New Site Launches

Thursday November 13th, 2003

The new website has been launched. This new site caters more to the end user, with better product information, clearer download links and more details about help resources. New Mozilla initiatives, such as telephone support, CD sales and donations are now promoted throughout the site. Navigation has also been improved and a friendlier layout and colour scheme have been created. This is the first significant redesign of since its launch in 1998.

#1 Mouseovers in top navigation

by FattMattP

Thursday November 13th, 2003 4:12 PM

Hmm. In IE there are underlines that appear when I mouse over the top nav. But they don't appear in Mozilla. It might be because I'm using a large default font in Mozilla (20pt).

#3 Re: Mouseovers in top navigation

by thelem

Thursday November 13th, 2003 5:04 PM

I see them, so it must be something to do with your configuration.

#6 Re: Re: Mouseovers in top navigation

by FattMattP

Thursday November 13th, 2003 5:57 PM

Yeah, it's my font size. The area with the navigation isn't resizing with the fonts.

#2 re:

by wde

Thursday November 13th, 2003 4:21 PM

very neat. looks a lot more user friendly than the old one.

#10 Re: re:

by MTO

Thursday November 13th, 2003 6:23 PM

Yes, much more user friendly. I like it! Finally the site has changed, and for good!!! :-)

Only one minor thing, I think it would be more user friendly and intuitive if the link to information on Mozilla 1.5 also had a text link instead of only in the "M" icon. But great improvements, yes!

#4 New site looks great!

by itod47

Thursday November 13th, 2003 5:21 PM

Dave Shea does awesome work... the site is beautiful, clean, readable. One validation error on the homepage when I checked though... surely they'll patch that up!


#12 Re: New site looks great!

by tack

Thursday November 13th, 2003 7:05 PM

<flame> Hi. I visited your site (, and it is an excellent example of precisely what not to do in a web site. Your text is utterly unreadable on both my LCD and CRT. There is a growing trend of websites requiring me to select text before there's any possibility of reading it. Please, web developers, in the words of George Carlin, "STOP THAT!" </flame>

#15 re:

by wde

Thursday November 13th, 2003 8:39 PM

looks fine to me.

#22 Re: ditchnet

by schapel

Friday November 14th, 2003 12:26 AM

I second the flame. In order to read it, I have to squint and lean forward. The contrast is far too low for the main text.

#26 Re: Re: ditchnet

by max_spicer

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:04 AM

Yes, I struggle to read that page. Low contrast colours are a major accessibility problem. It certainly put me off wanting to actually read what was on the page.

#37 Re: Re: Re: ditchnet

by james

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:26 AM

Actually, any fixed colour scheme is an accessibility problem. Just as there are people who require high contrast in order to read the text, there are people who require low contrast. The only safe foreground/background combination is to leave things as the default.

#56 Low contrast

by sketerpot

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:20 PM

I think that more people prefer higher contrast, so those are the people you should generally go for. The people who need low contrast should be able to override the default, with either the normal preferences or a user stylesheet.

Interesting, though.

#55 Re: Re: New site looks great!

by FattMattP

Friday November 14th, 2003 9:33 AM

I can't read it either becuase he's hard coding the font size rather than using a percentage. All the fonts are too small to read on my screen.

#58 Re: Re: Re: New site looks great!

by asa

Friday November 14th, 2003 8:40 PM

"I can't read it either becuase he's hard coding the font size rather than using a percentage. All the fonts are too small to read on my screen."

You've presumably got a browser that can set a minimum font size. If your browser doesn't support that, then I recommend a browser upgrade.


#62 Re: Re: Re: Re: New site looks great!

by FattMattP

Saturday November 15th, 2003 8:35 AM

That's no excuse for his bad coding practices, Asa.

#5 font-size: 90%

by bzbarsky

Thursday November 13th, 2003 5:39 PM

Ah, well. I guess it had to happen. has finally entered the list of sites that make me glad we have a minimum font size pref.

#27 Re: font-size: 90%

by max_spicer

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:07 AM

I've never understood the rational behind this sort of thing. I know of many sites that routinely set their default font size to 80% or thereabouts. Assuming that a user has their default font size set to whatever they are comfortable with reading, why on earth would you want to specify your default font to be smaller than that??

#30 Re: Re: font-size: 90%

by mlefevre

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:48 AM

"Assuming that a user has their default font size set to whatever they are comfortable with"

The reason for doing it is that that is not a correct assumption. Most IE users have the text set to the default size, which is more than big enough for most people to read at 800x600 or 1024x768 resolutions - it's a step larger than default text in the Windows interface (menus etc). And, if you change IE to the next text size down, many sites end up unreadable small.

Until site authors can make the assumption that most users have their text set at the size they actually want, they'll use font-size: 90% (or absolute sizes). Until users find that most sites have text which is too large for them, they won't be prompted to change the text size. The only way I can imagine of forcing the issue is for Microsoft to change the default size in IE, and even that wouldn't be a great solution, because site authors need to support the older versions for years...

FWIW, the "to do" list of things for the new website (at ) includes "Strive to find font settings that are readable on the majority of systems for a cross section of users with the default settings."

#32 Re: Re: Re: font-size: 90%

by rtepp

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:00 AM

To add to the confusion - there is absolutely no way (or at least I could not find it) to set the default text size for IE to my liking...

#46 Re: Re: font-size: 90%


Friday November 14th, 2003 6:36 AM

Here's why: font-family: Verdana,Sans-serif;

On Windows, 10pt Verdana is about the same size as 12pt Arial/Helvetica. The font is simply too large compared with other fonts on the Windows system (I have read somewhere that Verdana is smaller on a Macintosh), which is why it has to be toned down to about 80% to look right in proportion to other fonts. Of course, when a browser does fall back to 'sans-serif' if Verdana is not present on a system, the user will need to increase his font-size to about 120% to make the page look comparable to the Verdana design.

I learned this the hard way myself. Verdana is just not a good font for cross-browser (and more importantly: cross-OS) webdesign. Too bad, because the font face itself is quite useful. BTW: the Georgia font used in mozillaZine suffers from the same problems.

#51 Re: Re: Re: font-size: 90%

by an_mo

Friday November 14th, 2003 8:13 AM

what font do you recommend then if Verdana is not good?

#57 Re: Verdana


Friday November 14th, 2003 7:16 PM

> what font do you recommend then if Verdana is not good?

The problem is that Verdana has a great font-face for webpages, it only is sized incorrectly compared to the others. So it's choosing between a rock and a hard place really: use Verdana and get complaints from users on other systems about small fonts, or don't use Verdana and cope with a sub-optimal alternative like Arial.

I don't know what's better, to be honest. Arial or Helvetica are ok when anti-aliased; Verdana is much better when aliased. I didn't post this to criticize the choice for Verdana, I just wanted to explain why so many sites nowadays define font-size: 80%.

Of course, Microsoft is to blame for this mess: they obviously should have published Verdana in the right proportions compared to the other fonts. But we all know about Microsoft and standards. :(

#54 Re: Re: Re: font-size: 90%

by bzbarsky

Friday November 14th, 2003 9:22 AM

I recommend filing a bug with this information on the website...

#64 Re: Re: Re: font-size: 90%

by grayrest

Saturday November 15th, 2003 3:03 PM

That's the entire point of Verdana and Georgia. They're both designed as screen fonts rather than paper fonts. In order to make the fonts more readable at lower dpi, they have about a 20% larger x-height (x-height is the height of a lower case x in the font). This increased x-height is why it looks larger despite having the same overall height. Some people find the look to be blocky/gaudy, others (myself included) like the look. Both fonts look largely the same on both Mac and Windows, though I don't use Macs often and might forget some small differences. I disagree with your assessment of the merits of the fonts' designs and every typography textbook I've read has recommended the opposite as far as web design goes, though they do recommend using it at a smaller size than the default IE size.

If anybody else happens to like the larger x-height fonts, I recommend picking up the Bitstream Vera fonts.

#65 Re: Re: Re: Re: font-size: 90%


Monday November 17th, 2003 3:22 AM

Yes, I know that is the purpose of Verdana and Georgia. However, in practice it doesn't work, as many webdesigners set their font-size to 80%, thus negating the whole concept of a larger x-height in the first place. Even at 80%, Verdana is _much_ more legible than e.g. Arial at 100%, so there are perfectly sound reasons why webdesigners would want to use Verdana at 80%. This is exactly my point: if these fonts are better readable anyway, then why use the increased x-height in the first place? If so many webdesigners resort to font-size:80%, there is something fundamentally wrong with the default size, in my opinion.

Obviously this causes problems when Verdana isn't available and the browser has to resort to a backup font, as that font will then suddenly be about 20% too small (unless the back-up font is also a large x-height font, but judging from the reactions here this obviously doesn't happen in this case).

Again: I perfectly understand the choice for Verdana and the reasons behind the font-size:80% declaration. I just wanted to explain why this results in some people complaining about tiny fonts, and they too are right. It is just not possible to keep everybody happy when using a default font that is found (by the webdesigner) to be too large at 100% while at the same time using backup fonts that are just sufficient at 100%.

#7 gorgeous.

by joschi

Thursday November 13th, 2003 6:11 PM

terrific work!

#8 Great work!

by cgonyea

Thursday November 13th, 2003 6:12 PM

Love the new site.

#9 Possible bug on front page?

by Narada

Thursday November 13th, 2003 6:17 PM

On the bite of code that says:

<p>&#8220;Best browser of 2003&#8221;<br><cite>&#8212; PC World Magazine</cite></p> <p>&#8220;Beyond Bliss&#8221;<br><cite>&#8212; Time Magazine</cite></p>

The closing quote appears as the letter 'i' on my mozilla even though when I copy and paste that i it appears as a quote.

#49 Reply

by Racer

Friday November 14th, 2003 8:03 AM

WFM Perhaps you the browser is using a font the doesn't have that specific character set correctly?

#11 XUL News Wire Story About Website Relaunch

by geraldb

Thursday November 13th, 2003 6:32 PM

Just to let you know I've written up a story for the XUL News Wire about the website relaunch to cover the XUL point of view with a story titled "New XUL 'Portal' Now Live At Relaunched Site" online @

#13 Firebird page has Mozilla screenshot?

by sremick

Thursday November 13th, 2003 7:45 PM

Hmmm... why does the Firebird page use a screenshot of MOZILLA?

The other screenshot is FB on the other hand:

#17 Re: Firebird page has Mozilla screenshot?

by harsk

Thursday November 13th, 2003 9:29 PM

If you look closely, the screenshot appears to actually be of Firebird. The clue is the presence of the search box in the toolbar (next to the URL bar).

The browser seems to have been themed with Phoenity Modern <>.

#18 Re: Re: Firebird page has Mozilla screenshot?

by harsk

Thursday November 13th, 2003 9:32 PM

That URI again is:

#14 A bug in firebird is visible on

by koody

Thursday November 13th, 2003 7:47 PM

I noticed that there is a bug in firebird. It is simple to demonstrate using the new site. Just change the stylesheet to "large fonts" and then back to the default.

You'll notice that the horizontal space reserved for the text is not changed back, so it leaves large gaps between the words.

#16 I liked the old one better.

by Wellander

Thursday November 13th, 2003 8:45 PM

Hi, I like to say I liked the old one better. Sorry If you disagree.

#19 Awesome!

by remline

Thursday November 13th, 2003 9:32 PM

Just wanted to say that this site is very very very beautiful. Great work! I really love the little icons you guys made for the various products. Like that little Bugzilla guy... :-)

#20 firebrrrd icon

by ratman

Thursday November 13th, 2003 11:39 PM

the new website leaves me somewhat confused - are we going with the ugly-pink-f icon, or the my-three-year-old-drew-this-burning-bush icon? they both appear on the firebird page, one after another. and is the blue "m" the official mozilla app suite icon, with the red dino just representing the mozilla project? clarification would be nice, since the whole logo thing is so very very important.

#29 Re: firebrrrd icon

by stonedyak

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:39 AM

I agree that it looks inconsistent. The problem is that the burning-bush icon is the one that the firebird app actually uses, so I suppose they've got to show it somewhere on the page. However, the person who designed the page must have decided that the burning bush was too ugly to use as the 'main' icon.

Hopefully the next release of firebird will have a new icon which can be used everywhere. I think the 'globe with an F' icon looks quite nice (and it doesn't look pink to me...)

#47 Artwork


Friday November 14th, 2003 7:03 AM

The Mozilla project used to have a unique, consistent, look with its 'industrial' theme, but apparantly the developers feel this theme is outdated or just not suitable for this project anymore. Unfortunately, the theme has been abandoned without having a consistent looking new theme for the Mozilla project as a whole available. The current artwork is a strange mix of some 'industrial' left-overs (including the old monster image), happy-looking teletubby-monsters, and a large range of terribly inconsistent icons for the individual applications.

I do think the new website is a _major_ step forwards (although I think the accessibility problems really need to be dealt with), and I certainly believe it better suits the new objectives of the Mozilla Foundation. However, I hope some good graphic designers will step in and provide a consistent range of good quality artwork for the Mozilla project. Too bad I'm not much of a designer myself. :(

#21 small problem

by jeti

Friday November 14th, 2003 12:23 AM

The headings on the front page (Moz 1.5, Tech Prev, Other Prod) look like the links (blue, no underline and a bit bigger/bolder). Only they're not clickable. I'd suggest to make them black.

#23 argh

by tobypowell

Friday November 14th, 2003 1:22 AM

Am I being blind (probably)

Where are the nightly builds?

I wanted the latest FB (last one I downloaded borked). I miss the link on the FP to get them

#48 Re: argh

by mlefevre

Friday November 14th, 2003 7:30 AM

Well the link on the front page is gone, I assume, because the average user passing by isn't supposed to end up with a nightly build.

There is a "nightly builds" link in the sidebar of the developer pages, but that dumps you into the directory listing for the latest Mozilla nightlies (even from the Firebird page). It would probably be good to have a brief page that explained what nightlies are and had multiple links to the builds and the folders for the different programs.

Alternatively, there are easy links to the FB nightlies from the "build bar" on the MozillaZine homepage, or the Firebird site at

#24 Top left corner

by minh

Friday November 14th, 2003 1:29 AM

The uglysaur icon in the corner with the whitespace around it makes the site looks disjointed. It can be fix by simply coloring in the whitespace.


by drnoble

Friday November 14th, 2003 1:36 AM

A FUNDAMENTAL error in the new site is that the links dont look like links, what is wrong with underlining them the whole time? and there is text ( “Best browser of 2003” — PC World Magazine ) that looks like a link, and I thought it would be a link to the article, but wasnt.

the other thing is the text in the search box is almost unreadable in Moz, even with the white bg, that does not work in IE, so the text is completely unreadable in that.

Nice sites dont have to be one shade, with tiny unreadable text.

The mozilla logo in the top left is very disjointed, and looks temporary, at least that is what I thought when I saw the beta site.

The old colour scheme was better in this respect. Though the new content is a step forwards


by neilturnerUK

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:39 AM

I agree that the links need to be underlined. When viewing the page in monochrome (to imitate a colour-blind user) it's a little comfusing to see where the links are. I appreciate they are in bold and a different colour but since most links are underlined by default on unstyled pages it makes them easier to pick out, particularly if you are unable to see in colour. Or happen to be using a monochrome monitor.


by jgraham

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:28 AM

Well, having links underlined makes the link text harder to read. So that's one good reason not to underline links. Having said that, I agree that the magazine quotes look too much like links; if possible, they should be links to the actual reviews, otherwise they should change the colour.


by bugs4hj

Saturday November 15th, 2003 6:22 AM

"Well, having links underlined makes the link text harder to read. So that's one good reason not to underline links."

What if more sites will use something like that, but with other colors? Say what? Remember all colors, for all zillion sites? Cool if you're a frequent visitor of that website, but what about new visitors? I guess they would be lost, or hate to wade of all links to find out how that site works.

Ever heared of RSI? Great, so here we go, a zillion sites...say goodbye to your wrist/arm/shoulder/neck and so hello to more even pain. Yikes!


#42 BULLS**T

by leafdigital

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:29 AM

(I don't mean to be particularly offensive by the title, it just seems we're playing the capitals game.)

I'm sorry but underlined links are not a serious accessibility issue, nor are they an error, FUNDAMENTAL or otherwise. They are a design preference. Many sites use non-underlined links. It's fine. I hope they continue to do so.

If anybody has a disability that make it difficult to determine links distinguished by colour, then they should use appropriate software which allows them to either:

* Disable site-specified colours, always using the default colours they have chosen (Mozilla Preferences/Appearance/Colors)

* Disable site-specified CSS altogether, always using default CSS that therefore can't change link styles, or a user stylesheet (easily done in Internet Explorer and I think in Firebird too)

* Leave site styles intact, but add extra user styles (for example, you could make links bold) - not too well supported/easy to do in any browser, yet

This is the entire point of CSS, and separation of style and content: it's easier for people with any particular need to control web sites to support that need.

While we're here (i.e. I'm not referring to the specific comment I replied to), small font sizes are also not a serious accessibility issue providing that the site works when you make font sizes larger (up to a reasonable amount - people who need *really* large text will be used to using screen magnification tools). Mozilla provides a variety of ways to specify text size.

If you object to people specifying 80% of default size (an entirely reasonable thing to do, for reasons others explained) then stop posting whiny comments about it on message boards, and start learning the features of the software you already use. In Mozilla, it's on Preferences / Appearance / Fonts / Minimum text size. Turn that on and tell your friends - now you've solved your problem and done something productive too.


#28 Printing the pages

by max_spicer

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:11 AM

When you print the pages, they come out completely different. This is almost certainly due to deliberate use of media specific styling, and is therefore fine in itself. However, the printout version is very, very cut down. It's pretty much a no-style version of the page. Whilst this is probably a good thing if you just want an easily printable and readable version, what do you do if you want to print out what the page really looks like (almost like a screen shot)? Unlike IE, Mozilla prints pages really well - resizing things as necessary to avoid chopping the page off at the edge. It would be nice to have an option to print "as is" or in the sites "printer friendly" specified way.

#43 Problem in Mozilla, not the page

by leafdigital

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:36 AM

Unfortunately this is a problem in Mozilla (and all other browsers I'm aware of that support print stylesheets). :( There is insufficient effort to explain the situation to users, which can result in confusion.

I made an RFE for information in the print dialog explaining this issue (the phone call quoted in the RFE is a genuine call I received):

An extension of that RFE would obviously be to show, if there are print-specific styles, radio buttons:

( ) Use print-optimised version [default] ( ) Use on-screen version

which would then make it print with media="screen".


#44 doh...

by leafdigital

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:38 AM

...just noticed somebody actually posted that radio-button suggestion in the RFE already. heh.

#50 Reply

by Racer

Friday November 14th, 2003 8:11 AM

Due to this fact, I never add media-specific styling. However, I do sometimes make two versions of the page (one for printing & one for viewing in a browser). imperfect solution for an imperfect web.

#31 Site Config Error?

by chrisc

Friday November 14th, 2003 3:49 AM

I get a popup alert saying 'The file / cannot be found' when I try to go to - other sites are working fine. zoiks!

#33 Re: Site Config Error?

by mlefevre

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:02 AM

Works fine for me (and seemingly everyone else posting here).

Sounds like your not getting the right address for somehow. Does take you to the page? Check your DNS set up, and make you sure your local system doesn't have (or hasn't had) any kind of web accelerator that's storing the wrong address for the site in a hosts file or something.

#34 2nd that

by jrs66

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:18 AM

I have seen this error as well. 'The file / cannot be found' appeared when trying to press the back button. It effectivly locked my browser, couldn't do any thing. I can't replicate though. 20031028 nightly. Would post that in bugzilla, but the thing is so complicated I have no idea how to accurately search for bugs.

#35 Capital Letters

by willll

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:18 AM

What is this: "mozilla - home of the mozilla, firebird, and camino web browsers"? Where are the capital letters? Are we too cool for them or something?

#36 Halloween is over

by superyooser

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:19 AM

Image on page

"Hi, I'm the friendly, flesh-eating, razor-tooth, tech support monster. How may I help..." [hear screams of terror (or laughter)] "uhh hello?"

If nothing else, replace it with the phone image you're already using on the main support page.

#45 naw, he's ky00000te! (n/t)

by leafdigital

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:39 AM


#39 [Bug] Artifacts at 800x600 in Mozilla Firebird 0.7

by Jeex

Friday November 14th, 2003 4:53 AM

On the Mozilla Firebird homepage ( I'm getting a horrible text overlaying the screenshot image bug at 800x600 on the quotes by Joel Spolsky and Jon Udell.

Also, any chance of using this: as the default logo for Mozilla Firebird? It's gorgeous, and much better than the current "f"...

-- James

#40 Looks great, nice commercial drivel cleanup

by wvh

Friday November 14th, 2003 5:15 AM

I really like the new look, the designers did a superb job. I'm also happy to see most the referrals and testimonials go, they were making the page and the whole project look more cheap and sleazy. I suggest changing 'free download' in just 'download', though. 'Free download:' gives the impression that there is also something like a non-free download, or paying schemes could be introduced in the future. Instead, the introduction could be a line longer, and mention something about developers and volunteers all over the internet, mozilla's style of development... that would explain the 'free' part in a better way.

Again, nice job.

#53 Re: Looks great, nice commercial drivel cleanup

by pcabellor

Friday November 14th, 2003 9:09 AM

I agree that some kind of explanation betond saying open-surce must be given for offering free software. It's just unusual to find free goods in the web (less uncommon) or the real life, where John Doe comes from.

#52 It looks good but...

by ithica28

Friday November 14th, 2003 9:06 AM

...the information architecture is a mess:

#59 observations: branding, redundancy

by nguyen_alex

Friday November 14th, 2003 9:18 PM

The web site should try to reconcile the names, Mozilla project, Mozilla Organization, Mozilla Foundation. Product branding issues can follow. The download and project pages have some overlapping content: the download page lists other projects (Venkman, Calendar), while the products page spotlights Mozilla and bugzilla. To avoid constant updating, product images and text should not include version numbers. Similarly, references to being "built for 2004" should be removed. The product page for Camino repeats System Requirements and Resources in the main content area. The site overuses the title attribute.

#60 aoto redirect - NO

by stvb

Saturday November 15th, 2003 2:36 AM

Like the new page - - Hate being autodirected to start/1.4

Why is this done? I don't need to be told about plugins etc. Some people would like this I suppose, but why not have a link on the page instead of forcing me to go there? So please change the auto redirect to a suggestion rather than forcing me to go somewhere where I don't wish to go!

#63 Re: aoto redirect - NO

by mlefevre

Saturday November 15th, 2003 11:46 AM

It's assumed that people using 1.4 will want user help about plugins and stuff. The main start page is aimed at people getting alphas, betas and nightlies, to tell them about doing QA work. If you want to do QA work, change to 1.6alpha or something. If not, just change your home page to something else...

#66 Nice page!

by pizzach

Tuesday November 18th, 2003 6:31 PM

I really like the page in general. Especially when I invert the colors on my monitor. :-) It just feels like there are too many small disjointed things to give the site a complete thumbs up. Too many things that are suppose to be style feels like sloppiness or a first time web designer playing with new features. Also, the descriptions for the product feel really uninformative or just plain stupid. But the overall design of the site is very nice.

#67 "the file / cannot be found. please check the...

by Tubesocks

Wednesday February 11th, 2004 7:48 AM

jrs66 and chrisc,

I got: "the file / cannot be found. please check the location and try again." also when going to one particular page and clearing the Mozilla cache fixed the problem.

I guess it has something to do with going to a page and not letting it fully load and then going back to it. I have no clue.

Gecko/20040113 on XP pro SP1