I would like to make a couple comments about Mozilla community support.
Why am I doing this here? Because it is hard to find a better place, though this does not seem perfect!!
I was looking at the new logos in support of FireFox, but suddenly read the end of the page: these are trademarks of Mozilla Foudnation and their usage giudelines is now being decided upon
This is crazy! Here you have a beautiful open source browser that is being spearheaded as the free and open solution to browser worries, but it is not obvious to you that these logos should immediately be made available under Creative Commons licenses or something similar??
Anyways, so I have this issue and I want to share it with someone over at Mozilla. I go to Contact page, and start looking through all the 'if you want a license', 'if you want a donation', 'if you have a technical comment'. but there is no page about 'if you are a community member with an issue link!!!'. i go to mozilla evangelism and I learn that if i know something about programming (I don't), i can discuss standards issues with webmasters of different sites. is that what evangelism boils down to??
This has been annoying me for a long time. Example. Firebird had major problems with flash plugins. TO find a solution you had to scroll through different pages,look through FAQs that weren't completely clear or helpful and end up in forums. Forums are a terrible support mechanism: usually, I find the same question asked as I want to ask (GOOD!) but afterwards comes nothing, or nothing useful, or more frustrated users with same problem.
And the attitude, visible also on this forum: 'if you have searched the forum, you would have found...'. searching forums is annoying. if you don't have the firepower to write proper FAQs then s"
Thats a nice "Site Map"
Why don't they link to it on each page?
Google labs showcases a few of our favorite ideas that aren't quite ready for prime time. Your feedback can help us improve them. Please play with these prototypes and send your comments directly to the Googlers who developed them."
Google Toolbar: "Take the power of Google with you anywhere on the web."
Has google gone bananas on us? Anywhere on the web? I don't see any Internet explorer windows here! Am I still on the web???*
But thats not my point, it's just a rather small part of it. A bigger part of the actual point is having the hobbyist beat google (the world's leading web business) at making the product google makes it's money off.
The Googlebar project was initially created to address the widespread desire in the Mozilla community for the Google toolbar
to support Netscape 7/Mozilla, since many users of Mozilla enjoy having
all of Google's specialty searches in one convenient location. In the
past, the Google toolbar was only available for IE on windows. While we
are in no way affiliated with Google inc, our current release emulates
all of the basic search functionality of the toolbar, allowing users to
easily access almost all of Google's specialty searches (some of which
are not yet supported by the original Google toolbar!) from one
I would make a official firefox toolbar and do a page size add in the NYT about it. Just for laughs.
Google was to lazy to re-invent it's marketing? OMG! Well it's good I'm here still. (haha)
(* extra question mark to indicate it was a stupid question)
By Rhys Blakely, Times Online
Google has hired the head software engineer behind Mozilla's Firefox application, heightening speculation that the internet advertising company is planning to go head-to-head with Microsoft in the browser market.
Ben Goodger will join several engineers already hired by Google from Microsoft's dominant Internet Explorer (IE) software team.
Google, which has cultivated a reputation for being reluctant to comment on business developments, today refused to expand on Mr Goodger's role.
The company told Times Online: 'Ben is a very talented engineer. His experience and skills match Google's interest in exploring interaction between browsers and services and products like Google Toolbar. We're very lucky to have him.'
The company also downplayed suggestions that Mr Goodger had 'defected', pointing out that though he would become a Google employee, Google would 'donate' half his time back to the Mozilla Foundation, which is a non-profit software developer.
Mr Goodger's move could mark a step-change in the battle between Google and Microsoft, a rivaly that has escalated furiously since Google's flotation on the stock market last summer.
In recent months Microsoft launched its own internet search engine in a bid to topple Google's dominance in the lucrative paid-search advertising market. In turn, Google has entered - along with Yahoo, the world's most popular website - into desktop search software. The move by Google into products which help users find files on their PCs has been interpreted as the first stage of a serious challenge to Microsoft Windows, the phenomenally successful operating system.
Microsoft currently dominates the browser market, accounting for more than 90 per cent of users. But Firefox, Mozilla's 'opensource' software alternative, which is available for free online, has shown signs of eroding the software giant's lead.
MS closing down.
It would be good not only for Firefox but to computer science in general...
Quite interesting article... I think that the autjor may be onto something. I disagree, though, with his notion for the evolution in a post-microsoft world.
Microsoft closing down would lead the market onto new options. In an immediate future I'd see Linux growing stronger than ever, but it would not be the definitive OS.
I suppose that we might come to a situation in which users would have any hardware/OS they wanted and access to the same programs.
It is really not that far fetched. Imagine a word processor over the web, is it that impossible to implement? Wouldn't a user be more willing to pay a small amount for each use than to pay a lot for the right to use the program altogether? What if, when you pay your ISP, you get added benefits like access to word processors and spreadsheet applications? Maybe the future lies in a services industry instead of a software industry... I've read about this perpective before. Some say that Microsoft's bet on .NET technology and a common Framework for all programming languages is a step in this direction. Provide the work base for all software, independent of hardware/OS, a layer that makes this combination irrelevant. Sell the "use" of the software instead of the license, or permit, to use it.
Anyway... I don't think they could offer anything valid to Firefox. If they could they would have invested in IE, or a whole new browser, long ago. Unless the idea is really to close down and they have decided not to do it.
|Microsoft closing down would lead the market onto new options. In an immediate future I'd see Linux growing stronger than ever, but it would not be the definitive OS.|
I don't know stuff that no-one tried. The way to find out if Linux can is by all working at it. Can't know how far we get before we try. I guess Linux does have the updates we need. At first I thought MS would never have the resources to update all the software. Later they actually had the money but it didn't happen.
|I suppose that we might come to a situation in which users would have any hardware/OS they wanted and access to the same programs.|
I think pacman support for office workstations is overrated.
|It is really not that far fetched. Imagine a word processor over the web, is it that impossible to implement? Wouldn't a user be more willing to pay a small amount for each use than to pay a lot for the right to use the program altogether? What if, when you pay your ISP, you get added benefits like access to word processors and spreadsheet applications? Maybe the future lies in a services industry instead of a software industry... I've read about this perspective before. Some say that Microsoft's bet on .NET technology and a common Framework for all programming languages is a step in this direction. Provide the work base for all software, independent of hardware/OS, a layer that makes this combination irrelevant.|
Blogger is starting to look like this. It stores text in a organized way it has wysiwyg a spell checker a html editor. It exports in html and you can even send email to it. To voceblog by phone you need a phone. Don't even have to own one.
|Sell the "use" of the software instead of the license, or permit, to use it.|
To develop good pricing you look at how the user uses the product. For a one time use of a product we want a easy way to pay for 1 use. Just like the payed email support with mozillazine.
Software you need all of your life should also be payed for for all of your life. We want to pay for having the right application in place. Just like a few online games use a monthly contribution to keep things fresh and new.
|Anyway... I don't think they could offer anything valid to Firefox.|
I found the overall learning proses is a lot harder if you make a opinion before you know enough facts. We don't know what they could offer, and don't know how valid that thing we don't know is. Until we see it. : )
|If they could they would have invested in IE, or a whole new browser, long ago.|
Why not make firefox the new IE?
|Unless the idea is really to close down and they have decided not to do it.|
Why not just buy it? I bet MS would be happy to get free money and free software. All we buy is their marketing name and the browser distribution network. And ours is so many times better they should be damn happy to give us 99% discount.
I know the whole idea is on the nuts side, it's still just an example of deploying the normal contracts all professional businesses have.
| Based on NCSA Mosaic. NCSA Mosaic(TM); was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Distributed under a licensing agreement with Spyglass, Inc.
Contains security software licensed from RSA Data Security Inc.
Portions of this software are based in part on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.
Multimedia software components, including Indeo(R); video, Indeo(R) audio, and Web Design Effects are provided by Intel Corp.
Unix version contains software licensed from Mainsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1998-1999 Mainsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Mainsoft is a trademark of Mainsoft Corporation.
Warning: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.
Thats a lot of mainsoft in the licence.
May I sugest that could be a good service for Mozilla if it was for IE? ok I won't then. :(
Mozilla Update is the place to get extras for your Mozilla products. Learn more about us. Please note that the Mozilla Update site is still in development, and some features are not working."
Inspired by the texturizer.net help sites for Firefox and Thunderbird, I decided to create similar sites for Netscape 7 and Mozilla. Included in the sites are:
- A downloads section (Netscape 7 help site includes links to customized distributions)
- Installing and upgrading instructions
- A larger look at the relationship and history between Netscape and Mozilla
- An overview of Mozilla's structure
- OVER 150 TIPS, TRICKS, AND FAQs
- and more...
Mozilla Help - http://ilias.ca/mozilla/
Netscape 7 Help - http://ilias.ca/netscape/
Michael Jackson owns zero Beatle song, he didn't write the music, he has no right to exploit it. The artists made the music for the people not for exploitation.
If I write and sing a song some other person should earn royalties for not letting peole listen to my music? MY SONG? FUCK HIM!
I am sure Elvis, Bobmarley, Jimmy hendrix and mr mercury. All agree with me. So what is this law of yours based on and what is there to gain from this for the public. Thats who the singing was done for in the fist place.
So I ow you an apology Eddy, I didn't ask you if I could publish your brainwave. I just refuse to see how you one could own a set of bytes. Please don't let this post upset you, I will delete it if you want.
Don't Mention the (Browser) War
SAP Developer Network
By Eddy De Clercq
11 Jan 2005
I sometimes feel nostalgic about the first war - browser war, that is. It began in mid-1995, lasting about one and a half years (not long indeed - but more on that later).
The war also had playful twists. Who doesn't remember hearing about the giant Mozilla (Netscape's mascot, after the Japanese cult movie dragon monster Godzilla and before it became a product) was placed at the entrance to the Microsoft building with a scoreboard indicating "1-0." The day after, a big "E" was placed at the Netscape entrance. Or was it vice versa? It doesn't really matter. There was also the Netscape employee of the month parody. Netscape employees spent a lot of time at their offices, claiming them to be more their homes than their real homes. So they were allowed to bring their pets to work. These pets were employees of the month, had their own websites with diaries, etc.
Then came the beginning of the end. Not immediately, but in 1997, you could tell that something was happening: The focus wasn't the browser anymore, but the web (application) servers. This was the subject at the first (and last) European DevCon in Paris. The Marc Andreessen I've shaken hands with wasn't the mean-and-lean whiz kid I knew from the myths, but a well-nourished business man in a three-piece suit.
In January 1998 came the news that the Netscape browser would be free, open source, and would be revamped into the Mozilla project. In November '98, Netscape Communications was sold to AOL for about 8.9 billion dollars (then, a high value). For several years I kept a video with a documentary on the early days of Mozilla that more or less explained that Mozilla was one of the key conditions of AOL's purchase.
Then it quickly spiralled downward. The next releases of Netscape were slow and buggy; the final 1.0 version of Mozilla took four years to actually get delivered. MIE took over market share – and that was the end.
Why the nostalgia? During those pioneering times, life as a web developer was fairly easy, despite the fact that during the boom months some kind of release was launched every fortnight. One had only three questions that had to be answered. Will the user follow? - Can we use the new functionality? - What will Microsoft do - will it follow, or try to create its own standard? We had to use our common sense and try not to jump on every new gadget that appeared to have a site that worked well on every browser. There were other players too. The best example is Opera, a project that was started at Telenor as an intranet browser back in 1994. But it was not always as fast, slick, and powerful as it is nowadays. It also became a kind of cult browser, the inner crowd just using it because it was an alternative to the other two big players. Strangely enough, we never saw Opera in our browser stats even if we (tried to) make our sites compatible.
One would think that developing a site is much easier nowadays since MIE has/had (since Brower War II is predicted after the launch of Firefox, with Blake Ross as the new whiz kid to fear) the highest market share. Nothing could be less true. At the university, we need to support as many different browsers as possible on as many different platforms as possible. In contrast with other companies we don't impose any browser or platform. This academic freedom creates many challenges for us web developers and this isn't at all easy sometimes.
In fact, not a lot of commercial software is capable of doing this. There is, for example, the case for some software we were testing (the name doesn't really matter in this example). According to the specs, it should run on a certain browser version, but it obviously didn't. We reported this to the company, and after a long silence their reaction was not to fix the problems to get it to run properly; instead they changed their specifications and skipped out this version of the browser.
It isn't at all easy to find a browser that runs on and acts the same on all platforms. Some examples:
MIE runs (reasonably) well on Win32, doesn't have any plain Linux version, and the Mac version is stopped for further development. PocketPC is another story. I have this six month-old PocketPC with MIE on it that doesn't even show Microsoft sites properly. Our hope was that the new Windows release would be a step forward, but the manufacturer of this PDA decided to only offer this new version on their new PDAs, and not to provide any upgrade for "old" PocketPCs. In other words, I can throw my rather expensive mobile device in the garbage if I want to see sites on my PocketPC properly with MIE.
Mozilla then. At first it looks good: the binaries run on Win 32, different flavors of Linux, and Macintosh. But there are some clouds in the sky. We had some serious problems with it- but more on that later. Then there are all these different products: Mozilla, Firefox (was Firebird), Camino, Thunderbird, and the upcoming Sunbird. It's hard to tell the end user what the purpose of all these products are and which one is the best for them to use. Also, there is a lack of PocketPC and other non-desktop platforms.
Why not Opera? Indeed, it supports Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, QNX, but also less obvious platforms like Symbian (mobile phone), Home Media, and even cars. One big missing link is again PocketPC.
There are a lot of platform-specific browser types like Safari, Konqueror, and Netfront to name but a few. They try to cover certain niches, which is good from their perspective - but harder for us to support.
If this wasn't enough it's difficult to detect which browser somebody is using for consulting your site. The first method is to test the string a browser is sending to your server, but that is far from accurate. Some manufacturers fake a certain string – it's rather easy to do it on your own - for some strange, unfathomable reason. At first glance it might look like a good idea, but they harm themselves in their so-called browser stats annex market share. What use is it to fake a certain type of browser, if your browser isn't compatible with the one you pretend to be? But this string gives certain problems even if the browser string is for real - but more on that later.
Another method is the classic test:
//the browser is NS 3+, IE 4+
//the browser is NS 2, IE 3
//the browser is NS 4
// the browser is IE 4+
//the browser is IE5+ or NS6+
if (document.getElementById && !document.all)
//the browser is NS6+
This somewhat unreadable code is not error-proof either. It sometimes gives the strangest results, not to name MIE on PocketPC as an example. Web crawlers also seem to dislike this code.
W-Y-S-I-N-A-W-Y-G (What You See Is Not Always What You Get)
A couple of years ago we were searching for a method to let professors and others edit their syllabi via a web interface. We wanted to make sure that non-HTML gurus would be able to do this in a consistent way according to the house style. We needed to prevent blinking pink letters or obsolete HTML code generated by some HTML editors that were then pasted into our editor. And of course the main requirement was that it had to run on as many browsers/platforms as possible. We soon discovered that the latter was the major problem as we searched around to see what was available. Nearly everything was solely MIE-minded, with not even the slightest concern about other browser or even platforms. The following describes part of our journey and the pitfalls encountered along the way.
The Flashy Way
After a while we decided not to concentrate on the browser differences anymore and started looking for external solutions. The most obvious choice was Macromedia Flash. At that time Macromedia had just released the Developers Resource Kit Volume 2 (http://www.macromedia.com/macromedia/proom/pr/2002/drk2_announce.html), which contained the Flash UI Component Set 4. This component set included a rich text editor that was a perfect start for our solution. Of course it wasn't an off-the-shelf, ready-to-go-product, so we needed to do some extra work. Briefly put, this came down to:
a) The editor needed to be adapted to our needs.
c) On the SAP side, you needed to retrieve the data and 'serve' it to the editor.
Step 1: Create a BSP page.
Step 2: Put all the code for retrieving the data in the OnInitialization event handler.
Step 3: Put all the data in one string
Step 4: Make sure that the mime type is set correctly, and deal with special characters in order to let the editor understand them.
call method runtime->server->response->set_header_field
name = 'content-type'
value = 'application/x-www-urlform-encoded'.
class cl_http_utility definition load.
Final_content = cl_http_utility=>escape_url( unescaped = original_content ).
Step 5: Put the content in the layout.
d) When deploying the whole thing, make sure that you users have (the correct version of) a Flash Player installed. This might be somewhat tricky. Users aren't always allowed to install software on their own because it may be managed centrally via Tivoli for example, or for other reasons. So even if you explicitly specify in the codebase of your flash object that the browser will install the Flash Player automatically, don't rely on this fact.
The CSS Way
Suddenly clouds appeared, covering the sun up completely. The so-desired cross-platform feature didn't work at all anymore, after more than a year of running smoothly. We hadn't changed anything in the code and suddenly the editor didn't work anymore on Mozilla for Mac OS X and Linux (in our example RH 8). It was a total mystery to us.
The true reason was discovered after some extensive interchanging of information with Mozilla. The reason was that Flash was compiled with GCC 2.X and Mozilla (starting from a certain version) with 3.2. According to Mozilla there were "ABI incompatibilities" between the two GCC versions, which means that it doesn't work anymore. "Downgrading" Mozilla and compiling with the lower GCC was impossible due to incompatibilities with other Java plug-ins and for other reasons. We couldn't ask our users to compile their Mozilla by themselves with the correct GCC in order to make the editor work again. The only option seemed to be to wait for Macromedia to launch a GCC 3.2 compiled version. In fact, that wasn't really an option at all since we didn't know when that would be, and Macromedia didn't reply at all to our questions concerning this matter.
So we were back to where we started, but with multiple (future) applications requiring this editor. Luckily for us, computer science is ever-evolving. It didn't take us as much time as we thought to find an alternative. We found it in "Through-The-Web (TTW) Editor." [http://www.koivi.com/WYSIWYG-Editor/] This neat editor - called TTW - is first of all cross browser/platform. It didn't support all that we wanted, but was a start and better than a single browser/platform solution. Rome wasn't built in a day either, so there will be a day that we or someone else can provide the missing support in the future.
As previously said, detetecting via the browser string can be somewhat tedious and a neverending story. I once printed this list of ID strings on a printer capable of printing on both sides of paper, 2 pages on a side, making a booklet in small print and the result was > 50 pages: http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/browser_ids.htm (please do read the more interesting "Browser Rants" at the end of the document).
My suggestion would be to download the latest version of browser detect and modify wherever applicable according to your needs and specifications of TTW.
The SAP Way
I hear you thinking that I'm always searching/giving solutions outside SAP. That's not exactly the case. We tried hard to find a solution from within SAP. We didn't find any. That is until December 15th 2004 when reading Thomas Jung's excellent weblog, Using the BTF Editor. Honestly, I was stunned. How couldn't we find this, and think that BTF only stood for the Behavioral Task Force, Beyond the Frame, the Buffalo Teacher Federation, or even Behind The Flag of Sheffield FC (to name a few) - and not the Business Text Framework, which came available in WAS 6.20. So I immediately started the BTF_EXT_DEMO and had a look at it. It looked really nice, but when we tested it in e.g. Firefox it didn't show things as expected. We have just upgraded to WAS 6.4 but Firefox unfortunately gave the same incorrect result.
The Ultimate Solution?
SAP has also been thinking about this cross browser/platform problem and looking for a solution to it. Their result is called Web Dynpro. These sentences from Service Marketplace say it all: "Web Dynpro is based on a powerful and flexible Model-View-Controller architecture that ensures a clear separation of user interfaces and backend services…. Design as much as possible and program as little as necessary: Higher productivity through declarative approach to modelling, instead of programming, layout, screen usage, navigation, and data binding."
Isn't that great? No more concerns about browsers and platforms; Web Dynpro will do all the thinking for you. The PAM – dd. December 30th 2004 published at https://service.sap.com/nw04 – of SAP NetWeaver starting with SP Stack 11 shows only a limited amount of supported browsers/platform under certain conditions. The new browser war may cause a new speed injection for new functionality, perhaps resulting in a whole new type of browser and the way we surf the Internet. Will SAP and Web Dynpro be able to catch up in/each time?
Secondly, will Web Dynpro support all the things we/you need in a site? I know it's impossible to cover it all and fulfill all our wishes. The future will tell what magical things Web Dynpro can do for us. For now, it already looks great and promising.
Eddy De Clercq has 20 years experience in computing. Currently he works at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), the oldest university of the Low Countries and the largest Flemish university. Eddy makes up part of the E-university team which creates mostly self services (web) applications.