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.
I would love to be able to use Mozilla as my primary browser as many people on other platforms have been able to do. But unfortunatly Mac has not recieved the same kind of speed increases as had the rest of the "cross-platform" browser.
Granted, I love the Mozilla project, and in the year or so I have been following it I have seen great improvments. However, I made the silly mistake of trying Mozilla on Windows the other day. It was great! Unfortunatly, Mac is nowhere near that point. Why was it there was compleate outrage from the Mac comunity when public beta 1 was released? Because it takes a few seconds for anything to load. A new window. A prefernce pannel. I can't use it as my default browser untill I can have three to four windows open at a time without everything slowing to a crawl.
On the other hand, I am waiting with bated-breath for the cross-platform engine features of Mozilla. I would love to have programs work on the Mac at the same time as everything else.
Sorry for the rant. Just a few thoughts.