December 28, 2000


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Article Index

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Introduction & Overview

Brief Recap of Part I of MozillaQuest the Series.

Getting the Lizard Ready for Some Skin Surgery

Skinning Tools

Optional Homework

Branding Your Mozilla-Based Browser

To Jar or Not to Jar the Lizard

Changing the Browser Title

Finding the Branding Iron

Branding the Lizard -- Changing Its Name

More Branding -- Changing the Application Logo

Side Effects


Resources & Links

page - 7

Side Effects

Open some of the other Mozilla browser-suite components that are part of the Mozilla browser suite to whose browser you imprinted your brand. You will see that your browser component branding has had mixed effects on other components.

For example, the new MQ logo appears as the logo for the Mail and Composer Mozilla browser suite modules. However, the new application name, MozillaQuest Mtrunk Browser, does not appear on their title bars. Please see Figure 7.

Figure 9. Our customized MQ logo on the Mozilla Composer Module

Where a change you make appears, depends on what you change and in what directory you change it. Ultimately, you can change anything that you see when you run Mozilla -- in any Mozilla module. And changes that you make in one place can and often do affect other places. That's another story, however. Our only concern today is to show you how to brand the browser. Look for the story on changing things in other Mozilla browser-suite components in a future edition of MozillaQuest the Series.


The Mozilla Guerillas are building one heck of a totally awesome framework for building all sorts of neat applications. And they are building applications, such as the Mozilla browser-suite on their Mozilla framework too.

We use the doing tense of the verbs here because Mozilla is far from finished. Every day there is a new Mozilla build. Mozilla truly is a highly dynamic, interactive, work-in-progress -- yet a work-in-progress that you can use now.

In Part I of our Mozilla skinning series, we gave you a basic feel for just some of the things you can do with Mozilla. Today, in Part II you get a quick, basic look at how to get started doing one of these things -- cosmetically customizing the face of the Mozilla and/or Netscape 6 browser.

Moreover, you do not get into any heavy-duty skin surgery today -- just a few dabs of superficial cosmetic touch-up. But even so, just working at this very superficial level you easily put your name and logo on what now is "your" Web browser or browser theme.

Rather than change code that calls the logo image plus create the new image, you merely changed the image. It's easier that way. Moreover readers who are not up on hand-coding XML, JS, CSS, XUL, and that sort of stuff should find this approach to customizing Mozilla simpler and easily doable.

The Mozilla people are developing some tools to make changing Mozilla's look and feel, easier. A great starting point to find what tools the Mozilla people have in place now is Mozilla developer Ben Goodger's short monograph, Getting Started With Mozilla UI Hacking.

However, there is lots more to do in making your own, albeit customized, browser. The desktop face makeover is started today but far from something you want to call yours, yet. So look for more changes in the Title Bar, Menu Bar, URL (Navigation) Bar, and Tool Bar in upcoming parts to this series.

The Brower moneymaker is the Sidebar. That's where you will make changes to the portal stuff, default bookmarks, links and all that sort of thing in future parts of this Mozilla skinning series.

For example, we will have a Sidebar tab that serves as an index to MozillaQuest Magazine articles. We will have links to, and active content from, MozillaQuest Magazine in our portal Sidebar tabs. You will want to do the same sorts of things with your company, school, government unit, organization, institution, ISP, or so forth Sidebar.

You also can sell Sidebar portal tab space and listings just as you would ads in order to generate income.

The Mozilla concept is earthshaking in the software world. If you start hacking the Mozilla UI (User Interface) as we do here today, you can get in on the ground floor of applying the earthshaking Mozilla concept.

Go for it! And good luck on your new adventure -- MozillaQuesting!

(Note: The Mozilla folks were very helpful to us in researching this article. We thank them for all their help. But any errors that might be in this article are ours, not theirs.)

continue to resources on page 8

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