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Ars Technica Interviews Scott Collins

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the uphill-in-the-snow-both-ways dept.

Mozilla 320

SnoopTodd writes "Ars Technica has an interview with Scott Collins of Mozilla. 'That's the thing I learned to lust after as a programmer. It's not my ability to solve one problem, to plow this field, but the ability to build a plow that every farmer uses. The ability to make something that touches not ten people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people but a hundred million people. I want Mozilla to be there again. IE is a browser with no soul. I want it to be Mozilla because I think that people who care deserve a browser with a soul.'"

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Uhm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441001)

oooooooooookaaaay...

Nice to see (5, Insightful)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441015)

It's really nice to see this sort of passion, and such an ambitious goal for an F/OSS project.

Re:Nice to see (2, Interesting)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441057)

It's also nice to see a push for another browser that might stand up to IE. After dancing with a very serious CWS infection on someone else's PC I was about ready to rip out IE from XP which is of course not easy to do. Hopefully as new browsers come they will have more protection against these hijacks and will be as compatible as IE is with everything out there on the Internet.

I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441071)

Welcome our browser overlords.

Re:Nice to see (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441137)

The question is not whether they will be safe from these hijacks (those most assuredly are) but whether they will be safe from other hijacks. Most problems I come across are not because of some devious flaw in IE but because they are often hidden in innocuous seeming packages. One of my favorites is spy blaster - we will block all evil spyware at the cost of only continually popping up own ads.

Education is the only solution to viruses, spyware, and spam. Everything else is just a bandage.

Well... (-1, Flamebait)

Orblivion (548121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441020)

I have just one thing to say about that.

Netscape 5 (3, Interesting)

pbranes (565105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441022)

In the article, he talks about how Netscape wouldn't have died if management had let them release netscape 5. I don't agree - netscape 4 sucked scissors, and IE was already coming in and showing netscape how a web browser was supposed to be done. Netscape 5 would have continued this trend because it was based off of the same crappy code. Today, however, the situation is reversed - IE sux scissors, and Mozilla is showing IE how it should be done.

Re:Netscape 5 (5, Funny)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441132)

> netscape 4 sucked scissors

Thank you for adding this expression to the vernacular, pbranes. I can guarantee you that 'sucks scissors' will be my favorite euphemism for not being any good for quite a while. =)

Re:Netscape 5 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441217)

netscape 4 sucked scissors

ow.

Re:Netscape 5 (1)

ospirata (565063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441286)

Netscape 5 could not save the web market.

The problem was not about the browser itself. At the time Windows 98 was released with IE 4 embed, Netscape 4 was out, with some restrictions as expire time to its version. I guess it was about 1 month before you should download another version.

IE4 and Netscape4 were both crap, but the first one was free and came with the OS. Why would you pay for something that comes free?(ordinary user thought)
The release of IE 5, a good browser, was just the final shot.

Chirp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441025)

Nothing but the sound of crikets in here... I guess 3 days of Mozilla news is too much for everyone?

IE definitely has a soul… (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441026)

...of PURE EVIL! If you look real close you can see a 666 under help/about.

Re:IE definitely has a soul… (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441225)

Be nice!

Remember the days when IE was innovative and new. When they added all that javascript and activeX stuff, before all the malware came out. Remember back then? Do yah?

Me neither, but I feel IE could be a lot better if microsoft would ever update it sometime this century. When was the last release again? IE 6 was 2000 right. I think the last service pack was 2001. It's 2004 now people!!! Whatever love MS had for IE before now they've just neglected it. Leaving the poor browser alone at nights to raise the brat malware children, while MicroSoft parties the night away with floosies like Longhorn and XAML! IE should divorce, dump the kids with bill and start a new life!!
ehem.

In shot, if ever you wanted an example of an inefficient monopoly stifling innovation, look no further than IE6.

Re:IE definitely has a soul… (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441389)

In sho[r]t, if ever you wanted an example of an inefficient monopoly stifling innovation, look no further than IE6.

Inefficient? No, it's fairly established that Microsoft's lack of progress in IE is working very effectively to achieve its precise goal.

The reason MS wanted to dominate the browser market, in case you didn't know, is widely believed to be the threat of web applications. Netscape was touting Navigator as a Windows-killer. You were going to move all your apps onto the web, and run them in Netscape, and it wouldn't matter what platform you were on - they'd work everywhere.

So MS made IE. They used their monopoly to promote it, but it caught on mainly because it _was_ better than Netscape. ActiveX was a better platform for web applications than Netscape could provide, for example. And so Netscape died and IE became ubiquitous, and the few web applications that exist (mostly virus scanners and the like) - oh! They require WINDOWS, don't they!

But we can't have standards compliance in IE, because once IE conforms to standards, suddenly the platform becomes irrelevant again - you can use whatever standards-compliant browser you like. So they aren't working on it.

Stifling innovation, yes. Inefficient, no.

Lust? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441027)

That's the thing I learned to lust after as a programmer. It's not my ability to solve one problem, to plow this field, but the ability to build a plow that every farmer uses. The ability to make something that touches not ten people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people but a hundred million people. ...and here I am lusting over boobs.

Collins is a moron. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441030)

Don't forget to pay your $699 SCO fee, you cocksmoking teabaggers.

What is this guy smoking? (5, Funny)

caston (711568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441038)

A web browser doesn't have a soul..
Then again maybe IE sold it's soul to Milhouse for five bucks..

Android Dungeon (1)

ospirata (565063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441353)

...After that, Microsoft seeked for IE's lost soul at Android Dungeon, and there the comig guy would not give it back.

Re:What is this guy smoking? (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441408)

A web browser doesn't have a soul.

No, but it's nice if it does.

On the other hand, I'd settle for a Linux browser that printed in something other than Times and didn't require all contiguous memory to execute in. Moz is The Right Way To Go[tm] but not until they sort these behavioural and performance problems.

I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or... (4, Insightful)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441040)

if it has "soul" or not. I want something that's better than IE, not because I don't want to use an MS product, but because I know it's mediocre. Why is it mediocre? Because it can be---the general public uses it anyway because it's right there on the desktop. I want IE to be innovative the way Mozilla and Opera have been. Why? because good, innovative products make for better competition.

Re:I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or (1, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441150)

I have used Netscape, Mozilla, FireFox, Opera, and various other browsers that really don't even count.

IE, because of general adoption of its own capabilities (standardized or not), the best browser I have used.

It's fast, it's stable, and I don't have any problems viewing any pages out there. Not once did I have to stare at lines that had different sized links than the rest of the text (no/bad css or not). Not once did I have to goto about:config to change some strange options to make it render differently/faster.

I know that this goes against the general consensus of the rest of Slashdot but IE is, for what 98% of the world, the best browser out there.

Re:I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or (5, Interesting)

Singletoned (619322) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441333)

IE is, for what 98% of the world, the best browser out there.

IE is buggy to the point of being dangerous; inaccessible; and almost devoid of useful features.

It is also damaging the web for everyone by preventing designers from having to use open standards and by allowing them them to write buggy code.

Re:I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441429)

IE is buggy to the point of being dangerous; inaccessible; and almost devoid of useful features.

Wow, I didn't realize a browser required anything other than to follow hypertext links. Seems like it's pretty fucking useful to me.

Troll.

Re:I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or (5, Interesting)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441427)

I recently had to switch *back* to IE after an enjoyable hiatus on Firefox, and that's when i noticed just how over the hill IE is:
- no tabbed browsing
- no native pop up control
- no caret browsing
- no form management
- no "block images from..." feature ... etc etc.

I know that some (many) of these things are available as extras (for example with the google toolbar) but i was migrating back because i could no longer install software on my work internet machine(including the toolbar). It was like moving back to your childhood neighborhood and suddenly realizing how rose tinted your memories really are: all of a sudden i've got umpteen windows open (some pop ups, some i had to open to not lose the thread of what i was reading), everything's covered in ads, and i have to use the mouse to do everything. Basically: surfing sucks.

Mozilla/Firefox isn't a better browser because it's open source or non-Microsoft, it's a better browser because it enhances the quality of your surfing experience.

Re:I don't care how many people Mozilla touches or (0, Offtopic)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441308)

" Why? because good, innovative products make for better competition."

Linux is competitive, but half the freaking world still uses windows, why?!

SWITCH GODDAMNIT, STOP USING AN UNCOMPETITIVE PRODUCT!!^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

That's good. (4, Insightful)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441041)

I imagine a lot of developers at Microsoft would also like to feel that way, but corporate cutthroat agendas being what they are, they cannot really "do the right thing".

Whereas in open-source, free (as in speech) software, it's encouraged.

It's hard to see where it will end, this development-with-social-consciousness, but considering we've had the soulless variety for so long, I say we give it a shot.

Church of Emacs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441045)

When it comes to "soul" no browser can compare to the "Sacred editor".

Stallman 3:16!

Re:Church of Emacs (4, Funny)

a24061 (703202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441401)

M-x all-hail-emacs

This reminds me... (0)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441046)

Of that one Simpsons episode where Bart sells his soul. Without it his life sucked, but with it, it was all better. I mean all this talk of a browser having a soul, I would have to agree in some aspect of it. to me, Mozilla just seems like there was a lot more thought put forth into each release. Giving the user a choice of a theme, faster loading pages, and most importantly, a choice in browser software.

Re:This reminds me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441246)

I've always wondered where all the stupid fucking religious people get their addled notions from - I see it's the Simpsons.

A soul? (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441049)

I don't need a "soul" in my browser; I need a good, standards-compliant and stable rendering engine in my browser.

Re:A soul? (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441104)

I don't need a "soul" in my browser; I need a good, standards-compliant and stable rendering engine in my browser.

For a given developer, the "soul" of the project matters. Ditto for people who build on the platform. Mozilla can render stuff, but so can IE. Still, IE will never have the soul, being conceived in the creepy halls of an evil corporation that want's *your* soul :-).

(Posting from firefox 0.9 running on a soulless platform - chosen by my employer, not me).

Re:A soul? (2, Insightful)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441165)

(Posting from Firebird 0.7, on XP - chosen by me)

If IE had tabbed browsing, I'd use it. Stuff the themes, it's a productivity tool, not a sodding ornament. Now XPSP2 has a pop-up blocker, my 2nd reason for using Mozzy has gone. I'm still on 0.7 because I had stability problems with 0.8, and I've yet to try 0.9. But I've got a perfectly good browser on my desktop, and I couldn't give a damn if it has 'soul' or not, just whether I can get my work done faster, and better.

Re:A soul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441168)

Wasn't Mozilla first conceived in the creepy halls of evil AOL?

Re:A soul? (5, Funny)

mmaddox (155681) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441141)

Just what we need, a browser that screams "Yeeooooooow! Gootgawd! Huh!" on startup.

The Brownzilla project....

Re:A soul? (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441185)

I think you'll find it's "Yeeooooooow! Huh! Gootgawd! Huh!, and it was Edwin Star, not James Brown. But maybe you're thinking of something else :)

Re:A soul? (1)

mmaddox (155681) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441319)

Actually, you're right. I WAS awfully close to Edwin Starr's "War," but I didn't mean to be. I was doing a generic James Brown, I suppose, that sorta turned the corner...

Re:A soul? (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441443)

lol, I suppose it should have been WAR! not yeeeeooough!, but hey, that was what sprung to mind :)

Re:A soul? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441446)

My browser wears hot pants.

Re:A soul? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441156)

I don't know if it's a problem with Mozilla or with Slashdot, but Slashdot pages frequently render with either the left table cell all-the-way-across the screen, or with the data on the right shunted down below where the data on the left ends.

Re:A soul? (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441211)

It's shoddy slashdot coding, I think it's in Bugzilla. My does weird messed up things as well.

Re:A soul? (1)

Derang() (318404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441403)

This is fixed in the nightly trunk builds of firefox. However, nobody thought it would be a good idea to check the fix into the branch too, aparantly.

Soul shmoul... (1, Redundant)

bjtuna (70129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441050)

Mozilla can have its soul, I like it for the tabbed browsing.

I am not a code farmer! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441051)

My job is more of a code exterminator, deleting other people's shitty code.

A soul? (1)

Swamii (594522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441054)

Mozilla has a soul? Praise Jesus it has seen the light!

Who is it? (4, Funny)

TrentL (761772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441060)

There was a fundamental mistake made by Netscape management, twice, which cost us a release at the most inopportune time. I think we can attribute a great deal of our market share loss to this mistake that was pretty much based completely on lies from one executive, who has since left the company (and left very rich) and who was an impediment to everything that we did. He was an awful person, and it is completely on him that we missed a release. We had a "Netscape 5" that was within weeks of being ready to go, and this person said that we needed to ship something based on Gecko within 6 months instead. Every single engineer in the company told management "No, it will be two years at least before we ship something based on Gecko." Management agreed with the engineers in order to get 5.0 out.a

Three months later they came back and said "We've changed our mind, this other executive has convinced us, except now instead of six months, you need to do it in three months." Well, you can't put 50 pounds of [crap] in a ten pound bag, it took two years. And we didn't get out a 5.0, and that cost of us everything, it was the biggest mistake ever, and I put it all on the feet of this one individual, whom I will not name.


Aww, c'mon, who is it? You don't want us to accidentally hire him, do you?

Re:Who is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441090)

Aww, c'mon, who is it? You don't want us to accidentally hire him, do you?

Or hunt him down and torment him with a pointed stick? :)

Re:Who is it? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441091)

Yeah, SCO and ADTi can't wait to get their grubby little hands on him.

Re:Who is it? (1)

bcolflesh (710514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441190)

Surely there are some current (or former) Netscape employees reading this - please identify this asshat so we can work our magic on him.

I think I know (2, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441418)

Based on some rather public statements I've seen, I have a feeling it was JWZ [jwz.org] .

I don't have time to look up the reference, but I'll bet someone with a bit more time on their hands will.

He did leave rich, and he's doing something quite different now [dnalounge.com] , so I don't think this disclosure will hurt him any.

Of course I have no way to know who's right in this debate, since I'm sure the old codebase was genuinely a problem, but he's definitely the guy on the other side.

D

Re:I think I know (3, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441478)

JWZ wasn't an executive, he was the project technical lead.

Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (0)

xIcemanx (741672) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441061)

I think it's fine for casual use. I see no reason to get Opera/Mozilla because of small tweaks. Besides, I'm used to it.

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (1)

mmonkey (709004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441083)

Sorry, are you new here?

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (1)

xIcemanx (741672) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441102)

Why do I need Mozilla? Tabbed browsing? I think it's unnecessary. Pop-up-blocking? I have PopUpCop and the Google toolbar. I can think of few other reasons to justify my spending time to reinstall my browser.

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441126)

Umm...What about Security holes?

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (4, Insightful)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441133)

"reinstall my browser"

You must be new here or have never even tried Mozilla. All you are basing your opinion off of is reviews, comments, and maybe a couple pretty pictures.

You also do not have to reinstall a browser. In fact, good luck uninstalling IE. The point is that you can use both. Hell, with the ZIP file Mozilla release, you don't even have to install the browser. You can run it right from the directory!

My overwhelming point is to try something before you make opinions on it. I can read reviews until my eyes bleed, but I usually like to try it out myself before making the final decision. The would encourage the same to you... ITS FREE!

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (1)

nuser (198161) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441348)

Tabbed browsing may not be necessary, but it is vastly better than the IE equivelent of opening a link in a new window. There are also a lot of very useful extensions available as well. I like the web developer toolbar a lot, but of course it depends what you do, they're not all aimed at techies.
Also you don't need to re-install your browser, run both. I do, and I now find it irritating to encounter a site that requires IE.

I correlate that... (4, Insightful)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441100)

... into casual sex. I mean, casual sex is fine and all, but you want it to be GOOD. If you are used to lackluster casual sex... well.. so be it.

Re:I correlate that... (2, Funny)

nova_ostrich (774466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441425)

You're telling this to the Slashdot crowd? They aren't getting enough sex in the first place. I hardly think they'd mind if it were lackluster casual sex.

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441145)

You sound like my son. He refused to move to anything else; he was used to IE, it did everything he wanted and no site ever NOT worked with IE.

Well, he converted to Firefox last weekend. He just got tired of cleaning adware and spyware off of his system every day. Direct quote: "I just want something that doesn't suck!"

IE is not fine for casual use. It is a sieve when it comes to security issues and Microsoft seems to have a made a conscious decision NOT to fix anything in it.

Re:Jeez.......IE isn't that bad (1, Interesting)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441177)

IE isn't bad at all. If you're not concerned with popup-blocking, tabbed browsing, or soulless browsers, than IE is probably great for you. For everyone else who'd like to be more 'in control' of their surfing behaviour there's Mozilla (among others ofcourse - please don't respond all you opera-lovers :p)

Not to flamebait, but... (1, Insightful)

deltwalrus (234362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441069)

Never mind a "browser with a soul," I'd settle for a browser that doesn't crash when I try to view 20% of the web sites out there. I love Firefox and Mozilla in general, and I guess this is the price we pay for basically being unpaid beta testers, but get over yourself and spend more time fixing bugs, and less time making me feel warm and fuzzy about ditching Internet Exploder.

I've seen some sites... (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441307)

... not render correctly, but I haven't had an actual crash using mozilla. Is this limited to a specific OS? Do you have any reference URLS where mozilla crashes? 20% seems like a high number to me. I go to quite a few different sites a day, and have yet to see that happen one time. BTW, using moz 1.6 here on FC2.

Re:Not to flamebait, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441326)

Not to be flamebait, but have you been using the same Firefox we've been using? 20% my ass.

Three OS X options... (2, Informative)

XavierItzmann (687234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441072)

Collins is correct that whereas some people prefer the Konqueror-based Safari, others will prefer the Mozilla-based Firefox or Camino.
Of course, there are further options, such as Netscape 7.1 (Mozilla), Opera, etc.

Personally, I love Safari, other than the problem with a handful of sites, such as Citibank's online banking, that only work with Camino.

Soul (2, Interesting)

anonicon (215837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441074)

YMMV, but besides tabbed browsing, built-in address-line search, and pop-up blockers, the reason I've used Mozilla since 1.1 is because it does have soul and *isn't* wielded as a weapon by a repeated federal felon.

For all you cynics, yes, MS was completely justified in doing anything they wanted to compete, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with them.

Re:Soul (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441387)

So if they wanted to use child labor to compete that'd be ok? Anything right?

I don't think that means what you think it means (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441076)

I think he means that the people working on the program have soul, which could yield a great product.

Puh - lease. (1)

brocktune (512373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441086)

When using Windows, I use Mozilla because it blocks popups and has a bookmark file that's easy to parse. In all other ways that are meaningful to me, it is identical to IE.

Does a car have a soul? Does my refrigerator have soul? They're important to me, but they're just tools.

Re:Puh - lease. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441242)

Certain things have soul...sure they do!

Just because something isn't "alive" doesn't mean it doesn't have soul.

It's usually from people with no imagination that would make statements such as "they're just tools".

A Stradvarius violin has soul. A 1967 Plymouth Barracuda certainly has a soul.

Perhaps it's people that have no souls that think otherwise. Either you get it, or you don't. You don't get it.

Go use your tools...

James Brown to support Firefox? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441094)

A fanna hazza heezuh, tabbed browsing, heh!

Oh Damn! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441099)

I burnt my eggo, I guess the toaster decided to not pop up for some reason.

SOUL? (5, Funny)

surreal-maitland (711954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441106)

i think he is confused. by soul he means tabs.

Re:SOUL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441398)

LOL.
Welcome to my friends list.

HOW DOES THIS BASH MICRO$LOTH OR WORSHIP APPLE? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441118)

in other words, WHO CARES?

History repeating itself. (5, Insightful)

SinaSa (709393) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441125)

There is a guy here on slashdot, and his sig is

"The only thing a liberal has to do to become a conservative is to not change views for twenty years"

Or something similar. The point is, Netscape was crap by 4.7, and Internet Explorer was fresh, new, fast and hade the exact same pricetag.

But now, Internet Explorer is, well, you know how it is :P and Mozilla is coming back in a big way. Fast, clean, lots of new features (I'm not going to call it fresh), and lots of choice.

I think this time, with Mozilla being in the hands of the OSS community, and not a corporation, it will stay on top of Internet Explorer for a long time to come (well at least I hope so).

Netscape 5 (4, Informative)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441160)

Joel Spolsky on joelonsoftware.com (he provides some excellent insights for programmers - highly recommended) wrote a great article titled 'Things You Should Never Do, Part 1' - using Netscape 5 as the case study.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog000000 00 69.html

Mozilla has a soul? (1, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441175)

I use Firefox, but I have to admit that it's essentially a "catch up to IE" browser with a couple of nifty extra features. It has no spark of its own. It doesn't bring anything new to the table. It's just the result of a lot of people gunning for an existing and well-done product.

If you criticize IE, then you're also criticizing Mozilla. Really, the big difference is that IE is a large and known target, so virus and spyware writers can have a field day. IE is a highly usable browser otherwise. Okay, popup blocking would be nice, but you can already get that as an ad on (and it will be official in the next version anyway).

Really, we're looking at two almost identical pieces of software. It's not like comparing Visual Basic and Perl, for example.

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441262)

What kind of Microsoft apologist argument is that?!

You're saying that because a product already exists, we shouldn't make a better one. Well damn, we already had the abacus, why the hell make a calculator or computer?

Identical pieces of software? What?! Only one of them is a web browser - the one that conforms to standards.

Saaaay, you're not management, are you? Remind me not to invest in your company.

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441274)

tabbed browsing
better bookmarks
themes
find as you type
works identically on all 3 platforms
secure (and you never have to be paranoid about clicking on dodgy links)
popup-blocking
ad-blocking
a zillion extensions, some of which are extremely useful

nobody's denying that ie also lets you browse the internet :/

And... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441391)

Believe me I'm on your side, but what does all of that add up to? Why should mom and pop use all of those things, none of which they understand? The average consumer has no concept of what security is or why they should care. For all of these worthwile and useful incremental improvements, There really isn't a killer feature built into it that makes it immediately obviously better than ie. It needs to think bigger than that, if its really going to stand out from IE.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441522)

nah, i disagree.

compare current builds of open office to microsoft office. open office just sucks in comparison, and your average consumer will definitely tell you that. yet, when you really look at the product, there aren't really any killer, important-to-the-average-consumer things that you can do only with microsoft office.

in the same way, ie just sucks compared to firefox, and i've seen plenty of average consumers quickly convert to and get excited about firefox. rather, i think the problem is just the majority of people don't know about firefox, and that they're used to ie and slow to get moving.

sorry. that wasn't meant to be an open office troll. the truth is that i don't like wysiwyg products at all.

Re:And... (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441532)

The average consumer has no concept of what security is or why they should care.

My parents are since they got an express mail by post from their ISP to immediately run an antivirus tool on their computer, written in a fairly agressive manner. :-)

No, neither Mozilla nor Firefox have any major features that's a reason to switch from IE if you use Windows, but the features add up for me so the choice was simple. That's all *I* care for, not if my mom and dad should or shouldn't switch to Firefox. It's up to them... Often people do though, when I just tell them for their information aboute e.g. tabbed browsing and how much simpler it gets to browse when the pages aren't put among the other applications in the task bar.

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (1)

Singletoned (619322) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441490)

a zillion extensions, some of which are extremely useful

so it has (zillion - a few) unuseful extentions? That's not a great selling point...

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441351)

Catch up? I would argue it is a means to push browser technology where Internet Explorer has stalled. Sure IE is getting pop up blocking. Mozilla/Firefox has had it for how long? Same for tabbed browsing.

As for being identical pieces of software, well that is to be expected. Two hammers made by different manufactures are both hammers when you get down to it.

Besides, if two pieces of software are going to take the same document and render it the "same" way to the user, then exactly how do you expect them to be worlds apart in difference?

One innovation that Firefox has on IE that I don't expect to change any time soon--open source.

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441502)

Ohh... really?
I will notify the mozilla foundation imediatly.

*many hours later*

-We've been cought.
-Ohh no!
*throws hands up in the air*
-I give up.

Re:Mozilla has a soul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441510)

Really, the big difference is that IE is a large and known target, so virus and spyware writers can have a field day.

Over and over and over again. This is just not a valid argument. Microsoft's problem is NOT that they are too popular. The reason that virus and spyware writers can have a field day is because Microsoft made it soooo easy for them!

Okay, popup blocking would be nice, but you can already get that as an ad on (and it will be official in the next version anyway).

And what version would that be? Microsoft has already announced that IE 6.0 will no longer be developed. There are existant bugs in it that are over a year old with no patch in sight. In order to get this "next version", you have to buy Longhorn, due out in, what, 2007?

I should also mention that many, many of the spyware/adware infections that I routinely clean start with one of those free pop-up blockers downloaded from the Web. Microsoft could clean out a lot of this crap by just putting that functionality in their browser; oh, but wait, see above - they aren't going to develop their browser as anything but an extension of their OS anymore!

I have pop-up blocking now and I didn't have to buy a new OS to get it.

Really, we're looking at two almost identical pieces of software.

Obviously, you have never used Mozilla. The functionality is similar, so similar that people I have converted to Mozilla have no problem picking it up and using it immediately. E-mail in Mozilla is actually easier for my clients to use than Outlook.

And, no matter what else you say, when I convert a client to Mozilla in place of IE and Outlook the number of service calls to cleanup/fix their machines drops to virtually zero! That saves them money and it saves me frustration.

People care? (1, Insightful)

Reckless Visionary (323969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441184)

I think that people who care deserve a browser with a soul

You hit the nail on the head, I agree. But, in contrast to most Slashdotters, most people simply don't care. What they want is to never have to download and install anything. That sounds scary to them.

Re:People care? (2, Insightful)

Chief Typist (110285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441249)

I agree that the average person doesn't care about a browser "with a soul."

However, I think that it's more because they take the path of least resistance -- look at all the crapware that gets downloaded and installed onto the average PC. It doesn't look like they're afraid of downloading and installing to me...

-ch

soul, care, etc. (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441197)

I think that people who care deserve a browser with a soul


OK, so I might not care about a "browser's soul"...

May I still have a decent browser, if not Mozilla, something like Safari just does it :)

No wonder! (2, Funny)

Froze (398171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441232)

Now I know why al my programs failed to reach sentience.

#include

ack, plain text still inerprets < and > (1)

Froze (398171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441264)

that should have read

#include <soul.h>

PS, and I should have used preview :-P

James Brown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441343)

Soul Browser #1

I use Mozilla (2, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441366)

I hate Microsoft for many reasons, one being the way in which their products suck. For a long time Netscape was better than IE. Then IE hit a version where it did not suck as much, but I still used Netscape. IE also came prepackaged with Windows, and you did not have to download a few megs of Netscape at 56Kbps (or was it 28.8KBps back then?). By the time AOL bought Netscape, usage of Netscape had plummeted, IE had risen, and I finally threw in the towel and started using IE when I got a new computer. I had gone to thge trouble of downloading Netscape more out of spite for about a year or so before that

When Mozilla came out, I switched back to it. I *like* Mozilla more than IE. With Mozilla I can right click and do a view image. I can open tabs on my browser. I can easily manage cookies and forms. I can block images from certain sites.

Wow - great quotes (2, Insightful)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441375)

This guy puts it nice. 'IE has no soul.' Which of course is true. Others say maybe Netscape wouldn't have died if... Ladies and gentlemen, Redmond put the full weight of the Vole up against Netscape. IE was never more in their eyes than a 'reasonable alternative'. The campaign was fought with the ISPs and the OEMs and looking back, could anyone have withstood that? Maybe Netscape did screw up, but would it have made any difference back then?

But if IE has no soul, then the net doesn't have any soul either, and yes, it would be great to see this browser get some real market share again. Not only because IE sucks and has no soul, but also to prove there can be justice in the world.

Reminder... (5, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441392)


I think it is time to remind everyone how things once were...

Do you remember some years ago, that the Mozilla project was held up as an example of an OSS failure? By the majority of people, even here on Slashdot?

It was taking too long to develop, was too bloated, Microsoft would always be one step ahead...

These days Mozilla is now one of the trophy projects of the OSS community. But it was that same community that derided it not so long ago. We should be thankful for the persistence and long term vision of the Mozilla team.

Should we be worried (1)

pfafrich (647460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441453)

IE is a browser with no soul. I want it to be Mozilla because I think that people who care deserve a browser with a soul. I was unaware that a soul was a new feature in Mozilla. Does it mean that it will automatically be downloading old Mowtown tunes? Or maybe its a new name for content filtering so we only see site which are good for us. So whats this soul do. Users need to know?

Re:Should we be worried (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441486)

It's a standard featur in Mozillia, but it wasn't packaged with Fedora due to IP issues with the Vatican.

You could try looking for it on Livna.org [livna.org] . I'd use yum but Livna has too many headers

soul eh (0, Flamebait)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441494)

What would be the features adding 'soul' to Mozilla and Firefox?

- The ugly, non-standard user interface that looks wrong on every platform?

- The collection of themes? Do they add soul? Or the bickering and complaining in the community over stuff like what new theme to use as default? And the apparent rejection of their comments?

- The generally lower speed and reliability compared to IE on Windows?

Well, this is what I've noticed recently anyway. Don't get me wrong, I use Mozilla myself everyday and haven't touched IE in a year or more. But when I look at Mozilla, it's about as soulful as a dirty sock. A dirty sock with tabs and popup-blocking, though.

Kraftwerk, Falco, Hasselhoff? (1)

spoonani (786547) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441513)

Sure, soul is a great marketing tool and Mozilla's position as the "browser with soul" is assuredly going to fuel a few more downloads. This one's right out of the Apple Computer playbook. As far as the web browsing scene goes, the German iCab browser (ahhh, memories) was the pinnacle of soul. hand-drafted icons, a smily face that varied with the level of healthy code on a site, and the ability to fit on a floppy disc. Sure, it wasn't the most stable app in the world, but its imperfections gave it human qualities, and in turn, soul. There will now be a silent collection.
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