Articles / We are losing the browser war

We are losing the browser war

Anonymous has had his eye on his Web server logs lately, and is worried at the shift in the ratio of Netscape to IE browsers hitting his pages. He worries that, if we're not careful, this trend on the desktop could undo all the progress Linux has made in the server room, and he offers some ideas on how we could fix things. I have been watching netcraft.co.uk. It is pleasing to see that Apache is increasing its slice of the pie with almost every new report.

Unfortunately, I have also been looking at Web server access logs, and I have been seeing a decline in the use of Netscape with a corresponding increase in Internet explorer. That is a problem.

Without a decent browser, it will be difficult for alternative operating systems to remain viable. We owe the old Netscape a great debt of gratitude for releasing a Linux version of Netscape so early on; it quickly made Linux a viable desktop, and later did the same for the other free Unices. Only a few wise men seem to realize this.

To paraphrase Linus: "It's the desktop, stupid." Backend infrastructure can be replaced quickly; user desktops cannot, so we are vulnerable to being leveraged out of the server space. Microsoft could use its increasing dominance at the client side as a wedge to lift Linux out of the server room. FreeBSD's motto "The power to serve" means nothing if it can't serve up the proprietary or patented protocols spoken by the clients.

We need some nontrivial presence on the client side to prevent the bastardization of protocols and file formats. Don't think that just because a file contains the pixy dust of XML it can be made proprietary. I am convinced that there are people patenting DTDs as I write this.

In the newer Linux distributions, we have an operating system capable of holding its own on the desktop; now we need a viable browser. Unfortunately, Netscape and Mozilla have lost their way. Netscape had its air supply cut off by a better-funded opponent. Mozilla... well, I am unsure what to make of it. I am guessing that when it was released it was a mess understood by a few. Now a couple of valiant individuals have undertaken the thankless task of cleaning it up. They might even be succeeding.

Unfortunately, it appears that Mozilla still carries the legacy of some poor management decisions. I think (and I might be wrong) that the plan was to turn Netscape into an operating system of its own. In a horrible way, they have succeeded; Mozilla is about as bloated as some of the largest operating systems.

The problem is not only that Mozilla is big and slow, removing it as the browser of choice for older and embedded systems (exactly the place where Linux is a viable contender), but also that it is difficult to understand. Heck, simply compiling it can be tricky. Getting up to speed on Mozilla appears to be difficult, so contributing is difficult.

I believe that the strength of the Open Source movement is that its components are highly modular. Forget the big projects such as gcc or the Linux kernel which need to be run by experienced wizards. Most Open Source projects are small; a talented programmer can understand the entire system. If contributers get in on the ground level, they too can keep track of their own part. The modularity is much stronger than the (IMHO rubbish) OO methodology advocated by dubious software engineering textbooks. An Open Source system breaks into objects at the executable level -- a level which both the developer and system administrator understand -- not at lower levels where it slows down development and execution.

An FTP server is an object. An FTP client is an object. The interface is well-defined in a couple of RFCs. Don't like a particular server? Plug in your own! It doesn't matter if the client is written in C, Python, Perl, or Intercal. It doesn't matter how the internals of the FTP server are structured. It's an object. No need to rely on inconsistent mangling of C++ classes in obscure libraries with undocumented interfaces and side effects. No need to worry if the object fails; if the FTP client crashes, the server keeps running. No esoteric marshaling or transport mechanism tied to a particular language; objects communicate via vanilla Unix pipes or TCP/IP.

This point is really important. As long as the maintainers understand the internals of their object/package and there are not too many dependencies, Open Source works beautifully. Don't like sysvinit? replace it with simpleinit or minit. Think you can do better than syslogd? Replace it with syslog-ng or idsa. Think inetd is vulnerable to DoS attacks? Try xinetd or tcpserver. Don't like bash? Try zsh or tcsh. Think wu.ftp is an exploit waiting to happen? Install oftpd or troll ftpd. We have an amazing amount of biodiversity (or should that be cyberdiversity?.

Open Source objects seem to do best when a replacement can be written by a smart teenager during summer vacation or as an after hours project of an experienced sysadmin. The replacement need not do all the original does and won't be bug free, but it should be enough to show promise. Later, it will become large and nastier, but the skeleton will be the same. This is probably the core of the Open Source world, even if it means that there are too many half-finished IRC clients.

Back to Mozilla. Mozilla is much larger than most Open Source projects. Becoming a contributer is hard. Writing a replacement is harder. The people at the W3C appear to have fallen into the same trap as the people who design C++, and have added more and more baggage. No doubt they were under pressure to formalize the extensions added by Netscape, Sun, and Microsoft, but still...

A browser is no longer something which speaks HTTP and renders plain HTML. It now needs to do Javascript, cookies, Java, ActiveX, Flash, frames, cascading style sheets, and XML disasters. Building a replacement browser is no longer a vacation project for a couple of smart teenagers. Oh, sure, none of the extensions are essential to a browser, but only a minority of sites don't make use of at least one of the features.

So, we have a problem. Mozilla is too large to attract casual programmers in the numbers it needs, and the Web itself consists of too much cruft. The entry cost of the Web browser business is considerable. Large companies like large entry costs since it keeps out the smaller players, including the volunteers. Microsoft can throw programmers at Internet explorer. Programmers at large corporations have to wade through spaghetti code whether they like it or not, and paid programmers can spend their days doing regression tests. Volunteers like doing neither of these things.

The free software community desperately needs a decent Open Web browser to stave off the .net effort. It is probably the biggest software gap we have. Solving it won't be easy, and losing it might be fatal.

I have thought about a number of approaches to the problem. One is to have more people working on Mozilla. Mozilla is being cleaned up -- some subsystems are probably quite solid by now -- but it is still large and slow. If you think you are a hotshot programmer, consider helping out Mozilla. If Mozilla makes a comeback, you'll be a hero.

Another method is to simplify the Web. We need to lower the entry costs for the people writing alternative browsers. Web sites need to loose the Flash, the Javascript links, and the font tags. That too is hard work. If you have a Web page, resist the temptation to add clever stuff to it. Disable Javascript, Java, and remote fonts in your browser. Ignore sites which rely on these things. If you visit pages which do, drop the author a line and tell him about it. Email is best. If you can't be bothered with email, try the approach I use: I request links such as http://www.somecommercesite.com/using/javascript/has/just/lost/you/a/customer/ or http://www.someidiot.com/lose/the/flash/or/lose/this/viewer in the hope that somebody reads the error logs.

Making the Web simpler is difficult, but we have a window of opportunity -- cell phones and other wireless browsers are still too small to run a large browser, and WML is (rightly so) falling from favour. A restricted subset of HTML might just work. Maybe the cHTML used in Japan might be a good candidate (do we have a Linux cHTML browser?). We could kick up a stink about accessibility -- put pressure on sites to keep it simple so that blind and partially sighted people have a chance at viewing them. Emphasize the risks of running Javascript and Java on the local machine. Point out the risks to ecommerce sites. Point out the savings of turfing the Web design division to the CEOs of failing dotcoms, letting them spend more funds on the backend and order fulfillment. Inform people that fancy Flash pages and Java applets won't be viewable in 20 years. Lead by example. Full marks for freshmeat using HTTP authentication and not cookies. Use the "best viewed with any browser" button. Focus on content, not looks.

And then there are the alternative Web browsers. Konqueror is showing promise. Zen has the right approach. Express might be worth taking up again. Maybe we could learn from the NCSA/Apache experience. When NCSA httpd was no longer viable, some smart people put together Apache. Apache has something important going for it -- it can be easily extended. It might be worth trying the same for a new Web browser. Make it simple. Use wget to fetch the pages. Pipe it to a simple caching program. Have the caching program pipe the output to a simple renderer -- the GTK HTML render or maybe a diet gecko. Control the pipeline from a simple X interface, and we have a Web browser. X has a neat feature which lets a window of one application swallow the window of another. One of the people who designed X wondered why it wasn't used more often. Think about it -- for an HTML form input box, instead of using a crummy text widget, we could spawn an xterm the exact size of the text box, and use vim or any editor to fill out the form. It would be nice. It would be easy to maintain. Crashing the editor would leave the browser running.

In the last few years, the Open Source community has made good progress. We now have several impressive operating systems. Apache is the most popular Web server, but we need to have a viable Web browser, be it a working Mozilla or a lighter alternative. Without it, we don't stand a chance against .net.


Anonymous is a student at the University of Anystate, where he is writing a dissertation on Primary Colors. He does fundraising work for AA/NA in his spare time, and composed most of the music written in the Middle Ages.


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RSS Recent comments

30 Jan 2001 08:28 risinghigh

previous comments?
hui ? there used to be previous comments.
where have they all been gone ? over 81 comments
lost ?

30 Jan 2001 08:40 ricksoft

Technology changes
I have tried to convince our web design team never to use javascript, activex or flash. However, there is always something people want to do that requires the little "extras" that pure HTML doesn't provide. I tell them "It'll break if someone accesses it using Netscape", but this for some reason, this is never seen as a Bad Thing.
More realistically though, why should we expect people not to use technology once it has arrived? How many people would choose to give up mobile phones because they don't all have the most modern features?
I would love to see Microsoft port IE5.5 to Linux, (or have someone build a viable equivalent) because then I could browse the web using my favourite operating system, and not need a dual boot system. I don't think it'll happen though :-(

30 Jan 2001 10:17 tigur

Re: Technology changes
Truly, why should features be given up that although not always useful, are aesthetically pleasing just to support the open source community? Doing my job, I am admittedly stuck in a Windows environment so I use IE and enjoy all the websites that make good use of many of the features that it has the NS lacks. Until Netscape/Mozilla comes out with something a bit less bloated that supports more of what I want to see and more of what I want to do, IE will continue to be the browser of, if not 'choice', at least preference.

30 Jan 2001 10:36 raveboy

Forget Netscape ... IE is alive?
I created a new web site. In former days I always tried to make it also NS conform, but Netscape still does not support what IE implemented now over 2!!! - yes TWO years ago. I think that ignoring the sings of time is really stupid. I want to have Style sheets and I used them. I use the layer-technique to simulate drop down menus. Well the work perfect on IE, but don't look that nice on NS. What should I do? Almost every body now uses IE with 1024x768 resolution. In future I will also include Flash. Flash is also ported to the most common OS'es. So I want to have all the new stuff, but: is it really new??? That's the question.

So OpenSourceCommunity: write a browser which supports CSS 2.0, Java and HTML.

30 Jan 2001 11:44 r1234

WTF ?
Basic correctness would be to bring back the user
comments. Hell, the article is a ridiculous
FUD/flamebait, about 100 comments are made, then
the site changes, the article re-appear but the
comments are DROPPED ???

30 Jan 2001 13:30 grimoire

All is not lost

Although I've yet to convince them to lose the
Java and JavaScript, our company's latest website
development project is intended to be compliant on
all of Windows IE, Mac IE, Netscape and Mozilla.
The Java is not essential to view the site, just
the pretty add-ons. Hell, it's vaguely useable in
lynx...

Our intranet has gone from an IE-only botch to
something approximating interoperability.

I don't see what the problem with supporting
CSS is - it was intended to replace the mess of
tag information that made HTML parsers so hard to
write in the first place. It's a good
specification, fairly simple and based on open
standards.

The important thing is for all of us who work
in IT to pressure our managers, who almost
universally don't understand our complaints, that
a little extra effort in development will gain us
a wider (if not much wider) user base, and kudos
among the People Who Count...

30 Jan 2001 15:49 Revenant

The Decline of Western Surf-ilization.
This is bad news. Admittedly, I've lost all respect for Netscape since v3.01Gold, but IE is just about the worst possible browser ever to appear on the market -- I don't care how many bells & whistles it supports now. Just because high speed connections are becoming commonplace doesn't mean we have to be inundated with flashy crap that sucks up all available bandwidth.

Take this one geek's point of view: The 'Net was supposed to be everything-friendly. It's supposed to allow anyone to go out in search of information, regardless of equipment, location, source, or connection. The blind acceptance of proprietary and incompatible code not only alienates a great many just to satiate a rare few, but do I _really_ want to see my processor usage shoot up to 100% and stay there just for some stupid web page? Not bloody likely.

If there's any justice left, Opera will start to soar, and/or Mozilla will quit the milestone race and release something stable...

...And people will learn. Hopefully.

30 Jan 2001 15:57 pippin

konqueror actually does a good job
konqueror of kde2.0 does a really nice job of
rendering CSS2 pages, it loads much faster than
mozilla/ns6.. when I design webpages,.. I'm using
a lot of CSS2,.. and test them in Opera, Konqueror, IE, w3m, links, lynx and ns4.. even the tty based browsers do what I expect of them,.. shoul I really bother about the flakey renderings from netscape 4.7x?

30 Jan 2001 18:05 Avatar stuartdgathman

Browser architecture needs to emulate Apache
A good browser design need not be troubled by the turbulent web standards waters.

The core browser should provide efficient URL fetching only. This is not trivial, and involves implementing HTTP1.0/HTTP1.1/FTP/etc

Modules can be compiled in or dynamically loaded. Same idea as Netscape plugins - except almost everthing is a plugin - and the plugins can interact with the core at more levels. (E.g. getting control when an APPLET tag is encountered.)

Standard modules would include plain HTML rendering, FTP browsing.

Optional modules would be:

Java (via APPLET tag and *external* JVM please). The external JVM should run as 'nobody' in case there are bugs in the AppletSecurityManager.

Javascript (because my bank requires it :-( )
MIDI, WAV, AU, etc.
Latest XLM bandwagon.
etc.

This doesn't help with the problem of proprietary formats implemented by proprietary plugins available for 1 or 2 platforms only. (Boo Flash).

In defense of Java for web pages, let me point out that it does have a security model and that a plugin interface for an external JVM is a doable open source project.

Note that free Javascript implementations are available that need just a plugin interface.

30 Jan 2001 19:50 mrsbrisby

what's this "we" shit?
I'm sorry, but netscape never did anything for the "linux desktop". Linux isn't a desktop, it's an operating system kernel. And while we still do things the "UNIX way" (as opposed to the POSIX way; read on), it can never be a desktop.

The UNIX way isn't really that good. It doesn't have much consistancy (the concept of devices being one of them), and setuid really does have to be the worst-abused idea ever.

Most importantly, UNIX still requires fast fingers. With paths getting longer (how many times a day do you type: vi /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?) it's getting Linux further and further away from the desktop market.

What Netscape did was show many linuxish users know that someone was watching them. Someone was using their goods, and that someone was someone that manyones :D happened to root for; go netscape!

Of course, Netscape was still garbage, and MSIE still far superior. But nobody seems to remember that. I still know many people that try and tell me that they think Netscape is still better. These people are called liars. They rationalize Microsofts Evil as an incapacity to write good software- or as some would suggest- steal it.

Opera put out a world-class browser. It's fantastic. Although I think they should make the windows versions for-charge and the uber Opera's for free, but that's just me. I like opera; I'll never pay for it (nor use it until it is free), but I still like the way it works.

Konq and Express and all those other silly guys. I admire it, but you guys are falling in the trap: writing a web browser isn't difficult; Designing one is. Mozilla proves this: Mozilla is garbage. It's not designed well in the slightest. But changes occur quickly- as do fixes...

Now, Be really did a good job (I'm not so sure about this newfangled BeIA, but...) with giving us the structure of a POSIXish system, but keeping it away from the desktop. Don't think I'm suggesting a look-and-feel, or a new Beish window manager, or even the GNU Bedesktop (hahah). I'm saying that the more we make our Linux look like windows, or Be, or Macintosh, we actually distance ourselves further.

X environments are getting slower and bulkier (how many enlightenment screens have you seen with crazy shaped windows?), and nobody seems to be asking why?

I can guarantee that the makers of enlightenment aren't to blame; nor are the guys beheind Sawfish or Blackbox our saviors! Nor do I suggest a happy medium.

What I suggest is a new way of thinking (feel free to add that silent G sound at the beginning...)

This falls on those Linux packagers (sometimes called distributers, but this is confusing). They need to step forward and make their own "Linux-based" systems instead of "UNIX based, Linux systems".

Beginning to understand?

UNIX works really well in the server room, and I appreciate the authors mention of servers being distinctly uncomparable to desktop environments. But I disagree on one very important issue: UNIX will never take over the desktop. Never. So long as Linux is unixish, it will continue to fail here again and again.

GNOME and KDE both look and feel very much like complete systems, but the more you use them, the more you find yourself with a dozen (or three) terminals, a netscape window (or twelve :) and your favorite mail client. How is this a desktop?

We need LESS graphical apps. Less modules (so to speak), and someone to step up and say "this is how it's going to be done!"

And this is how it's going to be done:

Macs do the desktop rather well. Drag the program off the website or CD-ROM onto your harddisk and run. Done playing? drop the whole folder in the trash.

Yes, I propose it really be that simple. And I think it can be when we have file-attributes (in the OS/2 sense, not in the Windows sense), resources, etc; things that can be associated with what the user actually has to deal with, but completely independent of their experience.

How many Be users have tried putting font and style formatting into their source code? Ain't that spiffy? Now why is it that to do this under most Linuxish systems (and windows included) we would have to modify our compiler?

As it stands right now, the author of the compiler would need to be involved in such a motion for the desktop, and I assure you these wizards have no interest in such silly concepts such as drag-and-drop.

The kernel-folk will tell you one of three things (depending on who you ask): Wait for Linux 3; that shouldn't be in the kernel; and i don't have anything to do with that.

On to other things; why does X *still* perform no desktop maintanence? It should have the window manager coupled with it. I hear screams that resemble "No! That's what makes X good!" but it's a lie! X does good things, and I still believe it to be a better remote desktop than anything else out there, but X still doesn't make for a local desktop. And unless anyone else has a better idea...

I can appreciate being ignored, but "we" still have a long way to go. And I fear that unless enough people realize how far we've drifted off course, we'll never pick this one up.

30 Jan 2001 20:31 mrjones

Mozilla is no wrong, just point another direction
Yes, we are losing the browser war.

I think that Mozilla is not wrong.
The problem is that Mozilla is NOT doing a
Internet browser. That's true. Thats what
on head developer of Mozilla said.

They have been doing the equivalent of AWT Java.

I thing that if Mozilla have only the
goal to make better Browser, all will
be using it.
Instead, Mozilla have been in great part
reinventing the wheel. Look, motif is
free now.

Comparing Netscape 6 with IE 5.5 is just
frustrating. Have you been using the Back and
Forward buttons in IE an N6?
Have you been doing multitasking in IE and N6?
How about window content refreshing?
Compare even a right button pop menu on
the page.

In all this points I have to admit that IE is
better, and that is why Netscape is losing the
war.

Last, I have to say that all this I started
to smell when jwz.org resign from Netscape.

:-(

P.D.: I want roaming access in N6.

30 Jan 2001 21:50 prenzl

Right idea, wrong solution
MS is kicking our butts with IE because it's a damn good piece of software that will carry the load for a long time for MS. Anonymous is correct to bring our attention to the problem, but (if I'm understanding correctly) he/she has the absolutely wrong solution. When I read Miguel de Icaza's paper "Let's Make Unix Not Suck" (primates.helixcode.com...), I jumped for joy: Finally somebody gets it!! The free computer world is not dominated by only grumbly old C-dog kernel hackers. Maybe there are some forward-lookers.

MS runs on COM, and COM is very, very good. MS has a very, very smooth overall desktop experience, and all of the resource-flush MS progamming world is geared towards getting your Windows app project up and running with minimal hassle. Anonymous's attitude that old-fashioned Unix C programs piped together is enough to outdo COM is ludicrous. de Icaza is trying desperately to get GNOME into the late 20th century, let alone 21st. Anonymous's attitudes are part of the problem, not the solution. I don't disagree that bloated programs suck, but the browser is going to carry the weight for the next 20-odd years--and yes, it will become an all-in-one, desktop-mini-OS. And for better or worse, it's going to be expanded greatly to deliver all manner of information, app and doc-oriented. .NET (and/or one of its competitors) will prevail. Look at Apple, they've done a very smart thing with XOS: they've wedded great GUI with Unix power and flexibility. IMHO, there simply is no future for the Unixae, free or otherwise, with crappy, crude GUI anymore. If Linux can offer a competitive desktop coupled with null tarif, you'll start to see OEM's take the bait, as the "MS tax" will instead stay in their pockets. But without a great browser on a super-smooth desktop, the whole thing falls apart. If I've totally flamed Anonymous unfairly, sorry, but I've seen so many Unix curmudgeons who couldn't care less if they ever stopped using Lynx or Netscape 3.0, that I've really had some doubts as to whether they really want this free thing to succeed or not. If I've missed Anonymous's point, let me know with some details.

31 Jan 2001 00:27 electroninja

Stupid people want computers too
Its unfortunate really about Mozilla.. working in
web design and tinkering with backend web
with linux / apache i really started to like it,
but when it comes down to the audience
experience on the design side, coupled with strong
support for proprietary server software,
linux isn't really a consideration for most
professional web ventures, and those sites tend to
attract the most traffic by pushing the envelope..
or defining What the Web Can Be to
regurgitate macromedias slogan.. ;o now the
designers like myself who still use Mozilla on
their NT / MacOS machines (mainly out of some
twisted sense of community obligation i'm
convinced) are often forced to wrestle with things
as simple as CSS tags, table rendering
bugs, form alignment etc in the endless cycle of
starting out with a lovely idea, whipping it into
shape in IE quite quickly, then bouncing back and
forth between the horrible netscape 4.x complete
fuck up renders, Mozilla's generally correct but
awkward and sometimes
pathetic pageloads. lynx is not even worth the time.
Now its all well and good for a few sysadmins and
perl hackers to complain about javascript and
ActiveX and third party plugins, but at the end
of the day, cooler site gets flooded with
hits and the poor bastards still trying to make
their fantastic page work in Netscape 4.7 get fuck
all.

Now maybe I'm wrong for wanting to add more than
text lists, forms and hrefs, but unfortunately the
world looks at the web mainly as it looks at the
TV... but with a pointer. The average end user
isn't interested in how a system works or why it
was developped in a certain way.. simplicity is
the key for these users, as far as interaction
anyway. if it aint an email or username prompt
fuck the keyboard. If we want end users to
actually consider adopting an Open desktop it will
absolutely need to be as seamless and command line
free as MacOS / Win9x... Could we as a community
develop a system so simple our great grandparents
oculd operate it, but which would still afford the
geeks among us total freedom? MacOSX has made
quite a good attempt IMO... but I know if the
linux community as a whole wants it to happen, why
shouldnt it...

One of the major gaping holes i feel in the Open
Source desktop is the lack of a competitive,
multi-codec digital video and audio player..
my 2 cents anyway...

31 Jan 2001 01:37 ekihn

Spot on..
The article is spot on. My only disagreement is with the second proposed solution. Why should anyone be restricted from what's possible. I'm developing webpages that are meant to replace networked applications, I need the Java/Jscript to get it done. What we need is a hero to rise and lead open-source to a real browser. OS did Apache , it can do this. Maybe the boys at Redhat, Caldera, etc.. ought to chip in a programmer a distro.
Hell it bothes me I'm writing this in IE, if I had IE's equivalent for Linux it'd be Sayonara Windows. 75% of the people I know have a computer only to surf ...

31 Jan 2001 01:44 mspluga

Why not Opera?
The new version 4.0beta5 is enough stable and works well on linux. It's light and fast and I use it for my daily browsing now. The 30 days limits (true days of use, not calendar days) resets on each new beta release and till now i didn't reached this limit.
I prefer it also in the Windows environment, where the new release 5 of Opera is free.
The linux version is still beta, lacks many features (java and javascript), but it's frequently updated; furthermore they may will make it free also on linux (they should do it!).
OK, it's not open source, it is still proprietary and the free version displays an advertising banner (but it's not annoying), may be not 100% as rich as the bigger browsers(but i found less problems with Opera than with Netscape 4.7), but if you talk about MS IE and a "war of browsers" remember that also IE is not open, neither free (don't you pay to have Windows, to make it works?).

31 Jan 2001 02:40 Avatar shevett

Stop thinking about apps. Look at KDE.
I was very much in this camp several months ago when I came to the (repeated) realization that Netscape is a completely lost cause. You can't compare an application that was -stopped- dead in its tracks 2 years ago (netscape) against something that Microsoft has been hammering away at constantly (IE).

I put a lot of faith into Mozilla, and followed the development pretty closely as milestone after milestone was reached. It's not a bad browser. Pretty good in fact. Stable, fast, but... that's it. It's a browser (yes, i know, plus mail and news), but it's a static standalone app.

Lets turn the page a bit. We all know about Netscape, IE, and Opera (okay, and Lynx and all that crapola as well).

IE is not a browser. It's a tool layered on top of a very slick desktop environment.

Folks need to seriously look at Konqueror, the browser embedded in KDE. This is a file browser, file manager, and web browser. It's very fast, totally standards compliant, and well integrated into the desktop. I've been running KDE 2.0.1 on several FreeBSD boxen for the last month or so, and lemme tell ya, the -only- reason I start Netscape or Mozilla is to see what'll BREAK on my new pages. (Hint: Netscape usually screws up). Stylesheets, java, javascript, everything works.

Here's a nice little tidbit to make folks drool. I use Pine for my email (ah shaddup. i like it.). I hate getting URLs in email because I have to carefully cut n paste them into whatever browser I'm running (and Netscape has the annoying 'highlighted? OOPS! No cut/paste buffer!' problem).

Under KDE, I highlight the URL in -any- app, and get a small popup window "Open in Konqueror? Open in Netscape? Edit and try again?" - normally, I open in konqueror, and off I go.

These are the teeny joys of a well integrated desktop.

Mozilla won't do this. IE does this only under Windows 2000 (I think), and it's a bit crunchy, and Netscape BWAHA.

Stop thinking about little apps that do one thing. That won't win the wars anymore. Think along the larger picture.

27 Jan 2001 07:11 risinghigh

Mozilla no, Galeon yes
well i used to use mozilla for a couple of time but as you
said, its bloatened. all those bugs makes it unusable for
daily usage. its far too slow for an celeron 400 with 256mb
ram, has many many memoryleaks. i for my side want a small
browser that does its job best, but stays compatible to
nowadays standards. i then heard of the GALEON project that
uses the gecko engine of mozilla and integrates itself into
GNOME perfectly. thats what i was using now. its fast and
does exactly what i wish. many ppl beliving in mozilla, i
did so too, but i found out really fast that this is was
a waste of time. reporting bugs is an disease, you get
replies from them even if you are not reporting any bugs
anymore. i used to stop using mozilla months ago and stopped
to report bugs, because you get stupid comments, or the bugs
are declared as invalid. but i still get annoying emails
them that i luckely pass to procmail for now. i think
mozilla will be usable for daily usage in stability etc.
within the next couple of years but not earlier. and for the
last point. i dont think that many more programmers and
contributors would help. no exactly the opponent will happen
the code gets more crappy and even more bugs will occour.
many coders put to much salt into the soup. you know..

27 Jan 2001 07:33 portwojc

Browser War
I have thought about this very thing for a while now.

Netscape and other browsers take note this is in my opinion
the failing point.

You are a web browser. Not an Email client. Not a news reader. Not X. Just do the web, please. You don't have to do everything to keep people interested.

IE has this seperated - of course like the article says they have a lot of programmers.

I would imagine a lot of effort is spent on those extra items and it distracts from the true task.

27 Jan 2001 07:54 allgood

Good and Bad features
I think that Cookies and Javascript is a GoodThing (tm), they help on building online applications, yes, I know that this can be acomplished without it, but when it is used we have a better and usefull user experience.

Java is a big White Elephant for browsers, even a tiny applet loads a lot of code to interpret it, and almost every java applet are tiny applets. Java have it's merits, but I think that it shouldn't be used inside of web browsers.

Flash is not a large thing like Java, and is very cool, it gives the user a better experience. This experience is in almost every page useless, just for making the site beautifull. It's good that it exist, but the serious sites need to be out of this technology.

I have the same opinions for the others browser plugins, they force the site's users to keep on one system (I think that the majority of plugins exists only for Win and Mac)

Browsers that do everything: I don't need a mail or news reader, the principle "keep it simple, idiot" applies here. Yes, I want a mail/news reader that can render HTML messages (even if I don't like HTML messages) and this can be acomplished using modularity (I think that Outlook doens't render HTML itself, but loads a component to do it, am I right?)

Galeon is the best thing I saw that can acomplish all of this... it uses the good HTML engine of Mozilla, they are trying to implement Javascript (it works partially now) and it doesn't have that lot of nifty features like skins, sideboxes (is this the correct name?), mail readers.

27 Jan 2001 08:03 racomedia

I just can't belive the guy who writes this!
Are you loosing your mind? This is the web, you know that cool thing that Microsoft (thinks) it's invented for those cool people who brag on and on about their copies of Windows ME and USB stuff that doesnt work on Linux, and of course cool multimedia us 'strange people who call their version of Windows Linux' guys can't take. This is all the web is all about; glitz, companies, stupid ads, goddam internet shows on TV that think they're so cool just because they found websites that most of us would have found years ago... This is the internet, and us Linux users are just too smart for it. The webmasters will not give up superior inetactivity, 3D animations and dynamic content, along with all of their closed source formats just for people who use an Operating System who's name isn't Windows. I'd just give up.

27 Jan 2001 08:35 piotrk

I need even more "bloated" mozilla!
More and more people are switching to IE because it is simply a better browser. In our place people prefare Netscape to IE because of the roaming access and profiles. Mozilla does not has roaming access and is useless for us.

But the real problem I personaly have to deal with is the lack of integration between Linux authoring tools and web server like apache or zope. Thanks to WebDAV and Netscape "Publish" i can edit my pages but it is not what I really want to use.

In the past I was using NetObject Fusion (for Windows) I was very pleased by the way it was working. With NetObjects Fusion I was able to keep logical structure of linked documents. Unfortunately at the time (version 3) it started to get hard to edit website bigger then ~100 pages. Anyway, I have switched to Linux.

Is it possible to get enouth integration between server and authoring tools (accessible from a web browser) to be able to keep all documents/pages well organized with links being automaitcally managed and with easy and logical navigation and search system?

I think that there are several tools/efforts underway, like:

Zope Studio (next generation IDE for Zope)
www.zope.org/Products/... (www.zope.org/Products/...)

System for generation of pdf documents from many html pages.
www.easysw.com/htmldoc/ (www.easysw.com/htmldoc/)

Word processing - browser integration.
members.home.net/kovu4... (members.home.net/kovu4...)

Maybe one day I would be able to use KLyX to create my documents directly on a web server?
www.lyx.org/about/klyx... (www.lyx.org/about/klyx...)

-Piotr

27 Jan 2001 08:36 thesquid

****list idea
My proposal: maybe a sourceforge (or other) project that has many people updating a shitlist to have sites which don't work correctly without java/javascript/flash/css/.../..../........ as well as lists of the webmasters email addresses. Then an extension to Mozilla could be added so every time a user tries to go to the site (and fails), an e-mail would be automatically fired off to the site admin telling them of how a user couldn't access the page....

27 Jan 2001 08:51 draxil

This Whole browser war thingy..
When it comes to Linux we have a nice set of options when it comes to Mozilla. Galleon has been mentioned and it is indeed excellent IMO. But mozilla really isn't that bad! And it's getting better and better.
Right now where I am typing these words is far from my little pit, so I am using someone else's machine which sadly is running windows. I am however using Netscape 6, beause it really is more pleasent to use than IE. After the loading half hour it's quite nippy. OK so it takes up a bunch of RAM and it does take an age to load and these are things that need seeing to, but IE only loads quickly because M$ loads all of its bulk in advance when you start the OS, which can hardly be described as a good thing. Unfortunatly what Moz probably needs for windows is a galleonesk project to speed things along. Unfortunatly this is unlikely to ever happen as most of us potential programmers would prefer not to have to stomach going into windows to write the damn thing!
However there may be a saviour in the form of web appliances. There is a lots of gumph which speculates that within a short time there will be more "internet machines" than actual computers on the internet than computers. Now that could well be an exageration, but there is still gonna be a lot of the damn things. Some of these projects already use mozilla as a base, and it's easy to see why they can have a fully functional html rendering system which they can adapt because they can use the actual source code for FREE. And whats more it gets updated constantly updated to keep up with standards etc. If enough of these things ship with moz based code it's may give us the surfing numbers to see off the ActiveX, .NET, internet that we all fear.
You have got to remeber that half the point of Mozilla is to be a base for other software. It's rendering of HTML is actually damn good, which is why things like Galleon are so good..
Plus one more little thing called LINUX, it's still growing like wildfire. There is quite a lot of heavy surfers that don't use IE ;)

27 Jan 2001 09:00 n0madilla

galeon? the same problem of mozilla
I you need to download and install 10 Mb to get a decent browser...bad bad bad. When galeon includes only the necessary code of mozilla (gecko) and you can download only galeon package to work, maybe will be a good option.

27 Jan 2001 09:05 unixman

I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.
As several people pointed out before, Netscape (or should I say AOL Time Warner) Navigator and all his Mozilla, etc, siblings are buggy, behind technology and cluttered.

Please, kill Netscape once and for all. Then get IE ported to Linux :-))

27 Jan 2001 09:18 esalazar

When was this article written?
1) Galeon has almost become every bit the browser that IE is. It is very fast, feature full (almost as much as mozilla and much more so than IE), and stable.

2) In the last month there has been a huge clean up of the mozilla memory issue and it now runs reasonably well on my P200 with 96MB RAM. Also, mozilla is not buggy. It has bugs, but I use it at work every day for the last couple months and it works perfectly 95% of the time (is IE really better than 95%?) People who were disallusioned after M18 need to download the latest nightly build to have their faith in mozilla restored. And yes, mozilla is almost an OS unto itself. Is that a bad idea? Maybe on a slow computer but the idea has amazing potential. The other day I clicked on one link to install a sophisticated theme builder into mozilla. Did it ask me if I needed a linux version or Windows? No. That is cool.

3) Simplifying the web is (a) Not going to happen, (b) not a good idea. I think java, flash, etc make the web cool. With processor and home internet connection speeds going up as much as they are we should be thinking of new ways to expand our internet experience not restrict it. People using 486s for their desktop computers need to get a job. A upgrade to a P300 with reasonable amount of RAM can be had for a couple hundred dollars.

27 Jan 2001 09:21 draxil

We Really ARE doomed!
I cant believe some of these comments! If we all used IE microsoft would turn the internet into one big ActiveX fueled nightmare!

Anyone who says mozilla is buggy and behind the times sure as hell isn't using the same version as I am! And besides even if IE was more stable than Mozilla (which doesn't fit with my experiance would it be worth the trade off of the instable slow monster that is windows to use the damn thing? I think not!

Everyone knows the only worthwile version of IE is the Mac version anyway!

27 Jan 2001 09:35 risinghigh

mozilla FTP implementation really suxx
you guys ever tried the included FTP shit within mozilla?
its unusable like the rest of the programm. well i for sure
agree about the power they put in that project but some
things are really sadly implemented. that ftp for example
is the worst ever seen. i for my side using that GREAT
GALEON that exactly do what a browser had to do. sure it
uses the GECKO engine but you have the possibility to load
another FTP programm, whenever it goes to FTP'ing. i also
use nt to download my programmes. you guys should give
GALEON a try, if you are pissed of about mozilla and its
speed. GALEON is fast like hell.

27 Jan 2001 09:51 cypherpunks

Let's start here
I really enjoyed the article. I'd have enjoyed it even more if I didn't have to resize my browser window so that it was wide enough to avoid cutting the right hand side of the article off. (The Freshmeat.net logo, Find: text entry box, and the links at the top of each page seem to force a minimum width that's wider than I normally use.)

Oh well. At least there's a NOSCRIPT alternative for the javascript sections.

27 Jan 2001 09:57 dooligan

netscape losing to ie
Netscape isn't really losing. I'm writing this from my win95 box (running fresh (and FREE) ie & outlook express from my friend's new modem driver cd) because my REALLY DUMB NT server doesn't seem to like my linux box and try as I might, I cannot get my hybrid Redhat/Slackware system to connect properly (one modem won't talk it's way through LCP negotiation, and the other one will but can't find any willing DNS's.)
Any serious computer enthusiast has to run at least two operating systems, don't you think.
I mean we need to remember the huge difference between the people that run the servers and mr. Joe Average who uses his wife's computer to find dirty jokes and sexy photos once a week.

ps. thanx freshmeat daemon for helping to debug my setup.

27 Jan 2001 09:57 byternz

Fighting off Mozilla FUD, once again.
Every group seems to like to eat it's young. Open source is no exception.

First of all, we have the "IT'S FUNDIMENTALLY BLOATED!" crowd. Let us separate them further:

1) The people who want Mozilla to be like lynx, or w3c, or any browser that is DESIGNED to be tiny. Mozilla
is designed to be a GENERAL PURPOSE browser. General purpose browsers are full featured. If you want Lynx, then go GET LYNX.

2) The people who hate XPFE (usually those with Pentiums or below). Grab Gaelon or Kmellon, or any other browser that wraps a native UI around the renderor. Then cry when 500+ products come out that make full use of the Mozilla XPFE (Forumzilla, et al).

3) The people who cry for the 3.4923x10^23rd time "MOZILLA SHOULDN'T HAVE A MAIL/NEWS CLIENT/COMPOSER/IRC CLIENT/ETC IN IT! IT SHOULD ******ONLY******** BE A BROWSER!". These
people obviously cannot READ or are blind or otherwise completely MISS the options in the installer to ONLY install the browser, or the compilation options in "configure" that allow you to disable compiling any part that they don't want to compile. So I don't see how their decision to create a full featured mail reader/HTML Composer/etc impacts you. Although I know that there is only two mainstream programs that are readily available for me to read my mail at work under Linux: Netscape, and Mozilla. Some people really NEED that e-mail program.

4) The writer of the essay, who wouldn't even do enough research into Mozilla to realize that there is a special embedded version of mozilla that is being worked on that doesn't use XPFE et al. It has a MUCH smaller footprint than regular mozilla.

For the people who are actually reasonable and just wish Mozilla would leak less and take up less memory, believe me, the Mozilla developers want the same thing. Right now, they're working heavily on footprint issues. They're doing all kinds of restructuring to get the footprint down. And they're also looking heavily at memory leaks. Any developers who introduce new leaks get constantly nagged in Bugzilla until they do something about them.

Final pointed question: Did e-macs die because of its "bloat"?

I'm more concerned about the lack of research that the writer has done. The code is complex and hard to understand? Maybe, if you haven't looked at it for about 2 weeks. The code is hard to COMPILE? Hardly! It takes the normal process of ./configure -- options; make; make install (or for me, since I do CVS builds, make -f client.mk). And if you can't be bothered to read the configuration options, you can even get a wizard to generate the configure options by checking what options you want on an HTML form, and hitting submit. If the author thinks Mozilla is difficult to compile, I come to the conclusion that either the author isn't very proficient in this area and would have trouble compiling other programs, or he hasn't tried to build Mozilla before M12 or so (before then, the build process was a bit messy). In otherwords, he may be grabbing his opinions of Mozilla from a build that is more than a YEAR old!

To the person saying that reporting bugs is a "disease": Bugzilla e-mails updates to you because as the reporter of the bug, we assume that you would be interested in how work is progressing to fix that bug. However, if you are no longer interested in receiving updates by e-mail, then set preferences in bugzilla to no longer send e-mail updates. Or take your e-mail off the cc: list for the bug!

As for Roaming profiles, I'm SURE that we'll manage to get them in there. There's a lot of people complaining about not having them in Mozilla, and as in any open source project, anything that is constantly whined about will eventually be fixed.

27 Jan 2001 09:59 surfnayked

Author makes very silly comments
At the time of this writing there is only one browser that consistantly correctly displays pages, supports modern browser technologies properly (css, javascrpt, etc) and runs without continual crashing.

 
Which browser is it?

You already know don't you? It's Internet Explorer. While I'm no fan of $MS they make the only viable browser on the market. The author suggest that to compete with them we start harrasing webmasters until they dumb down their sites to the point of insanity. I guess since we can't build a better browser that support the users needs we should just try to change the users needs. I've never heard of a dumber strategy in all my life.

 
Quite simply, if we build it they will come. It's that simple, it's just that no one is doing it. Build a browser that is every thing that IE is in the commercial world (and better if possible and no I don't mean that piece o'crap Mozilla), but build it open source and then watch the sparks fly as the browser wars start up again. But this time try to keep up.

 

-SurfNayked

27 Jan 2001 10:30 mveinot

Konqueror
KDE 2.0.1's integrated web browser, Konqueror, is currently the only browser on the Linux partition on my notebook computer (Celeron 550, 128Mb).

It's fast, responsive, and renders pages exceptionally well for a browser that was nothing more than a curiosity 2 years ago.

It supports CSS, JavaScript, Java, and most HTML 4.0 tags. I've read that it is compatible with Linux-Netscape plugins (such as Flash, etc) but haven't tried them yet.

If you don't use KDE as your desktop, it may not be worth it to install the rather weighty KDE libs and base just to have a browser. The programs that are written for KDE (or with KDE support) are getting very nice though, so it may be worth it even if you don't use KDE as your desktop. I'd be at a loss without my kWinTV, so I already have a need for the KDE libs.

If you've got Konqueror (from KDE2 or later) sitting around on your hard drive and have just been using Netscape because you are used to it, try Konqueror for a while. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The KDE folk say that even more compilance, features and stability will be forthcoming in KDE 2.1's Konqueror... I can hardly wait!

27 Jan 2001 10:34 Avatar jdfulmer

Conspiracy theory?
I saw this coming a couple of years ago. Corportate budgets were dumping a lot of money into the web. These funds were attracting "webworkers" in droves. Some were good, but too many were bad. The good ones wrote code which conformed to standards, the bad ones didn't know what a standard was.

And a funny thing happened. That bad code by those bad programmers actually ran on Internet Explorer. It shouldn't have rendered information, but it did. I've been asked many times to fix code that ran on IE but failed on Netscape. The "fix" was always simple, I broke out an O'Reilly book and determined how it should have been written. And the result was always the same, written to spec, the code worked on both. Hocus Pocus.

Perhaps I'm venturing into the realm of conspiracy theory, but I think that Microsoft intentionally wrote the browser to interpet code in a manner that is broader then the standard. They're not stupid, they realize that for every good programmer there and hundreds of others who cut corners, fail to adequately test their code and make a good living doing it.

This is where the war was lost. People switched to IE because it "worked" better, it rendered bad code when it really shouldn't have. Netscape upheld standards and lost a battle in which they had an atronomical head start.

27 Jan 2001 10:40 kojiro

browser war
in my opinion, netscape/mozilla has ALOT of work to do before it can even scratch the surface of IE. while i am an elitest for linux use/development, i am also a developer. creating web applications is by far more easily done with IE because of its functionality, and because it is part of the code for MSwindows making it load overall faster. now dont get me wrong. i give cudos to netscape/mozilla for how far they have come, but for all the holes yet patched in browser's wall it's far easier for me to display a 'works best with IE' logo on my pages than to deal netscape's deficiencies. i've made lists and lists of what IE can do and what netscape "claims" it can handle but doesn't, or takes forever to load. in my opinion there is no browser war at the moment anymore. it's easy for someone who doesn't develop to say 'oh i use linux, and netscape's the best because it's not microsoft' just to be on the anti microsoft bandwagon. netscape/mozilla plain out sucks for development. granted 'if your such a programmer then you would write clean code to make it compliant', and i agree with that, in the sense that i do tend at times to take shortcuts to get projects done faster and i shouldn't but it's all about the money. in this age, it's dog eat dog. if you cant compete because of funding, or development staffing then i believe you shouldn't attempt to be in a war with someone who obviously can. i think netscape/mozilla should step aside, go underground and fix all they lack. then come out and say 'we meet all compliance, and we can perform to meet other available browsers.'. because until you actually use the browser for creation of web applications, you cant really say which is better than the other. only the people who see the bugs day after day because they have to work around them really know which is better, not the average 'joe-shmoe-i-want-an-identity-so-lets-use-something-different-than-everyone-else'

27 Jan 2001 10:49 thete

Galeon? Make it simple to set up!
Most people are blaming mozilla for it's so bloated, buggy, slow and stupid. Well, yeah, right, but you forget about one thing: it has the most sophisticated HTML rendering engine ever (IE5 is behind, in my opinion). Mozilla's speed, or rather lack thereof, is caused by Mozilla's philosophy itself: portability. How in the God do you imagine building a complete, identical browser for 5 platforms every day? There has to be high-level coding involved, and I am, unfortunately, talking about Java, among others. It would be faster if it was written in ASM ;]

Let's get back to the HTML renderer. It can be abstracted from Mozilla and used as an embedded component (the `embed xterm into html widget idea I read in the articles is, on the other hand, absolutely ... dumb?'). So Galeon struggles to be a fast, lightweight, yet fully standards-compliant browser. Nice. But how do you explain that me, an experienced Linux user, feel overwhelmed when it comes to installing this beast? Downloading 25MB of mozilla source is already pretty nifty, and building parts of it gets even niftier. Galeon will be nice, when it comes packed as rpms, debs, tgz's, or at least tarballs. Right now, it's meant for total freaks. That's my view on this.

But there's a light of hope out there... thanks to the GTK-in-QT widget, Gecko is being ported to Konqueror. Now that's cool... Let's wait for the results.

And don't forget Gecko is a must... Sites are sophisticated and use a lot of hacking (undocumented hacking). 99% of them are MSIE-compatible. Now, if they make it seeable to Gecko, we're there. We can't expect from designers to make a site that acts the same in Opera, kHTML, gtkHTML and so forth. We won't change their minds, either. It would be a step backwards to the times of HTML 3.0, too. Now that's outdated.

27 Jan 2001 10:50 wtleung

the good old days ..
The are over. The web contains a lot of crappy java, javascript, flash and all other useless features and I'm afraid it is rather impossible the change it back into the simple set of HTML docs it used to be. I agree that the W3C has been issueing damn many new standards, and it takes much far too much time to integrate everything in a fast, small and stable browser. But the good thing in those new standards, is the split of content and style. So, just focus on the content and implement the style at a minimum level. Anyway, keep pushing for CONTENT on the web, and not style, always and everywhere.

27 Jan 2001 10:52 margarina

Simplifying the web
I also agree that there are two many different standards for web, such as html, dhtml, xml, css, js, java, flash, etc.
There should be some better solution for it, something that will integrate all/most of these standards.

However- Making websites using simple htmls is not a practical idea at all. Ask a company what it prefers to have - a great looking, full of movies website, or a simple website ?

Most of the surfers use windows - thus most of them use or can use IE, so most people will prefer building a better looking sites.

I think that mozilla will be the future. Lots of people are working on (either coding or helping to find bugs), and if you follow its versions, it becomes better and better from a version to version, supporting 99% of the standards. The slowliness is the big disadvantage. but don't forget that these are just beta versions, the stable version will be out next year! Give it a chance :)

27 Jan 2001 11:01 risinghigh

Re: Fighting off Mozilla FUD, once again.
'"disease&quot'
looks like a little mozilla bug ;)

at least:

1) you cannot unsubscribe at mozilla org. guess i already
searched for an option. not even findable in the prefs.
those dumb emails that "assume that you would be
interested in how work is progressing to fix that bug"
look always like 'invalid' 'reopened' 'mail forwarded'
and never contain clean answers or comment. but well
please don't waste much time in removing me ;) my
procmail setting doing fine with /dev/null ;)

2) "MOZILLA SHOULDN'T HAVE A MAIL/NEWS
CLIENT/COMPOSER/IRC CLIENT/ETC IN IT! IT SHOULD
******ONLY******** BE A BROWSER!".
another problem, i guess you are using mozillas
implemented full featured and standarized email client.
after reporting 10000000 fucking bugs about the cursor
and email recive fuckup i rejected using it. you dont
know of another email program that is capable of doing
the job you need ? ever heard of mutt? pine? balsa?

3) well i dont piss the programmers of mozilla off, they
for sure had a hard time creating that programm but
you have to expect 10000 errors, no wonder it should work
1000000 operating system at same time. whats next? do
we get a PALM version of it that exactly fit the 4mb that
comes with the IIIx ?? maybe you override the FLASH rom
inside and gain anther 2 mb..

4) to end this discussion from my side, mozilla is the
biggest piece of junk that i ever have seen on linux soo
far, compiling it as you describe with "./configure;make"
will take aprocimately 1.2 gigabyte and a whole fucking
night to compile, thats why they are called nightlys ;)
this list can be continued, lukely i found out to reduce
size by removing the shit debugcrap during compiling. i
had to compile the shit because the prebuild nightlys
segfaults during startup. and the most importand think
you cannot start mozilla correctly you always have to set
chown username.users -R .* the whole mozilla directory
otherwise it never comes up.. want a reply about the
statement of one of those mozilla developers about this ?
well, this list can be continued. i would change to some
completely different, if theres an alternative for linux
i hope someday there will. and whats so bad using GALEON
they continue exactly there where mozilla failed. and
the amount of happy GALEON or SKIPSTONE users increase
each day..

27 Jan 2001 11:18 magick14linux

IE my butt !!!!
I'm a LINUX enthusiast simply for the fact I can't stand being pushed into an OS that I can't manipulate to my needs ...my question then becomes -- WHY DON'T MORE DEDICATED USERS/PROGRAMMERS JUST GET OFF THIER A**ES AND DO SOME SERIOUS WORK TO KEEP THE MICROSHAFT WORLD AT BEY?-- porting IE to any unice is not ok ...why keep microsoft alive I would rather see it DIE ! my dream is to see all microshafts products ported to all free OS's in smaller more efficient code ... but lets not give them the Web :) EVER !

27 Jan 2001 11:20 cpytel

the browser war is over
The browser war was underway when there was nearly 50-50 market share between the two.

That was the browser war. This is the time leading up to the second browser war. It may not be Mozilla, it may not be any browser available today, but eventually there will be a browser which slowly begins to gain ground., and then we will see a browser war again.

The number of IE users is huge - you cannot expect a new version of some revolutionary browser to come out and have everyone switch.

27 Jan 2001 11:35 lilsimon1

MS/IE vs. Apache/Linux/Netscape
First off, Mozilla and every browser that's not Netscape or IE doesn't have a prayer in getting a market share larger than it does now. 98% of the population (probably more) has never heard of them. Thus it's a war between two powers. MS is playing this very smart- they have the $$ and programmers AND OS integration to make IE a better browser, and are doing so. The only way Netscape is going to turn this thing around is to reintegrate all the things people want to use (Java, javaScript, CSS, Flash, XML, etc.) the way IE does and stabilize it. The best way to do this is to go open source. Hopefully it would then continue to keep up with the newest web technologies. Then they neet to get AOL to use it and promote it as the browser to use (doesn't AOL still own netscape, anyway?).

Another solution (albeit unrealistic) would be for everyone using iplanet and apache to return "This Page only works with Netscape Navigator. Download here (home.netscape.com/down...; to anyone surfing their site with IE. That would spread netscape's user base real quick. :)

27 Jan 2001 11:45 lokoboko

Mozilla FUD

1) You complain that you keep getting email about how your bug is progressing. A rational person who reported bugs would probably be interested in the progress that's being made. If you're not, then I'm sure there's an option that says, "Don't notify me about these things." My mail from bugzilla has never had these problems that you describe and I've been happy to see how quickly bugs I report get fixed.

2) Mozilla is a browser. It just happens to be a browser that you can layer lots of cool stuff on top of. If you don't like it or think that somehow having a mail client available destroys your browsing experience, either download the source and compile it yourself or find another browser and quit whining. If you're not using Mozilla, you have no right to whine. That's right, you have to be using it now, like I am doing in writing this message.

That's on two computers, a P2/233 96MB RAM and a P3/800 512MB. Both usable. Get a nightly build and see how much Mozilla has changed from a year ago when you tried to use it. And remember that you can't whine unless you're using it.

3) Cross-platform support is a good thing. I don't know what you're trying to imply with this one. And speaking from my development experience with the PalmOS, Mozilla will never get ported to it; things work too differently. Port lynx if you want a just browser.

4) The nightlies segfault for you on startup? Maybe you should try to find out why rather than complaining about it. This is what open source is all about. Compile times? Mozilla's a big project and does a lot of cool stuff. Your kernel's roughly the same source size as Mozilla. You don't seem to have any problem with that. And there's nothing wrong with wanting your personal config files to have the proper permissions on them. It's a nonissue.

Always remember that if there wasn't Mozilla, there would have never been Galeon.

-lokoboko

4)

27 Jan 2001 11:55 yelvington

It's been over for a long time
Anyone who runs a real, mainstream Web site has known for at least three years that the browser war is over. Geek sites attract a nonrepresentative sample that masks the extent of Microsoft's domination of the browser marketplace.

AOL may ignite a new browser war as it maneuvers to push TimeWarner/CNN content into the faces of users -- but it does not yet have much of an arsenal and continues to be dependent on Microsoft for its primary browser technology.

Mozilla/Netscape 6.0 is a disaster. It has lost its way in its own religion. Rather than writing code that works -- which OUGHT to be the goal of any developer -- the Mozilla effort has yielded an abstract user-interface model that is theoretically cool and practically unusable. The same can be said of the rendering engine, standards-compliant but real-world ignorant. The Web that Ought to Be is one thing, but we have to use the Web that Is.

Konqueror is an admirable effort, but it's a long way from being finished, it's not as fast as it should be, and (for reasons I have not been able to track down) it really loves goofy fonts.

27 Jan 2001 12:10 ulexus

IE danger
To counter the sentiment that many have offered (in my own, paranoid way). Assume that you get your wish, and Netscape and all the other browsers kneel to the might and glory of IE. Further, Microsoft releases IE to Linux, FreeBSD, and a plethora of other open-source and fledgling OS's. Everyone is happy, web browsers are all the same. Web developers can concentrate on writing only proprietary IE extensions. The number of pretty pages on the web skyrockets. Life is great.

Six months down the road, IE 7.0 comes out. That is, IE 7.0 for Win32 comes out. Sure, the ports are promised. A few months later, when Win2k SP7 comes out, a brand new, exclusive, flashy, proprietary format for integration with MSMonop.dll comes out. It is fully compatible with IE 7.0, and, everyone know that that is the only browser,so it's okay to be flashy and new.

A few months later, people start complaining that it is taking forever to get the new IE for their platform. MS promises the release soon. Meanwhile, more, and more sites move to the new IE 7.0 proprietary format, knowing that soon, everyone will be able to see it.

Slowly, necessity comes forth, and users must "temporarily" install MSwin32 just to view a few pages on IE7.0.

Most of the new sites are now exclusively IE 7.0 proprietary. Still, IE 7.0 is promised for other platforms, but IE 7.5 is NOW available for WIN32! IE 7.5 includes new bug-fixes (and bugs) as well as slightly modified versions of the new proprietary format. It is mostly compatible with IE 7.0. Oh, by the way, Win98SE has a mysterious bug in it, and IE 7.5 won't run properly. Everyone really should upgrade to Win2k SP8.

Maybe Microsoft gets around to releasing IE 7.0 to Mac and Solaris. Maybe...
Remember, it has happened before, many times. This is what MS is good at.

27 Jan 2001 12:21 linuxdaemon

IE Standards Compliant?

I have a long long list of IE annoyances. But I will admit, if I am on a Windows box, that is probably going to be the browser I use first. It loads quickly, and GENERALLY handles things correctly. But...It does NOT adhere to standards very well.

The biggest pain is that it lets you write bad code. Where it is most tolerable of bad code is in tables. I have thrown tables together quickly and have put invalid rowspans, and even forgot a closing table tag. When I had someone checkout the page they made the comment that there were buttons overlapping text boxes. Yet when I used IE it looked fine.

I could go on and on about the UI annoyances I find with IE. But this is not the place for that.

All-in-all I am holding out for Mozilla. I think it is a very good start on a great, standards-compliant, speedy browser. Although I will also admit, it has quite a way to go before it is done.

As an added standards experiment try comparing the results of IE and Mozilla looking at the w3c's PNG image tests (www.w3.org/Graphics/PN...). IE does render them mostly correctly...It is close (closer than Netscape) But it does leave out the CSS background bit.

27 Jan 2001 12:22 pberry

You're so vain...you probably think the web is about you
All joking aside you really have no clue what you are talking about with the web do you? If all you desire from the web is correct <h1> rendering I suggest you use lynx. Amazingly enough there are a large number of people who want more from the web than correct <h1> rendering. Java and flash are two big areas where the "extra stuff" is given to those people. Do I work at a shop that does a lot of java and flash? Yes. Do we take great pains to do it right? Yes.

You complain that java loads a lot of code to run, yet you don't seem to realize that this is to keep the amount of code you have to download frequently very, very small. Our java banners (again another evil I'm sure you would do away with) are all under 15k and we test all the way back to Pentium 100 and older PowerMac computers to make sure everything runs fine.

You sound like a bitter color blind person that is trying to force the world into blank and white so nobody else can enjoy color if you can't. Get over it...it's time to realize that you aren't the only person using the web.

On a more topical note, people want the web to work for them. They want to be able to read a page and get the information they seek or maybe buy the item they want. You should be on people about bad or confusing content design rather than their abuse of technology.

There will always be bad examples of java, flash, css, xml, html, c, linux, bsd, photography, and on and on. This doesn't mean they should be banned or shunned from the web.

27 Jan 2001 12:35 jonaskb

Konqueror
Konqueror is not just "showing promise" - it's actually one of the best browsers available for Linux today. In the time from KDE 2.0 was released until the first KDE 2 beta came out, Konqueror has improved tremendously. In two days KDE 2.1beta2 will be released, so I urge everyone to download the new KDE on Janary 29 and try out Konqueror.

27 Jan 2001 12:36 dfx666

Browser Wars
One thing you seem to have forgotten to mention is what about those who use linux as a server or a network hub (such as myself) and run windows for different reasons (graphic design, web dev, whatever). I hop on F.M. lookin for different tools to update on my linux box, and most of the time its from windows just because i'm lazy like that.

Just because someone uses I.E. to surf F.M. dosn't mean they are anti-linux or anti-netscape.

What about those who only have the choice of I.E. at school or work, and are bored so they look for things to download when they get home.

Honestly, I think a large percent of the population are linux lovers, and do infect use netscape, it's just the logs can't tell you from where (work, school, home) or why (bordom, interest, emergency upgrades, etc) they are surfing the site.

27 Jan 2001 13:17 workingwriter

decent browsers and CSS
While still a relative Linux newbie (about a year, now), I have always been amazed that there isn't a decent browser on the Linux side of my box.

Netscape 4 has been adequate, though crash-prone. I use the StarOffice browser from time to time, and until Mozilla 0.7, I hadn't been able to get it installed. But it works quite well for me now, so I look forward to its further development.

On the Windows side, I've been majorly impressed with Opera 5. It behaves a little strangely with some forms, and there are a few glitches here and there, but I haven't seen any display issues. If Opera for Linux moves forward, it may well be my browser of choice. BTW, you probably won't see many Opera IDs on your logs; by default, it pretends to be IE. It handles some pages better that way for some reason.

Have to admit I haven't heard of Galeon. Gotta check it out, I guess.

On the issue of the "complicated" Web, I find much of the Java/JavaScript-related whizbang stuff pretty irrelevant. But to lump cascading style sheets into that bitbucket is pretty silly, since the primary argument of this piece is that IE is the browser that displays pages "right". CSS gets pages to display the same way, regardless of browser. So we need MORE compliance with CSS, not less.

27 Jan 2001 13:20 slashn

No Choice
IMHO the best thing about the Open Source community is that it gives the user a CHOICE. To choose what he needs. The strength of this lies in the fact that if a user does like one particular program there always is another available that would fit his needs better.
However in the case of 'the browser' this has not been true. i guess all of us have been spending somthing like 1 to 2 yrs waiting for MOZILLA.....and there was NO choice.
I am not sure as to why this was so.When every other category(be it editors, WM's, desktop's, file managers) are being hotly contested, with at least 2-3 strong competitors ,each with its own strengths, the open source browser market has just sat there waiting for MOZILLA...and its yet to deliver on its promise.
I have no misgivings about MOZILLA...it IS a complex project with a whole lotta things to do and still hold faith that some day(soon) itll be a terrific project. BUt what i am dissappointed at is the lack of any other effort to provide a solution in the interim. Galeon is the only thing that is the glimmer of hope...but even that is very recent...in the meantime we left this whole window of opportunity to M$ to increase its share and its gonna be very hard to win it back...and to win the dektop we HAVE to win the browser war.

27 Jan 2001 13:24 webmosher

Global Thermal Nuclear War
Face it, there are no winners in the current browser "war" each side of the battle has its problems. Suck it up like the core of serious enterprise web developers have, and learn to like both for their idiosyncracies. There is no perfect browser, and its hard at this point to believe there ever will. Too much competition and infighting has prevented any ideal standard from emerging that anyone will aspire to follow. If everyone's product was the same, then is there a choice? Why choose Ford, Chevy, Dodge, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Volvo? Isn't it interesting that when you park your car, there aren't spaces for each brand? Each type of car just magically fits. Maybe that's an oversimplification, but at least I try to make my web sites.. fit.

27 Jan 2001 13:47 eduardoochs

this is not an IE world
The answer seems simple to me: just add to every "alternative" browser
a button to revisit the current page using the Default Megabrowser
installed in the system, and people will use small browsers most of
the time and stop complaining about no browser being able to do
everything.

HTML + CSS + JavaScript + XML + Java + Flash + Lots of plugins + IE's way of
interpreting wrongly-written code + etc cannot be considered, in any way,
as the "current standard for web pages", and trying to support all
that is like trying to support all formats for writing documents of
ten years ago -- straight text in many charsets, ANSI codes for
colors, *ROFF, TeX, PostScript, Interleaf, and hundreds more -- in a
single package. Some browsers try to do that, and some like IE are
almost doomed to do that very well because every commercial page is
tested on them...

It is not true that what users want is "a browser (or computer) that
does xxx and yyy"; in the end what users want is to have a computer,
and programs, that make them happy, and there are many ways to get to
that. If your way is by following all the newest hype, fine, but other
people have other ways that also work very well. Many people have
switched to Linux just because it is a joy to use, even if it doesn't
have all the features of IE, or if they will miss the dancing paper
clip. Other people will prefer tiny machines running Forth as their
OS, or videogame consoles. My way of making my friends love *nices is
to start by teaching them Emacs Lisp, and it has worked much better
than I believe than just "following the market" would. And the *nix
shells support a safe kind of plugin that you haven't considered: as
an unpriviledged user, download xxx/yyy.tar.gz, unpack it, read
the instructions, ./configure; make. This is much funnier than just
clicking and watching images pass by your screen.

The war is over; what you are trying to consider as war is just
illusion, you say "no" to it, and, snap, it goes away. M$'s idea of
having the same computer on every desk is not the only truth, just one
extremely biased, and pernicious, point of view.

27 Jan 2001 13:55 inoshiro

Lies, damned lies, and bloat stories.
shadowgate:/usr/lib/netscape$ du -sm
50 .

shadowgate:/usr/mozilla$ du -sm
37 .

Ahh... Mozilla is so "bloated" that it's 13 megs *smaller* than NS 4 WITH debugging, IRC client, etc! Oh my!

Maybe you should take a look at a finished product someday. Comparing 0.7 of a project of this magnitude with 5.5 of another project is unrealistic at best. IE 1, 2, and 3 were rather .. rough. IE 4 and 5 for the x86 still have a lot of weird bugs that can be tickled if you nest tables properly (like on my homepage, which only misrenders in IE, yet is totally standards compliant).

The last time I had to install IE 4 on a Win95 system, it required 100 megs to install. How bloated is IE 4?

Maybe you're basing your 'bloat' ideas on the fact that it loads slowly, and still has memory leaks. I'd expect that in a development version. I run development versions of programs on my workstation occasionaly, when testing things. They're not meant for general consumption! And if there are projects out there that are stable and useable in pre-1.0 form, it's probably because the developer isn't comfortable releasing a 1.0 without some additional documentation/features/etc.

If it's such a problem, I'm sure you could write a nice XHTML browser from scratch fairly easily. GdkPixbuf, Gnome Canvas, gnome-xml, all provide you with the tools for the job. I've worked with them myself for my RSS parsing programs. Just be aware that adding CSS to that, and then making it work with legacy SGML-descended HTML is very hard. I applaud the Mozilla group, and feel glad I can use their work.

27 Jan 2001 14:17 billmeahan

Losing the Browser War
Horse pucky! I repeat: Horse pucky!!!

You speak as if the vast majority of folks make a conscious decision and choose what browser to use. Shocking as it may seem to the average techno-geek Linux fan, THEY DON'T.

When Mom and Pop go down to Best Circuit to buy their PC, they get a machine pre-loaded with some version of Windoze. Not that they really have much choice. Windoze comes with IE built in, pre-installed and mostly ready to use. They take their box home, hook it up, plug it in and go surfing. What with? why IE of course. It was there and it seems to work.

Since Mom and Pop are not techno-weenies, they are not going to putz around and install another browser without a compelling reason, and, to date, none of the other browsers provide that compelling reason. It's just too hard for them (even if it is easy for us geekier types, but we are truly a tiny minority of computer buyers/users). Analogous logic applies to most corporate or business users as well.

Given the buyers and that 98+ percent of all PC's come with the Windoze set up I described, it doesn't take an intellectual giant to see why IE is winning the browser war.

To change that situation, there must be a truly compelling reason why these folks should go to the trouble and effort of obtaining, installing and configuring another browser. "Free" (speech or beer) doesn't count -- IE was "free beer" (to them) too. And, gasp!, IE 5.5 isn't really all that bad. I'm forced to use it at work (some of the time, anyway) and in most cases, it's a lot less buggy than Netscape. Standards? Something with 90+ percent of the market IS the standard, regardless of what anyone else says.

Dumbing down web sites is certainly NOT going to generate a compelling reason. Neither is rhetoric about freedom. After all, they've already paid the Microsoft Tax, Windoze is there and, for them, it works fairly well. A couple of reboots an evening? No biggie, just have to log back on to the Net.

Choice is nice, but most people don't have the understanding necessary to make a choice -- they'll simply go the path of least resistance.

So, what would be a compelling reason to switch?

27 Jan 2001 14:48 michaelmauch

Beonex - "A Mozilla distribution for users"
If you don't want to build Mozilla and/or Galeon yourself, or if you're like me and just can't compile it, you might want to try out Beonex <www.beonex.com>.

The Linux binary archive is less than 8 MB and it works like a charm (yes, at least here).

27 Jan 2001 16:00 forrie

Making choices
I switched from using Netscape to IE simply due to the resource requirements. It seems that with each progressive release, Netscape introduces more bugs than features. I got sick of the crashing and instability of the desktop. Their support leaves a bit to be desired.

Most of the office where I work is now using IE because of this very same problem. Time for Netscape to wake up?

27 Jan 2001 16:03 idcmp

Me Too! Me Too! My 2 Cents!
This is an Opinion piece. Either you agree with it, you disagree with it, your you're apathetic to the whole thing and wonder why the first two groups even care.

The comments about the footprint of Mozilla are valid. It may consume less disk space, but when running it sure consumes more memory (even under the guise of Galeon, etc). Whoever decided to call this NS6 had a cynical side far worse than I. It's really NewBrowser version 1.

IMHO, the footprint involves alot of the "we can't use anything native" attitude that Mozilla has, so instead of using something like 'glib' and porting it to Mac, and saving me memory, they invented their own. (Even KDE people can use glib).

Comments about 'should not include mail/news/irc/kitchen sink/etc reader' stem from the available man hours in a day. If the Mozilla team focused on making just the Gecko engine, and making rock solid and lightning fast, the rest of the world would help out making wrappers, UIs, bookmark tools, Newsreaders, etc..

Sadly, it's a pipedream to re-invent the web stripping Javascript/CSS/etc. You'd have to start over, calling it something else, learning from the mistakes of the Web. Something that would take a fair bit of resources.

However, if you feel that Mozilla is totally out to lunch, spend some time in IE. Just as everyone elses family seems normal (and yours is the only disfunctional one), IE has it's share of issues too.

- Idcmp

27 Jan 2001 16:04 miltonmalone

browser war
It is not only the browser war we are going to loose or we have lost so far. Having used Netscape for a long time and then used IE, to be honest, it was much more comfortable using IE not only because of the speed. I am running linux for several purposes (router, webserver, mailserver, faxserver, printserver, proxy) but my client still is Windows. The simple reason being is the browser and E-mail. That means the second big issue in this case is e-mail. There is no e-mail programm out there in the linux world which gets anywhere near the comfortability of Outlook (which I don't use) or PMail (which I use) as well as Microsoft has managed to introduce a product (IE) which fulfills most of todays requirements for surfing the internet. In e-mail there is a new hope coming up called evolution (but what use is it to the normal user if he has to run throug the installation of at least 6 libraries to get it working not counting the installation of a completely new gnome). My Point simply is that we are still too far away from a mass GUI system, but I don't think this will strike out Linux. There is and will be always the need for an alternative to what is the worst sh** on the market. It only will take a little bit longer than we all expected. Are we not a bit too impatient? Linux is not a bad copy of something which alreadey existed. It is not a little toolbox where all the tools were taken from different places and look like they were never meant to be in the same box. Linux is written from scratch (I know it is a UNIX clone but even though) to be something new and therefore we should give it a bit more time. Mozilla is big. That is why they called it MOZILLA :-)). Netscape is even bigger. That is why they are going to die. But it wouldn't be Linux if there wasn't somebody out there working on an alternative.

I am just an optimist. And that is what we all should be in this case.

27 Jan 2001 16:31 afriq

Netscape 6, IE port to Linux, flash and stylesheets
Netscape 6 works quite well on Linux. Ok, it takes a while (20-40 secs) to load and crashes every now and again with n more than 5 windows open at the same time. But it is a lot smoother and cooler than 4.7x. And there are the other Netscape problems (handlng of tables comes to mind). But it still remains the only browser I'll use on Linux for some time to come (I haven't tried Galeon yet - might do so soon).

As far as IE goes - their port to Sun Solaris works like a dream. But since the only people that can port IE work at MS, I can't see IE being ported to Linux soon. Pity, but as somebody commented earlier, portions of IE is already being loaded when the OS itself starts up (which makes the loadup quick). Unfair, isn't it?

On the usage of flash, stylesheets, javascript and the like - all of those enhance the browsing experience. It would be suicidal to build a browser that cannot support these technologies. Non-starter ...

This problem won't be easy to solve, but it can be done. For example, SuSE realized that the desktop is at the heart of the battle, and they've made a lot of progress in making Linux easier to install.

Denial won't help the cause - the sooner we realize that mr b gates are still one step ahead, the better. Forget about server uptime stats, security issues, etc. for now - the biggest challenge is to win back the desktop. For instance, I've tried to run Corel Photopaint 9 on Linux (Pentium III, 64Mb). Forget about it! It is not a true port (uses Wine), and is therefore extremely sluggish. The same app running under Win98 (on the same machine) flies. And StarOffice sucks big time. It is also as slow as hell.

I've tried hard to move over to Linux completely, but won't be able to do so until decent web design and office tools (such as DreamWeaver and Adobe Potoshop) can be run under Linux.

One more thing - would you consider opening up an Internet Cafe using Linux? I doubt it. The battle is far from over ...

27 Jan 2001 16:42 mholve

Simple solution...
Get me a browser that isn't IE (or port it to Linux) or come up with a browser that doesn't SUCK.

So far, Mozilla is cute, but bloated and slow as molasses. All the off-shoot projects like Galeon, etc. rely on pieces of it. Opera is still pretty much crap and the older ones like Amaya and similar are just too blah. Konquest (Konqueror?) looks pretty nice, and I'll have to check it out.

Get me a REAL browser - one that's cross-platform (Unix like Solaris and Linux) and is fast and not all boated, and maybe I'll use it. For )(#$ sake, all it has to do is present text and images and support multimedia. What's the problem here? You mean to tell me after nearly a decade of the Web, that we're still using this crap?

Signed,
A pissed off Netscrape user.

27 Jan 2001 16:59 srn

Browser - Galeon seems good
I've been using it for a few hours now, and it seems no less
stable than Netscape (which isn't saying much).

For what I use it, it seems great. It's a bit slower than
Netscape on my machine, and uses about 30% more memory.

On the plus side, it does start rendering pages sooner,
so it actually starts showing stuff on complex pages
faster.

27 Jan 2001 17:05 risinghigh

GALEON kick ass
i am using GALEON quite long now and it really roxx. yes
it uses that bloatened mozilla engine, but its quite fast
the 30% more memory consumtion as described earlier is
because its the geckoengine thereof mozillas fault. please
all get the new pre3 of GALEON its worth. belive it. its
fucking worth a try. if you all invest time and help the
authors and developers of GALEON then it will become that
what everyone was sooo long looking for. they can all
concentrate for unix/linux only, no fuckedup windows or
macgaytoosh. only linux unix.. to meet some of the coders
live go to: irc.gimp.org and join #galeon they are all cool
guys that immediately help to all kinda problems funny
folks that dont piss ppl off like the mozilla team.

27 Jan 2001 17:11 chicobaud

We should start today !
I tottaly agree with the (anonymous) author.

I can not believe this comments, people really do not know what they say !!

It is a fact that Linux does not have a decent web browser, despite the fact that Netscape Inc. has proved to have a completelly different philosophy than Micro$oft ( just read the latest judicial agreement with Sun - for the use of Sun's Java Technology - I find it a great joke) Netscape 4.x or Mozilla are not up to the match with the quality of the MS Int. Explorer. If we admit that than we would start to provide for a great web browser. Nor Mozzila nor Netscape
4.x will, in the future, fullfill this gap, i am shure of it !!!!

We should start today, from scratch, a ligth web browser capable of show all kind of web content with a good (simple) method of caching and off-line browsing. Linux is a great free-unix, I use it almost always and love it, but the fonts, java and the memory consumption suxxs !

Linux deserves a "clone" of the IE 5.x (or something similar ;-) wich can give to users the same visual pleasure and web efficience. That is the only reason i still have win98 - because of the "show off-line" and appearance of web pages. I would prefer Linux ( the safest ) but since it doesn't do it so efficiently I use win98 for some times.
Galleon suxxs as much as Mozilla ! and after the excellent StarOffice5.2 it only lacks a IExplorer clone !!!!!!
Long live Linus(x) and thanks to freshmeat ( a great service to Linux and the community)..........

27 Jan 2001 17:16 abscess

nah..
I think Mozilla's value is being grossly underrated - regarding its speed (or lack thereof), I believe they simply too the phrase "premature optimization is the root of all evil" to heart. Mozilla 0.7 renders most pages almost as well as IE now (IMHO), which is a HUGE success. I think once they reach 1.0 or whatever, they'll put much more effort into optimization. Even now, I rarely use anything else on my Linux desktop... well, guess I could run IE thru wine... as we all know Nutscrape isn't even an option. ;)

27 Jan 2001 17:46 thilo

Proxies
I am not a programmer. I have some ideas that i would like to be proofen.

1) Wouldn't it be a solution to make a new proxy approach that would interpret everything that comes in and then handles the rest to other programs (so it would filter HTML/XML to ANSI for Lynx/command-line browsers and grafics and sounds to Multimedia Applications.

Junkbuster or Guidescope do well in filtering. Opening a grapical window cannot be to hard? I suppose in programming a good enduser-app the problem is all the HTML-crap written on the web? Can't we use the HTMl TIDY-engine to only give the good stuff to the enduser-app ? The browsers then could base on "good code". This would certainly depend on more filters like that for Windows2000-XML. But if those filters could be added like plugins...

I personally think that browsers get less important, because user what to use the internet from every application (like Linux does with RPM, Perl-CPAN,...) . Nobody wants to use a browser. People want to read news (PDF) or play a game or listen to audio (see Nappster,Realaudio or XMMS). We need a more abstract approach. This is why IE is integrated in Windows!

What do people need? a)The information and the access to a ressource b) applications that can handle the ressource (see magic file or mime-types)

As users get more divers (using car-radios,WAP,handies,audio-browsers,cable-modem+tvset, DVD-players on the net) there is a chance that the "produce for IE"-approach gets outdated the more XML gets more important.

The use of external applications or plugins is growing. A browser-display is often not the best way to work with the internet, allthough they made it popular (with Mosaic). This was in the lack of widespread multimedia standards. It is not logical that PC-Browsers(Win,Mac,Linux) will keep the important role.

On my site the most hits allready are from engines - and the number of clients is growing. There is and there will never be a "90% of hits is IE"!

2) Why is there no "One-GNU-BROWSER"? Because of GIFs so important on the web (and licensing problems with Compuserve)?

27 Jan 2001 18:14 paulmcgarr

Interesting article...
on the future of the web and particularly web applications here

27 Jan 2001 19:52 phr1

JPEG 2000 is a worse threat than bundled MSIE
It's an image format using wavelet compression which is much more efficient than current .jpg--you can bet that most of the photos on the big commercial and media web sites will switch over to it once MSIE supports it--and the encoding and decoding algorithms are patented. It will become impossible for any free browsers to view images on the most popular web sites. Patents suck.

27 Jan 2001 20:28 buckrogers

I am tired of people bashing Mozilla.
Mozilla works great for me, even on my Pentium 266MHz laptop with 96MB of RAM.

Mozilla is smaller than Netscape, uses less memory, doesn't crash as much and renders pages much better than Netscape 4.7x.

And those people who complain about Mozilla having a mail reader... don't install it the mail reader. All you have to do is perform the browser only install and, poof, no mail reader.

One of the basic tenents of programming is to save all optimizations to the very end. This makes programming and debugging so much easier and allows you to profile the real running code to see what actually needs to be optimized.

Guess what stage Mozilla has reached in its development cycle?

That's right, optimization! And since the feature set is 100% complete they will not be adding a single new feature to the client until after 1.0 is released.

Mozilla version 0.8 will be smaller, faster and have fewer bugs.

Mozilla version 0.9 will be smaller, faster and have fewer bugs.

Mozilla version 1.0 will be smaller, faster and have fewer bugs.

Does anyone else see a patern here? Mozilla is getting better and better with every release.

I remember back to the M7 days when Mozilla was only a toy... And I look at the browser that I am using right now, 0.7 and I am impressed with the work that was accomplished in the past year. I look forward to the work that they are going to be doing in the next year and know that Mozilla will be the best browser to use, by any measure, in a very short time.

It also amazes me that the very people who complain about Mozilla being a development environment are almost always the first to applaud Microsoft for their .NET project. Guess what? Mozilla _is_ everything that .NET professes to be. Only Mozilla is here now, while .NET keeps on getting scaled further back, and pushed further out.

And since Mozilla is actually the smallest general purpose browser available today, it is already in use in several embeded devices... I can hardly wait to run mozilla on my iPac...

27 Jan 2001 20:50 risinghigh

blah
don't talk crap dude. they fix one error and add 20 new
ones. ever been on bugzilla.mozilla.org ? and read the
bugs that gets added each day ? afaik if more ppl know how
to use bugzilla the ammount of bugs would increase 4-5
times they are nowadays. no sorry, i won't want mozilla
no matter if its free of not. i am more pissed off about
netscape because they killed netscap 4.76 series for the
lame mozilla. they haven't recognized it but they shoot
themselves into their head by doing this. no matter whoever
you ask or meet. even on efnet, ircnet, dalnet go in the
linuxchannels they all complain about mozilla (besides some
handfull still beliveing ppl that think mozilla will be
ready in use within the next 2 days) entering windows
channels gives you 90% ie users and on linux ? well lets
stop this sad discussion, let the ppl from mozilla continue
their work, they deserve so. but the usuability of their
product still take some more time. theres to much to do.
and to that beonex dude.. whats the difference from beonex
to mozilla. its just another ripped off code. and to that
guy who wrote: without mozilla no galeon... without netscape
sourcecode there wouldn't be a shit of mozilla project.

27 Jan 2001 21:26 devnull000

Re: We are losing the browser war
"Losing the browser war?"

Gods, man, is that what you think is happening?

"My browser, right or wrong?"
"Netscape, love it or leave it?"

With respect, I don't freakin' think so. It's a little thing called voting with one's feet. Unlike the whole "unless you buy our OS you can't have a computer" squeeze that MicroBorg pulls in the retail arena, we all have the freedom to use whatever browser we prefer. And if more and more people are leaving Netscape for MSIE, it's not because "we" -- whoever that is! -- are losing any supposed "war" -- like we don't have enough of those already! -- but rather because large numbers of folks have decided they prefer to use one over the other.

I have both IE 5 and NS 7 (or whatever version they're up to now) on all my machines. The fact that I'm not sure what version of Netscape it is, ought to say something about which one I find the more useful.

WILL
LOVE

- dev_null_000

"Don't blame me, I voted for the other guy. I think."
- Bumpersticker seen in Fla.

27 Jan 2001 21:37 ricard

We will possibly loose the battle but not for that reasons
Mozilla, Konqueror can face the support of the current standards (HTML4, Java, Javascript, CSS) fairly well.
The point will be the propietary ones:

1. Plugins. As long as a company supports Netscape pluggins all will be fine (Netscape support is not as perfect as one may desire nowadays)
2. ActiveX: That's a black point. MS doesn't seem to want Netscape to support ActiveX. ( I'm not sure but I think WINE may help here )
3. The most important one: .net!! It's not trivial to write a .net compatible browser. If .net is used widespread ( And I think it will be ) this will be the most important gap for linux to be compatible in the web.

The possible solutions to this last point aren't trivial:

1. Make a compatible .net browser ( VERY! hard )
2. Make a new standart with the same functionality as .net that can be used everywere. With attractive tools for developing with. That's very hard too!

(Don't take me too seriously, I'm running Win98 right now :)

27 Jan 2001 22:00 byternz

Galaxy, you are BLOODY clueless
That &amp problem is not a mozilla problem, it is a freshmeat problem. it shows up in your post as well.

Now about those bugs you filed:

First of all, you didn't file 1000000 bugs, or whatever exaggerated number that you claim, you filed 6 bugs. And you filed them fairly recently, because they all have numbers around the 62000-63000 range. Of those 6 bugs:

-2 were marked Duplicate, in otherwords, there was already an open bug report about that issue.
-1 was marked WORKSFORME, which means that none of the developers or the QA people could reproduce the bug. When that happens, you might try using a newer build.
-3 were marked INVALID, which means that the bug report wasn't talking about any valid issue. If it is a valid issue, but something that they don't want to do, they will mark it WONTFIX instead.

The three bugs that were marked invalid were:

61856 - BUILD BLOCKER! which ended up being a conflict between glibc headers and kernel headers and NOT with Mozilla. (and they even gave you a patch to work around a problem that is obviously a glibc problem, not a mozilla problem). This was marked INVALID because it wasn't a bug with Mozilla.

62341 - (PLEASE REVIEW THE CODE), which is actually a bug filed about bug 61856. The person who marked it invalid rightly told you to go back and make your points in bug 61856. You don't open another bug to complain about a previous bug!

63045 - Why am I doing all of these bug report? Because,... where you went on a long rant and then proceeded to point out three problems with mozilla using language such as shit, and WYSIWYG isn't WYSIWYG (?!). The person who answered you politely asked that you file each bug that you mentioned separately, asked you to read the bug reporting guidelines, and THANKED you for using mozilla and reporting bugs. You then proceeded to respond rudely to him and everyone involved with the project, and said that Mozilla was a waste of time. Despite your rudeness, people then proceeded to take the vague issues that you reported and separate them into bugs 63064, 63066, and 63068 (which became a dupe of 55921). And unless you did this yourself (I can't tell), they even put you on CC: on those bugs automatically, so you could see how they were being resolved!

Now I'm not exactly the model person to talk about politeness and not upsetting others (see bug 54594 Jason Eager needs to calm down about mozilla bug reports), but I think it is becoming clear that your real problems with Mozilla are personal and not technical. I find it hard to believe that you're accomplished with technical analysis when you can't even follow a bug reporting process correctly. The majority of Open Source projects are run by people who speak english somewhat well, so you're going to have to brush up on your english skills, or find a very good translator.

About your other points:

-You don't really understand the philosophy of the Palm Pilot, do you? It wouldn't make any sense to put something like Mozilla on a palm pilot, because you're not going to have the space on the palm screen to render CSS et al correctly on it anyways! There's no way that you're going to write an application that runs seamlessly cross-platfom with the palm-pilot, it would either be too limited on the desktop, or wouldn't fit on the palm-pilot. When you design programs for the palm pilot, you design them SPECIFICALLY for the Palm Pilot.

-If you compile mozilla with debugging turned on, all of the optional items turned on, it IS going to take about 1.2 gig to compile. It's keeping all of the libraries for the items that it compiled, and it is building many many test applications that the QA people use to debug mozilla. You might want to turn debugging off if you don't want that, then it will take less space to compile. Yes, on a Pentium II 233, it DOES take all night to compile. Do you want to know how long it takes Internet Explorer to compile? From a Microsoft insider, I heard that it takes all night on a 700 MHZ machine. Of course, we will never know for sure, for obvious reasons. But that is par for the course. It will always take more resources and memory to compile a complex program then to actually use it. That's why they make nightly builds, so you don't have to compile it yourself if you don't want to.

27 Jan 2001 22:50 medisoft

mozilla not... maybe konqueror do the job
i see all the message about mozilla, i think IE is faster, nicer and better on a lot of parts than netscape or mozilla, but it has 2 bad points:

it only exist to unstable operating system or not opensource OS

it isn't opensource, so i don't know if i can trust on it for secure transactions and so.

But i was using konqueror from kde2 and i'm very very happy with it, it is a beta release or something like that, and it is very stable, fast, cute and do almost any thing good, y sent my bug report to the developers, and i see a fast response, they are fixing the javascript problems (i don't think that we need to remove those functionality to the pages, but make a better browser that has support for ANY of the features that exists)

So i propose that solution: use konqueror and do a lot of bug-report

27 Jan 2001 23:07 risinghigh

hey!
hey hey hey!!! we can talk and discuss about browsers
or whatever but getting personal and attacking ppl here
is not correct and goes to far at least in my oppinion.

27 Jan 2001 23:23 risinghigh

Re: Galaxy, you are BLOODY clueless
well. 1st of all tell me something new! i know of the
burgreporting system there and know the difference about
'reopened' 'invalid' 'assigned to stupidity' and the 65k
range now what you want to explain to me ? the other thing
with the palm was SARCASM. sorry that you didn't get it. but
i am here to help you out. np. i am quite sure of my own
that this wouldn't happen it was a DAMN joke at least there
are webbrowsers for PALM. guess they work and don't fookup.
and for the last stop attacking ppl here thats the worst
you can do, seem that you are out of comments or out of
usable words so you start to pissoff people personally. i
can only hope that you are not one of the "mozilla" development team members, i got such so called "answers"
from them that went personally like this too. but anyways
not everyone shalt to be like this. i meet also a handfull
of them that are really helpfull and guess i am still thankfull to them and won't forget the time they spent and
invested solving the problem. but i don't want sone fucking
single report from you no matter if it's for free or not.
so stop pissing ppl off here. we can talk and discuss about
these crabby webbrowsers and fucking fuckfuture but i am not
that guy that like beeing attacked because some morons don't
have any words. you can see my name at the top of this message i am not hiding for good conversation. so lets come
back and talk about the pros and cons of webbrowsers.

27 Jan 2001 23:34 fredlwm

[PATCH] We are losing the GUI browser war
Get a decent browser here.

27 Jan 2001 23:35 byternz

You were giving people a bad impression of the Mozilla organization.
Galaxy, I am convinced that you are trolling this discussion, and I simply called you on it.

I investigated your claims about Mozilla bug reporting and simply responded with the truth:

1. When you were filing Mozilla bugs, you weren't following any (or most) of the Bug Reporting guidelines set out by the Mozilla organization.
2. When other members of the Mozilla community politely asked you to follow the bug reporting guidelines and set out to assist you in doing so, you reponded rudely to them and insulted the community as a whole.
3. Now, like many other people who constantly attack the Mozilla project at every turn, I think you have a personal axe to grind against Mozilla. The massive exaggeration of numbers and other factors in your comments gives me the impression that your real complaints are not based on technical merit, and many of them are simply misinformed (the Palm Pilot statement, for example).

And where did I get this information? Simply by using the Query function under bugzilla. If you had done the same, maybe you could have contributed to the base of information about the bugs you wanted to fix, instead of filing dupes.

I guess I can live with some of your misinformed comments, I deal with misinformed idiots every day in my life, and I have yet to be killed by any of them. However, when you spread misinformation about one of the most important processes to a project that is trying to push to a stable release, the bug reporting process, I have to refute the misinformation, and make it clear to the general public that there is a hidden motive in play.

Don't like to be called on misinformation? Fine. Don't spread it.

27 Jan 2001 23:41 syntaxerror

So yeah.
Ok.
I don't have too much to say.. but I'm gonna say it anywayz. Netscape has it's pros and cons, to it's own audience, and to it's opponents. Some off the top of my head:

- Fairly low overheard. If you use Netscape Navigator rather than the standard communicatior.. you get a buggy browser with a small footprint that works [some of the time].

- It renders proper HTML. If your HTML is not proper.. sometimes it will not render. This IMHO is a good thing, sometimes. I understand sometimes its necessary to have "auto-correcting".. but please.. let's get serious.

Ok.. so lets talking about IE.

- Flat out.. IE works for rendering.. most of the time. It's fast.. and works well.. when it's not crashing.

- Well.. there does exist that entire portability problem. Considering HOW much of the engine for IE is in the winkernel and basic OS... well.. we'd need to port most of that over.. giving you a *dah-dah-dah! HUGE FREAKING BROWSER*.

- Ok.. so what can we do?

Well.. let's NOT roll over dead.

Talk to NS.. get the code from Navigator 4.76 or whatever is the most current [and out of date simultaneously] and let's open it.

*sigh*

Yeah.

28 Jan 2001 02:03 vbbvbxc

I personnaly like some of the spazzy features IE has
ok, i'm going to be yelled at for this one, but, i would like to see microsoft do a port of IE for linux. I like to see highly interactive interfaces. IE has already done two ports of IE to two different major unices, it's only a stones throw away to do one for linux. Don't get me wrong, i love netscape, i grew up on netscape. BUT, i also like the extensive use of css tags and other things like that which IE takes advantage of.

28 Jan 2001 04:27 macca

Author steamrolled by runaway technology
It's been a while since I've shaken my head while reading an editorial. This attitude of "Dumbing the net" will get you nowhere. I design web sites for a living, and I can tell you right now, I won't be giving up Flash, or Cookies, or (gasp) Javascript. What am I supposed to say to my client when they ask for that nifty spinning logo?

"Sorry, we're in the process of getting rid of things like that because a browser can't compete with M$."

Or how about, "I know you want to be able to display live changes on the customer's order form, but it just wouldn't be fair to all those garage developers out there."

You want to know what the client will say?

"Bye."

That's what they'll say. Then they'll go down to web design company B who will give them what they want. You wouldn't have to worry about me making life difficult for Mozilla et al, because I'll be out of business.

Let's try a different example. Say you have a 1927 Ford. Say this car has a top speed of 20mph. Should the speed limit be dropped to 20mph because you don't want to buy a modern car? Should all car owners be forced to putt around at 20mph because you don't want modify your car to go faster?

I think we all know the answer to that.

If Mozilla wants to be a serious competitor to MS then they will have to compete like everyone else. No one is going to change the rules just for them. No one is going to hold their hand and say, "There, there, we'll just make everyone else play fair."

If you want to develop an open source browser then go right ahead. But if you want people to use it then you better make sure it supports JS, and cookies, and Flash plug-ins. This is not an impossible task, all it needs is a central contolling group supervising a mass of developers, all working on different sections of the browser.

It works for Linux, it can work for this too.

But if you really think the answer is to stand in the face of progress and demand that it comes to a halt, then you better be prepared to be run over.

28 Jan 2001 04:36 risinghigh

Re: You were giving people a bad impression of the Mozilla organization.
no, i don't! actually you are doing it on your own
right now. 1st of all, its totally difficult sometimes to
read, write and understand a different language that you
don't use every day. the soo called guidelines of the
mozilla bugreporting system is the most difficult
bugreporting system i've ever seen. actually i am not
perfect at all, but who is? i see many many bugs that get
reported each day that gets marked invalid or dupe. sure
they must be all invalid and dupes, its always the fault of
the enduser if something doesn't work. thats the conclusion
i get after all. at least thats the most answer i get from
members of the Mozilla. 'community politely asked you to follow the bug reporting guidelines'. yes i and many others
did that as good as possible but ever tried to report an
bug with an crashing browser ? pressing submit on mozilla
site. caused the browser to crash (at least at this times)
there was no time and no other way to report bugs. you guys
want something that can't be done sometimes. and now you
are going to do exactly the same to me here as many does
to other bugreporters. all these dudes that contributes with
their bugreports did a nice job, they sit at home. trying
mozilla find some bugs and want to help the staff and for
what? only to be fooled afterwards. you are complaining about my rudeness sometimes yes why not? it was deserved and
placed correctly sometimes. i sit here at home writing over
1 fucking hour one bugreport even with totally details that
got marked 'invalid' without serious comments i don't want to mention how long the upload has taken for me during all the crashes, shouldn't i get pissed off ? but mozilla staff
really want every single shit splitt off into 1000000 parts.
'Now, like many other people who constantly attack the
Mozilla project at every turn' ah yeah, thats what you call
us then 'attackers' i never wanted to attack anything. i am
the fucking last person on eartch. but all these missunderstandings causes this trouble and a big mozilla staff that was set under 'high pressure' no wonder that they
mark anything invalid. i can really appologize to every
mozilla bugreporter to stop reporting bugs after they got
pissed off by the staff. lets see where this ends ? it's seen here right now how they act to ppl. its the usual. 'I get this information? Simply by using the Query function under bugzillamentality of them'. nice. i know how to use the query (search) function of my own, but how can i DECIDE
if that unbehave i found out was a bug or not ? and many
bugs reported there zhaz look EQAUAL at the first view are sometimes not the SAME. so how would you decide ? keep it a secret or tell them to the staff ? 'I deal with misinformed idiots every day in my life' thats what we BUGREPORTERS actually are. you are right we are dumb idiots. thanx.

28 Jan 2001 06:29 akaha

galleon & konqueror
it's a pitty that all these attempts to get out of the browser crisis (i don't think that mozilla ever will get stable) depend on either having KDE or Gnome installed.

How should we create a Linux solution if we divide all the few Unix/Linux users in at least three parts (KDE, Gnome, others)? IMO only a project, that doesn't need these desktop monsters can succeed. We should leave desktop politics out of this war.

28 Jan 2001 07:09 grigori

mozilla works good...
OK. mozilla is slow, takes much memory. But in the actual 0.7 release it works relatively stable on my system. I can browse hours and hours and i don't crashes(Ok sometimes at multimeida-overloaded pages it crashes). But i use it now for weeks as my standard-browser. I think the developers are working hard to fix bugs , reduce the memory footprint and make mozilla faster.

(sorry, bad english)

28 Jan 2001 07:19 rozmanov

take a look at ePSXe
Now I try PSX emultors and take a look at ePSXe - www.psxemu.com/epsxe.s... and www.epsxe.com/. It is a quite complicate piece of software but it uses smart and clean design. And as a result there are a lot of competing modules and plug-ins. Cool. I think it is the way to go and in brouser's case.

28 Jan 2001 07:58 hanseno

Browser wars?

Tis was an interesting read, but even if I speak for myself alone, I think this is something you should try and understand.
When I use a program, it is not because I'm a fan of that program. I don't buy Intel based systems, because I'm a fan of intel, and I don't buy Microsoft products, because I'm a fan of Microsoft. And I don't use Linux, because I'm a fan of Linus Torvalds.

I use a program, or product, to get done what I need get done, within the limits that I have surrounding me. Such as financial, lingual, or any other constraint that effects my choice.

Any software company, that is or will program or create products that are directed towards the FAN's request is destined to fail miserably(TM).

Every operating system, browser or other product has a load of bugs. Its a question for the leaders of the project, to find what to solve and what not to. And to demand anything from Netscape, which is producing a high quality browser for multiple platfroms, that most of us are getting free of charge, borders on the extreme. Anyone of you tried out Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator? Ever noticed that machines flying below you tend to fly slower than you? Ever noticed, that you can fly sideways? and that you can stall sideways? It's full of bugs, but has a load of fans all around the world. However, there is a proper place, to demonstrate your demands for a better product ... because its a product you are paying big money for.

There are no browser wars, this is not a contest for which there is only one winner... or at least I hope not, because the long term consequences would be catastrophic.

28 Jan 2001 10:07 arueckert

Drop HTML support?
Why not drop support of a standard that is not well defined and went a bit out of control during the browser wars (NS/IE that is). Focus on XHTML, start with a well defined DTD, use as much code generation as possible, use models where possible, focus on XHTML and let anything else (Javascript, Java, etc) out of the core. Add a plug-in API, so external modules can access the document to interpret those features.

28 Jan 2001 11:36 nhoize

IE bad
IE may appear to be stable and functional, but it is a security nightmare. if you take a look at www.guninski.com/index... you will see that IE has had several serious (code execution) security issues, most of which did not have a patch available for weeks at a time. Even when a patch is available, the typical user does not patch IE. So, revel in the bloated mozilla, the closed source memory leaking opera (mine is using 50MB to render 3 web sites), and all the up and coming open source *nix browsers. *nix may be losing the browser war, but it is winning the pre-installed win32 remote trojan war. :)

28 Jan 2001 11:44 rtrudel

We are losing the browser war
As Michael Mauch suggested, I downloaded Beonex (www.beonex.com) on my Windows machine and found it has all sorts of nice features. The only thing I do not like so far is that when you receive mail you get the full header and I have so far found no way to turn that off. I suggest you give Beonex a try and may be articles as pessimistic as us losing the broser war will not affect you as much.

28 Jan 2001 14:30 felinoid

No... just looks that way
We aren't losing anything right now.
MS-IE refuses to take ground.. they are in the lead but they refuse to comply with existing standards. Microsoft is also being forced to dump Java and websites won't be able to so the same leaving Netscape pritty much in the lead.

Konquer ends up showing up as MS-IE.. They both pretend to be Netscape/Modzilla and most scripts just recognise "Modzilla/Netscape - Netscape" and "Pretends to be Modzilla/Netscape - MSIE" also when scripts filter MSIE out of the "Modzilla" report.. in those cases Konquer will show up as Netscape... eather way only the older KFM shows up as Konqer.. the newer one dose not...

The winner will be the one who finishes current standards support...
Piriod...

28 Jan 2001 16:04 sofar

Why not to use IE???
The answer is simple as allways:

In order to use IE, you need to purchase Windows, thus paying $$ to Microsoft. Any viable alternative that's free will therefore (how clumsy, big or buggy) be a major alternative. Netscape (both linux and solaris) versions
have absolutely no problem running CSS/JavaScript pages
I authored, who needs java? I'm happy, don't need all the
fuzz! Anybody got an argument why I should use IE???

28 Jan 2001 16:48 mballen

Not Exactly

strength of the Open Source movement is that its components are highly modular.

Not at all. Let's say you wan't to use netbios sockets. Can you extract that "module" from Samba? No. This is any area where hobbyist programmers more often than not lack conviction.

The modularity is much stronger than the (IMHO rubbish) OO methodology advocated by dubious software engineering textbooks.

At the c level you really can't call something OO. That requires dynamic binding an techniques that provoke polymorphic behavior. It's a tool though. Nothing more. Sometimes OO enthusists get a little carried away with it but when used properly the effect is unparalleled using mear "moduler" techniques. The real problem is that 9/10 people using an OO language such as C++ or Java are not writing OO code. They think they are but in reality it's moduler at best. This leads to a bit of confusion over the value of OO because there are very few good examples of it.

doesn't matter how the internals of the FTP server are structured. It's an object.

I agree with you here. I'm a big advocate of the UNIX theology where tools are designed to do one thing very well. Collectively they become more usefull than the sum of their parts in ways than can be very clever.

But an even better model would be if the FTP client interface was not defined at the RFC level but rather at the language level. The c API for using FTP should be well defined and stored in a shared library with other network clients. Then Mozilla and friends should use that. That's what they should be shooting for.

Mike

28 Jan 2001 19:17 s4

War? I beg to differ.
It's not a war, it's a slaughter. And rightfully so. As a web developer I can do so much cool stuff with IE, and very little with any other browser. I can make full fledged web based applications with controls bound to data sources and functional stuff that can run totally client side. I could restrict myself to pretty little pages that are rendered totally server side and have a bit of functionality, but not much, or I could make these really cool applications. This is the problem with people like you (the author) and the people who agree with him (or her). Anything microsoft comes out with, you will automatically hate, in fact you will have to hate it by virtue of the fact that it's created by MS. I hate all the stupid politics behind this argument and arguments like these. Most people couldn't care less if IE just threw away all the standards that they do still adhere to, and make their own internet with their own protocols and standards and whatnot. The coolest product is the one that people are going to want to use. And the coolest browser around right now is IE. F$$$ companies and groups that can't keep up. F%%% the organizations that make the standards. IE is damned cool, and the web is far more functional because of it.

Wake up and smell the coffee kids. There are few people who actually care about the points you bring up, and most of them are people who don't really matter too much at the end of the day. Right now IE is the best. People will therefore use IE, and any web-designer with an ounce of common sense will write apps that take advantage of the cool stuff you can do with IE. That's how the world works because it makes sense. If you want to live in the dark ages then fine, but one day you'll get off your high horse and buy a car. Or you'll fade away. These arguments are getting so damned tiresome. One day people will realize that MS is huge because they're damned good at what they do. To all your programmers who want to write a browser that anyone will use, Copy Microsoft. Sure, make it Open Source so at the end of the day you can sleep easy, but take the browser that is doing everything right, and copy that.

Don't write me an email saying my sites look bad in netscape or mozilla or whatever you use. I couldn't care less.

28 Jan 2001 20:32 afranke

Make it easier to become a mozilla contributor
One [approach] is to have more people working on Mozilla.

This is a good one. Feel free to submit constructive comments here (bugzilla.mozilla.org/s...).

29 Jan 2001 11:04 walkingbeard

Why IE is a good browser and why some of the Linux-heads should shut up
Internet Explorer is a fabulous browser. That's all I should have to say, but in fact I feel I should say more. IE is a fabulous browser because it supports. It supports almost everything that needs to be supported by a commercial web browser and some. And yes, that is because it is owned and developed by Microsoft and as we are all well aware, MS is a darn site better off than most.

And until a browser walks into the world that spotlessly and seamlessly supports what IE does, nobody is going to touch the said browser's increase in users. Joe Bloggs doesn't give a bit of fluff that Microsoft made IE and quite frankly, nor do I. It's superb. It's fast (even if it does load a lot of stuff it needs when Windows starts) and vaguely reliable (although ironically, I've had it throw GPFs and all sorts only the Microsoft site).

All the stuff that some of the above commentators have written about not wanting CSS and font tags et al is pure rubbish. If you want a cut-down browser, that's your lookout, but the likes of Flash and diverse fonts *are* the way forward. If my mum was confronted by a dull grey screen full of Courier text, she'd switch off completely. If she's confronted by a moving images that buzzes and beeps and plays music, she'll be enthusiastic to make the web work for her. This isn't a simple Microsoft dominated thing like the desktop OS market. It's an innovation and application thing and currently, Microsoft is the leader. IE is their finest product.

I don't like Windows. I don't like MS, it's too large and mostly stifles better alternatives in the software market. I want Microsoft to be split up, because I truly believe that Windows will die not so long afterwards, which is a good thing. But I don't want Microsoft to go completely, because they make Internet Explorer which is by far the best web browser available. When Konqueror supports what IE supports, I'll quite happily agree that Microsoft's time is due.

29 Jan 2001 21:27 djfxsi

going back??? I don't think so.
now I read half of the discussion but can't believe the author is comlaining about the new stuff added to the web. Now if some people can't deal with something don't blame on that something isn't good. I admit there are a lot more things we can do now and it can be very complicated to learn. But it's unfair to deny their usefulness. XML IS very useful! I've seen so many close minded people who think HTML can do all the job. That's true, but they forgot what makes a good web site--it's content and management. XML does this job well! Don't because few none responsible and unskilled people misuse some of the tools such as javascript then complain it's bad. remember no one is stop you from writing simple web pages using just HTML. People use new technologies have their specific reasons, so don't think you are so smart (using Linux doesn't making any idiots special) and say (or suggest) something like "HTML can do everything, let's go back to simple web page."

Remember it's all the businesses driving Internet today. All the new tools are essential to businesses. Without businesses on the web, heh...I don't know what you are going to be now.

30 Jan 2001 05:12 lepus

The way out WOULD be simple, just nobody seems to try it
Well, well... We have a problem. Many web pages are written in shitty html code, but IE does display them correctly. Netscape doesn't. What do we do? We bloody well write a browser that DOES display shitty code correctly, and works under Linux!
The main problem is NOT javascript and Flash and online music and so on. The main problem are buggy pages which are rendered by netscape as a plain empty white sheet, or displayed but with buttons and images overlapping text and so on... Once we have a browser that CAN cope with buggy html code, we are on our way to victory. We can't change the script kiddies who make the buggy pages, but we can change our browsers.
Once we have this, we can advance further. Add support for Javascript, Java, online midi music, and so on... In a modular fashion, of course.

About NS6, I believe the programmers doing it are out of their right mind, and as much as I have seen of Mozilla, it's basically the same beast. Why the hell do I need an Aol messenger in my browser? It reminds me of integrating a TV into a car, but in a way that the engine must be running if I want to watch it... "Doing everything I need of the Internet..." Earth to Netscape, should we send a psychiatrist? -_-
And the bugs...If I install it into another directory as the default (/usr/local/netscape), it sipmply won't work. Segfaults during startup. Tough luck, I like to put software like this under /opt... And if it IS installed where it should be, it is still buggy. The AOL messenger generated 3 crashes in 2 minutes, after reinstalling without it, Netscape crashed on its own every 3 minutes only... Laughable.

31 Jan 2001 09:01 fabiang

De Mozilla Rerum
I would like to react to most of the comments
posted in this thread. My main concern is that, --
as usual -- people do not answer objectively. Even
if they probably write comments with faith that
what they write is correct, often it is not. In
order not to fall in the same dangerous pit, I
will talk only of what I know : Mozilla. Mozilla
seems to be the heart of the discussion, yet many
people despise it. There is only one thing that I
have to admit : Mozilla is slow. However, there
are some arguments in this thread that I don't
agree with, the biggest being that Mozilla is
standards compliant.
Someone said he is trying to write complex CSS and
IE displays it fine but not Mozilla. Now do the
opposite : design the page for Mozilla -- i.e.
write standards-compliant CSS -- and look at it in
IE. It wil probably display correctly, because IE
supports a lot of CSS, though less so than
Mozilla. A lot of HTML, CSS, DOM, and JS does not
work on Mozilla because it has been designed for
IE. Please note that Mozilla itself is designed
with those standards, so if it really supported
only 50% of CSS etc, I think Mozilla would look
like Marylin Manson on a bad day (aye aye aye
flames!). I beg the web developers to test their
code first against Mozilla then against IE, or at
least both at the same time.

Second, in response to some (including the author
of the article) who said that becoming a Mozilla
contributor is hard because it is such a large
project, that is true. But if you really want to
help, if you think before acting, if you know what
you're doing, and if you respect -- very important
word in Mozilla -- the other contributors, you
will have no problem "stepping in the train".
Mozilla is probably one of the largest open source
project ever, and it has entered a very important
part of its development : the launch to the
impatient end-user that expects high-quality
software. The project needs all of you to make it
a leading browser in all the platforms it is
available on -- let's basically say all the
existing platforms --. Bashing and trolling will
not help, however constructive and well-thought
comments do not hurt, in most cases help a good
discussion.

Third, those of you complaining that Mozilla is
not only a web browser, that choice was made two
years ago, and you can no longer fight it -- or
you can try to write your own, like Galeon
perfectly did --. It is an architecture choice
that people do not accept *yet*, just like XUL and
the HTML composer and themes. The slowness is an
overall problem in Mozilla, that is not caused "by
XUL-shit" or "by silly themes", but by a lot of
small performance problems, that are being fixed
one by one and that make the product faster and
faster.

Last thing, Mozilla is still under development --
although personally I would have called 0.7 a
first final release --, which means it is only
begining to strike. Stay tuned for the next
releases, and report the bugs -- against the
latest builds, of course --.

N.B.: I have never used Konqueror nor Opera, so I
cannot compare. However against IE, Mozilla
performs as well when it comes to stability (a
couple of crashes a month), and the rendering
speed is more or less the same. So basically I can
chose between two great browsers, and that's what
I like -- choice.

I hope I did not upset anyone with such a long
message, but I think it was worth the time.

Regards,

Fabian.

31 Jan 2001 09:12 adamnealis

Re: Good and Bad features

[snip]

> Flash is not a large thing like Java,
> and is very cool, it gives the user a
> better experience. This experience is in
> almost every page useless, just for
> making the site beautifull. It's good
> that it exist, but the serious sites
> need to be out of this technology.
There is a Netscape-for-Linux Flash plug-in.
It works well. It also runs with NS for Linux
under emulation on FreeBSD.

However, it seems that those who flash enable
their sites often make at least one of these
mistakes:

1) No non-flash alternative is provided.
2) The checks they do for Flash seem to only
check if you're running MacOS or Windoze.

31 Jan 2001 09:40 olsner

I agree partially, Mozilla is the best alternative to IE, but can be improved
I think that Jeff has a real point here.

I agree that Mozilla is bloated and a BIG memory
leak (or it uses all 90megs of ram :-). I do
however think that Mozilla is a real competitor
against IE, and better than the old Netscape's
(4.xx) in features, however the stability and
effectiivity of Mozilla can be argued. For
example, my Mozilla uses like 90% of my CPU
(450Mhz PII) when viewing a normal webpage.
Before, I had 64megs of ram, and my machine was
virtually unusable when running Mozilla - swapping
like hell.

I also agree that the source should be made
simpler, because spare-time developers are a
valueable resource.

Conclusion:
The focus on Mozilla development should (for now) be:
- Cleaning up the code
- Fixing bugs and testing
- Improving effectivity and memory usage

A good idea would be to move modules into separate
projects (something like Jeff's idea to make a
browser using only existing programs and make a X
frontend for them), for example the document
downloading part could be an easily replaceable
module, so that a developer not satisfyed with the
functions of the existing one could easily make a
replacement.

When a number of alternatives for the same
function have been developed.

I think, however, that Mozilla for now is in the
right path, and would be VERY good in just a year
or something.

01 Feb 2001 00:18 slushpupie

Idea
I am not a hardcore programmer, but I have done some programming, and think that programming projects are much like term papers. You sit and write and write and write, and before you know it, nothing seems to change. Sure, a re-wording here and there, but its all the same. The best advice I got for those times is to throw away your paper, are re-write it. Perhaps that is what is needed with the browsers. We have been on the same track from very early on, and with many excelent ideas, but perhaps we need to come up with a new way of thinking. Netscape's idea of the plugin was briliant (or whoever came up with the idea first). I dont think anyone can deny that. The only problem with the existing structure, is plugins are only for embeded stuff (like flash, pdf, etc) Many of the new instant messageing clients are useing the plugin concept for protocols. This would mean the base browser would mearly be a fancy telnet. Straight socket connection, just text. Then, add a plugin to do HTTP1.0, but still it outputs just the text retrieved. Then another plugin for HTML, and one for XML too (hell, why not use the whole MIME concept ?). Then you have a working browser, highly expandable, and modularized such that an entry level programmer (or the summer teenager) can sit down, and write a better version of the javascript plugin, but not have to worry about things like the difference between HTTP1.0 HTTP1.1 and FTP. Or the seasoned Unix Guru can write a better SHTTP protocol plugin, but not need to worry about such things as flash and javascript. And using a common interface, all is well. Well, in theroy at least. I think half the problem is that Mozilla and Netscape (and even IE for that matter) were not designed for the pace at which the internet changes. If you make something *completely* modularized, then it can accept the challenge the internet puts forth.

01 Feb 2001 04:55 lepus

Re: what's this "we" shit?

> I'm sorry, but netscape never did
> anything for the "linux desktop". Linux
> isn't a desktop, it's an operating
> system kernel. And while we still do
> things the "UNIX way" (as opposed to the
> POSIX way; read on), it can never be a
> desktop.
You have got the whole idea wrong, I believe. GNU/Linux is a free UNIX, and was created as such. Its goal is to be a free, open-source UNIX system, not to be a new Windows for the desktop lamers. (Even though some distributions try to imply this.)
Of course GNU/Linux will never be a desktop system. But then again, who needs it to be? I use it, because it's a free UNIX system, with a real nice software base and support from many companies like Real inc., that other UNIces don't have.

> Most importantly, UNIX still requires
> fast fingers. With paths getting longer
> (how many times a day do you type: vi
> /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?)
> it's getting Linux further and further
> away from the desktop market.
If someone doesn't like to type commands and paths, he should use Windows. Actually, your idea is not wrong, we DO need an open-source desktop system which could take on Windows. But the idea about converting GNU/Linux into such is like converting a huge road rig into a family car. Sounds stupid, doesn't it?

> UNIX works really well in the server
> room, and I appreciate the authors
> mention of servers being distinctly
> uncomparable to desktop environments.
> But I disagree on one very important
> issue: UNIX will never take over the
> desktop. Never. So long as Linux is
> unixish, it will continue to fail here
> again and again.
I agree on this one, but then, I like it as a workstation OS, because I like UNIX. It was created as an OS for programmers, of course it isn't suitable for the masses of the desktop market.
I have seen Windows, which is quite usable, and have seen MacOS which is way better than Windows and is a perfect desktop OS, but I wouldn't trade my GNU/Linux for a MacOS. Simply because I have different needs and wishes of an OS...

> We need LESS graphical apps. Less
> modules (so to speak), and someone to
> step up and say "this is how it's going
> to be done!"
Now, now... Nobody could force such a system onto the GNU/Linux world. And nobody SHOULD, if you ask me. This idea of an open-source desktop OS, probably compliant with standards like X and the like, is worthy of notice. Probably a group is already working on something like this... But GNU/Linux shouldn't, and cannot be this system.

01 Feb 2001 13:11 Malkuse

Scrap Moz. Keep Gecko
I think I agree with the authour. The future could be
rather dark.

My two cents on how to deal with the situation:

Scrap Mozilla. Take the Gecko part and start a new
project dealing with a GPL'ed Gecko only.
It's much smaller than the whole Mozilla project and
seems far more interesting to work with too.

Reduce Gecko to a bononized rendering module
and let it use other modules for HTML, Java,
WhatEver interpretation.

I don't know how feasible this is. Maybe Gecko is
already structured this way? IANotP (I Am Not on
the Project). But: it would let anyone with a time
limit write his favourite plugin .so that interprets
some WhizBang nonsense such as Flash and still
not have to worry about a browser or even HTML.

As for letting webadmins know their sites stink: I
don't think so. We're still a fringe and fringe people
usually get little attention unless they prove
themselves. Giving negative feedback sure is NOT a
way to prove anything.

harebra / klasa

02 Feb 2001 05:39 whelkman

Re: mozilla FTP implementation really suxx
I agree. I use .7, and the FTP implementation is
the worst it's been in a long time. Hopefully
this will be cleared up by .8, because about 60%
of the FTPs I visit are unaccessable. NCFTP has
no problem with any of these sites; I just run it
and in about seven seconds, I'm there. Even when
Mozilla FTP does work, it takes literally 30
seconds of CPU on my 464 MHz processor to load the
file list!

02 Feb 2001 10:50 epischel

Re: Let's start here
I totally agree. Having to read a long text
that horizontally spreads across the whole screen
quite awful and inconvenient! Moreover, I had to start IE in order to hack this text since it wasn't possible with NN4.7 (winNt).

02 Feb 2001 12:36 epischel

"full-featured" web vs. "stripped-down" web
If you have a look at how usability is defined (ISO 9241), there are three criterions: Software is usability if it is effective, efficient and the user is content with it. Moreover, these three criterions have to be considered within the context the user uses the software.

So of course some people explain about the "bloated" web because all they want to is to read a sparely formated text. WWW was meant to be like that back then at CERN. Not about animations and Applications. But the Web has evolved and is now used to deliver *Net-Applications*. Think about it: the WWW's value is more than a bunch of cross-linked text pages (or documents, to include graphics and sounds).There are a lot of apps out there and we use it through our browsers.

So in this context, having lynx-like display is like working with console apps all the time. Some people might like that but most do not. This is for specialists, not for everybody. So I think it's quite natural that people added this and that to get a more GUI-like feeling with the web. And that will being continued... Of course it can be done this way and that way. But that's life.

My own homepage is rather stripped down. I use CSS just to make the code more lean and to have borders around the text and that the text isn't so wide. Think about why newspapers have columns - because you can read more easily and also faster. I have a Java-Applet that presents different numerical Interpolation-Algorithms graphically and users can play around with it. This might be quite useful for cs students making a sense out of what their math prof told them... :)
I find javascript very usefull in the case you're web-application has forms and you want to evaluate a form before sending it to the server, e.g. to have mandantory fields filled out. It is more convenient for the user when he gets acknowledgement right away rather than after a request/response turn-around. I could go on with this but I think I've shown that (at least some of) the HTML-additions can be useful. They can be misused, no doubt about that.

I think it's the wrong direction to urge webmasters to use stripped-down web. There are a lot of badly designed web pages, but *forcing* someone to use this or that is *against* the idea of open source.

erik

02 Feb 2001 16:09 hmarson

Netscape vs IE
There's a very good reason that the Netscape vs IE browser war is being lost to Netscape. And that's quality of software..

There was a time I could laugh at the windoze weenies with
slow IE, crashing all the time, but the sad facts are that with
every release Netscape browser has been getting bigger,
uglier, and buggier... Take NS 6... Browser PAC downloads
don't work, it's slow, not particularly good looking, and doesn't
render properly on the screen. I'm sick & tired of a web page that has one line overlapping another, in-ability to specify more than 1 pop mail account on a single browser, having the browser run for 5 minutes & then crash somewhere in dns-helper using 100% CPU etc etc etc. The list goes on. It's pretty sad, but IE is doing a better job of rendering, email, un-bundling apps into separet co-operating execs and worse of all better stability (The IE on my windoze machine at work is way more stable than my Netscape under Linux! That's not funny, that's criminal).

02 Feb 2001 16:13 hmarson

Re: Good and Bad features

> I think that Cookies and Javascript is a
> GoodThing (tm), they help on building
> online applications, yes, I know that
> this can be acomplished without it, but
> when it is used we have a better and
> usefull user experience.
>
> Java is a big White Elephant for
> browsers, even a tiny applet loads a lot
> of code to interpret it, and almost
> every java applet are tiny applets. Java
> have it's merits, but I think that it
> shouldn't be used inside of web
> browsers.

Excellent point. Why do Netscape insist on using their own sub-standard JVM when every operating system nowadayus has one already. For gods sake give us the ability to make up our own minds which JVM we want to install on our systems. We only need one.

IBM did a good job of porting Netscape Browser to OS/2... That was the best browser ever... Multi-threaded downloads with separate status for each, used the OS's JVM, fast etc...

02 Feb 2001 19:11 aldem

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> Please, kill Netscape once and for all. Then get IE ported to Linux :-))

Agree. IE is far better (from user' point of view), and I really would like to see it ported to Linux, no kidding.

Few years ago, IE was not as good as nowadays, but now... I tried Mozilla and Netscape 6 - they are so slow, regardless, on Linux or Win...
Additionally, Netscape offers far less options (for instance, there are no "Security Zones" like in IE).

And last - IMHO, there is no need to win this "browser war" - Linux is good as a server platform, Win as desktop - regardless, which browser is best (there is no need for browser on the server anyway).

02 Feb 2001 20:47 thomanski

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> Please, kill Netscape once and for
> all. Then get IE ported to Linux :-))
>
> And last - IMHO, there is no need to
> win this "browser war" - Linux is good
> as a server platform, Win as desktop -
> regardless, which browser is best (there
> is no need for browser on the server
> anyway).

What the author was trying to tell us is that Linux as
a server system only just doesn't cut it:

> [taken from the article]:
> Backend infrastructure can be replaced quickly;
> user desktops cannot, so we are vulnerable to
> being leveraged out of the server space.

He sees a danger in an IE only world because that
would enable MS to implement proprietary protocols
used by IE and IIS and lock out every other browser
and server combination.

MS would love to lock us in, to provide the internet
infrastructure (as in client and server) and have us
pay dearly in the end. Get it? ;-)

02 Feb 2001 21:24 aldem

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> He sees a danger in an IE only world because that
> would enable MS to implement proprietary protocols used by IE and IIS and lock out every
> other browser and server combination.

They are not stupid. Anyway, I see no danger as Linux as platform for the servers become more and more popular, despite the fact than MS trying to do a lot against *ix in general.

It is easy to show that Linux is better for (e.g.) routing, firewalling, content filtering, etc. - just compare requirements and benchmarks.
In my company, for instance, core servers are Win-based, though all routers/proxies/web-severs are on Linux (and there are no plans to replace them).

And... Well, as soon as they will push out all other OSes from the market... No one could help them against anti-monopoly law, so... :) I see no real danger, in other words.

03 Feb 2001 00:49 pldaniels

Galeon ...if only
The only thing holding me back on using Galeon is
the fact that I need to get the entire Mozilla
source lib (someone feel free to correct me here),
afaik due to the licencing issues.

For now I'll stick to Mozilla, it's reasonable in
speed (on a K6-2 550 /128Mb) and at least the
email works (except for some attachments when seem
to dissapear, and can only be retrieved by save-as
- extract using ripMIME).

Regards.

03 Feb 2001 16:47 towk

Re: what's this "we" shit?

> Most importantly, UNIX still requires
> fast fingers. With paths getting longer
> (how many times a day do you type: vi
> /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?)
> it's getting Linux further and further
> away from the desktop market.

I cannot imagine anyone typing more anything
longer several times a day. Some have heard of
symbolic links, and look, your home directory
(which may be /mnt/part4/home/users7/myname) is
referenced via short "~". Is it that much of a
headache typing 'vi ~/httpd.conf' or such? I find
it much more difficult to browse to a file with
mouse than that. Yet, I prefer command line for
file management even in Windows (command.com in
9x, or cmd.exe in nt).

And, back to discussion, I cannot see how IE is
much more powerfull than Netscape 4.x. The problem
manifests itself in everyone being a "web
designer". Everyone wants a web site, regarding of
that whether they have some content to offer. But,
I have no knowledge of any real person that is
visiting a web site to see it's design. Yes,
appearance may add up to a more pleasant
experience, but would anyone return to your site
if there's no interesting content on it? I can
illustrate this with an obvious example. Take a
site which offers a online book for reading. Let's
have two sites which offer the same book, one
filled with graphics, JS, DHTML, server-side
fonts, funny animations all over the book, and the
other, offering only plain text of the book. The
only question for you here is: which site would
you prefer for reading the book?

The Web is (supposed to be) about content, not
looks. But yet, it's the philosophy of human kind
to have strange opinions on what's good (why do
you care about your hair style, what difference
does it make to your life?), so we must expect the
look of a web site to be one of factors.

Yet, computer technology is constantly improving
(is it???), and we're offered with different
approaches to doing a same thing. When we get used
to one thing, what can make us switch to another?
If it can do the same things, but in a different
ways, would you use it? I guess not, since it
would require "relearning" what you already know.
So, it's really hard to beat IE which comes
bundled with MS OSes, and yet is NOT a bad
browser. But the problem lays in that it brings
too many new "features" that are not supported by
anything else, so we come to the web which is not
interoperable between platforms. And, is web about
that? Limiting access to content?

Everyone is allowed to make a new standard on the
web (even a 15 year old), but noone can make the
World accept it. The story goes over, and over
again. Why is MIME here? Why are "Internet
protocols" so simple, useable via telnet? Why is
HTML so trivial? There were many reasons behind
this, and yet, we're now turning them down. Yes,
we need the GOOD and NEW platform/standard for the
new multimedia and interactive content (now, it
could even be called WPI - Web Programming
Interface, since many want to create a site that
will resemble of standard applications), but it
needs to be simple and open (not proprietary). Is
this where XHTML could fit in? We're yet to see.

Next, Netscape 4.x can currently do anything IE
can, sometimes in a much harder way (this is a
problem only when _everyone_ thinks is capable of
designing a web site; html is trivial but design
is not). If we get to Mozilla/6.0 compatibles
(NS6, Mozilla) we see that it's a tremendeous
browser which is capable of doing many things IE
can, but also many IE cannot. I used mozilla since
very early snapshots/milestones. It was a headache
then. But nowadays, it's actually stable and very
configurable browser. When it comes to the first
stable release, I'm sure it will offer very much.
It's more than competitive, it could be a winner.
But hardly if it would need a conscious decision
to switch to it. First-time computer users don't
know what is offered, what can they choose, and
always take the first offered. This is MS/IE
combination for now. The looks for this to change
are tiny.

Next, we come to the fact that what market wants
is not neccessarily technicaly superior. Look at
the internal MS problem. They released Win2K which
is far more stable than it's Win9x predecessors,
but it didn't go to well, because market wanted to
have support for old partly DOS-based (some
interrupts provided by DOS) applications/games.
So, MS, even though offering technically superior
product, reverts it's plans, and starts working on
WinME. My reasoning might be wrong, but it seems
that changes are not too welcome in computer
world. Of course, this is not the case with
open-source community, which readily accepts any
innovative change.

To summarize, proprietary standards are the only
things that are bad, so anything MS does and makes
it open is welcomed by me. What must be admitted
is that sometimes non-technologically superior
software wins the battle (this is probably not the
case in NS/IE one, but definitely in case of
Mozilla/IE one since Mozilla offers far more,
though it's not yet stable).

Next, my opinion whether Linux could be a desktop.
Yes, even with it's current architecture. Nothing
needs to be changed, the latest releases of GNOME
and KDE obviously show that. Some of my friends
Windows users, envy me on my desktop, and easy of
use. They are considering switching to Linux just
because of that. Looks, who would say that it
matters so much. My perception of Linux is of a
system that can be customized to anything, whether
it be desktop, server or a system that drives my
home. That's where it's success is. You DO have
the choice, if you like powerfull GUI looks, fast
server platform, whatever, Linux will do for you
an excellent job.

And last (but also the least), if you find my
English bad, never consider me for a English
proffessor.

03 Feb 2001 16:47 towk

Re: what's this "we" shit?

> Most importantly, UNIX still requires
> fast fingers. With paths getting longer
> (how many times a day do you type: vi
> /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?)
> it's getting Linux further and further
> away from the desktop market.

I cannot imagine anyone typing more anything
longer several times a day. Some have heard of
symbolic links, and look, your home directory
(which may be /mnt/part4/home/users7/myname) is
referenced via short "~". Is it that much of a
headache typing 'vi ~/httpd.conf' or such? I find
it much more difficult to browse to a file with
mouse than that. Yet, I prefer command line for
file management even in Windows (command.com in
9x, or cmd.exe in nt).

And, back to discussion, I cannot see how IE is
much more powerfull than Netscape 4.x. The problem
manifests itself in everyone being a "web
designer". Everyone wants a web site, regarding of
that whether they have some content to offer. But,
I have no knowledge of any real person that is
visiting a web site to see it's design. Yes,
appearance may add up to a more pleasant
experience, but would anyone return to your site
if there's no interesting content on it? I can
illustrate this with an obvious example. Take a
site which offers a online book for reading. Let's
have two sites which offer the same book, one
filled with graphics, JS, DHTML, server-side
fonts, funny animations all over the book, and the
other, offering only plain text of the book. The
only question for you here is: which site would
you prefer for reading the book?

The Web is (supposed to be) about content, not
looks. But yet, it's the philosophy of human kind
to have strange opinions on what's good (why do
you care about your hair style, what difference
does it make to your life?), so we must expect the
look of a web site to be one of factors.

Yet, computer technology is constantly improving
(is it???), and we're offered with different
approaches to doing a same thing. When we get used
to one thing, what can make us switch to another?
If it can do the same things, but in a different
ways, would you use it? I guess not, since it
would require "relearning" what you already know.
So, it's really hard to beat IE which comes
bundled with MS OSes, and yet is NOT a bad
browser. But the problem lays in that it brings
too many new "features" that are not supported by
anything else, so we come to the web which is not
interoperable between platforms. And, is web about
that? Limiting access to content?

Everyone is allowed to make a new standard on the
web (even a 15 year old), but noone can make the
World accept it. The story goes over, and over
again. Why is MIME here? Why are "Internet
protocols" so simple, useable via telnet? Why is
HTML so trivial? There were many reasons behind
this, and yet, we're now turning them down. Yes,
we need the GOOD and NEW platform/standard for the
new multimedia and interactive content (now, it
could even be called WPI - Web Programming
Interface, since many want to create a site that
will resemble of standard applications), but it
needs to be simple and open (not proprietary). Is
this where XHTML could fit in? We're yet to see.

Next, Netscape 4.x can currently do anything IE
can, sometimes in a much harder way (this is a
problem only when _everyone_ thinks is capable of
designing a web site; html is trivial but design
is not). If we get to Mozilla/6.0 compatibles
(NS6, Mozilla) we see that it's a tremendeous
browser which is capable of doing many things IE
can, but also many IE cannot. I used mozilla since
very early snapshots/milestones. It was a headache
then. But nowadays, it's actually stable and very
configurable browser. When it comes to the first
stable release, I'm sure it will offer very much.
It's more than competitive, it could be a winner.
But hardly if it would need a conscious decision
to switch to it. First-time computer users don't
know what is offered, what can they choose, and
always take the first offered. This is MS/IE
combination for now. The looks for this to change
are tiny.

Next, we come to the fact that what market wants
is not neccessarily technicaly superior. Look at
the internal MS problem. They released Win2K which
is far more stable than it's Win9x predecessors,
but it didn't go to well, because market wanted to
have support for old partly DOS-based (some
interrupts provided by DOS) applications/games.
So, MS, even though offering technically superior
product, reverts it's plans, and starts working on
WinME. My reasoning might be wrong, but it seems
that changes are not too welcome in computer
world. Of course, this is not the case with
open-source community, which readily accepts any
innovative change.

To summarize, proprietary standards are the only
things that are bad, so anything MS does and makes
it open is welcomed by me. What must be admitted
is that sometimes non-technologically superior
software wins the battle (this is probably not the
case in NS/IE one, but definitely in case of
Mozilla/IE one since Mozilla offers far more,
though it's not yet stable).

Next, my opinion whether Linux could be a desktop.
Yes, even with it's current architecture. Nothing
needs to be changed, the latest releases of GNOME
and KDE obviously show that. Some of my friends
Windows users, envy me on my desktop, and easy of
use. They are considering switching to Linux just
because of that. Looks, who would say that it
matters so much. My perception of Linux is of a
system that can be customized to anything, whether
it be desktop, server or a system that drives my
home. That's where it's success is. You DO have
the choice, if you like powerfull GUI looks, fast
server platform, whatever, Linux will do for you
an excellent job.

And last (but also the least), if you find my
English bad, never consider me for a English
proffessor.

03 Feb 2001 16:47 towk

Re: what's this "we" shit?

> Most importantly, UNIX still requires
> fast fingers. With paths getting longer
> (how many times a day do you type: vi
> /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?)
> it's getting Linux further and further
> away from the desktop market.

I cannot imagine anyone typing more anything
longer several times a day. Some have heard of
symbolic links, and look, your home directory
(which may be /mnt/part4/home/users7/myname) is
referenced via short "~". Is it that much of a
headache typing 'vi ~/httpd.conf' or such? I find
it much more difficult to browse to a file with
mouse than that. Yet, I prefer command line for
file management even in Windows (command.com in
9x, or cmd.exe in nt).

And, back to discussion, I cannot see how IE is
much more powerfull than Netscape 4.x. The problem
manifests itself in everyone being a "web
designer". Everyone wants a web site, regarding of
that whether they have some content to offer. But,
I have no knowledge of any real person that is
visiting a web site to see it's design. Yes,
appearance may add up to a more pleasant
experience, but would anyone return to your site
if there's no interesting content on it? I can
illustrate this with an obvious example. Take a
site which offers a online book for reading. Let's
have two sites which offer the same book, one
filled with graphics, JS, DHTML, server-side
fonts, funny animations all over the book, and the
other, offering only plain text of the book. The
only question for you here is: which site would
you prefer for reading the book?

The Web is (supposed to be) about content, not
looks. But yet, it's the philosophy of human kind
to have strange opinions on what's good (why do
you care about your hair style, what difference
does it make to your life?), so we must expect the
look of a web site to be one of factors.

Yet, computer technology is constantly improving
(is it???), and we're offered with different
approaches to doing a same thing. When we get used
to one thing, what can make us switch to another?
If it can do the same things, but in a different
ways, would you use it? I guess not, since it
would require "relearning" what you already know.
So, it's really hard to beat IE which comes
bundled with MS OSes, and yet is NOT a bad
browser. But the problem lays in that it brings
too many new "features" that are not supported by
anything else, so we come to the web which is not
interoperable between platforms. And, is web about
that? Limiting access to content?

Everyone is allowed to make a new standard on the
web (even a 15 year old), but noone can make the
World accept it. The story goes over, and over
again. Why is MIME here? Why are "Internet
protocols" so simple, useable via telnet? Why is
HTML so trivial? There were many reasons behind
this, and yet, we're now turning them down. Yes,
we need the GOOD and NEW platform/standard for the
new multimedia and interactive content (now, it
could even be called WPI - Web Programming
Interface, since many want to create a site that
will resemble of standard applications), but it
needs to be simple and open (not proprietary). Is
this where XHTML could fit in? We're yet to see.

Next, Netscape 4.x can currently do anything IE
can, sometimes in a much harder way (this is a
problem only when _everyone_ thinks is capable of
designing a web site; html is trivial but design
is not). If we get to Mozilla/6.0 compatibles
(NS6, Mozilla) we see that it's a tremendeous
browser which is capable of doing many things IE
can, but also many IE cannot. I used mozilla since
very early snapshots/milestones. It was a headache
then. But nowadays, it's actually stable and very
configurable browser. When it comes to the first
stable release, I'm sure it will offer very much.
It's more than competitive, it could be a winner.
But hardly if it would need a conscious decision
to switch to it. First-time computer users don't
know what is offered, what can they choose, and
always take the first offered. This is MS/IE
combination for now. The looks for this to change
are tiny.

Next, we come to the fact that what market wants
is not neccessarily technicaly superior. Look at
the internal MS problem. They released Win2K which
is far more stable than it's Win9x predecessors,
but it didn't go to well, because market wanted to
have support for old partly DOS-based (some
interrupts provided by DOS) applications/games.
So, MS, even though offering technically superior
product, reverts it's plans, and starts working on
WinME. My reasoning might be wrong, but it seems
that changes are not too welcome in computer
world. Of course, this is not the case with
open-source community, which readily accepts any
innovative change.

To summarize, proprietary standards are the only
things that are bad, so anything MS does and makes
it open is welcomed by me. What must be admitted
is that sometimes non-technologically superior
software wins the battle (this is probably not the
case in NS/IE one, but definitely in case of
Mozilla/IE one since Mozilla offers far more,
though it's not yet stable).

Next, my opinion whether Linux could be a desktop.
Yes, even with it's current architecture. Nothing
needs to be changed, the latest releases of GNOME
and KDE obviously show that. Some of my friends
Windows users, envy me on my desktop, and easy of
use. They are considering switching to Linux just
because of that. Looks, who would say that it
matters so much. My perception of Linux is of a
system that can be customized to anything, whether
it be desktop, server or a system that drives my
home. That's where it's success is. You DO have
the choice, if you like powerfull GUI looks, fast
server platform, whatever, Linux will do for you
an excellent job.

And last (but also the least), if you find my
English bad, never consider me for a English
proffessor.

04 Feb 2001 01:40 dvhart

And what about Nautilus...
I was surprised to find no mention of Eazel's
Nautilus in this discussion. It also uses the
attractive gecko, but has the added utility of
eazel's services, and a nice file browser to boot.
I was hesitant to use nautilus (I was afraid it
would be too "smurfy"), but I have been pleasantly
surprised with a functional, useful browser! And
for a beta, it is relatively quick.

I see the benefit in mozilla's own widget set...
but it really bugs me to see some nasty looking
browser in the middle of my slick desktop. (No I
don't want to download a theme made to look like
my gtk theme!) Why is it sometimes I see gtk
scrollbars (in list boxes) and yet the page is
still only scrollable with the mozilla scrollbars?

Is there a way to get mozilla, galeon, nautilus,
or anyone else for that matter to use a specific
email client when you click on a link? I happen
to really like evolution and would like to see it
become the standard for the gnome desktop... but I
don't want to have to copy an email address and
paste it into evolution every time I could
otherwise just click on a link!

04 Feb 2001 18:11 mrjones

Re: what's this "we" shit?

> Most importantly, UNIX still requires
> fast fingers. With paths getting longer
> (how many times a day do you type: vi
> /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf ?)
> it's getting Linux further and further
> away from the desktop market.
>

Come on, do you know the Ctrl R in Bash?
Try presing Crtl r and then httpd.conf,
the press ENTER or Crtl e to change the command.

05 Feb 2001 05:41 xfce

Re: the browser war is over

> The browser war was underway when there
> was nearly 50-50 market share between
> the two.
%
> That was the browser war. This is the
> time leading up to the second browser
> war. It may not be Mozilla, it may not
> be any browser available today, but
> eventually there will be a browser which
> slowly begins to gain ground., and then
> we will see a browser war again.
%
> The number of IE users is huge - you
> cannot expect a new version of some
> revolutionary browser to come out and
> have everyone switch.

The browser war is not over. If it was
over, we would be all running Windows because
there would be no decent browser on Linux, BeOS,
FreeBSD, and others.

And don't tell me about Galeon or others Gecko
based browsers, without Mozilla, those projets
would not even exist.

Konqueror could be the answer, I admit I did not
try it yet.

Just my 2 cents.
Olivier.

06 Feb 2001 05:58 jarmstrong

Re: No Choice

> ...Galeon is the only thing
> that is the glimmer of hope...

for the love of god - try konqueror!!!
konqueror on kde2.1beta2 is just
fscking incredible.

i'm amazed at how little publicity it
gets in comparison to mozilla.
i think a lot of people who don't use
kde assume that konqueror is just
another windows explorer clone with
yet another half-assed html widget.
- this is pretty much what i thought
until about 2 months ago! ;)
it turns out that these guys have quietly
come up with a browser that is
faster and more stable than mozilla,
and seems to render anything i
throw at it perfectly.
the javascript support is maybe not
that hot, but seems to be improving
rapidly.

you really owe it to yourself to check it out!
you can still use konqueror if you
are running gnome.

06 Feb 2001 09:07 icezip

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> Please, kill Netscape once and for
> all. Then get IE ported to Linux :-))

I am a Netscape fan to the death. After working on a large scale web design project last summer, I have found so many bugs in table drawing and whatnot in IE. People say IE is perfect? HAH! Far from it. For ever Netscape bug I found, there was at least 6 or 7 IE bugs. Microsoft has a lot of work to do on IE, and Netscape should have thought before releasing Netscape 6.

NS6, where do I start? Netscape 4 ran great on my p333 (Windows, I played D2), but Netscape 6 ran so s-l-o-w on the same machine. There's too much gui crap. All I want on my web browser is the basic buttons, not an army of customizeable skinnable features. I would have rather seen them work on speeding it up and fixing bugs rather than making it look all pretty. So, I'm still using Netscape 4 at home, and I love it. Screw porting IE, we have a good browser as it is.

06 Feb 2001 10:42 GeorgeGordon

How to win the Browser War?
You can't expect to win the browser war on Linux.
The IMHO only way to attack the market
position of the IE is on Windows Mac and Linux
together. A real competitor to the IE must
be stable, likable (OpenSource :o), small and has
to run an Windows and UNIX. At the
moment Mozilla is not very stable and far apart
from being small.

There are several other browsers out there but
they don't run on Windows. Thus, they
will never be a threat for the IE simply because
Windows dominates the whole destop
market. (Port GTK to Windows and Mac or use
wxWindows)

If MS winns the war they can push their own
'standards'. And since there is a country
where you can hold a patent on nearly everything
this could mean the end of
projects like Apache.

Good luck OpenSource!

07 Feb 2001 11:46 jsebr

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> NS6, where do I start? Netscape 4 ran
> great on my p333 (Windows, I played D2),
> but Netscape 6 ran so s-l-o-w on the
> same machine. There's too much gui crap.
> All I want on my web browser is the
> basic buttons, not an army of
> customizeable skinnable features. I
> would have rather seen them work on
> speeding it up and fixing bugs rather
> than making it look all pretty. So, I'm
> still using Netscape 4 at home, and I
> love it. Screw porting IE, we have a
> good browser as it is.

Netscape had the problem that they were pushed by
AOL to release a browser. They warned the mozilla
community long beforehand when they HAD to release
NS6. If the choice had been pure quality based NS6
wouldn't have been released yet.
If you want to know what state the browser is at
just follow the numbering of mozilla. It's
currently 0.7, which means early-beta. It's
feature-complete, but needs a lot of optimizing,
which is exactly what they are doing now. I'm
personally pretty sure moz 1.0 will be a nice
browser. And it will run on older systems too.

07 Feb 2001 11:50 jsebr

Re: mozilla FTP implementation really suxx

> I agree. I use .7, and the FTP
> implementation is
> the worst it's been in a long time.
> Hopefully
> this will be cleared up by .8, because
> about 60%
> of the FTPs I visit are unaccessable.
> NCFTP has
> no problem with any of these sites; I
> just run it
> and in about seven seconds, I'm there.
> Even when
> Mozilla FTP does work, it takes
> literally 30
> seconds of CPU on my 464 MHz processor
> to load the
> file list!
%

That's funny. I use 0.7 too, and all the ftp sites
i visit with it show up without a hitch. Ofcourse
you need to wait longer than with a separate ftp
app, they should fix that. But that left aside, in
my experience explorer is slow also with ftp sites.

07 Feb 2001 12:07 jsebr

Re: Author makes very silly comments
At the time of this writing there is only one OS
that consistantly correctly runs Windows programs,
supports modern hardware technologies properly
(usb, parallel port scanners, etc) and runs with
"minimal" crashing.

Which OS is it?

You already know don't you? It's Microsoft
Windows. While I'm no fan of $MS they make the
only viable OS on the market. The author suggest
that to compete with them we start harrasing
developers until they build cross-platform apps to
the point of insanity. I guess since we can't
build a better OS that supports the user's needs
we should just try to change the user's needs.
I've never heard of a dumber strategy in all my
life.

Quite simply, if we build it they will come. It's
that simple, it's just that no one is doing it.
Build an OS that is every thing that Windows is in
the commercial world (and better if possible and
no I don't mean that piece o'crap Linux), but
build it open source and then watch the sparks fly
as the desktop wars start up again. But this time
try to keep up.

Do you see the errors in some your arguments now?
It's easy to support all hardware if the hardware
makers only support your OS WITHOUT YOU EVEN
HAVING TO ASK FOR IT. If every hardware
manufacturer would write linux drivers for their
product, linux would be sooooo much closer to
desktop dominance. But just like hardware
manufacturers aren't going to do that because
Windows' marketshare is big enough for them, web
developers won't support other browsers because
IE's market share is big enough for them. That's
what the original article critisized, and that's
what all the web developers are running into with
their eyes wide open. Microsoft winning total
dominance and bleeding us dry is a realistic
perspective. Remember, microsoft isn't there for
the users, it's there for the stockholders. And
anything that will increase profit is good for the
stockholders, and thus good for microsoft.

08 Feb 2001 02:09 MonteLin

Re: Conspiracy theory?

> I saw this coming a couple of years ago.
> Corportate budgets were dumping a lot
> of money into the web. These funds were
> attracting "webworkers" in droves. Some
> were good, but too many were bad. The
> good ones wrote code which conformed to
> standards, the bad ones didn't know what
> a standard was.
>
> And a funny thing happened. That bad
> code by those bad programmers actually
> ran on Internet Explorer. It shouldn't
> have rendered information, but it did.
> I've been asked many times to fix code
> that ran on IE but failed on Netscape.
> The "fix" was always simple, I broke out
> an O'Reilly book and determined how it
> should have been written. And the
> result was always the same, written to
> spec, the code worked on both. Hocus
> Pocus.
>
> Perhaps I'm venturing into the realm
> of conspiracy theory, but I think that
> Microsoft intentionally wrote the
> browser to interpet code in a manner
> that is broader then the standard.
> They're not stupid, they realize that
> for every good programmer there and
> hundreds of others who cut corners, fail
> to adequately test their code and make a
> good living doing it.
>
> This is where the war was lost.
> People switched to IE because it
> "worked" better, it rendered bad code
> when it really shouldn't have. Netscape
> upheld standards and lost a battle in
> which they had an atronomical head
> start.

Every one has experiences with web page authoring should agree with you. In a world, it's much more difficult to have a page works for Netscape than IE, especially those complex thing, like frame, table, form..,etc.
Somebody get crazy with Netscape quickly and may decide to ignore it. I have had similar experiences at first, but I turned to every textbook on HTML available and discovered it was all my fault. But how many hand craft their pages? They got Frontpage, Dreamweaver and a lot of other such tools that will definitely spill out incorrect HTML codes. IE silently accepts it, Netscape won't.

We can conclude M$ is really encouraging non-standard.

08 Feb 2001 02:19 MonteLin

Re: browser war
I can't deny that Netscape failed to do somethings correctly. But you can't deny also that IE failed to fail when it should. Wrong code is wrong code, it should never be silently accepted and guessed.

By the way, I strongly suspect that your bad experiences in development with Netscape is becuase you don't 'waste' the time to trace your code since you guess your competitor wan't do it either.

09 Feb 2001 08:26 poggy

Re: Forget Netscape ... IE is alive?

> I created a new web site. In former days
> I always tried to make it also NS
> conform, but Netscape still does not
> support what IE implemented now over
> 2!!! - yes TWO years ago. I think that
> ignoring the sings of time is really
> stupid. I want to have Style sheets and
> I used them. I use the layer-technique
> to simulate drop down menus. Well the
> work perfect on IE, but don't look that
> nice on NS. What should I do?

What should you do? I think read up on HTML some more. Make an effort and you'll find that pretty much everything IE can do NS can do in a much more stable manner. They just do things differently. I have made several fancy web sites using JS, DHTML, CSS, etc. and managed to get them working equally well cross-browser.

10 Feb 2001 20:19 etriaph

Holy Hell
I think before I begin I should mention that I don't use
Netscape on Linux anymore. Netscape is an ugly,
bloated sack of beans and I'm glad to be rid of it.
Instead (as many before have mentioned
commenting on this editorial) I use Konqueror. Now
Konqueror does not just "show promise". It's one of
the best damn browsers I've seen. I hate Netscape
due to it's speed, Mozilla is just silly, Opera is
wishful thinking, but Konqueror is light, fast, renders
very quickly and carries over the widgets of my
desktop.

I used to use GNOME, then WindowMaker, then just
straight Enlightenment but now I use KDE2 full time
because it's truly the best thing Linux has in desktop
today. Having it's own fully featured web browser
that not only compares to Netscape (as the "other"
browser defaulting on Linux) but it beats it.

There are a few bugs yes, but hey it's open source
software, there's always a few. They accept that, fix
them and move on. I don't think we're losing the
browser war. The war ended a long time ago.
Windows users will use MSIE, and I think Linux
users will just eventually use Konqueror. Mozilla is
allowed to go die now.

Thank you. :)

16 Feb 2001 08:22 generalen

Re: ****list idea
This list needs no sourceforge project, the complete list (using wildcards) is: *

I bet less then 0.001% of all claimed HTML pages on the web would validate on validator.w3.org

If every browser implemented a HTML validator and displaying an ugly message for invalid HTML I bet those retarded webguys would start fixing their code right away, since they don't care about anything else then the looks.

16 Feb 2001 11:52 mfrederico

Re: Holy Hell - Konqueror will Conquer!
*** ATTENTION ***
People, and fellow KDE 2.x users:

This is where the browser war starts to get REAAALLY fun.

I dropped Netscape, I droppoed Mozilla, I dropped Opera, I
droppoed WINE running IE, I dropped WINE running netscape,
all because I found a wonderful little friend named
Konqueror.

He looks right, he feels right, he renders pages correctly, it is
compliant with DHTML / JavaScript 1.2, CSS, MUCH
better than Even Netscape 6, (The popout boxes on
php.net actually pop out!) I can watch and interact with a flash
movie, I can load java applets, I don't know what anybody is
complaining about. -- OH WAIT!! Yes, I do. People who don't
keep up to date on the production of their windowing system.

Konqueror is IE for the Linux user, it works, its here, USE IT
and SHUT UP!

www.kde.org

Btw, did I happen to mention KOFFICE as well?

-- Matt

> I think before I begin I should mention
> that I don't use
> Netscape on Linux anymore. Netscape
> is an ugly,
> bloated sack of beans and I'm glad to
> be rid of it.
> Instead (as many before have mentioned
>
> commenting on this editorial) I use
> Konqueror.

17 Feb 2001 04:11 virtualizer

Re: Holy Hell - Konqueror will Conquer!

> *** ATTENTION ***

> People, and fellow KDE 2.x users:

>

> This is where the browser war starts

> to get REAAALLY fun.

Yep! Fun is right. No more :)

> I dropped Netscape, I droppoed

> Mozilla, I dropped Opera, I

> droppoed WINE running IE, I dropped

> WINE running netscape,

> all because I found a wonderful little

> friend named

> Konqueror.

I then dropped KDE, because its a pain in the a??, and really slows my machines down. I do appreciate the effort to make KDE completely speech driven (QT/IBM), that's why I will have a look at it in a few months again.

Otherwise, I am not using any graphical browser, because I am 70% of my time in wearable computing environment. Simply running an RemembranceAgent, infobot, surfraw and links gives you everything you need. fmII is a brilliant example to view in links. You get all the info you need. No bandwidth consuming pictures and all the stuff.

Sorry for beeing console junkie, but are you having graphics on your keyboard (exept the M$ key).

Text has the best mental similarity to the task of browsing information, thus less mental swapping occurs and therefore little distraction from my main task is implied.

18 Feb 2001 09:41 nano

Re: Galeon? Make it simple to set up!
It is pretty simple to set up. Add to /etc/sources.list and "apt-get install galeon"
*wroom*

"tada" and it's installed

19 Feb 2001 22:24 gholzworth

Like it or not...your cheese is being moved!
Well, sounds like the cheese is being moved. What are we going to do? Spend our energy telling everyone that moving the cheese is wrong? That's is the wrong direction? That's it's bad?

Wake up and drink a big cup of Joe folks. Java, Javascript, CORBA, Oracle...these are the things that run corporate America. Yes, where I work a few folks run Linux but most run Solaris on cool Sun boxes. And guess what? The rest of the 99% of the company runs NT at their workstations. And guess what else? It ain't bad either.

There are a few things that are the "Status Quo" today. They are:
#1 The "dot com" days are gone and never coming back to their insane levels.

#2 Customer support is big. Linux has none...save the rogue Red Hat's and Corel's out there. Customer service is what big and medium size corporations want and need. The Linux community (as awesum as it is) cannot provide them that.

#3 The browser war is over. Bill and Steve from Redmond. WA won the contest. They knew what the majority wanted...and they gave it to them. The rest of the arrogant, egotistical computing community didn't want their cheese moved, thought they had the only cheese available and when presented with a competing cheese, just kept saying "Our cheese is better", put blinders on and didn't step on the standardization bandwagon.

#4 Opera

huh?

Opera

what opera?

Opera browser. You know, the company that wanted it's browser to be CSS compliant so they hired the guy that wrote the specification.

What's that got to do with Linux, our browser problem and this editorial?

Their small, their talented, they have the best browser on the market and they have a Linux version.

So?

"Their" browser still almost fits on a 3 1/2" floppy disk. Uh, ...yeah.

Mozilla, bloated? You bet. IE taking over the world? Faster than you can spell "George W".

My point?

Point our sites at Operasoftware.com. They may have what we're looking for.

Face it folks. Unless Linux has a breakthrough in the next 2 years, the thought of it becoming a serious contender to Windows is silly at best. Opera has the "bones" we can build around. Might we want to ask them to dinner?

21 Feb 2001 01:46 mikejenn

opera tor calling
agree with doc lodge ick absolutely. beta 5 opera

worth a 2 meg download trial. it's small, it's quick.

linux port (www.opera.com) also free with ads - no fee like windows.

21 Feb 2001 01:58 madams

Re: This Whole browser war thingy..

> When it comes to Linux we have a nice
> set of options when it comes to Mozilla.
> Galleon has been mentioned and it is
> indeed excellent IMO. But mozilla really
> isn't that bad! ...
> and better.
> .... After the
> loading half hour it's quite nippy. OK
> so it takes up a bunch of RAM and it
> does take an age to load and these are
> things that need seeing to, but IE only
> loads quickly because M$ loads all of
> its bulk in advance when you start the
> OS, which can hardly be described as a
> good thing....

Woah....
Mozilla and Netscape take nearly as long to load as Enlightenment and segfault 2 to 3 times as often... not good! Why do Mozilla and Netscape force you to use their buggy implementation of java when I have a perfectly good version of Blackdown from IBM that DOESN'T hang on every third javapp? Why do Mozilla and Netscape refuse to connect most of the time when you use diald (Amaya, Lynx, Opera don't) because the dns server isn't available till hookup?....

Don't get me wrong, Mozilla and Netscape are moving in the right direction but most of what they need are available, faster, under linux than M$ whatever. They need to drop the (s)crap(s) that others have implemented in a better fashion and work on getting the codebloat and seggies fixed. Examples: Netscape should drop the motif "motif" and move to either QT or GTK (stand up if your desktop(s) support(s) neither one or the other...) Both should ask (or search) for a current java implementation on the system and if not found then and only then let you know that it's using it's own java implementation and allow you to disable it later when you get a REAL jvm.

sorry but if M$ ported IE to linux (it's possible..just (alittle harder than) a recomp of it's HPUX or Solaris versions) I'd give them $40 for it... sure it's buggy but only one third to half as buggy as Netscape/Mozilla and upto 3x as fast...

I just had to respond..I LIKE OS software BUT professionally and personally I'll use it ONLY if it's better/easier to fix/easier to work with than proprietary software and OS software USUALLY IS... Mozilla/Netscape not included.

As far as the .net initiative, M$ is playing our (Open Source) game on this: M$ has submitted the specs for .net and C# to the ECMA, an open standards body (Linux Magazine Feb 2001 Issue [see pg 76]). We NEED to get in there and PLAY BALL!!

Yes M$ has proven itself an Evil Empire (tm owned by Steve Spielburg, appellation by US DOJ) but stooping to M$ bashing is juvenile--Embrace and Extend!

21 Feb 2001 02:37 madams

Re: JPEG 2000 is a worse threat than bundled MSIE

> It's an image format using wavelet
> compression which is much more efficient
> than current .jpg--...--and the encoding
> and decoding algorithms are patented.
> It will become impossible for any free
> browsers to view images on the most
> popular web sites. Patents suck.
>

Take a look at Xv with the Laurent Wave additions (can't remember what its actually called) wavelet encoding has been public domain for 3-5 years...easy to beat a patent with excellent products like Xv as exhibits.

Wavelet encoding is a math algo..if you improve it, it falls under the original patent (if i remember correctly .. could be very wrong..) and wavlet encoding has been public domain (as i've said) there fore any quote, unquote patent for an improvement would be unenforceable (since we are dealing with an algorythm it would be like trying to patent a more precise pi...once again, provided i've not muffed my interpretation of patent law (i am NOT a lawyer..just dealt w/ patent law in re producing software under contract using a lawyer (pricey) for the "sticky bits"...and my have my butt up my **s in re this situ...)

And at worst this could be another Unisys (sic) where most every one simply ignores the issue (eg: noticed any reduction in the number of gifs (sic) you see)

21 Feb 2001 02:44 madams

Re: [PATCH] We are losing the GUI browser war

> Get a decent browser here.

Evil Chuckle....

It's what i use to quick surf....

21 Feb 2001 03:06 madams

Re: War? I beg to differ.

> .... Anything microsoft
> comes out with, you will automatically
> hate, in fact you will have to hate it
> by virtue of the fact that it's created
> by MS. I hate all the stupid politics
> behind this argument and arguments like
> these. Most people couldn't care less if
> IE just threw away all the standards
> that they do still adhere to, and make
> their own internet with their own
> protocols and standards and whatnot. The
> coolest product is the one that people
> are going to want to use. And the
> coolest browser around right now is IE.

I agree (see my SEVERAL posts in this thread)...M$ got big by telling everyone what they wanted to hear and showing them what they wanted to see (biggest PR dept & budget in history)..don't bash M$ for what they do do (doodoo get it ) well , don't bitch, learn from it and do better! The DOJ rulings will only help here..OpenSource needs to out MicroSoft MicroSoft...it's Embrace and Extend!

26 Feb 2001 20:57 iox237

WAR??? NO!
A WAR ??? WHY ?

I'm not a expert, but i understood that a main force of the open source model is standart/normalisation.
When you get it, you can start dreaming of extensive modular structures, and easy cooperative developpement.I'm pleased to use linux because of its wide variety of specific standart compliant applications. I won't regret the loss of (mozilla, navigator)some all in one mammouth. That kind of animal is not adapted to the dymamic of the Open source environnement. Maybe there is a war, but it's a netscape/microsoft merchantile private story. Nothing to deal with Open source. And don't be abused, many merchantile organisations "surf" on the Open source wave, keeping in mind a strong desire of hegemony. Open & hegemony, you believe this ? We shouldn't talk of war, if we do, we have to consider netscape as a monopol's pretender(we do war to win, otherwise we are psychopathic).

I'm gracefull to The open source community for that wonderfull OS they brought to life, opening a windows of absolute transparency on network and computing technics thus on technical macro-systems organisation(les macros-systèmes techniques.GRAS.Presses Universitairs de France). Linux gives the opportunity and facilities to watch and learn. This has no price, or a very expensive one if you follow an "academic" and discriminatory way.

Open source incarn (for me)a necessity of a democratic kmowledge exchange, keep it out of merchantile war, or you will kill it. This is a unique opportunity to merge a true meaning of democraty and progress. We all need it, don't waste it.

PS: I remember what symbol was netscape, as I remember its magnificent one's entry in nasdaq. gecko is not so bad ;-)
my english is far from perfect, don't feel lazy to correct me .

C'est parceque la propriété existe qu'il a des guerres des émeutes et des injustices. Saint Augustin(354-430 ap JC)
It's because of property than exists wars, riots, injustice. Saint Augustin (354-430 A.D)

28 Feb 2001 10:06 TylerEaves

Re: MS/IE vs. Apache/Linux/Netscape

> First off, Mozilla and every browser
> that's not Netscape or IE doesn't have a
> prayer in getting a market share larger
> than it does now. 98% of the population
> (probably more) has never heard of them.
> Thus it's a war between two powers. MS
> is playing this very smart- they have
> the $$ and programmers AND OS
> integration to make IE a better browser,
> and are doing so. The only way Netscape
> is going to turn this thing around is to
> reintegrate all the things people want
> to use (Java, javaScript, CSS, Flash,
> XML, etc.) the way IE does and stabilize
> it. The best way to do this is to go
> open source. Hopefully it would then
> continue to keep up with the newest web
> technologies. Then they neet to get AOL
> to use it and promote it as the browser
> to use (doesn't AOL still own netscape,
> anyway?).
>
> Another solution (albeit unrealistic)
> would be for everyone using iplanet and
> apache to return "This Page only works
> with Netscape Navigator. Download
> here." to anyone surfing their site with
> IE. That would spread netscape's user
> base real quick. :)

No, that would drive people away from their site.

26 May 2001 07:12 phactorials

Netscape or MS IE
The bottom line is that MS IE is more used than Netscape due to the fact that it eats much less RAM than Netscape. If I run another application with Netscape I'm always vulnerable to a crash on my SuSE. But Netscape is much more feature packed than MS IE and lots of todays http protocol standards are based on some innovations from Netscape. MS IE is just another browser with less features than Netscape. It's nothing new, and it never did set any type of new innovation or standard.

24 Jul 2001 12:20 schrodingerscat

Re: I used to be a Netscape Navigator fan... no anymore.

> As several people pointed out before,
> Netscape (or should I say AOL Time
> Warner) Navigator and all his Mozilla,
> etc, siblings are buggy, behind
> technology and cluttered.
>
> Please, kill Netscape once and for
> all. Then get IE ported to Linux :-))

As someone else pointed out somewhere, IE is really only fast because Windows loads most of its code into memory when it boots up. Were it ported to linux, I think it would be much slower and bigger than most people expect, because much of that bloat is hidden within the Windows OS. I'm much more in favor of an Open Source, (which a ported IE would _not_ be) modularized browser written primarily for Linux and *nix, and I'm willing to stick with browsers like Konqueror and Zen until they reach such point as to be equally functional to everybody's favorite M$ browser.

28 Jul 2003 10:11 redangel

My Suggestions on the Browser War
I agree with you that we are loosing the Browser War, and that
we must somehow find a way to take back the Browser War or
else the results are to be disastrous.

My concurrence even extends to some details of the strategy
you suggest. But there are some things you said which I must
beg to differ on.

You say that the way to do it is to get rid of all nifty
features, such as Flash, Java, Javascript, and Fonts. I must
say that I don't think this approach will work.

Getting rid of things that really *don't* cause compatibility
problems, such as Font tags, I don't think will help at all.
And as for getting rid of things like Flash will buy time,
that will *only* buy time. It won't solve the problem.

The problem with your idea of going back to a bare-bones
version of the Web is this: a strategy, in order to work,
has to enlist the co-operation of millions of Muggles who
don't care about the idealogy of what's behind the software
they use: and who won't know that they *need* to care
until it's way too late.

Sorry to tell you this, but the features that Flash and
the alike offer are things that they won't just give-up
for the higher cause, and if we just give those up without
working toward a *viable* and *suitable* alternative, we'll
just get left behind in the dirt.

Instead of seeing that the *whole* web be brought down to
bare-bones, it would be far better to see that the framework
of the browser *it's self* is *simple*, and that the *interface*
for writing *plug-ins* is simple too. By that I mean that if
a competent programmer wants to write plug-ins for this Open
Source Browser of the Future, he/she shouldn't have to spend
more than a few *hours* reading to learn how, and it would be
*best* if he/she can learn in *less* than an hour. (And it's
important to note that the reading-times mentioned do *not*
apply to speed-readers but to *regular* readers.) Also, that
browser shouldn't require any special SDK for developing
plug-ins unless that SDK is *easy* to both download *and*
install.

And one should outsource as much of the nifty-browser features
of HTML as possible. But I do *not* advocate getting *rid* of
such features *entirely*. First of all, you'd be throwing out
the good with the bad if you do that. But furthermore, you'd
never get a critical-mass of people to co-operate with a plan
that limits their web-experiences to that which can be coded
in bare-bones HTML. We won't win the Browser War that way.

But one thing I *do* agree with you 100% is that the W3C is
long overdue for replacement. They've dropped the ball,
undoubtedly. But here is how I think they've dropped it:

-> Their specifications are over-bloated. They go far beyond
what a weekend teenager would have time to read.

-> They failed to take a firm-stand when it came to setting
standards, and instead came out with wishy-washy (and
therefore even *more* bloated) standards.

Here's the components of how *I* think we need to go about
taking back the browser war.

1> A new Open Source browser. It can be either a Web browser, or
a broser for an alternative to the web. It should be on it's
own a bare-bones browser, but it should have an interface for
plug-ins. But a simple interface, that any *competent* programmer
can learn to use with *very little reading*.

2> Set up a new standards-body to de-throne the W3C. Make this
Standadrs Body a vigilant one.

3> Putting together a library that people can use to easily write
platform-independent plug-ins. Once again, it has to be easy
to learn how to use this library.

4> Work *really* *hard* on replacements for plug-ins who's
manufacturers have been *especially* un-cooperative with the
Linux community. For instance, Flash (unless my research is
terribly flawed) must go: because Macromedia has failed to
release authorning tools for the Linux platform. But I maintain
that though Flash *should* go, it *won't* go until we have a
viable *alternative* to flash.

28 Jul 2003 10:31 redangel

Re: Holy Hell
No way!

Konqueror it's self may be a good browser, but I'm not going to use it unless I can use it from within GNOME. I mean, don't get me wrong: I'm glad your experience with KDE was favorable. But every experience *I* have had with KDE has left me with a *nasty* taste in my mouth.

Now, I might try using Konqueror from within GNOME's ability to emulate KDE. If it works (and if I find Konqueror to be as nifty as you find it) then I'll continue using it.

But after my last few experiences with KDE, I don't like it one bit, and I won't use Konqueror if it means having to switch to KDE.

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