April 10, 2000: While I share a lot of the fears of this suck column on skins, I think a lot of good can come of them. First of all, it's been noted that we are stuck in an imperfect UI paradigm, and I think it will be very hard for HCI professionals to break free without some pushing. Christina Aguillera skins notwithstanding, putting control of the entie UI in the hands of anyone with a text editor will certainly do some pushing on our notions of what is acceptable human-computer interaction. Second, by putting full control of the chrome in the hands of developers, XUL effectively does away with the browser as browser. Mozilla is a web-based application platform, and that is very interesting to me. Anything that gets me away from building every damn function on a site as a wizard-like loop is welcome at this point. The trouble is that (as usual) it's not cross-platform.