First Glimpse of New Skin for Mozilla!
Saturday October 23rd, 1999
A number of you may have seen newsgroup posts of a new "skin" coming to Mozilla shortly. The design team has been hard at work, and they are planning on landing the new skin early next week. We haven't heard if it will appear in the nightlies at that point, but we'll keep you posted.
Before we get to showing you the new skin, we'll warn you up front that it's not yet in a final state, and any glaring errors are probably being worked on at this very moment.
That said, we have a screenshot of the browser window, and a shot of the address book. Notice the curved ends of the splitter bars and how the address book's toolbar blends into the address list. Also of note is the search button inside the URL bar on the browser screenshot.
There's a lot to see here, and it's sorta hard to come to a conclusion from just a screenshot of in-process work, so I think I'll hold off judgement until I see a final polished version in action...
#54 First Glimpse of New Skin for Mozilla!
Sunday October 24th, 1999 10:11 PM
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Yes, but NeoPlanet is a NICHE product. Mozilla will eventually become the thing that ISPs give you on their setup CDs, and be distributed on OS install disks. Skins aren't for everyone, (thinking of grandma here), and while I maintain that skins should be available for those that want them (I even want several really good ones bundled with Mozilla), the default should still be a generic one that matches the user's OS. Inside Macintosh states that applications should "maintain the spirit of the Apple Desktop Interface." This is because people learn new apps by adapting their knowledge of existing ones. people who are experienced in using computers may find skinnable software enjoyable, as they can figure out what everything is, but there are people out there who have enough difficulty running Netscape 3.x/4.x *without* skins.
Side notes, relating to things I've seen here, and in other posts in this thread: 1) the personal toolbar appears to have moved above the navigation toolbar.
2) the goal in Mozilla is to keep the button count down. Netscape 4.x is somewhat of a mess of buttons, none of which you can remove (in WinFE anyway, I hear its possible in XFE). A simpler, less obtrusive UI is best, as it allows the user to focus on viewing webpages, not using the software. (I am a fan of full screen browsing, too)
3) I certainly support a competition/vote for secondary skins. But the default one, as I say, should always be one which matches the user's system and looks like a standard app. (btw: non-neutral schemes have a tendency to date, and aside from the issues with beginners or basic users, many people may simply not like the skin chosen by vote)