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Mozilla The Internet

4 Years Later, The Mozilla Tide Has Turned 923

dave writes "In 1999, I editorialized that the browser was the battleground that would win or lose us the whole thing. 4 years later, in light of the excellent Firefox 0.8 release it is time to update the article with a slightly more optimistic view."
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4 Years Later, The Mozilla Tide Has Turned

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  • MIRROR (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:14PM (#8250036)
    Posted by dave on Feb 11, 2004 2:55 PM
    By Dave Whitinger

    In 1999, I editorialized that the browser was the battleground that would win or lose us the whole thing. 4 years later, it is time to update the article with a slightly more optimistic view.

    On November 5th, 1999 I wrote an essay to the community titled The Battle That Could Lose Us The War. In that essay I described my mounting frustration over the losing battle we were fighting in the area of web browsers. My conclusion was that if Microsoft was able to dominate the web on the desktop, it would be a short matter of time before they could extend and dominate the web on the server. I knew that Mozilla was our last and only hope for winning this.

    In the years since then, despite enormous and sundry pressures against them, the Mozilla project has moved forward at a remarkable pace. They somehow rebounded from each major setback even stronger. Milestones were passed, 1.0 came and went, and the layout engine Gecko started to pick up speed and became used in a variety of applications, including Galeon and Netscape 6 and 7. When AOL finally turned the developers loose, they responded by apparantly doubling their efforts and moving even faster and smarter. Whether you like Mozilla or not, their persistence is an inspiration to the entire Free Software community.

    So much progress has been made, in fact, that today, more than four years since my gloomy outlook was keyed, with unspeakable pleasure I am now in a position to report that this tide has finally turned. The Gecko layout engine seems unbreakable and is reportedly more standards compliant than Internet Explorer. The Firefox browser is fast and stable, and supports the plugins out there that the users want and need, and, for the first time in several years, my wife is actually excited about her Linux desktop again. For the first time since Internet Explorer 3.0 was released, I am seeing people switching browsers in droves.

    Furthermore, we now have the same browser as the Windows users. By making sure that my web pages look good in Firefox, I can be sure that it will look similarly in Firefox for Windows. Speaking of Windows, many of the Windows folks that I know, including those computer newbies that still think the "internet" is in their "Internet Explorer icon", have already made the switch to Firefox. Joe-User is excited about Firefox, and this means fast adoption of this browser in all computing circles.

    Not only is Mozilla/Firefox a superior product, but it is built in the best traditions of quality software: simple, extensible and free (libre). The extensions support in Firefox is simply genius and will continue to create an entire industry of software products to enhance and customize the browser for individuals.

    At the risk of fostering an attitude of complacency, I must say that the Mozilla project has breathed new life into the web, and as a side-effect, into the Linux desktop. The war is still far from over, but the tide of this crucial battle has most definitely turned. Things have never looked brighter for Linux (as a server, and a desktop), nor for the computing community as a whole, as a direct result of the tireless and outstanding work of the Mozilla developers. Well met!
  • Netscape is dead (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:16PM (#8250068)
    Move on. 7.1 is the final version. Go get Mozilla or Firefox, where the updates keep coming.
  • Re:About FireFox (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamsure ( 66666 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:18PM (#8250099) Homepage
    Completely different product space. Trademarks are allowed for such things, and the Moz project is well on its way to having the trademark approved.
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:22PM (#8250154)
    The Microsoft JVM is/was very good. Microsoft didn't pull support for it, Sun sued them to stop development and distribution. Sun then sued Microsoft to force them to bundle the Sun JVM. Then Sun sued to stop Microsoft from using ANY JVM. Thus ends Java on the desktop. Pity too, I like Java quite a bit.
  • by cyfer2000 ( 548592 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:27PM (#8250216) Journal
    By I remember from mozilla 1.3, there is something like richtext edit in mozilla, lemme google it... link1 [mozilla.org] and link 2 [mozilla.org]
  • by tsarin ( 217882 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:27PM (#8250220)
  • Re:About FireFox (Score:2, Informative)

    by Weird O'Puns ( 749505 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:28PM (#8250230)
    Mozilla is now smarter after the firebird incident. They have filed a trademark application for firefox [uspto.gov]
  • by kson34 ( 71110 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:28PM (#8250241)
    Actually the DHTML component (called the Midas in Mozilla) does exist:
    However most sites haven't supported it yet, I'm sure it will be a cold day in hell before hotmail and exchange 2000 web mail supports it, but complain loudly enough and maybe we can get yahoo, and other other sites to start using it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:28PM (#8250244)
    Some of the memory it uses is hidden by its OS integration.
  • by m0rph3us0 ( 549631 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:31PM (#8250285)
    FireFox uses about 20 megs of RAM, I've seen its virtual size at 120 megs but that isn't the amount of ram it is using. Its resident space is usually about 20 megs.
  • by balster neb ( 645686 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:32PM (#8250288)
    Yes, the GRE (Gecko runtime environment) has been around for a while. See http://www.mozilla.org/projects/embedding/GRE.html [mozilla.org]

  • by NShade ( 61868 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:32PM (#8250296) Homepage
    Try loading about:config and changing the browser.cache.check_doc_frequency setting to 1. I think that does it.
  • by alasdair ( 213627 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:33PM (#8250309) Homepage

    Has any work been done to allow the Moz renderer to be embedded into other applications the same way that IE can be?

    I've dropped this Mozilla ActiveX control [www.iol.ie] into my Visual Basic project using WebBrowser, and it seemed to work just fine. I didn't do any major testing, though.

  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:36PM (#8250352) Homepage
    It only monitors what browser is being used for a subscribing site. As a metric, it's only useful to say that the percentages of browser use is accurate for the types of sites that subscribe to Webtrends as they don't have more than maybe 10% of the web servers out there covered.

    There's lies, damned lies, and statistics. Be careful what you accept as facts and what context the facts are from.
  • I am aware of the control, but IIRC it isn't compatible with IE's implementation. So it really doesn't help with the webmail providers.

    In any case, Rich Text email is highly overrated. My family can barely send an email, much less know what to do with all those formatting buttons! Sometimes, less is more.
  • by seanmeister ( 156224 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:39PM (#8250399)
    Yep - there's even one project that embeds both IE and Gecko in a single window [vasanthdharmaraj.com].
  • Re:I remember... (Score:4, Informative)

    by TulioSerpio ( 125657 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:42PM (#8250431) Homepage Journal
    FireFox is XUL
  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:43PM (#8250454) Journal
    (no version for netscape/mozilla exists yet...)
    That is because Firebird 0.7 and firefox 0.8 have a google search widget built in, and other searches can be added to the list.
  • Re:overrated (Score:3, Informative)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:46PM (#8250495) Homepage Journal
    Have you thought WHY it runs great on Linux but so slow on Windows?
    It's the same reason, why Windows start so slowly. The same reason why Explorer starts so fast.
    Explorer loads on system startup. You won't do anything until Explorer has fully loaded, whether you want it or not. Only after it's fully loaded, you can click on Explorer icon and it pops up, ready for your orders. Total load time? About as much as Mozilla. Except you don't need for Mozilla to load, watching "Loading windows" splash screen if you want i.e. to use a text editor.
    And then, why does Mozilla run so slowly once loaded? Well, Explorer is still in RAM, hogs the memory, even as background task slows the system down, and while running one browser (IE) may be just enough for your system, running TWO browsers at the same time, may be just too much.
  • Re:Lets help (Score:2, Informative)

    by stephenb ( 18235 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:47PM (#8250502) Homepage
    I agree with the other replies, "best viewed with" ads are bad. No harm in promoting [mozilla.org] your favorite browser, though. I'm going to put one of these good looking buttons on all my pages, personally.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:49PM (#8250523)
    Is the reason it gets nowhere near the press Mozilla does that Opera is not open source?

    I want to challenge that assertion. It's the reason Mozilla gets more press on slashdot, which shouldn't surprise anyone, but I don't think there's a very big gap in the general press. Opera gets almost as much coverage as Mozilla outside of open source centric sites.

    Google claims "opera browser" turns up approximately 2.5M hits, and 2.8M for "mozilla browser". Checking news stories, there are 139 for "opera browser" and 185 for "mozilla browser". Not all that far off. And stories about Opera are frequently the type that people with money read - Motorola licenses Opera, Opera selected for PDA x, cell-phone y, etc. Opera has a niche that goes well beyond the desktop already. That isn't enough to make them the dominant browser, but it IS enough to make sure they'll be around for a while.
  • Re:I remember... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:00PM (#8250682)
    i know it crashes more often than not for me, and after a bit i have to restart it because it gets so slow it's unuseable

    I'm always curious what exact configuration the people who say this are running. I've run both the suite and the separate browsing app (firebird/firefox) for literally years, and ever since about mozilla 1.2 it has been fast and stable for me, on at least 10 different machines.

    One well known caveat is that if you're having stability problems you should start with a fresh profile. I've had this problem exactly once. Saw crashes, created a new profile, copied over bookmarks.html, and the crashes disappeared.
  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:02PM (#8250700) Homepage
    That would be a nice feature to have...but I believe that this is a Microsoft proprietary extension to the JavaScript DOM, not a standard. Which is not to say that the Mozilla team is incapable of reproducing it, just that they may have some qualms about it.

    It's already implemented. Mozilla has Rich-Text controls; They have dubbed it Midas [mozilla.org].

    It's been in Mozilla since around 1.2 or 1.3. Of course though, their implementation is standards-based, while IE's is not. Just like XML document loading, and various other features of the DOM, you have to code for standards, and then again for IE to work.

    If you have a text area whose ID attribute is called "edit", you can easily start to use Midas by doing something like:
    if (!document.all && document.getElementById) {
    document.getElementById("edit").contentDocument .designMode="on";

    You can also view a Midas Demo [mozilla.org].
  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:02PM (#8250702)
    I disagree - it's hard enough to get people to switch FROM their default browser (by downloading a new one) simply because it's the one that came with the system. So they hesitate. However:

    IE can do tabbed browsing, with an extra download.

    It can do pop-up blocking, with an extra download.

    It can do probably do better cookie management and other features, all with extra downloads.

    Why not just download the one browser that has it all? It won't be any help if everyone switches to a new IE that has all these features built in, but it's one of the great examples of how it's MS playing catchup, and not everyone else.

    I introduce more and more people here at work to Mozilla all the time. It's great when I visit people and see them using Mozilla. I might see a pop-up on the screen, and say "you know you can disable that?" Or sometimes when we get into privacy concerns and someone mentions cookies - "Mozilla has a great cookie manager, instead of accepting or rejecting, you can select wether you want one or not". Some people say "but there's so many, what a pain!" to which I can respond "but it'll remember the sites that you say are ok!" "Really? Wow!"

    Even the image management is great - sometimes you can't get rid of ads entirely, but you can block a lot of images.

    I think there are a LOT of compelling features in Mozilla. Mozilla is, IMO, the technological leader, not the follower. IE may have more users, and it may be the leader in usage, but it's simply not as good as Mozilla, IMO.

  • It has to be possible though, and without much extra work, because I have seen WYSIWYG editors on message boards now, that work in IE and Mozilla with no trouble.

    Whatever they use at Codejock [codejock.com], which I think is WebWizForums [webwizforums.com], says that If you are using Internet Explorer 5+ (windows only), Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.3+, Mozilla Firebird 0.6.1+ [codejock.com] it should work fine.
  • by Plac3bo ( 651890 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:04PM (#8250730)
    Yes. This is correct
    docs [mozilla.org]
  • Re:I'm still lost (Score:5, Informative)

    by dhamsaic ( 410174 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:07PM (#8250772)
    Serious question: Why is Firefox supposed to be "better" than Mozilla?

    It's smaller, faster. The UI is more easily configurable. It doesn't include an email app, WYSIWYG HTML editor or IRC client that I'm never going to use. For fellow Gentoo users, it compiles faster. Default theme sucks less than Mozilla's.

    Firefox takes dozens of basic features like animated GIF removal away from the configuration panel -- instead you have to know what undocumented value to insert in a hidden configuration screen. Even Internet Explorer offers this option in a mouse-accessible location!

    This is being worked on. Firefox is not complete. It is not even "One dot Oh". Firefox is incomplete software. The GUI for preferences is slowly but surely getting better. Mozilla has more people working on it than Firefox does. Eventually Firefox will supplant Mozilla as the official mozilla.org browser. Eventually. Not yet.

    If you don't like it, don't use it.
  • by Lord Satri ( 609291 ) <alexandreleroux&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:07PM (#8250776) Homepage Journal
    No one mentionned this ?

    Ad-blocking with Mozilla is GREAT. See http://adblock.mozdev.org/

    It even works with Slashdot ads....
  • by adrianbaugh ( 696007 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:09PM (#8250794) Homepage Journal
    From the FAQ on konqueror.org:

    -- snip --

    Why does ever page with flash crash konqueror?

    This is a result of a clashing symbol in both the flash plugin and the XFree86 libGLU (OpenGL utility lib). Upon closing an embedded flash view, the wrong function is called which heavily corrupts memory and leads to either immediately or delayed crashes, lockups and worse.
    The only solution that is currently known is either to install Qt without OpenGL support or to not use the Flash plugin. You can't combine both until this symbol clash is somehow solved. Unfortunately we cannot do much about this issue, unless Macromedia is willing to help.
    Another reason for Konqueror to crash on every page using a Netscape plugin is the use of gcc3. Plugins can't work with gcc3 because they are linked to gcc2's libstdc++, which is incompatible with gcc3's libstdc++.

    -- end snip --

    This looks recent: no gcc3 in 1999. Perhaps you have Qt compiled without OpenGL support: either way, it's definitely not working for everyone until either Qt or Macromedia renames their symbol. Personally, I'm betting that'll be about the time that hell freezes over.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:10PM (#8250804)
    Firefox on the Mac, while interesting, is still full of stupid Netscapeisms like not being able to take advantage of the systemwide proxy server settings.

    I'll stick with Safari.

  • Re:I remember... (Score:3, Informative)

    by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:12PM (#8250833) Homepage Journal
    Um, I think that's bullshit. Asking Kerz (who basically thought of the name) in the Mozilla devs channel, I was told that 'Firefox' shall REMAIN the name of the browser. Hopefully, with a passing wind.
  • by mbbac ( 568880 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:12PM (#8250842)
    That was Dave Hyatt and he didn't invent tabbed browsing. He implemented it in Mozilla and (what is now) Firefox. He believes Firefox's tabs are his best implementation.
  • Re:Firefox on OS X (Score:5, Informative)

    by thesolo ( 131008 ) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:14PM (#8250869) Homepage
    What I dont like is that the scroll bars are screwed up on Firefox if you load anything other than the default theme (Under OSX anyway).

    Several of the bindings for Firefox changed between the 0.7 and 0.8 versions, so older themes that have not yet been updated for Firefox 0.8 will have problems; one of those problems manifests itself by making your scrollbars disappear. Once the themes are fixed, this problem won't exist (it's not specific to OSX).

    Also, as for Firefox vs. Safari, I have a Powerbook, but I prefer Firefox on it. While it handles tabs similar to Safari, I can't browse anymore without find-as-you-type, a feature that only Moz/Firefox has (to the best of my knowledge). My only complaint about it is that NSITheme isn't fully implemented on OSX, so you don't get native-looking widgets (unlike on WinXP).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:17PM (#8250920)

    Now if I could just figure out what the firebird setting for "Check for a new version of the page everytime" like there is in IE, so I'd stop getting cached versions of static pages from our proxy at work.

    If that's happening, then you either frequent sites that send incorrect HTTP headers, or your cache is misconfigured. I'd guess at a little bit of both.

  • Re:IE is painful (Score:2, Informative)

    by S. Bolle ( 631631 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:18PM (#8250934)
    Firefox is just a name for the development phase. I believe it has been announced that when Firefox and Thunderbird reach 1.0 status, they will be named Mozilla Browser and Mozilla Mail.
  • by AYEq ( 48185 ) <{dmmonarres} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:18PM (#8250935)
    try here [mozilla.org]

    You don't embed firefox, you embed gecko. (the rendering engine for mozilla, firefox, camino, etc..)

  • Re:I remember... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MenTaLguY ( 5483 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:18PM (#8250937) Homepage
    No, Firefox really is all XUL.

    The XUL engine uses Gtk for widget _rendering_ now on Unix platforms (as it uses Aqua on OS X, or the Win32 Appearance Manager on Windows), but that's it.
  • by Skim123 ( 3322 ) <mitchell AT 4guysfromrolla DOT com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:19PM (#8250945) Homepage
    The DHTML or whatever is used to give the advanced editing features of Exchange 2000 web mail, msn hotmail, yahoo mail, and the geocities web site editor don't work in Firebird; If they did my sister, my mom and many other web users would never use IE again

    One solution is to download and install the User Agent Switcher Extension [myacen.com]. You can then have FireBird/Fox/Mozilla send the IE 6.0 User Agent string.

    Another extension that was a requisite for me to move from IE to FireBird/Fox was the GoogleBar [mozdev.org], which emulates the Google Toolbar for IE. (They also have ones to mimic MSN and Yahoo! toolbar, IIRC.)

  • Re:I remember... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TulioSerpio ( 125657 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:23PM (#8251007) Homepage Journal
    Firefox uses XUL [mozilla.org]
  • Re:Lets help (Score:2, Informative)

    by AeroIllini ( 726211 ) <aeroillini&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:25PM (#8251043)
    What about Best Viewed with Telnet to Port 80 [dgate.org]? Seems to me that philosophy would fit neatly with current server-script-generated (php,cgi,etc) pages using the div/span/css model for layout. Keep the HTML as barebones and standards compliant as possible, and add the flair, like layout and colors, with CSS.

    I remember A List Apart [alistapart.com] had an article on cleaning up the HTML generated by Slashcode [alistapart.com]. (It was posted [slashdot.org] here, too.) Such a model would even save bandwidth on high traffic sites, since the CSS files all get cached. It's standards compliant, too.
  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:26PM (#8251051)
    I disagree. First, as pointed out by an AC, a lot of IEs memory is hidden by it's integration - the same achilles heal that can potentially crash the whole OS with a browser failure.

    Second, "slow, tedious to use and access..." are all simply opinions (wrong, but then that's just my opinion).

    I personally did use IE when I was forced to switch from SGI to MS Windows. I didn't use Mozilla until it was good enough. Now, IMO, it's better. I guess it depends on how you use it.

    Sites that don't work are practically non-existent, and often there are simple work arounds for viewing them. Now, "work arounds" are annoying, and not an excuse to switch browsers, but like I said - at least for me, sites that don't work are few and far between, and getting fewer all the time.

    But again, it depends on how you use it. If your bank doesn't support w3c standards, and it's a site you visit often, then you are stuck. Frankly, as a paying customer, I'd complain.

    There are a lot of compelling reasons to use Mozilla besides "it's not MS".
  • Re:Ironic that... (Score:3, Informative)

    by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:28PM (#8251075)
    There are several sites which makes IE screenshots for you. There's also the option of using codeweavers' crossover products, which run IE on linux (which is how I test websites for IE in linux).
  • by NutscrapeSucks ( 446616 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:29PM (#8251083)
    This is actually a wise decision -- I worked for a company that developed some very fancy DHTML for IE 4.0, only to find out that it didn't work at all in IE 5.0. There's also some totally undocumented stuff like "window.elementName" that works *sometimes* in IE, but not all the time.

    I've also seen a bunch of "layers" code for Netscape 4 that of course had to be trashed when Mozilla came out.

    Standards are of course the best way to move forward, but they are not the universal panacea that everyone here is making them out to be. First of all, there's 10,000,000,000 web sites and intranet apps out there, and they aren't all going to be W3C compliant overnight. Second, not every browser supports every standard -- You could write a 100% standards-compliant site that works in IE but not Mozilla, for example. But if Mozilla support is a requirement, you're going to have to make it work in Mozilla (or Safari or whatever).
  • by dfj225 ( 587560 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:34PM (#8251160) Homepage Journal
    "It's amazing that IE still has such a large market share, its major security problems notwithstanding."

    Not really. If you think about it from the perspective of an average computer user, and not a geek it is simple. You click on internet and what opens? IE. Do you care or even know about security holes? Probably not. Do you even know that Mozilla exists? Probably not. Really, the normal user has no incentive to go looking for another browser. Sure they may be annoyed by pop-up ads, but chances are they don't know that Mozilla can block these and they may just do a google search resulting in the installation of a 3rd party IE pop-up blocker. It's not really amazing that IE has a large market share, it's common sense.
  • by JimDabell ( 42870 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:37PM (#8251201) Homepage

    IE6 is remarkably web-standards-compliant


    It manages to get CSS 1, a specification over seven years old mostly right. However, it ignores or screws up vast swathes of CSS 2, a specification that will soon be six years old. It doesn't even attempt to handle the four year-old XHTML 1.0. It doesn't understand most selectors. It doesn't understand any of the CSS table model. It violates a number of mandatory sections of the five year-old HTTP 1.1 specification. It can't render PNG images correctly, despite the fact that Microsoft promised support in Internet Explorer 4 and the fact that it's been around for over eight years. It can't even decide between "quirks mode" and "standards compliant mode" reliably, as it throws an eppy when faced with the XML prologue in XHTML documents.

    Don't even try to argue that Internet Explorer is in any way a decent browser when it comes to supporting standards.

  • by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:46PM (#8251303)
    Although it may be more "standard compliant", it is not as forgiving as IE in terms of bad HTML. I still get many sites that don't work in Mozilla - and because I know how HTML works and know the whole history behind W3C compatability standards I'll launch IE and look at the site with that. my mother would probably think the website was screwed. The sad fact of the matter is that there are a myriad of WYSIWYG HTML authoring tools that produde non-compliant HTML and to use the argument that they should fix their problems and Mozilla is god because it adheres to standards is horribly narrow-minded.

    The gecko engine is a best effort with respect to approaching IE. It already does a lot of things which aren't in the standards per se. It has two different rendering modes which aren't standards compliant for pages that are buggy. The problem is that making a browser that acts just like IE is a HUGE waste of development resources. IE is a moving target. You'd always be playing catch up. And for what? If your engine is EXACTLY like the IE engine, why not embed that? And it really has to be EXACTLY like the IE engine before all sites will work, because a lot of sites depend on the bugs in the IE engine in order for them to show up correctly.

    Even big sites like the internation herald tribune [iht.com] depend on IE bugs to render correctly. (Load it up in mozilla and due to mozilla actually interpreting the html and css correctly you'll get overlap between the image at the top and the text next to it.)

    Also, we're just now getting the web dev tools vendors to output standards. Dreamweaver mx now produces good clean standards-compliant code. Frontpage 2003 has much improved standards support. The various blogging tools play MUCH nicer with respect to standards. We're finally seeing the tide change wrt getting people to use standards, and now you propose to throw that away and give the web to microsoft. Why?!?
  • What I find funny... (Score:3, Informative)

    by SirTreveyan ( 9270 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:47PM (#8251306)

    is all the emphasis the IE users are putting on the Google tool bar as IE's way to block popups. I am a fairly new user, having decided to try a different browser after the last IE security problem, but from what I have seen FireFox offers much more. The following short list are some of the features I find important:

    1. Customizable. Firefox offers some basic functionality. If you want more functionality, you can add-on an extension. You are not stuck with having a bloated executable containiing functionality you will never use.

    2. Tabbed browsing. Having web pages appear in different tabs within the same window ROCKS. I just hated IE forcing you to open a new window if you did not want to leave a site. I just have to learn to quit closing the damn window when I am done with a site.

    3. Fast. I have not timed anything, but Firefox seems much faster than IE.

    4. Secure. The open nature of the source code permits far more eyes to search for, and hopefully find security weaknesses. Having >1000 people review code is far better than the dozen or so MS had review IE source. Also, the script kiddies is not targeting their mischeivious efforts toward Firefox since Firefox is NOT the browser with the largest installed base.

    Taken together, the value Firefox offers is far exceeds pop-up blocking. But if you examine at how Microsofties view the world, there is a tendancy to claim they inovated what is obvious, and disregard the rest.

  • Re:overrated (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:52PM (#8251361)
    Are you using a 386 or something? Firefox is FAST, and it renders /. perfectly (as has every version of Mozilla I can remember).

    I dunno... have you tried k-meleon? Last time I tried it, it was ugly and out of date, but had noticibly faster UI than Firebird.
  • by sinergy ( 88242 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:15PM (#8251637) Homepage
    What they are saying is wrong.
    Explorer.exe is the windows file shell.
    Iexplore.exe is Internet Explorer The two are completely separate programs, sharing only HTML DLL's.
  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:16PM (#8251652)

    Which IE patch are you referring to that "deletes features and makes it less standards compliant"?

    If it was the one that removed support for http://user:pass@domain/ syntax, that actually makes IE MORE standards compliant, not less.

    According to the RFCs, the URI formatting for the HTTP protocol was never supposed to allow user and password to be specified. It was a logical but non-standard extension to the RFC implemented by many browser authors, and it just kind of stuck.
  • by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:22PM (#8251709) Journal
    That address bar embedded in the taskbar in Windows XP (Right click on taskbar -> Toolbars -> Address Bar) uses the system's default browser. If you set the system default browser to Mozilla, that will launch Mozilla to that address
  • by eggz128 ( 447435 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:22PM (#8251712)
    Well, for a start, a lot of scipts do a simple browser sniff to see if the UA supports document.all (IE), document.layers (Netscape4), or document.GetElementByID (i.e. standards compliant - Mozilla and Safari).

    Basically, once you commit to supporting dcument.all you have to commit to supporting every other propriatory extention IE offers (yes, even the bugs in those extentions) to be sure peoples javascript still works. Even when they have provided a standards compliant way of doing things.

    So document.all support doesn't really give you anything, you can support it, but the document.all path is bound to have other IE only methods in it. If you dont support those methods, the script won't work anyway. And there's a good chance that the standards compliant version that was available and Mozilla could have run won't be chosen as the script now thinks Mozilla is IE.

    IIRC Konq does support document.all and document.GetElementByID IIRC. I also believe they have the exact problem outlined above.

    (In practice, the standards compliant route seems to be chosen based on the UA supporting document.GetElementByID but not document.all, as IE6 supports both.)
  • Re:Lets help (Score:2, Informative)

    by SomeGuyFromCA ( 197979 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:53PM (#8252092) Journal
    > Because the only phrase that should follow "Best viewed with " is "any browser".

    Yes, but when two browsers render the page differently - and one does it according to the HTML standard and the other does it One Microsoft Way - you need the "Best viewed by " tag to indicate which one is closer to how you the webdesigner want it to look.

  • Re:Lets help (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spotless Tiger ( 467911 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:03PM (#8252200)
    What's the deal with Opera's "!" as the third character of the HTML, HEAD, and BODY tags anyway? It sounds to me like incompatability for the sake of incompatability.
    Netscape patented the original HTML, HEAD, and BODY tags. While the patents were almost certainly bogus, most browsers switched to supporting a syntax with an exclamation point as the third character, and you can interchange them pretty much consistantly.

    Microsoft's IE still supports the original keywords of course, but that's because Microsoft pretty much came out at the beginning and said they'd challenge the patent in court if need be, and Netscape backed down (or at least didn't sue.) Opera et al though had more to fear from a lawsuit and adopted the "!"s instead.

    You're right, if it wasn't for the built in extentions to IIS and Apache to translate HEAD to HE!D, etc, on the fly for non-Netscape browsers, we'd all be stuck with Netscape and IE.

  • by hendridm ( 302246 ) * on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:17PM (#8252349) Homepage
    There are rich text editors [kevinroth.com] (Google cache []) that are compatible with both browsers.
  • by Derek Pomery ( 2028 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:22PM (#8252422)
    This is not going to work linked from /. - you folks will just have to copy and paste it.
    http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1 83863

    Anyway, that bug was filed a while ago. Multiple offers to Yahoo! have gone out to help them write their JavaScript to make it compatible with both browsers in a similar fashion to htmlArea (check out the sourceforge project).

    They haven't responded. Perhaps more complaints might help from paying customers, ideally.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:35PM (#8252576)
    Yeah, I'm glad Microsoft doesn't introduce esoteric settings to the registry to break^^^^^ control samba.

    Also, while were at it - i'm glad that Microsoft office only gets installed in one directory (re: your all over the place comment). That's why you can have as many copies of Open Office as you like - because it's all installed in one directory... wait a minute, oops - sorry - the Open solution is actually better than the proprietary solution because you don't have to worry about clashing dlls in shared directories.

    I agree that OSS needs to be better than proprietary. I agree that tweaking scripts is not ideal. I also recognise 0.8 means "not yet complete".
  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:35PM (#8252578)

    M$ already is adopting (read; embrace & extend) Mozilla. There will be no new releases of IE beyond security patches. The beast's new browser will be integrated more tightly into Longhorn than IE ever was into previous Windows versions, and will apparently rely on an XML-like markup language called XAML [microsoft.com] (eXtensible Application Markup Language or some such), which from what I've seen, looks and sounds a lot like XUL [mozilla.org].

    Once again, Microsoft is innovating what has already been done.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:03PM (#8252877)
    Here, let me help. Type 'about:config' in the address bar, hit enter, then bookmark the page. Exactly what you asked for. Now wasn't that hard?
  • by Tin Foil Hat ( 705308 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:06PM (#8252925)
    It is possible, and has actually been available for some time. I use Kevin Roth's [kevinroth.com] rich text editor [kevinroth.com]. It works in any recent IE or Mozilla based browser. Other browsers should display a normal textarea input.
  • by Eraser_ ( 101354 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:10PM (#8252985)
    I don't know what the big deal is. In the cache options of Mozilla there is the option to "Check every time I view a webpage". This should get you the caching you want.

    The real problem here is Exchange or your proxy. If Exchange isn't properly setting Cache-Control directives, and/or your proxy is ignoring them, I would fully expect to get a cached view. This is not Mozilla's fault. Talk to your systems administrator.
  • by MeBadMagic ( 619592 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [niugneptm]> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:17PM (#8253062)
    I find it humorous that I have to download mozilla to a new NT4 install in order to browse M$'s web-page to get the new IE for NT4, so that I can get the needed service packs and such. Great opportunity to show client the power of Mozilla, usefullness of OSS, and the lack of backward compatability of M$ software.
  • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:32PM (#8253238) Journal
    Fresh install every time. Of course, the box is only 3 months old, so their isn't old stuff there anyway. I have been using Mozilla (mainly on linux where the other browsers sucked ass) since before the 0.9 days. I actually used to care what the roadmap said.

    For IE pop-up blocking I use the google toolbar. Works nicely, and most like the instant access to google searches (ala Safari).

    For anti-spyware I use and run AdAware from time to time.
  • by lutzomania ( 139132 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:49PM (#8253448)
    Or you could download and install the Preferential Extension (Project page [mozdev.org] | [Extension Room [mozdev.org]) and be able to edit settings directly from the Tools menu.

  • Re:droves you say!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:51PM (#8253474)
    I look at the statistics for a number of frequently used (100k visitors a day) sites and do not see firefox gaining users.

    I don't know about firefox in particular, but Gecko based browsers is gaining. Looking at individual browsers: Mozilla is ranked #3, behind IE6 and IE5.5, and ahead of Safari, Netscape4, and IE5.0

    Looking at "Browser Types":
    Microsoft is in the lead with 81%
    Gecko is in second place with 7%
    All others (safari, opera, etc) are grouped.

    Microsoft has gone from 97% of all browsers to 81%.. that's a significant drop.

    We're a local news site, we don't even run technology related news.
  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:11PM (#8254229)
    Nope. I'm not wrong.

    From RFC 1738, sec. 3.3:

    An HTTP URL takes the form:
    http://<host>:<port>/<path>?<searchpart&g t;


    No user name or password is allowed.

    Pretty clear on the point, I'd say.
  • by iion_tichy ( 643234 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:20PM (#8254284)
    I'm getting real sick and tired of having to edit esoteric scripts in every damned OSS application I want to run, which are in half a dozen different locations on a hard drive.

    This is no Open SOurce Phenomenon, there are lot's of neat things in Windows XP you can only achieve by editing the registry by hand.

    In theory I'd like to have transparent options, too, but maybe there are just too many of them to squeeze them all into a menu. So it's just bad luck the option you want is missing.

    OTOH, maybe there is a positive side to it, users are made to understand what is going on to some extent.
  • by ideut ( 240078 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:26PM (#8254329)
    Who the hell modded this informative?

    The rfc [faqs.org] you just linked to says:

    An HTTP URL takes the form:

    http://<host>:< port>/<path>?<searchpart>
    where <host> and <port> are as described in Section 3.1. If :<port> is omitted, the port defaults to 80. No user name or password is allowed.

    Or are you the troll?

  • by InvisiBill ( 706958 ) <[slashdot] [at] [invisibill.net]> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:28PM (#8254348) Homepage

    css/edge [meyerweb.com]

    This site showcases some amazing stuff, all done with standard HTML and CSS. No Javascript, no (specific browser)-only code. That doesn't mean it works in all browsers, as the different versions of IE have varying bugs and/or missing implementations. This site is flat-out proof that the internet doesn't need the majority of proprietary code that sites use. The fact of the matter is that in most cases, the author used the easy way (auto-generated proprietary code) as opposed to the right way.

    Demo [meyerweb.com] and Demo-IE [meyerweb.com] are a good example. IE does get it mostly right, but not quite. On the complexspiral pages, you can see again that IE doesn't do the background image the way it's supposed to.

    This is a great site. It's 100% standards-compliant (i.e. it follows the rules set up to ensure proper operation of the web), does some neat visual stuff, and points out IE's flaws all at once.

  • by stefan_naewe ( 241608 ) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @01:32AM (#8255656)
    Don't you get a little icon at the left side
    of the status bar ?
  • Re:I remember... (Score:3, Informative)

    by BZ ( 40346 ) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @04:10AM (#8256263)
    1.4 is the version for _application_developers_ who need a stable API to base their applications on. 1.6 has changed some APIs, but is probably more stable (in terms of crashes) than 1.4....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2004 @09:40AM (#8257241)
    Yep, that's a neat trick, and there are others [meyerweb.com]
  • by RJHill ( 309414 ) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:46AM (#8258354)
    You wrote:
    From RFC 1738, sec. 3.3:

    An HTTP URL takes the form:
    http://<host>:<port>/<path>?<searchpart& g t;

    No user name or password is allowed.

    This has been updated. See RFC 2396, sec. 3.2.2

    URL schemes that involve the direct use of an IP-based protocol to a specified server on the Internet use a common syntax for the server component of the URI's scheme-specific data:

    where may consist of a user name and, optionally, scheme-specific information about how to gain authorization to access the server. The parts "@" and ":" may be omitted.

    Note that the password portion is not recommended. From the same section:

    Some URL schemes use the format "user:password" in the userinfo field. This practice is NOT RECOMMENDED, because the passing of authentication information in clear text (such as URI) has proven to be a security risk in almost every case where it has been used.

    Sage advice, I'd say.

    BTW, The RFC Index Search Engine at rfc-editor.org returns links to obsoleted and updated RFCs. It's probably a good idea to check for updates prior to providing advice.

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