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.

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

by mpthomas

Thursday March 14th, 2002 12:20 AM

You are replying to this message

"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