MZ Reader James Russell On MS and Mozilla
Saturday November 6th, 1999
Reader James Russell has contributed a great opinion piece evaluating Judge Jackson's findings of fact and the effect that Microsoft's activities have had on Netscape and the creation of the Mozilla project. Click "Full Article" below to read more.
#1 Balanced and insightful
by gerbilpower <email@example.com>
Sunday November 7th, 1999 6:15 PM
I'll keep my comments simple:
A balanced view at the situation instead of the usual "MS won because NS was stupid" and "NS rulez" arguments, although I wouldn't mind supporting the later one.
What would the browser world be like if Microsoft had not existed? My guesses ...
* We'd have one or two almost-fully-featured open-source browsers now, and they wouldn't be Mozilla. They wouldn't be as cool as Mozilla is, but they would be more stable.
* Mozilla wouldn't have gone open source.
* Communicator 5.0 would still be based on Mozilla Classic. No XUL, and NGLayout probably wouldn't be introduced until version 7.0 in 2002, when Communicator started to feel the heat from KFM and Mnemonic.
* Those of us who now detest Microsoft would instead spend our time detesting Netscape instead, because *Netscape* would be the monopoly power.
Funny old world.
#15 NS Monopoly - good point
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:50 PM
I had thought this myself. Before IE came on the scene, NS was arguably ALREADY a monopoly, with like 8 percent of the browser market. Judge Jackson even noted this, saying that IE had caused NS to have incentive to improve their product, etc. But M$ definitely took the IE cause much too far, proving once and for all that it was willing to hose even its own major customers to do so, and if you look at it this way, M$s crusade against NS was the final, massive reason for the gov't to take M$ to task and prove that not only was it a monopoly (which in itself is not illegal) but that it was willing to utilize all of its monopoly power to retain its monopoly (which IS illegal). From this perspective, were it not for NS, the gov't would never have been able to prove what it has against M$. I'm dying to see what the stock market holds in store for M$ tomorrow. ;)
Most definitely, the future is Mozilla's.
I am grateful to Netscape for releasing their code, and even more grateful for Mozilla.org in embarking on Project Seamonkey, without which I would almost certainly have had to remain on the sidelines. To use a phrase used a lot in the past few days, Seamonkey lowers the barrier of entry, and makes it possible for any intrepid developer with some HTML and JS knowledge as a prerequisite to step up and create some exciting stuff. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working on Mozilla thus far, and shall continue to.
When I bought this pc 1 year ago I had nothing but trouble with IE 4. IE 4 did help me....Download Netscape!!!!! So maybe I should say thank you Microsoft...But I wont!
#5 My own rants, hehe
by gerbilpower <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sunday November 7th, 1999 7:29 PM
Remember back when Paramount put Microsoft in charge of the Official Star Trek web site? Well back then the only way to access the official site was if you were an MSN member and had IE. But then they dropped the MSN requirement so that opened the opportunity for me.
Thinking "that site better be damn good to make me go through the trouble to download IE" I tried it. That site was nothing but one gimmics high tech requiring me to download a mess of plugins just to get pass the front page. Sure for a modest and technical Trekker as myself the site was resourceful, but just way over bloated. Plus the crash rate of my computer increased expotentially when I installed IE.
After a couple days IE was off my computer. But then MS integrated it into Windoze and I got into web design and I need to do cross-compatibility checks so IE is on my computer now but as the least used program on my computer. Hell I've used notepad more often!
I just can't wait for a very Mozilla-future 8)
The connection made between the Java APIs and the the Netscape browser delivery platform are very intersting and somethign I had not considered.
It also makes me think that those in the DOJ trial won't be able to put the pieces together either which is a shame since if what is postulated is indeed true, bodes very poorly for the Internet.
It really isn't about desktops or Java or browsers. It is embrace and extend the internet itself according to this piece and that really scares me. I didn't think that was possible before reading this.
#17 The findings make the Java/NS connection ;) n/t
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:53 PM
One of the big points of this whole fiasco was that Microsoft tried to prevent anyone from attaining the goal of write once run anywhere.
Netscape was a threat, Java was a threat and Intel became a threat when they were going to support such technologies.
There is still one unotouched technology that can acheive this goal and it's owned by a company many people don't like. That company is Apple.
The Yellow Box, Cocoa, whatever you want to call the NeXT Object oriented stuff; I beleive can do what Java set out to do. The only problem is the developer community, whom I'm not a part of and know little about, needs to get Apple to release this stuff freely or at very little cost.
The more I read about this technology the more I hope Apple doesn't screw it up. There is hope, seeing as Apple is bascily being run by all the key people from NeXT. I can only guess their goals haven't changed, just the way in which they are carried out.
Mac OS is supposed to be more like NeXTstep with Mac OS X and very early screenshots I've seen support that. Perhaps NeXT's goals are still a priority in Cupertino.
Do I just not get it since I'm not a programer? Am I totaly off base?
#13 Amiga's OE w/Java&Linux
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:29 PM
Gateway's Amiga subsidiary, and its AmigaObject technology based on Java and Jini, will (including embedding Java into hardware and thereby nullifying the language's speed limitations) take Java and make write once/run anywhere, finally, a reality, combining it with Linux, no less. Expect incredible things from Gateway/AOL/Amiga/Sun, and SOON. Amiga has said they will release the new Workbench GUI into the open source environment. (BTW, the desktop version of the operating environment will, w/ X Windows, be fully Linux compatible).
Ah, I remember the good old days, when I actually *believed* official statements about the future of the Amiga ...
Sorry for the sardonicism, but I'm a former Amiga user and you hit a raw nerve there.
#29 Write Once, Run Anywhere. Look at GNUstep
Wednesday November 10th, 1999 10:13 AM
There is a GNU project dedicated to implement the OpenStep spec ("the NeXT Object stuff") as free software called GNUstep <http://www.gnustep.org> .
Take a look at it, and help if you can! Not everything is there yet, but quite a bit has been done. That's a better alternative for WORA than wait for Apple to do something.
#8 Kill the OEM power, and Mozilla will win.
Sunday November 7th, 1999 9:06 PM
It's definitely true that lots of people will not download a browser. I think that if OEMs can freely install Mozilla on the systems they sell, then it will dramatically rise in popularity. Hopefully this will occur as a result of the trial.
#26 Kill the OEM power, and Mozilla will win.
Monday November 8th, 1999 8:32 PM
I think you are right...It took me changing ISP's to get netscape. Before Earthlink gave it to me I thought it was more of a " TECHY NERD" browser. Then I found out it was alot easier and alot better than most of the other browsers out there.
When I had some problems getting IE 4 to work right thats when I decided Netscape was alot better and more user freindly than anything Microsoft has come out with in along time
#27 Actually (blush)...
Monday November 8th, 1999 9:45 PM
When I was still a Windows nubian I eventually trashed NS because it seemed all its menu items were in the wrong places, and ultimately it pissed me off by allowing me to install an older version over it. If nothing else, IE notifies you that you are about to install an older version. Still, I went back to NS eventually, once I had my bearings.
#9 can't stop evolution
by beg <email@example.com>
Sunday November 7th, 1999 9:35 PM
It's funny, Microsoft tried so hard to stop Java or Netscape from being major competition, but Microsoft created it's own monster, which is much scary -- open source.
It's funny how it would have taken a little operating system named 'Linux' and about a few million programs around the world to take MS out. Isn't that just hilarious? No company could replace Microsoft. That just shows, they are a monopoly. It shouldn't take a free, open-source operating system with millions of programers around the world to stop Microsoft.
I sincerely hope the speed of the milestone release I downloaded (M9) is nowhere near that to be expected of NN5. It was much slower than even V4 series Navigator.
If NGlayout is so good, what is slowing the rest of it down?
Sorry for the criticism.
#11 small, efficient!?
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:07 PM
NGLayout is really good for HTML pages, but the user interface uses XUL, which isn't as fast.
There are also a large amount of Mozilla that isn't NGLayout. Bear in mind that Mozilla is built on top of NGLayout, and NGLayout has existed longer than the rest of Mozilla.
#12 Gecko still fits on one floppy (right?)
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:24 PM
Remember that Mozilla is very componentizable - aka developers can embed only those portions of Mozilla they desire per appliance - and last time I checked, the Gecko rendering engine still fits on one standard floppy disk. As to M9, remember that until the Feature-freeze date, Mozilla will not undergo the heavy optimizations that will make it smaller and even faster and more efficient.
And Moz is only about 5MB now, albeit without security software, which NS necessarily could not make part of Mozilla, and added features like WinAmp and RealPlayer. But I'll warrant even the full NS 5.0 will come in under 10 MB.
(Kovu aka James Russell)
If you take out most of the test programs within the bin directory you'll save about 2MB.
Yesterday was the official day to stop working on M11. Of course this might have slipped. So now they are going to spend time working on getting M11 out the doors. And most of the following milestones are tweaks and refinements.
#14 Thx for the intelligent response
Sunday November 7th, 1999 10:33 PM
The responses to my article have been among the most informed, thoughtful responses I've seen here at MZ. I'm glad I could offer perspective, even if I already see some grammar errors in the article now in retrospect (grrrr, I'm an editor, too).
I use Netscape 4.7 all the time because it's simply easier to use than IE5. But I use IE5 for 2 things: 1) Windows Update 2) to run the java distributed project at <http://supercomputer.i.am/> I couldn't use Netscape's JVM because I wanted the fastest java. It's not MS either :) It's IBM's jvm (unfortunately I can't use the system java on Netscape). So IE5 is just a shell (minimized most of the time) to run a competititor's product
There is quite a good debate about what Microsoft actually did to gain and maintain their monopoly position on the news.stardock.com server (the makers of the WindowBlinds skinning program). See the stardock.discussion newsgroup.
#23 MZ Reader James Russell On MS and Mozilla
Monday November 8th, 1999 11:15 AM
Usually I take a lot of the hype and claims about the stifling of "innovation" with a grain of salt. Besides the predictable moore's law, I haven't seen ALL that much innovation in general. However, when it was mentioned that Intel was actually planning to include support for Java in HARDWARE and that it was stomped down by MS that really proved it for me. Now I'm a Java developer, and I would see Intel developing support for Java on its commodity chips as a GREAT boon. Now THAT would be innovation. That would help enormously. Now I see an actual instance of the ambiguous "innovation" charge.
#28 MZ Reader James Russell On MS and Mozilla
Tuesday November 9th, 1999 12:49 PM
I think the chrome facilities could well be important to ISP. It will allow them to truely customize their browser, something only previously offered by NeoPlanet. Now if the Netscape marketing guys can get their act together we might just have a competitive browser again.