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Mozilla The Internet

AP reports on renewed "Browser War" 628

An anonymous reader writes "CNN and others are reporting an Associated Press story on "the revived browser war" with Mozilla paired against Microsoft. It seems the 1.0 release is creating some waves out there. " Considering most people consider the war long since over, I can't imagine this mattering much.
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AP reports on renewed "Browser War"

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  • 90%+ for IE still (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dpete4552 ( 310481 ) <slashdot AT tuxcontact DOT com> on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:43PM (#3718216) Homepage
    Until my logs show something close to 50/50 for IE/Mozilla I don't believe it. Still showing 90% for IE, and I promote Mozilla on my site.
    • by loply ( 571615 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:44PM (#3718222) Homepage
      My logs go something like: 50% IE 20% Moz 10% Konq 20% CodeRed
    • by ryants ( 310088 )
      Keep in mind that you can change the User-Agent string for Mozilla for various reasons, from security to working with broken sites. Pretending to be IE with Mozilla (or Konq or Galeon...) is not too uncommon.
      • Pretending to be IE with Mozilla (or Konq or Galeon...) is not too uncommon.

        Not too uncommon for the nerd minority, but still extremely uncommon in general. Thats not going to influence the numbers.
      • Re:90%+ for IE still (Score:3, Informative)

        by Eil ( 82413 )

        Believe it or not, this doesn't seem to work with the newer builds of Mozilla.

        By this I mean you can set the user agent pref (See prefs.js and edit/create user.js to set your own) and the about:mozilla page reports the correct faked agent. But go to any web page that reports your user-agent string back to you (such as here [lycos.com] near the bottom) and it still gives the old built-in user agent string. Since I have no real reason to fake my string, (and this therefore doesn't affect me) I haven't filed a bug report.

        Curiouser, an outdated mozilla.org page [mozilla.org] reports the correct values. (Scroll down to "Profile of Your Browser".

        Another thing is that navigator.appVersion string cannot be changed other than modifying the source... it won't get changed with a faked user agent string. There's an entry in bugzilla for this.

        So what gives? I dunno, other than there seem to still be a few quirks of Mozilla that won't likely be worked out for a few more versions.
    • Re:90%+ for IE still (Score:4, Interesting)

      by killmenow ( 184444 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:46PM (#3718238)
      And I use Opera, but identify as IE5.

      And when I use curl, I use an IE5 user-agent string. Some sites just won't let you in otherwise.

      We've all heard it before: when (yes, I said when) AOL switches to Mozilla, there will instantly be millions of Mozilla users.
      • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:51PM (#3718287) Homepage Journal
        And I use Opera, but identify as IE5.

        You want a site to fix this in under 24 hours? Just tell them that you're blind and that their site won't let your blide-enabeled web-browser in.

        Dreams of ADA lawsuits start dancing in their heads. It works really well for government sites, and moderatly well for medium sized corporations.

      • say that you're IE? Wow, that must account for like a huge market right? All those curl people who also use Opera and say they are IE.
      • > We've all heard it before: when (yes, I said when) AOL switches to Mozilla, there will instantly be millions of Mozilla users.

        Probably never going to happen unless things change fast.

        1.Microsoft really does not want to give up it's control over the browser market (and pragmatic Internet standards at that).

        2. AOL does not want to lose the AOL icon on the Windows desktop/Start Menu.

        3. There are existing contracts between MS and AOL about using IE as AOL's default browser.

        4. There would be a service/support nightmare in AOL as customers ring in and ask why obscuresitexyz.com or obscurestoreasd.net do not work suddenly.
    • by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:28PM (#3718885)
      Playstation3 will use Linux for everything online-related. If it is as successful as PS1 (100 Million sold) or PS2 (30 million sold, another million sold EACH MONTH), there will be millions of Mozilla-users who won't accept a "use IE instead" because they *can't* use IE.

      Add to those:

      • 30 million of AOL users who will sooner or later upgrade to a Mozilla-based browser. Few computers last longer than 4 years, also Widows tends to be reinstalled sometimes even without upgrading hardware, so I guess that in 3 or 4 years we will see at least 20 million Mozilla-users coming from AOL.
      • Windows-users who like Mozilla's features (tabbed browsing, http-pipelining, stop animations)
      • Windows-users not liking Microsoft (actually I know more Windows-users hating Microsoft than liking them. Yes, you can flame me for this.)
      • Linux users. Yes it's starting to happen. South Korea switching 1/4 of their desktops to Linux, allmost all Hollywood studios switching to Linux, Walmart starting to sell Linux-preinstalled computers to the masses - this is just the beginning, Linux will make inroads in the desktop in the next years.
      • People who want a multiplatform browser. No, IE/Mac is not the same as IE/Win and see above for PS3 and Linux/desktop in the future. Those people who use any non-Windows OS either at work or at home will probably also use Mozilla on their Windows-machines because Mozilla makes it easier to share bookmarks etc. between platforms.
      • As the article suggests, people using embedded devices, etc.

      Mozilla will almost certainly break IE-domination in this year (by reaching more than 10% marketshare, which is too much to ignore for webdesigners) and will become the standard browser within 10 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:44PM (#3718226)
    If they say there's a browser war, there's a browser war. When they said it was over, it was over.

    So, now it's back. More media exposure for Mozilla (especially when it's quite positive) is a good thing. If Mozilla were bad, no one would care. Mozilla is good, very good, and people notice that.

    Go Go Mozilla!
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:45PM (#3718232) Homepage
    It AOL changes it Default browser to Netscape, than web designers will again have to consider netscape/mozilla when doing pages..

    Why AOL hasn't switched after buying netscape must say something about microsofts control...

    Competition is good though, so hopefully this will help all browsers get better..

    • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:59PM (#3718362) Homepage
      Think about it. You're AOL and half of America's internet subscribers go through you. Because 95% of surfers are using IE, sites are built to display on IE. Many sites are designed to display properly in IE, standards be damned, meaning they don't work on a properly performing browser. Many don't allow anything but IE to use their services.

      Now, to convert your entire userbase to Netscape will mean a significant portion of sites will no longer look correct or will cease to work entirely. Your customers don't understand browser compliance, they merely know that they could visit sites with AOL 7, but not AOL 8. Is the deluge of customer support phone calls and email really worth the hassle?
      • Get the Major Websites by the ear!

        If I were in charge of AOL, and I wanted to once again make one of my products (Netscape) a staple on the internet, I would employ one simple strategy. I would pick a version of the Mozilla engine (aka, Netscape). Mozilla 1.0 final seems like a good choice, as it's a stable release, and it has reached approval from many critics. Now, I would make a development timeline for AOL version 8 (or whatever version might be next). Then, I would make an all media announcement: "AOL version 8 is scheduled to release on December 1st. At this time, we will fully implement the Mozilla engine into our browser, using Mozilla 1.0 as our framework."

        The important step is the follow through, however. I can say that, but I have to do two things to make sure I maintain my market share. First, I have to make sure that I do in fact implement the Mozilla engine completely. Second, I have to make some sort of incentive for AOL users to upgrade. Nevermind a minor release. This would have to be a major release with lots of new features. Maybe take advantage of Chatzilla and get that fully integrated into AOL. Whatever it takes...but just changing the rendering engine or the browser will not be enough for most AOL users to upgrade.

        The old addage is "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." Many people know that. But many people also know the caveat: "If its got new features, it might be worth a try."

      • Do the math... using your number, 1/2 of the population is using AOL (and IE). Web sites are built with IE in mind because 95% of the surfers are using IE.

        Most sites, whether designed for IE or not, still look fine with other browsers. It's really a small minority that absolutely don't work at all with anything but IE (and some of them only because they just plain block non-IE referers).

        Now if (when) AOL changes to Mozilla, suddenly only half the population is using IE. That small minority of sites will now be blocking 50% of their potential customers instead of 5%.

        Why they chose to block any customers remains a mystery, but blocking the entire AOL population is just not economically viable.
        • Why they chose to block any customers remains a mystery

          I like to browse with konqueror and I try to do something about it when I can't. I send a polite email to the webmaster telling my problems. They usually are surprised that their site, created with whatever "point-and-click" website creation tools their artists are able to use, doesn't work for standard browsers. They are even ignorant of the fact that the web standard is published by the W3C, not microsoft. The happy ending to the story usually is that one more website becomes compliant with the *true* standard and one less website requires IE.
    • It AOL changes it Default browser to Netscape, than web designers will again have to consider netscape/mozilla when doing pages..

      No... it will mean designers will have to think about W3C compliance. The days of dual-coding for NS4 and IE4 are long gone. Anybody who can't right a page that works on both browsers without even detecting which one you're on has done of one two things:

      a) Designed it poorly.

      b) Written it without ever looking at the standards.
      • by msaavedra ( 29918 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:41PM (#3718640)
        This is mostly true, but it is still possible to come up with theoretically (if not practically) excellent designs that adhere precisely to the standards, but don't render correctly. For instance, it is widely considered a good practice to use HTML only to mark up the logical structure of a page (avoiding using tables for layout, <font> tags, etc) and use CSS to handle layout and style. This ensures a good separation between content and presentation. However, both IE and Mozilla have some quirks with their interpretation of the CSS2 box model and positioning properties. At this stage, it is impossible to design a page that:
        1. Uses a complex CSS-based layout (though simple ones work pretty well)
        2. Renders correctly in IE5, IE6, and Mozilla
        3. Adheres strictly to the standards (XHTML 1.1, CSS2)
        4. Doesn't use any browser detection tricks
        Things are getting very close, but the browsers are not quite ready for well-designed, browser-agnostic pages using the latest standards.
    • by cpeterso ( 19082 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:10PM (#3718456) Homepage
      I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for AOL to use Netscape, considering AOL 8.0 Beta 1 [com.com] was just released and it still uses IE.
  • A bit of history (Score:5, Interesting)

    by b.foster ( 543648 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:50PM (#3718276)
    Microsoft won the browser war because IE4 beat the hell out of any other browser that was available at the time. In fact, IE4 beats the hell out of the latest Netscape 4.7x release on any platform.

    Unfortunately for Bill Gates, his company has rested on its laurels. IE6 offers little that wasn't present in IE5, and the many useful features in Mozilla 1.0 (tabbed browsing, anti-popup features, speed, stability, and security) mean that IE will be losing a significant amount of market share very soon.

    And how can we complain about that? May the best product win - again. It's nice to see open source come out on top.

    • IE will be losing a significant amount of market share very soon


      Care to bet on this?

    • In fact, IE4 beats the hell out of the latest Netscape 4.7x release on any platform.

      Sounds good! Where can I get the rpm of IE for linux?

      IE6 offers little that wasn't present in IE5, and the many useful features in Mozilla 1.0 (tabbed browsing, anti-popup features, speed, stability, and security) mean that IE will be losing a significant amount of market share very soon.

      Sorry, you were making sense up until the "Speed" part there. I'll admit it's getting much better with 1.1a, but it's not nearly as quick as IE4/5/6 yet (at least with DOM manipulation via javascript).

      I'm using Moz more these days, mostly to test pages, but it's not quite good enough to become my default browser under Windows as yet. Maybe on the next release...
    • Re:A bit of history (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lgraba ( 34653 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:03PM (#3719627)
      Microsoft won the browser war because IE4 beat the hell out of any other browser that was available at the time.

      And I guess the fact that MS:

      1) "Integrated" IE into the OS so that you got it whether you wanted it or not, and
      2) Threatened the computer OEM's with withheld Windows licenses if they installed Netscape on computers going out the door, thus forcing them to pull Netscape

      had nothing to do with it.

      Face it, with actions such as these, in which MS used their power to skew the market by shutting off marketing channels, you do not have a fair fight. If MS had played fair AND achieved the market share they have, THEN they would have something to brag about.
  • IE7 and CSS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eric Peters ( 586095 ) <peterse@princeton.edu> on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:50PM (#3718281) Homepage
    Based on secondhand reports, it sounds to me as if IE7 is going to bring *major* advances in CSS support for Windows Internet Explorer. They're going to fix the box model, with bugwards compatibility handled via a DOCTYPE sniffing strategy similar to IE6/Mac's.

    This is a hugely significant event for advocates of CSS. I'm eagerly looking forward to this, even though I don't plan on ever using Windows on a regular basis. Given Microsoft's ability to bulldoze Windows users into upgrading, we may soon have a world in which, for the first time ever, *the dominant Web browser* has good CSS support.

    This could improve things for CSS in general even if we don't end up with the dreaded Microsoft-only world. Developers of *other* browsers will no longer be able to hide behind claims of industry-leader compatibility when releasing buggy CSS implementations.

    Of course DOCTYPE sniffing is going to complicate the situation somewhat, since IE7 will still have a bugwards compatibility mode. I'm hoping that the existence of IE7 will cause enough people start intentionally invoking standards mode that other browser developers notice. While from a theoretical point of view DOCTYPE sniffing makes no sense--it's a pure hack--in practice it's a lot better than no standards mode at all, which is the only likely alternative.

    Furthermore, my secondhand source also tells me that IE7 will finally bring full PNG support to IE. This is a major step ahead in InterNet graphics.
    • Re:IE7 and CSS (Score:4, Informative)

      by msaavedra ( 29918 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:59PM (#3718734)

      Actually, IE6 already has doctype sniffing [microsoft.com]. Unfortunately, it has a glitch so that if you put <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> or something similar as your first line, which is standard for XHTML, IE becomes confused, even if you specify the proper doctype on the second line. The result is that this puts the browser into "quirks" mode, which is probably exactly what you don't want if you're writing XHTML.

      Of course, even in its "strict" mode, IE6's CSS layout is far from perfect, so the changes in IE7 will be great. And finally being able to use PNG's properly will ROCK!

  • Mozilla will have a chance on the broad desktop (beyond AOL, that is) if and only if a killer app can be conceived for it.

    For IE, the future "killer app" will be integration with (blech) .NET. Will there be something else for Mozilla that makes people say "gotta have it" and that Microsoft can't or won't duplicate?

    We'll see. My money would, alas, be on Microsoft right now. Monopolies are just too damned effective in this space.
    • As long as enough users adopt Mozilla, sites will be forced to write standards-compliant pages. That is all that really matters. AOL alone could bring in enough Mozilla users to cause such a change.

  • Im stuck with old technology that only works with older browsers. Document warehouse sites that only work with netscape 4.7x, E-Room sites that only support older IE4/5 sites. IE6 isnt even supported on the corporate sites yet! Admin sites for netscape proxies that only work with netscape, solaris app guis in java that only work with IE... java applets break on everything, but somehow is a standard, pop ups that dont pop up, pull down menus that wont display... argh.

    Who can only use 1 browser? I have to have 4 on my pc, just to get my damn work done. War, hell ya its a cluster fuck.

    Mozilla, sweet sweet mozilla...
  • This clip says it all:
    <clip> Mozilla's Baker insists the project's success is critical to the Web's future: "If there's only one browser and that browser is tied to the business plan of a particular entity, it's quite likely that what we see on the Web will be limited." </clip>

    In otherwords, eventough the trouble of installing Mozilla instead of IE is a pain for most average people, and the gain might be minimal, people should do it just because: otherwise we are doomed. If this is the motivation, it will never happen. Getting it pre-installed on Windows (AOL,IBM, HP/Compaq to the rescue?) is really the only chance IMHO.
  • put out a branded AOL on those Lindows boxen down at Wally World, you could be in a browser war zone...
  • by donutz ( 195717 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:53PM (#3718310) Homepage Journal
    Clearly, the consumer.

    If I added up all the time spent closing those annoying pop up/under windows with IE, I'm sure it'd more than make up for the time spent waiting for Mozilla to get swapped back into memory (I often run a lotta apps, and Mozilla uses a lot of RAM (who doesn't these days?)...

    And then there's the seizure-inducing rapid-flash animated gifs that loop to infinity in IE...in Mozilla I can set them to run just once. Or not view them at all (or only ones from the same server). The savings from not paying those medical expenses...I could put a down payment on a house with that money instead!

    The Tabs are a nice feature...when I'm running a lotta apps, there's no room for text on the Taskbar...but my tabs can tell me what page they're holding for me.

    If everyone else sticks with IE, at least I know I'm happier browsing now than I was before. Thanks Mozilla!

  • by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:54PM (#3718314) Homepage
    because IE renders most Mozilla pages fine, but mozilla doesn't render all IE pages fine.

    Since Mozilla is the 'better browser' but doesn't accept sloppy coding, IE has an advantage.

    There is not a huge difference inbetween the commands that Mozilla accepts but IE doesn't.
    • Frosted glass (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jlusk4 ( 2831 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:09PM (#3718444)
      http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/complexspira l/glassy.html [meyerweb.com]

      Those of you using IE will need to switch to Mozilla. Those of you using Mozilla won't even notice the part that doesn't work under IE, it feels so natural.

      Cool effect that works only under Mozilla and just feels right. Now who's at the disadvantage?

      • damn that is a sweet effect!

        It does use a lot of CPU, but oh well. That's what the CPU is for right?
      • I'm using IE6, and I guess a picture is worth a thousand words, becaus I don't understand from your explanation what it is that I'm supposed to see that I'm not. Would you care to post a screenshot for comparison purposes?
      • Re:Frosted glass (Score:3, Informative)

        by Per Wigren ( 5315 )
        Works perfectly in Konqueror (KDE3)! :)

      • Re:Frosted glass (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        Now who's at the disadvantage?

        Whoever made that web page, that's who.

        I looked at that page (with a browser that has CSS), and it was pretty cool! So then I looked at it with a completely CSS-ignorant browser, and the page still worked fine. It just looked bad. When I see a web page that looks bad, I don't think, "Oh no, my browser sucks." I think, "Wow, whoever made this page, was clueless."

        MSIE users will surely draw the same conclusion. And it's the right conclusion too. If someone makes a web page that requires CSS (or requires that some specific style be used) to look good, then they're messing up.

        • Re:Frosted glass (Score:3, Insightful)

          by weave ( 48069 )
          If someone makes a web page that requires CSS (or requires that some specific style be used) to look good, then they're messing up.

          Oh, so you admit that people who make pages that require IE to look good are messing up too?

          I hope you also realize how some really neat stuff is not being done because of lack of standards support in IE. IE is to Mozilla now what NS 4.x was to IE before now.

          IE = Old and Busted
          Mozilla = New Hotness


    • When AOL moves away from IE, then the battle will begin. The release Mozilla 1.0 is only the opening salvo. Mozilla (and all the Gecko based browsers) will need to achieve a critical mass before real changes will occur.

      The battleground will be the Web Developers. When they realize that Moz and Moz based browsers command the largest collection of suckers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H consumers on the Internet, then they will change their sites to make the pages look "good". When they change their sites, others will move to the browser that displays the pages best.

      And the browsers that are W3 compliant, and render pages correctly, will move back into a position of competition.

    • > because IE renders most Mozilla pages fine, but mozilla doesn't render all IE pages fine.

      What you just said there basically translates to:

      IE renders most Mozilla pages fine, and Mozilla renders most IE pages fine.

      For the most part, there is overlap in the two sets of pages that the browsers render. However, there're a few pages that won't render in one or the other. No big deal, really. It's a question of which 'most' is more important to you.
    • While not quite the same thing, I wouldn't want to use a compiler than would accept sloppy code, or try to do its best with crapped up code. It should report an error to inform the coder what they did wrong, and what would happen if it was used. That's what Mozilla does, it says "This is messed up, it shouldn't be like this at all, I don't know what to do with this", IE says, "Well, I think this is what they MEANT to do, so I'll just do it for them." The latter can be pretty dangerous.
  • Self-Hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWR ( 16835 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:54PM (#3718319)
    Quote from article:

    Mozilla may thrill some tech-savvy users, "but it's not going to make a dent with the mainstream," said WebSideStory's Geoff Johnston, unless, that is, AOL Time Warner puts major marketing muscle behind it.

    Like, oh, I don't know, having the news division of AOL Time Warner run stories on the browser?


  • The browser war is indeed long time over. For me its since Mozilla 0.9.2, which was the last time I had to reboot in Windows to view some web page.
    There is no question of which browser is far superior. And since these products do not generate direct revenue, I'd say that the better one is clear winner.

  • It's Over (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lysander Luddite ( 64349 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:57PM (#3718338)
    This is the media simply trying to stir up a story. The fact that it is being pushed by AOL properties like CNN, Fortune etc makes it even more apparent.

    It really doesn't matter to me which browser people use as long as it supports 95% of the latest specs (in this case HTML 4 and CSS-1). If it supports DOM, XML, and CSS-2 even better.
  • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:58PM (#3718348) Homepage
    The big problem I've found when I am pressed into using IE for whatever reason is the ridiculous amount of ad-related annoyances I have to deal with. Pop-over ads, pop-under ads, animated things flying all over my screen, etc. And this isn't even at the pr0n sites!

    I think Mozilla's chance to grab some market share is by pushing for the fact that it gives you control over these annoyances. Turn off all of those unrequested popups with a couple of mouse clicks, or you can go back to using IE and have to close a bazillion windows every time you are done surfing.

    So, I think the browser war isn't quite over, it's just going to be fought on a different front.
    • by PhxBlue ( 562201 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:48PM (#3718679) Homepage Journal

      Turn off all of those unrequested popups with a couple of mouse clicks, or you can go back to using IE and have to close a bazillion windows every time you are done surfing.

      Actually, that's all it takes for IE, too--just use the highest possible security settings, including "Disable Active Scripting," for your "Internet" zone. Probably 90% of the websites I surf render just fine without it. And if I think I'm ever going to come back to one of the 10% that don't, I can add it to my "trusted" sites list, which uses "Internet"-level security settings.

      • I can add it to my "trusted" sites list, which uses "Internet"-level security settings.

        Which is burried under Edit->Preferences... then "Security Zones", then Zone: Trusted Zones then "Add Site..." THEN "Add..." THEN type the friggin URL (or well yea, paste). AHHHH Why isn't there a "Trust" button I can add to my Toolbar that just does this?

        Microsoft: As feature-rich as a Mac with all the ease of use of a Univac.
      • by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @11:14PM (#3720148) Homepage Journal
        Probably 90% of the websites I surf render just fine without it.

        That means 1 in 10 don't render fine. Would you buy a car if it didn't start 1 in 10 times?

        Having "toggle JavaScript On and Off" as your only option isn't an option. Deciding what Javascript can/cannot do is better. In Mozilla, you can tell it, specifically, no unsolicited pop-up windows. Yes, it even differentiates between click-generated pop-ups and automatic pop-ups.
  • by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly&ix,netcom,com> on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:59PM (#3718367)
    The Washington Post has a favorable review of Mozilla 1.0 as well, with I though was interesting because a) it's read by politicians among others, and b) it is a review of Mozilla and not Nutscrape.

    Anyway, here is the link [washingtonpost.com]. One of his favorite features was the ability to block ads. He even tells people how to turn that feature on.

  • There's entirely too much hype out there with the release of Mozilla 1.0 (and likely more when Netscape 7.0 officially ships). However this event does not parallel the browser wars of old. Recall when IE4 and NN4 were the two big bad browsers on the block, both were shaping HTML as they went. DHTML implementations in one codespace did not function in the other, Java and Javascript were not supported properly (but were supported differently mind you) with IE using native VMs and NN using a proprietary VM. Both created new tags as they saw fit, which were terribly broken in the other. That was the browser war of the v4 browsers. Come back to today, the W3C has settled HTML down and clarified it considerably. Mozilla is no longer out to do IE in, rather it seeks to provide a solid base for other browsers, providing full standards support. IE5.5/6/7 each seeks to further support emerging web standards such as DHTML, DOM, XHTML, XML and ECMAscript. With both browsers supporting the same common data structure, this war is over which browser you use, not which code base you subscribe to. Gone are the days when designers must adhere to the "IE is the most used browser so I'll code to IE". Code to standards and let people choose whichever browser fits their needs. The argument is simplified. It is not "This page looks best in IE"! This opens up the true browser war, over interfaces to a standardized medium of exchange. This "war" is over if you like having AIM embedded or IRC or MSN. That's hardly a war. People need to calm down and re-evaluate what's going on.
  • Quality Choices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dlur ( 518696 ) <dlur@@@iw...net> on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:00PM (#3718375) Homepage Journal

    There are a lot of high quality choices out there for browsers right now. Konqueror [konqueror.org] is probably my favorite right now. Mozilla is a strong contender. Netscape [netscape.com] as we knew it is pretty dead right now, heavily wounded in the "browser war". Opera [opera.com] has some nice features and is reported to be very fast, if you are willing to pay for it or put up with ads.

    A simple fact is that IE comes bundled with MS Windows. And the vast majority of PCs sold in the US (and the world for that matter) come bundled with flavor of Windows. As long as PCs come bundled with Windows, and thus IE, and as long as the average consumer is lazy enough to accept the default choice for their software IE will be the leading browser. Of course this isn't really new news and we all know that MS has been convicted of antitrust violations for this very practice of bundling.

    All the while something that I don't see very much material written about is that other OSes come with their default browsers and apps as well. KDE's [kde.org] default browser is Konqueror. It just so happens that I like Konqueror, so I use it. But if I didn't would it really be that hard to switch to Netscape or Mozilla or if I really wanted something different to use Lynx? Not really.

    • Ooh, don't forget Galeon. It's not the easiest to install, granted, but once it's running, it's really quite nice. The lovely Gecko rendering engine and a slick, speedy GTK interface, with one of the best tabbed browsing implementations available.
  • Flame me, kill my dog, curse my unborn children but...

    I use Linux, I use Windows, and I develop site every now and again. Noting to fancy shcmancy but just for pocket change. So I keep all browsers on my system so I can see that whatever I am developing remains uniform. And usually it does. I do not develop for any one but so all can see it in pretty much the same way.

    Netscape sucks the big one, while I can make anything run like a charm on IE and Opera. And stability issues(Java applets working and not crashing browser, win again with the IE and Opera).

    So what do we do? For one lets stop turning this into a MS bitch and moan session. Tired of it, it is worn out. We are talking about browsers and ya'll are whining about all Microsoft products. Show me the slashdot logs and see how much traffic is IE. And do not come back the the fricken answer"I gotta use IE cause it is a work box" BULLSHIT. If we are all the hotshot admins we claim to be we can run a nix on a box at work, or at least another browser of choice on Windows to show we are fighting the good fight.

    I imagine that the /. logs show heavy IE saturation.

    Hell, I use IE, no skin off my nose. I have one box just for browsing and I use opera on it and it works fine. Ilove opera. But IE ain't bad in many ways. Show me the logs TACO

    And MS might be the monster that ate the world but some of there products are not too bad. Office works and people like it. Star Office eats it, open office eats it less but still bites. I would rather use wordstar.

    You know what the next killer app would be? Us coming off the high horse that linux is the be all end all salve for anything that ails a computer. It is good stuff, but UNIX is UNIX, and a new Nix is just an old nix.

    Christ, I love /. but sometimes I wonder.

  • from the god-I-read-too-much-Slashdot dept

    Mozilla's general manager Mitchell Baker says the browser is "a critical component of keeping the Web open and allowing innovation.

    Wasn't she fired last year [slashdot.org]?

    Please don't point out what I could otherwise be doing with the brain cells I used to store and retrieve that bit of information. I'm pretty concerned about it myself...

  • by nrosier ( 99582 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:11PM (#3718461)
    Mozilla is not a weapon to fight a browser war, it's a weapon to fight a standards war. Fight MS in following the W3C standards.

    All the discussions about IE looking, feeling, being better then any other browser don't matter to me. IE is MS's tool to internet domination through bad standards support and proprietary tags. This is what we should be fighting against. Educate web-developers not to take the easy road but follow the standards, drop IE-only tags, use validator.w3.org. If I can do it for my personal pages, they should be able to do it too.
    "Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."
    -- Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996
  • Favorite Quote (Score:4, Informative)

    by Selanit ( 192811 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:12PM (#3718466)
    Microsoft declined comment on how much of a threat it considers Mozilla, saying it cannot speak on rival products.

    Eh? What's that? Is this the same company that called the GPL "pac-man like" and Linux "unamerican?" How is it that all of a sudden that can't speak on rival products?


  • Lynx won!
  • Yes, you read that correctly: Microsoft lost the browser war. Standards won. And that means everyone won, except Microsoft.

    Think about it: why did Microsoft have such a low opinion about the Internet? They recognized the same thing that Marc Andreesen did: that it was a new platform for delivering applications. Microsoft didn't want that to happen; the incumbent platform was Windows. They were eventually forced to get into the browser business because the monopolist doesn't allow third-party applications with an installed base of more than a few thousand seats, of course, but it's all still standards-compliant.

    Applications and information services are now delivered on the Web, not as little standalone Windows apps that you have to download and install. And that means the paradigm has shifted. The war is most definitely over, and Microsoft has lost.
  • by pyrrho ( 167252 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:25PM (#3718550) Journal
    This sets off a few of my "old timer" bells (that's right, I'm old, aka "over thirty")...

    One, did you ever read about "The War to End All Wars"? That was WWI! They were much more realistic about naming WWII.

    Also, please realize what you thought about history perpetually progressing forward was a lie. Things are never determined. It's all still up for grabs. Winning is what happens in board games, in the real world it's a perpetual struggle. Yes, even among browsers.
  • The Mozilla team officially makes versions for Macintosh and the open-source Linux...
    ...and at that point tens of thousands of Windows users stop reading, unaware that Mozilla is available for their platform too :-(
  • I think the point of the article isn't so much whether Mozilla will beat IE for general use... it focuses on the REAL advantage of Mozilla; that is, the use of the Gecko engine in lots of other devices and scenarios. It will be interesting to see Gecko slowly supplant IE as the engine of choice for all non-MS companies who need to render HTML.
  • AOL really has the chance to initiate some good developments here. If they switch to Mozilla, so many people will be using Mozilla that webmasters will actually care about their pages in other browsers than MSIE again. That would, in turn, make the web more accesible to people using alternative browsers, so that webmasters have to care about standards more, ...

    See also the recent discussion about browser wars
  • by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:50PM (#3718688) Homepage
    Here's my theory. If the word was spread that mozilla can block pop-up ads by simply checking a checkbox in the preferences, then I bet people would come to mozilla by the millions.

    Unfortunately, most people are completely unaware of that simple, yet extremely powerful feature.

  • How so?

    First of all, any issues involving bugs are fixed from a meare few hours to a few days. If I do recall correctly, Microsoft takes a few days to a few weeks, even longer and in fact, they don't even fix the bugs, they just remove the part that doesn't work (IE: the gopher hole).

    Second of all, you OWN the browser. Once you download it you are free to do what you want with it within the policies of the GPL. If you have the skills to write an addon that will stop popup banners and banners in general, you are free to do so. If you want to make it so it runs on your PalmPilot or even your refridgerator, you're welcome to. Microsoft basically states they own the browser and they are free to rape your computer at will. To make matters worse, you are only able to get it for Windows, Macintosh, Solaris, and HP-UX, nothing else. Mozilla? It can run on almost any OS these days.

    Mozilla, or Gecko rather, will be availble in the newer versions of AOL. What does this mean? This means that there is potential to have at least 1,000,000 new Mozilla users as there are something like that number using the free 1,000 hours. Over time it might mean that the 35,000,000 AOL users will be using Mozilla over IE and that can cause a huge dent in the amount of hits our webservers get with IE.

    Mozilla may not just a web browser either. It has been said that you could write spreadsheet or word processing software from it's rendering engine. If this is true, then Mozilla is way better than IE.
  • Let's face it: most people who use Mozilla are using it on a non-Windows operating system. I tried Mozilla 1.0 on Windows, and quickly went back to IE when I realized that IE is still both faster (inital load and page rendering) and more stable.

    Mozilla may be the best thing available on Linux or other systems, but nothing can yet touch IE on Windows.

    Also, don't expect IE to come to a Linux box near you anytime soon without a court order. Not supporting Linux is a key part of their rule-the-desktop strategy. When Joe Avg. finds out Linux can't run his two favorite programs, IE and Word, he'll think twice about installing it.

    Microsoft has won the Windows browser war. Any browser war now is inextricably tied to the OS "war".

  • by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:14PM (#3719123)
    Put a link to mozilla in your e-mail, at BBS's, anywhere you think your writing will be read.

    Get the word out as best you can.
  • The harsh truth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by inkswamp ( 233692 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:39PM (#3719502)
    I'm seeing comments here about how it must be one or two features of Mozilla that make it attractive to people, but the harsh truth is that until the 1.0 release, Netscape/Mozilla sucked ass and now it's an uphill battle in pulling people away from IE.

    I'm not trying to troll here, but it's the truth. And don't give me the typical "but IE breaks web standards, etc." I'm not talking from a developer's perspective, but from a user's perspective which we have seen time and time again is the real deciding factor in most technology "wars," fair or not.

    I try my best to keep my machine MS-free, but when it comes to browsers, there was little choice in the matter. Netscape 4.x was a joke and Netscape 6.0 was freaking slooooowwwwwww. A lot of people (even those who despise MS) fled to MSIE for relief, and let's be honest. MS did a decent job with it, at least from a user's perspective.

    I'm using Mozilla 1.0 now, trying to give it time to grow on me and replace IE. Mozilla has a few quirks, but its benefits outweigh the negatives and I see significantly little difference between it and IE in terms of user experience. I've been actively encouraging others to try it out, but it will take time. Netscape botched the browser war very badly and IE has rooted itself in the public mind as THE ONE AND ONLY BROWSER. Although I like Mozilla, I have real doubts that it will get far, but best of luck to them. I'm on their side.


  • Dude, Galeon, j0 (Score:3, Informative)

    by rwa2 ( 4391 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:53PM (#3719573) Homepage Journal
    You've got to try galeon! It's like a browser done right! Here's my personal list of favourite features not offered by IE or even the Mozilla UI that it derives its rendering engine from:
    • popups can come up in new tabs, and each tab can have its own close button. You can kill popups without even looking at them! It also makes it easier to kill tabs without leaving the tab you're looking at (unlike the middle-click in mozilla)
    • The searches text inputs are very unobtrusive. It doesn't pop up that big ugly sidebar that insists on popping up even when you're doing normal searches in the main window.
    • It saves the state of your browsing session, so you can open everything just like it was when you left off after quitting / rebooting / crashing / etc. Big time saver!
    • The Preferences are in the Settings menu item, and not "Edit" or something silly like that
    • Nice autobookmarks feature of your most-browsed sites, when you don't feel like mucking around in your history
    • A bunch of other inane but useful features that really click in a way no other browser has clicked for me :P
    Of course, it's a challenge building it to keep up with the pace of Mozilla development, but once it works, it's really nice... (of course with debian, it's just a simple apt-get source -b galeon )
  • by sean23007 ( 143364 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:24PM (#3719745) Homepage Journal
    To take a page out of the book that MS stole from AOL, why don't a small group of people create a huge number of CDs and distribute them at like a sporting event. I went to a Minnesota Twins game just last week, and there were 100000 copies of Microsoft Money 2002 sitting around, waiting to be taken home. These are baseball fans, so a lot of them don't know much about computers (don't yell at me about the stereotypes, I'm a huge fan myself, but I happen to know a lot of other fans, and...), and getting a disc into their hands might just prompt them to try it out. I don't know how much this would cost, because you would need to burn 50000 discs to make it even worthwhile, and you wouldn't get anywhere near 100% saturation with this kind of a market, but even still, it is probably a good idea. If I had access to 50000 CD-Rs and a CD mastering studio, I'd do it in a second. And if this is at all successful, the operation could be expanded so that CDs are distributed at more sporting events, and in such places as Blockbuster, convenience stores, grocery stores, book stores, and any other place people go to buy things. The problem with Mozilla putting on a campaign like this, as opposed to MS or AOL, is that they don't stand to make any money if people start using the product, whereas MS and AOL make money with just about everything they do. Mozilla is there because some people wanted to fight for a cause, and in order to get it distributed on the mass markets, someone else is going to have to pick up the flag and fight for the cause right beside them, because there is no money in it.
  • by Uggy ( 99326 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:58PM (#3719863) Homepage
    IE 6 doesn't have full alpha layer for PNG yet... no word on if it ever will. 24 bit png with alpha layer (transparent/translucent) works just great in Mozilla, blending into background, without all the tricks and hacks that you have to do with IE. I can use a style sheet to change colors on the fly and don't have to to re-save all the damn graphics and screw with them to get the shadows, edges to come out right. For me that's IE's biggest drawback.

    What do most people who design for IE do to avoid this silliness? Is there any 24 bit graphic format that supports an alpha layer in IE? No, really, I'd like to know.

    • What do most people who design for IE do to avoid this silliness? Is there any 24 bit graphic format that supports an alpha layer in IE? No, really, I'd like to know.

      Yes. There is. PNG.

      You just can't use it straight in an IMG tag, you need to instance a DirectX blending filter. It's not complicated at all, but granted, it is platform-specific.
  • by q-soe ( 466472 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @10:31PM (#3719984) Homepage
    The sight of people defending AOL Time Warner against Microsoft is in my mind worthy of a bookmark for future reference... AOL Time Warner are a monopoly in a way Microsoft would love to be - they have absorbed media companies left right and center yet as long as they release or support free software they are considered acceptable? Hmm why is it im suspicious of their motives ?

    These people control what you see and what you read - they make no bones about their desire to dominate the media world and for them to turn around and start lawsuits against a former ally and best buddy (MS) shows the level of loyalty and trust worthiness they should be afforded.

    I use Mozilla on Linux - i like it - its not as stable nor as useable as IE5.5 but it is a damn good browser. Netscape is a bloated, buggy unuseable piece of crap on windows and from my experiments on linux as well. To defend AOL and beg for them to do something like this is a joke, they WILL not do anything unless they can gain a competitive advantage from it - this is the way they have built a business (and previous slashdot stories can attest to it)

    Im bookmarking this so when they become 'evil' in the eyes of /. i can post links to this story - Just WHO do you guys think would have the cash to buy parts of a split up MS anyway ? Painting the worlds largest media monopoly as a small guy against microsoft's might makes me laugh and feel ill at the same time.

    It might sound bad to some people but superior products win marketshare - IE was better than Netscape - IE won whilst netscape frittered away a lead and became a second rate product (yet mozilla is a first rate ? go figure)

    And yes the majority of the real world (non open source) consider IE a very good product.

"Gort, klaatu nikto barada." -- The Day the Earth Stood Still