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Early FOXSCAPE Theme History
By Michael Walden

I first created what eventually became the FOXSCAPE theme when I extracted
and edited the image resources contained in the "resdll.dll" from Netscape
4.76.  This was achieved with, and the result of my becoming aware of, a
program called Resource Hacker 3.0 by Angus Johnson on December 25th, 2000.


Note: the address at that time was:

I had always been dissatisfied with slight pixel color and icon alignment
issues in the Netscape Navigator / Communicator toolbars.  So, immediately
after I downloaded Resource Hacker 3.0 using Netscape Communicator 4.76
I proceeded to extract the image resources from the files in my Netscape
Communicator 4.76 installation folder.  It wasn't long before I had located
the target images and began working on the pixels contained therein.  After
much consideration and attention to detail, over several iterations, I
reached a point where I felt things were the way they should have been from
the original artists.

Frames comparison
Figure 1:  The above animation clearly shows the difference between my
           cleaned version of the images and the original version.
           Frame one is the original, frame two is my cleaned version.
           Note that the magenta (fuchsia) background color above is used as
           the transparent color and not shown on screen in Netscape.

I repackaged my final revised images in the "resdll.dll" and felt satisfied
with my work.  My personal use Pixel Perfect Netscape Theme was born.

It should be noted that at that point in time, skinnable or themeable
applications were in their infancy.  One of the first prominent skinnable
applications available was Winamp 2.0 released on September 8th, 1998.
Subsequently, other applications began to incorporate that capability.  Prior
to Winamp 2.0, people would skin applications using the resource editing
method like I did with Netscape, or not at all.

At that time in my history of internet use, I used to wait anxiously for
any new internet related software and updates to software I already had.
I pretty much got every version of Netscape as they came out.  It was
always exciting to see the new features and capabilities they provided.

I migrated my Pixel Perfect Netscape Theme into each of the following four
versions of Netscape, culminating with Netscape Communicator 4.8 on August
22nd, 2002.  Amazingly, I continued to use Netscape Communicator 4.8 as my
main browser up until November 12th, 2006, at which point I backed up
my bookmarks.htm file and never looked back.

At that point, the out of date Netscape Communicator 4.8 browser was simply
unbearable to use with the web sites out in the wild.  Netscape Communicator
4.8 would crash on at least one web page per each day of web surfing.
Additionally, web pages that did not crash Netscape Communicator 4.8 would
just render incorrectly, to the point of being unusable.

Milestones in my browser history and FOXSCAPE theme creation

1998-09-08  Winamp 2.0                     First release of Winamp with native skinning
2000-12-25  Resource Hacker 3.0            The day I discovered this program
2002-06-05  Mozilla Application Suite 1.0  Official version 1.0 released
2002-08-22  Netscape Communicator 4.8      Last Netscape Communicator released
2002-08-26  Mozilla Application Suite 1.1  Official version 1.1 released
2002-09-23  Phoenix 0.1                    First official release of Phoenix
2003-05-17  Mozilla Firebird 0.6           First official release of Mozilla Firebird
2004-02-09  Mozilla Firefox 0.8            First official release of Mozilla Firefox
2004-06-15  Mozilla Firefox 0.9            Mozilla Update website containing "approved" themes and extensions opened
2004-11-09  Mozilla Firefox 1.0            Official version 1.0 released
2004-11-30  Perennial by ~digiboy          The day I first discovered this Netscape style theme
2005-11-29  Mozilla Firefox 1.5            Official version 1.5 released
2006-02-01  Mozilla Firefox        Security and "reliability" improvements released
2006-02-07  N-Scape1 By lost               The day I first discovered this Netscape style theme
2006-02-20  FOXSCAPE 1.50b1                My first unreleased theme for Mozilla Firefox 1.5
2006-03-19  FOXSCAPE 1.50b7                My last unreleased theme for Mozilla Firefox 1.5
2006-10-24  Mozilla Firefox 2.0            Official version 2.0 released
2006-11-12  Netscape Communicator 4.8      My last day using Netscape Communicator 4.8
2006-12-13  FOXSCAPE 2.00                  First public release of FOXSCAPE

As can be seen from the timeline above, on February 20th, 2006 I looked back
to Netscape, and my personal use Pixel Perfect Netscape Theme, when I created
my first FOXSCAPE theme for Mozilla Firefox  It was at that point
that I had determined that Mozilla Firefox was nearly functional enough and
stable enough to use as my primary web browser.  After the release of Mozilla
Firefox 2.0 on October, 24th, 2006, and after some testing, I found it to be
suitable to use as my primary browser.  On November 12th, 2006 I totally
abandoned Netscape Communicator 4.8, and shortly thereafter decided to
release FOXSCAPE 2.00 to the public.

Lastly, note that FOXSCAPE 2.00 was submitted to the Mozilla web site, but
was re-submitted and released as FOXSCAPE 2.01 due to a technical issue
with the Mozilla web site. []

Related web sites

A Visual Browser History, from Netscape 4 to Mozilla Firefox

Netscape (web browser) - Release history

History of Mozilla Application Suite

History of Firefox

Skin (computing) - Wikipedia

Theme (computing) - Wikipedia

Winamp > Features - Skins - Wikipedia

Perennial by ~digiboy (Marcus Campbell) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< GONE
 (Sadly, Perennial was removed from deviantART within a week of the
 release FOXSCAPE 3.02 on 2009-08-16)

N-Scape1 By lost <http://AddOns.Mozilla.org/user/8878> <<<<< Replaced by Quondam

Quondam by lost <http://AddOns.Mozilla.org/user/8878> <<<<<< Replaced by 4Scape

4Scape by lost <http://AddOns.Mozilla.org/user/8878> <<<<<< Replaced by N2Scape

N2Scape by lost <http://AddOns.Mozilla.org/user/8878>

Orthodox for Firefox by kriukov <http://AddOns.Mozilla.org/user/38473>
 Nick Kriukov's Website
  http://Auburn.edu/~nzk0001/sci/moztheme.htm <<<<<< GONE

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