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Netscape Founder Backs New Browser 243

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the making-web-development-harder dept.
wirelessjb writes to share that after a resounding defeat at the hands of Microsoft in the first major browser war of the mid 1990s, Marc Andreessen is looking to have another go at the market by backing a new startup called "RockMelt." "Mr. Andreessen suggested the new browser would be different, saying that most other browsers had not kept pace with the evolution of the Web, which had grown from an array of static Web pages into a network of complex Web sites and applications. 'There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,' Mr. Andreessen said. RockMelt was co-founded by Eric Vishria and Tim Howes, both former executives at Opsware, a company that Mr. Andreessen co-founded and then sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for about $1.6 billion. Mr. Howes also worked at Netscape with Mr. Andreessen."
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Netscape Founder Backs New Browser

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  • May I say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chebucto (992517) * on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:29PM (#29071245) Homepage

    Netscape's interface was the best

    Long live Seamonkey

    • And they used to have the best digital content distribution mechanism, stacks and stacks of floppy disks!
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      I find it interesting that TFA says:
      After its early success, Netscape was roundly defeated by Microsoft in the so-called browser wars of the 1990s that dominated the Web's first chapter.

      Which pretty much sets up TFA to never mention the anti-competitive trade practices Microsoft used and was sued for.

      • Re:May I say (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TrancePhreak (576593) on Friday August 14, 2009 @07:53PM (#29072507)
        Don't forget to mention that Netscape started to kill itself! Bloated and buggy.
  • Chrome 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdf356 (774923) <mdf356.gmail@com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:32PM (#29071271) Homepage

    'There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,' Mr. Andreessen said.

    Yeah, I'd build a browser more like... Chrome. Which addressed this issue less than two years ago. Has the web changed a lot in two years?

    What's the profit model for this startup? That's the most interesting question, to me.

    • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:4, Funny)

      by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:36PM (#29071317)

      I imagine Marc Andreessen has enough change in his sofa cushions to keep a startup going for decades.

    • Chrome 0 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:38PM (#29071345) Homepage Journal

      I'd build a browser more like... Chrome.

      I wouldn't. I'd dump most of the custom GUI features in Chrome and Firefox, and quit screwing around with the stuff around the browser window. It's the stuff inside the browser window that you actually care about, not whether the icons are grey metal or jello blue.

      • Re:Chrome 0 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:51PM (#29071509)

        You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right? I wish people would quit wasting time coming up with that nonsense and get back to the 'stuff inside the browser window'...

        I'll even go back to your themes point and argue that. As hard as it is for the common /.er to process, we are humans and not machines. People love their colors and themes. When my mom, grandmother, uncle and other aunt got a new computer, I got the inevitable "you work with computers, right" call and every single last one of them had in their top 5 "how to" questions: Can't I change the picture behind my icon thingies? How do I do that?

        Never underestimate the human desire to want to make their world their own. Even when they know they aren't.

        • Re:Chrome 0 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday August 14, 2009 @07:04PM (#29072111) Homepage Journal

          You work with computers, right? How do I set up my machine to display not "color", per se, but to be more visible for the "color blind". See, I fail all color vision tests - can't see red or green. I don't CARE about the colors so much, as I just want important stuff to be sharp and clear. (Why on earth does everyone use red to color "important shitzls", when red just fades into the backgroud? Use a nice electric blue - make it flash - THAT will get my attention!!)

          Alright, maybe I'm just mocking "normal" people. Whatever. But, it's fair to point out that eye candy isn't a priority with everyone. ;-)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Darkness404 (1287218)
            I think you might want the high contrast inverse theme on GNOME. Not sure if the colors are right (not being color-blind myself) but it has good contrast.
          • Re:Chrome 0 (Score:5, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14, 2009 @08:31PM (#29072741)

            Red wouldn't fade into the background if you could see it. Red is such a frightening color because it's the color of blood, so every time you see it, it looks like something's bleeding a little. It's horrifying really. Be glad you can't see it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Not just colors. Work with a netbook and you'll learn to value minimized themes with tiny buttons and the ability to cram two toolbars in next to the menu bar. Netbooks put vertical real estate at a premium and anything that helps me reduce the browser chrome's vertical footprint dramatically improves the browser's usefulness (from "useless" to "almost decent").

          Likewise, OSes that natively support theming (ur a UXTheme-hacked Windows) are a very good thing because every vertical pixel I can shave off the
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Enderandrew (866215)

            I find KDE 3 to be my desktop of choice on netbooks because I have so much control over every theming aspect. I can get great functionality with pixel real estate being a premium.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bigdavex (155746)

          You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right?

          I personally think a UI for these things in any way different than a web page of links is silly. If we can come up with a better way of navigating links to web pages, then the rest of the web should work that way, too.

        • by argent (18001)

          You mean completely useless and pointless things around the content like favorite & history menus and tabs too, right?

          No, I mean like the "awesome bar" and XUL and Google Toolbars and putting the tabs in weird places.

          I use Camino in preference to Firefox or Chrome or Safari on OS X, because it's just got conventional native OS widgets and menus, and runs faster with less overhead than any of the "big names".

          People love their colors and themes.

          Themes, yes. Skinnable applications, no. The place for color

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Korin43 (881732)
        I doubt anyone that uses Chrome cares about how it looks. The reason I use it is because it's as fast as Firefox 1.0 was. Now that Firefox 3.5 takes 30 seconds to start and crashes constantly (on Linux at least), I'd rather use a browser that's fast and stable (and yes, Chrome on Linux is still pre-alpha and it's more stable than Firefox).
        • by nschubach (922175)

          Maybe you should try Iceweasel...(though I thought they had the same code base) mine starts in about 3 seconds, and never once has it crashed.

          • Iceweasel is an unofficial build of Firefox with some patches. In reality, I think every major distro includes a few non-upstream patches in their Firefox builds. Mozilla only allows "official" builds to be branded as Firefox. They seemed to ignore the patching other distros did, but at one point the Debian crowd got into an argument with the Mozilla crowd, and now Debian/Ubuntu can't brand their builds as Firefox.

        • I doubt anyone that uses Chrome cares about how it looks. The reason I use it is because it's as fast as Firefox 1.0 was. Now that Firefox 3.5 takes 30 seconds to start and crashes constantly (on Linux at least), I'd rather use a browser that's fast and stable (and yes, Chrome on Linux is still pre-alpha and it's more stable than Firefox).

          Really? On my rig running slackware 12.1, firefox 3.5 starts almost instantly and crashes very rarely

          • by Jesus_666 (702802)
            Well, if you add in the time it takes the auto-updater to download and install five extensions you might approach thirty seconds between "clicked the icon" and "ready to use". Firefox 1.0 didn't have that delay... because it didn't have an auto-updater, if I remember correctly.
        • FF 3.5 doesn't take half a minute to start, OR crash for me. Either on Ubuntu, or on Windows. Limiting the number of add-ons helps is most important - if you are asking Firefox to perform eleventy-hundred tasks for you at startup, yes it's going to take awhile to load.

          Stripped down, and with the browser tweaked for my purposes, FF3.5 doesn't really seem to be any slower than FF .5 through FF 1.0 was.

          If it's crashing all the time for you, maybe you need to reinstall not only FF, but Flash, Java, and any ot

        • Re:Chrome 0 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Enderandrew (866215) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [werdnaredne]> on Friday August 14, 2009 @07:19PM (#29072249) Homepage Journal

          The Mozilla devs seem to give the Linux version of Firefox very little love. I've been secretly hoping for a Qt version of Firefox for ages, which supposedly Nokia was working on. They said they did the bulk of the port in a month, but then it never seemed to finish/surface. But now there are browsers like rekonq and Arora which are very small, and extremely fast. Rekonq is eventually moving to a per-process design like Chrome, and integrates well with KDE.

      • Actually, Chrome's design was to eliminate most of the clutter so you focus on the inside of the window. Why have an address bar and a search bar? While have the tabs and window buttons on separate vertical lines?

        IE's method was to remove the menu bar, which I don't like. But removing clutter is definitely the way to go.

        • by argent (18001)

          OK, I'm looking at Google Chrome next to Safari next to Camino. I have to look at a picture of Chrome because it doesn't run on the Mac.

          They all have the same number of horizontal rows of elements. The biggest difference between them is that the ones in Chrome take up more vertical space than the ones in Safari and Camino. I have the option in Safari and Comino of displying a bookmark bar, but I've turned that off.

          You can merge the address and search boxes into one box without creating a custom GUI that doe

          • When you same the same number of horizontal rows of elements, are you counting the Mac application menu bar at the top or not?

            I only use Linux and Windows. I'm on a Windows box at work right now. I just pulled up a Chrome 3, IE7, and Firefox 3.6a window side-by-side on Windows. Chrome uses half the vertical space on Windows as the other two browsers. IE7 uses slightly more than Firefox 3.6a.

            Chrome has the fewest amount of buttons. I also like that the default "home" page isn't a traditional page, but rather

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Enderandrew (866215)

            I also just pulled up Safari on Windows, and it uses the same number of elements as Firefox, and almost an identical UI.

            You have the menu-bar.

            Below that you have navigation links next to the address bar, and then the search bar. Below that is the bookmark menu (which I almost always turn off).

            Safari uses smaller icons than Firefox by default, but Firefox makes it easier to install a theme with smaller icons.

      • Remove ALL GUIs that use traditional windows/dialogs/menus and make them all like PVR OSD menus that
        are easy to use, look pretty and most of call can be accessed by a remote control or touch screen easily.
        Use overlays with transparency for status bars/widgets/addons.

    • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:39PM (#29071353)

      What's the profit model for this startup? That's the most interesting question, to me.

      According to the various articles, RockMelt will attempt strong integration with social networking sites. So I would assume the profit model is mining users' privacy and selling advertising.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Finally! I hate having to download all that spyware myself.

        • by argent (18001)

          Don't worry, Google can feed you all the spyware they want completely painlessly via Google Updater when you install Chrome.

      • by tepples (727027)

        According to the various articles, RockMelt will attempt strong integration with social networking sites.

        Then what advantage would it have vs. Firefox with extensions for each social networking site?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lena_10326 (1100441)
          Brainstorming a little bit... some advantages could be:
          • Creating a distinct unambiguous brand name. It's harder to do that if you're piggy backing on Firefox which has it's own brand name.
          • Andreessen's position in the industry brings notability so it'll be newsworthy (news articles = free advertising). His expertise is with browsers, so I imagine leveraging his name is more congruent with a new browser rather than a new browser plugin.
          • They believe a plugin is a harder sell because there could be less p
      • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:35PM (#29071915)
        Who are the people proposing this and do they not understand the "plug-in" concept as demonstrated in most browsers, but especially well in Firefox? Firefox offers such extensive addon customization that one wonders what more could possibly be done with a new browser rather than simply writing an addon? Why should strong social network integration be "built in" to the browser anyway? That is what addons are for. This sounds like the sort of idea that a business person, who had little or no knowledge of software engineering, would propose. What is surprising is that someone like Marc would fall for it. As for the investors in this startup, well, "the fools and their money will soon be parted company"; perhaps that is what Marc intends to do from the start, separate foolish investors from their money.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        Flock already integrates with social networking sites. IE8 does this as well.

        I think you're correct that the point of RockMelt is to monetize this.

    • I'm using Chrome right now, but it isn't "different" in any deep sense of the word; just slightly themed.

      That said, I'll wait to see what this new browser is all about. I'd be very surprised if you can make a browser THAT differently, given that the underlying protocol/model won't change.

      • I'm using Chrome right now, but it isn't "different" in any deep sense of the word; just slightly themed.

        I'd be very surprised if you can make a browser THAT differently, given that the underlying protocol/model won't change.

        Erm chrome/ie7 where leaps better than the other browsers in the sense that they completly changed the underlying process/thread/tab model. chrome isn't about its lightweight UI its about the changes under the hood!

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by EvanED (569694)

          ..its about the changes under the hood!

          Yet the user's experience is only little refined because of it.

          I don't want to knock that; believe me, I have enough problems with Firefox on Linux because of the lack of separation between the tabs that I can't wait for when Chrome has a decent Linux build. From what it sounds that this guy wants to do, it sounds like he doesn't want behind the scenes changes, he wants to revamp the user experience. (Whether or not this browser will, or will in a good way, we'll have

      • Chrome is EXTREMELY different from other browsers.

        Everything is a separate process, including plugins. Each process is placed in a sandbox to protect your security and privacy. One tab, or even one plugin in that tab shouldn't be able to crash your whole browser, nor compromise the security of your PC.

        The V8 JS engine is also refreshingly different. Do yourself a favor and read this:

        http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/ [google.com]

        • Sandboxes? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by argent (18001)

          Each process is placed in a sandbox to protect your security and privacy.

          Jails/partitions, or just chroot? What, on Windows?

          Or do you mean the javascript engine is a separate instance (because it's a separate process) so they're sandboxed from each other because they're in different processes. Which is a good thing, but describing it as putting each PROCESS in a sandbox is misleading as hell.

          • For each tab, which has its own process, it has a separate thread for JS unique to that tab/process. It has no permissions unless it is elevated, and even then, that elevation doesn't affect JS in other tabs. And when you leave that domain, the trust relationship is restarted on the next site, even within the same tab.

            Like I said to CarpetShark, you should read the Chrome comic.

    • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s[ ]hdot.org ['las' in gap]> on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:08PM (#29071667)

      Your mind is not able to think very far, is it? Like those Star Trek "aliens"*. Or "new and innovative" car models that look *freakin exactly* like the old ones, so you have to look twice to even see the difference!

      It's so very common that I see people coming up with things that they call great innovative thinking, and I can show them multiple boxes and outdated philosophies that they still think inside of, on the spot.

      Chrome is still showing HTML pages in tabs that you navigate trough with the virtual interface of links, a history to move through, etc, and a physical interface of the mouse and keyboard. In a window. With no new widgets, concepts, philosophies, or anything new of any kind. And we're not talking about two years. We're talking about time span since Mosaic 1.0 in 1993. Because other than the Addons or Firefox and Greasemonkey, pretty much nothing innovative in browsers has appeared or changed since then. (Maybe Flock was an approach. But it was a half-assed one, and failed because of that.)

      ___
      * I really liked the show, but I hated what they called extraterrestrial, including the "explanation".

      • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:5, Funny)

        by maxume (22995) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:40PM (#29071939)

        So how bout you drop some of that wisdom on us Merlin, instead of just fucking telling us we are stupid.

      • by JSG (82708)

        So what exactly are you arguing about? Both you and the post you reply to are wittering on over an insubstantial piece of marketing puff. Why do you castigate a stranger over nothing? This is a discussion site, but there is nothing to discuss apart from the pointlessness of the posting of the original topic, unless you want to push the possible product. If you wish to talk history then fine but this isn't about history, it's a product - that isn't released yet - launch. Incidentally, my first browser was

      • by gknoy (899301)

        Perhaps browsers, in their current incarnation, are very well suited to representing a web of hyperlinked documents in a way that humans can easily read and relate to. Are there any shortcomings (aside from lack of originality/innovation) that you can elaborate on?

      • Re:Chrome 2 (Score:4, Funny)

        by Atario (673917) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:54PM (#29072059) Homepage

        Chrome is still showing HTML pages in tabs that you navigate trough with the virtual interface of links, a history to move through, etc, and a physical interface of the mouse and keyboard. In a window.

        Ha! So true! Those hidebound sheep, still using HTML (instead of XIEJD), tabs (instead of buckets), links (instead of jellybeans), history (instead of triple-reverse history), a physical mouse/keyboard interface (instead of magnetic-induction frontal-cortex implants). In windows (instead of architectural glass blocks)! They really should get with the times.

      • Like those Star Trek "aliens"*.

        You mean... guys with a moustache aren't really Clingons?

      • by digitig (1056110)
        Thing is, any new thinking needs to be based on the tasks that users actually want to accomplish. The reason I use Firefox is because of the addins -- specifically Zotero, which I use daily. This new browser can rethink the concept as much as it likes; if it doesn't give me a means of citation management for free that is at least as good as I can get under Firefox (including integration with a word processing package at least as good as OpenOffice.org), I'm not interested. And I suspect that citation manage
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215)

      Exactly my thoughts.

      Chrome has a fast JS engine. It separates plug-ins so they can't crash the browser. The interface doesn't get in your way. It sandboxes everything for security. It integrates Gears to use web apps offline.

      What is this start-up going to do that Chrome doesn't do?

      I haven't read the article, but if I was going with a start-up today, I'd build around Chromium to start, but port it to Qt to use one code-base on all platforms. With the per-process design, you could even call different versions

  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:36PM (#29071313)
    ... That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, Mr. Andreessen...

    Marc: My name... is RockMelt!
  • by JSG (82708) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:37PM (#29071333) Homepage

    The Rockmelt website isn't too interesting. It's a bit presumptuous to assume it will get a /.ing. Perhaps it is suffering from the Marketing Dept assuming people will come back later in the hope of revelation, rather than them saying "ooh nice logo" and then instantly forgetting about them and moving along.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JSG (82708)

      Bad juju replying to my own post but this is just a product placement ad. There is no substance whatsoever about what is actually different with this browser. There are no details either in either of the links. Surely money changed hands to put this drivel on /.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bertoelcon (1557907)
        Given your UID I would hope you have heard of these, they are called "slashvertisements".
        • by JSG (82708)

          Yep, but I normally avoid them. Incidentally I was a lurker for a good two years before I signed up. The thing that gets me is why on earth do people bother posting on them and not move on? In the good old days my karma would be in tatters by now given the amount of crap I've posted in my name all over this thing. Being off topic doesn't seem quite so scary as it once was.

          I don't mind obvious ads but this shite really gets on my tits. If people swore enough and posted enough garbage on this topic then

  • You have a problem with authority, Mr. Andreessen. You believe that you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you. Obviously you are mistaken. The intrawebz is one of the most totally awesome things in the world because every single browser understands that they are part of a whole. Thus if a blag has a problem, the tubes have a problem. The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Andreessen. Either you choose to respect the tubes from this day forth or you choose to find yourself another industry
  • Tim Howes (Score:5, Informative)

    by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:40PM (#29071363)
    Tim Howes is also the inventor of the LDAP Protocol, when he was a grad student at UMich studying DAP and DIT under X.500 of OSI fame.
  • by JamJam (785046) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:41PM (#29071381)
    That article was so light on on content all that we can summarize is that RockMelt is another browser. A browser with a creative name, that has a "browser rock star" who is backing it, and one that has some new "plug-in" features with Facebook. So why am I lacking any excitement by this? Correct me if I'm wrong but it's not like Andreessen is a Steve Job's visionary or anything.
    • by Itninja (937614) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:57PM (#29071559) Homepage
      "Little else is known about RockMelt, and Mr. Vishria was unwilling to discuss it. "We are at very early stages of development," Mr. Vishria said. "Talking about it at this stage is not useful."

      Good thing it was on Slashdot where nothing is useful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JSG (82708)

      This "article" is just another marketing ploy for some vapourware. Can't you see that? By gum, /. isn't the same these days 8) There are a couple of good jokes in this topic but in the end this is all just an exercise in promotion and we are it's semi willing participants, breathing life into the marketing machine.

      IT'S ALL JUST BOLLOCKS - I WANT NEWS ON MY /. NOT THIS SHIT.

    • by ElizabethGreene (1185405) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:31PM (#29071889)
      The big story here is Mr. Andreessen is backing a browser product, a market thought to be dead and buried in terms of profit. He was profiled in Forbes a while back and his name resonates with the financial types. He has credibility with investors because he called Facebook and Twitter (among others) as a buy pretty early in their lifecycles. Corollary, the Forbes article mentions that he has a crap-ton of OPM to invest now, so he can afford to take some long-shots. -ellie
  • by doroshjt (1044472) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:41PM (#29071387)
    It'll have built in twitter and facebook access. Totally social networkitized
  • Andreessen's problem with Netscape is that the people who wrote it were too old. No vision.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:43PM (#29071407)
    What does he mean that most browsers aren't keeping pace with the web? By definition, browsers define the pace of the web. If your browser can't see it then it doesn't exist yet.

    There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tool462 (677306)

      There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.

      I thought that was the definition of an IE-centric web developer.

    • There's no one out there making a good living by creating webpages that browsers can't display.

      Ian Hickson is the chief developer of the Acid3 test [wikipedia.org], which was designed such that no web browser at the time could display it.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      Actually, browsers are about dead last in defining the pace.

      Scripting or plugins probably define it, by highlighting areas where the browser is failing to deliver desired functionality, so third party code is used to make up for it.

  • Marc, may not be the guy to do it, but modern operating systems are more than capable of being both client and server in a hostile network. (AKA the Internet)

    I would argue 600lb gorilla ISP's, media conglomerates and as an extension of the media conglomerates Microsoft and Apple won't want to embrace it.

    But it's a fundamental capability of the Internet that has *just* started to be included inside a browser.

    Bring it on!

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Running servers on the internet is kind of like nuclear warfare.

      Sure, you can get yourself a 99.99% accuracy/success ratio. It might even
      impress some people. The only problem is that you've got so much crap being
      thrown at so many people that even your nice sounding number is going to
      be overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the problem.

      The moment you have a system that places any more burdens on the n00b user
      to "maintain" it, you have immediately lost.

      That consumer laziness will ensure that any defects tha

  • Blink (Score:5, Funny)

    by jointm1k (591234) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:46PM (#29071453)
    Tell me Mr. Andreessen, what good is a new browser, if you are unable to . . . <blink>?
  • by FudRucker (866063) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:46PM (#29071461)
    or I am going to kick your ass!
  • Rock Melt? Sounds like these guys are on crack.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:55PM (#29071547)

    I'm pretty sure someone already made Flock. :)

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:01PM (#29071603)

    I just checked the date, I thought for sure it must be April 1st.

    Marc Andreessen is jumping into the browser wars again? What's next, Ford announces a "re-imagined" Edsel?

  • Okay, admittedly the article is VERY light on detail. But over the past year or two, it seems like we've heard from a few of the 1990 internet pioneers who apparently never learned anything from the dot com collapse (maybe because they cashed out for billions before it happened?). Anyway, who puts money into designing a new web browser as "an investment" nowadays? Didn't he discover the fundamental problem with this back during browser wars 1.0? Netscape did originally try to charge for their browser...

    It d

  • by voidvektor (1254168) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:14PM (#29071737)
    I did some digging around and found an e-mail to a google group from a guy settings up RockMelts site:
    http://www.mail-archive.com/scalr-discuss@googlegroups.com/msg02866.html [mail-archive.com]
    The same guy asked questions on the Chromium mailing list, "helping a co-worker get the chromium src".
    http://groups.google.com/group/chromium-dev/browse_thread/thread/105e19e8d4f6c650?pli=1 [google.com]
    Probably nothing, but could be something...
  • by LionMage (318500) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:19PM (#29071767) Homepage

    Judging from what little was revealed in TFA, I guess RockMelt more or less requires you to have a Facebook account, and to use a Facebook login to access RockMelt's features. Talk about bundling! So rather than be an agnostic client agent to surf the web, RockMelt is going to serve as a portal to funnel you, the user, through a specific service before you get anywhere else. I'm sure Andreesen is also betting that this will funnel more dollars into his pockets, since he will create a more captive audience for his service.

    No thanks, not a fan of lock-in of any kind. Also not a fan of most social networking services, which is why I have avoided Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et. al.

  • Are we not supposed to talk about loudcloud?
    50+ messages so far and no mention of it.

  • ...that I welcome our new TunaMelt overlords.

  • The web is made of pages designed to be viewed on a computer screen and interacted with via a mouse. There's only so much you can do with that, and something truly new is not going to come via a browser. In fact, you probably won't see too much different until we figure out a new way of interfacing with computers that doesn't involve mice, keyboards, and monitors.
  • by leamanc (961376) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:51PM (#29072031) Homepage Journal

    Once on a flight, I was reading a book about web standards, and the guy sitting next to me struck up a conversation. He said that he knew a lot about the web, joining Netscape in 1995 and staying near the end, being one of the last two or three employees. He said that Netscape was undone because upper management got extremely arrogant over their initial dominance in the browser market. They thought nobody, not even Microsoft could take them down.

    He said they would laugh at feature requests by users, play foosball and drink beer all day...basically one big party while IE slowly and surely crushed them.

    Based on this, I would be very wary that anyone associated with the original Netscape has the management skills to make a new browser a success.

  • Born dead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cbraescu1 (180267)

    RockMelt is going to be born dead. There is nothing it can do in terms of Facebook integration that Firefox + Facebook-related theme + Facebook plugin. And RockMelt has no viable business model - there is no place anymore for mainstream browsers.

  • flock 2.0? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by j1mmy (43634) on Friday August 14, 2009 @06:58PM (#29072083) Journal

    we all know how popular flock turned out to be.

  • I signed up for an email when it is ready to test.

    I want to see what it is all about. I hope it is innovative and runs fast and uses less memory than Firefox. Safari, Opera, IE, Chrome, and the others.

    I got a feeling they will be inventing new HTML tags to be used in HTML 6, as well as enhancing the XML and UML languages. That their cutting edge technology will force other browsers to change to compete with them. It might even lead to Web 3.0 standards.

    Netscape was great stuff when it got to version 3.0, bu

  • So, as a web designer I'm thinking that 16 errors from that XHTML transitional homepage, including simply not closing tags, is not boding well ...

  • by sootman (158191) on Friday August 14, 2009 @09:59PM (#29073259) Homepage Journal
    Sorry for the shouting and swearing, but I am just BLOWN AWAY by this. Does anyone else remember the comic that Google released last year to introduce Chrome? [google.com]

    PAGE FUCKING ONE:

    Today, most of what we use the web for on a day-to-day basis aren't just web pages, they're applications. Wouldn't it be great, then, to start from scratch, and design something based on the needs of today's web applications and today's users?
    --Google, [google.com] 9/2/2008 [slashdot.org]

    And from today's FA:

    But Mr. Andreessen suggested the new browser would be different, saying that most other browsers had not kept pace with the evolution of the Web, which had grown from an array of static Web pages into a network of complex Web sites and applications. "There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch," Mr. Andreessen said.
    --Marc Andreessen, 8/13/2009 [nytimes.com]

    It's as if he fell asleep reading the comic, dreamt about it, and woke up thinking he had an original idea. Then again, TFA says he said "most other browsers", so maybe he's specifically excluding Chrome? :-)

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