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Flock Switches To Chromium For New Beta

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-stop-blabbing dept.

Social Networks 154

An anonymous reader writes "Flock, the social networking browser, has moved from Firefox open source code to Chromium in its latest beta. The new Flock is essentially a combination of Chrome and TweetDeck, as you can sign in to Twitter and Facebook accounts and look at a single feed that incorporates updates from both. Currently, the beta is only available on Windows, but a Mac version is slated for later this year."

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I dont give a flock (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608196)

I dont give a flock

Re:I dont give a flock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608512)

sdlufdlfju

Re:I dont give a flock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32609034)

brazzers.com username: Brazzers4chan
password: cumbuckets

Re:I dont give a flock (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608818)

The people who modded you "funny" deserve to have the shit beat out of them.

Re:I dont give a flock (2, Funny)

clemdoc (624639) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609002)

Ethanol fuel is for combustion engines, not for oral ingestion.
Relax.

Had to be said... (3, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608198)

Get the Flock outa here!

Mozilla Corp blew it... (3, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608872)

Mozilla corporation seems to be pretty badly run. They solicited donations for the NYT ad(some of my poor college friends scraped together money for it) while overpaying the CEO($500K per year)! The management was supposed to find different ways of getting funding but Mozilla is still dependent totally on Google(which competes with it's own rival browser). Mozilla made $66 million in revenue just in 2006 while development was largely done by unpaid volunteers.

In the meantime, Firefox was quite bloated, crash prone and lost the speed race to Chrome, Thunderbird stagnated and nothing really innovative or useful came out of Mozilla labs. Ubuntu will probably switch to Chromium and Firefox will start losing search revenue. . Probably the only thing going for Firefox are extensions(Chrome supports extensions now) and proper Adblock. Things are so bad that the CEO is planning to step down [computerworld.com]

Sad to see one of the epitomes of FOSS go down in flames like this.

Re:Mozilla Corp blew it... (1)

roca (43122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609324)

I would dispute most of those assertions, but even if they were all true, it doesn't necessarily mean Mozilla is badly run. Web browsers are an incredibly competitive environment, there is massive investment from many competitors, and it is very hard to be successful. I mean, I think Apple and Opera are well-run companies but their browsers are basically going nowhere in market share. Safari gets a bump every time Apple releases a device where Safari is the only browser you're allowed to run.

Re:Mozilla Corp blew it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32609442)

Chrome/ium still has awful page scrolling, and there is no way to set the size or clear you cache properly.

Re:Mozilla Corp blew it... (3, Insightful)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609488)

Firefox is hardly "going down in flames".

Sure, it's lacking some features (such as process-per-tab, über-fast javascript execution) that chrome has, but it's still well ahead of Opera and IE. I've still never seen this "crash prone-ness" that people talk about with regard to firefox, maybe because I've always used adblock plus? In any event I suspect it will go away with 3.6.4, which pulls flash and other plugins out of the browser process.

Thunderbird, on the other hand, isn't doing so great. But I'd say that's as much about the rise of gmail and other good webmail based systems as anything else. I would even argue that Mozilla has made the right decision to de-prioritize thunderbird work given the "put literally everything including apps on the web" atmosphere these days.

Someone should probably tell them... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608212)

...nobody uses Flock.

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608240)

All they have to say is that Google steals their data with Chrome and Flock disables those features, and Flock will instantly be very popular.

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608270)

If they're using Facebook and Twitter, I think the whole point is that everyone has their data.

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608338)

But, but, Google is evil!

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608770)

This is why the SRware Iron so popular, ja?

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

coerciblegerm (1829798) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609412)

This is why the SRware Iron so popular, ja?

Pretty much. I remember running it through Wireshark a few months back and noticing it was still trying to connect to Google servers. It was less so than the default installation of Chrome, but nearly identical to Chromium after deselecting some options. SRWare Iron is such a freaking joke...

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608848)

I'm using it right now right now. It's actually a pretty nice secondary browser because you can plug NoScript into it, and in general, it's nicer than Opera, Safari, Chrome, K-Meleon, or IE. If people aren't using it, they really should give it a go. I don't know what that whole 'social browser' thing is all about (I don't use MySpace or Facebook or any of that crap), but as a second Firefox it's great.

Re:Someone should probably tell them... (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609022)

I just wish it had true ad-blocking. Not seeing ads is nice, but nothing really beats actually getting rid of them completely (both for bandwidth and security).

Other than that, I agree, Chromium is pretty nice. I installed the unstable (dev) version as a test, and now I find myself rarely using Firefox. I even installed Chrome on my Windows box, and use it happily around 75% of the time, even if it is blissfully sending my history to Google (I really don't do anything that anyone would ever care about, but for more secure uses I stick to Firefox).

Firefox has gotten pretty bad, of late. It takes around 3 times as long to open, and gets sluggish much faster. For some reason Mozilla decided to gut all added Win7 functionality, while adding a bunch of completely moronic features (Personas, really? Was that worth ANY dev time?). Chrome/ium uses more RAM total, but RAM is cheap, and somehow it never feels as sluggish as Firefox.

  Though, as I'm typing this I have two pop-ups telling me that Chrome stopped responding, while typing this through Chrome.

true true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608276)

firefox IS getting bloated lately.
if you got 56k but a megacore megadual mega computer you're first choice would be firefox (downloadsize)
but if you got atom and 10MBbps .. well not.
one would think that in the age of desktop super computers, ASM would be easy to program?
put me on nnnn-curses and lynx. /quit
p.s. whats "flock"?

Why not WebKit? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608300)

I'm kind of curious... why Chromium and not the base WebKit project? Are they piggybacking off the browser gui as well or something? It's not terribly hard to build your own browser atop WebKit, and performance wise, both the official version and Google's implementation are neck and neck speedwise. I'm not a web browser developer or anything, but every time I've used WebKit I've been able to integrate it easily into my apps with little overhead. Just wondering why Flock opted for several layers of projects over WebKit instead of just using WebKit itself.

Re:Why not WebKit? (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608326)

Yes, they are using the GUI as well. And they are probably doing so to cut development time for other things they care about more than reimplementing another GUI around WebKit.

Re:Why not WebKit? (5, Informative)

Quaelin (172970) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608394)

Exactly. (I'm one of the Flock devs.)

Chromium is much more than just WebKit, and Flock is reusing most of that. Their UI was very well thought-out, and their V8 JavaScript engine is incredibly fast -- making it a perfect platform for Flock's application layer code which is almost entirely JavaScript.

BTW, since the original article doesn't contain links, here's the site where you can grab the beta if you're so inclined:
beta.flock.com [flock.com]

Mac version is in the works.

Re:Why not WebKit? (3)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608608)

Linux version?

Re:Why not WebKit? (4, Informative)

Quaelin (172970) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608798)

Not sure when. Only 1-2% or so of our 2.x user base was on Linux, so it's not a high priority right now -- but that doesn't mean it won't happen. A few of our devs definitely want to see it happen... but I can't offer a timeline for it right now.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608554)

I didn't realize Chromium was open source. I thought it was closed like Microsoft's IE/ Is Safari open source?

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608596)

Safari is closed-source but uses WebKit. Apple contributes code to the WebKit project, but does not share the sources for the complete Safari browser.

Re:Why not WebKit? (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608614)

I didn't realize Chromium was open source.

How could you not have realized that? Pretty much everyone has known that since Google announced it quite a long time ago and stated that it was going to be open source. From here [google.com] :

Chromium is the open-source project behind Google Chrome.

Re:Why not WebKit? (0, Offtopic)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608650)

Do you know who the Secretary General of Australia is? How could you not know that? It was announced quite a long time ago that it was Ms Quentin Bryce [gg.gov.au]

Just because you feel something is common knowledge doesn't mean that it is, and doesn't mean everyone has to know it.

Re:Why not WebKit? (-1, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608652)

Just because you feel something is common knowledge doesn't mean that it is,

Just because you're living under a rock and didn't know a pretty common fact about how Chromium is open sourced doesn't mean it isn't common knowledge.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608806)

You sure got him...

If you felt any sense of joy or superiority by calling someone out for not knowing something that probably isn't as important to him as it is to others, no matter how "common" you feel the information is, you should examine your outlook on life.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608934)

That's funny, I wasn't aware.

Re:Why not WebKit? (4, Insightful)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608944)

It is common knowledge within certain programming and Internet addict communities that Chromium is open sourced. For people outside these communities (which is the vast majority of humankind) it is not common knowledge.

Feel happy when you can enlighten someone to a piece of knowledge. But don't lord it over them. They are sure to know many things common to their communities of which you have no idea. The first step to being accepted by people (getting friends, wife, getting along with workmates etc.) is learning how to accept people.

Dissing someone for not knowing what Chromium is just reeks of an inferiority complex. Learn to accept that others know things you don't know; and you know things that others don't know.

Should I say you've been living under a rock because you don't know these basic concepts of social behaviour, which are ubiquitous across different cultures and time periods? No, it is much better to tell, convince, persuade. Resorting to insults, or astonishment which implies disrespect is just aggressive behaviour, which is something which most societies do not accept (except for the fact that people being aggressive to one another can be fairly entertaining).

If someone asks "what animal does beef come from?", there are several ways to respond. I will list two.

Correct

  • Cows. [conversation moves on]

Incorrect

  • Are you stupid? Have you been living in an igloo for your entire life? It's common knowledge that beef comes from cows.
    [person who asked question now feels incredibly stupid and will respond either with aggression, or avoidance of you. Either way, they will not like you]
    [alternatively, you will receive a lecture from the politeness police]

Re:Why not WebKit? (1, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608994)

Are you stupid? Have you been living in an igloo for your entire life? It's common knowledge that beef comes from cattle. Preferably Steer, Cows are for milk you dolt!

Either way Beef is not restricted to coming from the female of the species.

Re:Why not WebKit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608968)

Just because you're not aware of it, doesn't mean you're not a total dick. You're a case in point.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609020)

Clearly you don't know that either! Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC is the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609150)

*sheepish look* Donchaknow, Ban Ki Moon is actually Quentin with extensive makeup and voice training.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609204)

Never seen them both in the same room ;)

Re:Why not WebKit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32609362)

Do you know who the Secretary General of Australia is?

Why would he know that? Is she like a really fast typist or something? Extra good at answering the phones for Australia?

If' she's anything like that hot redhead secretary on Mad Men, that's a different story.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608972)

He was too busy getting laid to read some random company's announcements. Have fun with your unlimited knowledge.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609072)

Note: next time when in doubt, try Google first. You get less dickish replies (normally).

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609520)

> It's not terribly hard to build your own browser atop WebKit

Well, you just have to provide a networking library, a crypto library, a user interface, a cache, and a few other minor things like that.... How "hard" that is depends on whether you have those easily available and whether they play well with each other.

Re:Why not WebKit? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609570)

"Well, you just have to provide a networking library, a crypto library, a user interface, a cache, and a few other minor things like that.... How "hard" that is depends on whether you have those easily available and whether they play well with each other."

Hm, are you sure? WebKit is built on top of both CFLite, which includes networking classes. I'm also pretty sure WebKit includes a caching engine too. And in the project there are native views for most major platforms.

In fact, I see a lot of tutorial's like this around the net the implement none of the things you say need to be implemented:
http://www.gtkforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=3057 [gtkforums.com]

I don't blame Flock if they don't want to implement UI stuff like the back/forward button, address bar, menus, preferences, etc. I just feel like if they did so, it would make their offering more unique...

Huge regression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608306)

While the change in the underlying browser engine was probably a step forward, everything else about this new flock is a net loss in features. The old flock had support for around 2 dozen different social services. including APIs for a number of blogging platforms. This one drops all that for JUST facebook and twitter. No thanks.

No more Fireflock. What next? (5, Interesting)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608318)

I know that this doesn't really matter to Mozilla per se, but Firefox is coming under some tough times in the near future. I have to say, I do fear for the future of my favourite browser (my favourite by a mile, dispite its flaws).

They're soon losing the Google funding and support (probably).
They seem to be not taking ANYONE's side on anything.
H.264
Ubuntu, even, seem like they'll switch to a custom Chromium browser in the next couple of releases.
They don't seem to be leading the market in features at all any more, and only seem to limply suggest that it's the best by focusing on security (note: I DO think it's the best, what I mean is the public image).

Do other Firefox fans feel that the market might deem it unnecessary or out of touch?

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608354)

Uhwhat? What does ANY of that have to do with whether people (you know, end users who don't give to shits about freetard politics) continue to use Firefox?

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (4, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608464)

You're right. I didn't explain my main worry. There's a strong trend towards Chrome because of its simplicity, and I like Firefox because of its completeness. People who "give to shits about freetard politics" would use GNU Icecat. I don't. I just think that Firefox is the best.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609016)

There's a strong trend towards Chrome because of its simplicity, and I like Firefox because of its completeness.

See, the entire reason I started using Firefox, way back when it was still Firebird I think (maybe one name before that even) is because it was _just_ a browser. Now it's just as bloated as IE. So I use Chrome. Chrome today is what Fire-whatever was nearly a decade ago. I spent the ~5 years before Chrome was released trying to avoid upgrading Firefox as long as possible and dreading each "upgrade", as each one seemed to get slower and more annoying. I shouldn't have to download a bunch of plugins to make the UI _simpler_.

If you ask me, what Mozilla should be doing is getting back that divide between Firefox and the Mozilla Suite. Am I the only one who remembers when there was actually a difference between Firefox and the Mozilla Browser? Firefox was originally the stripped down, lightweight version. Now they're essentially the same damn thing. All I want is a browser. Mozilla has apparently stopped caring about that demographic. And I bet it's larger than they think it is.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609600)

it was _just_ a browser

This is why I have high hopes for Chrome. If you go to Google [google.com] , (and aren't logged in) you still get basically the same plain old Google page you've gotten since the 90's. It's got new features, but they're slim and fast. Chrome might escape the feature bloat that's destroyed Firefox.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609652)

I've always considered bloated to be a vague criticism that can't be refuted. After all, I can't demonstrate that Firefox isn't bloated because it has no specific meaning. Do you have an actual, specific criticism of Firefox, or are you just dissing it for no particular reason? It's fine if you don't like it, but I'd rather that people admit there's no particular reason for their dislike instead of coming up with a meaningless excuse.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (4, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608368)

Why would they be losing Google's funding, and if they do, why wouldn't they be able to get funding elsewhere? If Ubuntu switches to a different browser, Firefox will lose only a small fraction of its users. I don't think they've ever lead the market in features; they've led the market in quality. You may have a point on H.264, but they're making an ideological stand to support only freely available technologies. If they need to support H.264, they'll do it.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608860)

I don't think they've ever lead the market in features; they've led the market in quality.

You've got that completely backwards - at least for the past >=5 years.

Firefox was first awesome because, compared to the alternative, it was fast - damn fast - and lightweight. It also used modern standards, which could certainly be considered a 'feature'.

Then Firefox dominated amongst geeks due to the extensions - the very large, typically high quality extensions. The extension API was a non-trivial part of this - ie, a "feature".

As for quality? Have you given Chrome/Chromium a fair shake? I switched from Firefox about a year ago because I was sick and tired of Firefox quality problem: even with minimal extensions (Adblock and Flashblock), and the Flash plugin used for occasional things, it was unstable. It was horribly unstable, crashing upwards of once or twice a day. If it wasn't Flash causing the problem, it was Javascript itself. Yes, I disabled extensions trying to find the problem, tried different versions, etc., but I'm pretty sure it was just Firefox design issues.

I switched to Chromium as soon as there was a semblance of ad blocking (hiding) and didn't look back. The speed difference on a per-tab basis is significant, nevermind when you've got a dozen or more tabs open at once: Chromium is noticeably faster on a single core system, nevermind a multicore.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608880)

I've been using Firefox for years. If anything, it's only become even better. The other browsers have been catching up, but still aren't as good. I've tried Chrome, but it has quite a few problems. I do have minor problems with Firefox, but worse problems with other browsers. I have two extensions installed, including AdBlock Plus. It works great!

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608980)

I think you had valid points at one time maybe... They came and went. Firefox is a solid browser and the others just can't compete. As much as people want to say it's old, dated, and ready to be tossed out the truth is that it's the best thing we've got and Chrome is just bad for the time being. Maybe one day it'll catch up to where Firefox is. For now Google can stuff it. I'll stick to a browser that isn't owned by a corporation intent on invading my privacy.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32609234)

"Pretty sure" huh?

Well, anyway, give FF3.7 a shot.

Even w/ flash/adblock you'd still have WMP and Java, and at least FF3.7 pulls plugins out of the process.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32609216)

Because they still haven't fixed the memory issues? They've fallen behind IE8 and Chrome in matters of security? Not to mention that FireFox "feels" slow compared to Chrome or other WebKit browsers. FireFox 4 can't come soon enough.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609350)

Test after test shows that Firefox uses less memory than other browsers. What memory issues are you referring to? If you can explain how to reproduce them, someone can file a bug report for you.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608420)

I think the H.264 point has been mooted by the introduction of WebM (VP8 + Ogg Vorbis). If VP8 is in fact patent-free, it is a good alternative for streaming online video as it provides quality equivalent to H.264 Baseline Profile. In fact, Firefox had builds supporting WebM BEFORE Chrome. Chrome's first release came one day after the public announcement whereas Firefox already had a build at the time of announcement with such support.

MS has stated an intent to include WebM in IE9. Firefox and Chrome already support WebM in development releases, and the next stable releases will support it. Opera beta builds support WebM. The only major browser that doesn't have support, and for which support is not forthcoming, is Safari.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608472)

I think the H.264 point has been mooted by the introduction of WebM (VP8 + Ogg Vorbis). If VP8 is in fact patent-free

Yes. If. MPEG LA claims it isn't and one of the core x264 developers states (paraphrasing) it's unlikely to be.

MS has stated an intent to include WebM in IE9. Firefox and Chrome already support WebM in development releases

This is all the reason in the world MPEG LA needs to immediately prepare a portfolio of infringed patents. Someone the size of Microsoft and Google distributing to all their users, Firefox which for now is quite well funded?

If you think WebM isn't going to have at least "many" of the same patent problems as H.264 I think you're thinking unrealistically.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608494)

If you think WebM isn't going to have at least "many" of the same patent problems as H.264 I think you're thinking unrealistically.

And with Google providing no indemnification any of their downstream users those users could be in a world of hurt. Google, on the other hand, has already licensed MPEG-LA's patent pool so they couldn't care less.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608646)

No one does that, stop this bullshit fud.

The MPEG-LA provides no indemnification for any patents not covered by the pool.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608704)

I love how people like you throw out the term FUD as a catch all for anything you dislike hearing. FUD has a connotation of spreading something that is false or dubious in order to effect someone's perceptions. What was false or dubious in what the AC said? Is it not true that Google provides no indemnification? Is it not true that Google is an MPEG-LA licensee? How does the fact that the MPEG-LA may or may not provide indemnification have any bearing on those statements or somehow make them false?

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608744)

The FUD is anyone would provide indemnification, the fear it is spreading is clearly that google must not think they have a pantent free video format if they won't do that.

MPEG-LA not providing indemnification is a clear example that this is normal practice for this sort of thing.

But as we already know your just trolling, note your trollish name.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608518)

That's why I used the qualifier "If VP8 is in fact patent-free. . ."

It is very much uncertain whether VP8 is in fact patent-free or whether users of VP8 will be sued for patent infringement by MPEG LA or others.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608622)

It is very much uncertain whether VP8 is in fact patent-free

I believe that is more likely than not that it is not patent free. We know that an x264 developer has already poured through the code and the algorithms. We know from this that in many places it's remarkably similar. We essentially have an educated opinion from someone who is very well educated on the matter, is very pro open-source, and doesn't really have much to gain by making false claims.

The fact that people keep echoing "well we don't know" really only does damage in the sense that people will spend a lot of time building around WebM and when MEPG LA comes calling they'll end up being screwed. It's head-in-the-sand mentality.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608914)

On the other hand, if it achieves a similar-but-still-obvious end (digital video is by no means a new concept, and neither is streaming it over the web, MPEG-LA didn't invent either idea) by similar-but-slightly-different means which are similar due more to the fact that they achieve the same ends than because one violates the other's IP, a reasonable patent judge might determine that the differences are great enough to deem MPEG-LA's patents overbroad. Courts are entirely capable of overruling decisions and rules made by other government agencies.

That might sound like a long shot, but if Google and Microsoft both throw in behind VP8 it would take some doing to beat them. Of course, if they lost, Apple would own the world for the next 2 decades or so, and FSM help us then. If only some way could be found to bring IBM, HP, or maybe Oracle to the VP8 side of things...

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608534)

In any case, I think WebM is likely a better solution than including a known patent-encumbered codec in Firefox.

And, I don't support WebM because I have any opposition to H.264. As an avid Blu-Ray watcher, I love H.264. Recent x264 builds have managed incredible IQ at relatively low bitrates, and both H.264 and VC-1 are huge improvements over MPEG-2 in terms of efficiency and quality. Nonetheless, quality is far less of a concern with streaming video. Hopefully, Google will be willing to defend VP8's patent-free status in court.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608592)

In any case, I think WebM is likely a better solution than including a known patent-encumbered codec in Firefox.

Why? Why is it better to include a codec that has patent uncertainty and thus any of it's user (excepting Google of course since they did license the MPEG-LA pool) are wide open to huge claims of infringement from some of the biggest corporations in the world?

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608638)

Bullshit, both of them are biased.

MPEG-LA are a cartel that needs to be out of business. They are actively stifling progress in the useful arts and preventing progress in general.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608718)

Decrying FUD and putting your fingers in your ears because someone said something you disagree with doesn't make it untrue.

MPEG-LA are a cartel that needs to be out of business.

You do realize that MPEG-LA going out of business doesn't eliminate or invalidate the patents in the pool, right? All that is going to do is make it a bigger pain for anyone who wants to implement video codecs by having to individually go to all licensors.

They are actively stifling progress in the useful arts and preventing progress in general.

Breaking up the MPEG-LA isn't going to stop the businesses whose patents making up the pool from being able to do so anyway. It's just going to create more hassles on the licensees.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608764)

Ideally the patent pool patents would be revoked at that point, even better would be ending the nightmare that is software patents.

WebM may or may not fall foul of some legitimate patents, but claiming it does so without even a real legal review is pointless.

VP8 on Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608506)

Isn't that important? The ipad/iphone/Mac all feature Safari.

--Sam

Re:VP8 on Safari (2, Insightful)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608556)

Not really since you can't use Flash on either the iPad or iPhone, so the only way to view streaming video is through HTML5, and presumably H.264. In either case, HTML5 fins.

Macs can run any browser of your choosing including Firefox and Chrome, which do support VP8. VP8 just seems like a better choice than H.264 for streaming video. Perhaps when all the other major browsers support VP8, Apple will add support.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608522)

So.. Firefox is taking a stand on H.264 for good reason, and in the process given WebM an opportunity to get off the ground. This isn't such a big deal for now because 99% of web video is still being served via Flash at this point. I don't know where that debate will end up, but I wouldn't bash Firefox for that.

As for revenue from Google, I'm not aware of that revenue going away. If it did, I'm certain one of the other search players would be willing to pay for default premiere placement in Firefox - as long as Firefox keeps its significant market share, of course. In any case, Google isn't in the business of killing other browsers off that compete with Chrome, Google is in the business of getting eyeballs to see ads and as long as Firefox helps them do that, a few million bucks a year is a drop in the bucket for them.

People have been bashing Firefox's performance in light of Chrome/Chromium's Javascript scores, but the reality is that Firefox's HTML rendering performance, scrolling smoothness, etc. are all significantly better than Chrome. I don't care if you have the fastest Javascript engine in the universe - that only matters in the small, small number of websites with intense Javascript activity. I do care if the other 95% of sites that use only minimal amounts of Javascript feel slow, choppy and crappy when I scroll around on the pages. The Javascript engine is amazingly good, but the "Chrome is fast" thing is more marketing and meme than reality. Try it for yourself. I've tried Chrome on my Core 2 Duo Dell office desktop running Windows 7 and rapidly reverted back to Firefox for this reason.

Also - no proper Adblock in Chrome is a dealbreaker for me. Element hiding is insufficient. I'll consider going back to Safari on my Macbook once Adblock for Safari 5 stabilizes, but for now I've realized that Firefox with the Grapple Delicious theme is superior for most purposes to Safari 5 (again, except for the faster Javascript engine in Safari - although page rendering in Safari 4 or 5 is very nice, fast and smooth unlike Chrome, but Firefox is just as good).

Basically, I don't get the Firefox is dying meme. Sure, Firefox could use a better Javascript engine, and that's being worked on right now (JagerMonkey project), to handle the edge cases where the JIT doesn't work right now. I think these affect benchmarks and marketing more than day-to-day usability though.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608568)

SRWare Iron has site-based permissions blocking by use of the adblock.ini file. Then you combine that with an element hider to get rid of the HTTP Error stuff that permissions blocking leaves behind.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (2, Interesting)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608664)

I wonder if there is some issue on your system causing performance problems with Chrome. For example, I know there is an incompatibility between Nod32 4.0 and Chrome 5 that causes insanely high ping. I was getting 10 ping in speedtests on Firefox 3.6.3 and 550 ping in Chrome 5. After upgrading to Nod32 4.2 the issue was fixed. Chrome went from sluggish to blazing.

I find Chrome to be as fast, or faster than Firefox in all circumstances. It is usually faster. The browser loads instantly on a Core i7 system with an Intel X-25M G2 SSD vs. 1.5 seconds cold start for Firefox (around 0.8 sec without Adblock Plus), but that's running off a fast SSD. It took significantly longer on cold start off a WD Caviar Black drive, which is similar to what most people are using.

Page rendering is amazingly fast. The Adblock extension isn't as good as Firefox, but it's ok.

I really do like Chrome's multi-threading and sandboxing. In Firefox, every time a download finished, the browser would freeze momentarily while NOD32 scanned the file (disabled checking in about::config, but still happened), and often loading Adobe Acrobat files would hang the browser momentarily. Because Chrome is multi-threaded, issues in one tab never affect another tab.

In addition, while Chrome uses more RAM than Firefox because of its design, you actually get the RAM back when you close a tab. With Firefox, RAM usage balloons unless you close the browser. I've seen Firefox use 1.5 GB of RAM after 2-3 days of usage. Close all the tabs in Chrome and you're back to 70 MB or so of usage. And Chrome also loads instantly, even with many tabs.

In conclusion, Chrome's performance isn't just marketing - it is the fastest browser available at the moment. If it's slow for you, something else is wrong.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608700)

BTW, I use Firefox 3.6.3 and Chrome 5. I've used Firefox since it was Phoenix, and Mozilla before that. I love Firefox for the amazing extensions, Awesomebar, recently closed tabs etc. but I also like testing out new browsers, and I have to say I'm very impressed with Chrome. I really like that each tab is sandboxed in its own tab. It makes everything more responsive, and the rendering speed is ridiculous. There really is nothing better than having a browser load before you have the opportunity to remove your finger from the left mouse button. :P

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608774)

Since chrome lacks a real base of plugins it is fast, but useless. Call me back when they fix that little issue.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608786)

I'm using Adblock, FlashBlock, and Session Manager in Chrome. While Adblock isn't as good as Adblock plus, it works fairly well. I certainly wouldn't say Chrome lacks a base of plugins.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608816)

Vimperator, the chrome plugins like it suck. Without vimperator I can't even be bothered to look for the other plugins I want. Is there a noscript for chrome?

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608684)

I appreciate how thoroughly you've gone through all these points, and I agree with almost all of it. I certainly agree with anything and everything about the technical superiority of Firefox...

However, I don't think that those Javascript tests do anything other than to influence the geekier computer users. At the end of the day, any evidence that Chrome is faster than other browsers is enough. It's enough to put "Try Chrome! It's faster, easier and better!" (or whatever) on the Google homepage. The masses will just go with the trendy, easier option, not the most technically advanced one. It doesn't matter what people will prefer after trying every product.

For about 90% of any market, what matters is what they prefer after trying some of the things they were prompted/forced to use. My evidence for this is IE. There are many other examples in pretty much any market. Even go to your local shop: you can't honestly tell me that the best "fancy" chocolate box is also the most popular one. Popularity through familiarity: advertising and, well, popularity(!).

Going to a more computer-oriented example, I installed Ubuntu on my parents' computer, after XP was compromised for the umpteenth time. They prefer it to Windows (because it's "faster and doesn't break all the time"), but how many people have the privilege of a geek son to give them the choice. On the other side of this, there's a lot of decided inertia. One of my friends installed it, preferred it, but doesn't use it because "Windows is grand".

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608710)

Sorry for the double-post. I just want to clarify that, where I come from, "grand" means "OK", not "of high quality".

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608690)

I have the opposite experience: Chrome renders waaaaaay faster than Firefox for me, even for javascript-less (or almost) pages.

That said, personally, when I say "Firefox is slow", it tends to be a broad way of talking about its start speed and memory usage that make IE look good.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

BoppreH (1520463) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608532)

I have installed Chrome on my parent's computers. I myself use Chrome, even though I love Firefox's extensions.

The single reason for my switch: PERFORMANCE

Firefox takes many seconds to start (I have four extensions) and even scrolling seems slow. Want to zoom in a page? Go make yourself some coffee while you wait. And then comes the nasty Flash game that crashes or slows down the whole browser. Chrome seems to render pages at a fraction of the time and it takes a lot more open tabs to slow it down (hehe.)

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608642)

That's the problem with firefox: they forgot their original goal was creating a lean fast browser. As time marched on they started adding features that now makes it bloated and comparable to Mozilla/Netscape that it replaced. I still need it for a couple sites that work with IE/FF but not any of the Webkit browsers or Opera.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608544)

I know that this doesn't really matter to Mozilla per se, but Firefox is coming under some tough times in the near future. I have to say, I do fear for the future of my favourite browser (my favourite by a mile, dispite its flaws).

FF is coasting. What is it coasting on? It's amazing base of extensions. Once that base of extensions is replicated for Chrome, that's pretty much it. For what it's worth, it's still my default browser, and I foresee it being that for quite some time.

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608676)

I know that this doesn't really matter to Mozilla per se, but Firefox is coming under some tough times in the near future.

It certainly does matter to Moz if Google pulls the plug:

"In 2006 the Mozilla Foundation received $66.8 million in revenues, of which $61.5 million is attributed to "search royalties." Mozilla Foundation [wikipedia.org]

That is as close to 90% as makes no difference.

It strikes me as worrisome that this is the best and most recent look at the foundation's finances that the Wikipedia has to offer.

H.264

H.264 is an interesting and instructive example of how technology which evolved outside the browser - outside the Internet - can infiltrate the web and take hold with a vengeance.

I don't recall anyone here predicting the pocket HD camcorder at $125.

It says something about the limits of the "standards compliant" browser and the standards committee - with its snail-slow decision making, commercial, nationalist and ideological rivalries.
 

Re:No more Fireflock. What next? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608720)

"This" = "Flock using a Chromium codebase"

Sorry for the lack of clarity.

All this Flocking to Google (-1, Troll)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608356)

Nothing good can come from it

Just what I needed ... built for FaceBook& Twi (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608490)

Flock that!

I gave up using Firefox about 6 months ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608504)

After all the fanboi ravings, I don't see what can't I get from another browser.

Chrome Extensions (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608678)

So now Flock is Chrome + Javascript application layer on top of that. The Flock devs are aware they can basically write javascript extensions, right? Those extensions will work on all 3 platforms of Chrome/Chromium.

Why not just release them as pure Chrome extensions and call it a day? What is the benefit of calling it a separate browser?

The Chromed Bird extension for Chrome was what caused my wife to switch over. It is my favorite Chrome extension for any platform.

Flock was taken a Linux/Mac/Win product and turned it into a Windows only product without offering anything new or worthwhile.

Re:Chrome Extensions (5, Informative)

Quaelin (172970) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608862)

Why not just release them as pure Chrome extensions and call it a day? What is the benefit of calling it a separate browser?

Chrome extensions don't allow for the UI we added in Flock. No sidebars, etc...

Also, extensions are much harder to monetize than browsers, so it would be a lot harder to make a successful business out of it that way.

Third, we're going for mass market rather than niche. Extensions are cool and all, but most web users out there don't have a clue what an extension is, let alone a browser.

The new Flock will be Windows/Mac at least. Linux is still a possibility too. We think the new version offers an improved experience for most users. Not quite as feature-full as the old version, true, but it's much faster and simpler which is a good trade-off for most users.

Re:Chrome Extensions (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608866)

What limitations on the UI changes do plugins impose?
Maybe this is why nothing like vimperator exists on chrome.

Re:Chrome Extensions (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32608898)

If Chromed Bird is any example, you can add an icon to the toolbar, pop up a mini-window to display content, do animations and transitions, etc.

Re:Chrome Extensions (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609014)

That's it?
Vimperator significantly alters the look of firefox. It even adds modality, so to type this I am in insert mode.

Re:Chrome Extensions (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609046)

I don't know how much more you can do. I know you can write extensions basically in pure HTML5/JS.

The question is why bother releasing a Windows only browser that is basically Chrome plus javascript application layers that only duplicate existing functionality that is available on multiple platforms?

Re:Chrome Extensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32608958)

Nobody used Flock to begin with, now its become even more irrelevant. It just went from a waste of development time to a waste of scripting time.

TweetDeck Runs all that crap too.. (1)

Agamous Child (538344) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609008)

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Etc.

Can we... (1)

filloy (1789484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609184)

Can we please stop talking about Lost! Geez...

I CAN'T give up Firefox just yet (4, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32609248)

Chrome/Chromium still doesn't have an adblocker that actually blocks ads instead of just hiding them. Adblock Plus saves bandwidth, finishes loading a page quicker because you'll never get hung up on a slow/dead ad server, and neatly reformats the page to work without the ads.

Once THAT level of functionality in an adblocker arrives with Chrome/Chromium, only then will I consider switching. And don't tell me to use a HOSTS file; what if I want to whitelist certain sites?

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