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Mozilla Project Hurt by Apple's Decision to use KH

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the the-battle-rages-on dept.

Mozilla 647

Anonymous Coward writes "I Read this article from ZDNet claiming how some of the Mozilla developers were hurt by Apple's decision to use KHTML over Gecko. I can see both their points. Mozilla was made for cross-platform compatibility, and this probably adds to the bloat, however that's not what they were looking for. They wanted small and fast."

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647 comments

FIRST POST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082323)

Wow, this really is everything they said it would be. I'm so filled with joy I can hardly type...

fp (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082330)

First post written in Mozilla, proving that gecko is indeed fast (and can be made small).

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082499)

This is actually the second post! Little do you know, but the Apple team are huge first post fans, and this is exactly the kind of edge they were looking for! With your slow gecko browser, YOU HAVE FAILED!

YOU FAIL IT!

Nothing new here (-1, Insightful)

rebrane (17961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082336)

Apple has never valued cross-platform compatibility except at great urging. From the days of proprietary Apple-only hardware and the squelching of would-be competitors, to the modern day with the refusal to port Aqua and launching the iPod for Macs only.. the integration of an X server in the latest release is definitely the exception to the rule.

Re:Nothing new here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082353)

You are an out of date ass.. I was going to accutally post something to this topic.. But with Asses like you.. Why bother?

Re:Nothing new here (2, Informative)

Apiakun (589521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082409)

Uhm, the iPod is available for PC, and not because of great urging, but because it was a good business decision.

Re:Nothing new here (5, Informative)

scrod (136965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082490)

Have you been living in a cave for the past few years? They eschew standards? Mac OS X has a windowing system based on PDF, OpenGL integrated at a very low level in the operating system, XML-formatted preferences for every single app and system setting, an ultra-compliant Java2 VM, and an open source foundation with a BSD UNIX personality. It's getting very, very difficult to find new technologies in OS X that are proprietary, and you're complaining that they used one open source rendering engine instead of another? What kind of warped view of the world do you have?

Re:Nothing new here (5, Informative)

fishboy (81833) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082513)

let's take apart your argument, slashdot take-down style:

Apple has never valued cross-platform compatibility except at great urging.

never is a strong word in my books-- what do you call bluetooth, 802.11, firwire, opengl, xml, and usb? refusal to embrace and push for open standards? if anything, apple is the measure of computer industry these days.

From the days of proprietary Apple-only hardware and the squelching of would-be competitors, to the modern day with the refusal to port Aqua and launching the iPod for Macs only.

computers are what apple sells and they stay in business by selling their machines, not other peoples'. the licencing of apple hardware was flawed from the beginning and handcuffed apple into killing the program because of abuse. porting aqua to other platforms would be the end of apple-- remember, they are a hardware complany, not a software company. aqua sells macs, not the other way around. so do ipods. apple builds incentive to buy their hardware, why give those incentives to other platform users?

the integration of an X server in the latest release is definitely the exception to the rule.

pal, you have so missed the boat in your post that i think you should take a step back from this fud. x server is merely the tip of the iceberg of what has been the "exception to the rule". os x is on the cutting edge of the open source / corporate relationship, existing on open standard freebsd and countless other non-proprietary formats. if the other favourite popular target of slashdot could be mentioned this favourably, we wouldn't be here.

just my two cents.

"Bloat" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082337)

The "Bloat" is in the src of cross-platform code, and even this doesn't have to be too true, in the end it should still be fairly fast if its well written.

Pride of Authorship (5, Insightful)

tealover (187148) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082338)

I don't think the Mozilla guys should take Apple's decision as anything more than Apple trying to do what's best for Apple. We users may have the luxury of using political motives in determing which software to use, but corporations have to answer to shareholders. If Apple sincerely believes they made the best choice for them, then I hope it works out well for them.

I'll continue to use Mozilla, if it makes the developers happy!

Re:Pride of Authorship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082361)

Well they sure as hell ain't doing squat for their shareholders. If they're so fucking unique how come their stock tanked just like everybody else?

Re:Pride of Authorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082404)

Stupid troll. Plenty of companies did worse in th post dot-com crash. LNUX anyone? Thought not.

Re:Pride of Authorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082464)

Quit comparing apples and oranges. Apple, unlike LNUX, has been around forever and has had plenty of opportunity to actually "enhance stockholder value" by making popular and resonably priced products and getting a market that isn't dependent of Jobs reality distortion field.

Safari is only half finished... it will bloat (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082339)

Mozilla supports many more standards/protocols than Safari As Safari reaches this level of functionality it will get bigger and bigger.

At the end of the day though, who cares if they use Mozilla or not?

What's important is that they're dumping IE, thus freeing themselves from a dependence on Microsoft.

PS: "Bloated" or not, Mozilla runs just fine on my PC.

Bloat (2)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082382)

it might just slim down and get lighter and faster! what would they add, other than tabs, that would cause major bloat? that is the problem with the full mozilla--many features. i shouldn't say "problem" though, since i feel that it is an advantage in cases.

even if it's "half finished".... (5, Insightful)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082399)

Safari weighs in at 7.2 megs, Mozilla is 38.3 megs.

Safari has a ton of room to grow before it achieves Mozilla's mammoth size.

Regardless of this, Safari is far more than halfway done.

Re:even if it's "half finished".... (4, Insightful)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082439)

Mozilla is a suite. Safari is a browser. I'd hope that with today's resources, mozilla as a browser only, w/o XUL, chatzilla, composer and all the other goodies, would be ~7.2 megs.

Re:even if it's "half finished".... (1)

CptNoSkill (528594) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082495)

Actually there is a browser that meats most of those requirements here [mozilla.org] . I think it includes XUL, but it close and small..

In Soviet Uzbekistan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082341)

CmdrTaco Anally Rapes YOU!!!

chimera! (3, Insightful)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082342)

at least they didn't compete and crush the competition! chimera is still rather nice! multiple platforms--gecko--mmake for better competition!

Mozilla Lite? (3, Informative)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082346)

Why not use phoenix or some similar project w/out the bloat of the full-blown Mozilla?

-- Gun

P.S. First post

Oh boo hoo... (5, Insightful)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082347)

Would the khtml people be "hurt" if apple had used Gecho? Maybe if the Mozilla people are so injured they should look at why KHTML was chosen over Gecho and take steps to improve. Such is the beauty of competition. Maybe the mozilla people aren't aiming for what the Safari people were looking for... Maybe portablility wasn't important as size and speed to the Safari people. Apple adopting an open source browser is ultimately a very good thing, whether it be Gecho, Khtml, or some other open sourch engine.

Re:Oh boo hoo... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082478)

I read the Mozilla blogs and the general feeling is that although they're "hurt" they understand why.

They're hurt but they're not bitter, and they don't hold a grudge. But come on, it still hurts.

Sometimes, hurt is all they feel.

Best tool for the job (5, Interesting)

boinger (4618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082351)

Apple's R&D people are some of the best and their research showed which path was 'best' based on some checklist spawned from some meetings somewhere in the depths of Apple. Would we have a similar story if the KHTML kids were hurt because Apple went the other way? No. Their project is seen as less-significant. Do they have their own icon on /.? Similarly, no. For the same reason.

Gecko (1, Redundant)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082352)

Gecko is small and fast - just mozilla is a bit bloated.

Re:Gecko (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082443)

That's like saying Hitler was a bit naughty.

abandon ship (1, Troll)

spongebobsquarepants (588438) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082354)

Maybe it's high time to put Apple in the back of our minds when it comes to open source development. Let's face it, they generally slow the process down (e.g., OpenOffice) or try to re-invent it (X11) and hide behind more restrictive licenses after borrowing from the wealth of open source code (...though kudos to them for their recent contribution to the Konqueror project). Let Apple take the responsibility for streamlining code to work under their platform.

oh well no shit (2, Insightful)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082360)

And guess what, Intel was hurt by Apple's decision to use the PPC and Microsoft was hurt by Apple not licensing the NT kernel. They're a fucking business, not a charity.

I think you are missing the point (0, Interesting)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082424)

If we want to push Microsoft down to a level playing field in the marketplace, we all have to work together. That's why Apple didn't license the NT kernel and why Apple doesn't use the biggest chipmaker on the planet. They are trying to help break the back of the monopoly.

Which is why they should have used Mozilla. It's both Free and free (unlike most of KDE). I wonder if this choice of their reflects a fundamental change at Apple--are they in bed with Microsoft now?

Re:I think you are missing the point QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082494)

I wonder if this choice of their reflects a fundamental change at Apple--are they in bed with Microsoft now?

Sheesh, dude, if you're going to put that little effort into your trolls, don't bother. If they were going to be in bed with Microsoft, I think they would continue using IE.

Try more of an anti-GNU slant instead.

Bah.. Mac users will still use IE (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082367)

Interent Explorer is still the best browser for the Mac platform. By Apple getting rid of it, its a big slap in the face for users of OSX.

Oh well, Apple is only 3% market share, so who cares anyways?

Re:Bah.. Mac users will still use IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082486)

Nice Troll.

Have you ever been within 5 feet of a mac or a mac user ?

Been there done that and got the t-shirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082368)

I once had a MAC. Really nice machine. But then I had to develop on a G3 Firewire MAC. It just kept churning and churning... I kept scratching my head and wondering. I installed YellowDog Linux and the churning would not stop. I replaced it with an Intel box and the churning stopped...

Apple has some great hardware, but the software end sucks. I have been to multiple conferences as a speaker and seen others struggle with their Apple boxes because the software just is not there. Apple, the x86 instruction set has won! Get with the show!

So if Apple wants to use the K-Browser, by all means all the power to them. But meanwhile I am on Linux/Windows XP and plan to continue using Mozilla. On P4 it is not slow, nor is it buggy. Mozilla 1.3Alpha is quite neat actually...

Competition is a good thing. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082374)

This is what competition is all about. Sometimes the competitor wins. This sort of thing makes products better in the end.

Why the bloat? (2, Informative)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082376)

Obviously, apart from the multiplatform thingy, the bloat surely comes from evolving code; that is, you start with a neat, swift & cool architectyre (Netscrape 1), then add some bells and whistles (Netscrape 2), then you get featuritis (Netscrape 4) until the bloat becomes unmanageable (Netscape 7).

At one point, it's necessary to stop and redo everything from scratch.

Re:Why the bloat? (2)

entrox (266621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082432)

Nice troll!

You do realize, that Netscape was rewritten totally between 4 and 6? And you also realize, that this wasn't their best decision?

Please shut up if you don't know what you're talking about.

doh (1)

entrox (266621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082473)

And I should probably fine-tune my sarcasm detectors before hitting the submit-button. Now where's the "delete post" button :/

Re:Why the bloat? (3, Interesting)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082449)

You do realize that Netscape is based on Mozilla 1.x, which is a total rewrite, and shares no code with Netscape 4 series?

FWIW, Gecko (Mozilla's HTML layout engine) is supposedly reasonably lean; Mozilla itself is more bloated due to featuritis (although, many of the features are cool, from JavaScript debugger to the whole UI framework that seamlessly ties C, C++ and JavaScript). However that's not so much a side-effect as a design decision; architecture is ambitious and feature list (too?) sizable.

Why does Apple even bother with their own? (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082377)

It would just be easier to hire some guys to work full time on Mozilla for OSX and keep them at just enough of a distance so that Microsoft doesn't know Apple is funding them. Same would go for OpenOffice.

KHTML can't be _that_ bad w/r/t cross-platform ... (5, Interesting)

nbvb (32836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082380)

I mean, if the Apple folks were able to port KHTML to OpenStep^WMac OS X from that whole Linux-QT-KDE mess, it can't be that bad, can it?

Let's call it like it is -- Gecko, while a noble effort, is really a failure. It was YEARS late, and completely missed its goal (a lightweight, fast. cross-platform rendering engine). One bit of that (cross-platform) does not a success make.

I have to say, I'm absolutely impressed with Apple's Safari. It's FAST as all getout, and it's the first browser that really makes me think twice about having paid for OmniWeb. I've been using Safari daily since release and while, yes, it has some bugs, it's still better than Chimera, OW, & Mozilla combined. IE also has its rendering issues, and I detest lots of other things about it.

Safari's what a browser should be -- small, lightweight, and out of my face. The interface is slim & sleek, and, like the rest of Apple's software, lets me focus on the CONTENT rather than the delivery.

I really think that's why OSX is so wonderful -- it just stays out of my way and lets me do what I gotta do. And I have to admit, running a DVD authoring program alongside several terminal windows on a Mac (!) is still impressive to me.

Apple didn't buy NeXT. NeXT swallowed Apple whole.'

--NBVB

Re:KHTML can't be _that_ bad w/r/t cross-platform (2)

King of the World (212739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082496)

Safari's what a browser should be -- small, lightweight, and out of my face. The interface is slim & sleek
Brushed metal? As some blogger said it's the piano key necktie [proaudiomusic.com] of interfaces.

KHTML developers (5, Insightful)

chennes (263526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082383)

...and if Apple had chosen Mozilla's engine, the KHTML developers would have been "hurt." KHTML is a compact code by comparison - far easier for Apple to take and modify. What happened to the idea that choice is good? Apple is helping to turn KHTML into a more viable choice (I used Mozilla exclusively before Safari was release- I had never touched KHTML). Now there are a whole bunch of viable browsers out there. Chris

And this is a Surprise, Why? (4, Interesting)

arakon (97351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082384)

I mean come on, look at Apple's choices,

1) Use this extremely bloated, unoptimized browser or

2) Use this smaller engine that can be optimized with little effort to run like a top on our operating system.

I'm sorry but Apple is doing what any good business would do, its looking out for its own interests. But I fail to see how this hurts Mozilla. So what mac users can use another browser. COMPETITION IS GOOD. maybe this will get those Mozilla monks in gear and start making their browser SMALLER instead of adding X more features that I don't need.

Now if all the browsers would just use the same plugin models....

Oh, no! Horror of Horrors! (5, Insightful)

Garridan (597129) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082387)

Competition in the Open Source world? Microsoft gripes about not owning 100% of the market, too, guys. Competing projects are good. They promote diversity, and since we're all Open Source people, and we all use the same open protocols, its all interoperable.

Good to see KHTML in the commercial spotlight, and not just Mozilla. I'm typing this in Mozilla, which I sear by and tell all my friends about, but KHTML is good, too.

mozilla (2)

Guipo (591513) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082389)

you know, if mozilla is so bloated why does it work so well on my system. Another note is how does it really hurt mozilla. I mean, look at IE. Talk about bloated. Even moreso why would not having to be default hurt mozilla on the apple platform. It dosent come with any windows platform, yet I run it on all my windows PC's.

Bah, what do I know. i'm just a user

No... (4, Insightful)

mkoz (323688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082390)

I understand that mozilla might have some hurt feelings, but lets focus. Apple had specific needs and they chose what they thought was the best solution. Mozilla is doing something a bit different (multiplatform).

In the end this is a bit of a win for Mozilla and all open source software.
1. It is a high profile (if low distribution) browser based on an open source core. This is a good thing for open source projects in general.
2. Competition in the open source browser arena is not a bad thing. I predict that both browsers will get better as a result or some good natured competition.
3. Apple is not anti-Mozilla, they just decided to use a different rending engine for Safari.
4. Chimera (Mozilla based) is still a better browser than Safari on MacOS X.

Re:No... (1)

nbvb (32836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082427)

1. It is a high profile (if low distribution) browser based on an open source core. This is a good thing for open source projects in general.


I wouldn't call 300,000 downloads in one day low distribution .....

--NBVB

Re:No... (1)

mkoz (323688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082472)

Even if safari takes 100% of the MacOS X market (which it will not). It will be a minority browser because macs a are minority of computers.

How many people have downloaded Mozilla?

Re:No... (3, Insightful)

nbvb (32836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082515)

Even if safari takes 100% of the MacOS X market (which it will not). It will be a minority browser because macs a are minority of computers.


How many people have downloaded Mozilla?


Who cares anyway? I don't think BMW or Mercedes will ever "take 100% of the market"... what's so bad about being the minority, as long as it's a quality product?

--NBVB

ZDNet took statements out of context (5, Informative)

feelafel (228034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082391)

It should be noted that Mike Shaver's (formerly of Netscape, still of Mozilla) comments [off.net] were, as he points out [0xdeadbeef.com] , taken horribly out of context in the ZDNet article.

Re:ZDNet took statements out of context (1)

feelafel (228034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082447)

Oops .. I meant to point here [off.net] for Mike Shaver's initial reaction to the ZDNet article, which was to echo the comments of Christopher Blizzard, another Mozilla developer who took issue with the article.

Clear? Good.

Why hate KHTML? (5, Insightful)

dtype (98103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082392)

I question not so much the free software crowd's love of Mozilla, as the hate for KHTML. Why hate this _other_ free and excellent library for web rendering?

Apple made a perfectly valid choice, and contributed their changes back to the free software community. Yet another great free software project now benefits from Apple, at IE/Microsoft's expense of market share on Mac desktops.

Don't draw any conclusions you don't have to. I love Mozilla, too, but Apple made a decision, and one which even most Mozilla developers feel was a valid technical choice, even if it wasn't the one they themselves would have made.

What exactly did Apple do wrong again?

Re:Why hate KHTML? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082509)

I'll bite.

It is really very simple. This all boils down to KDE VS GNOME. The gnome whiners are upset because Apple just provided some major credibility to the rival KDE project further cementing it's lead on the Linux desktop.

You see, the gnome whiners have been crying for ages that KDE has been working on Konqueror while gnome whiners have hung the hat with Mozilla and Galeon (based upon Mozilla). They've been crying forever that Konqueror is waisted duplication to the far superior (err bloated) Mozilla. A fair bit of hypocrisy if you ask me since it started as a duplication of effort of the much further along KDE.

In the end that is what this boils down too. Gnome has been hoping to gain some leverage by weaseling in with the OO and Mozilla crowd. Seems fitting that this will hurt them in the end as Konqueror and KOffice turn out to be the real deal.

So, 'what did Apple do wrong'?? They chose the superior technology and unwittingly helped back the winning horse ... KDE thereby enraging the GNOME crowd. Hope that explains it.

Re:Why hate KHTML? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082516)

Because RMS opened his corpulent piehole to criticize Trolltech for not working for the good of humanity, that's why. He even expected them to apologize over it! Their license didn't meet his idea of "Free" and so he unleashed his legions of groupthinking dilettantes. To this day, anything with a 'K' in front of it is wicked in his sight.

This same hissy fit was responsible for the creation of the GNOME project, in competition to the existing desktop, KDE. All because they chose to use the Qt library.

It's sad when a hairy, jobless petulant fartsack like Stallman can divide effort like this.

Apple did nothing wrong at all.

Safari (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082397)

Safari is a little over 3MB, Mozilla...well, you know if you're reading this. Chimera is great, and OS X already has a good mail client. The choice is obvious to me, K being so lightweight. Safari flies, had it been gecko people would just say "Why not continue using Chimera?". I think it was a good move. Now if I could only afford Stebe's new tiny laptop.

Portability not an issue (5, Insightful)

michaelggreer (612022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082400)

They don't care about portability, since they are a single platform. Thus, Gecko's advantages there offered nothing. They explained their choice in terms of speed and the size and structure of the code. Probably part of the issue was whether they felt they could dive in and code away immediately. Mozilla, arguably, is a little large for that.

Emulated GUI's rejected by market (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082405)

Mozilla was made for cross-platform compatibility, and this probably adds to the bloat, however that's not what they were looking for. They wanted small and fast.

Isn't IBM pushing for a Java UI approach that uses of *native* GUI widgets if available? (I don't remember the acronym off hand.) There have been many complaints about emulated widgets, including speed and not fitting "local" OS customs.

It seems that this is yet anothre push to use native widgets rather than emulations. Perhaps emulated widgets is a dying idea (or hardware has not caught up yet).

Mozilla hurt by Mozilla, not by Apple. (4, Interesting)

tshak (173364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082406)

I'm sorry, but there's a reason why I personally stick with Opera and IE (IE for IE "only" pages, and for /. just for the irony) and why I'm willing to _pay_ for well made software. Mozilla hurt Mozilla by being too little (or too much when viewing the codebase!) too late. Mozilla based browsers have improved dramatically, but IMHO they are still sub-par. Although Safari has some missing features, for an initial release it looks very promising. From what I've seen, if I ever get a Mac I may be very tempted to use Safari over Opera. Of course, Opera should then sue Apple for levereging their monopoly on PowerPC desktops and pushing Opera out of their market :-).

The Beauty of Choice .. (5, Insightful)

peatbakke (52079) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082408)

.. is that you get to choose which product best suits your needs. Unfortunately, that also means that someone doesn't get picked. Get over it, and make a better product. Maybe you'll get picked the next time around.

Show me... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082411)

...a platform developer that really cares if a browser is cross-platform...

The point of HTML is that it is cross-platform, once you have a good app on your platform to view it (preferably adhereing to certain standards), what more do you need?

Hey guys... (5, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082412)

...you got the title wrong. It should read:

"ZDNet trolls for more page hits yet again - film at 11."

Re:Hey guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082474)

Offtopic, my ass. Put down that crack pipe, dude...

small and fast (1, Flamebait)

Stanley Feinbaum (622232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082413)

When I think of small and fast, I think of IE. It's a much smaller download than mozilla and it runs great.

IE on mac OS X just as good if not better than the windows version. It's good to finally see IE running well on a unix operating system.

The article doesn't say that! (5, Informative)

smagoun (546733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082414)

The article doesn't say the Mozilla developers were hurt! It says they either a) agree with Apple or b) don't care. For example:

One Mozilla staff member called KHTML selection an understandable if not foregone conclusion, given Mozilla's technical problems.
and
"I guess I'm supposed to be mortally offended--or at least embarrassed--that they went with KHTML instead of our Gecko engine, but I'm having trouble working up the indignation," wrote Mike Shaver in a Web log posting. "We've all known forever that Gecko missed its 'small-and-lean' target by an area code, and we've been slogging back towards the goal, dragging our profilers and benchmarks behind us, for years."

Apple hurt Mozilla? The only thing that hurt Mozilla was Mozilla. And for the most part, the Mozilla developers know that already.

"Editors," indeed.

Competition is good (5, Insightful)

Augusto (12068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082416)

I was a bit surprised Apple developed a browser, and with Open Source code, but when I read it wasn't using Gecko I was even more surprised.

However, seems like the KDE folks have done a great job here, so congrats to them. The Mozilla folks shouldn't feel "hurt", this should motivate them to improve what is already a really good browser.

The competition is not only IE, but more stuff is showing up all the time. That's great, competition in the browser arena is back. For a moment I tought we'd be stuck with IE forever!

another good (and related) read. (5, Informative)

mkoz (323688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082420)

http://linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=6565

KHTML rendering engine is simply better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082425)

I'm using kde 3.1 rc6. Konqueror is simply better and faster than mozilla. Also, konqueror is more modular and the code is more simple than mozilla.

Mozilla and Netscape seems to think that it is suffisent to have some evangelists. For me Apple had do the right choice of considering code before listening evangelist. Mozilla is simply too slow, to complex to be interresting !

Hurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082428)

No where in the article does it support the claim that "Mozilla hurt by Apple blast " or "Mozilla Project Hurt by Apple's Decision to use KH". How about "Apple chooses KH over Mozilla's Gecko". What's wrong with telling the truth?

Makes sense (1)

opcenter (566104) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082429)

If Apple had used Gecko instead, they would be reproducing work that is already done in Chimera. They obviously wanted something of their own that they could make a huge announcement about. They also wanted to make it as small and fast as possible. So the decision to use khtml makes sense.

Above all else, Apple is a control freak... whether it's over their OS or their hardware or whatever runs on their OS, they want to have complete domination over it.

Fragmentation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082433)


Apple is hurting the entire free world by doing this. They are causing market fragmentation in the browser arena. Many fine companies in democratic countries will suffer..

When you buy Apple, you're supporting terrorism!

Why KHTML? (3, Insightful)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082435)

Apple was probably enticed by the fact that it is a smaller codebase, and thus giving Apple more "ownership" (in the creative sense) of the project.

Mozilla is a lot more mature, feature-wise, and Apple was probably looking for a clean slate. They just want a stripped-down rendering engine, and the interface is all theirs.

Phoenix isn't quite there (2)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082436)

From the Phoenix [mozilla.org] FAQ:

Q: You said this was designed to be cross-platform. Where's the mac version?

A: Designed to be cross-platform doesn't mean we offer a build on every platform, it just means the code itself works anywhere. We don't officially offer Phoenix for Mac, but some people have already begun experimenting with mac versions (see this page [kmgerich.com] ). We may consider officially releasing Phoenix for Mac in the future, but we want to focus on Windows and Linux for now.

I seriously dig the Phoenix project. Mozilla is way too big and way more than I would ever use. Phoenix is just right (and getting better with every release).

Unfortunately for Mozilla, Phoenix isn't mature enough yet to be Mac's choice of browser. Give it a year or so and we'll probably see a Mac version of Phoenix which will rival Safari in speed and size.

Slashdotted Already? (0, Informative)

perlstar (245756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082437)


Applications

Mozilla hurt by Apple blast

By Paul Festa
Special to ZDNet News
January 14, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

AOL Time Warner's Mozilla project is facing new questions about quality after Apple Computer's release of a browser based on rival open-source code.
Apple last week unveiled its own browser, called Safari. The company said it was based on the KHTML rendering engine that is the core of Konqueror, an open-source file manager and Web browser for the K Desktop Environment (KDE).

In an e-mail congratulating KHTML engineers on their work and its selection by Apple, Safari's engineering manager touted the technology over Mozilla and its rendering engine, Gecko.

"When we were evaluating technologies over a year ago, KHTML and KJS stood out," Safari Engineering Manager Don Melton wrote. (KJS is KDE's JavaScript interpreter.) "Not only were they the basis of an excellent, modern and standards-compliant Web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open-source projects."

Despite its diplomatic tone and anonymous reference, Mozilla veterans read between the lines of Melton's message.

In a Web log, Mozilla founder and former evangelist Jamie Zawinski said Apple is bad-mouthing Mozilla.

"Translated through a de-weaselizer, (Melton's e-mail) says: 'Even though some of us used to work on Mozilla, we have to admit that the Mozilla code is a gigantic, bloated mess, not to mention slow, and with an internal API so flamboyantly baroque that frankly we can't even comprehend where to begin,'" Zawinski wrote.

One Mozilla staff member called KHTML selection an understandable if not foregone conclusion, given Mozilla's technical problems.

"I guess I'm supposed to be mortally offended--or at least embarrassed--that they went with KHTML instead of our Gecko engine, but I'm having trouble working up the indignation," wrote Mike Shaver in a Web log posting. "We've all known forever that Gecko missed its 'small-and-lean' target by an area code, and we've been slogging back towards the goal, dragging our profilers and benchmarks behind us, for years."

Shaver, who left Netscape three years ago but retained his position on the small Mozilla staff, said that in Apple's shoes he might have made a similar decision.

"If I had to write a new browser, and I was going to have to touch the layout code in a serious way, I would think about Mozilla alternatives," Shaver wrote. "I really, really hope that Mozilla will learn from Safari/KHTML, because they've done a lot of great work in about a tenth of the code."

Mitchell Baker, who goes by the title of chief lizard wrangler at Mozilla, defended the Mozilla project against technical gripes in a prepared statement. "Gecko offers crossplatform capabilities, leading standards support as well as a full feature set and tested compatibility on the Web," she said.

"Gecko's speedy crossplatform nature is important to maintaining a Web to which all users have access regardless of their platform," she added. "Gecko is already embedded and distributed in real-world applications from Red Hat, IBM, OEone, Netscape and CompuServe, and we look forward to the upcoming releases of Gecko-based products that are currently in development."

Slow progress
Mozilla has faced criticism before over the pace of its development efforts, which were originally conceived as the Web community's best chance to challenge the dominance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Mozilla 1.0 was released last year, after long delays that effectively allowed Microsoft to cement its lead.

AOL Time Warner's Netscape division issued Netscape 6--its first browser based on the Mozilla code--to poor reviews, but a subsequent update answered many of the critics. Netscape Communications is Mozilla's corporate sponsor.

Mozilla and Netscape have both seen small gains in market share, appearing in the market alongside an independent entry from Norway's Opera Software. None has significantly challenged Microsoft's lead, however, which remains well above 90 percent, according to a recent survey.

Apple's browser is unlikely to alter the market-share picture, but is still a significant entry into the field. Although it caters to a small group of users, it could help Apple wean itself from its reliance on Microsoft's IE and create new software services. Apple's vote also carries significant weight in software circles as a result of its development of several highly-regarded applications for its Macintosh personal computers, particularly its iTunes and iPhoto multimedia tools.

Melton's e-mail detailed the Safari team's deep roots in the Mozilla project. Melton helped launch Mozilla in 1998. Safari engineer David Hyatt launched Chimera, a version of Mozilla for Mac OS X.

Asked to elaborate on its rejection of Mozilla, Apple went out of its way to minimize its dissatisfaction with the technology it bypassed.

"The Gecko engine is fairly well-regarded engine," said Chris Bourdon, product marketing manager for Mac OS X. "It isn't to say that there is anything poor about Gecko or Mozilla. The Safari team just felt KHTML was a better code base from which they could build a browser."

Bourdon said Safari engineers looked at size, speed and compatibility in choosing KHTML. In addition to Mozilla, Apple also considered building its own browser from scratch.

Bourdon said the fact KHTML's small size--140,000 lines of code--let Apple build a browser that is a svelte 3 MB in size. He compared that with Netscape's more than 17 MB, though that includes an e-mail reader and other peripheral applications.

Untying browser knots
Apple, which embarked on its browser project in order to free itself further from dependence on Microsoft and its Internet Explorer browser, may have balked at using Mozilla because of its ties to AOL Time Warner. The media giant's Netscape unit funds and staffs Mozilla's nonvolunteer positions.

Though shared enmity with Microsoft has made Apple's relations with AOL Time Warner comparatively warm, the question remains whether Apple would want to trade in its browser reliance on the world's largest technology company for that of the world's largest media and technology company.

Apple and analysts alike insisted that technical, rather than political, considerations were the real reason behind Apple's choice.

"Every discussion I had with them had more to do with the quality and size of the kernel and what they could do with it," said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies in San Jose, Calif. "My suspicion is the real goal was to just try to work with what they considered the best technology that they could build on. And they did a heck of a lot of research."

Since Safari's release last week, Web developers have been trying the browser out and discovering bugs in its rendering capabilities and standards compliance. That's only to be expected from the first public beta of a browser, and Safari's Hyatt has been maintaining a Web log detailing some of the more prominent problems and their resolutions.

While Mozilla has long carried the torch of standards compliance, standards advocates called the new prominence of its open-source competitor a boon for Web standards.

"The two projects have had very different histories and goals--some very much in line with our stance, and some that may have served to detract attention away from their implementing standards as well as we'd like," said Steven Champeon, a member of the Web Standards Project and chief technology officer of Hesketh.com. "But in the long run, as long as the number of highly standards-compliant browsers continues to grow, and we can see some great competition out there, everyone wins."

One Web developer cheered Apple's decision, and agreed with the company's comparative evaluation of the two open-source browsers.

KHTML is "very fast, doesn't have nearly the bloat of Mozilla, and does most of what I need," said Alex Russell, a Web application developer for SecurePipe and a lead developer for netWindows. "The Mozilla rendering engine isn't slow, but at the same time it has emphasized crossplatform correctness over speed, while KTHML has taken a slightly more expedient approach of shooting for a smaller feature set, getting it right, and then making things fast."

I think it's great! (5, Insightful)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082442)

Much as I admire the Mozilla project, the guys behind Konqueror deserve much more recognition than they seem to recieve (at least on /., where it's all Mozilla,Mozilla,Mozilla). They're a much smaller group of developers who have put together a great browser for KDE, so why the hell shouldn't they have a success story of their own?!

safari vs chemira (1)

interdigitate (592865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082445)

i was excited when safari came out. kept refreshing apples site during the keynote speech until it showed up for download and might have been the first one to download and install it.

a week later not only did i stop using it, i trashed it. after using chemira i have to say that safari just wasnt the next big thing.

Lin32 version of mozilla sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082448)

The only decent mozilla was the win32 version, the lin32 version sucks, and its ugly, slow and HAS UGLY GTK widgets.

KHTML is so much nicer, im using it now because it is fast, has scrollbar color support (!) and the 3.1 version of konqueror has tab support thats much better than mozillas. I threw mozilla in the trash along time ago, it can't beat khtml, and Im proud with Apple to tell them the truth, MOZILLA SUCKS!

Cross-platform? (1)

vmfedor (586158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082451)

Why is Apple so concerned about 'small and fast?' On an x86 machine this might be a concern because of the huge variety of hardware configurations, but Apple software runs on the same hardware every time. Since gecko is open-source, they could optomize the code to make it system-specific and super-fast.

Then again, I guess that requires more work then just using an already-existing codebase that's fast. *shrugs* Just a thought, I guess. :)

Fp! (5, Funny)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082454)

Damn, I would have had first post if I wasn't using Mozilla.

Good in the long run (2, Insightful)

obotics (592176) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082456)

As far as I am concerned, this will be a good thing for Open Source and the Web in the long run. I think that Open Source is all about the choice to use the program that does what is best for your needs.

Mozilla is great, but the kHTML project is also good and definitely worthy competition to Gecko. The competition, and even a rivalry to some extent, will cause make developers for both projects work harder to maintain "an edge." Just as the competition between KDE and Gnome promotes a better windowing environment, hopefully this competition will improve the rendering capabilities of open-source browsers.

Mozilla The Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082457)

Mozilla is the best browser for me.

No other offers so much features PERIODE

Mutually exclusive goals???? (2, Interesting)

Brataccas (213587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082462)

Mozilla was made for cross-platform compatibility, and this probably adds to the bloat, however that's not what they were looking for. They wanted small and fast.

Um, these goals aren't necessarily mutually exclusive (*cough* Opera *cough*). Perhaps, KHTML is simply better designed and better written. Personally, I think the KHTML team did the right thing by adding layers of functionality in each release rather than trying to get everything in there at once.

Do one thing and do it well. Then add features, if you must. =/

Good for Apple (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082463)

I doubt that I've ever had anything good to say about Apple before, but good for them for this move, and I think in the long run it will be the best thing for Mozilla too. By bringing another browser to the arena, and one that seriously challanges IE even more than Mozilla, it can only help Mozilla by reducing IE's monopoly hold. And giving Mozilla some performance targets to shoot for will not be a bad thing either.

Safari lacks tabs (3, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082469)

Windows users are used to seeing all open windows in the startbar (or whatever you call it). Mac OS X users now have the lovely dock, but it shows running apps and minimized windows... not all windows.

So Mac users are especially prone to want tabbed browsing, as Mozilla products offer.

I started using Chimera a few days before Safari beta was released. I really like Safari, but in just those few days I was utterly hooked by the tabs of Chimera.

Until Safari supports tabs, I'm sticking with Chimera. I doubt I'm alone.


One thing to note, though... ALL Mac browsers now kick Microsoft's ass. Bye, bye IE-piece-of-crap. In any event, it is an awesome twist to see the Mac browser market so vitalized.

Fast web browsing was best with (2, Insightful)

DakotaSandstone (638375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082475)

I think Lynx [trill-home.com] had the fastest, smallest engine. Oh, the simplistic purity of HTML-1!!

Oh well. At least I'll have something to gripe about when I'm an old man. "Back in my day..."

Consider the source: Ziff Davis (2, Troll)

Spoing (152917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082482)

Regaurdless of the personal feelings of Mozilla developers, ZD is known for this kind of sensationalistic and emotion-charged reporting.

Ziff Davis wants you to jump on this -- and visit thier site. DON'T DO IT!

That said, Apple and Apple's staff can choose what they wish or what fits the task. If they decide later to use Gecko for something else, ZD will no doubt run a "Apple uses Mozilla -- KDE developers miffed!" or some such garbage.

The important thing is that open source is becoming more and more important on the user end -- not just on the server side.

Stop pissing and whining- sore "loosers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082485)

some of the Mozilla developers were hurt by Apple's decision to use KHTML over Gecko.

Someone needs to tell them to grow up. Mozilla is(pardon the pun) a bloated dinosaur, with a dev team full of a lot of developers who think they're god's gift to web browsing; the mere fact that they're making such a fuss over a complex decision(which incidentally was backed up by a public statement as to why they selected one over the other) is proof of their boundless egos. I can just hear the brainwaves from here: "How DARE Apple use some dinky little OTHER open source core?"

Suck it up, take it like a man, and realize that not everyone is going to want to use your browser.

I think what adds insult to injury is that Safari blows the doors off everything, including Chimera(based off Gecko) and the instant success Safari has had. Half a million downloads can't be wrong.

still good for mozilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082487)

Feelings might be hurt, but the Mozilla project is helped by any type alternative (not IE) bowser from Apple.


Sure it would have been great for Apple to throw some development effort into Mozilla, but not doing so does not really hurt Mozilla. In fact, by supporting khtml, Apple is increasing variety in the browser market and pushing open standards, both of which help Mozilla.

It's good for the software industry! (2, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082491)

I think it's great that Apple chose KHTML, because it gives everyone else a needed kick in the pants. It's great when you have multiple alternative implementations competing with each other, especially when they all are trying to conform to the same open standard, because it pushes them all to evolve in a positive direction. Mozilla zealots will now push harder to improve Gecko, and that's good for everyone!

No big deal. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082498)

AOL uses Mozilla, that more than offsets the users lost by Apple's decision.

David Hyatt on KHTML vs Gecko (long) (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082502)

This very informative rant was on David Hyatt (Safari developer)'s weblog [mozillazine.org] on Saturday for a few minutes, but he removed it for unknown reasons. I saved a copy:
Quoted from the original mail to the KDE folks:
The number one goal for developing Safari was to create the fastest web browser on Mac OS X. When we were evaluating technologies over a year ago, KHTML and KJS stood out. Not only were they the basis of an excellent modern and standards compliant web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open source projects. Your clean design was also a plus. And the small size of your code is a significant reason for our winning startup performance as you can see reflected in the data at http://www.apple.com/safari/.
Mike Shaver writes in his blog:
This whole Safari thing is a source of deep entertainment to me. I guess I'm supposed to be mortally offended ? or at least embarrassed ? that they went with KHTML instead of our Gecko engine, but I'm having trouble working up the indignation. We've all known forever that Gecko missed its "small and lean" target by an area code, and we've been slogging back towards the goal, dragging our profilers and benchmarks behind us, for years. If I had to write a new browser, and I was going to have to touch the layout code in a serious way, I would think about Mozilla alternatives. I think it's awesome that they pretty much have to compare Safari to Chimera and Netscape/Mozilla, because it shows how far we've come from the universal acceptance of IE's hegemony. I think it's fantastic that they chose to include "Gecko" in their user-agent, so that they could get standards-compliant content, because it means that our evangelism efforts in support of such content have been working. I'm thrilled that they're going to be another IE-alternative browser, which will try some techniques Mozilla decided against, because we can see if it really works or not. And I really really hope that Mozilla will learn from Safari/KHTML, because they've done a lot of great work in about a tenth of the code. Kudos, guys, and welcome to the web.

David Baron writes:

Why is Mozilla's layout engine so big and complex? Perhaps the simple answer is that there were too many people available to write it, and they wrote as much code as they could. After all, they didn't have any incentives to keep the code small.

But what, in detail, is wrong? (Now I'm just speaking of the code in mozilla/layout, which is one of the pieces code I work on, and by far the most discouraging one for a company coming along and thinking of building a web browser based on Mozilla's layout engine.)
I think some of the people who wrote the code didn't understand the specifications that they were implementing. Part of the problem may lie in the specifications themselves. For example, there's almost no information in CSS2 describing shrink wrapping. Might being an afterthought explain why Mozilla's layout engine has shrink wrapping code scattered throughout it in a disorganized fashion? Even lately I've watched some developers want to make incorrect changes in behavior or fail to understand the reason that another browser lays a page out differently.

I think part of the problem may have been a desire to make everything modular so that it could be split up between different programmers. In the end, there were just too many pieces. (Could this be a problem of too many design documents?)

There's overoptimization in certain areas. For example, our rendering object structures are extremely optimized for size at the cost of code complexity, and, to some degree, performance. However, our content tree structures are larger and the code is simpler. From what I understand about khtml, it has much smaller content tree structures (with the DOM using tearoffs), while its rendering objects (what Mozilla calls frames for some confusing reason) are much larger, allowing for simpler code.

There's been an inability to focus on more than one or two things at the same time. In 1998-1999, there was a focus on standards compliance. In 2000-2002, there was a focus on making real web sites work. In 2001 there was a focus on performance. Now (late 2002/early 2003) there's a focus on memory use. In many of these cases, working on one objective can hurt another one, and I think we've often failed to balance them appropriately.

(The real solution to cleaning up layout probably involves making layout objects use twice the amount of memory that they currently do. Is that a problem? I don't think so, since they take up so little of the total. We're better off increasing the amount of memory that frames use and attacking memory use in other areas. If I do this, will I be told that I have to fix the memory use regression in 72 hours or back out the changes? I hope not.)

In the end, khtml's code is a lot simpler. Perhaps more importantly, the code looks a lot more like a description of the way the layout process works. After hearing a short explanation of what's what, I can understand some of khtml's code almost as well as the equivalent code in Mozilla.

Here are the two function protoypes that David Baron linked to. I think they pretty much illustrate the point perfectly.

KHTML: virtual void layout(); Gecko: NS_IMETHOD Reflow(nsIPresContext* aPresContext, nsHTMLReflowMetrics& aMetrics, const nsHTMLReflowState& aReflowState, nsReflowStatus& aStatus);

This is a wonderful example. Let's go over it in detail. First notice the NS_IMETHOD on the prototype. Basically this means the base class of all render objects in Gecko is an XPCOM interface. Rather than develop a clean tearoff model so that you could create heavyweight objects for external use while keeping the internal objects lightweight, most of the layout structures in Gecko *are* heavyweight and rely on communication through COM interfaces and virtual function calls. Many of those objects are refcounted, but adding insult to injury, some are simply pseudo-COM and their refcounting functions (addref/release) do nothing. Complete confusion can ensue if you aren't aware of which objects are special and which aren't.

Next, let's take the first argument to Reflow. The nsIPresContext is passed as an argument to virtually every layout function for one deeply flawed reason, namely the ridiculous idea that one document should support multiple presentations simultaneously. This is simply not needed in a desktop browser. This separation results in multiple nsIPresContexts and nsIPresShells being supported for a given document, and even getting to the right shell is a pain. (document->GetNumberOfShells; document->GetShellAt(0); etc)

Next we have nsHTMLReflowMetrics and nsHTMLReflowState. Rather than compute size information (like min and max width) up front in a separate pass and just caching it on the objects, we have this object passed down along the reflow chain. There is still other information that could be cached on the objects themselves, like maximal positive and negative margins for correct margin collapsing of vertically adjacent blocks. KHTML does this. The Gecko way, although it makes for smaller rendering objects, has the drawback of making incremental reflow problematic. For example, if you tweak one margin on some block deep in your document, you'd like to only recompute margin information for that single block. If you don't cache margin information anywhere, however, you'll have to crawl around again in order to figure out the correct placement for the block. I'm not sure if Gecko does this or not, but my guess is it just gets margins wrong in many incremental reflow cases.

I don't even know what nsReflowStatus's point really is. Seems like it could just be the return value from Reflow if you really needed to keep it around.

Finally, the name of the function. Gecko chooses strange English words for various processes and objects within layout. Instead of just using layout we get reflow. Instead of RenderObject we get nsIFrame. In some cases KHTML is no better, but where it counts, I think most of the names are more readable.

Now compare directory structure. KHTML has a simple obvious directory structure. Before I knew anything about the code, I was able to guess the right directories for various implementations. Gecko has the opposite problem. There are way too many interfaces first of all, entire objects that have no reason for existence. These mingle with the useful files making it harder to find what you're looking for. Combined with a byzantine directory structure, (e.g., portions of the CSS back and front ends are scattered between two separate libraries and multiple directories within those libraries.), Gecko becomes extremely difficult to wrap your head around.

The upshot, and this cannot be stated clearly enough, is that there are only a handful of people who are even capable of modifying Gecko, because the code is so unreadable and so complex.

Now imagine that your number one priority for a browser is speed. You want a browser that launches almost instantly. You want a browser whose page load peformance can be improved dramatically. This is your number one goal, because you want to address what has been a fundamental problem on your platform (OS X) ever since it was launched: that no browser has accomplished the goal of fast startup and fast page load. Your job is to find an existing open source engine and improve it to the point where it does have fast startup and phenomenal page load times.

The problem is, how do you make Gecko have a fast startup time on the Mac? Comparing Chimera's slow cold launch with its zippy warm launch, it's readily apparent that much of Gecko's startup time problem on the Mac is due to the enormous code footprint. So, in order to use Gecko, your first task would be to shrink this code footprint. So how do you do it? Well, you'd have to deCOMtaminate a lot of the core code, eliminate redundant interfaces, and in some cases re-architect dramatically a lot of components so that they didn't need to exist. For example, Gecko has its own image loading library, which you would want to eliminate in favor of simply using the operating system's image capabilities. Ditto for networking.

Now look at KHTML, which dropped in as is (with QT implemented) gives you a fast startup time right off the bat, because the code is so small and well-designed that you don't even have to worry about startup. A whole huge set of tasks eliminated simply by picking KHTML over Gecko.

Next consider the problem of native widgets. KHTML has a clean separation of the form controls as native components (using QWidget and QInterfaces to communicate), so all you have to do is back those QInterfaces with Cocoa implementations and bang, you have native form controls.

The same problem in Gecko is months of work. You have to develop these interfaces for each widget (they don't exist), and then slowly but surely get native widgets working again. You'd have to completely rearchitect all the form control render objects in Gecko to talk to native widget interfaces. Then you get to have fun fighting all of the bugs from a brand new forms implementation and again would probably have to modify other parts of Gecko to support these new form controls.

So to summarize: with KHTML what you have is a tiny engine with reasonable standards compliance and native widgets that would need to become a tiny engine with native widgets and outstanding standards compliance. WIth Gecko, you have an enormous engine with outstanding standards compliance and non-native widgets, that would need to become a small engine with native widgets while still retaining outstanding standards compliance.

Which task is going to be easier? There's no question that both involve heavy modification of the layout engine, and both involve a lot of work, so then the question becomes, Which one is easier to modify? In my opinion (speaking only for myself), the answer is KHTML. I won't pretend that the choice of KHTML over Gecko is a no-brainer (it's not), but for those of you who think standards compliance is the only consideration when developing an outstanding browser engine, well, hopefully this will give you some food for thought.

Monolithic app (3, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082503)

It sounds like the size of the Mozilla code base was part of the problem. It has frustrated me since the beginning.

I would love to hear an explanation about why the Mozilla team chose to build a single monolithic app. This was supposed to be complete re-write (hence no Netscape/Mozilla 5), so why did they chose to follow an obviously flawed approach used by Netscape?

It's frustrating: a crash in one component brings down several essentially different applications. I like most of the components that ship with Mozilla, but I hate having them all in one process. Separation of these components would have both increased reliability of the suite, plus reduced load times and demands on system resources. I like to keep my mail app running all the time, but I can't do this with Mozilla due to an annoying resource bug it has that causes it to blue screen my computer after a few hours in my nVidia display drivers (it is the only app I have that causes this problem). I can't close the browser but keep mail/news open :(

Heh: I was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to have the configuration and profile management running in a separate process that could be run as a service/daemon and available to all components at all times. This would also improve load times! MSFT benefits from things like this for example with their Protected Storage service, which I believe popped up with IE4.

BTW, posted by Mozilla under Win2K. My full time browser for over a year.

Talk about euphemisms (4, Interesting)

jfedor (27894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082505)

The article says:
In a
Web log [livejournal.com] , Mozilla founder and former evangelist Jamie Zawinski said Apple is bad-mouthing Mozilla.
Ummm... Actually, the title of his post was 'Apple says "fuck you" to Mozilla'. :)

-jfedor

Other people who deserve a voice in this. (3, Interesting)

Dante (3418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082510)

Other Lizard Wranglers that deserve a voice in this. To be honest these guys are the ones I listen to when it comes to Mozilla.
alsa [mozillazine.org]
Blizzard [0xdeadbeef.com]
mpt [phrasewise.com]

Why should JWZ [jwz.org] be quoted about a project he bailed on years ago? jwz is entertaining when he whines, it's the only reason I can think of.

KDE IS cross-platform compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5082517)

Just look at the available binaries here: http://www.kde.org/download.html

Irix and Solaris is supported. I'm sure that KDE runs fine on FreeBSD an others Unixes.

Good for Free Software (3, Interesting)

jamienk (62492) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082518)

Free Software has again helpped a proprietary company. But maybe this will be good for Freedom, ultimately, as more companies realize that they can benefit when "their" software is Free.

The fact that KHTML is Free software let Apple quickly and easily break free from a hold that MS had them in. They tried bundling the OmniWeb browser, but that was clearly inferior to MS IE...

Right now Apple is tripping over themselves to get AppleWorks good enough to replace the need for MS Office. Maybe Open Office will soon help here (Apple has focused on making X11 apps more seemlessly integrated with OSX).

If Apple, Dell, HP, etc, collaborated with Free Software projects more, they could remove the need for users to get certain software from MS. That, in turn, would allow them to chart their own paths in terms of their wares and give them the opportunity to team up with others who are threatened by MS.

Soon, Apple will turn to FreeSoftware for Ogg code.

Apple's costs for distributing their free (beer) value-add-software packages are making them consider (and actually) charge for their "i" crap. (see http://www.thinksecret.com/news/freeiapps.html) FreeNet would go a long way to help them spread out their bandwidth. If only they gave us the right to redistribute their code. And hell, why not let us improve the code too, and give it away for free.

Most Important - Good For Standards (1)

virtigex (323685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082519)

By far the most important aspect of this is that web sites will tend to be written for accepted standards rather than IE. Mozilla, KHTML and everybody else gain by this and should be happy. Everything else is just a matter of ego. In the end Apple's move is a victory for open source and open standards.

Well, they have a point (5, Interesting)

WhaDaYaKnow (563683) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082520)

"Translated through a de-weaselizer, (Melton's e-mail) says: 'Even though some of us used to work on Mozilla, we have to admit that the Mozilla code is a gigantic, bloated mess, not to mention slow, and with an internal API so flamboyantly baroque that frankly we can't even comprehend where to begin,'" Zawinski wrote.

Well, no offense, but is Melton wrong?

I mean, download the source for both and look at the difference. The sheer volume of Mozilla is overwhelming even for the experienced programmers.

There has been an enormous effort gone into Mozilla and it shows, but I think it still has a way to go.

And I love this quote:

"Gecko is already embedded and distributed in real-world applications from Red Hat, IBM, OEone, Netscape and CompuServe, and we look forward to the upcoming releases of Gecko-based products that are currently in development."

Yes, and of course KHTML is not used in the "real" world.

Discussion on MozillaZine (3, Informative)

alanjstr (131045) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082521)

There has been a lengthy discussion on MozillaZine here [mozillazine.org]

Package Gecko separately? (3, Interesting)

Francis Avila (603590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082522)

It seems that Apple's problem was more that there was more stripping that needed to be done with Gecko before they got down to the foundation and could start building their own browser. This seems to be a common concern, that Mozilla includes too much stuff to be very useful as a working base, and thus the popularity of things such as Phoenix, whose sole goal is to remove features from Mozilla.

If this is indeed the case, perhaps Gecko would benefit from being packaged and maintained separately from Mozilla, as a rendering engine but not a browser. In other words, something only useful for application developers. Even conceptually, rendering HTML != browser. Suppose you're rendering to postscript, for example? This might even benefit Mozilla, buy keeping the project more modular. (Although it's pretty modular already, but not down to the core.)

The above is spoken with next to no knowledge of the intricacies of the Mozilla codebase, so flame gently.

MacPolls suggests many will switch (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5082524)

Macpolls [macpolls.com] suggests that a lot are switching. Then again, it's not scientific or anything, but it currently shows 72% of respondants saying they will switch

And of course, one can assume that soon Safari will be the default browser with OS X, with IE being relegated to an also-installed, or hopefully totally gone.

P.S. Found that link on MacRumors [macrumors.com] . I changed the ?ref= for them to show Slashdot traffic.

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