MozillaZine

Chris Blizzard Interview at Red Hat

Monday July 15th, 2002

Red Hat has a rather humourous interview with Chris Blizzard on their website. The interview covers such diverse subjects as why Mozilla 1.0 is important, how Chris got involved with the project and how it's possible to read both The Economist and The Nation each week.

Thanks to Patrick for the tip.


#1 My Personal Favorite

by kristen

Monday July 15th, 2002 1:51 PM

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"People like to make fun of IE, but it's actually a really good browser. The problem is that it is only available on Windows."

Enough said. ;)

#2 Re: My Personal Favorite

by sleepy

Monday July 15th, 2002 2:12 PM

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If that's true, I feel sorry for the people who work so hard on evangelism bugs.

#7 Little-known fact: IE is on 4 platforms

by rkl

Tuesday July 16th, 2002 4:00 AM

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Surprisingly, most people only seem to think that IE is on either 1 or 2 platforms. In fact, it's on 4 - Solaris and HP-UX have had an (abysmal) port of IE for years now - see:

<http://www.microsoft.com/…ownloads/recommended/ie5/>

(And, yes, there was even an IE4 for those platforms)

The way those ports to UNIX were done was horrendous - an entire Windows API emulation (yes, including registry files and virtually no application defaults) that ran like treacle unless you have a very beefy workstation. Even worse, Java applets weren't inline - they ran the vendor's separate JVM in another window - duh !

It does make you suspect, though, that it's purely political reasoning as to why IE isn't on Linux (cos Linux is seen as more a rival to Windows than Solaris or HP-UX). Either that, or IE on Linux - if ported in the same way as the Solaris or HP-UX releases - would be something of a laughing stock compared to "native" Linux browsers (Mozilla, Konquerer, Opera etc.).

#18 Re: Little-known fact: IE is on 4 platforms

by MozSaysAloha <hoshie@hotpop.com>

Thursday July 18th, 2002 5:01 PM

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I've heard rumours that there would be a beta of a Linux IE. I personally don't believe it. If there was to be a Linux IE, It could be a cold day in hell before Linux users use such a port. Could you see Linus, Raymond, or RMS using an endorsing a IE port? I think not.

#3 Re: My Personal Favorite

by TheK <kl@3dots.de>

Monday July 15th, 2002 4:22 PM

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yes, it's very good - and it's so compatible, that the only change made in the last 4 years was changing the config menu 3 times *g*

#4 Hmmm

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Monday July 15th, 2002 5:57 PM

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Is Chris not aware of IE for the Mac?

#5 Re: Hmmm

by eiseli

Monday July 15th, 2002 7:52 PM

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Are you aware that IE Mac is not the same software as IE Win?

#6 Re: Re: Hmmm

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Tuesday July 16th, 2002 12:10 AM

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>Are you aware that IE Mac is not the same software as IE Win?

Yes, I am quite aware that IE for the Mac is not the same software as IE for Windows. What does that have to do with what I said? For that matter, what does it have to do with what Chris Blizzard said?

#8 Going with waht is already on the machine.

by PaulB <pbergsag@home.com>

Tuesday July 16th, 2002 10:56 AM

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Well if it is not the same code IE Mac is not the same quality of browser on the Mac as on Windoows. Many functions, most notably functions involving activeX or WMP do not function at all on the Mac or only with a severe performance hit. Even the standards complience between the Windows version and Mac version is different. Mac IE really is not a rewrite of IE as is is a seperate development by the Mac Bussiness Unit.

This said Blizzard IS justified in stating that IE (i.e. the one for Windows) only is written for one platform. Mozilla on the other hand is not coded seperately for another platform, except when it has been necessary to add some platform specific code. Bascially the coded is written once and complied for various platforms and all the latforms have exactly the same feature set. You cannot say this for IE on Windows or the Mac or even the ports made to some *nixs. So Blizzard is correct in stating IE is written only for Windows. The primary resemblence IE for Mac has to IE for Windows is that they share a name.

#9 Quite a stretch there

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Tuesday July 16th, 2002 1:38 PM

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For clarification, the Chris Blizzard quote is as follows :

"People like to make fun of IE, but it's actually a really good browser. The problem is that it is only available on Windows."

PaulB then says :

"This said Blizzard IS justified in stating that IE (i.e. the one for Windows) only is written for one platform. ... So Blizzard is correct in stating IE is written only for Windows." Chris did not say that IE is only "written" for one platform; he said it is only available for Windows. This is just simply not true. The fact that the Mac version has different code means that IE _is_ written for more than one platform and IE is obviously available for more than one platform. In addition to the Mac version, rkl has also provided a link for downloading a unix version of IE from Microsoft <http://www.microsoft.com/…ownloads/recommended/ie5/> ; rkl states that this does use the same code as the Windows version.

Now if Chris had said that IE was only good on the Windows platform then I would still disagree, but the issue would be different. Obviously the unix version of IE sucks, so there is no debate there. However, it is debatable whether IE is better on Windows or on the Mac. The Mac version of IE has better standards support and is less prone to security risks, but the Windows version seems to be a bit faster and more stable. My personal view is that IE is not a good browser on any platform.

#10 But certian features are built to work best ....;

by PaulB <pbergsag@home.com>

Tuesday July 16th, 2002 6:04 PM

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Certian features are built to work best or only on the Windows platform. Certian features, such as activeX are promoted in IE for Windows primarily because they are not crossplatform. If Microsoft wanted to truly stress the company is serious about security they would remove all internet and IE acess to ActiveX. The same or ver similar functionality can be done by methods other than ActiveX (ie. Java or Javascript). ActiveX remains in IE since it works only with Windows plain and simple.

"Now if Chris had said that IE was only good on the Windows platform then I would still disagree, but the issue would be different. Obviously the unix version of IE sucks, so there is no debate there. However, it is debatable whether IE is better on Windows or on the Mac. The Mac version of IE has better standards support and is less prone to security risks, but the Windows version seems to be a bit faster and more stable. My personal view is that IE is not a good browser on any platform."

I do not disagree with this statement. What Windows version of IE does is reserve certian features fir that platform which will not work on any other platform. Try usind WMP on the Mac gthe plugin...it will not work. Many web sites (I am not sure if Microsoft designed it this way) require the plugin or embeded player and will not work with a helper application. Therefore many sites that use WMP format are unplayable on the Mac. This is why I felt Blizzard was justified in saying IE is built only for Windows. Microsoft, IMHO has "crippled" IE on the Mac. Mac IE != Windows IE. Mozilla is equvialent to each other on all platforms it runs on. This is a major difference between Mozilla and IE. Microsoft seems to be developing technologies they promote which only function (or function best) on Windows. They are a company with little tolerance with open standards or even cross platform proprietary technologies. Microsoft wants users of the Internet dependent on Windows.

Blizzard's statement about IE being developed only for Windows is correct. IE is so different in the standards it supports on different platforms. IE really only runs all the technologies and standards well on IE for Windows. You might argue wether IE is better on Windows or the Mac, but the fact remains that Mac IE is crippled and chocks because of technologies Moicrosoft has "purposefully" left out of the Mac version.

#11 Re: But certian features are built to work best ....;

by macpeep

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 12:34 AM

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"The same or ver similar functionality can be done by methods other than ActiveX (ie. Java or Javascript). ActiveX remains in IE since it works only with Windows plain and simple."

Not true. ActiveX is the plugin mechanism in IE. While theoretically you could achieve the same with Java, in reality, unfortunately, you can't. There's a reason why Mozilla doesn't rely on Java for plugins either and it's the exact same reason; Java and JavaScript doesn't cut it for playing near full-screen sized QuickTime video unless you install some native code components, after which it's no different than using a plain native plugin since you'll be running code outside the sandbox anyway.

And how exactly is ActiveX less secure by design than, say, the Mozilla plugins?

#15 Re: Re: Mac OS 9.x: Cursor Problem

by Kirby

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 5:49 PM

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Wait a minute... I thought ActiveX is Windows's component system?

#17 Re: Re: Re: Mac OS 9.x: Cursor Problem

by macpeep

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 11:47 PM

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It is, and IE uses it for plugins. Kinda like if you would have an all-Java web browser and the plugins were JavaBeans. Or.. Mozilla, and the plugins were XPCOM components. It just fits with the architecture.

#12 My last post to this thread

by SubtleRebel <mark@ky.net>

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 12:59 AM

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"Blizzard's statement about IE being developed only for Windows is correct."

Even if that was what he said, it would still be wrong.

According to the article though, what he actually said though was that IE was only available for Windows. However IE is available for other platforms.

I am really tired of this discussion though. It is pointless. Chris is a good guy who made an erroneous statement in an interview. It is not a big deal.

"IE is so different in the standards it supports on different platforms. IE really only runs all the technologies and standards well on IE for Windows."

Last time I checked, IE for the Mac had better support for W3C standards than the Windows version of IE.

"You might argue wether IE is better on Windows or the Mac, but the fact remains that Mac IE is crippled and chocks because of technologies Moicrosoft has 'purposefully' left out of the Mac version."

Microsoft has left support for certain Microsoft proprietary technologies out of IE for Mac. IMO, that is a good thing.

#13 Re: My Personal Favorite

by arielb

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 6:04 AM

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he's from redhat so he's obviously talking from a linux perspective.

#14 Newsflash - forbes.com likes galeon, mozilla !!

by Salsaman

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 8:42 AM

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#16 ok fine I'm back!

by arielb

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 9:05 PM

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I have to confess that even though I followed the mozilla project since the beginning, I was using Opera 6 since it was released. This is finally going to stop because I am tired of Opera's bugs. It crashes, it has rendering garbage...I wait for improvements (I have 6.04) and there's nothing I can do about it. With mozilla there's always constant progress. And now that I have a free imap account thanks to myrealbox.com I just have to get the full featured mozilla mail!