Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Nov 2008 09:45 UTC, submitted by mlauzon
Internet Explorer Most of the popular browsers these days are based on one of the two open source rendering engines - khtml/WebKit and Gecko. The most popular browser, however, is based on proprietary technology: Internet Explorer. Even though IE made some progress during the past few years, it's no secret that it took Microsoft far too long to counter the success of Mozilla's Firefox. Currently, Microsoft is working (and thus, spending money) on Internet Explorer 8, and this prompted an audience member during a keynote by Steve Ballmer to ask an interesting question: is it worth spending money on IE, with so many open source engines readily available? Ballmer's reply may surprise you.
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Yeah right ..
by kragil on Fri 7th Nov 2008 10:09 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

What is next?

Ballmer looking into using the FreeBSD kernel and building Windows in VMs on top of that??

Reply Score: 1

RE: Yeah right ..
by irbis on Fri 7th Nov 2008 12:59 UTC in reply to "Yeah right .. "
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Microsoft doesn't have endless developer and maintanance resources. Competition is getting tougher for them, and for example, their security record with web browsers hasn't been good at all. They might really do this, or at least consider it seriously.

Apple is a commercial proprietary company too, much like Microsoft, and they use Webkit, BSD base for their proprietary OS etc.

It would be a big paradigm change for Microsoft, of course, and thus it would be big news, but in many ways it could make sense too.

But naturally it might also never happen. Maybe that would seem more probable too for now.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Yeah right ..
by ebasconp on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Yeah right .. "
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

mmm...

I do not think should thing could occur actually....

MS wants "everything written at home", not because they like to reinvent the wheel, but because they want to have total control on every line of source code their business build...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Yeah right ..
by BluenoseJake on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yeah right .. "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"I do not think should thing could occur actually.... "

It's the best thing that could happen to the web, Safari, Konqueror and IE using the same rendering engine. MS couldn't mess with it too much, because the don't own the code, and any changes they make would need to be available.
Doing this would leave just 3 different major rendering engines to code for, Webkit, Gecko and Opera, and would make web devs lives so much easier

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Yeah right ..
by suryad on Fri 7th Nov 2008 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yeah right .. "
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

While I dont disagree with what you are saying I think the post prior to yours was saying how difficult it is becoming especially nowadays with so much competition and innovation...basically pressure from open source for Micrososft to maintaint that sort of hardline stance. And I agree 100% with that post as well!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yeah right ..
by CaptainN- on Sat 8th Nov 2008 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yeah right .. "
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm not sure how true that is. I'm certain that they license code (or buy it outright) from other proprietary vendors. Adobe and Apple, two other proprietary vendors also do that quite regularly. The only difference here is that they would be licensing code from an open source vendor. It's a much smaller paradigm shift than many realize. It just makes good business sense, unlike clinging to an ideologically based, prejudice against open source software.

Reply Score: 2

v Security
by 3rdalbum on Fri 7th Nov 2008 10:15 UTC
RE: Security
by lemur2 on Fri 7th Nov 2008 11:01 UTC in reply to "Security"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Which is more secure; Trident or Webkit? Webkit is open-source, but then its biggest sponsor is Apple; they've never designed a secure piece of software.


Apple didn't design Webkit either. Webkit is just a fork of KHTML. Designed by KDE.

No contest on the security front. All of the malware out there on the web that attacks via a browser does so via Trident, and none of it does so via KHTML/Webkit.

Reply Score: 15

RE[2]: Security
by Hakime on Fri 7th Nov 2008 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Security"
Hakime Member since:
2005-11-16

"Apple didn't design Webkit either. Webkit is just a fork of KHTML. Designed by KDE. "

Please give the credit to who it is deserved to. Apple created webkit, starting from the code base of KHTML which was pretty much limited (it did not render correctly a LOT of web pages, it was unstable and relatively slow, but it was a small and clean code base that Apple was looking for to start upon) before Apple created webkit.

By itself, the first version of webkit that Apple built for Safari 1.0 was already a big change from the original KHTML and rapidly webkit became a complete independent project that was growing much faster as it was managed (and still is) by Apple.

Again webkit was born with Safari 1.0 and all the work on the initial version was done by Apple. And yes it is derived from KHTML but webkit is not a simple fork of KHTML (please don't say non sense), this a major rework of the code base and a large addition of features was done compared to the original KHTML.

Edited 2008-11-07 14:47 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Security
by aesiamun on Fri 7th Nov 2008 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

But it is a fork...it started as a fork of the source code.

Apple forked KHTML and created WebKit

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Security
by tyrione on Fri 7th Nov 2008 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Security"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

But it is a fork...it started as a fork of the source code.

Apple forked KHTML and created WebKit


Holy crap. Yes. WebKit was "originally" a fork of KHTML/KJS. That's where it ends. The growth, scope and size of WebKit Project dwarfs KDE's projects tenfold. With WebKit we now have 4 distinct ports and growing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Security
by aesiamun on Fri 7th Nov 2008 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Security"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Fine, hide behind your fanboyim all you want. Webkit was and still is a fork of the KHTML Engine and libraries.

Reply Score: 12

RE[5]: Security
by berzerko on Fri 7th Nov 2008 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Security"
berzerko Member since:
2005-11-11

once a fork, always a fork...

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Security
by ebasconp on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Konqueror still uses KHTML, and it was one of the first browsers to pass the Acid2 test...

Ok, Apple has done a good job building WebKit, but the "design" and the foundations, are still KHTML merit.

Reply Score: 12

RE[3]: Security
by Redeeman on Fri 7th Nov 2008 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

bwahahaha, you are a moron, and widly blinded by propaganda.. khtml has always been really fast, and quite adhering to standards.. it wasnt untill much later when webkit was adopted by other people that crapple themselves, that they were forced to stop making direct crapcode. and cleanup from their own damage has taken quite some resources..

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Security
by lithium on Sat 8th Nov 2008 05:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
lithium Member since:
2005-06-29

KHTML was rendering a lot of stuff very nicely already at the time Apple took it. Sure, they have done a lot of nice stuff with it but you could say the same for KDE and now also GNOME (WebKitGTK) and Google (Chromium) who all contribute more to the main codebase than just the "ports". Btw, KHTML is based on the original GtkHTML ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Security
by ebasconp on Sat 8th Nov 2008 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Security"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GtkHTML

GtkHTML was forked from KHTML!!

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Security
by lemur2 on Sat 8th Nov 2008 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

it did not render correctly a LOT of web pages, it was unstable and relatively slow


Not correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KHTML

Some quotes people may find interesting:
A forked version of KHTML called WebKit is used by several web browsers, among them Safari and Google Chrome.


KHTML renders faster than the Gecko layout engine


many websites fail to support KHTML or claim no support even if the site does work correctly in Konqueror. Gmail, for instance, only works if Konqueror reports itself as Firefox (see User Agent Spoofing)


That is the interesting one, isn't it? If Konqueror lies, and pretends to be another rendering engine than it really is, websites work fine with it.

For the real history of it see here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_KHTML_and_WebKit

Most of the work that Apple did to turn KHTML into Webkit actually involved getting to work with OSX and Cocoa.

Reply Score: 8

v RE[2]: Security
by tyrione on Fri 7th Nov 2008 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Security"
RE[2]: Security
by 3rdalbum on Sat 8th Nov 2008 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Security"
3rdalbum Member since:
2008-05-26

Yes I know, Webkit was forked from a KDE project (KHTML), but Apple has a bad record for security, and they contribute a heck of a lot of code to Webkit (probably the biggest contributor). And Webkit is getting a new Javascript interpreter, contributed mostly by... Apple!

Webkit is not a big target as it currently has minimal use on open-source platforms and almost no use on Windows. Just because it hasn't been attacked, does not make it secure. I definitely have more faith in the security of KHTML, if it still exists, than I do Webkit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Security
by lemur2 on Sat 8th Nov 2008 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Security"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I definitely have more faith in the security of KHTML, if it still exists


http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2007/07/23/the-unforking-...

"Now, after years of split, KHTML and Webkit are coming together once again."

Edited 2008-11-08 10:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Or even Better ....
by searly on Fri 7th Nov 2008 10:19 UTC
searly
Member since:
2006-02-27

Microsoft Releasing it under an open source licence ... pigs may fly

Reply Score: 2

RE: Or even Better ....
by ebasconp on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:11 UTC in reply to "Or even Better .... "
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Actually Ballmer can say any thing ;)

Someone inside Microsoft just programs he says:

e.g.

for (int i = 0; i < 14; i++)
ballmer.say("Developers");

Edited 2008-11-07 16:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Or even Better ....
by lithium on Sat 8th Nov 2008 05:41 UTC in reply to "Or even Better .... "
lithium Member since:
2005-06-29

"It" = what? The MSHTML enigne? Another open source html renderer, now, _that_ would be what we all really need ;)

Reply Score: 1

Same old MS
by Morty on Fri 7th Nov 2008 10:24 UTC
Morty
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's the same old MS after all, you need to look at the whole coment and spot the important part.

"Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8."


This I interpret as. "For us, HTML is not the important part of the browser and using open source for this may could be a alternative to perhaps save some devlopment cost. But the important thing for our busniss are the (proprietary) extensions for IE(creating a lock in on our platform/thecnology)."

It sounds like the usuall embrace and extend MS has done for years.

Reply Score: 22

RE: Same old MS
by lemur2 on Fri 7th Nov 2008 11:07 UTC in reply to "Same old MS"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This I interpret as. "For us, HTML is not the important part of the browser and using open source for this may could be a alternative to perhaps save some devlopment cost. But the important thing for our busniss are the (proprietary) extensions for IE(creating a lock in on our platform/thecnology)."

It sounds like the usuall embrace and extend MS has done for years.


That sounds pretty right to me also.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, it is precisely those proprietary extensions for IE that make it such an unmitigated security disaster.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Same old MS
by ebasconp on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Same old MS"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I think MS learned from its mistakes (proprietary extensions are one of them)....

Their last versions of their products point to the other side, trying to be 100% compliant with standards (for example, IE8 or Visual C++ 8)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Same old MS
by google_ninja on Fri 7th Nov 2008 14:05 UTC in reply to "Same old MS"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05


This I interpret as. "For us, HTML is not the important part of the browser and using open source for this may could be a alternative to perhaps save some devlopment cost. But the important thing for our busniss are the (proprietary) extensions for IE(creating a lock in on our platform/thecnology)."

It sounds like the usuall embrace and extend MS has done for years.


Those propriatary extensions are not designed to create "lock-in" (or at least they haven't been since the netscape years), they are there specifically for use in other MS apps. A good example of this is XMLHttpRequest (the X in AJAX), which was created and designed for OWA, and later adopted by the rest of the world.

9 times out of 10 if something works in ie and doesn't work in anything else, it is just due to ie rendering bugs, not propriatary extensions. Some of the extensions are actually a good idea (like XHR), but most are just for eye candy. There is also word coming from the IE team that in upcoming releases, propriatary extensions will be handled in the same way as they are handled in other browsers, with the browser prefix (like moz- or khtml-)

And that isn't even going into stuff like how it is a deployment platform (for oneclick and xbaps in .net)

Reply Score: 4

A diplomatic way of saying no.
by Laurence on Fri 7th Nov 2008 10:28 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

After reading Ballmer's response, it sounded more like he was politely saying "No, that's never going to happen" with added "we may borrow ideas from webkit if we like them".

Reply Score: 5

RE: A diplomatic way of saying no.
by ichi on Fri 7th Nov 2008 11:16 UTC in reply to "A diplomatic way of saying no."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

After reading Ballmer's response, it sounded more like he was politely saying "No, that's never going to happen" with added "we may borrow ideas from webkit if we like them".


Ballmer being polite? Now that's newsworthy!

Reply Score: 10

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Ballmer being polite? Now that's newsworthy!

I meant 'polite' in terms of keeping the PR people and shareholders happy rather than adhearing to social etiquette.

Reply Score: 2

open source
by djames on Fri 7th Nov 2008 11:54 UTC
djames
Member since:
2006-04-18

of course he said "interested".

after all - Microsoft did make public statements in the past saying they were taking open source seriously (to some level of degree). Ballmer doesn't want to contradict to PR statements made by his own company.

Reply Score: 1

v Credit where credit is due...
by Kroc on Fri 7th Nov 2008 13:23 UTC
RE: Credit where credit is due...
by Tuishimi on Fri 7th Nov 2008 17:38 UTC in reply to "Credit where credit is due..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You play Spore too?

Reply Score: 5

i think..
by mckill on Fri 7th Nov 2008 14:05 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

i think based on those comments and MS's and Ballmer's tracker record, that they'd buy out a browser. I just don't see them using webkit even if they fork it.

that pretty much leaves mozilla/firefox to be bought by MS or Opera, i think Opera would be easier to buy.

Reply Score: 2

Ballmer and Doublespeak
by segedunum on Fri 7th Nov 2008 16:31 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ballmer has a habit of giving completely nonsensical answers and double-dutch in reply to questions he finds difficult. This means absolutely nothing.

We will talk to computers and they will respond.

Gates banged on about this for years and zilch has happened. Everyone assumed in the 60s and 70s we would have a HAL 9000. There is a lot about speech and intelligently making responses, and making sense of them, that simply can't be programmed right now because it is far more complex than people realised.

Everything we touch will be an electronic surface connected to the Internet.

I'm afraid your OEM licensing scheme does not scale up to the number of devices that will need to be sold to make this work. Manufacturers need the software to be dirt cheap.

Everything will be automatically streamed.

The last point applies, as does the thorny issue of DRM which is simply incompatible with consumer wants and needs of streaming content to whatever devices they want. Inevitably, a rule will appear somewhere that says "You can't do that" and everything will fall apart.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Ballmer and Doublespeak
by Almafeta on Sat 8th Nov 2008 23:21 UTC in reply to "Ballmer and Doublespeak"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

We will talk to computers and they will respond.

Gates banged on about this for years and zilch has happened. Everyone assumed in the 60s and 70s we would have a HAL 9000. There is a lot about speech and intelligently making responses, and making sense of them, that simply can't be programmed right now because it is far more complex than people realised.


Ahem...

http://tinyurl.com/6nvnfy

http://tinyurl.com/5oxr65

http://blogs.msdn.com/chuckop/

http://tinyurl.com/6z4pgu

( This post was dictated. )

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ballmer and Doublespeak
by japh on Sat 8th Nov 2008 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Ballmer and Doublespeak"
japh Member since:
2005-11-11

You actually dictated those links? ;)

Either way, there's a huge difference between being able to dictate for the computer and to have it actually understand things, which is what I think the grandparent post was referring to.

An while we're posting links, here's one I find somewhat relevant to speech recognition:
http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2005/12/30/gates

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ballmer and Doublespeak
by segedunum on Sun 9th Nov 2008 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Ballmer and Doublespeak"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Dictation has been around for some time, and Microsoft certainly weren't the first to do it or even produced the best software for doing it. What I'm talking about is not dictation, and is what the majority will demand from speech recognition.

Having a computer understand speech, interpret speech into actions that haven't been pre-specified (important) and be able to converse meaningfully back through speech is an entirely different matter. This is why the speech recognition you point to in those links simply hasn't taken off on a big scale as a means of interacting with a computer.

Reply Score: 3

Never say never
by mweichert on Fri 7th Nov 2008 22:03 UTC
mweichert
Member since:
2006-03-23

This wouldn't be the first open source technology for Microsoft to endorse. Technologies such as Kerberos have been implemented in Windows for some time now.

Cheers,
Mike

Reply Score: 2

RE: Never say never
by japh on Sat 8th Nov 2008 23:59 UTC in reply to "Never say never"
japh Member since:
2005-11-11

Let's just hope they would treat webkit better than kerberos then, because that's one of the things that Microsoft has gotten lots of criticism for.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2000/0511kerberos.html

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Never say never
by mweichert on Sun 9th Nov 2008 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Never say never"
mweichert Member since:
2006-03-23

Yes, I agree. I was just saying; I can't help but think that the "well, we've taken this approach before - we can do it again" has a chance of coming up more than once as Microsoft finds themselves in situations where they are "lagging behind".

Personally, I think the more they do this and the more fingers pointed at them acknowledging what they are doing, that good will come - not any significant degree, but enough to make one smile. ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Reply Score: 1

MS loves the properietary
by buff on Fri 7th Nov 2008 22:32 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

MS will definitely keep IE around. They might use WebKit as a rendering engine but they will stick to developing IE since they plan to compete with Google for web applications. Having their own browser makes it easy to push Silverlight web applications. I could see MS moving to WebKit and somthing like the Spidermonkey Javascript engine. They would add their proprietary GUI, ActiveX, and MS specific web application functionality. Moving towards more rich content Silverlight applications will allow them to offer benefits for IE users. They might embrace WebKit but they will tweak their browser so it benefits MS users, such is the proprietary way that keeps them in business.

Reply Score: 3

RE: MS loves the properietary
by jayson.knight on Fri 7th Nov 2008 23:50 UTC in reply to "MS loves the properietary"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Having their own browser makes it easy to push Silverlight web applications.

...

Moving towards more rich content Silverlight applications will allow them to offer benefits for IE users.


You do realize that Silverlight is cross-browser and cross-OS compatible, right? It has nothing to do with IE.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: MS loves the properietary
by segedunum on Sat 8th Nov 2008 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE: MS loves the properietary"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You do realize that Silverlight is cross-browser and cross-OS compatible, right? It has nothing to do with IE.

Wow. I didn't realise that Microsoft had open sourced .Net and had downloads for multiple platforms, and where they had open sourced media codecs so that in the event of Microsoft losing interest in producing codec packs for non-Windows platforms Silverlight can keep some semblance of staying cross-platform? The reference Silverlight platform will be IE and Windows because that's where the new features will turn up first.

You see, you can repeat the above as often as you like, but the caveats will remain.

Reply Score: 7

Who really cares?
by Isolationist on Fri 7th Nov 2008 23:36 UTC
Isolationist
Member since:
2006-05-28

"Ballmer: Microsoft 'May Look' at WebKit"

Honestly who really cares?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who really cares?
by elmimmo on Sat 8th Nov 2008 01:02 UTC in reply to "Who really cares?"
elmimmo Member since:
2005-09-17

Oh, just every single web developer out there. Besides that, true, not many people.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who really cares?
by lithium on Sat 8th Nov 2008 05:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Who really cares?"
lithium Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, not in the "wow they use webkit"-way but users would surely care about the "wow I did this page on windows and it looks 100% the same on Mac/iPhone/Android/KDE/Gnome/..."

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Who really cares?
by sbergman27 on Sun 9th Nov 2008 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who really cares?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"wow I did this page on windows and it looks 100% the same on Mac/iPhone/Android/KDE/Gnome/..."

...just looks a little odd in Firefox is all... ;-)

Edited 2008-11-09 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Ah!
by TBPrince on Mon 10th Nov 2008 12:44 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

ah! Anyone thinking Microsoft could (or maybe "should") switch from current IE engine to WebKit doesn't live on planet Earth but somewhere in outer space...

I find it ridicolous even to think about it. It's more likely that Microsoft completely wipes IE off of any Windows version than MS switching to another engine. This is news from nothing: Ballmer only said that they will "look" at WebKit as improving support for Web standards is (new) Microsoft policy.

But replacing engine... ah! That's funny! The leading browser of the market replacing its engine with that from competitor? What next? Windows asking permission to use OS X kernel?? ;-)

Reply Score: 2