Diff for /books/www/articles/bloom.html between versions 1.8 and 1.17

version 1.8, 2002/08/28 19:55:30 version 1.17, 2002/09/03 17:50:18
Line 1 Line 1
 <h1>Let a Hundred Browsers Bloom</h1>  <h1>Let a Hundred Browsers Bloom</h1>
 <p>Because Mozilla can be used to create any sort of application, there's no reason why it can't be used to create different types of browsers.    
 Several projects are currently under development independently from the work being done on the default Mozilla browser. This variety is a huge  
 asset because the Mozilla community doesn't have to try to create one browser that is all things to all people.  
<p>The recently released <a href="http://wp.netscape.com/eng/mozilla/ns7/relnotes/7.html">Netscape 7</a> may be the most well known
<h2>Who is the Target Audience?</h2>browser built with Mozilla, but it certainly is not the only one.  Mozilla is being used as a framework to create many different types of
applications including OEone's <a href="http://oeone.com/products/desktop.html">HomeBase DESKTOP</a>, ActiveState's <a
<ul>href="http://activestate.com/Products/Komodo/">Komodo IDE</a>, and <a href="http://www.mozdev.org/projects.html">all of the projects</a>
<li>aol users for netscape 7?hosted on mozdev.org.  People are also using Mozilla to create their own custom browsers <i>[link to brian's article]</i>.  This article
<li>power users for the mozilla developersprovides a survey of most currently available Mozilla browsers, so you can try them out and find the one that works best for you.
<li>no one browser can fit...
 <h2>Why Do We Need More Than One?</h2>
 <p>One of the benefits of Open Source development is that it prevents someone from having to reinvent the wheel whenever they are working
 on developing something that has been done before.  Since the Mozilla community is already working on a browser, wouldn't it be better if
 everyone just focused on making that browser as good as it can be?
 <p>Instead of being a bad thing, the several different browser development projects that are currently underway are one of the Mozilla
 community's greatest assets.  The simple reason for this is that one browser can not be all things to all people.  Each new type of
 browser that gets built is filling a need that is not being met by any other existing option.  Each new browser that is built also has
 the potential to appeal to a whole new audience that will help expand Mozilla's adoption.
 <p>Another positive benefit of having multiple browsers is that it helps avoid compromises that don't make anyone happy.  AOL is
 interested in using Mozilla to create a browser that appeals to novice Internet users, but the Mozilla developers who contribute their
 time to the project want to create a powerful browser with a collection of advanced features.  If the community is locked into working on
 only one browser, then the end result of this development process will be a browser that has a bewildering array of features that don't
 appeal to either intended audience.
 <p>If one browser can't possibly appeal to beginning users and power users at the same time, why not create two different browsers?  For
 that matter, why not create as many different browsers as there are different types of users?  Since all of these browsers are built
 using Mozilla, web developers can create sites using standards such as HTML, CSS and DOM that work well with all of these browsers and
 users can browse the web with whatever tool suits them best.  Everyone wins.
 <h2>Gecko Based Browsers</h2>  <h2>Gecko Based Browsers</h2>
<p>Additional projects are creating different types of alternative browsers, but instead of using Mozilla itself to create the application they use<p>There are two main types of browsers that are built using Mozilla.  Some developers choose to create their application using XUL,
the native user interface toolkits for different platforms. These projects create stripped-down browsers that use just Gecko, Mozilla's layoutMozilla's cross-platform XML-based User Interface language.  Other developers prefer to use just Gecko, Mozilla's rendering engine, and
engine. Because these projects use platform-specific code they work only on a specific operating system. Some examples include Chimerathen create the interface of their browser using one of the toolkits native to a specific platform.  There are Gecko based browsers for
(http://chimera.mozdev.org) for Mac OS X, Galeon (http://galeon.sourceforge.net) for Unix, and K-Meleon (http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net) foreach of the major operating systems in use today, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
<p>The goal of the <a href="http://chimera.mozdev.org">Chimera</a> project is to create a best-of-breed browser for the Mac OS X platform
<pre>with a user-interface that is as simple and as clean as possible.  Chimera uses <a
Chimera                 http://chimera.mozdev.orghref="http://www.mozilla.org/ports/fizzilla/Cocoazilla.html">Cocoazilla</a>, a variant of <a
Galeon                  http://galeon.sourceforge.net href="http://www.mozilla.org/ports/fizzilla/">Fizzilla</a> that consists of a UNIX back end connected to a Cocoa front end.  Since
K-Meleon                http://kmeleon.sourceforge.netChimera uses a native toolkit to create it's GUI it can't run on any platform other than OS X, but since it doesn't use XUL it is faster
SkipStone               http://www.muhri.net/skipstonethan the default Mozilla browser on the same computer (applications written with XUL will always be slightly slower than applications
Q.Bati                  http://qbati2.sourceforge.netwritten with native toolkits because *** need explanation here, ask brian ***).  The most recent stable release, <a
</pre>href="ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/chimera/releases/chimera-0.4.dmg.gz">version 0.4</a>, is available for download along with <a
 href="ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/chimera/nightly/latest-trunk/">nightly development builds</a>.
 <p><img src="http://idisk.mac.com/mozilladave/Public/chimera.jpg"><br> <font size="-1">Chimera with sidebar open</font>
 <p><a href="http://galeon.sourceforge.net">Galeon</a> and <a href="http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net">K-Meleon</a> are projects that also
 have the goal of creating a simple standards-compliant browser using Mozilla's rendering engine.  Galeon uses Gecko to create a browser
 for the <a href="http://www.gnome.org/">GNOME</a> desktop and K-Meleon uses Gecko to create a Windows only browser.  The latest stable
 version of Galeon can be <a href="http://galeon.sourceforge.net/download/">downloaded</a> for a variety of Linux distributions.  There
 are also alpha versions available for <a href="http://galeon.sourceforge.net/galeon2/">Galeon2</a>, which is a new major version of the
 browser that takes advantage of the huge changes in architecture in the new GNOME 2 desktop.  The latest version of K-Meleon can be <a
 href="http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/download.php">downloaded</a> for Windows and it includes a number of stability and configuration
 changes over earlier versions.  Other Gecko based browsers include <a href="http://www.muhri.net/skipstone">SkipStone</a> and <a
 <h2>XUL Based Browsers</h2>  <h2>XUL Based Browsers</h2>
<p>A few of these projects are working on improving the basic Mozilla browser interface. One of the first Mozilla applications, Aphrodite<p>The other main category of Mozilla browsers include the projects building their applications using XUL.  In many ways, these projects
(http://aphrodite.mozdev.org), has an interface designed and created by members of the Mozilla community. Another project called m/b (short forare similar to <a href="http://mozilla.org/themes/download/">themes</a>, but they take the idea of customizing the browser one step
mozilla/browser) addresses shortcomings that some people see with the default browser interface. In many ways, these projects are similar tofurther.  These custom browsers use XUL, CSS, and JavaScript to change the browser interface and not just the look of the browser.  For
themes, but they take this idea one step further and use XUL, CSS, and JavaScript to change the layout of the browser interface and not just theinstance, a theme developer can create new images for the buttons in the main toolbar, but a developer can edit the toolbar to add or
look of the browser.remove buttons in their own browser.
<pre><p>One of the first custom browsers, <a href="http://aphrodite.mozdev.org">Aphrodite</a> was created as an alternative to the default
Aphrodite               http://aphrodite.mozdev.orginterface that ships with Mozilla.  Aphrodite includes a number of it's own themes, including FruityGum, Inferno and two flavors of the
        include aphrodite themesSullivan skin.  The crash recovery system <a href="http://aphrodite.mozdev.org/total_recall.html">Total Recall</a> is also integrated
skyline                 http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=154414into the browser.  Development work continues on Aphrodite, although currently there isn't a new release that works with the latest
m/b                     http://www.blakeross.com/images/mb (screenshot)   version of Mozilla.
        phoenix                 http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=161041
        project piglet          http://mb.mozdev.org<p><img src="http://www.mozdev.org/sharedimages/sullivan_grape.gif"><br> <font size="-1">Aphrodite with the Sullivan grape theme</font>
<p><a href="http://beonex.com/communicator/">Beonex Communicator</a> is another XUL based browser that is a user-focused browsing suite
that also comes bundled with a mail client and a web page editor.  The latest stable version, Communicator 0.8, is available for <a
<h2>Conclusion</h2>href="http://www.beonex.com/communicator/version/0.8/">download</a> for Windows and Linux.  Some other XUL based custom browsers include
<a href="http://mb.mozdev.org">Project Piglet</a>, <a href="http://mercuryspider.mozdev.org/">MercurySpider</a>, and <a
        - links to other browsers
        - minotaur reference???
        - let 100 browsers bloom<p><h2>The Future of Mozilla Browsers</h2>
<p>The browsers that are currently under development using Mozilla are just the tip of the iceberg.  One of the most interesting
<p>If you think of a type of browser that is needed but that is not being developed right now, use Mozilla to create your own browser.possibilities for future browser development comes from AOL, the same company that owns Netscape and that is the main sponsor of the
Mozilla community.  Currently the Windows version of the AOL client software uses Internet Explorer as the core of it's browser, but
there are indications that this may soon change.  If AOL were to switch and use Mozilla in a new version of their software, tens of
-------------------------------------------------millions of people would be exposed to Mozilla.
<p>AOL has already made some moves in this direction.  The latest version of the <a
<pre>href="http://www.apple.com/macosx/applications/aol/">AOL client for Mac OS X</a> uses Gecko as it's rendering engine.  Gecko has also
notesreplaced Internet Explorer in <a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1023-883808.html">CompuServe 7.0</a>, the latest version of AOL's other
online service.  The decision to use Gecko in these two offerings are seen by many as ways for AOL to iron out any rough spots before
othersthey move forward with releasing a Mozilla based version of their AOL client for Windows.
Beonex Communicator        http://beonex.com/communicator/<p>Another interesting project to keep on eye on is <a href="http://mozilla.org/projects/phoenix/">Phoenix</a>.  There isn't much known
BrowserG!               http://browserg.mozdev.orgabout this yet, but there are some pages in bugzilla and on the mozilla.org site that have some information.  It looks like Phoenix is
Dino                        http://dino.mozdev.orgbased off of an earlier project called m/b (short for mozilla/browser) and has a goal to create a user-friendly stand-alone browser that
more                        http://www.mozdev.org/categories/browsers.htmlis free from most of the constraits placed on the default Mozilla browser.  Builds of Phoenix aren't available right now, but it is
possible to grab the source from Mozilla's CVS tree and build it yourself right now.  There are instructions about how to do this in the
project's <a href="http://lxr.mozilla.org/mozilla/source/browser/README.html">README</a> file.
<p><img src="http://www.mozillazine.org/weblogs/asa/cust3.png"><br> <font size="-1">Phoenix with the Customize Toolbar dialog</font>
aol and compuserve clients       gecko based or mozilla based?
<p>If none of these browsers look like they are right for you, remember that you can always create your own browser with Mozilla <i>[link
to brian's article]</i>.  Each of the projects listed here could use help with testing and development, so you can also contribute by
minotaur  - alternative mail clientadding features or fixing bugs to make these browsers even better.  This wealth of browser options is a great strength, so let's hope
        phoenix reference on the pagethat each of these projects continue to mature and innovate.  Let 100 browsers bloom so that we can all use the browser that is right for
Lot's of changes are under way for the Mozilla browser 
- The "Skyline" project, which is a version of Mozilla is being worked on internally at Netscape, "is a short-term project to build a working  
prototype of a new web client that provides for the daily needs of novice-intermediate users, is fun to use, and really shines in a broadband  
- Project "Phoenix", "...a redesign of the Mozilla browser component, similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Chimera, but written using the XUL user  
interface language and designed to be cross-platform" (via mpt's site) 
- The mozilla/browser project, mentioned a while ago on this site has resurfaced on mozdev. There are some screenshots, but the installable  
XPI is not working, yet. 
http://www.mozilla.org/mailnews/minotaur/index.html (stand-alone mail client) 
reasons for creating alternate browsers 
from http://www.mozillazine.org/weblogs/hyatt/2002_04_07_mozillian_archive.html#75307435 
In some cases features that are of more obvious benefit to one app end up affecting the design of all the apps. For example, profiles are of far  
more use to mail than they are to a browser. Are profiles even really necessary if you were designing just a browser? In this era of Windows XP and  
Mac OS X, both of which have fast friendly user switching, I'd claim that they aren't. 
Another example of horrid user interface is the Mozilla Preferences dialog. Again, all prefs are shoved down into the hierarchy by an extra level,  
because the top level must necessarily be given over to individual application branches. User interface that logically belonged in preferences has  
been torn out because it would have ended up too buried to be useful, e.g., the Mail/News account settings. 
from http://www.mozillazine.org/weblogs/hyatt/2002_04_07_mozillian_archive.html#75279564 
The end result of these colliding forces is Mozilla 1.0, a lumbering beast of an application suite that boasts a bewildering array of features 
supplied by contributors whose respective agendas are inevitably at odds.  What's even worse is that none of the warring factions is happy with the 
end result. Mozilla ends up with geek features like the Links Toolbar that make Netscape unhappy, and Mozilla ends up with a lousy toolbar design 
in order to keep Netscape happy. [...] You'll never see eye-to-eye, because you're not trying to produce the same browser. 
The only real solution I see to this problem is for Mozilla to escape the one-browser mold. After Mozilla 1.0, Mozilla.org should relinquish 
control of its flagship application to Netscape and strike out on its own with new browser projects that are truly innovative. Let one group of 
people try to design the power user's dream browser, while another works on a simpler elegant user experience. 

Removed from v.1.8  
changed lines
  Added in v.1.17

FreeBSD-CVSweb <freebsd-cvsweb@FreeBSD.org>