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Inquirer Blasts Mozilla for Microsoft-Style Bashing 213

DoubleWhopper writes "An article over at The Inquirer blasts Mozilla and "lead Firefox engineer" Ben Goodger for resorting to Microsoft-style bashing of Netscape for their recent flawed release. After posting excerpts if scathing comments from readers of Goodger's own blog, the author comments, "I wonder why should companies contribute or fund the Mozilla Foundation, if any derivative work or redistribution of the Foundation's browsers they create is going to raise the FUD mocking and anger of Mozilla's 'lead engineer'". This after Christopher Aillon's (of RedHat) reaction last week."
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Inquirer Blasts Mozilla for Microsoft-Style Bashing

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  • Bwuah? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:54PM (#12635931) Homepage Journal
    "I wonder why should companies contribute or fund the Mozilla Foundation, if any derivative work or redistribution of the Foundation's browsers they create is going to raise the FUD mocking and anger of Mozilla's 'lead engineer'."

    It's not FUD when it's true.

    • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Funny)

      by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:56PM (#12635973) Homepage Journal
      It doesn't have to be false to sow Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt.

      There's another name for it when it's false. It's called Marketing^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlying. :)
      • Re-reading the post, I'm not even sure if the quoted individual was talking about Mozilla spreading FUD about Netscape or if they were mocking the spread of FUD ...

        Man!

        i wish ppeps wud talk gud inglesh

    • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:59PM (#12636012) Homepage Journal
      It doesn't matter if it's true, if it's neither relevant or nor politically expedient for him to make the remarks. I'm not sure what it gets the Mozilla project as a whole.

      See, this is one of the perils of individual/employee empowerment through blogs: yes, they give you a unique voice (and I do enjoy most blogs at Mozillazine, especially Dave Hyatt's), but, like it or not, there is a point at which what is written in a blog can cross the line, and become detrimental to the company or organization for which the person in question works.
      • This peril as you put it can also work in the companys favour. An employee can slaughter a competitor in their blog with behind the scenes support from the company, or perhaps at its request. It's a handy way to get shit on your competitors out into the open without looking like blatent anti competitor marketing.
      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RootsLINUX ( 854452 ) <rootslinux.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:13PM (#12636195) Homepage
        What's wrong with making personal remarks about it? If I try someone's product out (competitor or otherwise) and I think it sucks, what am I supposed to do? Give them a good old pat on the back, say "good job", and give them a thumbs up? The world isn't that sweet. Should I remain totally silent and keep my opinion to myself? Well, last time I checked negative criticism was still a legal and moral practice. In my opinion this whole bashing accusation is a load of crap.
        • " Well, last time I checked negative criticism was still a legal and moral practice"

          You would think this is true, so did I until my previous hosting company filed a lawsuit against me for "defaming their company" after I went online and posted my expierences with them. Luckly the company I work for let their lawyer handle the situation.
        • Right != smart. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:15PM (#12636859)
          Should I remain totally silent and keep my opinion to myself? Well, last time I checked negative criticism was still a legal and moral practice. In my opinion this whole bashing accusation is a load of crap.

          Something can be legal and moral and STUPID. Stating a truth isn't always smart or even necessary. For example, I don't go up to handicapped people and say "Pardon me, but you have no legs." Mainly because it accomplishes nothing.

          When one feels compelled to make criticisms about something, one might question what the motivation is. Self-aggrandizement generally isn't be best one. In this case, no one using Firefox or Mozilla did so after seriously questioning Netscape. Netscape mainly sucks. Anyone reading his article would almost certainly 1) know this, and 2) agree. So what did he accomplish? No one was educated. No one was swayed. Not only that, his comments have been revealed as rather disingenious, being that the bugs are Firefox/Mozilla's to begin with.

          Bottom line, he made himself look like a complete ass without accomplishing anything. Yes, as we all know and you really don't need to remind us, the 1st amendment protects his rights, but doesn't protect him from being an ass.

          • Re:Right != smart. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by knodi ( 93913 )
            For example, I don't go up to handicapped people and say "Pardon me, but you have no legs." Mainly because it accomplishes nothing.


            Yes, and also because the overwhelming majority of handicapped people have legs (you insensitive clod).

            However, none of the leggy blind slashdotters will be able to defend themselves to you, thanks to this new craptcha thing.
          • Re:Right != smart. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by twifosp ( 532320 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:45PM (#12637161)
            Informing a handicapped person of their lack of legs is completely different, because odds are they can't do anything about it. A better analogy would be if you were in school and you kept getting wrong answers. Should the teacher correct you, or just ignore what you've said?

            However, the parents point was more a long the lines of: "If it sucks, we're going to tell you, so maybe you'll do something about it".

            Whether he looks like a complete ass, or if he accomplished anything is up to debate. For instance, I bet the netscape development team is taking a long hard look at their next release now.

          • Re:Right != smart. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by hkmwbz ( 531650 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:50PM (#12637202) Journal
            "So what did he accomplish?"
            I'm not sure exactly how to explain this... But he accomplished "proving" to the Firefox fans reading his blog that "Firefox is still the best, so continue spreading the word. Don't accept cheap ripoffs", sort of. Heck, on his personal blog [bengoodger.com], he has this annoying message to people not using Gecko. What's this all about? I thought we were supposed to get a choice between browsers! (Even more interesting is the way Google, Ben's employer, always supports IE and Firefox, but seem to ignore Safari and Opera, at least in the first version of new services.)

            Now, I don't want to be too nasty about this, but I have noticed that Asa [mozillazine.org] From the Mozilla Foundation seems to be "preaching [mozillazine.org] to the [mozillazine.org] choir [mozillazine.org] about how Firefox is leading the way and that others are just following, and always implying that you shouldn't accept anything less, and Firefox always leads the way, etc.

            I wish some of the Mozilla people would stop trash talking other browsers, and focus on their own browser instead. You can talk about how excellent your product is without putting the rest down.

            The Inq article is a bit over the top in one way, but there are some good points, and this kind of attitude is incredibly damaging. I hope various Mozilla representatives will be more careful in the future.

        • Re:Bwuah? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by stretch0611 ( 603238 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:47PM (#12637178) Journal
          If I try someone's product out (competitor or otherwise) and I think it sucks, what am I supposed to do? Give them a good old pat on the back, say "good job", and give them a thumbs up?

          Personally I would not call Netscape a competitor. Netscape is more like a partner. Criticising their product is also criticising your own product.

          It was the old netscape code that started the Mozilla foundation. Even if Netscape is no longer funding the Mozilla foundation it is still helping out by promoting their derivative work. By getting more Mozilla/Firefox based browsers out to the public more and more websites and web developers will be forced used more standards compliant coding. This will cause IE to lose its stranglehold and allow open-source browsers to level the playing field.

          • Don't forget that Netscape as a corporation developping browsers doesn't exist anymore. Netscape is now only a brand. Actually, the development of Netscape 8 has been outsourced to Mercurial Communications.
      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by /ASCII ( 86998 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:19PM (#12636252) Homepage
        It's a blog, it's not supposed to be politically expedient. It's not supposed to get the Mozilla project _anything_. The only problem I see with blogs is that people take them far to seriously. Jokes, ideas and brainfarts are taken to be the ultimate truth in sensationalist articles on Slashdot, OSnews and the Register.
      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shokk ( 187512 )
        Sorry, but Netscape's crappy "way behind the times" browser updating can't be called anything but that. They have a responsibility to their users to provide the updates ASAP if they are claiming security as one of the features of their browser. It appears that all the branding and in-browser advertising gets in the way of pushing those updates out in time. Do they have dedicated staff for monitoring Mozilla code daily and coordinating with Firefox rollouts, or is this just something they do for fun?

        If s
    • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by molnarcs ( 675885 ) <csabamolnar@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:09PM (#12636134) Homepage Journal
      FUD doesn't need to be an outright lie. Quote from the article: As we reported, Goodger said of Netscape's v8.0 browser: ""If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products". He was referring to the fact that Netscape initially made v8.0 available, which was based on Firefox 1.03.

      There's one important fact that Mr. Goodger forgets... less than 24 hours after the initial Netscape v8.0 was posted, AOL made available version 8.01 which is based in Firefox 1.04 and hence fixes the three vulnerabilities present in Firefox 1.03. In fact, when I clicked the "download Netscape 8.0" link on early Friday in order to test it and write my review, I already got the fixed version 8.01. That does speak quite well of AOL's reaction time after the initial mishap of shipping their browser based on Firefox 1.03. Now that might qualify as FUD - but at any rate, it is a very close to it. Goodger presents his view in such a way that one gets the impression that only Mozilla Foundation can guarantee the security of (gecko based) browsers. True or not? Well, it is true, but this is not the result of these competitors being lazy or slow, it is partly the result of the lack of cooperation and coordination on the part of the Project. Yeah, I read all the apologies in the previous ./ thread - and I don't agree with them. It seems to me that some think that you can't be both a fan and critical of Mozilla Found. I think you can ... in fact, if you really are a fan, then it is prudent to criticize if you feel your fav. project is heading in the wrong direction.

      And it does ... take a step back and read the Inq. article - is it really unreasonable? I think it makes a lot of sense, especially if you read the paragraphs below the ones I quoted, and see where such arrogance might lead. (Yeah, arrogance the same arrogance you could see in their response to the apple/khtml "issue").

      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot@org.masklinn@net> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:13PM (#12636197)
        Maybe people should remember that part of what triggered that comment from Goodger was that Netscape put forward it's supposedly ultimate security, stability or whatever.
      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by stu42j ( 304634 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:35PM (#12636420) Homepage
        There's one important fact that Mr. Goodger forgets... less than 24 hours after the initial Netscape v8.0 was posted, AOL made available version 8.01 which is based in Firefox 1.04 and hence fixes the three vulnerabilities present in Firefox 1.03.

        He didn't "forget" because it hadn't happened yet! The point is not that AOL took "less than 24 hours" to fix vulnerabilities. They released a product with vulnerabilities that had been known about for over a week, that's the problem. If AOL had known that they would be releasing 8.0.1 why didn't they just delay the release a day?

        Frankly, I wonder if they would have released 8.0.1 so quickly if it hadn't been for the bad publicity .
        • Re:Bwuah? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Metzli ( 184903 )
          Interesting comment. Using that same logic, why was Firefox 1.0.3 available for download when it was "a product with [known] vulnerabilities?" If one is going to attack AOL for releasing Netscape 8.0, then one should also give the same treatment to the Mozilla Foundation for allowing people to download a product with known flaws.
          • Re:Bwuah? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by GSloop ( 165220 )
            Holy shit, I can't believe you actually wrote this.

            Your analogy, simply is inane.

            Netscape is based on Mozilla code. The base Mozilla code had a vuln. in it. It had been fixed for some time. Netscape development, at worst, knew of the problem and ignored it. At best, they didn't know - which simply says little about the dev team for Netscape.

            I presume that Mozilla didn't know of the vulns in 1.03 until they were found, at which point they fixed them and released 1.04.

            It would be more like you making a ki
      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jason.jasonlefkowitz@net> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:42PM (#12636511) Homepage
        There's one important fact that Mr. Goodger forgets... less than 24 hours after the initial Netscape v8.0 was posted, AOL made available version 8.01 which is based in Firefox 1.04 and hence fixes the three vulnerabilities present in Firefox 1.03. In fact, when I clicked the "download Netscape 8.0" link on early Friday in order to test it and write my review, I already got the fixed version 8.01.

        Would there have been a fixed version 8.01 so quickly if Goodger and co. hadn't blown the whistle?

        It's not like Firefox 1.04 wasn't released before Netscape 8 -- and the exploit that 1.04 resolved had been known for at least a week before that. AOL made the choice to launch with a product based on a version of Firefox they knew to be exploitable. Why not hold it until they could get it on the 1.04 level -- especially when the work can be done in a day?

        Someone at AOL had to have been presented with the fact that their browser was based on an exploitable version of Firefox -- and that person decided that hitting the ship date was more important than shipping a secure product. Had that decision not been called into the media spotlight, would there have been any particular rush to get that 8.01 patch out? What in AOL/Netscape's storied history of bungled releases makes you think so?

      • Re:Bwuah? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by POWRSURG ( 755318 )
        If security is such a concern, how come I keep clicking the "Check now" button for updates on my plain old 8.0 install and it hasn't informed me of an 8.0.1 update?
        • Re:Bwuah? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @03:31PM (#12637637)
          If security is such a concern, how come I keep clicking the "Check now" button for updates on my plain old 8.0 install and it hasn't informed me of an 8.0.1 update?

          If security is such a concern, how come I keep clicking the "Check Now" button for updates on my Firefox 1.03 install, and that still hasn't told me about 1.04?

          Want to know why? Apparently because those idiots at Mozilla have blocked old Firefoxes from accessing updates.mozilla.org. Unfortunately the effect of that is that they can't find the Firefox update either. This does not imply to me that Firefox is more trustworthy than Netscape.
          • Re:Bwuah? (Score:3, Informative)

            What are you smoking? I updated 1.0.3 to 1.0.4 through the "Check Now" button and didn't have any problems.

            Doublecheck your internet connection settings.
    • by kbrosnan ( 880121 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:12PM (#12636191) Homepage
      This was taken out of context.

      Ben was likely annoyed about Netscape.com's alert about Firefox 1.0.4 being out of date. The alert told users to install 8.0 which was based on Firefox 1.0.3 which had securtiy issues.

      Netcape.com has resolved the issue of telling Firefox users to update their browser.

      Asa's post about the alert with screen shot.
      http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/008178 .html [mozillazine.org]
    • Fud can be misquoted or twisted truth , for example .
      If a man saves two from a burning building it could be twisted to "Man breaks into house and abducts ocupants"
  • The Inquirer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:56PM (#12635951)
    The Inquirer blasts Mozilla and "lead Firefox engineer"

    As if the Inquirer hasn't done any blasting themselves?

    As if the Inquirier is a reputable media source. How many time have they been sued?
    • Whether or not they've blasted others and their reputation don't make their point any less valid.

      See the difference between the Inquirer and Ben Goodger is that the former is a tabloid. They're supposed to do things like this.

      Ben Goodger is not supposed to flame indirect supporters of the Mozilla Foundation. He's supposed to be encouraging it. His comments that you can get only the best Firefox releases from Mozilla.org itself, while quite possibly true, reeks of vendor lock-in, in a sense.
    • Re:The Inquirer (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tveidt ( 726264 )
      Exactly what I was thinking. The Sun among the IT sites wants to tell others how to behave... And Goodger's comments were justified. Netscape just acted unprofessional. Firefox 1.0.4 was out for days and Netscape released its new version based on Firefox 1.0.3, while they told their visitors at Netscape.com that their current browsers are outdated (even recent Firefox nightlies!) and that they should upgrade to the secure Netscape 8.
    • None (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Groo Wanderer ( 180806 ) <charlie@semiaccC ... .com minus punct> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:51PM (#12636606) Homepage
      Well, as a writer for the Inq, I can say that as far as I have seen, the answer is zero. We get nasty letters all the time, but nothing ever went to court, at least that I can recall.

      Then again, what does suits have to do with anything? Does getting sued make a company bad? That would mean car companies must be evil because they get sued all the time, same with IBM. Now, the flip side of that arguement is that people suing must be right and viruous, so that would make SCO a champion of the truth, eh?

      -Charlie
    • How many times has the The Inquirer been sued? Never, as far as you or anyone here knows. Your comment suggesting that the truth is otherwise, without providing any information to back it up, smells of FUD. Also, I've found their news to be pretty reliable over the years.
    • sure, they have been sued....but has anyone ever won?

      The Inq is right and thats the bottom line. It makes me think twice about using Firefox in the future...

      And as far as a reputable media source... Yaknow, everyone with no clue says this. EVERYONE. The bottom line is that the inq largely posts only real news and when they do post their predictions and rumors....99% of the time they come true... So not only are they a good media source, they're almost prophetic in content....not to mention their wit
  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:56PM (#12635976) Homepage Journal
    There's a pretty big difference between bashing somebody for a malicious intent, and bashing someone because they need to get bashed. From the article, it seems like AOL put out a fixed version of the browser a day after he made the comments.

    Perhaps if he'd known Netscape was going to put out a new browser, he'd have refrained from making those comments. But he probably didn't. Anyway, he was still correct (by a day)

    Security is more important then people's feelings.
    • he was still correct (by a day)

      No, actually, in this case, he was wrong (by about a week). Somebody who downloaded Netscape 8.0 when it was released, then updated to 8.1 when it was released, would have a day of unpatched vulnerability.

      Somebody who downloaded Firefox 1.0.3 on the day the latest exploit was revealed, then updated to 1.0.4 the day it was released, would have at least a week of vulnerability.
      • Yes, but that week of work by the Firefox team fixing the bugs for 1.0.4 is what made it possible for Netscape to re-package the same fix in a day. And let's not forget that 1.0.4 had been out for a week already before Netscape launched 8.0.

        Really, Netscape had no business launching 8.0, and should have waited a day to get the 1.0.4 fixes in. Known exploits with a known solution should be showstoppers - period.
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:57PM (#12635978) Homepage Journal
    We've got a link to two old Slashdot stories, the Inquirer's main page, and the Inquirer article to which this article is alluding. You people need to start including the actual articles that you're talking about so I can bitch at people for not RTFA when they post comments.
  • by fishdan ( 569872 ) * on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:57PM (#12635988) Homepage Journal
    sometimes you have to seperate the art from the artist. e.e. cummings ended up saying some really nasty things, but his poetry is amazing. We should apply the same license to others we meet -- there *is* a difference between the art and the artist.
  • by nigham ( 792777 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:58PM (#12636002) Homepage
    ... was hardly wrong. Here it is, verbatim from his blog [mozillazine.org]:

    If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products.

    Now, if it is true that Netscape is a "redistribution" of Firefox (Netscape says it is), its only fair to comment that if FF is updated, it will be some time before Netscape is. I wouldn't call it Microsoft-style bashing.
    • Netscape decides when to release and when not to, and what fixes to include and what not to. They could have reasonably released a day later to address the fixes, but they had a deadline to meet, and they chose to meet it.
    • I've wondered about that myself. How often is the branch going to be out of date? Applies to more than just NS vs FF. There's only 3 scenarios. Branch updates before trunk. Branch and trunk update simultaneously Branch updates after trunk. The first two happen from time to time, but the 3rd is the norm. The good news is that security updates discourage forking since the 1st and 3rd encourage whoever is lagging to keep up or fold. Me, I'm sticking with FF over NS for just these sorts of update troubl
    • If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products.

      Unless, of course, the team developing the derivative find the security flaw (or get the notification from someone who did) first, and can fix it locally faster than the patching process can get it into a new official Moz/FF release.

      This could cut both ways, and

    • the title of the blog entry is "Netscape 8 Is Unsafe". Sounds pretty FUDish to me.
  • by SkankinMonkey ( 528381 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:58PM (#12636007)
    Even if you agree with the guy, Mozilla relies on donations from people and corporations to stay afloat. Most of that, I'm willing to bet, comes from corporations. If you disagree with the way a release is going you have a right to say something, but make it private instead of scathingly public, especially if it's against the person that pays your bills.
    • But that's the beauty of weblogs of open source developers, they can say what they feel, unlike the IE blog where everything appears to have been vetted by marketing first.
      • Their freedom of expression isn't the issue. Its the sensibility of it. If Netscape pulls the financial plug then it will be a loss for the Mozilla Foundation, not a win.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:59PM (#12636014) Homepage Journal
    The Inquirer? The same Inquirer that blasts Brittany when she's caught not wearing make-up is complaining about Mozilla's bashing?

    Oh, wait, wrong tabloid...
    • An easy mistake to make. One is a parasitic, bloodsucking leech that would die if it weren't for the subjects of its sensationalistic titillation...

      ...and the other one is spelled with an E. ;)

  • by wyldeone ( 785673 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:02PM (#12636046) Homepage Journal
    "Mozilla Foundation to ban Firefox derivative browsers?" is the headline for the second article. First of all, Mozilla Foundation can't, because of the license of their code (and if they were to relicense it, they likely would face an XFree86-like split). Secondly, they're not: this is just one developer (albeit a prominent one) making a comment on his blog about the security of Netscape's. I fail to see the big deal here.
    • It doesn't seem like a big deal, but his comments can be taken out of context, which can lead to an ugly situation. Just look at the recent KDE VS. Apple bullshit. What started as a minor criticism exploded into a bash fest. The last thing the open-source community needs is a war between its developers.
      • by maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:01PM (#12636708) Homepage
        The last thing the open-source community needs is a war between its developers.

        No, the last thing the open source 'community' needs is a borg-like avoidance of conflict. Conflict is *good*; it spurs change, reveals flaws, and pushes people to either put up or shut up.

        People who clamor for an end to conflict with the tired 'let's just all get along' line are, in fact, poison to any endeavor which wants to remain vibrant and strong. It's unfortunate that anyone pays any attention at all to these losers, whose only real goal is to shut down any and all opposition to their own pet views of How The World Should Be(TM).

        No, let's NOT just all get along. Let's argue, fight, criticize, disagree and struggle whenever we feel that it's appropriate to do so. And if anyone comes along and whines about this state of affairs, let's bitch-slap the wannabe tin-potters into next week without so much as giving them the time of day.

        Max
    • and if they were to relicense it, they likely would face an XFree86-like split

      Extremely unlikely. Last I knew, they were still trying to get all the individual contributors to allow GPL and LGPL licensing to go along with the MPL. Unlike projects like OpenOffice.org, Mozilla traditionally did not require any form of joint copyright assignment, so Mozilla itself can't relicense the code, only the individual developers can.

      The Register's headline was sensationalistic and misleading. But, that's their st

  • Totally Justified (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linuxci ( 3530 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:05PM (#12636082)
    He was totally justified with what he said. Netscape released their version based on a release of Firefox with security holes when a patched version of Firefox already existed.

    It can create a bad impression on Mozilla applications if other apps that proudly boast that they're based on such apps don't release updates in a timely manner.

    On another note, it's quite possible that Netscape are breaking the Mozilla trademark guidelines [ebrahim.org]. The application should have said something like based on Gecko rather than based on Firefox because after all the Netscape bloat adding it looks nothing like Firefox.

    Still nothing is as innovative as IE [msdn.com] ;)
    • by molnarcs ( 675885 ) <csabamolnar@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:17PM (#12636233) Homepage Journal
      Now that is nitpicking at its worst - they don't sell their product under the brand Firefox. They merely state that their product is based on Firefox - is there anything wrong with that? At least it is more informative than saying that it is based on gecko - which can be the gecko present in Mozilla, Firefox, or any other derivative.

      The irony is, that this is exactly what the INQ. article is about. Furthermore:

      It can create a bad impression on Mozilla applications if other apps that proudly boast that they're based on such apps don't release updates in a timely manner.

      Have you read the article actually? It is exactly about the unneded mockery of Goodger, who fails to note that Netscape released an update as fast as humanly possible - less than a day after release. I think that qualifies as "timely manner".

      • Re:Totally Justified (Score:3, Interesting)

        by linuxci ( 3530 )
        Fixing the bugs within a day is not good when the bugs had already been fixed in Firefox and were known about for a while.

        The responsible thing would have been to delay the release by one day. This would also have meant that they didn't force all their early adopters to update so soon.

        Yes, it would have been good to see something patched that quickly if the defects had been found after the release, however when the holes are known about then it makes sense to delay the release particularly if it's only by
      • BTW for the Mozilla(TM) Trademark Policy [mozilla.org] I'd just like to say I'm just giving my views on why the trademark policy is the way it is and based on the blog post I linked to previously I do think that Netscape is violating them if they've not got permission.

        I'm not saying I agree or disagree on the policy, a lot of things I think are a bit too restrictive IMO, but it doesn't bother me because the underlying software is free even if the branding isn't.

    • by justins ( 80659 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:24PM (#12636304) Homepage Journal
      It can create a bad impression on Mozilla applications if other apps that proudly boast that they're based on such apps don't release updates in a timely manner.

      Yeah, it took them a day to bring out the 8.01 update. That's just not quick enough!
    • OK, before I get flamed by FF fans this is just a devils advocate stance!

      He said that redistrbutions (like Netscape) will never be as secure as the official Mozilla version.

      How many "days at risk" was FF from these issues?
      Three days I believe (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong).

      How many "days at risk" was Netscape 8.0 from these issues?
      Less than one.

      Just saying the arguement COULD be made, thats all.
      • Except wasn't Netscape 8.0 released with a known exploit?
        • Yes, they both had the same exploits, but since Netscapte shipped later it wasn't "at risk" as long. Of course they should have fixed it before shipping, but the point that FF was at risk longer remains.

          In general his comment about "the official Mozilla release will always be more secure" seems to make sense, but I you have to be careful about absolute statements like that. Perhaps there will be a redistrubtion which will say always wait for a month or two after an offical Mozilla release in hopes of hav
    • > Netscape released their version based on a release of Firefox with security holes when a patched version of Firefox already existed.

      It's not as cut and dry as that. There is an extensive QA process that companies such as Netscape go through. They probably had builds in testing for a few days before the Firefox vulnerability was announced publically.
  • Bashful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:07PM (#12636103) Homepage Journal
    Why does "bashing" get such a bad rap these days? Is it because small groups pumping worthless products monopolize both their industries and access to the media? So powerful attacks - especially the most powerful, simple truth - are merely branded "bashing", and dismissed precisely for their power and accuracy. Competition is a bashing affair. We don't want competitors backing each other up, ignoring one another's shortcomings. That's known as a "cartel". Bash on, for the greater good!
  • by PenguinBoyDave ( 806137 ) <{david} {at} {davidmeyer.org}> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:08PM (#12636114)
    Calling a spade a spade isn't necessarily a bad thing. Especially when you're right.
  • He said something impolitic, or maybe unwise. Possibly even wrong. So what? Engineers have been known to do that occasionally. (Theo de Raadt says impolitic things fairly often, yet OpenBSD is still a great product.)

    This is a tempest in a teapot. Nothing to see here.
  • Why can't we all just get along!?!?!?!?!
  • by __aaitqo8496 ( 231556 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:10PM (#12636139) Journal
    The FA is basically a flame on Ben Goodger's comments. It's much akin to a puerile 16 year old making comments to piss everyone off (oh shit - I must have just insulted a large demographic of OSDN!)

    The article goes on to basically "right" Ben's "wrongs" and eventually concludes with an update taht Mozilla Foundation contacted The Inquirer to inform them that Ben Gooder is not a MoFo employee.

    And to think, I will never get the time added back on to my life for wasting time reading that article.
  • FUDged (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shanoyu ( 975 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:11PM (#12636170)
    As in, creating FUD about FUD. The Inquirer is right to take Goodger's post to task for, no two ways about it, bashing someone else's product simply and specifically because it's a derivative work, which is the epitome of absurd for any project like Firefox.

    At the same time the article is itself a FUD and sort of repulsive for the same reasons of the first, only more so because Goodger can at least make a claim to having the users best interests at heart while the Inquirer would pour gasoline on a blazing inferno if it'd sell, in this case taking it to almost epically stupid proportions:

    Sadly, somewhere among the transition from Mozilla.org to MoFo, Firefox radicals embarked on a "Firefox the product is the best thing on the planet" holy war.


    You dumbass. You just quoted all of the people in his freaking blog that thought Goodger's post was crap. Read your own stupid story.
  • Come on. Is MoFo the best abbreviation for firefox? What about FF? I got to the summary line, something like MoFo Ben blah blah and stopped. Obviously whoever wrote this was not in a clear state of mind. At the least, it's flamebait. At the most, it's troll.

    Sadly enough, from the summary on /. I think it's something that does need to be discussed, but not in that manner.
    • MoFo has become the defacto abbreviation for the Mozilla Foundation.

      The first time I seen it used was in a blog post that was critical of the running of the Foundation (non 404'd), but it was linked to in Asa's blog [mozillazine.org] and the name just stuck.
    • MoFo is obviously has a established meaning for mother f!!cker, as is, "that guy is a f'ing mofo".

      I would never get tired of saying in a meeting "we need to get that mofo distro out!"

      I shall spend a good portion of the day coming up with clever ways to say mofo so that there is a double meaning attached. The louder, the better.
  • update (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuffle ( 540687 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:14PM (#12636205)
    From TFA:
    The Mozilla Foundation got in touch with me to let me know that Ben Goodger currently is not an employee of this organization, something I've heard before. [...] It shouldnt be surprising then that due to Goodgers past at the Foundation and his involvement in leading the Firefox browser development, his words are often misinterpreted as representing the project.

    When an open-source project grows popular (and therefore its community gains some power) the press will begin to pay some attention and publicizing quotes and statements. Unfortunately, the press usually represents any community as monolithic entity. Often, it's not such a big problem, but here Mozilla is competing with giant corporations and so the press tends to equate the mozilla community with a corporation.

    Goodger make a perfectly valid statement which reflects his viewpoint of the Mozilla project. However, Goodger isn't a paid employee of the Mozilla Foundation. He is basically a highly involved community member. If the Register wants to report on his opinions, that's fine, but please don't presume that he is speaking for the community or the Mozilla Foundation.
  • by d-e-w ( 173678 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:22PM (#12636294)
    Well, he spoke the truth. If you want to be the most safe and secure, use Firefox and upgrade when security fixes are released. Netscape will always being running behind.

    Now, if I could only I could convince our IT managers that Netscape is a redistribution of Firefox, I'd be set. Getting yelled at for using Firefox and being told to use Netscape instead makes my head hurt.
    • Reminds me when I emailed my bank thanking them for supporting Firefox on their online banking Website. They replied saying "We don't support Firefox, and we recommend that you use IE6 or Netscape 6+ instead."

      *sigh*

      Whoever replied to me apparently never saw "Gecko" in Netscape's UA string.
      • Hah. I recently went to use my bank [natwest.com]'s online services with Opera, and got the following nice message [natwest.com]:

        Unsupported Browser
        You cannot access this application form using your Internet Browser. Please use a recent version of Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla or AOL (PC only).

        Nice that they explicitly support Mozilla though. IIRC I tried to use it a while back with Firefox/Firebird/Phoenix/Mozilla (I really cannot remember when) and it blocked it. I ended up using Konq and spoofing the UA.

    • Well, he spoke the truth. If you want to be the most safe and secure, use Firefox and upgrade when security fixes are released. Netscape will always being running behind.


      Technically speaking it was the truth indeed. But bashing Netscape as inferior just because it takes a few more hours to put their updates out is really nothing more than spreading FUD. FUD is not only about lies... it is also about making things bigger than they really are.
  • by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:56PM (#12636657) Journal
    Why did AOL release a browser, based on a version of firefox that had security vulnerabilities, while a fixed version was available? Don't tell me it was because they developed especifically against 1.03, because they released a patch the next day.

    Why couldn't they simply wait a day? Instead of commenting back and forth about what the developer said, everyone should have asked that question.

    Basically, AOL did something stupid, a developer responded to it, and now this gets taken out of context.
  • They disabled search prefixes / quick searches. In firefox, you can put prefixes in your bookmarks so typing "g monkeys" will do a google search for monkeys, or typing "sd m$" will do a search on slashdot for the string "m$" and make their poor indexing server do a shit-ton of work. Netscape 8 has those disabled, and anything typed into the URL bar is treated as a search on Netscape.com. I reported this as a bug when it was in Beta and they never did anything with it. I rely on search prefixes way too much
  • ... is that it's not controlled by any monolithic corporate entity telling you what to say and how to say it. The "free as in speech" part of Stallman's philosophical underpinnings for Open Source are ultimately more important than the "free as in beer" part. The moment you start mandating a "company line" in an Open Source project is the moment it becomes something other than truly Open Source.

  • FUD? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:18PM (#12636882) Journal
    From his blog [mozillazine.org]:
    If security is important to you, this demonstration should show that browsers that are redistributions of the official Mozilla releases are never going to give you security updates as quickly as Mozilla will itself for its supported products.

    The above statement is: True.

    From the 10 immutable laws of security [microsoft.com]:
    Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore.

    The above statement is: True.

    Either of these could be viewed as FUD, because it requires the reader have a level of paranoia or fear. It is whether or not someone chooses to believe them that makes the FUD different.

    IMHO, this shouldn't even be newsworthy enough for Slashdot to cover. As stated by others, this guy isn't even part of the Mozilla Foundation and this is more an attack on one person's comments than the foundation as a whole.

    They make a very good point, Firefox contains the latest code and the latest security updates. AOL and Netscape can use their code, but ultimately, if a user's top priority is security, they should probably be using the browser first to be updated.

    The only reason why someone should use Netscape or the AOL browser is if they *have* to, or if those browsers offer some feature that Firefox doesn't currently have.

    There's a lot of FUD slung from both commercial and open source developers, I don't see why this term has become *the* definition of "evil" on /. For example, let me ask you this: Are global warming activists spreading FUD? The history of some [gravito.com] would seem to indicate so. Does it make it any less of an argument for them to make it?
  • You mean he funded an "independent" study that just happened to find that Mozilla has a lower TCO?
  • by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @03:10PM (#12637420) Journal
    It's no longer enough to refer to it as simple criticism. Now whenever someone complains about someone else, it spreads to all the major news sites under the title "x blasts y".
  • Does anyone still use Nut^H^Hetscape?
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @04:13PM (#12638094)
    Inquirer Blasts Mozilla for Microsoft-Style Bashing

    We apologize. Those that have been in charge of the blasting the blasted have been blasted.

I THINK THEY SHOULD CONTINUE the policy of not giving a Nobel Prize for paneling. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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