Mozilla Services Proposal

Thursday June 24th, 1999

Xplo Eristotle writes in with his proposal for new functionality for Mozilla.

Xplo writes, "I've had an idea for an addition to the Mozilla UI which I call 'Mozilla Services' (or MZS for short). It doesn't really affect Mozilla itself, but it could potentially mean a lot for Mozilla users. I've put up a web page describing it."

It's an interesting proposal, even though it would be "Mozilla only" functionality. My opinion? Well, since you asked! I think that any "proprietary" functionality that is extraneous to the HTML of the page is fine. It's when the functionality starts showing up in HTML and breaking pages on other platforms and browsers that the browser-specific stuff becomes a problem. This seems to be a case of the "extraneous" functionality - similar to Flash panels and plaintext content parsed by other webpages.

#7 A very, very stupid post

by Anon

Monday July 5th, 1999 8:12 PM

You are replying to this message

I intend to rebut the previous poster's comments, but before I begin, there is one thing I would like to make clear:

You, sir, are an arrogant ****, and I'm certain that you possess no attribute that could NOT be improved by kissing a piece of hickory at 120 kph. Please do so at your earliest convenience.

Now then.. "(1) BROWSER LOCK-IN. This feature proposes building something into *Web pages themselves* which is Mozilla-specific."

So what if it does? For the time being, CSS2 is Moz-specific, with the exception of that small portion that made it into IE5. And it looks like a fair amount of support for emerging file formats will be Moz-specific. XUL, which is what makes MZS possible, is Moz-specific. So unless you want to sit behind IE in the #2 slot and use it as a "pacing car", you haven't got an argument.

"(2) BREAKING THE WEB. You just *know* that there are going to be some Webmasters who will, because they happen to be using Mozilla, assume that everyone else is."

Of course I do. If you'll recall, people have been doing this ever since web browsers could display pictures, or roughly thereabouts.. that's a period of several years. The trend has continued throughout that entire period and there's no way that Mozilla is going to change this, regardless of whether it incorporates MZS or not.

Browsers can ALLOW good design, and there's no reason to think that Moz won't, but they are incapable of encouraging it, because some people will always be stupid. Next!

"The Mozilla Services button is going to be disabled so much of the time that Mozilla users are subconsciously going to start ignoring it --"

...uh-huh, and since no one had ever had Netscape 3-enhanced pages to look at before, they didn't see what they could possibly want it for, and so it did poorly in the market, with almost no designers taking advantage of its extra features. Keep the fertilizer; how much for just the bridge? *_*

But for the sake of argument, let's suppose that you're right, and MZS is a huge flop. Even in a worst-case scenario, having it there doesn't affect Moz' ability to function, so at worst it does nothing good or bad. Moving right along...

"And if the feature's going to be used that infrequently, I don't want it bloating my copy of Mozilla, thanks very much. Neither do I want it taking up space on my default UI, so that I then have to spend time extricating it."

How unfortunate for you. It must be terrible to go through life with a sense of perspective so diseased that the prospect of adding another button to an interface that has four or five of them fills you with loathing. Here, have a tissue.

In closing, there is no way to "forbid" the existence of something like MZS, because the technology already exists within Moz, and implementing it requires nothing more than a working understanding of XUL and Javascript. People WILL make things like this. It's only a matter of time.