×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Netscape Founder Backs New Browser

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the making-web-development-harder dept.

243

wirelessjb writes to share that after a resounding defeat at the hands of Microsoft in the first major browser war of the mid 1990s, Marc Andreessen is looking to have another go at the market by backing a new startup called "RockMelt." "Mr. Andreessen suggested the new browser would be different, saying that most other browsers had not kept pace with the evolution of the Web, which had grown from an array of static Web pages into a network of complex Web sites and applications. 'There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,' Mr. Andreessen said. RockMelt was co-founded by Eric Vishria and Tim Howes, both former executives at Opsware, a company that Mr. Andreessen co-founded and then sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for about $1.6 billion. Mr. Howes also worked at Netscape with Mr. Andreessen."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

243 comments

May I say (4, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071245)

Netscape's interface was the best

Long live Seamonkey

Re:May I say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071467)

No, it wasn't. Die seamonkey, Die!

Re:May I say (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071729)

And they used to have the best digital content distribution mechanism, stacks and stacks of floppy disks!

Re:May I say (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071865)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of floppies.

Re:May I say (1, Redundant)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071901)

I find it interesting that TFA says:
After its early success, Netscape was roundly defeated by Microsoft in the so-called browser wars of the 1990s that dominated the Web's first chapter.

Which pretty much sets up TFA to never mention the anti-competitive trade practices Microsoft used and was sued for.

Re:May I say (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072227)

Does it really matter after the fact, if you lost because the other side cheated (I mean, versus losing for some other reason)?

If anything, now it's helping a bit, in that governments are looking more closely at Microsoft's business practices, and other companies are more wary both of Microsoft's press releases and becoming their "business partner".

"Dude, you've been zuned" as two meanings.
1. You've received a gift of product that has been super hyped, but doesn't live up to it
2. You've partnered with somebody, where they say they absolutely, never, ever, will do X, then does X. And then tells you that you shouldn't be angry and stay partners with them.

Chrome 2 (4, Insightful)

mdf356 (774923) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071271)

'There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,' Mr. Andreessen said.

Yeah, I'd build a browser more like... Chrome. Which addressed this issue less than two years ago. Has the web changed a lot in two years?

What's the profit model for this startup? That's the most interesting question, to me.

Chrome 0 (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071345)

I'd build a browser more like... Chrome.

I wouldn't. I'd dump most of the custom GUI features in Chrome and Firefox, and quit screwing around with the stuff around the browser window. It's the stuff inside the browser window that you actually care about, not whether the icons are grey metal or jello blue.

Re:Chrome 0 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071509)

You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right? I wish people would quit wasting time coming up with that nonsense and get back to the 'stuff inside the browser window'...

I'll even go back to your themes point and argue that. As hard as it is for the common /.er to process, we are humans and not machines. People love their colors and themes. When my mom, grandmother, uncle and other aunt got a new computer, I got the inevitable "you work with computers, right" call and every single last one of them had in their top 5 "how to" questions: Can't I change the picture behind my icon thingies? How do I do that?

Never underestimate the human desire to want to make their world their own. Even when they know they aren't.

Re:Chrome 0 (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072111)

You work with computers, right? How do I set up my machine to display not "color", per se, but to be more visible for the "color blind". See, I fail all color vision tests - can't see red or green. I don't CARE about the colors so much, as I just want important stuff to be sharp and clear. (Why on earth does everyone use red to color "important shitzls", when red just fades into the backgroud? Use a nice electric blue - make it flash - THAT will get my attention!!)

Alright, maybe I'm just mocking "normal" people. Whatever. But, it's fair to point out that eye candy isn't a priority with everyone. ;-)

Re:Chrome 0 (2, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072213)

Not just colors. Work with a netbook and you'll learn to value minimized themes with tiny buttons and the ability to cram two toolbars in next to the menu bar. Netbooks put vertical real estate at a premium and anything that helps me reduce the browser chrome's vertical footprint dramatically improves the browser's usefulness (from "useless" to "almost decent").

Likewise, OSes that natively support theming (ur a UXTheme-hacked Windows) are a very good thing because every vertical pixel I can shave off the window decoration and widgets can mean the difference between a working app and one where the important buttons are offscreen. Interface customizability is very important right now.

Re:Chrome 0 (2, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072217)

You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right?

I personally think a UI for these things in any way different than a web page of links is silly. If we can come up with a better way of navigating links to web pages, then the rest of the web should work that way, too.

Re:Chrome 0 (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072233)

You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right?

No, I mean like the "awesome bar" and XUL and Google Toolbars and putting the tabs in weird places.

I use Camino in preference to Firefox or Chrome or Safari on OS X, because it's just got conventional native OS widgets and menus, and runs faster with less overhead than any of the "big names".

People love their colors and themes.

Themes, yes. Skinnable applications, no. The place for color and theme management is in the window system and GUI framework, so that when I select a different theme all my applications change to match. In fact it's the skinnable applications, the ones that DON'T just use native OS widgets, that need to be individually customized and themed using that application's unique and gratuitously incompatible skinning technology.

Like makali says: Whenever a programmer thinks, "Hey, skins, what a cool idea", their computer's speakers should create some sort of cock-shaped soundwave and plunge it repeatedly through their skulls.

I too am fully in support of this proposed audio-cock technology.

Re:Chrome 0 (2, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071651)

I doubt anyone that uses Chrome cares about how it looks. The reason I use it is because it's as fast as Firefox 1.0 was. Now that Firefox 3.5 takes 30 seconds to start and crashes constantly (on Linux at least), I'd rather use a browser that's fast and stable (and yes, Chrome on Linux is still pre-alpha and it's more stable than Firefox).

Re:Chrome 0 (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071953)

Maybe you should try Iceweasel...(though I thought they had the same code base) mine starts in about 3 seconds, and never once has it crashed.

Re:Chrome 0 (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072043)

I doubt anyone that uses Chrome cares about how it looks. The reason I use it is because it's as fast as Firefox 1.0 was. Now that Firefox 3.5 takes 30 seconds to start and crashes constantly (on Linux at least), I'd rather use a browser that's fast and stable (and yes, Chrome on Linux is still pre-alpha and it's more stable than Firefox).

Really? On my rig running slackware 12.1, firefox 3.5 starts almost instantly and crashes very rarely

Re:Chrome 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29072119)

You might want to check the stability of your distribution; also you might want to mention what the distro actually is rather than using the generic "on Linux at least" as it makes you sound like Microsoft trying to spread more FUD about Linux in general. I'm using Fedora 11 and Firefox 3.5 starts in about 10-15 sec and very, very rarely crashes.

Re:Chrome 0 (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072175)

FF 3.5 doesn't take half a minute to start, OR crash for me. Either on Ubuntu, or on Windows. Limiting the number of add-ons helps is most important - if you are asking Firefox to perform eleventy-hundred tasks for you at startup, yes it's going to take awhile to load.

Stripped down, and with the browser tweaked for my purposes, FF3.5 doesn't really seem to be any slower than FF .5 through FF 1.0 was.

If it's crashing all the time for you, maybe you need to reinstall not only FF, but Flash, Java, and any other plugins that you rely on. I just don't think you're being terribly fair to FF - there are a number of forums offering support for FF as well as it's plugins, addons, and what-not.

Re:Chrome 0 (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072249)

The Mozilla devs seem to give the Linux version of Firefox very little love. I've been secretly hoping for a Qt version of Firefox for ages, which supposedly Nokia was working on. They said they did the bulk of the port in a month, but then it never seemed to finish/surface. But now there are browsers like rekonq and Arora which are very small, and extremely fast. Rekonq is eventually moving to a per-process design like Chrome, and integrates well with KDE.

Re:Chrome 0 (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072235)

Actually, Chrome's design was to eliminate most of the clutter so you focus on the inside of the window. Why have an address bar and a search bar? While have the tabs and window buttons on separate vertical lines?

IE's method was to remove the menu bar, which I don't like. But removing clutter is definitely the way to go.

Re:Chrome 2 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071353)

What's the profit model for this startup? That's the most interesting question, to me.

According to the various articles, RockMelt will attempt strong integration with social networking sites. So I would assume the profit model is mining users' privacy and selling advertising.

Re:Chrome 2 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071515)

Finally! I hate having to download all that spyware myself.

Re:Chrome 2 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071699)

According to the various articles, RockMelt will attempt strong integration with social networking sites.

Then what advantage would it have vs. Firefox with extensions for each social networking site?

Re:Chrome 2 (3, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071915)

Who are the people proposing this and do they not understand the "plug-in" concept as demonstrated in most browsers, but especially well in Firefox? Firefox offers such extensive addon customization that one wonders what more could possibly be done with a new browser rather than simply writing an addon? Why should strong social network integration be "built in" to the browser anyway? That is what addons are for. This sounds like the sort of idea that a business person, who had little or no knowledge of software engineering, would propose. What is surprising is that someone like Marc would fall for it. As for the investors in this startup, well, "the fools and their money will soon be parted company"; perhaps that is what Marc intends to do from the start, separate foolish investors from their money.

Re:Chrome 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071961)

Perhaps your should look closer Marc *IS* and investor in this new startup.

Re:Chrome 2 (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071365)

I'm using Chrome right now, but it isn't "different" in any deep sense of the word; just slightly themed.

That said, I'll wait to see what this new browser is all about. I'd be very surprised if you can make a browser THAT differently, given that the underlying protocol/model won't change.

Re:Chrome 2 (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071459)

I'm using Chrome right now, but it isn't "different" in any deep sense of the word; just slightly themed.

I'd be very surprised if you can make a browser THAT differently, given that the underlying protocol/model won't change.

Erm chrome/ie7 where leaps better than the other browsers in the sense that they completly changed the underlying process/thread/tab model. chrome isn't about its lightweight UI its about the changes under the hood!

Re:Chrome 2 (2, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071649)

..its about the changes under the hood!

Yet the user's experience is only little refined because of it.

I don't want to knock that; believe me, I have enough problems with Firefox on Linux because of the lack of separation between the tabs that I can't wait for when Chrome has a decent Linux build. From what it sounds that this guy wants to do, it sounds like he doesn't want behind the scenes changes, he wants to revamp the user experience. (Whether or not this browser will, or will in a good way, we'll have to wait to see.)

Re:Chrome 2 (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071667)

Your mind is not able to think very far, is it? Like those Star Trek "aliens"*. Or "new and innovative" car models that look *freakin exactly* like the old ones, so you have to look twice to even see the difference!

It's so very common that I see people coming up with things that they call great innovative thinking, and I can show them multiple boxes and outdated philosophies that they still think inside of, on the spot.

Chrome is still showing HTML pages in tabs that you navigate trough with the virtual interface of links, a history to move through, etc, and a physical interface of the mouse and keyboard. In a window. With no new widgets, concepts, philosophies, or anything new of any kind. And we're not talking about two years. We're talking about time span since Mosaic 1.0 in 1993. Because other than the Addons or Firefox and Greasemonkey, pretty much nothing innovative in browsers has appeared or changed since then. (Maybe Flock was an approach. But it was a half-assed one, and failed because of that.)

___
* I really liked the show, but I hated what they called extraterrestrial, including the "explanation".

Re:Chrome 2 (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071939)

So how bout you drop some of that wisdom on us Merlin, instead of just fucking telling us we are stupid.

Re:Chrome 2 (1)

JSG (82708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072019)

So what exactly are you arguing about? Both you and the post you reply to are wittering on over an insubstantial piece of marketing puff. Why do you castigate a stranger over nothing? This is a discussion site, but there is nothing to discuss apart from the pointlessness of the posting of the original topic, unless you want to push the possible product. If you wish to talk history then fine but this isn't about history, it's a product - that isn't released yet - launch. Incidentally, my first browser was telnet.
This is the worst slashvert I personally recall seeing in a long time. Why don't we have a vote for the best one yet?

Re:Chrome 2 (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072021)

Perhaps browsers, in their current incarnation, are very well suited to representing a web of hyperlinked documents in a way that humans can easily read and relate to. Are there any shortcomings (aside from lack of originality/innovation) that you can elaborate on?

Re:Chrome 2 (3, Funny)

Atario (673917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072059)

Chrome is still showing HTML pages in tabs that you navigate trough with the virtual interface of links, a history to move through, etc, and a physical interface of the mouse and keyboard. In a window.

Ha! So true! Those hidebound sheep, still using HTML (instead of XIEJD), tabs (instead of buckets), links (instead of jellybeans), history (instead of triple-reverse history), a physical mouse/keyboard interface (instead of magnetic-induction frontal-cortex implants). In windows (instead of architectural glass blocks)! They really should get with the times.

Re:Chrome 2 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071979)

years?

What's the profit model for this startup? That's the most interesting question, to me.

See, that's why you and I aren't on yachts cruising the Caribbean.

I've been quite closely watching the careers of several people who made substantial fortunes in the first Internet boom. As far as I can tell, startups simply have to employ one of this small group of people in order to be sold a couple of years later for insane amounts of money.

I wish I was making this up, but I'm not.

Re:Chrome 2 (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072211)

Exactly my thoughts.

Chrome has a fast JS engine. It separates plug-ins so they can't crash the browser. The interface doesn't get in your way. It sandboxes everything for security. It integrates Gears to use web apps offline.

What is this start-up going to do that Chrome doesn't do?

I haven't read the article, but if I was going with a start-up today, I'd build around Chromium to start, but port it to Qt to use one code-base on all platforms. With the per-process design, you could even call different versions of the rendering engine for different pages/sites, which would be useful for compatibility, and for web design. I'd automatically sync the browser profile online so you have the same settings anywhere you sit down, unless you want to opt-out for privacy concerns. I'd work on a notification system like this: http://blog.abi.sh/2009/silent-diving-seagulls/ [blog.abi.sh] I'd jump all over HTML 5, and I'd form strategic partnerships to pre-bundle certain web-apps into the browser for revenue.

You hear that Mr. Andreessen? (5, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071313)

... That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, Mr. Andreessen...

Marc: My name... is RockMelt!

Re:You hear that Mr. Andreessen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071379)

That was funny

Re:You hear that Mr. Andreessen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071845)

I wish I could give you +1 FTW

Re:You hear that Mr. Andreessen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071867)

Undoubtedly the new browser's name will be "Lava".

The web site appears to have melted (3, Insightful)

JSG (82708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071333)

The Rockmelt website isn't too interesting. It's a bit presumptuous to assume it will get a /.ing. Perhaps it is suffering from the Marketing Dept assuming people will come back later in the hope of revelation, rather than them saying "ooh nice logo" and then instantly forgetting about them and moving along.

Re:The web site appears to have melted (2, Insightful)

JSG (82708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071385)

Bad juju replying to my own post but this is just a product placement ad. There is no substance whatsoever about what is actually different with this browser. There are no details either in either of the links. Surely money changed hands to put this drivel on /.

Re:The web site appears to have melted (2, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071579)

Given your UID I would hope you have heard of these, they are called "slashvertisements".

Re:The web site appears to have melted (1)

JSG (82708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071697)

Yep, but I normally avoid them. Incidentally I was a lurker for a good two years before I signed up. The thing that gets me is why on earth do people bother posting on them and not move on? In the good old days my karma would be in tatters by now given the amount of crap I've posted in my name all over this thing. Being off topic doesn't seem quite so scary as it once was.

I don't mind obvious ads but this shite really gets on my tits. If people swore enough and posted enough garbage on this topic then the search engine listings should look quite amusing.

Anyone got any better ideas on how to stop and kill off the slashverts?

Silly Mr Andreessen (2, Funny)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071355)

You have a problem with authority, Mr. Andreessen. You believe that you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you. Obviously you are mistaken. The intrawebz is one of the most totally awesome things in the world because every single browser understands that they are part of a whole. Thus if a blag has a problem, the tubes have a problem. The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Andreessen. Either you choose to respect the tubes from this day forth or you choose to find yourself another industry. Do I make myself clear?

Tim Howes (4, Informative)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071363)

Tim Howes is also the inventor of the LDAP Protocol, when he was a grad student at UMich studying DAP and DIT under X.500 of OSI fame.

Re:Tim Howes (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071869)

Tim Howes is also the inventor of the LDAP Protocol, when he was a grad student at UMich studying DAP and DIT under X.500 of OSI fame.

I doubt anyone can get fame for having anything to do with those acronyms, except for the UMich one.

LAPD (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072181)

Why would the Los Angeles police department need a protocol? ... Oh, LDAP, not LAPD. Dyslexia strikes again.

It looks like a browser, it smells like a browser (4, Interesting)

JamJam (785046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071381)

That article was so light on on content all that we can summarize is that RockMelt is another browser. A browser with a creative name, that has a "browser rock star" who is backing it, and one that has some new "plug-in" features with Facebook. So why am I lacking any excitement by this? Correct me if I'm wrong but it's not like Andreessen is a Steve Job's visionary or anything.

Re:It looks like a browser, it smells like a brows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071507)

I thought Opera already reinvented the web?

Re:It looks like a browser, it smells like a brows (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071559)

"Little else is known about RockMelt, and Mr. Vishria was unwilling to discuss it. "We are at very early stages of development," Mr. Vishria said. "Talking about it at this stage is not useful."

Good thing it was on Slashdot where nothing is useful.

Re:It looks like a browser, it smells like a brows (2, Insightful)

JSG (82708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071565)

This "article" is just another marketing ploy for some vapourware. Can't you see that? By gum, /. isn't the same these days 8) There are a couple of good jokes in this topic but in the end this is all just an exercise in promotion and we are it's semi willing participants, breathing life into the marketing machine.

IT'S ALL JUST BOLLOCKS - I WANT NEWS ON MY /. NOT THIS SHIT.

Re:It looks like a browser, it smells like a brows (4, Insightful)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071889)

The big story here is Mr. Andreessen is backing a browser product, a market thought to be dead and buried in terms of profit. He was profiled in Forbes a while back and his name resonates with the financial types. He has credibility with investors because he called Facebook and Twitter (among others) as a buy pretty early in their lifecycles. Corollary, the Forbes article mentions that he has a crap-ton of OPM to invest now, so he can afford to take some long-shots. -ellie

Its going to be off the hook! (4, Funny)

doroshjt (1044472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071387)

It'll have built in twitter and facebook access. Totally social networkitized

Re:Its going to be off the hook! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071411)

And completely worthless once those services are gone.

Re:Its going to be off the hook! (4, Funny)

doroshjt (1044472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071463)

You just don't get it, you'll be able to update and SEE your twitter feed and facebook page from your browser! No other browser lets you see facebook and twitter, its going to blow YOUR MIND!

Re:Its going to be off the hook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071435)

Hmm. A social networking browser with ties to Mozilla. Wait a minute, how is this not Flock [flock.com] ?

Re:Its going to be off the hook! (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071535)

I heard it was confirmed for brawl.

Re:Its going to be off the hook! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071735)

Twitter and Facebook are most definitely not confirmed for Brawl, or for any Wii for that matter. Social networking on Nintendo platforms requires mutual exchange of identifying information out-of-band.

Andreessen (1)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071403)

Andreessen's problem with Netscape is that the people who wrote it were too old. No vision.

Re:Andreessen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071751)

That's funny. My problem with Netscape was Marc Andreessen.

I created my own browser from scratch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071405)

I made it from the finest 1's and 0's, using a metal plate I smelted from ore, and a lodestone I picked up myself.

Keeping Pace with the Web (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071407)

What does he mean that most browsers aren't keeping pace with the web? By definition, browsers define the pace of the web. If your browser can't see it then it doesn't exist yet.

There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.

Re:Keeping Pace with the Web (2, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071703)

There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.

I thought that was the definition of an IE-centric web developer.

You just called Hixie a nobody (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071747)

There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.

Ian Hickson is the chief developer of the Acid3 test [wikipedia.org] , which was designed such that no web browser at the time could display it.

Re:Keeping Pace with the Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071851)

If all you are looking do do with the browser is delegate, then perhaps you are keeping pace. But entrepreneurs need to be able to control the experience directly, and the general trend is for that to control to be occurring at "lower" (delegated) levels of the browser stack, in particular, Flash.

If you can somehow create a more efficient stack for getting to the content that people actually use, like Facebook, then you can create a successful business.

Not a new idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071417)

From TFA:

Technology giants now see the browser as a control point to what users do online, and they want a say in shaping it. ...
A privacy policy on the site, which was removed after a reporter made inquiries to Mr. Vishria, indicates the browser is intended to be coupled somehow with Facebook. Mr. Andreessen serves as a director of Facebook.

The policy says that a person could use a Facebook ID to log into RockMelt, suggesting that the browser may be tailored to display Facebook updates and other features as users browse the Web. Another browser, Flock, based on Firefox, already incorporates feeds from social networking sites. ...
Professor Yoffie said that "If you can get Facebook's millions of users to think that this is a better way to do what they do on Facebook, that would be an opportunity to take advantage of".

In the interview this summer, Mr. Andreessen credited Mozilla with coming up with an economic model to support Web browsers. The organization has an agreement with Google that makes Google the standard home page when people start Firefox, and sends them to Google when they type something into the search box at the top of the browser. In 2007, Google paid Mozilla about $75 million for the alliance.

This seems to be basically the same as the business model of Excite, Altavista, and Yahoo: portals and ads. I don't see how a portal (Google) oursourcing browser development is anything new.

Google Chrome doesn't seem to be following this model; it seems to be more of a free client app for Google server apps. And from the earlier comments about Facebook, it looks like the new browser will place some emphasis on the client-server pairing model.

Pessimists Can Blow Me (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071419)

Marc, may not be the guy to do it, but modern operating systems are more than capable of being both client and server in a hostile network. (AKA the Internet)

I would argue 600lb gorilla ISP's, media conglomerates and as an extension of the media conglomerates Microsoft and Apple won't want to embrace it.

But it's a fundamental capability of the Internet that has *just* started to be included inside a browser.

Bring it on!

Re:Pessimists Can Blow Me (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071607)

Running servers on the internet is kind of like nuclear warfare.

Sure, you can get yourself a 99.99% accuracy/success ratio. It might even
impress some people. The only problem is that you've got so much crap being
thrown at so many people that even your nice sounding number is going to
be overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the problem.

The moment you have a system that places any more burdens on the n00b user
to "maintain" it, you have immediately lost.

That consumer laziness will ensure that any defects that creep into your
system will remain unpatched. So it's far better that you don't encourage
what amounts to sqlserver being bundled, enable and exposed to the web by
default. Replace sqslserver with PHP, BIND, sendmail or even sshd and you
have the same problem.

Maybe I lack imagination but... (1)

bschorr (1316501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071525)

I'm not really sure what "RockMelt" is going to do that is so much better than what I get now in FireFox 3.5. I can't remember the last time I wanted to do something in FireFox that I couldn't do - or couldn't easily find a quick little (free) add-on to do.

Re:Maybe I lack imagination but... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071943)

from the description.. it'll be a browser window .. in a, well, not in a window. Active Desktop perhaps?

Yeah, but can Firefox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29071981)

melt rocks?

Don't keep pace, run out ahead! (1)

Cryogenic Specter (702059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071527)

I always thought that in the future we would all be wearing VR goggles and flying through strange landscapes of flying numbers and other weird futuristic landscapes. That's what I was promised in the 90's!

bah, kids.... (2, Funny)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072209)

..we were doing all that "flying through strange landscapes of flying numbers and other weird futuristic landscapes" stuff in the 60s, and didn't even need the goggles!

Man burns left hand on stove, will now try right (3, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071603)

I just checked the date, I thought for sure it must be April 1st.

Marc Andreessen is jumping into the browser wars again? What's next, Ford announces a "re-imagined" Edsel?

Re:Man burns left hand on stove, will now try righ (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072201)

Actually, they announced a re-imagined Taurus.

I thought the 500 was a decent brand, I don't really understand why they decided to replace it.

Shades of Eazel (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071613)

Okay, admittedly the article is VERY light on detail. But over the past year or two, it seems like we've heard from a few of the 1990 internet pioneers who apparently never learned anything from the dot com collapse (maybe because they cashed out for billions before it happened?). Anyway, who puts money into designing a new web browser as "an investment" nowadays? Didn't he discover the fundamental problem with this back during browser wars 1.0? Netscape did originally try to charge for their browser...

It does make me think of Eazel, back when they burned through venture capital just to come up with... a file manager. For Linux. Who in their right minds thought that was a good investment? Well, maybe some guys were disappointed they "missed out" on Eazel, and so now are buying into Andreessen's startup.

Might be based on Chrome (5, Interesting)

voidvektor (1254168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071737)

I did some digging around and found an e-mail to a google group from a guy settings up RockMelts site:
http://www.mail-archive.com/scalr-discuss@googlegroups.com/msg02866.html [mail-archive.com]
The same guy asked questions on the Chromium mailing list, "helping a co-worker get the chromium src".
http://groups.google.com/group/chromium-dev/browse_thread/thread/105e19e8d4f6c650?pli=1 [google.com]
Probably nothing, but could be something...

The Facebook requirement kills it for me (2)

LionMage (318500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29071767)

Judging from what little was revealed in TFA, I guess RockMelt more or less requires you to have a Facebook account, and to use a Facebook login to access RockMelt's features. Talk about bundling! So rather than be an agnostic client agent to surf the web, RockMelt is going to serve as a portal to funnel you, the user, through a specific service before you get anywhere else. I'm sure Andreesen is also betting that this will funnel more dollars into his pockets, since he will create a more captive audience for his service.

No thanks, not a fan of lock-in of any kind. Also not a fan of most social networking services, which is why I have avoided Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et. al.

Bah, it can't be that different (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072007)

The web is made of pages designed to be viewed on a computer screen and interacted with via a mouse. There's only so much you can do with that, and something truly new is not going to come via a browser. In fact, you probably won't see too much different until we figure out a new way of interfacing with computers that doesn't involve mice, keyboards, and monitors.

My thoughts on Netscape (2, Interesting)

leamanc (961376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072031)

Once on a flight, I was reading a book about web standards, and the guy sitting next to me struck up a conversation. He said that he knew a lot about the web, joining Netscape in 1995 and staying near the end, being one of the last two or three employees. He said that Netscape was undone because upper management got extremely arrogant over their initial dominance in the browser market. They thought nobody, not even Microsoft could take them down.

He said they would laugh at feature requests by users, play foosball and drink beer all day...basically one big party while IE slowly and surely crushed them.

Based on this, I would be very wary that anyone associated with the original Netscape has the management skills to make a new browser a success.

Born dead (2, Insightful)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072037)

RockMelt is going to be born dead. There is nothing it can do in terms of Facebook integration that Firefox + Facebook-related theme + Facebook plugin. And RockMelt has no viable business model - there is no place anymore for mainstream browsers.

If it sucks as bad as OpsWare.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29072163)

Great concept but a horribly glued together peice of crap. We spent almost a half million dollars trying to get it implemented before kicking them out and bringing in their competitor - which just worked.

After that debacle, I won't go with anything that he puts his name on as I'd fear it will be 95.3% marketecture and 4.7% product

Good luck to Rockmelt (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29072165)

I signed up for an email when it is ready to test.

I want to see what it is all about. I hope it is innovative and runs fast and uses less memory than Firefox. Safari, Opera, IE, Chrome, and the others.

I got a feeling they will be inventing new HTML tags to be used in HTML 6, as well as enhancing the XML and UML languages. That their cutting edge technology will force other browsers to change to compete with them. It might even lead to Web 3.0 standards.

Netscape was great stuff when it got to version 3.0, but around then Microsoft was bundling IE with Windows and eventually shut Netscape out of the web browser business. I recall Netscape was shareware and needed an optional $35 to register it, but still allowed you to use it for free if you didn't register. It didn't go open source until Netscape 5.0 when AOL bought them out and the Mozilla foundation was being formed to create Seamonkey and then Firefox and Thunderbird.

Firefox 3.0.03 and 3.5.X seem to have HTML problems with Slashdot in the subject line being cut off when submitting and other formatting issues on other web sites. Mozilla somehow bungled up the web browser, as I have problems clicking the mouse on text and have to click on the top of text boxes as it won't click on the bottom for me to edit them. I had hoped that upgrading to 3.5 would fix the problems, but no. Mozilla usually issues a WONTFIX because they claim Slashdot, etc must have not been following HTML 5 standards and refuse to fix it. I hope Rockmelt learns from that and fixes the formatting issues.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...