MozillaZine

Salon on Mozilla

Tuesday March 12th, 2002

A number of people have submitted this article, and while it's not really news, it's just another example of how Mozilla is starting to win people over. This is also beneficial to the evangelism efforts going on.


#1 A great inspiring article!

by MozSaysAloha <hoshie@hotpop.com>

Tuesday March 12th, 2002 10:24 PM

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This article shows that people outside of the Mozilla/Netscape community are begining to see the light, which is good. If AOL adopts Gecko, I could see MSIE's market share shink.

#26 Shink?

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:34 AM

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Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wrink.

All mimsy were the borogroves

And IE's market share did shink.

-- mpt

#47 mpthomas: waxing poetic?

by JayeshSh <JayeshSh@netscape.net>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:29 PM

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emm p thomas : waxing poetic? is that rhythm, is that heretic manifested thought, a threat a laugh, or a more twisted thought?

us mozillers can write poetry too - you're not the first shakespeare to grace this earth, and your schadenfreude will be long outshone by honest pride, and hard work

if you really like to rhyme or just look cool hey that's okay; just make it clear if you're an honest critic or a spiteful fool

#55 RE: mpthomas: waxing poetic?

by mpercy

Thursday March 14th, 2002 3:44 PM

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Jayesh, you may want to look at who you are calling names. Here is some info from mpt's own web site: <http://mpt.phrasewise.com/faq/> and I have seen him all over bugs in Mozilla, he puts in a lot of work and is deferred to on many issues.

Here is an URL to a buglist of all bugs mpt is either assigned to or has reported:

<http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…mp;order=%27Importance%27>

This will take probably 1-2 minutes to load, THAT IS HOW MANY BUGS THERE ARE. I'm not sure if that link will work for you, but just search mpt@ in the Bugzilla query email field and check whatever criteria you like and hit Search.

By the way, the search I ran turned up 1073 bugs... that is right... ONE THOUSAND SEVENTY THREE bugs either assigned to or reported by mpt. If THAT isn't honest pride and hard work, I don't know what is.

Mike

#77 Modesty impels me to point out ...

by mpthomas

Friday March 15th, 2002 8:36 AM

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... That it's very easy to have lots of bugs assigned to you if you're the default assignee for a component. The fact that a bug is assigned to someone doesn't necessarily mean that they've ever touched it.

Even going by number of bugs reported is iffy. For example, I've reported more than twice as many bugs (490) as Asa has (242), but Asa's undoubtedly done a *lot* more QA work than I have.

-- mpt

#93 it's his own style

by dipa

Saturday March 16th, 2002 3:24 PM

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mpt has done a great work on ui design (fighting against the numerous attempts to increase number preferences and other bloating, par example). But the first time I noticed a post of him I thought he was trolling. While I find it's humour a bit strange for me, I like to hear another kind of voice besides "mozila rocks " and "mozilla sucks" in this forum.

#2 Mozilla's evolution over the past year

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 5:52 AM

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I've been using Mozilla consistently since about mid-2000. (I had a look before then, but the browser was pretty much unusable before about M14.) It's one thing to see 1% improvement here, 2% improvement there day by day, but quite another to compare, say, M18 to 0.9.8. Which I've just done on this Debian laptop I'm using right now. Debian favours old over new, so the 'stable' version had M18. 'Testing' had 0.9.8. I suffered M18 for a day then did apt-get install mozilla. Much the same experience as the Salon article writer. Whoo-ee!

#19 Re: Mozilla's evolution over the past year

by whiprush <jorge@whiprush.org>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 8:10 PM

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if you add

deb <http://pandora.debian.org/~kitame/mozilla> ./

to your /etc/apt/sources.list, you'll get up to date mozilla builds for debian. They Rock.

#20 Re: Re: Mozilla's evolution over the past year

by whiprush <jorge@whiprush.org>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 8:11 PM

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Argh, the deb source is

deb h tee tee pee://pandora.debian.org/~kitame/mozilla ./

#21 Re: Re: Re: Mozilla's evolution over the past year

by whiprush <jorge@whiprush.org>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 8:13 PM

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ok, this mozillazine autolinking stuff won't work .... email me at <jorge@whiprush.org> and I'll email you the deb sources - you can also find it on the debian.org website.

#23 I actualy have M18 installed to test NN6.0 compat

by arsa

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 10:29 PM

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It also works just fine with my current profile.

#3 Interesting...

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 8:12 AM

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...how people talk about how long it has taken Mozilla to become usable. But here we are, 4 years later, and the product is arguably better than IE in many areas. More standards compliant, better XML support, MathML support, etc. How long exactly has IE been in development?

--chris

#4 Re: Interesting...

by macpeep

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 9:48 AM

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"How long exactly has IE been in development?"

Well, it seems that the normal way to count how long Mozilla has been in development is to start when the decision was made to XUL, NGLayout etc, even though NGLayout had been in development even before the source code was even released. If you count from the beginning, you should start from when Netscape Communications was formed, or even before that. After all, why start over just because the initial attempt was deemed a dead end road? It was still development time!

However if you don't start from the beginning but rather pick a date when the current app began its life (even tho techonolgies going into it were already under development) then I guess you would have to do the same for IE too to make it fair.. So whenever they had their latest big rewrite. Does anyone know?

How about Opera?

#5 Re: Re: Interesting...

by Tanaaln <olympictram@yahoo.com>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 10:11 AM

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You're obviously grasping at straws to try and show how IE development was faster than Mozilla... heh... entertaining... I suppose every discussion group needs its trolls, though. ;)

#6 no troll

by niner

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 10:30 AM

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his arguments are right. He says that it's difficult to say how long it took for a product to get ready and that is just right.

And he is right that you should do the same for Mozilla and IE.

But luckily I think IE has never been really rewritten from scratch so it doesn't matter too much ;)

#7 ps

by niner

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 10:31 AM

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maybe Mac IE is a good point to compare? It has been written from zero (it's totally different than the Windows version)

when did Mac IE start?

#8 Re: ps

by strauss

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 12:32 PM

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No, The mac IE is written to a fork of the same code base as the Windows version.

#11 Re: ps

by jcf76 <jfleshman@hotmail.com>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 2:28 PM

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If it's based on a fork, it's a very old fork -- Mac IE 5 rivals Mozilla (and might even pass it in some cases) in HTML4, DOM1 and CSS1 support. It's better than PC IE 5 and even PC IE 6 doesn't match it. For lack of a better starting point, I guess I'd be willing to consider that forking as the "beginning" of Mac IE 5. But even then it would be tough, as Mac IE is restricted to just the Web browser.

#14 Re: Re: ps

by strauss

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 3:12 PM

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Yes, the fork differences are pretty large. What I was responding to was the statement that Mac IE "has been written from zero (it's totally different than the Windows version)". That is not correct.

#12 Talisman

by beastie

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 2:34 PM

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My understanding was that Mac IE uses an entirely different rendering engine, named Talisman, than the Windows version.

#15 Re: Talisman

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 4:15 PM

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You're correct except that the Mac IE rendering engine is called Tasman, not Talisman. Talisman was the code name for some Microsoft 3D technology that never saw the light of day. In any case, Gecko is a far better name.

Alex

#30 Interesting

by Salsaman

Thursday March 14th, 2002 6:27 AM

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Tasman---> Tasmanian Devil ---> type of lizard Gecko-------------------------> type of lizard

Coincidence ?

#31 Re: Interesting

by tny

Thursday March 14th, 2002 7:29 AM

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Well, since Tasman was the name of the guy Tasmania is named after, I'd guess probably not.

#41 Re: Interesting

by choess <choess@stwing.upenn.edu>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:12 AM

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Tasmanian Devils aren't lizards.

#67 Re: Interesting

by moz <moz@cyberjunkie.com>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:18 PM

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Not quite sure what the coincidence is here, as the Tasmanian Devil is a carniverous marsupial and not much like a lizard... ;)

<http://www.tased.edu.au/tot/fauna/devil.html>

#13 Re: Re: ps

by bzbarsky

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 3:07 PM

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Well.. mac IE has different UI code and a different rendering engine. Not sure about the DOM subsystem of the JS engine, though.

#9 What about IE3 -> IE4?

by arsa

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 1:39 PM

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IMHO it was rewritten. IE3 looks like an enhanced Mosaic (and it is). IE4 is on the other hand is quite comparable to even IE6 in terms of DOM and CSS support. Big difference. And I see articles about people who worked on IE4 all the time. So it was huge effort.

#10 Re: Re: Re: Interesting...

by macpeep

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 1:52 PM

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What point of mine do you disagree with?

#16 And it's much more than a browser.

by ryampolsky <ryampols@cjds.com>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 5:03 PM

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Many people have complained about Mozilla getting too ambitious with their XUL, XPCOM, etc. Arguably, that accounts for a big chunk of that 4-year development process, and maybe we would have been better served with a quicker, less ambitious project.

But then again, mainstream Windows users were going to get herded into IE either way. And with AOL having been railroaded into a multi-year contract to use IE in order to get that desktop icon placement, a quick Mozilla might not really have done much to stem the tide.

But now that Mozilla\'s getting really great and AOL\'s getting ready to break their IE habit, how much better is it going forward to have 1 code base that builds for many platforms? I\'d say quite a bit.

Plus, if Mozilla gets some healthy mainstream respect, that means there\'s a hefty chunk of GPL\'d middleware that anybody can use to build cross-platform applications of any kind. Nothing to sneeze at.

So it all comes down to whether a quick Netscape 5.0 would have saved them from oblivion. And with AOL tied up on the sidelines, I\'m not so sure it would. But a newly unburdened AOL stands the best chance of catapulting NS6.3 right back where it needs to be. After all, all that\'s needed is enough market share to keep developers coding to the standards and plug-in developers supporting NS.

#17 What's with the backslashed apostrophes?

by ryampolsky <ryampols@cjds.com>

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 5:07 PM

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Hey gang. I just submitted this comment using 0.9.9. So what's with all the backslashes before all my apostrophes? Is this a Mozilla bug or a Mozillazine bug?

By the way, on my first Submit, it complained that I wasn't logged in. Maybe the backslashes only get inserted then?

#18 Re: What's with the backslashed apostrophes?

by WillyWonka

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 6:24 PM

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If you enter the wrong password, mozillazine adds a set of backslashes. Every time that you get it wrong it adds another backslash. Sometimes you'll see a message with 5 or so backslashes. All it means is the person couldn't remember their password.

It's a really old bug which I'm sure "they" know about but just haven't fixed yet.

#22 Re: Re: What's with the backslashed apostrophes?

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday March 13th, 2002 8:19 PM

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yeah yeah. :-) we'll fix it. someday. :-)

#25 Looks like PHPs magic quotes

by c960657

Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:04 AM

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By default PHP escapes apostrophes (and a few other characters) to avoid that newbie PHP programmers by mistake make exploitable SQL queries. This feature is IMO a pain in the ass (I\'d much rather escape things explicitly), and I assume that that is what is causing the problems here.

Luckyly it can be turned off:

<http://www.php.net/manual…#ini.magic-quotes-runtime> <http://www.php.net/manual…-magic-quotes-runtime.php> I\'m sure MozillaZine admins already know this, and that there is more to it than just changing the configuration setting (e.g. that some scripts still expect the feature to be enabled).

Christian

#24 Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:20 AM

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"But here we are, 4 years later ..."

Uh, no. Development of Mozilla started in 1994, so it\'s been eight years. Development of MSIE started also started in 1994, though they had a bit of a head start since they began from a working NCSA Mosaic codebase.

The claim that Mozilla's counter should have been reset to zero from the Great Rewrite in 1998 is a common fallacy, made by people who forget (or choose to ignore) three things.

(1) Several chunks of the new Mozilla were carried over directly from the old Mozilla (notably Netlib and the JS Engine), and Gecko itself was in development well before the Great Rewrite began.

(2) The decision of the Mozilla programmers to start from scratch is not Microsoft's (or anyone else's) fault. An analogy: Alice and Bob race each other in a marathon. Bob starts out in front, but gradually Alice pulls ahead. Bob then turns around and runs back to the start line, and everyone assumes he's given up. Then he turns back and puts on a ferocious burst of speed, nearly catching up to Alice, but Alice still wins. `But I didn't start until long after Alice did!', Bob cries. The crowd just laugh at him.

(3) The rendering engine of MSIE for Windows was rewritten for version 3, and again for version 4. The rendering engine *and* much of the front end of MSIE for Mac were rewritten for version 5.

"... and the product is arguably better than IE in many areas. More standards compliant, better XML support, MathML support, etc"

`Etc'? Having trouble compiling that list, are we? Aren't XML and MathML part of `standards compliance' already? And though MathML is mighty cool, only a tiny proportion of people will use it ...

For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE. One is that it works on Linux. The other is that it's faster at loading pages on Mac OS. And ... that's about it. In pretty much everything else, we've got a lot of catching up to do.

-- mpt

#27 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:41 AM

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>For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE.

Hmm, no users think we have better image and animation controls? Or better cookie management? Or better javascript and window (popup) controls? Or better history and bookmarks management? Or a better sidebar? Or better search plugin support? Or a better javascript console? Or better at not taking out the Windows taskbar or desktop? No users prefer our tabbed browsing or choice of themes or think we just look nicer? No users think that bookmark custom keywords or our password manager make Mozilla more usable than IE?

I guess they're lying or confused when they make these claims. Maybe we should work really hard to convince them that they are wrong about the things they appreciate in Mozilla and that they would be much better off using IE.

I wonder how it is that cnet users rate IE 6 so much lower than Netscape 6 <http://download.cnet.com/…64-106-1.lst-0-25.6985546> and <http://download.cnet.com/…665-106-1.lst-0-2.8105033>

It's good to know that we have omnicience on our side. With this amazing gift you have of knowing exactly what users think you've divined that there are only two respects with which users find Mozilla better than MSIE. Never mind what the users actually say. I guess we need to re-educate users to only appreciate Mozilla in the areas you approve. I'm sure glad that we got you and Microsoft didn't. With powers like your's we can't fail.

--Asa

#38 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:58 AM

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Asa, your comments on user ratings are kind of off the mark, if you actually go through and read them. Half of the negative remarks have zero to do with the product itself, but more with hatred of MS.

IE 6 actually happens to be a pretty bang up browser. But, yes, it now does lag in several areas, like bookmarks, etc...

#43 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, may

by strauss

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:51 AM

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Perhaps your claim that users prefer Mozilla should be reconciled with the fact that Explorer's market share is ninety-two times higher than Mozilla's.

#56 Re: Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years,

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 5:41 PM

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Perhaps we could conduct and experiment (even if just a thought experiment) and give Netscape a monopoly in the operating system market for a decade, allow them to break the law and illegally leverage that monopoly for a few years and see what kind of market share they could build.

--Asa

#49 This reply is too long, but what the hell

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:42 PM

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"Hmm, no users think we have better image and animation controls?"

Mozilla's image and animation controls are better than MSIE's in one respect -- they let you block images from particular servers. (Neither browser lets you filter by image dimensions, natch.) Unfortunately, that is outweighed by several aspects in which MSIE's controls are better. (1) They're in a `Web Browser' category branch (together with prefs for sounds, frames, and style sheets), rather than being nonsensically hidden in a `Privacy & Security' branch. (2) They don't encourage masochism by offering a bizarre `Ask me before downloading an image' option. (3) They're much more obviously and concisely worded. (4) When you specify that animated images should not loop, and you load a page containing an animated image, MSIE waits until you have (a) brought the window to the front and (b) scrolled to view the image, before animating it -- so that you don't miss anything. You may need to reread that last sentence to grasp the level of polish we're talking about here.

> Or better cookie management?

Again, Mozilla's cookie management is better in one respect: Mozilla lets you set a maximum lifetime for cookies. Again, that is outweighed by several aspects in which MSIE's cookie management is superior. (1) MSIE lets you accept or decline all cookies from a particular domain the first time such a cookie is sent; Mozilla does not. (2) MSIE lets you examine the cookie data in the cookie alert; Mozilla does not. (3) MSIE avoids using the evil `Yes' and `No' as button text in its cookie alerts; Mozilla does not. (4) MSIE fits all its cookie UI, *including* the list of accepted/declined cookies and sites, comfortably into a single preferences panel; Mozilla sprawls it over a preferences panel and two badly-laid-out tabs.

Hopefully Doron will be working on (1), (2), and (3) in the near future, implementing a more convenient alert design than that used in MSIE (read: fewer clicks required), so that Mozilla will become the browser of choice for the cookie connoisseur. At the moment, though, it's not.

"Or better javascript and window (popup) controls?"

Sure, in that respect Mozilla kicks MSIE's posterior. :-) That's the main reason why I designed them and encouraged Doron to get them implemented and checked in. (The other reason was that I was reasonably confident I wouldn't be wasting my time, because Netscape UE people wouldn't care enough to get involved and foul it up.) However, they are still a feature for relatively advanced users, especially since they're hidden in the `Advanced' category (fixing that requires redoing the prefs dialog completely, alas). And for just toggling Javascript on and off occasionally, MSIE is quicker than Mozilla, because MSIE remembers which preferences panel you were on last whereas Mozilla does not. Mozilla could easily be *much* better than MSIE in that respect, if the Preferences Bar was checked in to the trunk.

"Or better history and bookmarks management?"

Mozilla's bookmarks management is conceptually much better than the Organize Favorites dialog MSIE for Windows (organizing bookmarks in a *dialog*? WTF?), and its Bookmarks menu is considerably less convoluted than the Favorites menu in MSIE for Mac OS, though in both cases the bugginess of Mozilla's implementation leaves them about even.

As for history, however, there's no contest. It's late evening. How do you find a page you visited early this morning in MSIE? (1) Bonk the `History' button in the toolbar. (2) Open the server's folder (Windows), or scroll down to the morning's pages (Mac). (3) Click the item you want. You're done. Now, how do you find a page you visited early this morning in Mozilla? You can't use the Sidebar, because the History panel isn't in it by default, and (being an average user) you haven't figured out how to customize it yet. So. (1) Open the `Tasks' menu. (Wtf is `Tasks', anyway?) (2) Go to the `Tools' *submenu*, and choose `History'. (3) Click the triangle next to the folder (not the folder itself, of course) for `Today', which is annoyingly collapsed by default. (4) Click on the triangle next to the folder (not the folder itself, of course) for the server you want. (5) Click -- whoops, no, *double*-click -- on the item you want. You're done, eventually.

"Or a better sidebar?"

Yet again, Mozilla's sidebar is better in one respect: it's more customizable. (If you can work out how to customize it, of course -- right now I'm looking at a `Tabs' menu which is grayed out even though it's enabled. Hmmmmm.) And yet again, this is outweighed by several other aspects. Mozilla's sidebar is uglier, it doesn't slide in and out so that a beginning user knows where it came from, it's on by default, it has a close box which looks like a refugee from MS Windows, there's no Scrapbook panel, there's no Page Holder panel, and in every case where Mozilla *does* have an equivalent to a MSIE panel, MSIE's panel is better designed. For example, in the Search panel there is no visible Search button (it's *completely* outside the default sidebar width), the results appear in the content area *as well as* the sidebar (if I wanted them to appear in the content area, I would have DONE THE SEARCH in the @#$!ing content area!), the results don't wrap (because it's a XUL tree rather than HTML) and can't be scrolled (because the scrollbar is completely outside the default sidebar width), and the button at the bottom says `Bookmark t'. Bookmark *what*?

"Or better search plugin support?"

MSIE's toolbar has an optional `Sherlock' button. Is Mozilla's search plug-in support, or search UI, better than Sherlock's? Not bloody likely. (Even though Sherlock's UI is pretty bad.)

"Or a better javascript console?"

[end-user] A better *what*? [/end-user]

"Or better at not taking out the Windows taskbar or desktop?"

Sorry, I'm not omniscient enough to understand what you mean here.

"No users prefer our tabbed browsing or choice of themes or think we just look nicer?"

Hah. If Mozilla looked as nice as MSIE (or as nice as Chimera, even), it wouldn't need themes, as those browsers don't. Unfortunately you can't theme away basic poor UI, such as the clutter of the component bar, or the non-centeredness of the address field.

"No users think that bookmark custom keywords or our password manager make Mozilla more usable than IE?"

Oh, a few users think custom keywords are cool (I know you're one of them), especially those users who regularly enter commands such as `ls' and `mv' elsewhere. (Custom keywords are also available in MSIE for Windows, but you need to hack the Registry to enable them. I wonder why.) As for the Password Manager, I estimate that in its current state removing it from Mozilla completely would result in a net increase in users.

"I guess they're lying or confused when they make these claims."

That's not very charitable of you, Asa. You should treat your users with more respect than that. Certainly, there are users who prefer the features in Mozilla -- such as they are -- to the features in MSIE. Currently those users amount to what, about 0.9 percent of the browser-using population? For the vast majority of end users, however, those occasional advantages just aren't *noticable*. By the time they realize that they can set a maximum lifetime for cookies, or block images by server, or customize the sidebar, they've long since given up because they can't even have a Home button in the toolbar without having the whole @#$! `Personal Toolbar' turned on.

Now, our job is to increase that 0.9 percent -- by designing, fixing, testing, documenting, and distributing improvements to the many areas where Mozilla is deficient. Fanatically denying that room for improvement exists won't get you anywhere.

"Maybe we should work really hard to convince them ... that they would be much better off using IE."

No thanks -- MSIE isn't Free Software, and it's currently being used to maintain a harmful OS monopoly.

"I wonder how it is that cnet users rate IE 6 so much lower than Netscape 6"

Let me enlighten you, then. I've been trying IE 6 over the past couple of weeks at work (not my choice). As far as I can tell, overall it's *worse* than IE 5 in several respects. So even though it remains dauntingly better than Mozilla, people are likely to express their disappointment in it by giving it a poor rating. Conversely, Netscape 6.2 and 6.1 (which, you remember, CNet infamously conflated into a single entity) are massively better than Netscape 6.0, so people are likely to express their approval of the improvement by giving Netscape a good rating.

-- mpt

#57 Re: This reply is too long, but what the hell

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 5:51 PM

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"Certainly, there are users who prefer the features in Mozilla -- such as they are -- to the features in MSIE."

Nice to hear you admit that there are users that prefer Mozilla features other than the _two_ you stated were the only ones? That's good enough for me.

"Currently those users amount to what, about 0.9 percent of the browser-using population?"

This has nothing to do with whether or not there are additional features (additional to the two you stated were the only better features) that users were allowed to prefer in Mozilla.

"For the vast majority of end users, however, those occasional advantages just aren't *noticable*."

Once again, I'm so glad we have your omnicience on our side. What would we ever do without you.

--Asa

#74 Every time you misquote, God kills a kitten

by mpthomas

Friday March 15th, 2002 2:59 AM

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"Nice to hear you admit that there are users that prefer Mozilla features other than the _two_ you stated were the only ones?"

No, I didn't say that there were only two features in Mozilla. I said `For an end user, there are two respects *with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE*' (emphasis added).

"This has nothing to do with whether or not there are additional features (additional to the two you stated were the only better features)"

No, I didn't say that they were the only better features. I said `For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is *noticably better* than MSIE' (emphasis added). Because all humans are not identical, even the most obscure advantage (such as being able to set a maximum lifetime for cookies) will be important for some people. But for the vast majority of people, it will not be *noticable*.

"I'm so glad we have your omnicience'

Dude, that's the second time you've done that. If you're going to use it a third time, learn to spell it, please.

-- mpt

#102 Re: Exactly, that's the point

by benb <mozilla@bucksch.org>

Friday March 29th, 2002 1:14 AM

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> > "For the vast majority of end users, > > however, those occasional advantages > > just aren't *noticable*."

> Once again, I'm so glad we have your > omnicience on our side. What would we > ever do without you.

I think mpt does a very good and useful job for mozilla.org, even in this thread.

I agree with him that we developers are often centered on "geeky" details that don't matter much for the majority of users. OTOH, things we are used to overlook and work around, like installation, unfortunate defaults, UI appearance and oddness (bugs and bad design). Things we consider unimportant surface, because they are easy to fix, are what users see most of the time, and things we consider "meat" are hardly noticed by end-users. Sometimes, we lose the big scope. mpt has the rare ability to think from a user's perspective, depsite being "contaminated" with us developers :), and I value him for that. As I said, most (current) big problems for users are easy to fix. That's why I think that a bit guidance from mpt can help Mozilla get much better for users with little effort.

I agree that Mozilla made a lot of progress, even visible for end-users. And I see that we have a lot of enthusiasts here. That's all good. But we still need to be very aware of our deficiencies. That's all that mpt is trying to achieve in this thread.

#62 Re: Yep

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 8:32 PM

Reply to this message

I don't feel like getting involved in all this. You are most definitely incorrect about one point, though, and that is history management.

> As for history, however, there's no contest. It's late evening. How do you find a page you > visited early this morning in MSIE? (1) Bonk the `History' button in the toolbar. (2) Open the > server's folder (Windows), or scroll down to the morning's pages (Mac). (3) Click the item you > want. You're done.

How do you delete more than one item at a time? You don't. You right click on each item you want to delete, one at a time, dismissing the confirmation dialog that appears every single time. Don't confuse access points for history with history management, which is what Asa said.

> You can't use the Sidebar, because the History panel isn't in it by default

Yeah...no, that's not true. It's on by default.

> (1) Open the `Tasks' menu. (Wtf is `Tasks', anyway?) (2) Go to the `Tools' *submenu*, and > choose `History'.

This will be turned into Tools for 1.0, and History will be in the top level menu. You're still confusing access points with actual management functionality. (Wasn't it you who said that anyone who wants quick access would use keyboard shortcuts, anyway?)

> (3) Click the triangle next to the folder (not the folder itself, of course) for `Today', > which is annoyingly collapsed by default.

Yeah, or double click the folder. It must be difficult for users to get this concept, since this is how it works in their Windows Explorer file manager, and in 4.x's history window.

> (5) Click -- whoops, no, *double*-click -- on the item you want. You're done, eventually.

Why is this concept so confusing to you? I don't know if you realize this, but this is how the file manager works for 99% of Windows users. In the thousands upon thousands of pieces of 6.x feedback I've read, not a single user mentioned the difficulty of our history functions.

Your comparison is deeply flawed; you're comparing apples and oranges. We offer the history sidebar panel (on by default) with nearly identical functionality to IE's *for users who want to visit sites quickly*. We offer the history management windows *for users who want to manage their history*. So let's see, we match their existing functionality and extend it with a manager they don't even offer. We win.

#63 Re: Re: Yep

by strauss

Thursday March 14th, 2002 8:51 PM

Reply to this message

> How do you delete more than one item at a time? You don't.

Funny, I have the History pane open right now in Mac IE 5.1 and I just did that. Click in the gray to get the rectangle tool and select as many history entries as I like, then hit Delete. Badabing, badaboom, all gone, bye bye.

>> (3) Click the triangle next to the folder (not the folder itself, of course) for `Today', which is annoyingly collapsed by default.

> Yeah, or double click the folder. It must be difficult for users to get this concept, since this is how it works in their Windows Explorer file manager, and in 4.x's history window.

Come on. Today's folder should be opened by default. How much more obvious could something be?

> > (5) Click -- whoops, no, *double*-click -- on the item you want. You're done, eventually.

> Why is this concept so confusing to you? I don't know if you realize this, but this is how the file manager works for 99% of Windows users.

Nice stealth insults there. What _you_ don't seem to realize is that history is made up of links, not files. You don't double-click links to open them.

> In the thousands upon thousands of pieces of 6.x feedback I've read, not a single user mentioned the difficulty of our history functions.

You expect detailed usability feedback from users outside the scope of a user test? What's your involvement with usability? Have you had any?

> We offer the history sidebar panel (on by default) with nearly identical functionality to IE's *for users who want to visit sites quickly*. We offer the history management windows *for users who want to manage their history*. So let's see, we match their existing functionality and extend it with a manager they don't even offer. We win.

No, spreading the same functionality out over multiple user interfaces is an objective usability failing in most cases, including this one. Edit-in-place has been the standard model for GUIs since there have been mass-market GUIs. It's like saying, it's fine, we have one place to view the text, and another place to edit it. That dog won't hunt.

Matthew, is this the level of feedback you're used to on this project? If so, you have my sympathy. It's hard to be that lone voice crying out in the wilderness. This is what drove Eli away from Netscape, huh? ("Here's a nickel, kid, buy yourself a copy of the Mac Human Interface Guidelines." Heh.)

#64 Re: Yep

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:02 PM

Reply to this message

>Funny, I have the History pane open right now in Mac IE 5.1 and I just did that. Click in the > gray to get the rectangle tool and select as many history entries as I like, then hit Delete. > Badabing, badaboom, all gone, bye bye

Funny, if you read my post carefully, you could have inferred that I'm on Windows. And on Windows, there is no way to do what you describe.

> Come on. Today's folder should be opened by default. How much more obvious could something be?

You didn't respond to my other point. Sure, Today should be open by default. Given that it persists folder state, can you explain why fixing that is a priority?

> What _you_ don't seem to realize is that history is made up of links, not files. You don't > double-click links to open them.

If I don't understand history, then we're really in trouble (I own the history feature). Links are in webpages, not in chrome. Even Matthew will tell you as much. As I've already stated, we offer *quick, single-click access* to history from the sidebar panel. It would not make sense to offer single click access in the *history management window* because that would make it difficult and confusing to select more than one item and do other management related functions.

> You expect detailed usability feedback from users outside the scope of a user test?

Usability tests are costly. Given that we match and extend IE's behavior here, I've seen no reason to request one of Netscape (who I work for).

And yes, to answer your question, the feedback from 6.x relese provides plenty of usability feedback. How do you respond to such a hard fact like that?

> No, spreading the same functionality out over multiple user interfaces is an objective > usability failing in most cases, including this one.

Including this one? Have you done usability tests on this? If so, please link to them. If not, then please don't slam me for not having done them either. I at least am privy to informal feedback from a considerable number of 6.x users, which, I think, is more than you can say.

> Matthew, is this the level of feedback you're used to on this project? If so, you have my > sympathy. It's hard to be that lone voice crying out in the wilderness.

The level of respect Matthew's opinions receive in this project is directly proportional to the way in which he presents them. He's not the most tactful of persons. To try to refute that, as you seem to have done knee-jerk to all my other comments, would be a waste of time, as he has admitted that as well.

I am friends with Eli. UI discussions are not why he left Netscape.

--Blake

#65 Re: Yep

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:05 PM

Reply to this message

P.S.

> You don't double-click links to open them.

Please don't tell me what I do and do not do. I do indeed double click on Internet shortcuts ("links") on my desktop to open them. I do indeed double click on Internet shortcuts ("links") in my file manager to open them. Links are found in webpages.

--Blake

#66 Re: Re: Re: Yep

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:07 PM

Reply to this message

"You expect detailed usability feedback from users outside the scope of a user test? What's your involvement with usability? Have you had any? "

You could ask mpt, who you so quickly jump to praise, what his "user test" experience with Mozilla and Mozilla users is. I suspect that it is very little, if any, and his sample of Netscape and Mozilla end users is probably considerably smaller than blake's since he doesn't have access to the Netscape feedback data that blake does.

I happen to think that user feedback (outside of the lab) is quite valid and that it can be used to improve a product. It's not the same as usability testing and the data that results but to suggest that it's invalid or somehow worthless would probably cause mpt's stack to blow since watching users in internet cafes, reading usability literature, and reading bugs and user comments are his primary usability studies and the basis for his rants about Mozilla and Mozilla usability behind which you rather swiftly threw all of your moral support.

I keep forgetting to ask, or maybe I did and you didn't respond. Why are you here? You don't use Mozilla. You don't contribute code. You've said that you'd prefer Mozilla went away because it might get enough market share that you'd have to code for it. You don't seem to have any intentions of using Mozilla code and you aren't a Netscape loyalist. What's your interest? Is it just for the thrill of armchair quarterbacking?

--Asa

#75 History in the managing

by mpthomas

Friday March 15th, 2002 7:01 AM

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"How do you delete more than one item at a time? You don't. You right click on each item you want to delete, one at a time"

No. You drag a rectangle around the items you want to delete (can't do that in Mozilla, as you know <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=48912> ), using Shift if you need to make non-contiguous selections (hang, you can't make *any* selections in Mozilla's History panel), and press Delete or choose it from the shortcut menu. Screenshot: <http://geocities.com/mpt_nz/history-delete.html>

"dismissing the confirmation dialog that appears every single time."

There is no confirmation alert.

"Yeah...no, that's not true. [The History panel is] on by default."

Ah, so it is. My apologies, I didn't see it because its header was at the bottom while the headers for the other panels were at the top. (Quick, Asa, jump!)

"Yeah, or double click the folder. It must be difficult for users to get this concept, since this is how it works in their Windows Explorer file manager"

Errrrrr ... I don't think so. If you double-click a folder in Windows Explorer, it either (1) opens a new window showing the contents of the selected folder, or (2) replaces the current contents of the window with the contents of the selected folder. Mozilla (like 4.x) does neither. IMO, it should follow the OS setting.

"So let's see, we match their existing functionality"

No, we don't allow selection of multiple unless you use the keyboard.

"and extend it with a manager they don't even offer."

Yes they do. Screenshot: <http://geocities.com/mpt_nz/history-window.html>

#79 Re: History in the managing

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Friday March 15th, 2002 9:45 AM

Reply to this message

Read my response to strauss. My comments were about the Internet Explorer that 95% of internet users are using, and they are all true.

(By the way, strauss, your biggest fan, isn't going to like that you didn't seem to mind the separate history window...)

#80 Re: History in the managing

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Friday March 15th, 2002 9:47 AM

Reply to this message

> No, we don't allow selection of multiple unless you use the > keyboard.

Again, Windows IE does not allow selection of multiple at all. Please respond to my comments in the context of IE for Windows or put a mac-only disclaimer on your arguments that IE beats Mozilla in almost every area.

#81 Re: History in the managing

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday March 15th, 2002 1:21 PM

Reply to this message

mpt said: "No. You drag a rectangle around the items you want to delete (can't do that in Mozilla, as you know (LINK) ), using Shift if you need to make non-contiguous selections (hang, you can't make *any* selections in Mozilla's History panel), and press Delete or choose it from the shortcut menu. Screenshot: (LINK) "

Oh, that's IE for Mac. I don't see this working at all on win IE 6. I wonder why they chose that behavior for Mac and a completely different behavior for Windows.

--Asa

#84 That's an easy one Asa :)

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Friday March 15th, 2002 5:21 PM

Reply to this message

Because Macs are cool and Windows is not.

#28 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by unapersson

Thursday March 14th, 2002 3:32 AM

Reply to this message

"Aren't XML and MathML part of `standards compliance' already?"

I assume he meant CSS and HTML when he referred to standards compliance.

#29 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by mozineAdmin

Thursday March 14th, 2002 5:04 AM

Reply to this message

You are such a small mind, and your argument is so pathetically drummed together, you must have had trouble finding two flossy threads of neuron to rub together.

1) There's so much that has been rewritten or completely redone in Mozilla that to claim that it's not a whole new product is fallacious. Oh my! Javascript is essentially the same! Well fuck, maybe they got something right the first time. I'd like someone to point out to you how much of Mozilla code has actually been rewritten. I was told 98% at one point. Could be wrong.

2) No one blamed Microsoft for anything. But you're such a mindless windbag, that some wispy piece of fluff that had entered your brainpan through one of your many gaping orifices must have been mistaken for a dangerous entity of free thought or will by your malignant immune system, and it in turn let forth the few words that must have been inscribed on the inside of your skull since birth just for such an emergency.

3) See Asa, you pathetic hayseed.

#32 I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable logic

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:35 AM

Reply to this message

"You are such a small mind, and your argument is so pathetically drummed together, you must have had trouble finding two flossy threads of neuron to rub together."

Auditioning for a part on `When Good Advocacy Goes Bad', are we?

"There's so much that has been rewritten or completely redone in Mozilla that to claim that it's not a whole new product is fallacious."

There's so much that has been rewritten or completely redone in MSIE since version 1.0 that to claim that it's not a whole new product is fallacious. And yet ... PEOPLE DO claim that it's not a whole new product! they talk about something called `upgrades' instead! How dare they! They're probably the same idiots who post about Netscape 6 asking `Why was this feature removed?'. Damn, humans are an annoying species.

"But you're such a mindless windbag ... your many gaping orifices ... your malignant immune system ... you pathetic hayseed."

Please keep your comments friendly! You will be shown your post after submitting it, and it cannot be changed, so make sure you've read it over.

:-)

-- mpt

#35 Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable logic

by mozineAdmin

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:52 AM

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"Please keep your comments friendly! You will be shown your post after submitting it, and it cannot be changed, so make sure you've read it over."

I'm amazed how many people like you show up in forums with 1/2 a thought, piss it out and then expect people to just sit back and enjoy the shower.

And it's hilarious that you and macpeep are bitching about my comments. Fucking laughable coming from you two twits.

#36 Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable logic

by macpeep

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:44 AM

Reply to this message

"And it's hilarious that..."

Well, we agree on something.. I think it's pretty hilarious too.

#39 Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable logic

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:59 AM

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"I'm amazed how many people like you show up in forums with 1/2 a thought, piss it out and then expect people to just sit back and enjoy the shower."

You could always read his other thoughts at <http://mpt.phrasewise.com/> - unless I'm confusing my M P Thomases.

Alex

#53 Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable logic

by bzbarsky

Thursday March 14th, 2002 3:13 PM

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You _do_ realize mptthomas is not just randomly spouting, right? He's the default assignee for the UI design component of Mozilla and he's just pointing out what areas of Mozilla's UI need the most work (in his opinion). He's certainly not someone with "1/2 a thought" -- he spends a large chunk of his time thinking about how Mozilla's UI could be improved.

If you did _not_ in fact realize any of this, you may want to fact-check a bit before flaming.

#54 No, I know him all too well (n/t)

by mozineAdmin

Thursday March 14th, 2002 3:21 PM

Reply to this message

#58 Re: Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable log

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 6:03 PM

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"You _do_ realize mptthomas is not just randomly spouting, right? He's the default assignee for the UI design component of Mozilla"

BZ, you do realize that I'm the default assignee for the Browser-General component of Mozilla. This doesn't mean I have any authority over the Browser. Component ownership in this case and the case of "UI Design" and "Tracking" and other non-code components is a stewardship that does not (or at least should not) suggest any authority. If ownership of these Components is misleading then I'll have to investigate doing something about that.

--Asa

#68 Component ownership

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:59 PM

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"Component ownership in ... non-code components is a stewardship that does not (or at least should not) suggest any authority."

Right, it should not, but regularly people get confused. Two or three times a month I go through this conversation:

<mpt> Yeah, I agree with you, unfortunately the module owner disagrees

<randomComplainer> Well, aren't you in charge of the UI Design?

<mpt> No, I'm just a Bugzilla default assignee thing, I can't make anyone do anything.

"If ownership of these Components is misleading"

Ownership of *any* component in Bugzilla is misleading, as I've been saying for the past 18 months. :-)

-- mpt

#70 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impeccable

by bzbarsky

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:01 PM

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Asa, yes the ownership thing is misleading. It took me 5 months of working on mozilla and contributing code to really figure out in my mind what being a default assignee really means and does not mean.

That said, note that I said that mpt is default assignee, not owner or anything like that. All that implies is that he sees a lot of bugs and so is not randomly making things up when he comments in this forum...

#72 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm overwhelmed by your impecc

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:08 PM

Reply to this message

Reading a lot of bugs is noble. I've done my share of bug reading. That I've read thousands of layout bugs doesn't make me an expert or even very capable of speaking intelligently about the the layout component of our product.

--Asa

#45 flame wars - mpthomas

by JayeshSh <JayeshSh@netscape.net>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:16 PM

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mpthomas,

It seems you are thoroughly enjoying provoking people in this forum. do you have a point to make, or do you just aim to rile people up?

- Jayesh

#46 Re: flame wars - mpthomas

by strauss

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:22 PM

Reply to this message

Jayesh, I find it interesting that you always accuse Mozilla critics of personal attacks and nefarious motives, but never have the slightest criticism of offensive and obnoxious personal attacks when they are committed by Mozilla advocates against critics. Can you explain your behavior?

#48 re: strauss's comment

by JayeshSh <JayeshSh@netscape.net>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:40 PM

Reply to this message

strauss,

It could be that my liking for Mozilla skews my impartiality.

I do believe that honest criticism is important, and that flame wars from any side - mozillers or non-mozillers - are non productive, and emotionally exhausting.

What really puzzles me though, is the plausible pleasure that some people get by riling other people up.

Regards,

- Jayesh

#85 Offensive vs. Defensive

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Friday March 15th, 2002 5:42 PM

Reply to this message

I believe the difference is that Mozilla advocates do not instigate flame wars, the critics do.

Jayesh and others (like me) do not appreciate that certain people come in and make rude, insultings, abrasive, non-constructive, and often ignorant attacks against the Mozilla product, people, and organization.

As I have told you many times, it is all in the attitude and the presentation. As long as you post in a civil and constructive manner you can point out all the legitimate flaws that you want and no one will criticize you.

#97 Re: Offensive vs. Defensive

by macpeep

Sunday March 17th, 2002 12:05 AM

Reply to this message

"As I have told you many times, it is all in the attitude and the presentation. As long as you post in a civil and constructive manner you can point out all the legitimate flaws that you want and no one will criticize you."

Ah, yes.. Like this one from mozineAdmin, which is, if you examine this thread more closely, the first (and only really) offensive personal attack here.

<http://www.mozillazine.or…le=2167&message=29#29>

Read my first reply to the original post for example. There's nothing offensive or attacking in it. All I said was that if you compare IE and Mozilla development times then you should do it fairly and restart both clocks at "the latest big rewrite" if you do that for Mozilla. I also said that in my opinion, restarting the clock due to a rewrite may actually make much sense since.. well, like mpt pointed out, that's like someone suddenly doing an 180 in a race and going back (maybe not all the way to the starting line) only to start the race again from much further back. Of course they will be behind and if they catch up, great! But just because you turned around and went back doesn't mean that the clock should be reset for you, does it? Anyway, all analogies are flawed.. this one too.. but that was the only thing I was pointing out and I think there was nothing offensive about my comment. I was merely saying my opinion. Now read the reply to that one - the one by Tanlaan.

You are always there to point out whenever someone who doesn't have all-rosy things to say about Mozilla says something that you think is out of line. Why don't I see a comment from you on mozineAdmin's post (the one I linked to above) telling him to calm down a little and behave better?

#99 Re: Offensive vs. Defensive

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Sunday March 17th, 2002 11:28 PM

Reply to this message

What would have been the point of me posting a response to the post that you linked to? By the time I read any of this thread there were already several posts by mpt, mozineAdmin, Asa, strauss, yourself, and others. It would be a pointless waste of time for me to respond to everyone even if I wanted to. Besides, you should realize that the conflict that led to that post pre-dates this whole thread; not much that I can do about that, so I just stay out of it. I do not get into pointless flame wars with anyone.

Regarding your post and Tanaaln's reply, again I must point out that I did not enter this discussion until Friday the 15th. As I am sure you are aware, niner appropriately responded to Tanaaln by saying that your arguments were right. By the time I read the thread 2 days later, that whole thread branch had died off. Why would you expect me to make a post repeating niner's defense of your post?

Regarding the whole debate about determining the length of development, I have to disagree with you about resetting the clock. If it were a race like you and mpt have suggested and the winner was to be determined by who got to the finish line in the shortest amount of time, then you both might be right to say that it is unfair to reset the clock, but this is not a contest to see who can get to the non-existant finish line in the shortest time. This competition is about building a better browser; it is not about building a browser in the least time. If someone wants to discuss how long it has taken for Mozilla.org to develop Mozilla 1.0 then it is NOT fair to start counting before Mozilla.org was formed. The fact that some of the developers worked on developing web browsers before "the Great Rewrite" is pretty much irrelevant because "the Great Rewrite" sent Mozilla down a different path than the project had been before and that path would require practically everything to be rewritten from scratch. I wrote my first sort routine back in 1983, if I were to contribute a patch that contained that sort routine, would it be fair to say that Mozilla 1.0 was started in 1983?

#33 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by macpeep

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:38 AM

Reply to this message

Charming... Who pissed in your cornflakes?

#51 Re: Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years,

by tono

Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:41 PM

Reply to this message

I did :)

#34 Post talkback says keep your comments friendly

by theuiguy

Thursday March 14th, 2002 9:42 AM

Reply to this message

> You are such a small mind ... you must have had trouble finding two flossy threads of neuron to rub together ... you're such a mindless windbag, that some wispy piece of fluff that had entered your brainpan through one of your many gaping orifices must have been mistaken for a dangerous entity of free thought or will by your malignant immune system, and it in turn let forth the few words that must have been inscribed on the inside of your skull since birth just for such an emergency... you pathetic hayseed.

What a charming example of Mozilla advocacy-responding to criticism with personal attacks and a lack of fact to support it. Having a bad day?

For most end users, IE is much more usable and Mozilla is just getting there. Examples where IE wins: Customizable toolbars, rearranging toolbars, bookmark toolbars that don't lose items off the end when resized smaller, reasonably long address (URL) bar, fast startup and general browsing performance, visited links that get marked as visited, text boxes that behave like they should, minimize that works.

Mozilla *does* have catching up to do. Saying that it's rewritten from scratch or that it's been only in progress for X years (less than IE) is an excuse. It makes no difference to end users.

Mozilla's making slow but continual progress. Print preview and full screen are pretty nice now (catching up with IE). Mozilla certainly has better annoyance blocking features and may be more secure. Hopefully Mozilla will keep getting better and better and one day surpass IE in every way.

#59 Re: Post talkback says keep your comments friendly

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 6:08 PM

Reply to this message

"Mozilla certainly has better annoyance blocking features and may be more secure. Hopefully Mozilla will keep getting better and better and one day surpass IE in every way."

So why not tell mpt that you agree with others there are more than his _two_ reasons for a user to prefer Mozilla over IE. I didn't see "annoyance blocking" on his list at all. He made this simple statment: "For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE. One is that it works on Linux. The other is that it's faster at loading pages on Mac OS."

It would seem that you think Mozilla's "annoyance blocking" is noticably better than MSIE. I wonder how mpt missed that. He's a mind reader, you know.

--Asa

#78 Re: Re: Post talkback says keep your comments frie

by theuiguy

Friday March 15th, 2002 8:54 AM

Reply to this message

> So why not tell mpt that you agree with others there are more than his _two_ reasons for a user to prefer Mozilla over IE. I didn't see "annoyance blocking" on his list at all. He made this simple statment: "For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE. One is that it works on Linux. The other is that it's faster at loading pages on Mac OS."

> It would seem that you think Mozilla's "annoyance blocking" is noticably better than MSIE.

Yes, I do find it better than IE. However, most end users are unlikely to find it since the features are scattered across several items (privacy&security/images block animation, advanced/scripts&windows block popups, window resizing) in the already somewhat confusing preferences dialog. And to make things really nice, you have to do selective (ad) image blocking, and that's somewhat involved.

> He's a mind reader, you know. The best designers do seem to have an uncanny ability to recognize and predict how real users behave.

#82 Re: Re: Re: Post talkback says keep your comments

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday March 15th, 2002 2:06 PM

Reply to this message

"For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE."

You can't admit that that statement is insufficient, misleading? That it doesn't cover many areas where end users find Mozilla noticably better than MSIE? Where's the evidence to back this statement? You didn't ask to see it, or even if it existed. I could say "For an end user, there are two respects in which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE, an integrated Mail client and and automatic translation mechanism." There is feedback to support that users think those two things make Mozilla noticably better than IE. That doesn't make them the only two and it would be an incomplete at best and misleading at worse statement if I phrased it that way.

Statements like "there are two. here they are." imply that there are not three or four or five. This is how mpt phrases most of his opinions (some of them well-supported by evidence, some of them not so well supported). If he said "In my opinion..." or "From the feedback I've read I think..." then people wouldn't be so quick to counter. But he doesn't. He phrases pretty much everything as if it was a statement of fact.

--Asa

#37 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by xerxes

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:51 AM

Reply to this message

The guy is just speaking his mind dude. No need to blow your stack and start swearing all over the place. Get a grip.

#73 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by gav

Friday March 15th, 2002 1:31 AM

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> You are such a small mind, and your argument is so pathetically drummed > together, you must have had trouble finding two flossy threads of > neuron to rub together

> But you're such a mindless windbag, that some wispy piece of fluff that > had entered your brainpan through one of your many gaping orifices must > have been mistaken for a dangerous entity of free thought or will by > your malignant immune system, and it in turn let forth the few words > that must have been inscribed on the inside of your skull since birth > just for such an emergency.

> [...] See Asa, you pathetic hayseed.

Regardless of whether or not I agree with any of the opinions expressed in this thread, that sort of personal abuse is not the kind of behaviour I would expect from an administrator of this forum, which *usually* lives up to its "friendly" label.

#100 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by mozdave

Wednesday March 20th, 2002 12:21 AM

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Replies like this are an embarrassment to this site. mpt made several *extremely* valid points in his email, and you respond with an immature tirade. Shame on you.

As someone who contributes substantially to Mozilla, I find myself in agreement with mpt. The UI for this product is immensely flawed. What we get right is vastly overshadowed by what we get wrong.

At this point we're the browser that does everything, but the "everything" that we do is sloppy. The flaws range from minor irritants to fundamental design errors, and in many cases, mpt is right on the money when he points these flaws out.

The basic problem I see is that there's too much dependence on and too much (for lack of a better word) religion tied up in this one particular Mozilla browser that is essentially Netscape-controlled.

Until the cord of Netscape control is cut, the UI is going to remain sub-par, full of quirks and flaws that make no sense when the superimposed Netscape revenue tie-ins are removed.

#40 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by choess <choess@stwing.upenn.edu>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:09 AM

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As this thread explodes into a war of personalities, I might as well point out a few end-user features that people do seem to like:

1) "Security/Privacy" controls seem to be easier and more convenient than IE's theoretically more powerful but practically useless "zone" interface. (IIRC, IE also lacks some of the power to disable specific Javascript events like window opening, or maybe it's buried unfindably deep in their security UI.)

2) Tabbed browsing. I don't use tabbed browsing, and from what I hear, it suffers from a number of serious usability deficiencies. People seem to like it anyway. Go figure.

3) Security. I know we have security bugs, but I've only seen one publicized exploit (cookie theft) for Mozilla. Compare with IE. And I submit that end-users *are* perceiving this; Microsoft's reputation for poor security is making its way into the mainstream media, not just BugTraq.

Of course, I'd argue that bundling will probably be enough to make the "average" end-user ignore up to, say, a 20% difference in quality, but that's another story entirely.

#52 Yes, bundling is important, but not critical

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 2:05 PM

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I agree with you on (1) and (2). Zones are a brave attempt by Microsoft to reduce the complexity of security options, but they really don't work -- in part possibly because bunching settings like that means the effect of changing from the default is too major for anything but the default to be practical.

Security is a nasty issue, because you're playing with human nature. Humans are generally bad at investing for long-term gain, so most would rather use a pleasant but insecure program instead of a secure but confusing one -- they just can't calculate the average loss in satisfaction from probability*severity of a security problem. (That's one of the reasons why Microsoft software has been frustratingly popular -- it plays on this weakness.) You have to find the right balance, at every point.

And indeed, bundling is important, but we shouldn't just stumble on waiting for a favorable court judgement in that regard, or we'll end up old and gray (or just gray). As I suggest in the Top Ten list <http://mpt.phrasewise.com…/storyReader$35#migration> , in order to overtake a bundled MSIE, we "only" need to make a browser which is twice as good. For example, MSIE 2.0 was bundled with later releases of Windows 95, but that didn't stop Netscape 3.0 from being massively more popular.

Can Mozilla be twice as good as MSIE 6, as Netscape 3.0 was at least twice as good as MSIE 2.0? I think it can. It will require massive simplification of some features, radical dehorkage of the UI, and lots of effort implementing things which are almost invisible to the user, but I definitely think it's possible.

-- mpt

#60 Re: Yes, bundling is important, but not critical

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 6:13 PM

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"I agree with you on (1) and (2)."

HOLD UP. didn't you just get through saying "For an end user, there are two respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than MSIE. One is that it works on Linux. The other is that it's faster at loading pages on Mac OS." ???

But now you're saying that there are 4 reasons. That's a pretty large error. You went from only 2 reasons up to 4 reasons. I wonder if there are a few more. Better be careful though. If you get more than you can count on one hand then you'll have to admit that there are "quite a few" respects with which Mozilla is noticably better than IE.

--Asa

#61 Re: Yes, bundling is important, but not critical

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 6:21 PM

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"And indeed, bundling is important, but we shouldn't just stumble on waiting for a favorable court judgement in that regard, or we'll end up old and gray (or just gray). As I suggest in the Top Ten list (LINK) , in order to overtake a bundled MSIE, we "only" need to make a browser which is twice as good. "

I don't share your enthusiasm in the least. I think you're way off if you believe that any web browser, even twice as good as Microsoft's offering, can overtake MSIE without serious bundling or other distribution deals. I'll bet that all the downloads of all the browsers on the market since IE moved over 50% in marketshare (includint IE) don't outnumber the bundled IEs that were shipped on newly purchased PCs. We're not gonna make significant strides without serious distribution. Distribution costs money and that means it's going to have to be commercial distribution.

Making the product better, even twice as good, isn't going to change the balance. Getting large-scale distribution will. That's not to say that we stop making it better but it is to say that your top 10 list doesn't really matter that much since it doesn't affect this distribution issue. Unless you know for a fact that fixing your usability issues is going to cause a handful of major distribution or bundling oportunities to magically appear then it's just not that important.

--Asa

#69 Redistribution

by vondo

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:14 PM

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"That's not to say that we stop making it better but it is to say that your top 10 list doesn't really matter that much since it doesn't affect this distribution issue."

Absolutely it will. The better the product gets the more likely manufacturers and ISPs will be to distribute it. No manufacturer is going to distribute a buggy, unusable product. They don't want to piss off their customers, nor do they want to deal with support questions for said product. You are putting the cart before the horse.

As mozilla/Netscape 6 improves, it seems to be gaining traction. I was *shocked* (pleased, but shocked) to see Netscape 6.x (1 or 2) on the desktop of a friends new Compaq system.

If mozilla becomes 2x as good as IE, no manufacturer or ISP will dare *not* distribute a mozilla-based browser. (Assuming they are "allowed" to by MS.)

#71 Re: Redistribution

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:02 PM

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I'm assuming you don't know what led to Compaq shipping Netscape 6.x on some of it's machines. I can tell you that it had nothing to do with mpt's top 10 usability issues with the possible, but probably not, exception of #2 (and it's hardly novel to say that performance is something that needs to improve).

If you really think that usability is the reason that more ISPs or OEMs aren't shipping Mozilla-based products then you don't know much about the current market.

Gecko is growing as a presence on the web. Things are really starting to look much better. I'm excited about this. Hopefully the gecko user agent will continue to grow in marketshare. I believe that the Compaq distribution and other oportunities for commercial distribution/bundling are going to have a great impact but I sure don't think that chasing after mpt's top10 usabiliy items (again, with the exception of perf) does much to get us there sooner. It's just not nearly the deciding factor that stability, footprint, memory usage, performance, content compatability and a handful of other factors are.

I'm not saying we should't be making improvements to usability. I happen to think (quite differently from mpt) that we've made huge strides in this area over the last year. The user feedback I've read suggests that I'm not alone in thinking this. We need to keep making it better all of the time but it's not going to make the difference that mpt and you seem to think.

--Asa

#76 Wrong side of the coin

by choess <choess@stwing.upenn.edu>

Friday March 15th, 2002 7:17 AM

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Actually, when I mentioned bundling, I was thinking more of the appearance of Gecko in the AOL client & etc. (although this is really in the embedding arena and probably away from the issues you think about). A certain amount of the "Mozilla is worse than IE" criticism seems (or am I just paranoid) to carry with it the implicit subtext of "and it will fail in the market". As I said, bundling creates a threshold where there must be a significant improvement in perceived quality for a user to replace the bundled product; and my gut feeling is that Mozilla has at least reached the point where consumers who get it will be satisfied enough that they won't tear it out and replace it with IE.

I'm not suggesting, of course, that we can say "We're potentially competitive! Let's go home!" And UI improvements (like your redesign of the popup-blocking controls) are certainly noticed and appreciated. But I think we are going in the right direction, albeit slowly.

#42 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by strauss

Thursday March 14th, 2002 11:33 AM

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How refreshing to see honesty about the project from an inside source, instead of the usual whitewashing and "we're number one" rhetoric.

It's sad that simply pointing out the obvious continues to draw intense personal attacks from religious Mozilla advocates, though.

#44 Netlib is also new.

by benb <mozilla@bucksch.org>

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:04 PM

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> Several chunks of the new Mozilla were > carried over directly from the old Mozilla > (notably Netlib and the JS Engine)

No, netlib might have been used in very early version of Mozilla, but it was M3, IIRC, when it was replaced by all-new code known as Necko or netwerk/.

> Gecko itself was in development well before > the Great Rewrite began.

Yes, for a few months, IIRC. BTW: the Great Rewrite started some time *after* the open-source project started.

#50 Exactly, that's the point

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 1:39 PM

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"... it was M3, IIRC, when [Netlib] was replaced by all-new code known as Necko"

M9, actually <http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=698> . Before the Great Rewrite, Gecko was developed as a replacement for Mariner. After the Great Rewrite, Necko was developed as a replacement for the original netlib. Later, Modern 1 was replaced by Modern 2 and Classic. Still later, imglib1 was replaced by libpr0n. And so on.

I expect that any software project works the same way; existing features are improved by rewriting chunks at a time. The smaller the chunks, the smaller the improvement you can make in a single checkin, but the the less likely you are to regress fixed bugs and to cause delays.

The enormity (look it up) of the Great Rewrite was that the old code was decommissioned before the new code was of even similar completeness. That meant that Netscape (and the Mozilla Organization itself) went for three *years* without being able to ship something resembling a release-quality browser based on their latest technology. Netscape had to drip-feed 4.7x releases to the faithful, which understandably gave conniptions to the same Web standards advocates who had pushed for the use of Gecko in the first place.

-- mpt

#101 Re: Exactly, that's the point

by benb <mozilla@bucksch.org>

Friday March 29th, 2002 12:44 AM

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> I expect that any software project works > the same way; existing features are > improved by rewriting chunks at a time.

The problem with 4.x was that there were no chunks. There was a single big mess.

Also, it's hard tomake infrastructure changes like C->C++ or xpcom that way.

#83 Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, maybe

by Lancer

Friday March 15th, 2002 3:35 PM

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Microsoft, or Opera, even Adobe can move ONE finger and Mozilla is history, five years of work go to trash forever.

There is a big fail in Mozilla, and all seem to be too blind to notice it.

#87 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, may

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Friday March 15th, 2002 8:53 PM

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Please try again. I'm assuming a language barrier here because that didn't make a lot of sense to me.

--Asa

#88 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, may

by Lancer

Friday March 15th, 2002 9:11 PM

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Well, i am not good enough with the english. So, there is no other way to tell you this:

Microsoft u Opera, incluso Adobe podrian, con tan solo moviendo un dedo, hacer que Mozilla sea historia. Cinco años de trabajo irian a la basura para siempre.

Hay una gran falla en Mozilla, y todos parecen estar demasiado ciegos para notarlo.

Please, someone translate that.

#89 "...can move ONE finger..."

by pirat

Saturday March 16th, 2002 2:07 AM

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IMO it's the problem Asa was speaking about since AFAICT your both submits are saying the same. The question is how moving of one finger from anyone can send Mozilla project to the death when it's open source and it really looks like there's a rather big non-AOL developers community.

#90 Re: "...can move ONE finger..."

by Lancer

Saturday March 16th, 2002 6:48 AM

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What means IMO? What means AFAICT?

#91 Re: Re: "...can move ONE finger..."

by mozineAdmin

Saturday March 16th, 2002 8:57 AM

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IMO = In My Opinion AFAICT = As Far As I Can Tell

#92 Re:

by Lancer

Saturday March 16th, 2002 9:46 AM

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I didnt say nothing about AOL.

#94 Re: Re:

by pirat

Saturday March 16th, 2002 3:40 PM

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I simply trying to figure out why movement of one finger can kill Mozilla. Since the most of the work is probably done by people from Netscape, which is part of AOL, I - obviously incorrectly - presume you are speaking about Adobe moving one finger and making AOL to stop working on Mozilla. I'm pretty sure that's why Asa ask you what do you mean by your sentence. (Maybe I'm wrong, my English is just from the school.)

#95 Re: Re: Re:

by Lancer

Saturday March 16th, 2002 3:52 PM

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probably they are too blind for understand that "one finger" metaphor. probablemente estan demasiado ciegos para entender esa metáfora de "un dedo".

#96 Re: Re: Re: Re:

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Saturday March 16th, 2002 9:59 PM

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It's still unclear to me (and others) what you mean. You think that some company is going to kill Mozilla? Opera is going to kill Mozilla? I don't understand your comment at all.

--Asa

#98 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

by pirat

Sunday March 17th, 2002 5:23 AM

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I was confused too, Asa, until I find "Mozilla and the poetry" thread in n.p.m.ui . That explains a lot of things...

#103 Re: Re: Better than MSIE? In a few more years, may

by Tar

Thursday August 14th, 2003 2:28 PM

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testing commenting system, nevermind me

#86 Race analogy flawed

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Friday March 15th, 2002 6:05 PM

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Your #2 item which attempts to invalidate the claim that the year counting should begin with the rewrite is flawed.

First of all, the browser competition really can not be compared to a race because there is no finish line. Neither competitor can really claim victory until the other drops dead; al that can be said is that one is leading the other.

Secondly, you make it sound like Bob ran back to the starting line for no reason. It would be better if you said it were a car race and Bob turned around, went to the starting line, transferred the JS engine to a different car, and then took off after Alice.

Thirdly, by saying that Bob goes all the way back to the starting line, you are supporting the argument that Mozilla development started over from the beginning with the rewrite.

Fourth, your analogy gives no explanation at all as to why Bob is able to improve his speed by starting over.

Lastly, the names are wrong. Bob is from Microsoft.