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Mozilla, you screwed up - Comments

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Mozilla, you screwed up

Posted 04 December 2011, 12:31 PM

A few interesting facts:

  • Firefox was the best browser in the world
  • It was created by some developers who saw that Mozilla Suite was slow and nasty to use, worse than IE6
  • Mozilla signed an advertising deal with Google for Firefox, bringing in $100 million per year
  • The early Firefox developers were hired away by Google, to write Google Chrome
  • Meanwhile, Mozilla did not invest much of the money into Firefox

Read more

And now they've released WATERFOX, their 64bit version. Not much different from its origins, and no apparent increase in speed.

The only major difference is that the majority of useful add-ons aren't yet compatible.

What a shambles!


Expressing any form of criticism regarding Firefox makes you an enemy of "The Open Web" and a starch IE6 fanboy, if we're to follow the official argumentation to shut whiners up.

Yeah, you got that right, what they have done to our fav browser ??

Using Google Chrome atm.. but miss Firefox.

I agree completely with your analysis Chris.

It's a shame really… I remember the old days, back during the original browser wars… And I remember fondly what a breath of fresh air firefox was when it first came it (who here knows that firefox wasn't the original project name, but became it I think with the first stable release).

Firefox started out as a fast, capable, and powerful browser, very much holding true to its namesake. Having only the base browsing functions default in the browser, with an add-on system so that you could put in more functionality if you needed it was an excellent idea for a web browser. Tab browsing, though not an original idea of Firefox or Mozilla, was still wonderful! With the original firefox versions (1 and 2) you could have a fast and lean browser, a typical browser, or a browser that could do anything and everything but ran slowly. Now days, you get a slow browser that does lots of things you might not care about, or an even slower browser when you go to add some missing functionality that you do care about…

Luckily there are plenty of other worthy web browsers these days, and most website designers and web browsers now practice good developing standards. But still, it is sad to see such a powerful symbol of open source programming fall like that.

I gave up on Firefox ages ago…too slow.

In some ways, I wish that all browsers were based on WebKit until someone does a really great job with a new foundation. This would make rendering more consistent with developers to differentiate their products based on speed and browser features.


I normally operate with ten or more tabs open, and Firefox just can't handle this on my Mac. Firefox + Flash plugin + Mac = slower than me when I've just woken up in the morning.

However, I must say that its number of add-ons makes it a very useful browser for specific tasks.


I run with 6 windows open with a total of 17+ tabs in Safari. While Safari has it's own issues with memory, it is always faster for me than Firefox. If I need another browser, I use Chrome but the layout just feels "wrong" to me.


Yeah, I use Safari for 99% of what I do in OS X, but I use Chrome when I'm using Windows.

Safari has definitely improved but there is still a memory leak that piles up when you have close to 20 tabs open. I have to restart Safari every four or five days which is a real nuisance.


Have you got Lion? The fact that it re-opens tabs/windows/applications upon system/application relaunch is a big bonus.

Yeah, Lion made the Safari restarts tolerable. It just annoy she that people have been complaining about the memory leaks for so long and they have not been fully-addressed. It's critical software so I can't imagine them sloughing it off - it must be difficult to run down.


The Javascript speed in Safari 5/5.1 is terrible. In fact, I had to pester Chris a lot to work around some EditArea performance issues that were caused by it.

I like Safari but I don't like that they seemed to have rushed it out a bit. Apple was ahead of most everyone for a while in terms of JS speed and now it seems they've lost interest.

I doubt it will be addressed until the next major release, whenever that is.

That's why it's nice to have Chrome handy - it makes quick work of JS-heavy websites.


Agreed. Chrome is an excellent browser. I just have a bout of OCD which makes me want to buy into the whole Apple ecosystem, browser included.

Same here. I've been using Macs since 1988 (an SE/30) plus NeXT and SGI for my business. Came from a background of minicomputers (DEC VAX, HP 3000 and Data General Nova). Those were probably all before you were even born.


That's some history right there!

Wrong Info

Chrome is based on webkit engine, it is not written by firefox developers "hired by google", it was a whole different project. Google modified and improved it in some aspects, but it is not related to firefox. The gecko engine was so different from webkit.



and WebKit Team -- WebKit
(i.e. webkit is heavily influenced by the Chrome team nowadays)

From wikipedia:

WebKit was originally derived by Apple Inc. from the Konqueror browser's KHTML software library for use as the engine of Safari web browser, and has now been further developed by individuals from KDE, Apple Inc., Nokia, Google, Bitstream, Torch Mobile, Samsung, Igalia, and others.[2] Mac OS X, Windows, GNU/Linux, and some other Unix-like operating systems are supported by the project.[3]


Initial release: November 4, 1998; 13 years ago (KHTML released)
June 7, 2005; 6 years ago (WebKit open sourced)

Look, it's true, the hired firefox guys helped modify the engine, and I totally agree with you about the fact that mozilla has screwed up. Mozilla guys have made us all disappointed, the performance sucks, the js engine is even slower than ie8 in some benchmarkings, and chrome is really fast.

But the false impression about the history of chrome is not something to accept. These are two totally different things.

Well, all I was saying is these Mozilla developers helped made Google Chrome. I don't think I've said anything untrue there, maybe you're just interpreting what I said differently to what I meant. You can make something without making what you've built it with – like you have made a cake even if you didn't grind the flour. And I didn't mean to say they made Chrome in their previous capacity as Mozilla developers, I just mean the same people did it.

I think we're probably differing because you're thinking of Chrome as basically Webkit+, and I'm thinking of it as a separate project that happens to use Webkit as a component.

Interesting :).

But my point isn't really about that, I'm not saying that Webkit is built by the Mozilla developers – just that Mozilla was foolish to not hold on to their best developers.

But anyways, on the point of the relationship between Chrome and Webkit – Chrome has a completely different implementation of Javascript, and a lot of other technology. I think it's kind of like comparing ocPortal and Drupal and saying they are both basically PHP+. Both projects owe a lot to PHP, but they bring a lot to the table themselves also.

I always think of Webkit as a component - it's a rendering engine that forms the basis for a lot of browsers and, to be honest, I wish it was universally adopted as the rendering engine so that browser display was more consistent. Each browser developer then brings their own 'tricks' and UI to bear on their specific Webkit-based browser implementation.

In terms of Mozilla losing talent, people should remember that Apple hired Dave Hyatt, one of the founders of the Mozilla Project as I recall, in the early 2000s to head up Apple's Webkit development, but Mozilla has been bleeding talent as the people, I think quite reasonably, question its viability in sight of the fact that its primary sponsor is also its primary competitor.


Last edit: by BobS


BobS said

… the fact that its primary sponsor is also its primary competitor.

nail, head, hitting - are three words that spring to mind. Also the fact that its 'primary sponsor' has elected to withdraw some or all of its financial support?


Actually Google now are paying Mozilla a lot more, because they got in a private bidding war with Microsoft (Mozilla had made Bing the default search engine on some Firefox versions [I think in foreign markets, but can't remember] as a bit of a pre-negotiation warning to Google).

So actually Mozilla have done quite well after all.

So they have a stay of execution, but their market share continues to erode.


Chris Graham said

Actually Google now are paying Mozilla a lot more … So actually Mozilla have done quite well after all.
Not sure about 'lot more', but I looked it up, and got this snippet from off a BBC report …
Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice-president of search, said: "Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come."The foundation said the exact terms of the deal would not be disclosed.

In its accounts for 2010, the Mozilla Foundation said it earned $121.1m (£77m) from agreements with Google, Microsoft and others. The Google agreement was thought to make up about 85% of that amount.

I suspect Google will 'terminate' this agreement when it comes up for renewal in 3 years.

It really doesn't matter if their benefactor is Google or Microsoft; in the end, Mozilla lives at the mercy of a competitor and this makes it difficult to hire and maintain the kind of talent needed for a project like this.

It is one more reason they should have adopted Webkit at some point so that they could focus on JS and UI instead of delivering a rendering engine that doesn't cause headaches for web designers and developers.

Mozilla is dying the death by 10,000 cuts and I see little way forward for them long-term. It's not like they can even attempt the monoploy argument any more.


Ah Helllllo-No. Mozilla ain't going no where.

Some of you guys must be meaning Firefox browser when using "Mozilla" as when referencing to slow.

Google has been dominating the browser category, yada, yada, yadayada~~~~~~~

IMO drop browser dev, well you can not just drop a browser and user base such as Firefox. Why point your dev funnel of goodness at a loosing or second best battle?

Web Experience and Web Operating System. With some of your top "Cloud" third party none-Google app deploy and play browser based OS's, some of the source within can be reflected behind something Mozilla. A couple I have been involved with and know are


I have heard/read even

Has some MZ traces within framework aspects.

On the other coin, I do agree that Mozilla has remained at an indolence level as far as being a company. Shutting down the forums and the message they had hung in it's place was total high school IMO. I just ched and they have updated with something even better:

"Mozilla has forums to enable communication among the Mozilla community. They are set up so they can be read as newsgroups, mailing lists or web groups - so it's convenient for everyone to take part.

If you think a new Mozilla discussion forum is needed, file a bug (pick 'Standard Discussion Forum') and we'll get right on it. It's not a complicated process. Please don't just go and set up a plain Google Group or similar thing, as not everyone finds it convenient to read groups on the web.

Mozilla newsgroups are sponsored by Giganews Newsgroups, to whom we are very grateful."

NOPE, at the time they had NO forums. They were pOed and had a nasty note hung on the front door about uselessness of the forums and how "tough" they were to moderate. Plus it included something else which even had me saying "Ohhh Bold, But Possibly a Bad Move". Immature I guess I would say and of course this has led into the aspects of what Chris posted.

I certainly do not use Firefox and have not know for at least 2, almost 3 years because you need the Google, but actually spend more time at Mozilla than Code.Google. I should get to CG more often, but honesty the cool and raw is at Mozilla.

These are just a few of the what Mozilla is about.

Firefox for Desktop
The award-winning Firefox® Web browser has security, speed and new features that will change the way you use the Web. Don't settle for anything less.

Firefox for Mobile
By adding Firefox® to your mobile phone, you can access rich Web content and enjoy your favorite Firefox features wherever you go.

Enjoy safe, fast and easy email, Mozilla-style. The Thunderbird® email client includes intelligent spam filters, powerful search and customizable views.

SeaMonkey® is the all-in-one application formerly known as the "Mozilla Application Suite", containing a web browser, a mail and newsgroups client, an HTML editor, web development tools, and an IRC chat client.

Lightning and Sunbird
Lightning is a popular calendaring, scheduling and task management extension. Sunbird® is a cross-platform application that brings Mozilla-style ease-of-use to your calendar.

Camino® is a Web browser optimized for Mac OS X with a Cocoa user interface, and powerful Gecko layout engine. It's the simple, secure, and fast browser for Mac OS X.

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