Branding for XUL-runner based apps

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Branding for XUL-runner based apps

jonsmirl@gmail.com
I'm looking at building a XUL-runner based app and these issues have
come up. I poked around the wiki and don't seen anything addressing
these topics.

Is there is any plan for common branding across XUL-runner based apps?
What about guidelines for a common look and feel?
Any progress with new name for XUL-runner?

The general question is, are XUL-runner apps standalone apps or will
they work like a semi-coordinated suite?

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Jon Smirl
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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

Benjamin Smedberg
Jon Smirl wrote:

> Is there is any plan for common branding across XUL-runner based apps?
> What about guidelines for a common look and feel?

No. As you can see, apps such as Songbird and Democracy player have
intensively customized skins and don't fit with the "classic" default skins
used by Firefox and Thunderbird.

There are, of course, significant commonalities in the Firefox and
Thunderbird theming, and I think that "Mozilla" applications should be
encouraged to using this classic theming, which is designed to fit with the
theming of OS native windows quite closely.

> Any progress with new name for XUL-runner?

Not public progress ;-)... I'll send round an update when there is news.

> The general question is, are XUL-runner apps standalone apps or will
> they work like a semi-coordinated suite?

They are standalone apps. It may be possible to the apps to integrate by
providing some interesting "integration extensions" for eachother, but
typical coordination will be accomplished through the standard OS APIs such
as "open a webpage in the default browser by sending the OS a http: URI to
open".

--BDS
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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

jonsmirl@gmail.com
On 7/26/06, Benjamin Smedberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Jon Smirl wrote:
>
> > Is there is any plan for common branding across XUL-runner based apps?
> > What about guidelines for a common look and feel?
>
> No. As you can see, apps such as Songbird and Democracy player have
> intensively customized skins and don't fit with the "classic" default skins
> used by Firefox and Thunderbird.

Should common branding and UI be encouraged? There is considerable
benefit to be gained by creating a brand umbrella under which the apps
exist.

For example Mozilla Corp could undertake marketing activities
expressing the safety of the XUL-runner environment.  With a brand
umbrella effect this would extend to all apps participating in the
environment.

Another effect would be brand extension. I have one XUL-runner based
app installed and I like it so I am more likely to install other apps
under the same umbrella.

Look at how Java has created a strong brand under which many applications live.

As for theming, you could offer one theme that fits into the common
look and feel plus as many others as you want. I'm just imagining a
magazine ad where screen shots of 10 XUL-runner based apps are
featured and there is a common look to them.

> There are, of course, significant commonalities in the Firefox and
> Thunderbird theming, and I think that "Mozilla" applications should be
> encouraged to using this classic theming, which is designed to fit with the
> theming of OS native windows quite closely.
>
> > Any progress with new name for XUL-runner?
>
> Not public progress ;-)... I'll send round an update when there is news.
>
> > The general question is, are XUL-runner apps standalone apps or will
> > they work like a semi-coordinated suite?
>
> They are standalone apps. It may be possible to the apps to integrate by
> providing some interesting "integration extensions" for eachother, but
> typical coordination will be accomplished through the standard OS APIs such
> as "open a webpage in the default browser by sending the OS a http: URI to
> open".
>
> --BDS
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
>


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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

Benjamin Smedberg
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
Jon Smirl wrote:

> Should common branding and UI be encouraged? There is considerable
> benefit to be gained by creating a brand umbrella under which the apps
> exist.

I think that common UI should be encouraged because it's better for users;
the UI model is consistent across their applications.

I do *not* think that we should be creating a brand umbrella. If we do
XULRunner right, users won't ever know or care that they have XULRunner
installed or that the app is using the mozilla runtime underneath.

> For example Mozilla Corp could undertake marketing activities
> expressing the safety of the XUL-runner environment.  With a brand
> umbrella effect this would extend to all apps participating in the
> environment.

Why do you think the mozilla runtime is inherently "safe"? The safety of an
app is only as good as the coders who are writing it.

> Look at how Java has created a strong brand under which many
> applications live.

What brand? If I install a Java app, it's because I want the functionality
that app provides, not because it uses Java underneath.

--BDS
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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

jonsmirl@gmail.com
On 7/26/06, Benjamin Smedberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Jon Smirl wrote:
> I do *not* think that we should be creating a brand umbrella. If we do
> XULRunner right, users won't ever know or care that they have XULRunner
> installed or that the app is using the mozilla runtime underneath.

>From a technical point of view this is exactly how you want XULrunner
to behave, but from a marketing point of view I think Mozilla will be
losing something very valuable if this approach is taken. The
difference is whether XULrunner is a platform or a library. Java is a
platform and wxWidgets is a library. Library use is hidden and
platforms have branding.

What are the Mozilla marketing people's opinions on this? Once the
umbrella effect is lost it is probably impossible to recover it.

Look at the top item on Sonbird's home page: "Songbird is a Web player
built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run
on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed,
cross-platform extensions. " They are already starting to build a
brand umbrella in an uncoordinated way.

--
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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

Mike Beltzner
I don't think we want to be too overt here (ie: we don't need a XUL Launcher or to name windows "Songbird using XUL Runner") but some subtle branding cues like a XUL runner logo that can be badged onto splash screens and websites would be a definite plus. Also, guidance for where partners should link to, what licenses, etc, would probably be better to get earlier rather than later.

Sherman, is this sort of thing in your sights for Firefox-as-platform? Or are the flashbacks to Java too much for you? :)

cheers,
mike
-----Original Message-----
From: "Jon Smirl" <[hidden email]>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 13:46:32
To:undisclosed-recipients: ;
Cc:[hidden email]
Subject: Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

On 7/26/06, Benjamin Smedberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Jon Smirl wrote:
> I do *not* think that we should be creating a brand umbrella. If we do
> XULRunner right, users won't ever know or care that they have XULRunner
> installed or that the app is using the mozilla runtime underneath.

>From a technical point of view this is exactly how you want XULrunner
to behave, but from a marketing point of view I think Mozilla will be
losing something very valuable if this approach is taken. The
difference is whether XULrunner is a platform or a library. Java is a
platform and wxWidgets is a library. Library use is hidden and
platforms have branding.

What are the Mozilla marketing people's opinions on this? Once the
umbrella effect is lost it is probably impossible to recover it.

Look at the top item on Sonbird's home page: "Songbird is a Web player
built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run
on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed,
cross-platform extensions. " They are already starting to build a
brand umbrella in an uncoordinated way.

--
Jon Smirl
[hidden email]
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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

jonsmirl@gmail.com
On 7/26/06, Mike Beltzner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't think we want to be too overt here (ie: we don't need a XUL Launcher or to name windows "Songbird using XUL Runner") but some subtle branding cues like a XUL runner logo that can be badged onto splash screens and websites would be a definite plus. Also, guidance for where partners should link to, what licenses, etc, would probably be better to get earlier rather than later.
>
> Sherman, is this sort of thing in your sights for Firefox-as-platform? Or are the flashbacks to Java too much for you? :)

Can Mozilla fund an author to write up a good book on developing with
XULrunner APIs? One that actually gives examples on how to do things
(like the Agile Rails book) and is not simply a 1,000 page print out
of XULPlanet. This needs to get started now to be ready for the
Firefox3 release.

There are lots of other product evangelism activities that could make
XULrunner as a platform much more successful.

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Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps

Sherman Dickman
In reply to this post by Mike Beltzner
I think it would be interesting to ask a few select developers what  
they think.  What should be the meaning and value behind the brand,  
and what would be attractive to them?  What would they be willing to  
give up in return with respect to brand compliance requirements?

- Sherman



On Jul 26, 2006, at 2:55 PM, Mike Beltzner wrote:

> I don't think we want to be too overt here (ie: we don't need a XUL  
> Launcher or to name windows "Songbird using XUL Runner") but some  
> subtle branding cues like a XUL runner logo that can be badged onto  
> splash screens and websites would be a definite plus. Also,  
> guidance for where partners should link to, what licenses, etc,  
> would probably be better to get earlier rather than later.
>
> Sherman, is this sort of thing in your sights for Firefox-as-
> platform? Or are the flashbacks to Java too much for you? :)
>
> cheers,
> mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Jon Smirl" <[hidden email]>
> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 13:46:32
> To:undisclosed-recipients: ;
> Cc:[hidden email]
> Subject: Re: Branding for XUL-runner based apps
>
> On 7/26/06, Benjamin Smedberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Jon Smirl wrote:
>> I do *not* think that we should be creating a brand umbrella. If  
>> we do
>> XULRunner right, users won't ever know or care that they have  
>> XULRunner
>> installed or that the app is using the mozilla runtime underneath.
>
>> From a technical point of view this is exactly how you want XULrunner
> to behave, but from a marketing point of view I think Mozilla will be
> losing something very valuable if this approach is taken. The
> difference is whether XULrunner is a platform or a library. Java is a
> platform and wxWidgets is a library. Library use is hidden and
> platforms have branding.
>
> What are the Mozilla marketing people's opinions on this? Once the
> umbrella effect is lost it is probably impossible to recover it.
>
> Look at the top item on Sonbird's home page: "Songbird is a Web player
> built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run
> on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed,
> cross-platform extensions. " They are already starting to build a
> brand umbrella in an uncoordinated way.
>
> --
> Jon Smirl
> [hidden email]
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

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