Interesting Articles

Saturday January 27th, 2001

Asa Dotzler writes in with pointers to a couple of interesting articles at and He says the Scott Andrews article is definitely worth reading and if you're looking for something of a lower 'slashdot-esque' quality then check out the rant at freshmeat.

#1 Wow, great article!

by Kovu

Saturday January 27th, 2001 11:00 PM

That first article is fantastic. It misses the boat in one major respect though:

When he says the following:

"- Your client remains happy, because he/she is not forced to use a particular browser brand. Stick with IE? No problem. Used to Netscape? Just upgrade to version 6. Subversive? Try Mozilla."

He neglects to mention other browsers based on Mozilla. For instance, Neoplanet is supposed to release Mozilla-based browsers in a couple months.

The rant was okay, and yes Mozilla is pretty slow, but what he's not taking into account is that all new hardware is pretty much capable of running Mozilla quickly. I ran it on a P3 850 mhz and N6 leaped up as fast as IE. In a couple/few years, by the time Mozilla is really clean, the majority of hardware will be capable of running Mozilla fast with no problem. I think he's just neglecting to take this into account: Mozilla is really a product for the near future (post-2001) and I think that's when it will really start to become ubiquitous.

And then there's always AOL and their deal for IE that IIRC ends this month. If AOL switches to Netscape soon, IE's monopoly status is over.

#2 Why are people so cruel?

by splodge

Sunday January 28th, 2001 4:58 AM

I've been using Mozilla for the last year now, initially as only a curiousity, but increasingly as my main browser. When I upgraded to Windows ME (from Win98) in October, I did not even bother installing Netscape ... I have used Mozilla solely as my internet browser. I have only lost all my email once (and that was kind of my fault). A few regressions have been bad, but other than that, this product surpassed IE and NS 4 a long time ago. Why are there still people out there that seem determined to spread negative vibes about this exciting open source experiment. Don't they have better things to do with their time?

Its like people want us to fail. The article about disabling java, javascript and flash was just astounding: This isn't 1995.

Did the Mozilla people do something to upset the rest of the 'community'? For that is the only reason that I can see as to why fools keep trotting out the same old furphies.

I had a point to writing this post, but it got lost somewhere.

#3 Re: Why are people so cruel?

by skeeterow

Sunday January 28th, 2001 7:01 AM

I believe this has something to do with the people who write pages. NS 4 because of it's quirky support for CSS forced a lot of double writing or restricted the level of CSS one could use. Then comes Mozilla and brings out a browser that not only surpases IE in CSS support but has the nerve to not support the work arounds that were used to have crossbrowser support. Thus people who try to write cross browser pages had to clean up their script and comply to W3C standards. This I think is why we hear so much bad mouthing about Mozilla. It is a browser that one can't feed garbage to it. One has to right correct script. I've been using Mozilla since about the M 4-5, back in the days of no mail unless you edited the profile.js yourself. Since about M 13-14 it has become my daily browser, mail and newsgroup program. Why do people bad mouth it, well it does what the others don't it sets standards.

#4 *sigh* Can someone with better Human Relation..

by Byter

Sunday January 28th, 2001 5:11 PM

skills try to calm down "galaxy", or is he basically a lost cause?

(See the comments at the end of the Freshmeat discussion if you don't understand the context that this is being asked in).

#5 Re: *sigh* Can someone with better Human Relation.

by gerbilpower

Sunday January 28th, 2001 5:20 PM

::rolls his eyes:: Borderline troll, if not a complete troll, so it's a lost cause.

Alex <:3)~~

#7 Re: Re: *sigh* Can someone with better Human Relat

by mielke

Monday January 29th, 2001 10:09 AM

One should take galaxy positive: people with a lack of education (search for galaxy in the thread and count the f-words are not able to file a unknown bug against mozilla. I was not so convinced in the unconfirmed bug state, but now I know what it is for.

#10 Re: *sigh* Can someone with better Human Relation.

by fab

Monday January 29th, 2001 12:28 PM

I've had to deal with Ali (aka "galaxy") a few times. He is one of those kiddies (mentally, that is), that cannot understand how we can invalidate/duplicate his dear and long-thought bug reports. 99% of the people understand that a QA job is a hard one and we are not always in the mood to write 50 lines to explain why it is a duplicate or invalid, but Ali is part of those 1% that thinks it is virtually impossible that he made a mistake. He is frustrated and now he fights Mozilla because we proved him wrong, and he knows it, and it makes him mad. Those trolls have to be ignored since we cannot in any way keep them from expressing themselves.

I say, let's answer the constructive comments (and ignore the flamebaits), even if they are against Mozilla, explaining why they are wrong (or will be wrong soon enough). If you run out of arguments e-mail me, I'll always find some for you. ;-)


#6 One part of this I don\'t get

by vondo

Monday January 29th, 2001 8:40 AM

This quote from the first article struck me as really off-the-wall:

\\\\\\\"They really missed the boat. These browsers are not meant for viewing pages. That\\\\\\\'s oldthink.

\\\\\\\"Netscape 6, Mozilla, Opera -- any browser that supports DOM/CSS -- should be regarded as application browsers. This is different than a web browser. A web browser is designed to view pages on the Web. An application browser is specialized. It\\\\\\\'s made for working with web applications.

\\\\\\\"Just as you wouldn\\\\\\\'t use the Hubble telescope to look for a dropped contact lens, you wouldn\\\\\\\'t use an application browser to surf the web. It\\\\\\\'s too sophisticated.\\\\\\\"

Granted, mozilla and derivatives are *more* than just web browsers, but to suggest that someone should switch back and forth depending on if you wanted and application browser or a web browser is ludicrous. Especially when the lines are blurry between what is \\\\\\\"application\\\\\\\" and what is just \\\\\\\"browsing\\\\\\\"

This is similar to why I use mozilla as my news/mail reader. I don\\\\\\\'t use it because its the best tool for those jobs but because its coupled. I.e., I can save newsgroup messages in mail folders, I can click on a URL and have the browser load it, I can send myself HTML through e-mail, the list goes on.

#8 What is the deal with the backslashes?

by broken

Monday January 29th, 2001 10:34 AM

I've seen this problem happen every once in a while. Is it a Mozilla bug or a Mozillazine problem?

#9 Re: What is the deal with the backslashes?

by gerbilpower

Monday January 29th, 2001 11:55 AM

It's a MozillaZine problem, I think it might be a problem with magicquotes since the server must be able to store and interpret strings with single and double quotes in them, which it also uses to encapsulate the strings. So to prevent confusion the scripts "escape" the quotes with slashes so it could tell the difference between the the quote in the strong and the string used to start and end the quote.

But as I said, it's a server problem 8P

Alex <:3)~~

#11 Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very long)

by zak

Monday January 29th, 2001 8:33 PM

This is really a reply to Splodge, but I didn't want it buried on a secondary level. Sue me.

Flash, Java and javaScript are not really appropriate technologies to use outside of the realm of a private site or intranet, where you have a controlled and quantifiable user base.

Firstly Flash - this is proprietary technology, no openness about it at all. Secondly, forces one to be running a graphics-capable browser. Many people run text-based browsers such as Lynx or Emacs-W3. Another bunch of people may have visual impairments and are browsing by way of text-to-speech tech. The resulting output is also non-scriptable - the creator is assuming immediate and absolute human consumption without catering for the possiblity of machine-driven scripts getting it first. On a slightly more fundamental note, Flash can really kill some older hardware.

Javascript has too many differing implementations and also allows remote sites too much access to my information, for example anyone with 2 brain cells and Cut and Paste javascript code can rip emial addresses from your browser via javascript code. Several js-related security issues have been discovered, go and look at the Bugtraq archives if you don't believe me. I am pretty security conscious, which is my prime reason for disabling javascript. I applaud the fact that the latest Mozilla milestones all seem to have had js disabled by default.

Java is fairly OK compared to the two afore-mentioned horrors, but in my experiance badly-writen java app(lets)s have tended to kill my browser and/or machine, or not behaved well (ie not dying when I kill them etc). For my own sanity java is disabled in my browser too.

Now, the article itself: Scott Andrews is right with a number of points, notably that IE hasn't won yet and that we mustn't throw in the towel. However, he is dead wrong about jumping forward to the post-4.x browsers only. That is exactly not what is required. It is precisely that sort of thinking that has (helped) lead us to where we are now: struggling to win back browser share from a company who until a few years ago didn't even know there *was* an internet, and didn't care anyway.

Sheesh - enough of a rant - it's 5:35 am and I need to try and get some sleep ;-)

#12 Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very lon

by benb

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 4:41 AM

Generally, I agree.

> for example anyone with 2 brain cells and Cut and Paste javascript > code can rip emial addresses from your browser via javascript code.

If that's really true for Mozilla, file a bug, component Security, severity major, and cc me (ben.bucksch at

> the latest Mozilla milestones all seem to have had js disabled by default.

They have JS in Mailnews disabled by default, but enabled for Nav (I think).

> Java is fairly OK compared to the two afore-mentioned horrors

Actually, there have been quite a lot of bugs in the Java implementation or its hookup in the browser.

#14 Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very lon

by mattdm

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 11:01 AM

Flash isn't completely proprietary. See <>.

#15 Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very lon

by mattdm

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 11:03 AM

Flash isn't completely proprietary. See <>.

#16 Re: Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very

by mattdm

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 11:03 AM


#20 Re: Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very

by tny

Wednesday January 31st, 2001 11:25 AM

Just because someone GPLed a Flash PLAYER doesn't mean that Flash is not proprietary. Try writing a GPLed version of Flash itself and see how quickly Macromedia reacts.

#18 Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very long)

by rgelb

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 5:53 PM

Flash is great. It delivers content in a really nice way. So what that it can't be seen by people with visual impairments. It wasn't designed for that type of audience. You could say the same thing about automobiles - blind people will have a hard time driving one. Secondly, the fact that it is proprietary - again, so what? Macromedia is not shoving it down your throat, nor are they making you pay for it. Being proprietary does not disqualify a product. Some of the greatest software products are proprietary. Use it if you want to, dump it if you don't.

As far as javascript stealing your email addresses, please post the code or stop making baseless accusations.

#26 Re: Re: Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very

by zak

Tuesday February 6th, 2001 9:53 AM

OK, so I may have been mistaken about .js being able to steal your email address. Certain versions of Netscape allowed the browser to send an email to an address with an onLoad directive, but apparently that has been tightened up for some time. Fact is though, that javascript is the basis for many browser-based exploits. Follow Bugtraq at and read the posts by George Guninski, amongst others. I *choose* not to allow arbitrary unknown code to execute on my machine. Deal with it, and provide alternatives for those without Flash, Java, and Javascript or design for closed-medium applications, ie NOT THE WEB. The web is what it is today because it was platform/client independent. How are any arguments posted here about why Flash doesn't suck etc in any way different to arguments by Winblows developers who force you to use IE to view their crappy sites?

Point is, by blindly utilising the latest fad flashy "multi-spit-media" gunk and expecting that all and sundry must just install the plugin just to view your content is blatantly arrogant and ultimately contra the continued development and usefulness of the web.


#13 Window of opportunity

by macinta

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 9:36 AM

Hey guys/gals check this CNet article out:

The rumor is that IE 6 will only be available as part of the next version of Windows. This could present an excellent window of opportunity for Mozilla acceptance. When users are forced with the choice of either shelling out $100 to upgrade their OS to get the latest (IE) browser or downloading for free a browser (Mozilla or Netscape) that is better in a lot of respects, a lot of people are going to choose the second option. People are very slow to upgrade their OS (at least according to my web server's log) and Mozilla could be a great reason for them to stick with what they have.

Hopefully this is not just a rumor, but Microsoft's actual plan.

#17 Two opposing views, both full of it.

by jelwell

Tuesday January 30th, 2001 3:36 PM

The Freshmeat link is dead, I assume it's supposed to be

It's interesting to see two completely opposing views on this subject. The first is a rally for web developers to stop developing low tech, backwards compatible pages so that people will be forced to upgrade to Netscape 6/Mozilla. The second article is a plea to the same Web developers to throw out the high tech fluff (flash, javascript, etc) from their web pages, and return to a simpler, easier web.

Do either of these solutions encourage the growth of Mozilla? Why bother with Mozilla if web developers code for 3.x browsers? The old browsers are already fast and efficient. Does forcing web developers to build complicated UI's and "web applications" help Mozilla? Mozilla's marketshare is so small right now that if web developers decided to start building their complicated UI's they'd build them in IE.

How do web developers really help Mozilla? Is it by making HTML 3.x only websites? Is it by making extravagant web UI's that only work in Mozilla? Is there a simple answer for Web Developers? Yes: KISS, keep it simple stupid.

Web developers shouldn't be put in a position to decide between browsers whether that's old or new, IE or Netscape. Do we want to see the rise of "This Page best viewed in XXX"?

Joseph Elwell.

#19 Scott Andrews and Internet 2

by btbernie01

Wednesday January 31st, 2001 3:02 AM

I share some of Scott's views. I think the transition from wholsale page updates to more dynamic component-based web applications is overdue. The good news is that one can have all this even with browser version 4 downwards compatibility:

Dynamically updated HTML frames and client-side scrips.

During the evolution of technology e.g. frames -> layers -> DOM, a properly designed application can evolve with the technology. As a developer, just replace content and integrate as it suits your skills and time.

The "frames" framework must however be invisible so that the user does not notice it too much.

And this is where the problem is which has been neglected so badly.

Today, all browsers are not yet suitable as application platform for a very simple reason:


Applications in browsers look ridiculous. All other application platforms, although mostly client based and therefore in a much better position (they don't have to deal with variable bandwith issues), have some means of creating a smooth transition.

Web based applications however, will always lag behind and suffer if this problem is not solved.

I just cannot understand that so much excellent engineering talent is wasted on this awsome, great phantastic Mozilla project where a major portion of the effort went into making it an application platform.

In the end, the Mozilla result looks ugly with frames and companies like Macromedia will capture the market with proprietory technology. I have recently used a CD-ROM catalog that was based on Macromedia technology.

Why can this happen? Partly because they understand these simple issues while the basic building blocks of a far superior plaform (standards based web browser) are still broken.

The solution appears very simple to me and has already been described in:

The attachment dated 12/05/00 21:39 is probably the most relevant item.

By the way, do you think it would have been a technological challenge to eliminate that ugly grey backround before applets were loaded?

#21 Re: Scott Andrews and Internet 2

by strauss

Thursday February 1st, 2001 9:43 AM

I wonder why you selected the lack of a transitional color while loading as the main reason the web is not suitable for complex apps. There are dozens of usability problems much greater.

One of the most important is that data loss is not guarded against. There is no way to confirm closing a window when data has been entered into a form, so users are constantly one bad keystroke away from losing all the data they have entered (by accidentally closing the window). Mainstream platforms haven't had this problem for ten years.

Further, there is no way to save intermediate forms to a "drafts" folder, which is a nightmare in the crash-prone world of browsers. Imagine a word processor or email client with no Save!

Lee Strauss

#22 Total Recall!

by jelwell

Thursday February 1st, 2001 5:12 PM

You should install Total Recall! And help push for it's inclusion in the Standard release of Mozilla - it might already be.

Total recall remembers the last state of your browser when there is a crash. Including form state! Wowsa!

Total Recall is available at

Joseph Elwell.

#23 Re: Total Recall!

by strauss

Thursday February 1st, 2001 5:38 PM

Crash protection is just part of the story. Does it protect against accidental window closure with unsaved data, or allow saving drafts of work in progress?


#24 Re: Re: Total Recall!

by asa

Friday February 2nd, 2001 8:54 PM

Probably not but it's a start and lucky us, this is an open source project so anyone interested can step up and extend that functionality. If the wallet functionality in mozilla can save any form values then I see nothing preventing someone from setting up a "form drafts" or sometihng similar that you could save your work to. It would also probably be pretty damn easy to put a "warning on close" for particular windows. Mail compose and html compose apps both do this already so the code's there.


#25 Why is moz slower on linux than windows?

by mfblitu

Saturday February 3rd, 2001 6:19 PM

Why is moz slower on linux than on windows? Mozilla is even slower than NS 4.73 on linux. Try flipping fast between two pages and you'll see the difference.