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Mozilla The Internet Software

Mozilla Celebrates Its 10th Birthday 116

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Mozilla has turned 10 today. It's been a long, strange trip from being the once-dominant browser, going down to almost nothing, and returning to something like 25% of the browser market. 'With a sliding market share, Netscape decided to focus on its enterprise oriented products and gave away the browser but most importantly allow volunteers to work on the product. Mozilla was nothing but Netscape's user agent (the name a browser uses to contact the web server), a reminder of the first Netscape code name. Over time, Mozilla would become the name of the open source project, AOL would buy Netscape and Internet Explorer would get up to 90%+ of market share leading to the worst period in web browsers' history where innovation was a niche for Opera and IE remixes users.'"
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Mozilla Celebrates Its 10th Birthday

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  • by colmore ( 56499 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:28PM (#22158984) Journal
    There's an apropos Joel on Software article [joelonsoftware.com] from a few years back
    • by BuR4N ( 512430 )
      Favorite quote:

      "Now the trouble comes when you can't think of any new features, so you put in the paperclip, and then you take out the paperclip, and you try to charge people both times"
    • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @06:44PM (#22160046) Homepage
      Mozilla only gained mainstream acceptance once a developer independent of the Mozilla organization took the codebase, and discarded a large portion of the code to create Phoenix (later FireBird, now FireFox).

      Prior to that, it was a slow, ugly bloated mess.

      Ironically, now that the old Mozilla devs are managing the project, it's once again becoming a slow, bloated mess.

      Had the project been properly managed, I don't think it would have taken 10 years.
      • by Eddi3 ( 1046882 )
        Somebody clearly hasn't tried/heard about Firefox 3. Slow? Bloated? Not at all. I'd say it's faster then any other browser at this point.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by kv9 ( 697238 )

          I'd say it's faster then any other browser at this point.
          it ain't faster than Opera.
          • by zlogic ( 892404 )
            It depends. I've used both Opera and Firefox and opening a lot of tabs (especially pages with embedded Flash and video, on sites like Youtube) often results in Opera becoming locked up for 5-10 seconds, OTOH Firefox slows down but I can still scroll pages and switch tabs.
            I've also checked memory usage and it is actually about the same around 90-140 Mb for Firefox and 80-130 Mb for Opera, but Firefox had 15 addons installed while Opera didn't have any.
            However sometimes Firefox can stop responding after runni
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Not really. Blake Ross and Dave Hyatt were already related to Mozllla by the time the mozilla/browser (pre-Phoenix) project started. They did start the project separately from the main Mozilla work, but they could hardly be called independent from the Mozilla organization. Blake Ross was an intern; Dave Hyatt was a Netscape employee.

        The project started mainly because the monolithic Mozilla suite was heavily influenced by America Online. Ross and Hyatt pretty much discarded the old chrome and started wit
      • It was odd with Mozilla. The developers had a fixation with making Mozilla look exactly like Netscape Communicator. No one was allowed to try to improve the interface at all in the classic theme. It was one of the most extreme cases of shortsightedness I had ever seen...at the time, most users were verbal about wanting a more native looking theme. Modern did not fit that bill either.

        Firefox is what had finally delivered what people had wanted.

      • by zlogic ( 892404 )
        A little correction: Netscape discarded their codebase and wrote Netscape 6 from scratch, which shares its codebase with Mozilla Seamonkey. XUL and user extensions appeared at that time. And Firefox it not a complete code rewrite, but rather a cleanup of the bloated Seamonkey.
        I've used Netscape 6 when it was first released (on a middle-end PC) and it was horribly slow, Netscape 7 was a bit better but still not usable.
        And Netscape did do a lot for Mozilla, in fact Netscape 6 and 7 were released before Mozill
    • No, good software does not take any predetermined amount of time to write. The time taken for a good release is proportional to the complexity of the task being attempted. Which means, shockingly, that harder programs take longer to write.

      Spolsky, in the linked article, cites Windows NT and Lotus Notes as examples of "good software". Further more, his definition of good software extends only to the kind of release-late-release-rarely, bloated codebase, big company proprietary works that are not represe
  • but the road ahead is long! (isn't it everywhere?)

    What was that 'hidden' page again with the quote from the 'book of mozilla'? Ahh memories :)

    Live long and prosper mozilla.
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:34PM (#22159062) Homepage
    Mozilla as spun off in 1998 was never the dominant browser. By the time Mozilla was open sourced 10 years ago, IE was the dominant browser by a significant margin. If the browser was still dominant, I doubt Netscape would have ever open sourced it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The summary doesn't make this clear, but the actual article is referring to Netscape as the the dominant browser from Early 1990s to 1998 [wikipedia.org].

      Thems was the REAL browser wars. Do you have your Windows 95 Plus Pack yet?

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by shellbeach ( 610559 )

        Thems was the REAL browser wars. Do you have your Windows 95 Plus Pack yet?

        Ah, the Windows 95 Plus pack, that gave everyone who bought it smoothed fonts (and themes, too, IIRC). I remember it well! Not as exciting as the gradient titlebars in the early Memphis betas, though ...

        'course, before the IE vs. Netscape war there was the Netscape vs. NCSA Mosaic war. And before that, there was the Mosaic vs. gopher war. Like fire across the galaxy, the browser wars spread ...

      • And then there was AOL buying out Netscape, but keeping all of their trillion users on IE.
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *

      Mozilla as spun off in 1998 was never the dominant browser. By the time Mozilla was open sourced 10 years ago, IE was the dominant browser by a significant margin. If the browser was still dominant, I doubt Netscape would have ever open sourced it.

      Can you imagine current Firefox if it was opensourced back in Netscape 3 days when first signs of MS monster waking up and Netscape was still shipping a very good browser showing IE from MS a joke? I remember just like we laughed as Silverlight/Zune today, we laughed at IE 2.0. We saw it as a spoiled rich kids "If you don't play with me, I am going to buy a better toy from store" kind of thing.

      Also here is one of the first people suggesting Netscape should go open source _immediately_ by taking the risk of

  • In fairness.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:35PM (#22159080) Journal
    Internet Explorer would get up to 90%+ of market share leading to the worst period in web browsers' history where innovation was a niche for Opera and IE remixes users.

    Putting aside the fact that users who were sufficiently upset by this "worst period in web browsers' history" could always go back to Lynx and Viola...

    This seems a bit unfair to kfm and Konqueror, which made web browsing on Unix tolerable while Mozilla was still in shambles, Galeon, which put the first decent browser around the Mozilla engine, and whatever that Mac browser was called ... OmniWeb? Plus CyberDog!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Before Firefox started getting popular in the middle-late age of IE6 the web was stagnant, very little innovation that people could see was being done with MS finally killing off Netscape, yes there was progress but in the grand area of things most code had to be checked on like 3-4 browsers to make sure it could render (IE5, IE6, Opera and Netscape/Firefox) correctly. Now, with Firefox/Safari/Konqueror/Opera all being mostly standards-compliant very little testing needs to be done except with IE5-7. I woul
    • Re:In fairness.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by The One and Only ( 691315 ) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @07:48PM (#22161002) Homepage

      and whatever that Mac browser was called ... OmniWeb? Plus CyberDog!

      I was there so let me elucidate. Mozilla began in 1998, so let's say Netscape died by 1998. On the Mac, the main available browsers were IE and Netscape at that point. Some people still used Netscape despite it not being supported, some used IE, some used minor players such as iCab and Opera. OmniWeb was a NeXTStep browser, not a Mac browser, at that point. CyberDog was a demonstration of Apple's OpenDoc technology, which died in 1997. CyberDog itself was only supported from 96 to 97, and never really caught on.

      In 1997, Apple buys NeXT and Steve Jobs takes over. Jobs makes a deal with Microsoft to settle remaining patent disputes (the residue from the "look and feel" lawsuits of the late 80's). That deal includes such provisions as MS investing $150 million into Apple, MS promising to develop just as many Mac versions of Office as Windows versions for the next five years, and IE becoming the default browser on the Mac, although not being built in the way it was built into Windows 98. Until 2003, Apple is contractually obligated to bundle IE and set it as the default browser.

      By 2000, the user base is fractured between just using IE, trying to get old Netscape to work, trying to get Mozilla or new Netscape to work, and trying out fringe browsers. (AOL made a few customized releases of Mozilla under the Netscape branding at the time.) In 2001, Mac OS X comes out. A new version of IE is bundled and set as the default browser. Mozilla eventually gets ported over. iCab and Opera get ported over. OmniWeb gets ported from NeXTStep (which is closer to Mac OS X than Mac OS 9 was).

      In 2002, some people, including Dave Hyatt, separate out the browser parts of Mozilla from all the other cruft, put it in a Cocoa wrapper, and release it on Mac OS X as Chimera. Chimera gains a significant userbase. It is now known as Camino for the same types of reasons that Mozilla Phoenix became Mozilla Firefox. Despite having similar goals to Firefox, Chimera's initial release was actually months before the first release of Phoenix (as Firefox was then known). At this point there is competition between IE, Chimera, and OmniWeb. Eventually, Firefox becomes available on Mac OS X as well.

      In 2003, Apple releases Safari, some months after hiring Dave Hyatt to make them a browser. Safari is built around WebKit, which is a fork of KHTML, the rendering engine of Konquerer. Later in 2003, Microsoft discontinues IE for Mac, and ever since then the main browsers on the Mac are Safari, Camino, Firefox, and to a smaller extent, OmniWeb and other fringe players.

  • Honest Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FiveLights ( 1012605 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:37PM (#22159118)
    You'll want to mod me down so as not to attract attention to this issue, but I'd honestly like to know... I usually browse at a level of 4 or higher but sometimes, when there are still few comments to a story, I'll drop down to -1. My question is, does every story have all of this racism and homophobia nonsense attached to it, or is this something new? If it's a long standing thing, are there any theories as to why people bother with stuff like that on a site like Slashdot? They just get modded down and aren't even seen by most people (I, of course, assume most people are like me), so why do they bother? Hope someone answers before I get modded into oblivion with the trolls :)
    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
      It's always been around, but it's usually been kept to one or two postings per story. Lately (the past few weeks) I have watched this steadily increase...I'm not sure what caused it, and I'm not sure why it's happening...but it has definitely become more frequent.
      • I have a theory on what caused it. The republicans are to elect who get to run as a republican presidential candidate soon. One candidate, Ron Paul [ronpaul2008.com], gets mutch [opensecrets.org] of his support from tech people. Many tech people read Slashdot. About the same time as the racist comments started to multiply a campaign [wordpress.com] to label him racist started. The racist comments [slashdot.org] often [google.no] mention this candidate. It could of course be a coincidence, but if not: Slashdot, meet politics. Politics, meet Slashdot!
    • It really does vary alot- you'll get one or two comments in almost every story, but this story seems to be very popular for trolls. If you want to judge how much trolling goes on, this would not be representative of the norm. Generally though, it's the same sentiments (exactly the same words often) and no doubt coming from the same places.
    • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )

      My question is, does every story have all of this racism and homophobia nonsense attached to it, or is this something new?

      It's always like this. Usually it makes up the half of the first dozen of comments. As for why they do that, my guess is they're both bored and frustrated, so they come here to anonymously say The Forbidden Word (the "N word") and such as often as they can as they feel they can't do that in real life. I don't think they actually care what people think or say, they probably are just com

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by heinousjay ( 683506 )
      Assuming most people are like you is dangerous, foolish, and typically invalid. You have no reason for making such an assumption.

      Also, is there a way to block submitters? This imaginary property zealot is starting to get on my nerves with the editorializing. I don't like my stories assuming I'm a dipshit hippie.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Also, is there a way to block submitters?

        Short answer: no.
        Long answer: You can block stories related to a fixed list of topics and authors [slashdot.org]. Unfortunately, 'authors' here refers to the handles of the /. admin listed with the words "Posted by", such as Zonk, CmdrTaco, kdawson. You can't block stories based off of the submitter's handle.

        One approach we could request would be to utilize the Fans/Foes lists in promoting/demoting homepage stories. However, this wouldn't help your current problem in that "I+Don

    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      I just set anonymous postings to -1 and move the rightmost bar to the left one notch. Gets rid of pretty much all of 'em. There's worse things in the world to get riled up about than a bunch of giggling simpletons.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...are there any theories as to why people bother with stuff like that on a site like Slashdot?
      Why, yes, there are: John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com]
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *

      You'll want to mod me down so as not to attract attention to this issue, but I'd honestly like to know... I usually browse at a level of 4 or higher but sometimes, when there are still few comments to a story, I'll drop down to -1. My question is, does every story have all of this racism and homophobia nonsense attached to it, or is this something new? If it's a long standing thing, are there any theories as to why people bother with stuff like that on a site like Slashdot? They just get modded down and aren't even seen by most people (I, of course, assume most people are like me), so why do they bother?

      Hope someone answers before I get modded into oblivion with the trolls :)

      Organized trolling, either by already known entities (g***) or some wannabe copycats. Cure is the same exact thing: Ignore the trolls.

  • Open Source ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:37PM (#22159128) Homepage Journal
    Should mention that this was the project that began the "Open Source" concept (as compared to Free Software), when a certain gun nut took the Debian guidelines for "free" and worked with Netscape and eventually created the Open Source Initiative.

    Personally, I prefer the term Free Software... :P

    Anyway, I'm using Firefox now, have done for a while. But my mother is still on Mozilla (a version that is getting on now, I can't remember which one though). One thing I've taught her, Firewall, no MSIE and much less problems (she also has a virus checker that does some small good, not sure if it outweighs the bad though...).

    I remember something nasty happening to IE years ago and having to download Netscape, and then slowly learning about this Free Software idea and eventually installing Mozilla.

    Ah, the memories.
    • I remember something nasty happening to IE years ago and having to download Netscape, and then slowly learning about this Free Software idea and eventually installing Mozilla.

      My introduction to the 'Free Software' idea and GNU GPL was in 1989, when I first encountered Russ Nelson's Freemacs editor. I was kinda blown I find out a few years later that some Finnish college student had managed to create an entire complete operating system kernel and released it under those very same terms.

      • Meh, but I'm younger then you are. I can't remember 1989...

        I really got into GNOME/X/GNU/Linux around 2001/2002. I always did like GNOME more then KDE...

        Anyway, I'm starting to feel old myself... (and I know I'm not), this reminiscing has to stop! (Goes and codes some PHP.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by STrinity ( 723872 )
        My introduction to free software was in 1986 when my father bought a Commodore 64 and one of his friends came over with an extra disk drive so we could copy all his games.
    • But my mother is still on Mozilla
      Oh, that's just cruel. Nobody should hate their mother that much ...

  • Over time, Mozilla would become the name of the open source project, AOL would buy Netscape and Internet Explorer would get up to 90%+ of market share leading to the worst period in web browsers' history where innovation was a niche for Opera and IE remixes users.


    In the immortal words of the great Clippy: "English, MF-er, speak it?" I haven't seen a jumbled run-on like this since Stallman was last in town.
  • Personally I consider SeaMonkey to be the modern relative of Netscape. FireFox is sort of the light-weight relative. Being a big fan of Netscape, I use SeaMonkey today. :) I remember seeing Netscape turn into a mess after version 3.0 and basically die from the market sadly. Fortunately Netscape communications was generous enough to give away their source which makes it possible for it to have survived today as opensource.
    • If Firefox is the light-weight relative, then SeaMonkey must be a 2 ton obese gorilla...
      • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *

        If Firefox is the light-weight relative, then SeaMonkey must be a 2 ton obese gorilla...
        Believe or not, Seamonkey uses less RAM and CPU than Firefox.
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @05:53PM (#22159416)
    I was a Netscape user back in the 3.x and 4.x days. I was also a web developer. NS 3.x beat IE 3.x hands down when it came to web development. The 4.x models showed IE pretty much even with Netscape. Then Netscape did something monumentally stupid. They stopped releasing browsers. Sure, they claimed that they were working on something big in the back room, but that didn't help use users and developers. Meanwhile, Microsoft came out with IE 5.x which blew NS 4.x out of the water when it came to development ease and usage. Of course, IE6 was even further ahead of Netscape 4.x. Meanwhile, the back room development was still progressing, or so they said.

    Up until this point, IE's dominance was a good thing. It proved that sitting on your laurels won't win you the browser wars. Even if you've got a grand plan, you've got to get regular releases out there or people will just forget about you.

    It's just too bad that Microsoft didn't learn this lesson. With their browser safely at 90%+ market share and no real competitors in sight, they stopped development (except for bug fixes, of course). Over time, the wonderful, easy to use browser started showing its age. Alternatives like FireFox started popping up, showing people that a more standards-compliant browser could make development a lot more fun. FireFox started to take off and wonder of wonders, Microsoft decided that maybe they should update cranky old IE6. The IE6 languishing years were the really bad time to be a web developer. Now I'm hoping that IE6 dies off rapidly (though not as much as I kept hoping that Netscape 4.x would die off).
    • Bug fixes (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kelson ( 129150 ) *

      It's just too bad that Microsoft didn't learn this lesson. With their browser safely at 90%+ market share and no real competitors in sight, they stopped development (except for bug fixes, of course).

      And only bug fixes that they considered critical -- security, crashers, etc. Nothing that would have fixed rendering bugs. And I don't just mean spec violations, I mean outright bugs [positioniseverything.net] that would make content disappear. When they did IE7, they combed the net [msdn.com] looking for descriptions of known rendering bugs so

    • Actually, I remember that I never really liked Netscape 4. Netscape 3 was really great! Light, fast, simple. Then Netscape 4 they renamed it from "Navigator" to "Communicator", you had e-mail and news and whatnot, it was really bloated and slow.

      I remember that I kept a copy of Navigator 3 that I always used. But then websites with CSS started to appear, and they were only supported under 4.

      IE3 was the worst of all. Their support for CSS was the biggest pile of bugs ever. Just to give you an idea, it's b

      • > Then Netscape 4 they renamed it from "Navigator" to "Communicator",
        > you had e-mail and news and whatnot, it was really bloated and slow. ... And buggy. I still remember the strange "Bus Error" message on the console when it would crash... It used a _bus_?
    • Given that Netscape made their source code public in March '98 and had a final release in November of that year and IE 5.x wasn't released until March '99 I don't see how they were in direct competition with each other.

      By late 1998 the "browser war" was over (really). Having IE pre-installed on Windows had finally done the trick that Microsoft was hoping for, dominance through apathy.

      There is no doubt that "Communicator 4" stank, but to say that Microsoft saved the day for users and developers alike with IE
      • It wasn't that simple. In 1998, Netscape still had a dominant marketshare (60-70%). It wasn't until they canned Netscape 5 in favor of the complete vaporware of Mozilla that they started to plummet, and even then it wasn't for 3-4 years before they dropped into the single digit range.
  • Mozilla's dead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by monopole ( 44023 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @06:03PM (#22159588)
    Just read the Suck.com article [suck.com]
     
    • That reminds me of 2001 when it seems nearly everyone on Slashdot claimed that Mozilla 1.0 would never ship, and nothing I said would convince them it was just around the corner. In seven years I'll probably remember how everyone kept complaining about the memory leak so many of us could never see.
      • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *

        That reminds me of 2001 when it seems nearly everyone on Slashdot claimed that Mozilla 1.0 would never ship, and nothing I said would convince them it was just around the corner. In seven years I'll probably remember how everyone kept complaining about the memory leak so many of us could never see.

        Mozilla could take off when they finally figured not everyone on Earth is interested in some college students geek fantasy implementations. Everyone seem to know about Firefox these days, ask them if they have ever seen/used Mozilla pre 1.0. Did we forget the Netscape 6.0 scandal release from AOL? Did they break the code? No, they hurried with release and packaged a horrible product abusing the still known brand Netscape and few remaining die hard supporters.

        Mozilla could achieve success when they finally

        • Mozilla was achieving success from the very start. The usage of Mozilla doubled every year from 2000 to 2005 (and probably before 2000 also but the stats sites just don't have any data on that time period). Since 2005, Mozilla use has doubled yet again. Because Firefox came out in 2004, of course most people who use Firefox today didn't use Mozilla products before Firefox. That's the nature of exponential growth.

          Memory leaks have been fixed for years now. Just look at the ones that were fixed this week al [mozilla.org]

    • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
      Didn't Netcraft confirm it, too? Or am I getting it mixed up with something else?
    • Just read the Suck.com article [suck.com]

      You are saying like the author says "there will be 5 computers on this planet". :)

      Back in 2000, Mozilla was a horrible, lost its focus complete slow/bloated thing. It has changed when Mozilla people sit down and think what is wrong and that thinking ended up in Firefox, browser today and its companion Thunderbird.

      Go back in time thanks to Wayback machine to the time that flame was written:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20001218010700/http://www.mozilla.org/ [archive.org]

      "Mozilla 0.6 Released
      Mozilla 0.6 is a milestone releas

  • by Misanthrope ( 49269 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @06:15PM (#22159772)
    Back when I first started browsing with Netscape 1.0, it really appealed to me because of the obvious fun the developers were having.
    Take for example the Amazing Netscape Fish Cam
    http://wp.netscape.com/fishcam/ [netscape.com]
    You used to be able to hit ctrl-alt-f and it would load up a webcam with their office aquarium.
  • by eepok ( 545733 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @06:53PM (#22160208) Homepage
    I remember when Firefox was covered by Slashdot about 7 years ago. It was described as some itty bitty beta based vaguely on Netscape (which I personally hated), but it was mentioned that it was only some 5MB download. I thought, "Hey, it's free (my favorite price), it's small (I seriously needed better hardware), and it's cutting edge (geek factor)."

    I downloaded it, installed it, learned I could move the buttons around and fell in love. Since then, I would always install Firefox on every computer I fixed. I require all friends to use it. I carry around FireFox portable (and thunderbird) on a thumbdrive so I can use it wherever and however I wish.

    While in beta, it worked. The release candidates worked. The final versions worked. Tabs and middle click CHANGED what the internet was to me. Java control, add-ons, everything -- Thank you Firefox!
    • While in beta, it worked. The release candidates worked. The final versions worked.

      Unfortunately, I don't find that the case anymore. I still use Firefox, but it seems to get buggier and buggier as time goes on. I now routinely "reboot" Firefox like I remember having to do with Windows 95. Granted, it could be due to a number of factors, but I still consider it the most unstable app I use by far.
      • by eepok ( 545733 )
        Wow! That's some strong words. "Most unstable app I use by far"?

        I by no means intend the following to be insulting, but I have to ask:

        1) What are you doing that causes Firefox issues?
        2) What "more stable" apps are you using?

        We all submit that Firefox can grow to be bloated in RAM if it's not restarted every so often. (I'm at 85MB right now having not closed it since 8am this morning and having surfed/goofed quite a bit today.)But if a site ever causes Firefox to crash, I probably don't want to be going to t
        • 1) What are you doing that causes Firefox issues?

          I often have about 10-15 tabs open at a time, there's three things that cause fairly consistent crashes for me. Java, Flash, and or a shitty myspace profile. Of course I could use some more RAM, hobbling along at 512MB.

        • It seems to mostly be related to having a lot of tabs open (even with enough memory). It could also be flash as well.

          As for more stable apps, I'd say every app I use in Linux is more stable. Even cinelerra, which they warn I will have to save often with. Granted, I'm probably not using any other app as hard as my browser, I'm just saying that firefox is the only app I use that crashes regularly these days. And I will only execute financial orders on a fresh browser anymore.
      • I still use Firefox, but it seems to get buggier and buggier as time goes on.
        I don't think Firefox is getting buggier. Try the new official Firefox support [mozilla.com] for your woes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bckrispi ( 725257 )
        I've found that it's not the browser that causes frequent crashes, but the plugins (or themes). My home install uses the default theme, and only about 1/2 dozen "must have" plugins. My browser seldom, if ever crashes. However, there was a certain theme I installed some time ago that apparently caused a crash at least twice a day. Once I deleted the theme, I was stable again.
    • I remember when Firefox was covered by Slashdot about 7 years ago
      I think you meant Phoenix, not firefox :) With the dodgy yellow and black buttons.

      Funny that the Phoenix project aimed to strip out all the bloat from Mozilla ... and now, five years later, Firefox is becoming just as bloated as Mozilla used to be. Somebody needs to re-phoenix Firefox ...

    • While in beta, it worked. The release candidates worked. The final versions worked. Tabs and middle click CHANGED what the internet was to me. Java control, add-ons, everything -- Thank you Firefox!

      Sorry, but I feel the need to point out that Opera included tabs in the early/mid-90s, almost a decade before Firefox was released finally, and most features that FF users point out as being brilliant are ones which I've taken for granted since about 2000 when I started regularly using Opera. Yes, back then I had to deal with adverts, which after about an hour of use I managed to completely blank out (so much so that when they finally got *rid* of the adverts, it seemed very odd not having a block of what

  • The true significance of Netscape's decision to make its browser free software was that it was the first story I ever read on Slashdot [slashdot.org]. I've read the site almost daily since then and dagnammit, it's made me the man I am today. I kinda miss the old style of articles, even the endless Linux 2.1.x point releases.

    Taco - what happened to all the comments on the old articles? I can't believe none were posted for this story.
  • I wasn't there, but I've always understood 'Mozilla' to be a funky portmanteau of 'Mosaic Killer', stemming from Marc Anderson's dream of Netscape reigning supreme over Mosaic, the ground-breaking NCSA-developed graphical browser. Anyone out there who was close to the action?

    As a result, I never shed a tear for Netscape when IE wiped the floor with them, as it seemed to me that Netscape got exactly what they had set out to do to Mosaic.

    I remember quite vividly the first time I saw Mosaic fired up, watch

    • by InvisiBill ( 706958 ) <(slashdot) (at) (invisibill.net)> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:56PM (#22162692) Homepage

      I wasn't there, but I've always understood 'Mozilla' to be a funky portmanteau of 'Mosaic Killer', stemming from Marc Anderson's dream of Netscape reigning supreme over Mosaic, the ground-breaking NCSA-developed graphical browser. Anyone out there who was close to the action?

      As a result, I never shed a tear for Netscape when IE wiped the floor with them, as it seemed to me that Netscape got exactly what they had set out to do to Mosaic.

      It's a bit more complicated than that, as Netscape really was Mosaic in a way.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_(web_browser) [wikipedia.org]

      Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina originally designed and programmed NCSA Mosaic for Unix's X Window System at NCSA.

      ...

      Marc Andreessen, the leader of the team that developed Mosaic, left NCSA and, with Jim Clark, one of the founders of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), and four other former students and staff of the University of Illinois, started Mosaic Communications Corporation. Mosaic Communications eventually became Netscape Communications Corporation, producing Netscape Navigator.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netscape_Navigator [wikipedia.org]

      After his graduation from Illinois in 1993, Andreessen moved to California to work at Enterprise Integration Technologies. Andreessen then met with Jim Clark, the recently-departed founder of Silicon Graphics. Clark believed that the Mosaic browser had great commercial possibilities and provided the seed money. Soon Mosaic Communications Corporation was in business in Mountain View, California, with Andreessen appointed as a vice-president. The University of Illinois was unhappy with the company's use of the Mosaic name, so "Mosaic Communications Corporation" changed its name to Netscape Communications (thought up by sales representative Greg Sands) and its flagship web browser was the Netscape Navigator.

      In other Mosaic/IE news...

      Spyglass licensed the technology and trademarks from NCSA for producing their own web browser but never used any of the NCSA Mosaic source code. Microsoft licensed Spyglass Mosaic in 1995 for US$2 million, modified it, and renamed it Internet Explorer.

      In other words, you're happy that Mosaic killed Mosaic because they wanted to kill Mosaic.

      • It's a bit more complicated than that, as Netscape really was Mosaic in a way.

        I do appreciate the overlap between the development teams, and that Netscape was originally named 'Mosaic Communications Corporation'. But NCSA Mosaic the browser still existed in spite of Clark/Anderson's attempt to appropriate the name. As far as I can tell, there was no overlap in the software, just in the name. Netscape the browser was in no way Mosaic the browser.

        jwz claims outright that the browser they were developing was spoken of as 'crushing NCSA Mosaic', which is when he says he came up with

  • Hardly, dear Zonk. Segue over to a Mac user, ask them to download a (free public release) copy of iCab (www.icab.de) and have a look at what ONE man (Alexander Clauss) is capable of. Mac only (it was your choice, folks)(or was it? Bill?) iCab was the first freely available public release browser to pass the Acid-2 test. Now, in his v4 series, having given in and gone over to webkit for his engine, iCab may perhaps not fly through Acid-3 when they finally resolve it as a test, but in the meantime Alexande
  • Here's a good start [slashdot.org] if you want to read old slashdot articles about Mozilla in 1998.

    -l

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