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Aqua Mozilla OK with Apple 314

MikeMo writes: "Turns out Apple thinks an Aqua Mozilla is OK, after all. Eric Yang had a chat with them and they made up." This is an update to this story.
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Aqua Mozilla OK with Apple

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  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:15PM (#2366285) Homepage
    I'm not familiar enough with the "real" Aqua products to understand what just went down here.

    It sounds to me like Apple did say it was okay to make an Aqua-like Mozilla -- but only using the "real" Apple tools, and therefore (purely my extrapolation) for Mac OS X users only. Aqua look-and-feel through "emulation" is still strictly forbidden.


    If this is the case, then the Slashdot was not overreacting at all -- it's still a "legitimate Aqua" sues "homebrew Aqua look" issue in which all non-MacOS users are forbidden from using nice shiny sea-blue widgets, etc.

    Or am I misunderstanding?
    • What is OS X? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <.gundbear. .at.> on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:23PM (#2366525) Homepage
      If you want your shiny blue widgets... you can have XP.

      I'm a little more scared of Microsoft, .NET, Hailstorm, Windows Media Player, DirectX, and the XBox, all under the same roof...

      What evils lurk in the Microsoft Future?

      Aqua is *the* OS X experience. It's more than just widgets; more than just a semitranslucent title bar, or glassy buttons, and drop shadows.

      It's about an uncluttered 'Start bar' (called the Dock). Each App gets a single entry in the Dock, with access to the multiple open windows available through a single 'Window' menu; or if you right click on the app in the Dock, you get a list of the available windows.

      It's about a the Apple Menu and a single menu, instead of a menu per Window. This has carried over from the previous OS 9; the foreground App, with User focus, controls the single available menu bar. There doesn't exist a menu for each window (which not only takes up screen real estate, it provides for too many available targets when all you use is a single target) but only a single global menu bar.

      It's about minimizing screen clutter and noise. Instead of borders around each window you get a drop shadow; you delineate forground from background apps because the foreground App casts a shadow behind it. The background apps also have transparent title bars. You don't get every open Window listed in the Dock-the OS X Start bar. You don't get a menu bar attached to every window. You don't get a empty grey parent window containing all the child windows of Word or Photoshop.

      It's not perfect, certainly, and it is, after all, the vision of a single person, a single company, quite unlike Linux and the Open Source/Free Software community.

      There are little things, but mostly it's coherent. Most of the OS widgets are grayed out and monochromatic except when they are in focus or require attention; good visual cues. If you mistype your password when logging in, the login window shakes itself to both clear itself and to let you know you've failed to log in.

      It's really, really, nice. Too bad most people are too cheap, or cannot otherwise afford, to play with Macs.
      • Re:What is OS X? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by NeMon'ess ( 160583 )
        Your description sounds very interesting and I would like to play around with aqua while someone explained the features to me as well as you did. All of your descriptions led me to one conclusion however; aqua still isn't perfect for multitasking. Comparing Windoze to a desk, I would say it lets me get out plenty of items from the drawers, but the drawers remain open until the item goes back. Aqua lets me take out all the items but closes all the drawers until the items go back, so to put something back I open the drawer again then close it. I think I'm missing something though because that would be too cumbersome. I never really cared for the unified top bar because it seemed like it took more effort to switch apps or navigate instead of having everything laid out in front of me.

        I'm assuming I can customize Aqua however so plenty of stuff stays out in front? Bottom line Windoze is for those whose real desk is a mess but they know where everything is, while Aqua is for neat-freaks.


        • Re:What is OS X? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by itachi ( 33131 )
          I'm assuming I can customize Aqua however so plenty of stuff stays out in front? Bottom line Windoze is for those whose real desk is a mess but they know where everything is, while Aqua is for neat-freaks.

          Oh, aqua is for both. The dock can be both the cluttered, every single windows represented (1). It can also be really really tidy. I'm almost to the point where I prefer it to NeXT/After/GNUstep, although it would need autoraise to really win me over completely. The parent post is right though, it's easy to tell what window is live, and the dock is much nicer than the start bar, once you get used to how to use it efficiently. It still needs work, though, and it is getting better with revisions. There is not a lot of customization available with 10-10.0.4. (2) 10.1 looks like it doubles the amount of customization that you can do from the GUI, and of course there have always been lots of 3rd party GUI toys for the Mac. It's really a nice GUI.


          (1) - except, ironically enough, the window in front. Minimized windows live on the right side of the dock next to the trash, meanwhile applications that are running live on the right
          (2) - not entirely true, there are some undocumented changes you can make through the CLI. Mostly picking between widget options, as far as I've seen, rather than turning widgets on and off, so tuning the GUI for speed vs. glitter is not quite an option yet.
        • Re:What is OS X? (Score:3, Informative)

          by 2nd Post! ( 213333 )
          Hmmm, you already have a pretty insightful response, so here's my addendum.

          You could have 15 Netscape windows open. They take no space on the dock except for 1 Netscape App icon.

          Minimize all 15 Windows (there is that option in the 'Netscape' menu) and you have 1 Netscape App icon and 15 Netscape window icons, each a tiny 'live' representation. Supposedly running Quicktime windows keep running even when 'minimized' too

          The dock has a separator to divide applications and documents. So it has everything the Windows start bar has, and more. The foreground window cannot be lost in the Dock because it doesn't show up in the Dock unless it's minimized. The application can never be lost because it's always in the same place in the Dock.
          • Windows XP has this feature too, BTW.

            If you have many of the same application's windows open they will collapse into a single window icon on the bar, you click on it and get a list of all of the windows.

            And for everyone else, the second that I see "windoze" or "M$" or "micro$oft" I stop reading your post. If you can't even have the maturity to type the names properly...
            • And for everyone else, the second that I see "windoze" or "M$" or "micro$oft" I stop reading your post. If you can't even have the maturity to type the names properly...

              Well I can type out those names "properly" just fine - the quality required is not maturity. At the same time I rarely do. Because giving them the names that the Co. behind them prefers grants them an illusion of legitimacy they do not deserve.

              Want to talk about maturity? Whatever you may think of my opinion of Microsoft, it is certainly mature. I converted from Apple to DOS at version 3.0. (Before I used Apple I hacked, in the oldest meaning of the word, involving soldering irons and opcodes, on hardware I'm sure you've never heard of.) I've used every Microsoft OS since DOS 3, either personally or professionally or both. I've had the time to study the MS way in action, over many many years and many many upgrades. And I don't think they deserve the courtesy of typing out there name "properly" on a regular basis. If that means you won't read my posts... oh, hurt me. Your choice, your loss.

        • I'm assuming I can customize Aqua however so plenty of stuff stays out in front? Bottom line Windoze is for those whose real desk is a mess but they know where everything is, while Aqua is for neat-freaks.

          You can, if you want, have one window from five different apps open on the screen next to each other.

          The way the classic Mac OS works, is if you click on a window in the background (since you can see them, as there is no patent window for the app) it would bring all the open windows from that app to the front, covering all the other open windows. To bring all the windows of one app to the front in OS X you click on that app's icon in the dock. You can also right click the icon to see and choose which window you want, or use the Window menu in the main menu bar.

          In OS X clicking on a window in the background, brings only that window to the front, and not all the windows from that app.

          You can hide an app and all it's windows, and it's icon in the dock gets grayed out, or you can minimize the individual windows from that app (and when you hide the app... they hop over to the apps icon...). Minimized windows show up as dock icons of the window. Moving the mouse over the icon tells you the name of the window.

          I really enjoy Aqua. I use Mac OS 9.1 and NT 4 at work all day, but at home I mostly stay in OS X... can't wait to get the 10.1 update!

      • Most of this stuff is fine, lots of good ideas and UI nuances. Which are already being ripped off by various competitors, including of course most prominently MS, in their usual half-conscious, never quite grokking the idea way. And Apple is understandable trying to prevent this from happening. Understandable that they would want to at least. The problem is they can't. Oh, sure, they can scare private citizens working on open source projects for the common good with a few cheap threats, but that's not going to do jack about the real threat.

        Back to their interface, though, it is really disappointing to me. Yes, there are quite a few nice features as I always expected (given the origin of the codebase it could be assumed,) however two decisions they made strike me as utterly hideous - the whole overdone gumdrop pastel nonsense, along with the decision to adopt the MS window control widget layout (after all these years of correct criticism of it) stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise fairly well done gui. Why they made these decisions I'll probably never know. The silly gumdrop crap I guess is supposed to drive sales of new hardware, but the window widget layout is truly incomprehensible. Unecessary animations, unecessary and basically useless drains on the system resources may drive hardware sales I suppose, but they certainly are not good things from a UI design point of view. And I know that the points may sound fairly minor, but when a product has that much evident attention to the UI to begin with, those things stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

        This is supposed to be an improved NeXT/Mac fusion, yet in this particular respect both NeXT and Mac did things in a defensible way, while MacOS10 doesn't. There is just no defensible reason to place a button with any other function next to the "kill" button from a UI design point of view. Mac people have talked for ages about how incredibly stupid it was for MS to do this (and they're right) and now they turn around and do exactly the same thing? I just don't get it... has Jobs got alzheimers or what?

  • by st. augustine ( 14437 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:17PM (#2366300)
    From the article: "What Apple objected to was not Aquafying Mozilla, but rather the way I was doing it via emulation, thus not giving Mozilla users a pure Aqua experience. Apple is willing to provide information for creating real Aqua experience for Mozilla."

    Does Apple mean they insist that Mozilla use native OS X widgets if it wants to look like an Aqua application? From my (admittedly limited) understanding of the Mozilla architecture, this is impossible. Mozilla's appearance is all defined at run-time, and everything including its own buttons, menus, scroll bars, is a Mozilla custom component, not part of the OS standard UI toolkit.

    Am I wrong? Please correct me. But it seems like the only thing you could do would be to write your own browser using native widgets, and embed the Gecko rendering engine, ala Galeon. Mozilla's not going to give you a "pure Aqua experience" unless you rewrite it from scratch.
    • "Mozilla's appearance is all defined at run-time, and everything including its own buttons, menus, scroll bars, is a Mozilla custom component, not part of the OS standard UI toolkit."

      This was the worst design decision(?spelling?) with Mozilla. Big, bloated GUI, slowing down the good, fast rendering engine. Who wanted this? Had someone had an overdoze of Winamp skins?
      • by slamb ( 119285 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:51PM (#2366421) Homepage

        This was the worst design decision(?spelling?) with Mozilla. Big, bloated GUI, slowing down the good, fast rendering engine.

        I also think this was a terrible decision, but not for the same reason. There is a reason that damn near every program on any given GUI (with the notable exception of X11) looks about the same, and it's not because programmers are unimaginative.

        It's because users are happier when the interface adheres to consistent guidelines. Each platform has its own set of guidelines. A few examples:

        How many times have you been annoyed when you hit the wheel mouse and it didn't work right? That's almost always because of some moronic programmer who decided it would be better to write his/her own widgets. Wheel mice are one of the places this becomes most obvious, because they didn't exist when a lot of these programs were designed. The GUI vendor added support to the native widgets, but the stupid replacement ones in a lot of cases don't have support. Or when they do, it doesn't work quite the same. (I.e., seperate preferences for the number of lines to scroll.)

        Mozilla is one of the worst offenders here, completely scrapping the idea of an interface consistent with anything else.

        (Java is a bit of an exception. It doesn't have a system of its own, so arguably it also violates the other interface guidelines. However, it makes sense to have a single interface for Java, since applications are intended to be very cross-platform. Plus, Java has actually taken on the challenge of designing a good GUI of their own...observe the fact that there is a book out on the Java look and feel. I'm not aware of a similar one for Mozilla.)

        • Seeing as Mozilla is supposed to be an application platform, the same argument could be made. And such a book on Mozilla is coming from O'Reilley (can't recall the title at the moment).
          • Seeing as Mozilla is supposed to be an application platform, the same argument could be made.

            True, but I don't believe Mozilla will ever have even a fraction of the support Java does. Java is a very well-thought-out lanaguage with some interesting concepts (the first widespread VM and really widespread GC), a really good API, a huge install base, and lots of resources on it available. As much as apples and oranges can be compared (a programming language vs. a web browser, although they both are more than that), Java comes out far ahead.

            And such a book on Mozilla is coming from O'Reilley (can't recall the title at the moment).

            Interesting. News to me.

          • Did the decision to make Mozilla an "application platform" come before or after the decisions to abstract the user interface and have Mozilla draw its own widgets?
          • i thought the idea of mozilla was to get a good browser. not an application platform. well, now i can adjust my expectations for mozilla. they can now take all the time they want. I'll just use the gecko engine.
        • by mj6798 ( 514047 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:58PM (#2366613)
          Some of the most highly visible and successful applications on MacOS (QuickTime client, Finder) and Windows (Office, VC++, various media applications) violate the UI guidelines of those platforms in numerous ways. If users minded "inconsistent" UIs, they wouldn't choose to put so many different applications with inconsistent UIs on their desktops, under Windows, MacOS, or X11.

          And when it comes to Mozilla, you have lots of choices for UIs--the Mozilla engine embeds easily in other UIs, as Galeon, Skipstone, and QtZilla have shown.

        • > How many times have you been annoyed when you hit the wheel mouse and it didn't work right?

          Or more importantly, how many times have you hit CTRL-C/CTRL-V in Windows only to *NOT* have the application cut and paste.

          Standards are a good thing. You're right on the money.
      • by BZ ( 40346 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:57PM (#2366449)
        > Who wanted this?

        Mozilla needed a custom widget set to comply with CSS as well. It seemed natural to use it for the interface too, eliminating porting headaches.
    • It uses it's own widget library, right? And they were already somehow emulating aqua-look?

      Why not just replace the emulation with native calls. I mean how about..
      #ifdef __MACOSX_WITH_AQUA__
      #endif the widget library. Of course those smart mozilla developers can probably come up with something more elegant but certainly something like this shouldn't be more than minor obstacle..

      And they do have a point about pure Aqua experience which is more than just pretty looks. It would certainly be confusing to have an application that looks like it conforms to the normal aqua guidelines and behaviour but then acts differently.

      Also, it would be quite a burden for mozilla developers to emulate everything instead of just letting the system ui-library take care of all the nasty details.

      This would just make mozilla even better on macintosh and if for some reason there isn't enough interest in making a native aqua implementation you can always use the boring standard look..

      So where's the problem. Apple is just protecting their brand. Just like you can't call any old cola a coca cola..
      • I don't think that would be feasable with the current product. There are lots of things that rely on the scriptable nature of the UI. Even if it were possible, there are thousands of more important things to be working on as opposed to something so completely destabilizing, and totally unnecessry.

        If someone really wanted to make an Aqua UI for mozilla that Apple couldn't complain about, they might be able to make a skin which dynamically (perhaps at startup, or something) generated the Aqua UI element images, made them into bitmaps, and used those for the skin.

        That way, there would be no copyright violation, as the copyrighted Aqua UI elements would never be copied.

        Wouldn't improve the experience any, but it would make such a thing possible.
        Someone could also make a browser which embedded gecko, with an Aqua UI, (like galeon, etc), which might actually be a good idea for a lightweight browser.
        • So there is no way to write a wrapper for a native aqua ui that would have the same interface as the original ui-code?

          I'll admit that I have no idea of the design of mozilla and don't really care how it looks on mac but just for the sake of an argument from a software design point of view..

          Oh.. I do agree that having a stable base and functionality is a lot more important than silly eye-candy..
      • Just like you can't call any old cola a coca cola...

        But if you are in the South you can call any old soda a Coke!

    • Apple wants them to create a new NATIVE PORT of mozilla for use with Aqua/Cocoa, similar to how Galeon and K-Meleon do it for other platforms.

      This way Apple can keep their stance on having Aqua on only an Apple platform while "appeasing" the public. Personally I'd like to have the theme on a windows/linux box but ah well...

      In reality Apple has changed nothing of their stance at all. They are just stating the obvious: make a native OS X browser with Gecko and it can have the Aqua look and feel.

      • Except those are _not_ ports of mozilla, they are native browsers build ontop of the gecko rendering engine. gecko is the basic html renderer under mozilla, it doesn't do javascript, plugins, mail/news, prefs, or any of the rest of the stuff that makes a browser

        • Actually, I'm fairly certain gecko does do javascript, and it at least provides the bindings and /some/ of the architechture for plugins and prefs. However, in general, you are correct- wrapper is a much more accurate term for what galeon and k-meleon are than port.
    • by bwilson ( 27514 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:11PM (#2366489) Homepage

      The decision to make the interface custom was a result of the incredible mess that became of the previous cross-platform version. It is also necessary to provide custom controls to comply with CSS, which allows web pages to define button and scrollbar colors, for example.

      IE defines its own controls for this reason (no kidding!), they just look like the Windows ones by default. Microsoft Word (and possibly the rest of Office) have all custom controls that look like the Windows ones. Sometimes the look is slightly off and if you look at the window hierarchy in Spy++ you'll notice that the buttons are not actually Windows, which is what you'd get with native widgets. So people shouldn't single out Mozilla for their criticism of its custom controls.

      I used Mozilla on a Mac a while ago and I swear (much to my surprise) that it was using native widgets. Of course, it uses native menus, but the buttons and scrollbars seemed to be native as well, I played with the system configuration and the changes (like for scroll bar button configuration) seemed to be reflected in Mozilla. If this is the case, it should be easy to use native Aqua controls. Can somebody with a Mac confirm this?

      • by EvlG ( 24576 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:40PM (#2366564)
        mod this up, he is dead on.

        Crossplatform HTML sucked in Navigator because the widgets for Win32 acted just different enough from Mac and from X Window that it got ugly trying to make it look and act consistent.

        Mozilla fixes that problem, and kudos to them for it.

        (Not to mention being able to write apps for hte Mozilla platform. That's a nice benefit as well)
      • Certain widgets that can be expected to behave in a standard way across all platforms (like scrollbars and some buttons) are in fact native on all moz problems. For example, moz on linux uses some of the gtk libraries for certain widgets. They're just pulled into moz and use their own theme so they appear to be integrated with moz and not your gtk theme.
      • I don't mind people using their own widgets. It makes cross platform development easier. What pisses me off is when they do a piss poor job of it. I know this is a volunteer effort and I'm not criticizing them really, but if you do go the custom widgets way, please try to make your widgets look and feel like the native ones. The MacOSX version of Mozilla's custom widgets look like MacOS Classic. The scroll bars are especially bad.

        Also, platforms have interface guidelines - read them. Too often programs get the look right but the FEEL is very wrong. An example would be buttons. On a mac, buttons that are clicked but while the mouse is still down the mouse is moved away, should not act as if they were clicked. This is so a user can change their mind. Too many programs act on a mouse down when they should be acting on this mouse down, if still over button on mouse up then act combination.

        Linux users, and to some extent Windows users, are fairly used to programs that don't comply to the guidelines. Because of this, they often don't understand mac users griping about a program not being consistent. If you've never had consistency, you don't miss it. Mac users, on the other hand, are used to well written, compliant programs.

        Consistency is one of the things that the mac sold on in a time of custom MS-DOS applications. The mac introduced the idea of a universal interface toolbox that all applications should use. Developers embraced it because it made writing their apps easier by not re-inventing the wheel. Because of this, and a strict set of User Interface Guidelines, the mac is the most consistent computing environment. Consistency is important! Because of the macs consistency, a user can typically use a new program without so much as picking up its manual. Inconsistency is why Linux is having so much trouble being user friendly to new users.

    • Another possible interpretation is that Apple is OK with a non-native Aqua implementation as long as its look and feel are *exactly* like the native implementation, thereby providing a 100% consistent experience. Just a thought. I don't think Apple cares as much about APIs as they do about user experience, so it seems they would be more concerned about a half-assed Aqua clone annoying users than they would about a perfect Aqua clone that didn't happen to make the right API calls under the covers. So the info they would be giving would be the spec for how Aqua behaves, not the API docs which are already available.
    • Maybe we should think of the bind Apple was in. You could give it an Aqua skin, so long as it would only run on OS X. They don't want it as a linux theme or Windows theme.

    • Apple wants developers to use interface builder. By doing this you help cut down on various GUI inconsistencies.

      The Aqua mozilla project was attempting to build an Aqua GUI buy using GIFs and animated GIFs and whatnot. as most of us know, this was not working very well. The scrollbar didn't quite fit right, defualt buttons were not capable of throbbing without sync problems (since they are made up of multiple parts), yada yada yada, Aqua mozilla kind of looked like an OS X app, but the GUI didn't quite function like one. I imagine that was Apple's #1 problem.

      Currently there is a project at Source Forge that is trying to slap a native Aqua UI on top of Mozilla builds. It is possible. []

      Mozilla is actually quite dynamic, and system specific stuff like this is not really a big deal. It's being done all the time with platforms like the MacOS.
  • /.ed, it seems (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wrong ( 27761 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:21PM (#2366313)
    Slashcode really needs to automirror anything mentioned in a story that isn't set to expire...
    • Re:/.ed, it seems (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:42PM (#2366392) Homepage
      from the site, good news up top:


      This morning, I finally talked to Apple on the phone. I admit that I over reacted to the whole situation. There was a forwarded email from my employer from Apple, which I misinterpreted. What Apple objected to was not Aquafying Mozilla, but rather the way I was doing it via emulation, thus not giving Mozilla users a pure Aqua experience. Apple is willing to provide information for creating real Aqua experience for Mozilla. Right now, my efforts are focused on an Aqua interface for Tenon's iTools, so work on Mozilla for the moment is in abeyance. I apologize to anyone that I have offended.



      This evening, I went to visit /., and found myself on the front page of /.. There were mix feelings about my Aqua projects. I only wanted a browser that works well under Mac OS X, and looks like Aqua. Too bad, I am unable to share that joy anymore. I did not expect to get paid for fixing cocoa, but I felt bad that I helped Apple to write a interface library. Then I was denied to use this interface unless I used their library. In essence, why should I bother to help them with the interface when I am denied to use the interface. I just begin to enjoy working with Apple software, but Apple isn't making it easy for their developers. Anyways, I only hope that Apple would write cocoa UI for Mozilla, then I will not need this project. (OmniWeb is not good enough, yet)


      You might notice that Aqua Mozilla was not updated recently, and the main reason was that Apple contacted my employer in attempt to shut down this project. After a few talk, I am forced to take down this project. Now I think of it, I went to Apple to test cocoa for Mac OS X 10.1, and found a drag and drop problem with NSPopUpButtonCell. They didn't even pay me for my effort, yet they try to shut down my project. Isn't that ironic? For you Mac OS X fans out there, if you want to use a good Mac OS X browser. You can only use IE or OmniWeb now. It sucks for us, but life goes on.
  • As it is now on the OS X system, Aqua is very limited in preferences like color schemes and such when compared to other GUI systems like Windows or KDE. By having it elsewhere, it opens the door for more customization. If others like that ability, it may encourage Apple to add such features to Aqua.

    At least I hope so. The link above appears slashdotted and I cant see it (yet). I hope Apple left the door open for those kind of customizations.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's the point. Apple wants a consistent look and feel with their products. It's all part of the Apple experience.
      • I don't like Apple because of the obvious reasons but I agree that a consistent look and feel is important.
    • I think that there are issues about the interface that a lot of people dont' get. From Apple's point of view, they have done a lot of work to design a really good UI and they simply don't want you screwing around with it. There are many things to not like about that approach, but that's how they see it.

      The designers at BMW do not really want you painting their cars in hippie rainbow colors, adding neon underneath and gluing crap to the hood. They design beautiful cars (in their opinion) and having non-designers tacking crap onto the cars probably irritates them. Apple sees it the same way - they carefully designed the UI and they don't want you changing the colors to who-knows-what.

      You can't begin to know the pain of being a designer who has to put their design in the hands of 'the public' only to have them screw it up, rather than worship your genius!

    • Yes, Aqua is currently limited in color schemes; however, once Aqua becomes more robust (and it will), applications which are built using the proper tools will automatically take advantages of the new options when they are added. This maintains a consist look and feel as well. Needless to say, the current KDE/Gnome environment is a hodge-podge at best.

  • But who says Apple never ripped off MS?
    The custom toolbar in IE 5 [] for Mac was taken and tweaked to be used in the custom finder for OS X! []

    I think little things like this go both ways.
    • Ever consider that Microsoft had advance access to Aqua and decided to make IE5 'fit' that appearance ahead of time?

      • Finder customization didn't make it publically until Mac OS X Public beta (Sep 2000), it wasnt even in Mac OS X DP4 [] which shipped in May of 2000. IE 5 for Mac shipped a few months prior to that and was even included as a carbon app on the developer disc.
        • I still think that despite what Steve says, MS did have previous access to Aqua when they designed IE 5.

          IE 5 was a complete design, and it suddenly became far to much like Aqua before they supposedly had access to it. When OS Public Beta was finally released, the carbonized IE fit in perfectly with the new interface without changing at all from it's OS 9 design. No way that was just a coincidence.
    • by k_187 ( 61692 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @07:58PM (#2366454) Journal
      yes well, I ripped this off from (mmm, flamey goodness)

      1981 - 1983 (Lisa and Mac Development teams)

      * General User Interface
      * Mouse
      * Menus
      * Controls
      * Windows
      * Desktop Metaphor
      [1989 - Win31 first usable system but didn't get it working mediocre until Win95 - still not as consistent or good]

      * Files -
      * multi-forked filing system [WinNT 1993 - still not used]
      * long file names (with spaces & special symbols) [Win95, not as versatile]
      * automatic typed icons (type + creator) document centric filing mechanism [Win95, not nearly as complete or seamless]

      * Design and Programming [Win3 - 1989, not as versatile]


      * Desk Accessories (copied in IBM-compatible world as "TSR")
      * multitasking: Desk Accessories [Win3 - 1989, not as versatile]

      * Sensible System folder organization [Win95 - not as clean, consistent or versatile]
      * Dynamic, user-accessible system extension (fonts, INITs, control panels, DA's) [TBD]
      * Drag-and-drop Application installation [TBD]
      * fast and easy access to international characters [TBD]
      * User-extensible font manager [TBD]
      * Plug-and-play printing; page setup & print dialogs [TBD]
      * Built-in clock with backup battery; reliable file dating. [about 1987]
      * Sound
      * Built-in speaker, 4 voice sound synthesizer, full digitized sound samples [SoundBlaster about 1987, but it wasn't common until about 1989]

      * Speech
      * Speech synthesis (Macintalk). [SoundBlaster about 1987, but not as widely used and not a system function]

      * Floppy 3.5" floppy (400K) [about 1988]
      * with automounting and auto-eject. [TBD]
      * Also added a floppy disk cache [TBD]

      * hot-swappable peripherals
      * keyboard, mouse [1997 with USB, TBD popularized]

      * MacPaint, MacWrite, MacDraw [Win3 - 1989, not as versatile]
      * First person mainstream networked game (first person dungeon like game -- MazeWar, initially created at Xerox) [Wolfenstien or DOOM - 1992? far better graphics]
      * Mac128K was an Ergonomic All in one Machine, semi-portable [1983 Osborn, sorta, some Compaq's in about 1993]
      * Use of icons to label ports (all ports keyed to prevent mistakes) [1994?]


      * LaserWriter printer with Postscript (Apple also helped Adobe get off the ground as a company) [Win31 - 1991 was when Windows first supported Postscript, before then support was spotty]
      * Networking (plug & play, integrated -- AppleTalk/LocalTalk) [1993 / TBD, WinForWorkgroups offered some networking as "option", not as easy or as integrated. Win95 improves it -- still not as easy, or ubiquitous as MacOS in 1985]
      * Direct manipulation Resource Editor [TBD]
      * Desktop Publishing (actually came from Mac Application called ReadySetGo, then Adobe Pagemaker, also Scoop, Xpress and a few others at about the same time, because of what the Macs WYSIWG capabilities) [Win31 - 1991 was when it first started working well on PC's]
      * OOP / OOD (Object Oriented Design and Programming)
      * Object Pascal (later borrowed by Borland) [1993]
      * MacApp (first mainstream Object Oriented Framework, MS copied poorly with MFC) [1992 - MFC popularized]

      * Movable Palettes
      * Lifelike Interface [1994 - Bob]
      * (forget the name, but there was a Finder Replacement that had an actual picture of a desktop, with a little assistant. Microsoft copied this about 8 years later as "Bob").


      * Plug-and play peripherals (SCSI) - ability to handle volumes/partitions to 2GB [1995+]
      * Hypercard (simple object programming -- precursor to Visual Basic) [1990]
      * Hypercard (simple hypertext linking -- precursor to the Web) [1993]
      * First personal computer with 4MB linear memory space (Mac Plus) [1993 WinNT]
      * Kanjitalk
      * More versatile "Wavetable" sound manager [1989 SoundBlaster popularized]
      * Memory Modules (SIMMS) instead of installing RAM chips [1988 - 1990]
      * Dial in modem service. Apple create AppleLink communication service -- GE used the software to create AOL.
      * Scroll speed throttle for uniform user experience regardless of processor speed. [TBD]
      * ADB (Apple Desktop Bus): extensible, auto-config low-speed peripheral bus (precursor to USB) - [1997 with USB, TBD popularized]


      * Plug-and-play bus expansion (NuBus) [1995 PCI + PnP, 1997-98 popularized]
      * Multifinder application multitasking [1991 Win31, 1993 WinNT]
      * Ability to assign labels to files [TBD]
      * Multiple monitor support: single large desktop [1998, TBD Popularized]
      * Color QuickDraw, 256 color 640x480 graphics (same year as VGA with 16-color 640x480 or 256-color 320x200) [1991]
      * Accelerated video cards [1991?]
      * Full Page Display [1993]
      * Dual Page Displays [1991]
      * GWorlds (off screen graphics images used) [1992 - 1997, WinG didn't get working until Win95, and really working until DirectDraw]
      * Built in masking, antialiasing and Dithering of images (actually masking and dithering was earlier). [TBD -- Done by programmers]
      * Industrial Design: Snap Open Case (no screws) [TBD]


      * SCSI plug-and-play CD-ROM [1995 for PnP, not as easy or good]
      * Ethertalk
      * Superdrive, can read and write Mac, DOS, OS/2 files [TBD]


      * photo-realistic images (32-bit QuickDraw)
      * 32 Bit Clean OS and 32-bit clean computers (software patches fixed older machines, no BIOS replacements) [1993 WinNT -- 2000 with Win2000]
      * A/ROSE real-time operating system for smart cards [TBD]
      * Multiprocessing (using cards like YARC and Radius Rocket) [1993 WinNT -- 2000 with Win2000 to popularize]
      * Mac Portable, first mainstream portable with an integrated trackball and active matrix screen


      * Sound input [TBD]
      * Built-in Ethernet (Quadra) [TBD, usually a low-cost extra]
      * Publish and Subscribe and early work on Object Embedding (later to be borrowed and become OLE) [1992 - 1995]
      * Aural feedback for controls (Sonic Finder) [Win95]
      * Ability to assign custom icons to Finder objects [1989 through hacking, TBD]


      * Powerbook 100: first laptop with keyboard in back, trackball in front. [1993 - 1994]
      * TrueType outline font technology (licensed to Microsoft)
      * Balloon help (with contextual feedback) [1991 - Still not as versatile]
      * Built in File sharing [1992 WfW, Win95 popularized]
      * Robust aliases (unlike Windows' fallible "shortcuts" that came years later) [TBD]
      * QuickTime [1992, Authoring not Available until 1995]
      * Multimedia -- Apple created the term. They had been the first to integrate Sound, Speech, Text and Graphics (multiple medias), then expanded to include video (and later 3D) and pushed with CD-ROMs [1993 - 1995 until things worked right]
      * Virtual Memory [1991 Win31 - 1993 WinNT, 1995 to popularize]
      * Appletalk Remote Access [Extra]
      * AppleScript: application and system scripting [1981 poorly, 1995 VBfApps, TBD]
      * Integrated eMail [Win98]
      * Integrated Keychain (Security) [TBD]
      * Encryption and Security [1993 WinNT -- 2000 with Win2000 to popularize]
      * Network Browser [Win95]
      * Trash you have to empty (item in trash survive power down) [Win95]


      * Powerbook Duo: first dockable (e.g. "port replicator") but much more elegant [TBD]
      * Global text input support (WorldScript) [TBD]
      * ColorSync color matching [1999]
      * Built-in CD-ROM's [?? 1994]
      * Video Input - AV models
      * Integrated DSP [1989 NeXT, 1996 with MMX]
      * Industrial Design: Slide out Drawer [Some servers, rare]


      * Next generation speech synthesis
      * Speech recognition (Speakable Items) [1996 - Win95 add-on, 1997 as powerful add-on, TBD to be popularized]
      * Integrated telephony (Geoport) [Win98]
      * First PC with built-in TV
      * PDA [WinCE -- 1997 - 1998, but not as nice]
      * Handwriting Recognition (Newton) [TBD]
      * Gesture Recognition [TBD]


      * Powerbook 520: first widely-available laptop with trackpad.
      * Power Macintosh: PowerPC RISC chip [1993 WinNT, most RISCs killed, TBD to popularize maybe 2001 - 2004 with Merced/McKinley]
      * 68K emulation for seamless backward compatiblity. [TBD -- Alpha tries but not mainstream or as reliable]
      * Graphing Calculator: real-time equation visualization, 2D and 3D.[TBD]
      * MacOS on Unix (MAE)
      * "Most Recent" folders
      * Hierarchical menus
      * Windowshade (collapsable windows)
      * AppleGuide (help system with coachmarks) [TBD]
      * PC Exchange (cross platform file compatibility) [TBD]
      * Macintosh Easy Open (can open PC files)
      * DOS/Windows compatibility cards and emulation software
      * Threads [1993 NT, TBD to popularize]
      * TCP/IP support
      * Powerbook file synchronization [TBD]
      * Continuous speech recognition and input (Cantonese dictation)
      * Bento - Object Oriented Document model [TBD]
      * IEEE-1394 (FireWire) [1998 as option (Sony), TBD popularized]


      * QuickTime VR, Conferencing
      * Open Transport Networking (streams)
      * QuickDraw 3D [1994 OpenGL, 1998 to popularize with Direct3D]
      * Plug & Play PCI bus (PCI Only -- no ISA or older bus) [1995 Win95 was PnP support, general PCI earlier, PnP didn't work fully until 1997]


      * OpenDoc (Fully document centric interface model) [TBD]
      * Integrated Browser (CyberDog) [Win98]
      * Web as a data-type (CyberDog) [Win98]


      * Popup folders [TBD]
      * Spring loaded folders [TBD]
      * reorganized system folder [Still not as clean]


      * Sherlock full-text indexing and internet searching [TBD]
      * Titlebar icons to represent the folder itself for dragging etc. [TBD]
      * Appearance manager (Themes) [Limited in Win95, TBD]
      * Audio Themes (Sonic Finder finally ships in 8.5) [Limited in Win95, TBD]
      * Tear off Menu (Application Menu. Also Apple and NeXT merged, NeXT created them) [TBD]
      * Resizable Menus [TBD]
      * Customizable scroll bar behavior [TBD]
      * Integrated System Wide antialiasing [1996 Win95 OSR2?, Win98]
      * iMac - clear case, return of all-in-one, simplified design, ALL plug & play I/O, floppyless design [TBD]
      * USB (Universal Serial Bus): this is a copy of the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB). Apple was also the first to make it ubiquitous and standard.[Added in 1996, support in Win98, TBD popularized]


      * Industrial Design: Handles + Door [TBD]
      * AirPort -- Wireless networking made easy [TBD]
      • Some remarks on these Mac milestones:

        * long file names (with spaces & special symbols) [Win95, not as versatile]
        - only 32 chars

        * multitasking: Desk Accessories [Win3 - 1989, not as versatile]
        - Hindered by using only one menubar instead of every application having its own menubar in the window

        * Speech synthesis (Macintalk). [SoundBlaster about 1987, but not as widely used and not a system function]
        - Amiga had speech synthesis and even Commodore 64 had speech synthesis programs and modules

        * Multiprocessing (using cards like YARC and Radius Rocket) [1993 WinNT -- 2000 with Win2000 to popularize]
        - required special support from programs.

        * Virtual Memory [1991 Win31 - 1993 WinNT, 1995 to popularize]
        - Never works on Mac. Eg. iMac with 96MB memory + virtualmemory and running IE and Netscape swaps the whole browser to swap when switched to background (this due to bad memory management)

        Fortunately Mac OS X is changing these things to better.
        • - Hindered by using only one menubar instead of every application having its own menubar in the window

          I'd argue that this is a benefit, and the "right" way to do things, not a problem.

          Currently I'm a Windows guy by necessity, but the way Macs handle the menus is way better - the menu is always at the top, so it's easy to jump to it with the mouse, and you can't overshoot it, since it's at the top. Using the "windows way" I'm always overshooting windows and switching apps unintentionally.

      • Flamey goodness indeed. Turning to for objectivity in computer innovation is a bit like asking the Taliban for an objective stance on women's rights.
      • yes well, I ripped this off from (mmm, flamey goodness)

        I'm not sure what you are trying to show. Almost every item on your list was invented at institutions other than either Microsoft or Apple, often decades earlier. Apple copied a lot of other people's technology and put it on the Mac on premium priced hardware, and Microsoft copied a lot of other people's technology and put it on Windows once PC hardware caught up.

        Microsoft didn't need to copy from Apple, they just copied from the same people Apple had copied from.

    • But who says Apple never ripped off MS? The custom toolbar in IE 5 for Mac was taken and tweaked to be used in the custom finder for OS X!

      And that was borrowed from NeXTStep's File Viewer's Shelf [], which dates back a lot farther than IE5/Mac. Who's zooming who?

  • ...where are the skins? I didn't see them on his site, did you?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      0-2, they've only scored one field goal thus far, and they just cut Jeff George. In case you wondered.
  • This upsets me a little. I understand where Apple is coming from on this issue of "look-and-feel" because I can wholeheartedly respect the amount of work that goes into a successful user interface. It is very difficult to get everything working correctly, seamlessly and most of all... I hate it when I forget words. The word I wanted to use means that something can be operated with little instruction, using only common sense. You get the picture.

    IMO, the user interface is the most difficult part of the system to make. There are so many rules and exceptions to those rules, and components have to interact with each other in ways that really don't make any sense. Design from a user's perspective is difficult, especially if you're trying to be (I hate to use this cuss word) "innovative." Design from a programmer's perspective is hell. Implementation is nothing short of a nightmare.

    So when they get upset over someone using Aqua on a system that isn't Mac OS, I can totally understand. However, on the other hand, if I understood this story correctly, the Aqua interface was implemented as a theme FOR Mac OS. Now what upsets me is this: yes, I respect the work they put into Aqua, but they, on the other hand, clearly do NOT respect the colossal amount of work the Mozilla folks put into their browser. Why should it matter to Apple what Mozilla does? If Mozilla was a commercial product, and source code was not available publically, would Apple ever know or care how it was implemented? They say they want to be a part of the open source community and stuff, but I say "nay nay."

    As a side note, I honestly prefer a simple command line interface, because it's so much easier to make and use. Personally, I don't know why the Windows and MacOS interfaces are mimicked so widely as they're clearly far from optimal. Windows is good for nothing. MacOS (I've used versions 7.x through 9) is great for running graphical applications where 99% of the input comes from the mouse. Its keyboard interface, on the other hand, is terrible IMO--even if you know all the shortcut keys. I might give OS X a try someday, just because it's based on BSD (I swear by the BSDs). Personally, I like to use the keyboard for 99% of the input, and the mouse as a supplimentary input device for when it's more convenient to click. I remember shipping air freight through Delta. Up until six months ago or so, they had old computer terminals with keyboard-only interfaces and old-school textual displays. The folks who worked there frankly didn't care how the text screen looked as long as it got the job done. And it did. One day, I stroll in there with a few packages and their system was changed... to Windows. It was probably one of those glossy sales presentations that got those things in there. The employees weren't even told about it--they came to work that day and their system was different, and there were no instructions. I remember how the guy had to click on a hundred different things with the mouse, move to the keyboard and punch in a few things, move back to the mouse and click on another hundred or so pretty pictures... in short, what used to take a minute or two by pushing a few keys now took about ten minutes, with most of the time spent clicking on things and moving between the keyboard and the mouse. Not only did Delta spend Lord-knows how much money on that new "system" but they lost productivity too. For what?! To be "user friendly?" To be "easy?" (Like AOL.) Why not just use the alleged "unfriendly" system, and just teach new employees the keys before putting them in front of that thing. The point of this side note is that graphical systems were originally invented for doing graphical work. Nowadays, this graphical system is used in places where a text one would actually be a better choice.

    • It is very difficult to get everything working correctly, seamlessly and most of all... I hate it when I forget words. The word I wanted to use means that something can be operated with little instruction, using only common sense.


      some people might also consider that to be a "usable" element.
    • The word I wanted to use means that something can be operated with little instruction, using only common sense. You get the picture.

      I think you mean "intuitive."

      < Insert witty quip here>


    • "Intuitive" I think is the word you seek.

    • Yes! That's it: intuitive! Thanks!

      I hate when that happens: when the word is on the tip of my tongue but I don't remember what it is... and the harder I try to remember, the more it escapes me. I think it'd be cool if there was a reverse-dictionary: one where you look up the definition and get the word. A thesaurus wouldn't really work, because all the words of the English language are in it except the one you need. No... maybe a computerized version of a reverse-dictionary will be possible in a few years. Just type in a bunch of words that mean something similar and the computer will search for a word like that. Actually, it's probably not possible. :-( Oh well.

  • Priorities (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daceaser ( 239083 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:11PM (#2366492) Homepage
    What worries me most is Apple's sense of priorities. They seem quite happy for someone to re-implement QuickTime for Linux as a third-party, yet they sue someone who creates a skin that looks like Aqua.

    Does Apple think that colourful buttons are more valuable intellectual property than their video layer which they've spent the last 10 years developing?

    Not that I mind QT for Linux, but the point stands. They'd rather have people buy a Mac for the shiny interface than the powerful graphics tools, or other _real_ technological assets.

    I'm an Apple fiend, but sometimes the bods at Apple really leave me wondering...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, maybe professionals buy Macs for the technological assets and things like Photoshop and FCP, but that's not what the average consumer is looking at. People don't choose to buy Macs for QuickTime either, seeing as it is also available for Windows. For the average consumer, it's the ease of use of the system and the design of the interface that lulls them in. And why wouldn't Apple be happy to have QuickTime on Linux. It's just more of a market share for them. They don't make any money on free downloads of QuickTime software, so it's not hurting their business at all.
    • You picked a bad example. Nobody is really reimplementing QuickTime on Linux. People are trying to reimplement QuickTime playback, but QuickTime is far more than that. Apple wants media playback formats to be as open as possible (which is why Apple is so supportive of MPEG-4), because the company feels it provides the best tools for creating such media (stuff like Final Cut Pro), and content creators benefit from standardized distribution formats.

      Aqua, on the other hand.... I don't see how Mac users benefit from having pseudo-Auqa interfaces on other platforms, or pseudo-Auqa interfaces on OS X, rather than the real thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:18PM (#2366508)
    All of this stuff was discussed a year or two ago on MozillaZine []. The intellectual property issues were flagged and pooh-poohed, the impossibility of matching the Aqua widgets and behavior with XUL was discussed, and the problems with ignoring the native widgets in favor of a custom widget set were argued endlessly.

    None of the custom-widget defenders could find any particular examples of required CSS behaviors that couldn't be done with native widgets. In fact the people who were claiming there were problems of this type seemed very ignorant of the graphics layer capabilities in MacOS (9 and X) and in Windows as well.

    The fact is Mozilla went down the wrong path, a bunch of us tried to get them to reconsider, and they just wouldn't budge.

    So surprise, everything we predicted has now come to pass.

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:31PM (#2366542)
    You know.. some things just don't work that well in an anarchy. Witness the failure of the unix desktop. Now.. I'm not slamming it, or trolling, I use it every day, and have for years... but unix still lacks a coherent desktop, even one as poor as Windows has. Why? Because nobody dictates what anyone else has to use. Now.. I'm not a fan of dictatorship.. however...

    Apple has a point. They have *always* insisted on using proper API's for the Mac. Why? Because it ensure things WORK, and ensures they can bring out future versions of their OS without breaking stuff. IT's a GOOD thing.
    Unlike MS, they don't use their proprietary widgets to corner the application market; the information on how to use them is free to all, no royalties.... no licenses (afiak).. nothing.
    All they insist upon is that you use them. AND YOU SHOULD.
    • Oh you're right, they only insist that we use their hardware. No big deal.
    • [...] and ensures they can bring out future versions of their OS without breaking stuff.

      Huh. If I remember correctly, Apple has been pretty consistant with saying "Oh, that app needs to be updated to run on our new OS" -- not to mention "Oh, our new OS only runs on our newer hardware".
    • Unlike MS, they don't use their proprietary widgets to corner the application market; the information on how to use them is free to all, no royalties.... no licenses (afiak).. nothing

      For that matter, all of Apple's Mac OS X application development tools are free.

      - Scott
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Ok I'll bite...

      What exactly do you call Gnome and GTK? I have it in use by morons, idiots, and people that seem to have an I.Q. of less than 40 (sales people, Marketing people, Human Resources people) It is very useable, very effective, and hamper's no one here. The transition period was 2 days for all employees. Everyone understood that the foot was start menu and weren't crying in their hands because the foot scared them.

      The transition to staroffice was as smooth also. (openoffice would have been smoother but we cant use beta office apps) Email is as easy except for people bitching that they cant just click on the attachment to run it. "I respond with GOOD! I finally stopped you people from doing that!" then they shut up, copy to desktop and then open it.

      If the linux desktop is a failure, can you please show me why so I can tell all the employees here to stop using it.

      Coherent desktop.. Gnome is a 96.95% copy of the windows desktop. Windows from version to version change their desktop to add confusion (why does network neighborhood change it's behaivoir from NT4.0 to 2000? is that coherency? how about the 40 other basic items that no longer work the same or in the same place?)

      Over the past 3 months, the Unix/linux desktop has surpassed windows. and every test I try with non-linux users (windows-heads) is sucessful and they like it. (espically ximian which acts more mac like than windows like)

      I can see your point on Widgets... but forcing mozilla and openoffice to use GTK will piss off the KDE people.. which will piss off the blackbox people... etc...

      my biggest gripe is dummies that make the copy function something other than CTRL-C and paste something other than CTRL-V. if you cant make hotkeys standard then leave them out, if you cant use standard widgets then dont program....

      If you cant use the standard OS then ...
      The important thing is that Linux/Unix is like NT4.0 regular users are too dumb to manage it , but they can use it well if the managing personell configure everything and choose software that isnt confusing. (Using davewidget 4.3 with new spinning icons)

      • As I said.. I'm not knocking it. Sure... gnome or kde are decent desktops. Sure they are. But they are not A STANDARD. There are TOO MANY STANDARDS for unix.. and that's why the desktop is just not as friendly as it could be. Sure... gnome is great.. but does *everyone* write gnome apps? No, hardly. Same for kde.

        I'm not saying a particular desktop is no good.. only that, in general, there is no proper standardization. There are plenty available, yes.. but the community does not agree.

    • I'm not saying that Gnome or KDE or (insert new desktop project here) sucks, or that it's not good enough. I use both, and they are fantastic. Yes, you can get your users to use them. They are good.
      But there is still too much variation in the unix world for the desktop to be truly standard. Yes, there are lots of great potential standards.. but the community at-large doesn't pick one. I mean.. in linux, it looks like gnome will be it eventually, maybe... but still. What should a linux developer use for his apps? Gnome? Kde? All? How do you pick?

      I'm also not saying that Apple isn't being a bully.. I'm not speaking as to whether, legally, they have a leg to stand on with their 'look and feel' stuff.

      What I'm saying is that I agree wtih the concept that certain things, if dicatated properly, should be controlled centrally. If they say these are the widgets you should use for writing apps, it keeps the playing field level and fair. Apple doesn't hide things from you, or keep some secret for themselves so they can make better apps than you.. that's Microsoft's ballgame...The devloper kits are free.. and Apple has a very good GUI.

      To the guy who talks about apple telling people to upgrade their apps to the new OS for the new hardware? GOOD. Otherwise, you end up with the god-awful mess we have with windows, where nobody is sure exactly what will run where.. or exactly what a new upgrade will do to their application.

      And if you use their API's, such requests are easy.

      If apple can exert a bit of pressure, no matter which way, and get people to stick to the same desktop interface.. good for them.
  • Why does Apple approve of Qt/Mac then? I brought this up in the previous article. Qt/Mac uses an emulated Aqua style, just like all QStyles.

    For Apple to say now that they don't want Mozilla using an emulated style makes zero sense. Unless Apple thinks that the Mozilla team can't do it right. According to a recent interview with Trolltech's president (quoted in this post []), Apple worked with Trolltech in Qt/Mac development, maybe to ensure it is done correctly. Either that or Apple specifically gave Trolltech permission through a business deal.

    I think there is something we are missing here.
    • I think the real problems with a Mozilla Aqua theme are:
      1. Mozilla themes are just pixmaps and can't do as much as QStyles, so they won't fit in very well at all (don't the buttons in Aqua pulsate and stuff?)
      2. A Mozilla theme is cross-platform by definition, while the QT Aqua style is binary-only for the Mac.
      Both of these problems could be solved by a native Mozilla port to Aqua, but it would involve a LOT of work.
  • by rebug ( 520669 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @08:47PM (#2366583)
    ruined. it's a damned shame how some people just can't handle even the smallest of freedoms. Apple has always been protective of their designs. Can you blame them? Ever since the justice department decided that it's ok to rip them off, anything they design is fair game for poachers [].
    • actually, it's not a matter of _anybody_ being allowed to rip them off - Microsoft is allowed to, and that's because Apple _gave_ them that right in contract.

      Jim Carlton's book on Apple gives the story: in order for Microsoft to port their apps to the Mac, they were given the right to copy Apple's look-and-feel. Apple sued because they felt Microsoft went too far in their interpretation of the contract, but they didn't - the contract, ubelieveably, essentially gives Microsoft unrestricted freedom.
  • ... but that doesn't matter anymore, because the site is Slashdotted and inaccessible.

    Maybe Apple figured that Slashdot had taken care of it for them. :)
  • Ok, as someone who hops platforms on an hourly basis..hell even a minute by minute depending on the day this is a *good* thing.

    Why? Glad you asked.

    One of the things I *like* about mozilla/fizilla is that it is *compliant* with good code where I.E on the mac FSCK's it up because I.E allows for mistakes (plus it can never get anchors right on the OS X side...never could figure it out. Mozilla did it perfectly)
    But, when you compare the Icons and UI you are confronted yet again with the fact it is a kludge to run under X.

    First "bird" is the excellent under pinnings but the *gack/choke* look/feel of Fizilla.
    The second "bird" is X/Aqua...same thing as before..excellent underpinnings, but pretty and lackluster speed/function.
    (bear in mind that 10.1 is on the launch pad and takes care of the speed issues, so I understand...can't wait, as I type this on X on a G4-400...hehe)

    By allowing/showing/inviting/forcing the Mozilla team to Use Cocoa/Aqua's calls the "fuglies" of Fizilla will be banished, stability improved (I hope) and speed increased (and, again, decrease the CPU time the darn thing takes up...almost SETI quality as a benchmark utility...for a web browser? c'mon!!).

    Yeah, I'm Using I.E. at the moment, but am a die hard netscape 6 fan (Kmeleon on windows kicks major butt, IMO) as some mac users are. Just looking for that one "good" reason...and it is coming: Aquafied Netscape.

    (Kiki voice) Ooooo---pretty!!! (/kiki voice)

    Moose. said sig.

  • Apple's point translates further than just using widgets. Anyone who has used their "Interface Builder" knows that it attempts to force certain things on the developer. There are 'strict' guidelines about how things should line up and how far they should be from the edge of the screen etc etc. The interface builder does more than suggest, it actual has 'snap to' rulers and has very specific rules about window resizing.

    Basically they figured that if they are going to have a design spec for an application they might as well make it easy for the developer to follow.
  • by lordpixel ( 22352 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @09:14PM (#2366661) Homepage
    Mac OS will create a button for you, if you ask it, but, like most modern OSes it will also just "draw" a button without any of the logic behind it, there is an API for that sort of thing.

    So you get the look of a button without any of the native widget.

    I once spent some time with a guy at netscape implementing a new protocol which basically took advantage of that.

    You wrote something like:


    and it returned a GIF containing a perfect looking OK button in the present Mac OS theme, be that Platinum on OS 9 or Aqua on OS X.

    The code to do this is here: ocol/theme/ []

    Finshing this work would allow very high quality Aqua themes, as it wouldn't be "as" emulated. The OS would be drawing all of the controls.

    This would also satisfy Apple - they don't really care about Aqua themes so much as making sure those themes *only* work on Mac OS. As the theme: protocol needs native code to work, it will only run on Mac OS (9 or X)

    The theme protocol might also be needed on Linux (window manager theme support) and to do Windows XP properly.

  • It seems from the comments that nobody cares about the fact that Apple is overstepping their bounds. I can almost see them not wanting to integrate Aqua into another "theme" But into other applications, such as Mozilla is totally rediculous. It's like if you patented a car which used a motor that you didn't create, you could sue someone for making a motorcycle wich used the same motor. Though Apple was the first to use this Theme, it's useless without a application, or GUI to put it in, Just as a Motor is useless without a car or a motorcycle.
  • Fair Enough (Score:2, Informative)

    Apple seem to be saying "Don't use a skin to emulate Aqua, as the appearance, and behaviour, of Aqua is subject to change [may just be small tweaks, but changes none-the-less]. If you're going to have an app that looks like Aqua, damn well use the proper way (ie APIs) rather than making bitmaps that just happen to look like the current implementation of Aqua."
    Apple have a very long history of trying to make sure apps on the mac all behave the same way (wherever possible). This leads to a smooth user experience. Apple also don't charge you the earth to get their guidelines. Go see This Page [] for an example of the excellent work Apple have put into the field.
    I don't have a problem with someone insisting that something is done the correct way. It's less likely to break further down the track and is going to be easier to adapt to any changes Apple make to their [First Generation] Aqua GUI.
  • by Tachys ( 445363 ) on Friday September 28, 2001 @09:39PM (#2366744)
    The Q.Bati [] seemed to be trying to put a Mac OS X interface in front of gecko. Unfortunately it seems to be vaporware :(
  • by SkullMac ( 420520 ) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @12:48AM (#2367081)
    Its not that fact that he was trying to "Aquafy" it through "emulation" that pissed off Apple, its the fact that this Aqua theme would be available to users on other platforms (Linux/Windows).

    Apple's aim with Aqua is brand identiy. They want Aqua instantly associated with Apple. They don't want there to be any question about it.

    This follows the same logic they used when they sued three companies over iMac knockoffs. They wanted the "look and feel" of an iMac to be instantly recognizeable and associated ONLY with Apple. Even if you thought the iMac was butt-ugly, it stood out from run-of-the-mill beige PCs. It cried out that the Mac was alive and well, and assured that people would remember the design.

    Granted, there have been a number of iMac inspired computers, but Apple has choosen its battles well.

    The same goes for Aqua. I've seen a number of "Aqua inspired" designs, but the ones where an author obviously went in and copied and pasted Apple's UI elements into a theme file have all been brought to a quick end.
    • Apple's aim with Aqua is brand identiy. They want Aqua instantly associated with Apple.

      Sorry, I associate the word Aqua with "Barbie Girl" and Mattel toys, and I associate the look of words written on blue vitamin pills with NyQuil products and the game Dr. Mario. In fact, I once did an Aqua-themed clone of Dr. Mario called Vitamins, part of the freepuzzlearena [] package.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford