Mozilla Links Newsletter - 17 - April 14, 2004

Posted by dave on Apr 14, 2004 1:34 PM EDT
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You already know Mozilla excels at providing state of the art Internet products like Mozilla Application Suite and currently in the oven Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as big bunch of other applications like ChatZilla and Mozilla Calendar (recently reviewed). But, what about eye candy?

Mozilla Links - English Edition
Issue # 17 - April 14, 2004

You already know Mozilla excels at providing state of the art Internet products like Mozilla Application Suite and currently in the oven Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as big bunch of other applications like ChatZilla and Mozilla Calendar (recently reviewed). But, what about eye candy?

In this issue, you will learn about how to make applications look pretty. We introduce the installation and use of themes designed by others, as well as changing the resource file manually.

April is the Mozilla International Month. Last Thursday we published our first special issue. It celebrates the power of our international community. As an example, it is issued in three languages (Belarusian, Estonian, and French) in addition to the eight languages the regular issues are in (English, Chinese, Dutch, German, Japanese, Czech, Polish, and Russian). We are still looking for translators, so please contact us if you want to spread the word to your language community.

A new newsletter, targeted at developers, is in the works, as well as special editions and more languages. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and please send any comments to []

Percy Cabello Mozilla Links

---------------------------------------------------------------------- In this issue:

1. BETTER MOZILLA - Themes - Changing Themes - Tweaking Mozilla Interface With CSS


3. THE NEWS - AOL to Release New Netscape Update in Early Summer - Mozilla 1.7 to Become New Long-Lived Stable Branch - Mozilla Looking to Forge Alliances with GNOME and Other Open Source Projects to Combat Longhorn - Pinstripe New Default Theme for Mozilla Thunderbird on MacOS X - Mozilla Store Selling New Shirts and a Firefox Plush Toy


5. MOZILLA PROJECTS - Project of the Week: OneClick - Independent Status Report



1. BETTER MOZILLA ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Featured Resource: Themes

Themes are a collection of image files and CSS (cascade style sheet) files that define the look of all or part (depending on how much detail the theme author delivers) of your Mozilla application interface. By default, Mozilla Application Suite comes with the Classic theme while Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird use the Qute theme.

If you want a new look for you Mozilla product, check and download a new theme for your application at these websites:

* Themes for all Mozilla products:

* For Mozilla Application Suite:

* For Mozilla Firefox (50+ themes):

The Caramel theme currently under development:

Themes available as .jar files instead of self-installer XPI's (Mozilla cross-platform installer) can be installed by visiting:

* For Mozilla Thunderbird (20+ themes):

The popular Pinstripe theme based on Apple MacOS X Cocoa, now the default Firefox for MacOS theme and soon to become Thunderbird's is being implemented for Firefox for Windows and Linux:

And if you feel ready to create your theme, check Creating A Skin For Mozilla, by Neil Marshall:

To learn more about themes and themes development, visit this mozillaZine forum:


Mozilla Links Tip: Changing Themes

The procedure to change the theme varies slightly between applications.

In Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird: - In the "Tools" menu, select "Options" - In the left panel click on "Themes" - Select the desired Theme and press "OK".

In Mozilla Application Suite - In the "View" menu, select "Apply Theme" - Select the desired theme


Mozilla Links PowerTip: Tweaking Mozilla Interface With CSS (parts contributed by Firefox Help website,

You can tweak many aspects of Mozilla products' interface by manually creating the "userChrome.css" file. First, locate the "userChrome_example.css" in the "chrome" sub-folder in your profile directory.

For Mozilla Firefox, in Windows 2000 and XP it usually is C:Documents and Settings[User Name]Application Data[Mozilla product]Profilesdefault[random].slt where [random] is a random string of eight characters and [Mozilla product] is the name of the Mozilla product you are trying to customize:

- For Mozilla Application Suite, it is "Mozilla" - For Mozilla Firefox Suite, it is "Phoenix" (if you are using a recent nightly, it will be "Firefox"). - For Mozilla Application Suite, it is "Thunderbird".

Then copy it to the same location and rename it to "userChrome.css".

You can also use chromEdit, an extension created by Chris Neale that allows easy editing of the "userChrome.css" file directly from Mozilla Application Suite, Firefox or Thunderbird. Get it here:

To see what you can do with "userChrom.css", try adding these small CSS snippet to apply a background to the toolbars:

/* Use a background image for the toolbars: (Substitute your image file for background.gif) */

menubar, toolbox, toolbar, .tabbrowser-tabs { background-image: url("background.gif") !important; background-color: none !important; }

Restart your browser to see the effect.

It's easiest to place the image file in the same location as the "userChrome.css" file. The image can be of any image format supported by Mozilla products: PNG, GIF OR JPG.

More examples of interface customization with userChrom.css here:


Need more tips? Try the TipBar Extension to get the Tip of the Day in Mozilla Firefox. Grab it at

You can also visit for more fun tips for your favorite browser.

Have a Tip or a PowerTip? Let other users know about it by sending it to [] .

2. MOZILLA COMMUNITY ----------------------------------------------------------------------

To better know what it takes to create a theme for Mozilla, we contacted Aaron Spuler, one of the better-recognized theme creators among the community, and he kindly agreed to an interview. Here is an excerpt of it:

"I am not for sure when the exact date that my first theme was released, but it was sometime between the release of Mozilla 1.0 (5/31/2002) and Mozilla 1.1 (8/26/2002). I know this because I still have an old version of my first theme on my website for Mozilla 1.0."

"The time to make a theme has really gone down since I first started. For my first three themes, the time to make a theme was really quite long. My first theme, "Blue", took the longest though. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing or how to do it. There was a steep learning curve."

"Now that I have [a] template, I just have to replace the icons with the icons for a new theme. I would say on average, from start to finish, it would take about two weeks to make a theme now. I think the biggest part of that time is spent looking at the icon set I am going to use for the theme, and deciding what icon will be used for each button in the theme."

"For others starting theme projects - do not be afraid to ask questions! The MozillaZine Themes forum is an invaluable resource, and mostly everyone there is willing to help each other out when it comes to theme creation and maintenance. I would not recommend trying to write a theme from scratch - there are way too many files in the theme structure and you have to have them in the correct place. Take a theme that you like the behavior of (don't worry about the icons - you are going to change those when you make your theme) and use that as your base theme. Be sure to get permission from the icon author before redistributing their work - it is just the right thing to do."

For the full text of this really interesting interview, check:

Aaron Spuler work can be found here:

3. THE NEWS ---------------------------------------------------------------------- (contributed by MozillaZine, your source for Mozilla news and advocacy. )

AOL to Release New Netscape Update in Early Summer -------------------------------------------------- The Inquirer is reporting that America Online is to release a new version of the Netscape browser. The upgrade will be a "'point' release based on the latest Mozilla code" and "will be made available in the very early summer timeframe." Speculation that an update was in the works began in March, when the San Francisco Bay Area's 'Mercury News' paraphrased an AOL spokeswoman as saying that "there will be future versions of Netscape that are essentially repackaged upgrades of Mozilla."

The confirmation that a new Netscape release is on the way does not indicate that AOL is planning to provide any further development or financial support to the Mozilla project. Indeed, no AOL employees are paid to work on Mozilla and we can expect this latest version to be even more similar to Mozilla than previous releases. The more intriguing question is what made AOL change its mind about shelving the veteran browser.

Inquirer article:

Full story:

Mozilla 1.7 to Become New Long-Lived Stable Branch -------------------------------------------------- In a newsgroup posting, Asa Dotzler has announced that the Mozilla 1.7 branch will become the new long-lived stable branch, replacing 1.4. The stable branch is intended to act as a baseline for developers building Mozilla-based products, with critical bugs fixed on the branch as well as the trunk.

Mozilla Firefox 1.0, a new milestone of Mozilla Thunderbird, a new Camino release and several third party Mozilla based products will be based on Mozilla 1.7, so the Foundation is making efforts to ensure that it is high quality. To do this, the branching of 1.7 from the trunk was delayed by a week and the final release of Mozilla 1.7 has been moved out a month to mid-May. Three release candidates of Mozilla 1.7 will be made available, much like there were for Mozilla 1.0 and Mozilla 1.4. These release candidates will ensure that the 1.7 branch gets more testing and QA work.

While most welcome the fact that the aging 1.4 branch is to be replaced by something more modern, some developers have expressed concern that the decision to use 1.7 has been made so late in the release cycle.

Asa Dotzler's newsgroup posting: [e-mail:/groups]

Full story:

Mozilla Looking to Forge Alliances with GNOME and Other Open Source Projects to Combat Longhorn -------------------------------------------------------------------

Mozilla chief architect Brendan Eich has outlined plans to collaborate with other open source projects such as GNOME to provide Mozilla-based alternatives to the technologies Microsoft plans to roll out as part of its Longhorn Windows upgrade. This will help to ensure that Mozilla stays relevant in the future.

Full story:

Pinstripe New Default Theme for Mozilla Thunderbird on Mac OS X --------------------------------------------------------------- Pinstripe is new default theme for Mozilla Thunderbird on Mac OS X. Pinstripe, a collaboration between Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander, is designed to fit in with the Aqua graphical style and is already the default Mozilla Firefox OS X theme.

Full story:

Mozilla Store Selling New Shirts and a Firefox Plush Toy -------------------------------------------------------- The Mozilla Store now has a larger range of Mozilla Gear on sale. The familiar white Mozilla T-Rex T-shirt is now joined by four new upper body garments, some sporting Mozilla Firefox branding. A nine inch (23cm) Firefox stuffed toy is also available. The soft plush red panda (firefox is another name for the red panda) costs US$15.95 plus shipping and handling. The shirts range in price from US$16.95 to US$21.95.

Mozilla Store:

Full story:

4. MOZILLA INSIDER ---------------------------------------------------------------------- (contributed by Alex Bishop)

When Mozilla crashes, users can use the Quality Feedback Agent (Talkback) to send a crash report back to the Mozilla Foundation. The data from these reports can now be queried from a Web interface, allowing developers to access crash data much more easily than before. For privacy reasons, not all data is made public.

Mozilla's Bayesian junk mail controls can now learn from server-side spam filters, though there is little UI for this yet (bug 224318). In addition, the spellchecker now uses replacement tables, providing better suggestions for mispelt words (bug 227214).

Staying on mail, Mozilla Thunderbird now uses the Pinstripe Aqua-style theme by default on Mac OS X and has gained the ability open .eml files (saved email messages) (bug 217149).

Talkback FastFind:

Bug 224318:

Bug 227214:

Bug 217149:

Full status update:

5. MOZILLA PROJECTS ---------------------------------------------------------------------- (contributed by Brian King)

Project of the Week: OneClick

OneClick is a sidebar that contains many different applications in one. Features that used to require separate extensions can now be accessed in one program with nothing to install. Current applications bundled with the sidebar include a calculator, and the games Battle Ship and Minesweeper. There is also access to run an online version of the cuneForm HTML Editor. In other tabs on the sidebar, you get News and useful Mozilla Tips courtesy of the TipBar project. The OneClick homepage is worth a visit not only because of its unique design, but because you can try a demo of the sidebar and read the "Have you Heard?" section which features a worthwhile Mozilla extension. OneClick is currently only available for the Mozilla browser.


Independent Status Reports

The independent status reports include news and updates from Mozilla application and extension projects hosted on and elsewhere in the Mozilla community.

The latest report was posted on April 13, 2004 and includes:

Dictionary Search - v0.5, looks up or translates words in a Web page or an email using an online dictionary. Version 0.5 adds support for Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail. If you like to translate the user interface of Dictionary Search to your own language, you can drop me a mail. You will need to translate about 25 sentences.

wmlbrowser - v0.6, for viewing WML (Wireless Markup Language) pages in Mozilla or Firefox. Version 0.6 has been released. This version displays images in WML pages, and loads long pages correctly. Additionally, browser functionality such as Back, Forward, and View Page Source now works correctly in all cases.

launchy - v2.2.0, which enables you to open links and mailto's with external applications. There are many new features in the latest release, including: - Calypso support added - Frameset support added - Moved RDF loading into namespace - Detect if winhooks are available - More logging

MozManual - Final 1.0, Introduction to Mozilla - A Manual for First Time Users; a brief overview and feature guide. An updated draft (version 0.5) of the web version has been posted. This latest draft features a complete style revision using CSS. In addition, the graphics have been improved with better resolution screen shots.

Mozilla-Delphi Project, resources for working with Mozilla in Borland Delphi and Kylix. A new version of the JavaScript Bridge classes has been released. This release adds a new TJSScript class, new methods to TJSArray, some bug fixes and new demo applications.

Read more about each of these projects in the full report at

6. MOZILLA LINKS POLL ----------------------------------------------------------------------

In our last issue we asked if you use IRC. Here are the results:

- Yes with Chatzilla 15% |]]] - Yes with mIRC 11% |]] - Yes with other IRC application 14% |]]]]]] - No 59% |]]]]]]]]]]]]

And we also asked -again- which PIM (personal information manager) did you use. Here are the results:

- Mozilla Calendar 16% |]]] - Microsoft Outlook 15% |]]] - Ximian Evolution 4% |] - Another PIM 18% |]]]] - None, but looking for one 20% |]]]] - None, don't need one 28% |]]]]]]

(*) Results may not sum up to 100% due to rounding.

This issue's poll: Do you use custom themes?

- No, I use the default for my product/platform - Yes, I use my favorite theme all the time - Yes, and I change themes frequently

Let your voice be counted at

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7. CONTACT INFO ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Mozilla Links is currently translated into Traditional Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Japanese, Polish and Russian.

Copyright 2004 by the Mozilla Links Contributors. The Mozilla Links Newsletter is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0 license, available at


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