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Browser news 141

Mitchell Baker, Chief Lizard Wrangler for Mozilla, has denied that Mozilla's development model will change. In related news, nullspace wrote in about netomat, a new "non-linear browser". "It bucks the trends of current browsers by mining random visuals and snippets of sentences from the Web and having it float endlessly across a black backdrop, accompanied by clips of sound, if the user desires. Users can specify a topic, then retrieve text, images, and/or audio from the Internet on the subject. They navigate by typing keywords into the browser, not by pointing and clicking."
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  • No new technology needed. New interest in LEARNING? Now there's a miracle.
  • Alan was quoted saying, "We could move to a model like [the Java Community Process]. We don't have complete control of the process, but we're looking at our options." Sun doesn't have any control of the process, so one wonders what options Alan is referring to. His remarks sounded to me like some sort of power play.
  • This sounds like a totally useless piece of software. Lets take random words and put them on a page. Yeah, I could really use that.

    What might make it cooler would have it take random headlines from News websites and replace their articles with random paragraphs from other articles.

    For example:
    Breast Enlargements at All Time High
    Ethnic Albanians are leaving Kosovo at alarming rates as the boarder cities are becoming crowded with refugees.

    --Sure, mostly it would be useless, too, and most of the stories wouldn't be funny; but there is potential.

  • So why then virtually nobody comments their code in GPL world ? It is almost like unwritten rule - no comments !
  • Posted by _DogShu_:

    thank goodness for more browsing choices for linux! we need something besides netscape crashigator.

    I, of course, probably won't try a browser that doesn't want me to view a web page as it is meant to be displayed. Oh well, just have to wait for opera.
  • I really wish people would put a comment at the top of each file explaining what's in it so I can get a grip on the way they divided up the code. Other than that, well written C with descriptive function and variable names is quite readable with very few comments.

    C++ on the other hand is a mess. The KDE projects I've looked at have been indecipherable. Without a decent document describing the object model (e.g. and information model, state transition model, event document, or some other non-code view of the framework) it's virtually impossible to figure out where to start reading.

    If anybody has a program that can take C++ for an entire program and render a picture showing all the objects, their methods, and how they interact, please let me know where to find it. I don't know if such a thing is even possible.
  • Disgusting? No, sounds like the Information Supercollider:

    If that's what it is like, them I'm right. It IS disgusting.

  • I'm a big Java fan myself, but if it *is* written in Java, why are there different platform downloads (and esp. not one for *nix)?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Enough of this Open Source stuff. Mozilla was the one project everyone looked to as a shining example of what made Open Source great, and now it is crumbling into a pile of rubble. Many developers, myself included, would not take part in the development of Mozilla due to the sorta-free licensing.

    Now if they had gone Gnu GPL I am sure there would have been a much much stronger following. Bits and pieces of existing programs could have been borrowed to improve Mozilla quickly (the beauty of code re-use).

    It was a fun idea on the surface, wasn't it? Now that we can see that Open Source is fragmenting our community with pseudo-free licensing, let's get back to FREE software. These Open Source licenses are not creating a level playing field for the users and developers. And the way they are worded, it prevents code re-use in projects running under a different "Open Source" license.

    The OSI gave up on their trademark. If that isn't a sure sign that they know they're losing, then what is?
  • by GP ( 16519 ) on Friday July 02, 1999 @07:42AM (#1820486) Homepage
    First, non-linear is rapidly becoming one of those psuedo-intellectual words I can't stand, joining the ranks of paradigm, post-modern, and psuedo-anything. Depending on scale and scope, nearly anything can be seen as either linear or non-linear. Euclid brought us non-linear geometry, Orson Welles brought us non-linear cinematography, now we have non-linear web browsing. Oh joy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "netomat(TM) dialogues with the net to retrieve information as unmediated and independent in form."

    I read that to a company vice-president. He got a stiffy and asked if I would charge him by the minute to read more. ;)
  • Just realized I forgot the second part. :-)

    Second, we tend to experience things in a linear fashion (barring some really good drugs)--It's called time. What's so non-linear about this browser? It pulls things off the web out of context. Yeah, that's exactly what I like, information out of context.

    Just as much he argues the web is linear (click from one thing to the next, following structure), I can argue it's not (I can go hit my bookmarks at anytime, or jump somewhere randomly).

    Frankly, unless he's built some kind of Improbability Drive into the thing I don't see how this is terribly new.

  • by GeneralTao ( 21677 ) on Friday July 02, 1999 @07:57AM (#1820490) Homepage

    GPL is a Good Thing (tm).

    But having a non-GPL license is most definately not why Mozilla has had a hard time recruiting developers. That is only true in a Linux-centric view. You neglect the tons and tons of Windows, Mac and non-GPL UNIX coders out there. Many of them believe in open source software, and many of them get sick at the mention of the GPL.

    The reason Mozilla has had trouble recruiting is because of the choices Netscape made about just what they were going to release to the public. They released a huge mass of code that didnt even compile. That's not very attractive to developers. Developers like to either start something new from the ground up, or enhance something that works. They're not too keen on being handed a bowl of data-spaghetti and asked to clean it up and make it work. It's a daunting task.
    I, for instance, probably know enough about programming that I could have contributed, in however small a way, to the effort. I did not contribute because I don't have the skills to understand what's already there. I'd get lost in the code trying to find the one piece I am good enough to work on.

    GPL had nothing to do with it. The Linux community may have been put off by that, but the developer community as a whole couldn't give a rat's ass if it's GPL, Artisitic, BSD.. or MPL.

  • This doesn't make sense to me. It requires a Java interpreter, yet, they are saying that Mac and Unix have to wait until next week for their versions to come out. If it requires a Java interpreter, shouldn't it just be a bunch of Java bytecode that can be run anywhere? (Ack, maybe they used the now-illegal Microsoft Java builder.)
  • I think it's really cool that this was [apparently] written in Java...go Java...

    ok, i'm done

  • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Friday July 02, 1999 @09:53AM (#1820494) Homepage

    Anyone who follows the development groups even supperficially, or simply see how one milestone after another are meet, knows that the Mozilla project is progressing _very_ well.

    And this isn't some GPL vs. OSI contest. RMS want, just like everybody in the free software community with a clue, the Mozilla project to succede. To decision makers everywhere, Mozilla is _the_ test of whether the free software/open source (no, they don't care about the difference) works.
  • For an example of a (kinda) similar idea, check out DadaDodo [jwz.org]. (Which was created by Jamie Zawinski [jwz.org], late of the Mozilla project, making this post doubly relevant! Isn't that great?) :)
  • FWIW I decided to see just what this "netomat" is all about.

    The "interface" consists of a text bar (like the address bar) across the bottom, and the rest of the screen is a big black area with what you could call "links" floating around, mainly text but sometimes pictures, that move contrary to your mouse (if you move your mouse to the right, they all move left, etc.) I typed the first thing that came into my head (Dave Matthews) into the text bar, and I started to see links floating around corresponding with Dave pages I had visited before. If I clicked on one, other links showed up, but no actual content.

    Though a five minute test-drive probably isn't a fair evaluation, the conclusion I came to is that it's useless. It seems to be directed at the common population -- a more "intuitive" approach to the internet, but it confused the heck out of me. The links floating around when the browser first opens seem to be completely random, and when clicked on, show things that have nothing to do with what you clicked on.

    Like I said, I only got the five-minute version. Maybe the usefulness is in utilizing the "netomatics files" (some kind of script?), but I just don't get it.

    Though it does say something for the merits of Java development. The install was very smooth and the program started up without complaint.
  • There is such a beast, but I can't for the life of me remember exactly what the product names where.. I know that there are several for Visual Studio/Visual C++ as well..
  • This sounds more like web art than a new way to browse. What's more is it sounds more arty and neat than a lot of the web art that everyone has been passing off till now.

    Reading the five minute impression someone else posted, maybe if they used something like google to determine what's better content to float across your screen, then you could have GOOD randomly selected stuff that was vaguely related to your topic floating past. That might be fun.

  • I like articles that disagree with me. Is the damn thing going to spam me with everything on the net?
  • Bad Skippy. Replying to your own post. But I just had another thought. It also reminds me of Bottle Mail. A sort of "non-linear" email. You create a graphical image (so you can cross language boundaries) message and then send it out. But you don't get to choose the recipient. I tried it out and thought it was a neat idea, but it was populated mostly by 12 year old Japanese girls so I kept getting Hello Kitty stuff.

    If you're interested, the link is below
    http://www.kids.recruit.co.jp/bmai l-e/index.html [recruit.co.jp]

  • Yeah, AC obviously just confused the 2 unrelated articles as one. Not a hard mistake to make.

    But that brings up an important point. Why were the two articles posted as one? They're pretty different. Yeah, I understand that they can both be lumped into the heading "Browser News," but they're pretty different topics, each of which deserve their own space. I think each have brought out good comments. (The netscape story on a little Mozzilla discussion, and the Netomat on this hippy-crap of a browser.)
  • #define TONGUE_IN_CHEEK

    You know, I've been saying all along that this is what they should do with Lynx. Perhaps the Lynx development team can integrate the non-linear engine with the world's greatest text-only browser? Perhaps, it would herald a new era of ASCII art.
  • Sounds like a more powerful version of that "Find a random person to chat with." button on ICQ.

    Sounds god-awful.

    I _RARELY_ want to speak to a random human-being. I can't remember the last time I saw someone on the street, and said "Hey, you have a computer TOO! Wow. We have a lot in common. Let's have lunch."

  • Doesn't Netscape have various commercial products which include Navigator? Wouldn't putting Mozilla under GPL also mean they would have to put the AOL client, their proprietary calendaring software, and their WebTV-like firmware under GPL?

    Don't forget that Navigator/Mozilla was always intended to be a loss-leader for Netscape's commercial products. They're still a corporation seeking profit on intellectual property. They could still do that with a GPL licence, but it would be harder.
  • Yeah, sort of. It causes a system halt when I try to install it.
  • it would be kewl if there was a text editor that hid the comments and displayed a small box rather than a hunk of comments

    You mean that there's a feature that's not in emacs? Holy crap! Alert the media!

  • Anti-neopostmodernism or.something.like.that. Whatever.
  • Plus sooner or later some wiseass would tell their computer something like "Computer, go mad and destroy humanity."

    Me, I'll stick with good ol' fashioned Destroy Humanity 3.2 [click click]

  • it's called "webcollage" and it's a module in xscreensaver. The only difference between it and this neomat thing is that webcollage is completely random.

    but from what i've read, so is neomat.

  • The subject of this posting could also be I downloaded the JRE for this?... but I digress:

    I strongly agree with CoughDropAddict (can I call you CDA?) that this is pretty much useless.
    I'll go a step further and tell you that it takes the words you enter and goes to two search engines (perhaps more, but two were all I identified), namely AltaVista [altavista.com] and something called Scour.Net [scour.net]. I guess it then takes the titles of the documents it finds and swirls them about.

    If you see one that interests you, tough! Because clicking on it will not necessarily bring up that phrase in the text box. If you click long enough, I guess it cycles through them. Eventually, you'll see the one you wanted. You hit and it goes out and does another search, this time using the page's title as keywords.

    Wait a minute... what about the content of the page that I saw that had such an interesting title? What if I want to read it? I guess I'll have to go open a real browser to do that. I'll just copy'n'paste the URL of the page that I saw... no, wait. Netomat doesn't give you the URL either. OK, I'll just start over with a browser, by going to friggin' AltaVista [altavista.com] my own self and doing a search. WAIT! That's what I already do!!!

    Again, I installed the JRE for this?

  • yeah pretty lame looking...maybe it'd be cool as a screen saver or something...
  • It gets better after the acid kicks in. Beeelllieveee mee. When there is a Mac version, I think I will devote a couple of minutes to it. Sounds like Andy Worhol would have liked it.

  • Good grief, why didn't they say so? As soon as I got to their platforms list, when I didn't see OS/2 (which I'm currently typing this on), I closed the window. Now I gotta go back...

    If something is written in real Java (not MS Java) then the platform's list should always look like this:
    Supported Platforms:

    • Java Virtual Machine (with optional version number)
  • Looks like they think that someone pressing a button is the same as their signature [netomat.net]. Sorry Charlie, but that's not how it works in the real world.
  • Euclid brought us non-linear geometry, Orson Welles brought us non-linear cinematography, now we have non-linear web browsing. Oh joy.

    I had always thought it was Riemann that brought along nonlinear geometry, and that nonlinear was interchangeble with non-Euclidean.

    Anyway, the nonlinear browser will probably be a boon for folks dropping acid (or mayble you won't need the acid).

  • Ok, what the fuck is going on? I just went back there, and although they imply it is written in Java, all I can find is some Windoze exe and some "available soon" comments about a few other platforms. If it was really Java, they would just have one file to download for all platforms. (Ok, and maybe a few platform-specific install scripts.) There's something fishy about this.

  • I wasted my time and downloaded it here a work. Wow what a piece of crap. Its just random floating info tidbits completely useless, and it looks like someone punked on my screen. Echh!
  • I _RARELY_ want to speak to a random human-being. I can't remember the last time I saw someone on the street, and said, "Hey, you have a computer TOO! Wow. We have a lot in common. Let's have lunch." Hey i like doing that, but only to scare the hell out of people. I'll try now. WEEEEE
  • No. I think this will herald a new era of ASCII art:
    http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena/user/b/r/bric k/Graphics/Stereograms/alt.3d.stereograms

    For some reason that link is too long to make an anchor
  • Though it does say something for the merits of Java development. The install was very smooth and the program started up without complaint.

    Hmm... how come the Mac and Unix versions aren't available? How come they're different? Write Once Run Where?

    It would be kinda cool if Netomat made some neat associations and seemed smarter, like an oracle with a memory as big as the net. Currently it looks just random, and is very frustrating to use.
  • Non-GPL code included in a GPL project is only
    GPL in the context of that project, unless
    modifications were made, and the modified code
    were only made available under the GPL. The
    inclusion of a BSD driver in Linux, for example,
    doesn't keep BSD from using it in future versions.
  • So I look at the comments that are rated as a 2 or higher (10 of them at the moment) and 6 of them are about the GPL license! Can we say "moderate on topic?" I knew you could!

  • Removing comments is EASY, ac. Brush up on your regular expressions...
  • I thought the WWW was already non-linear. Isn't that what these HREFs are all about?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    I see acid has already been mentioned; that seems incredibly appropriate. The image I get of this thing is one of those "color organs" - remember those? Taking typed words and pgrases as cues, the NetOrgan scrapes random colors fromt he web, slices them, dices them, slips them free of the context that gave them meaning, and throws them across your screen as a mind-numbing wash of randomness.

    Yeah, I can see it now. This will be more boring than the various "art" movements that gave up on having any meaningful role for the artist and used randomness to dictate what they produced. Oh, sure, the jargon-filled waste of words in this gizmo's announcement tries to imply that it will act intelligently, but that's just so much hype. Cheap effect, worth the hot air it was spoken with, maybe.

    This is Yet Another Misplaced April First item. Is it just me or have there been a lot of these this year?

    Binary-only? Proprietary? Sheesh, even his licensing is a throwback to the seventies. Like, hey, man, I lived the seventies the first time around, and, like, they weren't so groovy, really. A few good bands, a lot of bad drugs, and the computers were all locked up in data centers. Why would we want to do that trip again?

    No, but really, the brain-damaged jargon was piled on so thinckly it was almost funny. In spots. Except that it kept on and on and on, rather like a Monty Python episode where they're using one mediocre joke repeated endlessly.
  • Having written and tried to distribute a Java application myself, I think I know at least some of why this is the case. At least in my experience, while you can distribute a Java application in "raw" (i.e. jar/zip/class) form, it's not a clean solution.

    The delays are probably because they want to make sure the installation, which is at some level going to be platform specific, is clean. If they're using a good installer for Java applications (I think they're using InstallAnywhere), it shouldn't take them long to put those online.

    I've never felt comfortable distributing something with a README (except perhaps on Linux).. it just feels wrong. Installation should be easy. Perhaps if they were asked, they'd put the class files online.

    Then again, maybe they just put off testing with the MRJ and Blackdown JDK until after the Win32-based JDKs.

  • And lets not forget non-linear editing and non-linear books (a la Choose Your Own Adventure (TM))

    I hereby invent the non-linear line! (TM)

  • The reason downloads for some operating systems are not available despite the fact that it is written in Java, as I mentioned in another post, is at least partly due to the fact that JDK 1.2 is not fully supported on all platforms. Each platform probably also has a custom installer.

    My suggestion is, if you really want to see this (it's not that great), download one for an OS closest to yours (Windows for OS/2, Solaris for *nix), then unpack (unzip, untar, whatever), and try to run it with latest version of the JDK and Swing classes you have.

  • Oops. Can I say "I only read half of the story and posted like a dumbshit?" I knew I could! :-)
  • I won't get into the pseudo-intellectual tripe that netomat was introduced with. Others, far more sarcastic than I, have already slashed it to ribbons.

    I guess I instantly identify myself as part of the pre-1990 crowd with my reaction to netomat: if it becomes popular, how much bandwidth will it waste? I remember when doing something stupid like streaming video would have gotten your network privileges revoked. Granted, we've got (nearly) adequate bandwidth now, so it's not as much of an issue, but still --- we finally get to the point that we have oodles of bandwidth, and we end up with some useless screensaver specifically designed to waste it.

    Yeah, the net is changing the world, but not the way we thought it would in the old days. We've just provided an almost unlimited forum for endless garbage. Silly me, I thought that was what TV was for.
  • Comments on netomat

    Dittos on " I downloaded JRE for this?"

    Good thing: It worked on 'sex'.
    Bad thing: It crashes constantly.
    Good thing: It does do images.
    Bad thing: Images only mode did NO images.

    Basically, nice idea, sorry it didn't work out.

    • 2 minutes to d/l netomat and JRE...
    • 2 minutes clicking and waiting for content that never appeared
    • 1 minute to uninstall
  • Netomat is potentially the key that your parents give you at the ripe old age of 21. It is the symbol of the shift into a new paradigm.

    There's far too much focus on technology in the industry, an obsession with bandwidth and the browser universe [wammo.com]. They are merely tools, we're the drivers. Netomat heralds the enablement of technology -- creating a complete interactive experience. We wield the force Luke. Things are just starting to get a little more interesting.

    "What we are talking about now is a communications revolution. That is exciting because communication is the basis of culture. We are amplifying and enhancing the foundations of culture and society with this communications revolution. All the dynamic and revolutionary effects we are going to see will come from these tiny chips being used in a commiunication mode." Kevin Kelly.

    Sure beats joinin' the dots which was virtually where we were before. No matter how hard I try I can't see in black and white. Sure it's just a tool but I prefer to use a screwdriver over my fingernail anyday.
  • You don't retrieve information, you retrieve "rich content"! *thwap* Bad marketer, bad!


  • I think that the official definition of "non-linear browsing" runs something along the lines of, "You can't do anything useful with it."

    Seriously, this might be fun if you're heavily dosed, but then, so is watching Silly Putty talk to you.
  • ???

    I have to admit...this post made no sense to me...maybe I'm just thinking linearly though...
  • Neither Mac nor *nix has Java 1.2 support (JVM) yet (AFAIK)
  • "It bucks the trends of current browsers by mining random visuals and snippets of sentences from the Web and having it float endlessly across a black backdrop, accompanied by clips of sound, if the user desires. Users can specify a topic, then retrieve text, images, and/or audio from the Internet on the subject. They navigate by typing keywords into the browser, not by pointing and clicking."

    Sounds absolutly disgusting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 1999 @08:13AM (#1820561)

    Mozilla was the one project ... and now it is crumbling into a pile of rubble.

    Sorry. That's just not true.

    But here we go again. People with *no* direct knowledge of the project will launch into rambling speculations about 'why it has failed', inevitably leading to '... but jwz said so.'

    A wide number of people will chime in with their varied (and often hollow) reasons for why they haven't participated. However, they will feel emminently qualified to discuss the project's "failure" with great authority.

    And the people who have taken the time to look for themselves, make up their own minds, and, heavens, perhaps even have made an *effort*, will have to waste their time writing "no, that's not true; please look at the facts".

    Of course, this pattern will repeat, until sometime late this fall, when Mozilla begins to enter beta.

    At this time, I'm sure it will be the naysayers who will be first in line to congratulate themselves on "what a great job I did to make Mozilla a great piece of code."

  • Betaware coming from some places is usually stable just not finished.

    VRML is cool on its own, but maybe I don't buy the flashmarketing because eventually it is still displayed on a 2D monitor.

    Here's a development. A client that implements distributed caching, posting, hosting, and viewing.

    say good-bye to DNS, NSI, registration, Echelon, blah and more blah. There are at least 2 dozen in development now.

    Some handle a copyright future some a copyleft future. They all work to gether quite well.
  • Breast Enlargements at All Time High
    Ethnic Albanians are leaving Kosovo at alarming rates as the border cities are becoming crowded with refugees.

    If you want headlines that completely misstate the content, all you have to do is click here [zdnet.com].

  • The "non-linear browser" sounds about as useful as a lava lamp.

    What's wrong with Lava Lamps? Lava Lamps are cool.

  • Posted by My_Favorite_Anonymous_Coward:

    I interpret this as a Micheal Bay movie. Besides, how's thi sdifferent from the random banners we see on the web everyday, every minute?

  • And I consider it to be one of the worst pieces of software in the history of computing, so I just had to write them. Here's the email I sent:

    Netomat Development Team:

    I tried out your "non-linear" browser this morning and was not at all disappointed with what I got. That's not to say I liked it or found it useful, I was expecting it to be fundamentally useless and your browser performed beautifully in that respect. The following email message contains criticism which you may or may not enjoy.

    I agree that the web is in need of a new browsing method, but this is not it. Your browser falls down on a couple points, in my mind:

    1) You can't actually get specific information on any given topic

    example: I typed in "news" and got 10 "turkish daily news online" pieces of news floating around. I fail to see how this is providing me with the information I want. I tried refining my search to "today's news" and got a number of floating pieces of text that had "today's news" in them. I ask you: how am I actually supposed to get the news in a browsing environment such as this?

    2) The images don't seem relevant for some searches.

    example: I searched for "netomat sucks" and was presented with some images of some musicians and dancers (nobody famous), none of which looked relevant to any of the text floating around. And if they were, how would I know?

    example 2: I searched for "britney spears" and got poorly-drawn images of the characters from that classic cartoon, Ducktales. As far as I can tell there's no connection here.

    3) The animation is slow. Don't even try to argue that Java is fundamentally slow, I've seen a lot of impressive graphics work done in Java and you've got a lot of work to do.

    4) There's no method by which to save content. There's tons of software, music, video, and information out there that cannot be accessed by your browser. Perhaps the text and images thing

    5) You destroy the work of every web designer ever. Web pages exist to be viewed, not torn apart and trivialized by the client's browser. The web designed sits around and codes large amounts of html and puts together all sorts of snazzy graphics, scripts, applets and whatnot and expects them to be viewed in the way he intended. Your browser pulls out the description meta tag, the first image on the page and floats them around randomly. What happened to the other 99% of the content on the page? With your browser, we'll never know.

    6) Your web page is ugly (I'm not saying mine isn't). For the love of god, add some color.

    As far as I can tell, there was only one redeeming feature of your browser: I typed in porn, got some nice pictures without any passwords and wasn't flooded with popup windows.

    You've got a good idea, but I think you went about it all wrong. The floating text and images thing isn't very fun to watch, nor does it present information well to the user. This is akin to having the text and images in a magazine float around when I'm trying to read it -- it's annoying and a pain to follow.

    I can only suggest that you add some real functionality and allow the user to actually see some amount of content pertaining to a topic.

    Hope you find this helpful.

  • "Yes, there probably is room for a new paradigm, but it should be Human Factors people doing it, not artists..."

    Well, looking at the Netomat page, I'm figuring the people who attempted to code it are wannabes of this "artist" type you speak of--psychobabblers that wear only bright purple or orange spandex and eye makeup and paint things like pink elephant dung...*shudder*

    But--my offtopic $.02--not all artists are like that. I believe that anyone who uses a medium of some sort to convey something, is an artist. I draw and paint, and play several instruments, but I also find artistry in the practicality of computers, their protocols, their interactions. The human eye is drawn to some things, such as tastefully designed windowing environments, well-made webpages, and the like.

    But yeah, you're right. The Netomat people are crazy.
  • It's illegal,wrong,or obscene to confuse work/play in Totalitaria (Oops this isn't the year 2999 is it?)

    Reading is like music. Print is not photography.
    Point and click equals transporter beam.

  • This is why it's in development and not being called 'complete'.

    If that were the case, no Microsoft software should have ever been released - nor should most other software. In fact, one of the sad truths of life is that there will always be bugs - all you can do is code well in order to minimize them.
  • I wouldn't be in too big of a hurry to download it. I decided to try it and found that it was pretty much what a previous post said it would be...a bunch of text and images taken out of context and with no real value.

    Basically I found it to be something that was kinda neat to look at for about 30 seconds, then I uninstalled it and opened Netscape so that I could actually read /.!!
  • ...easy make it a bookmarklet [bookmarklets.com] ie javascript, in a url: that sits in you bookmarks... errr just look at the site you'll get it.

    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • Solaris does, as does Linux x86 (beta, but works pretty well)
  • What has happened to the SSL'ed version of Mozilla.

    All of the web pages seem to not have been updated for more than a year.

  • I agree, it's pretty dumb
    I can see why they were showing it off at an *art* show...

    I tried navigating (apparently a big no-no in "non-linear" browsing), clicking on things, and finally got "Nothing is here" all over. Great.

    I can see the understand the attempt to make the web one large, navigable, landscape...but please, don't let artists do it...(it does have artistic value though, IMHO)

  • Cleaning speghetti code is never fun. It one of the least fun things of programming. I know I hate spending hours, days, weeks, trying to figure out somebody else's mess of code when I should be getting work done.

    Here is one area Open Sourced code usually kicks the butt of closed source. Clean code. You have to write clean code because people can't walk across the building to ask you what you were thinking when you wrote it.


  • Great distributed marketroid kitschery.

    I'll do the fucking reading between th lines myself.

    Parallel learning not withstanding, this sucks.
    I know what he's saying. It ain't what this is doing.

    A browser that gives me a collage instead of documentation about a particular subject. :P

    A better idea. Stick headlines at the top of a page. Stick Newspaper Masteads under them to allow easy juxtaposing comparing and processing of information.

  • It is only the install program that seems to be platform specific. Its a windows self extracting .exe installer. Once its installed it appears to be straight java. I'd be willing to bet that it should work on OS/2 that is if you can get it install. (Your the guy who said you had OS/2 right?) If not I bet you could unpack it into someone elses machine and copy the appropriate files over.
  • Its basically an artistic thing. No real purpose but something neat to show your friends. Basically you type in a word/phrase and it looks it up in a search engine and then pulls sentences with those words and some random images and places them randomly on the screen and lets them float around. Its just for artistic sake nothing else. When trying to picture it, think of floating text screensaver, which pulls its data from random places on the net.
  • Visual Studio has the Source Browser tool. Unfortunately, this relies on generating huge browser files. I recently run out of disk space and decided to delete all the browser files I had, which saved me 100 MB.
  • I think that while this may be a rediculus example of computer art, it got me thinking about the whole topic. And I was wondering, just how should a computer artist sell his art. I mean realistically is someone can make endless copies of an artwork, they can't charge much for it. For example prints, while they are sellable, still generally cheap unless they are of a limited quantity. So I was thinking, what about software could be limited, the true ownership. What if the artist made a limited number of versions of a program, say 5. They programs had absolutly no difference in them cept the version numbers reported in the corner of the screen. Could the artist then turn around and sell the copyright ownership for each version seperatly. Thereby keeping limited quantities (of true ownerships, owners can lincense out copies oviously) and keeping the price high?
  • There are always down sides to everything.. ;-P
  • In order for Mozilla to use any code as part of the mozilla code base, it must either be licensed under the NPL or the MozPL.

    Not true, there are many NPL-compatible licenses besides just its sibling MozPL. For example the dbm stuff is under BSD, and zlib is under its original bsd-ish license. Even LGPL--but not GPL--code could be added to Mozilla, though there isn't any at the moment that I know of.

  • non-linear is rapidly becoming one of those psuedo-intellectual words I can't stand, joining the ranks of paradigm, post-modern, and psuedo-anything Stop it... You're thinking outside of the box again, aren't you.

  • by John Fulmer ( 5840 ) on Friday July 02, 1999 @09:04AM (#1820604)
    Hear, hear! I agree completely!

    Many people who have not kept up on where mozilla currently is and what it is doing, constantly talk about how it is 'doomed' and failed. JWZ is not clairvoyant, and while he may not have been happy on how things were going, many people are. I believe that JWZ left more because of the AOL thing than anything doing with Mozilla. It's unfortunate that he completely gave up the project. A huge amount of progress has been made since JWZ left, and the alpha milestones are racking up.

    If nothing else, the open source community has gained a VERY nice HTML/DHTML/CCSS1 layout engine in the form of Gecko, which is currently being integrated into several projects, including Gnome.

    Just wait until Mozilla comes tromping down YOUR street. Won't you be sorry then?


  • After reading that stuff, I'm inclined to dismiss it as a publicity grab. Non-linear this and I'm-a-rebel that and the-whole-computer-industry-just-doesn'-get-it. On the other hand, having faithfully read Jakob Nielsen's useit.com [useit.com] website about web usability issues, I can certainly see that the browser/page model is hardly without flaw. There aren't any screenshots that I can find on their page, and I'm living (blissfully I might add) in unix-only land right now. Since they only have a windows version available now, could someone comment on it?

  • Does this seem a little like the "code" in the matrix, the top-to-bottom-scrolling green characters which apparently represent anything in the matrix. Actually, in all seriousness, at the risk of sounding rather cliche I think we are ready for new browser/UI paradigm. The mouse point a click GUI is nearing the limit of its potential to provide interaction between a human and a computer. I envision this project being integrated with voice recognition technologies within 5-10 years. At least for experimental purposes. Then you just ask your computer to find information for you. I can imagine it now, "Computer, play me Vivaldi's 4 seasons, preferably a recording by the London Symphony Orchestra". The computer responds by searching the internet for recordings to stream across your 100mbps connection. Damn RIAA, I suppose they would have to figure out some way to charge you, maybe some kind of music subscription service, like pay-per-view television. Anyway, I'm getting carried away with this. Back to the idea of this being released in an art forum. I think this really indicates how much *more* design is going to be a part of computers. One could conceivably argue that Microsoft is so sucessful with its Office suite because it employs designers to integrate the "look-and-feel" with the GUI in their OS. I'm not saying other companies don't do it, but not as well. I think you have to agree that office does *look* rather nice when compared to, say an application using Motif in X. Engineers brought us the command prompt, designers the GUI, and now artists the "non-linear" UI.

    Wow, I wrote a lot more then I intended, hope it makes sense

  • I think people have found that it is faster to just manually find and double-click the song they want to play than to converse with their computer.

    Yes, there probably is room for a new paradigm, but it should be Human Factors people doing it, not artists...

  • Seems you forgot about quasi. As in this quasi-futuristic suit I'm sporting ;-)


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