Full Article Attached Reports of Mozilla's Failure Have Been Greatly Exaggerated or Why Mozilla Will Change the Web... Again

Friday January 28th, 2000

Reader James Russell has written an article (with added updates) on why Mozilla is going to weather the blistering press attacks it has suffered recently. Viva Mozilla!

#1 cool articule!

by doron

Saturday January 29th, 2000 2:44 PM

very interesting, but one small question - how do they calcualte the % of market a browser has?

I always find conflicting data on that.

#2 Re: cool articule!

by WillyWonka

Saturday January 29th, 2000 4:03 PM

All servers keep logs of the ip's and browser which requested data. All you have to do is take the log file and tally the information.

The reason this information is conflicting is some servers attract more ie users than netscape users.

#3 Re: cool articule!

by gerbilpower

Saturday January 29th, 2000 4:05 PM

They simply just tally up the statistics from major sites and make an estimate based on that. However results change depending on what site statistics are used, so they get somewhat conflicting nubmers all the time but they tend to lean in the same direction. Obviously sites that might have a platform/browser bias should be excluded.


#4 Hotmail access via Mozilla?

by jelwell

Saturday January 29th, 2000 4:39 PM

"* Mozilla's integrated e-mail client allows users to check Web-based IMAP e-mail clients (such as Yahoo mail, Netscape's Webmail, and Microsoft's Hotmail)"

Mozilla doesn't yet support SSL, and I'm fairly certain that Hotmail requires SSL to login.

I don't think Hotmail is IMAP compliant... If it is, or even if it isn't - can someone tell me how to set up Mozilla to read hotmail e-mail?

This sounds like it should really be a *future* expected feature. But I imagine Hotmail will change it's download procedure often - just so anything that isn't Outlook will not be able to reliably download Hotmail email. Joseph Elwell.

#20 Re: Hotmail access via Mozilla?

by FattMattP

Monday January 31st, 2000 8:33 AM

<sarcasm>Are you sure that Hotmail requires SSL? Surely Hotmail isn't *that* secure.</sarcasm>

#33 I can't believe you! :-)

by Ilgaz

Friday February 4th, 2000 8:58 AM

So now you are waiting a opensource thing to support SSL... Nice... Just nice... Apply for a job on Ms, they will sure give you..

#5 Stupid journalists, esp ZDNet ones

by jasonic

Saturday January 29th, 2000 10:48 PM

They're really stupid. Just because IE is in 5.0 and NS is 4.5, so they declared IE 5 to be ahead, when in fact, any non-Windows user basically rely on NS 4.x.

Mozilla will make IE look like a toy, and I can't wait till it releases the final version. Even though I'm a senior in high school, I virtually download every milestone to test out new features, and verify compatability, speed, and stability. I can't help in the code-base (since I don't know much about programming), but marketing is also really important, since a product's success depends equally on quality and marketing.

With support built-in for Windows, Mac, Unix, BeOS, OpenVMS, OS/2, to name the major ones, there's nothing really to beat it.

And for Communicator 5, the most important thing is just to build up ego by controlling the majority of the userbase rather than to make money, since non-free browsers nowadays are basically dead. (I seriously wouldn't pay for Opera, which is not really THAT much more lightweight than NS/IE, and it's so lightweight that it lacks some critical features, at least to me)

With Linux, Mozilla, BeOS, iMac, Crusoe, and Java, it's time to break away from the Wintel duopoly!!

#7 Opera deserves to die...

by Kovu

Saturday January 29th, 2000 11:17 PM

Anyone who thinks they can charge $30 for a non-standards compliant browser should go bankrupt. Sorry, stupid.Kovu

#8 Re: Opera deserves to die...

by Tanyel

Sunday January 30th, 2000 6:12 AM

Opera has some features I found very enjoyable. Of course I would not pay $30 for them. Still, if it was free then I would use it often.

#6 Hotmail does support SSL and IMAP at this time n/t

by Kovu

Saturday January 29th, 2000 10:52 PM


#9 POP and IMAP

by Tanyel

Sunday January 30th, 2000 7:09 AM

I did not think any of the HTML-based e-mail services worked with POP or IMAP e-mail clients. Do they? What are the addresses of the pop and smtp servers?

#12 Re: POP and IMAP

by jilles

Sunday January 30th, 2000 2:13 PM

Yahoo has pop & smtp. I use it frequently. & I'm not sure about hotmail but I think you can access it from MS outlook which means it uses some sort of protocol to do that.

#10 Will the optional components be removable?

by jasinner

Sunday January 30th, 2000 1:15 PM

Will the optional components such as RealPlayer G2, AOL's Instant Messenger, Netscape Radio, and Winamp be removable from Mozilla? I don't just mean the shortcuts to them, I mean completely get rid of them.

#11 Re: Will the optional components be removable?

by gerbilpower

Sunday January 30th, 2000 1:26 PM

Well we have to wait and see what WILL be included in the Netscape-branded release.

I just hope that what they add will be mininal, to make it a more appealing download.


#15 Re: Will the optional components be removable?

by asa

Monday January 31st, 2000 7:03 AM

None of these will be included in Mozilla. They will (mozt likely) be included in the Netscape Branded Version (Communicator 5.0) but being that none of them are open source, none of them will be part of Mozilla.

Now, as far as "will they be optional in Netscape's Communicator?" I'm guessing that there will be at least a couple of packages available but I really don't know. You can always grab one of the non-Netscape distributions of Mozilla :-) I suspect that there will be several options there. You can also grab the source and build Mozilla yourself.

-Asa (posted with mozilla)

#23 Mozilla's useless to me w/o 128-bit encryption

by Kovu

Monday January 31st, 2000 9:45 AM

I'm sure eventually they'll have a 128-bit Mozilla, but until those patents go out I'll have to use Navigator. I think Mozilla will always be the free beta version of the new Navigator, in perpetuum, if you know what I mean. Gee, I wonder how 6.0 is doing, let's d/l the latest milestone and find out... I'd rather use Navigator anyway, because I like Navigator's style ;)

#31 Re: Mozilla's useless to me w/o 128-bit encryption

by asa

Monday January 31st, 2000 3:15 PM

I understand the encryption thing but I hope you're wrong on the forever sticking with Navigator and here's why. There are (hopefully) going to be non-Netscape _commercial_ browsers based on Mozilla that will also include encryption and other important features/plugins (and 'style'). Mozilla will not only be a Netscape ongoing beta (as you suggested) but an AsaZilla (for example) ongoing beta and a KovuZilla ongoing beta and whatever other commercial or non-commercial distributions come into being. It is my belief (and hope) that there will be several viable commercial mozilla products. I suspect that some of these will be less 'AOL' than Netscape's (shopping buttons, etc.) but still feature and option rich. If Netscape Communicator turns out to be the only commercial distribution of Mozilla then I'll be sympathetic to your position, using Communicator and peeking in on mozilla every once and a while.

Just some thoughts, Asa (posted with mozilla, not really planning on his own distro)

#32 Pluggable Encryption?

by damian

Monday January 31st, 2000 4:36 PM

Didn't I read somewhere that the non-proprietarey framework for netscapes encryption was being incorporated into Mozilla?? My understanding was that you would be able to add the encryption of your choice as a sort of plugin, whether it be netscape's, someone else's closed source encryption, or something open source. Is this true?

#26 Re: Will the optional components be removable?

by Tanyel

Monday January 31st, 2000 11:40 AM

I thought Netscape Radio was just a Webpage.

#29 It is--it just requires the RealPlayer plug-in n/t

by Kovu

Monday January 31st, 2000 1:59 PM


#13 3-5 Meg?

by jbuzbee

Sunday January 30th, 2000 9:02 PM

I'm a bit confused about the author's comment that Mozzila will check in at around 3 Meg under Linux. What does it take to get it down that slim? My experience with the latest version (alpha) is that it grows to nearly 30 Meg after an half hour of browsing.

I'd like to use mozilla on a project for my company, but unless I can cut the size down a lot, it's not feasable.

#14 Memory or space?

by FrodoB

Sunday January 30th, 2000 10:46 PM

Do you refer to RAM consumption or space used?

The article was referring to 3 megs in a compressed fashion suitable for distribution.

#18 System RAM usage

by jbuzbee

Monday January 31st, 2000 8:10 AM

Yeah, I should have been more specific. RAM usage is what I am really interested in, not distribution size.

Does anyone have a good idea of what Mozilla will require RAM wise? Will it be feasable to run Mozilla in a 16 Meg system?

#19 Mozilla in 16 megs? Well... maybe

by leafdigital

Monday January 31st, 2000 8:29 AM

I just tried (in NT, not Linux, sorry) to start up Mozilla and view one web page; this should give approximate memory consumption assuming that all memory leaks are eventually fixed.

It uses about 13 MB of memory. What this means (from my experience with other software) is that it will work on 16 MB but it may be rather slow, depending on how much of that memory is actively in use. Probably performance will be acceptable, but it won't be fast.

This 13 MB footprint is slightly smaller than my Netscape 4.7 currently has allocated (~15 MB), so you should be able to expect roughly equivalent performance from the size perspective, although bear in mind that Mozilla doesn't yet include plug-ins, Java etc.

Actually, referring to performance, I was interested to see the quote in the article about Gecko "blowing away" IE in terms of speed. I've never noticed any speed gain from using Mozilla over IE - if anything, Mozilla seems slightly slower. Not that it's particularly a problem, they're both quite quick, but, easy on the hype, I say...


#21 Ooops, correct test

by leafdigital

Monday January 31st, 2000 8:34 AM

Sorry, I just did the test properly and Netscape 4.7, immediately after loading and viewing one web page, takes approximately 10 MB, so it's slightly smaller than Mozilla. But the point still remains; the difference isn't that significant and I think Mozilla will run (slowly but just-about-usably) on 16 MB machines.

(Incidentally, now that I've clicked on four links, Netscape has grown to 16 MB and that can't ALL be memory cache, that's set to 1 MB... It may have loaded Java or something.)


#24 The reference was to the rendering engine

by Kovu

Monday January 31st, 2000 10:05 AM

I believe the Gecko rendering engine is known for its speed, and tested against IE4 (the release at the time) I think it is indeed faster. Correct me if I'm wrong.

#27 Re: The reference was to the rendering engine

by Tanyel

Monday January 31st, 2000 11:47 AM

Is it being compared to Internet Explorer's "rendering engine" or is it being compared to the whole Web browser?

#28 to the rendering engine

by Kovu

Monday January 31st, 2000 1:58 PM

The rendering engine is just a component of the whole browser. Just that part that renders the pages.

#30 Re: Mozilla in 16 megs? Well... maybe

by asa

Monday January 31st, 2000 2:45 PM

Some of my thoughts:

Your performance numbers are pretty close to what I've seen on my machines. I run mozilla on three machines, a P100 with 16MB RAM, a P90 with 32MB RAM and a PII350 with 64MB RAM. On the machine with 16MB RAM things are pretty slow but it runs. On the machine with 32MB RAM it runs (UI and page rendering) at an acceptable level (scrolling in trees is the last performance hurdle for my 32MB RAM machine and they've made progress recently in this area). On my PII350 with 64MB RAM mozilla is really nice. The UI is responsive and page layout/rendering is very quick.

About Gecko vs. IE, that's a little bit tricky because few people are comparing apples to apples on this one. Gecko, mozilla's _rendering engine_ is quite fast. On a page layout comparison between just the layout engines of mozilla and ie it's probably safe to say that gecko is really competitive. When you talk about the entire application (on slow machines), mozilla has a ways to go. Gecko renders more than just the content in mozilla, it renders the UI as well. Optimizations have and continue to improve this relationship between content and UI resource allocation. I think Gecko proves itself to be quite a powerful engine when you consider that it renders both content and chrome.

-Asa (posted with mozilla)

#16 Re: 3-5 Meg?

by asa

Monday January 31st, 2000 7:12 AM

I think you're confusing disk space and RAM. Mozilla on win32 is currently in the 5 to 6 MB of disk space range. This is the size of the compressed binary available at This can already be trimmed down by a MB or two if you remove all of the test executables included in the \bin directory (the reason that the installer.exe version is smaller even with the extra install software). RAM usage is not Mozilla's strong point right now but there are many people working very hard (including external to Netscape developers and quality assurance testers) to get the RAM footprint under conroll. Hope this clears it up some.


(posted with mozilla)

#17 Great Article

by zontar

Monday January 31st, 2000 7:28 AM

I've posted links to it in a couple of webdev forums that I frequent. :)

#22 Great Article Mate!

by Hendy99

Monday January 31st, 2000 8:51 AM

ah I just fed it to a couple of IE fanatics (firends of mine ;), they're thinking twice now!

(Posted with MozClassic as Mozilla is playing up on my system, formatting on Saturday so it works ;)

#25 Many tanks :) Now spread it like plague! n/t

by Kovu

Monday January 31st, 2000 10:08 AM