'Houston Chronicle' Raves About Easy, Fun, Fast, Safe, Free Mozilla Firefox

Saturday March 13th, 2004

The Houston Chronicle has an article about Mozilla Firefox, describing the browser as "easy, fun, fast, safe, free". The report highlights Firefox's popup blocking, tabbed browsing, integrated Google search, extensions, download manager, speed and privacy options. Thanks to tityre for telling us about this article.

#60 Re: Re: New Extension Server

by jgraham

Tuesday March 16th, 2004 4:48 AM

You are replying to this message

> I am sympathetic to your concerns, but your point is at an extreme of relativism that makes any assertion as valid as another.

What? Did you actually read what was said? Boris certianly didn't say "It's impossible to differentiate between the CSS support of any two randomly selected browsers", he said "I can't judge which *of the two* layout engines has "better" support for CSS2" (emphasis mine) - i.e. he can't judge the difference between Opera and Gecko.

The point he makes is good; in order to do what you ask, we first need a measure of "better". The traditional test-case measure of better is "supports the largest number of features in the simplest possible case". This is because testcases are basically reductionist; you have the smallest number of possible elements so that it's obvious where problems lie. On the other hand, someone designing for the browsers would consider the browser "does more of the things I'm trying to do without bugs" to be better. This defintion of better can't be tested using the traditional testcase; it depends on complex interactions between all the different style features that the designer is using. The first definition of better will favour browsers that have a great breath of implementation, but will say little about the depth. The second definition is quite the opposite. Given this, I think it's perfectly reasonable to say "I can't judge which of the two layout engines has "better" support for CSS2, because there is no way currently in existence to test it", without being labelled a cultural relativist. In fact, demanding evidence to back up claims (and making no claims where no evidence exists) is quite the opposite of cultural relativism.