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Firefox 4 Will Push Edges of Browser Definition

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the all-kinds-of-fun-new-toys dept.

Mozilla 501

Chris Blanc writes "Mozilla Lab's push is to blur the edges of the browser, to make it both more tightly integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services. So extended, the browser becomes an even more powerful and pervasive platform for all kinds of applications. 'Beard wants the new online/offline, browser/service to be more intelligent on behalf of its users. Early examples of this intelligence include the "awesome bar," which is what Mozilla calls the new smart address bar in Firefox 3. It offers users smart URL suggestions as they type based on Web searches and their prior Web browsing history. He's looking to extend on this with a "linguistic user interface" that lets users type plain English commands into the browser bar. Beard pointed me towards Quicksilver and Enso as products he's cribbing from.'"

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501 comments

"Blur the edges of the browser" (5, Funny)

Raineer (1002750) | about 6 years ago | (#22897300)

Cleartype fonts will clear that right up.

Re:"Blur the edges of the browser" (-1, Flamebait)

raddan (519638) | about 6 years ago | (#22897546)

I'm looking forward to the inevitable Photoshop vs. GIMP flamefest on this one.

Re:"Blur the edges of the browser" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897818)

Why does firefox 2.0.0.13 under linux open new windows in tabs even though my prefs are set for open new windows in new windows? Am I the only one having this problem?

Re:"Blur the edges of the browser" (1, Redundant)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#22897558)

"Blur the edges of the browser"

Cleartype fonts will clear that right up.
That's just the text edges, what you really need is good antialiasing.

Some recommended commands (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897312)

Look

Look at rock

Pick up rock

Eat rock

I hope they implement this as plugins (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#22897318)

Because I would like my browser to interact with my machine as little as possible && and I am not at all into social networking.

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (5, Interesting)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22897374)

Ditto. Integration with the OS is the last thing I want. That's exactly what gets IE into so much trouble.

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#22897436)

But this is an Open Source Program not a Microsoft App. So it is good for you. Come on Drink the Koolaid. Just because my Integrating the browser with the OS for microsoft created a whole bunch of security conserns doesn't mean it will do the same with your Browser/OS.

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (5, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | about 6 years ago | (#22897442)

The summary does sound quite bad, but if you read the article, it sounds actually much better.

"At the moment, these are two separate projects Mozilla is running to push out the edges of the browser: Prism and Weave."

"Prism
Prism is Mozilla's shot at busting apps out of the browser. Part of the Prism project is making the browsing core available to apps developers so they can build products like Zimbra Desktop (review) that are essentially Web apps, but that don't look like it. "

"Weave
Weave extends the browser in the other direction: Not toward the desktop, but instead into the Internet. Mozilla wants an individual's browsing experience to stay with them no matter what machine they are on."

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (4, Insightful)

bkr1_2k (237627) | about 6 years ago | (#22897814)

"Weave extends the browser in the other direction: Not toward the desktop, but instead into the Internet. Mozilla wants an individual's browsing experience to stay with them no matter what machine they are on."

Screw that! My employer doesn't need to know I read slashfiction or what kind of porn I browse at home. Now, the porn I browse at work, that's different!

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (5, Funny)

iONiUM (530420) | about 6 years ago | (#22897580)

You're not the "average" user. You know how I know?
a) you're on slashdot
b) you used && in your comment, perhaps by mistake
c) "I am not at all into social networking."

On the plus side you definitely belong here!

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (1, Flamebait)

dedazo (737510) | about 6 years ago | (#22897690)

Cool, then the Firefox developers will be able to blame not just memory leaks but everything on plugins. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Personally I'll wait to see if Firefox3 doesn't consume 700MB of memory after being open for three days before I think about buying into the idea that the Mozilla foundation should be pushing any envelopes.

Re:I hope they implement this as plugins (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#22897890)

Since you can save your session, is there really any reason to be keeping your browser open for 3 days. Granted, I also keep my browser window open for days on end, but I rarely see it go past 150M of memory usage. I suspect it's probably some extension you are running that is consuming all the memory.

Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897320)

If they're going to do that, I hope they build it on this [slashdot.org]. Although, at what point does it cease to be a web browser and turn into a virtual operating system? Or worse, emacs.

is it just me? (5, Insightful)

Ecobady (1253790) | about 6 years ago | (#22897328)

I really dont want mozilla suggesting anything in my address bar

Re:is it just me? (4, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | about 6 years ago | (#22897394)

Usually these features can be disabled quite easily from the about:config.

Re:is it just me? (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#22897488)

Oh yea it is easy type about:config (like that is a common way to change preferences in application of the 21 centory) Then hunt down for some feature name that is probable more reference to a Varable Name and less of what it actually does and then figure out what the value should be... A piece of Cake, I have no Idea why people say Open Source Software is hard to use.

Re:is it just me? (2, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22897650)

Re:is it just me? (4, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 6 years ago | (#22897866)

Oh, yeah, sure. I'm going to go and... read, whatchamacallit .. *instructions about how to do the thing that I want to do.

Not likely. Firefox doesn't behave how I like by default because it's, um, open source software I guess.

-PseudoJello

Re:is it just me? (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 6 years ago | (#22897872)

gp is right...You shouldn't have to look up instructions on how to change a basic setting. It irritates the hell out of me when FF does crap like this. You can add an "Advanced Configuration Options" button that will provide this sort of functionality without forcing the user to remember a piece of command syntax.

Re:is it just me? (3, Insightful)

g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) | about 6 years ago | (#22897658)

Actually, in this case they can't. I personally HATE the new "awesomebar", it really sucks. Luckily, there is a way out [mozilla.org].

I'm really hoping Mozilla does not take Firefox in the direction of "wow new features!" that actually reduce functionality.

Re:is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897870)

Who came up with that horrible idea, anyway?

Re:is it just me? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#22897798)

Firefox 2, and Safari both do this to different extents now.

If you type in a URL you have already visited up comes a list, including websites from your bookamrks(safari), it is useful though some of the other apps just sound dangerous.

Weave while a good idea, means a central server somewhere which will either be loaded with adds(google or MSFt hosting it?) or you hosting it and that means configuring a server yourself.

Uncessary Complexity (1)

ximor_iksivich (666068) | about 6 years ago | (#22897332)

Why would a browser need to be a feature monster? Its becoming like the cellphones, too much unnecessary bloat. At least I hope there is an easy way to turn the *features* off. -- Hates the new address bar in firefox 3.

ooo, just what I wanted for Christmas ... (1)

daveime (1253762) | about 6 years ago | (#22897338)

Yet another "toolbar" cluttering up my window, making my browsing even more "enveloped", while at the same time collecting my browsing habits and selling the data to the highest bidder.

AwesomeBar (1)

zulater (635326) | about 6 years ago | (#22897340)

I vote we tag this awesome article "AWESOMEBAR"

Re:AwesomeBar (4, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#22897610)

I vote we tag this awesome article "AWESOMEBAR"
Until now, I just thought the AwesomeBar was what Chuck Norris ate for breakfast!

Re:AwesomeBar (1)

techpawn (969834) | about 6 years ago | (#22897816)

I just thought the AwesomeBar was what Chuck Norris ate for breakfast!
What? No! He eats rusty nails and spits out brand new staples...

Wow (0)

Changa_MC (827317) | about 6 years ago | (#22897342)

More integrated into the OS!1!!!
More integrated into the interwebs!1!

May I be the first to say... Eww.

I didn't RTFA, so hopefully the summary is wrong.

Isn't this what Microsoft got flamed and sued for? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 years ago | (#22897682)

More integrated into the OS!1!!!
More integrated into the interwebs!1!

May I be the first to say... Eww.


I seem to recall Microsoft losing an antitrust suit over this very issue.

IMHO this is a big step backward. I like my OS and applications to be compartmented. It helps with both security and portability across platforms.

Active Desktop? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#22897344)

Didn't we try this 10 years ago, and it sucked? I want more separation between my browser and OS, not less.

Re:Active Desktop? (2, Insightful)

michaelggreer (612022) | about 6 years ago | (#22897892)

Agreed. And my least favorite feature of FF3? That "smart" toolbar, that refuses to listen to what I'm typing in preference to its own idea of what i want. No thanks.

This is all wrong!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897348)

Surely Firefox is going in the wrong direction! IMHO, blurring the edges of the browser should be the job of the Window Manager.

I'll get my coat..

Beard... (4, Funny)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | about 6 years ago | (#22897350)

From his picture in TFA, Chris Beard, VP of Labs for Mozilla, has no beard, despite his high-up position within the open source movement.

Does open source play by ZZ-top rules now?

Can I get a simple browser, please? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897358)

Oh no, one more "intelligent" application!

I am already pissed off by Firefox 2 for using the same process to view multiple pages (with all the problems of cross-window data exchange).

Why can't a browser be just "a browser"????

Igor

Firefox 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897386)

Let's just stick to getting Firefox 3 released, okay?

Sounds Scarry. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#22897392)

Even though this is Open Source It sounds to Scarry.
We origionally used firefox because it was a fast simple browser without all the overhead of Mozilla/Netscape. It seems like it is going back into that direction again. Why because once it got popular people began asking oh One more thing. The firefox team needs to learn to say NO to feature requests and Yes to fixing bugs and not finding excuses not to fix them.

Re:Sounds Scarry. (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 years ago | (#22897490)

At this point, I'd take a browser with half the awesome and none of the bloat.

Maybe FireFox needs a "lite" version.

Re:Sounds Scarry. (3, Insightful)

Xarius (691264) | about 6 years ago | (#22897656)

Maybe FireFox needs a "lite" version.

Heh, oddly enough FireFox started out as a "lite" version of the original Mozilla.

Re:Sounds Scarry. (1)

PoliTech (998983) | about 6 years ago | (#22897712)

There is a "lite" version ... Opera. [opera.com] Even that's getting a bit bloaty these days, (Bitorrent client built in? Why?)

Seriously, who in their right mind wants their intertube browser to be their OS shell? Talk about drive-by downloads. I be "driving by" this one that's for sure.

What is Awesome in that bar? (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 6 years ago | (#22897834)

Am I the only one that finds the awesome bar very counter-productive?

In firefox 2, opera and others I just type the first two or three letters of the site I want to visit (like sl for slashdot or gm for gmail) and firefox would show me sites that start with such names, generally taking me to slashdot homepage. However, with this new "awesome" address bar, it tries (and fails) to guess which site am I looking for, therefore I have to type more than three letters and often browse through the list of suggested web sites (usually, it tries to take me to my slashdot user page, instead of the homepage).

Is there a way to turn of that "awesomeness" and leave it as it was before?

Re:Sounds Scarry. (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 6 years ago | (#22897888)

Maybe FireFox needs a "lite" version.

The funny thing is, that Firefox was supposed to be the lite version of the "bloated" Mozilla suite, and extensions were supposed to be used sepparately by peple who wanted to add some functionality. In theory very good, in practice, the functionality and efficiency of loosely coupled extensions can not compare to the efficiency of a "total" well engineered software such as Opera or (please don't kill me) IE 7 (by the way, I *hate* the darn IE7 and its non-compliance to CSS... why is it that all the stylesheets I use *must* have some patch to be used in IE7 while Opera, Firefox and others render them beautifuly?).

Nothing to do with feature request (1)

microbee (682094) | about 6 years ago | (#22897596)

When something gets popular it wants to take over more of the market share and expand into other segments.

It's not difference if it's firefox or IE, Mozilla or Microsoft.

NOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897398)

It will only eat up 6 gigs of ram after running for 10 minutes. Someone stole my fucking roller blade invention

IE 4.0 Lives in Mozilla... (1)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#22897402)

Wow, FireFox jumps the shark...

time to check out Opera.

Re:IE 4.0 Lives in Mozilla... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897636)

I have, and it's poo.

Re:IE 4.0 Lives in Mozilla... (3, Insightful)

Raineer (1002750) | about 6 years ago | (#22897660)

I tend to agree. I think this is fine for the crowd that knows nothing about computers and WANTS to know nothing about computers. You doubleclick one icon and it does everything, they can't tell it's laggy and they don't care.

Techies need techy programs, quick/fast/onlywhatyouneed. For some reason FF3 (which I have been impressed with up until now) has seemed to lag quite a bit lately. I'm trying out Opera 9.5 (my 3rd go at their beta) and Webkit (forced to use windows here, webkit is my choice on OSX). Both have quite a bit of merit.

Oh please DON'T (4, Insightful)

snarfies (115214) | about 6 years ago | (#22897414)

I don't WANT the edges pushed. I just want a browser, really. I just want to look at web pages, maybe even post to the occasional online forum (like Slashdot). I don't want a huge bloated thing that will suck up all my system resources and take two minutes to fire up. I just want a simple, standard-compliant, browser. Please, just let Firefox be that and make a new program to do all that other crap.

Seriously (4, Funny)

joppinkaru (1254112) | about 6 years ago | (#22897478)

I don't WANT the edges pushed. I just want a browser, really. I just want to look at web pages, maybe even post to the occasional online forum (like Slashdot). I don't want a huge bloated thing that will suck up all my system resources and take two minutes to fire up. I just want a simple, standard-compliant, browser. Please, just let Firefox be that and make a new program to do all that other crap.
What other Windows Vista features can I expect in Firefox 4?

Re:Oh please DON'T (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22897554)

Or make whatever improvements might be necessary to have these features be plugins rather than part of the browser itself. Honestly, I think they need to make everything into a plugin (tabbed browsing, spell check, etc. and just include the most popular in the default install.

Re:Oh please DON'T (2, Interesting)

pohl (872) | about 6 years ago | (#22897792)

No kidding. This is the second really alarming thing [mozilla.com] I've read from the FF crew today. It's almost as if they've become disheartened by the pace set by Opera and WebKit, and are engaging in random attention-seeking behaviours.

Translation (3, Insightful)

Xeth (614132) | about 6 years ago | (#22897418)

We're not going to fix the memory leaks.

(Seriously though, I love Firefox. But please remember why it was spun-off from Mozilla in the first place...)

I hope they have plans to implement embedded video (1)

Sark666 (756464) | about 6 years ago | (#22897426)

Opera now has this (i forget the specifics, it's part of html5 i think). I read an article last year saying it'll be in opera and ff. It's in opera's latest, but afaik, it's not in ff3. Is this on the horizon for ff4?

A bold new future (1)

HitScan (180399) | about 6 years ago | (#22897434)

It offers users smart URL suggestions as they type based on Web searches and their prior Web browsing history.


It's the future! Just imagine what it will be like to browse the web in the year 2000!

Of course, there's still the chance that it still won't have autocomplete back. :/

IE (1)

ifranto (851514) | about 6 years ago | (#22897448)

Didn't M$ get in trouble with the justice department because their browser was tied in to the OS too closely?

Re:IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897578)

That's because they were selling the OS, and had a monopoly, and it was an unfair business practice.

Frightful? (4, Insightful)

Gay for Linux (942545) | about 6 years ago | (#22897456)

Anyone else find the security aspect of this a bit frightful? They want a database which will track our browsing habits, constant updates to the Mozilla servers, and integration with the OS?

Firefox starts to sound like the next big brother.

Re:Frightful? (3, Informative)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#22897572)

Actually the first thing that I thought after reading the summary was that FF4 was going to be Internet Explorer.

I think everyone else hit the nail on the head. We originally used Phoenix because it WASN'T these things. It was a light, simple, fast, usable browser. Now they're talking about integrating it with the OS ... isn't that something we've been complaining about with regards to IE for the last 10 years ?

The "awesome bar" (1)

daveime (1253762) | about 6 years ago | (#22897462)

Install "awesome bar" today. You can see how much memory Firefox is leaking in real time, AND share it with your friends on your favourite social network ;-)

smart adress bar (1)

antikaos (1166401) | about 6 years ago | (#22897472)

I use firefox 3 and the "awesome bar" isn't very awesome at all, I actually find it to be one of the biggest downsides, but I do like the idea of linguistic integration, I've always wanted to be able to just type what I want to know/find into the address bar.

Re:smart adress bar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897758)

I agree about the awesome bar being a pain. When I type an address I want simple auto-completion of the address I've started typing. Nice simple, reliable behaviour so that I know I can type the first few letters and it will give me the rest. This new 'intelligent' search of previous URLs I've visited gives me different results every time. If I start typing news.bbc.co.uk it gives me the URL of the last story I looked at on BBC news. I just want it to complete news.bbc.co.uk every time.

The awesome bar sounds like a good enhancement on paper, but I believe it's less rather than more usable than the simple behaviour.

Wrong direction (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22897480)

FF is shooting itself in the foot with this one. Just stick to getting those standards implemented while staying as small and responsive as possible.

Sounds like an OS (2, Funny)

tknn (675865) | about 6 years ago | (#22897484)

So why don't they just break down and admit they are developing an OS that runs on top of other OSes?

I'll be switching to Epiphany (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897496)

I have to worry that Firefox is making the same mistakes IE 5 and 6 did with "closer integration". On the upside, however, Epiphany using the WebKit engine seems to be coming along awesomely and now passes Acid3, so I think I've found my next browser...

Let me make sure I have this right... (1, Redundant)

msauve (701917) | about 6 years ago | (#22897522)

Microsoft integrating a browser with the OS = bad.

Mozilla integrating a browser with the OS = good.

I know /. loves to Microsoft bash, but this demands a loud "WTF?"

Re:Let me make sure I have this right... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22897732)

You haven't been reading the comments. I haven't seen anyone mention it in a good way yet (or neutral, for that matter).

Re:Let me make sure I have this right... (1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 6 years ago | (#22897760)

I don't know why you think this needs a "WTF", the reason most people are annoyed at what MS did was that the browser was integrated into the OS in a way that you just couldn't get it out, even if you really wanted to. On XP this also introduced a whole host of security issues (although this may have been fixed with Vista's sandbox but because I'm not even remotely interested in MS products I've not looked that up).

Firefox won't be integrated into any OS in the way that IE was, because you can uninstall it. Not only that I suspect that the integration won't be the team going "Oh, lets stick parts of this browser into the kernel..." I think they are going for a smoother transition from Firefox to OS to the point where at the user level you'd struggle to tell them apart - but I think that the actual OS will see a very clear divide.

Re:Let me make sure I have this right... (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#22897856)

I can understand people not reading the article but can't people even read the comments?

over half the people posting thinks this is a stupid idea in general, with maybe one or two good points about it.

Re:Let me make sure I have this right... (1)

agwis (690872) | about 6 years ago | (#22897860)

No it doesn't. Have you read all the previous comments before yours? One thing about /. readers, open source/fss zealots, linux users, etc. is that the majority are equally critical across the board.

I'm with the plenty of posters before you. I switched to FF to get away from IE and Netscape because of how bloated and integrated it was becoming. FF was awesome when it first came out. Now it seems like history shall repeat itself. Hopefully the FF developers are reading this and taking notes.

That's an awful leap to take in saying that /. readers will bash MS for something, and then praise open source for doing the same thing. I don't see that here, and can't think of anything before where that has occurred.

rewrite html first (2, Interesting)

spectro (80839) | about 6 years ago | (#22897526)

Instead of blurring and complicating all this even more, why not take a fresh look into HTML and how to create a new open markup language that allows for powerful and rich UIs instead of having to mess with HTML/XML/Javascript/Ajax/etc.

HTML and all the technology around it did its job. Now it is time to come up with something better.

One other Firefux Feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897528)

It will use up memory in record time, forcing someone to reboot within minutes.

Oh no, did Bill Gates write that? (1)

cyber1kenobi (666018) | about 6 years ago | (#22897532)

This sounds scarily just like IE and Win95 and the motives back then. I'm sure Billy G is jealous of Mark Zuckerberg and Brad Greenspan and sits at home at night poking needles in to doll and chanting curses at them. "Another idea I should have had!" Ahhh, The Road Ahead...

so predictable (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 6 years ago | (#22897542)

The software Luddites ran out in full force to declare that they hate features in their applications. Good for you guys, you can continue to use 1970s paradigms until the endtimes. Just stop acting like you somehow understand what other users want out of things. It gets old.

(and before you passionately explain to me the superiority of your opinion, note I will probably mercilessly mock you for being stupid)

Re:so predictable (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 6 years ago | (#22897674)

Not a luddite, more like a "who cares?" Zimbra is nothing more than an email / calendering client.. which is the same as Outlook or Evolution, and the other one talks to web services. OHhhhh!! Big deal.

So you end up with an email client that has a scripting language to talk to web services and can view web pages.

IE 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897570)

This sounds a lot like what IE 4 was marketing years ago.

Not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897586)

Wasn't IE's push to "blur the edges of the browser" the reason most of us started using Firefox in the first place?

Uhh...I got an idea (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 6 years ago | (#22897600)

You know...I see a lot of negativity in the comment section of this article. But I have an idea....Don't upgrade. it's not like there going to pull the plug on Firefox 2 or something. No one forces you to upgrade. Just keep what you have.

Yeah the update may be worse but that doesn't mean you have to ditch the browser as a whole. Hell I still run Firefox 2. I'm not worried about 3 yet. Version 2 does everything I need.

Project .hack anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897632)

Anyone else feel a faint connection to Altimit OS?

DO NOT WANT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22897638)

With the security history of this swiss-cheese bloatware (remember when Firefox was the "lite" and "secure" browser? I used to tell people that Firefox would be no more secure than IE and they laughed at me... apparently "open source" is some kind of magical security pixy dust), I'm gonna have to say NO to this.

Don't people realize the security house of cards we're building here? Insecure browser itself. Insecure code on both the server and running in the browser. Insecure designs. Too much complexity and too many layers (browser plugins? web services? Ajax? The average Web 2.0 app is basically written in 5-6 different languages from HTML to SQL to JSON to XML to JavaScript to Ruby to .......).

Disaster waiting to happen (though some could make the case that it's already a disaster).

SeaMonkey (5, Interesting)

DoktorSeven (628331) | about 6 years ago | (#22897648)

Odd that Firefox was spun off from Mozilla because Mozilla was too bloated and heavy, and now we're back around where Firefox is going to be (is?) the bloated one -- and the new Mozilla, SeaMonkey, is actually light and simple compared to Firefox.

So I've switched to SeaMonkey. So long, Firefox. I've used you since the early days when you were known as Phoenix. I shan't be using you any more, given the direction you're heading.
 

Privacy (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 6 years ago | (#22897670)

I don't mind the new features as they will make the lives of a lot of people easier who are casual users. I just hope they're modular/plugin type features that can be disabled so we can get the speed-demon performance of FF3 beta. Plus I honestly don't want someone who sits down at my workstation to start typing in something and have it suggest websites out of my history... what if I questionable websites? Will I have to log in to my own browser?

What I want in a browser (1)

Todd Fisher (680265) | about 6 years ago | (#22897726)

I'd like a browser that's smart enough to know that if a user (me) mistakenly enters .con instead of .com it doesn't display a "Page not found" but takes a wild gamble and resolves to the .com site.

Penultimate stage of the browser life cycle (5, Informative)

Bovius (1243040) | about 6 years ago | (#22897730)

Lemme break it down for you:
  • Gestation: Initial release of totally awesome browser is developed.
  • Infancy: A few people start using the browser and see how totally awesome it is. Word spreads.
  • Childhood: User base grows explosively. People start complaining that totally awesome browser doesn't have feature X.
  • Adolescence: More and more features get tacked on to browser. Side effects of bloat become noticable. Users start to ask for a lite version.
  • Maturity: Browser starts performing tasks entirely unrelated to web browsing. Browser becomes hefty and clumsy (FireFox is somewhere in this stage)
  • Entrenchment: Browser has enough of a user base to establish its own nonstandard rules for web content, essentially branching the web. Alienation and hostility ensue.
  • Death:: User base dwindles becuase the browser doesn't play nice with the rest of the world anymore.
Those of us who think the new vision is a bad thing aren't necessarily curmudgeons who don't want anything to change. We know a lot of very specific things about how we want to interact with a computer, and we don't want the same organization that produces our web browser of choice to dictate the rest of that interaction. It doesn't really matter whether they get it right or not.

Firefox development should fork (5, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about 6 years ago | (#22897736)

The whole original premise of Firefox was that it was lightweight, fast, and actually worked. Because of this, I think they should keep the firefox brand as-is... make it smaller, faster and more lightweight, but no reason to go fill it up with these features.

I think they should fork development into a new product. Basically going in the direction that they are discussing with version 4. These features look like they could be a great idea. A lot of really progressive and great things look stupid on paper, but once you see them and use them, they can surprise you, at times.

Personally, I think they need to make firefox even moreminimalistic. Something that will have the absolute smallest memory footprint after being launched and be snappy and responsive. Modern websites have a TON of code ([x]html/css/javascript) and graphics so it's understandable that the footprint would grow when you have 30 tabs open; but on slower hardware such as the eeepc or older laptops, I'd like the browser to not impact the system quite as much in the memory department.

If the smart address bar works as advertised... (1)

Y.A.A.P. (1252040) | about 6 years ago | (#22897768)

Then I'm all for that. If this can miraculously find what I'm actually looking for (unlike the mountains of garbage that I have to sift through when I put a query into a search engine these days), then I would love this thing enough to actually kill for it (not kidding or exaggerating in any way).

Somehow, I doubt that it's going to live up to that, however.

The rest of it just sounds like bloatware creeping into an otherwise good browser.

Maybe they should shoot for more useful goals. Things like 100% Acid3 score, selective javascript control, and sandboxing Flash or other resource-intensive web technologies.

Nothing to do with $65 mill from Google? (1)

f0dder (570496) | about 6 years ago | (#22897804)

This to me sounds suspiciously a lot like something Google would want to be made popular. If it works it pretty much sidelines any advantage of having an OS.

Weave is a good idea, but dangerous (5, Interesting)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 6 years ago | (#22897850)

I like the idea of Weave. I log into 3 different Firefox browsers each day. None have the same bookmarks or history. My last attempt at synchronizing them over the internet resulted in Google deleting the vast majority of my bookmarks. I wasn't about to try that again. That said, I really don't want my cookies, passwords or favorites ending up on a desktop in Thailand unauthorized, for any reason whatsoever.

I also like Prism. I know people like to complain about the bloat of Firefox. It's not like FF has been getting any slower. In fact, through the last 3 beta versions of FF3, it's been getting faster, and the memory usage has actually gone down. What's the big deal?

The primary roadblock at this point is network access. Sometimes I don't have network access on my MacBook, depending where I am (Alaska comes to mind). The ability to continue working on web-based applications, absent of a network, is tantalizing, to say the least. Imagine writing a whole bunch of emails on Gmail, and synchronizing once you get network access. (Like all the stability of Outlook (ha!) and all the continuous service updates of Gmail, rolled into one.)

"more tightly integrated" (3, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | about 6 years ago | (#22897854)

Mozilla Lab's push is to blur the edges of the browser, to make it both more tightly integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services.

So what they're saying is, "We're cloning internet explorer"?

Doesn't Firefox already use up enough memory? Currently Firefox is running on my computer using up nearly 800MB of RAM. I have 3 tabs open and none of them are doing anything intense. I'm glad my computer has 2 gigs of RAM but I bought that for Photoshop not Firefox...

Hold on... (2, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 years ago | (#22897862)

Firefox is free open source software. Anyone could make a spin-off project in 5 minutes, plus the old source will still be there. What's the issue? If the new Firefox is bloated in the opinion of an at all significant number of people, a Firefox Lite project will spring up in about 3 seconds.

I'd tag this article "dontpanic," but I don't think there is such a tag, plus then I'd be encouraging the use of tags, which are distractingly humorous web-toys at best.
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