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Mozilla Poised for Revival?

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the hallelujah dept.

Mozilla 430

MarkedMan writes "An interesting and fairly lengthy CNET article on Mozilla and the pending 1.0 release. Kind of shallow research, making some common mistakes (Like many others, he half implies that AOL picking Mozilla as the default browser automatically puts 35 million users in the Netscape camp.) Good to see this getting some fairly mainline press."

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430 comments

Netscape is dead (-1, Troll)

jason777 (557591) | about 12 years ago | (#3330029)

Long live IE! Its just a better browser.

Re:Netscape is dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330068)

Long live IE! Its just a better browser.

Immature Ejactulas, the browser of the feeble mind. It shall stroke your pocketbook as it digs through your registry, searching for valuable consumer information that might be tucked away. Privacy and security is always held in your best interests. After all, we don't give it away free for nothing.

We value your marketing information and you are important to us. Please continue to use Internet Explorer for all your needs.

Re:Netscape is dead (5, Interesting)

IronTek (153138) | about 12 years ago | (#3330088)

Long live IE! Its just a better browser.

While this was actually true to some degree in the early days of the Mozilla project and the later days of the IE project (IE 6 is almost respectable...for a Microsoft project), I believe Mozilla has surpassed Internet explorer in several areas that are important to at least myself. For one, as a sometimes web developer, Mozilla sticks closer to the standards. I've found myself on more than one occasion having to go back and figure out how to crap-up my HTML code to make it look right in IE. That's a waste of time, but because of people like you, and companies like Microsoft, I have to do it. Further, when I used to use IE back in the dark age of my OS use (i.e. Windows...also note that that i.e. has no relation to IE. In fact, even i.e. is embarrased by IE), I used to open up new windows like crazy! With tabbed browsing in Mozilla, I can keep a single instance of Mozilla open and keep all the sites I'm at organized! I'm never using a browser without tabs again!

For these and other reasons, I truly like Mozilla better than IE...even better than Navigator as well, as it seems less bloted than Communicator 6.0. ...but whatever, I guess..

Netscape 6.2.2 on XP problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330174)

I just installed Netscape 6.2.2 on XP Pro and it WILL NOT remember anything in the default or user profiles. Each time you start up the machine and log on, it makes you go thru the whole user config process again and again and again.

6.2.1 did not do that.

Re:Netscape is dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330214)

Disabling pop-up windows and the ability to control cookies domain-wide is an awesome feature.

Re:Netscape is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330262)

even i.e. is embarrased by IE

Come on, someone's gotta give this a "Funny." :)

first PWP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330031)

Props to Klerck

http://www.eveeieyhfgfcdoosammgwsnboivvbsczxlzga bc / /ooieiabdcdjsvbkeldfogjhiyeeejkagclmieooionoepdk / /abcdefmfighyiqxjklmonopqrosoyotuvwxoyqwertyuiov / /sdfghjklqewiuznmbjadzmcloeuirquakndsflksjdflkas / /fskdfasiewurznmcvweroiqewrnamdnzcvuowieramnfkas / /dfhzuxcihskjrnakjzkjcxbviusayrkajsfzxncvizudyri / /bakdnfbzkcvhgiuegriweramdnfzxlcvueirhamdnzkciue / /jranbsdmfzcowierandmfxzncbkjhfabsdifuweajzkxcuw / /erhasdfzxncvkjdfyiuzxcnvsikirkajeajsbdfkzxbuyef / /rahsdjbzcvxmnvcuweyriausdnfzxbcvkwueyrajnbvkjxg / /iwueyajdfkzxjcnbkeyriaushdfkjbzbuowrnasdkfbhuie / /asjmfnkkbyiurnakjsndfkzjbhiuwerajsknfkzbyhweiua / /dkfjbzkxvbjywekrjaskjnvzxjcweruiasdhfkzjxnsjkld / /fasoidfjalskdfasklhfxjdnmenrqoiuozxcopjgneaksjo / /nzxdkfajlsdfkljsdfoiasdfasndflzxkcvozixucoqweiu / /pwoeiruzxmncvoutyqwerizxnvmxmcnvoweurqmznxmbouw / /rmnzbkhuyrtjghanzxcvbkhgjweyriaudfbznbkweruyabz / /bcvnkdhityqhagsdfjglsieurakfsdnfbvfdsajkbiuyqwe / /kweorjasdknfbkjsdoifuzxbcmfgsltjewioahsdfnbzxcb / /heoiroaisjdfzbxckjksrhiuehadsfbzkxjcbhkeuryaksj / /fzbxcvkxlkcnvmndskfjwehaiursdfzjxnbjkdfhskdflas / /yroausdfzxmncvskeyiqozsjhfasdfoiwueranmcnzbkjhd / /ueafhksjfwheuirasdjhbzxiuewjhasmdnkfzxciurhaskj / /roiquwermcvkhiruhasdkjfnzxkjyeiuahsdbzxckjvopwe / /uqweuirjhvxzckjhweriuasydfoiqurnmxckvhweruiahdj / /znkxcvjhwierahsfzkxhhidufhsakjbzxjchiwueryqagsd / /kjhaksdfnbakwreyhaisknfjkzxbcvkoiqwueraskfzxcbk / /nlkwejrasoidjfxzlknvlkwjeroiasudflknzxlkbjeoiru / /slkdjfzxnmvkljdfawienzxveoriuaskdfjzxcmbnkseuri / /kfjlznxcvksjroeijasdklzjfowierqouasdhfzxncbkjhd / /jsdfljkweoriuasdfkjzxmcnvlkjdowuieraksdflkzxjbo / /werklasdnfmzxclkjewoijasdlfknzlkjwoeirqpweoiasd / /kjzxjvwperaksdjfxzweirjaslkdfzxnclvkjweroiasufd / /zxclkjeworijasdflknzlbkoiwuraksjflknxblkwjerois / /jfweknasdkfjzoxijkenraksjdfoizxjvlknwerlkajsdfo / /yroausdfzxmncvskeyiqozsjhfasdfoiwueranmcnzbkjhd / /ueafhksjfwheuirasdjhbzxiuewjhasmdnkfzxciurhaskj / /roiquwermcvkhiruhasdkjfnzxkjyeiuahsdbzxckjvopwe / /uqweuirjhvxzckjhweriuasydfoiqurnmxckvhweruiahdj / /znkxcvjhwierahsfzkxhhidufhsakjbzxjchiwueryqagsd / /kjhaksdfnbakwreyhaisknfjkzxbcvkoiqwueraskfzxcbk / /nlkwejrasoidjfxzlknvlkwjeroiasudflknzxlkbjeoiru / /slkdjfzxnmvkljdfawienzxveoriuaskdfjzxcmbnkseuri / /kfjlznxcvksjroeijasdklzjfowierqouasdhfzxncbkjhd / /jsdfljkweoriuasdfkjzxmcnvlkjdowuieraksdflkzxjbo / /werklasdnfmzxclkjewoijasdlfknzlkjwoeirqpweoiasd / /kjzxjvwperaksdjfxzweirjaslkdfzxnclvkjweroiasufd / /zxclkjeworijasdflknzlbkoiwuraksjflknxblkwjerois / /jfweknasdkfjzoxijkenraksjdfoizxjvlknwerlkajsdfo / /erhasdfzxncvkjdfyiuzxcnvsikirkajeajsbdfkzxbuyef / /rahsdjbzcvxmnvcuweyriausdnfzxbcvkwueyrajnbvkjxg / /iwueyajdfkzxjcnbkeyriaushdfkjbzbuowrnasdkfbhuie / /asjmfnkkbyiurnakjsndfkzjbhiuwerajsknfkzbyhweiua / /dkfjbzkxvbjywekrjaskjnvzxjcweruiasdhfkzjxnsjkld / /fasoidfjalskdfasklhfxjdnmenrqoiuozxcopjgneaksjo / /nzxdkfajlsdfkljsdfoiasdfasndflzxkcvozixucoqweiu / /pwoeiruzxmncvoutyqwerizxnvmxmcnvoweurqmznxmbouw / /rmnzbkhuyrtjghanzxcvbkhgjweyriaudfbznbkweruyabz / /bcvnkdhityqhagsdfjglsieurakfsdnfbvfdsajkbiuyqwe / /kweorjasdknfbkjsdoifuzxbcmfgsltjewioahsdfnbzxcb / /heoiroaisjdfzbxckjksrhiuehadsfbzkxjcbhkeuryaksj / /fzbxcvkxlkcnvmndskfjwehaiursdfzjxnbjkdfhskdflas / /yroausdfzxmncvskeyiqozsjhfasdfoiwueranmcnzbkjhd / /ueafhksjfwheuirasdjhbzxiuewjhasmdnkfzxciurhaskj / /roiquwermcvkhiruhasdkjfnzxkjyeiuahsdbzxckjvopwe / /uqweuirjhvxzckjhweriuasydfoiqurnmxckvhweruiahdj / /znkxcvjhwierahsfzkxhhidufhsakjbzxjchiwueryqagsd / /kjhaksdfnbakwreyhaisknfjkzxbcvkoiqwueraskfzxcbk / /nlkwejrasoidjfxzlknvlkwjeroiasudflknzxlkbjeoiru / /slkdjfzxnmvkljdfawienzxveoriuaskdfjzxcmbnkseuri / /kfjlznxcvksjroeijasdklzjfowierqouasdhfzxncbkjhd / /jsdfljkweoriuasdfkjzxmcnvlkjdowuieraksdflkzxjbo / /werklasdnfmzxclkjewoijasdlfknzlkjwoeirqpweoiasd / /kjzxjvwperaksdjfxzweirjaslkdfzxnclvkjweroiasufd / /zxclkjeworijasdflknzlbkoiwuraksjflknxblkwjerois / /jfweknasdkfjzoxijkenraksjdfoizxjvlknwerlkajsdfo / /yroausdfzxmncvskeyiqozsjhfasdfoiwueranmcnzbkjhd / /ueafhksjfwheuirasdjhbzxiuewjhasmdnkfzxciurhaskj / /roiquwermcvkhiruhasdkjfnzxkjyeiuahsdbzxckjvopwe / /uqweuirjhvxzckjhweriuasydfoiqurn

Re:first PWP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330061)

You seem to have an almost Fruedian fixation with 'widening' and 'lengthening'.....do you have a small dick or something?

All right (3, Interesting)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | about 12 years ago | (#3330035)

I have to admit that it will be good to be on this side of the fence during a brute force conversion of browsers (AOL to Netscape/Mozilla). I would love for some of these sites that use IE specific features of CSS or DHTML (or god forbid ActiveX) having 35 million screaming AOL users at their doors.

Re:All right (3, Insightful)

hex1848 (182881) | about 12 years ago | (#3330142)

You have to remember, many of the 35 million users that are going to get Netscape on the new AOL coaster (err, cd) are also going to be windows users with IE already installed on their boxen.

Re:All right (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | about 12 years ago | (#3330206)

Do you think they'll be happy when they go to site X with Netscape-based AOL 9 (or whatever) and find they must use IE to view it? Just because they have IE doesn't mean they'll enjoy cutting the address from AOL and pasting it into IE to reach that site. We're talking AOL users here -- if AOL doesn't open IE for them when it finds an IE "enhanced" web site, many of these people will be upset that they have to do it themselves. (then they'll be proud that they learned something new about 'puters)

but they do not know that (5, Insightful)

stego (146071) | about 12 years ago | (#3330230)

It has been my experience that a great percentage of AOL users simply do not know that they can use any browser other than 'AOL'. They do not think of it as a browser, but an application called 'AOL'. ('How can you run AOL in Internet Explorer?' 'Can it run in Word, too?')

Re:All right (1)

Ratso Baggins (516757) | about 12 years ago | (#3330220)

While I agree in the main about the DHTML & CSS issues (esp. about CraptiveX), and I know it's not standard or cross-platform, but the contenteditable DIV in IE5.5+ rox! Now I know I can kinda get the same thing with XUL but it's no where as neat and easy.

Re:All right (2)

MisterBlister (539957) | about 12 years ago | (#3330277)

I have to admit that it will be good to be on this side of the fence during a brute force conversion of browsers (AOL to Netscape/Mozilla). I would love for some of these sites that use IE specific features of CSS or DHTML (or god forbid ActiveX) having 35 million screaming AOL users at their doors.

Wishful thinking. These AOL users will still have Internet Explorer on their machines. A good majority of them will just change their AOL options to use IE instead of Netscape once they upgrade to a version that defaults to Netscape. They may not be completely computer literate, but they aren't morons...

At any rate, neither DHTML nor CSS are IE specific features, so you have no idea what you're talking about to begin with..How did your post get moderated up?

Re:All right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330307)

He said some of the IE-specific features of CSS and DHTML not DHTML and CSS are IE specific

Re:All right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330310)

I would love for some of these sites that use IE specific features of CSS or DHTML...

At any rate, neither DHTML nor CSS are IE specific features, so you have no idea what you're talking about to begin with

Do you have reading comprehension problems or something? That's not what he said, and either (1) you know it and you're being an asshole, or (2) you're an idiot.

Even if (2, Interesting)

geordie (258181) | about 12 years ago | (#3330038)

Even if AOL + Mozilla meant 35 million more Mozilla users and 35 million less IE users... It isn't that big a number when you look at the number of users using IE right now.
Would be nice if you could count on 35 million to just switch at the drop of a hat... but howmany are still using AOL3, 4,5,6 etc...

Re:Even if (4, Insightful)

Captain Pooh (177885) | about 12 years ago | (#3330087)

How many AOL users know they are using IE?. I remeber on a radio show pcradioshow [pcradioshow.org] The host asked what browser he was using, and he replied with AOL.

Re:Even if... (1)

zaren (204877) | about 12 years ago | (#3330120)

Very good point. I know the NOC I used to work at that supported AOL still used older AOL clients (as far back as ver.3) for dialup testing, because the customers were still using them. Some people will not change just for the sake of changing, especially if it's computer stuff they've gotten used to.

There's also the fact that this would mean AOL customers downloading a new browser and configuring it. As I understand it, Mozilla isn't exactly something you'd want to grab and go from a dialup connection... don't forget copying those bookmarks! I *still* blow away my bookmarks on occasion... good thing I always keep a backup :)

Aww, FSCK! [cafepress.com]

Re:Even if (1)

Drakker (89038) | about 12 years ago | (#3330168)

It all comes down to marketing and features. If Mozilla is (and I believe it is) so much more powerful and easier to use than previous AOL browsers and AOL promote it a lot, most AOLers will switch to AOzilla.

The problem lies in the fact it will probably be bloated to death with links to AOL and stuff, just like what happened to NS 6.x...

Re:Even if (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 12 years ago | (#3330255)

i still use aol 2.5 on my old 386... (copyright 1994)

not that i've turned ON my 386 in the last 3 years....but it's nice to know that i could if i needed to :-D

frist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330039)

meow

kill some time so it posts..

...

...

that should do it

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330041)

fp?

Now pretty good (3, Informative)

prestwich (123353) | about 12 years ago | (#3330045)

When Mozilla was first turned open source it was pretty bity and crashy and hopeless.

Now its probably one of the more stable browsers.

It does show that dumping a large amount of commercial source into the open community can produce results - but with this amount of code it does take time.

(Running mozilla 0.9.9)

Re:Now pretty good (4, Insightful)

einstein (10761) | about 12 years ago | (#3330080)

even if after a year is spent trying to fix the commercial source, they abandon the crappy commercial code and start over from scratch? I love Mozilla, think it is a great browser (now), but I'm not sure if it should really be a poster child for OSS.
(running Konqueror 3.0.0-2)
---

Re:Now pretty good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330185)

I've recently tried Mozilla [I'm new to /.] and appreciate the tabbed browsing and general feel of the brower.

I have noticed a simple page [of my own potentially crappy design which I won't list here for fear of it getting /.'ed]. The page contains a table cell with two radio buttons in it with labels. In both IE and Netscape it displays "radio button - label radio button-label" but in mozilla it displays as "radio - button - label label - radio button". Also, some javascript drop downs don't display properly until to actually reload the page.

Maybe its not quite ready for version 1.0

Now where's that flame-proof suit people are always talking about.

1st April surely (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330046)

This must be 1st april. I thought it was gone already

revive this biatches (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330047)

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Re:revive this biatches (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330156)

Sorry, the first one was wider.

AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (5, Insightful)

Grasshopper (153602) | about 12 years ago | (#3330054)

I've seen a lot of comments that seem to totally discard any significance coming from AOL using Mozilla as the base of its browser.

If nothing else, this seems particularly important to me because it will force more Web developers to stop using IE as a test browser.

With the poorest standards compliance of all browsers, this has created a flood of these "Best Viewed with Internet Explorer" pages, because they write THML, Javascript, etc. that is broken.

Now, if these broken Web sites are revealed as such by a larger audience, we could see some improvements in the overall quality, because something tells me the typical AOL user will happily complain about anything. :)

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (5, Insightful)

Digitalia (127982) | about 12 years ago | (#3330083)

Yet, if the majority continues to use Internet Explorer, those who do use Mozilla will consider their browser to be the one defying standards. Though we try and impose ideals on software and hwardware, the only true standards come about when the majority of users embrace a certain idea. In this case, Microsoft has the ability to establish "standards" because of superior market share.

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (2, Insightful)

Grasshopper (153602) | about 12 years ago | (#3330129)

I believe, however, that your typical AOL user isn't going to jump ship on a whim because a few Web sites are broken. I don't think these people will instantly conclude that their AOL software is broken, which is what it seems like you are suggesting.

Rather, it will seem like the Web site is broken, which is what I would love to see. :) After all, all these broken Web sites with screwed up HTML (tables especially - ugh!), JavaScript, and especially anything that's intentionally IE-specific deserve it. When 35 million additional users can't use your Web site because you have crap code, there's a compelling reason to fix it.

This "fixing" that I am optimistically hoping will happen is what I think the biggest benefit might be.

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (3, Insightful)

TheTomcat (53158) | about 12 years ago | (#3330225)

I don't think these people will instantly conclude that their AOL software is broken, which is what it seems like you are suggesting.

Why not?
Especially if these users are used to browsing the web at work (with IE), or are upgrading from a previous version of AOL, or are coming from a different service (to AOL? yeah.. it COULD happen).

"It USED to work. This new AOL x.y is messed up. I'm going to call Customer Service."

AOL will then have to a) explain to the users that the web sites they're viewing are not standards-compliant, which most people won't care about, and will just want their AOL to work, or b) start trying to support non-standard technologies in the AOL release, which will be hard or impossible, and could lead to them eventually switching back to IE.

Yes, I'm cynical. I hope for the best, but I'm realistic.

S

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (1)

compwiz3688 (98919) | about 12 years ago | (#3330320)

all these broken Web sites with screwed up HTML (tables especially - ugh!), JavaScript, and especially anything that's intentionally IE-specific deserve it.

Agreed! In fact, these are the only reasons why IE is still on my computer.

If web developers would care to view their webpages in other browsers, most of these problems would have vanished.

I came across an Apache module once - the MS Free Friday module, which disallows viewing any pages on the server using IE on Friday. Interesting, and I guess this is a way to fight back if you own an Apache web server.

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (2, Funny)

zulux (112259) | about 12 years ago | (#3330199)

because something tells me the typical AOL user will happily complain about anything. :)


ME TOO!

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (1)

small_box_of_stuff (258902) | about 12 years ago | (#3330223)

the users wont see it that way, they will simply wonder why their new browser is broken and wont view their favorite sites.

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (3, Insightful)

antis0c (133550) | about 12 years ago | (#3330265)

Good Web Developers hit up w3.org's validators for testing compliance. Even better Web Developers would also use PHP, Perl, [favorite server side language here] to further fix compatiblities with broken IE and other browser functionality. IE 6 also follows HTML 4.01/Transitional to spec IIRC. However, you must defined the DOCTYPE to HTML 4.01 Transitional or it will revert to Microsoft's bastardized HTML. Which you'd have to do to be following 4.01 spec anyway. I can't say for CSS or JavaScript though ..

Re:AOL Using Mozilla/Netscape (1)

rackhamh (217889) | about 12 years ago | (#3330268)

In my experience, Netscape is far more difficult to develop for than IE. Tables that render perfectly in IE become garbage or disappear entirely in Netscape. I know Netscape != Mozilla, but I felt like whining.

article text(for those of us with dial up modems) (1, Informative)

Ermyf Jym (567787) | about 12 years ago | (#3330063)

probably not /.ed for those with good connections, but I had a hard time with it. Anyway:

But a comeback is exactly what the open-source project hopes to pull off in the next few weeks, when the Netscape Communications-backed effort releases the first official version of its Web browser. After four years in development, the pending event has renewed excitement in a project that once was hailed as a possible Microsoft killer--only to tumble into obscurity after lengthy delays.

The milestone itself is something of a fiction, representing a minor improvement over previous Mozilla browser versions--and one that will be quickly outstripped. The development team routinely turns out new "builds" every few weeks. Mozilla.org, the group steering the browser's development, debated the merits of setting a Mozilla 1.0 version at all. Ultimately, however, it decided the step is an important concession to attracting third-party developers that could create applications based on its technology.

"The most important thing to me is it's going to freeze the API (application programming interface)," said Ramalingam Saravanan, author of the Mozdev-hosted Protozilla project. "It's been changing so much, like every two weeks. You can't keep up."

As Mozilla.org readies the long-awaited 1.0 browser, speculation has swirled over the prospects of a renewed browser battle with Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer now dominates the Web.

The release comes as AOL Time Warner is testing Mozilla technology in versions of its America Online software, a move that could see Microsoft's Internet Explorer ousted as the default browser for some 35 million Web surfers. AOL Time Warner has also filed a civil suit on behalf of Netscape, which AOL acquired in 1999, that alleges Microsoft engaged in illegal practices.

The Mozilla project "is clearly AOL's latest effort to try to get some value out of the Netscape purchase," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst for research firm Jupiter Media Metrix.

Appealing to all camps
More significantly perhaps, the Mozilla faithful believe the technology's allure lies in its flexibility for running on various platforms including non-PC devices. Tech heavyweights, ranging from Sun Microsystems and Red Hat to Nokia (news - web sites), are already using Mozilla technology on a limited basis in their products.

But it will take more than tentative support to move Mozilla out of the shadows and into the limelight. Large software companies will have to be convinced that the technology can live up to their needs. That will be the biggest test of whether Mozilla's open-source roots can translate into new products coming from high-tech giants.

Mozilla architects are targeting the swelling wave of Web devices that require Internet-enabled software and accompanying applications to thrive. The next generation of cell phones, pagers, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and set-top boxes will require slimmed-down technology to access the Web, and Mozilla could model itself as the technology of choice.

Mozilla is a programming tool designed to let applications built with it run on almost any operating system. Mozilla developers initially concentrated on building a browser, but the underlying technology can be used to create many types of applications. Some developers have already branched into making Mozilla instant messaging (news - web sites) software, media players and other applications.

Work in the browser realm has focused on its rendering engine, called Gecko. The technology, which allows Web pages to be viewed on browsing software, can be embedded in a variety of products including non-PC devices such as set-top boxes and PDAs. Gecko has also become the cornerstone of the Mozilla browser and AOL's Netscape 6.

In addition to Gecko, Mozilla has drawn significant attention for its XUL, or XML-based User-interface Language. XUL (pronounced "zool") is language for describing user interfaces of various applications. Like Sun's Java language, it is meant to be a "write once, run anywhere" solution.

That has made it attractive to some developers seeking to create applications outside of the closed world of Microsoft.

"It's open source, so it's low cost," said David Ascher, director of programming tools for ActiveState, which is using Mozilla technology to create an interface that makes it easier to work with a range of programming languages. "That also means when there's a problem with the code we can go in and fix it ourselves. The other key benefit is portability. We don't have to change much of the code to run on different platforms, which is a powerful argument for us considering that many of our customers are not using Windows."

Tracing its roots
The Mozilla movement was established in 1998 by then-independent Netscape, which charged the open-source project with creating a compelling Web-browsing technology. At the time, Netscape was engaged in a bitter market share battle against Microsoft. It made the risky move of releasing the software code for its Communicator browser to the public, hoping to convince developers to help fight its adversary.

Almost four years later, the Mozilla revolution has turned out to be a grassroots campaign. It's been marred by squabbling, unrealistically high expectations, false starts, and most importantly, Microsoft's breakaway victory in the contest for browser dominance.

The Mozilla browser's delays were exacerbated after AOL acquired Netscape in 1999. Although AOL continued to support Mozilla as the foundation for future versions of Communicator, many developers questioned the Internet company's commitment to the browser effort.

AOL, meanwhile, has emphasized the project's independence.

"Mozilla.org remains an independent organization that exists to make Mozilla a successful open-source project, and it supports the entire Mozilla community," said Catherine Corre, an AOL spokeswoman.

In all, it took more than two-and-a-half years for Netscape to release its first browser product using Mozilla technology, Netscape 6. Developers unanimously criticized Netscape 6 as an unfinished, bug-prone beta release. Future versions of Netscape 6 have corrected most of the browser's initial problems.

Mitchell Baker, chief evangelist of the Mozilla.org project, admitted the group was confronted by a series of roadblocks that hampered its development time line. The biggest setback was a decision to completely scrap Netscape 4 source code as its foundation and rebuild it from scratch.

"People generally understand when you redo a whole house, you leave a wall or two standing," Baker said. "It wasn't clear right away that most of (the code) should've been rewritten. We started with the kitchen, and then realized we had to redo the bathroom, then realized the wiring was all wrong."

Thinking outside the box
With such a late entry, there's little chance the Mozilla browser can outpace Internet Explorer's dominance and ubiquity. Instead, Mozilla supporters view non-PC devices as the next frontier. Its flexible code can fit into many molds of varying devices, letting manufacturers of Web tablets, PDAs and set-top boxes tweak the Gecko browsing engine to their own tastes and specifications.

"Now instead of just having an application locked inside a browser window, now we can use it to create a full-fledged application," said David Boswell, project manager for CollabNet and co-founder of Mozdev.org, a group that is helping to steer about 66 Mozilla-based application development projects.

Mozdev's offerings include Chimera, a Mozilla-based Web browser that Boswell says is winning some converts among Mac OS X (news - web sites) users. Others projects that leave Web browsers far behind include the Jabberzilla instant messaging client and a music player called Lizzard.

Despite the promise of extensive application, the Mozilla technology faces considerable challenges. For one, mobile device companies such as Handspring and Palm already have browsers suited to their devices. Handspring has its own wireless browser called Blazer that is being used in many of its products and has been licensed by Sprint.

Meanwhile, Linux (news - web sites) Labs recently released a beta version of a Web browser for wireless Palm devices called Vagabond.

In a sense, the market for handheld browsers is already picking up steam without Mozilla. Despite an initial rush among developers to download the code, the project hasn't attracted a wave of corporations and legions of developers on nearly the scale of open-source operating system Linux.

"Why somebody would want to try out a Mozilla browser on the Handspring is beyond me because there's a really good browser out there," said Ken Smiley, an analyst at market research firm Giga Information Group. "That's what they were saying with the Gecko engine. I just don't think it's really proven yet that it has a superior solution."

Furthermore, Smiley questioned whether flexibility matters to non-PC device makers. Web tablet makers rarely produce mobile communicators, and cell phone manufacturers typically don't make set-top boxes. Cell phone giant Nokia is a notable exception; it uses Mozilla's browser in its Mediaterminal set-top box, which is only available in Sweden.

On shifting ground
Interest in Mozilla appears to be changing. Despite AOL's ambiguous relationship with Mozilla and Gecko, recent events may signal a commitment to the technology by the online giant. In March, the company began testing Gecko as the default browser technology for its AOL 7.0 software after years of using Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

If Gecko indeed becomes the default technology in the anticipated release of AOL 8 this fall, the tide in the browser wars will shift.

"All of a sudden the browser battle is much more interesting simply because of the sheer numbers of AOL subscribers," said Carl Howe, an analyst at market research company Forrester Research. "It is simply a very different bundling strategy in the same way that IE is bundled with Windows."

A booting of Internet Explorer would be felt around the world. It would mean AOL is stepping onto Microsoft's home turf to challenge its hold on Web browsers and possibly other applications closely knit into Windows. Although AOL says publicly that it does not intend such an advance, it is nevertheless funneling money and support to the front line.

AOL's Corre would not elaborate on Mozilla's role in the company's future. In fact, the company's being mum about it with everyone.

"That's the million dollar question, and wish I could answer it," Mozilla.org's Baker said.

Evan Hansen contributed to this report.

Re:article text(for those of us with dial up modem (-1, Offtopic)

Ermyf Jym (567787) | about 12 years ago | (#3330197)

Was it really necessary to mod this down to -1 when it was already at 0? Thanks for driving a new user away from ever using Slashdot again so quickly.

Jurrasic park (2, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | about 12 years ago | (#3330066)

Maybe it will turn out like the dinosours in Jurassic Park, and destroy Internet Explorer?

Re:Jurrasic park (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330101)

haha, that's really funny, and like the movie, Mozilla has been extinct for MANY years.

AOL + Netscape (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330071)

The two rancid tastes that poison the web together!

Just proves Joel's point (2, Interesting)

Michael_Jarvis (10688) | about 12 years ago | (#3330086)

Mozilla will be a great product eventually, but unfortunately I agree with Joel Spolsky [joelonsoftware.com] that good software takes ten years to write [joelonsoftware.com], and you should NEVER [joelonsoftware.com] rewrite code from scratch.

I know that as a software developer, I've certainly learned from Netscape's mistake.

Re:Just proves Joel's point (2)

Peyna (14792) | about 12 years ago | (#3330112)

Yes! And why can't /. make Joel a slashbox? I asked them once, and never got a response. Maybe we should ask Joel to work on that. =]

Great article (1)

sulli (195030) | about 12 years ago | (#3330153)

I liked this comment:

The consensus seems to be that the old Netscape code base was really bad. Well, it might have been bad, but, you know what? It worked pretty darn well on an awful lot of real world computer systems.

Yes indeed, Netscape 4.x is really bad. Which must explain why I'm stil using it! (When I forget to run Moz, which is nicer.)

Re:Just proves Joel's point (1)

screwballicus (313964) | about 12 years ago | (#3330213)

Unfortunately, bad software [infosatellite.com] also takes ten years [infosatellite.com] to write, especially when you never rewrite code from scratch.

(In all seriousness, though, very interesting article)

Re:Just proves Joel's point (3, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | about 12 years ago | (#3330297)

Yea, but Mozilla is an backend architecture for internet applications. While netscape 4.x was just a browser and an email program. YES most of the networking components should have been reused, no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But as the complete underlying API is different, very little of the code could have been reused to create the product that mozilla is today. It may have gotten here faster, but it would just be another browser, the market has enough browsers, mozilla architecture is something innovative and once accepted could truly create innovation in the market place.

It'll be a victory for standards. (5, Interesting)

anser (224618) | about 12 years ago | (#3330093)

What matters about AOL adopting Mozilla is not that IE would somehow lose its majority share, but that a non-IE browser would subtend an important enough fraction of visitors that site designers could ill afford to ignore it. The IE-only travesties of today might give way to something approaching a standards compliant Web.

Re:It'll be a victory for standards. (1)

The Tithe (516691) | about 12 years ago | (#3330250)

The unfortunate part of this is that AOL users will complain, not to the companies designing the websites but to AOL. This could cause AOL to cease use of Mozilla as a browser all together and wash their hands of the whole endevor

Exactly (2)

alexhmit01 (104757) | about 12 years ago | (#3330286)

The IE only days are now over. Anyone that realizes what is going on is scrambling to get compliant pages up. My main client was willing to ignore Netscape originally, then when we determined that Netscape 4.x was 6-8% of the audience for his site, he wanted the next version to support Netscape 4.x.

The site sorta works in Mozilla, but not terrifically. We're busting ass to redo the site with full HTML 4.01 compliance, CSS 1.0 compliance, and verifying everything in Netscape 4.7. Once you know Netscape's quirks, you can avoid using CSS features that confuse it.

We'll stay away from XHTML until Netscape 4.x is dead, and a properly working Netscape 6.5 will go a long way towards that. It's mostly corporate users, and they'll migrate when something better is available. In about 2 years, I'd expect Netscape 4.x to be dead, and we can all move on to XHTML.

Of course, there is always the option of doing two renderers, one for Netscape 4.x in HTML 4.01 and CSS 1, and one for IE 5+, NS 6+ in XHTML + CSS 2.0...

Alex

Big Ups to Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330106)

The only site I can get right now that isn't slashdotted.

damn you early morning american web surfers.

Revival from what? (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | about 12 years ago | (#3330114)

Has Mozilla decreased in popularity somehow? My impression is that as it gets more usable, more and more people are using it.

slowzilla (0)

magister707 (445089) | about 12 years ago | (#3330115)

Kind of shallow research, making a some common mistakes (Like many others, he half implies that AOL picking Mozilla as the default browser automatically puts 35 million users in the Netscape camp.)

this is one of the things that irritates me about slashdot..

on the surface, it seems like this would throw a mass of people into the NS/mozilla camp. the slashdot "journalist" asserts that it actually won't, but doesn't back up his assertion.

also, "making a some common mistakes"?

Re:slowzilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330300)

It has been discused with some frequency that many(most?) people do not upgrade AOL nearly as often as AOL can be upgrtaded. So obviously it will take some time before more than a fraction of those users through accident or design upgrades.

Some interesting weblogs by mozilla developers (5, Interesting)

Tayto (4193) | about 12 years ago | (#3330118)

Check out mpt [phrasewise.com] and hyatt [blogspot.com]'s viewpoints on current and future trends in mozilla development. Some very interesting views there, I think Dave Hyatt's call for hundreds of different browsers to suit different people should be a call to action! Look at how well galeon has done - as long as they all use the gecko engine, we'll all be richer for having different browsers for different occasions.

Cell Phones (5, Funny)

guinnessnwhiskey (322657) | about 12 years ago | (#3330122)

The next generation of cell phones, pagers, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and set-top boxes will require slimmed-down technology to access the Web, and Mozilla could model itself as the technology of choice.

So the next generation of cell phones will have 256MB RAM?

Re:Cell Phones (1)

wizkid (13692) | about 12 years ago | (#3330165)

Remember, a Cell Phone will only have a small display!
I bet they could get it to call up mozilla with only 128Mb of ram ;)

Re:Cell Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330228)

No kidding, I think Mozilla is already losing the embedded device market to Opera (who apparently has also struck their own deal recently with Nokia).

Re:Cell Phones (1)

Salsaman (141471) | about 12 years ago | (#3330243)

/usr/bin/mozilla (Build 2002040108)

Used memory size: 28002K

That joke isn't funny any more.

Re:Cell Phones (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | about 12 years ago | (#3330316)

So the next generation of cell phones will have 256MB RAM?

Probably not, but the generation after that, sure. Half of which will be spent on X Windows for the heads up display.

this just in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330127)

I just heard the sad news on talk radio!! Bloated "open sauce" web browser
Mozilla 1.0rc1 was found dead behind a Denny's in Macon, Georgia. There weren't
any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss Mozilla
-- even if you never experienced the insanity of trying to get Java working,
there's no denying it's damaging contribution to Linux's reputation.
Truly a heroic fuckup. Mozilla 1.0rc1 will be missed :(

Whats the big deal? (0, Flamebait)

papasui (567265) | about 12 years ago | (#3330150)

Ok so AOL now uses mozilla rendering engine, while that's all great and dandy. Consider this, an open source project that is being used in a extrememly commercialized product, not only that but AOL is considered by many if not most the scum of the internet. While I'm aware that most everyone that reads slashdot hates Microsoft I fail to see how this effects hardly anyone here beyond the fact that websites they create will now have less IE visitors. AOL uses Mozilla because it owns netscape, not because IE sucks, in reality its a very decent web browser despite the fact that microsoft made it. Mod me flamebait.

Re:Whats the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330234)

I have never been forced to use AOL anywhere. I have never been forced to pay AOL. I cannot say the same about MS so I consider MS the scum of the internet. The most I ever see from AOL is all those CDROMS I throw in the trash.

Re:Whats the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330259)


I'd mod you incoherent if i could.

Another one? (1, Offtopic)

epsalon (518482) | about 12 years ago | (#3330155)

Goto slashdot. See Mozilla icon. Think Mozilal.0 RC1 is released. Be disappointed.

C'mon! How /. many articles on Mozilla will there be before 1.0?!

Re:Another one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330194)

You say this all under the assumption that there actually will be a RC1... a sadly false assumption. All it is is another release of Netscape 6, and all you sanctimonious script kiddies will think you are 133t because you are rebelling against'mainstream' browsers.

Re:Another one? (2)

iceT (68610) | about 12 years ago | (#3330211)

See mozilla icon. See slashdot reader think all articles on slashdot are release notices. See slashdot reader be wrong.

See slashdot reader change their perceptions of slashdot?

Mistakes (4, Funny)

Knunov (158076) | about 12 years ago | (#3330157)

"Kind of shallow research, making a some common mistakes..."

Yeah a it is a easy to a make a some a common mostakes.

Knunov

jksdhjklas; as ;vak (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330159)

dfs qf wdf wdf qwd f qwdf qwdf qwf qw fq wdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwd fqw df qwdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwdf qwfqfdqqwfffqwlljlwejflwkjflkwjflqkwjf lk lkwjf lkqwjf l;kqwjf ;lqkwjdf l;kqwjdf ;lkwqjdf;qwlkflqwkkef ;elkw ;lfkq;lfqw l ;llw

Slightly off topic. (1)

jag164 (309858) | about 12 years ago | (#3330161)

So mozilla may gain some ground and users.

Do we see a return to yester year when web designers actually ignored proprietary html extensions and designed compatible (for lack of a better word) sites?

On that note, when you browse with your non IE browser and you stumble upon a site that renders totally useless (visual mess, links broken, or anything else that works only in IE), do you just go away or do you pop an email to the webmaster telling theme there losing visitors/customers?

Re:Slightly off topic. (1)

Salsaman (141471) | about 12 years ago | (#3330257)

On that note, when you browse with your non IE browser and you stumble upon a site that renders totally useless

I haven't seen that for several months with Mozilla.

Mozilla is flexible and everywhere (3, Interesting)

stego (146071) | about 12 years ago | (#3330176)

I use Mac OS X. There are atleast 3 Mozilla based browser floating around for OS X. And, for yucks, I _just_ installed a version of Mozilla that uses Xfree to display - I wanted to see how it might look different and I wanted the experience(wow, the text sure looks crappy)(but the code renders the same). The point is that Mozilla is available here and everywhere - certainly one the 'most available' applications that I have experienced. It seems like every permutation of every platform has a Mozilla available.

Mozilla an alternative, not a competitor. (2, Interesting)

SurfTheWorld (162247) | about 12 years ago | (#3330187)

Like many other authors, Jim Hu has failed to grasp the larger picture. While Mozilla could be a potential competitor to IE, it's more of an alternative to IE. Most of the people that I know who use Mozilla do so because they are under a platform that doesn't have an IE browser installed by default. (I don't mean to suggest that my colleaques would use an IE browser if it were installed on the box).

I run linux 99% of my uptime. And I use galeon on top of Mozilla. Why? Not because I hate the concept of IE (I hate IE for other reasons) but because it's an alternative. Sure I have a Sun that I could run IE on, but the velocity of the Mozilla and Galeon development is the alternative solution that I'm looking for.

OpenSource developers aren't "let's go give MS a run for their money!" people. They're "let's go make a browser that sucks less." Not everything is a competition - some projects exist just to provide alternatives.

What is Python a competitor to? I dunno... It's just an alternative... Just like Mozilla...

-c

Get Real. (3, Insightful)

Doktor Memory (237313) | about 12 years ago | (#3330191)


Folks, I have a newsflash for you. AOL is never, ever going to use Gecko/Mozilla as its default browser. Not in 8.0, not in any version.

This is all about negotiating leverage: AOL's contract with Microsoft is up for renewal, and they want to squeeze the best terms possible out of MS to ensure that the little AOL icon is on as many OEM Windows desktops as possible. So they'll threaten and bluster about dumping IE for Gecko, and in the end MS will make a few token concessions and AOL will re-up with IE.

For all of their public bravado, MS and AOL's executives are both painfully aware that their respective near-monopolies are entirely dependent upon a mutual detente. Neither one can survive without the other.

Reality (2)

drodver (410899) | about 12 years ago | (#3330221)

Microsoft is pushing to convert AOL's user base to MSN. They are no longer bedfellows, they are in competition.

What are you talking about? (3, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3330248)

Its Microsoft who refused to deal with AOL not the other way around.

AOL wanted a deal, Microsoft said AOL would have to ditch AIM, Winamp and Realplayer, AOL would have to use Microsofts Media Player, MSN IM and IE in their product?!

Please, AOL is not spending millions if not billions of dollars so they can waste it in a deal with Microsoft.

AOL purchased netscape, made AIM, purchased ICQ and Winamp because they knew at some point it would come down to this

ITs all part of a bigger plan, now that AOL is Time Warner, AOL is bigger than Microsoft and does nt NEED a deal, AOL is set to take Microsoft out.

Note to idiot moderators. (3, Funny)

Doktor Memory (237313) | about 12 years ago | (#3330253)

I am not trolling. The actual article under discussion makes reference to the prediction that AOL is going to replace IE with a gecko-based browser. I am stating my reasons for believing that prediction to be incorrect. This is on-topic and relvant.

If you disagree with that prediction, I'd be happy to wager a Guinness over the matter.

Re:Get Real. (2)

sydb (176695) | about 12 years ago | (#3330270)

Neither one can survive without the other.

Just how big a slice of Microsoft's profits are you suggesting AOL contribute?

Re:Get Real. (2)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 12 years ago | (#3330278)

Whoever modded down you should be virtually slapped, IMHO. :-)

I agree with your assessments. There is also another good reason for this: having two big web browsers on the same system can cause no end of confusion to end users and many application programs, and that is something everybody wants to avoid, especially for casual computer users.

Now, AOL 8.0 with the Mozilla 1.0 browser makes way more sense if the DoJ as part of its final settlement with Microsoft requires a Plain Jane version of Windows XP, since the default install will have no web browser or multimedia programs on the system.

I know I've just been baited, but... (1)

SirNarfsALot (536889) | about 12 years ago | (#3330317)

AOL 7.0 with Gecko (beta, of course) has been testing quite well, as I understand it. I even had the chance to use it myself and it was quite nice, actually. MS has no reason to try to help AOL, no matter whose browser anyone uses, because they are in competition for the same market. So the whole point becomes, will AOL have the rights to continue to use IE's engine, and if so, then, which is better, Mozilla or IE? I think most Slashdot readers know the answer to that, not only in terms of user experience but for the internet as a whole.

48th Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330196)

Sorry.

FWIW (3, Interesting)

White Roses (211207) | about 12 years ago | (#3330204)

I've been using Mozilla for a while now on Linux and Mac. The classic Mac version crashed often, and would actually force a reboot. I think it was probably my underlying system (which was very old and had more esoteric non-standard peripherals and extensions hanging off it than, well, anything I can think of at the moment) more than Mozilla. I recently purchased a new iMac running OS X, and promptly installed Mozilla. Two days later I dumped "the browser of choice" from my system entirely - it crashed too often. Mozilla runs like a champ on OS X, on Linux, on just about any platform. IE runs good on Windows, lousy on Mac and not at all on anything else (well, okay, that old Solaris version). The fact that I can go to just about any platform and have the exact same browser interface makes all the difference to me. Of course, I'm a Java programmer, so cross-platform consistency counts for a lot in my book already.

If AOL uses Moz, that'll help it gain acceptance much more quickly. Ask yourself where IE would be if Netscape had played nice with AOL all those years ago. Okay, probably still on every PC, but it'd be sharing much more mindshare with Netscape.

Uptodate Browser Stats (1)

Davak (526912) | about 12 years ago | (#3330207)

As of March 25, 2002, IE 6's global browser usage share was 30.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent shortly after its initial launch only seven months ago, according to WebSideStory's StatMarket (www.statmarket.com), a leading source for data on global Internet user trends. Meanwhile, Netscape's global usage share has sharply declined. Netscape held steady with about a 12 percent global usage share for more than a year, until the release of IE6, at which point it began dropping precipitously. Netscape's global usage share is currently just over 7 percent. Global browser usage share is the percentage of daily Internet users worldwide that access the Internet through a particular browser.

--- http://www.statmarket.com/cgi-bin/sm.cgi?sm&featur e&week_stat [statmarket.com]

Please post further quotes and stats below... I was looking for raw numbers but couldn't find any...

Davak

If you just Try it (2, Insightful)

KingKire64 (321470) | about 12 years ago | (#3330215)

The Last time i used netscape was like 6 years ago. I fully believed IE was better and booted faster.

2 months ago i heard Moz was making good prograss and seing how IE 6 is Junk(keeps freezing when Looking up DNS) I gave Moz a shot. I am converted.

I dont have to worry about pop up ads and VIruses. I say if We just Get Ppl to acutally try it the word of mouth with spread.

Just think of what will happed whejn AOL includes it with AOL 8?(is that what the next number wil be?) Kudos to the devs they put out a great product

Really kewl. Yeah, right. (1, Troll)

Animats (122034) | about 12 years ago | (#3330242)

It has new APIs! It has its own XML-based formatting language! Runs on PDAs and cell phones(?!) Zillions of features! We've given up on the PC market!

What's wrong with this picture?

First off, the basic problem with Mozilla is that they can't generate a stable release. I'm using it now, and there are many painful bugs, like broken text editing and undeletable long-line spam messages. And I just waited 22 seconds with Mozilla frozen for Mozilla to open an empty window. (Someone is going to say "those problems are fixed in the latest beta". But they're not fixed in the latest Netscape release.)

Mozilla is currently at version 0.9.9.x and counting. Someday, they'll declare a victory and go home, claming to be 1.0. Will it have every reported bug fixed? No. They vote on which bugs get fixed and keep the rest.

Personally, I wonder if there's a secret deal to make Mozilla lousy, financed by Microsoft.

Re:Really kewl. Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330294)

Speaking as a professional web developer, I have to agree emphatically with you. Mozilla has a LOT of major problems (this means BUGS, BROKEN STUFF) that I find it very, very hard to believe will be fixed by release. I would love it if Mozilla worked as well as we all want it to.

Re:Really kewl. Yeah, right. (2)

Derkec (463377) | about 12 years ago | (#3330318)

A secret deal to keep Mozlilla lousy, financed by Microsoft? Are you nuts? Unless you see some sort of evidence of a conspiracy, don't go shooting off your mouth.


Yeah, 1.0 will have bugs. Guess, what? IE 6.0 will have bugs too. Bugs MS knows about. Software projects that feel the need to get released sometime damn near always shipped with known (and deemed acceptable) bugs. Welcome to the real world.


Your complaint that they haven't generated a stable release to date is somewhat weak as well. They are shipping 0.X.X versions. That ->0- out front stands for not stable. You can complain much more when there are unacceptable problems with the 1.0. Until then, just yell at the Netscape folks for releasing a 6.0 version based on someone elses beta software.

Standards compliance (1)

thuresson (573057) | about 12 years ago | (#3330245)

I hope this means that more people on the internet will use a browser that complies to the standards. How much longer will it go on with web designers being forced to think of what browser the users have?

My brother has a web site than can only be used with IE. So when I asked him what happened with surfers surfing with their fridge he just stared at me. He thought the idea ludicrous but nowadays you don't need a desktop computer to browse.

I don't like those home pages that say: Best seen with this or that browser, go here to download it. Do they really think that people will download 10-15 MB just to see their lousy homepage?

AOL Pushing Mozilla (2, Insightful)

ltsmash (569641) | about 12 years ago | (#3330271)

he half implies that AOL picking Mozilla as the default browser automatically puts 35 million users in the Netscape camp When ever has a MAJOR company been successful in pushing a product on users?

Mozilla 1.0 and Microsoft's Mac Strategy (3, Insightful)

Schlemphfer (556732) | about 12 years ago | (#3330275)

One big appeal of Mozilla is that, with this browser, non-Wintel users aren't second-class citizens.

IE 6.0 for Windows came out last August. Yet Mac users still aren't even at the 5.5 version -- the most current version for Macs is still 5.1.

The unstated message Microsoft sends to Mac users is, "You want the coolest, latest browser, then switch to Windows. If you want your browser to be two years obsolete, stick with your little toy Mac."

With the release of Mozilla 1.0, this browser will be giving IE some heavy competition -- particularly on non-Wintel platforms. It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft suddenly starts offering Mac users a much more current and attractive version of IE. And if they do, the question will be: why weren't they doing this all along?

Missing the server (2, Interesting)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | about 12 years ago | (#3330280)

We're all missing the server equation here - MS is pretty damn big in the server side of things.

Yeah yeah yeah - quote netcraft at me with Apache = 60% and so on. I believe it too, but it doesn't matter. *MANY* commerce site - the things your parents and friends visit - run on IIS (for better or for worse). You can argue percentages all you want, but there's enough of them out there. Heck Macs are about 5% of the computer market, but some people still care about them.

If you even concede that IIS has a 15% share of servers conducting commerce, that's a big number.

My point? If mozilla ever starts to be a credible browser threat, IIS7 (or 8 or whatever) will suddenly either not work with mozilla at all, OR give lower priority treatment to mozilla requests. Or, better yet, just occasionally drop requests, making it even harder to diagnose.

"Works fine when I use IE7.5, but danged if Mozilla 1.01.02RC3 (cause that's about where they'll be) crashes sometimes!"

There's already issues with SSL between IE and Apache servers and non IE browsers and IIS. MS controls too much on both sides - IN BUSINESS/COMMERCE, WHERE IT COUNTS - to ever let anything else ever get too big again.

Responses? :)

Kmeleon comes along? (1, Interesting)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 12 years ago | (#3330283)

One thing that I think a lot of slashdot users pride themselves on is that they use software which is still relatively "fringe" in comparison to the mainstream software. The best examples of course are Linux vs Windows and Moz/Konq vs IE. The advantage is that msot of the annoying browser parasites and new advertising techniques and aimed at the software that everyone ELSE uses. And we love it.

The "risk" associated with mozilla becoming mainstream is that we would be more subject to spyware attacks and such because the user base has grown so that it is significant. And frankly, as much as we talk about mainstream acceptance, many of us will not like the other side effects of mainstream acceptance that I have mentioned.

If Mozilla does become mainstream, I think that there is a possibility for a K-Meleon [sourceforge.net] revival and a port of the browser to linux. K-Meleon is a gecko based browser with many features similar to mozilla but it is "light" and does not have the news/mail/composer stuff in it.

So am I right about many slashdot users in the idea that they prefer to stay in the obscure corner? Reply to this!

Mozilla on portables. (1)

iamr00t (453048) | about 12 years ago | (#3330289)

What I don't understand in this article is how they can compare current hand-held browsers to Mozilla or Gecko.

The "embedded" version of Mozilla contains all browsing components that normal Mozilla has. That includes full CSS1 support, javascript 1.5, DOM.
To the level of very high compatibility with thouse standards (same as normal Mozilla of course). Plus XUL support.

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/embedding/

And it all takes 4.3Mb (archived) for windows version.

I really don't see any competitors here in terms of portability,compatibility and size (the other option that comes to mind is Opera).

Google Toolbar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330293)

I liked the google toolbar which is pretty convenient. How do u install in it mozilla.

So, have they fixed the bugs and crashes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3330315)

I'd really like to see Mozilla become a viable browser, but I just downloaded the latest version and it's slow, unstable and full of bugs; for example, just try opening the bookmarks window when you have over 600 bookmarks at the top level, then try cut-and-pasting all those bookmarks into a folder at once so that it won't take a minute or more to bring up the menu, doesn't work. Then delete them... and it redraws the window after every deleting each bookmark. As a result, it took over ten minutes just to delete them! On the good side, at least it doesn't lock up for ten seconds or so on the Hotmail inbox.

So I won't be switching from Netscape 4.7 and IE6 for a while yet.
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