2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999
That's right, the second Mozilla "Throbber" contest is now underway. What's a "throbber", you ask? The throbber is the animation on the toolbar that cycles when the browser is actively retrieving data. Recently, we have heard numerous complaints regarding the English phrases in the winning animation from the last contest. We decided that the easiest way to address these complaints would be to hold a second contest. This new contest is open to everyone (except MozillaZine staff), but determining the winner is going to be a little different this time around. All submissions will first go through an "elimination" phase. We at MozillaZine will pick our 20 favorite entries, and we will present them to all mozillaZine members for a vote. The vote will occur via a new "wishlist" functionality (which we will be publicly testing before the true contest vote).
The winner and runner-up will each receive a gift certificate (store and prize amount yet to be determined), and the 20 finalists will all receive T-Shirts from mozilla.org. Click here to see the image on the T-Shirts.
First, some disclaimers. There are no guarantees that the throbber will be used in perpetuity. There is always the possibility that a spec will change, or mozilla.org's needs will change, or another factor will weigh in to require a change to a new animation (as occurred with the previous winning entry). Essentially, we cannot make any guarantees about how long the winning entry will be in the mozilla code as the default. Also note that this contest applies to the Mozilla code only, not to any Mozilla-derived Netscape product. (And or course, if we choose something offensive or illegal, mozilla may not be able to use it at all.)
Please send your entries to animationContest@mozillazine.org. Do not post links to them in the talkback forum of this article. Attach your entry in GIF format, your name, and include in your message your full name and a physical address to which we could send a prize. Also include your T-Shirt size, in case you are a finalist. We will send a brief verification of receipt to all entrants, so please have a valid Reply-To. If you do not want your email address made public, please be sure to make a note of that in your submission. If you do not receive a verification of receipt from us within a few days, please feel free to follow up.
Here are the rules for the contest:
#1 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 10:01 AM
"if we choose something offensive or illegal,"
If you CHOOSE? Are you expecting a lot of Pot-Smokin-Lizard-Porn based throbbers, or is that what the first contest mostly constisted of?
Sorry, lost im my deranged little world for a second. Is there any "Mozilla-Pic" site we can link to, for insperation?
#2 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 10:35 AM
no, "we" meaning mozillaZine members, who will choose the winner from the 20 finalists. You're right though, I can't imagine any offensive or illegal images getting past the first round amongst the admin of mz. In fact, I can't imagine that we'd even *get* anything approaching offensive or illegal.
#3 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 11:10 AM
I remember the first throbber contest but the site is gone. Anyway, check this out http://www.jcinteractive.com/mozilla/small/throbber.html
#4 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Chris Weber
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 11:47 AM
Wouldn't they best way to vote on them be to put a new poll up for it. That way the poll could actually be useful.
#5 Excuse my stupidity
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 12:02 PM
Web-safe palette? i.e. 256 colors or less? Am I right? What constitutes a web-safe palette, 16 colors?
IIRC the original Netscape logo (the "N" on the planet with the night sky as background) had about 256 colors in it...
All flames will be gleefully deleted.
#6 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 12:08 PM
The websafe palette contains 216 colors. Like I said, some leeway will be accepted, but we'd prefer that people try to stick to it as much as possible.
And to Chris Weber:
The wishlist is very similar to the poll, but you rate each item instead of selecting only one, and you must be a member of MozillaZine to participate. We can't completely cut out ballot-box stuffing, but it's a bit more of a hassle if you have to re-register as a different member to vote again.
#7 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 12:15 PM
web-safe colors are, in the RGB hex-code format, only made up of sets of "00" "33" "66" "99" "cc" or "ff" values for any of either the Red, Green, or Blue byte references. that works out to 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, or 255 in decimal. As an example the green color that MozAdmin uses all over this site is #669933 and the yellow behind each alternating talkback response is #ffffcc.
#8 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 12:18 PM
err, the yellow behind the talkback headers, that is...
#9 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Matty T
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 5:14 PM
Does anyone know why we can't use the old Mozilla throbber? You know, the one you used to get under Unix when you went to about:mozilla? For those who don't know, it was an animation of Mozilla appearing and breathing fire. It was really awesome.
Has it not been released by Netscape? It would be really great if it was, it would have to win hands down.
#10 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 6:09 PM
Are you talking about this one?
(this is the button, not the throbber)
It's my favorite too!!
#11 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 6:10 PM
Here's the link. sorry!
#12 Why not give us a choice?
by Jason Eager
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 7:31 PM
Why not set up a website that lets us download different throbbers? I could then script something into the browser to change throbbers on the fly.
#13 jmz tribute
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 9:01 PM
I think that someone needs to submit jmz's spinning compass as a mozilla tribute to jmz. He was a great coder, despite what he's said recently. This animation can be found at his website, where ever it went (it's not at people.netscape anymore). Baring that, what about the semi-old flipping glass panes that used to be on NS for Windows 3.11? Eh. I'm just retro.
#14 Re: 2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 10:10 PM
Or perhaps: http://www.netscape.com/assist/net_sites/mozilla/index.html ?
#15 Software ... Inspiration ... Guidelines
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 11:13 PM
Can anyone give the names/addresses of some good (FREE :-) tools for creating animated GIFs, for (a) Win32, (b) MacOS, and (c) Linux? That would encourage contributions (from me, for starters) ...
In a similar vein, those seeking inspiration from the original Mozilla lizard should try the Mozilla Museum: http://www.snafu.de/~tilman/mozilla/
Meanwhile, here's some criteria I've thought of for a good throbber ...
* Even though only the 32*32 version is being judged, when translated to 16*16 it should still be easily recognizable
* The transition from any given frame back to the first (stopped) frame must not be too jarring -- the animation could stop at any time.
* Should (probably) not be version-specific (a `5' anywhere is probably not a good idea).
PS: Geez, MozAdmin should really come up with a better way of doing hyperlinks than `(LINK)' -- why not use the URI as the link text?
#16 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Wednesday May 12th, 1999 11:30 PM
try gifsicle on linux to make animated gifs.
I've collected some of the throbbers from past netscape release on my home page.
#17 rule you forgot
Thursday May 13th, 1999 1:51 AM
the throbber can't have anything to do with the Netscape logo (such as the N)
#18 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Thursday May 13th, 1999 5:09 AM
I think spacecow meant "jwz" -- his site is now at http://www.jwz.org/ -- and, seeing how he bailed out just when things started getting good, I'm not so sure a tribute is exactly in order.
Arielb makes a good point about the "N" -- a suitably funky "M", however, might be pretty appriopriate, don't you think? ;-)
#19 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Thursday May 13th, 1999 6:50 AM
why not have a contest to search the source code and eliminate all bugs which cause the throbber to never stop looping? :)
#20 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Adam Sjøgren
Friday May 14th, 1999 7:04 AM
Why the websafe palette-thing?
While I think that all programs should be functional at all bit-depths and resolutions (I'm on a 1-bit screen right now), I think it's okay to have suboptimal snazzy design on suboptimal (<24 bit colour) screens?!
Are there that many <24 bit screens outthere? (and more importantly: will there be more in the future? Oh, and PDA's don't count - you expect less snazzy graphics from such display :-))?
#21 Re:Why the websafe palette-thing?
Friday May 14th, 1999 7:32 AM
first there's size. The more colours available in a pallate (whether they are used or not) the bigger the image file.
second, Yes, there are quite a few people with <24 bit screens. There are still a boatload of people using Win 3.1 in fact, and probably a lot of linux people using low-color resolutions to save memory usage.
Third. the "well, if MOST of the users can see it, then its ok." mentality is one of the reasons why people are so annoyed with M$.
#22 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Friday May 14th, 1999 8:07 AM
yeah but where's the win 3.1 porting effort? One would think a 3rd party would be interested. Anyway you can have your own throbber with 7 zillion colors if you want so it's not a big deal if you don't like the winner
#23 Prize idea
Friday May 14th, 1999 8:15 AM
here's one: Get a free baby mozilla! http://members.xoom.com/_XOOM/mozilla5/2412.gif I'm still trying to find where I first found this pic
#24 re: prize idea
Friday May 14th, 1999 8:25 AM
I guess this will have to do http://merchant.netscape.com/stores/gx.cgi/Display1?GSStore=GST&prd_id=65533&tpl=templates/gst_product
#25 Re: websafe palette
by Colin Viebrock
Friday May 14th, 1999 8:37 AM
To the person who said that bigger palette depths means larger images sizes:
Generally, yes. However, a 256 colour GIF image (with whatever colours you want) is going to use an 8-bit palette ... just like a 216-colour websafe image is.
So, as long as you're using GIFs, you can't make it any bigger really.
#26 Throbber previews
Friday May 14th, 1999 1:06 PM
Is there a lineup yet? Or would that be spoiling the competition?
#27 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Friday May 14th, 1999 4:46 PM
ah geez my link to baby mozilla was screwed. I guess because it's an external link. Scroll down Mozilla's Dominion at http://members.xoom.com/mozilla5/
#28 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Saturday May 15th, 1999 7:02 PM
You're right, and I think that some flexibility can come with the full pallete. Websafe colors are ok, but i clean up logos at work and websafe can be too constraining sometimes.
Maybe if we had multiple versions .. We're already having a 16x16 and 32x32. I'd say have a websafe vs. nonwebsafe version too. So it might be 4 files, i don't care. When i'm viewing things at 16bit color, I like to see more colorful palletes, not necessarily websafe.
Gradients suck with websafe, and any kind of shading can be difficult or cheesy depending on what colors you choose :P
#29 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Sunday May 16th, 1999 7:17 AM
My experience with gifs in general is, that for acceptable image quality on 256 color systems only larger areas with constant color (e.g. background) should have one color out of the 216. The palette itself does not need to be exactly the 216. It can be optimized for the image, so the image looks also good on 16/24 bit systems. Netscape 1-4 and other browsers always re-dither the image against the 216 color palette. (it is like the gif is at first converted into 24 bit and then back to 8 bit using the 216 color palette).
#30 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Reinout van Schouwen
Monday May 17th, 1999 3:33 AM
I say we incorporate the one thing IBM's late WebExplorer for OS/2 browser donated to the web community: the "<ANIMATE>" tag! You can define a custom animation with it. Check http://www.os2forum.or.at/TeamOS2/English/Special/Animations/ for examples.
#31 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Chris Siegler
Wednesday May 19th, 1999 1:05 AM
<p>I hope we see better submissions than last time. Owing to the high gamma of my monitor, I could hardly even decipher most of the entries. And of the ones I could make out, most were unoriginal or uninspired. I did like the winner though, and the one with a lizard profile that moved back and forth. <p>Question about the T-shirt logo: what is with the communist slant? I've never grasped the significance of that mozilla theme. And if there is one thing that could kill the Open Source spirit, it's being labeled a communist. Not that <b>I</b> take is that seriously. But still...
#32 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
by Adam Sjøgren
Wednesday May 19th, 1999 6:34 AM
> Third. the "well, if MOST of the users can see it, then its ok." mentality is one > of the reasons why people are so annoyed with M$.
I'm on a 1 bit screen here - I think it is okay for designers of pretty things to ignore me - as long as the page is still _functional_.
The page still being functional is the direct opposite of "MOST users can see it" (which implies that it doesn't work for everybody); and I will silently ignore your sleazy attempt to put a "Microsoft camp"-label on me.
People with sub-24 bit displays will experience suboptimal graphics anyway - why give most people (if not now, and I think so, then certainly in the future) the prettiest, and the few the not so pretty (that still _works_)?
I'm not trying to make anyone change anything, I'm just trying to understand the motivations for the choices made.
Best wishes, Adam.
#33 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Sunday June 20th, 1999 11:08 AM
When is voting going to start, or am I just being stupid. There was also meant to be a public trial which I have missed (or it hasn't happened).
#34 Re:2nd Mozilla Throbber Contest
Monday June 21st, 1999 1:08 AM
No, you ar'nt stupid. The vote hasn't take place until now. Since I submitted two animations, I am anxiously waiting for it...