and see five different sets of widgets. So if you run a Unix variant, why do you even care?

I don't have enough experience on a Mac to say anything about their widgets, so I won't. I just didn't want to seem like I think only two platforms exist.