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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox Extension Lets You Pick the Name 479

Posted by michael
from the been-through-the-desert-on-a-browser-with-no-name dept.
Rovaedne writes "Mozilla Firefox , the web browser formerly known as Firebird, formerly known as Phoenix, has a new extension which allows you to change the name to something palatable. The extension called Firesomething lets users change the name seen in the browser titlebar, Help menu, and About dialog, thus erradicating all traces of "Firefox" in Firefox (currently version 0.8). There is a name change FAQ, but it currently does not mention this extension. This extension should hopefully help curb some of the criticism that Mozilla has received from its most recent choice of name."
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Firefox Extension Lets You Pick the Name

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  • Actually (Score:5, Funny)

    by PatrickThomson (712694) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:05AM (#8688457)
    it's primary function is to randomise the browser name to avoid name clashes. I'm currently browsing in mozilla firebunny, for example.
    • Re:Actually (Score:5, Funny)

      by ScottGant (642590) <`scott_gant' `at' `sbcglobal.netNOT'> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:09AM (#8688638) Homepage
      As other have hinted below, why not take this a step further?

      Bring out an extention for other apps.

      For instance, being able to change OpenOffice to Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. That way you can fool the higher-up's into thinking you have "what everyone else is using".

      Save the cash from buying Office and take that money and go on a vacation! Then, when you get back, and before you get charged with fraud, quit and go live in a goat farm somewhere making cheeses.

      Ok, I got way off on a tangent there...but you see what I mean.
      • Re:Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Pfhreakaz0id (82141) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:08AM (#8688814)
        would help those running pokerbots for the online poker sites... currently, the largest online poker site is blocking a bot program by not letting you log in (or kicking you off) by scanning for a window with the program name in the title. You can even go to the program's home page, and because the title bar switches, it will kill it.

        If I acutally wanted to USE this bot, it would be pretty trivial to hack it's resources to change the titlebar (actually, I'm sure the author has already randomized the title). We're going to see an increasing battle between 'bot programs for online gambling and those who run online gambling sites.

        If you're curious, to a google groups search on rec.gambling.poker for "WinHoldEm"
      • What's in a Name? (Score:5, Informative)

        by The Monster (227884) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:51AM (#8688991) Homepage
        Bring out an extention for other apps.
        I'm not sure how much of an 'extension' is really required here. I make it a matter of policy in my shell scripts to do
        Self=`basename $0`
        and use that value in the script itself as its name. This way, if anyone ever wants to change the name of the script, they, uh, change the name of the script. The -[Hh]* option for help, as well as any log file names based on $Self , then correctly specify the new name.

        Of course we don't have executables with names like "Mozilla Firefox", because that's not geeky enough. Still, it should be trivial for any app to allow configuration of the name it displays in the title bar.

        I can imagine what would happen, just for example, if The Bride of Monster (Personnel Manager at a sheltered workshop, dealing with handicapped adults) installed a copy of The GIMP on a computer at work, to save their tight budget the expense of buying Photoshop for working up sales brochures and such... Being able to change it so it says 'GNU Image Manipulation' or just 'GNU Image' might save her from the wrath of uptight Politically Correct types.

    • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

      by TooLazyToLogon (248807) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:37AM (#8688706)
      Finally I can run Internet Explorer in Linux. Now if i can just get a name change extention for OpenOffice.org
    • Re:Actually (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Davak (526912) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:26PM (#8689459) Homepage
      Will Firefox ever fix the lack of DDE support?

      For example, I can communicate with mozilla with a command such as:

      Link.LinkTopic = "Mozilla|WWW_GetWindowInfo"
      Link.LinkMode = 2
      Link.LinkRequest

      I can grab all sort of nice information through this process. Netscape, Opera, IE -- all support this function. Firefox currenly does not.

      If plug-ins like the one described in the original posting change the DDE information, then it will even be more complicated to develop applications that are compatable with this browser.

      Davak

  • by peterprior (319967) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:05AM (#8688461)
    1. Get Firefox
    2. Change name to Internet Explorer
    3. apply IE theme
    4. Release as Internet explorer 7
    5. Profi... oh ..wait... ;)
    • No, boss... (Score:4, Funny)

      by sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:08AM (#8688471) Homepage Journal

      This is just IE 7.0. Want me to get a copy for everyone?


    • 1. Get Firefox
      2. Change name to Internet Explorer
      3. apply IE theme
      4. Insert SCO copyright code
      5. Get sued
      6. Profit
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:17AM (#8688492)
      Actually, that is exactly what I did here in corperate..

      Attach the IE icon to it and voila... the users act as if there is no difference except it's massively faster, no popup's, no crashes, no freezes.

      It's funny, many people scream about the massive retraining required switching workers to Open Source... It's not real.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:08AM (#8688635)
        It'd be easier to believe you worked in corporate if you could actually spell it.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:30AM (#8688887)
          It'd be easier to believe you worked in corporate if you could actually spell it.

          Actually, it wouldn't.

      • Attach the IE icon to it and voila... the users act as if there is no difference except it's massively faster, no popup's, no crashes, no freezes.I use Firefox 0.8 as my primary browser at work and Mozilla 1.5 as my primary browser at home. Firefox crashes on me about once a week. I have no problems with Mozilla 1.5.
        • FireFox (v0.8) seems to have more bugs than FireBird (v0.7). If it really bothers you, you could just use v0.7. The only difference I've really noticed since installing v0.8 is the download manager.
    • by multipartmixed (163409) * on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:25AM (#8688519) Homepage
      Why, you ask?

      When I set up a Windows box for a neophyte (admittedly, not often) I do everything I can to purge Internet Exploder from the system. Some might find this unjustifiable, but the only time I'm ever asked (begged) to help Windows is when a friend of my wife's computer is running badly due to six billion viruses and twenty-two trillion Spyware programs.

      Anyhow. I hunt down all the shortcuts to IE and file associations to IE (i.e. as a viewer, default browser, blah blah blah) and replace them with Firebird. Then, I swap Firebird's icon with IE's icon. (I do a similar thing with with Lookout Express and ThunderBird). I used to even install the IE theme, but it's been busted for a while.

      This will help to complete the illusion.

      Of course, when I'm done, I just tell them I put on a new version of "The Internet" called Mozilla to help them not get viruses and spyware in the first place. I make sure they hear the brand at least a dozen times when I'm talking to them, because I want to build brand recognition. Maybe they'll tell their stupid friends how great Mozilla is and their friends will download it and use it. (Wishful thinking, I know).

      But we all know that telling a Windows user to use Mozilla Fire* instead of IE will far on deaf ears; these people will click that stupid fuckin' blue E because they want to "get on the Internet". You have to make them use something else, or they WILL succumb to temptation and get infected again.

      So far, nobody's come back. Either they hate me now, or they are relatively virus-free; I really don't care which.

      At least my daughter was easier to set up. She knows to use Mozilla (full suite) instead of IE/OE. If she truly *needs* to use IE (i.e. one of her favourite sites doesn't work with Moz), she can ask me to add it to IE for her. I do this by modifying the automatic proxy configuration URL -- if it's on my safe site list, it points to Squid; otherwise it points to an inetd->shell hack which tells her to come and see me.
      • This all works well until you get a tech support query, and ask them what browser they are using. They say IE, you say, "ok, go to tools -> options" and everything goes quiet as they can't find that menu option.
      • by Anders (395) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:40AM (#8688566)

        At least my daughter was easier to set up.

        Yeah, the initial set up is quite easy (especially if you are not the female). But just wait for your daughter to become a teenager.

      • "When I set up a Windows box for a neophyte (admittedly, not often) I do everything I can to purge Internet Exploder from the system"

        Wait until they have to use some poorly built online banking software or online billing system that blocks Mozilla users. Keeping people in the dark about what browser they're using will give them a reason to badmouth Mozilla for not working properly when they find out what you did.

        I like Firefox, but as long as certain websites require IE you're doing your "neophyte" frien
        • by Tokerat (150341) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:46PM (#8689247) Journal

          I like Firefox, but as long as certain websites require IE you're doing your "neophyte" friend a disservice by "purg(ing) Internet Exploder from the system."
          No, you'r hurting businesses that ecide to set up websites that require Internet Explorer, and I see this as a Very Good Thing (tm). Not because I'd like to specifically be anti-Microsoft, mind you, but there is absolutely NO REASON that any website this day in age shouldn't be able to funciton on all browsers. The web is designed to be a system for delivery of cross-referenced marked-up "documents", which, while having much more/different uses and purposes than their tree pulp counterparts, are quite easily designed to a specific standard. Breaking that standard is breaking the Web, same thing.

          Banking on the Web should be IE only? Imagine the parking lot at the local bank will only allow Fords. What do you do with your BMW then? It runs better, smoother, faster, looks nicer, doesn't include clunky features, and follows the same 4 wheels/brake pedal/steering wheel/etc. standards needed for road use...

          I'd like to hear any good reasons why a website should function in IE on Windows only. Anyone who replies "ActiveX" should be modded +1 Funny.
    • by praksys (246544) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:24PM (#8689155) Homepage
      The Mozilla crowd should take a page from Microsoft's book and rename it to "Web Browser (tm)".
  • by Amiga Lover (708890) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:05AM (#8688462)
    I'm calling mine slash org dot.dot so I can use slash dot dot dot to go to aytch tee tee pee colon slash slash slash dot dot dot org... Because it's no sillier than 4 name changes in 12 months.
  • Random names? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arendjr (673589) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:06AM (#8688463) Homepage
    I heard it is also possible to let it randomly generate a new name everytime you start Firefox, quite funny :)
  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:07AM (#8688465) Homepage Journal
    Remember: YOU HAVE TO THINK IN RUSSIAN!

    I like Firefox. What the hell name would I change it to? Who cares anyway?
    • I have tried to get so many friends to switch over to firefox, and their first reactions were:
      1) mozilla ? Their old browsers sucked.
      2) firefox ? It sounds like a firewall software.

      anyways, after taking the time to explain them what firefox really is, they were all convinced.
  • Strange, how it's far easier (at least for me) to see that the sketched black/white drawing is a fox than the coloured rendered version - I thought the coloured version was simply abstract until I saw the sketch :-)

    Who needs computers - bring back sketchpads :-)

    Simon
  • Old news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Delirium Tremens (214596) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:09AM (#8688472) Journal
    I have been running Firetoad (and sometimes Firemussel) for 3-4 weeks now.
    The plugin was actually released the same day as 0.8.
    • Re:Old news (Score:3, Informative)

      by momokatte (749828)
      The plugin was actually released the same day as 0.8.

      Almost, but not quite. Someone (Dunderklumpen) on the MozillaZine forums made the suggestion for the extension the day Firefox was released, and I released a barebones extension two days later.

      The new news, though, is that the extension finally got a user-friendly interface (no more digging around in about:config) last weekend. The extension has changed a lot over the past six weeks, thanks to the MozillaZine forums users who were interested in its d
  • Cheesy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by PoorLenore (608332) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:09AM (#8688473)
    about:config also let's you change the 'Mozilla' bit, too. Mozzerella Seasquid here.
  • Hmmmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Yoda2 (522522) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:11AM (#8688478)
    Along the lines of the post above, I could call it "Internet Explorer" and just tell my employees that M$ released an "upgrade." I could do away with the "real" IE once and for all in one fell swoop.
    /me heads for early Saturday in the office while everyone is gone
  • Better? (Score:5, Funny)

    by geekster (87252) * on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:15AM (#8688485) Homepage
    So now it has an infinite number of names? Great...
    • Re:Better? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:02PM (#8689054)
      This is what I thought of when I heard about this:

      A beautiful woman walking gracefully down the street, gets her shoe caught in a crack, hits the ground like a sack of rocks, rolls with the momentum a few times and gets up walking away like nothing happened.

      Firefox's news strategy: "we ment to do that"
  • Does anyone remember what Spock's first name was?
  • by plams (744927) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:19AM (#8688495) Homepage
    Tech: Tech-support.. how may I help you?
    Me: Hi, uhm... Well, I'm having trouble connecting to the internet..
    Tech: *groan* Ok. What browser are you using?
    Me: Eh.. It says firepanda..
    Tech: Oh? Well, try opening it...
    Me: Ok.... done
    Tech: Now, in your.. firepanda window.. try find a menu called "preferences"
    Me: Uhm.. firepanda?! it says crimsongazelle now..
    Tech: *sigh*
  • How about (Score:2, Funny)

    by beforewisdom (729725)
    Phoefirebirdfox ?
  • ...mozilla, which seems just as fast, and more full-featured (e.g. mail, calendar). I must be missing something in the enthusiasm for firefox.
    • by G27 Radio (78394) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:06AM (#8688628)
      I'm not a very big fan of Mozilla at all--not since Phonix/Firebird/Firefox came out. Mozilla renders quickly, but it just feels clunky and slow to get started.

      I like Firefox because it's trimmed down and has a smaller footprint. If I want to use mail I just start up Thunderbird. The calendar plugin works from both Thunderbird and Firefox.

      I suppose if I regularly needed all the features in Mozilla I'd feel differently. No disrespect to Mozilla, but I really prefer using Firefox and Thunderbird.
    • by zonix (592337) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:29AM (#8688687) Homepage Journal
      I must be missing something in the enthusiasm for firefox.

      Try some of the extensions like AdBlock (block flash, iframes, etc.). The extensible search engine bar is really cool to (get imdb search, DHL tracking, etc.). Not to mention the quick search feature (keyword bookmars)!

      z
  • The browser choice for the discerning balrog spider!
  • by r00zky (622648)
    I'm renaming it to FireAvian, so it's compatible with RFC 1149 [faqs.org]
  • by peterprior (319967) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:23AM (#8688513)
    All this "The browser formally known as..." stuff.
    I'm going to call my firefox "Prince" :)
  • Diluting Mindshare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:31AM (#8688535)
    Unfortunately, it will not do wonders for Firefox's name recognition if most of its users decide on proprietary appellations. Let's try to increase mindshare by sticking to its official name, and as an added benefit we'll always know to which browser we're referring! Just MHO.
  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by anonicon (215837) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:36AM (#8688552)
    I really like this, hadn't know it existed. Now that I'm running FireBush, my entire browsing experience has become faster, leaner and a whole lot less intrusive.

    Here's to hoping that the Mozilla hackers keep up the technical and political innovations. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:37AM (#8688554)
    This extension is just what we need to make Linux distributions more freindly to Joe User.

    Whenever you get a Linux distribution, it insalls about 5 differeent web browsers with confusing names such as Konqueror, Mozilla, Lynx, Galeon and Epiphany. There is no need for all those web browsers. And don't scream CHOICE either, you are only going to be using ONE, so why have 5 installed?

    This is where this extension comes in. Linux distributions could now just ship one browser, but customised with their experiance. Imagine Debianavigator, Fedora the explorer, SuSEscape, Webdrake, Genfox and Slackzilla web browsers, with their own themeing, but still firefox internally, and "hardcore" users could still change it back if they wanted by downloading the extention.

    Lindows already ship a customised Mozilla known as "Lindows Internet Suite", so why can't other Linux distributions do this? They already brand KDE/GNOME/ETC with their menu layouts, icons and apps, so why not do web browsers?
    • There is no need for all those web browsers. And don't scream CHOICE either, you are only going to be using ONE, so why have 5 installed?

      Um, because ,while you may be using only one of them, the Distro-makers can not know WHICH one.
      Therefore.. choice.
      And rest assured that there ARE reasons for choosing one, even if many use the same rendering engine.
      I, mean some people use Konqueror (KHTML) , others Mozilla (gecko) and all the variations (that make a difference on the Interface and features side) , w

  • by cnelzie (451984) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:39AM (#8688562) Homepage
    ...and be done with it. No need for going all ga-ga about naming it something new every two weeks because the 'Geeks that Be' don't bother doing a simple Google Search to make certain they aren't trouncing on someone else's software product name...

    Yeah, OpenSourceBrowser isn't very 'sexy', neither is OpenOffice.org, but that seems to work for them...
  • Fire-star (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:41AM (#8688568) Homepage
    This plug-in is kinda funny, and I hope the Mozilla folks can take a joke and enjoy the laugh. But treating "the criticism that Mozilla has received from its most recent choice of name" as if it were a serious issue suggests that the submitter of this article could stand to lighten up and look around. The vast majority of Browser Formerly Known As users seem to have taken to the the name "Firefox" pretty well. As the album cover says: 205,000 Google hits for "firefox browser" can't be wrong.
  • by plams (744927) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:44AM (#8688581) Homepage

    Could this be used as legal immunity for linux? So, when SCO decides to sue someone for having an unlicenced linux kernel, they just reply with something like, "Sorry sir McNeal, but I checked this morning.. and what do you know, we actually run Mozillix, Fenix and Bollox... but not linux?"

  • by Stile 65 (722451) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @09:55AM (#8688605) Homepage Journal
    Nutzilla Firecock. I wonder what other names people have come up with.

    After this article, I'm hoping the Slashdot editors go through the logs and find the funniest client names and post a list (after a few days for people to play with names). I can't wait to see what you bastards come up with! :)
  • by smitty_one_each (243267) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:03AM (#8688621) Homepage Journal
    This is all swell and spiffy, but do we need to standardize an environment variable for browsers, as there is for editors, so that we can still use the system effectively in terrifying presence of 'Leonid_Brezhnevs_eyebrows-er'?
  • by glpierce (731733) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:09AM (#8688637) Homepage
    Sorry, but does anyone consider this worthy of being posted to Slashdot? There are a dozen Mozilla extensions that are more functional or more fit for conversation.

    Good for a few jokes, yes; worth a whole story, no.
  • by citizenc (60589) <cary.glidedesign@ca> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:09AM (#8688639) Journal
    I vote we get Mozilla to change the name of Firefox PERMANENTLY to "Firesomething". :P
  • "Hey Carol, why is my browser named 'Fired' and defaults to loser.com?"

    -Adam
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:49AM (#8688749) Journal
    Optionally modifies the browser's User-Agent string to reflect your custom browser name.

    Argh... I can understand it if you wish to access a site that thinks it only works with IE when it actually doesn't, but it's stupid to change it if:

    1. You make the name "Mozilla Seaturtle" or something else "just for fun".
    2. You keep it set to IE's user agent even if you don't need it.

    Why? Because Firefox popularity will decrease in statistics and web masters will feel less reasons to support Firefox when checking their access logs.
  • by whovian (107062) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:55AM (#8688771)
    With all the time I spend exploring all these neat extentions, my boss suggested to me that I call my browser YoureFired.
  • by Den_onda_kotten (616799) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:10AM (#8688823)
    Firefly!

    You can't take the sky from me.
  • GUID! (Score:3, Funny)

    by davegaramond (632107) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:14AM (#8688834)
    Of course, the answer lies in GUID, which is guaranteed to be unique even across the universe. So no more painful name switching of Firebird to Firefox to Firephoebe, just use

    Mozilla 43c23aa3-7c29-4ce2-96ca-23c751efe5ff 0.9
  • by BMonger (68213) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @11:27AM (#8688876)
    Sorta kinda off topic but....

    Back in "the day" there were those programs that you could run that would display ads while you were browsing the web. Basically it was a strip along the bottom of your screen. It checked for mouse/keyboard movement and made sure the the foremost window had the name of "Internet Explorer". Well I never browsed the web for more than 15 minutes or so but I was on IRC for hours on end using mIRC. And mIRC let you change the name that was shown in the title bar. So I changed it to "Internet Explorer" and... voila! I received a check from the company the next month for about $25 or so... but I got bored of looking at ads and never did it after that.
  • unpalatable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhiteDragon (4556) * on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:29PM (#8689171) Homepage Journal
    What is so 'unpalatable' about Firefox? I personally like that name. And the animal it is named after, the Red Panda [animalinfo.org] is pretty neat as well. I just switched my mom over to firefox on windows, and she loves it! No more popups! She certainly didn't complain about the 'unpalatable' name.
  • by lone_marauder (642787) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:46PM (#8689246)
    If it randomized the broswer ID in the referrer as well. Unfortunately, I just checked, and it doesn't.
  • by incom (570967) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:17PM (#8689408)
    I can finally use the phoenix browser again, it's still my favorite name for the software.
  • by Temsi (452609) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:31PM (#8689873) Journal
    Editing the Windows registry allows you to change the name in the title bar of Internet Explorer.

    Mine currently says "Internet Exploder".

    How?
    I'm glad you asked, here's how:

    Look for Window Title under
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Intern et Explorer\Main
    If Window Title doesn't exist there, create it as a new String Value, edit the value with whatever name you want, restart your IE and enjoy the new name.

  • by melted (227442) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @03:13PM (#8690133) Homepage
    one that allows you to select you the User Agent string to misrepresent yourself as Explorer or an older version of Mozilla. That could be handy at times.
  • by MisterBad (40316) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @03:23PM (#8690171) Homepage
    Considering that the Mozilla org is being quite stingy with the Firefox trademark -- you're not supposed to use the icons or name except for the "official" builds -- this is actually really useful.

    It's come up as an issue with the Debian package [debian.org] for Firefox.
  • KDE can do this too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by polyp2000 (444682) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @06:14PM (#8691240) Homepage Journal
    I only discovered this recently so i'm not sure how far back it goes (Im running KDE3.2)

    many Kde applications can be started to display a different name. For example, if you were feeling particularly sadistic you could run konqueror like this ...

    %> konqueror --caption "Internet Explorer"

    although something like

    %> juk --caption "iTunes"

    is probably more palatable

    nick ...
  • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @07:25PM (#8691644)
    In Soviet Russia, the browser picks YOUR name.

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