MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

Thursday August 5th, 1999

Shashi Narain, proprietor of The Gecko's Realm, writes, "The Gecko's Realm has undergone a major facelift and is now up and running for your viewing pleasure. For those of you who don't know where the site is located, it can be found here: http://www.narain.com/gecko/

A number of you over at Netscape have seen bits and pieces of the redesigned site from all my bug reporting. Now is your chance to see it as one tight, cohesive package.

Before heading over to the Realm, there are a number of items that you need to keep in mind...

1) All elements are positioned absolutely using 800x600 as the benchmark screen resolution. It is imperitive that your screen and/or Mozilla window be at 800x600 because of the element positioning.

2) The site was redesigned using the July 30th build as the benchmark. I make no guarantee that the site will work with earlier builds.

3) Please use apprunner and *not* viewer when going to the site. The reason is because all the various exhibits open in a separate Mozilla window using JS's window.open which does not work with viewer. It is also recommended that you minimize the toolbar which contains the 'Home' and 'My Netscape' buttons. This gives the site a little more 'canvas' to work with.

4) For those of you tempted to try the site using IE5, let me save you the time by saying, 'Don't Bother!!!' Most of the DOM Level 1 that I use is *not* supported in IE5...I even manged to crash IE on a number of occasions when I tried it out."

UPDATE: Shashi has written in with an explanation as to the purpose of the site, and a reply to some of the posts in the talkback forum for this news item. Click "Full Article" below to read his comments.


#1 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by Waldo

Thursday August 5th, 1999 2:10 PM

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Hate to say it, but on today's mac build, I get nothing from that page....it actually freezes the window (though i can still quit).

Ah well. maybe tomorrow.

W

#6 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by wheezy

Thursday August 5th, 1999 5:22 PM

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actually, wait a few minutes and it might come up. that's what happened on the most recent linux build for me... everything took forever to load and run.

#10 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Friday August 6th, 1999 5:12 AM

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I was not very specific in my recommendations. What I should have said was: "The site was redesigned using the July 30th Win32 build as the benchmark. I make no guarantee that the site will work with earlier builds and/or platforms."

If you follow the Mozilla newsgroups, you will know that Mac builds lag approximately 3-4 weeks behind the Win32 build. So I would not be totally surprised if some things don't quite work.

#2 Pretty Neat Stuff

by Tekhir

Thursday August 5th, 1999 4:00 PM

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Just by luck I had the recommended July 30th build. Looks good, works good too.

#3 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by Anon

Thursday August 5th, 1999 4:38 PM

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Isn't it a little ironic that a web site for an open, standards-compliant browser/renderer uses crappy pixel-based layout techniques like this:

1) All elements are positioned absolutely using 800x600 as the benchmark screen resolution. It is imperitive that your screen and/or Mozilla window be at 800x600 because of the element positioning.

#4 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday August 5th, 1999 5:02 PM

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.

#5 TROLL

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday August 5th, 1999 5:04 PM

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troll.

#8 Not a TROLL

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 1:04 AM

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I think he rather has a point. If these fancy new standards can only work on certain resolutions, I don't think that they're very good standards. True standards-compliance should mean running well on many resolutions, not just one.

#11 Re: Not a TROLL

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 5:12 AM

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Standards have nothing to do with this. Only poor site design limits you to a particular resolution.

#9 Indeed... very bad site design

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 4:59 AM

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This is a pretty good example of how not to design a web site.

#7 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by zontar

Thursday August 5th, 1999 5:52 PM

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Most of it worked pretty well for me -- using 0803 build on Windows 95. A little slow and jerky but, hey, it worked, I'm not complaining. :-)

Problems: The link opening the site's home page worked in a new window worked, but the links on that page didn't, for some reason, even when I reloaded the page and typed in the URL myself. The JS stress test locked up AppRunner.

#12 Screen Resolution

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Friday August 6th, 1999 5:26 AM

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There seems to be quite a discussion regarding the screen res, so as the designer let me set the record straight.

1) Standards compliance has nothing to do with the screen res. I chose 800x600 because it is the res I am using (and quite alot of other people are using too).

2) Just because I have it "optimized" for 800x600 does not mean that it will not work on other screen res. Try it yourself!!!

3) If you follow the Mozilla Layout newsgroup, there is a discussion currently going on about how to get JS to identify the screen's width and height. With Nav4.x this was accomplished simply by using screen.width and screen.height. Once something similar to this becomes available with Mozilla, the page will dynamically "optimize" it self for *your* screen res.

May I suggest that some of you get your facts correct before posting!!!

#13 JS Stress Test

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Friday August 6th, 1999 5:31 AM

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Zontar mentioned that the test locked up Apprunner. This is suppose to happen :-)

Actually, it doesn't really lock it up. The problem is with the JS engine and it's performance. If you have a CPU monitor handy, you will see 100% CPU usage when the test is run. On a slow processor, the appearance is that of a lockup when in reality Mozilla has just hogged the entire CPU and won't give it back until the test is complete.

#14 javascript error

by tkc

Friday August 6th, 1999 3:14 PM

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I get the following error when trying to view the page:

document.getElementById is not a function.

#15 interesting

by k3davis

Friday August 6th, 1999 4:14 PM

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Woudln't it be nice if we could all put 4 "usability points" as the preamble to our web site. I haven't seen the site so that is not meant to be an insult, nor am I commenting on a suggested screen resolution; still I don't think I would be proud to say "come to my site, I made it crash using browser x"... even if "browser x" crashes because it stinks.

Mozilla is a wonderful thing and its standards compliance is of utmost interest to me as a web designer and internet programmer, but unless you are designing sites for a controlled environment or for a real niche market, cross-compatibility is still rather important, IMHO :-) But perhaps I am still 'old school'...

#17 interesting

by Ben_Goodger

Friday August 6th, 1999 6:01 PM

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I would say that this site is simply a demo for Mozilla, its under no obligation to work under IE, in fact, that's far from the point. If it were a demo of DOM implementations across browsers, you might argue that it was flawed, but as a demo for Mozilla, it performs quite well.

#16 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by zontar

Friday August 6th, 1999 5:24 PM

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Zontar realizes this, but he only has a 166MHz machine, and does have other things to do with it from time to time in addition to admiring the wonders of Moz. :-)

BTW, while I did have to shut down Moz via the AppRunner DOS window in order to escape the Stress Test, it did quit cleanly, and did not crash my system in the process. So once again I'm not complaining. :-)

Re the screen res thing: I figured it had something to do with the JS issue shashi brought up, which is why I didn't brought it up. (C'mon, gang, if you can't read the window size, you can't read the window size, so lay off until it's fixed, willya? If it bothers you so much, quit carping and code your own demo.) ... While we're on the subject, what's the status of relative (%age) sizing/positioning of elements in Moz? And is it hooked up to JS yet?

#18 interesting

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Saturday August 7th, 1999 1:52 AM

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To k3davis:

You have completely twisted my words!!! The reason I brought up IE5 in my newsgroup posting is because the site gets a lot of hits from IE5 users. Not to mention alot of the hits are coming from mahines located at microsoft.com I have *no* problems with IE5 users hitting the site, all I wanted to do was to warn them that IE5 does *not* support most of the DOM Level 1 that I used (to the extent that it even crashed).

To Ben Goodger:

This site was created first and foremost as a demo/test site for Mozilla.

You said, and I quote, "If it were a demo of DOM implementations cross browsers, you might argue that it was flawed". The Gecko's Realm is the only site in existence that complies 100% with the standards for HTML 4.0, CSS Level 1 & 2, and DOM Level 1. This site can be used by *any* browser which claims to support the standards. And this is the whole point of using standards...one design that will work across all browsers. If a browser claims to support the standard DOM and can't even run my site, then I would not consider it to be DOM comliant.

#19 interesting

by k3davis

Saturday August 7th, 1999 7:14 AM

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I appreciate your argument and certainly don't mean to "twist" anything. I was merely commenting on the irony of a web site that makes a list of things to do and not to do before entering. If we all could do that we would be content with a design that does not always work.

I see your point about building a site that in essence tests for standards compliance so in that way it is a specific group you are trying to reach, so I guess it is warranted for the site. In most cases though a 100% standards-compliant design is still bad design though, as long as 90% of the world can't see or use it correctly. Hopefully Mozilla will end up changing this.

Sorry if it felt like I stepped on your toes... it was not intended...

#20 interesting

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday August 7th, 1999 8:45 PM

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and I have no arguments with that, that is correct. I was merely providing an example of a situation where criticism could be applied. However, as you and I have noted, that situation is not in effect here, Gecko's Realm isn't a test of IE5vs.W3C standards, its a demo of W3C standards. So criticism based on incompatibility with any browser that doesnt completely support W3C standards has no founding.

#21 puh-lease!

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 10:18 AM

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What is this? A crappy site with lots of warnings and requirements about how to view & not view it. Why does mozillaZine write about something like this?

"It's imperative that your screen and/or Mozilla window be at 800x600 because of the element positioning."

Why not write it so that it works with any resolution? Isn't that the whole point of HTML in the first place - to enable things to work no matter what hardware or setup you have.

#22 Re: Puh-lease!

by zontar

Sunday August 8th, 1999 10:49 AM

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Anon.,

Um, have you actually read the previous posts in this discussion?

Didn't think so...

What part of "You can't yet detect the user's window size or screen res in Mozilla" do you not understand, Besserwisser?

Shashi did the best he could with the latest version available. Now quit wasting everyone's time and code a better one.

Aside to MozAdmin: I'll bet if you included each poster's user agent/platform/IP address, we'd see a lot of these trolls vanish back under the rocks in a hurry... ;-)

#23 screen size

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 11:23 AM

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You can write non-resolution specific HTML & JS even without checking the screen size using the screen object. You could also let the user specify the screen size in a form, and set some variables using JS. There are many ways.

And yes, I did read the previous posts.

The "code a better one" part is also silly. I code "better ones" for a living in projects for clients every day, and I report bugs whenever I find them. What I don't do is post half-assed crappy demos that only make the whole Mozilla project seem like a joke to outsiders.

I've seen dozens of cooler DHTML demos, for instance the flash demo / scrollbar strategy by a guy whose name escapes my mind right now. If you want to do a demo, at least do it right!

#24 screen size

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Sunday August 8th, 1999 11:42 AM

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If my site is so half-assed and crappy that makes Mozilla a joke, then why is Netscape using the site as part of their weekly performance run???

An attack on my site is an attack on me, so at least have the courage to reveal your identity instead of posting as an "Anonymous Coward"!!!

#25 screen size

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 11:53 AM

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"An attack on my site is an attack on me"

Heh, whatever.

#26 screen size

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 12:02 PM

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Still posting as an Anon...figures as much since you're nothing but a f***king coward!!! Don't even have the guts to have a discussion without revealing who you are.

And now that the designer himself joins the debate, your only words are..."Heh, whatever". You're full of s**t!!!!

#27 screen size

by shashi <shashi@narain.com>

Sunday August 8th, 1999 12:03 PM

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Still posting as an Anon...figures as much since you're nothing but a f***king coward!!! Don't even have the guts to have a discussion without revealing who you are.

And now that the designer himself joins the debate, your only words are..."Heh, whatever". You're full of s**t!!!!

#28 screen size

by k3davis

Sunday August 8th, 1999 1:04 PM

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But we digress...

#29 Re: Digression

by zontar

Sunday August 8th, 1999 1:52 PM

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Thanks, shashi and k3, I agree with both of you.

I'll just say that it's oh-so-easy to make all those "cooler than thou" claims when you offer no name, reputation, or examples of your work as evidence of your credibility, and leave it at that.

#30 Lesson remains unlearned

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 4:55 PM

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As before, not just this site, but the responses to criticism from Netscape and Mozilla staffers show that no-one is learning the lessons any five year-old kid could have figured out on the web by now. It is not enough to pay lip service to interoperability and standards, you have to actually try to play the game. By deliberately doing things in the most exciting and new ways, you exclude everyone who isn't viewing your site with the very latest (not to say extremely unstable) desktop browsers. If this was your intention, fine. But if you have any genuine information on your site, it would be kinder to make it available to everyone, even if they have the mistfortune to be blind. "What? Blind? How can I overlay floating transparent text? How will a blind user know that my NEWS section contains NEW things if they can't see the rotating planet with "NEW" written on it?" Of course, stupid me. It's "standards compliant" which apparently means that <A HREF="..."> should be replaced by Javascript nonsense. No fall backs. No 2nd chance -- buy a proper PC, set the resolution nice and low, and enjoy the sound of people surfing away in every direction. Hope some of the people working on Mozilla don't share your attitude. Nick -- Best Viewed With A Computer

#31 Lesson remains unlearned (2)

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 5:13 PM

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Well, I thought I'd better come back now that I've hacked my way through the Javascript to get at more of the site. All the pages on this site are exactly like Microsoft's supposed "CSS demos" when they first had some working CSS. The first thing I do with these pages is view them in a nice, simple, standards compliant browser which doesn't have CSS. Just like those Microsoft pages, Gecko breaks the rules. Rather than use style to control appearance, the content is altered to fit the style. The structure of the documents is irretrievably destroyed in order to "Look cool". Here's what some typical "enhanced" CSS pages look like: -------------------- W E L C O M E tobobsCSSenhancedpages START FINISH MIDDLE ABOUT ME INDEX This is the beginning This is the of the document end of the document Actually I'm supposed to be a pop-up explanatory box! -------------------- So how is CSS helping here? The fight has already been lost once with Frames (which are now Kewl, rather than useful) must we always lose? Nick.

#32 the final insult

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 10:52 PM

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I'm the original Anon who apparently seems to have Shashi. First of all, that's not what I tried to do so sorry for that.

However, I still agree with Nick here that Gecko's Realm is a very good example of HOW to not code sites. Mozilla is about doing it right. This site is - yes - standards compliant, but very much against the philosophy of the New World Wide Web Order.

If you want to do fancy absolute positioning animation then at least use an initial layout that is viewable on other browsers. Don't write JS that *deliberately* breaks other browsers.

Zontar: This isn't a demo site coding competition. I don't need to provide any evidence of anything. Just because I can't code a better OS than Windows 3.1 doesn't mean I don't have the right to say it's crap.

#33 umm

by Anon

Sunday August 8th, 1999 10:53 PM

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I meant to write "seems to have INSULTED Shashi".

#36 the final insult

by Anon

Monday August 9th, 1999 3:58 PM

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> Don't write JS that *deliberately* breaks other browsers.

If the site's scripting follows the DOM Level 1 standard to the letter, and IE5 pukes on it, I'd have to say the deliberate brokenness makes its home in Redmond, Washington.

#34 It didn't even show ANYTHING with Netscape 4.6 :(

by Ashen

Monday August 9th, 1999 12:08 AM

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I tried to load it with Netscape 4.6 and it just stopped with a java script error in the status bar at the bottom...

#35 It didn't even show ANYTHING with Netscape 4.6 :(

by Anon

Monday August 9th, 1999 8:45 AM

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The site will not work if you use Nav4.x You need to use the July 30th (or later) Mozilla nightly build to be able to view it properly.

#37 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by daddydago <fredjudi@mediaone.net>

Monday August 9th, 1999 4:17 PM

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I'm using Net 4.6 All it did was freeze the page All I can say about it is :( QUACK d:(

#38 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by zontar

Monday August 9th, 1999 9:45 PM

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Last I heard, CSS was a standard. If your browser doesn't support CSS, then it's not fully standards-compliant. To speak of "my standards-compliant browser that doesn't support CSS" is to commit an error of fact and logic. Q.E.D.

Good Lord, this is NOT a production site intended for the general public, it's a (pardon my caps) TEST BED SPECIFICALLY INTENDED FOR USE WITH RECENT VERSIONS OF MOZILLA -- which isn't yet a production browser. There is no NN- or MSIE-specific code, so of course it's not going to work correctly with either of these. Anybody who complains about this is either betraying their ignorance or simply trolling.

Read Shashi's "Update" statement and get over it already. Sheeesh...

--Zontar The Mindless, Village Idiot.

#40 Standards?

by Anon

Tuesday August 10th, 1999 1:25 PM

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Strictly speaking, that's not true - a "standards compliant" browser only has to implement the standards it wants to. If that only includes HTML4.0, so be it. As long as it implements HTML4.0 correctly, it is standards compliant.

Otherwise every browser must implement every standard in existance. (Does mozilla support electrical standards defined in the united states and england? or just one?)

#39 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by Anon

Tuesday August 10th, 1999 2:39 AM

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The JS screen object has been implemented on windows since early June so don't use it as an excuse ;)

#41 Gecko's Realm Gets a Facelift

by zontar

Tuesday August 10th, 1999 5:22 PM

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It is obvious you are attempting to be disengenuous, and are merely looking for excuses to dump on shashi and Gecko's Realm. I therefore decline to continue this conversation.