MozillaZine

Netscape 6 PR3 Available

Tuesday October 3rd, 2000

Netscape has made PR3 available from their website. PR3 is currently only available in the English version, according to the options given on the site.


#94 Re: Re: Of course, but....

by FrodoB

Sunday October 8th, 2000 6:43 PM

You are replying to this message

>Since you've been nice enough to respond without screaming obscenities or "get off this board, you Micro$oft shill", I'll reply to your message.

We're nothing if we don't maintain civility. I find that people who resort to such things are generally unable to conduct decent conversations (beyond their initial offensiveness). And my original message came off a bit harsher than my intentions (posting after midnight is generally not recommended).

>First: do the developers really know how slow it is on low memory machines? How many of them have a 32 MB machine sitting on their desk? My guess is not many. And when I've seen other people mention this, the responses are usually "buy more memory" or "it's not THAT slow."

I'm not really sure. I think I remember some @netscape.com employee who tested it regularly on a 32 MB machine.... In any case, absolute numbers of RAM usage as reported by Windows 2000 on a machine with a quarter GB of RAM generally give a decent idea of how well it'd run on a slower machine. That it doesn't seem slower on the devel machines doesn't necessarily mean they don't know that it *is* slow on lower memory configurations.

>Second: it seems like a lot of the memory problems result from front end design. Yes, mozilla can render its own UI, which makes it very easy to port from platform to platform. It also makes it a pig. This seems like a fundamental design flaw. When this gets mentioned, the developers say "screw off - that's the way we're doing it, and if we didn't do it this way it'd be a Windows-only browser." As a result, you've got a mediocre browser on many platforms, rather than a great one on one platform. And, IMHO, mac/linux/solaris/irix/etc open source developers would be more willing to dump effort into coding a platform-native front end for a great windows browser that had been designed, in advance, with a clean split between front & back ends, such that it was relatively straightforward to drop a new platform specific front end on. Yes, I know, there hasn't been many mac developers on the project up to now, and there's no guarantee a different design would have changed things.

This is something I contend is simply not the case. Sure, it's great to say that people out of general benevolence would hop on the bandwagon to help out Mozilla. But practically, if it was developed with native front ends (and thus became a great browser for Windows-only), I suspect that the codebase would not be even close to cross-platform. (Heck, there were lots of problems early on with Win32 favoritisms in the code when they *were* trying to support three platforms. Imagine if they only had to support one!) Beyond that, Mozilla wouldn't be given the time of day. There's absolutely no one in the world who needs another good browser for only Windows; IE already provides that. Ditto on the MacOS. But a good browser that will run anywhere is something that can be useful to a large number of people.

>Here's what I know - if this was a closed source product, and customers bought it and said "gee, it's incredibly slow on my machine, which is only a year old, so can't be that out of date" the developers would try to respond. Not say "well, if you're not going to submit any patches, piss off." Or even better, "well, if you're not going to redesign our code, piss off." I don't think open sourcing mozilla makes it OK for these sorts of end-user complaints to be ignored. Feel free to disagree.

That's not what I meant, and if I came off that way, I apologize. I didn't say that comments such as yours should be ignored; I simply said that they might not be helping at this point, because it's been said by hundreds of people. Something of a broken record effect. I'd rather hear one comment about Mozilla 1000 times than lose even one useful comment due to someone feeling put off by elitist OSS bigots. :)