Introduction to Mozilla Manual Available

Monday December 15th, 2003

Kevin Quiggle writes: "A guide to Mozilla 1.5 — Introduction to Mozilla — A Manual for First Time Users — is now complete and is available for download as an illustrated PDF file (source documents used to create the manual are also available). This publication is intended to introduce new users of Mozilla to key features and functions. It is suitable for corporate users, schools, or home users. If there is sufficient interest, an updated edition may be created for Mozilla 1.6."

#1 Why Mozilla?

by sremick

Monday December 15th, 2003 7:09 PM

I guess I'm missing something. I thought the writing was on the wall for the discontinuation of Mozilla the Suite with new focus being on Firebird/Thunderbird. Why should we be continuing to advocate the use of Mozilla the Suite? Won't this just make it harder to transition people off the suite? "What the hell? You were encouraging me to use Mozilla as of 1.6.... now you're telling me there won't be a 1.7 and I should be using Firebird instead?? And you KNEW this all along??? Grrr I just got used to a new app, now you're making me learn a new one and import all my stuff all over again..."

#4 Re: Why Mozilla?

by morg

Monday December 15th, 2003 10:35 PM

There are no plans to discontinue Mozilla Suite.

Mozilla Firebird is the flashy product that most users will prefer.

Mozilla Suite is the solid product that is more attentive to standards, platform independence, and other geeky things.

#5 Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by nonpareility

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 12:37 AM

Mozille Suite and Mozilla Firebird both use the same GRE, and so have the same standards compliance.

#18 Re: Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:41 PM

Where did you get your facts? They do have the same standards compliance, but not "the same GRE". Firebird uses a static build, which means while it uses the same gecko code it is not using the GRE.

(I've been told to attribute this comment to an anonymous coward, who didn't wish to sign up for a mozzine account to point out the above and got me to post instead)

#8 Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by JBassford

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:32 AM

Plus, as I keep saying, the suite != SeaMonkey. It's *SeaMonkey* that will be "discontinued". Firebird will be dropped into the suite, replacing it.

#9 Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by JBassford

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:32 AM

Plus, as I keep saying, the suite != SeaMonkey. It's *SeaMonkey* that will be "discontinued". Firebird will be dropped into the suite, replacing it.

#10 Re: Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by JBassford

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:33 AM

Argh! Every time I post to these front page discussion, something goes wrong.

#13 Re: Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by jgraham

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 5:05 AM

I'm not at all sure that Jason's right. On the other hand, as far as I can tell, no one is clear on the future of the suite. I do know that, once FB and TB reach 1.0, they are to be marketed as the primary end-user products that produces. I'm not sure it's quite clear whether they will be packaged together as a suite of applications or just avaliable as seperate entities, like at present. I don't know (and nor, so far as I can tell, does anyone else) eaxctly what will happen to Seamonkey - certianly the version number will live on as the version number of the core code. It's entirely possible that dropping the suite will be 'forgotten' and it will continue to be avaliable as a front end.

To answer the original question of why not the *birds - the suite is avaliable and stable now. Most people distributing Mozilla are distributing the suite. If Mozilla is being installed in any organisations, it's probably the suite that's being installed. The suite is the only end user download from not labelled 'technology preview'. All these factors conspire to make the suite emphasis the most relevant now.

#14 Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 5:17 AM

I'm not sure it's even clear that the birds will be "the" primary products - they will be primary, but the suite could be as well. Whether the birds will be bundled into a new suite certainly isn't clear - that went with the proposed roadmap back in Spring, but recently Firebird developers haven't indicated that things will go that way.

All this stuff is still under discussion by the Mozilla folks, and although we can (and obviously do :) speculate based on various things people have said in various places, one can't really make definitive statements until the new roadmap is made public.

Whatever happens, the birds clearly aren't going to be ready until Spring at the earliest - this document is good for _now_, rather than aiming to be good for whatever is happening some time in the future.

The document is pretty good, except for the font on the title page and the lossily-compressed screenshots.

#17 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Mozilla?

by jgraham

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 8:46 AM

Yeah OK :)

I was basing my opinion on - the comment from Bart Decrem indicates that the people responsible for /marketing/ Mozilla are going to concentrate on the *birds once they hit 1.0. This may be different from the focus of the /developer/ attention - no doubt Ben and Scott will still work on the *birds, mut maybe more unpaid developers will concentrate on the suite.

However, this is hardly the place for such a discussion.

As an aside, the bug I linked to is verymuch helpwanted. If anyone in the community does fancy produing a guide to some of the best features of the *birds, then attaching the work to that bug would be really good.

#2 PDF and HTML

by zachariah

Monday December 15th, 2003 7:15 PM

This should be distributed as both PDF (for printing) and HTML for online reading. That shouldn't be too dificult, as Star Office (which was used to create it) saves valid xml (and I believe xhtml) files.

#3 Re: PDF and HTML

by webgremlin

Monday December 15th, 2003 9:30 PM

well, the suite's file format is zipped XML but it is complicated and cannot be easily transformed to anything usable. It can generate XHTML, but not without serious formatting defects. It can generate HTML which more or less looks right, but it's horrible markup.

No good automatic XHTML tools yet.

#15 CTRL-L does not work?

by fedetxf

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 6:23 AM

I guess the hard part is generating a CSS file from the XML that holds the formatting in the openoffice format.

#6 sorry to gripe

by tobypowell

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 1:45 AM

but the images really don't cut it for me.

I would recommend using .GIF file compression for the screenshots, as there are far too many entities (bad pixels) being shown. JPG is really only any use for photographs, whereas block colour looks a bit pants as you can see.

Other than that, it's a great idea, but why did you use the classic theme, rather than one of the more modern ones? it looks so ugly.

Anyway, once it's a bit more mature I think I'll email it to my mum. She'll like that :D

#12 Re: sorry to gripe

by jgraham

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:56 AM


"The intent was to get as close as possible to the 'out of the box' experience for someone new to Mozilla, that is, to choose examples that would look like an initial unmodified installation of Mozilla"

Which makes a lot of sense. If a new user is reading this 'manual' and wants to try out some functionality, it is only going to confuse them if the icons look different in the document and on their screen.

#7 loss of branding

by coda

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 2:33 AM

There's no proper Mozilla Organization branding in the document - for example, what's with that awful black-bordered "Arial Round"-like typeface? Also I agree about the screenshots, they're awful.

Otherwise the rest of the document is a step forward.

#11 Re: loss of branding

by jgraham

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 4:45 AM

It's not a 'proper' Mozilla foundation endorsed document and, as such, using the branding would be a violation of the trademarks policy: Basically, since the Mozilla foundation can do very little to protect the source code, they've decided that it is worthwhile protecting Mozilla marks such as the name Mozilla and the red dino. The idea is to have a means of preventing people from shipping a substandard product based on Mozilla and making it appear to be a product of

#16 Re: Re: loss of branding

by bzbarsky

Tuesday December 16th, 2003 8:44 AM

> shipping a substandard product based on Mozilla and making it appear to be a > product of

You mean doing what Debian tends to do? ;)

#19 You guys have me ALL confused!

by semperpadre

Thursday December 18th, 2003 7:50 PM

Firebird, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite ... man, all I know is that I wish the fonts were less ugly in Mozilla and that the screen would actually show PDF files instead of staying blank and saying, "Done", in the status bar! I get a headache trying to get mess to work with this thing. Tried 1.6, dumped it and went back to 1.5 because 1.6 killed my Java abilities at It's free, so it's legal, so I cannot/should not complain. It just seems to me that one should not have to have a legacy of programming experience to be able to get a web browser to look nice and behave!