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Mozilla The Internet

Mozilla's Goodger on Firefox's Future 470

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the web-surfing-made-safe-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The New Zealand Herald has an interview with Ben Goodger, lead engineer for Firefox at the Mozilla foundation. In it he describes how he got started, his reasons for Firefox's existence and what the future may hold for the little browser that could."
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Mozilla's Goodger on Firefox's Future

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  • by The_Rippa (181699) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:56PM (#10271649)
    1. Firefox takes over IE's spot as top browser
    2. Firefox renders slashdot correctly, since this is the site that promotes it the most.

    Keep up the good work!
    • by Trillan (597339) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:59PM (#10271676) Homepage Journal
      An easier wish might be "Slashdot updates its HTML for 2001."
      • I think you got that backwards.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:00PM (#10271689)
      2. Firefox renders slashdot correctly, since this is the site that promotes it the most.

      No, the IT theme is meant to be like that
    • Has there ever been an official response as to why Slashdot's code is so outdated and why they haven't updated it?
      • by recursiv (324497) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:14PM (#10271838) Homepage Journal
        It's well known (by me, and for no good reason at that) that they don't use CSS because they think HTML should be enough for any web page. After all, everyone knows that CSS is for LiveJournal lusers to set their scroll bar colors, and could not possibly have any practical application. Real men use tables for layout, and that's that. A real programmer would never prefer CSS's long spelled out english words like border-color in favor of HTML's ULs and TDs. People who use CSS to obtain some result that could be possible with straight HTML are obviously being inefficient. They are probably wasting several bytes on those long, spelled out words.
        The content is the only thing matters is the content anyway. If it's so bad, why don't you make your own front end for the RSS feed? That's the true Open Source way! Plus, what if someone tries to access /. in Netscape Navigator 3.0. It will surely choke on the CSS, and give some unpredictable result.

        Better safe than sorry.
        • Real Men (Score:3, Funny)

          Real men use tables for layout, and that's that. A real programmer would never prefer CSS's long spelled out english words like border-color in favor of HTML's ULs and TDs.

          Yeah! And real men read web pages using only cat, parsing the HTML in their heads!

        • by mibus (26291) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:43PM (#10273658) Homepage
          If it's so bad, why don't you make your own front end for the RSS feed?

          The RSS feed doesn't include the full article summary, it limits the length.

          Makes the RSS much less useful IMHO.

          Editors - any chance of changing that? :)
    • 2. Firefox renders slashdot correctly, since this is the site that promotes it the most.

      Amen to that. Back in the early mozilla days, rendering bugs seemed to be a big priority. How many versions of firefox now have gone by with the slashdot bug unfixed? Or is it a problem with slashdot's html?
    • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:02PM (#10271708) Homepage Journal
      I always wondered about that... in Firefox .10PR (and in previous version I used) Slashdot's main content area overlaps or runs flush with the left nav. No padding, no margin, whatever. I remember reading articles on A List Apart about redoing Slashdot, which made me wonder why this was still happening.

      Is this a problem with Firefox or with Slashdot?

      As for Firefox taking the #1 spot, I would love to see that. There are a few things I've had difficulty achieving in Firefox that work in IE, but none of them are necessary (collapsing DIV when display set to none, for example).

      One day, my boss will choke on his "we should just design for Microsoft IE and if it doesn't work in your Mozilla then maybe you shouldn't use it." Bastard.
      • I always wondered about that... in Firefox .10PR (and in previous version I used) Slashdot's main content area overlaps or runs flush with the left nav. No padding, no margin, whatever. I remember reading articles on A List Apart about redoing Slashdot, which made me wonder why this was still happening.

        Is this a problem with Firefox or with Slashdot?


        Um, you must be new here. I can't remember how many comments I've seen bitching about that. Put simply, it's a FF rendering bug which we've had for ages and
        • by robbo (4388)
          Is this a problem with Firefox or with Slashdot?

          Um, you must be new here. I can't remember how many comments I've seen bitching about that. Put simply, it's a FF rendering bug which we've had for ages and can be solved by doing Ctrl-Scroll Wheel Up and then Ctrl-Scroll Wheel Down.


          So, wait, it's a bug in slashdot's code, but then firefox changes the way it renders the page if you twiddle a nob? Shouldn't firefox consistently render it the same (broken) way every time?
          • by AnyoneEB (574727) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:45PM (#10272103)
            Put simply, it's a FF rendering bug which we've had for ages
            So, wait, it's a bug in slashdot's code, but then firefox changes the way it renders the page if you twiddle a nob? Shouldn't firefox consistently render it the same (broken) way every time?
            It's a FireFox bug. Changing the font size forces FireFox to rerender the page, resulting in a correct render. IIRC, the problem has something to do with threading in the render during load feature. The bug has been fixed in the .10 trunk, but, as far as I know, no one has announced either way on it being part of v1.0.
          • by CTho9305 (264265) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @06:17PM (#10272451) Homepage
            but then firefox changes the way it renders the page if you twiddle a nob? Shouldn't firefox consistently render it the same (broken) way every time?

            In theory, yes. Unfortunately, there's a class of bugs called "reflow" bugs - reflow is basically the incremental rendering of pages as more of the HTML is downloaded.

            When certain things happen at certain times, in certain orders, the layout ends up getting rendered incorrectly until you force a reflow (you can do this by changing the text size, resizing the window, etc).

            The problem with these bugs is that they're very hard to track down. A lot of the time, you can't reproduce them on a [faster|slower] connection, and if the developers aren't experiencing it, they're stuck.
            • A lot of the time, you can't reproduce them on a [faster|slower] connection, and if the developers aren't experiencing it, they're stuck

              Precisely the case. From what I understand, it was caused by a race condition, a class of problems that popup when multiple threads (or processes) work in parallel on the same resources. Such bugs are very subtle and hard to reproduce, as they depend a lot on external conditions.

              I used to get this problem at /. almost every time with a dialup connection, but I have never
    • by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:16PM (#10271863) Journal
      OK so this is the thread where everyone complains about Slashdot's HTML, bring it on!

      For the record...

      Slashdot does emit code to an HTML standard, it just happens to be HTML 3.2. That's a standard. Call it "outdated" if you like but if it works, it works, right? Isn't that the point of standards, you don't have to change them every time something new comes along?

      We're hoping to move to XHTML in the future (sometime within the next year, for sure, I hope) but like everything else it goes on our priority list based on resource-cost and benefit. There are bugs that need to be squashed, meaningful features to be added, and performance improvements we need to put into place that come first.

      Honestly XHTML will probably just save us a little bandwidth and make the site look a little prettier, but only the hardcore readers will notice the difference, at least if we do it right. The only real long-term benefit will be to us coders -- it should let us rip out kludgy old code, but of course that's almost as tedious as writing it in the first place, so it's a mixed win.

      Yes, it's a mozilla bug [mozilla.org], not a Slash code bug. They've known about it for a year, but it's fixed now, yay.

      No, it doesn't help that someone else took a static rendering of our homepage and converted it to CSS. That's a fun experiment but of course it's very different to change the code to emit HTML to a different standard.

      A shout out to Peter and Shane here for working on the XHTML theme :)

      OK, resume flaming us and our sucky HTML, Offtopics all around! :)

      • by Anonymous Coward
        If you check the w3c validator, you will see it finds 129 errors [w3.org] (that may fluctuate due to the content, but there ARE errors).

        Oh, and since you've BLOCKED [w3.org] the w3c validator, I had to go through a Coral Cache link.
      • by seizer (16950)
        Thanks for the info - I'm sure changing slashcode to emit anything else at all will be a big chunk of work, and that's fair enough! No gripes about that, but it'll be great when XHTML happens.

        You really don't emit HTML 3.2 though - more like a a bastardized form of it. It fails horribly with the 3.2 validator here [htmlhelp.com]. And blocking the W3C Validator is a bit of a giveaway too, surely?
      • Despite slashdot's attempts to block the w3c validator, it's still quite trivial to run it against the source code.

        File: Slashdot News for nerds, stuff that matters.htm
        Encoding: iso-8859-1
        Doctype: HTML 3.2
        Errors: 180
        This page is not Valid HTML 3.2!

      • by Stormie (708)

        Slashdot does emit code to an HTML standard, it just happens to be HTML 3.2.

        Nice try, Jamie. That'd be why the W3C Validator [w3.org] reports 207 validation errors on Slashdot's front page, eh? The HTML is absolutely rancid with unbalanced start/end tags, it's a miracle anything renders it properly.

        Of course, you've done your best to hide this, haven't you? If anyone wants to try plugging "http://slashdot.org" into that validator, you'll get a "403 Forbidden" error - yep, the fine folks at Slashdot have blocked

      • The only real long-term benefit will be to us coders

        Not true - valid XHTML has other advantages. For example, it's much easier for devices such as PDAs and phones and programs such as screen readers to parse and make sense of. Bandwidth savings is also relevant to users. Some of us, sometimes, are on slow connections. It's been well proven that having a site respond faster, even when the response is under a second to start with, makes the user experience much better.

      • While I appreciate the difficulty of retooling the site to spit out XHTML+CSS, this article [alistapart.com] in A List Apart estimates that such a Slashdot would save about 10 gigabytes of bandwith per day, saving Taco & Co. some $3600 a year. Plus it would be readable on PDAs and the like. Sounds like a worthy goal to me.
  • firefox (Score:2, Funny)

    by techefnet (634210)
    Its nice to see firefox is doing so well. Mozilla is just a resource hug.. Thats why i changed :)
    • Re:firefox (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jeff Mahoney (11112) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:57PM (#10271658)
      Aww, Mozilla, the touchy feely browser. It hugs my resources!
    • Re:firefox (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NanoGriever (592781)
      It is still a resource hug. It does got rid of useless options and cleaned up the interface. But I don't see it eats up less RAM or something. It's actually getting worse, try browsing a bunch of png files (eg screenshots) and see the memory used goes thru the roof.

      Yeah, I did changed the cache and all those options, doesn't do a thing to help.

  • Only 3 days (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:57PM (#10271653)
    And Firefox 1.0 PR has already hit a half million downloads. Way to go!
  • by syntap (242090) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:58PM (#10271662)
    1) Take 90% of browser market share

    2) Integrate into Windows Explorer and tell judges it can't be ripped out

    My best sig is this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:58PM (#10271663)
    Kiwi helping build browser

    17.09.2004
    By PAUL BRISLEN

    The web browser wars are over and Microsoft won, right?

    Well someone's forgotten to tell Ben Goodger and his team at the Mozilla Foundation because this Kiwi software engineer is taking market share from Internet Explorer (IE) with Firefox, the browser that's smaller yet smarter than anything else available.

    Goodger, back in New Zealand this week visiting family and friends, works for the Mozilla Foundation and has been the lead engineer on Firefox throughout its development.

    He began while still at the University of Auckland waiting for the launch of Netscape 5.0.

    "I used Netscape 4.0 and basically was just designing web pages and doing web development work."

    The wait for version 5.0 was a long one and when Netscape finally ceased development work on its browser and opened up the source code to the Mozilla Foundation, Goodger found himself taking time off to work in the US on the browser itself.

    Today he leads a relatively small team of engineers who are hard at work preparing for the release of Firefox version 1.0 and the Kiwi input is hard to miss.

    The code names for the previous versions of Firefox include Three Kings, Royal Oak, One Tree Hill and Greenlane.

    Firefox has generated an enormous amount of interest among hardcore internet users around the world and for the first time has taken market share away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

    Goodger said the figures themselves varied depending on the source but US-based web training organisation W3Schools claimed IE 6.0 peaked in May of this year with 72.6 per cent market share among its "early adopter" users and had fallen back to 68.3 per cent in August.

    That's the first time IE has declined in market share since its release and could mark the turning point for the browser community.

    The mainstream audience is still firmly in the grasp of IE, however, with figures in excess of 90 per cent reported by several different organisations.

    Most, however, report that IE is losing ground to Mozilla-based browsers and most of those switching are using Firefox.

    In its first day of release the latest version of Firefox was downloaded more than 300,000 times.

    So what is it about Firefox that's attracting users? Goodger said it was a combination of things.

    "Some like the added features, some like the smaller size of the browser. It really depends."

    Goodger is quick to point out that while Firefox is smaller than other browsers, that doesn't mean it's a "lite" version of a browser.

    "It's fully featured. In fact if anything it's got more features that people use than many browsers."

    Goodger and his team have been working with one goal in mind: to make a browser that makes the internet simple again.

    "Do you remember how it was when you first went online? It was easier to search for things, easier to find things, there were fewer annoyances.

    "That's what we want to get back to."

    Goodger said Firefox gave users the chance to block pop-up windows, the bane of many users' lives, but went beyond that.

    Because the browser was not tied in to the operating system, something Microsoft touted as a benefit for IE users, it was not prone to the same security vulnerabilities as IE.

    "We also wanted to make the searching experience much easier for users."

    Consequently Firefox has a Google search box built in and allows users to search within a web page simply by typing in the word they're looking for without having to launch a separate search box.

    Goodger's favourite feature, however, is Firefox's smart keywords utility.

    "It's something that's a little bit hidden so people have been slow to find it but when they do it blows them away."

    Users might, for example, regularly use the company phone book online so Firefox allows them to add that search to their browser.

    "So you can
  • by over_exposed (623791) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:01PM (#10271700) Homepage
    ...just cracks me up. "Mozilla's Goodger on Firefox's Future"

    It just sounds DIRTY... If there was some guys Goodger in my future, I'd certainly try to do something about it...
  • Firefox v. IE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dan_sdot (721837) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:01PM (#10271703)
    In terms of features, I don't see why anyone would NOT use firefox. You could call things like tabs, quick searches and easily accesible plugins "innovative features," but its not really that innovative, if you think about it. Its just obvious. Microsoft's IE is just a way to look at web pages. Period. No customization.
    Congrats to the Mozilla folks for thinking out of the box and trying to create something that users wanted.
    • Re:Firefox v. IE (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheAwfulTruth (325623) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:45PM (#10272107) Homepage
      Here's why not:

      If you install it as the default browser, then it breaks updates (completely for Office). If you don't install it as default, then it frequently doesn't come up (any time a URL is launched via a shell command, which is more often that you might think)

      In the end, I feel like I now need to maintain TWO seperate browsers with constant security updates (Yes, for FF too) and security settings to cover 99% the same functionality. I opined before that I also don't believe that FF is all that secure. Several surprising default settings and demonstrably anti-security minded UI features make it a little frightning.

      In the end, all I really want is a browser to look at webpages, period. This was in fact a main factor for the creation of FF, to have a simple fast browser based on the Moz engine. Well it is so simple and so virtually identical to IE that there really doesn't seem to be a point in using it on Windows...

      On Linux though, It's the shiz-nit! Well, with tightened security settings (hust like IE) and as long as you don't go DLing 500 plugins, it only took one to crash it for me :(

  • by CynicalGeek (781629) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:07PM (#10271763)
    What's wrong with Ponsonby or Remuera - much classier. Or Manukau, Otahuhu, Papatoetoe - much more authentic. They could offer a porn-optimised version of Firefox codenamed "K-Road".
  • Firefox IE (Score:5, Informative)

    by FiReaNGeL (312636) <fireang3l@nOsPAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:07PM (#10271767) Homepage
    More useful features, nice interface and CUSTOMIZABLE! Extensions are so good... but we'll have to see if it's too much for a simple end user.

    My favorite one : WeatherFox! (URL:http://weatherfox.mozdev.org/). Crafteh (wish I knew his real name) developped this beauty following my suggestion on the MozillaZine forum and did an AWESOME job. Weather prediction anywhere in the world in your status bar... soooo usefull! Use it!
  • by fastdecade (179638) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:08PM (#10271780)
    One cool thing about Firefox is support for extensions, extra search engines, etc. Totally configurable and that's the kind of users it's going for.

    If firefox is to hit mainstream, some of the more popular plugins need to be incorporated directly into the product. At the very least, offer for download a chunky version with lots of stuff already installed. But even that won't cut it. Some features, like tabbed browsing, can't just be added on as extensions because they interact badly with other extensions.

    Also, there are backward-compatibility problems with each new release. Developers of open-source extensions aren't going to keep updating their work, so supporting at least the more important extensions should be considered essential from a release perspective, and perhaps they should be incorporated into the core project where possible.

    There's nothing wrong with an extension arhcitecture per se. In fact, they have worked very well in open source, e.g. Eclipse and Linux. And that's true for firefox too. However, the management of extensions requires careful consideration. In Firefox's case, there's room for improvement.

    (BTW maybe this has nothing to do with the interview but it's slashdotted, that's my excuse for waffling on.)
    • Which plugins do you think should be integrated? I'm opposed to integrating them, really -- leave the bloody thing along, it's going to end up bloated enough as is -- but I wouldn't mind checking them out.
      • by MachDelta (704883) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:49PM (#10272152)
        I know this is bound to light a fire under a few peoples pants, but most of TBE (Tabbrowser Extensions) really should be stuffed into Firefox itself. It's just got too many good features to be totally left in the cold as an "extension". It's one of the two extensions I consider critical to my 'Zilla browsing experience (the other one being All-in-One Gestures, because mouse gestures are, to quote a friend, "teh fucking pwn")
        Lemmy start a small laundry list of TBE's perks though:

        -Single window mode (EVERYTHING opens in a new tab)
        -Drag & Drop tab rearranging (its just common sense)
        -Undo close tab (possibly the BEST feature of the entire extension. I use it daily)
        -Modifyable tab bar (move it around, scroll it, make it double layered, etc)
        -Customized tab behavior for new links (hypertext/bookmarks/history/javascript/external apps/etc: choose if they open a new window, tab, or load in an existing one. Very nice for steamlining your browsing experience.)
        -Tab grouping (including pretty colours!)
        -Tab locking (lock a tab to a specific page)
        -Auto reloading of tabs

        I could go on and on... TBE is like everything AND the damn kitchen sink (which is why some people seem to have a seething hatred of it). Really though, would it kill Mozilla to add just a few of the more popular features? I know extensions are supposed to be this big, grand, wonderful idea, but I think a LOT more people (especially average joe's) would be appreciative rather than pissed off to have a couple more handy dandy features. You've got to remember that if you want your browser to go mainstream, its got to have a bit of a "smack you in the face" slant for all the little old ladies and joe-sixpacks out there that aren't gonna spend an hour sifting through the extension library. Leave the "OMG my browzer has NO bloat n' runs 1.00283% fastr on my AMD becuz I compiel'd it myself" to the geeks who know and love that kind of stuff.

        Just my $0.02 anyways. In the meantime i'm just gonna keep loving the hell out of this browser. Firefox RULES! \o/
  • by ARRRLovin (807926) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:11PM (#10271814)
    .........that we (hypothetically) could lock down IE using policies so that IE could *only* browse intranet sites. Then install Firefox as the "Internet Browser". He said it would be too much administration for our PC support group.

    I came back with, "More administration than cleaning and recleaning spyware and adware from users' machines on a daily basis? Symantec and Adaware are supposed to come out with a corporate solution in Q2-05 at the cost of roughly $20-30 a seat. This would cost us nothing but the time we spend orchestrating a rollout."

    I could see the gears turning, which was encouraging. :)
    • Mods, how is this funny? This is interesting, maybe insightful or at the least informative? Underrated if you will. Flamebait if you are hardcore IE'er. Troll if msft gives you a pay cheque. Redundant if you don't know what it means. But not funny. ARRRLovin is making a good point. Come on.
    • by Mateito (746185) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:36PM (#10272026) Homepage
      Note to geeks from a PHB in training:

      Without knowing the particulars of your boss, this is generally not a good approach to convincing a PHB you want something done.

      A suggestion:

      Instead of planning "comebacks" for when boss says "no", present your ideas in such a way that he says "yes" the first time. Changing a "no" to a "yes" is a lot harder than extracting a "yes" in the first place.

      Write down how many hours a day you spend cleaning spyware off computers (a) then give a half page summary of your proposed solution and the number of hours (b) it would take to install, debug it etc. Be as honest as possible with the time. Show boss that after x=f(a,b) days you will be ahead and have more time to work on projects and thus cut costs (use the word MONEY somewhere) in his department.

      Managers are usually goaled on revenue... and thus these are the terms in which you have to express things in order to get that "yes" the first time.
  • GOOD Improvements (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:14PM (#10271835) Homepage
    These things are of course a matter of personal preference, but I find that the innovations in Firefox are almost invariably sensible and useful.

    All too often software developers add things that seem good to them, but which the end user finds irritating or just confusing. Opera is a good case in point, with lots of gee whiz cool features that I just never got around to using. That has never happened to me with Mozilla or Firefox.

    It seems that with every release I'll find some new little feature that suddenly becomes essential, or at least enhances my browsing experience in some nice way, but without detracting from other things.

    The latest was the search bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen when searching in the page. How brilliant! After years of search boxes popping up on top of the text that you're reading, someone figured to drop it in a place that wasn't intrusive.

    Sure, there are still things that I would like changed - like moving more of the configuration away from the "about:" system, but all in all I just like Firefox and find that its greatest feature is that it doesn't get in my way - it just does the job and lets me concentrate on content.
    • Re:GOOD Improvements (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:40PM (#10272062) Homepage
      The latest was the search bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen when searching in the page. How brilliant! After years of search boxes popping up on top of the text that you're reading, someone figured to drop it in a place that wasn't intrusive.

      I installed the new version of Firefox the day it was released, and didn't notice anything different. I went to search for something, hit ctrl-f, typed normally, and found it, no problems.

      About ten seconds later I suddenly realized "wait a second, where was the search box?" I hit ctrl-f again and . . . basically stared in total surprise.

      It's brilliant. It's simple. I can't think of a single downside beyond "will people think to look for it there". Kudos to the Firefox team.

      The only setting change I need now is something to prompt for overwrite when I try to create two identically-named bookmarks - this is a feature I use all the time in IE, and it's literally the only thing keeping me from switching over to Mozilla 100%.
    • Re:GOOD Improvements (Score:3, Informative)

      by hkmwbz (531650)

      "All too often software developers add things that seem good to them, but which the end user finds irritating or just confusing."

      Speak for yourself. Not everyone is into the new and "in" stripped-down software craze. You may love it, but you only represent yourself, not everyone else.

      " Opera is a good case in point, with lots of gee whiz cool features that I just never got around to using. That has never happened to me with Mozilla or Firefox."

      That is Mozilla (SeaMonkey), actually. It's what Firef

  • by geekschmoe (244913) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:16PM (#10271864)
    The main reason I was so interested in firefox to begin with (and the same reason I use it today), was that it focused on trimming out the unnecessary stuff from Mozilla. This makes startup/respopnse time much quicker. It used to take +/- 15 seconds to start mozilla, as opposed to +/- 3 seconds for firefox. Granted, I always run on older hardware, but still.

    The other contenders for a fast browser (konqueror and opera) don't render pages correctly a lot of the time. Konqueror's KDE daemons make it slower to start up. Opera's banners make it rather annoying to use.
  • Code names (Score:3, Interesting)

    by builderbob_nz (728755) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:22PM (#10271919)
    The code names for the previous versions of Firefox include Three Kings, Royal Oak, One Tree Hill and Greenlane.
    Gee, I wonder which city [aucklandnz.com] he grew up in? Good to see a fellow JAFA making a difference (JAFA = Just another f...... fantastic Aucklander)
  • LiveHTTPHeaders (Score:5, Interesting)

    by john_anderson_ii (786633) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:32PM (#10271992)
    The number one reason I switched to Firefox is the LiveHTTPHeaders [mozdev.org]extension. This handy little gadget docks in your sidebar and displays outgoing HTTP requests and incoming responses in real time. It's a must for anyone who works with server side application technologies, load balancing, content switching, or caching. Good stuff.

    Oh, yeah, the pop-up blocking is great too, so is tabbed browsing.
    • That's a pretty lame number one reason for switching as there are plenty of other tools out there for view HTTP traffic.

      There's a equivalent (free) tool for Internet Explorer called Fiddler [fiddlertool.com]. In addition to viewing HTTP traffic it has a framework for programatically 'fiddling' with requests and responses [fiddlertool.com].

      Ethereal [ethereal.com] will let you view HTTP traffic regardless of which browser you are using, however it takes a bit of getting used to.

      Nonetheless, if you're using Firefox, LiveHTTPHeaders is definitely the way

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:37PM (#10272038)
    Will never catch on with the neophytes running Windows unless popular plugins install with a single button click and work seamlessly. Any idea why the Flash photo galleries on the USA Today site keep prompting me to reinstall Flash even though version 7.0.14.0 is already installed with Firefox/Win2K.

    I've installed Firefox on the computers of two relatives, both have inquired about the problems rendering USA Today's contents. Unable to solve the problem I had to tell them to use IE. Yuck! I will gladly forego using photo galleries on USA Today in favor of using this browers but others won't.
  • by Pausanias (681077) <<pausaniasx> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:52PM (#10272173)
    This is potentially the beginning of a huge change in the way advertising works on the internet. As people get turned on to Gecko, they will get turned on to features like AdBlock [mozdev.org]. If Gecko captures 50% market share, you can bet many of those people are viewing neither ads nor unwanted Flash content [mozdev.org], if they're anything like me.

    Does this mean an huge impending change in the way advertising works on the internet? Will companies like the NYT, who make a lot of money from ads, start embedding advertisements in ways such that AdBlocking them with regexp filters would also block out the non-ad images?
    • by TheAwfulTruth (325623) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:57PM (#10272233) Homepage
      This has been happening for quite some time. Like years.

      Sites (like Yahoo, IGN etc) are already making you step through ad pages before seeing content. Sometimes you can block that too, but sometimes not.

      The more we fight against ads, the more annoying and intrusive the ads will become :(
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @06:38PM (#10272626)
      I myself know of Adblock - but I choose not to use it. Sites that have ads that are too annoying to use, I just don't use.

      I'd rather have sites stay around longer because they are supported by advertising revenue. I don't mind a few ads as a price, and I would mind whatever payment scheme would have to replace them.

      But that's just my personal stance. In the larger sense, I think that the populace at large does not care about ads so much that they seek out blocking solutions, or would even go to the effort of using an ad blocker if they could. After all, the US populace is exposed to ads so often we are just about blind to them anyway.

      Popups are a differnt matter as they generate constant unpleasant irritation, and people do go to great lengths to eliminate irritations from their lives.
  • by Insipid Trunculance (526362) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @08:14PM (#10273223) Homepage
    i was going to blame /. for the way the web site renders in Firefox.

    Then i read that its not Slashdot ,its actually firefox.

    Then i read that it actually is /. since its HTML is not valid.

    So can i continue blaming /. or shall i play safe and blame MicroSoft.

    many thanks for your invaluable opinions.

  • Unfair comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by pdamoc (771461) on Friday September 17, 2004 @02:32AM (#10274762) Homepage
    Firefox, the browser that's smaller yet smarter than just about anything else available.

    Firefox Setup 1.0PR.exe - 4,742,005 bytes
    Opera 7.54 - ow32enen754.exe - 3,666,195 bytes
    People should stop comparing Firefox to IE, that's really unfair, its like comparing a power-plant based on nuclear fuel with one based on coal. It is a difference in age.
    However when we compare Firefox with Opera we can clearly see that Opera is a smaller download, it includes a very smart (the smartest I've used) email client, a news reader and an IRC client.
    The day when Firefox/Mozilla will have a email client as smart as Opera's M2 and it will be every bit as accessible as it is now M2 is the day I will consider switching. Till that day I'll still be an Opera fan with all the other browser installed as an alternative.

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