MozillaZine

DevX Review of Mozilla Firebird

Wednesday June 4th, 2003

Paul Gittings writes: "DevX has a positive article, Mozilla Firebird Raises the Browser Bar, reviewing Mozilla's Firebird."


#1 A couple comments...

by anthropolemc

Wednesday June 4th, 2003 10:03 PM

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Good article, but it failed to mention that the toolbar is completely customizable, and that DOESN'T require "editing text files," and that there are already lots of themes to choose from. Still a good article that hits on the real high points of Firebird.

#7 Re: A couple comments...

by jsebrech

Thursday June 5th, 2003 4:08 AM

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I wouldn't be surprised if the author didn't know you could customize the toolbar. Not everyone thinks of right-clicking on the toolbar. He also clearly didn't know about about:config.

#8 Re: Re: A couple comments...

by tve

Thursday June 5th, 2003 6:04 AM

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View > Toolbars > Customize isnt too hard to figure, though :)

#2 Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday June 4th, 2003 10:17 PM

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All of the "must have" features listed for the Mozilla browser are features also present in the Opera browser. How does that raise a bar?

#3 Re: Whatever

by rwvaughn

Wednesday June 4th, 2003 10:44 PM

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Mozilla Firebird is not crapped with ads, and it's free.

#14 Re: Re: Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 10:42 AM

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I am using Opera now and there are no advertisements. If I had to pay for Opera, I think the cost would have been less than the cost of the memory upgrade for Mozilla.

#15 cracker - Re: Whatever

by watchman

Thursday June 5th, 2003 10:59 AM

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If you use Opera with no advertisements and you haven't paid -> you are a cracker.

#16 cracker - Re: Whatever

by watchman

Thursday June 5th, 2003 11:01 AM

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If you think Mozilla occupies much memory, you only have to use Mozilla Firebird (it will become Mozilla 1.5)

#19 Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 12:04 PM

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"If you think Mozilla occupies much memory, you only have to use Mozilla Firebird (it will become Mozilla 1.5)"

I will not try Mozilla again until they stop stealing the Firebird name. Even then , Opera will probably still be better.

#27 Re: Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by RobertM

Friday June 6th, 2003 7:37 AM

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Mozilla is not stealing the Firebird name. (The product is actually Mozilla Firebird, but none of that matters anyway--here's why.) "Mozilla Firebird" is just the internal code name, like Seamonkey (which most people haven't heard of) is the name for the current Mozilla app suite. It will, when released, be called Mozilla Browser, which I think is a bit boring (how about Mozilla Navigator?), but certainly better.

So, why'd they change from "Phoenix" in the first place if an internal name was all it'd ever be? Well, they didn't know that until the new roadmap was unveiled a few months ago. :-)

#28 back to the article

by smkatz

Friday June 6th, 2003 10:36 AM

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I object fundamentally to the article's conclusions that MFB will need to support "ActiveX and nonstandard HTML." Actually, I would argue that the antitrust settlement allows Microsoft to support ActiveX in any browser, and that they should if they want to make it a standard.

<shudder.> Lately, ActiveX has been used as advertising. "Do you want to install and run Gator, etc. and my "restricted sites" list has gotten larger.

I hope that if activeX is supported (ie. by running a small file that embeds IE like the activeX plugin does) that we are permitted to create a sandbox around it, and disable BHOs..

ahh.. its simpler to do what we have been doing.. ignore ActiveX altogether.

Sam

#33 Re: Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by RobertM

Friday June 6th, 2003 7:20 PM

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There is a non-supported ActiveX plugin for Mozilla developed by Adam Lock, the same person (a Netscape employee, but doing this on purely his own time and not related to his employer) who's developing the Mozilla ActiveX control for emdedding into Visual C++, VB, Internet Explorer (!!!), etc. I don't have the link with me, but it is in the article, I believe.

#29 I will not use the Firebird RDBMS...

by Millennium

Friday June 6th, 2003 11:22 AM

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I will not try the Firebird DBMS again until they stop stealing the Firebird name from Pontiac. Even then, MySQL will probably still be better.

I'm sure you realize how ridiculous that paragraph above sounds. But what makes your previous post any different?

This is an honest question. I expect an honest answer. Along with the one I asked last time that you never answered: what should Apple have called the ninth version of the Mac OS?

#36 Re: I will not use the Firebird RDBMS...

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday June 9th, 2003 12:51 AM

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"I will not try the Firebird DBMS again until they stop stealing the Firebird name from Pontiac."

Did you try it?

"But what makes your previous post any different?"

I was serious, and I had reasons for my claims other than being emotional about Mozilla. I think, rather than answering your question, you want me to explain how stealing a name from a small, poor database company is different from stealing a name from a large, rich automobile manufacturer. To me, this is a moral issue. Using the Firebird name for the database did not hurt Pontiac. Using the name for the web browser obviously did hurt the database people. This is probably because Pontiac does not depend on search engines for its success, while the small open source programming project does. I suppose there are issues of brand recognition, individuality, and pride but the biggest issue is probably the dependance on search engines for survival. Assuming the database people depend on search engine rankings for survival, the database and web browser projects are able to coexist as long as they have different names, but one is likely to hurt the other, if not kill it, if they use the same name. This is not an issue with Pontiac because their survival has very little to do with search engine rankings. My problem is Mozilla realized the possible problems and the offense and continued with its terrible acts, using offensive email as justification for evil.

"Along with the one I asked last time that you never answered"

I did answer. I will answer again for you.

"what should Apple have called the ninth version of the Mac OS?"

They should have called it Mozilla OS 9. Surely the Mozilla Browser people would not be upset if everybody that searched for "Mozilla" found the Apple website and a thousand pages devoted to it. Surely they would not be upset if everybody that searched for "Mozilla Browser" found the Safari website because both keywords would be on the homepage of a web browser for "Mozilla OS 9". Note "OS" is an acronym, meaning "operating system" and that is hardly a proper noun. Also note the activities of Apple have nothing to do with the morality of the Mozilla or Firebird people. Also note you seemed to want a response from me. Surely a lame Mozilla flunky will ask me why I continue to post messages.

#37 But the point isn't to beat IE as a browser...

by Millennium

Monday June 9th, 2003 9:55 AM

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"Did you try it?"

Yes. Very nice, but since they're STEALING someone ELSE"S name -a highly immoral act- they must be PUNISHED ^_^

"I was serious, and I had reasons for my claims other than being emotional about Mozilla."

Um, I'm not emotional about Mozilla at all. I think that you're being ridiculous, I will admit, but that has nothing to do with emotion.

"I think, rather than answering your question, you want me to explain how stealing a name from a small, poor database company is different from stealing a name from a large, rich automobile manufacturer."

Actually, we could start by answering the question of how they are "stealing" a name.

My real name is not particularly common. In fact, I've only once ever heard it used on TV. This was, I will admit, a rather shocking experience for me the first time it happened, because I wasn't used to hearing my name but not having it refer to me. But was I in any way hurt, diminished, or undermined because of it? Certainly not. Nor was my identity undermined because someone else happened to have the same name as me.

But once we figure out this definition of what stealing a name is, then yes, we could move on to what makes "stealing from the DB people" different from "stealing from the auto manufacturers". Isn't it stealing regardless, or is it not stealing if the victim is rich? By the way, the database company behind Firebird is anything but poor. They're not Oracle by any means, but don't cast them as something they are not.

"Using the name for the web browser obviously did hurt the database people."

Let's see your proof of this. Indeed, from the numbers I've seen, this has only brought the Firebird database more attention -and, therefore, users, if you subscribe to the idea that eyeballs equal users- than before.

"I did answer. I will answer again for you."

You call that an answer? I thought you were joking, because I doubted any sane person would seriously answer in that particular way, given how easy it is to rip apart. I see that I may have misjudged you on at least one of those aspects.

"They should have called it Mozilla OS 9. Surely the Mozilla Browser people would not be upset if everybody that searched for "Mozilla" found the Apple website and a thousand pages devoted to it."

Perhaps, perhaps not. That would not be Apple's problem, nor is it Mozilla's. Perhaps they should work on organizing a campaign to improve their search engine ranking. Or perhaps they might realize that people looking for a DBMS will be searching chiefly on database-related terms, which won't hit any Mozilla-related pages at all, except for people on both sides of the Moz/Firebird debate who whine about it on their pages, which will then show up as both browser and database pages (does this mean that your incessant posting about the DB on MozillaZine might be upping the signal to noise ratio, thus hurting your beloved DB more than it helps?). Those who are looking for Firebird by name will likely already know that they're looking for a DBMS. So, when they get a page full of browser results, they'll simply refine their search term to "Firebird DB" or something to that effect, and it will all be sorted out. People who are looking for a DBMS are, generally speaking, more than intelligent enough to do this.

"Note 'OS' is an acronym, meaning 'operating system' and that is hardly a proper noun."

True, it's not a proper noun when used on its own. However, non-noun words or abbreviations (including "OS") can be used as part of a proper noun, or more specifically, a compound proper noun. "OS" is used this way in "Mac OS 9" and "OS/9" both.

"Also note the activities of Apple have nothing to do with the morality of the Mozilla or Firebird people."

Directly, no. I'm doing what is called argument by analogy; maybe you've heard of it. I am pointing out a similar case to this one, where one company was accused of stealing the name of a totally different product. Was that moral of Apple to do? Mozilla is doing, more or less, the same thing, so how could one of these be moral while the other is not?

"Also note you seemed to want a response from me. Surely a lame Mozilla flunky will ask me why I continue to post messages."

Well, then, perhaps I'm not the "lame Mozilla flunky" you thought I was. I have pointed out that you could very well be hurting your own side's precious search-engine rankings, but that is as far as I intend to go along those lines.

#38 Your arguement would make sense if....

by abraxas

Saturday June 14th, 2003 8:06 AM

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...the Firebird database wasn't the first site to pop up when you google "firebird". Mozilla is in no way harming them by the way of search engine. Mozilla doesn't even show up until the bottom of the page.

#39 Also...

by abraxas

Saturday June 14th, 2003 8:10 AM

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As an addendum to my post I suggest you never use javascript then since they stole the name "java" for purely marketing reasons.

#20 Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 12:09 PM

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"If you use Opera with no advertisements and you haven't paid -> you are a cracker. "

Either that or the man who paid for my AOL account also paid for my web browser. Oddly enough, while I was able to convince him to pay for Opera, America Online, and that overpriced trash called Norton SystemWorks, I was unable to convince him to use Mozilla.

#22 Obviously

by googolplex

Thursday June 5th, 2003 2:12 PM

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Obviously, you are a bad convincer. That's why it is a waste of your time posting flames on here. You aren't convincing anyone.

#26 Re: Obviously

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 10:34 PM

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I am not trying to persuade anybody to believe Mozilla is bad. All I would have to do is let them use it. My main goal in posting was to offer suggestions to improve the project and end my frustration with the idiocy behind it all. I wanted the project to improve so they could defeat Microsoft and Internet Explorer. That is obviously a lost cause so I temporarily deviated from that goal to slam Mozilla for turning into another Microsoft. At this point, Mozilla is just a curiosity to me. I think I probably should make everybody happy and just disappear from this website. Opera and KHTML are more likely to succeed and they are not scum.

#17 go away troll

by leynat

Thursday June 5th, 2003 11:12 AM

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do you never get bored?

#18 Re: go away troll

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 12:00 PM

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"do you never get bored?"

If I spend time on MozillaZine, assume I am bored.

#21 Well that's pretty sad. (nt)

by googolplex

Thursday June 5th, 2003 2:10 PM

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Well that's pretty sad.

#4 Mozilla needs a PR person FAST!

by tseelee

Wednesday June 4th, 2003 11:36 PM

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This is the umpteenth article I've read that is just confused about Mozilla. In particular, this article says Mozilla took a long time cuz it can't use Gecko!! Doesn't it mean to say Necko?? C'mon, w. publicity like this no wonder AOL execs flock to IE!

#5 Re: Mozilla needs a PR person FAST!

by P4Peter <peterhenderson@usa.net>

Thursday June 5th, 2003 12:14 AM

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"Because the project could use very little of the code from the original Netscape browser (because it didn't use Gecko), Mozilla had a long road to travel to build a product that would compete with IE."

The sentence may have been confusing, but the article is correct. It didn't say that Mozilla was slow to develop because it couldn't use Gecko. The article said that Mozilla was slow to develop because the old Netscape codebase didn't use Gecko. Since the new Mozilla codebase does use Gecko, it wasn't able to reuse the old non-Gecko code.

#34 Re: Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by RobertM

Friday June 6th, 2003 7:23 PM

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"'Because the project could use very little of the code from the original...'"

Call me wrong, but wasn't the *whole thing* rewritten? And I'd say that just using Gecko wasn't why they couldn't use the existing code.

I like the article, but he does seem to be a bit confused on some points--nothing incredibly untruthful, but much unclear.

#35 Re: Re: Re: cracker - Re: Whatever

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Friday June 6th, 2003 7:43 PM

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"'Because the project could use very little of the code from the original...'

"Call me wrong, but wasn't the *whole thing* rewritten?"

Not all of it. Stuff like NSPR <http://www.mozilla.org/projects/nspr/> and NSS <http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/pki/nss/> didn't have to be rewritten (though they have evolved).

"And I'd say that just using Gecko wasn't why they couldn't use the existing code."

From what I understand, integrating Gecko with MozillaClassic would have been very difficult, if not impossible. That said, stuff like Netlib stuck around well into the New World but was still rewritten for other reasons <http://www.mozillazine.or…talkback.html?article=503> (they've since rewritten the cache part again <http://www.mozillazine.or…alkback.html?article=1867> ).

Alex

#6 No More DevX for me, ever

by Dracos

Thursday June 5th, 2003 12:58 AM

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I've only read DevX when I get pointed to an article there, and I've now lost all respect for it.

It is clear reading this article that the author doesn't really understand much about the Internet, much less what Mozilla (or Firebird, for that matter) is all about: standards. Then I get to this quote: "Mozilla must be able to run everything that IE runs—including ActiveX controls, non-standard script, and HTML". ActiveX should meet the same horrible fate that FrontPage is due for. Non-standard script has been the bane of web developers for the past five years. HTML is dead, future proof your content by converting to XHTML. It's not hard. When there is no more Internet Explorer, to whom will the poor uninformed masses turn? Yes, Mozilla definitely needs some marketing muscle.

#10 Re: No More DevX for me, ever

by pcabellor

Thursday June 5th, 2003 8:23 AM

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I think it comes to a decision here, that was made years ago, since Mozilla was created: to build a standards compliant browser or a market winner. Though, they're not necesessarily exclusive each other, this decission should be clear for Mozilla users and deployers.

I am aware of this in using Mozilla, so I know that I "must" keep IE in my PC in order to run some applications, specifically Cognos Powerplay Web and Changepoint. Like this there may be hundreds of applications which have and will be designed to be used exclusively with IE, because that's what companies (customers) have. And unlike Mozilla community, they're not romantique knights against the evil dragon. Instead, they're ready to roast some marshmallows in the dragon's fire.

So. I say: be happy with Mozilla, but don't expect to be within a majority too soon, neither to gain market share significantly.

Only if, as I mentioned yesterday and as many other people has noticed, PR is created for Mozilla and let companies know the strengths of Mozilla:

- free - more powerful out of the box - fully customizable as it is open source - cross platform - absolutely non dependant on the OS (whichever)

PR must be able to find practical (monetary) value to these strengths, sinergize with other open source initiatives (say OpenOffice.org) and show to corporate consumers a product that is better indeed.

As for ActiveX support. I think a strategical movement would be to take the time to check the most important web applications (in terms of market share) and technologies (like ActiveX) that doesn't support Mozilla, and see exactly what Mozilla is "missing" to get these to work. Why market share is important? Because, in the long term, only market share will stop Microsoft or some other gorilla to decide one day to make a crossplateform IE 7, with tabbed browsing, and all the features you may dream, just by hiring a troop of developers, even some from Mozilla team (this is the real world), crushing Mozilla, like it did with Netscape.

Because the ideal is a standards compliant WWW, some day the market will have to be taken from MS, so Mozilla must be prepared for the gorilla cry.

#9 Nice Quote

by mbajebus

Thursday June 5th, 2003 7:50 AM

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"Firebird raises the browser bar, and Microsoft will have to respond quickly to maintain IE's market share."

#11 MNG removal story?

by pmsyyz

Thursday June 5th, 2003 8:37 AM

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Where is the mozillazine story on the removal of MNG/JNG support in Mozilla after supporting it for almost three years?

#23 Here, Here!

by googolplex

Thursday June 5th, 2003 2:17 PM

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This removal makes no sense. The only reason given was to conserve space. It doesn't even take up that much space. Not to mention the fact that there is a great deal of user support for this to be included.

#32 Re: MNG removal story?

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Friday June 6th, 2003 7:17 PM

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"Where is the mozillazine story on the removal of MNG/JNG support in Mozilla after supporting it for almost three years?"

There probably won't be one.

One of the reasons MNG/JNG support was removed was because the maintainer wished to step down. The patch was written by the said maintainer and reviewed by the ImageLib module owner. From what I understand, somebody contacted drivers and while some members of drivers were opposed, they did not veto the checkin. The change was above board and in compliance with mozilla.org policy. MNG/JNG support was removed for valid reasons.

Also, MNG/JNG hasn't been consistently supported for almost three years: it was broken for much of 2001.

Personally, I'm opposed to the change and hope that with a new maintainer and further optimisation support can be restored. However, an article would not do much to achieve this aim (most of the people that could make a difference are already aware of the issue) and would only encourage whining in the bug reports, which is never a good thing.

Alex

#12 .06?

by MXN

Thursday June 5th, 2003 9:00 AM

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"Despite these small problems, Mozilla Firebird — even in a .06 release — already outshines IE in several respects."

Doesn't he mean .6?

- MXN

#13 Interesting Point

by kepardue

Thursday June 5th, 2003 9:37 AM

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"Finally, Mozilla must be able to run everything that IE runs—including ActiveX controls, non-standard script, and HTML. Web purists will argue that ActiveX controls are insecure, and they are. They'll argue that the only script Mozilla Firebird doesn't run is non-standard; it is. They'll argue that the HTML rendering used by Mozilla is better than IE's because it adheres more closely to the standards agreed to by the W3C; that's true, too.

However, the fact is that any browser that pretends to have a prayer of competing with IE must compete with it all the time. Challengers don't get to set the rules of engagement. Browser users won't tolerate a browser that runs only some of the Web pages they want to see. More importantly, many Web developers won't target a new browser that won't run their existing code."

---That's something that I've always felt to be true about the Mozilla project. I've been argued with quite vehemently about it before, but this guy states it very eloquently.

#24 Re: Interesting Point

by cgonyea

Thursday June 5th, 2003 3:29 PM

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In order to run ActiveX and non-standard script, Mozilla Firebird would become just as bad as IE is towards security. Not to mention constantly getting prompted for Gator downloads. No thanks.

#25 Re: Interesting Point

by jsebrech

Thursday June 5th, 2003 3:33 PM

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Except the mozilla project isn't about "winning" over IE. The goal (as I understand it) of the mozilla project is to make web tools that comply to standards. The mozilla lead has ensured that just about all non-microsoft browsers comply to standards, and eventually I expect IE will come about too.

What's the purpose of beating IE if to do it you become IE?

#30 But the point isn't to beat IE as a browser...

by Millennium

Friday June 6th, 2003 11:40 AM

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The point of Mozilla isn't to beat IE as a browser. That's a common misconception, but it's not true.

The point of Mozilla is to eradicate nonstandard markup and such, by forcing IE to properly implement standards in order to stay competitive. It intends to do this by providing one of several viable alternatives to IE, all of which implement the standards properly, to promote interoperability.