MozillaZine

Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

Thursday June 17th, 1999

Arielb has an interesting piece of news:

"Ben Goodger is working an interesting theme for mozilla with a nice preliminary shot here.

Notice that the menu bar now has a grippy just like the other toolbars. Unfortunately submenus don't work yet so bug #8397 was filed. But I think this is a superior approach for handling menus. Following up on that is this news[group] article. You can now play around with the chrome and note some of the issues involved."


#1 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Friday June 18th, 1999 5:58 AM

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I'm not even sure I can get the thing to work -_-. As I said in my NG post the action is kludgy, and everything in each menu crashes apprunner when selected. I cant test the other option I outlined in my post using popup windows rather than menus since that feature isnt working in builds I've downloaded, but as soon as it starts working I'll try doing it that way.

I'll keep putting any XUL, screensnaps, and other related Mozilla stuff in my <A HREF="<http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~rgoodger/lizard/>">lizard folder</A>.

#2 DSSL engine in Mozilla

by Anon

Friday June 18th, 1999 6:01 AM

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I heared that there's a DSSL engine available in Mozilla 5. How to activate it ??

#3 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Friday June 18th, 1999 6:05 AM

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whoops that URL didnt come out right. its <http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~rgoodger/lizard/>

sorry!

#4 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Anon

Friday June 18th, 1999 7:14 AM

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ugh! i really hate those stupid button filemenus... they are slow and completely non-functional... sure.. set the color on it so it matches, but it shouldn't tear off or collapse or any of that other horrible ui crap that MS keeps churning out..

yuck...

#5 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by arielb

Friday June 18th, 1999 9:59 AM

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No the point isn't to copy MS menu bars. This way the menu bars are consistent with the rest of the UI. On the other hand if menu bars are not acceptable then the toolbars should use system colors. Otherwise it won't look good at all (NS 4.x looks good with default colors but try changing the menu colors in control panel) Anyway, file bugs and maybe we'll see some real UI changes through XUL instead of just skins

#6 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by design4use

Friday June 18th, 1999 11:07 AM

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I really like this approach. This way we can bring in flexiblity that would not have by just employing the OS based menu bars. Eventually this is a good jump off point for making further more daring menu designs down the road, such as transparency, letting users place the menu else where etc. If this was as fast and stable as a standard menu, I think you're really on to something. German Bauer

#7 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Anon

Friday June 18th, 1999 11:11 AM

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While I agree that it looks interesting, what will happen on the Mac port? The Mac's menu bars are detatched from the main window, and run along the top. As there is no way to remove this menu bar (it is present in all applications), there would be either two identical menu bars, or an empty menu bar where users expect menu commands to be, neither of which would make much (if any) sense to the average Mac user. Has anyone thought about this?

#8 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by BehrQattz <brandon@wave22.com>

Friday June 18th, 1999 1:56 PM

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Visually it is fantastic. But one issue I have with all the browser toolbars - this one included - is that they take up so much screen real estate. Unless you're running 1024x768 or better, they can really eat up viewing space. I run NS4.x with the personal toolbar off and the text labels off the buttons just to cope. Has anyone thought of any more efficient UI interface? A standardized skin would be nice for people who break out in hives at a new UI, but I'd like to see a much smaller, more efficient UI available.

#9 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by BehrQattz <brandon@wave22.com>

Friday June 18th, 1999 2:01 PM

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Visually it is fantastic. But one issue I have with all the browser toolbars - this one included - is that they take up so much screen real estate. Unless you're running 1024x768 or better, they can really eat up viewing space. I run NS4.x with the personal toolbar off and the text labels off the buttons just to cope. Has anyone thought of any more efficient UI interface? A standardized skin would be nice for people who break out in hives at a new UI, but I'd like to see a much smaller, more efficient UI available.

#10 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by BehrQattz <brandon@wave22.com>

Friday June 18th, 1999 2:03 PM

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(Oops... sorry. I shall flog myself with a rubber chicken in shame.)

#11 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by arielb

Friday June 18th, 1999 5:16 PM

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The mac would have it's own XUL file. Every other OS that I'm aware of (Windows, OS/2, Unix, BeOS) will have the menu toolbar.

Behr raises a good question which is even more relevant when you consider using mozilla on tiny handhelds. On the other hand, UI's that rely on menus are too _small_ for mozilla on a TV. So now we begin to appreciate the idea of configurable UI's.

Anyway if menu toolbars don't work then I'd rather use system colors instead of the purple for the other toolbars

#12 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Tekhir

Friday June 18th, 1999 7:57 PM

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I now David hyatt (sorry if I misspelled your name) said CSS2 could give you system colors. I checked the spec and I found it in the 18th section. <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-…SS2/ui.html#system-colors>

quick CSS example of dialog color

background: Menu;

I'm not sure how much of CSS2 is in Mozilla, but I'm pretty sure at least this piece should be in there if NS/Moz is going to use it.

#13 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Friday June 18th, 1999 8:23 PM

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The intent, as far as I was ever concerned, was to have everything in system colours. The build of Moz I started hacking on had a purple look, which I quite liked, so I converted my system colours to match. At the moment, the colours appear to be "hard coded" into the CSS files, but as Tekhir says, this can be replaced with CSS properties. As for the macintosh.. I proposed a third type of menu definition on the NG. This would provide the best of both worlds. A single bit of XUL that would be read by Win9x and used to create toolbar-style menus, and on the Mac to populate the standard menu. The parsing would be slightly different on each platform. As the parsing has to be different on each platform anyway, this would mean you'd have a customisable menu on the Win32 platform, and a menu on the Mac platform (albeit without the doodads), but specified by a single bit of XUL. This would have the bonus effect that 3rd party skin developers wouldnt need to develop separate versions for each OS. Now, altering the parsing engine for a new menu XUL element may be tricky, but it may be best for the end user (or end developer) if there is a good foundation to build on from the start, rather than having limitations and being stuck with them for the year or more until Netscape 6.0. My idea is that if Mozilla wants to be as powerful as its builds seem to suggest, it should pull out all the stops. This may sound superfluous for menus, but you never know what's around the corner.

Unfortunately, despite my ambition, I'm no C++ programmer. Perhaps someone who is and has a minute or two available could help out ;-)

#14 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Anon

Saturday June 19th, 1999 3:09 PM

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<<and a menu on the Mac platform (albeit without the doodads)>>

You can actually stick most of the doodads into menus for the mac too. You can change the colors of the menus, put in icons, etc. Remember Communicator 4.0 for Mac, where the bookmarks and window menus were just little icons, rather then having "bookmarks" and "window" spelled out? Well, since then, I've upgraded to 4.5/mac of course, but I don't particularly like grey with black type menus on every app, so I changed Communicators menus to Dark purple type on light purple menus. Just use ResEdit and open the MENU resource, or use Kaleidoscope to muck up the whole OS if you'd like.

#15 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday June 19th, 1999 10:59 PM

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If the menus were HTML based on Win32, the extras suggested by German would be possible, however this would not be possible with the static Mac menus, which resemble the static Win32 menus in their rigidity. Actually changing the appearance of the OS shell is probably outside the scope of Moz, as you said, you can use Kaleidoscope to do that stuff for you. I thought button menus might be nice on Windows anyway since the only Kaleidoscope-like program I've seen on Win32 is a buggy, slow program called Windowblinds which is cute for about three minutes before becoming annoying. ;-)

I'm not sure I'm completely fond of the idea of moving the menubar around though, although this does come with Toolbar territory.. this is altogether too easy to do in VisualC++. (has anyone noticed the new MS menubars can be arranged vertically? ... all the menu text gets rotated 90deg. (!!))..

#16 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by Anon

Sunday June 20th, 1999 4:19 AM

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Actually, with some menubar hiding and a custom MDEF, it might be possible to create "the interface" on a Mac.

Of course, that's a tech issue. There's also the question of OS interface consistency, and "the interface" would do a pretty thorough job of raping Apple's HI Guidelines, IIR them C. Probably better not to meddle...

#17 Re:Third-party Work on New Menubar for Mozilla

by thelem

Monday June 21st, 1999 12:02 PM

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Personally I like the new MS dockable toolbars. These can be moved about, converted into windows and docked side by side.

Personally I think the best way to handle toolbars is to make the customizable, no wasted space with unused buttons.

Also I don't like this skin, does anybody have a copy of the old NS4 style buttons I can use?