In other blogs I listed the reasons why it has been so hard to effect change in the Mozilla front end code. First is the problem of the target audience that leads to disagreement no matter what you're trying to do. You can't have a vision for a product, because your vision will always end up being someone else's nightmare. Another problem with the user interface is the clutter from the other applications. Finally there's the problem of Mozilla's perpetuated egalitarianism at the module owner level and at the contributor level. Everyone is leveled out, leaving the product with no clear direction or vision.
Also note that chimera is seen as the solution to the UI problems on Mac. It will be interesting to see how this will all play out; gecko (mozilla's rendering engine) might be the only part of the mozilla project that really has an impact on a large number of users. (Even that would be a good thing, of course.) That said, I would currently be loathe to adopt any gecko-using browser that didn't have a) tabs; and b) sidebar. Tabs are now a major part of how I browse - while reading a page, I just middle click on all the interesting links, which opens tabs up in the background. It's much much better then reading first, then re-scanning for links, and much much much better than the web technique I despise above all others, "open link in new window". The sidebar has too many useful little tools available for me that I use on a regular basis, and I'd like to see even more of them.Posted by Bill Stilwell at April 22, 2002 12:00 AM