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Mozilla Slams Chrome Frame As "Browser Soup"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the strange-bedfellows dept.

Mozilla 236

CWmike writes "Mozilla executives today took shots at Google for pitching its Chrome Frame plug-in as a solution to Internet Explorer's poor performance, with one arguing that Google's move will result in 'browser soup.' The Mozilla reaction puts the company that builds Firefox on the same side of the debate as rival Microsoft, which has also blasted Google over the plug-in. Mitchell Baker, the former CEO of Mozilla and currently the chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, said in a blog post, 'The overall effects of Chrome Frame are undesirable. I predict positive results will not be enduring and — and to the extent it is adopted — Chrome Frame will end in growing fragmentation and loss of control for most of us, including Web developers.' Baker says Chrome Frame's browser-in-a-browser will confuse users and render some of their familiar tools useless. 'Once your browser has fragmented into multiple rendering engines, it's very hard to manage information across Web sites. Some information will be manageable from the browser you use and some information from Chrome Frame. This defeats one of the most important ways in which a browser can help people manage their [Web] experience.'"

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IE (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29585907)

Baker says Chrome Frame's browser-in-a-browser will confuse users and render some of their familiar tools useless. Some information will be manageable from the browser you use and some information from Chrome Frame.

Interestingly, isn't this an exactly same issue with Firefox addons too? Some of them might create the same kind of incompabilities than Chrome Frame plugin does.

On that note, in my opinion Chrome Frame itself serve's little to none purpose. If you can install it, you could install the actual Chrome (or some other) browser aswell. Websites need to opt-in for using the Chrome Frame for rendering with a metatag, and I think Google will be lucky if even 1% add that tag.

Only good reason I've come across is the next note from the article

Specifically, said Google, it was pushing Chrome Frame because it decided it wasn't worth trying to make its new collaboration and communications tool, Google Wave, work with IE. Google developers spent "countless hours" on tweaking Wave for IE, but gave up.

Which does make sense. Users can use IE, but still get the Wave to work. But I except google to take more major approach about the plugin soon.

Re:IE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586025)

Baker says Chrome Frame's browser-in-a-browser will confuse users and render some of their familiar tools useless. Some information will be manageable from the browser you use and some information from Chrome Frame.

Interestingly, isn't this an exactly same issue with Firefox addons too? Some of them might create the same kind of incompabilities (sic) than Chrome Frame plugin does.

On that note, in my opinion Chrome Frame itself serve's little to none purpose. If you can install it, you could install the actual Chrome (or some other) browser aswell (sic). Websites need to opt-in for using the Chrome Frame for rendering with a metatag, and I think Google will be lucky if even 1% add that tag.

Only good reason I've come across is the next note from the article

Specifically, said Google, it was pushing Chrome Frame because it decided it wasn't worth trying to make its new collaboration and communications tool, Google Wave, work with IE. Google developers spent "countless hours" on tweaking Wave for IE, but gave up.

Which does make sense. Users can use IE, but still get the Wave to work. But I except google to take more major approach about the plugin soon.

Seriously? Is this a joke? That's your post? Congrats on getting first post, next time rely on quality instead of position on the page to get modded up, okay? And regurgitating the article doesn't add anything to the discussion and debate.

Re:IE (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586323)

Please enlighten us how your post added anything more to the discussion than the post you are bagging on. At least the OP was talking about the article. And yes, I know this is off topic and doesn't really add much either.

Re:IE (3, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586401)

That was a level 2 troll you fool! Take your hand from his mouth lest it comes for seconds.

Re:IE (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29587049)

its what used to be known around here as a "signal11 post". first post some incoherent babble that's remotely ontopic and you have a guaranteed five.

Re:IE (4, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586029)

Except Firefox addons are not *necessary* to use any commonly accessed websites (AdBlock Plus and NoScript may be desirable, but not necessary). As such, the people who install them are expected to be aware of potential incompatibility and can disable them if needed (for example, if AdBlock Plus blocks critical elements of a site, you can whitelist the necessary element, or just disable it on the specified site). The required knowledge level to install an addon usually means they know the basic troubleshooting needed to fix addon related problems.

If Google decides that a large number of its services require Chrome Frame, people without the necessary knowledge will be installing it to use those services. And unlike the Firefox addon users, most of them won't be competent enough to troubleshoot any problems that arise from the combined renderer, or even understand the source of the problem.

In addition, it would not surprise me to see a number of sites add the metatag without realizing the implications. Too many web developers are hacks, copying any pasting random junk from forums, reading tips out of guidebooks without understanding the context, etc. If their site's JavaScript is too slow, and a forum post says "Add this metatag to improve JavaScript performance," they'll add it without checking to see if their page is Chrome compatible.

ad- and script-blockers are essential Re:IE (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586223)

Except Firefox addons are not *necessary* to use any commonly accessed websites (AdBlock Plus and NoScript may be desirable, but not necessary).

They are if you browse in certain wild-west not-so-professionally-managed portions of the web!

Re:IE (3, Insightful)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586443)

Except Firefox addons are not *necessary* to use any commonly accessed websites

Asides from the sites that only render properly in IE due to poor authoring, there are still sites out there that will actively forbid you from viewing them unless you are using IE. Unfortunately, once in a blue moon I have to visit them. That's why I have the Firefox add-on IE Tab [mozilla.org] , which pretty much does the same thing as this Chrome Frame thing. Or am I somehow mistaken?

Re:IE (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586703)

You're not mistaken. But it demonstrates the exact problems I mentioned. When viewing sites in IE Tab, you lose all the Firefox functionality below the level of tab separation. You need plugins for each, the behavior of different tabs doesn't match (I hate losing find-as-you-type for instance), etc.

And like I noted before, the IE Tab users (usually) know what they are getting into; they have to explicitly opt in on each site. The Chrome Frame users won't be aware, as they would include a large percentage of the entire Google user base. And they don't control which sites use it; the web authors who do the blind copy'n'paste I mentioned will make the decision. It's annoying enough to lose functionality when I visit a site in IE Tab. It would be worse to experience it randomly as I browse.

Re:IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586035)

...I think Google will be lucky if even 1% add that tag.

If that 1% is Google, it matters.

Re:IE (2, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586213)

No purpose? Many IE users won't change the browser but they would install all kind of crappy add ons. This add on doesn't even change the interface while most of the addons do.

Re:IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586261)

Just put a big sign saying "Google Wave doesn't work with old browsers, please update, here's some options:"

And be done with it. Anyone savvy enought to use wave would have escape from IE years ago anyway.

Re:IE (1)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586545)

To be honest, I despise doing this. If a user gets that message they have 2 options:

  1. Go download, install, set up, and use a new browser
  2. Look elswhere

Granted something like wave is an app, and ie does have a huge problem with running web apps, but on a normal site you're just palming off users because you cant write a few lines of conditional code. Hell a few websites ive coded require no ie fixes.

I think the same for installing specific plugins, so thats also where i think this will fail. but who knows, maybe google can code up a nice iframe exploit, and execute arbitary code which installs the plugin and the user will be none the wiser? :)

Re:IE (3, Interesting)

Gerald (9696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586641)

On that note, in my opinion Chrome Frame itself serve's little to none purpose. If you can install it, you could install the actual Chrome (or some other) browser aswell.

There are quite a few companies locked in to IE 6 right now due to requirements from internal applications. I think Chrome Frame would be pretty attractive in this sort of environment. Instead of spending money and resources upgrading your apps you can deploy CF on your desktops and give your users a browser that runs as IE 6 internally and doesn't suck otherwise.

It's also attractive to web developers. I added the CF meta tag to my site as soon as I heard about it. The fewer users using the IE 6 renderer the better.

Re:IE (1)

SmearedBlackInk (1001785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586721)

On that note, in my opinion Chrome Frame itself serve's little to none purpose. If you can install it, you could install the actual Chrome (or some other) browser aswell. Websites need to opt-in for using the Chrome Frame for rendering with a metatag, and I think Google will be lucky if even 1% add that tag.

Actually, any page can be rendered with the Chrome Frame add-in by simply adding "cf:" in front of the address of the page you'd like to visit. e.g. cf:http://www.slashdot.org/

Re:IE (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586829)

in my opinion Chrome Frame itself serve's little to none purpose. If you can install it, you could install the actual Chrome (or some other) browser aswell

I broadly agree with you, but I can see one situation where it might be useful: a bunch of related pages, some of which work in and benefit from a modern browser and some of which don't, used in a single workflow. You'd sacrifice a lot of convenience if you used two separate browsers here.

It might help to convince management to bring things up to date, too: you can get incremental benefits from incremental improvement, rather than having to commit to overhauling the entire universe in one go.

Re:IE (1)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586977)

I would actually prefer Google working on adding plugin functionality to Chrome, instead of writing plugins for other browsers. This is the sole reason why I don't use Chrome these days - it lacks some very simple, but very useful features that Firefox has in spades.

They just wish they'd thought of it first. (5, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 4 years ago | (#29585933)

Google is simply "embracing and extending" IE's functionality, right?

Important point (4, Interesting)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29585943)

...Chrome Frame will end in growing fragmentation and loss of control for most of us, including Web developers.'

A very important point. Those of us who build the web finally thought we were seeing some movement with the increasing adoption of Firefox (mainly) causing Microsoft to build better browsers in IE7, and more so, IE8. We really looked forward to moving from a development model where 50% of the time was spent building the site to standards, and 50% hacking for Internet Explorer.

If you really develop webapps IE8 is still useless (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586013)

IE8 doesn't support canvas, or svg, doesn't have a real javascript engine, and still mangles standard css.

It can get by on simple web pages, but it's simply not suitable for real web apps. Anyone developing one either writes off IE completely, or is using the tools that Google's been releasing to augment IE's deficiencies.

Re:If you really develop webapps IE8 is still usel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586463)

Spoken like a true unemployed elitist fool.

From a developer who is employed's stand point. If X percentage of my potential user base uses a browser then I make sure it works on that browser. That is why EVERY MAJOR WEB SITE ON THE WEB supports IE6, 7 and 8 in addition to a giant host of other browsers.

Re:If you really develop webapps IE8 is still usel (2, Informative)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587259)

The fourth most visited website [mashable.com] is generally considered to be a major website, and it has dropped support for IE6 [sitepoint.com] .

I don't break functionality of IE6 sites, but if the off by three bug shows up on IE6 whatever, It's an old browser,and people that use it, like the people that use Netscape 4 don't really expect the web to work completely correct.

Re:Important point (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586015)

The usage of Chrome Frame is up to the webmaster - you define it in a metatag. Even more so it sends the Chrome useragent then, so you can apply your hacks like normal.

This doesn't cost any more fragmention than before.

Re:Important point (2, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586467)

How do you get from "This is a new thing and you have to do special stuff to get it to work for you" to "This doesn't cause anymore fragmentation than before"? Having new things you have to code for is the very definition of fragmentation, and adding a new type of browser that specifically requires extra code and could easily gain a significant usermarket is a step towards more fragmentation, not less.

Just because you can code for it or leave it out doesn't mean it doesn't cause fragmentation. You can leave out IE8 code and just code for Mozilla to save fragmentation, but that's not a possibility for most web developers. As soon as Frame becomes popular it'll end up being yet another special case on the list of things you need to write extra code for, and that's a bad thing for a company that's supposed to be about embracing standards.

Re:Important point (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586577)

No. It's not an extra thing you need to write code for, because it won't do anything at all unless you the developer ask it to step in.

Re:Important point (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586597)

What he means is Frame doesn't activate unless the website asks for this (or, theoretically the user but I can't see that option being so popular if the site works anyway).

So there's no extra work. If you don't want to support chrome then don't.. nothing has changed.

Re:Important point (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586643)

As soon as Frame becomes popular it'll end up being yet another special case on the list of things you need to write extra code for, and that's a bad thing for a company that's supposed to be about embracing standards.

Well you do not really need any other extra things for Frame other than the metatag - which you can happily avoid and have the IE users use IE's rendering engine if you want so. Frame's engine is basically same as Chrome's and you're definitely not avoiding that either.

That being said I dont see a need to add the metatag to my sites. But if I did, I know it wouldn't really require more from me than that since I already have to support Chrome anyway. So it doesn't cause any fragmention.

Re:Important point (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586047)

Isn't that a good thing? I'm a web developer--and I'll say outright--I don't deserve control of your browser. The marketing tools that we had do our frontpage came up with a *beautiful* flash application--and the boss was absolutely heartbroken when he couldn't show our new page to somebody he met in the lobby of a motel. And most of what they did in flash would have rendered faster with a bit of CSS and tiny bit of javascript.

I warned him---but pretty shiny things overcame technical sense. More fragmentation of the browser market is a *good* thing, as it will make further development of new shiny toys impossible (and economically unrewarding) until people actually FIX THE FUCKING STANDARDS. That's right--I said it--HTML is broken. Embedded video in a page is more about fucking politics than good technical sense--fuck you too apple and google for everything you had to do with that.

Break the entire web, raze the platforms, make Microsoft impossible to develop for when their market share gets pushed down to 30%. Bring back the days of hacking different tables together, the CSS kluges in comment fields, javascript expressions detecting browsers, and the current abomination that is the ridiculous engine-creep in User-Agent strings.

Make web developers like myself weep with frustration and push for real standards.

But when it's all done, can we please get an open standard out of it (unlike Acid2), with a protected term (sort of like how CDROM is owned by sony) owned and registered by a governing body that certifies a browser engine as either implementing it or not?, and as part of the standard, have a "standards only" mode required--wherein no new tags may be rendered or acted upon?

So finally, IE can't be called a "web browser" by definition if it doesn't pass "ACID VERSION 5.897879 Test 1083b".

Then, and only then will the web actually be a reasonable platform to work on. Because as it is today--I look forward to fragmentation, since it would at least make all those lazy "web programmers" out there pay attention to the tags they're using.

Re:Important point (1, Interesting)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586537)

Heh, I laughed for a good ten minutes after reading that one. If this is satire, my hat is well and truly off.

Re:Important point (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29587175)

nope, it's autism

Re:Important point (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586053)

This is a far more rational/convincing argument than Microsoft's "OMG CHROME SI TEH INSECURE!!!111!ONEONE!11!"

If I were Google... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29585971)

I wouldn't even tap that with Safari's dick

Re:If I were Google... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586219)

I wouldn't even tap that with Safari's dick

Haha Safari has no dick, infact Safar IS a twat. Which is why it keeps getting fucked over by all other browsers, except IE who's the asshole in this drama. Incidently Google is filling this hole as we speak.

Ends in loss of control for webmasters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29585973)

They could, you know, not configure their website to enable Chrome Frame. That seems like enough control to me.

Translation (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29585995)

Translation: Those fucking bastards are probably going to do the same thing to Firefox!!!! Chair... Google... Must... throw...

sour grapes (5, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586003)

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Google has a technically superior engine, and Mozilla's whining about it. Well boo-hoo guys, how about cutting the crap and getting to work improving your product?

Hmm, and I had a new project ready to go... (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586007)

So, I take it that mozilla foundation is not interested in hosting gecko frame.

Wouldn't it be less fragmentation? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586017)

None of the engines in a browser (rendering, scripting, etc) should be relevant. They should all follow web standards. Sure it might break crap-tastic websites that use browser sniffing to try & server browser-specific content. But we already have that in javascript by detecting capabilities instead of using browser sniffing. By allowing this, it allows websitesï to force IE to behave like a standards compliant browser which will hopefully, in the long run, get rid of all the major IE vs. world hacks (and hopefully many of the inter-browser incompatibility checks).

Re:Wouldn't it be less fragmentation? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586037)

You forget that no sane webmaster or company is going to break the functionality of their site and lose most of their users. IE is still the most used browser and will stay so. Ideologically your thinking is nice, but its not going to happen anytime soon.

Well, then Mozilla... (1, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586019)

make Firefox better than Chrome, so people won't bother with Chrome frames. Until then, STFU.

Re:Well, then Mozilla... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586495)

If the person installs Chrome Frame, it's because she *wants* to keep using IE, or is too ignorant to know there are alternatives. Either way, they're not Firefox target.

Re:Well, then Mozilla... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586655)

It could get interesting when Microsoft release IE Frame for Firefox and Chrome, and Mozilla release Firefox Frame for IE and Chrome, and Google release Chrome Frame for Firefox...

Browsers then become little more than a UI and you pick the rendering engine based on the site. Either that'll be nirvana or hell depending on how that happens.

For now I think the people who should be worried are not Mozilla, but Adobe. Some of the stuff coming out of HTML5 demos looks extremely nifty, and uses a fraction of the power that flash uses.

Re:Well, then Mozilla... (3, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587065)

For now I think the people who should be worried are not Mozilla, but Adobe. Some of the stuff coming out of HTML5 demos looks extremely nifty, and uses a fraction of the power that flash uses.

And not a moment too soon, because Flash sucks ass.

The only thing I use it for is embedding video. Groovy menus? AJAX and CSS. Flash was a great idea when we all had dial up. We've moved on from there, and we all learned not to build flash based splash pages. This makes Flash a fairly useless application. I look forward to it dying, like its bloated predecessor, Director.

No offense to Firefox... (4, Insightful)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586033)

... because I love and use it daily. But isn't Firefox 'plug-in soup'? Updates frequently breaking plugins, plugins sometimes breaking the browser, etc.

Seems silly to me for them to make a comment like this.

Re:No offense to Firefox... (3, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586111)

Add-ons for Firefox are much more restricted than they used to be, and as a result are (usually) more stable. And since they are supposed to state versions supported, they usually deactivate cleanly for untested versions of Firefox. As for real plugins, aside from one or two major releases (none in the last year) I've rarely seen a plugin that didn't work identically after upgrade. Most browsers have some plugin compatibility problems after a major release.

The plugin soup is more of a problem if the browser behaves drastically differently as a result of the plugin. With Chrome Frame, most plugins for IE will not work with a page rendered in the Chrome Frame. Multiple copies of the plugin would need to be installed (e.g. Flash), or certain functionality that was only implemented for one browser would not be available in one or the other (e.g. some random third party text box spell checker).

Re:No offense to Firefox... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586685)

I fail to see why you'd use Flash on a chrome based site when it has a perfectly good HTML5 engine that can do 99% of the same things. Surely the whole *purpose* of sticking the metatag on your site to use Frame is to use the advanced rendering..

Re:No offense to Firefox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29587197)

I fail to see why you'd use Flash on a chrome based site when it has a perfectly good HTML5 engine that can do 99% of the same things.

Not even close to correct. And even if were, it would still be a hellava lot more expensive to develop.

There are plenty of reasons to avoid targetting IE that have nothing to do with the tard jihad against Flash.

They hate our freedom (4, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586045)

More options are good. There are many users who are forced to keep IE6 for work access to intranet sites and yet may want Google wave for personal use. This way they can access all their sites without having to remember which browser is for which and deal with different sets of bookmarks and cookies. What alternatives do Microsoft and Mozilla foundation propose for this group of people?

Re:They hate our freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586127)

I don't know about them, but I propose better intranet sites. It's time to leave those old crappy IE6 sites in the dust. Get a new system.

Re:They hate our freedom (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586287)

What alternatives do Microsoft and Mozilla foundation propose for this group of people?

IE tab in Firefox.

Re:They hate our freedom (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586711)

..which is essentially the same as Chrome frame (albeit less automatic).

Don't see the mozilla foundation complaining about 'plugin soup' with that.. funny that :p

Re:They hate our freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586861)

Frankly, I doubt it is on their radar. IETab is a (clever) hack written by some random developer (not the Mozilla Foundation). It is not a solution being pushed by a major web applications company to allow a large number of web users to use their products. Equating the two is ridiculous.

Opinion Inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586049)

Title: "Slams"
Summary: "took shots at"
Quote: "undesirable"

Since people seem to want to take a sniff and turn it into a hair-on-fire screaming hissy fit if it fits their predetermined intention, and the editors seem to want to ignore actual news stories submitted a week before while passing along these tantrums immediately, I propose they create a category for them so those of us that prefer not to see them can filter them out.

How about 'uninvited guest editorial'? That lets the editors pretend they actually read them, and it reserves "bullshit" for the far more often necessary calls on ignoramus responses.

Actual Mozilla blog posts (5, Informative)

savala (874118) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586059)

Urgh, I hate these links to useless tech news websites, rather than the original sources. To see what the Mozilla executives in question actually had to say, with their words in context, read Mitchell Baker: Browser Soup and Chrome Frame [lizardwrangler.com] and Mike Shaver: thoughts on chrome frame [off.net] .

And as a bonus, from a Mozilla-technology using developer (I don't think he's affiliated with Mozilla in any official capacity anymore) Daniel Glazman: Google Chrome Frame [glazman.org] .

Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (5, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586069)

Oh boy. Here we go.

Mozilla drags IE into the future with Canvas element plugin [arstechnica.com]

Granted, Mozilla's technology doesn't do as much as Chrome Frame. It does less. But it introduced tag soup into IE. One can now, according to Mozilla's own damn hypocritic opinion because of a technological big brother envy, be sure of how IE render content.

"Once your browser has fragmented into multiple rendering engines, it's very hard to manage information across Web sites" - Mozilla

Oh, and how does adding canvas support reduce confusion when even more complete HTML 5 support won't?

But read on guys... It get funnier.

Ars Technica:

This Canvas plugin is only the first step toward bringing standards-based web technologies to Internet Explorer. Mozilla is working on a much more ambitious initiative called Screaming Monkey [mozilla.org] that will make it possible to plug Mozilla's entire next-generation JavaScript engine directly into Microsoft's web browser. If these plugins gain widespread acceptance, it will empower web developers and give them the ability to target web standards and not have to compensate as much for Internet Explorer's broken behavior.

Hahaha! I love this! Thanks for the laugh, Mozilla!

Re:Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586231)

Can anybody mod the parent up and tag the article as "epitome of hypocrisy"?

Re:Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586239)

Mod this to 11 please! I love it.

Re:Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586353)

For a company whose main line of income derives from setting the default search provider, complaining about someone else more easily gaining control over the users' defaults makes complete sense.

Because every browser sucks in its own ways, I would personally enjoy the ability to ditch Firefox's AwfulBar, use its rendering engine with the Chrome UI and Gears, and Safari's plugin system. That's unlikely to happen because no vendor wants to admit that part of their product is inferior.

If modularity meant that web developers would have to target what users use in the field as opposed to several different arbitrary theoretical standards (de facto or otherwise), we would instantly see a revolution shifting web UI design from meeting the needs of developers and software, to meeting the needs of users. The ability to design, think, and customize away from the lowest common denominator is part of why we hate that other alternative renderer (flash), right?

Re:Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586375)

I'd say they're just pouting since Google didn't use their rendering engine.

Now that's a soup! Or maybe a stew.

Re:Pot, kettle, black, Mozilla. Tsk, tsk. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586733)

But it introduced tag soup into IE

IIRC Trident parses any "tag", HTML5 was designed around the behaviour of existing real world browsers like IE. I do canvas in XHTML 1.0 strict by extending the DTD.

Screaming Monkey would replace Microsoft's JScript bringing with it a standards compliant DOM and increased performance (via nanojit).

All Mozilla are saying is that Google's approach (the entire browser as a plugin) has poor integration with the existing IE shell, that's not a hypocritical position at all. Both organisations have, to their credit, invested time in producing turd polish to bring the modern web to organizations stuck with MSIE.

So then... (1)

calavicci (880582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586087)

...stop trying to invade IE's turf and just convince people to use another browser for real. Moreover, at this point, anyone who hasn't switched probably isn't going to because one has to be either very ignorant of browsers or very dependent on an MS-specific feature to keep using that PoS.

Standards? (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586095)

If everyone would just follow the goddamned standards then we wouldn't have to worry about this shit. Yes I'm blaming all parties involved here, they are all either directly responsible, or too complacent.

Who, other than Microsoft? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586125)

Opera tends to mangle CSS a bit, but other than that Microsoft is the only one not following standards.

Re:Who, other than Microsoft? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587085)

Things break in Safari, too.

Re:Who, other than Microsoft? (3, Funny)

shirotakaaki (1613791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587171)

Shit is constantly broken in Lynx! Images still don't show up right without hacks! WTF is up with that!? And forget about Flash. Adobe hates Lynx.

Re:Standards? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586145)

Isn't the problem that no-one's prepared to start over, with a sensible standard which supports text, graphics, audio, video etc from scratch, rather than a sort of multi-player text editor with a bunch of crap added on over years and years?

Re:Standards? (1)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586157)

If everyone would just follow the goddamned standards then we wouldn't have to worry about this shit. Yes I'm blaming all parties involved here, they are all either directly responsible, or too complacent.

So, you're blaming the standards-compliant browser devs for, presumably, being too complacent? I suppose they could use their 1337 haxxorzing skillz and IEs innate insecurities to install Firefox, Opera, Chrome et al on everyone's PCs, and then uninstall IE, but I think not doing so is maybe not just complacency?

Re:Standards? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587127)

Yeah, if Berners-Lee had just followed the standards of the time and used straight ASCII we wouldn't have to worry about all this jpeg, HTML, javascript, AJAX .. stuff.

Reality check (5, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586097)

Dudes... I work at a company whose standard is IE6. Not IE7, not IE8. IE6. And IE6 isn't even compatible with IE8 in some cases.

The reason Google is releasing Chrome Frame is very simple--so that they can get Google Wave in the door of enterprises who have standardized on IE (including IE6) without having to develop 4 different versions of it (Standards Compliant, IE6, IE7, and IE8). They decided that doing Chrome Frame was easier, cheaper, and better for the future of Google Apps (broadly construed to include Wave) than continuing to pander to IE.

I don't think they want to "enable" IE users... but they'd rather enable IE users to continue to be stupid than cripple their applications as they've been doing ever since gmail came out. From Google's point of view, this is ALL about the apps, not the browser wars.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586151)

work at a company whose standard is IE6. Not IE7, not IE8. IE6.

Sucks to be you then.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586739)

Seriously. There's no reason for the rest of us to cater to the pathetically lazy and incompetent.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29586907)

If your company is willing to get the latest plugin but can't be bothered updating to a browser that isn't 7+ years old then quite frankly your IT has more serious problems that google frame is NEVER going to be able to help with and they will probably make a mess of the depl

"loss of control?" (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586101)

Chrome Frame will end in growing fragmentation and loss of control for most of us

You say that like it's a bad thing.

To the extent that there is any "control," shouldn't it rest with the authors of the spec?

Re:"loss of control?" (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586129)

Agreed. For all I know, that forces web devs to write according to standards, not browsers. As long as they do this, where's the problem?

It sounds especially odd because Mozilla is one of the web's greatest standard supporters.

Maybe, just, maybe, it's envy because Chrome Frame was released for the web both earlier and with a more complete feature set than their own experimental Screaming Monkey project.

Re:"loss of control?" (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586561)

I kind of like it resting with me. My browser, my control.

I'm also not all that broken up about it being harder to "manage" information across sessions.

Re:"loss of control?" (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587151)

Funny, I thought the control should rest with the authors of the site. Who elected the spec writers as decision makers?

This is so not interesting. It is just like Flash. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586143)

Is Firefox careful to make sure that they are compatible with Flash? Some information is manageable from Firefox and some information from Flash. Yes, it sucks, but it is better that rewriting all of those flash applications to work in IE.

Re:This is so not interesting. It is just like Fla (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586547)

Flash plugs into Firefox, not the other way. It's Flash that needs to make sure it's compatible with Firefox.

Choice (1)

aclauser (1646781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586167)

Since when is choice a bad thing?

Two conflicting thoughts (2, Funny)

mr_josh (1001605) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586181)

The web developer side of me says, "Yeah, this probably will not add conformity to things."

The shit-disturber side of me says, "Take that, Redmond."

But I like Chrome Soup (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586203)

Or rather, I like the option of mixing and matching parts.

A kernel from here, an windowing environment from there, a browser shell from vendor A, a rendering engine from vendor B, as long as everyone follows interoperability standards I don't see the problem.

What? Not everyone follows standards???

About time (2, Interesting)

drkwatr (609301) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586221)

It is about time I started seeing technology of this nature, but we are still not there yet. I would love to see this framework system support plugins that way when I design a site I specify what rendering engine is needed, and the browser simply loads it and renders my page 100% correct 100% of the time. It would also make it easer for the W3C to push standards as they could release their own rendering engine as soon as they are published and everyone could start using them so long as the browser supports framework plugins. There is also an added benefit that more time could be spent on the main functions of the browser and other stuff rather than messing with rendering. Anyways, If I don't see anything in the next few years I am going to have to put together a division and scratch that itch.

Re:About time (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586611)

So everyone would be forced to have all the rendering engines installed? That makes no sense.

And for web developers, it would be the same mess it is today: some people would have Gecko and Trident, but not Webkit, others would have Webkit and Gecko, but not Trident, etc.
Of course, you can say that the browser would come with all the rendering engines, but it's much easier to fix the stardards than that.

Stay on target, Mozilla (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586255)

These sound-byte-type pot-shots accomplish nothing.

In other words, you can't have exclusive... (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586263)

... websites that only work under one browser if people are mixing in different systems into other browsers. Or, website designers might *gasp* need to adopt standards. God, what a wicked crime, Mozilla can't push for Firefox only site features and *gasp* Microsoft might need to make their content run on Firefox/Chrome.

Hold on a second.... (4, Funny)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586281)

Who said soup is a bad thing? I like soup, damn it!

You're doing it wrong... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586351)

"This defeats one of the most important ways in which a browser can help people manage their [Web] experience.'"

I don't want to manage my Web experience.

I want to enjoy it.

I know there are all sorts of reasons why different browsers have to be accomodated. But it's still wrong.

They are doing it wrong.

IE faster? IE renders properly? (2, Funny)

wardk (3037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586357)

this must be stopped!

"browser-in-a-browser will confuse users" (4, Insightful)

techdavis (939834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586531)

Odd - I have for the past few years always used the "IE Tab" plugin for Firefox - that makes the pages render in IE (for IE specific sites, like windows update). Isn't that EXACTLY the same thing?

"Browser Soup" (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586571)

Waitress? Hey, Waitress! I don't mean to be rude, but I only get 30 minutes for lunch!! One big bowl of Browser Soup, and extra addons, please!!

Google Frame (4, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586607)

I've been thinking about Google Frame. Honestly, I think it's too good a stopgap. Let me explain:

People have Internet Explorer. It sucks. Or people have Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari/... and they all work the same (almost).

People who have IE are mostly unable or unwilling to install, well, anything else.

Chrome is good in that installing a browser plugin is easier (and more familiar) for most people than installing a browser. They do it all the time - Flash, Java, SuperPornSearch - even if they shouldn't.

So Chrome Frame is nice, in that regard, in that I as a web developer can have IE say "install this to view this page", or otherwise throw up a "You must have at least Flash 7 to view this content"-type page. Those errors seem to be effective, for the most part.

But it's bad in the sense that if everybody requires Chrome Frame, and everybody has it, that's dandy. But it's still running IE.

In short, it's a stopgap. But it's a very good stopgap. Potentially so good that people won't switch to a real browser. And that's bad.

Re:Google Frame (3, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586841)

If everyone has chrome frame it won't matter - IE becomes merely a UI around it, hence no more relevant to the 'browser wars' than whether they have Aero switched on or not. People can code to standards and expect it to work, at last.

If gmail starts to require frame that'll be a huge number of users suddenly using it.. if they do the same to youtube (ditch the flash and use canvas instead) then its numbers will skyrocket. There's nothing stopping google doing either of these things.

Web standards, anyone? (1)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586665)

Isn't this why we have web standards? If you adhere to the damned standards, doesn't the rendering engine become all about performance instead of which one looks better, or renders "more correctlyer"?

Browser-in-a-browser (2, Insightful)

awshidahak (1282256) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586671)

Baker says Chrome Frame's browser-in-a-browser will confuse users and render some of their familiar tools useless.

Kinda like IETab in Firefox?

sour grapes (1)

sams67 (880846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586749)

Mozilla is just miffed because they didn't think of it first. Now they have set themselves up to look like hypocrites if they follow suit.

huh? Where's the market? (2, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29586799)

Anybody who is using IE6 is either so clueless that they wouldn't know about this plugin, or they are forced to use IE6 because certain websites are coded for it. Either way it seems more like a fun stunt than anything viable.

I do all my work web surfing on firefox, but when I need to do one of my many yearly training courses, I have to fire up IE6 because the courses break in weird ways with firefox. So the only reason I'm in IE is that I'm forced to be, and this plugin would break the very reason I'm in IE in the first place.

Sheldon

Re:huh? Where's the market? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587125)

They don't need to know about the plugin, or even what a 'browser' is.

They'll only know that, in common with a lot of other sites, if you click on google wave* you have to install something first.. and they'll click 'yes' because that's what they always do.

* Or, potentialy, gmail or youtube, or blogspot, or any site that wants to implement it.

And how does this differ from IE vs. FF? (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587165)

Like I *don't* have to run IE AND FF already due to different engines.....it's really strange hearing the boss of Mozilla criticise Google Chrome for creating similar issues to what FF has against IE.

Oh, wait, we're all going to have to adapt to multiple engines/ browsers/ plugins etc..... ....when I started pointing this out (over a year ago), I got marked down for trolling, simply because I was listing the technical problems that we were all about to face (what I think of browser war 2.0).- this isn't a techincal 'my browser is better thasn yours' issue, it's dealing with the real world ramifications. IE isn't compliant by a long shot, but by being the most dominant browser, it has to be regarded as the standard to adhere to and the *real* standards applied second - you can shout all you want about how IE should be rendering correctly in the first place (and I'd agree) but it's *too late* - and pretendfing the market leader doesn't exist does not lead to desktop triumphs - just ask .

Oh, you can go force all sites to become compliant by developing for FF first, but by doing that you're ignoring backwards/ sideways compatibility - a situation Mozilla have cheerfully helped create, and suddenly Google are the new nasties for doing the same?

Synopsis (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#29587205)

'sup dawg, I heard you like to screw with w3c standards, so I got you a browser fo your browser so people can surf the net while they surf the net.

But really, as an earlier /. post had mentioned, this makes a lot of sense for Google, in that it's the only logical way to get their web services platform to be used by people who are stuck with IE6, 7, 8 (through ignorance or corporate policy or laziness).

I'd say it's quite a bit different between getting "You must install the Flash plugin to use this site" messages, as opposed to "For best results, please view this site with a w3c-standards compliant browser, and if you're too lazy to do that, just click the "allow" button for this plugin". I think it's great that they're giving users the option of keeping the interface and UI and bookmarks
  and whatever that people are accustomed to. And I don't expect it to take long before the Mozilla people offer a gecko rendering plugin for IE if they haven't already :P

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