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Why Mozilla Needs To Go Into Survival Mode 464

Posted by Soulskill
from the bears-are-dangerous dept.
Crazzaper writes "I have been using Firefox for many years, and the war of the browsers has been around for longer than that. It just so happens that now we have a lot of options out there: IE, FF, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and others. People are always talking about how one browser is going to take down another, but maybe that's not the issue at all. It seems very possible that one browser, like Firefox, can be taken down by multiple browsers at once, whether or not there was any intention to compete specifically with Firefox. I hadn't seen it this way, but I do now."
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Why Mozilla Needs To Go Into Survival Mode

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  • by d3ac0n (715594) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:21PM (#31793424)

    I'm sorry, but unless and until every browser has the "extensions" feature that FF has (Specifically including Adblock Plus and No Script) then NO browser will EVER be a true "Firefox Killer".

    Chrome is OK, but without extensions it's nothing more than a runner-up. The same for Opera and IE#. Safari is nothing more than a side-show.

  • Name recognition? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:22PM (#31793430)
    One browser can be taken down by others? I thought they should have been competing on technical excellence instead of name recognition. Nobody was complaining when it was IE being taken down by Firefox! Falling into the trap that I like it so everyone should is just weakening yourself in the long-term. If something better than Firefox appears then the logical choice is bu-bye Firefox! But people are rarely logical and tend to just do what others are doing.
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals+nysyaj'> on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:23PM (#31793454) Homepage Journal

    Not themes, personas. Themes have been around for a long long time, but I think the personas as silly & superfluous.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilBudMan (588716) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:24PM (#31793466) Journal

    What about Ad Block Plus? That keeps me on Firefox and of course the MASA theme. (Monkeys In Aftermarket Space Administration)

  • What they need... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:24PM (#31793472)

    They really just need to go on a diet.
    Hey guys; remember how it was supposed to be a fast browser?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:29PM (#31793554)
    Who the hell even uses that? Everyone who does any serious web work is using Firebug.
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by vipz (1179205) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:32PM (#31793598)
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:32PM (#31793608)

    to be.

    Back in the early 1990s, it was seen as a threat by Microsoft to usurp the OS paradigm. They thought whoever controlled the browser market controlls the internet and what it can do -- the tail wagging the dog and it seemed like the future of computing was at stake. And for a while, it succeeded when IE took over and had ridiculously large marketshare.

    But now that the ecosystem is more varied, the browser simply does not have this power. Until a browser become so dominant again that they can embrace, extend, extinguish standards, it really doesn't matter that much anymore. Now, the best browser is almost as impotent to change computing as the best picture viewing software (except for maybe data gathering and ad revenue) -- if everything is correctly specced JPGs, PNGs, etcetera -- the picture viewer doesn't matter that much and can be readily interchange with regards to personal preference.

    Mobile phones is one exception but also because you can't swap out browsers/rendering engines.

  • #1 firefox issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@nOspaM.tpno-co.org> on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:37PM (#31793666) Homepage

    I can't manage it in a corporate/enterprise environment. Push out updates? Not as a limited user. Push out configuration? Not simply. Push out plugins, or plugin updates? Not simple.

    That, more than anything else, will keep firefox out of the enterprise/corporate markets. If that even matters to them, seeing how this is still an issue.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RanCossack (1138431) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:41PM (#31793724)

    I know. You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet browser that does nothing but display a web page as fast as possible.

    Better way of phrasing that starts with 'You'd be surprised how few people..."

    Let's face it -- Aurora, Midori, and other browsers that do that have been around for years. People don't use them because they want more their browser to do more.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:42PM (#31793746)

    "You'd be surprised how many people would love an internet browser that does nothing but display a web page as fast as possible."

    Those are probably the same idiots who want a cell phone that reliably makes phone calls.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:44PM (#31793770) Journal

    People don't use them because they don't know about them. You think Firefox would have taken off if every Geek didn't install it on their mothers computer?

  • Re:Not buying it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shallot (172865) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:49PM (#31793832)

    However, I think this article is being overly sensationalistic (surprise, surprise).

    It's not actually so much sensationalist as much as it's pointless. It's a huge laundry list of statistics that don't actually add up to any really worthwhile conclusions on their own merit. And I always hate it when people blow up the graph of a 1-6% change (in this instance Chrome) to the same absolute size as the other graphs where data is tenfold, but the slope is steeper so it looks fantastic. That's just plain silly. A less generic graph would have been one showing changes relative to IE6's graph (decline), or something like that, something that actually paints a picture of what is going on, beyond the obvious. But that would take some real effort...

  • HTML5, Web 3.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:52PM (#31793874) Homepage Journal

    The thing that concerns me the most is the issue with HTML5 video codecs. Microsoft, Google and Apple all want Flash to die. Apple's latest licensing change with iPhone OS 4.0 is a full-out declaration of war against Adobe.

    HTML5, SVG, hyper-optimized Javascript and the embedded video tag will make Flash redundant. If Firefox cannot stay on the bleeding edge of these advancements then it does not stand a chance.

    So I suggest less bells and whistles (skinning / themes, for example), and more concentration on HTML5 - especially the video codec licensing / patent issue.

  • theora = suicide (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:56PM (#31793924)
    I hope Mozilla gets a clue about their video tag implementation while they still have a chance. It is quite obvious that sites want HTML5 but they also want to stream h264. If Mozilla doesn't provide a way to do this, the browser is going to get sidelined.
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alphax45 (675119) <kyle...alfred@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:58PM (#31793956)
    Some of us just REALLY hate ads and don't want to see them at all. Personally I find that because many ads are now flash based (no - I do not want to punch the monkey and give you my cell phone number for a free iPod) they distract me from viewing the content I went to the site for. I’m also the guy that will go online during the commercials on TV to avoid watching them. I might just be the odd one (or it might be ADD), but I don’t surf the web without Ad Block turned on. (Except at work where I have to use MSIE and not allowed to install other software – but the web is locked down pretty good too so it’s mostly tech news sites.)
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:59PM (#31793980)
    Chrome is the future because what could go wrong with giving one company complete domination of the Internet?
    I don't have anything against Google, but the thought of them having the browser market share that IE currently has scares me. It is not unreasonable to think that it might happen. Google is already the overwhelmingly dominant search engine. They have been fairly successful at most of the things they have worked at.
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tim C (15259) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:01PM (#31794012)

    You'd be surprised at the number of people who think that's what they want, but if they got it would then complain that Facebook didn't work properly, or Google mail or maps, etc.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RajivSLK (398494) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:02PM (#31794030)

    Agreed, a spell check engine could easily be seen as bloat but I wouldn't use a browser without one.. same goes for tabs, an easily accessible search box, plug ins, full screen mode, auto complete, java-script debugger, and I'm sure the list is different for everybody.

  • by Burz (138833) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:13PM (#31794164) Journal

    It means stop adding new features and bear down on the core mission:
    Make it more reliable, secure and faster.

  • by eggnoglatte (1047660) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:21PM (#31794264)

    Out of curiosity: why does it matter whether you can do this as a limited user or whether you need admin privileges? I would have thought that anybody who is tasked with doing this kind of maintenance for a company would get admin rights?

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:26PM (#31794336)

    Does it actually make a difference long-term? I suppose ad metrics might be bad enough that it does, but it seems that in principle it shouldn't. If a site gets 2x as many ad loads, but half of those are fake, non-displayed ad loads, shouldn't the advertisers see that the conversion rate takes a 50% nosedive, and then drop by 50% the CPM they're willing to pay? So the site ends up in the same place; twice the ad views for half the revenue per ad view.

    (It's of course possible that rates are too sticky for that to actually happen, and/or advertisers don't have good enough info to notice those changes.)

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:26PM (#31794344)
    FF loads in about 1-2 seconds on my machine. I'm calling bullshit on your friend downloading, installing, and getting right back to work in that amount of time. If it's true, your friend has other problems besides Firefox.
  • by RebelWebmaster (628941) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:29PM (#31794384)
    Google has the same search revenue agreement with Opera. What makes you think that perceived weakness would have anything to do with Google's continued support? If they're still getting hits and by extension ad revenue from Firefox users, why wouldn't they continue the agreement?
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:32PM (#31794436)
    No, it's called "Ease of Use". Not everyone even knows what an IP address is, and expecting every single person on the planet to understand the concept is ludicrous.
  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:34PM (#31794468) Homepage Journal

    Wow, how sad and pathetic.

    But there's always a battle to fight, the current one is proprietary codecs for the video tag in HTML 5.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:39PM (#31794552) Homepage

    When people gush about Firefox extensions they gush about PARTICULAR extensions. They just don't mindlessly drone on about the feature in general. They tend to specifically cite what it is that they personally get out of the extensions that are available and what needs to be on competing browser.

    All you've told me is that IE has some similar extension feature.

    I have no clue whether or not any of those extensions are someone I would actually want to use.

    Although IE just has a long history of being a malware magnet. Even if you compare pristine versions of browsers, IE sucks.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:49PM (#31794714)

    And if you're concerned about bloat, maybe try Mozilla's seaMonkey? It looks like the old 90s-era Netscape, but with the same engine as Firefox.

    Maybe my sarcasm detector is just failing, but you do realize that Firefox originated as a branch off of Seamonkey because it was thought that Seamonkey had become too bloated?

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by init100 (915886) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:03PM (#31794970)

    There just aren't THAT many ads on websites to justify the irrational fear of not having Ad Block Plus that seems to abound in so many firefox users.

    The number of ads are probably less relevant than the slowness of many advertising servers. At least that's why I started blocking ads a couple of years ago. On many pages, it took ages for the underpowered ad servers to respond, and until it did, the page wouldn't render. That problem went away completely with AdBlock Plus, and I haven't experienced it since. And those few times that I browse at some place without an ad blocker, I find that underpowered ad servers are still a major problem as it was back then, so blocking ads is obviously still a necessity.

    And for those whining about lost revenues: If the advertising networks had done things right, I would never had had a reason to start blocking them. Now they are paying the price for their stupidity.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:38PM (#31795470) Journal

    I've spent the last year building a statistical computation software that's entirely web-based, and entirely written in javascript.

    Dear god! Why?

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reidconti (219106) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:49PM (#31795596)

    Um, I think you've got it backwards. The advertisers are paying the bill for the content you're viewing.

    Not that I have a moral issue with ad-blocking; quite the opposite. I just think it's silly that you're expecting to be reimbursed for your ad downloads. The CONTENT is the reimbursement.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:22PM (#31795876)

    Chrome is the future because what could go wrong with giving one company complete domination of the Internet? I don't have anything against Google, but the thought of them having the browser market share that IE currently has scares me. It is not unreasonable to think that it might happen. Google is already the overwhelmingly dominant search engine. They have been fairly successful at most of the things they have worked at.

    I never mind these comments it just surprises me. That a company that NOW has the market share of IE, that has the DNA of your computer for "piracy reasons", and has a EULA that sends stuff automatically to this company is never mentioned etc etc. Monopoly Bundling mumble mumble.

    For me I'd rather go with the company that has to keep its customers sweet.

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @07:06PM (#31796230) Homepage Journal

    No, it's called "Ease of Use". Not everyone even knows what an IP address is, and expecting every single person on the planet to understand the concept is ludicrous.

    And some of us who know what an IP address is don't want to waste time mucking with system files when there is a far more elegant solution.

    Some of us are not 14 anymore, and don't think that taking the hard route makes one "hardcore".

  • Re:Firefox lite. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @12:21PM (#31800132)

    I am running Opera 10.51 and have 8 tabs open, some with rather "heavy" content (ie. lots of images/CSS and 2 for Slashdot). It has been running for approximately 2 days straight with varying numbers of tabs opened and closed along the way. This is also with the Opera mail client enabled, Opera link enabled and a fancy all Aero glass skin. Opera memory usage currently shows as 193,944 K.

    So yeah, you're a fucking liar.

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