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Mozilla Foundation Meets The GNOME Foundation 380

An anonymous reader writes "The board of directors of the GNOME foundation recently met with a few representatives of the Mozilla foundation - discussing how they could collaborate a little closer in future. A number of interesting things were discussed, including XAML/Avalon and the future of Firefox in GNOME/Linux. Check out the minutes of the meeting on the Gnome mailing list."
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Mozilla Foundation Meets The GNOME Foundation

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  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:09PM (#8973834)
    yet the engine for konq is used by apple.

    and nautilus isnt even a web browser. (it has html capabilities, but so do lots of apps)
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:15PM (#8973900)
    Does this mean that Mozilla will be integrated into GNOME? If yes, then isn't this doing the same thing as IE into Windows which everyone on /. says is evil?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:16PM (#8973912)
    How about Galeon developers not wanting to integrate with GNOME? While Epiphany has helped develop and test leading edge GNOME apis, like the toolbar editing feature.

    Epiphany IS much more integrated into gnome, and is simpler to use. Those were the reasons. They are facts so its not really a matter of opinion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:19PM (#8973950)
    You got this wrong. It's not about Galeon not wanting to integrate into GNOME. It's simply the fact that GNOME has desintegrated it's users by alienating all of them. One day GNOME has desintegrated that much that Galeon wasn't conform anymore. And by the ways Galeon developers are most the same as Epiphany developers. It was just huge disagreement in the team because a lot of people didn't like the road GNOME has lead.
  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bricklets ( 703061 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:24PM (#8974000)
    I use Firefox when I'm working in Windows and Linux, but I use Safari when working on a Mac. Safari uses KHTML (developed for "Konq"). Different strokes for different folks. Just because you don't like a particular browser does not mean others feel the same.

    And by standardization, that does not mean the elimination of all other browsers. It just means basing multiple browers on the same standard (i.e. user interface, rendering of pages, etc.)
  • Re:avalon? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:31PM (#8974087) Journal
    According to Google [] it's a lot of things, including a 3D image archive [], a comic strip [], an Apache project for service and component management [] or a Beowulf cluster [].
    However, there's no Microsoft stuff on the first ten hits.
  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Malc ( 1751 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:32PM (#8974098)
    Firefox is based directly on the Mozilla browser, and it's almost as fully-featured as Mozilla Seamonkey. Unless you're referring to all the other non-browser bumpf that's ignorantly part of the same process space as the Mozilla Seamonkey browser... but Firefox is closing that gap too when it's bundled in a like-feature suite including products such as Thunderbird, Sunbird, etc.

    I wish they would stop wasting their time with Seamonkey and put their efforts in to closing the gap more quickly.

    Anyway, I know what you're saying, but there's got to be a reason why KDE developers chose to write their own from scratch rather than integrate Gecko.
  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Abjifyicious ( 696433 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:32PM (#8974100)
    Yes Safari is based on the same HTML rendering engine as Konquerer, but the user interface is completely different. On the surface, Safari is far more similar to Firefox than Konquerer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:35PM (#8974124)
    It's free software, and the developers' freedom to decide what they want to do with the project they are working on.

    You are talking with one of the developers who do not like the way it goes. You should not forget that everyone working on GNOME shares the same view. It's not everything inside GNOME that goes into the wrong way. But there are certain people who contribute certain parts to GNOME that are misleading and going into wrong direction. We simply use these bits at the moment because there is no alternative. It's not because we accept or like it. It's because there isn't anything better. But that also doesn't mean we agree and accept these solutions. GNOME is full of crap and hacks that needs to get solved. But we fix one side and on two other sides new suckage show up.
  • by 13Echo ( 209846 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:36PM (#8974133) Homepage Journal
    This topic about Epiphany really opens a new can of worms. Now, I'm going to go off about Gnome in general. Epiphany, itself, really is a good example of one of Gnome's major problems.

    I'm finding that many Gnome developers are going with making things so ridiculously simple at times that it is almost getting stupid. I use Epiphany, but I prefer Galeon as well. Comparing Epiphany to more feature-rich browsers like Galeon/Konqueror/Firefox makes Epiphany seem almost like IE to some degree. I suppose that is the point. I can browse with Epiphany and still get a reasonably good experience, where if I am forced to use a Windows machine (and IE) I am greeted with a slow browser with no features, tons of pop-ups, lack of tabbed browsing, lack of middle click, etc. Sure, you can add these extensions, but that's not the point.

    The Gnome project seems to be interested in keeping things as simple as possible without taking too many features away. There are some things about Galeon/Firefox that I never used. There are some things about Epiphany that I would love to have. Any choice is better than IE for most browsing. I guess that is the point.

    What is really odd about Gnome's usability though, is that it is really inconsistent between apps. Even more annoying is that there are such major changes between different versions of Gnome, that really negate the "ease of use" concept that they seem to promote. For example, what in the hell is up with the new spatial Nautilus? Sure, it's fast. Sure, it works well in some respects. Sure, I'm getting used to it. Sure, I can enable "classic mode" and browse that way. But it seem to be *unfinished*. That's the big deal. Someone above mentioned that Gnome feels half-finished in many respects, and I tend to agree (in spite of it being my desktop of choice). Perhaps if they would stick to keeping major UI standards for major versions (between 2.x and 3.x, for instance), maybe someone could finish implementing a product or feature and make things consistent for once. Though I kinda like the new Nautilus spatial file manager, there are a lot of things that are missing that really make it difficult to use for certain things.

    So, back to Epiphany... While I feel that it feels a lot like Galeon or Firefox in most respects, some design decisions are just weird! For example, the way that it manages tab organization, or the slim feature-set that give you the ability to customize it. I like the browser, but I feel that Marco is going way too far in some respects. I really appreciate his work; Don't get me wrong. It's just something that I'm seeing from many Gnome-centric projects as well.

    It's just weird. You have an app like Evolution, which is kick-ass as far as mail apps are concerned, but other things seem to be broken or incomplete; Epiphany, Totem, (the new and improved) Nautilus in spatial mode, G-Streamer, etc. To the guy that posted that really long response of above; I feel your pain. I love Gnome, but I can't help but think that the head developers are a little lost at times. There really isn't a very good sense of group direction and planning... At least compared to KDE, in my opinion.
  • im not going to fault you for asking that question, first of all. on the surface, they seem similar. however, i dont have to install gnome at all. nor do i have to install X, for that matter. the point is that you cant have windows without IE. i can still have gnu/linux in a nearly-infinite number of other combinations with or without gnome if i dont like mozilla being integrated. not only that, but IMO, mozilla is much better software than IE.
  • by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:09PM (#8974493) Journal
    The thing that REALLY gets me about Epiphany is the idiotic bookmark system. They threw away the baby with the bath water.

    That "feature" alone lost me as a user(of Epiphany, not GNOME). Epiphany's bookmark system is slowly starting to resemble a "normal" bookmark system again(because most people hate it the way it is), while Galeon has been slowly adding incremental improvements to their bookmark system. Simply being able to have bookmark aliases in Galeon makes Epiphany's new bookmark system redundant, sans the search(who really needs to SEARCH their bookmarks anyway).

    As for the "Spatial" Nautilus... At first I thought that was just stupid fluff. I thought they would lose users over that. After trying it, I have come to the conclusion that it is so much better. I never liked using file managers before, but now I actually use Nautilus some.

    The one feature of the new Nautilus that makes the deal for me is the little button in the bottom left that allows you to open parent folders quickly. That way you can middle-click around, or File -> Close parent folders, and if you need to access a parent folder, it's quick. It's much quicker than browsing around your filesystem in what has become the traditional manner.

    So generally, I like the direction GNOME is going, but Epiphany really bothers me. I use bookmarks a lot, have several hundred, but Epiphany's bookmark system is unusable for me, so I continue to use Galeon. I would like to use Epiphany, for it's GNOME integration, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon.

    But at least we have choices. I really don't NEED my web browser to come standard with my DE, so in the end, I'm happy regardless.

  • by kollivier ( 449524 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:19PM (#8974603)
    OSS developers tend to push the rather silly 'it's cheaper so they'll switch if we offer a similar solution' battle plan. No thanks. I'm still using Windows (actually, Mac primarily) although Linux is cheaper because Windows and Mac provide me with a whole lot of ease of use that Linux lacks, for what is relatively a small amount of money. (When you consider I work on these things 8 hours a day!) When Linux provides ease of use at more than a superficial level (no, having a GUI doesn't automatically mean "easy to use") then I'll think about switching.

    Apple was smart when they took an attitude of "we don't *CARE* what Microsoft is doing, we'll just carve our own markets and create compelling value". This strategy works, because Apple isn't constantly trying to catch up with Microsoft. Instead, they're working on the best possible solution for *their* customers, not Microsoft's. They have a very good understanding of who their customers are, and which customers they're likely to switch over. They've done research on this.

    What Mozilla should have learned by now is that the browser just isn't that important anymore. "Our browser is better than yours" will hardly cause end users to switch in boatloads. Developers, however, are more open to switching and more keen on using these technologies in their own apps. Yet, despite this, they say that embedding and the GRE are not priorities until FireFox 1.0 is released. So their focus is on making a good browser, which MS already has. (Don't start about the benefits of Mozilla over IE, I know what they are and most users neither know nor care.)

    Their real potential growth market is in embedding, where Windows/Linux/Mac apps can share a similar rendering engine, in tools like Quicken/TurboTax. XUL is an added bonus. But embedding is not a priority nor is it easy to do. So while they could be getting Mozilla/GRE dumped on all sorts of desktops via third-party apps, they've chosen to focus on converting end users, a majority of whom just don't care about which browser they use.

    Another great growth area would be Composer, which is already a decent contender to FrontPage, but which most people don't even know exists. Again, a compelling selling point for Mozilla (and embeddable!) but it basically gets ignored. In fact, I think editor embedding is actually a killer app for Mozilla - how many apps work with HTML these days? And unlike with the browser, Mozilla has very little competition here. FrontPage and Dreamweaver are expensive, and they don't offer a real, compelling benefit over Composer.

    Instead of pursuing these opportunities, now it sounds like they're going to dump bunches of resources integrating with GNOME and trying to beat Microsoft at its own game (good luck, you're not the first to try!). Also, sounds like they're going to try reinventing portions of wxWidgets/wxWindows internally to provide a "native" XUL, like OpenOffice is now in the process of doing with their own toolkit. Talk about collaboration! It's a wonder we haven't tore Microsoft a new one yet...
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:05PM (#8975066) Homepage Journal
    What's the big idea about email? Why not just save HTTP POST form responses in the equivalent of an outbox? The ability to save things is unrelated to the protocol used to send them (and HTTP is a much better protocol for this application than SMTP).

    I think that the ability to save forms and form responses would be a major advantage, however.
  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:13PM (#8975159)
    Apple used kparts for license reasons, but that is just the rendering engine. The safari browser is nothing like konq, in fact from a user interface point of view it is closer to moz.

    That being said, lots of us use firefox on apple anyway --- i think it is at least as good as safari.

    I actually think konq is pretty good, i just don't see the point. For a long time it was crap compared to mozilla (bad rendering, buggy, etc) but now it has matured a bit --- but i can't see why I would use it over moz except for the size issue, and phoenix/firefox/whatever addresses that issue nicely.

    I think the KDE folk should have just started with gecko (a better renderer still than konq) and moz for browsing, then spent their time on integration etc. with gecko, instead of what happened: tons of effort to just about catch up to where moz was.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:17PM (#8975189) Homepage Journal
    A brief summary of my previous post would be to say that certain features of Firefox make it too easy to misuse the web browser to surf for pornography

    Um.. April 1 was a while back...

    But I've since discovered that actual Mozilla supported extensions such as this one, "Magpie" or this one "Prev/Next image", which are actually given web space and bookmarked by default by the Mozilla developers themselves can only be useful in the context of searching for and downloading hardcore or violent pornography

    Magpie can be used to download any images, including non-violent porn, violent non-porn and non-violent, non-porn... imagine!

    Prev/Next image is useful for any numerically indexed images such as software screenshots, wallpaper, artist portfolios and even, yes, porn.

    Again... you... were joking... weren't you? Man, I really hope so.

    Pornography is destroying the Internet and the moral health of this nation

    Well, let's see... pornography not only paid for much of the exisiting Internet buildout (given that it was the first, and for a very long time, ONLY widespread profitable enterprise on the Net) it has also underwritten most major changes in media since the printing press. Ever wonder how there came to be a separate rate for postcards? Yep, porn. So, if you want to remove porn-related media start with the postal rate for postcards.

    And "destroying ... the moral health of this nation"? I guess you're probably refering to the US, since most of the ignorant sods that say "this nation" over the Internet are from the US. And, I would venture to say that something that has been around and a strong part of our culture for over a century... probably isn't the reason for any currently growing woes. In fact, I've noticed that in the last 10-20 years we backward US types have actually started to GET OVER porn and recognize it for what it is: pictures, nothing more, nothing less.

    Perhaps someday we'll be so grown up that we can talk to each other about sex and not get flustered. Wow, imagine being an adult AND being allowed to act like it!

    Having a major open source project associate itself publicly with perversion and pornography [...] is no way to gain respect.

    1. Seems to work fine in every other area of life
    2. When did you introduce perversion?

    Repeat after me: images aren't porn unless they involve sex. The ability to manipulate imagines cannot preclude sexual images.

    Those two are true regardless of how you feel about sex and porn.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:26PM (#8975299)
    The current problem with Mozilla is that it is a monolith suite. Where Mozilla succeeds is where they allow Mozilla functionallity to be imported into other applications.

    One of Gnome's greatest strength is that developers can pick and choose which libraries to include to build their applications.

    The Mozilla people need to extract from their code useable libraries that anyone can use. This alone will lead to integration with Gnome, as has been the case with the HTML rendering.
  • by mpcooke3 ( 306161 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:28PM (#8975316) Homepage
    1. IBM's SWT requires C++ interfaces and it needs gnome in addition to current GTK bindings. SWT is the fastest best API supporting most common platforms it runs 10 times faster than mozilla because it uses native widgets.

    2. XUL needs to be mapped to SWT bindings so it has faster native cross platform support. This would be the quickest way to get mozilla to run and look like a native app on most platforms.

    With these two changes people can develop cross platform apps with native GUI's either directly in C, Java or using XUL for layout.

    3. Once that is done you can clone XAML/Avalon.

    If I have any spare time this weekend I will put togethor the neccessary patches ;)

  • by mrcparker ( 469158 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:42PM (#8975478)
    This is GNOME we are talking about.

    This is the same GNOME that starts a whole lot of really cool things but never finishes them.

    - GNOME vfs - great idea, but none of the modules really work like they should. The ssh, smb, and ftp method are all sketchy at best.

    - CORBA-like Object system - another great idea with some great code behind it but hardly implemented in any applications. I should be able to use a web browser object, a emailer object, etc.

    The two issues above take the "OBJECT" and "NETWORK" right out of GNOME. I really like GNOME - libxml, atk, bonobo, and gtk are excellent.

    I would believe that this is going somewhere if the KDE group announced it, but I have a feeling that this will be yet another great idea that will never really pan out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:49PM (#8975544)
    The Galeon website contains a short history of Galeon []. This page tells more or less the same story, but it emphasizes disagreement on the HIG rather than the duplication of MIME/proxy/mouse settings.
  • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:03PM (#8975712)
    You know what I wish for? A visual XUL generator, just like Visual Basic in Windows. I also want the Mozilla team to make Firefox run XUL applications using the currently selected GNOME skins and widgets, so that it integrates cleanly. With that, Linux would have a true RAD environment, and maybe we could get more new developers into Linux.

    This being said, I too hope they slow down production on Seamonkey and shift gears, but they're close and they're getting closer every release. And Firebird's already over 90,000 lines different than Mozilla, not to mention fast as hell on both platforms I use daily (Linux + Windows).
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:10PM (#8975786) Journal
    How can something so elegant be so painful?

    It's quite simple. You are so adjusted to the Windows/Mac way of doing things, that doing things the Unix way is unthinkable. It's not that Unix is any harder, it's just that it's totally different.

    I started with Windows (and some Mac expercience) and went through the same pangs you are. Now that I've gone through all that, and know Unix as well as anything else, I wouldn't switch back unless my life depended on it. The Unix way is more elegant, more flexible, and far more powerful. The things I have Unix boxes setup to do, couldn't possibly be done in Windows (which, I believe, is why Apple wanted a Unix base-system).

    Personally, I think that Linux distros make things far more difficult than they need to be for users. GNOME and KDE are like a whole OS on top of Unix, and another very complicated thing that beginners feel they need to learn. Instead, if they started everyone off with a working system, with XFce as their desktop environment, people would take to it quick than MacOS, because it's so simple.

    They should also include a single, simple program, that would allow you to configure everything about your system (vaguely like the windows control panel). Up to now, all of the configuration tools do different things, and none of them do it all.
  • QT/KDE interface? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tuxdude ( 696215 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:22PM (#8975956)
    Is there someone working on Firefox or Mozilla with QT/KDE interface?
  • by corban.elektrolite ( 763222 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @05:41PM (#8976944)
    Can please someone explain me in clear and sound terms the recurrent FSF bashing ?

    i can. stallman had some great ideas and wrote some k3wl essays, but time has changed. stallman became annoying. in his eyes, the only way to release software is GPL. while speaking all the day about freedom, he likes to enforce everyone to use the gpl. go to and read some things like "why you shouldn't use the lgpl" and the like (don't get me wrong, i like the gpl-idea, but i also like the freedom to choose the license by myself).

    the second reason is: whatever goes on in the it-world, the fsf (or stallman, most people think they are the same) must bash it. remember the "java trap" rant?

    fsf bashing happens because fsf starts behaving like a lobby or a commercial organisation. trying to establish only one way of thinking as the right one and all that stuff. read some fsf papers about "linux is not gnu, but gnu/linux is".

    ps:don't get me wrong again, i like the fsf, they just have a horrible pr.


    this is not a real .sig
  • by ttk ( 161270 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @05:49PM (#8977026)
    The reasons GNOME went with Epi over Galeon are essentially the same as why Marco (lead developer) left Galeon and started Epiphany: the (other) Galeon developers wanted to duplicate a lot of things that were already present in GNOME. The short list of duplication in Galeon/GNOME is MIME, Proxy and Mouse settings.
    Please research the subject a little more thoroughly before making these false claims. None of the above were ever considered to be rewritten in Galeon, and there is no interest in duplicating stuff that's already in GNOME, what would be the point? And what is the Mouse settings supposed to mean anyway?
  • by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:58PM (#8978629)
    The project is called Vixen [].>

    "Vixen is designed to be a Visual XUL IDE similar to Visual Basic, Delphi, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Glade, but for the XPToolkit technology developed by the Mozilla project. The initial goal of Vixen is to allow developers to quickly develop professional quality dialogs and windows without having to write any (or at least much) XUL or CSS by hand. The long term goal is to create a comprehensive development environment for rapid development of XUL applications."

    What I want is XUL and GTK-xml to merge, along with Glade and Mozilla Composer. I'd like to be able to drag and drop menus, use table wizzards, define popups and buttons, and then save it as XML, and use it to create the gui for webpages and linux apps. Seems like C, C++, and Java (at least) could be targets.

    The layout for a table is just that, the layout for a table. Abstract it, and use that abstraction for *every* table (so merge with OpenOffice's XML too).

    Why not go another step, since java is the OpenOffice extension language, and merge Glade/Mozilla Composer with NetBeans?

    Ok, now its time to wakeup and come back to reality...the xml for XUL and GTK-xml are (pretty radically) different... but why is that? Why is the xml for a table in OpenOffice different?

  • Re:It'd be nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dn15 ( 735502 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @09:26PM (#8978797)
    Besides--what's so different about the interface of say Konq and Mozilla? I like Konq because it's faster in my experience--what makes the UI's so different?

    I'm not the original poster but here's my take: Konqueror's engine is fine but my problem with the interface is the tons of buttons that are in the toolbar, and the rather painful customization window one must use to remove them. A little like Opera but not nearly as bad.

    If you open a default configuration for Safari and Firefox (and even Mozilla), they're very similar in layout. And they're minimalist. In this respect, Konqueror's design is more like IE than it is Safari or Mozilla-based browsers.

Maybe you can't buy happiness, but these days you can certainly charge it.