Apologies for the infrequent updates. Things will resume back to normal after I get moved into my new apartment. The good news is that I’m starting to write more. A lot more. In anticipation, I’ve updated my Essays section.
The creation of custom Mozilla browser GUIs is going to be a very cool thing. Mozilla uses a technology called XUL, which looks a lot HTML. The nice thing about XUL is that it uses CSS as well for exact image positioning. This set of technologies is going to make it very easy for web designers to build some very cool (and good looking) GUIs for the Mozilla browser. One of the decisions made by the Mozilla developers was to use a standard set of GUI widgets across all OS platforms. There is currently a lot of debate about this in the Mozilla newsgroups. However, the beauty of XUL is that you can design your own native OS widgets to work with your GUI package.
I usually enjoy Hiawatha Bray’s articles, but this one that calls Mozilla “the most effective piece of useless software ever written” is clearly lacking of research. The problem is the reporter’s point of view. He’s clearly looking at Mozilla as being a consumer-oriented web browser, and has completely ignored the multitude of possibilities Mozilla’s open source nature will offer. The point being, that Mozilla will likely never be a well-received browser for the average Joe Blow. The marketing and corporate support simply isn’t there. Instead, I see Mozilla being a very valuable web application environment, allowing all kinds of truly customized web-based services that are much more difficult to implement with the closed nature of Internet Explorer and previous versions of Netscape. The reporter also has chosen to ignore the fact that Mozilla is simply the base for the next version of Netscape. If you’re going to report on the consumer web browser market, you should really be looking at what Netscape’s planning on doing with Mozilla, and not just at Mozilla itself.
Posted by Cameron Barrett at March 3, 2000 04:14 PM