MozillaZine

Communicator For Slower Machines?

Thursday October 1st, 1998

George Giannukos writes in with a question that I had not considered, and something that may be possible with the new layout engine being developed. George writes, "I say if Netscape can't integrate the damn browser into the OS, then Netscape needs to give more CHOICE!

First off, I have a 100 MHz computer and Communicator4 and IE4 are slow. I would NEVER install IE on it. IE makes the whole computer slower, so what's the point if it opens 3 seconds faster if it slows the whole computer?

Anyhow, I would like to see Netscape release a browser for older computers. Do ya'll think this is a market that Netscape should consider?"


#1 Re: Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Ami Ganguli

Friday October 2nd, 1998 9:22 AM

Reply to this message

I'd ask myself why Mozilla is slow and fix it for everybody. You can't speed up the browser by removing features because it won't be useful to anybody. The only thing you can do is optimize the functionality you have. Once you've gone to the trouble, you might as well drop the bloated version altogether.

#2 Re:

by Jeremie <jer@jeremie.com>

Friday October 2nd, 1998 11:12 AM

Reply to this message

Since the source is available, there's nothing stopping anyone from taking on a project like this, and create/distribute a simplified/optimized browser for slower computers.

In fact, a great place to start would be with NGLayout, just build a bit more functional interface(bookmarks, etc) around it and you're most of the way there!

#3 Get a CheapCPU friendly OS

by Geoff Rivell <grivell@erols.com>

Friday October 2nd, 1998 6:17 PM

Reply to this message

I use Linux on a Pentium 120/72 megs ram, and it runs fairly nice. I usually have quite a few Netscape windows open (4 to 6). The only real problem is slow loading at first. I heard GTK version fixes this?

#4 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by anoop <anoop@muohio.edu>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 11:19 AM

Reply to this message

i run communicator on a 66mhz 486DX. Win95 ?? take a second guess. ;) Linux, baby. i haven't done any benchmarks or anything but it sure as hell comes up just as fast as on a 133mhz pentium. ok, i'm exaggerating a little bit but you get the point. try it out yourself. you're going to like what you'll see.

#5 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Tsarnon <psh1@cornell.edu>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 11:48 AM

Reply to this message

Have you taken a look at Opera? The idea behind it is to be very fast and very small.

<http://www.operasoftware.com/>

#6 Re:Communicator for Slower Machines

by anonymous coward <jenkins@yahoo.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 12:47 PM

Reply to this message

I really don't see much point in developing for slower machines. Frankly, I see it as a waist of time. Computers are so inexpensive now that most people who are going to spend any amount of time on a computer are going to be able to afford a relatively fast machine. To move a long happily on a fast machine can be done for under $800. My suggestion is that people stop complaining about slow machines and upgrade or buy a new box.

For the people who argue that linux is more efficient I think that goes without saying. But, what I would suggest is that if a person using windows 95 on a slow box *and* is complaing will not have the desire or aptitude to change to linux.

Just my two cents..

later,

#7 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Joshua Go <joshuago@NOSPAM.usa.net>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 1:32 PM

Reply to this message

I can't really say if there's a market for it, but there's definitely one in my house. We've got quite a few slower computers that I really wish could be put to use as web browsing stations and for other Internet stuff. Communicator runs tolerably but an increase in speed would really help boost the frequency of my use of it (which is already pretty often).

Actually, the main thing I'm looking for when I get the latest Mozilla binaries is not new features (though those are nice too), but increased speed. On Slashdot.org there were entire threads dedicated to complaining about Mozilla's speed, if I recall correctly.

I haven't had a chance to try out the Gtk+ version... even though I'm a Gtk+ fanatic.

Josh

#8 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Guillermo S. Romero <gsromero@euitt.upm.es>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 5:04 PM

Reply to this message

It is not a waste of time!

Old computers still work, why buy new ones? That is real waste. Not everybody has money to get new hardware.

I think software is better each time... no, the real thing is that hardware is better, so coders can code worse. I am an idealistic.

Mozilla should be fast by optimizations and by user configuration. The best think I like of my current browser is that I can surf with thing like images or Java disabled. I want info, not eye candy.

Software improvements seems to be a lost cause. Sigh.

GSR

#9 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Guillermo S. Romero <gsromero@euitt.upm.es>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 5:04 PM

Reply to this message

It is not a waste of time!

Old computers still work, why buy new ones? That is real waste. Not everybody has money to get new hardware.

I think software is better each time... no, the real thing is that hardware is better, so coders can code worse. I am an idealistic.

Mozilla should be fast by optimizations and by user configuration. The best think I like of my current browser is that I can surf with thing like images or Java disabled. I want info, not eye candy.

Software improvements seems to be a lost cause. Sigh.

GSR

#10 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by George Giannukos <beg1@netscape.net>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 5:42 PM

Reply to this message

Ya, opera is an option..

but i want to see Netscape make their own version.

I am gotten tired of Netscape complaining that Microsoft is using anti-competitive practices. Ya, we all know Microsoft is dirty, but why don't you take a look at your stock? Or look at your browser share? If the stock performs bad, then good programers will go some whare else because stock options are better....

Netscape needs to grow up and make GREAT products that have NO weakness!!

I think if Netscape made a browser for old comp., they could brag that they want to give users more choice. I also think Netscape should talk about how you can't uninstall IE, once you install it on your computer!! I can't believe Microsoft did this. Microsoft programers must have been high or somtin when they programed IE.

that's my 2 cents, plus opera costs money, so...

#11 Navigator?

by KRAZilEK <iwade@mpx.com.au>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 5:44 PM

Reply to this message

just Navigator (w/o mail and stuff) seems to much quicker to load.. as for speed while browsing, i think i need more ram, when i push back it loads from disk cache.. yuk..

#12 Re: Communicator For Slower Machines?

by arielb <haviv@erols.com>

Saturday October 3rd, 1998 6:38 PM

Reply to this message

waste of time? only $800 to upgrade? you don't know just how hard it is to move all your files and deal with MS' installation problems just to get a free browser. Netscape 4 works on Win 3.1 so where's the project to port Mozilla to it? I should add that there are projects to port to DOS as well as performance projects and I assume Baby Mozilla projects. Check my website Mozilla's Dominion for more info <http://www.trailerpark.com/phase1/arielb/netscape/>

#13 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Bradley Robinson <brobinson@mail.gcnet.net>

Sunday October 4th, 1998 3:33 PM

Reply to this message

If it could be optimized to run on slow machines and still contain all the features, do you have any idea how fast it would be on a new faster machine? Speed improvements are never a waste of time.

#14 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Mikael Claesson <miclaes@robot.se>

Monday October 5th, 1998 7:57 AM

Reply to this message

Navigator isn't just slow on fast computers with lotsa memory. It's slow on ALL computers. On my 300Mhz with 64MB it still sucks speedwise. I have to agree with Guillermo and Bradley. Code optimization is never a waste of time for big projects like this, with lots of users. It's a time gain.

#15 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by Richard Lloyd <rkl@connect.org.uk>

Friday October 9th, 1998 2:20 PM

Reply to this message

I suggested this idea on a newsgroup ages ago:

Distribute each component of Mozilla/Netscape as a set of shared libraries, each set of which has a function that returns 0 for not available or 1 for available. Also ship a set of stub shared libraries (with 0 being returned for each set to indicate that feature isn't available).

When installing, the installer should ask, do you want: 1. Minimal Netscape/Mozilla 2. "Everything" Netscape/Mozilla 3. Customised set of features Netscape/Mozilla.

The installer copies the stubs for the disabled features and the full shared libraries for the enabled features.

Just think - you could even download the libraries yourself and upgrade parts of your browser (or just download to enable a feature without having to re-install).

Brilliant and also fantastic for older machines - they get a minimal browser and those of us with better machines can have more features (or not, if we're Scrooge with the RAM/disk !).

Unfortunately, no-one agreed with me at the time...

#16 Re:Communicator For Slower Machines?

by george <beg1@netscape.net>

Friday October 9th, 1998 7:00 PM

Reply to this message

Ya, i would like to see all the applications split up into different applications. Not having to DL composer and AOLIM could cut-off like 4 megs...