BBC News Examines Alternative Browsers
Friday March 7th, 2003
A prolific writer writes: "I saw this article on the BBC News front page about alternatives to MSIE." As well as Mozilla, the report also looks briefly at Safari, Netscape, Opera and the secretive new Xwebs browser.
bbc: 'Adnan Osmani, a 16-year-old from Ireland, has designed XWebs. He says it is five times faster than anything else but he would not demonstrate it to us.'
what does that tell us ?
That you should hire him as a PR guy.
;) Ben Schleimer
I am not convinced on XWebs. To me it seems a bit fishy to create this gee-wiz product and then not show it to anyone. About the kids claim of increasing browsing speed, I am also not convinced. I 've always believed browser speeds depend on the speed of your connection to the net. To me, XWebs is nothing more smoke with no fire. Is it just me or does it seem all of these browsers coming out of the woodwork remind a person of all the people who have claimed to have been the second Grassy Knoll gunman of the last half-century? It's the same smoke with no fire effect.
any chance to download this beast?
from the comments on the board i've just read it is IE based so i don't want it anymore. :)
by Assimil8or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday March 8th, 2003 7:14 AM
I have written a completely new browser, too! It's about 200x faster than anything else and has way more features but I won't show it to anybody!
That's nothing. I also have written a completely new browser! But mine is much, much faster than yours. It has every feature anyone could ever think of, plus many more! And there is not a single bug to be found in it! But like you Assimil8or, I won't show this baby to anybody, either.
#8 Re: Re: YWebs...
Saturday March 8th, 2003 10:11 AM
Well my browser actually downloads pages before you visit them! Wait, Mozilla does that.
#4 As Everyone Else Has Forgotten About Threading...
Saturday March 8th, 2003 7:28 AM
Here's a more-detailed article about Xwebs: <http://www.wired.com/news…ture/0,1377,57393,00.html>
#5 Yeah, that guy rocks!
by ezh <email@example.com>
Saturday March 8th, 2003 7:29 AM
He's smart... :)))
#6 Oh dear, XWebs is going to suck!
Saturday March 8th, 2003 8:30 AM
I was reading that article about XWebs, and was moderately impressed with what this guy is trying to achieve, until I read the following words . . . "The browser is based on the version of Microsoft Internet Explorer that third-party developers use . . . " So, he's foolishly chosen to build his supposedly groundbreaking new browser program from an existing browser app that's technically obsolete, and riddled with bugs and security holes. Instead of riding on the Gecko freeway, he's boarded the rickety old M$HTML rollercoaster!
#9 Xwebs concept
by Ascaris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday March 8th, 2003 11:10 AM
"The browser handles multiple requests for information, he said. So, instead of a single stream of information, several streams are processed simultaneously."
Isn't that pretty much what the so-called download accelerators do?
Unless the single connection that one has with existing browsers is limited to one sixth or less of his incoming bandwidth by whatever means, the claims of 600% speed boost do not pass the b.s. test. Maybe, in fact, that is the point-- to bypass the bandwidth limiting on web servers. I have always assumed that the reason browsers do not do this now (when the technology is clearly not anything unusual-- being enabled on such notorious bandwidth hogs as Kazaa, for example) is because of the added load they would place on web servers. Maybe a given server would use a bandwidth limit to keep a few users on high-speed connections from using all of the bandwidth, and this kind of thing would allow those lucky folks with access to T1 or T3 connections to hog even more bandwidth than they already have. They would, in fact, be taking up much more than their fair share of bandwidth, and if this were widespread, the people with the fastest connections would in effect be doing a DOS attack of sorts on the web server.
Unless I am way off the mark here, this kid is simply taking IE and adding some bits from existing download accelerators for all HTTP connections, not just downloads. How is this revolutionary and amazing?
By the way, in reference to the original headline about "alternative" browsers-- I consider IE to be an alternative browser. Mozilla, by virtue of its Netscape lineage, is the standard to me, numbers notwithstanding.
#10 Re: Xwebs concept
Saturday March 8th, 2003 12:33 PM
"Unless the single connection that one has with existing browsers is limited to one sixth or less of his incoming bandwidth by whatever means, the claims of 600% speed boost do not pass the b.s. test. Maybe, in fact, that is the point-- to bypass the bandwidth limiting on web servers. I have always assumed that the reason browsers do not do this now (when the technology is clearly not anything unusual-- being enabled on such notorious bandwidth hogs as Kazaa, for example) is because of the added load they would place on web servers."
Actually, most browsers will make multiple connections to a single server (I believe Netscape Navigator 1.0 was the first browser to do this) but the number of simultaneous connections is limited to a small number, like four or something. Because, as you say, using more would just be greedy.
I thought browsers made a couple connections, but each connection was used for a different file, where as "download accelerators" make multiple connections for the same file and try to retrieve various pieces of the single file all at once.
#22 Re: Simultanious connections
Sunday March 9th, 2003 11:34 AM
"I thought browsers made a couple connections, but each connection was used for a different file, where as 'download accelerators' make multiple connections for the same file and try to retrieve various pieces of the single file all at once."
Yes, I think that's right. Browsers also have a limit to how many connections they'll make to a single server at once. So if you have a page with 100 images on it (all stored on the same server), a browser won't make 100 simultaneous connections to get all the images.
Until mozilla profiles work correctly on Windows, I think its unlikely to make much of a dent in IE's market share. I use moz all the time under Linux, but myself and others I know have tried several times to get it to work on Windows without success. The second time it starts, it can't find the profile it created previously. I'm not sure if this is a roaming thing, but its unusable as it is, and damn annoying.
#12 Re: Windows and Mozilla profiles.
Saturday March 8th, 2003 1:11 PM
"The second time it starts, it can't find the profile it created previously. I'm not sure if this is a roaming thing, but its unusable as it is, and damn annoying."
Mozilla has, er, 'issues' with profiles stored on network drives.
#13 Re: Re: Windows and Mozilla profiles.
Saturday March 8th, 2003 1:34 PM
Yeah, it certainly does. And since a good percentage of corporate users will be on networks like this, with their home areas stored on a server, it's something that really needs looking at. On Linux I have no complaints though :)
#15 Re: Windows and Mozilla profiles.
Saturday March 8th, 2003 2:45 PM
It is certainly possible to store your Moz profile in your windows profile directory, even when it stored on a network server as its exactly what I do at work. The problem that Mozilla has is with UNC paths in the profile path, so if your roaming profile is stored on a network server you've got problems.
All you've got to do is map a network drive to your Windows profile directory (eg map drive Z: to \\server\profiles\yourname) and save your profile there.
To tell Moz to save your profile here start it up with a command line like this: mozilla.exe -CreateProfile "default z:\applic~1\mozilla" From then on your Mozilla profile will follow you to every PC you log into.
#17 Re: Re: Windows and Mozilla profiles.
Saturday March 8th, 2003 2:58 PM
The words 'hoops', 'through' and 'jumping' spring to mind ;)
#20 Re: Re: Windows and Mozilla profiles.
Sunday March 9th, 2003 5:04 AM
True, but given the hoops you have to jump through to get some other software running properly on a network mapping a drive and adding a directive to the command line the first time you launch the browser is not really a big deal, especially as it's not even a difficult process to automate.
#14 OT: Do Mozilla profiles fro Windows work in Linux?
Saturday March 8th, 2003 2:06 PM
Sorry, this post is off-topic, but this is usually a pretty helpful forum.
I want to make the shift to Linux. I'm currently using Mozilla on Windows. My shift to Linux will be gradual. One of the things I'd like to be able to do is to use Mozilla (mail, bookmarks, etc.) in both Linux and Windows and use the same profile in both systems. So I would configure my Linux Mozilla to get my profile from a mounted Windows drive. Does anyone know if this is possible? Will it cause problems? Thanks for your help.
#16 Re: OT: Do Mozilla profiles fro Windows work in Li
Saturday March 8th, 2003 2:57 PM
"So I would configure my Linux Mozilla to get my profile from a mounted Windows drive. Does anyone know if this is possible?"
#19 Re: OT: Do Mozilla profiles fro Windows work in Li
Sunday March 9th, 2003 2:59 AM
Sharing the bookmarks file using a symlink might not work (at least it didn't work in some mozilla versions), but you can use the following pref: user_pref("browser.bookmarks.file", "/Win/C/path/to/bookmarks.html");
But yes, while you probably can't share a whole profile between linux and windows mozillas, you can share many things... Personally I use the same bookmarks, addressbook, and mail/news data on both OSs, and it works well.
"Osmani, an entirely self-taught programmer who got his first PC at 10, said his computing heroes are Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak ("because they were hackers and hands-on"), as well as hacker Kevin Mitnick."
Steve Jobs can be very "hands-on" but I would not call him a hacker.
Anyway, considering his heroes, it seems rather odd that he chose to build off of IE.
#27 Re: Computing heroes
by MJS1981pierr <email@example.com>
Saturday March 15th, 2003 4:43 PM
Agreed about Jobs, but Osmani may be conflating Jobs with Wozniak. Wozniak _was_ a hacker -- particularly, a phreak extraordinaire, from what I've garnered.
#26 The fastest browser on planet...
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 3:26 AM
...is here: <http://lynx.browser.org/> ;)