MozillaZine

Reporting and Nominating Bugs for Mozilla Firefox 1.0

Thursday April 29th, 2004

Ben Goodger writes: "We're beginning the drive to Firefox 1.0 and we need to make sure that every bug people think is important is filed in Bugzilla and has a blocking0.9? or blocking1.0? request flag set. This will allow the FDT (heh) to develop an action plan for the milestones between now and 1.0, prioritize bugs and so on. It's essential that people start doing this now, rather than later, otherwise bugs might slip through the cracks!" Further details are available in Ben's posting to the Firefox forums.


#1 Major "Bug": missing feature parity with the suite

by johann_p

Thursday April 29th, 2004 2:34 PM

Reply to this message

If FF is to replace the suite eventually, prepare to find a way to get feature parity with the suite browser early. Dont force us to use tons of extensions of different quality, by different authors, each which its own set of features and each with a different view of how the GUI should look. The browser should be usable, configurable and powerful in the right way, i.e. the suite-way for all of us who prefer the suite and there should be one or a standard set of extensions that provide this in a coordinated way with all the discussion and QA that go into "native" FF features. Each time I give FF another try I give up within a short time and go back to the suite.

#3 Re: Major "Bug": missing feature parity with the s

by Ben_Goodger

Thursday April 29th, 2004 3:41 PM

Reply to this message

We're not here to "replace" the Suite in this sense. We're here to provide a mass market consumer browser. Those two goals do not perfectly intersect.

#8 Alas, yes

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 12:01 AM

Reply to this message

I was always convinced and I still am that the idea to make Mozilla->Firefox a "mass market" browser that targets newbies or your grandma was a totally wrong decision without the slightest chance for success: there are already many other browsers that essentially do this out there (IE on Windows, Konqueror on Linux) - what should people motivate to switch? A few geek features? This sector is where it is hardest to compete with IE. I always had the opinion that the better way would have been to be innovative and implement killer features that other browsers do not have so that Mozilla conquers its own segment where it has no and more importantly, no free competition: power users, corporate users, users who need to do serious work etc. In this sector, the integration with the mail app is most important, because a major part of the workload is mail. What *could* have set Mozilla apart from the rest of the crowd is exactly an even tighter functional integration of what 99% of today's advanced users (advanced with regard to their work, not their technical knowledge) need: handling emails, follow-up actions with the browser, managing deadlines, todo-lists, tasks, handling a good calendar etc. Instead the move to FF is a move to provide just another little browser, just another little mail app, just another little calendar app. There is no real pressing reason to choose the Mozilla version of each of these neat little apps. There is no real innovation in that concept from a functional und usability point of view (yes there is lots of technical innovation, but the user and especially the "mass user" you are targeting does not care about that). So I am seeing dozens of missed chances and things not done in the Mozilla project and especially in the decision to go for the "simple little app for everyone" approach which already prevented some innovation in the Seamonkey time. The extensions approach is no solution for this either: it is the easy way out technically, but it makes everything a mess - there is no coordination what to implement how, each extension implementing their own set of overlappign features, each extension contributing in an unknown way to bugs and instability, each extensions being a potential security problem, there is no routine bug tracking or QA at the level of the core code, there is no discussion or coordination how to make the additional features available in a user friendly way with a well though-out gui, there is no way to guarantee that an extension will stay in sync with the developments of the core and many more problems. Instead of just migrating the technical implementation to make the move to seperate processes and the GRE, this switch was also a conceptional one that essentially killed the spirit behind the suite. I think this was not a good idea. It was not a good idea to listen to all those /. geeks who constantly lamented about "bloatware" - an irrelevant minority of users who just have the habit to make a lot of noise. In the timeframe of Mozilla development, with users increasingly using fast hardware, the technical overhead becomes less and less important. What is important is that Mozilla provides something that is unique from a functional point of view. The only way out of this I see is that the Mozilla foundation finally has a vision about innovative features they want in their products and that the actively work to keep the development of these coordinated and centralized. This could mean that what is now scattered among dozens of extensions gets unified into one or two uber-extensions that are developed in the same way as the core: with reviews, qa, coordinated discussion of how to do the UI, and with painstakingly detailled review of potential security issues.

#10 Re: Alas, yes

by Ben_Goodger

Friday April 30th, 2004 12:26 AM

Reply to this message

<http://www.mozilla.org/pr…ects/firefox/charter.html>

Forbes. Maximum PC. Infoworld. The Straits Times. The SJ Mercury News. Users around the world, most of whom didn't give Mozilla a second thought before are coming back. You can write as many verbose diatribes espousing your opinions as you like, it doesn't change the facts. The tide is turning.

#11 Re: Re: Alas, yes

by hem

Friday April 30th, 2004 1:11 AM

Reply to this message

Ben, I don't think your comment is good enough response to Johann's comment. He does make good sense, I am frustrated as well - in a way. I like the changes happening to FF, Thunderbird etc, but there is no concerted effort to increase the user experience. If you don't know what I am talking about, just try using Outlook with contact manager (<http://www.microsoft.com/…ger/prodinfo/default.mspx>). I know, Microsoft is powerful, can do a lot more theory, but what open source need is real productivity software which makes people get on with their lives efficently and effectively. I am not saying that FF doesn't provide that in comparison to IE, but there need to be bigger role all the open source projects need to fulfil, or we would just become playing catch up. Keep up the good work you are doing, you are on the right path, moving along, but refusing to listen to someone who has ideas and walking away from it by quoting a few articles, probably not a good idea.

#13 Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by Ben_Goodger

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:25 AM

Reply to this message

I read the ideas, so you can't accuse me of not listening.

If what you really mean is that we're not acting, then you're right, we won't act. We're not recreating the suite. That is the second biggest misconception I've seen here. The biggest misconception is that Firefox (or indeed any Mozilla project) is a democracy. It isn't. What the owner (in this case me) says goes. If I felt I was flying in the face of logic and common sense, I'd change my approach. Clearly, I don't.

#16 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:50 AM

Reply to this message

Actually I'm not sure that what Johann is advocating necessaily requires a recreation of the suite (although perhaps he believes it does). The essential point, I think, is that he wants the web resources, email, contacts, appointments and so on to all be avaliable under a general 'knowledge management' framework. Although the suite might make parts of this easier, ulimatley it's less flexible than a solution based on component applications sharing data. For example, if a solution to this problem existed based on a common API rather than direct communication, it would allow one to swap out any single application for a better application.

For what it's worth, I think it's a good long term goal for Mozilla technologies, but I'm not sure that it's really a goal of the Mozilla foundation. If you really want to see it implemented, I think the best approach would be to start evengalising to companies (or even just Open Source programmers) about the vision. I'm not sure it's in anyone's best interests for the fundtation to throw 2 years of engineeering effort att solving a different problem when we're only just getting a good solution to the original problem from 1998.

#23 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by buff

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:30 AM

Reply to this message

Thank god you are not trying to recreate the application suite. This is why I *love* Firefox. I just want a slim, fast browser and maybe some calendar integration once it is complete. I don't need an html editor or a news reader. I just want alternatives to IE and Konqueror. Having used both Konqueror and Firefox on linux I can accurately say that Firefox does a much better job rendering complex pages. I liked the way Firefox opened so quickly I set all the html associations in KDE to use Firefox.

#36 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jstuart

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:26 AM

Reply to this message

I agree with buff. Thank GOD FF is slim. I too hate konqi as a web browser with a passion. And I too have switched to useing FF as my web browser in KDE.

#58 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jayeshsh2

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:51 PM

Reply to this message

I think that Firefox appeals to a wider audience than the Suite, and while being leaner than the Suite, it still has several significant advantages over Internet Explorer 6. It has received favorable press reviews, and has been praised and adopted by bloggers. I think someone cited a statistic somewhere that Firefox 0.8 had been downloaded a million times.

Having said that, I should cite a quote: "No one wants advice - only corroboration" - John Steinbeck

Ben said: "The biggest misconception is that Firefox (or indeed any Mozilla project) is a democracy. It isn't. What the owner (in this case me) says goes." Forgive me for putting this so bluntly, but I feel this statement appears to be without humility or regard for others opinions.

No matter how good Firefox is today, it is not because it has been a one-man effort. It seems to be common practice today to disparage the old Suite for having been "bloated", "horrible", and so on. But remember: the old Suite got us this far, and Firefox is building on its foundation, not starting from scratch. One look at the Mozilla Credits page ( <http://www.mozilla.org/credits/> ) will tell you that where we are today with Firefox and Thunderbird would not have been possible without the contributions of many of the people listed there.

Now, I am not trying to understate the amount of work put in and competence shown by Ben and Scott (MacGregor, primary developer of Thunderbird). I just don't like it when Ben responds to a well thought out argument with a simple dismissal, and a pithy one-liner essentially saying "I know what's right - I am always right. And I am not right I will know it."

And at the risk of seeming pedantic, I'll leave you with this : "Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending." - William Shakespeare

#79 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 11:34 AM

Reply to this message

>>Forgive me for putting this so bluntly, but I feel this statement appears to be without humility or regard for others opinions.

I don't think he meant it that way. The way I see it, basically he's saying: Thanks to a strong lead and the ability to say "NO", Firefox is what it is today. I (ben in this case) am currently the project lead, so it's my responsibility do keep Firefox lean/mean and a major browsing machine. If you don't like it, tough luck, I'm open to suggestions and appreciate any contributions, but if in the end I don'y think it should happen, I'm not bending over and implementing everything YOU think would make Firefox great."

This kind of stance is what is needed and I don't see hyow this is "without humility" or "regard for others opinions". Could he have expressed himself in a better way? Sure, but I'd like to see you having to read-respond to all this crap everyday of the year.

#93 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 10:15 AM

Reply to this message

Jed, you seem to be Ben's (or/and Mozilla Firefox) last line of defense. Let Ben do the talking, because he's the one under 'attack' (if you like to put it that way) and not you. Please stop making A's from F's. Is Ben Goodger still a minor? No, so...

#94 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by kerz <jason@mozillazine.org>

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 12:54 PM

Reply to this message

Last I checked, Firefox is the most popular thing mozilla.org has ever made. You can see that by looking in our forums, watching the computer press' coverage of browsers, or just by looking at server logs. Why is it popular? Because we don't have 40 different nut jobs checking in garbage in every direction, because 'they' require such things. Please get over yourself, and look at the big picture. Firefox is saving mozilla.org at a time that it needs to be saved. The foundation would not survive on the suite. It would wither away just like netscape did.

#100 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Monday May 3rd, 2004 3:24 AM

Reply to this message

"Last I checked, Firefox is the most popular thing mozilla.org has ever made."

Hey we all agree about that, but that doesn't mean there can't be a better one.

"Because we don't have 40 different nut jobs checking in garbage in every direction, because 'they' require such things."

There are many features that were part of MultiZilla before Mozilla Firefox was even born. They made it into Mozilla Firefox, so I don't think this is fair, at least to me that is, just for the record.

"Please get over yourself, and look at the big picture."

I'm trying to see this big picture, but I fail to see as to why the mozilla foundation would survive while AOL was unable to save Netscape. Don't get me wrong, I sure hope they will. I'm not that blind you know.

#96 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 2:11 PM

Reply to this message

...Er? I won't even try and respond to this.....

btw: Excelent work on multizilla, before I switched over to Firefox I was a multizilla user (heck, even before the suite got tabs). Hopeing one day I will find enough time to try and get it working in Firefox. Cheers

#97 Managing time

by kjordan

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 3:33 PM

Reply to this message

>Let Ben do the talking, because he's the one under 'attack'

Ben's also the one who codes new features into Firefox. I'd rather he spend his time doing that than responding to the fourth/fifth level of a features argument, valid or not. A response or two is okay, but responding to every point even when changing the other person's mind is impossible is pointless.

#12 Sure.

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 2:11 AM

Reply to this message

I did not invest my time to write that "verbose diatribe" to piss you off, you know. I always thought that the Mozilla project is a great opportunity to create something new, and I mean new functionally, not technically, something that goes beyond "a browser and a mail app". I am concerned, because I have been following, promoting, and contributing to the Mozilla project for several years now. I have never heard a reasonable argument why to target exactly that segment of the browser market. But if you think that what I said can be ignored, fine, ignore it. Look at those news snipes a bit longer a be happy. Meanwhile, true innovation will happen elsewhere. The time is ripe for an application that is organized around what the user wants to accomplish, not how to technically implement it. And if no other will come up with a solution to this, at some point it will be MS. Mozilla had an opportunity to go that way and it missed it. I really do not want to raise thoughts any longer which I think should at least be discussed to get waved off as somebody who is spoiling the fun. Do as you please and we will see if you were right in 5 years.

#14 Re: Sure.

by mlefevre

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:33 AM

Reply to this message

I agree with much of what you say (although I think you could probably say it in fewer words!). However, it is a bit late to have a useful discussion about it. I don't think you've raised anything that wasn't raised in forum/newsgroup posts at the time of the new roadmaps and stuff - the document Ben just linked to was written after those points had been raised.

Might be nice if Ben spent more time advocating the merits of the direction he's chosen to take, but if he doesn't want to do that that's up to him. And with the "see if you were right in 5 years", I think that's a little too long - they've had more than a year already.

#25 I agree

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:51 AM

Reply to this message

It is late ... but I think it is never is too late. My mistake is that I did not understand that there is simply no interest to listen to design suggestions unless mybe the coincide with what has been planned anyways. It probably has been discussed before and probably has been ignored or countered with snappy comments about "joe-expert-commentator" before. Lesson learned for the future. Anyways, sorry for being unnecessarily verbose, but English is not my primary language.

#28 Re: I agree

by mlefevre

Friday April 30th, 2004 6:29 AM

Reply to this message

If you're looking to influence the design stuff that's happening right now, then it's too late. Possibly you might be able to influence some stuff further into the future.

Design suggestions are occasionally listened to, not so much only if they coincide with what is planned in terms of design, but only if they coincide with the developer's view of what their target market wants. The target market, AIUI, is not businesses or geeks who have used the Mozilla suite previously, or the limited number of people that want to try something innovative and different - it is the home desktop user who knows enough to be download and install their own browser, and wants something they can immediately be comfortable with, that's better than the browser they're using now (generally IE, of course).

#49 Target market ...

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:37 AM

Reply to this message

Yes, but what benefit does the average home desktop user, especially the average Windows home desktop user really gain from switching from IE - maybe IE with one of the tabbing / popup-blocking extensions from downloading and using FF? I don't get it. Most people do not care about how much better the rendering engine is and the only thing they will notice is that some badly programmed sites will not work (well). Apart from a few niceties there is nothing that really makes their work easier. A browser is a browser is a browser. Maybe I am wrong and I will really be glad to be proven wrong, but I do not see any significant number of average home desktop users switching to FF anytime soon. There is a certain initial movement of those who wanted an alternative and found the suite too "bloated" or complicated, but after that, my believe is that it will die down. Therefore I argued that instead targeting a niche where innovative features would be a big motivation to switch could establish a bigger and more commited market segment. I am used to design programs from what I envision to be a demand >5 years down the road on computers that are likely to be common then. I do not see a large place for the FF that is currently being developed there. But again - if I am proven wrong I will be happy (anything that steals a significant market share from IE makes me happy) and I will forget Ben's grumpy reply and throw a round of his favorate intoxicating beverage for him.

#51 Re: Target market ...

by kjordan

Friday April 30th, 2004 12:21 PM

Reply to this message

>Yes, but what benefit does the average home desktop user, especially >the average Windows home desktop user really gain from switching >from IE - maybe IE with one of the tabbing / popup-blocking extensions >from downloading and using FF?

I can answer this.

First, these users are just as likely to see a new browser as they are to see the IE skin - I'd say more so because there exist no MyIE2 or AvantBrowser buttons for websites. Firefox has that covered, and thus it's out and more visible than MyIE2/friends are.

As for the answer, I just demoed Firefox for a friend today (not particularly intentionally - I was using it, and he asked about it). I only mentioned two features to him initially (with a third when he mentioned an IE shortcoming): popup blocking and image blocking. He's got the Google Toolbar, but image blocking was completely new to him. Imagine it - block out banner ads and simply see the page! He also mentioned some adware he somehow got installed, so I pointed out that Firefox is less used and therefore that much smaller a target. I don't know if he'll carry the interest far enough to download it, but the seeds are sown.

>Therefore I argued that instead targeting a niche where innovative >features would be a big motivation to switch could establish a bigger >and more commited market segment.

For this target market, customizability from the FE is actually bad - IT would rather support one configuration than many. Furthermore, the same functionality exists in the backend for one willing to develop an extension, and about:config is nearly as customizable in Firefox as in Seamonkey. Firefox also runs XUL apps like Seamonkey, and the backend is mostly the same between the two.

#76 Re: Re: Target market ...

by vfwlkr

Saturday May 1st, 2004 10:32 AM

Reply to this message

I dont understand why everyone simplifies computer users as either geek-mutants, or novice grandmas. Its not black or white, there's lots (and lots) of gray in between.

I've been hearing rave reviews of firefox at work. People who are not linux geeks. People I didnt personally convince to use firefox. People who probably dont even care what the heck a profile is. People who are not dumb computer users. People who have better things to do in life than configure their web browser. People with good computer skills, but not obsessed with them.

15 minutes is probably all the time in this world firefox had to make an impression (or probably even less). They switched. Nobody modified the IE icon to use firefox instead. They switched on their own. They're not going back.

#81 Re: Re: Re: Target market ...

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 11:50 AM

Reply to this message

Thank you.

#101 Re: Re: Target market ...

by kjordan

Tuesday May 4th, 2004 5:05 PM

Reply to this message

> As for the answer, I just demoed Firefox for a friend today (not particularly > intentionally - I was using it, and he asked about it). I only mentioned two > features to him initially (with a third when he mentioned an IE shortcoming): > popup blocking and image blocking. He's got the Google Toolbar, but image > blocking was completely new to him. Imagine it - block out banner ads and > simply see the page! He also mentioned some adware he somehow got > installed, so I pointed out that Firefox is less used and therefore that much > smaller a target. I don't know if he'll carry the interest far enough to > download it, but the seeds are sown.

Interesting followup on the above:

My friend told me today that he downloaded Firefox, tried it, and is hooked! (Interestingly, I hadn't even mentioned it since the one encounter.) He told me it was much better than IE, but he did mention one feature absence: Copy Image. Firefox really is quite amazing, because as I told him, this bug has been fixed since Firefox 0.8 and Copy Image will be in Firefox 0.9.

#103 Re: Re: Re: Target market ...

by Deke

Tuesday May 18th, 2004 2:14 AM

Reply to this message

There is a copy-image plugin for firefox which works great. This is another great part of firefox - the awesome number of plugins to do just about everything this side of feed your cat for you.

#15 RE: Sure.

by Ben_Goodger

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:41 AM

Reply to this message

Is anyone actually reading the charter link I'm pasting, over and over, every time these questions come up?

I don't see why any of these additional apps need to be integrated into a single monolith in order to be useful. That's what communication protocols such as DDE are for.

Anyhow I can see I'm wasting my time, I could argue various points of logic, based on over five years of experience in user interface and browser development, and it still wouldn't be good enough for joe-expert-commentator and his opinion. I'm not "pissed off" - just confused (as I usually am) by these discussions because they're counter to most of my experience/background - people using straw men to distort their opinion into hypothetical "user and market needs" that are often orthogonal to logical requirements.

#19 Re: RE: Sure.

by mlefevre

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:03 AM

Reply to this message

I've read the charter several times, and it's not telling me anything more each time you post it, and yet you keep posting it, assuming that the people writing this stuff havenít read it.

I don't understand how you can still be confused by these opinions, given that you've been reading them over and over again for however many years. They may not have any relationship to what the "market" needs, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

You asked a community of geeks to point out every bug that "people think is important". Obviously they are going to point out what is important to them. Surely you weren't expecting people to only point out things that are important to your own goals for Firefox?

Posting links to the charter doesnít magically mean everyone will agree that the charter is right, or will change their expectations.

#24 We are all wasting time, obviously

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:43 AM

Reply to this message

I see that I am wasting my time too. Yes it is "your" product and not a democracy - I am aware of that. Still I have just tried to say what I think would be reasonable and important - based on about 20 years in the IT business, application analysis and design and UI design for major companies and as freelance developer who had to live from the satisfaction of his customers with the UI and who maybe knows a tiny bit about these issues by now. Maybe I listen to different people than you do. And I love how you repeatedly counter arguments with insights like "straw men", "joe-expert-commentator", "read the rave reviews" etc. To answer the only factual argument that you made: I never said integration into a monolith should be done (reread my post). I said integration of *functionality* is important and much of it is missing even in the suite. But a monolith with some integration is still better than solving just the technical part and then having three programs with nearly none. How the integration is done technically is not important. THAT it is done is what is important.

#30 Re: We are all wasting time, obviously

by pirat

Friday April 30th, 2004 7:22 AM

Reply to this message

I'm with you on this. Firefox is excelent browser, but just browser. I have another ~10 browsers here just now and Firefox is the best (minus google-bar), no doubt about this. But if I want work, I fire up Seamonkey. I feel myself waiting for Firefox 1.0 to look into XUL again (after - aehm - 4 years?) and at least try to recreate some of the missing functionality as extension. It would be nice to know what others are missing (no, I'm not going to download tons of extensions to find out :). */me going to disappear for some time*

#33 Re: Re: We are all wasting time, obviously

by i5mast

Friday April 30th, 2004 7:52 AM

Reply to this message

No, it's not just a browser. It's a very good browser. Extensions - once they are very well documented and used troughout the web - are going to blow all other browsers away. I think this is the next big thing once it catches on. If you don't see that u must be blind :)

#34 Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting time, obviously

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:03 AM

Reply to this message

> No, it's not just a browser. It's a very good browser.

So are Opera, Safari, Konqueror, and yes, even IE6 (which blows Firefox out of the water in some ways -- try dealing with bidi text).

> Extensions - once they are very well documented and used troughout the web

If. Not once, but if. I strongly doubt this will ever happen, myself, unless some radical changes are made to the way extensions are written and tested. How do you envision this working?

> If you don't see that u must be blind :)

Ah, the wonders of factual arguments....

#38 Re: Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting time, obviously

by i5mast

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:40 AM

Reply to this message

> How do you envision this working?

I don't know the technicalities of the extensions. But I can see that they give you control over the browser. Control that is easy achievable. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it enough to have a notepad and some knowledge of javascript+API reference to create one. Control and easyness to create are going to be the keys. What's missing right now is a good reference, tutorials.

The barriers for using ActiveX controls are higher.

One intranet example from my work. I need to display a confidential document. It can only be read. It cannot be saved/printed/copied. It's just one small example that may or maynot be possible to solve with an extension right now. I'm waiting for firefox1.0 to start playing with it. Small examples like this will make my life a lot easier.

#44 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting time, obvio

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 10:20 AM

Reply to this message

> I don't know the technicalities of the extensions

Then why talk about their potential, if you don't know its limitations?

> What's missing right now is a good reference, tutorials.

No, what's missing is some way of making sure extensions don't step on each other's toes, some way of making sure that extensions don't open up gaping security holes (some do, right now), etc. Some work is being done on this (e.g. extension manager), but getting to the point where extensions are safe to install is a long way off.... at the moment, I'd only install an extension if the source has been audited by someone I trust (and since there is no one doing such audits, that means if I've read the source) or if I'm installing it on a build running in a chroot jail for testing putposes. This applies to both SeaMonkey and Firefox extensions...

Curently extensions are great for authors and very very dangerous for users, especially ones that don't really appreciate the dangers... Just like ActiveX controls, except you're usually discouraged from letting those run, while the Firefox crowd is very keen on urging people to install extensions (and some of the most-urged ones are some of the worst from the point of view of not stepping on other extensions and not opening security holes).

#46 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting time, o

by jedbro

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:02 AM

Reply to this message

Unfortunatly this thread has gone completly off topic, and here I go dragging it on.....

>>gaping security holes (some do, right now), etc. I would appreciate if you could point out what current extensions are opening Security holes. Being one of the updaters at database.m.o and Project leader of Extension-Room, this kind of information would be very usefull and I could deal with it appropriotly. In over a year since Extension-Room has started, NO-ONE has mentioned any of these kind of issues, the only complaints we usually get is "Why does this extension not work in Mozilla Suite/Firefox nightly buiild #xxxxxxx".

I see a lot of talk about "No one reviewing code", trusting extensions etc, and yet no help at all resolving these issues. I'm not trying to gripe, but mentioning "many current extensions" and other generalizations do not help Me or anyone providing Extensions. -Jed

#62 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting tim

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:31 PM

Reply to this message

As I recall both TBE and whatever the other popular tabbrowser extension was had security holes (some of which were even shared by Firefox itself, but they got patched in firefox and I'm not sure anyone contacted the extension authors).

I don't recall the details, because frankly I don't have time to follow all the extensions or indeed Firefox itself. I just recall the problem being discussed on irc at some point.

> I see a lot of talk about "No one reviewing code", trusting extensions etc, and yet no help at all resolving > these issues.

How do you suggest these issues be resolved? I actually read through the TBE code once. It was reproducing about every single view-source-and-cache-interaction bug that had ever been fixed in the SeaMonkey UI... What should my reaction be, given that I don't use the extension (or the browser it's an extension for) and don't really care about it? I think I dropped the author some mail urging him to read the CVS logs for the relevant SeaMonkey code, but....

#69 Security Issues in extensions

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Saturday May 1st, 2004 4:12 AM

Reply to this message

"As I recall both TBE and whatever the other popular tabbrowser extension was had security holes (some of which were even shared by Firefox itself, but they got patched in firefox and I'm not sure anyone contacted the extension authors)."

MultiZilla? NO. We follow the CVS logs very closely. In fact, we found two security issues in the Mozilla source and one is still not fixed. Also, Mozilla 1.6 has unsolved security bugs so it's not just extensions that expose people to security risk. Hmm, I guess its Ok for you to use a browser with security issues ;)

Again, I do apply (security) patches from CVS, as soon as I know about them, and Boris you nor anybody else ever send me any e-mails! I also checked the Mozilla Firefox source and found nothing so thank you for adding this misconception.

Finally, about this "...every single view-source-and-cache-interaction bug..." That's not a real (hard) security issue is it?

P.s. what file was patches again? I don't see anything patched (security related). Here's just one example: <http://bonsai.mozilla.org…nt/widgets/tabbrowser.xml> NADA

#78 Re: Security Issues in extensions

by bzbarsky

Saturday May 1st, 2004 10:59 AM

Reply to this message

> MultiZilla?

No, not multizilla. There's TBE and some other extension with a nearly identical name; that's the one I'm talking about.

> Finally, about this "...every single view-source-and-cache-interaction bug..." That's not a real (hard) > security issue is it?

No. But I'm sick of people filing bugs on Mozilla because of extensions doing stupid shit like this.

And I have no idea what files were patched. I'm not in the security group. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the tabbrowser XBL itself, though.

#92 Re: Re: Security Issues in extensions

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 8:18 AM

Reply to this message

"No. But I'm sick of people filing bugs on Mozilla because of extensions doing stupid shit like this."

I can only agree, but please keep in mind that some Mozilla bugs are fixed after MultiZilla users ran into them. One of them was that XBL bug we (Neil, you and me) worked on (view source bug) /me ducks :-)

Also, I keep asking people to notify me *before* they file bugs against Mozilla, but that seems almost pointless. I will ask Raj (our webmaster) to change our website, to make it more clear that they *have* to notify me, or we might resolve the bug as invalid.

#77 Re: Re: Re: Re: We are all wasting time, obviously

by vfwlkr

Saturday May 1st, 2004 10:39 AM

Reply to this message

Let me just quote one line from the charter:

The idea is that for people using IE and wanting a bit more, ... Firefox should fit like a glove.

Yes, Firefox does fit like a glove. Opera, Safari and Konqueror DONT. They dont even qualify.

#40 Re: RE: Sure.

by mielke

Friday April 30th, 2004 9:04 AM

Reply to this message

>That's what communication protocols such as DDE are for. That works with NN4.x but fails quite spectactular with mozilla. So bringing mozilla DDE support back to the level that NN had might be one thing that becomes increasingly important with seperated apps.

#57 Re: RE: Sure.

by buff

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:50 PM

Reply to this message

Ben, you are not wasting your time. Change is tough sometimes until it becomes clear how the pieces are going to come together there is a tendency to fear the unknown, even though it may be spec'd out in a doc somewhere. Those of us that have worked with communication protocols such as DDE know you are on the right design path. Monolithic design is never the right way. I once worked in a sofware shop and we had a big color print out of a 2001 monolith with a slash through it to inspire good design. Rock on.

#37 Proper Summary of johann_p's posts?

by jstuart

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:29 AM

Reply to this message

Wah wah wah... you didn't listen to me so I'm going to take my toys and go play some where else.

Is that the proper summary for you johann_p?

#43 Re: Proper Summary of johann_p's posts?

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 10:14 AM

Reply to this message

I think a better summary is "I'll go spend my time on something else if spending it on Mozilla is just wasting it."

Note that johann_p makes a very good point -- there are some things you can do in the suite that are very desirable that you currenty can't do in firefox/tbird but that you _could_ do. For example, fill out and POST a form in a mail message. Instead of dismissing such concerns, time would be better invested in improving the DDE verbs the apps know about (and their equivalents on other platforms) to make it possible to perform a POST request from another app....

#50 Re: Sure.

by jedbro

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:41 AM

Reply to this message

>> I have never heard a reasonable argument why to target exactly that segment of the browser market. Maybe because there is a place on the market for a product as this?

I think you are missing the point: 1) First, this posting is about Firefox 1.0. Is has nothing to do with integration with other apps, or anything else not related to a browser. Firefox 1.0 is aiming for a market place that exists today with a very good chance at being the best browser on the market. Since m/b/Pheonix/etc began, it was meant to be a killer browser.

2) I understand your concerns, you being a suite user. But in the current state of things, Firefox and Thunderbird are not set out on try to convert you over, the suite exists and is still being worked on for a reason. It WORKS, although the usefullness is limited to a very small portion of users. Firefox and Thunderbird are aiming at a much larger audience, if you don't like it, don't use it, no one is asking you too.

3) Yes, once the suite is retired mozilla.org will have a problem keeping around it's current userbase, no one is saying the oposite. And this is something that needs to be addressed. In the meant-time, Firefox is on a great track to complete what is has set out to do: Become one heck of a browser, as Thunderbird is becoming a killer mail client.

4) I agree with Mozilla.org (or better yet, Brendan) on the idea that the seperate apps are the future of Mozilla. It makes no sense to create a good product that isn't used by very many people, is having a hard time maintaing itself finacially, etc. When a different kind of app has a whole new range of new users and market strategy. YES, they should deal with their current userbase and make the transition easier. The problem with this is the "cult" behind suite users, which I understand changing from one product to another is not an easy task and is very hard to get used to.

This leaves you/us with 2 options 1) Continue using the product you enjoy at the moment (in your case the suite) and ride the wave. When time comes to retire the suite (if that time ever comes), part you way and find a new niche product.

2) Help out describing exactly WHAT you would like to see in Firefox post 1.0 that would allow you to make the transition easier and help out the rest of use to make Firefox 1st, the best browser out there and second, make it as usefull and integrated as the suite currently is for the current base.

Bitching and moaning about the CURRENT roadmap helps no-one. It was set long ago, and if you don't like it, don't use it. If your interested post 1.0 has a bright future and you could be part of it.

#63 Re: Re: Sure.

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:33 PM

Reply to this message

> 2) Help out describing exactly WHAT you would like to see in Firefox post 1.0 that would allow you to make > the transition easier

That is PRECISELY what johann_p did. As you can see by the reaction he's gotten, that doesn't work so well.

#73 Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 9:17 AM

Reply to this message

Thanks for responding Boris, I (and I assume others) really appreciate you always having avoice in discussions with us regardless of all the bugs/hacking you do for Mozilla, thanks for taking the time.

>>That is PRECISELY what johann_p did. As you can see by the reaction he's gotten, that doesn't work so well. Not really, I've re-read over all of johann_p's comments, in case I missed something or it was a missconception, and including his first #8 I fail to see where he "Help out describing exactly WHAT you would like to see in Firefox post 1.0 that would allow you to make > the transition easier".

All his rants (which are good and valid) seem to be a critique on what Firefox is, what is was designed for, and the market it is made for. Not once did I see any really advice on what one could do to HELP suite users make the transition back over. Sure, he might not agree with the suite being dropped (if it ever is), but that is a totally different issue, Right now we are talking about Firefox 1.0 and the future. All his comments seem to be stuck back when m/b /Pheonix was born and I don't see their revelance now. Firefox is where it is, period, the only thing for us to do is embrace it if we want and help improve it.

I'd like too see actual detailed remarks on what he doesn't like, what could be improved, what suggestions he has for extension authors, etc. Just saying how bad an idea the seperate apps are, doesn't help Ben, me or anyone else using/developing/extension-writting for Firefox.

I guess all I'm asking for is cunstructive critisism as apposed to personal views and living in the past.

#74 Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by mlefevre

Saturday May 1st, 2004 9:54 AM

Reply to this message

I think there is useful criticism in there, even if it's expressed as stuff that's failed to happen so far, rather than being expressed as stuff that would be a good idea for the future.

He mentioned integration with the mail app - for example, submitting HTML forms in emails from the email client, or sending complete pages by email from the browser. He mentioned extensions - the fact that they are of varying quality, have overlapping functions, and it's difficult to work out which extensions you might need, and which versions are compatible with which browser versions. The fact that there are seperate GREs for Firefox and the aviary apps.

I agree there's little point in arguing about whether these things should have been given a higher priority in the past. But they're all still things that could be worked on in the future.

#75 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 10:26 AM

Reply to this message

>>I think there is useful criticism in there,even if it's expressed as stuff that's failed to happen so far, rather than being expressed as stuff that would be a good idea for the future.

That was my point, sorry if I didn't express that correctly.

>>But they're all still things that could be worked on in the future.

Agree completly

>>He mentioned extensions - the fact that they are of varying quality, have overlapping functions, and it's difficult to work out which extensions you might need, and which versions are compatible with which >>browser versions. * The overlapping functions is a must, as one user might like one implementation while a different user likes a different one. I don't see a way to resolve that. * Which extensions you might need? -> Try reading the descriptions of the extensions or do a search on what you are looking for * Extension Versions: Most if not all extensions Listed on Extension-Room work in the latest Firefox Release (a.k.a. 0.8). If you find an extension that does NOT work in 0.8 I would appreciate you notifying Extension-Room or Database and we will set the correct flags.

I can't garantee that every extension works in the latest nightlies. The API's change to much for most authors to keep track. At ER/Database we try and only list extensions that work with 0.8 and if authors want us to will specify versions that work/break 0.8.

Again, we can only do as good as a Job keeping this information up-to-date if people like you help us out. The amount of crap comments on these forms about how extensions in gereral ar unstable/don't work/etc does not cut it. I've tried each and every extension we list on Extension-Room and have not see any problems. Heck I'm using 40+ right now. Obviously installing extensions that DO overlap functionallity would be a stupid idea (i.e. AIO and Optimoz). Besides those issues, it pisses me off that people ramble about extension problems when they provide NO information that would help us improve this situation.

A few questions that would help me/us out:

>>"the fact that they are of varying quality"

Could you list some extensions you find lacking in quality? (maybe TBE? what other?)

>>"and it's difficult to work out which extensions you might need,""

Can you think of a way we could improve this?

>>" which versions are compatible with which browser versions"

Are you talking about nightly builds or actuall releases? Firefox or Mozilla or TB or all 3? Do you know of any extensions that don't work with any of the latest releases? (Firefox 0.8, Mozilla 1.6, TB 0.5)

I appreciate the feedback.

#82 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by ipottinger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:21 PM

Reply to this message

Trying to discredit someone's criticism by demanding that they provide solutions before criticizing is a diversionary tactic usually reserved to politics. When someone is generous enough to provide criticism, it is motivated by a desire to see things improved! If they couldn't care less they probably would not have bothered. Criticism is not an attack! Its an invitation for discussion. Avoid belittle a question or questioner for lack of an answer. Instead, try offering an answer of your own and encourage other to offer theirs.

#86 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:37 PM

Reply to this message

WHat? All I asking is if he HAS run into problems to please let me know and I can HELP the community and make a difference. I run into so many posts about extensions this and extensions that, yet no one helps and points out where these issues occur. If someone did I would be able to modify the listings on the two extensions listing pages and make everyone's life easier and keep these issues from happening. Am I wrong to have asked for that?

#83 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by ipottinger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:22 PM

Reply to this message

I don't think the concern is not how to move suite-user over to FireFox or whether FireFox is after the right target market or not. Both those seem irrelevant arguments are irrelevant. Suite users are free to move over to whatever solutions meets their desires and FireFox is free to pursue whatever market it wishes. I'm puzzled why some FireFox users are *so insistent* that suite users in particular *must* move over to FireFox. Who are you to tell them what to do?

#85 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:34 PM

Reply to this message

>>Trying to discredit someone's criticism by demanding that they provide solutions before criticizing is a diversionary tactic usually reserved to politics.

I wasn't trying to discredit his criticism, sorry if I portrayed that.

>>Suite users are free to move over to whatever solutions meets their desires and FireFox is free to pursue whatever market it wishes.

Exactly!!!!

>>I'm puzzled why some FireFox users are *so insistent* that suite users in particular *must* move over to FireFox. Who are you to tell them what to do?

I'm no one to tell them what to do, and have never sain anything tha resembles that. What are you smoking? :)

The whole purpose of my argument was quite the oposite. johann_p seems to think that when (if) the suite is put to rest those users will need to migrate to the *new suite* which woul contain firefox and thunderbird.

I don't think that is the case. I sure hope they do, but I see a much larger market of users transitioning from MS bases apps then coming from the suite.

The issues he seems to bring up is that "for suite users to make the transistion" x and y need to happen. I agree, I just don't think it's relevent until both Firefox and Thunderbird are stable and atleast 1.0's.

#87 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by ipottinger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:54 PM

Reply to this message

>>I'm no one to tell them what to do, and have never sain anything tha resembles that. What are you smoking? :)

Please don't take offense. This is an open forum. Hardly anything I said was directed at you. Your post just happened to be at a point in the discussion that needed addressing.

#84 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sure.

by ipottinger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:24 PM

Reply to this message

I'm not sure if johann_p's shares this concern but it seems that an element of the culture that was developing under the suite is in peril of being lost. The suite gave hope to those who long for a powerful, all encompassing, Personal Information Manager where all information is just information, regardless of it source, that could flow and combine freely to accomplish what the user desires. It's a design philosophy that could be described as the Grand-Unification-of-Information. The suite encouraged those dreamers not with the monolithic design of its code but with its monolithic design philosophy where all its integrated components worked seamlessly with each other. The siloing of code that is at the heart of the separate apps movement leave these same people fearful that so too information will be silo'ed.

Since there seems to be no forum in which to discuss the direction of development, it is no surprise that a solicitation for feedback on a 1.0 release will entice such off topic comments. Ben states that Mozilla is not a democracy. So be it. But whether under a democracy or dictatorship, revolutionary voice will always make themselves heard.

#102 Re: Re: Sure.

by megazone <megazone@megazone.org>

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 11:22 PM

Reply to this message

I keep trying Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox - and I keep going back to Mozilla Suite. I don't use the mail, IRC< etc, just the browser really. So why do I keep going back? I find it a pain in the ass to configure Firefox. There don't seem to be UIs for many of the things I adjust in Suite. I'd have to reinstall Firefox and do a side by side - but generally I find the UI in Firefox lacking. I remember wanting to edit my SSL/TLS ciphers at one point and running into a wall. I love the configurability of Mozilla without having to go digging around in files because there is no control. I wish Firefox had the same configuration settings.

#32 Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Friday April 30th, 2004 7:50 AM

Reply to this message

The tide might be turning but that's not because of Mozilla Firefox, it's more likely that more sites now work with Mozilla and that there are less severe crashes in Mozilla. The new button images also helps a bit but I still won't use Mozilla Firefox over the suite. The most important thing, and you know that, is the TAB UI, that's what make people switch, not the rest of the swablang.

Note that Ben was one of the many developers that didn't like tabbed UI's Now tell me, what make people switch? Oh yes, I do have my logs saved on our .gov server. Lets see what people say about that :-)

Also, Ben worked 5 years on a 'shitty browser', in terms of most Internet users, but now they should all switch to 'his product'. I don't think so. Like someone wrote: "The Suite Lives, or the Mozilla Foundation Dies" and I think he's right...

#35 Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:22 AM

Reply to this message

I appreciate this is a totally subjective view but browsing around weblogs, slashdot, news sites and so on, I see firefox get mentioned a *lot* more often than the browser suite. I also notice that there are ~3 times as many support requests for FF at mozillazine than there are for the suite. I have difficulty believing that this is because the suite is so much easier to use. The only statistics page I can find with a Mozilla / Firefox breakdown is <http://awstats.sourceforg…&output=browserdetail> which shows Firefox ahead of Mozilla. I can't vouch for the accuracy (in fact I continue to believe that all automatically gathered stats are wildly inaccurate), of course.

I'd say that the introduction of Firefox has had a big effect on the number of people using Mozilla products. Except in some special cases I have difficulty understanding why people are so attached to the suite - it doesn't provide an awful lot that isn't in Firefox / Thunderbird / Nvu / Sunbird but the seperate apps have a lot more nice touches.

I'm certianly at a loss to explain why you're predicting the death of the Mozilla product if the suite isn't maintained...

#39 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by mlefevre

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:41 AM

Reply to this message

It is all rather subjective... in particular, the Firefox mozillazine groups are linked from within Firefox, so naturally they get a lot of traffic. The Mozilla newsgroups get quite a bit of traffic (although not as much as the FF web forums), while the FF user newsgroup is pretty dead. As you say, stats from a single site don't mean a whole lot - I'm sure you could pull up stats from some sites where Mozilla outnumbers Firefox.

The suite doesn't provide that much that's not in Firefox/Thunderbird/Nvu/Sunbird, but if it provides something that a particular person wants, then they're unlikely to want to make the effort of moving to something which doesn't have it. The suite is smaller and more convenient than downloading several separate apps plus a bunch of third party extensions, and has integration between the components that is still lacking from the separate apps.

To get people to actually move, you have to convince them that what they're moving to is better in just about every way - being just about as good after a lot of effort isn't good enough.

I also didn't get the death of the foundation thing though - changing, I can see, but I don't see how it's gonna be killed by the lack of the suite, as and when that happens.

#48 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:15 AM

Reply to this message

I think you hit the nail on the head.

The issue here is "Current Mozilla suite users".

What people tend to forget about is that Firefox is aimed at the general public. Ben/Blake/Hayatt/etc. original goal (IMO) was the mass market by creating a browser that is the equivalent/better than what is currently available. Ben's current Firefox is being aimed at this 94% of web surfers.

>>To get people to actually move, you have to convince them that what they're moving to is better in just about every way - being just about as good after a lot of effort isn't >>good enough. What you seem to be talking about is the "small population of suite users". This is something I don't think Ben is worried about. I don't think porting tons of features over to Firefox for those comming off the suite is something Ben would want to do. I think it would be bad for Firefox.

The issue here though is mozilla.org wanting to retire the suite. For this to happen, yes I agree something needs to be done to satify the current suite users. I think this SHOULD be an afterthought and not ecential for Firefox 1.0.

#53 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 1:17 PM

Reply to this message

I knid of understand the convenience thing, but I think that's very biased toward the view that people *want* to use all the different components. Whilst that's broadly true for people here, it's not true for someone who's already committed to a different mail client (say).

Having said that, I still hope that the promise of the GRE hasn't been entirely abandoned. I think the idea of a 6Mb runtime and 1Mb apps (from the point of vew of the downloads) is very appealing.

It's also true that individual applications have features the suite lacks (a non-sucky form manager in Firefox, for example).

I don't dislike the suite but I think its UI suffered under the hands of the Netscape UE people and I think it's been designed to work in a terrbbly insular way.

#54 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Friday April 30th, 2004 1:30 PM

Reply to this message

Agreed. While Firefox does *lack* some of the feature set that is included with the Suite, it also *has* many features and improvments that the suite lacks.

I don't think it is fair to compare the "Suite =&= Firefox/Thunderbird" as they are directed towards 2 totally different markets. (i.e. The suite was never an "end user product" where Firefox and TB try and change that.)

#64 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:35 PM

Reply to this message

> Having said that, I still hope that the promise of the GRE hasn't been entirely abandoned.

Firefox doesn't use it and has no plans to. Ditto for Thunderbird.

The suite uses it.

Sounds pretty abandoned to me. Or more like wilfully murdered... ;)

#66 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bzbarsky

Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:48 AM

Reply to this message

I should clarify the "has no means to" part. That is the impression I have from various comments made in these forums and elsewhere. I may well have gotten the wrong impression, of course.

#67 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jgraham

Saturday May 1st, 2004 2:45 AM

Reply to this message

Yeah, that's the impression I'm getting too. That's why it's "hope" rather than anythng else :)

Who knows, maybe after 1.0, people will become interested in medum term gains rather than just whatever works right now :)

#68 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday May 1st, 2004 2:48 AM

Reply to this message

We would love to make Firefox and Thunderbird be apps built on top of a shared XRE. I'm not just saying that for the sake of saying it either - I've given a great deal of thought as to how the shell-level details of an XRE might work (such as using icon handlers on windows to provide custom app icons for .moz applications), and it's something I'd love to see happen, and devote some time to. At this stage, not part of 1.0 however.

#47 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:03 AM

Reply to this message

"I appreciate this is a totally subjective view but browsing around weblogs, slashdot, news sites and so on, I see firefox get mentioned a *lot* more often than the browser suite."

There are a lot of (good and bad) articles on the Internat about the war in Iraq, but that doesn't make it a good thing. Now back to browsers. Why would I download several components like the Browser, E-mail, Composer etc. over one single application? What is it I miss so badly in the mozilla suite? Nothing! Ok, the theme is more up to date, but that's just a theme and I have the same theme for the mozilla suite. Toolbar configuration? Same story. I have that.

"I also notice that there are ~3 times as many support requests for FF at mozillazine than there are for the suite. I have difficulty believing that this is because the suite is so much easier to use."

So Mozilla Firefox should be the better browser, still, you see 3 times more support requests. I don't get it, this must be wrong.

"I'd say that the introduction of Firefox has had a big effect on the number of people using Mozilla products."

Sure, there are a lot of people switching to Mozilla Firefox, but most of them switched from the Mozilla suite. It will take a lot more of time and energy, not to mention money, to change this.

"I'm certianly at a loss to explain why you're predicting the death of the Mozilla product if the suite isn't maintained..."

Hey it wasn't me, but I still agree, because you don't need much to kill the Mozilla Foundation, financially speaking.

#52 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 1:06 PM

Reply to this message

> Now back to browsers. Why would I download several components like the Browser, E-mail, Composer etc. over one single application?

Because *most people already have one or more components of the suite and have no reason to change*. If I swiitch from IE to the suite, I'll find that any mailto: links on the internet start to open in Mozilla mail rather than my default mail client (I know, I know, there's a hidden pref to restore sane behavior). If I just want to switch to the mail component of the suite, I *also* need to install a browser (and http links in my email won't open in my default mail application). The reason that seperate apps is better is simply that the set of people who want to use (browser or mail or composer or calendar) > the set of people who want to use(browser and mail and composer and calendar). The suite mentality strongly favours the latter group of people.

Even if you do want everything, it works just like every other program on your computer where you need a seperate application to perform a seperate task.

> So Mozilla Firefox should be the better browser, still, you see 3 times more support requests. I don't get it, this must be wrong.

Because to first order the number of support requests varies linearly with the number of people using a product. As Michael points out, the default configuration of of Firefox encourages people to visit Mozillazine so a factor of three doesn't necessarily correspond with a factor of 3 in people using the two browsers but does suggest a broadly comparable number of people are using both products.

> Sure, there are a lot of people switching to Mozilla Firefox, but most of them switched from the Mozilla suite

You can't have it both ways; either there's no reason to switch from the suite to Firefox or a substantial number of people switched from the Suite to Firefox because it worked better for them.

> Hey it wasn't me, but I still agree

So you *are* predicting it. Why?

#55 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Friday April 30th, 2004 1:48 PM

Reply to this message

>>Why would I download several components like the Browser, E-mail, Composer etc. over one single application?

Because maybe I don't use Composer, Chatzilla, etc. I want to choose what browser I want and what E-mail client I use. In the words of BorisZ (<http://groups.google.com/…readm=40886829.4080900%40> meer.net&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fas_umsgid%3D40886829.4080900%40meer.net)

""The suite design actually hurts such integration. Observe the patent inability of the suite to launch the GNOME or KDE default mail client to handle email. So argue for the suite if you will, but NOT on the basis that the suite makes it easier to integrate with other software. It makes it harder."""

>>Sure, there are a lot of people switching to Mozilla Firefox, but most of them switched from the Mozilla suite. It will take a lot more of time and energy, not to mention >>money, to change this.

You think? I would think (and am pretty sure) that most Firefox/Thunderbird users are NOT coming from the suite, but instead from IE or other alternatives. (most of which possibly did try out the suite, but found it wanting).

#59 Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by buff

Friday April 30th, 2004 3:57 PM

Reply to this message

> Like someone wrote: "The Suite Lives, or the Mozilla Foundation Dies"

Come on. What a load of filter-carb. Let's see: you take a nice fast browser, Firefox, and add a cool mail reader like Thunderbird, and link them together with a communication protocol and now your users can decide exactly how they want to organize their own suite. Hmm. Why again would such flexibility be the death of the Mozilla Foundation. The argument is without merit.

#65 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bzbarsky

Friday April 30th, 2004 11:36 PM

Reply to this message

> and link them together with a communication protocol

This is the key. This part needs some major work.

#70 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by mielke

Saturday May 1st, 2004 7:33 AM

Reply to this message

The call for volunteers is pretty old. The DDE bugs idle now for nearly 3 years (<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=84363>) .

#80 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by jedbro

Saturday May 1st, 2004 11:37 AM

Reply to this message

And your point is???? This definitally needs to happen in the future, right now is seems development has a different priority (Firefox 1.0 and getting Thunderbird to a mature product). Idle bugs have no merit. YES, these issues need to be addressed, YES it will take a lot of work. I just don't think it will happen anytime soon while other matters are of higher importance.

#88 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by mielke

Saturday May 1st, 2004 4:20 PM

Reply to this message

The point is that if you have modular applications you will need interapplication communication. Thats the place where Ben mentioned DDE. The mozilla suite however did to a lesser degree depend on interapplication communication as it could do it with intraapplication communication. So there was little work done in this direction. To ensure that Ben's vision becomes true you will need working communication protocols. Given the difference in version numbers between ff and tb or nvu it is very likely that tb or nvu will meet a ff 1.0. Then it would be cool if they could communicate. I am a little bit sceptical that you can attach these not correctly implemented protocolls afterwards with an extension to a ff 1.0. So it might be necessary to do some work before 1.0. In order to give people a starting point I posted the url.

#89 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bzbarsky

Saturday May 1st, 2004 4:45 PM

Reply to this message

> while other matters are of higher importance

This is the key. At the moment, can Firefox usefully pass off a mailto: link click to an already-running mail client on Linux? Can a mail client pass off a URI load to Firefox? Does that require x-remote (which has some issues of its own)?

Are these issues low in importance? I'm not sure. I sorta like not having to copy and paste urls from all sorts of apps into the browser; it's better if I can click them where they are and have the browser deal. Firefox and SeaMonkey are both pretty bad at it so far. And it seems to me that improving this aspect of the browser is rather important.

#90 Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 2:08 AM

Reply to this message

"..The argument is without merit.."

Well, some people have just a bit more insight, or call it a different point of view. Again, there are signs that the Mozilla Foundation won't live long. This information is not only based on the current financial status of the Foundation but also on other sources, some of which are key players and have a lot more money to spent.

#95 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alas, yes

by kerz <jason@mozillazine.org>

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 1:02 PM

Reply to this message

What the hell are you talking about? Don't drop nuggets of garbage here without any proof, please. Where did you get the financial status of the foundation? What key players? Why would they ever tell you this?

#29 Re: Alas, yes

by Grauw

Friday April 30th, 2004 7:11 AM

Reply to this message

1 word: paragraphs :).

~Grauw

#41 Re: Alas, yes

by imforumman

Friday April 30th, 2004 9:19 AM

Reply to this message

Different people, different opinions.

I love Fx exactly because it *doesn't* dictate which email client (I love The Bat!), which calender (I love Lotus Organizer), and so on I should use! Freedom of choice! Fast. Lean. Awesome.

(BTW: I don't agree with all design decisions made by the Fx-Team/Ben, but until I learn to write my own browser -- and that's not going to happen any day soon -- I will choose the one I find best suits my needs. And that is, currently, Fx! Thx Ben!)

#71 Here, here

by ed_welch

Saturday May 1st, 2004 9:08 AM

Reply to this message

I agree with you completely. I use form manager and password manager and I don't consider these to be "geek" features or bloat.

#2 bugz

by Tar

Thursday April 29th, 2004 3:19 PM

Reply to this message

* bug 232770 hasn't been getting attention.

* There's the no "3D" borders issue, allow me to demonstrate:

<http://kodu.neti.ee/~tar/tmp/mozilla/edges.png>

* By default the throbber is in the menu bar and makes the menu few pixels too high for ordinary Windows menu (leave it out for all I care).

* The Ctrl+Shift+F shortcut doesn't exist in Mozilla Firefox, it should open the default search engine (I use g search keyword so don't tell me about Ctrl+K).

* Moving the mouse over Downloads dialog borders makes it move jerky, same with hoovering over rightclick menu of some download item (I suspect it could be a video driver (Matrox) issue).

* Suite has Cookie/Image/Popup/Form manager in Tools menu, Mozilla Firefox gives me no such joy.

Mozilla Firefox just doesn't have the GUI polish that the suite has accumulated :/ I'll too will be sticking with the suite for the time being, it isn't perfect but better than Mozilla Firefox, at least for me.

#4 Re: bugz

by jgraham

Thursday April 29th, 2004 4:04 PM

Reply to this message

> bug 232770 hasn't been getting attention

Yay! Let's all bring our pet bugs to Mozillazine! There are clear instructions in the article about how to deal with bugs you regard as high priority for 1.0. FWIW, that bug seems to be WFM.

> There's the no "3D" borders issue

Are you saying that's good or bad?

> By default the throbber is in the menu bar and makes the menu few pixels too high

I agree this is an issue. Specifically it's bug 214218

> Suite has Cookie/Image/Popup/Form manager in Tools menu, Mozilla Firefox gives me no such joy.

Well done, you just identified the worst part of the Seamonkey UI and the part that has been improved most in Firefox. Is any of the actual functionality you need missing from Firefox? (and no, getting to cookie managers in 2 clicks rather than 3 doesn't count as functionality - if you're usng the manager that often you should set better default behavior).

#17 Re: bugz

by Tar

Friday April 30th, 2004 4:22 AM

Reply to this message

> > There's the no "3D" borders issue > > Are you saying that's good or bad?

Bad of course, Mozilla Firefox doesn't adhere to Windows UI guidelines and/or consistency with other programs.

> > Suite has Cookie/Image/Popup/Form manager in Tools menu, Mozilla Firefox gives me no such joy. > > Well done, you just identified the worst part of the Seamonkey UI and the part that has been improved most in Firefox.

Improved you say? I don't think so.

The suite has menu items: Tools -> Cookie Manager -> Block Cookies from this Site | Use Default Cookie Permissions | Allow Session Cookies from this Site | Allow Cookies from this Site --- Manage Stored Cookies

Mozilla Firefox lacks such a simple and useful functionality. Oh well, it's probably just me...

And FYI my default behavior is session cookies and allowing regular cookies only from certain sites I trust.

#20 Re: Re: bugz

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:04 AM

Reply to this message

> Bad of course, Mozilla Firefox doesn't adhere to Windows UI guidelines and/or consistency with other programs.

Ah, OK I obviiously don't use windows often enough to notice that's the default. Still, as for interface consistency and UI guidelines it seems like a small issue compared with, say,placing a status notifcation on the menu bar (the throbber) and having the UI bork if large icons are used.

> The suite has menu items: Tools -> Cookie Manager -> Block Cookies from this Site | Use Default Cookie Permissions | Allow Session Cookies from this Site | Allow Cookies from this Site --- Manage Stored Cookies

It sounds like an excellent candidate for an extension. The fact is that the majority of users don't want fine grained control over cookie permissions (I mean, *I* don't care and I'm not exactly an average user). Therefore the functionality shouldn't be allowed to clutter the interface. For all the flaws of the extension system, it does allow these tools to be easilly accessible to those who want them.

<http://extensionroom.mozd…g/more-info/permitcookies> allows you to permit cookies for the current site with a keyboard shortcut

I can't see anything else obvious on extensionroom.mozdev.org so maybe no one has felt the need to reimplement all that stuff :)

#22 Re: Re: Re: bugz

by jgraham

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:11 AM

Reply to this message

Sorry, I should be more clear:

The 3D menu thing is probably a bug (but maybe WONTFIX?). In the scheme of things there are worse UI bugs in FF though (e.g. the throbber though I'm sure there are others).

The cookie functionality all exists - providing a set of top level menu items to access that functionality is IMO a job for an extension since it's not functionality I would expect most people to use and providing it by default detracts from the usability of the app. I can't see an extension that does exactly what you want.

#56 Re: Re: Re: Re: bugz

by jesse <jruderman@hmc.edu>

Friday April 30th, 2004 2:16 PM

Reply to this message

The 3D thing is <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=175891>. Most Windows programs don't have raised-looking toolbars, and Firefox is better for not having them (more space for web pages, back button at edge of screen, etc).

#21 Re: Re: bugz

by RMo

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:10 AM

Reply to this message

My Firefox does have 3D borders surrounding the far left and far top side of the toolbar area (that are apparently not present in your screenshot). I'm using Windows XP with classic-style appearance and the default Qute theme.

#27 Re: bugz

by Tar

Friday April 30th, 2004 6:16 AM

Reply to this message

For example Pinball 0.7.8 does have the borders, default skin doesn't.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8a) Gecko/20040428 Firefox/0.8.0+ (BlueFyre)

#72 Re: Re: bugz

by DPJ <davidpjames@yahoo.com>

Saturday May 1st, 2004 9:09 AM

Reply to this message

> For example Pinball 0.7.8 does have the borders, default skin doesn't.

Yes, well, Pinball gets a lot of things right that the default theme doesn't :)

#91 Re: Re: bugz

by MORA

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 7:44 AM

Reply to this message

> There's the no "3D" borders issue > > Are you saying that's good or bad? > > > Bad of course, Mozilla Firefox doesn't adhere to Windows UI guidelines and/or consistency with other programs.

This is untrue. Many Windows programs (especially the newer ones) do *not* have the 3D borders you mentioned. I think Firefox adheres to newer Windows UI guidelines than the programs you used for reference. (Also notice that your attached screenshot is based on the Windows 9x/2000 interface, which itself is considered obsolete by some. Personally, I prefer the 'classic' UI design, but many new applications nowadays use the Office XP styling instead. Office XP does not have the additional 3D borders in the toolbars either.)

#5 Bug Comments

by trashcan

Thursday April 29th, 2004 9:36 PM

Reply to this message

Hi,

Are there bugs for these problems:

The Download Complete message is blue like it is clickable, but does nothing when clicked. There is no "OK" button to dismiss the Download Manager. Pressing enter does not dismiss Help/About.

I couldn't find any of them in Bugzilla, but I wasn't sure how to search for Firefox bugs.

#6 Re: Bug Comments

by jesse <jruderman@hmc.edu>

Thursday April 29th, 2004 11:34 PM

Reply to this message

> I wasn't sure how to search for Firefox bugs.

I use QuickSearch ( <http://www.squarefree.com…lla/quicksearch-help.html> ) to search for bugs. The other popular methods are <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/query.cgi> and <http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…query.cgi?format=specific> .

> The Download Complete message is blue like it is clickable, but does nothing when clicked.

This one was tricky to find, because I didn't know the term for the thing that tells you your download is complete. I ended up using 'firefox download votes:3' and reading through 27 summaries. <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=229062>

> There is no "OK" button to dismiss the Download Manager.

It's a window, not a dialog, so it doesn't have an OK button. I didn't think there would be a bug on it, but there was. 'ALL firefox download ok' turned up <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=233975> .

> Pressing enter does not dismiss Help/About.

I found <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=216722> with 'ALL firefox about focus'.

#42 Re: Re: Bug Comments

by trashcan

Friday April 30th, 2004 9:27 AM

Reply to this message

Thanks for the info.

#7 Personal information in Firefox

by chrisvdb

Thursday April 29th, 2004 11:55 PM

Reply to this message

Hi,

For me the single most important feature that I find missing in Firefox, is that it doesn't encrypt the personal information it stores on the disk. Is this coming or is this something that will be done by an extension?

Tnx, Chris.

#9 Encryption of stored files ...

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 12:05 AM

Reply to this message

this would really be the job of the OS - I do not know why exactly you want that but there a good reasons in many programs to have this. So instead of reimplementing this for each app seperately the way to go is to have an encrypted file system or partition. And that is what you already can do with all modern OS as far as I know.

#18 Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by chrisvdb

Friday April 30th, 2004 4:47 AM

Reply to this message

I don't agree here.

First of all the Mozilla suite is able to encrypt this info, so why wouldn't Firefox use this same functionality.

Secondly the encryption implemented at OS level is much less fine-grained. For example when Firefox stores a login/psw of a website, then it should know that he stored something for this website, but not 'what' until I enter the master key.

Try it out with the suite, and you'll see it's a nice feature to have.

Cheers, Chris.

#26 Oh ok

by johann_p

Friday April 30th, 2004 5:58 AM

Reply to this message

Sorry that was my mistake - I thought you mean by "information" ALL of the profile information but you mean login/passwd etc which I assumed can be optionally encrypted and protected with a password as in the suite. I have to agree: as it looks, this is implemented much better in the suite - better and more user friendly dialog (that scrollable tree is just awful), password protection and the feature to optionally show the passwords in an additional column.

#31 Re: Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by zookqvalem

Friday April 30th, 2004 7:35 AM

Reply to this message

>>First of all the Mozilla suite is able to encrypt this info, so why wouldn't Firefox use this same functionality. This is exactly one of some features that I noticed is excluded from FireFox. In the end, I KEPT going back to Mozilla.

#45 Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by mvl

Friday April 30th, 2004 10:48 AM

Reply to this message

afaik, firefox does store passwords encrypted. It doesn't even allow to not store it encrypted. So that is why the Ui doesn't mention it: you can't turn it off. All you can do is not use a password, which makes the encryption easy to break. With a master password, it is encrypted just like in the suite.

#60 Re: Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by chrisvdb

Friday April 30th, 2004 4:31 PM

Reply to this message

If this is true: great. But I cannot find where I can enter the master password... could have overlooked it, though.

#61 Re: Re: Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by Ben_Goodger

Friday April 30th, 2004 8:34 PM

Reply to this message

It's not exposed well right now - we plan to make the setting more obvious at some point.

Right now go to Tools->Options, choose Advanced, scroll down to "Certificates" and click "View Device Manager"... then select "Change Master Password" and there you go.

#98 Re: Re: Re: Re: Encryption of stored files ...

by Simplex

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 3:59 PM

Reply to this message

I think he means Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Certificates -> Manage Security Devices... ->

#99 Oops... hit OK too early

by Simplex

Sunday May 2nd, 2004 4:01 PM

Reply to this message

Oops! I think *I* mean Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Certificates -> Manage Security Devices... -> Software Security Device -> Change Password. (psst... there should be "..." in change password)