Suck Claims Mozilla Dead
Monday July 31st, 2000
Greg has gone about cataloging all of the extraneous features that are unnecessary to a modern day, competitive browser. Mail. News. XML. XSLT. MathML. In response to XUL, he writes, "Why? Who cares? The mere fact that it sounds sort of neat justifies its existence, and gives it priority over shipping something usable to the ninety percent of the population that has no use for the feature."
Why? Let's see. Could it be because at its heart is the ability to write the application to work on platforms other than just Windows? The ability to customize the application so that people like you can easily have "just a browser"? The ability to be prepared for the future by creating an application that's extensible and robust? The necessity of having a codebase that's easily ported onto emerging platforms? The ability to compete against a company who has turned their own browser product into a platform?
No, couldn't be any of those things. They're all just "cool shit", apparently. They're not important relative to having a browser that runs only on Windows that alienates 50% of the entire Netscape user-base because it doesn't have a Mail/News reader nor half the feature-set necessary to be a "just-a-browser" competitor.
Apparently cross-platform technologies such as XPCOM are a wasted effort; maybe coding the same browser independently for four or more platforms would be less of a waste of resources, Greg? Apparently cross-platform support isn't a sensible marketing strategy in today's monopoly-driven marketplace.
Greg indiscriminantly lumps third-party coders' work on such projects as XSLT, MathML and ColorSync [you must have delved into the archives to find ColorSync!] with the work of the main development effort, in an effort to prove his point that they're bogging down the process. Wrong. Those efforts are independent, and they'll only go into the first release if they're completed before the ship date. If you had been paying attention, Greg, you may have realized that.
The piece ends with a curious paragraph that begins, "Theater owes its advantageous position to picking its spots, exploiting its audience and making slow, purposeful strides, even if every step is second-guessed for its cost."
They don't call it Suck for nothing, I guess.
Maybe I should just give up on Mozilla. Maybe I should resign myself to a life of banality and security breaches using IE and Outlook the rest of my days.
I think I'll stick with it. I hold the Mozilla developers in higher esteem than I do any of their sniping critics.
UPDATE: There's a great comment in our forum from Alec Flett.
#16 They don't get it
Monday July 31st, 2000 1:58 PM
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These people who write these articles do not understand the implications of the Mozilla effort.
Sure, the main goal right now is to produce a browser suite, but there is so much more to this project.
Mozilla has the technology to spawn a whole new race of cross-platform, webified applications. Mozilla is one of the (if not the) first applications to TRULY use XML to its potential. The only really big thing missing is XSLT, but that is also coming.
I am developing the Jabber client for Mozilla, and have been, on and off, for the past few months. It has been a slow progression mostly because of bugs and instability, but now everything is to a point where I am making progress every day.
XUL is totally awesome. I think you are eventually going to see some blow-you-away skins for Mozilla apps. Now that the kinks are coming out, I have enjoyed working with it.
Mozilla is one of the most exciting and important technologies out there today. Someday all of us will realize it.