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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox 4 Will Push Edges of Browser Definition 501

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the all-kinds-of-fun-new-toys dept.
Chris Blanc writes "Mozilla Lab's push is to blur the edges of the browser, to make it both more tightly integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services. So extended, the browser becomes an even more powerful and pervasive platform for all kinds of applications. 'Beard wants the new online/offline, browser/service to be more intelligent on behalf of its users. Early examples of this intelligence include the "awesome bar," which is what Mozilla calls the new smart address bar in Firefox 3. It offers users smart URL suggestions as they type based on Web searches and their prior Web browsing history. He's looking to extend on this with a "linguistic user interface" that lets users type plain English commands into the browser bar. Beard pointed me towards Quicksilver and Enso as products he's cribbing from.'"
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Firefox 4 Will Push Edges of Browser Definition

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  • by Raineer (1002750) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:25PM (#22897300)
    Cleartype fonts will clear that right up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      "Blur the edges of the browser"

      Cleartype fonts will clear that right up.
      That's just the text edges, what you really need is good antialiasing.
    • by monkeyboythom (796957) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:08PM (#22898082)

      Welcome timetravelers to the world of 1996!

      Funny..will they talk about about running applications from a browser window...and will they then tout pay-per-services through a web-based subscription model? And yes, why use Microsoft, when a thin OS client is all that will be needed when Netscape...oops...Mozilla runs everything from a browser.

      Gee, I bet they'll next try to sell me on Savings & Loans created funds to house all my Dot.com gains!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        "

        Welcome timetravelers to the world of 1996!

        Funny..will they talk about about running applications from a browser window...and will they then tout pay-per-services through a web-based subscription model? And yes, why use Microsoft, when a thin OS client is all that will be needed when Netscape...oops...Mozilla runs everything from a browser.

        Gee, I bet they'll next try to sell me on Savings & Loans created funds to house all my Dot.com gains!
        "


        You are %100 correct and its all coming true, though your comm
    • by Clete2 (823221) <other&clete2,com> on Friday March 28, 2008 @05:30PM (#22899338) Homepage
      Kiss the original reason for Firefox's invention goodbye. "Now introducing Firefox 4! Now with added bloat!"

      That said, I'm using Firefox 3 Beta 4 and it's less bloaty (memory footprint wise) than Firefox 2.
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday March 28, 2008 @08:39PM (#22901282) Journal
        Not to mention that a browser,which is the single biggest source of viruses and exploits,really shouldn't be more tightly integrated into the OS it's running on.The fact that IE is tightly integrated is the reason I have it blocked at the firewall on all my machines and am using Firefox in the first place.But at least with Open Source if Firefox royally bones it there will be Seamonkey,Kmeleon,or some other fork pop up that uses the Gecko engine without doing something stupid like tightly integrating with the host.Now if I could just get Noscript and Adblock running in Kmeleon I'd have what Firefox was supposed to be originally:a fast lightweight and nicely customized browser that gives me the web MY way.But this is just my opinion,YMMV.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:26PM (#22897318) Homepage
    Because I would like my browser to interact with my machine as little as possible && and I am not at all into social networking.
    • by calebt3 (1098475) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:29PM (#22897374)
      Ditto. Integration with the OS is the last thing I want. That's exactly what gets IE into so much trouble.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300)
        But this is an Open Source Program not a Microsoft App. So it is good for you. Come on Drink the Koolaid. Just because my Integrating the browser with the OS for microsoft created a whole bunch of security conserns doesn't mean it will do the same with your Browser/OS.
        • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:10PM (#22898114)
          I honestly don't want Firefox integrating too much with Ubuntu or other Linux installs. Now while Firefox is a great browser (I usually prefer it) recently it has gotten very popular and is now more of a target for malware, while most malware doesn't target Linux, if Firefox has a flaw in all versions, it would make just adding a Linux binary to the malware to make it affect Linux, and that is something I would rather not ever have to deal with.
          • by FunkyELF (609131) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:22PM (#22898304)
            Unless that Linux binary also exploits some service running as root the worst that can happen is an "rm -rf ~"
            Running arbitrary code on a Windows machine is worse since you can't play minesweeper without being an administrator.
            Not to downplay deleting your home directory, that would suck...I'm just saying its still not as bad.
            • by moranar (632206) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:34PM (#22898488) Homepage Journal
              I'm appalled at how people downplay the effect of rm -rf ~ . A Linux install can be reinstalled in a couple hours, but the important documents people have usually aren't backed up at all, and are therefore much more valuable than the contents of /usr or /etc.
              • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:57PM (#22898824) Homepage
                But on Linux, backing everything up is far simpler than windows.
                cp -rf ~ /backup does the job.

                Compare it to Windows where data is everywhere and its impossible to back up everything properly.

                Anyway most malware wants to make the maker cash, not be disruptive.

                Admittedly, no I do not backup. :P
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by pthisis (27352)

                I'm appalled at how people downplay the effect of rm -rf ~ . A Linux install can be reinstalled in a couple hours, but the important documents people have usually aren't backed up at all, and are therefore much more valuable than the contents of /usr or /etc.

                Absolutely. FWIW, it's not hard if you're user "john" to create a "johnbrowser" user, set the preferred browser to "sudo su - johnbrowser firefox", and "chown -R johnbrowser:john ~/.mozilla ~/Downloads". There are a few details, but distributions could very easily set it up.

                Then your browser doesn't have access to your documents; you can save stuff in ~/Downloads and that's about it. Well, in reality johnbrowser has access to connect to your X Server so there may be some avenues of attack there, but it

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by jeremyp (130771)
              Your case is helped by the blatant lie about Minesweeper.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by kesuki (321456)
              this is the annoying thing so many Linux newbies thing that rm -rf ~ is the 'worst' thing a Linux browser exploit can do.

              No the worst thing a Linux browser exploit can do, is install apache+php+php uploader application in ~
              one that you know, now loads every time the browser is loaded. after all it was the browser that got hacked...

              combine it with some sort of dynamic dns app and the machine can have it's own host name that changes every time it's ip address changes... or instead of a web server, they could
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aix tom (902140)
        That is exactly the thing.

        I switched from Netscape to Phoenix at that time because it was more LIGHTWEIGHT.

        I like programs better that do one thing, and do it good, than the ones that do everything a little.

        Also, integrate Firefox into the OS? As it runs on many OSes that integration will either be bloated without end to fit all OSes, or they don't integrate well, or they fork into different versions for different OSes.

        All things that not really help make the browser better, just cost a lot of time an manpo
    • by dvice_null (981029) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:32PM (#22897442)
      The summary does sound quite bad, but if you read the article, it sounds actually much better.

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

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

      "Weave
      Weave extends the browser in the other direction: Not toward the desktop, but instead into the Internet. Mozilla wants an individual's browsing experience to stay with them no matter what machine they are on."
      • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:51PM (#22897814)
        "Weave extends the browser in the other direction: Not toward the desktop, but instead into the Internet. Mozilla wants an individual's browsing experience to stay with them no matter what machine they are on."

        Screw that! My employer doesn't need to know I read slashfiction or what kind of porn I browse at home. Now, the porn I browse at work, that's different!
    • by iONiUM (530420) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:40PM (#22897580) Homepage Journal
      You're not the "average" user. You know how I know?
      a) you're on slashdot
      b) you used && in your comment, perhaps by mistake
      c) "I am not at all into social networking."

      On the plus side you definitely belong here!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zappepcs (820751)
      I don't want huge OS/browser integration either, but there are some things that I would like regarding browser oriented services. http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Feature_Brainstorming:Bookmarks#Bookmark_tags_and_keywords [mozilla.org]

      when the Browser is keeping tabs on sites visited and metadata regarding that AND making that available to the OS and other Apps there is a great many things that can become easy based on your use of the Internet. More than I can mention here, but I'd like to see it. Imagine some mashup apps
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:47PM (#22898674)
      && and I am not at all into social networking.

      And if you keep using programming terminology like '&&' instead of 'and', YOU NEVER WILL BE.
  • is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ecobady (1253790) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:27PM (#22897328)
    I really dont want mozilla suggesting anything in my address bar
    • Re:is it just me? (Score:5, Informative)

      by dvice_null (981029) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:29PM (#22897394)
      Usually these features can be disabled quite easily from the about:config.
      • Re:is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:35PM (#22897488)
        Oh yea it is easy type about:config (like that is a common way to change preferences in application of the 21 centory) Then hunt down for some feature name that is probable more reference to a Varable Name and less of what it actually does and then figure out what the value should be... A piece of Cake, I have no Idea why people say Open Source Software is hard to use.
        • Re:is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by at_slashdot (674436) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:16PM (#22898220)
          I have no Idea why people say Open Source Software is hard to use.

          I have no idea either, open source is a just way to develop programs, I see no connection between this and the complexity of programs or their user-friendliness, I bet there are many tic-tac-toe programs that are open sourced... I can write a shitty program with close source or open source alike. If it's open source at least there's a chance that somebody else can fix it.
      • Re:is it just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:43PM (#22897658) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

          by soliptic (665417) on Friday March 28, 2008 @05:06PM (#22898988) Journal

          That way out doesn't look like it would be any use to me. From the comments:

          Would it be possible to add an option to give the same search behaviour that the old address bar gave? i.e. Just search based on the beginning of the URL, not searching against sub-strings within the entire URL and title.

          This is what bothers me, not the presentation.

          The current autocomplete matching behaviour suits me perfectly. I press "l", I get "last.fm/user/myusername" suggested. Which is what I want. Because it's the most common site I visit beginning with "l". Which is why I frickin' pressed "l", goddamnit! Not because four weeks ago I once visited a page with <title>Little random thing I have no intention of visiting again</title> !! Ditto "f" for facebook, "e" for "en.wikipedia.org", and of course "s" for slashdot... etc etc.

          With almost every single one of the short list of daily / most-visited URLs (not even just sites, but specific URLs), "initial letter, down arrow, enter" gets me straight there.

          Of course, sometimes this isn't enough. My two most visited forums both begin with "d". Big deal. It's not a chore to type two letters, down arrow, enter.

          It is a chore to have the autocomplete search space vastly increased with a bunch of crap, whereby simple mathematics dictates the S/N ratio will be worse and the matching will get worse. I mean, ffs - it's been standard SEO policy to have lengthy <title> tags and lengthy URLs, containing the maximum possible number of keywords and keyphrases, for years. One or two letter autocomplete terms will be guaranteed to match almost every page in my history.

          Now, people will say, "great, you're a geeky power user who remembers wikipedia will autocomplete from "e" for "en.", but a normal person would type "wiki"..." In that regard I don't really mind that they're monkeying about with this. I am not wanting to be that stereotypical slashdotter who presumes his own habits are the be-all and end-all, if something works perfectly for him then god forbid millions of people should dare to differ, etc.

          In that spirit, whilst I can see what this post [slashdot.org] is getting at, I wouldn't give a damn if changing this back was in about:config. In my experience, every time I've needed to delve into about:config it was something where I felt, "fine, fair enough, that's the sort of geekism where anyone caring enough to change it will be cool with googling the about:config tweak".

          But from what I gather, it's not even possible to change this with about:config. Which makes me want to reach for the :mad: smilies I would have available on the more frivolous boards I frequent.

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

            by Fallingcow (213461) on Friday March 28, 2008 @06:10PM (#22899882) Homepage

            "e" for "en.wikipedia.org"


            OK, you may already know about this, but I feel compelled to spread the Good News in case you don't.

            You can right click on any search field, and click "add a keyword for this search" to be able to type "[keyword] [search term(s)]" in your address bar to use the search.

            For example, every Firefox installation that I use has Wikipedia set up as, "wp [keyword(s)]". If I game on it, it's got Gamefaqs set to "faq [keyword(s)]". I'm so used to it that I try it without thinking on other people's machines and am always a bit taken aback when it doesn't work :) Much faster than selecting the desired search provider in the box at the right.
  • Active Desktop? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:27PM (#22897344) Journal
    Didn't we try this 10 years ago, and it sucked? I want more separation between my browser and OS, not less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by michaelggreer (612022)
      Agreed. And my least favorite feature of FF3? That "smart" toolbar, that refuses to listen to what I'm typing in preference to its own idea of what i want. No thanks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:27PM (#22897348)
    Surely Firefox is going in the wrong direction! IMHO, blurring the edges of the browser should be the job of the Window Manager.

    I'll get my coat..
  • Beard... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:28PM (#22897350)
    From his picture in TFA, Chris Beard, VP of Labs for Mozilla, has no beard, despite his high-up position within the open source movement.

    Does open source play by ZZ-top rules now?
  • Sounds Scarry. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:29PM (#22897392)
    Even though this is Open Source It sounds to Scarry.
    We origionally used firefox because it was a fast simple browser without all the overhead of Mozilla/Netscape. It seems like it is going back into that direction again. Why because once it got popular people began asking oh One more thing. The firefox team needs to learn to say NO to feature requests and Yes to fixing bugs and not finding excuses not to fix them.
  • Wow, FireFox jumps the shark...

    time to check out Opera.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Raineer (1002750)

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

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

  • Oh please DON'T (Score:4, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:31PM (#22897414) Homepage
    I don't WANT the edges pushed. I just want a browser, really. I just want to look at web pages, maybe even post to the occasional online forum (like Slashdot). I don't want a huge bloated thing that will suck up all my system resources and take two minutes to fire up. I just want a simple, standard-compliant, browser. Please, just let Firefox be that and make a new program to do all that other crap.
    • Seriously (Score:4, Funny)

      by joppinkaru (1254112) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:34PM (#22897478)

      I don't WANT the edges pushed. I just want a browser, really. I just want to look at web pages, maybe even post to the occasional online forum (like Slashdot). I don't want a huge bloated thing that will suck up all my system resources and take two minutes to fire up. I just want a simple, standard-compliant, browser. Please, just let Firefox be that and make a new program to do all that other crap.
      What other Windows Vista features can I expect in Firefox 4?
    • Re:Oh please DON'T (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moderatorrater (1095745) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:10PM (#22898116)

      I don't want a huge bloated thing that will suck up all my system resources...I just want a simple, standard-compliant, browser
      You obviously haven't read the standards. Honestly, they're so complex they scream "bloat" at the top of their lungs.
    • Come on - the awesome bar sounds almost as good as the A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000 [wikipedia.org]
  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xeth (614132) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:31PM (#22897418) Journal

    We're not going to fix the memory leaks.

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

  • Opera now has this (i forget the specifics, it's part of html5 i think). I read an article last year saying it'll be in opera and ff. It's in opera's latest, but afaik, it's not in ff3. Is this on the horizon for ff4?
  • Frightful? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gay for Linux (942545) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:33PM (#22897456)
    Anyone else find the security aspect of this a bit frightful? They want a database which will track our browsing habits, constant updates to the Mozilla servers, and integration with the OS?

    Firefox starts to sound like the next big brother.
    • Re:Frightful? (Score:4, Informative)

      by garett_spencley (193892) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:39PM (#22897572) Journal
      Actually the first thing that I thought after reading the summary was that FF4 was going to be Internet Explorer.

      I think everyone else hit the nail on the head. We originally used Phoenix because it WASN'T these things. It was a light, simple, fast, usable browser. Now they're talking about integrating it with the OS ... isn't that something we've been complaining about with regards to IE for the last 10 years ?
  • by tknn (675865)
    So why don't they just break down and admit they are developing an OS that runs on top of other OSes?
  • Microsoft integrating a browser with the OS = bad.

    Mozilla integrating a browser with the OS = good.

    I know /. loves to Microsoft bash, but this demands a loud "WTF?"
  • rewrite html first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spectro (80839)
    Instead of blurring and complicating all this even more, why not take a fresh look into HTML and how to create a new open markup language that allows for powerful and rich UIs instead of having to mess with HTML/XML/Javascript/Ajax/etc.

    HTML and all the technology around it did its job. Now it is time to come up with something better.
  • SeaMonkey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoktorSeven (628331) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:42PM (#22897648) Homepage Journal
    Odd that Firefox was spun off from Mozilla because Mozilla was too bloated and heavy, and now we're back around where Firefox is going to be (is?) the bloated one -- and the new Mozilla, SeaMonkey, is actually light and simple compared to Firefox.

    So I've switched to SeaMonkey. So long, Firefox. I've used you since the early days when you were known as Phoenix. I shan't be using you any more, given the direction you're heading.
     
  • by Bovius (1243040) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:46PM (#22897730)
    Lemme break it down for you:
    • Gestation: Initial release of totally awesome browser is developed.
    • Infancy: A few people start using the browser and see how totally awesome it is. Word spreads.
    • Childhood: User base grows explosively. People start complaining that totally awesome browser doesn't have feature X.
    • Adolescence: More and more features get tacked on to browser. Side effects of bloat become noticable. Users start to ask for a lite version.
    • Maturity: Browser starts performing tasks entirely unrelated to web browsing. Browser becomes hefty and clumsy (FireFox is somewhere in this stage)
    • Entrenchment: Browser has enough of a user base to establish its own nonstandard rules for web content, essentially branching the web. Alienation and hostility ensue.
    • Death:: User base dwindles becuase the browser doesn't play nice with the rest of the world anymore.
    Those of us who think the new vision is a bad thing aren't necessarily curmudgeons who don't want anything to change. We know a lot of very specific things about how we want to interact with a computer, and we don't want the same organization that produces our web browser of choice to dictate the rest of that interaction. It doesn't really matter whether they get it right or not.
  • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:46PM (#22897736) Homepage Journal
    The whole original premise of Firefox was that it was lightweight, fast, and actually worked. Because of this, I think they should keep the firefox brand as-is... make it smaller, faster and more lightweight, but no reason to go fill it up with these features.

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

    Personally, I think they need to make firefox even moreminimalistic. Something that will have the absolute smallest memory footprint after being launched and be snappy and responsive. Modern websites have a TON of code ([x]html/css/javascript) and graphics so it's understandable that the footprint would grow when you have 30 tabs open; but on slower hardware such as the eeepc or older laptops, I'd like the browser to not impact the system quite as much in the memory department.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rrohbeck (944847)
      Amen. It's time for a lean and fast browser again. One without plugins and extensions, and limited Javascript.
      I want a browser, not an OS.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:47PM (#22897748) Journal
    Firefox will be a great OS. The only thing it lacks is a decent browser.

    What we need is the browser equivalent of vi [the-little...d-girl.org]. And it actually exists. How wierd is that?
  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:53PM (#22897850)
    I like the idea of Weave. I log into 3 different Firefox browsers each day. None have the same bookmarks or history. My last attempt at synchronizing them over the internet resulted in Google deleting the vast majority of my bookmarks. I wasn't about to try that again. That said, I really don't want my cookies, passwords or favorites ending up on a desktop in Thailand unauthorized, for any reason whatsoever.

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

    The primary roadblock at this point is network access. Sometimes I don't have network access on my MacBook, depending where I am (Alaska comes to mind). The ability to continue working on web-based applications, absent of a network, is tantalizing, to say the least. Imagine writing a whole bunch of emails on Gmail, and synchronizing once you get network access. (Like all the stability of Outlook (ha!) and all the continuous service updates of Gmail, rolled into one.)
    • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:02PM (#22897986)
      You can do that with a standard pop email client using gmail now. Why should it be built into the browser functionality?
      • by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:26PM (#22898374)

        You can do that with a standard pop email client using gmail now. Why should it be built into the browser functionality?

        That's true for email, but from a general standpoint there's only a finite number of applications possible for an infinite amount of web applications. Desktop versions of Picasa, Google Calendar, or even any given corporate intranet app would be nice. Plus, from a developer's standpoint, the idea of being able to push out fixes and having users automatically receive them every time they connected to the network would be a good thing.

        Frankly, it sounds a little bit like Java, which is why even as I type this, I wonder where I've heard all this before. (In fact, I work in the commodities industry, and one of our trading platforms works just like this, except they have official releases.)

  • by Zakabog (603757) <john@jmaug. c o m> on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:53PM (#22897854)
    Mozilla Lab's push is to blur the edges of the browser, to make it both more tightly integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services.

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

    Doesn't Firefox already use up enough memory? Currently Firefox is running on my computer using up nearly 800MB of RAM. I have 3 tabs open and none of them are doing anything intense. I'm glad my computer has 2 gigs of RAM but I bought that for Photoshop not Firefox...
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:59PM (#22897934) Homepage Journal
    Where the women are easy and the booze is cheap!
  • by shish (588640) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:01PM (#22897970) Homepage

    It seems that the world is moving back to a thin client setup; but instead of a client having a network connection to a server, its communication is via several abstraction and generic transport layers (HTTP / AJAX); instead of using a relevant protocol, everything is translated into XML-based RPC; and instead of using a useful widget set, everyone is bastardising HTML (eg, the hundreds of javascript-based calendar widgets; when all GUI toolkits I know of have one built in).

    Is it just me, or is this hideously inefficient, ugly, and Wrong(tm)?

    • Of course it is inefficient and Wrong(tm), and I have commented before on this same issue. And don't get me started on writing rich web applications that run on different browsers. Cross-browser compatibility very frustrating and maybe even harder than cross-platform compatibility.

      However, what else do you suggest?

      1. A Browser is already available on most systems, nothing to install.

      2. Having an application run inside your Browser is reasonably secure.

      3. HTTP is a protocol that is enabled/workin
  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:04PM (#22898014) Homepage

    integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services
    So Firefox 4 is going to have Active X?
  • by radl33t (900691) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:04PM (#22898026)
    "Get off my lawn"
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:06PM (#22898040)
    All I really want is for the address bar to include sites I've visited many times, but just have never typed in the actual URL before. It's a real pain to start typing only to find that the address isn't coming up in the suggestions and resorting back to the bookmarks menu. Anything more complex than that is a pain for me -- I want less typing, not more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MP3Chuck (652277)
      Sounds like you want something like Firefox 3's address bar. When you start typing in the address bar it basically searches your history and bookmarks. So I can type "dot" and it'll still bring up "slashdot" since that's the most relevant result for me.
  • Jumped the shark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quattro Vezina (714892) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:08PM (#22898078) Journal
    Tagged with "jumpedtheshark".

    A web browser should be a web browser, goddammit.

    The Mozilla Foundation is the single biggest thing hurting Firefox. The MoFo has already turned Firefox into proprietary software. Seriously, Firefox isn't as free as you think, all while falsely claiming Firefox is open-source. They commit extortion against people who make custom icons, and they've announced that no one is allowed to distribute Firefox without MoFo signing off on it. Debian and the FSF want nothing to do with them, and for good reason.

    I have much less of a problem with Opera. Opera doesn't hide the fact that they're not free at all. It's a closed-source browser that admits it. The Mozilla Foundation lacks that honesty.

    Not to mention performance: Firefox is a giant memory leak, while Opera just keeps chugging along. Then again, Opera has managed to piss me off with 9.50...I hate how 9.50 totally locks up my computer and makes my hard drive grind for 30 seconds flat every time I type a URL into the address bar.
  • Huh? Why?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neowolf (173735) on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:22PM (#22898302)
    They really need to just work on having the fastest and most standards-compliant Web browser available. That is what people want and expect from Firefox.

    Microsoft has been trying to "blur the lines" of their browser for years, and look at the mess that's ended up being. Once you start blurring the lines and hooking more and more into the operating system- you create security and reliability risks. Firefox is popular now because it is more standards compliant than IE 7 (and probably IE 8) and is considerably safer and more reliable. Why ruin a good thing?
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday March 28, 2008 @05:04PM (#22898950)
    To all the people panicking about IE like OS integration, I think you're all over-reacting and missunderstanding. There's more than one way to join two things together.

    The article doesn't go into specifics, but I'd imagine that what Beard is talking about is creating a browser that has a richer UI, and not limited by the traditional browser window. The effect would be a browser that doesn't look like a browser, and webapps that don't look like webapps. This doesn't mean a tightly-coupled OS/Browser combo like IE is/was. Obviously Mozilla can't really do that, since they don't have control over any OS.
  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Friday March 28, 2008 @05:13PM (#22899098)
    Web surfing, period. If I wanted to do other things, I'd get the other things that would do it. At least make it a plugin please.

    What makes me wish a web page were more tightly integrated with my OS? Absolutely nothing.

    What makes me wish the address bar did more than go to where I type? Absolutely nothing.

    Things that I wish for:

    1) A fast, stable, independent browser that launches and terminates quickly.

    2) The address bar not to reset focus when a page is done loading if I am typing.

    Firefox is great because of all the plugins. I managed to get it just the way I want it, and I couldn't have done it without them.

    Firefox sucks out of the box though, so maybe the developers can work on making a more impressive initial package.

  • Awesomebar? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday March 28, 2008 @10:45PM (#22902048) Homepage
    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
  • by kilodelta (843627) on Friday March 28, 2008 @10:47PM (#22902056) Homepage
    Would they please get the add-on's rocking for FF3? I'm still using 2.0.0.13 right now because I use a ton of add-on's that aren't available for FF3 yet.
  • by Flammon (4726) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @07:30AM (#22903826) Homepage Journal
    Seems like many Slashdotters are missing the point. The idea is to use the same technology that is used in the Firefox browser such as the rendering engine (Gecko), style sheets, scripting, XUL, etc. and use it for more than simply browsing the web. Let's call these parts the Mozilla platform. So now we have a web browser, Firefox, an mail client, Thunderbird and a calendar application, Sunbird. Why not an instant messenger, a media player, a bittorrent client, a document reader.

    I would love to be able to set the look of my desktop by simply changing a style sheet or extend my applications by writing a little JavaScript. The Mozilla platform has become very capable over the years and could make the development of powerful network integrated desktop applications very easy. The name Firefox was used in the article because it is familiar but The Mozilla platform would have been a better choice of words.

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