Linked by Kroc Camen on Mon 9th Nov 2009 14:20 UTC
Editorial Hands up if you use Firefox. Have used it? Know about it? Heard of it? 'Sites up and down the World Wide Web today will be celebrating five years of Firefox. When I sat down to write this I worried about having to list the history of its features and landmark events and the news of the past five years. Other sites will be comprehensively doing that, there is nothing I can add to that list that Google can't surmise. Instead I will be telling you what Google does not know, my story of Firefox and what Firefox has meant to all of us.
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Indeed
by WereCatf on Mon 9th Nov 2009 14:53 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

FireFox has changed my life quite a lot too. I too first learned to use Frontpage at school and being the curious cat I started studying HTML the same week. But IE was the de facto standard back then and so all websites had to be compliant with it, not vice versa. FireFox eventually rescued me from that pit and from the poor coding habits that I had learned and since then I've learned to do things the Right Way (TM).

Nowadays though I have moved away from FireFox. Google Chrome blows it straight out of water both on Windows and on Linux, but especially so on Linux; FireFox just crawls there and as unfortunate as it is, it is falling behind the competition quite fast. Chrome/Chromium has made me a happy camper now ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Indeed
by OfficeSubmarine on Mon 9th Nov 2009 17:40 UTC in reply to "Indeed"
OfficeSubmarine Member since:
2006-12-14

I'm in the same boat with firefox in linux. The irony being that I switched to it in the first place because opera, at time, was doing a poor job keeping opera even running in modern distros.

But now firefox just feels slow on linux, even swiftfox does. I've heard the excuses, compiled with all the flags that are supposed to speed it up, and it's just not performing well. Where chromium, with the same functionality in terms of installed extensions, just flies. And it's not even officially in beta yet!

I love firefox, and I'm glad it's around. But I hardly ever even use it anymore. It's become like IE in wine used to be. Just something around for that rare site which breaks in my main browser.

Reply Score: 2

I don't think any browser blows anyone away anymore
by nt_jerkface on Tue 10th Nov 2009 02:49 UTC in reply to "Indeed"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

IE8, Chrome, Safari and FF are all plenty fast on a dual-core cpu. The real limit on browsing speed these days is your bandwidth connection.

FF was great in the days of IE6 but most people I know just use IE8 since it comes with the computer. That includes people that used to use Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

It was all I would use on Windows...
by Tuishimi on Mon 9th Nov 2009 14:55 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Since it came out. I have recently switched to Chrome but still jump back to FF for some debugging needs.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I should also say that it is all my wife uses on her Macbook... "it just works!"

Reply Score: 2

A little late to the party
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:04 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

The way you write about 2004 its as if alternative Operating systems didn't exist. Or somehow made you a "weirdo". If only there had been a website back then that would have covered this "operating systems news". But what to call such a website.

http://www.osnews.com/index.html" rel="nofollow">http://web.archive.org/web/20040115220259/http://www.osnews.com/ind...

It might be more interesting to get some feedback from someone who had used it before it was called firefox, and/or before version 0.9.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A little late to the party
by Kroc on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:08 UTC in reply to "A little late to the party"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Exactly. I wrote about 2004 how I saw it then -- as a Microsoft user, ignorant of everything else, including alternative browsers and alternative operating systems. Places Microsoft painted as 'weird' and wrong. That, I'm afraid, is the world many people live in and the world that students are indoctrinated into.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A little late to the party
by talaf on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE: A little late to the party"
talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

And also indoctrinated into the contratry, which is imo just as bad.

Edited 2009-11-09 15:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I guess you had a different University experience than I did from 97-01. We used AIX,Linux,IRIX, OS2 warp, VMS, and yes, Windows. By 04, I was quad booting windows, linux, freebsd and BeOS 5. Its just strange to hear 2004 referred to as if it was 1996.

Reply Score: 3

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess you had a different University experience than I did from 97-01. We used AIX,Linux,IRIX, OS2 warp, VMS, and yes, Windows. By 04, I was quad booting windows, linux, freebsd and BeOS 5. Its just strange to hear 2004 referred to as if it was 1996.

I am a computer science student right now, even though I'm 51 years old! I am a senior at McKendree University in Illinois. The program is 100% Windows. Even the Operating Systems class was basically a Windows class (the one place you might think they would vary). For our assignments in the OS class we wrote a couple small Win32 apps. Some classes absolutely require Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer on Windows (it wouldn't work under Wine).

I use many OS's. Right now my laptop runs OpenBSD, and I run Ubuntu and Windows 7 on my 2 desktops. It seems a shame to see the state of many C.S. programs today. I was able to use GCC in my C++ classes, but I had to check them with Visual C++ before I could turn them in, because that is what the teachers use.

The dumbing down of America. It's really going to bite us in the booter some day (and already is).

Reply Score: 6

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That sucks.

I think part of the reason why it was so diversified, is the freedom that the university and department gave to each professor. One spent his entire research budget on a couple SGI oxygen workstations. Another set up a beowolf linux cluster. Also, we had an old VMS running email for the entire university. Everyone in the university had to use it to check their email. The curriculum itself wasn't necessarily steeped in such diversity (the labs all ran windows), but in the course of doing the assignments using different diverse technologies was sort of required. It did a good job of teaching me to find and then us the best tool for the job.

Reply Score: 2

matto1990 Member since:
2009-04-18

That really sucks. I'm doing a CS degree now at The University of Manchester and we use linux for basically everything. It's basically a Fedora installation with loads of changes made by the lecturers. The default window manager is Another Level Up (http://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/~jtl/ALU/) which was written by our programming lecturer; however there the option when you login to also use Gnome, KDE, fvwm and various other obscure window managers. The pc's still have windows (XP) installed on them but I've yet to see a single person actually use it.

There are also various other things the lecturers try and make us do like using a shell instead of a file browser, writing our own shell scripts to automate repetitive tasks and using latex for writing our reports instead of using a word processor.

It's also good that about 10% of people came into the course with Linux installed on their laptops and now about 60% of people have it on there. It shows there must be something to linux. I still use Windows 7 mind because I really like how it works but for programming you really can't beat linux. I just really like my games too much to use linux full time ;)

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It has nothing to do with the dumbing down of America.

You're going to a small school and they have limited resources. Not every school can afford to maintain a Unix lab.

Reply Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Unix lab in America?

My bet is that any of these teachers has more than enough money in their pockets to buy a network-capable "Unix" machine, nevermind the institution they work for.

Even if he didn't any computer running windows can run cygwin for free which provides a complete if slow unix environment. Furthermore if he had enough disk space he could run a full Ubuntu either under windows or besides windows.

Finally he could run a VM.

What the teachers lack is knowledge, and unfortunately most of their students will end up in the same situation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A little late to the party
by morglum666 on Tue 10th Nov 2009 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE: A little late to the party"
morglum666 Member since:
2005-07-06

Hi Kroc,

"I wrote about 2004 how I saw it then -- as a Microsoft user, ignorant of everything else, including alternative browsers and alternative operating systems. Places Microsoft painted as 'weird' and wrong.".

I think you might be projecting a little bit. Maybe you were just wierd and wrong in 2004?

I'm just teasing you ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: A little late to the party
by mdoverkil on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:26 UTC in reply to "A little late to the party"
mdoverkil Member since:
2005-09-30

I've been using firefox since it was called Firebird, and I remember using it for the first time. I couldn't believe how much faster it was at loading pages than IE. Tab browsing was still new, so that was a godsend and the fact that it was open source was just gravy.

Reply Score: 2

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

For me it was the fact that it wasn't IE more than any other goodies it included.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A little late to the party
by phoenix on Mon 9th Nov 2009 18:26 UTC in reply to "A little late to the party"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

It might be more interesting to get some feedback from someone who had used it before it was called firefox, and/or before version 0.9.


I used it when it was called Firebird, then Phoenix, then Firefox, when it was pre-0.8. But, I couldn't tell you anything about it, other than it worked better than IE. ;) But it did replace IE and Opera 4.x (loved Opera 3.x, but couldn't get used to all the changes in 4+) on my Windows stations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A little late to the party
by SnowBuddha on Thu 12th Nov 2009 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: A little late to the party"
SnowBuddha Member since:
2009-04-17

It was Phoenix first, and then Firebird.
Those were the good old days, when it was fresh and new and I finally got to dump slow Mozilla. Now Firefox is the old slow one, and Google Chrome is the fresh new one... but ah, the memories!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A little late to the party
by SnowBuddha on Thu 12th Nov 2009 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE: A little late to the party"
SnowBuddha Member since:
2009-04-17

Double post, anyone?

Edited 2009-11-12 23:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

And now google knows this too
by michaelz on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:13 UTC
michaelz
Member since:
2007-03-23

You can already hear the webcrawler do "BEEP, knowledge acquired!"

Reply Score: 1

Alternative Browsers pre-Firefox
by asupcb on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:30 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

I've been using alternate browsers since before Firefox. I used to use Opera and Mozilla Suite when those were much less popular. I started with Opera back in 1999. I switched to Firefox at version .8 and I had installed it starting at .6, although I found it unusable for my purposes until version .8.

I use Chrome and Firefox depending on what I'm trying to accomplish. I tend to keep Chrome open for reading online news articles and Firefox for web development. I still can't switch to Chrome as I am quite reliant on my extensions for everything but daily news checks.

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Aye, I think extensions (and Mac support por moi) are keeping a _lot_ of geeks on Firefox and I expect that once extensions are public and available to replace the most common Firefox extensions, we'll see a huge increase in Google Chrome market share.

Reply Score: 2

Firefox needs a good cleaning
by bousozoku on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:38 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

I used Phoenix, starting at version 0.4.0, and it wasn't bad. I had been using Chimera, which is now Camino, on Mac OS X--the inspiration for Phoenix.

Both Chimera and Phoenix were quick and light but now, Phoenix has gained a lot of weight and had to change names to protect its original name and reputation. Camino is still quick and light but as of Firefox 2.0, I gave up the crashing of that era Camino.

Firefox really does need a good cleaning. I'll try other browsers but I always return. Chrome developer preview 4 is good, but I really don't want a Google search when I type "osnews" to get the bookmark and then, have to hunt for it in the first 50 results. My browser should be efficient, like Firefox, regardless of the JavaScript speed.

Perhaps, with the change to one tab, one process mentality, Firefox will be cleaned and much less error prone. It's still surprising that they can fix security issues so quickly.

Reply Score: 2

Mozilla
by vivainio on Mon 9th Nov 2009 15:57 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

The story of mozilla is actually quite intriguing.

The message at the time seemed to be "er, we have this 'mozilla' project, please don't use it, use netscape instead". They did everything in their power to discredit mozilla-as-a-product, pushing it as a platform to build on... whereas netscape was the "real" product that you should be using. Needless to say, everyone used mozilla at the time.

As it stands, everyone is running over to WebKit at the moment (safari, chrome, others), and the heart of the browser is the javascript engine (if you have bad javascript performance, you have a bad browser). We'll see how firefox can deal with this - incorporating V8 jit engine would seem like the key to survival (the other being just plain inertia).

Mozilla still has the cutting edge Javascript as far as the features go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript#Versions

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mozilla
by pascalc on Mon 9th Nov 2009 17:02 UTC in reply to "Mozilla"
pascalc Member since:
2006-04-05

So I installed all versions of Firefox with fresh profiles and tested javascript performance with the Sunspider test (which is a test created by the Webkit team, just to make sure it is not favorrable to Mozilla...):
http://chevrel.org/tmp/tests_html_7e09bfea.jpg

Result is that performance has been improving greatly over time and is still steadily improving. You forgot to mention that SpiderMonkey, the js engine is also powered by a JIT compiler (activated between 2.0 and 3.0 as the graph clearly shows).

So yes, currently V8 *is* faster but not to a point where it makes a real difference with web apps. The latest Chrome builds are like 70% faster than the latest Firefox trunk builds in Javascript, down from 200% a year ago, but the real challenge is having IE that is like 10000% slower and is slowing down progress for the Web itself.

And sorry, but not everybody is turning towards webkit, a few visible browsers (Chrome, Safari) use Webkit because it is easily embeddable, but there are tons of applications, some way more complex than a browser, using the Mozilla platform, here is a list of some prominent ones:
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mozilla-based.html

I wouldn't hold my breath for a switch to V8 any time soon, Spidermonkey si not just fast, it is accurate...

Reply Score: 2

still FF
by Ikshaar on Mon 9th Nov 2009 16:45 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

Using Linux only at work, I have been using Firefox for ages (so it feels) and still doing so. Chrome is not yet on Linux, and I am not a fan of its UI anyway (sorry the tabs above address bad annoys me) - sad thing that FF will follow that too. Cannot imagine what the internet would have been without Firefox to kick the IE monpoly.

Funny story. I did a clean install of Windows 7 (at home) and the very first thing I did (always do) was to use IE to download FF. Well IE crashed once in the whole 20 seconds I was using it on the sparkling new OS of MS. I smirked.

Reply Score: 1

RE: still FF
by sakeniwefu on Tue 10th Nov 2009 08:43 UTC in reply to "still FF"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

You have to understand that, like the author, most of the people that try to do something about web browser UIs are web and graphic developers.

Most of them think that looks are more important than functionality/contents. And he at least has got a taste. A quick tour around the web, will convince you that not many are like him.

This is why since the golden-age FF1.5 GUI, the GUI has been only getting worse to make room for rounded icons and design and IE/Chrome UI misfeatures in general.

Reply Score: 2

another_sam
Member since:
2009-08-19

firefox has to be able to grow at a faster pace. I think it needs infra-structure improvements for both core and add-ons.

I know mozilla is already walking towards this kind of improvements thanks to projects such as JetPack, but I would like to know about more of them. Anyone knows further?

Reply Score: 1

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Stick this in your RSS reader http://planet.mozilla.org A lot of stuff about Mozilla’s various ideas goes through here. It’s how I keep up to date with new features landing and new Mozilla initiatives (like JetPack).

Reply Score: 1

pascalc Member since:
2006-04-05

You will find tons of informations on planet.mozilla.org

Among those there are several teams working on:

- eletrolysis, the multiprocess architecture. The first implementation with plugins running in a different process should be for 3.7. One of the major improvements will be running the UI in a separate process so as to get a more reactive UI.

- work on cold/warm startup performance, you can already see some of the results in nightly builds and follow the weekly reports (http://autonome.wordpress.com/)

- Jetpack for add-ons, that you mentionned

- Personas, the light-weight themes (3.6)

- work on better controlling plugins in general and blocking bad plugins from installing/running

- New HTML5 parser for better performance and accuracy (landed in Trunk last week)

- WebGL support so as to use hardware acceleration in graphics card for 3D calculation (already on Trunk) but could actually be used in non-graphics context

And tons of other stuff, but I think that the aforementioned are the most promising in short/middle term.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


- eletrolysis, the multiprocess architecture. The first implementation with plugins running in a different process should be for 3.7. One of the major improvements will be running the UI in a separate process so as to get a more reactive UI.


Excellent! The most noticeable performance benefits of chromium is that the ui never freezes. On firefox, a busy page can completely hog the ui.

Edited 2009-11-09 19:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

One thing I do know, the JIT-part that made the javascript-engine faster which was introduced in 3.5 isn't enabled in the UI, but it will be for 3.6.

Reply Score: 2

I've never really liked Firefox itself.
by JMcCarthy on Mon 9th Nov 2009 17:49 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

It was always just sort of better than the competition, at least for me. Now there are better alternatives, at least as far as vanilla setups are concerned. However, over the years I've accumulated so many useful extensions, I cannot switch to something I regard as leaner, faster, without big problems.

Reply Score: 3

Never used FireFox regularly
by Anon9 on Mon 9th Nov 2009 17:52 UTC
Anon9
Member since:
2008-06-30

I used to use IE 3.0 and occasionally Netscape, but then I transitioned to Mozilla and eventually to Opera. I've been using Opera since before FireFox existed. Whenever I've tried FireFox, I've always preferred Opera.

I don't understand the love of extensions. I like how Opera includes the functionality I want built-in so I don't have to get extensions.

Reply Score: 2

Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

At least I feel a need to secure my browser from a privacy perspective and Opera amongst others simply does not cut it in this area.
Referrers, cookies, flash cookies, javascript, xss, web bugs, DOM storage, clickjacking...the list of tools available to the evildoer to track and mess with you is quite extensive.

Reply Score: 1

Anon9 Member since:
2008-06-30

You can easily turn off referrers, cookies, plug-ins, and javascript if you want to. Just hit F12 (or go to Tools->Quick Preferences or Tools->Preferences) and uncheck what you want to disable.

However, it is an all-or-nothing setting for each of those. You can't disable flash cookies without disabling all of flash, for example.

Reply Score: 1

Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

Exactly.

Reply Score: 1

Happy Birthday Firefox
by Peter Besenbruch on Mon 9th Nov 2009 18:02 UTC
Peter Besenbruch
Member since:
2006-03-13

I started experimenting in Linux in 2002, got serious about transitioning from Windows in late 2003, so I got to follow the entire development cycle of Firefox. It was around version .8 or .9 that I removed Mozilla and went with its new cousin. Somewhere in the 2 point something release, I noticed Web page rendering had speeded up. In the 3.5 release, Javascript took off.

It's extensions that have been key to my staying there, however. I have used some form of ad blocking since the beginning. Another constant is the use of the theme Classic Compact to maximize screen real estate. Then there are the various security and privacy extensions.

All the while, there have been numerous changes under the hood. Supposedly, Javascript is much faster now, but I don't use Gmail, and Google Maps has always run well. More important for me is that I can now maximize Flash without worrying that I will freeze up my system.

Aside from safety and privacy, what's important? Not raw speed. It's the ability to eliminate too many calls to third party sites, to kill all references to Facebook and all other social bookmarking sites, to eliminate extraneous links and images (avatars are a high priority); it's control that keeps me with Firefox.

I have used Opera since version 3. I have tried and fled from Internet Explorer. Yes, I've even dabbled in Chrome and Chromium, but Firefox is my main browser. It helps keep the Web bearable, and relatively safe and private.

So congratulations to the Mozilla folks. They produced a winner, and they keep building on it.

Reply Score: 3

Firebird
by Novan_Leon on Mon 9th Nov 2009 18:24 UTC
Novan_Leon
Member since:
2005-12-07

I was using Firefox back when it was called Firebird. It was great even back then, a refreshing change from IE (horrible!). Firebird was just faster, simpler and actually fun to use.

I still use Firefox all the time, but I worry about it's future. It's become a little sluggish and seems to have run out of new ideas. I'll probably stick with Firefox as long as they support the same massive library of extensions though.

Reply Score: 1

Firefox should keep it's UI.
by Drumhellar on Mon 9th Nov 2009 18:48 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I've been using Firefox since it was Phoenix, and it really makes me sad to see Firefox try to look like Chrome. For some reason, it really bothers me to have the browser controls inside of the tab, instead of outside of it.

Browser controls are persistent, so why have them within an object that isn't? Also, let me have a full title bar, as God, err, Windows intended. And don't stick any buttons on it that aren't naturally there.

Edited 2009-11-09 18:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Galeon, Phoenix and Mozilla suite
by wooptoo on Mon 9th Nov 2009 19:15 UTC
wooptoo
Member since:
2006-02-09

The first stripped-down browser that i used was Galeon. It ran only on Linux, and it used the Gecko engine. It was a lean and mean little browser and i loved it. Its motto was "the web and only the web". I think it was the first time i actually got excited about browsers.

After that i switched to Mozilla suite, that was just reaching the RC stages and became polished enough. I used Mozilla suite for a long time. Even though it was bloated, it provided a browser and an email client that worked very well.

I was very happy when Mozilla announced Phoenix, as a slimmer version of Mozilla suite. I tested it (version 0.3 at the time) and it was everything i imagined: a slim, fast, no-nonsense browser, just like Galeon, but this time made by Mozilla.

So Firefox was quite awesome from the beginning. If the project became a bit stale recently it's only because now it's mature and development doesn't happen as fast as it used to. But Firefox isn't just a browser, it's a platform. Remember XUL? It's the basis of Firefox extensions. It even makes apps like Songbird or Miro possible.

Google Chrome is nowhere near Firefox. It lacks extensions and its capabilities as a web development tool are near nil. Just a faster engine doesn't make a browser.

Reply Score: 1

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Google Chrome is nowhere near Firefox. It lacks extensions and its capabilities as a web development tool are near nil. Just a faster engine doesn't make a browser.


So Chrome is to Firefox what Phoenix/Firefox was to Mozilla?

If you have a fast computer & Windows, Firefox is a great choice. For slow netbooks and Linux, Chromium quite easily beats it.

Of course you'll still want FF installed if you are doing web development.

Reply Score: 2

Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

In linux, it's a different thing. Firefox is still slow. Sadly, right now, Chromium is the only browser to use on the platform.

Reply Score: 1

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't forget "links -g"

Lightning fast, with graphics, and you can use your mouse. Woot!

Reply Score: 2

Anon9 Member since:
2008-06-30

And don't forget Opera.

Reply Score: 1

Anger
by vivainio on Mon 9th Nov 2009 20:49 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Wanted to single out this from the post:

When it is released, I get the feeling that I’ll be jumping ship. Frankly, I’m angry. I expect more out of Firefox.


I guess this is a somewhat typical, if subconscious, sentiment regarging firefox & chrome.

We all would want firefox to be this "successful" browser. The newcomers just didn't fight the battles Mozilla did, and are perhaps less "deserving" of the glory. The triumph of Chrome is a somewhat pyrhic victory, and using/advocating it just doesn't give you the same righteous satisfaction as using mozilla/ff did back in the day IE was still relevent. (Yes, a true geek *will* have moral undertones in their software preferences ;-).

Somewhat sadly, it seems it's Chromium that is bringing the engineering excellence to bear, and making the competition look silly. I suppose the one "moral" angle with Chromium is that the Linux versions seems to be a first-class citizen (it's even faster on X11 than on Windows, apparently). Yet, it loses on the account of "free web" extensions (noscript, greasemonkey, adblock, javascript version...), and just not being the community project FF is.

Reply Score: 2

Arora
by reez on Mon 9th Nov 2009 20:49 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

First off, I'm a Firefox user and supporter. Reporting bugs, providing Feedback, doing tests in Litmus, helping in Live chat, etc. So this is not an Ad from a Fanboy, but since I'm also a fan of diversity, web standards, open source etc. I want to make you aware of Arora, which is a web browser I consider as a corss between Firefox and Chrome.

To make it short it's a web kit based browser similar to Firefox and even supports stuff like Adblock. It's really a nice alternative, if you want to try something new. Oh, it's Qt based btw. I've used it, but there are some Firefox Extensions I really like and personally I have no time to write Arora ports of them. That's why I'm not using it, but the Chrome statement at the end of the article remembered me and maybe it's an interesting thing for people who want to try something new. It's cross-platform, even OSs like Haiku are supported. Give it a try!

http://code.google.com/p/arora/

Reply Score: 1

RE: Arora
by vivainio on Mon 9th Nov 2009 21:04 UTC in reply to "Arora"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

To make it short it's a web kit based browser similar to Firefox and even supports stuff like Adblock. It's really a nice alternative, if you want to try something new.


It's also a good candidate if you want a browser whose codebase you'll have a chance of understanding (as it's a spiced up demo/test app for QtWebKit).

I actually switched to Arora briefly from FF 3.5 (I'm a big Qt fan), when I noted that FF started getting slower in prolonged use (blame Ubuntu, or whatever). That was before I realized how easy chromium nightlies were to install from PPA, and how stable it actually is.

Reply Score: 2

Firefox is the past...
by Jason Bourne on Tue 10th Nov 2009 01:09 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

Firefox is simply the past. The browser made its way to mainstream thanks to IE incompetences. Google Chrome arrived to supply what users were really wanting: Less UI and more web. Now I can't live without Chrome. It's such a great idea. And in 5 years Firefox never thought of that. A whole entire community, the Mo community, did not have one single person that would rise up and speak against the bloated UI and bloated code Firefox turned out to be. Now suffer well.

And when Google Chrome OS hits the streets, I would be very, *VERY* careful, if I were Ubuntu. Because Ubuntu is not really learning with Windows mistakes... (I would say, GNOME & KDE guys are not learning Windows mistakes either...)

Edited 2009-11-10 01:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

0.3
by g0nad on Tue 10th Nov 2009 04:16 UTC
g0nad
Member since:
2009-02-22

Been my browser since 0.3.

I would credit my introduction to the open/free software world to, what is now, Firefox.

It annoys me that Mozilla have a retarded policy/license that forces Debian to remake Firefox as Iceweasel.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 0.3
by RawMustard on Tue 10th Nov 2009 06:54 UTC in reply to "0.3"
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

Just aptitude purge iceweasal and install Firefox from Firefox, pretty simple really.

I've been running minefield 64bit nightly build for about 4 months now and it works without incident and is super fast enough on my debian testing box ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 0.3
by g0nad on Tue 10th Nov 2009 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE: 0.3"
g0nad Member since:
2009-02-22

I don't run things that aren't from Debian's repos.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: 0.3
by RawMustard on Tue 10th Nov 2009 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 0.3"
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

I think you can trust mozilla ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by iliks
by iliks on Tue 10th Nov 2009 05:57 UTC
iliks
Member since:
2008-07-08

I work in the financial industry developing systems with .NET/Java. It's was quite funny to read your accusations of Microsoft and .NET and your example of code that shed a tear of some guy. Well, it really made me cry of pain, seeing this super code when I compared this nightmare that is modern html/css/javascript with what we have in .net. So it's quite funny when people that know little about programming besides html and css claim about some dumbing down by microsoft or whatever. I would be more worried about dumbing down by FOSS with its alienation to anything they do not understand.

Reply Score: 2

FF Plus, FF Minus
by deathshadow on Tue 10th Nov 2009 06:41 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Firefox gets props from me for being the first legitimate threat to the IE monopoly on the browser since the original browser wars ended. Just five years ago the ONLY question that mattered to the majority of developers was "Does it work in IE6 and IE 5.2 Mac?"

The bit about falling out of love with it, well.. I've been doing standards compliant code with separation of presentation from markup longer, meaning I've encountered the unfixed bugs a lot sooner, and until version 3.5 Firefox was completely unstable for me regardless of hardware or OS I used it on. The ranting and raving of the rabid FLOSS fanboys did nothing more than alienate me from it - the whole "it's not a memory leak" bullshit meant nothing when with 4 gigs of RAM the system reported 256 megs in use, but 0 memory free on XP and 100% cpu activity with the only page being open being Google alienated a lot of potential users. (Who mostly landed on Opera or today Chrome)

In a number of ways the system by which Firefox and other mozilla projects are maintained is a weakness not a strength. The attitude of the people maintaining/updated bugzilla can be outright offensive at times - being volunteers they have no incentive to fake being nice... On a commercial venture no matter how useless the support person is for your problem, at least they are nice about it. Being useless AND acting like a total jackass - well... Errors being marked as "we could give a ****" or major holes being left unresolved for over a decade don't exactly inspire confidence. Someone I know has in his signature "IE8, only 11 years behind the standards" to which I responded "As opposed to Firefox, only ten years behind".

You mention the nine year old bug of it downloading all stylesheets whether they are needed or not - that's NOTHING compared to Bugzilla 915, a hole in the HTML4 and CSS2 implementation going back ELEVEN YEARS - a bug that effectively means you have to slap a class on every TD to apply styling to a column, or use sibling selectors which ends up so much code you might as well just use the classes.

It's what pisses me off about Mozilla and many open source projects - If it's not fun to work on, 100% mission critical, or trendy, nobody with the knowledge to fix it will pick it up and fix it. It's why their implementing HTML5 and CSS3 bullshit when they don't even have decade old HTML4/CSS2 working right really torques my nuts. It's also why I applaud Microsoft for NOT adding CSS3 and HTML5 bullshit to IE8 - get the decade old standard working BEFORE you start tacking on more crap!

Even so, even with the gaping flaws it finally got developers to start thinking to something other than IE and talking about things like valid markup and standards compliance, and for that we all should give a vote of thanks. Unfortunately it started this bullshit mantra "Design for FF, hack for IE" you'll often hear which is just as flawed as "Write for IE, **** the rest" we had five years ago. Right now I say you should test each section in each browser AS YOU WRITE IT - I can't count how many times you see people with fully coded layouts going "Why is my page broken in IE" after having written an entire page... When they should have noticed that problem some 20k of code SOONER.

Too bad even with Firefox on the landscape few if any developers take the time to learn what semantic markup is, how to use it, or to embrace web development techniques like separation of presentation from content. The people who six years ago were churning out IE only endless nested tables now just churn out endless nested div's with more classes than brains, or shoot themselves in the foot with methodologies and not ready for primetime technologies like HTML5/CSS3. Which are fun to play with to see what we might be able to use SOMEDAY, but have no business on a production website

Most developers are still sleazing along decade old coding techniques and wondering why it's biting them in the ass on investment in development, maintennance, and hosting. Even sites that can afford good developers like google still sleaze out half-assed code that has little if any graceful degradation for when their gee aint it neat AJAX bullshit doesn't work, and burns 20 to 1 ratio of code to content... or that so many sites still deploy in tranny and use HTML tags and attributes that have NO ***** PLACE on a modern website.

For example, log onto google and look at your igoogle page. 107k of markup to deliver 1.7k of content... That's pure ineptitude! Much of that is inlined CSS (meaning they aren't making use of caching models AND are making their CGI parse **** it shouldn't have to) Then they use some AJAX bull to 'save bandwidth' which actually wouldn't even break even until the same user does some 500 page loads within the cache expire limit.

The newest Hotmail is a stellar example of this asshattery, where their 100% ajax interface now brings your firstload up to about a megabyte, breaks conventional navigation, and is still knee-deep in presentational markup... and frankly, I'm willing to bet the old static HTML interface they were running back in 1998 would be faster and use less bandwidth - it certainly was more useful than the crap they have now.

It's kind of sad - so many developers sleazing shit out any old way because it's "Faster" or "Easier" when all they are actually doing is making more work for themselves, making the guy writing checks have to pay more for less in terms of hosting, and screwing whatever poor bastard has to maintain their rubbish bloated code next. "Oh just throw more bandwidth and hardware at it" IS NOT A GOOD ANSWER!

When you could fix all that and make life easier by just learning Semantics, HTML and CSS - and taking out a few days to learn to do things RIGHT. LEARNING - AAAAHHH!!!

Developers being forced into to supporting Firefox was a good start, now if we could just get them to stop thinking "IE and Firefox" and start thinking "Valid sementic minimalist HTML with separation of presentation (CSS) from content (HTML) and graceful degradation for 'Gee ain't it neat' technologies" so ALL browsers are supported with ease - things would go a hell of a smoother all-around.

But again, that would require effort, thought and learning... god forbid

Edited 2009-11-10 06:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by adinas
by adinas on Tue 10th Nov 2009 08:02 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

"I cannot possibly imagine how repulsive I would be if I were a big Windows zealot ragging on about how great Vista is, coding in .NET and writing websites in ASP .NET with awful, awful HTML / CSS"

In the same breath that you accuse others of being zealots you show your own fanaticism. Claiming that simply using ASP.NET produces awful HTML shows that you will go to any length and lies to prove your anti MS attitude.

Not to mention the fact that by moving to Apple you went to the most closed monopolistic proprietary platform possible, it is absurd to then complain about Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by adinas
by Kroc on Tue 10th Nov 2009 08:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by adinas"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I know ;) That was all part of the humour. The point about ASP.NET is not that _it_ outputs bad HTML, but of all ASP.NET developers I’ve ever met, they do not have the personal _want_ to output good HTML. The IDE makes you lazy and quality of HTML is always a lower priority with .NET. .NET developers are a different class who generally care more about the backend than the frontend. (Because, who, frankly, finds the .NET state management to be acceptable? Here’s 1K of garbage in your HTML, enjoy!)

Oh, and switching to Mac OS taught me more about open source than using Windows _ever_ did. I started using Apache, PHP and there’s still Ruby and Python on here to learn. The fact is that Mac OS is an open source developer’s dream platform.

Edited 2009-11-10 08:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by adinas
by adinas on Tue 10th Nov 2009 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by adinas"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

Sorry for being argumentative but how exactly is "Mac OS is an open source developer’s dream platform"? Does some pop up appear when the OS loads begging you to use open source?

Apache, PHP, Ruby and Python all work on Windows just as well (if not better since their are many more users to test them)

You happened to gravitate towards these things after using your Mac but I can't see how the Mac itself brought this about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by adinas
by Kroc on Tue 10th Nov 2009 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by adinas"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No need to apologise, you've every right to disagree. The Mac's no BS approach, and having lots of useful stuff preinstalled is certainly an encouragement for users to learn such technologies. I write my PHP code to target what comes out of the box in OS X as I know that people can then copy-paste-run the code. The difference between having something preinstalled vs. having to download and install it (no matter how well it runs) cannot be understated--it makes a world of difference.

OS X is good enough for many of the Mozilla hackers, and good enough for Linus Torvalds. Many of the Linux/Kernel developers use OS X.

Reply Score: 1

Geek? MS monopoly? Lol!
by Auxx on Tue 10th Nov 2009 11:03 UTC
Auxx
Member since:
2007-04-05

And you call yourself a geek? Tied by evil Microsoft for many years? I got my first internet connection at home in 2000, Opera was the second software after mIRC I've downloaded. There always was a choise, but people were ignorant.

I see Firefox as evil as IE. I'm a professional webdev from 2002, I still remember Firefox by the names Phoenix (that one was great, but buggy) and Firebird. The problem is that FF is not so W3C compliant as "they say", just like IE it likes to rule your page instead of listening to what you say it to do.

Choose Chrome, choose Safari if you don't like Opera that much. I don't like FF.

Reply Score: 2

Beautyful HTML5?
by Carewolf on Tue 10th Nov 2009 11:42 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Looking at the link the author is so proud of. I can only recommend not following it, because it is a hideous design and most importantly because it is very wrong.

Just for the reference: Please don't use HTML5 elements that have not been implemented yet. Once <section> is implemented in any browser this example page is going to get rendered differently. If too many pages uses <section> before it is implemented it will mean it can never be implemented without breaking existing pages. So please, only use the few tags that have been implemented like <audio> and <video> and let the rest alone until you have a browser that supports them to test in.

And while HTML5 specifies how to browsers should parse broken HTML, that doesn't mean you should use broken HTML. So please still write valid HTML. A standard for error-correction is not a recommendation for making errors.

Edited 2009-11-10 11:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Beautyful HTML5?
by Kroc on Tue 10th Nov 2009 12:41 UTC in reply to "Beautyful HTML5?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I'm proud of it because we don't get anywhere by accepting the status quo as good enough. How it looks--I'm not bothered if people don't like it, the graphics are always highly subjective, but the HTML/CSS & PHP are very nicely separated (no IDs, no classes), so I can quite easily reskin the site to anything else just by changing CSS sheets.

As far as HTML5. It is valid HTML5, try it out. I'm helping push others to adopt HTML5 and by that experiment what is right and what is wrong about the spec and help shape it. A spec that nobody has tested out in real life is no good either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Beautyful HTML5?
by deathshadow on Tue 10th Nov 2009 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Beautyful HTML5?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm helping push others to adopt HTML5 and by that experiment what is right and what is wrong about the spec and help shape it. A spec that nobody has tested out in real life is no good either.

... and that's what I mean up above when talking about using it for experiments, but not production websites. Developing the next generation of code and finding ways to do things better is important. As an experiment it's fine - but let's face it the majority of the world has no interest in the internet being anything more than click on the big blue E, the majority of users won't understand what makes that so special compared to HTML4 since under the hood means jack **** to them... So using it for a production website is akin to the browser sniffing asshats who intentionally block browsers like Opera. (when quite often the pages work just fine if you mask)

Mind you, I'm not convinced HTML5 is all that great an idea anymore. The original idea of simplifying it down has been hijacked by people wanting all these extra tags, many of which (column?!?) are presentational in nature and as such don't even belong in the markup if you are practicing semantics. It's lost it's original mantra and become over the past few years a fat bloated pig ... We've gone from the idea of simplifying down all media types RISC style to 'object' instead of "applet", "embed" etc, etc... to having one for audio, one for video... Undoing all the progress STRICT made.

Not that many developers ever got off their asses and learned to code STRICT - and why you are unlikely to see HTML5 see all that fast an adoption since we've still got asshats out there coding what is for all intents and purposes presentational HTML 3.2 using decade old methods. By the time HTML5 is deployable, we just might get more than five programmers using strict/valid markup/separation of presentation from content.

Reply Score: 3