While it used to be the leading alternative to Internet Explorer (and others), Firefox has seen its market share erode steadily since the 2008 debut of Google Chrome. The Mozilla Foundation has made several oft-controversial bids at relevancy, including native video chat, Pocket integration, a mobile browser (and OS), a UI overhaul, and a rapid release schedule that's reached version 40 (and counting). But the latest proposal -- part of a reboot of the stalled Electrolysis multiprocessing project -- will prove the most daunting. Although it will modernize the browser's architecture, it also deprecates the longtime XUL framework in favor of more limited and Chrome-like "web extensions" -- requiring Firefox's vast catalog of powerful add-ons to be rewritten from scratch or cease functioning. While developers will have until 2017 to fully adapt, opinion is divided -- NoScript's Giorgio Maone reassures doubters, while the DownThemAll! team says "it feels like I just learned my dear old friend Firefox is going to die." [more inside]
The Mozilla Foundation has announced that they're throwing in the towel on their popular email client Thunderbird, citing a dearth of active contributors and the growing popularity of web-based email. Mozilla remains committed to releasing Thunderbird ESR 17 on 20 Nov 2012 which will be supported with stability and security fixes until 3 Dec 2013. They've also announced a plan to provide infrastructure and support for Thunderbird to live on as a community-driven project.
When releasing the Mozilla source code, Netscape's lawyers insisted that the code first be sanitized. In particular, "any text containing vulgar or offensive words or expressions; any text that might be slanderous or libelous to individuals and/or institutions," had to be removed. Here is a sample of what it looked like before that occurred.
The <video tag>, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora and the proprietary H.264. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9 both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed. Arguments are now being made for and against Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example.
Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was released today. Servers are reportedly being hit hard so you might want to try a bittorrent download. Comments from: The BBC, PC World, InformationWeek and a very good article from The Boston Globe. Users needing support should check out the Mozillazine Support Forums.
Mozilla 1.0 released. Four years after Netscape open-sourced the code to its web browser in February 1998, the Mozilla browser is finally out of beta and ready for download. To celebrate, there's a big party next Wednesday at San Francisco's DNA Lounge and satellite parties around the world. Take a bow, everyone.
Perhaps AOL isn't that bad. I've never liked AOL, but this recent article makes me want to give the company a big hug. Finally, people are stepping up to the Microsoft juggernaut and deciding to use other means to deliever content and run their own machines. AOL is trying to cut costs by migrating from UNIX and Windows to a Linux environment on the server-side. On the client side, they will apparently be pushing the use of Mozilla instead of their previous default browser, Internet Explorer. This has the potential to impact the web enormously, as AOL's 30 million subscribers will soon be using Mozilla as their browser. Web designers will have to start sticking to w3c specs instead of using MSIE-specific coding, which will hopefully force Microsoft to follow the specs more closely. Begun this browser war has. (via /.)
New Mozilla Browser, Will anybody have this new mozilla browser! A new version of the open source mozilla browser (what Netscape 6 is based upon) is out. Preliminary impressions: faster, less buggy and with cool new toys. This is getting better and better, maybe we will get some competiton after all.