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Mozilla's Year In Review For 2003 192

Posted by simoniker
from the stomp-stomp-stomp dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Like last year, MozillaZine has published a review of Mozilla's world in 2003. Obviously, the year was dominated by AOL's decision to murder Netscape (though various acts of 'brand necrophilia' will ensure that the Netscape name lives on in one form or another). This, combined with Mozilla Firebird's and Mozilla Thunderbird's steady progress towards replacing the Mozilla suite, made 2003 very much a transitional year for the open source project. Other memories to tell your grandchildren include mozilla.org's fifth birthday, the new roadmap, the Firebird name debate and a new chapter being added to The Book of Mozilla."
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Mozilla's Year In Review For 2003

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  • by bc90021 (43730) * <<ten.12009cb> <ta> <12009cb>> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:38AM (#7852124) Homepage
    ...I must say that I am looking forward to 2004! As time goes on, their products get better and better, and if being able to convince my cow orkers to use Mozilla is any indication, MS could learn a thing or two about what to put in a free browser. ;)
    • by blurfus (606535) <{slashdot} {at} {blurfus.com}> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:54AM (#7852170) Homepage Journal
      ...and if being able to convince my cow orkers to use Mozilla is any indication...

      It must be hard for all Cow orkers of the world to not have a choice of cow orking tool... ;)

      Happy New Year!

      P.S. Firebird Rocks...!

    • I agree entirely. Opera used to be the only browser I could cope with and I wanted something open source. I was not impressed with mozilla (after spending 2 hours compiling it), but firebird really sets the bar for browsers now and has done everything right that mozilla has done wrong.

      I'm not saying that Mozilla is a bad browser, I suppose it's a matter of taste.
    • Myself, I still prefer Opera. I guess I've gotten used to it's quirks... BTW, my favorite browsers:
      1. Opera 7.2x
      2. Firebird 0.6/7
      3. MSIE 6.0
      4. Mozilla 1.5/6a

      Firebird is very promising, and it'll make a good drop-in replacement for IE. I use Thunderbird as my mail client (hint to Opera: innovation's good, but not when it's a synonym for shitting - eliminate M2) - it's got great spam filtering (it gets the occasional false positive, but it's learning - bayesian filters will take over the world).
    • This year was a big year for Mozilla. For years it was behind internet Explorer. But this year, with Firebird and Epiphany (wich is the one browser I was searching for!) they actually outperformed IE by far. All the great stuff happends now somewhere else and with MS killing free IE Updates and IE on the Mac I am very confident that soon Mozilla and alikes will be on every platform. I'm still sad that Apple didn't go for a geckobased solution. But, heck, Safari still rocks.

      cu,
      Lispy
  • Although... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ChocolateCheeseCake (728330) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:39AM (#7852130)
    The person simoniker class the whole episode as "Netscape murdered by AOL", the fact remains that the sooner Mozilla moves away from AOL and towards being a non-profit organisation that is user centric rather than buzz word centric the better. The unfortunate thing is that there is now a lack of developers but hopefully with the new political structure, more developers can be encouraged to help out with the same vigor and determination ones sees in other projects, for example, FreeBSD or the Linux kernel. Firebird is a nice browser and hopefully they will start using native widgets rather than the ugly GTK like widgets being used now. With that being said, one could quesiton whether Mozilla has a relevance outside developing a rendering engine. GNOME has standardised on Epiphany for the browser and Evolution for the eMail/Contact manager, so where does the Mozilla foundation fit in. In some ways, this will be good. If they can instead concerntrate on the guts and gore and let the various projects like kmeleon, Epiphany and Camino concerntrate on the native front end, hopefully development will pick up and some of those really old render bugs in Mozilla's bugzilla are fixed.
    • Re:Although... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:07AM (#7852204)
      > hopefully they will start using native widgets rather than the ugly GTK like widgets being used now.

      Then you lose cross-platform consistency and the ability to use themes with custom widgets. I like being able to use the same standards-compliant browser that looks and behaves the same on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

      Check out themes.mozdev.org, or -- if you know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, then you can learn XUL and build your own.

      I like the browser/email combo, use Moz 1.5, and hope they'll continue to develop it. I'm not terribly interested in replacing one app with 4 (browser, email, HTML editor, IRC).
      • I think there is plans to still ship a whole suite of apps in one package, except now they'll really be separate apps. The distinction shouldn't get in the way of using it like you always have.

        Really, it will be much better.

      • Re:Although... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Feztaa (633745)
        Then you lose cross-platform consistency and the ability to use themes with custom widgets. I like being able to use the same standards-compliant browser that looks and behaves the same on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

        It's a tradeoff, and it all depends on whether or not your network is homogenous. For example, if all of your computers run windows, firebird using GTK probably sticks out like a sore thumb because it doesn't look consistent with the native widgets. Whereas if you have to switch between linu
    • Re:Although... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:18AM (#7852365) Homepage
      With that being said, one could quesiton whether Mozilla has a relevance outside developing a rendering engine. GNOME has standardised on Epiphany for the browser and Evolution for the eMail/Contact manager, so where does the Mozilla foundation.

      Keep in mind that `Gnome has standardized on' is not equivalent to `users will use.' I've used epiphany recently, and well, basically it sucks compared to firebird.

      I'm sure Gnome wants to have a `native' browser, just so there's something in the standard install, but really, epiphany has an incredibly long way to go before it's anywhere near as usable as firebird (and given the current religion at the Gnome project, they may never let it get there).
    • Re:Although... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swillden (191260) *

      The unfortunate thing is that there is now a lack of developers but hopefully with the new political structure, more developers can be encouraged to help out with the same vigor and determination ones sees in other projects, for example, FreeBSD or the Linux kernel.

      The problem with the historical lack of non-Netscape/AOL development in Mozilla is partly political, but I think the real reason was most definitely technical.

      There is an interesting phenomenon/problem that often arises with large object-ori

  • by GeckoFood (585211) <geckofood AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:41AM (#7852133) Journal

    As much as I like Mozilla, Mozilla does a miserable job rendering ./'s site. It worked great for a very long time, doing a better job than MSIE, but now what I get is digital peanut butter when I come to ./ with Mozilla. Sometimes, it just skips the articles and leaves a bunch of little buttons all over everywhere. Other times, everything gets rendered to the same line. Anyone else have the same problem?

    I have not tried the new Firebird on /. yet, maybe that'll fix whatever's broke?

    • by blurfus (606535) <{slashdot} {at} {blurfus.com}> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:02AM (#7852193) Homepage Journal
      I am using Firebird and see no probs with /.
      Just for the record, Firebird is the browser I use 99% of the time and there is not many sites that it cannot handle.

      Generally, if a site 'requires' IE, switching the agent in Firebird (via the Agent Switcher plug-in) does the job (tricking the site into believing you are using IE and serving the content). Firebird then renders the page correctly.

      When this does not work, then I use IE (which is the remaining 1% percent of the time that I don't use Firebird), very rare though...
    • There are many rendering problems with /. on my build of Firebird (0.7, Xfree 4.3), but I believe this has more to do with the fact that /.'s html is a hack on a hack on a hack.

      When they decide to bite the bullet and switch away from a table based layout to a CSS based one, rendering problems will disappear for everyone who's bothered updating their browser in the last 2 years.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      W3 validator [w3.org]

      'nuff said.
      (you may need to try a few times if the validator keeps reporting a 403)
    • by Tenebrious1 (530949) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:31AM (#7852858) Homepage
      My New Year's Resolution is to switch completely off MS products. After a month, MS still has not come up with a patch to fix the IE "double page scroll" bug (introduced in a critical security patch). Not being able to scroll down a page made reading /. a real pain in the ass.

      Yeah, I could replace the offending file myself, or use the PgUp/Dn keys, but really, a security patch for IE that breaks IE is too much.

      I've been using Mozilla Firebird about half the time, and IE the other half since it's just easier to keep using it after I've opened it to get to sites reqiring IE.

      But to hell with those sites. To hell with Microsoft. I'll be spending the rest of my holidays purging the last remnants of MS from my desktops and my laptop. I'd been straddling the fence for years... thanks Bill, you've made up my mind for me.

    • If you are using IE, you are running Mozilla on the wrong OS. What else do you expect from Microsoft? The latest and greatest Mozilla seems to run slow on XP and 2000. Older versions, like 1.3 or so run well on 2000, though the same is slowed on XP with all the updates. None of them run as well as Mozilla on a free OS. Even Konqueror does better than things crippled by Microsoft, though the version I use does not have tabs or many of the other great features of Mozilla.

      I'm using Mozilla 1.0 on Debian

    • I've seen this too, but I use several browsers (IE, Moz, FBird, and Safari) and it happens with ALL of them. I think it has more to do with Slashdot being served dynamically from many servers all at once, and if one lags too long you get a page with all the decorations and icons, but no content, usually hitting 'refresh' will fix things. I started noticing it about a month and a half ago.
    • You might like to try enabling Light mode in your user preferences [slashdot.org]. It removes a lot of the unnecessary graphics and doesn't seem to use nested tables for layout, but retains all the real content.

      Light mode looks just fine in the latest Mozilla [mozilla.org] browsers (both Seamonkey and Firebird). It also loads faster.

    • I noticed problems appeared after moving from 1.4 to 1.5
  • by Mmm coffee (679570) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:47AM (#7852145) Journal
    Switched completely to Linux a few months ago and Opera was the only killer app that I *HAD* to have through the switch. Mouse gestures, speed, well laid out keyboard shortcuts, etc. I'd go on but I'd be preaching to the choir.

    After reading a lot of Stallman's writings I decided to let go of even Opera and totally switch to Free software. I was very apprehensive because Opera was the second coming of Jesus as far as I was concerned.

    Went to Mozilla.org, Decided against getting the full fledged mozilla because I remembered it being bloated as all hell, got Firebird instead. Downloaded a ton of plugins, fixed everything to where it felt right.

    I'm a total convert. Firebird will kick oh so much ass by the time it hits 1.0. It's design is as simple as IE, which is the #1 reason people cite IE as their favorite browser. It's small, almost as fast as Opera, all the features that I loved in Opera are available through plugins, and all the features I didn't use aren't in Firebird because I didn't install them. I have since fallen in love with tabbed browsing. Used to think that browsing three or four sites at once was kinda stupid, but once I got used to tabs in Firebird I began to see myself doing the exact same thing. ;)

    The Mozilla project has come a VERY long ways since it first came to be. If you've tried Mozilla out earlier and were disappointed, get it now. Get Firebird. Get Thunderbird. Install plugins to your hearts content. You will be very well surprised.

    And hey, you'll be using Free software so that's a huge plus, in my eyes.
    • by thinkninja (606538) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:19AM (#7852234) Homepage Journal
      I've been using Firebird since 0.4 and I love it. However, no matter what I do or say I simply cannot get others to give it a try.

      They're quite prepared to install junk like bonzai buddy and various dancing things on their desktop but categorically refuse to try another browser. "I use Internet Explorer", they say and look at me like I just suggested they make love to the electric pencil sharpener.

      I've long since given up trying.
      • > They're quite prepared to install junk like bonzai buddy and various dancing things on their desktop but categorically refuse to try another browser. "I use Internet Explorer", they say and look at me like I just suggested they make love to the electric pencil sharpener.

        Oooh, I feel your pain. Although I think I've just about persuaded my mom to switch to Mozilla Mail -- she likes what I've told her about Baynesian filtering of spam and the fact that little greebies can't install themselves on her sys
      • I've been mildly successful using the Reasons to switch to the Mozilla Firebird browser [mozilla.org] document. I tell people if they read that through and still think IE is the best, I won't bother them about it again. Of course, I'll probably bother them at the FB 1.0 release anyway.
    • by Bio (18940)

      Tabbed browsing *rocks*. I have about 10 tabs open in Mozilla all the time. The sites I'm reading regularily, plus some articles, man pages etc. I'm currently reading.

      I couldn't imagine having distinct windows open for all of these. I cannot understand why people stick to MSIE. It's almost impossible to persuade my co-workers to switch to another browser.

      Mozilla usally runs for *weeks* on my home workstation (Linux) without restarts. It's not slow at all. At work (Win XP) Mozilla gets really slow after

      • Why people stick with MSIE [for home use] is mostly why many peole use MS MSN for chatting instead of Gaim or trillian or amsn or ...

        It came with the OS install, does what they want and they don't see any added benefit of another install. Sure Gaim is cooler than MSN but if all you do is chat on the MSN protocol why bother?

        Similarly, sure tabs are cool but if you never use them who cares? Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can only read one screen at a time so I don't c
        • by Ender Ryan (79406) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:43AM (#7852428) Journal
          Similarly, sure tabs are cool but if you never use them who cares? Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can only read one screen at a time so I don't care for tabs.

          What, don't you have ADHD like the rest of us? *grin*

          Seriously, I find it to be too much of a PITA to browse without tabs anymore, but to each his own.

          How about security, though? You know, there are still huge gaping holes in IE that will allow "untrusted" software to install itself without user interaction. Heh, I witnessed it the other day, as I didn't believe it and had to see for myself.

          Watch your step... err... mouse. p /.

        • Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can only read one screen at a time so I don't care for tabs.

          Well, that's your choice and (IMO) your loss; at least you know the alternatives exist, and you obviously considered what would be best for you before deciding to stick with IE.

          I can only read one page at a time, too, but with tabs I can have the next X pages I want to read loading in the background while I read the current one. I think I've probably saved more time that way t
        • Similarly, sure tabs are cool but if you never use them who cares? Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can only read one screen at a time so I don't care for tabs.

          Certainly you did your research among IE users - it's hard to use tabs when you don't have them.

          I noticed that 99% of those Windows and MacOS users who tried Mozilla at least once - they decided to stick to it because of tabs.

          Of course people read one screen at time. But based your logic OS must not let more

        • > Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can
          > only read one screen at a time so I don't care for tabs.

          You must have broadband. For dialup, tabs are vitally essential, because it is
          critically necessary to be able to queue a number of pages, do something else
          (e.g., read an already-loaded page) while they load, and then get to them when
          they have finished downloading. You can *theoretically* do this with new
          windows, but who wants 30+ browser windows open, when you only eve
        • There's much more than tabbed browsing in Firebird. I suggest reading the why document [mozilla.org] before passing judgement.

          Tabbed browsing is nice, but the real reasons I use FB are Find as You Type [mozilla.org], Custom Keywords [mozilla.org], and the Web Developer Toolbar [myacen.com].
        • Personally I do a fair bit of research and I find no use for tabs. I can only read one screen at a time so I don't care for tabs.

          This is why I use tabs -- I can only read one page at a time, but I want to check hyperlinks. So I open them in tabs, and when I'm ready to take my attention off of what I'm reading, they're ready for me.

          Of course, tabs are also handy for bookmarks -- my daily news reading is a bookmark that opens up a set of tabs.

          -Billy
        • You must have a very primitive web reading style, then. When dealing with complex, non-linear documents, I've found that most people will (over time) learn to read in a top-down fashion ala an opprotunistic path walking approach. The user will read the main (seed) page, and open any interesting links as they go along in separate windows (or separate tabs). When they've completed reading the page, they'll start reading all the child tabs they've created -- repeat until done.

          This way, they get all the inf
        • Tabs arent just good for reading multiple pages... they can help when reading one at a time. How?

          When you switch to the new page, it is available instantly ... BAM!! That saves a lot of time over switching to another web server, reloading a different page, and the browser scrolling to where ever you had scrolled to. You don't have to worry about losing your place on the first page either.
      • > Tabbed browsing *rocks*.

        So why doesn't Firebird support it intelligently out of the box. Out of Opera, Firebird, and two tabbed IE-based browsers, Firebird is still the only one that opens all new windows from popups (some popups are okay, people) in, well, a new *window* and not a tab. Ctrl-N opens a new *window*, not a tab. How about a little sensible out of the box behavior there? Not all of us are running XP with stacked taskbar buttons (and even then XP doesn't do much there).

        And how about n
        • Get the TabBrowser extensions [sakura.ne.jp]. Everything you could ever think of that you'd want tabs to do, these do it. And then some.

          I also highly recommend the PrefBar [xulplanet.com] add-on.
        • Why should Ctrl-N open a new tab? That would be really poor design, mainly because every single application ive ever used a keyboard shortcut to open a new window in has it mapped to Ctrl-N. Just because it has tabs doesnt mean you have to use them for everything. I often have a couple of windows open with multiple tabs in each one.

          Ctrl-T opens a new tab by the way. Ctrl-click opens a link in a new background tab, Ctrl-Shift-click opens it in a foreground tab.
          • > Why should Ctrl-N open a new tab?

            I dunno, maybe because every other tabbed browser behaves that way? Mozilla didn't invent the concept. Play along. Or give me a preference to map the key that doesn't involve hacking obscure files.

            Oh, I forgot, purity of essence is more important than consistency.

            • Try this...
              open up Konqueror
              Press ctrl-N
              see what happens

              I imagine Safari behaves the same way. I do agree that Mozilla/Firebird could use a keyboard shortcut configuration panel though.
            • Play along with the (two, three?) other browsers which do tabebd browsing, or play along with every other app on the planet?

              And as for editing a text file, boo-hoo-hoo. That's what the text config files are for: doing the Wrong Thing when that's what one wishes to do. I don't write that rudely--I do the same sometimes myself, for my own reasons (like mapping Caps Lock to Ctrl).

    • I've TRIED Firebird, and the tabbing just doesn't work right. Links that spawn a new window won't spawn a new tab instead (aargh!) BTW, I quickly adapted to tabbing, as I often ran several IE windows at a time before I switched to Opera. It was a simple matter of looking up at the top, instead of down at the taskbar. BTW, does Firebird save the state of the browser when it is closed out?
    • Plugins are indeed very nice... There's lots of good ones available, and the ability to install them to your profile or system-wide is very useful. The one problem is that its virtually impossible to uninstall an extension - not just disable it, remove it from the system. So I can't download something, try, it, then remove it if I don't like it to keep it from cluttering up my plugins list.

      Hopefully, this will change in the next couple of versions.

      • If you delete the corresponding entry in the first couple lines of chrome.rdf (the section starting with RDF:Seq about="urn:mozilla:package:root"), it seems to get rid of the item in the extensions dialog--I think you have to delete the extension file as well. It still leaves junk in the rdf file, but I don't think it causes problems.

        Go to ~/.phoenix/default/*/chrome (for Firebird--start with ~/.mozilla for Mozilla) and edit the chrome.rdf file (make a backup of it first!!!). The extension's file shou

    • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:34AM (#7852881)
      I'm in the same boat. I was a dedicated Opera user and decided to switch to firebird.

      Firebird is awesome, but there are still a lot of things that Opera did better.

      Most of them are minor, but they're things I used regularly and I miss greatly.

      For instance.
      1. When you browse forward and back the keyboard doesn't have the focus on a page, so if you use the page up/down keys you get nothing. If you hit control F to search the page, it pops up but doesn't search the page.
      2. I liked Opera's save session ability. Mozilla has this and it works pretty well, but not quite as well as Opera. For instance, I like having the ability to force my groups of pages load up in a new tabbed browser. Mozilla throws them into the current browser.
      3. I really really miss the ability to save the pages I was on when I close the browser and also to load those same pages up in the event the browser crashes. Mozilla *almost* has this setting. It has visit the last page on startup, but I want to visit the last tabbed group on startup.
      4. This one really bugs me. Maybe it's just a bug because it doesn't happen everytime, but when you jump forward and back through pages, sometimes the page doesn't go back to where you were scrolled, it goes back to the top of the page. Ugh! Makes it a pain to search ebay because you go to an item and then go back and you're at the top of the page, you hit page down or control F but the page doesn't have focus! argh!

      I think those are my top 4 pet peeves. As a developer there are a couple of css issues (margins and borders) that I don't like, but those are minor and generally workable.
      • Opera had a super useful function that is missing in Mozilla. You could right click a link and "open link in background page." I would always browse my news site and start popping interesting links up in background tabs while I finished reading the article I was on.
        • Opera had a super useful function that is missing in Mozilla. You could right click a link and "open link in background page." I would always browse my news site and start popping interesting links up in background tabs while I finished reading the article I was on.

          This feature is available in Mozilla Firebird 0.7 (and probably earlier versions too): Tools > Options > Advanced > Browsing > Open links in the background. Mozilla 1.5 has it as well (and again, earlier versions had this too): E

          • That's close but not quite it.

            I'd like to be able to still click and go to pages like normal but if I right click I'd like to have a third option of "open link in background tab"
            • The setting may have a bit misleading name, but it's not universal, it only matters when opening links in new tabs. If you just normally left-click on links they do open up normally in same window/tab you're in.

              If you control-click or middle-click on them, they open as background tabs.

              If you shift-control-click on them, they open in a new tab and focus into it.

              And open in new window is still available from the context menu... is there still something missing?
              • I must have something setup incorrectly.

                That sounds like exactly what I need. While I'd prefer to have those options available when I right click a link, I could learn (and maybe even like) the new setup no problem.

                For some reason though none of those keyboard click combos are working for me in Moz 1.6.

                I'll have to try it on my laptop and see how it does. I'm wondering if my mouse software is jumping in and messing things up. Shame since I use the same mouse on my laptop. heh.
      • You pretty much nailed it. Those are the main reasons I continue to use Opera as well.

        1) The keyboard focus bug in Moz REALLY annoys me. I hate having to click on the tab window to get focus back all the time.

        2 & 3) Automatically restoring the last tabgroup session on startup is a must-have.

        4) Opera (as of 7.23) sort of has this go-to-top bug too, but it only happens when you're scrolled to the very bottom of the page when you go back/forward.

        One more pet peeve I'd add is that Moz mouse gestures [mozdev.org]

      • my pet peeves about opera... you gotta press the right mouse key to activate mouse gestures, whereas in mozilla it's the right key... makes a big difference if you're a laptop user...
  • Out of Curiosity (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joel Carr (693662) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:50AM (#7852155)
    Did the decision by AOL to 'murder' Netscape end up having a negative/positive/neutral affect on Mozilla or not? Was there a sharp loss of developers at all, or did it end up being more or less business as usual?

    ---
  • The development team focused mainly on minor technical and legalistic issues like the naming of firebird, code clean up etc.
    But they failed completely to incoperate the rising new mark-up technologies like XML-Signature [ietf.org] or WebCGM [w3.org].
    If this development continues this year, Mozilla might lose it's technical lead to IE or Opera. And open source software might be again only the second winner.
    • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:23AM (#7852238)
      > ...they failed completely to incoperate the rising new mark-up technologies like XML-Signature or WebCGM. If this development continues this year, Mozilla might lose it's technical lead to IE or Opera.

      Are you just pulling this stuff out of your arse, or what? Neither of these are new (WebCGM has been around since '99), both are fairly irrelevant, and WebCGM is a binary format in any case.

      Given the *cough* rapid pace of MSIE development *cough* these days, if Mozilla stood stockstill for the next two years, it wouldn't lose any ground to IE (which still doesn't support all of DOM Level 2), and Opera is also still playing catch-up, although it's farther along than MSIE.

      It would be nice if they'd start including SVG support in the standard releases, though. Especially since the Adobe SVG plugin for Moz/NS is broken and appears likely to stay that way for some time.
    • You do know that AOL/TW handled the legalistic matters, no? The Mozilla team came up with the name, and AOL/TW got their lawyers to OK it.

      Those "technologies" you listed are mostly irrelevent, and Mozilla has improved by leaps and bounds in many areas. CSS support has improved, speed has improved a great deal, Firebird has become a main focus, Thunderbird is taking off, etc.

      WTF? HIBT?

    • The development team focused mainly on minor technical and legalistic issues like the naming of firebird, code clean up etc. But they failed completely to incoperate the rising new mark-up technologies like XML-Signature or WebCGM. If this development continues this year, Mozilla might lose it's technical lead to IE or Opera.

      I will bite the Trolls bait:
      What the !@#$ are you talking about. One of the reasons the original Netscape code was dropped in favor of starting over was that the original code was

    • Even worse (Score:4, Insightful)

      by axxackall (579006) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @01:51PM (#7853800) Homepage Journal
      It's even worse:

      SVG development is still going nowhere, while Calendar development has just stopped. No need to mention that nobody in Mozilla development team understands the importance of MNG and XForms. In Bugzilla you can even find their comments saying that "HTML forms work, what the reason for Xforms?"!

      So, Mozilla becomes the best web browser accoridng to requirements of mid-90s. However, development teams of other browsers (read: IE and Opera, not sure about Apple) are more informed about web-browser requirements of mid-00s. No need to predict who will be a winner.

      I love Mozilla (both Suite and Firebird) and I love XUL, and that's why it's so sad to see that my favorite browser is a big loser.

      • Re:Even worse (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BZ (40346)
        I think all the Mozilla developers fully understand the usefulness of XForms. What XForms proponents fail to understand, it seems, is that XForms relies on a whole slew of other XML technologies, many not well-supported by off-the-shelf XML parsers, that XForms is very complicated to implement, and that XForms is very difficult to author (instead of making the easy things easy and the hard things possible, it focuses on making the easy things and the hard things equally hard (a little easier than doing har
        • The existing form semantics in HTML was developed before anyone had any serious experience with implementing forms. XForms, althogh it's surely useful for general use outside HTML, is hugely overcomplicated for the majority of web browsing.

          Personally all that I want is to be able to say things like:

          • <input type="date" /> and have a calendar drop down for date selection, or
          • <input type="time" /> and have a box designed for collecting time information, maybe within simple constraints
          • XForms, althogh it's surely useful for general use outside HTML, is hugely overcomplicated for the majority of web browsing.

            web browsing - that's the major problem of understanding of modern web-based application requirements by many web developers. They still think about browsing instead of applications. In mid-90s browsing was almost all that users needed from the web. But not anymore.

            Today we deploy web-based applications not for public masses, but for intranet users and for extranet customers. We

        • XForms is not differnet from any other XML, in terms of XML parsing. I used Gnome libxml2 as well as Apache Xerces. In both cases I had my data model specifically designed for a desired XML dialect. It's not a parser that should be adapted to XForms - it's the application data model. The parser stays XML-dialect neutral. As for the application, it must have that data-model anyway, no matter it's getting data from XML or from RPC. Blaming XML parsers doesn't show your understanding how actualy XML works.
          • Perhaps the issue is that I think of things like schema-based validation as part of the "parser". It's not really, but schema-based validation would need to be implemented for the parser anyway, at which point XForms could just use it.
            • Both Gnome libmlx2 and Apache Xerces implement schema-validation accoding to W3C standards and have no problem to validate XForms. I still fail to see what is the problem between XML parsers and XForms.
  • Sorry But ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by osewa77 (603622)
    Hi, I used to use Mozilla on RedHat Linux simply because it was the best avaliable browser and it was slow. I recently tested the Firebird both on Linux and Windows and the experience was just as fast as IE. I see Mozilla as the browser you use "outside Windows", period. (it used to be Opera for me because of the performance issues until Firebird). So 5 stars to the Mozilla team! If only there was a way to get explorer plugins to work with Mozilla on Unix...
  • as seen at http://www.damowmow.com/playground/book.txt

    II. MOZILLA
    - http://web.archive.org/web/19981206020253/http:// w ww.gate.net/~shipbrk/graphics/mozilla.jpg

    CAPUT III
    And the beast shall be made *legion*. Its numbers shall be increased
    a *thousand thousand* fold. The din of a million keyboards like unto
    a great *storm* shall cover the earth, and the followers of Mammon
    shall *tremble*.
    - from The Book of Mozilla, 3:31 (Red Letter Edition)
    background: maroon; color: white; about:mozilla
  • by nickos (91443) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @12:09PM (#7853093)
    I have a Win2k box at my folks place which has Firebird and Thunderbird set up, and while I was staying with them over Christmas my Dad was telling me how stupid the name was. He's an academic with a linguistics background but completely computer illiterate (for example he double clicks everything). The (in his opinion) silly name gave him less confidence in the software.

    I think the name's daft too but found myself defending it to my Dad. It's probably a silly corporate thing...
    • According to the branding document [mozilla.org], "Firebird" and "Thunderbird" are temporary names, to be replaced by "Browser" and "Mail" when the switch to the stand-alone applications occurs. The branding document was overly optimistic about when this would happen.
  • A nice thing about Mozilla (the suite) is that with one not-unreasonable download, I can convert a foreign computer (want to check email at a friend's place, etc.) to a reasonable communications station (email, IRC, web) with an interface I like, including tabbed browsing. Primarily, this means "on a Windows machine," since most Linux or FreeBSD machines will probably already be equipped with both Mozilla and Xchat. (OK, two, downloads if I want ssh -- putty [greenend.org.uk] rocks.)

    For the last few years, I've used Chatzil
  • Mozilla and Firebird both have an annoying habit of freezing on me for five or ten seconds every so often (way too often). It's not a hardware problem, as it happens on my girlfriend's state-of-the-art machine as well as my 700Mhz Duron (with 385MB of RAM). Could be a RedHat thing, but I've tried both RH Mozilla RPMs and direct downloads, and they have the same problem. (It could be a "slow modem" problem, but it happens loading pages off disk as well.)

    Anyone else experience this?

    Danny.

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