By: Ben Goodger
Some people must like my old site (Millennium VII) since it
visits, and I get the odd email asking when something is
appear, or for some help with something.
Being lazy, I seldom answer. But that does not mean I'm not
still am. As the more astute may have noticed, I posted a
wee notice on
the main page saying I'm performing some structural
updates. And that
was true. I have modified my design somewhat, and am
preparing my site
for the coming of Netscape Navigator 5.0. Its a slow
process however and
changes will come when I get time, or when I feel like
Since Millennium VIII (the identical, structural update) is
than a service release, updating tens of pages is rather
tedious. By the
end of the year, I hope to have M8 completely online.
What have I been doing in the mean-time? Well, two things
(which is of little interest to anyone other than me, so I
discuss it), and working as part of the Mozilla project,
which should be
of interest to everyone, and something that I like
here's my spiel.
Mozilla is the fluffy Godzilla-like lizard mascot of
Communications Corp., which you probably already know. He
various places, in the browser user_agent, in various
easter eggs (like
about:mozilla), and his name also applies to the project to
next version of Netscape Navigator.
You may not have heard much about this project, unless you
news sites like CNet. If that's the case, then you probably
idea that the project is ailing, years overdue, in need of
attention. Not all of that is untrue - the project is late,
and it needs
all the bug-testing help it can get. But I digress.
The Mozilla Organization is located at
http://www.mozilla.org. It is the
home of the various projects that are aimed at producing a
that not only kicks the ass of Internet Explorer 5.0, but
one that will
continue to kick it for the visible future. The official
name of the
project to create Communicator 5.0 is called "Project
Seamonkey comprises all the elements of Navigator 4.x, plus
extra features I won't mention. They're self evident if you
milestone (mostly stable, fast, small). What's more
interesting is the
fact that the user interface of the program is written in
an XML derived
Sheets. XUL on the other hand, is an emerging language that
priveledged to be one of the first people to use. Other
than the fact
that it is unfinished, and more than a little buggy, it is
XUL lets you define the appearance of an application (e.g.
web-browser, or Composer editor) in an HTML-like language,
C++. C++ is hard.
Okay. If you haven't pushed "Back" yet, you're obviously
I won't blind you with science, Mozilla.org has all the
in an engineer-friendly format at
What does this mean for you? Well, Mozilla/Navigator 5.0
completely SKINNABLE. Create skins like you have skins for
NeoPlanet. But these skins are (in my opinion) easier to
they use a cousin of language you're probably already
(HTML). For example, the browser window is an IFRAME
supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer), the location
field is an HTML
INPUT text box, etc. Rollover images and links are done
using the CSS2
:hover pseudoelement you may have seen/tried in Internet
Not only can you change the appearance of all the toolbar
toolbars, statusbars, dialogs etc, you can add new
features. If you're a
prospect. You can
extend the Preferences dialog, add a toggle-images button
toolbar, customize your sidebar, thats only the beginning.
MENUs are customizable. Want to put a java applet in your
(heaven forbid).. its do-able!
Since this is a SM site, I'd better mention an SM
application - you can
create a SM skin. If you're more intrepid, you can modify
the menus to
give you quick menu/toolbar button access to your favourite
If you have a really good idea for a feature that could be
added to the
next version of Navigator, mail me, or better yet, load
program and go to
Netscape 5.0 will be the first fully standards compliant
It will be fast, it will be small, and it will be good.
This is obvious
to me even at this stage in development.
Mozilla.org expects the product to be at public-beta level
November this year.
If browsers interest you as intensely as they interest me,
send me mail at the address below.
Comments on this article can be sent to: Ben Goodger.