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Discussion MS tells Mozilla it should stop development immediately, embrace one-browser-web

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/01/29/0016211/microsoft-project-manager-says-mozilla-should-get-down-from-its-philosophical-ivory-tower-cease-firefox-development

slashdot said:
A Microsoft program manager has caused a stir on Twitter over the weekend by suggesting that Firefox-maker Mozilla should give up on its own rendering engine and move on with Chromium. "Thought: It's time for @mozilla to get down from their philosophical ivory tower. The web is dominated by Chromium, if they really 'cared' about the web, they would be contributing instead of building a parallel universe that's used by less than five percent?" wrote Kenneth Auchenberg, who builds web developer tools for Microsoft's Visual Studio Code.

Auchenberg's post referred to Mozilla's response to Microsoft's announcement in December that it would scrap Edge's EdgeHTML rendering engine for Chromium's. The move will leave Firefox's Gecko engine as the only alternative to Chromium, which is used by Opera and dozens of other browsers. Few people agreed with Auchenberg, including engineers from both Mozilla and Chromium. Long-serving Mozillian Asa Dotzler was not impressed. "Just because your employer gave up on its own people and technology doesn't mean that others should follow," Dotzler replied to Auchenberg. Auchenberg clarified that he didn't want to see Mozilla vanish, but said it should reorganize into a research institution "instead of trying to to justify themselves with the 'protectors of the web' narrative."
Apparently said with not a hint of irony.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Wow, just wow. When taken together with the possibility that Google will modify the Chrom(ium) sources, to prevent ad-blockers from running, well, THANK GOD FOR MOZILLA AND FIREFOX!

I've been a long-term user of Mozilla products, and Firefox, since the "early days" (like 1.0, and Netscape Navigator beforehand). I've always preferred them, both philisophically, and software-wise, even when they had a lot of "warts" in the code.

So, when is Linux Torvalds going to suggest that Microsoft "give up their own OS code", and "go with the OS code that runs the Internet"? (Linux)

PS. Whatever happened to the "inclusive web"?
PPS. Time to make a donation to Mozilla, I think.
 
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Dulanic

Diamond Member
Oct 27, 2000
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Ain't gonna happen. I used chrome for years and happily did so. However, with recent changes and unrsolved bugs, I just went back to firefox and am perfectly happy. I only left firefox years ago because it kept stuttering on my PC. That issue seems to be gone now so I came back. Also I think that was during their Sync debacle where the firefox sync was a complete mess.

I was going to unhappy without hangouts extension, but then I remembered in typical Google fashion they are killing that anyways.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
12,838
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Has Mozilla actually abandoned its plans to adopt Chrome's rendering engine? I remember a while ago it was mentioned, around the time that multi-threading was still in the works.

- edit - I'm trying to find anything that supports or disproves my assertion that - at least at one time - this was Mozilla's plan.
 
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PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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It took me awhile, but I think I see what he's trying to gain from this. Microsoft just threw in the towel on their browser. They actually lost marketshare by introducing Edge, going from 25% on the desktop with IE down to less than 15% with Edge/IE combined. They weakened themselves badly.

Now that they're switching to chromium based rendering they are in a significant weak position since that is Google's baby. Even though the engine is open source Google is still running the ship for the most part. Microsoft wants Firefox to join with them so they have a coalition to try and blunt Google.

This is nonsense of course. Google is to powerful in that space. Nobody is going to use Edge Chromium because its a pointless product. Nobody would use Firefox Chromium because it'd be a pointless product. In both cases the majority of users will give up and switch to the better supported Chrome. Their marketshare is going to fall even further in the browser because they're doing the same they did with Windows Phone again, rebooting repeatedly shedding users and add-on/app developers each time.

Microsoft really they should just ported Edge original to every platform they could, continued its development or maybe even open sourced it and continued to develop it. Get those users everywhere you can by hook or crook. They won't through because they're cheap and lazy. Its IE6 all over again, they want the power but are uninterested in doing the unending work required to maintain it despite having plenty of resources to do so.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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@PingSpike

I mostly agree with you, but MS not bothering to pursue browser superiority isn't because of laziness or cheapness, it's the fact that the whole company isn't aligned with that objective. Mozilla is, and Google largely is because Chrome is a portal to Google online services. For MS, championing a browser would be nothing more than an ego boost and harking for the old days. They've cut their losses because for MS it's a huge waste of time and money.

TBH I wouldn't like to guess what objective(s) MS is aligned towards these days. AFAIK it's a mess and it's trying to emulate its competitors, such as Adobe (renting software), Apple (expensive shiny computing toys) and Google (cloud-based data hoovering ops).

Even with Edge's latest developments it still shows no sign of any kind of alignment with company objectives. I think if Windows hadn't gone down the multi-device route (ie. stuck with laptops and desktops) then IE could have been put on life support with security updates and simply be like the built-in WordPad to a decent word processor, ie. crap but better than nothing. Because IE is not at all aligned with the multi-device route Windows has taken since Win8, Edge became necessary, but now MS has two browsers to keep on life support. Maybe IE will be jettisoned in a few feature updates' time?
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
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Isn't Mozilla mainly comprised of volunteers and freelance developers? I mean at this point we all have our favorite browsers and I think MS is just in denial of that. For a lot of people desktop browsers aren't as popular as they used to be--not with all these always-connected mobile devices. Another field they've basically failed to align with.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
4,624
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What exactly is on Microsoft's mind?

Although I use Chrome most of time, it always has some weird bugs.

The past 2 days I was playing with my router with OpenWRT, DD-WRT and factory firmware. When I changed the web UI port from standard port 80 to let's say port 1080, If I changed the UI port back to 80 , it's stuck at 1080!

Whenever I type http://myrouterip it will always automatically switch to http://myrouterip:1080, unless I clear Chrome's cache.

Firefox worked perfectly, however.

Will switch to Firefox if things go badly.
 
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PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,070
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@PingSpike
Even with Edge's latest developments it still shows no sign of any kind of alignment with company objectives. I think if Windows hadn't gone down the multi-device route (ie. stuck with laptops and desktops) then IE could have been put on life support with security updates and simply be like the built-in WordPad to a decent word processor, ie. crap but better than nothing. Because IE is not at all aligned with the multi-device route Windows has taken since Win8, Edge became necessary, but now MS has two browsers to keep on life support. Maybe IE will be jettisoned in a few feature updates' time?
Agreed about MS as whole's strategy, I'm just trying to guess what that particular guy from MS is thinking really. I don't doubt a large portion of the company has no interest in browsers.

But IE (all versions) still has over twice the marketshare of Edge and a lot of people use it for legacy corporate applications (regardless of whether that is a good idea or not). I actually think IE will be bumming around in some capacity long after Edge is forgotten because nobody built their business on top of Edge.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Surely Fire Fox has a much greater share of users then only 5%. So this isn't MS as the Company saying this, but only a single Manager???? This is Clickbait.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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Maybe IE will be jettisoned in a few feature updates' time?
I certainly wouldn't mind if it was moved to an optional install feature (for enterprise) or similar. Then removed good and proper from the Home edition.

You know, there are actually people using IE as their daily driver browser. Because they don't even know what a "browser" is*, and when they upgraded their ancient PC the default was set to IE. The end result is usually that they can't understand why more and more web stuff stop working properly. :eek:

Just try getting them switched to something modern.

*Some do. But absolutely refuse change in anyway shape or form. I'm sure you know the type.

(sorry for the rant...)
 

Chiefcrowe

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2008
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quikah

Platinum Member
Apr 7, 2003
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@PingSpike
TBH I wouldn't like to guess what objective(s) MS is aligned towards these days. AFAIK it's a mess and it's trying to emulate its competitors, such as Adobe (renting software), Apple (expensive shiny computing toys) and Google (cloud-based data hoovering ops).
it is pretty obvious what MS objectives are these days. Enterprise and cloud. They don't care so much about consumer space. This is pretty much a tempest in a teapot. A program manager doesn't set company policy.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
12,838
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Surely Fire Fox has a much greater share of users then only 5%. So this isn't MS as the Company saying this, but only a single Manager???? This is Clickbait.
I checked a few browser stat sites, it's not an unreasonable figure to assert. When asking one site to break down to purely desktop browsers then FF had about a 10% share.
 

whm1974

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Jul 24, 2016
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I checked a few browser stat sites, it's not an unreasonable figure to assert. When asking one site to break down to purely desktop browsers then FF had about a 10% share.
I was under the impression that after Quantum was released FF's user share was increasing. am I wrong?
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Yup, that's what I saw on another site too, a peak in browser share in 2009 that has steadily been dropping every year. Maybe FF won back a few power users with Quantum (such as myself), but still a net loss.
I'm well aware that I'm biased here since I use both Linux and FF, but I think in the long run, that having a single browser that all other browsers are derived from is a really bad idea.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
12,838
2,406
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it is pretty obvious what MS objectives are these days. Enterprise and cloud. They don't care so much about consumer space.
In which case why enforce an overwhelmingly unpopular forced update scheme in Windows 10? It's not an inherent requirement for either of the objectives you mentioned. They could have kept consumers happy by doing modest improvements to Win7 and continuing to release a new version of Windows every three or so years with minimal effort. Just like trying to compete in the browser space, taking Windows and using it to compete in the touch-screen space is a move that requires commitment and resources.

This is pretty much a tempest in a teapot.
It's not really anything at all, agreed. I posted the thread because I thought it was ironic of MS to talk in this manner.

A program manager doesn't set company policy.
Agreed.

I'm well aware that I'm biased here since I use both Linux and FF, but I think in the long run, that having a single browser that all other browsers are derived from is a really bad idea.
I don't think it's a question of bias but one of experience: The browser wars weren't pretty, as most people know it went way beyond healthy competition, and the only reason why the industry recovered was because of Firefox. Had MS succeeded, the web would have been a very different place today.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,155
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but I think in the long run, that having a single browser that all other browsers are derived from is a really bad idea.
Search for "Software monoculture considered harmful", or some variant of that. There have been papers written about it. (Look at what happened with the "HeartBleed" exploit. MS was immune, they had their own home-grown code serving the purpose of that open-source code.)
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,155
3,942
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Has Mozilla actually abandoned its plans to adopt Chrome's rendering engine? I remember a while ago it was mentioned, around the time that multi-threading was still in the works.
I think that you may be confusing "Chrome" (the browser), with "chrome" (the UI made from priviledged HTML/JS code in Firefox).

To my knowledge, Mozilla has NEVER once suggested dumping their own rendering engine, for Google's. Not once.

They have made changed to their browser, as far as "chrome rendering", but that's speaking about Firefox's UI, with "chrome://" URL namespace.
 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
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www.uovalor.com
lmao wow. That's hilarious.

Though given how big MS is, I wonder if they can find a way to use legal action against them. They just need to find some weird thing to patent or something and then sue them for some ridiculous amount. Hopefully that does not happen.

Also if MS really wanted their wish to come true, are they ready to make a Linux version of IE? That sounds so dirty.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
8,539
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Search for "Software monoculture considered harmful", or some variant of that. There have been papers written about it. (Look at what happened with the "HeartBleed" exploit. MS was immune, they had their own home-grown code serving the purpose of that open-source code.)
I think I have read some papers on that subject before. As I recall those articles gave many prime examples of why that true.
 

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