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Mozilla Starts To Follow a New Drumbeat

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the boom-snikt-snikt-boom dept.

Mozilla 226

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Key, then, to the Drumbeat project is openness, specifically openness as applied to the Internet. That fits in well with the original impulses behind Mozilla and Firefox. The former was about transforming the Netscape Communicator code into an open source browser, and the latter was about defending open standards from Microsoft's attempt to lock people into Internet Explorer 6 and its proprietary approaches. Both Mozilla and Firefox have succeeded, but the threats have now changed."

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Crunchy Goodness! (1, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723630)

Rah, rah, rah! Open standards! Who will not support that! It's got OSS Crunchy Goodness!

Actually, what I'd really like to see in FF is *LESS BLOAT* and some attention to memory management... I'll wait...

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (2, Interesting)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723864)

Tell me about it. The plugins I need for web development push FFox up to 400-500MB of memory usage usually (physical+virtual usage).

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724068)

That's a good reason to use Firefox's multiple profiles feature. Use one profile for development (with Firebug, etc. installed) and another for general browsing.

Then again, you could always run 64-bit and stock up on memory. If you haven't noticed, memory [pricewatch.com] is cheap, with prices running around US $20/gigabyte.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (2, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724252)

yea, i went that route (6GB of RAM on Vista x64), problem is that Firefox shits the bed long before my OS runs out of memory. in my experience, once FF hits about 1.2GB of RAM, it crashes.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (1)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724364)

The memory usage is just part of the problem though, with the additional memory load comes lots of slowness. I have more than enough memory in my machines (8GB for this particular one) but when firefox is only consuming about 1GB it already gets so incredibly slow that I just restart it every couple of hours. And I don't have any exotic extensions installed, just the usual (firebug, adblock, greasemonkey, etc..)

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (3, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724524)

Okay, you are using a web browser as a development tool and find it trendy to beat on it because it gets bulky when you decide to make it do stuff that it wasn't inherently designed to do.... and thats the developer's fault?

So you want a web browser that can double as the best web development tool in the planet (i do think that ff+plugins is the best dev platform for the web today), and when doing that is faster and slimmer than even browsers that can only browse (like safari)?

Go code your own, lets see if thats possible.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723996)

Actually, what I'd really like to see in FF is *LESS BLOAT* and some attention to memory management... I'll wait...

Did I hear someone say they wanted a browser with less bloat [elinks.or.cz] ?

You're welcome.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724420)

I have no problem with text-mode browsers. Very useful on machines with no X server.

But I get very tired of people complaining that Firefox is bloated, when they usually have an excessive number of unnecessary extensions loaded. People are very quick to complain if their browser doesn't support the latest shiny doodad, but whine about the extra codespace it takes up.

So here you go, folks: the Voice of Reason(TM) says: Lots of features == more code. Less features == less code. Take your pick and stop complaining.

By way of an aside, I used to maintain my own builds of the old Mozilla (minus email client and kitchensink) browser back in the days when Firefox was still called Phoenix. The general complaint at the time was that Mozilla had got too bloated, so a re-write was necessary. However, my builds of Mozilla were significantly more compact and faster than Phoenix. Eventually, of course, Mozilla's codebase stagnated, and since I wanted a few new shiny doodads myself, I went with the flow. But now that Firefox can be accurately described as mature, it might be a good time for me to start doing my own builds again...

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723998)

Firefox has been much better on memory management since FF3. Everyone talks about Chrome being lean and fast, and FF being this bloated piece of crap.

You do realize that using current builds of both, Firefox uses less memory? The UI will likely never be quite as fast due to XUL, but Firefox's memory management is pretty dang good. They could probably take a page from how Chrome handles garbage collection with their V8 Javascript engine, but that's another story.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724052)

Everyone talks about Chrome being lean and fast, and FF being this bloated piece of crap. You do realize that using current builds of both, Firefox uses less memory?

Did the parent mention Chrome?

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (1, Offtopic)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724078)

This is why I've finally dropped Firefox on my Mac.

It's been a great ride, and I thank them for what they've done. I still run it on my Work PC. (Until Google figures out how to make programs that run behind authenticated proxies).

But they've become just as complacent with their memory usage as Microsoft did with IE6 sucking. Only programs I've ever had use MORE were Photoshop when I'm doing batch processing of HDR images and VMWare when I've given the guest >1024MB of RAM, and even then, they don't beat Firefox by a large margin.

There will be times my computer is running slow as hell and I'll look up at memory usage and Firefox is above 800M, I'll kill it and start over.

Finally I had enough. I researched my 'Ad Block Plus' options and found Glimmer Blocker [glimmerblocker.org] . It's set up as proxy which means I can use it with all Web Browsers. It supports most GreaseMonkey scripts as is. I can insert CSS, etc. Only downside (which is good) is that it doesn't do anything to https connections.

XMarks syncs all my bookmarks. LastPass syncs all my passwords and so right now Chromium and WebKit Nightly are getting 50/50 usage to see which one I like better.

Chromium has a bare minimum of extensions(XMarks, LastPass, Blank New Tab & Facebook fixer). Chrome just flys. Hell there would be times when I'd hav e Chromeium browsing the web. Safari on Youtube and Firefox having 0 windows open, but it still is managing to consume 600MB of RAM while Safari and Chromium aren't even in the top 10.

The *ONE* thing I thought I would miss the most was Firebug. Until I realized both Chromium/Chrome and Webkit/Safari have Javascript Profiling tools built in and other stuff that put Firebug to shame. I wouldn't be surprised if it's probably what Google uses to develop most of their stuff.

I've left both browsers up for days and fired up an occasional firefox and after 20 minutes I watch my little menu bar graph creep up until my computer was swapping and being slow.

Oh Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724248)

There will be times my computer is running slow as hell and I'll look up at memory usage and Firefox is above 800M, I'll kill it and start over.

Dude! It's a simple user setting! TURN IN YOUR GEEK CARD! You simply need to open a certain .ini file and find a spacific entry, edit and save. Then go to your Windows system folder, open the Reg Editor, find a certain reg key (BUT DON'T MESS WITH THE OTHERS...) and change a value.

It's just that simple, my grandmother could do it blindfolded. I don't know what all you whiners are talking about with this "memory hog" nonsense.

Re:Oh Please! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724324)

I've done all the "Fix Firefox Memory Hog" stuff in the book, on both Windows XP and OS X.

My OS X machine, the one that I referenced in my post (by saying on My Mac) doesn't have a Registry Editor.

Re:Crunchy Goodness! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724382)

Well, the weirdest thing happened to me:
My Firefox always behaved well. No memory problem, no bloat, no slowness.
Until some weeks ago. I don’t exactly know what changed. I know I added some extensions (e.g. “Stylish”). I know there was a minor version update. I know Flash got updated (the thing I still have a feeling is the real responsible one in this). (64 bit Linux here, with 64 bit Flash too)

Now I find that the browser, after having used it a bit, and closed all tabs afterwards (yes, I know about the still loaded old tabs, and I like and need that feature), it eats more and more ram. Just yesterday I found it slowing the whole system down by eating 1.2 GB of virtual memory. With over 750 MB resident.

I think I will try safe mode for a week, before I blame anything.
Let’s see if the problem still persists.
As I have yet to see one single complaint, mentioning that it happens in safe mode too.

Take Control?? (1, Flamebait)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723650)

From TFA:

"Mozilla Drumbeat is a global community of people and projects using technology to help internet users understand, participate and take control of their online lives."

It sounds like someone other than myself wants to take control of my online life...

Re:Take Control?? (2, Informative)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723738)

No, it doesn't sound like that at all:

"Mozilla Drumbeat is [..] using technology to help internet users [..] take control of their online lives."

Furthermore, directly below what you quoted you can read this:

"Open. Built on technologies that anyone can study, use or improve without asking permission.

Participatory, fueled by the ideas and energy of 100s of millions of people.

Decentralized in both architecture and control, ensuring continued choice and diversity.

Public much like a public square, with space not just for commerce but also for vibrant social and civic life."

Open, participatory, decentralized and public. Does that sound like someone wants to take control of your online life? Doesn't sound like that to me.

Re:Take Control?? (2, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723816)

Open, participatory, decentralized and public. Does that sound like someone wants to take control of your online life? Doesn't sound like that to me.

says Spyware23. And just how far we trust YOUR motives, hmmmm? (j/k, of course. GP clearly didn't go to the trouble of comprehending TFA. )

Mozilla Foundation is badly managed. (0, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724030)

Have you seen $200 million worth of development in Firefox? The Mozilla foundation has been getting more than $68,000,000 each year to make Google the default search engine in Firefox. See this article, for example: Google Deal Produces 91% of Mozilla's Revenue [pcworld.com] .

In return, Firefox is the most unstable program in common use. Every new version includes "stability improvements", but the instability has gotten considerably worse since version 3.5.2. Firefox is so unstable it regularly crashes Windows XP, although not Linux, apparently.

This instability has been reported many times by many people for many years, according to discussions online. For just one small example, see the comments tab for this crash report ID: 67f332db-205a-4944-8f88-1bb7a2091220 [mozilla.com] . (Not a crash from one of our computers.) Typical comments from that comment tab:

"I can't believe how often firefox is crashing recently on multiple computers!!!"
"This is ridiculous! It happens everyday!"
"Mozilla crashes on average 10 a day. Can you help?"
"firefox is crashing on me twice a day. any advice please? thanks Graham"
"This new version of Mozilla sucks. It crashes on my multiple times each day."
"I keep going from tab to tab and after a while Mozilla crashes.."
"please fix this crash problem, thanks"

Firefox is popular because of its add-ons, apparently. People don't want to watch abusive, flashing ads that assume that the reader is stupid, so they use AdBlock Plus. When the same extensions exist for Google's browser, it seems likely that Firefox will lose popularity.

It seems to me that Mozilla Foundation is badly managed.

Mozilla Developer Center crash reporting (3, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724236)

Want to see your Firefox crashes? Enter about:crashes into the Firefox address window, and press the Enter key.

There is a discussion of Mozilla product crashes at Mozilla Developer Center crash reporting [mozilla.org] .

Re:Mozilla Foundation is badly managed. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724348)

Wow, I've that there is a trend for schools to stop teach cursive writing, which I couldn't care less about, but have they also stopped teaching the scientific method? Your hypothesis is that FF is the most unstable program in common use, and you back up that hypothesis with your own, no wait, with anecdotal evidence that some people are having issues with FF. The conclusion from that evidence, is that you are correct?

Have you collected any evidence about other browsers crashing, or any program, as state "most unstable program", and not just browsers. Have you collected data on actual program usage to determine crashes per program use? Have you considered that some, perhaps even all, though unlikely, that those users problems might be caused by another source and not the FF programming? Have you considered...

The Mozilla Foundation may be badly managed, it may not. From the simple amount of, what can only be considered crap, data you've 'collected' it is impossible to tell, and your assumption that it is badly managed should be considered nothing more than FUD.

Re:Mozilla Foundation is badly managed. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724706)

Firefox is so unstable it regularly crashes Windows XP, although not Linux, apparently.

The only time I've seen Firefox crash on XP is when my former boss let his 10-year-old son install crapware like dodgy mouse cursors and so forth on his wife's machine. I primarily use Linux and OS X, and I haven't seen Firefox crash in years (literally), although I work it pretty hard. And certainly not do anything as drastic as making the machine fall over.

Seems to me this alleged instability should be addressed apropos of your operating system, not Firefox.

Re:Mozilla Foundation is badly managed. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724868)

In return, Firefox is the most unstable program in common use. Every new version includes "stability improvements", but the instability has gotten considerably worse since version 3.5.2. Firefox is so unstable it regularly crashes Windows XP, although not Linux, apparently.

I have the exact opposite experience in my personal use...Firefox more or less never crashes on my XP machine, yet crashes at least a couple of times a week on my Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu 9.10 installed and kept up to date. True, the desktop XP machine has 4GB of ram while the Mini 9 is only rocking out with 2GB, but all of my "heavy" internet browsing and viewing is done on the desktop. Firefox on my Mini 9 is used primarily for Slashdot, [H]ard|Forum, Facebook, and Kongregate.

bad writing. (5, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723686)

Key, then, to writing summaries is quality sentences, specifically sentences that don't read like this one.

Re:bad writing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723762)

Key, then, to not writing summaries like this, is not copying random paragraphs from the article.

Re:bad writing. (0)

mschirmer (1619591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723770)

Key, then, to writing summaries is quality sentences, specifically sentences that don't read like this one.

The text was pulled straight from the article. You should direct your energy at the original article writer.

Re:bad writing. (2, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724006)

Key, then, to writing summaries is quality sentences, specifically sentences that don't read like this one.

The text was pulled straight from the article. You should direct your energy at the original article writer.

Key, then, to writing good comments is to RTFA, specifically the linked article?

Re:bad writing. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724160)

Isn't it the editor's job to not copy text directly from the article if it is so terrible? Come to think of it, why do we still grace these clowns with the title "editor" at all? They seem rather resitant to actual editing.

Re:bad writing. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724502)

Yeah. They really are not editors. I don't really think they necessarily should be, either. They basically just post stuff, editing only occasionally. I mean a garbage man also takes in toxic chemicals to be properly disposed of twice a year, but we don't call them "Toxic waste disposer men".

Re:bad writing. (1)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723774)

I have, myself, reconsidered, after reading this summary, what good writing is.

Re:bad writing. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724132)

I, myself, have, as well, always thought, among other things, that key, then, to good writing, something we should all, absolutely, be striving for, is good, judicial use of, or control of, parenthentical phrases, set off by commas.

Re:bad writing. (1)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724528)

Occasionally (and I'm not trying to be pedantic), I will try and use parentheses (not that it's a better solution, but it seems to break up the parenthetical expressions in a more visually pleasing manner) to keep my sentences simpler, while other times (more often than not) I'll just get straight to the point (if there indeed a point to be made). :)

Re:bad writing. (4, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723820)

Writing are hards!

Re:bad writing. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724536)

I iz a lolcat, u insentieef klotz!

Re:bad writing. (2, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723836)

That's fits in well with good editorial style.

Re:bad writing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723844)

your heart is *truly* klingon.

Re:bad writing. (1)

bickle (101226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724428)

It reads like a Babelfish translation.

Communioncator (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723704)

I don't know what this 'Drumbeat' project is and also I am not sure what is Communincator exactly so obviously I must provide an opinion on this 'story'.

Really, whatever is written in the summary, I don't understand what they are talking about, can anyone translate into normal speak for the ununinitiateted?

Re:Communioncator (4, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723894)

Netscape Communicator (or simply "Netscape") was Internet Explorer's main (only?) competition in the late 90s. It was a web browser developed and released by Netscape which at one time was dominant, but has since been relegated to history.

There are two main reasons for its demise:

1) Microsoft finally woke up and realised that the Internet (and specifically the World Wide Web) was important, and developed IE, finally bundling it as part of Windows

2) Netscape decided to make version 5 a complete rewrite from scratch, which gave MS all the time they needed to improve IE to the point that it made Netscape look like a bad joke.

To my mind, 2) is what really killed it; Netscape 4 was buggy and slow, and while it was definitely comparable to IE4, IE5 was superior (and I say that as someone who went from Netscape 4 to Mozilla - I have never used IE as my primary browser, and most likely never will). Netscape did release versions 6 and 7, based on Gecko and the Mozilla code base, but by then it was far too late. (They also sucked compared to Mozilla/Firefox and IE).

Re:Communioncator (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723922)

Do I hear a whoooshing sound?

Re:Communioncator (1)

1stvamp (662375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724170)

You sir, completely missed the point. See, there, right there it goes *woooooosh*

Re:Communioncator (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724306)

You sir, completely missed the point. See, there, right there it goes *woooooosh*

Is there a joke somewhere in that post? 'Cause to me, it seems not so much like a joke going over my head as simply the absence of joke-stuff.

Re:Communioncator (1)

1stvamp (662375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724356)

...

Really? Seriously?
It's not so much a joke as a snarky comment about the lack of editing (as usual) in the summary, which neither informs you about what the hell it's actually going on about, nor does it even manage to spell it's own subject matter correctly, for example as pointed out "Communincator".

Re:Communioncator (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724630)

The joke was that the summary wasn't talking about Communicator, but instead something called "Communincator." Notice the spelling error. It should have a nice squiggly red underline in your browser.

And now I have explained the joke, thus killing it... sorry.

Re:Communioncator (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724842)

hahahahahaaaa :)) I am dying here. Just look at my sig.

Re:Communioncator (2, Funny)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724412)

Rewriting Firefox from scratch would be a suicidal move by Mozilla. A simpler solution is fork Chromium and port XUL to run on top of WebKit and V8. This way they get good code to base their browser on, while maintaining ownership to the (newer) code.
In the meantime they can continue Gecko 1.9 development and try to bring in more of WebKit and V8 into the codebase.
In ways kinda like what happened with KHTML and WebKit.

Re:Communioncator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724612)

Yep, seems most sensible to me. KHTML/WebKit have proven to be much more maintainable and less crufty. There's a reason that they're leading on hot new CSS stuff. Plus the performance of WebKit is by far superior, at least on my computer. Why are they still sticking to their old Netscape code? Pride?

Re:Communioncator (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724896)

Right, now that you have gone on some weird tangent, how about the actual explanation on this Communincator thingy?

Re:Communioncator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724044)

The "Dumbeat" project is how they can justify dumbing their software down so that even the most clueless moron won't be confused by the options, because there aren't any.

Communionicator sounds somewhat Catholic. The Church embracing Web 2.0 or something.

Re:Communioncator (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724140)

Here, allow me to translate from English to /.:
Microsoft = Evildoers, Satan's Emissary on Earth
Anything made by Anyone Else : Given to us by the Angels, Perfect in every way.

Seriously, it would be nice to read a single day's /. postings where the summaries were actual news and not (horribly biased) opinion.

Re:Communioncator (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724182)

SCO != MS, and SCO != angelic. I prefer to think of EVIL as an array, with MS being merely an element in it.

Re:Communioncator (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724292)

SCO derived from Xenix that was once owned by Microsoft.

Re:Communioncator (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724758)

if you're talking about the UNIX variant, sure. When SCO was a UNIX vendor, they were fairly well respected. That's not the same SCO in anything but a name, as the one that was so controversial several years ago.

Re:Communioncator (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724778)

but the seed had already been planted~

Re:Communioncator = RTFA (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724520)

Simple, when you don't understand the summary, then Read The Fine (linked) Article (RTFA) and it is explained! Commenting when you have not taken time to read, looks bad on you.

I have an idea (4, Insightful)

Jason Quinn (1281884) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723712)

Imagine if Firefox was perfect and the web environment was stable: in other words there was no need to change it anymore until the environment changed. Would the Mozilla folks let it be? No because people are now employed by the Mozilla Foundation and jobs are at stake. Firefox is effectively a commercial product now. As happens to nearly every commercial software product that meets its users needs and original design goals, the software will come to experience feature bloat as the developers try to keep the attention of its userbase. (For the record, I think the claims that it is already bloatware are premature.) Feature bloat and change for the sake of change are the future of Firefox and it will all come in the name of "innovation". PS In any case, the Linux version of Firefox could use some attention devs!

Re:I have an idea (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723980)

They could also just start developing other software such as thunderbird or an graphics editor that can export html and which don't suck.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724118)

I always laugh at comments about feature bloat.

Unless the features included in software are unused by the vast majority of that software's users, then it is not feature bloat. Just because you personally don't need a feature, and that your personal copy would be faster without it doesn't mean it's bloated, it just means it has a feature that you don't need. Personally I find mail merge to be a completely wasted feature in every office suite I've ever used. People who send a lot of form letters on the other hand, or who need to address the same letter to lots of people, probably disagree. Alternatively, a lot of people find javascript debuggers useless, whereas I install extra ones into my browsers. Some people hate the awesome bar in firefox, I miss it when I'm using another browser.

Generally speaking, if software is still successful, excluding rare instances where there is zero competition(including older versions of the same product), it's not actually suffering from feature bloat. Software with too many unwanted features generally becomes unusable and so people stop using it. If a lot of people are using it, then at worst it's getting there, and if a lot of people are using that feature, then it's not really bloated at all.

Re:I have an idea (1)

cronco (1435465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724206)

I completely agree with the last point. I am often amazed at the difference in experience in using FF on the same PC on Windows and then on Ubuntu. It really doesn't feel like the same browser, ie it lags even on a brand new PC on Ubuntu.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724510)

Imagine if Firefox was perfect and the web environment was stable: in other words there was no need to change it anymore until the environment changed.

I can imagine that. And that vision is extremely different than the world most people live in. Here are two examples:

Many parts of the web (e.g. youtube) require plugins, such as flash.

Many parts of the web (e.g. gmail) provide single-vendor services that people used to be able to take for granted would remain under their own control (e.g. imap server running on my own box).

I'm skeptical that Mozilla can fix these problems (it's ultimately up to users to choose to not lock themselves into proprietary dependencies) but if they think they can do anything about it, they might as well try.

As long as people need Flash, there's a damn good reason for browser makers to try to increase the attractiveness of HTML5. As long as people choose to use webmail, there's a damn good reason for software developers to try to improve email clients to try to bring 'em back to mastery of their own email. And so on. There's certainly a shitload of opportunity for things to get better, so if someone wants to try, I'm not necessarily going to accuse them of bloat or change for the sake of change. The 'net is very fucked up right now and needs help.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724802)

Of course, it'll be a long time before Firefox is "perfect". In reality, that will never happen. Still, the same argument could be applied for sufficiently high values of "good enough".

In this sort of situation, I would hope that they'd start putting resources on other projects. Endlessly polishing Firefox to keep people employed does not make economic sense. Those developers could turn their attention to Bugzilla, or to Thunderbird, or come up with a new project. Leave a smaller number of people behind to keep maintaining Firefox and porting it to other platforms, perhaps.

What to do after ? (5, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723716)

FTA:That's all well and good, but it raises the question: what should Mozilla be doing *after* it conquers the browser world – that is, once it has 50% market share?

Easy, people should begin to explore other alternatives like Chrome, Safari and Opera. There should ALWAYS be choices because absolute power corrupts absolutely whether it's IE or Firefox. It's naive to make simple assertions like Microsoft = bad and Mozilla = good. Any organization that gets that kind of control eventually capitalizes on it. I know the article says "The threats have changed". How about "Mozilla's motivations will change?"

Re:What to do after ? (2, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724034)

Just look at the Firefox 3.6 news where Mozilla is going to be reducing the size of the sandbox that developers get to play in. Many feel this is a good move, but there are plenty of other developers and users that are going to be left in the cold. As long as they don't impede the function of Adblock+ and NoScript then I will remain a happy Firefox user.

Re:What to do after ? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724384)

Huh? I see only minor changes [mozilla.org] in the pipe. The most annoying one seems to be the removal of the 'properties' context menu item, though I'm sure an extension can add it back in.

Re:What to do after ? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724498)

Any organization that gets that kind of control eventually capitalizes on it.

Worse, any organization that gets too much control will impede the progress of others.

Capitalizing on success is fine. I don't have a problem with Microsoft making money from their browser. I have a problem with IE being the de facto standard and stifling all innovations that Microsoft chooses not to implement in their browser.

And notice I'm not even talking about any misbehavior on Microsoft's part. The point is that monoculture is bad. Monoculture means no competition, which means no innovation that the monoculture doesn't approve of. Plus, on a side note, monoculture means that a single security hole will necessarily be shared by everyone.

Too bad (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723726)

They are still off step.

Drumbeat? (5, Funny)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723732)

I don't know what this drumbeat is, but I keep having a tap,tap,tap,,,tap in my head and it's driving me mad. Can you hear it?

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723808)

Jumanji

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724604)

No. Doctor Who. Watch this year’s Christmas special. It’s pretty great.

Re:Drumbeat? (3, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723850)

I don't know what this drumbeat is, but I keep having a tap,tap,tap,,,tap in my head and it's driving me mad. Can you hear it?

Maybe the ringing in my ears should meet the tapping in your head -- they could form a band!

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723878)

I could a few weeks ago, but then Rassilon fixed it for me with his magic glove.

--
Toro

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723890)

See? Told you not to look. Silly boy.

Most people just yell "My God! It's full of stars!". You, you have to do the drumbeat thing.

Re:Drumbeat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723896)

4 heartbeats

Re:Drumbeat? (2)

LMacG (118321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723920)

A Time Lord's heartbeat?

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724004)

In your case, it is just your insanity.

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

th77 (515478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724084)

Exactly what I was thinking. I hope it doesn't turn the Mozilla project into a mad super-villain, which in turn changes all other software on Earth into copies of itself.

Re:Drumbeat? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724640)

Yes, but that's because I'm listening to the really long version of "In a gadda-da-vida" right now.

I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (2, Insightful)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723742)

I really hope Mozilla can make it happen.

Where is Google in this? Why are they dragging their feet?
After all, without openness where would they be?

Re:I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723958)

I want HTML5 to die and Silverlight to live.

HTML was never designed to be a web application infrastructure and all the hacks in the world will never make it so. It just gets worse and more convoluted with each release.

Re:I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724212)

HTML5 was *designed* to replace the hack called flash (and now silverlight)

Re:I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724470)

Why would I want WPF on my Unix?
Oh wait, I can't run it!
It says my OS is not supported.
Give me HTML or give me death.

Re:I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724190)

Google would be over there adding proprietary features [google.com] to Chrome/ChromeOS.

Re:I just want HTML5 to live and Flash to die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724422)

Well don't install flash then.

Have a nice hot steaming cup of Java instead.

WTFBoy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723778)

Idk if it is just me or not, and I did not read the entire article, but is it not a turd in text? It has no point.

Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30723780)

The largest challenge to openness stares us in the face every day, and nobody seems to notice: Much of our data is stored in proprietary servers controlled by private companies, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter. The Internet was consciously and carefully engineered to put the power in the hands of the end user; data was stored at the end point in open formats (think of POP/IMAP mail and USENET forums, for example). Now a new generation of less sophisticated users hands over their personal data to private companies. Not only are there serious privacy risks, but we've lost control of our data. You are dependent on Facebook's good will to migrate *your* data to another application. What happens when your cloud vendor goes out of business?

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724154)

That's where Opera unite is interesting: potentially, it can be equivalent to most social networking applications, while keeping your data on your computer.
There are still a number of difficulties, such as the fact that a bunch of (more or less) basic social functionnalities is missing, and the problem that most home computers aren't up 24/7, but it's worth looking at.

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (2, Informative)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724202)

And I forgot i wanted to say something:
Unite may or may not grow to be the "next big thing" in social networking, but once the mozzilla community develop an equivalent for firefox while passing the idea as theirs, it sure will.

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724280)

The Internet was consciously and carefully engineered to put the power in the hands of the end user; data was stored at the end point in open formats (think of POP/IMAP mail and USENET forums, for example).

Okay... do you have examples in which spam is not a rampant problem, and impossible to deal with due to fundamental design decisions?

What happens when your cloud vendor goes out of business?

Your data goes "Poof!" That is what they mean by "cloud!"

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724374)

With all due respect, there's a huge difference between distribution and aggregation. Even in the "good old days" of IRC they were trying to build huge networks of servers which would be your one place to network with all your (geeky) friends. Everybody was very busy trying to avoid duplication of long-distance transfers because despite even though it looked like one Internet then doing "long distnace" was expensive for the ISPs. They'd probably be more spinning in their graves (though they're probably not old enough for that yet, oh how time flies) over the extremely wasteful torrent protocol where we pull data all around the world over tons of hubs and down and back up last-mile connections just to do tit for tat swapping. Being able to pull off one world-wide system would be more of a dream.

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (1)

GNU.Stalman (1718516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724430)

Preach it, brother!

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (1)

awol (98751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724610)

You raise _the_ fascinating question. I am intrigued by the balance between my privacy, independence and the robustness and accessibility (web apps) of the cloud framework.

I love google services, I trust Google to store my data and be there tomorrow. I trust them to be less evil than my needs demand for the services that I use. I use encryption for stuff that is sensitive and mostly (if not completely) I don't particularly care about whether they have access to my data because under the current terms of service (and given that it is all so free it is interesting to test if there is any enforceability of these "agreements") doing something dodgy with it would be a wrong yada, yada, yada.

I could establish these services myself on my servers at home, but I consider the Google infrastructure an outsourcing arrangement that provides a resilience I could not as easily provide myself.

Have I lost control? Well, yes and no. My sensitive data I maintain locally and backup and it is a pain. My email, I leave with gmail. That balance is about right for me. If they went malicious on me and took it all away I would be inconvenienced (and mighty annoyed) but life would go on. Given that I am happy with the intangible price I pay, the next question for me is how much money would I pay for the services that I use. Thankfully I don't have to answer that question yet, but FWIW it aint zero.

Cloud vendor out of business is a great scenario. It is a part of the risk assessment you just have to do with this stuff. I think reexamining the POP USENET examples you give provides a worthwhile excercise, those services were provided by institutions that then passed them on to you, your university (well mine at least) your workplace. But the amount of privacy you had there was equally small and as employers moved to provide these services you had the same set of problems if you moved employers.

So.... I think we have always had this problem. We now have many many times the data and the amenity from these service providers and so we have a few new problems but the fundamental question remains. I don't see a better solution than a market place of reliable providers between whom I can transfer my requirements. The one thing I do see as needing to improve is the ability to have these services built on open standards to make the services more transferrable between providers. That however is perhaps the killer question and perhaps even the develoment for which we really should be pushing.

Re:Open cloud vs Facebook, Google, Twitter (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724880)

Actually the article and Mozilla's spokesman address this concern as one of the primary threats to the openness of the web in the future. It is mentioned that this threat, amongst others, will hopefully be addressed by the projects pushed through drumbeat in an attempt to keep information from coalescing into a few central locations. Whether you are cynical or not, like Mozilla or not, or are new here or not, the article is, at the very least, an interesting discussion. I would recommend checking it out.

Hold on one second... (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30723910)

That's fits in well with the original impulses behind Mozilla and Firefox. The former was about transforming the Netscape Communincator code into an open source browser, and the latter was about defending open standards from Microsoft's attempt to lock people into Internet Explorer 6 and its proprietary approaches

I thought Firefox was about Mozilla being bloated and slow, and nothing to do with IE or Microsoft at all?

Re:Hold on one second... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724666)

Absolutely right.

After spending several years with that nightmare called Trident [wikipedia.org] , there is no way in hell Mozilla can ever produce something worse than that. I will stop talking to anyone who refuses to stop using that thing, and develop all websites to shut MS browsers out, until that thing is completely trashed, and rewritten from scratch.

And don’t dare modding me down for that, if you haven’t tried to develop a web application with a complex layout in it, or at least spent 3 years, building IE-compatible websites.

Ministry of Truth (4, Informative)

Hythlodaeus (411441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724102)

Firefox "was about defending open standards from Microsoft's attempt to lock people into Internet Explorer 6 and its proprietary approaches"? Maybe in Stallman's world.

In the words of one of Firefox's creators: (http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/009698.html)
"We discussed the rot within Mozilla, which we blamed on Netscape and Mozilla's inability to assert independence. He suggested it'd be perhaps preferable to start again on the user interface, much of the code in the front end was so bloated and bad that it was better off starting from a fresh perspective. ... These browser efforts were reactions to the rot we had seen in the Mozilla application suite."

Yes, you can mod me as troll. (2, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724110)

Too long; didn't read. Repeating the same mission statement 3 or 4 times with minor modifications doesn't make for a terribly great article. Generally, mission statements shouldn't even be expressed the first time around.

Re:Yes, you can mod me as troll. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724208)

The only mission statements I read are the ones that begin "Your mission, should you choose to accept it." and end with "This message will self-destruct in [some time period]."

Drumbeat? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724372)

I'm all fine with this as long as nobody named Saxon [wikipedia.org] is in charge of the project.

They're investing $1 million plus in this (1)

darthcamaro (735685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724560)

There is a full interview with Surman about some of the specific drumbeat projects at: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3857436/Mozilla-Drumbeat-Aims-to-Expand-Web-Participation.htm [earthweb.com] There is an open p2p university and an open web privacy logo initiative that are kinda cool. An od ya Mozilla is investing $1 million into this too.

they need QA, not drummers (0, Offtopic)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724598)

If IE and Chrome can play perfectly-smooth flash video, but Firefox makes it stutter, QA SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT THAT SHIT!

How about they roll up their sleeves and do REAL work: find and fix the major glitches. That is more important than vague mission statements.

I'm still confused... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724766)

I don't do web development or anything, but I do have 11 plugins running in Firefox as well as regularly reaching 15-20 open tabs at a time...and I've never had a memory issue since 3.5 was released (running on 4 GB of DDR2800 ram). What is it that you folks are doing that causes Firefox to have such a massive memory leak still? Are you not running the latest version? Are you trying to use it to cure cancer?

I don't mean to sound like a douche, I'm genuinely interested...I'm just curious why so many people have this problem with similar circumstances as myself, yet I don't encounter any of these issues.

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