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IBM Donates Code to Firefox

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the browser-arms-race dept.

Mozilla 355

OS24Ever writes "Internetnews.com is reporting that IBM has donated new DHTML code to the Mozilla foundation specifically targeted as accessability and rich interactive applications (RIA). These new features are expected to be in the next major update of Firefox (v1.5). Is this the first OSS application to get RIA/DHTML support for accessability? I would think this could open some doors for Firefox to replace IE in many Windows environments."

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omg fristage (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324652)

postage ^_^

http://www.rideauhs.uni.cc/ihsw/newstuff/ [rideauhs.uni.cc]

fail it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324662)

fail it just use ie

Re:fail it (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324687)

So for people who aren't on Windows?

ummm DUH!!! (1)

fuck technology (896306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324777)

ie is available for os x. go away troll

Re:fail it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324819)

You'll both just have to suffer through this.

first? no way (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324663)

i can't be.

Accessibility helping FF replace IE? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324671)

Well, I can't exactly speak to this topic, but I am not so sure I see it happening, nor do I hear anything about it.

Maybe. (0, Troll)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324675)

I would think this could open some doors for Firefox to replace IE in many Windows environments."

Maybe not. [slashdot.org]

Re:Maybe. (4, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324880)

Chronology could make the link you provide somewhat invalid. That story mentions that market share slipped last month, yet I don't recall it saying where the figures are right now. But that's probably going to become irrelevant.

Even if the user-base hit a plateau already and everyone that wants Firefox, has it, this is article talks about providing accesability to a whole new audience. Being the first in the field does give one an advantage when the two biggest competitors are commercial (Opera) and slower than waiting for a new IE (uh...IE).

I know there are others, but when these are the three biggest players, Firefox stands to gain a good deal of respect in the accesability crowd if they pull this off with IBM.

By all means, it won't topple IE, but providing a good set of features to those with disabilities could actually see Firefox instituted in more public terminal situations like schools, libraries and such.

Besides, OSS tends to be pretty stubborn in the fact that the developers usually stop for nothing short of complete bankruptcy ;) I don't think Firefox developers are going to let a one month slip get to them.

Re:Maybe. (5, Insightful)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324992)

Did you specifically avoid reading the summary?

...specifically targeted as accessability and rich interactive applications (RIA)

You know, code that will help make Flash and its lookalikes accessible to people who maybe can't see or hear?

That's most likely what the poster of the story intended when he/she speaked of being able to "replace IE in many Windows environments."

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324681)

first goddamn posted! WOOOP1 yippie yayyy wooo! i win! in you face, sucka!!!

lovely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324685)

Now I can watch all the fading starwipe page transitions I want!

Yay (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324688)

This is good news --
with continued support from IBM and other vendors, FireFox will soon be a worthy competitor for IE!

Re:Yay (1)

coflow (519578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324805)

While I agree it doesn't hurt FF adoption, I have to disagree that this means it will soon be a worthy competitor. It already is. Yes, maybe not every grandmother/non-techie out there will rush out and use it, but there is extensive coverage of Firefox in the mainstream media (Newsweek, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Washington Post, NY Times, etc.)

Sounds like . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324689)

Big Blue is also contributing code that makes it possible for Web pages to be automatically narrated or magnified as well as navigated by keystrokes rather than mouse clicks.

Is it just me, or does this sound like functionality that has been available in Opera for some time now?

Re:Sounds like . . (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324774)

Is it just me, or does this sound like functionality that has been available in Opera for some time now?


Keystroke navigation has been present in Mozilla for a long time.

Automatic narration, I'm guessing, is not particularly in high demand -- those who need it in a browser need it everywhere, and already have it from a third-party program.

Magnification...well, whenever I'm not in Opera, I wonder if something is wrong with the keyboard as I repeatedly stab the numpad '+' key, until I remember that it's missing from everything but Opera.

Re:Sounds like . . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324856)

In Firefox you can press the Ctrl+'+' key to zoom in and Ctrl+'-' key to zoom out.

Re:Sounds like . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324901)

Magnification...well, whenever I'm not in Opera, I wonder if something is wrong with the keyboard as I repeatedly stab the numpad '+' key, until I remember that it's missing from everything but Opera.

Is that marketingspeak? It seems interesting that something one browser does can be called "missing" from all the rest. I would reserve the "missing" tag for features that are found in the majority of browsers but not in some.

Re:Sounds like . . (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324952)

Is that marketingspeak? It seems interesting that something one browser does can be called "missing" from all the rest. I would reserve the "missing" tag for features that are found in the majority of browsers but not in some.
No, I didn't mean that it was missing for everybody; just for me. Like grep is missing from Windows -- when I'm at a windows command prompt, sometimes I forget and try to grep (usually followed by me downloading a windows-compiled grep binary ;).

Re:Sounds like . . (4, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324782)

Oh come on. Every time there's a Mozilla thread, there is some idiot posting That sounds like Opera's feature X. Christ, get over it. Your browser picked a bad name, and nobody wants to use it, for fear of being all hoity-toity.

Use your opera, that's fine, but don't expect me at any of your parades.

Re:Sounds like . . (0, Flamebait)

halivar (535827) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325031)

Is it just me, or does this sound like functionality that has been available in Opera for some time now?

Nobody knows, since no one pays for a web browser, regardless of feature-set.

To IBM (5, Insightful)

Hey_bob (6104) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324693)

Thanks for supporting Open Source, and thanks for supporting Firefox.

-Random Person.

Re:To IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13325043)

You're not a random person, 6104.

-anonymous

As a nerd... (4, Interesting)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324695)

I would really love to see the code. It is in CVS yet? I am rather excited, since I have been working on several RIA things lately. Anyone seen the code yet? Or at the very least, anyone have a more specific list of new functionality?

Re:As a nerd... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13325051)

lol what?

Article Text (0, Redundant)

Cmdr Niggerdale (907737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324698)

August 15, 2005
IBM Donates Code to Firefox
By Jim Wagner


IBM is donating Web accessibility code to the Mozilla Foundation, officials from the Armonk, N.Y.-based computer giant announced Sunday.

IBM is donating DHTML accessibility technology currently wending its way through the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) standards process. Big Blue is also contributing code that makes it possible for Web pages to be automatically narrated or magnified as well as navigated by keystrokes rather than mouse clicks.

The DHTML code, for use in rich interactive applications (RIA) like those created using Ajax, will find its way into the next major update to the Firefox browser, version 1.5, slated for release in late September.

The popularity of recent RIA's like Google Maps and Amazon's A9 search engine have created a demand for more RIAs on the Web. The technology allows Web pages to function at speeds similar to desktop applications in some cases, with Web pages that draw only the information needed from a Web server.

Richard Schwertfeger, a distinguished engineer at IBM, said the DHTML accessibility code will make Firefox 1.5 the first browser in the world to add these accessibility functions for visual- and motor-impaired Web surfers. It's a big step forward for RIA on the Internet, he said.

"So far, this type of technology has not been accessible. In fact, in the European Union they frown on the use of JavaScript because it's not accessible," he said. "Not only can we make it more accessible but we can make it more usable to a broad range of people."

According to figures provided by IBM, the Pew Internet & American Life Project published findings that show seniors -- who are more likely to have a visual or motor disabilities -- are the fastest-growing Internet group in recent years. Seniors made up 15 percent of the online population in 2000, the report said, compared to 22 percent last year.

IBM also points to federal guidelines as a reason the accessibility code is so important. The U.S. Rehabilitation Act states that federal employees, regardless of ability, must have access to electronic information and information technology.

"IBM's commitment to further Firefox's capabilities and reach people who have disabilities marks an important technical achievement for Firefox," Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation president, said in a statement. "On a larger scale it is necessary to make the Web and all of its content accessible to everyone."

IBM has in the past helped the Firefox browser team on its accessibility features. According to officials, the company's developers built key pieces of accessibility code into the browser, including support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (MAA). MAA is an industry standard for reading what is happening inside the user interface of an application.

Schwertfeger said he is also in talks with Apple and Microsoft to get the technology adopted in their browsers.

New versioning... (3, Funny)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324700)

Why not go with Java's versioning, and just make 1.5 (version code) release 5!? .. seriously it's great that IBM is contributing back to those communities it is getting the use of... it's how "Free" Software is meant to work. Hopefully this will continue, would love to have a paying job working on f/oss software.

Re:New versioning... (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324746)

But Firefox would be behind IE by two versions!

And Microsoft would be spooked and up their version number to 2005, making IE 2000 versions ahead of Firefox!

How could Firefox ever keep up?!

Re:New versioning... (1)

Drew Curtis (904851) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324877)

Why don't they release 1.1 instead? Arbitrary version numbers are silly

Re:New versioning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324926)

Hate to point this out to you, but, ALL version numbers are arbitary.

Re:New versioning... (-1, Flamebait)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325009)

Java's versioning is fucked. But then Java itself is fucked.

Cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324708)

Almost had the first post

Don't take your eye off the ball (5, Interesting)

sentanta (619440) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324709)

DHTML is certainly less annoying than 30 second flash intro's, but I want a simple,fast, non-Microsoft browser. I hope this doesn't become a bloated browser like Navigator became.

Re:Don't take your eye off the ball (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324783)

Agreed.

Second problem is that this might open up a whole host of client-side vulnerabilities that suck. Really, Really, Really bad.

extensions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324784)

Many internal parts of Mozilla/Firefox, and most "XUL" applications that depend on mozilla, use DHTML for very basic interface actions. This may not actually be a good design decision, but it's a design decision they already made and it's too late to go back on it. If the DHTML code is improving then this will make the whole thing overall tighter and will be all in all an action against bloat.

Re:Don't take your eye off the ball (4, Informative)

MemeRot (80975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324968)

Firefox already supports all the DHTML Javascript in discussion. All this will do is make those AJAX style websites more accessible to the disabled. A text reader trying to read something like google maps would be totall lost currently.

Re:Don't take your eye off the ball (4, Interesting)

nmoog (701216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325039)

Hey hey, let's not bash Flash for being annoying. You can be equally annoying and stupid [webeisteddfod.com] in DHTML too, you know.

Desplit the Fork (1, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324711)

Who's found out where the FireFox code lives for getting the value (after <Enter> is pressed) that was in the "URL" text input field? And the function that's called (after <Enter> is pressed) with the data in the "Search" text input field? I'm pissed that the developers split that functionality of a single field (in Mozilla) into two (in FireFox), and I want to change it back. But I don't want to decipher the entire GUI/event codepath just to fix that design screwup. Who's got the landmarks, so I can hack the patch?

What jerk modded this down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324915)

I bet it's some dipshit that doesn't know a damn thing about Firefox source. Sorry, it's just a pet peeve of mine when people waste mod points downmodding shit they don't know anything about.

Mozilla Icon (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324713)

Nobody talks about Mozilla anymore, shouldn't that be a firefox icon on the story?

I bet it attracts attention (0, Flamebait)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324715)

I bet it attracts attention from SCO. No open source project related to IBM will be safe until they are put underground.

Re:I bet it attracts attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324975)

you are a fucking idiot

One step forward... (-1, Troll)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324719)

Now all Firefox needs is to be stable and configurable without the need to add dozens of extensions that add functionality and remove any semblance of stability.

Re:One step forward... (2, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324780)

Name a feature IE has out of the box that firefox doesn't.

Re:One step forward... (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324820)

bulletproof security?

*ducks*

Re:One step forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324911)

That's not a feature, it's a bug!

Re:One step forward... (0, Flamebait)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324917)

Who said Internet Explorer son? I don't recall mentioning it.

Perhaps you confuse Internet Explorer with all web browsers not named Firefox? My, but that's rather silly of you.

Things like being totally unable to turn Firefox into a pop-up-less, completely tab-based web browser like Opera is?

I'd spent so long trying to get that alone to work, and it flat out doesn't. Not to mention the tab related extensions turned an already unstable browser into a crashing hell.

I want to like Firefox, I really do, but it's just so terrible that I find I am compeletely unable to.

The biggest thing outside of those two, relatively simple things is that I cannot configure damned-near anything in the Options, so what the hell is it for?

Re:One step forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324948)

Then you have had some bad luck.

I can install firefox with no extra extensions and normal tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking work fine for me.

Re:One step forward... (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324970)

Really? How have you stopped new windows of Firefox from opening and instead having them open as tabs? It's not an option even with extensions.

Re:One step forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13325011)

1. go to about:config
2. filter for "tabs"
3. find the option about single window mode prefs
4. change it to true
5. look at your advanced options again
6. rejoice!

Re:One step forward... (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325045)

Doesn't do jack with 1.0.5; absolutely nothing. That was the last version of Firefox I used and I was given that exact tip in a previous Firefox thread.

So no, you're not really following the completely stopping new windows part, cause it didn't work, websites could still open new windows on me instead of them being tabs.

Re:One step forward... (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324790)

I can (and often do) use the same browser window from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. If that isn't stability, then I don't know what is. And yes, I do have loads of extensions.

Not unless (2, Insightful)

dook43 (660162) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324721)

the DOM magically becomes the same as MSIE's.

Not unless XML Islands are suddenly implemented.

Re:Not unless (2, Insightful)

MemeRot (80975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325001)

XML data islands were really a pretty cool technology. Much more straightforward than writing Javascript to do XMLHttp requests to the server for the XML and then parsing it into HTML. Clean, simple, and unfortunately proprietary.

Firefox was a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324730)

It looks like firefox has peaked. It did show a lot of people that their is room for an alternate browser. Now that Apple and Windows are now going after the the same market (Intel chip users), now might be a good time to switch to check out Safari. Safari doesn't have the bloat that Firefox has and has a growing market share.

Looks like Steve is about to hit yet another homerun.

Re:Firefox was a great idea. (1)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324865)

Yes but Safari dosen't run on Windows, and probably never will... people don't want to reboot in to MacOS just to browse the web.

Re:Firefox was a great idea. (0, Offtopic)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324973)

Safari a replacement for FF? I don't think so. The second I got my mac, I loaded up Safari, expecting some revolution in browsing, a high quality app like GarageBand or something. Sure, it's better than IE, but its meh. First thing I did was download FF (which I then used to download X11 and all that fine stuff.) Safari doesn't support all the cool extensions FF has, like adblock and gmail notifier and slashfix (haha jk about that last one.)

Safari is like, a lite weight browser, it just doesn't feel as good as FF. Oh and the combined stop/refresh button sucks. What the fuck. All the buttons are little pods, which goes against Apple's own HID standards (every button should have a distinct shape)

European Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324741)

From the article:
"In fact, in the European Union they frown on the use of JavaScript (define) because it's not accessible"

Living in the EU, this sounds like really good news :-). Too bad I haven't noticed anything about this, with even government sites using rediculous amounts of javascript.

Re:European Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324800)

How is borkscript not accessible?

SCO (0, Flamebait)

wimp_org (896474) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324743)


I think SCO is now looking through their SVR5 versions to see if they can somehow link this publicly released code to there existing case.

Sources anyone? (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324747)

In fact, in the European Union they frown on the use of JavaScript

Whence was this bollocks dragged?

OMG (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324753)

They stole this code from SCO. You owe $699 per processor, CSTBs!

I doubt it (1, Redundant)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324756)

Really, if you want firefox to eventually gain more than a marginal acceptance rate, it has to be miles betters than IE and it has to be brought to the attention of the public at large. The spead firefox campaign was a start, but only a start.

To many people who are only casual users of computers still consider firefox a bad Clint Eastwood movie and equate IE (and it's little icon) as THE internet.

Dumb, but not everybody is as smart as us.

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324923)

By us you're referring to the slashdot community at large? If not everybody is at least that smart, I'm afraid, very afraid.

But why did they do this? (1)

theGeekDude (905574) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324764)

I am sure IBM didnt donate this code out of gratitude to firefox developers. How does this move help IBM in any way?

Re:But why did they do this? (3, Insightful)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324831)

Well, IBM uses a lot of OSS software on their servers and various other solutions. Most of the code is GPL'd, so the have to return the source. So IBM gets to use a lot of free stuff, make it better, gives back to the community, and still makes their share holders happy. It seems to be exactl what Slashdot wants.

Re:But why did they do this? (2, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324979)

Look at the fact that IBM is one of the biggest vendors of Linux computers/servers in the world, if not the largest outright. If Linux runs on OSS primarily, then IBM has everything to gain by freely giving code to a project that can help improve the quality of the OS they ship their next systems with.

Even if it's only one program out of a hundred, IBM has nothing to lose by helping the projects that help their systems.

Re:But why did they do this? (5, Interesting)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325044)

My bet is that IBM is still dreaming of a day where the OS is irrelevent, since all your apps are Java based (perhaps even XUL based) and accessable through a standards compliant browser. IBM has a lot of expertise in this area, and stands to make a really nice chunk of change if customers migrate to this way of getting thier apps.

If Firefox gets above 10% marketshare and stays there, IBM should be able to do real damage to the competition by luring thier customers to more open solutions on the Firefox platform and marketing them as liberation from vendor lock in.

I'd buy into that, myself.

Soko

Flash, MTASC, and ActionStep (5, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324788)

Yup, I know, the Flash player isn't open source. But there's an open source compiler, MTASC [mtasc.org] (*), and with ActionStep [sourceforge.net] , there's a rapidly growing (BSD licensed!) open source component library.

All sorts of nifty open source things are happening with Flash these days; you can track that sort of thing on OSFlash [osflash.org] .

(*) Written in Ocaml, how cool is that? (**)
(**) Very.

you would think that but you'd be wrong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324797)

accessibility is a wonderful buzzword to stick on your program. its like saying KDE is 'user friendly'.

actually being accesible and user friendly, thats a whole nother ball game, one that microsoft has been winning for a long time.

accessibility needs to get low level with the hardware. something that is best served by having a stable consistent API to access that hardware. something that linux has never had
and probably never will have because its never
been a priority of the people that lead it.

there is no business logic for an accessibility
company to port their software to the 12 flavors
of linux, their various /dev versions, their inabiltiy to get sound working right (even by someone who has done low level unix programming like JWZ), which would take weeks of time and thousands of dollars of labor, when they can just write it once for windows and maybe macintosh.

it would be not only a waste of their time and money, and possibly endanger their business which i cant imagine is all that stable to begin with, but it would be a disservice to the users.

IBM == Good code. (5, Insightful)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324799)

Usually IBM has got good code, so there is hope that this will make a better browser. Certainly, it will be a great merit for firefox. Branding IBM code is a quality sign in my eyes, and might lead to wider acceptance of Firefox, as IBM seems to have noticed the browser.

Re:IBM == Good code. (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324887)

I'm curious on what possible motives IBM would have for doing this. I mean, they're a business, there to make money and all. How does this help them in the short or long run?

Anyone? Bueller? /no I didn't rtfa

Re:IBM == Good code. (4, Insightful)

First Person (51018) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324982)

I'm curious on what possible motives IBM would have for doing this. I mean, they're a business, there to make money and all. How does this help them in the short or long run?

This is a maneuver against Microsoft. IE gives Microsoft considerable influence over application creation and hosting tools. By keeping the browser independent, IBM can push Web Sphere and other tools more effectively. The Fortune 500 is the target, fortunately, we can all benefit from their contribution.

As you've guessed, IBM's promotion of open source is not altruistic.

Re:IBM == Good code. (3, Insightful)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324997)

I'm curious on what possible motives IBM would have for doing this. I mean, they're a business, there to make money and all. How does this help them in the short or long run?

A universal client for their dhtml applications? That is my guess

Firefox works on many OSes, which is their strength. As more and mroe is moving to the web platform, IBM sees this as a easy way to strengthen their position in the web-app market.

It's all about security for me (-1, Offtopic)

objeck (890008) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324815)

I stopped using IE many moons ago for one reason... security. It's the same reason why I use FireFox at work and run Safari at home. As far as features go I like tab browrsing etc. but I don't feel safe running IE on Windows.

Dumb & Dumber (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324816)

I would think this could open some doors for Firefox to replace IE in many Windows environments.

Why on Earth would you think that? Have you heard anyone shouting for RIA support. I'd never even heard of RIA, prior to this article and I definitely haven't missed it.

MS IE maintains it's stonghold because most websites are built for it specifically. Additionally, many many applications are build for IE exclusively.

Firefox is not being held back by the lack of RIA. It is being held back by the sheer dominance of IE and that dominance continues to grow. While the community pats themselves on the back and congratulates themselves about 80 million downloads, they turn a blind eye to the fact that there have been 10 releases so there are actually only 10 million copies of Firefox in use. the other 70 million have been overwritten by newer releases.

What about... (2, Funny)

thatedeguy (896452) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324822)

ActiveX. It's great that FireFox gets a little added functionality, but I've spoken with many IT people that cannot implement FireFox into their network for the simple reason that they need to have ActiveX fuctionality. If we could get that addon(or maybe it exists?) that would be spectacular for FireFox and it's spread.

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324858)

there's already an activeX plugin out there...

Re:What about... (3, Informative)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325055)

There is a plugin (http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm [www.iol.ie] ) for Firefox that allows you to run ActiveX controls, but that doesn't solve the problem. Most sites that use ActiveX also heavily use IE only scripting objects. As such, they still won't run even if you have ActiveX support in Firefox.

professional journalism - perfect spelling (1)

void*p (899835) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324845)

It's "accessibility", with an "i". But I guess news like this happens too fast to spell check.

Anyone have a non-buzzword version? (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324855)

Does anyone have a version of this article that isn't a vague promise that several buzzwords now have more to do with each other than ever?

I would expect this code actually does something, but the article is so vague I'm not really sure what. What's an example of something that does not work now that will work after this code is integrated and released?

(Preferably from someone who actually knows; I could make stuff up based on the article too, like this: "Before, if you set the ALT attribute on a dynamically-generated IMG tag, the screen-readers couldn't pick it up. Now they can." But I'm not sure if that's what they mean; that's just my plausible interpretation of the buzzword soup that I'm not very confident in, as I would have thought that works fine now....)

Improved developer documentation... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324859)

While this doesn't necessary concern Firefox itself, I would like to comment on embedding Gecko. For the past week or so I have been attempting to embed Gecko into a proprietary C++ graphical user interface toolkit. So far I have found it quite difficult.

The existing documentation is either extremely out of date (ie. 2002 or earlier), or partially complete. Some of the documentation contains old names for various XPCOM interfaces. While the various embedding examples are a start, they are very poorly commented and as such are quite useless.

Now, I realize that Gecko is a very complex piece of software, but in order for it to become widely accepted there needs to be many pieces of software which use it. But as of this time it is quite difficult for a developer to quickly embed Gecko within an existing application. That may very well be because there is a complete lack of documentation describing how to do so.

The path to more users is more products. The path to more products is easier development. And easier development is often due to accessible, correct and descriptive documentation. So please, if there is someone reading this who has the knowledge and resources, write us developers a decent guide on embedding Gecko.

Re:Improved developer documentation... (1)

rjw57 (532004) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324940)

http://lxr.mozilla.org/seamonkey/source/embedding/ [mozilla.org]

Use the source luke. Examples of Gecko embedded in Gtk, Win32, Cocoa on OS X and lots more. Even OS/2.

Re:Improved developer documentation... (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325041)

Yes, I'm well aware of the examples. That is what I've been using so far.

But now read from my previous post:
While the various embedding examples are a start, they are very poorly commented and as such are quite useless.

They're better than nothing, but they're still not enough. Myself and many other developers don't have time to sift through numerous examples for platforms we are not necessarily experienced with. Maybe an unemployed university student has time to play with such examples that lack documentation. Professional developers do not.

Like I mentioned before, the examples need to be very well commented, and must be accompanied by up-to-date and usable design docs. Sure, that takes effort, but it is the key to widespread adoption of Gecko.

Re:Improved developer documentation... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325035)

Without telling you how to do your job, have you considered KHTML as an alternative? If you're using C++ it's worth looking at, and the developers reputedly put a lot of effort into code clarity and documentation even at the expense of getting features quickly.

RIA? (3, Funny)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324864)

stop making up acronyms for every stupid little thing (ESLT).

Re:RIA? (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324994)

You know, there is a tendency to make TLA's (three letter acronyms) because apparently it ICE's (increases communication efficiency). This habit can be traced back to the 30's and FDR's alphabet soup. It's generally a SAH (silly American Habit) however it's catching on throughout the RoW (rest of the world).

The problem with TLA's is that they only ICC when everyone KTA (knows the acronym).

      Even worse, TLA's are now BHAFA's (big huge ass fucking acronyms), not just TLA's.

      I had a great pathology teacher. He would instantly fail any student who used an abbreviation or an acronym in his course. While lots of students complained, I secretly agreed with this guy. I also agree with you. People use acronyms to try to look smart, when actually they make you look silly. Like anything else, there's a time and a place for them.

      We now return to your regular programming...

This is great (2, Insightful)

veganopolis (630667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324878)

AJAX has opened many doors for me, and this addition will help me rule the world. To all those who oppose.... hmmmm well....

but seriously, keep buying IBM and support OSS.

Re:This is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324918)

Sounds like YOU'RE using AJAX for the purposes of EVIL [devx.com] ! Good on you!

Re:This is great (1)

veganopolis (630667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325017)

is there any other way? lol

"Optimized for IE" (4, Interesting)

pommaq (527441) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324892)

I'd certainly like for it to open doors but features like these won't really matter unless IE pick up on them, too. The sad reality is that most sites need to work 100% with IE and the attitude towards Firefox/Safari is "if the site's legible, then it's ok". Maybe it can get some headway in some specialized areas, libraries or job centers or some other place where accessibility is a real priority, I don't know. I do however know that the one and only thing that will help Firefox dethrone IE is browser stats. It needs to hit some serious percentage. Only then will people stop "optimizing" for IE and start building their HTML according to standards.

Great job on the DHTML patch, though! This sort of thing is why I use Firefox :)

ActiveX Rulez (-1, Troll)

mpapet (761907) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324895)

Who needs this firefox RIA thing? IE works great.

Maybe a /.'er can tell me why my computer is busy when I'm not using it sometimes. Is it syncing to the atomic clock software program I got for free from the Internet? Is it updating that handy weatherbug?

Shouldn't CSS Be Enough? (3, Interesting)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324899)

I work with websites, but have never done anything specifically toward accessibility. Aren't large subsets of the CSS specifications just for those applications, though? CSS2 and CSS3 have large sections devoted to screen readers, plus most browsers have the capability to scale content to whatever size you want. I'd rather see the Firefox crew make sure they handle CSS3 while keeping the bloat out. It'll keep the browser fast while giving site and application developers the option of using those standards.

Really, can DHTML make it that much easier on someone with an impairment than a well designed site using CSS3?

MacOS8 (-1, Offtopic)

fracex (591622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324904)

Does this finally mean that we'll be able to install MacOS 8 on any Linux inabled computer?

I wanna be an Apple [yaromat.com]

Re:MacOS8 (0, Offtopic)

fracex (591622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324951)

P.S. I just woke up... don't make fun of my horrible spelling.

Magic Eight Ball says... (5, Funny)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324920)

From the Slashdot article:
OS24Ever [mailto] writes "... I would think this could open some doors for Firefox to replace IE in many Windows environments."

Yah, and with a nick like OS24Ever, this person is obviously the perfect choice for making predictions about the acceptability and potential for success of a product.... ;-)

(Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'm a former OS/2 user and licensee myself. "Blue Spine" all the way, baby.)

I don't follow... (5, Interesting)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324941)

I would think this could open some doors for Firefox to replace IE in many Windows environments.

Firefox already adheres to standards better than IE, has a more rubust, and secure environment, and arguably provides a superior user experience to IE, and yet IE lives on... So why would some (arguably nice) DHTML addons make a difference?

I think the situation's kinda like this: Those who care, and/or are "in the know" are already using Firefox.

The rest of the users still left on IE either
  1. Don't care (lazyness, "not my pc", whatever)
  2. Are too intimidated by technology to go outside the little box they've created for themselves
  3. Think IE's still the better browser
I suspect the bulk of the switchers have already switched, and the rest either will not switch until either their OS of choice changes (OSX anyone?), or they are faced with a computer-oriented crime which makes them paranoid about using IE (be it identity theft, stolen cc info, whatever)

So while IBM's gift is a "nice to have", I don't see it making a huge difference in the lives of the average IE user. Not at the moment, at least.

OT: Site-by-site Javascript? (2, Interesting)

TheLetterPsy (792255) | more than 9 years ago | (#13324972)

Firefox allows site-by-site popup blocking/allowing, would it be too much of a stretch to have the same feature for Javascript?

From my experience, all the new 'pop-unders' that are experienced with Firefox are triggered by Javascript. Of course there are multiple sites that depend on Javascript for core functionality (Gmail, others). So it'd be nice to do a site-by-site feature so that it is easy to put, for example, webshots on the blacklist.

Asa, are you out there and browsing at at least a +2 level?

Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13324993)

You have every right to use whatever crappy software that you want, but why is it that you computer geeks feel the need to try and get everybody else to use the same software that you like?

what about WebAdapt2Me (2, Interesting)

msblack (191749) | more than 9 years ago | (#13325056)

Damn, IBM just sold our campus their WebAdapt2Me product which provides assistive technology for visually and motor impaired web surfers. It works only with MSIE.

The basic features of IBM WebAdapt2Me are: font size adjustment, web page magnification (125%, 150%, 175%, etc.) which magnifies the entire page, font selection (bold, inverse bold, font style), kerning (spacing between letters), leading (spacing between lines). These features go way beyond the MS magnifier functions. If true, this is fantastic news that IBM is dontaing the technology to Mozilla.
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