Re: NCSA X Mosaic 0.5 released

Tim Berners-Lee <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 17:57:59 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-id: <>
To: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Re: NCSA X Mosaic 0.5 released


Brilliant!  I have copied into the bin areas on our local workstation  
support server, and will advertise it here.  Having the thing  
self-contained in one file makes life a lot easier.

I have put copies of your files on:

for anyone who is closer to CERN than NCSA.

I append a few detailed comments on the program.

Xmosaic has a lot of practical things which real uses want -- like  
mail and print and a bookmarks and stuff. Well done!

I like the quick change fonts, too, and the option of single or  
multiple window operating mode.

That said, it would also be nice to customise it easily (yes, I want  
to have my cake and eat it!).  So the ability to set the home page up  
system-wide with some sort of a .xmosaicrc file would be useful.
We'll have to make a covering script to fix 

I have a feeling that a menu option which sets the current document  
home (persistently) by writing out a ~/xxx.rc file is probably an  
easy way for users in arbitrary places to find out where to start.
"Set home here" or something.

From the system manager's point of view, a system-wide .rc would  
allow the home page to bet set up site wide without anyone having  
know about environment variables.  For one thing, easy though it is  
to pick CERN out from the document menu, when NCS is difficult to  
reach, one doesn't want the program to hang.  It migth also be useful  
to set a pointer to the root of a copy of your help tree.

In practice, of course, a full app defaults will probably be needed  
to cater for all tastes. If you are interested in my personal tastes,

- Local "experts" believe that non-serif fonts for titles and serifed  
fonts for the rest are easiest to read on paper at leat. Helvetica  
for headings and New century for text would appease some of the  

- The colours: I like having a distinctive colour for "internals"  
like UDIs and source --- but white on light grey is a little  
difficult for me to read.... perhaps a darker grey?
Similarly I would prefer the overall text contrast to be higher and  
the anchors a different color with less contrast.

Other little things ...

Search text prompt always available: should be greyed out onluess  
ISINDEX.  If document is searchable and not editable, this field  
should come up selected when the window is loaded, so i can just go  
ahead and type and hit return.

I got a crash when I mimimised the main window, brought it back up  
and then did a "reload". The error message was:-

asis01% X Error of failed request:  BadWindow (invalid Window  
  Major opcode of failed request:  2 (X_ChangeWindowAttributes)
  Minor opcode of failed request:  0
  Resource id in failed request:  0x4c000e7
  Serial number of failed request:  26455
  Current serial number in output stream:  26689

This was running on a sun and displaying on HP.

I load a document and the free-format text disappears under the  
right-hand margin. I fiddle with the window size, returning it to  
what it was, and teh text flows nicely to fit.  Would have been good  
if it could have got it right first time.

I think you know about:

- Anchors which have no HREFs should not be highlighted
- Jump to anchor withing document doesn't work

Every new browser is sexier than the last.  There is a lot of  
cross-fertilisation going on, which is very good. KUTGW everyone...