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A Mozilla Plugin to Help Overcome IE Rendering Flaw

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the like-a-screaming-monkey dept.

Mozilla 270

least_weasel writes "An article on Ars Technica reveals Mozilla's intention to create and release a plugin for Internet Explorer that would allow the often-criticized IE to utilize some of the cooler rendering code developed for Firefox. The current WIP focuses on rendering using HTML5 standards, but the plans seem to be more ambitious than just fixing this one small piece of IE. The article covers some of the plans, hurdles, and potential benefits. It also spills the beans on the code name for the project: Screaming Monkey."

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270 comments

Er... (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681445)

What's the advantage over just installing Firefox? Do people who don't have permission to install software have permission to install plugins like this?

Re:Er... (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681511)

it makes MS and closed source look bad if Mozilla/open source fix their deficiencies.

Re:Er... (5, Insightful)

the kostya (1277822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681743)

People who would care about these things already use Firefox/Opera/whatever. Everyone else does not care. It is like mocking the jocks because while all they do is run around and bang chicks, you gain valuable programming experience working on code no one will give a rats ass about.

Designers... (3, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682197)

can design on a sane model with sane tools, deploy the plugin when the users are IE.

Re:Er... (5, Funny)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682483)

Not sure how it works on IE but you can install firefox plugins on the fly. If that is true on IE, imagine sites that rather than saying "runs best on IE7" instead say "This is gonna look crap if you don't click here [slashdot.org]

Re:Er... (4, Funny)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682585)

And then that jock gets a job in the city rec department, and his bangin' cheerleader girlfriend is a professional beautician, between them making as much as you do by yourself with your programming experience.

Stupid, non-applicable analogy aside, nobody else cares about whether they use IE or Firefox, but they sure as hell notice when things don't work right. This plugin will let people develop sites to standards that still work with IE, so companies should be ok with allowing their webdevs to work forward properly, and it'll have the side effect of proper sites making people sit up and take notice of their broken browser.

Re:Er... (5, Insightful)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682235)

I would definitely like to think that way too, but I guess Mozilla/Firefox deserves a bit more credit here. I sincerely believe that they are doing this for two things primarily:

1) To improve user's experience - even if they are using IE
2) More importantly, to do their part in better standardization.

From TFA:"The Canvas element allows web developers to programmatically render interactive bitmap images in HTML content. It was invented by Apple to bring richer graphical capabilities to the company's WebKit renderer. The Canvas functionality eventually became part of the HTML5 standard and has been implemented in both Gecko and Presto. Canvas is used extensively in several popular web applications, including Google Maps, but it hasn't gained widespread acceptance because it isn't available in Internet Explorer. "

Re:Er... (4, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683203)

I'd also like to believe Microsoft will get a bit arsey about it and be all "wut, we don't need ur bloody plugins, we'll make these features available ourselves!" and thus push them towards implementing more standards rather than just fixing the broken ones they have now.

Note: Not trying to troll on Microsoft here, just trying to point out that it would be helpful to everyone if IE supported more features that other browsers have.

Re:Er... (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682245)

it makes MS and closed source look bad if Mozilla/open source fix their deficiencies.

Duuuude, that's the beauty of MS and closed source - they don't *need* Mozilla/open source to make them look bad!

Re:Er... (2, Insightful)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681635)

It allows web developers to take advantage of this feature, but still have their sites be accessible by people using IE (out of ignorance or otherwise). Right now no web-developer can really target features not available on IE unless they want to alienate a large percentage of their user base.

Re:Er... (4, Insightful)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681867)

It allows web developers to take advantage of this feature

Canvas is a strange pick though for something to extend IE with. There's excanvas, which does a reasonable job of emulating canvas on IE using VML. It's not a perfect emulation, ofcourse, but in my experience it's good enough once you learn its limitations. For stuff like dynamic charting canvas is the right choice even today.

Re:Er... (2, Insightful)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682035)

My guess is it's simply because canvas is a reasonably standalone feature to separate out of Gecko. Maybe they simply want to give it a go to see if it's feasible to do the same thing to other features later.

Too slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24682549)

> Canvas is a strange pick though for something to extend IE with. There's excanvas, which does a reasonable job of emulating canvas on IE using VML.

TFA says it's because ExCanvas is too slow.

Re:Er... (3, Informative)

colfer (619105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682611)

From TFA: "Unfortunately, scripted manipulation of VML [with exCanvas] is too slow to be used for highly interactive web applications."

Still it does seem crazy to expect enough people to install the plugin to make it universal enough for developers, as Flash is now.

Then the rest of the article is about Adobe. "This is purely speculation, but If Adobe decided to ship [the new Moz plugin] as part of the next major iteration of the Flash plugin, it would rapidly accelerate adoption and get it onto lots of computers."

Re:Er... (5, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682901)

It allows web developers to take advantage of this feature, but still have their sites be accessible by people using IE (out of ignorance or otherwise). Right now no web-developer can really target features not available on IE unless they want to alienate a large percentage of their user base.

As a professional web developer I can say that is complete rubbish. We can not rely on most IE users to have this plugin so we can not take advantage of any new features. The fact is that while IE is as prevalent as it currently still is we have to develop primarily for that platform. In the corporate world a great many people still use IE6 so we have to test under that very thoroughly too.

Re:Er... (5, Interesting)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681801)

The fact still remains that people use IE, because that's "the Internet" on their computer. It's been suggested that Adobe might include these plugins (there's also one in the works for the canvas element) with their Flash installer. That would greatly increase the number of people with IE that would support some of the features that are already available in FF/Opera/Safari.

I think that people who don't have permission to install the plugins just won't be able to do so, but they wouldn't be able to install FF anyway.

Those people need a better plug in. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682671)

people use IE, because that's "the Internet" on their computer

Yes, there are those people. They are usually happy with this [mepis.org]. Firefox becomes "the Internet", Pidgin their IM and so on and so forth. Most don't know the difference and think you have done a great job of fixing their computer. For harder cases, you can change the icons and backgrounds then tell them it's Vista. Ha ha.

Re:Er... (5, Interesting)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681927)

I think the idea might be to get a first mover advantage on IE. If the IE installed base gets this plugin and gets used to the behavior, Microsoft will find it harder to do their usual trick of implementation-but-not-quite. People who have this plugin will be upset if Microsoft releases a new version of IE that breaks the Canvas behavior that they've become used to. A wide deployment of the plugin (perhaps through Adobe as the article speculates) might create just enough perceived path-dependence that Microsoft won't go out of its way to break the Canvas standard with a proprietary implementation.

Re:Er... (0, Offtopic)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682163)

"It also spills the beans on the code name for the project: Screaming Monkey."
LOL!

"What's the advantage over just installing Firefox?"

Uhmm...because you can then spank your Screaming Monkey with abandon?

Re:Er... (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682379)

Take my parents for example. They like the experience of IE. They are not, however, opposed to standards - they just don't care enough to leave behind one piece of software for another because they never notice any problems (probably because we are all so busy fixing IE bugs). I know a number of people like this - they are comfortable.

Re:Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24683323)

What's the advantage over just installing Firefox? Do people who don't have permission to install software have permission to install plugins like this?

Firefox benefits without Firefox frightening SSL dialogs =:-b

I'm a bit skeptical (5, Insightful)

superyanthrax (835242) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681451)

Great idea... but if someone would have the wits and knowledge to look for this plugin, wouldn't they be using FF already? If websites prevented stuff from working without this plugin, wouldn't that just turn off viewers? Not sure how this is going to help, people have been harping at Microsoft about standards for years and all they've done is move towards them at the pace of a snail.

Re:I'm a bit skeptical (2, Interesting)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681731)

I assume you can have the browser display a "download plugin" button for those people, just like it does it you're missing flash or shockwave.

Re:I'm a bit skeptical (2, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682701)

Possibly the best way to handle this is use one of IE's many security holes to patch the bug: create a website that checks to see if you're using IE. If you are, and you don't already have this plugin, use ActiveX to install it. After all, we all know that a large percentage of the people who use IE will always click OK when asked if they want their browser to install something; that's how a lot of malware gets installed.

HTML5 is a standard now? (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681465)

Well i'll be darned, I guess someone should call the XHTML2 camp and tell them they lost the war!

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (5, Interesting)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681625)

I would be rather cautious about simply trying to implement and support HTML5, which is no standardized yet. I attended BlackHat ~ 2 weeks ago and Stamos's talk "Living in the RIA World" had some interesting things to say about HTML5 in its current state. If you wait ~ 6 months, BlackHat will allow viewing. My notes concerning HTML 5 follow.

HTML 5: have DOM storage (session and local) and database storage. These should all be SameOrigin. Meant to block userâ(TM)s deleting of tracking cookies. Use of database storage, there can be SQL injection against the local database. Some browsers support GlobalStorage that donâ(TM)t have SameOrigin control. Lots of new attack surface in FF3. Websites can be protocol handlers (support spyware!!). Installation of protocol handler is one click. WebKit is a big supporter of HTML5 and supports these issues.

HTML5 has limited storage (~ 15 Mbytes total) allowing easy exhaustion attacks and there is no UI to manage this. DOS is easy. Can easily plant arbitrary evidence on a system. HTML 5: Security âoeneed to write this sectionâ.

We now have web developers making desktop apps without any security or privacy expertise. The Web is becoming more heterogeneous and far far more dangerous.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (4, Interesting)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682109)

We now have web developers making desktop apps without any security or privacy expertise. The Web is becoming more heterogeneous and far far more dangerous.

What bothers me is how security is somehow pushed to the forefront as the most important issue, even more important than functionality.

The most secure system is one that is turned off. This new stuff they're adding increases the attack surface, sure, but it's also necessary to build stuff that actually works (like a web app that doesn't die when your wifi does).

But even aside from the issue of functionality vs. security, there's the issue of security somehow being way more important in the browser, which I think is nonsense. Client-server apps have always had lousy security, and were easily hijacked. Just because they now run in a browser, the threat level hasn't changed. A hacker that is determined can break in sure, but they've always been able to break in. Nothing has truly changed, except for the perception of the threat level.

All in all I think the web stack is pretty secure by default, when comparing it to the alternatives.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (1)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682637)

The most secure system is one that is turned off. This new stuff they're adding increases the attack surface, sure, but it's also necessary to build stuff that actually works

well, my (and most people's) definition of 'works' is one that keeps me and my data secure

your argument is bogus and assumes your specification for doing something contains only *one* criterion, which is a crazy idea, and not how engineering works

Security can't be an afterthought! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24682953)

> What bothers me is how security is somehow pushed to the forefront as the most important issue, even more important than functionality.

You can't bolt on security as an afterthought. It has to be part of the design.

I'd rather have a protocol designed with security in mind than one that makes it easy to steal my passwords and personal information, but where the widgets are 10% flashier.

Of course, I also know that my PC is under constant attack from botnets and such (and I can get logs to prove that), being secure only because I have more sense than to install insecure software.

The average home PC I have repaired is replete with spyware because people don't patch and don't know better than to install crappy software that has the shiny widgets they want.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (2, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683179)

All in all I think the web stack is pretty secure by default, when comparing it to the alternatives.

Really? My opinion is that the "web stack" (not sure which stack you mean here; MSIE-Windows, FF-Windows, Safari-MacOSX, Konq-Linux, etc) has by far the worst record so far. MSIE-Windows has to be the #1 vector for infection now, and has been for at least the last 6-7 years. Which alternative are you thinking of? Because the "web stack" is, in my opinion, the premier virus runtime environment.

My opinion is that web designers made a HUGE mistake in not treating network input cautiously. The emphasis has been on "rich APIs", "data structure passing", extensibility, desktop integration, and so on. These are undoubtably good things in the absence of malicious input, but the fact is, there is a lot of malicious input out there. Web browsers would benefit greatly from some simple privilege separation; the Mozilla camp could do this with some effort, but MSIE is pretty much dead in the water here due to the level of integration with the base system. I understand the HTML5 camp's worry that Flash/Flex will become a de facto standard, but in my opinion, web security has not been taken seriously enough. These kinds of vulnerabilities have become a major source of income for organized crime in the East, and still people like you are saying that security is not the most important issue? Gimme a break.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683317)

What bothers me is how security is somehow pushed to the forefront as the most important issue

That's the attitude that made IE what it is today.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682849)

What's the difference between web developers and regular developers? Take a look at any desktop applications and tell me that they're programming with better security practices than web developers. Windows, apache, IIS, OSX, and many more programs include critical security holes that can be exploited externally; how is a buffer overflow any better or worse than improperly escaped SQL?

Developers as a whole have been programming without security and privacy expertise, web developers just happen to have a program that's exposed to (at best) everyone in a particular company, or often everyone in the world. With that kind of exposure, what percentage of non-web-based programs would survive without getting exploited?

Sorry, rant over. Security is a big concern, and for things which need to be very secure these features shouldn't be allowed. However, that shouldn't keep the browsers from increasing functionality and usability. Hopefully developers are learning their lessons and becoming more security conscious.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (5, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681673)

Well i'll be darned, I guess someone should call the XHTML2 camp and tell them they lost the war!

Nah, don't bother them. They're busy working on the HD-DVD website.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681993)

HTML and XML are co-standards, not competing standards. There has been some talk about renaming XHTML2 to XHTML5 to emphasize this. XHTML is only needed if you're using another XML-based language on the page, and is very susceptible to errors. HTML, on the other hand, is less prone to errors, and the page will at least render. It is also supposed to be served as text/html, whereas XHTML is to be served ONLY as application/xml as of XHTML1.1. If you have a XHTML1.0 Strict or XHTML1.1 page out there being served as HTML, you have basically served badly formed HTML4.

Re:HTML5 is a standard now? (2, Informative)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682147)

HTML5 comes in two flavours [w3.org]. One is straight HTML5 which is based off HTML4 (same parsing rules), the other is XHTML5 which is strict XML and requires the application/xml content type. None of them are really related to XHTML2 [w3.org] which is mostly dead at this point.

Look at me I'm the ginger bread man (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681485)

I'm the first to make a comment.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
Watch me go!!!

Oh, snap. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681713)

Not only did you fail to get first post, but you weren't even close. The English language lacks the ability to express the sheer magnitude of your monumentally epic failure; CowboyNeal's waist is anemic by comparison. I would suggest you try again, but failing so spectacularly has probably left both your body and mind in a highly unstable state. It's probably best for everyone involved if you just killed yourself. But you would probably just fail at that, too. Sometimes you just can't win.

Re:Oh, snap. (0, Offtopic)

jeremypv (455256) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682787)

Not only did you fail to get first post, but you weren't even close. The English language lacks the ability to express the sheer magnitude of your monumentally epic failure; CowboyNeal's waist is anemic by comparison. I would suggest you try again, but failing so spectacularly has probably left both your body and mind in a highly unstable state. It's probably best for everyone involved if you just killed yourself. But you would probably just fail at that, too. Sometimes you just can't win.

--Summer Glau

Re:Look at me I'm the ginger bread man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681735)

Within your subjective, post-modern, truthless, non-judgemental world, you are correct.
You can have "hope" and "change" and all those amorphous things that make you feel good.
You can look to the government as some sort of God, and expect policy, programs, and processes to ensconce you in a warm, fuzzy glow for your whole life.
I just hope you don't run out of anti-depressants.

Sad or happy day in Redmond? (5, Funny)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681499)

Is it a sad or happy day for Microsoft, when their competitors get bored with beating them, and instead try to improve the Microsoft products to make them competitive - for free?

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (5, Interesting)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681563)

The new plan for Mozilla:

  • Embrace I.E.
  • Extend I.E. with this plugin
  • Extinguish I.E. with a "Get Firefox" button on every page.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1, Redundant)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682201)

The part I don't understand is why you would go with IE in the first place. If you have problems with IE, or need rendering support that Firefox has, why not just download the whole Firefox in the first place?

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (5, Funny)

Urger (817972) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682321)

Remember that many shops don't admin access to their computers and are stuck with IE because IT says so. Yes such places exist. They are not just a story your mother told you to scare you.

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682891)

I used to work at one. That's why I run things differently now that I'm in charge. Yes I get some viruses on random comps but with roaming profiles I just wipe the comp and get the user a new one and tell them to not do that again.

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682879)

I don't know if this is new to you but a lot or moronic websites only render in IE. I'm in firefox now but for instance the web admin on my Linksys SRW2048 switches only renders in IE.

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683191)

I think it's all about perception in the eyes of the end user...while making IE function like FF may seem redundant, an average person may just think 'cool, now IE works better when I view my favourite web page'.

It also avoids having two browsers on one operating system. Although this is par for anyone that uses Linux, or who has become accustomed to installing FF on Windows...many less saavy users will forget which browser is which - especially those who get confused whenever the 50 icons on their desktop get rearranged.

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681615)

I get the feeling there will be even less incentive for Microsoft to implement standards. After all, why get to all that trouble when someone does that for you ? Instead, they can get on bettering humanity with such wonderful new technologies as ActiveX...

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (1)

extirpater (132500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682099)

sssshh! they secretly make IE to include firefox engine vulnerabilities. IE will be the most vulnerable browser.

Re:Sad or happy day in Redmond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24682119)

It's not a sad day or a happy day in Redmond. This move is meaningless.
Firefox is already out with standards and IE 8 is due with beta 2 with
standards such as HTML 5 this month.

    So, it really is a useless move.

FireFox (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681521)

I run Firefox for NoScript and AdBlock...I could care less about rendering a page .002 picoseconds faster.

Re:FireFox (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681865)

I run Firefox for NoScript and AdBlock...I could care less about rendering a page .002 picoseconds faster.

you mean "couldn't care less"

Re:FireFox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24682027)

It works either way. "Could care less" can be interpreted as sarcasm.

Re:FireFox (3, Informative)

lilo_booter (649045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682169)

It generally isn't though - for most people, it just comes across as though someone got the expression hideously wrong and negated the intention of their statement in the process.

Re:FireFox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24683119)

Totally agreed. I wasn't implying that "could care less" is correct, merely that it has been (and generally can be) interpreted both ways.

Screaming Monkey.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681523)

So I take it Balmer is involved in some way?

BURRNNNNN (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681533)

To: M$
From: KindFolk@mozilla.org
Subject: U JUS GOT BITCHSLAPPED!

i think (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681535)

it will be used by ie developers to test ff compatibility  ... rofl

Re:i think (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681897)

it will be used by ie developers to test ff compatibility ... rofl

You mean they're gonna test their websites in IE to see if they work correctly in FF? Firefox already has the superior webdeveloper add-ons. I'd like a firefox plugin that allows me to debug IE CSS with those FF add-ons.

Interesting, but difficult (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681543)

FYI, Screaming Monkey was already discussed in an earlier story [slashdot.org].

Unfortunately, scripted manipulation of VML is too slow to be used for highly interactive web applications. Mozilla's solution is to bake its own native Canvas implementation into an ActiveX plugin that can be integrated directly into Internet Explorer.

The only problem is getting people to install the plugin. My own solution was to use the market penetration of Java Applets to develop a shunt [dnsalias.com] that would render Canvas using Java APIs. (Note that the events system has not been completed in that demo. Make sure you click outside the block falling area so that the browser receives the keyboard commands.)

The same sort of shunt could be done with Flash 9 or Silverlight. Which would do a nice end-run around the problem of getting plugins installed.

Re:Interesting, but difficult (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681693)

The only problem is getting people to install Java.

Re:Interesting, but difficult (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681779)

Java is already installed on most OEM computers. And as I mentioned in the last sentence, Flash can be used to create a similar shunt. Flash has even greater market penetration [zdnet.com] than Java. It's not 100%, but it's about as close as you can get. As a bonus, most users without Flash would be savvy enough to be using FireFox anyway. (Given that one has to actively AVOID having Flash installed these days.)

Another cake? (1)

billy901 (1158761) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681565)

I think Microsoft owes Mozilla another cake. This probably saved a lot of money and a few man hours for Microsoft. Or they can just let Mozilla bask in their humble glory.

Re:Another cake? (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682847)

Microsoft will owe a lot of people cakes before too long, since they don't seem to be able to handle their own development efforts very well and everyone implements crutches to get around them. Imagine the size of the cake they'll bake for Canonical when we're all running our Windows apps in WINE under Ubuntu.

Screaming monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681575)

A plugin that'll help another brower to actually follow standards... wow. Well, I've gotta admit it's still probably easier than actually forcing the devs to do their damn jobs right... The name is fitting though.

Whats next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681591)

Ubuntu releases OS in the name of Windows 7

Screaming Monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681605)

Named in dedication of the countless developers, developers, developers, developers who worked on the project!

When asked how they felt about Mozilla, they developers replied "I LOVE THIS COMPANY YEAH!!!!!"

Look to the beam in your own eye (5, Interesting)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681629)

Hey, that's great. Do they also have plans to fix the flaws in Firefox?

Off the top of my head, could we finally have support for SVG as a native image format? Or even just SVG rendering that isn't slower than a stone cow?

Don't want to sound like the grumpy old man, I just want most of my web shit to work in *one* browser before I worry about how it works in every browser.

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681817)

What is not native about the SVG handling in recent versions of Firefox?

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (1, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682011)

He's probably grousing about the incomplete support for certain features, like SVG animation.

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682077)

I just want most of my web shit to work in *one* browser before I worry about how it works in every browser.

If it doesn't work the same in every browser, nobody's going to implement it. For the most part, the days of making new IE-only sites are gone; any web developer worth his (or her?) salt will not be tying things down to a specific rendering environment. Which means that, with SVG per your example, people aren't going to use it until it works well in all reasonably-current browsers, or until it can be implemented fully in current browsers with a graceful degradation in non-compliant browsers (such as CSS-styled unordered lists: the fallback isn't pretty, but it's at least accessible)

Don't misinterpret that as not implementing things that require hacks or stupid workarounds, though. If you don't do that, you can't even center a div consistently across IE (#yourdivsparent{text-align:center;}#yourdiv{text-align:left;}) and non-IE (#yourdiv{margin:0 auto;}).

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682587)

If it doesn't work the same in every browser, nobody's going to implement it. For the most part, the days of making new IE-only sites are gone; any web developer worth his (or her?) salt will not be tying things down to a specific rendering environment.

If only your statement were relevant. Yes, most GOOD sites are cross-browser and cross-platform. But there are TONS of sites that are IE only and/or MS-Windows only. It is killing us all the time trying to be a Linux-only environment. It is not so much big players like Google, Ebay, Facebook, etc. It is the tons of smaller business sites- coding sites, inventory suppliers, lab companies, medical records, printer control, etc. There are far too many ways to make a site locked down to one browser and/or one OS (java type, scripting, plugins, OS calls, file formats, etc), and until you try and run an interconnected business using something other than IE on MS-Windows, you might not see just how big the problem still is.

Need a quick example off the top of my head? Count how many "share my PC" (for presentations, demos) sites actually work under Linux/Firefox. Of the dozen or so we have been forced to use, only one did.

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (2, Informative)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682875)

you can't even center a div consistently across IE (#yourdivsparent{text-align:center;}#yourdiv{text-align:left;}) and non-IE (#yourdiv{margin:0 auto;}).

CSS centering (margin: auto) works properly even in IE 6.0 but only if you use a Strict doctype. This is particularly annoying on auction sites where you can type your own HTML but are usually forced to use the Transitional doctype of the site.

Re:Look to the beam in your own eye (4, Informative)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682755)

You want SVG as background-image? Here you go [mozillazine.org]. Fast enough to do this [mozillazine.org] in realtime? I honestly couldn't say, I'm more excited that their CSS3 support is finally catching up to Konqueror 3.5.

tacit recognition of fail (0, Troll)

theCat (36907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681697)

I didn't RTFA to get their cut on this, but my opinion after many years as a web developer has been that MS more-or-less deliberately left IE borken just to make the web hard to use for most users. The security gaffs that left Windows pwnable might have been real issues, but I think the rest was a strategic gamble to keep people locked into the "your desktop is the only reality" Matrix-ish crapola that keeps them raking in the cash on OS and Office sales. Only the web sort of went ahead and won anyway, mostly. IE being F.U.B.A.R. is now just a sad joke.

If that's the case, then IE should indeed by fixable, and probably easily. There might be former/reformed MS coders in the readership who could comment on this. Guys and gals; did you do as good a job on IE as you wanted to? Or was there a certain shaved ape making "suggestions" about priorities that left IE crippled?

Re:tacit recognition of fail (3, Insightful)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682061)

M$ didn't leave it broken so users had to deal with it, they left it broken so developers continued to support IE. If we have to code differently for IE, because it doesn't follow standards and many users use IE, it makes us constantly concerned with what M$ does.

It's like the ex who keeps you as a friend on facebook and makes sure you see all those new pictures with her new bf. Except with IE you just can't defriend it.

Re:tacit recognition of fail (2, Informative)

theCat (36907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682443)

This is entirely correct; the market leading browser is non-standard in many ways, and that breaks standards as a concept, or might have. But that is just a tactic towards a strategic goal, and it was the strategic goal to which I alluded in my post. Standards largely won out, so today we say IE is borken rather than saying it is the One True Way. Nice play, MS.

Standards are like the white blood cells of the Internet, and are the chief way that the system is able to work at all given the complexity and chaos of its origins. Without standards, it would eventually fall apart due to internal "diseases" born of the Not Coded Here mentality of corporations. MS probably wasn't so worried about the threat of email, or IRC, or gopher-space. But a graphic application that ran over resources and data spaces not-on-the-desktop must have made Bill Gates soil himself.

Thanks for the critique.

-- act fast decide fast --

Please fix firefox (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681729)

Please fix bugs in firefox first before fixing other browsers. kthx.

Screaming Monkey vs. Stupid Monkey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681861)

Screaming Monkey brings you serious code with good graphics.
Stupid Monkey [wikipedia.org] brings you hilarious 60s-era claymation.
Screaming Stupid Monkey is a subhuman primate forced to use Redmonian browsers without third-party add-ons.

Will not succeed on the field (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682141)

Any person clever enough to install that plugin would be clever enough to use a real web browser to begin with.

Re:Will not succeed on the field (5, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682839)

Any person "clever" enough to click Yes on an activeX installation prompt, you mean?

Memory leaks... (0, Flamebait)

scipiodog (1265802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682167)

Thanks Mozilla,

This is just great!

Now, how about fixing the memory leaks that cause Firefox to use 280 MB of RAM with one tab open and default extensions after 20 minutes?

Get with the program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24682381)

Wow, 293,601,280 bytes? That would really it into the total of 8093,454,336 bytes! Teh horror.

Re:Memory leaks... (1)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683037)

Looks like someone hasn't upgraded to 3 yet.

(24 opened tabs, 8 extensions, been running 5 hours and gone through hundreds of now-closed tabs - barely 200 MB RAM usage; not that I really care, since that's about 6% of my total memory)

Why does the title sound like a low-blow? (2, Interesting)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682343)

"A Mozilla Plugin to Help Overcome IE Rendering Flaw"

Should it not read: A Mozilla Plugin to add Enhanced IE Rendering?

Come on. This old fight between browsers is becoming stale. IE included many things now in the HTML specs that were not available in any other browser, such as CSS Style for shadow effects, etc. Why is it that when something new comes out for IE that it is automatically described as a "bug" fix or a workaround to a "flaw"?

Please people, I like FF and IE for different reasons. At least write unbiased stories and stop bashing each other's code efforts.

Exactly backwards (5, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682409)

This is exactly backwards to what most of us need. We need a [multiplatform] plugin for Firefox that will allow broken IE-only sites to work under Firefox so we can continue to use the browser of our choice. Not that I want to promote the use of IE-only coding, but the reality is that if the site doesn't work, the average users always blame Firefox, not the site designer.

Where are my mod points... (1)

ronmon (95471) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682677)

...when I need them. You hit the nail on the head, pal.

Good thing I scrolled to the bottom of the page before I posted and avoided the dreaded "Redundant".

random idea for IEs final destruction... (2, Interesting)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682575)

Have Mozilla send come checks to all major software companies (Adobe wink wink) - perhaps Google can through in a few $100 million in the pot too to distribute. Goal: install Firefox (if not installed yet) and make Firefox the default browser. A little taste of Microsoft's own medicine.

*nawcom sips from his glass of kool-aid*

HTML5? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682623)

From reading the article, it's not clear to me exactly what this will do, aside from make some HTML5 elements available. Will this fix IE's numerous CSS flaws? To me, that is *vastly* more important than adding HTML5 stuff.

UA Breaking plugin? (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682679)

Did anyone think about pages that detect user agent strings? A lot of devs use the UA string to "fix" these rendering problems on a per browser basis. This plugin would "break" the pages that have already been "fixed" causing quite a headache to the devs who would never know that their page does not work correctly in this version of IEx because it has a nifty plugin to fix things. Sound like dev's will have yet another variable to watch out for.

And for thoes who say this plugin is somehow for devs: any developer who wants real cross browser compatibility will use the target browser not some add on crap. Any developer who says "I don't care what it looks like in IE" obviously does not have a job developing public web sites (or won't have a job doing so much longer). Even if you don't like the browser you don't ignore 70+% of your customers (or any % of your customers). I have every browser imaginable available to me to make sure my pages work properly in all browsers.

And as far as bashing IE for the rendering flaws it has, I would look first to fix FF's rending flaws. I'm not going to list the dozens of bugs and out-of-compliance standards FF has, anyone who thinks FF has no rendering bugs is seriously delusional. And no production browser has yet to pass the acid 3 test, that includes FF and IE. And even if one browser did pass the test, devs still have to cope with all the other browsers that didn't.
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