By Jared Newman | Friday, October 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm
User interface is among the most important parts of any web browser, but lately they’re all starting to look the same.
Introducing the idea, Mozilla developer Marcio Galli asks, “What kinds of wild-eyed experimentation would we see if a new conception of browser UI could be prototyped in about the same time it takes to write a web page?” To illustrate his point, Galli posted a simple example that uses page screenshot thumbnails instead of tabs (pictured here).
I really like the idea of Chromeless. While browser interfaces have become highly-evolved, trimming unused menu space and consolidating clutter is not the same as introducing revolutionary new features. If the web browser has any more major leaps in store — something on par with tabs and omnibars — their chances of being discovered will greatly improve if lots of people can easily make their own prototypes. I doubt that any one remix would become popular on its own, but successful experiments could certainly find their way into major browser releases.
Chromeless is still in pre-alpha, and over the next few months, Mozilla will add APIs, security features, and eventually a software development kit for putting together genuine browser remixes. I’m excited to see what people come up with.