Shock as Microsoft Evangelist Robert Scoble Recommends Microsoft Technologies

Monday May 10th, 2004

Much has been made in recent days about Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble and his comments about how Mozilla can take advantage of the new technologies introduced in Longhorn, the next major version of Windows. Scoble's thoughts on how Mozilla Firefox could be enhanced via features such as Avalon, Longhorn's new graphics layer, and WinFS, the enhanced file storage system, prompted InternetNews to conduct a follow-up interview, sparked a discussion at Slashdot and caused MozillaNews to quote almost enough to stretch the definition of fair use.

Which is interesting, as nothing Scoble said was particularly surprising. The fact that a Microsoft employee even mentioned Mozilla was a shock to some but it should be noted that Scoble, who was an established member of the weblogging community long before taking a job at Microsoft, was speaking for himself and not Redmond. Furthermore, Microsoft have recently started encouraging their employees to maintain weblogs, launching initiatives such as and Channel 9. In addition, while some media outlets reported that Scoble was offering advice to Mozilla, in reality he simply was recommending technologies whose widespread adoption would benefit Microsoft. At its core, this is a simply case of a Microsoft evangelist evangelising Microsoft. Nothing particularly surprising about that.

So far, the reaction from the Mozilla camp has been cool. While some features like WinFS and Avalon may be embraced in time, any evaluation is unlikely to take place until much closer to Longhorn's release. Meanwhile, technologies such as XAML (which, to be fair, Scoble is not advocating Mozilla adopt), have been met with outright hostility, with leading Mozilla figures viewing the proprietary XML user interface language as a threat to the freedom and interoperability of the Web.

#37 Re: Sorry, guys....I was getting out of hand

by bzbarsky

Wednesday May 12th, 2004 3:26 PM

You are replying to this message

> notice how the Linux requirements include GTK+

They include them as far back as, oh... at least M17, which was the first time I compiled Mozilla.

> it is different from all the other platforms Mozilla is on

Er... the Win32 requirements include the Win32 apis and toolkit and the Mac requirements include Carbon, etc. The only difference is that that there are no Windows/Mac systems without the relevant toolkits installed (since the operating system vendors make that impossible), whereas there _are_ Linux systems without GTK installed. Hence the explicit listing of GTK as a requirement -- because it may not be met.

> it is different from all the other platforms Mozilla is on.

It is not, insofar as we end up using some underlying widget set that knows something about actual "windows" on every single platform we run on. See the widget/ directory in the Mozilla tree at <…monkey/source/widget/src/> (I count 9 different toolkits, of which three can all be used on Linux, so GTK is not the only option on Linux... though the xlib version is not as polished as the GTK one).

> From here on out, all changes that are made in XUL on Windows/Mac/whatever will have to be recreated > in Linux

Wrong. The whole point is that XUL is implemented completely inside and on top of Gecko. Gecko makes API calls to the platform widget impls, but it does not depend on their innards (for the most part). So changes to Gecko can be made once and just work on all platforms that have a valid widget implementation.

> because it is not using XUL anymore. Correct me if I am wrong.

You're wrong. It's using XUL.

I'm not going to bother addressing the rest of your post, since it is based on completely false premises.

I'll also note that you carefully ignored my first post which pointed out these same errorrs... I have to wonder why.