Linked by David Adams on Tue 23rd Dec 2008 16:40 UTC, submitted by judgen
Internet & Networking Most Firefox users don't realize that Firefox's current existence is owed almost exclusively to its search partnership with Google wherein Mozilla Corp receives a portion of ad revenue from Google queries initiated from Firefox's search bar. This revenue amounts to tens of millions of dollars. Internet users the world over, who are currently reaping the benefit of a renewed browser war with exciting innovation instead of Microsoft-dominated stagnation, can thank Google for that state of affairs. But now that Google has itself entered the fray with Chrome, what does that mean for the Firefox/Google relationship?
Permalink for comment 341314
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Reinventing the wheel :(
by grfgguvf on Tue 23rd Dec 2008 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Reinventing the wheel :("
grfgguvf
Member since:
2006-09-25

Even if Google invested its time into Firefox, it would be a futile effort. Firefox is too big a project now to allow for such radical changes like a complete move to user-controlled multithreaded browsing.


Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox has probably gone through more radical changes than most other software projects. They completely rewrote the rendering engine, invented a new scripting language and then completely rewrote its implementation, putting every tab into a new process would not be a big change compared to these. I think it would have been very possible, and cost much less for Google, and instantly benefit more users.

The reason for writing their own browser is entirely different, it's more of a market strategy issue than a software engineering one.

In addition, I want a web browser, not a platform. A back button, a forward button, reload/stop, and an URL field. I don't need anything else.


This is a sane argument and I often feel Firefox is still too bloated, but I do depend on some extensions and the "platform" is needed so extensions can be written on top of it. You don't like ad blockers, well many of us don't like ads, but Google gets their livelihood from ads, and would never put an ad blocker into Chrome, so I still see a future for Firefox.

Apart from that, I have some software engineering type problems with Chrome. Excuse the tech lingo. Full-method JIT is bad enough, but full-file JIT is a complete waste of memory and CPU time, especially on netbooks and mobile phones. (V8 uses full-file JIT while Firefox does tracing JIT). A "stop-the-world" generational GC uses roughly twice as much virtual address space than a reference counting GC. The speedier allocation is moot for most JavaScript uses or on ARM and AMD64. Again mobiles have limited address spaces. (V8 does stopping generational GC while Firefox does refcounting).

Google basically cloned the Sun JVM's design for V8, and we all know how poorly that thing performs on desktops. Mozilla had a very conservative implementation and is slowly replacing parts with innovative technology while paying attention to retaining the ability to lower resource usage in the future. Firefox is just better engineered. Which means nothing of course for most users, and with enough investment Google can bring Chrome up to Mozilla standards, but so far I don't like their choices.

Reply Parent Score: 5