More Mozilla, more WTF



  • In order to reduce confusion over its new versioning scheme, Mozilla (whose Firefox is currently at version 5) has decided to start talking to the press about Firefox 8. So... what happened to 6 and 7? The good news is that the theoretical Firefox 8 will match the performance of theoretical Chrome 14. (Chrome is currently at version 12.)

    I've never been more confused in my life.

    If I were Microsoft, I'd release a press release saying that while IE 9 is slower than Chrome 12 and Firefox 5, IE 13 will be faster than Chrome 19 and Firefox 11, just for the epic lulz.



  • Must be the new "rapid releases" they've been talking about. Since bigger version numbers are "better", they decided to stop counting by ones.

    Clearly they've moved to a Fibonacci sequence. Version 3 was the last stable version, followed by version 5. Version 8 is in testing. Obviously the next version will be version 13, followed by version 21.



  •  Mozilla's fantastic rapid release versioning system in effect.  I think I'll write my own browser and make the initial release version 20.  The first 19 are purely for development.  That way, I win the browser wars! (by mozilla's logic anyway)



  • The version number kind of misses the point I was getting at, which is: Mozilla is releasing a press release saying their pre-alpha version is better than a competitor's pre-alpha version... the article really translates to, "if we delivered a crashy, buggy, unfinished product right now it would be slightly faster than our competitors crashy, buggy, unfinished product! But not necessarily less crashy, buggy, and probably even less finished."

    But yes, there is plenty of WTF to go around.



  • I had a similar first reaction, but after looking at it, this is actually not really a WTF, aside from the already discussed version changes. From Mozilla:
    @MozillaWiki said:

    • Firefox 6 currently in BETA channel moves to RELEASED on August 16, 2011
    • Firefox 7 currently in AURORA channel moves to BETA on August 16, 2011
    • Firefox 8 currently in NIGHTLY channel moves to AURORA on August 16, 2011

    This actually is just them following the model put forth by chrome, where the dev channel is, indeed at version 14. Their beta channel is at 13, and stable is at 12. Once again, the WTF is really the major version scheme (maybe). Of course, these are browsers that have actual code that people can see, compile and use, so it's not even truly vaporware.

    Maybe part of the WTFiness of this new browser war is that the public (especially non-developers) are seeing more of the sausage making that goes on in producing software. Though I think it might be more interesting to think about why this is happening now. Of the top of my head:

    • Agile software methodologies have become more mainstream, which means projects / products are generally more amenable to more frequent releases
    • Improved network / bandwidth makes distribution easier
    • Maybe google's desire to get you to look at their ads has really given them a way to make money (or at least enhance existing revenue) with a free browser.
    • General acceptance of open source software. Compare to when Firefox was first released. Was Firefox the main driver of this?
    • More "major" browsers? Last time it was mainly IE vs Mozilla. Now you have Chrome, Safari (which, of course, gave Chrome a leg up, code-wise), Opera in addition to MS and Mozilla. They might not all be equivalent, but if nothing else, more people trying different things to see what works.
    • Bigger market for browsers. More people, more stuff to do with them, etc.


  • @boomzilla said:

    I had a similar first reaction, but after looking at it, this is actually not really a WTF, aside from the already discussed version changes.

    You don't think comparing the performance of pre-alpha code is a WTF?

    @boomzilla said:

    Maybe google's desire to get you to look at their ads has really given them a way to make money (or at least enhance existing revenue) with a free browser.

    Google already makes money off both Firefox and Chrome. The reason for all of this Mozilla thrashing about is that they know soon Google is going to say, "hey FF? You ain't helping us as much as Chrome, and Chrome is cheaper for us to run." The instant Mozilla loses Google funding, it'll be dead in the water-- so they're desperately trying to hang on to enough marketshare to keep Google from shutting them out. At least, that's how I see this.

    @boomzilla said:

    General acceptance of open source software. Compare to when Firefox was first released. Was Firefox the main driver of this?

    I don't see any more acceptance of open source now than pre-Firefox. People by and large don't know or care that Firefox is open source. Similarly, people don't know or care that Chrome is based on an open source project. The important thing for both Firefox and Chrome has been marketing. Firefox was the first open source project that got marketing right.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The version number kind of misses the point I was getting at, which is: Mozilla is releasing a press release saying their pre-alpha version is better than a competitor's pre-alpha version...

    Where's the press release? I don't know anything about extremetech, but it just looks like people trying to get some eyeballs by keeping an eye on the nightlies for two different projects. Which seems legit to me. I mean, if they were doing something stupid, this would be how most people, who don't have time to play around with browser nightlies, would find out about it, possibly giving some early course correction.

    So, what's your point again?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You don't think comparing the performance of pre-alpha code is a WTF?

    Not really. I mean, this is all somewhat inside baseball at this point, but they're basically equivalent, release status / stability-wise, so it's pretty much apples to apples. Obviously, it's not interesting to you, and frankly, it's not really my cup of tea, but why is keeping an eye on the future of the high profile applications a WTF?

    @blakeyrat said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Maybe google's desire to get you to look at their ads has really given them a way to make money (or at least enhance existing revenue) with a free browser.

    Google already makes money off both Firefox and Chrome


    I basically agree with your analysis here, but my point was that with all of the other stuff that google has come up with as far as ways to get you to look at ads or flat out pay for (mail, office apps, google+, etc), it really might behoove them to try to drive new features that they can use for their other stuff.



  • So do you still have to download and run an installer whenever you do a point release upgrade of Firefox?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Not really. I mean, this is all somewhat inside baseball at this point, but they're basically equivalent, release status / stability-wise, so it's pretty much apples to apples.

    Anybody whose been involved with ANY alpha knows that the most significant thing that changes from alpha to release is the performance. Being an apples-to-apples comparison doesn't make it a useful comparison. I don't know why you're sniping at this WTF, other than maybe something personal with me. If you don't like it, just don't post.

    @boomzilla said:

    I basically agree with your analysis here, but my point was that with all of the other stuff that google has come up with as far as ways to get you to look at ads or flat out pay for (mail, office apps, google+, etc), it really might behoove them to try to drive new features that they can use for their other stuff.

    I can't reply to this because I don't know what you're getting at. New features in what? Chrome? Because they're already doing that... open up Gmail in Chrome and drag-and-drop an image to the email textbox, for example. Or read up on their faster alternative to HTTP.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    don't know why you're sniping at this WTF, other than maybe something personal with me. If you don't like it, just don't post.

    Uh, no. That last was in response to a direct question you asked. You asked if I thought the act of the comparison itself was a WTF. Also, because you said it was a Mozilla press release, which I'd agree would be a WTF. But I didn't see any evidence of that. AFAIK, you just followed the link from slashdot like I did earlier, so I wondered why you appeared to be misrepresenting TFA.

    @blakeyrat said:

    @boomzilla said:
    I basically agree with your analysis here, but my point was that with all of the other stuff that google has come up with as far as ways to get you to look at ads or flat out pay for (mail, office apps, google+, etc), it really might behoove them to try to drive new features that they can use for their other stuff.

    I can't reply to this because I don't know what you're getting at. New features in what? Chrome? Because they're already doing that... open up Gmail in Chrome and drag-and-drop an image to the email textbox, for example. Or read up on their faster alternative to HTTP.


    Go back and read how this bit started. I was basically brainstorming about how this apparently new browser war came to be, and the new features of googe were one bullet point I thought of. Yes, they're doing that, causing other browsers to try to catch up, and probably also to try to get out in front. Not really about this or any other particular WTF...just something that struck me as an interesting something to think about. If you don't like it, just don't post. :-P



  • @boomzilla said:

    Uh, no. That last was in response to a direct question you asked. You asked if I thought the act of the comparison itself was a WTF. Also, because you said it was a Mozilla press release, which I'd agree would be a WTF. But I didn't see any evidence of that. AFAIK, you just followed the link from slashdot like I did earlier, so I wondered why you appeared to be misrepresenting TFA.

    Yeah well my dad can beat up your dad.

    If it's not a press release, then fine. Ok. It's still a WTF for Mozilla failing to keep their staffers in-check.

    @boomzilla said:

    Go back and read how this bit started. I was basically brainstorming about how this apparently new browser war came to be, and the new features of googe were one bullet point I thought of. Yes, they're doing that, causing other browsers to try to catch up, and probably also to try to get out in front. Not really about this or any other particular WTF...just something that struck me as an interesting something to think about.

    I went back and read it, and all I'm seeing is vagueness. I really, honestly, truly, have no idea what you were trying to communicate. Sorry.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If it's not a press release, then fine. Ok. It's still a WTF for Mozilla failing to keep their staffers in-check.

    Huh? Which staffers? Do you know something that you haven't said yet? TFA is credited to "Sebastian Anthony." The links in TFA are all to bugzilla, other articles on that site, other sites with benchmarks or mozilla download pages. A quick bit of googling didn't turn up anything linking the author to mozilla other than previous articles he'd apparently written about them. Can you be more specific about the staffers that weren't in check?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    If it's not a press release, then fine. Ok. It's still a WTF for Mozilla failing to keep their staffers in-check.

    Huh? Which staffers? Do you know something that you haven't said yet? TFA is credited to "Sebastian Anthony." The links in TFA are all to bugzilla, other articles on that site, other sites with benchmarks or mozilla download pages. A quick bit of googling didn't turn up anything linking the author to mozilla other than previous articles he'd apparently written about them. Can you be more specific about the staffers that weren't in check?

    Jesus fuck.

    Look, the link to Mozilla's guidelines for talking to the press is a fucking 404 (click Messenging About Firefox on this page), but I'm guessing it probably has some strong language saying, "hey whoa, buddy, don't talk about the press about stuff still in development as that is a fucking minefield and it'll get our asses in trouble when we inevitably can't deliver."

    So there, that's the real fucking WTF. Now please nitpick further, I'm sure you can pull a few other things out of your ass if you try harder.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Jesus fuck.

    Look, the link to Mozilla's guidelines for talking to the press is a fucking 404 (click Messenging About Firefox on this page), but I'm guessing it probably has some strong language saying, "hey whoa, buddy, don't talk about the press about stuff still in development as that is a fucking minefield and it'll get our asses in trouble when we inevitably can't deliver."

    So there, that's the real fucking WTF. Now please nitpick further, I'm sure you can pull a few other things out of your ass if you try harder.

    Holy shit. WTF are you talking about? Is there anything anywhere that points to anyone from Mozilla having anything to do with TFA? So far, you haven't even pointed to an anonymous comment on slashdot to back up that this has anything to do with Mozilla, except that it's their product that's being talked about.

    Is it really that hard to admit that you didn't read the article closely enough to see that it wasn't, in fact a press release? Or has any apparent connection to any Mozilla employee? Why do you keep up with this nonsense? I'm sure you sympathize with Raymond Chen (I know I do) when people take his speculations as Holy Writ (especially when he specifically warns against this). But at least that's coming from a bona fide MS employee. You're just making shit up.



  • @lethalronin27 said:

     Mozilla's fantastic rapid release versioning system in effect.  I think I'll write my own browser and make the initial release version 20.  The first 19 are purely for development.  That way, I win the browser wars! (by mozilla's logic anyway)

    Yeah, well mine's gonna start at version a billion. That obviously makes it far superior to any existing browser.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Google already makes money off both Firefox and Chrome. The reason for all of this Mozilla thrashing about is that they know soon Google is going to say, "hey FF? You ain't helping us as much as Chrome, and Chrome is cheaper for us to run." The instant Mozilla loses Google funding, it'll be dead in the water-- so they're desperately trying to hang on to enough marketshare to keep Google from shutting them out. At least, that's how I see this.
    You mean if I actually start putting up with Chrome, the Mozilla Foundation will be one step closer to dying?

    This idea intrigues me and I shall consider it long and hard.



  • @Weng said:

    You mean if I actually start putting up with Chrome, the Mozilla Foundation will be one step closer to dying?

    This idea intrigues me and I shall consider it long and hard.

    You know, that's a disturbingly depressing thought.

    In other news, I discovered today that Microsoft have finally brought history searching to the address bar in Windows Internet Explorer (I rarely use IE 9, seeing as I'm mostly still on XP); little tiny pieces of Firefox's smoothness are coming to IE, yet one has to remember that Internet Explorer for the Mac got there first. IE 9 for Windows, with address bar search and a download manager, is finally reaching UI standards set by Microsoft's Mac department in the ’90s. (I maintain that Outlook Express for Mac has never been bettered as a graphical mail client, especially for plain text e-mail -- I'm torn on the issue of using HTML mail (not formatting itself, just HTML), but I stick with plain text more because Thunderturd's HTML generation is so truly abysmal.)

    Browsers have become dizzying chaos, like being on an over-spun roundabout that you can't get off. It doesn't feel that long since it was possible to almost single-handedly write a browser. Blakey for one may remember the original iCab browser for Macintosh, in the days when it was still the product of two men's efforts – Alexander Clauss's rendering engine and shell, and Thomas Much's InScript ECMAscript engine. Firefox took years to overtake iCab's UI, but the toll of taking on the W3C alone grew too much and iCab switched to WebKit with version 4. (In the middle you had iCab 3 – finally ACID compliant, and mind-blowingly slow.)



  • @RichP said:

    Must be the new "rabid releases" they've been talking about.
    FTFY.

    @lolwtf said:

    Yeah, well mine's gonna start at version a billion. That obviously makes it far superior to any existing browser
    Better yet, try something like "UInt64.MaxValue" and no-one will be able to one-up you, even after the fact.

    								     </p>


  • @Anonymouse said:

    @RichP said:

    Must be the new "rabid releases" they've been talking about.
    FTFY.

    @lolwtf said:

    Yeah, well mine's gonna start at version a billion. That obviously makes it far superior to any existing browser
    Better yet, try something like "UInt64.MaxValue" and no-one will be able to one-up you, even after the fact.

    								     </p><p></blockquote>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>what about a uint128? Or even (gasp) uint256?&nbsp; that is a big big number<br></p><p>&nbsp;</p>


  • I'd been a Chrome user for exactly one week when I switched back to Firefox because Chrome's adblock extensions failed to block ads inside flash apps. Still don't really know how Firefox' adblock does that.



  • I will release version INFINITY of my browser next month. Obviously, by definition it is better than anything that ever existed - especially any version of Firefox ever. And that with only 0 LOC! So fuck you Firefox! Fuck you and go die in a fire.



  • @Shimmy said:

    I will release version INFINITY of my browser next month.
    Would that be a countable or uncountable infinity?



  • @PJH said:

    @Shimmy said:
    will release version INFINITY of my browser next month.

    Would that be a countable or uncountable infinity?

    Next up: Firefox vωω.0



  • @Shimmy said:

    I will release version INFINITY of my browser next month. Obviously, by definition it is better than anything that ever existed - especially any version of Firefox ever. And that with only 0 LOC! So fuck you Firefox! Fuck you and go die in a fire.
     

    I'll wait until version INFINITY.1 before trying it.



  • Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect?  My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE.  Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.



  • @hoodaticus said:

    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect?  My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE.  Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

     

    Telerik is TRWDF



  • @hoodaticus said:

    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect? My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE. Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

    Generally, yes. One thing I've noticed is that sometimes, after an ajax update, some tables inside of divs that have auto scroll bars, the scroll bars (or the div, or whatever) don't always properly adjust until I resize the window a little. Actually, I haven't noticed that recently, so maybe it's been fixed.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @hoodaticus said:
    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect? My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE. Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

    Generally, yes. One thing I've noticed is that sometimes, after an ajax update, some tables inside of divs that have auto scroll bars, the scroll bars (or the div, or whatever) don't always properly adjust until I resize the window a little. Actually, I haven't noticed that recently, so maybe it's been fixed.
     

    I had a weird issue with element heights for the jQuery plugin jcarousel, but only in WebKit, and  so I replaced it with my own homebaked version, which was less convoluted and worked.



  • @hoodaticus said:

    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect?  My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE.  Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

    And that is of course the fault of Chrome/Opera/Safari and not yours. Telerik, my ass!



  • @hoodaticus said:

    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect? My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE. Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

    I dunno what Telerik is, but if you have more than 100 controls on a page, you are the WTF. While I agree that the technology should handle it, your users certainly shouldn't have to.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @hoodaticus said:
    Do you guys find that Chrome renders the way you expect? My Telerik projects show up all stupid in anything but FF and IE. Of which, FF is the clear winner performance-wise when you get into the 100+ controls-on-page range.

    I dunno what Telerik is, but if you have more than 100 controls on a page, you are the WTF. While I agree that the technology should handle it, your users certainly shouldn't have to.


    Maybe. What about a situation like a table of stuff, each row having a checkbox or a button or something? I don't know anything about Telerik, either, but I think there are legitimate reasons to have that many widgets rendered. Which isn't to say that hoodaticus' situation is sane.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I dunno what Telerik is

    Telerik sells a suite of RAD UI components for various .NET platforms, most noticably ASP.NET Ajax and ASP.NET MVC.

    I've had to work with the ASP.NET WebForms suite myself before it was discontinued in favor of the ASP.NET Ajax suite. It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The controls could be massively overconfigured. Rather than using subclasses, decorators, etc. everything was simply an enumeration or boolean option. The documentation for all of this read as if it was complete, but several important gotcha's and caveats buried deep in implementation details were not told and several API topics were severly out of date. Finally, everything that actually output HTML was templatable, leading to massive .ascx control files.

    The accompanying JavaScript API for client side manipulation was also a convoluted, inefficient, overblown and only half functional mess. It also did nothing to standardize browser inconsistencies such as event handling; that was all left to you as the developer. And it had the nasty tendency to spray global variables around everywhere. Also, the premium tech support consisted of waiting three days and then getting a notice: "Gee, we don't know: try updating to the latest version? Maybe it fixes this?"

    Hopefully things have improved since then, but I somehow doubt that. Not that it's really relevant: anyone opting to use that kind of serverside component suite nowadays is downright stupid. You're better building up your rich web client UI using a clientside toolkit like jQuery UI, Dojo, Ext, etc. and just communicating with the server over JSON services.



  • @Ragnax said:

    You're better building up your rich web client UI using a clientside toolkit like jQuery UI, Dojo, Ext, etc. and just communicating with the server over JSON services.

    +10



  • The only reason I care about this version number wankery: it's really annoying when they increase the "major" version number because a lot of my extensions are all of a sudden no longer compatible even though nothing "major" has changed.



  • @Xyro said:

    @Ragnax said:
    You're better building up your rich web client UI using a clientside toolkit like jQuery UI, Dojo, Ext, etc. and just communicating with the server over JSON services.

    +10

    Yeah but then the Linux-using idiots who turn their JavaScript and cookies off for the sole purpose of bitching about sites that don't work with JavaScript and cookies turned off will bitch about your site!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah but then the Linux-using idiots who turn their JavaScript and cookies off for the sole purpose of bitching about sites that don't work with JavaScript and cookies turned off will bitch about your site!

    So stick a big red <noscript> block at the top and be done with it.  Progressive enhancement is pretty much dead.  I use Linux but I also develop websites... jQuery + jQuery-tmpl + JSON is a very nice combination.



  • @jamesn said:

    [quote user="blakeyrat"]Yeah but then the Linux-using idiots who turn their JavaScript and cookies off for the sole purpose of bitching about sites that don't work with JavaScript and cookies turned off will bitch about your site!

    So stick a big red <noscript> block at the top and be done with it.  Progressive enhancement is pretty much dead.  I use Linux but I also develop websites... jQuery + jQuery-tmpl + JSON is a very nice combination.

    [/quote]

    This.

    I don't mind a lack of Noscript support, but 99% of sites give no indication they're not working because you don't have JS.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    I don't mind a lack of Noscript support, but 99% of sites give no indication they're not working because you don't have JS.

    But the only reason to turn JavaScript off is to whine about sites that don't work with JavaScript off.

    CAR ANALOGY INCOMING

    That would be like me replacing the tires on my car with wooden wagon wheels and removing the suspension, then complaining that the roads are too rough.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    That would be like me replacing the tires on my car with wooden wagon wheels and removing the suspension, then complaining that the roads are too rough.

    Do your tires scream at you to buy crappy products while siphoning gas and slowing down the speed of your car?



  • @Xyro said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    That would be like me replacing the tires on my car with wooden wagon wheels and removing the suspension, then complaining that the roads are too rough.

    Do your tires scream at you to buy crappy products while siphoning gas and slowing down the speed of your car?

    Only when I'm off my meds.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Xyro said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    That would be like me replacing the tires on my car with wooden wagon wheels and removing the suspension, then complaining that the roads are too rough.

    Do your tires scream at you to buy crappy products while siphoning gas and slowing down the speed of your car?

    Only when I'm off my meds.


    [i]Exactly.[/i]


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