MozillaZine Readers Give Their Verdict on Safari
Sunday February 2nd, 2003
Last time, we asked you what you think about Apple's new KHTML-based Safari browser for Mac OS X. 1,979 readers shared their opinions with some interesting results. In a close call, 10% of you think that Safari is better than Chimera, while 11% believe it's not as good. Meanwhile, 23% want to know where the tabs are, reflecting the popularity of what many now see as an essential browser feature. A worrying 13% of you are sticking pins in your Hyatt voodoo dolls, perhaps suggesting that you're taking this all a little too seriously. Finally, 40% of you want one of Apple's new PowerBooks, which were also introduced at Macworld San Francisco. While this doesn't tell us whether the 17-inch or 12-inch model will be more popular, it does possibly indicate that many MozillaZine readers are largely apathetic towards Apple's new browser.
Our next poll was suggested by me (that's someone calling themselves 'me', not me as in the person writing this article). We want to know which of the components of the main Mozilla suite you use. Obviously we can't cover every possible combination, so pick the option that most closely matches your usage pattern. This poll also features the return of the 'telnet to port 80' option, which is back by popular demand. Get voting and keep watching the latest results to see what others think.
#1 Apple's KHTML Browser
by richman555 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sunday February 2nd, 2003 8:11 PM
I think the only thing that bothers me about the KHTML based browsers is that there aren't versions on the Windows platform (at least as far as I know perhaps im wrong). I think it would be easier to get Windows users to "switch" their operating system if they could keep certain things like their web browser the same. For example, I've already stopped using IE on my Windows XP machine and when I flip to my Linux machine, it is identical. I think a cross platform browser is essential as it would make the operating system more of a choice than a necessity. And not to sound biased, but the KHTML browsers do not render sites as well as Mozilla. A solid cross platform browser with tons of functionality IS a killer application which losens your ties to your operating systems. I love this freedom and flexibilty. Hell if Mozilla produced an office suite what else would anyone need?? he,he... Keep up the good work guys, all is not lost by this setback.
#4 Open/Cross-platfom office suite
by webgremlin <email@example.com>
Sunday February 2nd, 2003 8:33 PM
> if Mozilla produced an office suite what else would anyone need?
The product you are looking for is OpenOffice.org htp://www.openoffice.org/ My only MS product is my OS.
#5 Re: Apple's KHTML Browser
Sunday February 2nd, 2003 10:51 PM
There's a group porting KDE to Cygwin. There's more at <http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/>.
> Keep up the good work guys, ...
> ... all is not lost ...
In fact, nothing was lost, except opportunity.
> ... by this setback.
Setback? What setback? Setback from where?
I agree that a Safari-like browser for Windows would prove to be very popular. There's this project <http://khtml-win32.sourceforge.net/> but as usual on Sourceforge, it appears to be another case of initial enthusiasm going nowhere. I hope I'm wrong.
Indeed, the apathetic ones were the ones who didn't vote. Those who chose the Powerbook simply recognized the fundamental concept of a browser that is not cross-platform was a flawed thesis from the get-go, and chose to go for the perks.
#6 People sticking pins in a Hyatt voodoo doll
by ChuckChunder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sunday February 2nd, 2003 11:29 PM
probably aren't taking this seriously at all :)
"Finally, 40% of you want one of Apple's new PowerBooks, which were also introduced at Macworld San Francisco. While this doesn't tell us whether the 17-inch or 12-inch model will be more popular, it does possibly indicate that many MozillaZine readers are largely apathetic towards Apple's new browser."
40% of the people answering the poll said that they wanted one of the new Powerbooks. That indicates a pretty substantial interest in the Powerbooks, but I do not see how it indicates apathy regarding the Safari browser.
For one thing, it is quite possible that many of those 40% do not even currently have Macs. If they do not have Macs then they may not have even had an opportunity to try Safari yet. If they have not tried Safari then they certainly can not be expected to rate its worth. Perhaps some of that 40% want one of the new Powerbooks because they are interested in trying out Safari; that definitely would not indicate apathy.
make sense to me. that's the option I chose, and I would say I'm apathetic towards Safari. I don't have a Mac, but if someone wants to give me a powerbook, they look pretty cool to me.
having said that, it's true that you can't really draw the conclusion that all those 40% are apathetic. The other options don't make a lot of sense either - the poll presents them as exclusive options, but it's quite possible that several apply. I didn't think it was supposed to be a scientific poll, but if they're going to write up a report and conclusions on the polls, it would make sense to have the poll questions designed for the purpose. From that point of view, the new poll is slightly better...
What I want in a browser is... a Browser! I want a lightweight, lean 'n mean browser. Mail, calendars, chat clients, there are simply too many dedicated programs that perform these tasks well enough. Attempts to "make everyone happy" with a monolithic app has resulted in, sadly, a slow app. Moz rules in many ways, most importantly in the standards compliance arena, but absolutely everything else available is faster. Don't quit. Refocus, regroup, and make something that "sucks less" that the competition;)
#17 Mozilla to gain speed when the processes are seper
by PaulB <email@example.com>
Tuesday February 4th, 2003 6:09 PM
seperated. Wait....there is a plan afoot to rework Mozilla so that each part of the program will run in its own seperate process. This will solve many of the issues some people have with the monolithic nature of Mozilla. If each section of Mozilla has its own precess then users will be able to download a large file as they browse their mail. I prefer that Mozilla is a suite of applications.sure it could be faster and eventually it will be.
In all seriousness, Apple had to develop Safari as a lightweight browser, because they chained themselves a long time ago to a CPU architecture that is going nowhere. For whatever reason that XUL is incredibly slow on the Mac is just another contributing factor to Apple's huge problem: its inability to compete with commodity hardware or open source software.
Safari is the sick bleat of a once-proud monpolist.
#14 Re: In all seriousness
Tuesday February 4th, 2003 3:46 PM
"Apple had to develop Safari as a lightweight browser, because they chained themselves a long time ago to a CPU architecture that is going nowhere."
I think it is also possible, they did not like Mozilla.
It's also possible that Apple figured out, correctly, that users want a *browser*, not a browser suite. If only Moz had figured that out 3-5 years ago.
And what would have happened then?
Based on the Chimera experience, it's conceivable Gecko's marketshare would have been 5x what it is today. AOL and Apple would be distributing it. Instead, Moz counts maybe 5% share and should dwindle as KHTML-based browsers on the Mac and other platforms start eating into the pie.
you dont think that it had MAYBE JUST A LITTLE to do with "that company" that got convicted of illegally tieing its competing browser to its monopoly operating system? maybe just a little?
lets look at the nubmers here... hrm... windows has a 94% share of the operating system market... how many of those windows installations come with IE preinstalled... oh, 100% ... well let me wip out my calculator for a sec....
nah, that would be too easy of an explanation, besides how else can you troll without baseless claims?
Chimera has achieved wide distribution despite IE's identical bundling in MacOS. Duh. Funny the poster with the better argument is considered the troll.
#50 Re: Re: hrmn... yes.
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 8:55 PM
"Chimera has achieved wide distribution despite IE's identical bundling in MacOS."
What percent of Mac users are using Chimera vs. IE? I'd like to know what you think wide distribution is and where you get your numbers. If you're correct that Chimera has wide distribution on Mac (millions of users? tens of millions?) then we should be advertising that fact far and wide. Point me to some numbers that support your claim of wide distribution and I'll do what I can to make more noise about it. I'd argue that IE shipping in the Mac Dock has been a major impedement to Chimera adoption. If you can demonstrate otherwise I'd love to see it.
How does the Chimera experience apply in any way? Chimera is building a native gui on top of a stable core engine. Mozilla was building a core engine. The two tasks are pretty orthogonal (as the Phoenix, Chimera, or even Safari developers will tell you -- ask hyatt how often he talks to the UI people).
Chimera demonstrates the potential marketshare achievable by a non-suite, standalone, unbundled browser. The Chimera experience is obscenely relevant.
#26 Re: Re: Re: Happened
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 2:17 AM
Chimera has marketshare because it is fast. It is fast because it uses a native GUI.
What Chimera demonstrates is that the potential marketshare is achievable by using a native GUI.
#27 Re: Re: Re: Happened
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 2:18 AM
And to add, there is a counter-argument: K-Meleon. It uses a native GUI, and is a single browser not a suite, but it has not succeeded in getting marketshare in Windows. I think it is because of its ugly name.
its incredably simplistic to suggest that any one aspect of what has happened is responsible for the current market share statistics.
True. But the decision to build a suite instead of a browser has been the second biggest factor (behind IE being the Windows default).
I strongly disagree. I think the biggest factor has been a lack of focus in the UI design, with people and groups being able to vote crap into the UI over the wishes of the UI owners. As a result the UI is unusable and feels and looks bloated.
It is possible to have a browser/mail/etc suite _without_ having the mailnews prefs hanging out in the browser UI. And that should have been done.
But that's a direct result of there not being enough and/or focused enough attention on just the browser.
Just look at Chimera, Phoenix and Safari. That's the result of focus.
No, it's the result of too many cooks spoiling the soup. The reason Chimera, Phoenix and Safari are successful is that the UI is only worked on by a very few people who actually know what they're doing, not by dozens of people pulling in a variety of directions.
There was _too_much_ attention on the browser from people who are, frankly, incompetent at doing UI (and that includes myself, I'm sorry to say).
Again, that's a direct result of the project being scoped way beyond what it should have.
I don't see how that's a result of any scoping issues at all. Like I said, the only thing it's a result of is that the UI component owners got ignored far too often, with people going over their heads or around them.
How is that related to "the scope of the project"?
proove it. saying it doesnt make it so.
Obviously it's speculation. Will you agree that it's easier and faster to build a browser than a suite? Will you agree that Chimera has achieved well into the double digits of share on the Mac (despite IE being the default)? Will you agree that AOL would only use the browser?
#51 Re: examples
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 9:05 PM
"Will you agree that Chimera has achieved well into the double digits of share on the Mac (despite IE being the default)?"
I'd like to agree with that but I'd need to see some proof beyond your assertion. You're saying that Chimera makes up at least 10% of Mac browsers? More? I'd love to see this data.
Numbers are surprisingly hard to come by but most that I could find support my assertion. <http://www.macedition.com/cb/cb_20030127.php> <http://www.mozillazine.or…poll_results.html?id=2820> <http://daringfireball.net…03/01/lies_damn_lies.html>
Download.com is running closer to 5%. <http://download.com.com/3150-2143-0-1-5.html>
Would be nice of Moz or MozZine counted downloads or visits.
>Would be nice of Moz or MozZine counted downloads or visits.
Heh. What would that prove? 90% of visit to the Chimera forum are by people using Chimera? I fail to see the relevance of Mozillazine page view statistics to any part of this 'debate'.
Browser statistics are difficult to interpret anyway since, as well as systematic factors (browsers identifying themselves as other browsers, bad detection scripts, etc.) a *lot* of people use > 1 browser (especillay Mac users, it would seem) and different websites appeal to different demographics.
> Will you agree that it's easier and faster to build a browser than a suite?
No. Not if you have fewer people working on it.
It's that simple. Not doing mailnews does _NOT_ mean more people would have been working on the browser.
And now that we _do_ have standalone browsers how many people are working on _Gecko_? Huh? Can you name 15?
Neither AOL nor Chimera is using "the browser". They are using gecko. And as far as I can tell (from working on Gecko for 2 years or so now) Gecko development was not particularly adversely affected because of some people in their little corner working on mailnews.
If you do not agree that it would be easier and faster to builder a browser instead of a suite of apps including a browser than there's not much more I can say.
If you do not agree that 3 people can build a browser + mailnews faster than one person can build a browser, there is not much more I can say either.
Why would you rig the question that way? It's not even close to reality. But I'll take the bait. I think 6-12 developers could build a browser in the same time and of higher quality than 18-36 could build browser + mail + news (+ chat + compose).
I'm not rigging it; I'm just saying that the number if people working on the browser was unaffected by the existence of the other components.
People seem to not get that.....
they are separate groups of people working on separate projects. all good software devlopers know that throwing more developers at a problem does not nessesarily speed up development, and often slows it down. so the suggestion that the existance of mail/news means a slower development time for the browser is baseless, unless mozilla only had 5 developers doing everything, which is obviously not the case.
It's not baseless at all. Everywhere you look, you see non-browser stuff cluttering up the work whether it's status reports, bugzilla, managment focus, releases, debate forums, etc., etc. This is painfully obvious. It's finally getting somehwere with Compuserve, MacAOL, Phoenix and Chimera getting traction but I fear it's too late, especially with the emergence of KHTML as a viable if not superior option.
Something that may be less obvious now (but equally painful whenever I hear people go on about the fact that Mozilla is a suite of programs), is the fact that Mozilla.org was created primarily to drive the development of the Netscape product. The Netscape product was a suite of programs: Web Browser, Mail / News Client, HTML editor. How is Mozilla.org going to provide a codebase for the future of the Netscape product (which had a very respectable market share) if it can't provide equivalent functionality?
Back when Mozilla was beginning to turn into a usable product (M16+ I guess) the big thing that people were complaining about was feature parity with Netscape 4.x. People were saying that the browser was cool but they couldn't replace 4.x yet until Mail / News was usable. Now we hear people complaining about the fact that it's a suite with so many (in many cases independently developed) programs. That's fine if that's your opinion, but understand that Mozilla had a mandate from day one to be a suite of programs, there was nothing to be "figured out". If you want to compalin about misguided vision, you need to point that criticism at the people who came up with the "Communicator" concept, not Mozilla.org.
Exactly!! Netscape, pre-Mozilla, was doomed the moment it stopped focusing on the browser. Mozilla gave it a wonderful chance to start over and go back to being a browser effort since that's what the vast majority of people were looking for from Netscape/Mozilla.
#18 i think this troll-bot is stuck in a loop :)
Tuesday February 4th, 2003 6:12 PM
can you talk about anything else? you are a very one dimensional "person" :)
btw, this poll shows that 60% (948 out of 1565) of mozilla users use mail and/or the rest of the suite:
where are your numbers?
#25 Re: i think this troll-bot is stuck in a loop :)
Tuesday February 4th, 2003 11:30 PM
That poll shows that 60% of MozillaZine users use mail and/or the rest of the suite. Not 60% of Mozilla users. Surely you don't think that MozillaZine users are a good representation of all Mozilla users?
Having said that, I personally like having email integrated in the browser.
We should be looking at the number of web users who would use Mail instead of just Mozilla users. Obviously Mozilla users are more likely to use it than someone who is switching from IE.
I'd be surprised if *any* non-Mozilla users used Moz mail. There is zero benefit to integrating mail into the browser. Outlook and IE are disintegrated and Safari/Chimera/IE and Mail.app are disintegrated and they work fine together.
If someone wants to make a XUL-based mail client that embeds Gecko for HTML rendering, fine. But do it outside of Mozilla so it can focus on making a lean, standards compliant, high performance, reliable *browser*.
You had better look at the poll numbers then -- and prepare to be surprised.
2% of the people responding to the poll have chosen "I just use Mail & Newsgroups and never anything else." Obviously some people are using Mozilla Mail and not using the browser.
I suspect that many of them, like the 6 votes I cast, are a joke. And 2% is already very, very close to zero.
#39 Re: Re: surprised
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 1:39 PM
If there were a way to calculate the margin of error, I suspect it would be greater than two percent. Also, if there were a way to determine what percentage of MozillaZine visitors are idiots, they would probably be at least two percent of the visitors.
badly typed. but the fact remains, the only actual numbers we've seen so far in this "debate" say that the majority of mozilla users (at least those on this site) use other parts of the suite than just the browser, and hence pbreits inane suggestion that the suite is not used has no footing whatsoever.
#30 Re: i think this troll-bot is stuck in a loop :)
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 11:51 AM
MozillaZine users are not a good proxy for general Mozilla users. Virtually every medium-to-large company standardizes on a mail platform like Notes or Exchange where every Mozilla user would not be using MozMail. Virutally all Compuserve users use Moz for browsing but not for mail. If AOL ever switches to Moz, they will not also use mail.
Funny I'm the troll when I have the most reasoned argument.
you have to look back to when the design decision was made. netscape had paying customers using their suite. if they didnt build a suite they would not have met their customers needs. abondoning their customer base like that would only have sped up the slide in their marketshare caused mainly by microsoft's illegal tieing.
#47 If Mozilla were not a suite...
Wednesday February 5th, 2003 5:53 PM
Contrary to what pbreit thinks,there are a whole lot of people who use the mail/news client and if Mozilla had abandoned it in the beginning then those people would have abandoned Mozilla.
I guarantee that if had only focused on doing a browser-only app then I certainly would not have stuck with Mozilla/Netscape. I would not have installed it for my employees, customers, friends, and relatives. I would not have ever contributed any time trying to make Mozilla better. I am sure I am not the only person whose interest was contingent upon the existance of the mail/news client.
Oh, please. That's so ridiculous. The vast majority of companies make their browser and mail decisions separately. Mozilla from the outset was going to be free so who cares about paying customers. Paying customers may have wished for a browser upgrade in fewer than 4 years, too.
I agree that a not-insignificant number of people use Moz mail but contend that they would be fine, if not delighted, to use one of the numerous good mail clients available on every platform while using Moz for browsing. There is zero benefit to combining mail and browsing in one app. And, since practically no one at all uses usenet anymore, there really are not many people using MozNews.
Listen. Please stop this. The idea that more developers would have made the browser better is clearly wrong. From dbaron's weblog:
"Why is Mozilla's layout engine so big and complex? Perhaps the simple answer is that there were too many people available to write it, and they wrote as much code as they could."
(apologies if I offend anyone by quoting that. For the full context, read the full entry: <http://dbaron.org/log/2003-01#l20030109> )
Now, if you want a web browser that browses alone, use Phoenix. It seems to be designed specifically to address the issues that you relentlessly bang on about. It is *only* a browser, you'll have to use another mail client, there's no composer, no chat, no calendar, no JS debugger, no DOM inspector, *nothing* except a browser (which is a problem for the people who use those things). It has a nice cut down UI that addresses some of the problems in the Mozilla one. In fact it does everything that you are advocating. So please stop this wittering, stop making sweeping generalisations to support your points and stop critisicising someone else's project unless you plan to do something about it. That's what open source is about after all - it's not about having nightly builds or having an open-to-the-world bug database, it's about providing the source code so that *anyone* can add subtract or otherwise transform the code to meet their needs. You are quite free, right now, to take the source code, split off the browser component and market it to companies as mBrowser or something. Please spend your time doing this rather than going on about how everything would have been better if only it had been left up to you.
You've mis-quoted my position. Of course if the project had focused on the browser only, the team would have been much, much smaller.
If I and a handful of like-minded individuals had the time and inclination, I definitely see a big opportunity. At this point, I suspect the KHTML rendering engine would make more sense, however.
So , your new position is this:
Upon launching the Mozilla project, Netscape should have fired a large fraction of its development staff who were working on the email client and other non-browser features for the 4.x suite, rather than keeping them on and 'weighing down' the development of Mozilla. This would have had the effect that: The same number of people were working on the browser part of the project anyway (after all the same people would be working to write the same code). The product would have taken just as long to release and wouldn't have provided feature parity with the 4.x releases making it an unsutiable replacement for companies using that line of products.
Your position is: a) Nonsensical (everyone keeps telling you this) b) Useless (it focusses entirley on events in the past) c) Irrelevant to the future (Phoenix seems to address all of your concerns)
If you wish to develop a browser using KHTML, go ahead. Everyone admits that it is, at present, easier to understand than Gecko. However there is (I believe) work going on to simplify and rearchitecture.
" I agree that a not-insignificant number of people use Moz mail but contend that they would be fine, if not delighted, to use one of the numerous good mail clients available on every platform while using Moz for browsing. There is zero benefit to combining mail and browsing in one app. And, since practically no one at all uses usenet anymore, there really are not many people using MozNews."
1) People using Mozilla Mail do NOT want to stop using it. If they would be "delighted" to use a different mail client, then WHY would they be using the Mozilla client now? Your assertion is absurd.
2) Millions of people use usenet and other news servers every day; I do not see how you can possibly justify your claim that "practically no at all uses usenet anymore."
1) people use it because it's there. If it wasn't there they'd use something else and it wouldn't be that big a deal.
2) any reasonable person understands that the utility of net news has been dropping sharply for years in favor of email lists, bulletin boards and weblogs.
1) i use mozilla mail because its the most standard compliant html mail reader there is. period. i could be using eudora or outlook, but they both pale in comparison (not to mention one of the, to remain nameless *cough* is really happy to send viruses to all the people i care about, which i'm *not* down with). several of my non-techie friends just converted from IE to mozilla precisely because of the included mail client.
2) mail use is also starting to get replaced for many people by IM clients... does that mean everyone should stop making their mail programs? no, its a stupid suggestiong, there are millinos of people using Newsgroups and lots of people using Mozilla for them.
you are just wrong, deal with it.
"For whatever reason that XUL is incredibly slow on the Mac"
Why do people keep saying that XUL is so slow on Macs. Especially people who have never even used a Mac web browser? I have used Mozilla, Chimera, Phoenix (unofficial build), iCab, IE, and Safari on various Macs. Although the browsers with a native GUI are faster than those with a XUL GUI, but under no circumstances is the XUL interface "incredibly slow." The expiremental OS X Phoenix build is almost about equivalent to Chimera 0.5 performance.
"Apple's huge problem: its inability to compete with commodity hardware or open source software. "
KHTML *IS* open source software.
as is Darwin and QuickTime.
If AOL/TW/Netscape handled Mozilla development like Apple handles Safari development, this would not be considered an open source project.
Safari is a cathedral project. Mozilla is a bazaar project. Bazaar wins in the long run.
#73 Re: Cathedral and Bazaar
Monday February 10th, 2003 7:39 AM
Despite the claims of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" the term open-source does not necessarily mean a "bazaar". In fact, much of the bloat of the mozilla package is due to its bazaar development style, which makes saying "no" to new features very difficult. While there are certainly many advantages to a bazaar in terms of developer efficiency and community contribution, it also tends to create a product with many/no *goals*. Safari, OTOH, has a very clear goal: fast and minimal. Don't knock it.