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Firefox ad on the NY Times.
December 16, 2004 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Firefox ad on the NY Times. The long-awaited 2-page ad for the open source browser is finally out, complete with the 10,000 names of donors.
posted by arrowhead (79 comments total)

 
It will be interesting to see if the downloads are increasing in the next few days (11 millions so far).
posted by McSly at 7:32 PM on December 16, 2004


Aw, but the names are too small to read.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:35 PM on December 16, 2004


Here is the link to a pdf file. At 150% the names are quite readable.
posted by McSly at 7:37 PM on December 16, 2004


Damn, actual link here.
posted by McSly at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2004


hmm...in your PDF link the first page is blank except for the tag "Are you fed up with your browser" line, McSly. Weird.

Anyway, this rocks! I occasionally wear my mozilla shirt to work and have noticed an increasing number of people talking about it. I've switched several people, shirt alone. I think the NY times ad could do even better!
posted by freudianslipper at 7:48 PM on December 16, 2004


Good riddance, IE. I haven't needed you since Firebird, and you were annoying long before that.

A question: Is there a public FTP or other non-HTTP way to get Firefox down to a freshly-installed Windows box so that I'll never have to install the default IE browser just to get at Firefox?

(Suggestions to run linux will be countered with the liberal application of a LART in the form of a full-size 10 meg RLL Winchester drive to the head, as standards fully allow.)

What's the current browser share for MeFi?
posted by loquacious at 7:49 PM on December 16, 2004


ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0/
posted by ALongDecember at 7:56 PM on December 16, 2004


loq - You can probably snag it via ftp. I don't know the actual address, but I believe 2000/XP come with built-in FTP daemons.

Oh, and this doesn't actually matter, since HTTP browsing is entrenched so deeply into the operating system. In fact, if you enter a HTTP:// address in the location bar of Explorer (not internet explorer, but the explorer for system drives) it tunnel the web page through. Yay, antitrust.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:59 PM on December 16, 2004


ALD - 2Fast4Me.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:59 PM on December 16, 2004


loquacious, I just had to do that on a spyware-infested machine where IE was completely unusable. Start ftp from the command line, ftp to ftp.mozilla.org, cd to pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0/win32/en-US/ and get Firefox Setup 1.0.exe. I bet a 'get "/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 1.0.exe"' will do the job in one shot.
posted by zsazsa at 8:01 PM on December 16, 2004


I use Safari for OSX. Should I switch to Firefox?
posted by ColdChef at 8:04 PM on December 16, 2004


Whoa! Little buttons! YAY!
posted by ColdChef at 8:04 PM on December 16, 2004


I've looked at it previously and thought it a fine browser but the Flash support wasn't great. Is it better? Will it now be the browser of my dreams? Can I use my Yahoo toolbar? My Google toolbar? Competition is good, right?
posted by geekyguy at 8:06 PM on December 16, 2004


The toolbars are IE-only, so no, you can't use them. Some people have whipped up alternatives (as extensions), but really they're not necessary. Firefox has popup blocking and a search box built-in (extensible to just about anything).
posted by neckro23 at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2004


ColdChef, I d/l'ed the OS X version, and like it very well. I find myself launching Safari out of habit most days, but Firefox is a quality piece of work from what I can see. Camino is still good, but lagging in development lately, and Omniweb is nice, but not free. No reason not to have both in your dock, and compare 'em for a while.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:12 PM on December 16, 2004


In case this thread causes anyone to wonder what extensions to grab after downloading Firefox, there's an AskMe for that.
posted by ALongDecember at 8:17 PM on December 16, 2004


Flash and Shockwave work great under Mozilla in Windows. If you are running Linux, Flash still works great but MacroMedia has yet to release a Shockwave player for Linux.

As for the Yahoo! and Google toolbars: no. Both are made specifically for IE and will not work with any other browser. However, you can use the Googlebar which is a workalike for the Google toolbar (it also drops in Google functions on your right click menus). I use it and it works great. Additionally, you can try Companion which is supposed to be a Yahoo! toolbar workalike. I've never tried it, so I can't say how well it does the job.

Generally though, Firefox (and its big brother Mozilla) are fantastic. Since its all open source and designed to be extensible there are all sorts of useful (and not so useful) addons for Mozilla (and its little brother Firefox) at Mozdev; which is where both the Googlebar and Companion are located. Come on in, the water's fine...
posted by sotonohito at 8:21 PM on December 16, 2004


Ahem. Proper link for Companion. Sorry about that.
posted by sotonohito at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2004


Thanks, neckro23. The Yahoo toolbar is great for 'portable' bookmarks; they are where ever I am. I guess I am like a lot of users and I am very moved in and comfortable with IE - Acrobat, NAV, quicklinks, etc. I realize the risks with IE but I don't get any pop-ups and steer clear of spyware infested sites.
posted by geekyguy at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2004


Can I use my Yahoo toolbar? My Google toolbar?


why not try out Clusty. There is a Firefox search search bar there that, well, I really like it.
posted by johnj at 8:40 PM on December 16, 2004


Damn, if everybody uses Firefox I won't be all l33t anymore. I'll be no more "hip, now and with-it" than your average Mefite. Phooey.
posted by davy at 8:45 PM on December 16, 2004


why not try out Clusty. There is a Firefox search search bar there that, well, I really like it.

I can't say much for the search bar (I immediately put it into "mini-mode"... only toolbar I ever display is Web Developer), but those context-menu lookups are pretty handy.
posted by ubernostrum at 8:52 PM on December 16, 2004


congrats to any in the ad. nice work.

I use Safari for OSX. Should I switch to Firefox?

my vote is definitely yes. bookmark keywords; search engines; ... it's a little bulkier, but faster overall, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 PM on December 16, 2004


I use Safari for OSX. Should I switch to Firefox?

If you do, be sure to get one of the (unofficial) G4 or G5 optimized builds; they're compiled with a lot of options specific to those processors, making Firefox even faster.
posted by ubernostrum at 9:02 PM on December 16, 2004


I thought the Flash support used to suck. Everytime I upgraded it broke and it was a pain to re-install it. Now they have their little plug-in toolbar, and it works great. If you hit a flash page and you don't have it installed, you just click the button and agree to a license agreement and it's installed and the flash is displayed without even a restart. Very impressive.
posted by smackfu at 9:28 PM on December 16, 2004


First off, I'm really pleased that my name showed up in the logo... heh. Barely, but I'm in the logo.

Second, I use Firefox on OS X (and Windows) over Safari for one reason: Adblock.

Third, does it annoy any of you that the damn fox on the Firefox logo has its back turned towards you? It's always bothered me for some reason...
posted by socratic at 9:48 PM on December 16, 2004


loquacious, you can also use wget.exe.
posted by shepd at 10:04 PM on December 16, 2004


As for the Yahoo! and Google toolbars: no.

Dave's Quick Search Deskbar is all you need. Don't be fooled by the ugly front page, if you are using Windows you want Dave's!
posted by Chuckles at 10:05 PM on December 16, 2004


I have tried my hardest to accept firefox as an alternative to internet explorer but I just can't do it. I tried using it for a full week, installing a bunch of handy extensions which I grew to enjoy using, and didn't load IE once during that week, but I came back to IE for two reason: one, I'm too used to the way IE works to be comfortable with switching, and two, Firefox doesn't offer me anything I personally need or want that IE doesn't (except for mouse gestures which I have an IE browser extension for anyway.)

Having said that, it's still an incredibly well written and presented program and if it does enough damage to Microsoft's market share that it forces them to not only innovate but also start meeting standards then I'll be happy as anything.
posted by Savvas at 10:10 PM on December 16, 2004


Speaking as someone who makes webpages, I hate IE with a burning, firey passion. The sheer amount of trouble it ads to designing anything is staggering. The important thing is not to use firefox, per se, but to use anything other than IE (or at least to say you do in surveys so Microsoft fixes their fucking bugs).
posted by Tlogmer at 10:17 PM on December 16, 2004


firefox is ok. f-ing almost 2005 and just now the mozilla group spits out a somewhat usable browser. talk about weak software development.

the only thing it's got going for it is that it's free, and does tabs. the extensions just allow even less qualified people to put in functionality that should have been there to begin with (i'm talking about the 3 or 4 actually useful extensions here - the rest of them are complete crap)

and what 4th grader was allowed to design the themes and extensions pages that are linked to under tools?

these two sites have to be nominated for the worlds worst web sites, based on the number of poor souls that are exposed to them.

extensionroom.mozdev.org is only slightly better in it's layout/usefulness.

the mozilla group is such a joke...
posted by jimjam at 10:20 PM on December 16, 2004


jimjamfilter: where the pissing drowns out the moaning.
posted by quonsar at 10:47 PM on December 16, 2004


why not try out Clusty

Thanks but no thanks, were Fisty and Molesty taken?
posted by marlowe at 10:53 PM on December 16, 2004


Firefox doesn't offer me anything I personally need or want that IE doesn't

... like built-in active-x scripting vulnerabilities as well as other exploits that I can't disable.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:30 PM on December 16, 2004


Marlow,
That's MR Fisty to you!
posted by johnj at 11:35 PM on December 16, 2004


Wow. This is awesome. Adios, IE!
posted by fandango_matt at 11:39 PM on December 16, 2004


(i'm talking about the 3 or 4 actually useful extensions here - the rest of them are complete crap)
3 or 4?

Useful extension that I would be very unhappy without:
Adblock (single best extension ever)
Dict
Undoclosetab
SALastread
Bugmenot
GoonMenu
Download Statusbar

Undoclosetab and Download Statusbar are the only ones that add functionality that probably should be included.

That is 8 extensions right there that are extremely useful. Also, what is wrong with the mozilla suite? I've used that for 3 years with no problems.

That is not all the ones I have, but the most useful, and ones I use everyday.
posted by litghost at 11:47 PM on December 16, 2004


Jesus, jimbob. If you don't like it, don't bloody use it.

the extensions just allow even less qualified people to put in functionality that should have been there to begin with

The point of Firefox is to pare the basic software down to the smallest and simplest it should be -- keep it light and responsive. When you throw every feature any tiny segment of the audience could concievably want into the basic product, it turns into bloated crap (see: the MS Word Flight Simulator -- it's an easter egg, of course, not a feature, but the point is that there was so much other stuff in there that they could get away with slipping in a fucking flight sim).

So everyone gets the sleek foundation, and you can add what you want. Good, modular design.
posted by Tlogmer at 11:54 PM on December 16, 2004


My favorite Firefox extension.

Man, Firefox is always copying Opera.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:11 AM on December 17, 2004


marlowe made me laugh.

Internet Explorer 6 - Has a very functional and efficient pop-up blocker.

Yahoo! Toolbar - I use it exclusively for the already mentioned network stored bookmarks. It also has 'anti-spy' so whatever, that's cool.

Google Toolbar - I use it for the occasional search although since it is my default search engine I most often type into the address bar. I use the Autofill option for forms. I also kind of dig the highlighter.

I love the concept as stated by Tlogmer but until I can get it as functional as what I have I think I'll wait.

I recently ended up with a browser called Tencent Traveler that is kind of slick. I am in China and nearly everyone uses a chat client called QQ and it loaded with it. Uses the IE engine.
posted by geekyguy at 12:16 AM on December 17, 2004


mmmm... Opera;)
posted by Groomz at 12:17 AM on December 17, 2004


I think it's great that web users have real choices for the browser software that they use. There's incentive for all sides to improve.

I heard there was going to be some sort of surprise in the NYT Firefox ad. What's the surprise?
posted by clyde at 12:29 AM on December 17, 2004


jimjam, I feel like I shouldn't bother responding to your idiocy, but what the hell..

First, it's good that the Moz people have finally come out with a half decent browser. How long do we have to wait until Microsoft do the same?

Secondly, only 3 or 4 useful extensions? That's probably true for you. It's true for me: I only use Adblock, Allow Right-Click, BugMeNot and Flashblock. The point is that other people have a completely different set of indispensible extensions. I can do without TabExtensions or Mouse Gestures or Searchbars, but other people cannot. The beauty of the Firefox extension system is that you can choose exactly which features you like.

Thirdly, the only thing that it has going for it is that it has tabs and it's free? Apart from: being available on all platforms, not being tied to the operating system, not being full of ActiveX holes, correctly rendering CSS, live bookmarks, proper cookie controls. And don't knock tabs.

You've been using IE for so long, you've failed to see just how crappy it is. IE was good when it's competition was Netscape 4. Things have moved on since then.
posted by salmacis at 1:16 AM on December 17, 2004


clyde, I think the "surprise" was that it was two pages instead of one.
posted by mrbill at 1:45 AM on December 17, 2004


...like built-in active-x scripting vulnerabilities as well as other exploits that I can't disable

Unfortunately, there are some things for which ActiveX is actually useful and there's no good Java alternative. Case in point, online help that uses HTMLHelp.

As for ActiveX vulnerabilities with client scripting, well... yes, I suppose you could get nailed by that. But that would also mean that you've ignored this rather large dialog that comes up when a page tries to load an unsigned ActiveX component (if your security is even so low as to download it; I believe in IE6 SP1, the default is that it won't even attempt to do anything at all with an unsigned control).

I'm not saying that there are no vulnerabilities in IE, of course. However, I think all of this talk about how running IE is like opening the door to the malicious crackers of the world is overblowing it. The vast majority of people get infected with trojans/worms/viruses because of some affirmative action on their part. They open the email that says "Enlarge Your Penis!" or "Grow Back Your Hair!" and run the bat/pif/scr/whatever file that is attached. They click on the link that runs an executable that's supposedly a "Christmast E-card" from Grandma, despite the big warning dialog that's displayed.

Some people are just idiots. Usually the same ilk as those who rewire an electrical socket without switching the breakers, or lighting up a cigarette while they refit the feed on their gas stove.
posted by mstefan at 2:38 AM on December 17, 2004


if you are using Windows you want Dave's!

From Dave's Page:
Want it? First off, you need to be running Windows 95 or better and using IE 5.5 or newer.

I installed it anyway (because the FAQ says it works with Firefox) but it was all assy and didn't work properly under XP and I could not set it to use Firefox. It always reverted to IE. Anyone else try this thing?

@jimjam: Oh shut up.
posted by erratic frog at 2:39 AM on December 17, 2004


Apart from: being available on all platforms, not being tied to the operating system, not being full of ActiveX holes, correctly rendering CSS, live bookmarks, proper cookie controls. And don't knock tabs.

One point: not being tied to the operating system and being available on "all platforms" is not really a feature that 93% of the world gives a damn about, honestly. It's still a Microsoft world, and Firefox is not going to change that in the least.

As for rendering CSS, this surpirsed me. What exactly doesn't IE6 handle correctly? I'm not being snarky, here, I'm serious. Any links as to what's in the standard that IE6 isn't rendering correctly? And what "cookie controls" doesn't IE6 handle correctly? Seems to work fine for me, so I'm curious as to what specifically you're talking about there.

Tabs, live bookmarks, etc. are indeed neat features and my initial impression of Firefox is that it's a nice browser. I'm just not ejaculating all over myself like some folks seem to be; perhaps I'm missing out on some euphoria-inducing feature that will cause my eyeballs to spring forth from my head looney-toons style, but so far, I'm nonplussed.
posted by mstefan at 2:48 AM on December 17, 2004


mstefan, there's this CSS bug for starters. The site seems to have details on a bunch more as well.
posted by neckro23 at 2:57 AM on December 17, 2004


Actually, here's the main site.
posted by neckro23 at 2:59 AM on December 17, 2004


"The point of Firefox is to pare the basic software down to the smallest and simplest it should be -- keep it light and responsive"

Then why does Firefox take up almost twice the disk space that Safari does? Because they don't use the operating system's UI like any other program would, they have their own interface elements.

This is also why firefox feels like a java applet
posted by derbs at 3:12 AM on December 17, 2004


Thanks for the link, some of those are indeed pretty bufugly (obscure, but bufugly nonetheless).
posted by mstefan at 3:16 AM on December 17, 2004


Another problem with IE: PNGs.

I really wish that IE would handle PNG alpha channels correctly. But no, it just pretends that they behave like transparent GIFS and you have to make all sorts of nasty work arounds to fix it.

(Although the ie7 javascript "patch" works a treat for most of the annoying IE specific inadequecies).
posted by couch at 3:17 AM on December 17, 2004


I find FF most useful for thwarting hijacks and a whole mess of other crap that loves to have sex with IE and then f*ck me over when it's done.
In regards to Mozilla dev: anything that allows holes to be closed quickly through a collaborative "open-source" method is light years beyond any crap that Micorsoft farts out. Their security problems will only get worse and Firefox will keep motoring right along.

Does this not make the Firefox browser a better alternative now and in the long run hands-down?
posted by WebToy at 3:32 AM on December 17, 2004


(OS X): This is also why firefox feels like a java applet.

that's what makes camino so nice.
posted by john m at 4:14 AM on December 17, 2004


I'll just comment on the ad itself: The FireFox logo/symbol looks like it was done in Flash and only meant to used in a very tiny form. Blown up like it is in the ad, it looks terrible and unprofessional.
posted by picea at 4:18 AM on December 17, 2004


Woohoo - I'm in the 'e' of 'Firefox'. How all I need is a copy of the NY Times (time to scour London's paper shops).

It'll be interesting to see how Opera deal with this; by the look of the stats coming out, Moz based browsers (and I guess the majority of those are FF) have trumped Opera in style, and the huge slew of press that FF has generated can't be helping Opera either.

Dictionary Search is another great FF/Moz extension that I use a great deal.
posted by TheDonF at 4:57 AM on December 17, 2004


Thanks for the link, some of those are indeed pretty bufugly (obscure, but bufugly nonetheless).

Some of them aren't that obscure. I normally try to design my layouts using standards compliant XHTML and CSS (verified by W3C, or WDG) and every time, although the page renders great (being subjective) in Firefox, IE garbles the hell out of it.

One of my personal favourites is the Box Model problem. Rather than implementing published standards into their browser, MS introduced "Standard Mode" and "Quirks Mode" (Quirks mode being the default mode for all previous IE versions, that should tell you something). MS decided that the positioning metrics that had been decided on by the W3C were sub-standard and chose to implement their own.

Also, probably one of the most annoying problems that I've ever experienced in IE6 is the text selection bug when using CSS designed layouts. There are workarounds, but the top one seems to involve placing a non-standard tag (at least, according to IE's implementation) at the top of the markup to force IE into "Quirks Mode".

Ugh.
posted by purephase at 5:06 AM on December 17, 2004


not being tied to the operating system and being available on "all platforms" is not really a feature that 93% of the world gives a damn about, honestly.

Be that as it may, it does matter. Microsoft has an incentive to make developing web applications (which is to say, platform-independent apps -- it's not the web if it's only accessible in one browser) difficult, because it makes all its money off client-side programming: code that runs on a windows PC, not on a linux server. If code is portable, MS's advantage evaporates. Preserving its central market is valuable enough that MS won't fix elementary bugs in IE that cost the non-redmond world billions of dollars a year.

Which is understandable, but I've spent enough hours wrestling with those bugs that I will never buy another microsoft product (not really prepared to use linux, so I'll probably save up for a mac if I need a new comp), and I will evangelize against them for the rest of my natural life, or until they become irrellevant. So help me God.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:17 AM on December 17, 2004


This is great PR for the brand.

I ponied up the money, downloaded the PDF and they got my name wrong. :)

You would think that it would have been a semi-automated process for importing the names into the ad. How do they add an additional letter to my last name?

Egads.
posted by zymurgy at 6:13 AM on December 17, 2004


Regarding IE 6's CSS support:

1) It's only remotely standards-compliant when coding in strict mode. Otherwise, the CSS box-model is still completely whacked.

2) A lot of corporations are still standardized on IE 5.5, unbelievably.

3) That being said, the app I'm building right now uses strict mode and the coding differences between IE6 and Gecko are minimal.

Regarding ActiveX:

ActiveX is available for Firefox. I'm building a behind-the-firewall webapp at the moment which makes us of an ActiveX control, and with this plugin it works great in all Gecko-based browsers.


Regarding Microsoft having an incentive to make developing web apps difficult:

Have you seen .Net 2.0? If that was the goal, they screwed up horribly. A monkey could code a web-app with all the new tools they've made available (I should know). Also, they've made the controls a lot more standards-compliant.

Regarding the themes listed on mozdev:

Completely agreed. I can't believe the crap they put up there - the asshole with the cat fetish really needs to be stopped, he/she/it has what, 20 color variations of the same godawful theme up there? And then, of course, this genuinely amazing, beautiful and intricately detailed theme, available for both Firefox and Thunderbird, ISN'T listed. Which is probably why this guy stopped updating his very well-done theme. Somebody at mozdev needs a good smack.
posted by dvdgee at 6:23 AM on December 17, 2004


I was pleased to see that the Firefox ad ran, but then I read this post that raises some good points about the ad. Then I was sorta bummed about it. Now it seems to me that the ad was more of a geek triumph that no one else really cares about.
posted by bryce at 6:27 AM on December 17, 2004


Some people are just idiots. Usually the same ilk as those who rewire an electrical socket without switching the breakers, or lighting up a cigarette while they refit the feed on their gas stove.

Wow, some people can be very condescending. My father for example, was unaware of a few pitfalls with IE and Email and as a result had some spyware installed on his system. Strangely enough, he's not an idiot, he was just unaware of the issues, being, like many people, a computer user in the same sense that we may use our toasters. I'm not up on the latest toaster tech and quirks and I assume they've been worked out.)

Followed by:

As for rendering CSS, this surpirsed me. What exactly doesn't IE6 handle correctly? I'm not being snarky, here, I'm serious.


You see. You were just unaware. Nothing to do with idiocy, just unaware. Probably for the simple reason that it doesn't interest you and you can't possibly be a web developer or you'd be keenly aware of these more than minor problems.

More IE CSS information here, here, here, and here.
posted by juiceCake at 7:34 AM on December 17, 2004


A gigantic super-expensive advertisement for a hi-tech product that is given away for free? Awesome! Who says the bubble has burst? Happy days are here again.....
posted by spilon at 7:52 AM on December 17, 2004


I love the idea of FireFox but I love to actually use Opera. FireFox's UI is clunky, quirky, and unpolished in comparison. I suspect that UI is not where Open Source shines; it's hard to do by commitee. FireFox's strength is the extension system; there is an incredible number of useful extensions available. Here's where Open Source is great; unleash the hordes of Open Source developers on small projects that add functionality to FireFox because not everyone is able or wants to work on a huge collaboration like FireFox itself.
posted by TimeFactor at 7:56 AM on December 17, 2004


And IE dROolz. When IE5 came out it was so far advanced compared to NS4 but it's very old and tired now.
posted by TimeFactor at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2004


What's interesting is that this ad is not intended to be read by IE users; it's intended to create media buzz, and thus stories on tv, etc, that will be read by IE users. So the "stupidity" of paying for an ad for a free product is actually just the opposite.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:05 AM on December 17, 2004


Speaking of NYTimes full-spread ads of historical importance to the computing community, I still have the one Apple ran on August 24, 1995:
C:/ONGRTLNS.W95

posted by rustcellar at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2004


FireFox's UI is clunky, quirky, and unpolished in comparison.

I feel that way about Opera in comparison to Firefox. Kept it for 6 months and recently erased it from the face of my HD, as it were. Interfaces seem to quite subjective don't they. Nice to have the choice to suit our individual preferences.

For those who adore the interface of IE, that is great as well. To each their own. It would be grand if Microsoft bothered to fix the bugs in that browser. I don't mind any of the proprietary stuff as using it is optional for developers but please make the browser at least standards compliant!
posted by juiceCake at 8:46 AM on December 17, 2004


As for rendering CSS, this surpirsed me. What exactly doesn't IE6 handle correctly? I'm not being snarky, here, I'm serious. Any links as to what's in the standard that IE6 isn't rendering correctly?

There are a lot of things that IE doesn't handle correctly. Obviously it's not the only browser with problems, see the browser peculiarity notes in blooberry's site.

Some people are so fed up with it they've tried to write software that specifically fixes the bugs IE has with CSS rendering. Case in point: IE7, a CSS script written by Dean Edwards that tries to use as many hacks and workarounds as possible to correct the numerous problems IE has built-in. In effect, including this CSS script on your site will make IE viewers see the page rendered in standards-compliant mode. Hence, he named it IE7.

Trust web developers - IE is a real pain, we're not making that up. Sure, it makes it easy for some companies to craft "web applications" using proprietary plugins and activex, but honestly, all of this can be done more efficiently and to serve a wider audience using standard tools and technologies. ActiveX has a sort of buzz-word appeal to it, and in my experience, software written solely with IE in mind has been far more buggy and cumbersome than equivalent standards-based implementations of it, like those using PHP, DHTML, and CSS. It may take longer to write it that way, but you end up with something more people can use successfully.
posted by odinsdream at 8:53 AM on December 17, 2004


One Click No browser Installation. (Sort of)
Copy stuff inbetween ===== lines into your clipboard.

========================================
echo get "/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 1.0.exe" >g2.txt
echo quit >>g2.txt
ftp -A -s:g2.txt ftp.mozilla.org
del g2.txt
"Firefox Setup 1.0.exe"

========================================

Click Start ---> Run and type cmd [Return]
Paste Clipboard into big black box that appears.
posted by seanyboy at 9:48 AM on December 17, 2004


Strangely enough, he's not an idiot, he was just unaware of the issues, being, like many people, a computer user in the same sense that we may use our toasters.

You're right, idiot was too strong of a word on my part. But like it or not, a computer is not a toaster. It takes some general awareness of safety issues in order to use one. Think of it more like a car. You have to take the time to learn how to operate one safely so that you don't hurt yourself or hurt others out there on the road with you. Same deal here.

The problem is that many people are sold the idea that computers are like toasters. They're not. Particularly when you throw in broadband, they're part of a global network and the users of those systems need to be aware of what they're using, how they're using it and the responsibility they have to themselves and others in the global network that they're a part of. I wouldn't go as far as saying people should be licensed to own a computer like they are a car, but a user who doesn't take the time to learn about their system, security issues, etc. isn't being responsible, IMO.
posted by mstefan at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2004


Third, does it annoy any of you that the damn fox on the Firefox logo has its back turned towards you? It's always bothered me for some reason...

No, but that adorable little white paw was a considerable factor in my switching-over.
posted by Tufa at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2004


One point: not being tied to the operating system and being available on "all platforms" is not really a feature that 93% of the world gives a damn about, honestly. It's still a Microsoft world, and Firefox is not going to change that in the least.

Well, I dunno about your world, but I use FreeBSD, so I like the fact that Firefox works on all platforms. It's true, though, most people don't care, but so what? That's true of anything. But those people should probably use software that won't bork their system if they should happen to use it rather carelessly. It won't stop people from opening worm attachments (although Mozilla's email client Thunderbird might), but it's a step in the right direction. The technical aspects of it, particularly its adherence to standards and its extensibility, makes it an attractive choice for us geeks, too. It's fine if you don't particularly care about it, but it seems it's important enough to you to make some snarky comments about it.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2004


The problem is that many people are sold the idea that computers are like toasters. They're not. Particularly when you throw in broadband, they're part of a global network and the users of those systems need to be aware of what they're using, how they're using it and the responsibility they have to themselves and others in the global network that they're a part of. I wouldn't go as far as saying people should be licensed to own a computer like they are a car, but a user who doesn't take the time to learn about their system, security issues, etc. isn't being responsible, IMO.

Well, as long as most people are going to have computers, and it looks like that's the case, then software should be designed with this in mind. Security should be the user's responsibility, but software written for the fumbling masses (or anyone, really) should default to high security settings. That's where MS has screwed up time and time again, by having low default settings for security, allowing Joe Six Pack to obliviously destroy his system and/or spew out worms, which he might not have been able to do otherwise had his email client, for instance, defaulted to a high security setting and hadn't allowed him to open attachments from it. This isn't even getting into the inherent security problems MS has with its software , but blaming the user doesn't take into account all the other factors, like allowing the clueless user to easily screw up in the first place.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2004


That's where MS has screwed up time and time again, by having low default settings for security, allowing Joe Six Pack to obliviously destroy his system and/or spew out worms,

Don't blame it all on Microsoft, though they have plenty to be responsible for. Many pieces of software literally refuse to run under a restricted user account in Windows. This is a horrible design, of course, but it doesn't matter, since people often require the software. Example: I recently cleaned up the PC of a local business by clearing it off and installing Windows 2000. I enabled all the restrictions I usually do, and set up the owner with two accounts, one, the Administrator, and the other a regular User account. I told him he should use the User account for everyday things, and only switch to the Administrator to install or uninstall software.

He was extremely pleased with this, and I was, too. I thought it was a great way to limit the potential damage programs would be able to inflict. For programs that required access to their directory in Program Files, I edited the directory permissions manually to allow the regular User account access.

Then I installed Quicken for them. Quicken, if you weren't aware, refuses to run on anything but a Power User account. This entirely defeats the purpose of HAVING restricted user accounts. Quicken isn't running into any permission problems, because I had already taken those into account. No, it was merely looking up what class of user it was running beneath, and refusing if that user was not a Power User, regardless of their level of directory access.

This is only One example, and it's not even as bad as some others, which require Administrator-level access to even run at all. It's completely insane. The security model is flawed on both the operating system side as well as the vendor side. Users are the last people to start blaming, since they didn't have anything to do with creating the borked security model.
posted by odinsdream at 12:30 PM on December 17, 2004


dvdgee: thank you for mentioning the Charamel theme! It's lovely and I think I'll keep it...
posted by neckro23 at 12:38 PM on December 17, 2004


I wouldn't go as far as saying people should be licensed to own a computer like they are a car, but a user who doesn't take the time to learn about their system, security issues, etc. isn't being responsible, IMO.

I agree that they are not toasters and that they are sold as commodities, much like DVD players, televisions, etc. The car analogy brings up a licensing analogy as well which leads up perilously close to software licenses by term association.

However, again, I'd argue that being responsible isn't part of it since if you're unaware that there are security issues then you could hardly be prepared for them. All of us make assumptions and all of us learn from mistaken assumptions. My sister just bought a Mac. Had no idea it didn't run the same software as a PC and frankly, doesn't care having learned it. Why? The computer is a commodity item to surf the internet with and maybe type a letter or two.

Computers used to be out of the mainstream. Now there just another item in your household. The applications will have to adapt to the commodity mentality. Hence all the in your face security content in Microsoft's XP Service Pack 2.
posted by juiceCake at 12:58 PM on December 17, 2004


This is only One example, and it's not even as bad as some others, which require Administrator-level access to even run at all. It's completely insane. The security model is flawed on both the operating system side as well as the vendor side. Users are the last people to start blaming, since they didn't have anything to do with creating the borked security model.

Right, I know about this same situation happening with many other apps. It's this very issue which creates so many Windows users obliviously running as admin all the time - that, and the fact that most large software installs require rebooting. Windows also makes it trivial by not discouraging admin access for regular users. But I don't think MS does enough to discourage insecure 3rd party software. They do have some control over how software is written for it. For instance, many Linux distros allow you to log in as root, but they explicitly warn against it. Windows doesn't do that at all (to be fair, the bare-bones Linux kernel doesn't, either, and my choice of OS, FreeBSD, doesn't at all, but most *BSDs aren't really geared towards the mass consumer market). If they did so, maybe less vendors would write software which required it, as it would scare the user to login as admin, as well it should. MS could also work with large vendors more closely to prevent that from happening. MS could take a tip from *nix and create an analog to su, which is a temporary root (admin) login accessible by users so allowed. Maybe that last one would never happen at Redmond, as it would look too much like their competition, but, I mean, there are options. They could require that every installation oraccess to certain folders requires a password, but without having to log out and log in again; that's about the same thing, sort of like sudo, actually.

I agree that the vendors should be more responsible, but I also think MS has more than enough resources to combat that end of the problem themselves, or at least to crack the whip a little bit. Meanwhile, Longhorn has been pushed back to 2006, and they've pared it down from their earlier ambitions, including security-wise. Personally, I don't really care, as I don't run Windows except to run games (at least it saves me from upgrading right now just to do that), but Longhorn has always looked like vaporware to me. The myriad existing security issues they have are not going away before Longhorn is finally released, if it ever is, so they might as well address what they can, like problems with their major vendors' security.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:59 PM on December 17, 2004


does firefox have anything like maxthon's super drag and drop?
posted by joedan at 3:54 PM on December 18, 2004


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