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Mozilla To Launch "Build Your Own Browser"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the have-it-your-way dept.

Mozilla 171

angry tapir sends in a piece from Down Under which begins "Mozilla is readying a program that will allow companies to build their own customized browsers based on the next version of Firefox, which will be out in a few weeks. ... Through the Build Your Own Browser program, which will start sometime soon after Firefox 3.5 is released at the end of June, companies can use a Web application provided by Mozilla to specify certain customizations for the browser, such as bookmarks to certain sites or corporate intranets or portals. ... The bulk of enterprises still use Internet Explorer if they mandate a browser for company use, because Microsoft provides provisioning and installation software for IE that makes it easy for enterprises to control browser settings and install across all corporate desktops, said Forrester analyst Sheri McLeish. Mozilla has not historically done this, but something like the Build Your Own Browser program is a good start to encourage enterprises to use Firefox over IE."

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Opera did this too (5, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261259)

At least they used to. Starting with Opera 7 you could import a set of bookmarks, setup the home page, etc. and then distribute your own customized version of Opera. Good to see Firefox starting to consider this as well.

Re:Opera did this too (2, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261297)

Out of curiosity, when chronologically was this? I know I was building customized Internet Explorer 4 browsers using an NT 4 IEAK back in '98.
I'm sort of vaguely remembering a comparable feature involving Netscape about then, also?
By the way. I still think IE4 didn't suck in comparison to the competition when it came out. As a matter of fact, I would say that about Microsoft in general up until mid/late 2000. They got really squirrelly about then.
Evil and monopolistic, sure. but in a useful way.

Re:Opera did this too (4, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261425)

Out of curiosity, when chronologically was this?

Actually, it was back in Opera 5 days. The URL http://composer.opera.com/ [opera.com] seems to date back to June 30, 2001:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://composer.opera.com [archive.org]

Checking the main Opera site as of that date shows Opera 5.12 was released for Windows.

Re:Opera did this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261761)

No, IE4 did not suck in comparison to the competition. You had Netscape 4, which was far behind the times, and Opera, which was not free or accurate in rendering. IE was the better browser for a while, which is why it won... and it got the others moving, so we actually have several legitimately good alternatives to it (which is helping to keep Microsoft moving again as well). It's really a win for everyone.

Re:Opera did this too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262567)

IE was the better browser for a while, which is why it won...

IE won over Netscape 4 because IE was the default option and Microsoft abused their desktop monopoly to bundle IE and Microsoft prevented OEMs from offering a different default browser.

Remember that there's a bit of hindsight affecting peoples take on it too... at the time was the battle of CSS versus Javascript Style Sheets [wikipedia.org] at the W3C and CSS won, so it's only natural that Netscape 4 looks worse upon hindsight. At the time Netscape 4 and IE were about the same (read: full of bugs). IE4 didn't understand floats at all well and while it supported position:absolute it didn't understand right/bottom coordinates(!), whereas Netscape 4 had a (seemingly) different rendering engine once you made JavaScript changes to the page and setting things back to the same values would often result in different positioning.

Weird shit, but please don't act like market forces, default browsers, and OEM constraints weren't the major factor in IE winning for a few years.

Currently I'd say that while IE has the majority they aren't winning in that no one has to develop just for them to the detriment of other browesrs.

Re:Opera did this too (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263589)

IE won over Netscape 4 because IE was the default option and Microsoft abused their desktop monopoly to bundle IE and Microsoft prevented OEMs from offering a different default browser.

IE's greatest marketshare explosion happened with IE4, before Windows 98 was released (and certainly before it had large market penetration).

At the time Netscape 4 and IE were about the same (read: full of bugs).

They were not. IE4 was (dramatically) faster and (less dramatically) more reliable. Navigator 4.x was a steaming pile for several versions after its initial release.

Weird shit, but please don't act like market forces, default browsers, and OEM constraints weren't the major factor in IE winning for a few years.

If Netscape was the better browser, then it wouldn't have been the manually installable version of IE4 that dethroned it.

Re:Opera did this too (1)

Allnighterking (74212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262943)

And you could do this with Netscape 3 as well. That even earlier.

Re:Opera did this too (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261669)

Netscape did this over a decade ago with Mission Control.

Re:Opera did this too (1)

samexner (1316083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261671)

But Opera isn't open source. That's what makes Opera unappealing for some people.

Re:Opera did this too (1, Troll)

Scaba (183684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261833)

You mistyped "very few" as "some."

Re:Opera did this too (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261845)

And more appealing for other people. Corporate management can be weird.

Re:Opera did this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262789)

I prefer non-open source software when possible. Even closed source freeware generally has higher quality than anything open source. I do find it strange and I'm not sure why it is like this. Perhaps too many people with different ideas for how to code working on the same project is causing conflicts? Maybe open source developers just aren't as motivated or don't take as much pride as freeware developers? I honestly don't know.

Personally, I use Opera and could not see myself using anything else in the near future. It has a ton of built in features, all of which I like, in a small and fast package. I don't care if it's open source because it already does everything I want my browser to do. I've used Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and none of them are quite as good or polished.

Re:Opera did this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262441)

Good to see an 'Opera did this too ages ago' post that isn't followed by a complaint.

Re:Opera did this too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262619)

Too bad it's not good to see faggots like you and the parent, hijack every firefox thread to advertise opera. PROTIP: No one gives a shit about opera and what they did first.

Flash (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261263)

Call me when I can watch the Red Sox games in Firefox using Flash on WinXP, or Firefox using Flash on OSX. Until then I need IE.

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261339)

Flamebait. Flash works fine in Firefox on XP. I know it's en vogue to run noscript on Firefox, that's why you have to click that button in the lower right-hand corner to get Flash to work.

Are you expecting +5 because your username implies that you have a vagina between your legs? Lay off the H.I.M. and My Chemical Romance and listen to some real music, tart!

Oh shit, I've been troll'd again :(

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261527)

Why do black women like to have their legs open? Keeps the flies away.

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261569)

Silly troll.

Black women can't be goths.

They only listen to gangsta rap. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261621)

The best thing about this thread is that, if GayDawson didn't become personally involved, some idiot bitch just wasted 4, probably 5, points on this thread!

Now everybody bow down,
pucker up their lips,
just like a fish,
and SUCK THIS DICK!


p.s. I got some pussy yesterday. Enjoy your Nintendo DS'es, motherfuckers!

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261695)

p.s. i got some pussy 5 minutes ago.

your mom was below average. your sister however, was excellent.

Re:Flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262245)

That's what SHE said!

*slurp* *slurp*

Re:Flash (-1, Flamebait)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262647)

My, the bitterness! Haven't met a woman who didn't demand the money up front in a while, huh?

What made this amusing enough to be worth replying to for me is how you proved the exactly opposite point in your rush to be an asshole. A poster who might be a female apparently does NOT get any special treatment around here, he or she gets immediate abuse just because they might be female. No special treatment or modding up in sight. Thank you very much for proving us women absolutely correct when we complain about the abusive, sexist hostility we receive on male-dominated sites like this.

haha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261265)

lol at "ohnoitskdawson" tag. definitely better than my kdawsonisatroll tag.

code words (1)

Panzor (1372841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261289)

BYOB = bring your own beer. Somehow the firefox party invites got out to the public...must be the new guy.

Not for us (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261331)

I dunno, I work for a Fortune 100 company and we use IE because all the crappy "enterprise" software we run requires stupid ActiveX or JavaScript or whatever that only runs on IE6. Good luck to FireFox, but customizations ain't got nothing to do with it where I work.

Re:Not for us (5, Interesting)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261379)

I dunno, I work for a Fortune 100 company and we use IE because all the crappy "enterprise" software we run requires stupid ActiveX or JavaScript or whatever that only runs on IE6. Good luck to FireFox, but customizations ain't got nothing to do with it where I work.

There's even more to it than that. The WebBrowser COM/.NET control is the IE control. Even if you manage to supplant IE as the browser of choice, all code which embeds the COM or .NET wrapped COM control depends on it. So for example, the Windows Shell and the help system, and Windows Update, Windows Media Player, third party apps integrating the system WebBrowser such as WinAmp, etc.

The Internet Explorer browser itself is really just a light weight set of UIs wrapped around the standard WebBrowser COM/ActiveX control. It's actually pretty fun to write .NET code that interacts with the WebBrowser. You can add some interesting features like web page scrapers, etc.

Re:Not for us (3, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262329)

You can add some interesting features like web page scrapers, etc.

... security holes, 90's UI paradigms, Active X controls, proprietary extensions, ...

Yeah, I can see the appeal ;-)

Re:Not for us (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262921)

Weirdly tho', I can get more money working on IE-only non-OO systems than I can get for working on any-browser OO software...

Re:Not for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263599)

Weirdly tho', I can get more money working on IE-only non-OO systems than I can get for working on any-browser OO software...

Not that weird. It's called "conscience money".

Re:Not for us (5, Informative)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262069)

Blaming enterprise software for your inability to install FireFox is nothing but a cop-out. The solution to this problem is so simple, I can't believe people even see it as a problem anymore.

Install Firefox, then install ieTab. ieTab can be set to do nothing until you browse to a any of a list of domains. Once you enter a domain, ieTab takes over and runs that tab inside a native IE browser. IE is seamlessly embedded inside the tab, and the user won't even notice.

The best part is that once a lot of companies do this, the enterprise software companies can start developing their software to standards, since most companies will already be using FireFox. Using IE for every website, just because of one domain (usually local network) requiring IE is just stupid

This whole "We can't use FireFox because of enterprise app X" is bullshit. People need to learn how to properly manage corporate computer systems without coming up with these pathetic excuses for not doing their jobs properly.

Re:Not for us (1, Interesting)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262309)

The theoretical PHB problem here then is that there is no commercial support for ieTab. There is probably some money to be made for someone who manages* to make ieTab work seamlessly in a Mozilla installation in both RHEL (or another well-supported Linux distro) and Windows and providing commercial support for it. *This isn't a scenario for me and I have no idea how difficult or easy it might be to do this.

Re:Not for us (5, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262413)

ieTab doesn't work in Linux because there's no IE to load in the tab in Linux. That's all ieTab does...

Re:Not for us (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263175)

ieTab doesn't work in Linux because there's no IE to load in the tab in Linux.

My Linux/Wine/IE6 install says otherwise.

(Used once every few months to check that some site that doesn't work in Firefox etc. is also broken in IE)

Re:Not for us (4, Informative)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262539)

Er, IE tab doesn't always work seamlessly esp. if said stupid enterprise software relies on a lot of popups, it starts behaving funny. Have you tested it against all the crappy .net custom apps out there?

Heck at work the all bling new BMC Remedy system they brought in, the web facing frontend doesn't work properly in firefox. Thats a serious $$$ app. IEtab? I refer you to my popup issues.

Also IETab is not a fully supported product, if something doesn't work well with it, tough.

"This whole "We can't use FireFox because of enterprise app X" is bullshit. People need to learn how to properly manage corporate computer systems without coming up with these pathetic excuses for not doing their jobs properly."

With that kind of attitude, I take it you don't run large enterprise environments (no, medium business with some branches or shops and one or two big sites doesn't count, where you get to be the grand wizard techie who overrules all).

Technical arguments aside there are plenty of practical reasons. Just resistance to change, lack of tangible benefits, lack of support (you already pay MS for support so thats 'free'), user inertia / retraining (yes every call to the helpdesk where they explain clicking on the orange icon not the blue E icon costs $$$). We're techies and we like our own browsers and love sh1tting on MS but that's not how management looks at it. What is the bottom line gain YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE to the company? zero, and don't start talking about security, the you can demonstrate bit is the most important bit.

You can demonstrate that. (2, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263943)

What is the bottom line gain YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE to the company? zero, and don't start talking about security, the you can demonstrate bit is the most important bit.

You may be able to demonstrate a security flaw, depending on what it is and your skill level...if push comes to shove, round up some virus samples and put together a "crash dummy" PC/VM for demonstration purposes...

Re:Not for us (1)

Wolfraider (1065360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263387)

I would absolutely love to run Firefox on all our pc's at work. The only problem is those few IE only website that wont work in ieTabs. One good example is Altiris Help Desk. The plugin they use to draw a grid view will not work in ieTab. I do know that there has been a bug report files with the developers of ieTab.

Re:Not for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263883)

I'm sorry - I have to jump in here. I think what is probably stupid is installing Firefox when you KNOW you have to use IE for most of your enterprise applications like SAP Portal, SharePoint, etc.and then having to deploy SECURITY UPDATES for firefox for no real reason (since you didn't need firefox anyway!). Oh, and it would be nice if there were a way to actually DEPLOY security patches for Firefox without just having to send out a package that consists of an entire install. At least with IE you can run a patch and not a full install. So now, again - WHY would you run firefox with IE Tab and then have to patch two browsers? Makes no sense at all in a corporate environment. If you can get to the point where your apps all work on Firefox, and can policy-disable IE - sure, go for it.

Re:Not for us (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263935)

Why would that be any different than just using IE? IETab runs a native session of IEXPLORE inside Firefox, so...

In fact, this can actually be worse considering that IT departments will have to test Firefox working with their images and everything else...

The real solution is to make intranet applications cross-browser compatible, which is much easier said than done.

ActiveX (3, Insightful)

Green Light (32766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261355)

Enterprises support IE because it runs ActiveX controls. Until FF does this, it will not appear in desktop builds for the majority of Corporate America.

Re:ActiveX (1)

sdiz (224607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261645)

. Until FF does this.....

You means, since 2005 [www.iol.ie] ?

Re:ActiveX (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261999)

You realize that never worked very well, it isn't maintained, and only works with firefox 1.5 or lower, right?

Re:ActiveX (0, Flamebait)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262311)

That doesn't stop freetards from using it to troll.

See: GIMP.

(o/t: why can't I add multiple line breaks when posting in plaintext mode now?)

Re:ActiveX (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262423)

offtopic: you can, it just won't show in the preview.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262681)

I wouldn't be calling people "freetards" when you're too fucking stoopid to realise IETab is windows only.

Re:ActiveX (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261653)

Enterprises support IE because it runs ActiveX controls. Until FF does this, it will not appear in desktop builds for the majority of Corporate America.

Then they need to find: IE TAB [mozilla.org]

Get the best of both worlds, pretty trivial to add sites to the list of IE sites and it all happens automatically. Been building a plan to migrate to FF completely in my spare time. Build your own browser will make a huge difference as currently I'm relying on some custom scripts to make the app deployable and maintainable. It works, but I hate to admit that it just aint as easy as using the registry or belting links into the favourites folder. Unfortunately all the native text processing tools in windows suck, so managing things the *nix way just doesn't work!

Re:ActiveX (2, Insightful)

linebackn (131821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261733)

Enterprises support IE because it runs ActiveX controls. Until FF does this, it will not appear in desktop builds for the majority of Corporate America.

Actually, what SHOULD happen is that companies need to stop using those old ActiveX controls. Otherwise eventually companies are going to find themselves in a situation where they run one browser and the rest of the world runs something else!

Re:ActiveX (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261811)

Actually, what SHOULD happen is that companies need to stop using those old ActiveX controls.

Within the context of internal applications that run with a Web interface on a company Intra net, there is nothing in particular wrong with ActiveX.

Re:ActiveX (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261881)

Ya kidding right? The intranet/internet distinction is DEAD. Malware runs on the client, the client is on the intranet, end of story.

Re:ActiveX (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262353)

Thank that through again. ActiveX components that come as a part of purchased and supported enterprise software are more often than not, safe. The company that is selling you CRM software for a couple of hundred a seat plus whatever the CRM server and the support contract cost, are not going to give you spyware ActiveX components as a part of their software.

Re:ActiveX (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262527)

Sigh. Clearly, you are a moron and talking to you anymore would be a waste of my time. Tip for ya: leave security to the people with a clue.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262861)

Translation: I don't know why ActiveX on the Intranet is unsafe, but I want to feel like I won anyway.

Because seriously, if you do know, you're being an epic dick about it. The parent wasn't "clearly" a moron.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263093)

Oh hi there, you see, yes, he was being a moron.
Frosty Piss mentioned that no company would release spyware, was the QuantumG mentioning spyware? Hmm, nope, doesn't look like it.
QuantumG was speaking of companies releasing ActiveX controls that are buggy and easy to exploit.

See Silanea below.

ActiveX is a terrible thing, period.

Re:ActiveX (4, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262965)

Oh, [computerworld.com] of [zdnet.com] course [scmagazineus.com] established [pcworld.com] companies [securecomputing.net.au] never [computerworld.com.au] release [techtarget.com] flawed [securityreason.com] software [computerworld.com] , right? Their ActiveX control does not have to be malicious in itself, it is sufficient if it tears holes into your defense for others to abuse. ActiveX needs to die a very quick death already. And can we please club that idea that a browser, JavaScript and a bit of fairy-dust can fully replace any local application regardless of specific implications out of people's heads?

Re:ActiveX (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263811)

...can we please club that idea that a browser, JavaScript and a bit of fairy-dust can fully replace any local application...

That argument is just a straw man propped up by security consultants and other vendors to propagate sales of thin clients, virtualization, and "cloud based infrastructure". Must address the greed and PHB plays golf with vendor factors before we can kill the browser as a universal platform misnomer.

Re:ActiveX (3, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261909)

Other than the fact that relying on ActiveX ties to you to Internet Explorer. In many cases it even ties you to an obsolete and insecure version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft has essentially pulled the plug on ActiveX. It wants you to move to new technologies (and when you do migrate it will pull the plug on those technologies and force you to migrate again).

I would be that, in most enterprises, if you added up the costs of continuing to support IE6 it would become clear that relying on ActiveX was a very poor bargain. The advantages of using ActiveX over other competing technologies was relatively small, and the cost of choosing ActiveX has been quite high.

Re:ActiveX (4, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261931)

Microsoft will stop releasing security patches for Windows XP in five years. If your business relies on something that only works in IE6, you have until 2014 to figure out a new solution, or continue running an unsupported operating system with no security updates available.

However, you may have difficulty before then, if new PCs start shipping with hardware that isn't supported by WinXP. Of course this assumes you have an existing site license that covers the use of WinXP on new PCs; Microsoft has stopped selling WinXP, so when OEMs and retailers run out of copies, you won't be able to buy it - and the option to downgrade from Vista to XP will end in less than two months.

Re:ActiveX (1)

linebackn (131821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261949)

Within the context of internal applications that run with a Web interface on a company Intra net, there is nothing in particular wrong with ActiveX.

One of the original driving ideas behind making applications "web based" was to make the application independent of the specific operating system. ActiveX does the exact opposite. Now, many intra nets are probably already tied to Microsoft Windows in a large number of other ways so they don't see anything wrong with that - but changing the OS to a true commodity is something that people should be keeping an eye towards, even if it doesn't happen immediately.

Plus you never really know when you might suddenly have to take an internal application an make external facing.

Re:ActiveX (4, Informative)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261991)

Actually, in every web based application I've developed, the driving reason was so to avoid the installation problems and support. It's easy to tell users to go to this or that URL to use a new application, a heck of a lot easier than rolling out apps everywhere. Independance from a specific operating system or browser has NEVER EVER come up.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262625)

Independance from a specific operating system or browser has NEVER EVER come up.

...and now everyone suffers from stupidity of those people who "never ever" thought that could be a problem: I can tell the IT guys who made decisions like that are getting some serious flak here (our company now has largish linux development and support teams and the intranet is totally useless to us).

Re:ActiveX (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263701)

Now, many intra nets are probably already tied to Microsoft Windows in a large number of other ways so they don't see anything wrong with that - but changing the OS to a true commodity is something that people should be keeping an eye towards, even if it doesn't happen immediately.

The OS is not a "commodity" in any non-trivial environment. Once you have established knowledge, tools and processes for dealing with one OS, changing to another is a massive undertaking, regardless of whether it's Red Hat Linux to Debian, or Windows to MacOS X.

Heck, changing hardware vendors is a snap compared to changing OSes, but even that is something you'd need a damn good reason to do.

Re:ActiveX (2, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261841)

Enterprises support IE because it runs ActiveX controls. Until FF does this, it will not appear in desktop builds for the majority of Corporate America.

Actually, what SHOULD happen is that companies need to stop using those old ActiveX controls. Otherwise eventually companies are going to find themselves in a situation where they run one browser and the rest of the world runs something else!

I don't think they'd care. For most companies, the browser is just a UI into various enterprise apps. E.g., instead of having to install a Peoplesoft Win32 executable client, Peoplesoft has a built-in web server and users access PeopleSoft through the intranet. This is extremely common - in fact, it may be the most common way for users to interact with enterprise apps these days. For most desktops, what the rest of the world runs is immaterial - it's whether the browser talks to application X, Y, and Z hosted internally.

Re:ActiveX (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263383)

Actually, what SHOULD happen is that companies need to stop using those old ActiveX controls

Yeah, that'd be nice. Unfortunately for my employer, that would mean retraining about 80% of our employees after spending several man-years and 7 figures upgrading or replacing some of our critical software, while the same people doing the upgrade/replacement are trying to support the old version. Except the "upgrade" option hasn't been released yet by the vendor, so we're kind of stuck there on timing anyway.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263463)

I guess we can trust the miracle of the capitalist free market to kill dinosaur companies like yours.

Re:ActiveX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263499)

It's not just activeX, it's policy that can be configured centrally and pushed onto laptops somehow. Like it or not a lot of corporations use Active Directory and the ability to configure IE enterprise wide, or for a particular group of users and have that policy updated when they logon is a godsend. Then there's the ability to whitelist or blacklist extensions by policy, provision certificates and root CAs by policy, support for kerberos and windows authentication in a seamless manner etc. etc. Saying it's all down to ActiveX is a lazy excuse, Firefox needs way more than that and a "build your own branded browser" is an ISP feature, not an enterprise feature

Re:ActiveX (2, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263585)

Enterprises support IE because it runs ActiveX controls. Until FF does this, it will not appear in desktop builds for the majority of Corporate America.

People make this argument -- "enterprises" won't use Firefox until it has feature X, or Y, or Z -- a lot, and it's just wrong.

"Enterprises" are lagging indicators because their IT staff are generally guided primarily by risk aversion. Even if Firefox was 100% bug-compatible with IE, they wouldn't switch, because IE runs their crappy, poorly written "enterprise applications" well enough today. Why take a chance by switching?

No, the way new technologies get into the enterprise isn't by chasing features, it's by being so insanely useful that the users start demanding it, no matter what the IT people want.

Example: the PC didn't make its way into big business back in the 70s because Apple re-engineered the Apple II to play nicely with VAXes; it made its way in because users bought them on their own dime, brought them into work, dumped 'em on their desks and told the IT staff "I need this to get my work done. Deal with it."

And in the Linux world ... (4, Insightful)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261363)

I wonder if this will spawn a trend where every single distro ships with thier own branded firefox version. Meaning that in distro reviews, we'll have the mandatory screenshot of the login screen art, the defualt desktop background, and the firefox branding. Great.

I would welcome this for Arch, though, we have to rebuild firefox from source or we're stuck with the ugly "built from source code" icons.

Re:And in the Linux world ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261627)

This already exists to some extent. Most distros at least have custom bookmarks and many now use Iceweasel instead of Firefox, which is just a change of branding due to some trademark issues.

Re:And in the Linux world ... (1)

jessjesseeee (1050160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261639)

Doesn't Debian already do this with Iceweasel..err I mean IceCat [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:And in the Linux world ... (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261791)

No. Debian still has the original Iceweasel. GNU Icecat nee GNU Iceweasel is a fork of the Debian fork.

Re:And in the Linux world ... (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262653)

Technically they are forks of course, but that doesn't really describe the situation: The 'forks' are slight deviations from the 'master' and are kept fairly well up to date with the master... We really should come up with a word that describes this situation (if there isn't one already), this seems to be a common phenomenon: Firefox->Iceweasel, Debian->Ubuntu, OO.org->GoOO, etc.

Re:And in the Linux world ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262835)

spin-off?

Nice idea... but I already know how this will end (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261409)

Even more than before, ISPs will push "their" own flavor of a browser that comes bundled with those godforsaken coasters that unsuspecting victims dump into their machines, only to end up with an IE (or FF from now on, too) that blatantly advertises the ISP, rehijacks the "favorite browser" position every time you rip it from him and stuff all kind of browser addons into it that you strangely cannot get rid of anymore due to miraculously missing deinstall routines.

I like the idea. No really, I do. But this is what it will be (ab)used for.

Re:Nice idea... but I already know how this will e (1)

deadsquid (535515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263923)

We've thought about this a lot, and the rules for customized versions of Firefox that are distributed publicly are quite different. We limit changes to those editions - especially anything that directly impacts the user experience - as the type of behaviours you describe are exactly what we want to stay away from. Changing the start page to a corporate site adds very little value, where adding a bookmark to a support or product page can, as it's there when the user wants it. Those are the types of changes we encourage, and we do our best to stay away from changes that don't add value to the user.

If you do come across distributions of Firefox that exhibit the type of behaviour you outline,we'd like to hear about it [mozilla.com] .

Spinning an outstanding deficiency (4, Insightful)

phoebe (196531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261437)

So instead of offering one browser that can be configured by Group Policy in an Enterprise IT deployment they offer a web service to generate hard-coded branded browser installers? Sounds like a lot of work to avoid implementing what IT managers really want.

Re:Spinning an outstanding deficiency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261461)

Yeah. It's not like the IT department is actually concerned with that "group policy" and "fine-grained control of all instances of the browser on the network" crap.

They're worried if they're able to slap their company's LOGO onto the browser! Way to set your priorities straight, Mozilla.

Re:Spinning an outstanding deficiency (3, Informative)

prandal (87280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262475)

There's FirefoxADM: http://ick2.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

This stuff really needs to be in the core of Firefox for it to gain corporate users.

You might not be focusing on the right target... (4, Insightful)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261463)

The problem isn't that companies can't deploy Firefox - it's that most vendors are IE-centric. It's easy to put together a default Firefox profile with the requisite bookmarks and customizations, but tougher to get the same "experience" when it comes to things like Sharepoint and SAP, among others. Once you can get some of those vendors (ok, maybe not MS) to play more nicely, the rest will take care of itself.

I'm not saying it's all Mozilla's fault - in fact most of it isn't. But some corporate evangelism would go a long way towards getting traction within the enterprise.

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261675)

I mentioned this in a post above, but IE Tab [mozilla.org] is your friend.

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (2, Interesting)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261741)

Good point - but then you're hitching the proverbial wagon to not just one vendor now, but two. While you could approach the problem this way, wouldn't it be a lot more efficient to just work with the web app vendor to build in compatibility?

Clearly it can be done - I'm betting that Hong Jen Yee would be up for a nice paycheck for this kind of work.

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (2, Interesting)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261857)

Depends on the vendor. If the business demands MS Exchange, then OWA in "Light Mode" is all you get in FF. It becomes very hard to justify a browser change if it's going to cost $$$ making a system supplied by $vendor that has a major business investment in it or even changing vendors when what comes with Windows "works" (term used very loosely there).

I prefer the "Best of Both Worlds" approach. Free to deploy our browser of choice and no fighting with vendors that will state that IEx is a requirement so bad luck.

It will also make pathways towards using more cross platform software, anything that can break the dependencies is a "Good Thing".

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262477)

If the business demands MS Exchange, then OWA in "Light Mode" is all you get in FF.

It's true currently, but it looks like it's going to change [infoworld.com] in Exchange 2010, which opens up interesting possibilities.

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (1)

linebackn (131821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261851)

I mentioned this in a post above, but IE Tab is your friend.

One of the great things about Firefox is that it is cross platform. Unfortunately Microsoft's Internet Explorer is for Microsoft Windows only. As such IE tab is, unfortunately, no friend to those using Mac, Linux, or any other platform. For Windows users it is a crutch, that should be used only as a temporary measure until whatever IE-only site is brought in to this century.

Re:You might not be focusing on the right target.. (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261947)

Was just having a discussion with the boss, in that what ever we do, we need to start changing the applications people use to things more cross platform. When it becomes feasible to change the underlying OS, then the change won't come as much of a shock to the users.

Of course it's open source... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261473)

Anyone can build their own browser based on Firefox, like I did with Torfox [torfox.org] . It's basically a mashup of Tor and Firefox with changes in the Firefox socket code to force it to always use Tor for DNS lookups and connections plus changes to the startup and shutdown code so it starts and stops Tor on a non-default socks port. Though, compiling Firefox can take hours so I wouldn't suggest it if you have a weak stomach. I'm still trying to upload the code to the SVN but TortoiseSVN keeps choking.

I do this already (3, Interesting)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261643)

At UW-Milwaukee [uwm.edu] 's dorms, I used FFDeploy [dbltree.com] to do just this: create a silent Firefox installer for student and faculty machines with some built-in bookmark buttons for our student service websites, e-mail system and so on.

Doing this saves time and installs FF with a nice student-friendly UI right off the bat -- very useful in converting otherwise IE-centric students who don't care what browser they're using to Firefox.

Re:I do this already (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261973)

I looked at this, but it appeared really really out of date. Mozilla release official MSI packages, so you can generally alter the MSI using Orca to do much of what you need to do.

Re:I do this already (1)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261981)

It is indeed out of date, but I was able to get it working with FF 3 without too much issue... I can't remember exactly what it took, but it works well to this date (and the original "image" doesn't need to be updated when FF releases minor revisions, since I install FF over the top of the FFDeployed installation to finalize all the Windows shortcuts and things like that.)

Striking while the iron is hot (4, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261717)

Firefox has earned a lot of goodwill among the general population, but it's probably nearing a plateau in terms of brand recognition and new users. MS is starting to close the gap in features and security perception, so now is the time for FF to make some inroads in the enterprise software market. Users migrated to FF because they were dissatisfied with IE. If Modzilla solves shortcomings in IE for businesses and organizations they'll make some traction. If everyone's generally happy with IE, I don't see any new features that will compel them to invest in the change.

I do see a lot of companies using login scripts to control IE settings, and Active Directory's group policies tend to be an all-or-none (no plug-ins or all plug-ins, can't change homepage or can change it to anything, etc.) so there may be a few things Mozilla can improve on.

Re:Striking while the iron is hot (1)

irockash (1265506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262901)

If Modzilla solves shortcomings in IE for businesses and organizations they'll make some traction.

I'm curious... was that intentional?

Didn't Netscape have this about 15 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261767)

Didn't Netscape have this about 15 years ago? I guess the difference is it was commercial.

Fine, but... (3, Informative)

c_g_hills (110430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28261815)

What would be more useful to enterprises who want to distribute Firefox is an MSI package and a group policy template - like the version distributed by FrontMotion (Firefox Community Edition).

BBYOB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28261955)

the first B stands for "Bring Your Own Compiler"...

Set Top Box Browser (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28262059)

Now this would have been super useful about 6 months ago for me, when we needed an embedded linux browser.

Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28262229)

Ah, so that's the real reason they stopped Debian redistributing firefox as firefox -- they were readying for this.

SSL CA certs! (1)

teridon (139550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263053)

Bookmarks? wheeeee...

What I really want is a way to distribute my organization's SSL CAs!

More browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263275)

So now when I buy a new Dell I will have DellFox?
When I buy HP I will have HewletFox?
When I buy IBM I will have IBMFox installed?

Great, can't wait to see mayham when every vendor will be releasing theirs own ff.

Isn't this already available? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263301)

The Firefox CCK (Client Customization Kit) wizard of course!

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2553 [mozilla.org]

Also, Mozilla has offered the CCK for previous versions of Firefox.

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/cck/firefox/ [mozilla.org]

So this sounds like no more than new name and an update? I don't consider this to be big news.

Why don't Distros do this? (2)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28263337)

Maybe I'm missing something, but I've yet to see a "burn install CD with current configuration" button, or similar.

Re:Why don't Distros do this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28263753)

You can do this via Gentoo's catalysis.

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