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.
#20 One day not far from now...
Monday July 31st, 2000 2:15 PM
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One day not far from now I know it I'll come up to mozillazine.org and I'll read "Mozilla 1.0 OUT!". I'll go to the talkback area and discover 357 messages. I'll forget about the talkback and start downloading mozilla to then come back and delight myself reading all the messages saying "great, moz. finally out!". And I'll remember all the people who mentioned moz was just a waste of time, that it wouldn't work, etc. But there would be more important things to do. On how many computers could I install it in the next few hours; "How far have you taken mozilla today?"
And then guess what people would start talking about mozilla and how well it works. Remember when linux started and many people didn't know exactly what is was but thought it was great? well that kind of feeling. They'll start giving away mozilla with your favourite newspaper, when you go to buy music records ...
And It'll work great, but wait the best has to come yet. After release 1.0 mozilla will just get better. All the effort that had to go into building a browser from scratch will now be able to go into making it incredibly-stable, adding new features, making in more support more standards and maybe even faster!
And mozilla, one of the most talked about products before coming a reality will begin to win the battle for real innovation (not copying other people's ideas and code)
And that day believe me is not that far from today
Can't get much more optimistic, can it? ;->