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Google & Firefox's Relationship

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the you-may-kiss-the-browser dept.

Mozilla 392

sebFlyte writes "More news from FOSDEM, this time about the depth of support for Firefox from Google. According to this article on ZDNet, Firefox' growth and Mozilla's staffing costs have been underpinned by the Foundation's tie-ins with Google, but they promise not to go the same way as Netscape by selling 'every bookmark and link'... and don't forget that the lead programmer (among others) is directly in Google's employ."

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392 comments

I'd be (4, Insightful)

Digital Warfare (746982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811714)

.. very happy if Google funded me. A very respected company that just works and keeps it that way. Keep the relationship Mozilla :)

Re:I'd be (5, Interesting)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811815)

A very respected company that just works and keeps it that way.

This'll likely be judged as a troll, but I'd like to add the likely caveat "for now". Every company the tech community has taken a liken to at one point (Microsoft, Apple, RedHat, etc) has squandered that trust over time (antitrust, excessive litigation, leaving the base community for corporations).

I'm not saying Google will do this, but I can't think of a single, not-for-profit tech company that hasn't done some morally or ethically reprehensible thing at one point in its history. Can you?

Re:I'd be (4, Insightful)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811888)

I would have to agree. At one point Red Hat was a favorite of the open source community. Now with their subscriptions service an all, they are no longer favored.

I don't know if Microsoft was ever really thought of as a respected company. But I think they definately represent what Google has the potential to become, only more so. I mean think of all the data that passes through Google every day. I for one hope they remain moral and ethical and don't decide to sell out.

Also on the integration, I think it can be a good thing. I love my google toolbar in the upper right corner and I love most of the extra services that google is providing besides searching. It will be interesting to see if they integrate them in a non-obtrusive manner.

Re:I'd be (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811941)

I think that with all of their developer apis, etc., we will see Microsoft the way it should have been.

I don't particularly care how they integrate all of their disparate information stores, but if they continue to give us access to the information (and nout just access to the presentation of the information) then they can take the little chunk of my soul that has not been whithered by cynicism and mstrust for organizations.

Re:I'd be (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812104)

I don't know if Microsoft was ever really thought of as a respected company. But I think they definately represent what Google has the potential to become, only more so. I mean think of all the data that passes through Google every day. I for one hope they remain moral and ethical and don't decide to sell out.

They already did. They became a publicly traded corporation. As such, they are legally bound to act in the financial best interest of the shareholders. When the time comes that they have choose between the big money and those portions of their morals and ethics that extend beyond the law's requirements, they've already committed to their course.

Re:I'd be (1)

Digital Warfare (746982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811894)

Other than the others, I don't think Google will have a reason to changce as they work best the way they are.

But I don't know if thats just me?

Re:I'd be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811915)

I agree, Google is basically ideal the way they are, but they can always make improvements, add new features, sell more ads :( ... It depends how tempted they are by the 'dark side'. I guess we'll see how it all plays out in a decade or two ;)

You were saying... (4, Insightful)

jaaron (551839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811991)

I'm not saying Google will do this, but I can't think of a single, not-for-profit tech company that hasn't done some morally or ethically reprehensible thing at one point in its history. Can you?

I'm not saying you'll do this, but I can't think of a single, self-aware human being that hasn't done some morally or ethically reprehensible thing at one point in his or her history. Can you?

Re:You were saying... (4, Funny)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812114)

I'm not saying you'll do this, but I can't think of a single, self-aware human being that hasn't done some morally or ethically reprehensible thing at one point in his or her history. Can you?

Gimme a minute while I collect some stones.

Re:I'd be (2, Interesting)

trewornan (608722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811992)

Google is not without it's critics (ironically just try typing "google censorship" or "google civil liberties" into google). I personally quite like google but the whiter than white image they currently have is a bit misguided.

Re:I'd be (2, Interesting)

oil (594341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812044)

It's been said before, but publicly traded companies have an obligation to make a profit. Many people, especially in the open-source community tend to look down on that. It's the "we used to get that for free, you're evil for charging us" attitude.

Google will probably get there, they can't give everything away. However, they seem to be trying to do things the right way and that's all we can ask for.

Re:I'd be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11812156)

Google will probably get there, they can't give everything away

???

Google already give everything away. That's what makes them what they are. The day they start charging for searching or more possibly for a search that yields more and juicier result will be the day they die.

No one is interested in paying for search results, apart from a handful of loonies who buy jars of air on ebay etc, it just doesn't cut it as a business model.

Re:I'd be (1)

flumps (240328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811843)

for some reason, my brain turned "funded" into something..er.. else.

I certainly would NOT be happy if Google fuc$%W +++ NO CARRIER

Google respected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811902)

A very respected company...

just like Microsoft used to be once upon a time.

Re:I'd be (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11812015)

Too bad the funding was so minor that it took 2 months to fix the latest batch of bugs/exploits. I remember last December /. posing the question "Wonder if Microsoft or Mozilla will respond first?". IE had a fix within 3 days, and it only took Mozilla 3 months to respond. Open source ... bah.

In related news... (4, Informative)

Karpe (1147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811725)

Google Maps [google.com] is now supported by Safari. Way to go, Google!

Re:In related news... (1)

GuidoW (844172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811954)

hm, this is the first time I've heard of Google maps. Looks very nice, what a pity they only have maps of North America.

And in other news... (5, Funny)

furrycod (521168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811727)

MSN Search actually funds Internet Explorer. With MSN Search getting over 30 hits / day, the ad revenue is more than enough to sustain active development, including the revolutionary "tabbed browsing" internet surfers everywhere are pining to try out.

Re:And in other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811766)

this should probably be modded as funny, but don't take it from me.

+1 Insightful?! (-1, Troll)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811825)

Amusing yes. But Insightful?! Only if you've been living under a fricken boulder since before IE 4 came out. As long as you've clearly been away from /. and the Interweb for a while maybe I should explain that "tabbed browsing" is not the ability in lynx to tab between hyperlinks but rather a feature in something called a Graphical User Interface based browser that allows for multiple webpages to be open at once and allows the user to tab through them. So how did you get mod points?

Re:+1 Insightful?! (2, Insightful)

Kru)(fen (602796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811947)

...maybe I should explain that "tabbed browsing" is not the ability in lynx to tab between hyperlinks but rather a feature in something called a Graphical User Interface based browser that allows for multiple webpages...

Actually, you can have tabbed browsing on console as well. Check out elinks if you doubt me :)

apt-get install elinks, and you are done!

Re:And in other news... (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812119)

id hope msn search gets more than 30 hits a day... hell, -my- website gets more than 30 hits a day, and well, look at it.

Re:And in other news... (0)

openglx (819573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812149)

Dude, this is slashdot! Don't say "look my website" unless you are sure you can handle it :P

Competition is GOOD! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811734)

Hopefully the relationship between Google and Firefox will continue to put pressure on Microsoft to build a better browser.

Re:Competition is GOOD! (5, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811846)

Microsoft doesn't have to build a better browser. It just has to build one that's good enough. It already has the lion's share of the market.

If they build one that's good enough, and whose security model is comparable to Firefox's or Opera's, Alternate browsers will be marginalized again, W3C standards or no W3C standards.

Re:Competition is GOOD! (1)

martysdomain (855616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811972)

mayber microsoft should just give up building browsers, they had their chance years ago and ruined it for themselves

GoogleFox (3, Funny)

anno1602 (320047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811737)

[...] saidMarkham "[...]Google was the default browser for Firefox before we even signed the deal."

Google default browser for Firefox? Freudian slip, I say...

Re:GoogleFox (2, Informative)

Gerv (15179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811904)

I didn't say that - it's a slip by the reporter, not by the speaker :-)

Gerv

Google + Firefox (5, Interesting)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811741)


All is well and good right now, google's still not evil.

The chances of google remaining not evil however in the long term future are not good. Every big company turns evil sooner or later.. it is only matter of time.

Re:Google + Firefox (3, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811791)

define 'evil' please. First of all, there is evil such as microsft, evil such as SCO, evil like IBM , evil like PayPal, evil like Apple... Even charity organisations can turn evil...

The chances are indeed big that Google will one day drop some of its ethics for cash. But the odds taht they'd drop all their ethics are small. And even if they do, it won't be overnight, so the community will have time to form a counterforce and make backups.

Let's wait until they hire Carly... then we know they're evil :-)

Re:Google + Firefox (1)

z3ronl (850004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811868)

Google has backups and if they turn evil, they will surely not destroy their backups of your data.

Re:Google + Firefox (1)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811927)

evil like IBM

Ah, but IBM started "evil" (in the 50's), it was not till recently that they have been turning to the "good".

As for the rest of your list, yep evil as hell.

Re:Google + Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811982)

I think evil is the wrong word. Corporations are generally amoral.

But what else could you expect of a sociopath [wikipedia.org].

Re:Google + Firefox (5, Insightful)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811801)

Every big company turns evil sooner or later.. it is only matter of time.
What about IBM? They used to be evil. Now they are helping the open source community and fighting off scum like SCO. They still have their own agenda, but they're not evil like it used to be.

Re:Google + Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811978)

Not necessarily true. The only thing that's changed is the means, not the end. Just because the big picture isn't clear yet doesn't mean that there's nothing to it other than its face value.

Re:Google + Firefox (0)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811844)

OOps, I forgot to put this in extrans so you could see the: "<tinfoilhat></tinfoilhat>"

Re:Google + Firefox (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811873)

I can't believe that this sort of talk continues on Slashdot. I thought people here were intellegent. You probably work for a corporation. Your computer was made by big corporations. You can't go shopping without some of your money going to corporations. If you have a problem with this "evil" in the world, move to the country and become a subsistance farmer.

If you think the corporate focus on the bottom line is a problem for society, let's talk about that. (And don't think for a second that when IBM and Google support OSS that they don't have the bottom line in mind. They're hedging their bets against other corps like MS.) Until we address the issue of "more money equals better", we can't complain that corporations behave like corporations.

Maybe when we focus our mental energy on redefining what businesses' responsibilities to the world are, and the evil you speak of can be held in check.

Re:Google + Firefox (1, Insightful)

Winkhorst (743546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811925)

Call me a troll if you must, but there used to be mechanisms to keep corporations in check. Back in the Golden Age before RR, we had these things called "regulations" that determined what corporations could do when their best interests clashed with those of the societies in which they operated. And there were even politicians who supported and extended those "regulations" when new abuses appeared on the horizon. Let's see, what were those guys called? I can't quite remember, it's been so long...OH YEAH! They were called "Democrats"!

Re:Google + Firefox (2, Informative)

mathmatt (851301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811928)

google's still not evil

The inquirer reports that SEO Blog and others think they are evil because of their new AutoLink toolbar feature: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=21470 [theinquirer.net]

I don't thinks so. Google seems to have no desire to implement this feature in a firefox plugin, In fact, note that google recommends and links to the open-source Googlebar extension for firefox on the google toolbar download page. http://toolbar.google.com/googlebar.html [google.com]

Google knows that if people are ready to click on well-placed ads when browsing using IE, then it is their duty as a company to place well these ads. I don't hear google complaining about the adblock extension for firefox that can be used to block all ads, even those tasteful text ads by gooooogle.

No, google is not evil, nor will they become evil. They are making money by gaining the trust of millions of users, and investing that money - and more importantly that trust - to continue to make products that people want.

All is well and generalized... (1)

jaaron (551839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812032)

All is well and good right now, Aggrazel's still not evil.

The chances of Aggrazel remaining not evil however in the long term future are not good. Every human turns evil sooner or later.. it is only matter of time.

Come on people! What's with the massive, ignorant, I-didn't-think-before-I-hit-submit generalizations that get modded insightful around here?

Re:Google + Firefox (4, Insightful)

karakal (846584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812083)

Oh. This is soooo sweet! How many /.ers are here and rant about evil cooperations and so on. And how many of them are using a PC with IBM/Intel/AMD-CPU, from Dell/Apple/Sony/whatsoever and so on... This is sooo typical: On the one hand ranting about evil cooperations and on the other hand trying to feed from their hands....

Don't break a sweat (4, Insightful)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811744)

I don't think the Foundation should even break a sweat worrying about the fact that Google has an undeniable tie to Firefox. So many users already use Google anyway, and I'm sure those that do not are aware of how to change their browser settings to use a different home page/search engine by default.

But I'm sure many people keep it as Google, just because it is a great start page, and loads really quickly.

From TFA, they mentioned how localized builds are a problem... If Google were to host the Start Page in different languages, would the Foundation not be able to set a different language version of the page in their localized builds?

Re:Don't break a sweat (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811961)

"If Google were to host the Start Page in different languages, would the Foundation not be able to set a different language version of the page in their localized builds?"

I thought this was kind of odd myself. You can gohere [google.com] and change your preferences. If you do then the default start page comes up in your language and it can be set to only find pages in your language.

Re:Don't break a sweat (1)

Gerv (15179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812103)

Google does host the start page in different languages, and localisers use them. The report is wrong in that respect. Don't believe everything you read :-)

Gerv

Re:Don't break a sweat (2, Informative)

mmcdouga (459816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812088)

From TFA, they mentioned how localized builds are a problem... If Google were to host the Start Page in different languages, would the Foundation not be able to set a different language version of the page in their localized builds?

My impression was that there were non-Google search engines out there that were better for specific languages. Maybe Swahili speakers prefer some specific Swahili sw-search.example.com search page, but the Swahili Mozilla build still has to use http://www.google.com/intl/sw/ [google.com].

This is hypothetical, though; I'm not aware of any languages where people overwhelmingly prefer other search engines to Google.

gBrowser on the way (3, Interesting)

szlevente (705483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811746)

Maybe Google will just take over Firefox and turn it into gBrowser, fully integrated with Gmail, Desktop Search and other stuff.

Re:gBrowser on the way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811761)

So what.

I want gssh, gbash, g-gnumeric, and goffice.

Troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811812)

New crack shipment today, eh moderators?

ssh, bash, gnumeric and office built into a browser would be cool.

gxmms would be great, too.

Re:Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811845)

How about having the whole operating system built into the browser. Then the browser would be absolutely fundamental to the working of the operating system. Wouldn't that be cool?

Oh, wait ...

Re:Troll? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811857)

the network is the computer.

Re:gBrowser on the way (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811874)

gbash-3.1# rm -ed foo*
Did you mean `rm -rf /*`?
Results for `rm -rf /*`: 0 of 14524. Deletion took 0.12 seconds
gbash-3.1# ls
ls: command not found
gbash-3.1#

Re:gBrowser on the way (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811826)

I would personally think if they took a fork and created the gBrowser line, then it would negate all the good hard work that has gone into Firefox.

Brand recognition is key, and Firefox is certainly better known than gBrowser.

Look at the blank expression on peoples faces when you say "do you have gmail?"

Most regular users have to be told "its googles email service, yes its like hotmail, only better..."

Firefox is firefox in my eyes :)

Re:gBrowser on the way (4, Informative)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812002)

However, which brand has more recognition between Google and the Mozilla Foundation? If and when Google releases a browser, it will be known pretty well pretty quickly just because it's Google.

gBrowser may eventually become GoogleOS (-1, Troll)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812148)

They could then turn that fully integrated gBrowser into a shell that could run on top of Linux and give birth to GoogleOS.

Of course (0, Flamebait)

0x54524F4C4C (712971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811748)



Google will get bankrupt and take firefox with itself. Before that, they'll add proprietary extensions to make google work better with firefox. Google is evil.

Firefox = thin client (5, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811755)

When Google will port Picasa to a web-interface, followed by a small word processor, and offer their customers 1 GB to store their data, they will need to have their fingers in at least one big browser. Not to pump it full with ads, but to make sure it is a good enough thin client for their purposes.

Re:Firefox = thin client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811892)

yeah because using an app through a browser is so nice and provides a really easy to use application, not to mention the security of having a company store all your data. and while XUL may work around the shoehorned feel of html based web apps, it introduces many problems of its own.

If google support FF... (4, Interesting)

gimpimp (218741) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811759)

why are there no official extensions for it?* google's software is all Windows/IE, but nothing for Free software.

*i know there are 3rd party ones.

Re:If google support FF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811824)

Why develop "official" extentions for it when the third-party ones are quite good (Googlebar [google.com])? Kind of like, why develop an all new browser when a quite good one already exists (firefox).

Re:If google support FF... (2, Insightful)

Necroman (61604) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812121)

It's all about marketing. Lots of people have the GoogleBar installed for IE because they saw a link for it on the Google website.

If Google was to support the use of the 3rd party extension, which would have the same effect as if Google was to develop and market the Toolbar themselves.

Re:If google support FF... (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811871)

Is it more important to have an extension for your browser that is officially supported by your search engine, or a an extension for your search engine that is officially supported by your browser?

A Google goodwill or is it just smart business (5, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811774)

As Gmail and Google Suggest has shown, client-side javascript is a VERY powerful and flexible tool (CGI::IRC [sourceforge.net] takes my pick for the best javascript app). It truly shows why Microsoft had to kill off Netscape by seeding the internet with incompatible standards - essentially wasting man hours which could have gone into true innovation.

Google is our friend right now because favouring firefox would benifit their own shareholders by keeping Microsoft from introducing more divergent tandards. Whenever I think about Google as the Good Company, I am instantly reminded of a flash intro called EPIC 2014 [robinsloan.com].

Google is good for FireFox now - and probably will remain good. The only question is about what we will have to pay (ie Free Software == open market for services). You see IBM playing the same card trying to commoditize software to knock Microsoft off the software market.

Re:A Google goodwill or is it just smart business (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811833)

> CGI::IRC [sourceforge.net] takes my pick for the best javascript app

I just checked the site. Amazing to see that David (dgl) is still working on that app. I used to help him with testing plus a bit of skinning quite a few years ago now. He's a clever lad and always willing to help.

The app is also *brilliant*

Re:A Google goodwill or is it just smart business (4, Interesting)

L.Bob.Rife (844620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811837)

If you want to get into the web-app business, then it is a smart move to support the open source browser that actually tries to comply to open standards.

Everyone knows that if they started making all their web-apps based on activeX, or other MS specific browser hooks, then sooner or later MS would break it.

Re:A Google goodwill or is it just smart business (4, Interesting)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811879)

"Google is our friend right now because favouring firefox would benifit their own shareholders by keeping Microsoft from introducing more divergent tandards."

I think you hit the nail on the head right there. Firefox is good for Google because it can take IE users away from Microsoft. Microsoft is a competitor to Google in (at the very least) the search engine area. Google is probably trying to get into other areas Microsoft holds a dominance in. So taking users away from Microsoft is good for Google. And funding a non-profit that creates a really good web browser is good for the community. The only people should worry about is if someday Google topples Microsoft and becomes the king of the internet, will they turn out to be just another evil monopoly?

If that sounds crazy, just remember how IBM was evil once, and now people like them for their love for open source.

Re:A Google goodwill or is it just smart business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811929)

greetz to all my peeps at #cgiirc

-ac

Better than slashdot & Firefox relationship (4, Informative)

potcrackpot (245556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811783)

...given that refreshing slashdot half the time gives me no article text - and the games page has the side column (with the sections text etc.) overlapping with the main column.

From the article: (1, Funny)

random_rabbit (647072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811789)

"Google was the default browser for Firefox before we even signed the deal." - because in Soviet Russia, search engine browses BROWSER.

fosdem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811796)

Nothing smells as bad as geek eurotrash; not even American Republicans.

Re:fosdem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811881)

You can say that again.

Have you experienced a european polytech dorm during a scorching hot summer? Sweaty, unbathed and pale geek guys in a small room. *shudder*

Re:fosdem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11812122)

... sounds like my office.... blech

No worries there (5, Interesting)

Laurentiu (830504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811811)

I will start worrying when Google won't work in IE anymore. Which is as likely to happen as Windows being built on top of the Linux kernel. By supporting Mozilla.org, Google is ensuring that Microsoft won't be able to push through whatever formats and standards they like simply through the power of ubiquity. After all, there's nothing like healthy competition to promote inovation. (And absence of software patents, [nosoftwarepatents.com]but I digress.)

Search Tie-In (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811866)

Using Firefox to track user browsing behaviour in order to improve the search results seems quite obvious.

Desktop Search is a first step, but in order to compete with microsoft on searching more user information is needed. Microsoft has the advantage as they already have a browser.

Join us! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811872)

Join Anti-slash [anti-slash.org]! We proudly support child porn [anti-slash.org] and lame childish crap flooding [anti-slash.org]. But we're only about campaigning for Slashdot integrity, honest ... just ignore the fact we don't have any integrity ourselves!

i don't get it (1, Funny)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811896)

what would be the problem with them getting together? they are probably the two most well natured companies serving the internet.

it would be like santa claus and the easter bunny getting together to make a SUPER HOLIDAY!!1

Re:i don't get it (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812091)

Google recently went public. This means that they are now accountable to stockholders. Stockholders want only two things: Profit and growth.

Once a company goes public, the fact that the board is accountable to anonymous stockholders sucks most of the humanity out of the company. The company devolves from "How can we do something really cool and innovative" to the very cold "How can we make as much money as possible to keep stockholders happy?"

This is what I worry will happen to Google. Lots of companies have lost their human side after going IPO; I don't have much faith that Google will be an exception.

-Z

Clarifications (5, Informative)

Gerv (15179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811897)

Just to clarify: Google is just one of several search partners we have at the Mozilla Foundation, although (as is fairly evident from looking at the software) it is currently the one we have the closest ties with, by virtue of them hosting the home page.

"Keeping the wolf from the door" is a bit too strong - we are establishing good relationships with a number of companies, all of whom are supporting the Foundation in different ways. My comments were merely intended to say that the Foundation is not going anywhere - we'll be around for the forseeable future.

One further clarification: Firefox localisations can change to use a localised version of Google; they are not kept to using the en-US version, as the article implies.

Gerv
(the speaker on whose comments the article is based)

Re:Clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11812096)

It's still free software, right? If I want to distribute a version of firefox with my own website as the default page, I can do that.

javascript (2, Insightful)

rnd() (118781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811906)

For some reason the Mozilla developers decided to release an implementation of javascript that, while standards compliant, was not compatible with 80% of javascript code on the web.

Note to Mozilla developers: Stop sitting there with your arms crossed insisting on a strict standards compliance! Build it, but don't force everyone to write tons of extra code because an innovative language feature that IE includes is not presently part of the standard!

Firefox has been better on this front, but there is still room for improvement.

Re:javascript (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11811953)

And now, for an opposing view:

There's a good reason the Mozilla developers decided to release an implementation of Javascript that is standards compliant and not compatible with 80% of Javascript code on the web [statistic from OP],

Note to Mozilla developers: Please insist on a strict standards compliance. Force everyone to write standard code because something that IE/Microsoft made up as an extention to a *standard* language should not be used in the first place!

[troll == anonymous]

Re:javascript (5, Insightful)

splanky (598553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811989)

Note to Website developers: Stop sitting there with your arms crossed and insisting on making sites that aren't in compliance with public standards. Instead support the idea that if we -all- agree on standards it removes the power from proprietary software --- and that the mindset of "well it's just one cool non-standard feature" is exactly the mindset that got us in this mess!

Re:javascript (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812123)

Most of the ie-only features aren't innovative atall, and are just nonstandard ways of doing things that can also be accomplished by following standard methods too.
Also the only way to support them, is for opensource developers to reverse engineer microsoft code which could be illegal in some places.
No websites should use anything until it has been adopted as a formal standard and supported by atleast 2 reference implementations.

Why worry? (4, Insightful)

nautical9 (469723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811937)

This can only be a good thing. Mozilla/Firefox is open source. Should Google suddenly turn "evil" as a lot of people are speculating, we can always fork a new one from the last untainted version and start from there. Until that day, if it comes, Firefox gains financial support and another big backer. So what's the problem?

Impressive use of the budget... (4, Interesting)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811939)

From the article: He said that Mozilla Europe has carried out the majority of its marketing activity on "zero budget", having spent the majority of its $20,000 allowance from the Mozilla Foundation on a large booth at the NetWorld/Interop conference in Paris last year.

They've managed a lot of marketing from "zero budget", which is impressive.

IMHO, the booth at the conference was a waste of money though. Paying bounties for certain features (like Ubuntu does) might have been a better spend.

Gmail and Browsers ... (4, Interesting)

Pat__ (26992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811958)

Google recently finished their simple HTML interface for Gmail so logging in with older browsers is now possible.

I guess as long as Google support all browsers (even other non standard compliant older browsers) then great for them!

And the Firefox people can't really "sell out" since anyone can provide modified versions without any google stuff if the official version gets sponsored I suppose we can't complain.

Underpin (1)

asoap (740625) | more than 9 years ago | (#11811984)

Does anybody else think that underpin is a little to similar to undermine? I read the post, and I couldn't figure out why Google would want to be so mean to Firefox/Mozilla. They just hired the lead programmer, google is the homepage for firefox, so why would the be so mean, why google, why?!? Then I looked it up, and underpin is a positive not a negative.

*sigh*, All is well.

Details? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11812046)

I'm pretty surprised nobody has quoted this bit yet:

Following an agreement reached last year, Firefox includes Google as the default option for users wanting to search the Web directly, and also has its default start page hosted by Google. Markham didn't reveal full details of the Foundation's deal with Google.

How open is "open source" when secret deals are made with corporations?

And Open Source Applications Foundation (Mozilla's parent organization) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. Aren't non-profits required to publicize some of their financial records?

Re:Details? (2, Informative)

Gerv (15179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11812077)

I didn't reveal the full details because I don't know them :-) This is good, because I can freely speculate without giving anything away (which is what I was doing at FOSDEM).

Having said that, "open source" doesn't have to mean "everything that goes on is public". We have private security bugs, private staff meetings and confidential business deals - often because the other party wants it that way.

I'm sure the Foundation will publish all the financial records that it's required to.

Gerv
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