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Mozilla Software Technology

Why Mozilla Needs To Pick a New Fight 351

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the zombies-need-killing dept.
nk497 writes "Mozilla has succeeded in improving the browser world, and its rivals have outstripped it in terms of features. So what's the point of Firefox, then, wonders Stuart Turton. He suggests it could turn its community of developers to better use than battling it out for browser market share. 'I think Mozilla has a lot more to offer as a kind of roaming software troublemaker. The company has already proven itself brilliant at pulling a community together, offering it direction and spurring innovation in a lifeless market. Now that browsers are healthy, wouldn't it be brilliant if Mozilla started a ruck elsewhere?' And where better to start than the stagnant office suite arena: 'Imagine if Mozilla decided tomorrow to build an office suite. Imagine all those ideas. Imagine how brilliant that could be. Just imagine. Now imagine Firefox 4. Honestly, which one of those are you most excited by?'"
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Why Mozilla Needs To Pick a New Fight

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  • It Hurts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:13PM (#34013586) Journal

    "Imagine if Mozilla decided tomorrow to build an office suite. Imagine all those ideas. Imagine how brilliant that could be. Just imagine. Now imagine Firefox 4. Honestly, which one of those are you most excited by?"

    Seriously? Somebody needs to point this guy to Mozilla Labs [mozillalabs.com] and tell him to join the community and start working on his own dreams instead of proposing/forcing them on the community.

    I mean, PCPro has done a really great job of bringing us news stories before but they've kind of fallen by the wayside and become irrelevant. Maybe if they switched and stuck their nose in something else it would benefit me a lot more so I think they should do that despite the obvious potential of failure. I mean, maybe they should start publishing cures for cancer and AIDS? Imagine all those ideas like a news site that actually pays the reader money. Imagine how brilliant that could be. Just imagine. Now imagine tomorrow's news article where they tell me the top ten things that are a threat to my computer. Honestly, which one of those are you most excited by?

    Oh, look at me, I'm the magical man from imaginationland and I live in imagined houses made of fantasy bricks and -- look over there -- it's John Lennon using Firefox's new Office suite!

    I like how some talking heads imagine that software "just happens." It doesn't take sleepless nights and thousands of weighty e-mails and collaboration ... you just have to say or think something and suddenly it exists.

    I also like how Mozilla can afford to spread themselves thin now that they have lost the browser war. If people had his attitude, we'd only see one leader in any field because everyone else gives up and doesn't try to regain the lead.

    Nothing but wishful spurious logic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I like how some talking heads imagine that software "just happens." It doesn't take sleepless nights and thousands of weighty e-mails and collaboration ... you just have to say or think something and suddenly it exists.

      See also: Why can't I build a dirigible with my mind?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kg8484 (1755554)

      Somebody needs to point this guy to Mozilla Labs [mozillalabs.com] and tell him to join the community and start working on his own dreams instead of proposing/forcing them on the community.

      This is my biggest complaint with many Open Source "lusers" and it happens all the time. I often see bug reports which look like, "Please fix ABC or add new feature XYZ ASAP. It shouldn't be too hard to fix. This ticket is priority important because I need this feature yesterday." People seem to think that Open Source means that programmers will magically write the software they need for free.

      • Re:It Hurts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ebuck (585470) on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:27PM (#34015618)

        Somebody needs to point this guy to Mozilla Labs [mozillalabs.com] and tell him to join the community and start working on his own dreams instead of proposing/forcing them on the community.

        This is my biggest complaint with many Open Source "lusers" and it happens all the time. I often see bug reports which look like, "Please fix ABC or add new feature XYZ ASAP. It shouldn't be too hard to fix. This ticket is priority important because I need this feature yesterday." People seem to think that Open Source means that programmers will magically write the software they need for free.

        They don't know their history. It only took Mozilla nearly five years to release something that resembled a better web browser, and even then the early releases were slow and sometime buggy.

        The good news was that after five years of no competition, Internet Explorer's team had been cut to the bone and IE was so stagnant that it took a few years before Microsoft could effectively restart the team. Somehow I don't think they'll let that happen to their office suite, as that's where they make most of their money (as opposed to IE which was a give-away product released only for competitive purposes).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously? Somebody needs to point this guy to Mozilla Labs [mozillalabs.com] and tell him to join the community and start working on his own dreams instead of proposing/forcing them on the community.
       

      Maybe you should point him to it instead of wishing someone else would do it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by the_womble (580291)

      Yes, the article is rubbish. In fact, I think the article is a troll.

      There are no hugely exciting ideas in office suites. There are some good ideas that could be more widely used, but users have shown they do not want to do anything new (e.g. using something like Lyx instead of a word processer, or not using a spreadsheet as a database or an development platform).

      Other than that, office suites are boring because they are a solved problem. They all do much the same in much the same way. They might need som

  • Mozilla Office (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'd use it!

    Or maybe they could volunteer to help the now-orphaned OpenOffice.org group by saying, "Come over here. We'll help you organize, and you can use our familiar name. We'll even bundle it with Firefox and Seamonkey ZIP files, so you get wider distribution to billions of users."

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      But then debian will have to call it something different.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by The MAZZTer (911996)
      Bundle OpenOffice with Firefox? You know how large the OpenOffice download is compared to Firefox, right?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Magic5Ball (188725)

        Since they know more about rendering engines than almost anyone else, and since precision of reproduction appears to remain an issue with OO.o and MSO, Mozilla could start by wrapping a basic word processor UI around their rendering engine and then add a presentations UI. (They could probably figure out something for a decent spreadsheet app based on their scripting experience, but I'm less confident about their ability to quickly grok the financial functions.) When those are good enough to be standalone, t

      • by NevarMore (248971)

        By "bundle" all they really need to do is what Sun did with the Java installer. During the "stare at the progress bar" phase you get to look at a short slideshow about OpenOffice. Mozilla could do the same.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        Isn't Java the program that tries to get me to DL OO every time I update it?

        They could just tag it in there like that, too
  • Firefox 4 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:17PM (#34013660) Homepage Journal

    Office work is boring :-P (automated data collection, mining, and reporting, OTOH, is neat... hence Google kinda focuses on those things and sort of runs GDocs as a sideshow).

    The only reason I started using Chrome is because of javascript performance (admittedly on those silly Facebook games, which I have long since gone cold turkey). Firefox4 catches up on all that. I am looking forward to returning to all my extensions.

    But to stay on your point, I'd love to see Mozilla get into direct digital democracy platforms... and not just "e-voting" for "elected representatives," but full polling of how individuals would decide on each issue that was important to them, rankings of their priorities, designated allocations of their tax dollars directly towards departments, organizations, and programs they felt were worthy... essentially an open platform for secure collaborative decision-making.

    No need to shoot for federal government in the first incarnation, my roommates and I sort of used a similar system on a spreadsheet back in college. So it could grow from the household level to the community and local government level first until eventually plugging into higher levels of hierarchy using the same open protocols.

    • Re:Firefox 4 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sammyF70 (1154563) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:30PM (#34013898) Homepage Journal

      automated data collection, mining, and reporting, OTOH, is neat... hence Google kinda focuses on those things and sort of runs GDocs as a sideshow).

      I WISH I would be just aiming at "+1 Funny", but what makes you think automated data collection, mining and reporting isn't what Google Docs is all about?

    • by joebok (457904)

      Great idea - I wish I had some mod points for you.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Voting machines aren't hard to get right. It's a matter of proper motivation. Being able to hand the Republicans the governorship of Georgia back a few years back was really the point. No technique is perfect against corruption.

      The best thing is around here where the counting is done in a glass room where people can walk around the outside watching.
  • no, because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spikenerd (642677) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:17PM (#34013666)
    So, you trust the corporations to just take it from here? I'm sure they'll do fine, but only as long as Mozilla stays right where it is at, ready to eat their lunch the very second they stop innovating and try to lock their customers down.
    • Exactly this.

      Granted, at least there's a Chrome now to compete with IE, but I think it's still hard to argue that Firefox isn't helping push the browser state of the art ahead.

  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:17PM (#34013670) Homepage
    As a long-time user of Firefox, I think it is great, especially with extensions ... so I hope it's around for a long time. Plus isn't the vast majority of Mozilla's income from search engines looking to be listed on Firefox?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fredjh (1602699)

      I like google-chrome better, but I've run into issues that Firfox doesn't seem to have; notably while having both a web based mail account open in one tab and facebook on another. For some reason chrome gives me a lot of "aw snap!," while firefox handles it just fine. Memory leak? Don't know.

      But for now, I still use Firefox, and if it would load as fast as chrome I wouldn't even think of changing it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mark72005 (1233572)
        I haven't had a lot of luck with Chrome. On my work PC it seems to slow things down, and doesn't display some important pages correctly.

        Firefox is generally very reliable at handling things that were written for IE, and it still seems faster to me.

        Plus, Chrome's bookmark situation is convoluted and dumb.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Fnkmaster (89084)

          Agreed. Chrome's rendering, display and scrolling are significantly slower on messy, complicated HTML than Firefox. There was a big advantage on Javascript-heavy pages, but with Firefox 4 that's gone since the browsers are now roughly on par in Javascript performance. And Firefox 4 has GPU-accelerated rendering now which speeds up certain types of intense rendering quite a bit too.

          Given all the advantage of Firefox in terms of extension-availability, there's no particularly strong argument in favor of Ch

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      I could switch to another browser if any of them supported or had extensions nearly as extensive as what Firefox has available. If you compare the two systems, Chrome's add-on API is a joke. It's equivalent to Greasemonkey.

    • I think it sucks, and getting worse. Here's an advanced configuration option as an example:

      http://kb.mozillazine.org/Content.interrupt.parsing [mozillazine.org]

      Possible values and their effects
      true
      Parsing can be interrupted to process UI events. (Default)

      false
      Parsing cannot be interrupted. The application will be unresponsive until parsing is complete

      Really? Have they not heard of separating a UI and background thread? Or did they just screw it up badly? Type anything into the Awesome Bar after using FF for a few months

    • I want to say that I've honestly never felt the need to make JavaScript run faster. It runs fine as it is. I wouldn't complain if it were faster, but it's not what I'm looking for. I am looking for features. Chrome has had high enough adoption that there are plenty of good plugins for it, but it's still not customizable enough to really use them to the same extent as Firefox. (I browse with mouse gestures, for instance. Chrome has a very slick addon for mouse gestures, but I want to use the middle mouse but

  • What's wrong with Open Office?
    • Oracle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#34013772) Homepage

      Larry Ellison

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by takowl (905807)

      It's not exactly snappy (a word processor with a splash screen?), nor particularly good looking.

      No new office suite is about to overtake it, though, unless a big company throws a lot of resources into creating a free office suite. Openoffice (should I say Libreoffice yet?) has a great advantage in the amount of code already written: it's slow, but it beats everything (except perhaps MS Office) on features. Even IBM's "Lotus Symphony" is based on Openoffice code. Now if they could just make it rather faster.

      • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@g m a il.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:39PM (#34014062) Homepage
        Office 2010 has a splash screen. Even better, it has a cancel button on the splash, just in case you get tired of waiting and change your mind!
      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        Do you need those 3 seconds to do something? If it's quick, notepad & wordpad are more than capable. If you're writing your masters thesis, I think the splash screen is not a big deal. I'd rather the splash screen than having the program running resident in the background(like MSOffice does) eating up my resources.
        • Do you need those 3 seconds to do something?

          There are people who use computers and there are people who do things using computers. The first group pretty much doesn't give a crap about those three seconds because it's part of being all techie and computer user-y. The people who actual do things (design buildings, engineering, physics, medicine, word processing, accounting, data entry, data mining, geological exploration, etc.) using a computer, they really do give a shit because the computer shouldn't get i

          • by bhcompy (1877290)
            Users with special needs should develop special applications to handle those needs. Not to mention we're talking about Firefox here, which is the slowest of all browsers as far as initial load times goes and has the most fault intolerant resource allocation since everything is unified under one process. I don't think putting the Firefox team in charge of office suite development would improve on Open Office
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Magic5Ball (188725)

      Ask that again after you've tried to mail/data merge more than 5,000 records, position non-body-text elements with pixel precision, or correctly use a typefaces' j/k rules.

      The considerably less resourced NeoOffice fork is much more competent, usable, and pretty for office work.

  • by SwordsmanLuke (1083699) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:19PM (#34013704)

    Imagine if Mozilla decided tomorrow to build an office suite. Imagine all those ideas. Imagine how brilliant that could be. Just imagine. Now imagine Firefox 4. Honestly, which one of those are you most excited by?

    Honestly, I'm more excited by FF4. I've been using the beta for some time now and I love it. :) On the other hand, I find OO.o to be more than sufficient for my meager word processing needs. I just don't really *care* if someone reinvents the office suite yet again.

    • Actually, I suspect you don't care if someone reimplements the office suite again, but if someone were to actually reinvent the office suite, the way that Mozilla helped reinvent the browser (along with many others) that could be something to get excited about. After all, 10 years ago most people thought IE6 was all they would ever need, no one thought about high speed JS, extensions, tabbed browsing, etc. (not giving Mozilla credit for all those, just saying the browser market has changed). There's no t

      • by Rysc (136391) * <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:28PM (#34014780) Homepage Journal

        Mozilla didn't reinvent the browser, they just reimplemented Netscape Communicator, then later split off the navigator piece into phoenix/firebird/firefox. It was never a revolution it was just what people actually wanted: a browser that's (1) free to use, (2) doesn't crash all the time, (3) supports standards and (4) runs on every platform anybody cares about. At the time 1 beat out Opera, 2 and 3 beat classic navigator and IE, 4 beat IE and some others. Mozilla and Firefox were never revolutionary, just (finally) a good, solid browser. The fact that this has become relatively ordinary since then is very nice, but still not a revolution.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:20PM (#34013740) Journal

    If Mozilla is bored, they can try making less bloated Firefox.

    The SeaMonkey Beta I'm trying has the same functionality as Firefox (HTML5, addons, Gecko rendering), but only uses half as much RAM on my computer. Clearly Firefox is bloated and could use some optimization. If Mozilla needs a mission, let them return to the browser's original purpose when it started in 1999.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nursie (632944)

      Wasn't seamonkey descended from the old mozilla suite?

      The one they ditched and rewrote because of bloat?

      Irony.

      • >>>Wasn't seamonkey descended from the old mozilla suite? The one they ditched and rewrote because of bloat?

        You're a bit confused. Netscape ditched COMMUNICATOR because it had become bloated (and slow). Mozilla Browser was the from-scratch code that was their solution. It eventually became the lean, efficient core for Netscape 6-9, Firefox, and SeaMonkey.

        Netscape is retired.
        Firefox continues.
        SeaMonkey is similar to netscape 4 in appearance, but has all the features of firefox, minus the bloat.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by guanxi (216397)

          You're a bit confused. Netscape ditched COMMUNICATOR because it had become bloated (and slow). Mozilla Browser was the from-scratch code that was their solution. It eventually became the lean, efficient core for Netscape 6-9, Firefox, and SeaMonkey.

          Netscape is retired.
          Firefox continues.
          SeaMonkey is similar to netscape 4 in appearance, but has all the features of firefox, minus the bloat.

          You're the confused one, Nursie was correct.
          * Netscape did ditch Communicator, and the Mozilla Suite (now Seamonkey) was indeed written from scratch
          * With the demise of Netscape, Mozilla took over Mozilla Suite
          * Firefox was created, in part, to get rid of Mozilla Suite's bloat, which included a webpage editor, email client, chat client, and about 10 million unnecessary features and options added to scratch every dev's itch (though that may be appealing to /. users!)

          I don't buy that F

        • by Rysc (136391) * <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:52PM (#34015166) Homepage Journal

          The Mozilla project was started as a from-scratch rewrite of Netscape Communicator (Netscape Browser, Netscape Mail & News, Netscape Composer) in an open source fashion. Actually that's not entirely accurate: When the project started they started with the Netscape 4.x source code and only decided to throw it out and start over a few months later, probably after the project leaders had been drinking, but this is incidental.

          As the project progressed Mozilla-the-project added all of the Communicator apps on top of a common core. Eventually Netscape the company took a pre-1.0 version of this and released it as "Netscape Communicator 6", which was commonly understood to be "As slow as molasses," meanwhile Mozilla continued to release Mozilla-the-suite (Mozilla Browser, Mozilla Mail & News, Mozilla Composer, and the new kid on the block: Chatzilla). Eventually some developers in Mozilla started up a guerrilla project to make "Just a browser" and released Mozilla Browser with a few UI tweaks as Phoenix, which was too bad because Phoenix-the-bios-vendor had a browser in some of their product and didn't like that, so they renamed it to Firebird, which was too bad because the Firebird database guys were there first, so they renamed it to Firefox, which made no sense to anybody but at least wasn't trademarked yet. Netscape-the-company, in a last gasp of breath, released a Netscape browser based on Firefox, called Netscape 8, which contained a brand new sidebar! But nobody cared. Once Firefox had stolen enough thunder and press Mozilla-the-project refocused its efforts on that and formally discontinued Mozilla-the-Suite, which pissed off a lot of people who said "But we like the all-in-one suite!" These people went on to rebrand Mozilla Suite as Seamonkey, after an old code name that somebody liked. Meanwhile Mozilla Mail & News was spun off of the Suite as Thunderbird and (eventually) the calendar component, which had never quite made it in to the suite, was spun off as Sunbird (after a few false starts) and then kind of re-integrated into Thunderbird with the catchy name "Lightning" when somebody realized that few people actually used a standalone calendar and sometimes bundling makes sense after all (which just proves the point us Seamonkey fans have been making).

          Chatzilla, meanwhile, got more or less forgotten, languishing as a Firefox extension, and Composer saw some life as Nvu, stagnated, then became KompoZer (because Z makes everything better).

          I think the point here is that Firefox is the bloat-free version of Mozilla Browser, in that you didn't have to get the rest of the communicator suite with it. Since that suite *is* Seamonkey and still shares a large majority of code with Firefox (common core and the Browser component) it's a bit ridiculous to say that Seamonkey is Firefox without the bloat, since (historically) it's the other way around and in terms of code-base there's a lot more 'bloat' in Seamonkey!

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            >>>it's a bit ridiculous to say that Seamonkey is Firefox without the bloat, since (historically) it's the other way around and in terms of code-base there's a lot more 'bloat' in Seamonkey!

            Wow. That was a long post. :-)

            My theory is that Seamonkey doesn't load the extra components (email, chat, etc) since I never use them, therefore it acts like a stripped-down browser and does so more efficiently than Firefox (150,000 vs 300,000 KB according to my task manager). It's also worth noting tha

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Even better, perhaps focus on sandboxing and jailing. This way, if some add-on gets compromised on one session of Firefox, the window with the user's bank data isn't able to be accessed by the infected part. Or make sure that if the compromised window is in the background, it cannot get keystrokes from the foreground windows.

      Better yet, use the underlying OS's protection measures, be it jail(), AppArmor, SELinux, or dropping all rights and running in a limited context, and have all add-ons run in sandboxe

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kestasjk (933987) *

      If Mozilla is bored, they can try making less bloated Firefox.

      The SeaMonkey Beta I'm trying has the same functionality as Firefox (HTML5, addons, Gecko rendering), but only uses half as much RAM on my computer. Clearly Firefox is bloated and could use some optimization. If Mozilla needs a mission, let them return to the browser's original purpose when it started in 1999.

      Try using Dillo or Mosaic, they use only kilobytes of RAM, so they must be the best! It's not like browsers do anything with that RAM, after all..

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:24PM (#34013788)
    You're making IE and Safari teams dance too quickly. Turn down the bellows on the coals and let them rest, stagnate. The current state of browsers will be good for the next 50 years. Mozilla should make a kitchen recipe sorter instead.
    • Mozilla should make a kitchen recipe sorter instead.

      Who would their target audience be? It always seems to be that the more you use a computer - the worse you are at cooking.

      Or is it just me?

    • I'm not an expert, but from what I've been reading most of the innovations did not come from Mozilla. They came from Opera.

      The Opera browser was initially ad-based and behind the times, but sometime around 2002 they started innovating. Goodbye ads. Hello tabs. They were the first to invent that idea. They innovated with addons (called widgets), and built-in spellcheck. They were the first to create Opera Mini (for cellphones), Opera Turbo (compression technology for slow internet connections), plus O

  • Your basis? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bytesaber (1921636)
    I really find it interesting how these Slashdot articles are stated lately. Firefox "is" the current browser that is "healthy". It has the most maturity of any of the other browsers. The others are what should be asked "what is the point of them". If you are going to make such an empty statement, then provide what your basis is. Otherwise your article is just empty space on the net with no reason to be read. This goes along with the Linux on the Desktop is Dead article. -bytes
    • >>>Firefox "is" the current browser that is "healthy". It has the most maturity of any of the other browsers.

      SeaMonkey is older (initially released as Mozilla Suite in 2000, then later renamed.)
      Opera is older (1996?)
      IE is older (sourced from Commodore Amiga Mosaic(1994)).

      Perhaps by "maturity" you meant Firefox has the most features, but I still disagree with that. It doesn't have Opera Turbo (for slow connections), or Opera Link (online storage of bookmarks), or Opera Unite (friend sharing).

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:26PM (#34013820) Homepage

    The Mozilla community does browsers (and to a lesser degree, email clients) very well. They have no experience in office suites, so thinking that they would do better than the OpenOffice team is rather silly.

    If OpenOffice didn't exist and weren't doing as well as they are, I might agree with this. But office suites are the LAST place the Mozilla team should be changing focus to, especially with OO doing as well as it is.

    • If OpenOffice didn't exist and weren't doing as well as they are, I might agree with this.

      It's not entirely clear how well OpenOffice.org will do given the transition to Oracle leadership.

  • The point is that Firefox runs everywhere that matters and isn't developed by a company that makes a living out of tracking my every detail. Also, none of the other browsers have anything comparable to Firefox's extensions.

  • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:26PM (#34013836) Homepage Journal

    Firefox got spun off the Mozilla Suite because the Suite was so bloated. Firefox then proceeded to get more and more bloated.

    This really doesn't make me confident in their ability to make a lean, fast Office suite.

    • >>>Mozilla Suite

      And now Mozilla Suite, renamed SeaMonkey, uses half as much RAM on my computer as Firefox! Which I really don't understand - they both use the same core... only the user interface is different (seaMonkey resembles Netscape 4).

  • by Dalzhim (1588707) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:27PM (#34013848)

    I keep using Firefox precisely because there are things I can't do as easily with other browsers as I can with Firefox. I yet have to see another browser which will do better than a combination of Adblock, NoScript, Firebug, Greasemonkey, Ghostery, Flagfox and PasswordHasher.

    • I keep using Firefox precisely because there are things I can't do as easily with other browsers as I can with Firefox. I yet have to see another browser which will do better than a combination of Adblock, NoScript, Firebug, Greasemonkey, Ghostery, Flagfox and PasswordHasher.

      Exactly what I was thinking... As one who has moved away from FF, I must say that a lack of features is one thing I've never heard applied to Firefox. Bloated? Yes. Slow? Sometimes. Outstripped by rivals in terms of features? No. The shear number of features available for Firefox is something we Chromium users are hoping Google can bring to its browser (but only in a way that doesn't actually slow it down).

  • I'm more excited by Firefox 4. I already have OpenOffice, and while GoogleDocs isn't opensource, it's not bad either and so far it's free.

    Mozilla Labs makes some pretty neat things, and I'm quite happy with Firefox. It'd be a lot more "brilliant" if Stuart Turton would stop thinking that Firefox is an also-ran.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:29PM (#34013866) Homepage Journal

    1. A Browser is a much smaller piece of software than an Office suit.
    2. We already have a decent office suit called OpenOffice. Not great IMHO but it does work.
    3. Just because they can write a good browser doesn't mean that they can write a good Office Suit.
    4. Firefox 4 will be out soon a new office suit will take a few years. So I am a lot more excited about FF4 since it will see the light of day.

    What does this guy want to see Mozilla fail? They still have a lot of work to do with browsers. The mobile market for one thing.
    Now if you want to see my dream list of FOSS software that doesn't exist yet let me get started.
    1. An Echange replacement. Not 8 things I can lash up to work but a single system that is easy to install that offers all the features of Exchange with none of the pain. Oh and it must work with Outlook and should have a good client that does everything Outlook does plus a good web interface.
    2. A Google Docs replacement. I want a FOSS system I can install on my own server that has all the functionality of Google Docs but lives on my sever.

    Those would be big wins as far as I am concerned.

    • by takowl (905807)

      I want a FOSS system I can install on my own server that has all the functionality of Google Docs but lives on my sever.

      Which bit? For online editing of documents/spreadsheets, there's "Feng office" (formerly Opengoo). They try to commercialise it, but it's open source, and there's a free "Community edition" [fengoffice.com]. No concurrent editing last time I checked, though. For concurrent editing, there's Etherpad [etherpad.org], and Google has released/is releasing/say they will release the code for Wave. Granted, none of it's a polished, drop in replacement for Google Docs, but that's life.

    • >>>1. A Browser is a much smaller piece of software than an Office suit.

      Is it? I always find it amusing that I can run MS Office 97(?) on my old laptop with only 8 megabytes of RAM. Good luck trying to make a browser fit into that. If they could make the Office suite small back then, surely they can do it today?
      .

      >>>2. We already have a decent office suit called OpenOffice

      Agreed. Since Oracle dumped OpenOffice.org, they are kinda floundering. I think Mozilla should adopt them and help

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:31PM (#34013934)

    I just read this guy as somebody's corporate troll, but across Microsoft, Google or Apple, the one who seems to have the most to gain from Firefox's demise would be...Google, now that they're pushing the competing Chrome browser into the very same space.

    Technically, there's still a role for Firefox as the cross-platform browser of choice - for techies. (Safari on Windows still sucks; IE on Mac doesn't exist anymore.) I also use Firefox religiously because of Flashblock, though I have switched to Chrome for my Amazon cloud account administration, and I still use IE when I need to look at Sharepoint or the Microsoft Partner Portal.

    • They're traditionally the mouth piece of Micro$oft
    • by takowl (905807)
      But Google doesn't care if people use Chrome. It's free, and doesn't include any ads (and however much it tracks you, I doubt they make much money from that alone). Much like Mozilla, they released Chrome in order to drive browsers forwards. Crucially, Google want faster Javascript engines. And Firefox has risen to the bait [arewefastyet.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That comment is just wrong... nothing comes close to FF in terms of features. That's bot good and bad for FF, honestly.
    You can't tweak a lot of things in Google Chromium, but you can tweak the bejesus out of FF.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:35PM (#34013994)

    Mozilla has succeeded in improving the browser world, and its rivals have outstripped it in terms of features.

    What browser are they talking about?

    Heres my request / requirement:

    A better "adblock plus" than adblock plus

    AND a better "firebug" than firebug

    AND a better "ghostery" than ghostery

    AND a better "ie tab plus" than ie tab plus

    AND a better "firefox sync" than firefox sync

    AND a better "flashblock" than flashblock

    AND a better "noscript" than noscript

    the result of this select query is .... (insert beavis voice from B+B) "uh uhuh huh chrome runs javascript 10 ms faster huh huhuhuh"

  • I don't know of anything that can replace it.

    • Opera's DragonFly is fairly robust. I'm not going to get into the whole fan-boi "my browser is better than yours" -- as I know both have their issues.

      I haven't used Firebug enough to make a full comparison, but I know they're both useful and are missing some features of the other. They should copy one another til they iterate into the best ;)
  • Man do i ever disagree that firefox has officially lost the browser wars. As a web developer I rely on Firefox as my browser-of-choice because of its independence from any corporate interests. I appreciate Safari and Chrome from the standpoint they're willing to push the envelope with early adoption of HTML5 and CSS3, but they are not practical development platforms for the same reason. Add to that the proprietary funk that Apple and Microsoft throw into their browsers along with Google's "all your surfing habits are belong to us" mentality and I'll stick with Firefox. On a personal note they've earned my support for coming out swinging in the early days, for taking on Microsoft when no one else would, and for committing to standards and cross-platform dev.
  • I thought the whole piece was an exercise in death fantasy. For some unknown reason, he's trying to take Mozilla with him.

    I can feel the rope being slipped around my neck, but before you kick away the stool, give yourself over to wistfulness for just a moment.

    Anticipation is making me wait. No, fuck it, the only wistfulness I need right now is the sound of a rope creaking.

  • As has been repeated by many others already in this topic I think what Mozilla needs to do is simplify the core product (Firefox) and expand into other applications (like an Office suite) and add enhancements or connection to other applications through the plugin mechanism that really put them on the scene with their browser. I mean imagine an Office-like product equipped with a plugin structure not unlike Firefox? Pros and cons yes, but powerful, just like the browser!

    I'd love to see Mozilla with a suite o

  • Mozilla picked up the Netscape ball when M$ killed the company. If it weren't for that, it's likely M$ would have created a whole load of proprietary formats and locked the web up into it's own little version of Bill's World. Mozilla creates and alternative and without it you would be subject to the whims of whichever monopoly has control. Just like cable tv. Just like your phone bill. Just like Walmart.

  • Chrome supports "extensions" and Opera 11 will do as well, however, these are weak add-ons that do not allow something like Adblock plus, which actually blocks unneeded content from downloading, significantly speeding up browsing and, less importantly, reducing bandwidth usage.

    I'm not knocking down Chrome (which I presently use) or Opera (which I've used and loved for years) but as far as I'm concerned, as long as they are not as addon-friendly as Firefox, Mozilla's browser will be in my list of must-instal

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Trashman (3003)

      Um, Check your sources please. Recent versions of adblock for chrome does block elements from downloading now.

  • I have no use for an office suite. I only use an office suite when I really have to, which is about twice a year. A browser I use daily, and faster, leaner browser with more features is quite important to me. It does not even begin to compare in importance to an office suite.

    The only part of an office suite I am remotely interested in is a spreadsheet. If somebody wrote a decent spreadsheet, one that separates data from calculation and presentation, I may actually use it.

  • Why must everything needs to be a fight or a battle. When you make it a fight it means you have to have an enemy to go against. There is some peace in the browser wars again. Nasty Microsoft is willing to play by the standards a little better, people are willing to use different browsers and web developers are more keen on using the standards. The focus shouldn't be a fight but keeping and improving the peace. This is a task in itself, making sure that Mozilla doesn't get complacent and keep their softw

  • Though I agree that Mozilla has been good for the browser market, that does not mean that they can repeat their success else where. But assuming for argument that it could be a general software fight starter, why can't it do both? Does it have to choose to do one thing only? Maybe Mozilla can start another organization like it for office suites and direct how the organization looks so that it can essentially replicate itself.

  • Mozilla has succeeded in improving the browser world, and its rivals have outstripped it in terms of features

    Let me stop you right there so we can all laugh long and hard at this one.

    Between OpenOffice and koffice and gnumeric all my 'office suite' needs are well met. I don't need or want something new, and since libreoffice spun off I think openoffice has a chance of becoming more useful over time, so I don't worry about its future. On a day to day, week to week basis I do not use an office suite. A browser, that I use every single day--every single hour!--and better performance and more features in my browser is

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:18PM (#34014632)

    I'm somewhat shocked to get all the way to the end of both the article and the slashdot posts to discover that no one has mentioned Thunderbird. So I guess that task falls to me...

    Mozilla DOES HAVE a non-browser project - their Thunderbird email client. It is mildly popular, decently functional, and absolutely not the kind of market shakeup being advocated here. So, dear author, not only do you get your wish wherein the power behind Firefox gets used in a non-browser way, but you can already see the result of it. Namely, not all that much, actually.

  • When Mozilla started, the browser market was dominated by a proprietary application that did not respect end user control and open standards. They've been a tremendous success, opening up the web and the browsers, and making end-user control almost standard. Bravo.

    I agree that the browser war is won. I don't think they should pull out -- I suspect things would start reverting if they did -- but they are victims of their own success to a degree. (For some reason that is beyond me, this huge FOSS success has

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:21PM (#34014684) Journal
    The browser is becoming more and more important. It's the platform most development will happen on in the future. Why would Mozilla not want to be part of that, and invest most of its energy into staying relevant on the most important platform in the world?

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