New IRC Client
Tuesday September 7th, 1999
Robert Ginda has checked in his IRC client into the tree. Like the XSLT engine, it's not built by default yet, and according to Rob "I'm working on gettting --enable-extension=irc to work, until then making it is too much of a kludge to publish :)".
Any screen shots yet??
Sigh. Why is there this perceived need to integrate *everything* into the Web client? It's okay to have a separate program, folks... :)
Kitchen-sinkism is a bad thing.
Disclaimer: I'm the author of leafChat, a fairly successful shareware IRC client (currently available only for Windows, but I'm working on it) so I do have some personal interest :)
#3 It came from Tim Berners-Lee
Tuesday September 7th, 1999 10:20 AM
As I recall, Tim Berners-Lee stated in an interview that he always felt that the browser client would aggregate many different protocols and not just be a hypertext browser. And if you think about it, browsers already do that, without the mail/news clients. You browse websites, FTP sites, and maybe even a gopher site on occasion. Why shouldn't you be able to connect to an IRC channel as well?
So, from the beginning of the idea of the browser was the concept of the client handling many different protocols.
If you look here
you'll see that even at the beginning Tim was thinking of interlinking not only documents, but news posts, directory services, file systems, and databases as well.
#4 Mozilla dev platform of choice?
Tuesday September 7th, 1999 10:21 AM
I wonder how easy it would be to base other applications on Mozilla and then make them available to download to customers as a Mozilla plugin or standalone app as appropriate.
#5 Re: It came from Tim Berners-Lee
Tuesday September 7th, 1999 1:25 PM
Yes, It's nice to listen to some of the founders of a technology, but we as "the rest of us" need to keep the visionaries in check sometimes, and keep them rooted in reality. There are lot's of things out there that sounded like good ideas, but when they were implemented, they were just too big or too complex to be truly useful to anyone.
Browsers now support many protocols, as you mention, but all of those protocols are pretty much static (HTTP gets a file. FTP gets a file. LDAP gets some info. ...). Actually putting a really interactive protocol like IRC or IM into it creates a whole new beast. It's no longer a "Document Viewer", it is now a "All-in-one-do-everything-super-bloated-huge-download" application.
You can't expect every app to support every protocol. I think things should be done taking the UNIX approach: "This app does this one thing, and it does that thing very well. If I want to do something else, I will create another app that does that one thing very well, and figure out how to get them all to work together".
The Windows(TM) approach is this: "Hmm, that program does this thing pretty cool, so I'm going to make my program do that cool thing too, and that cool thing, and that other cool thing..." Which leads to the dismal state that Windows is in right now.
Which side is the Mozilla project on?
If you didn't already notice, Mozilla IS a beast, as indicated by it's name :-).
Kidding aside: This is (nearly) really just a htmlpage and a little script. There're many webpage, that're more "bloated" than this application!
#12 Re: It came from Tim Berners-Lee
Wednesday September 8th, 1999 10:32 AM
> I think things should be done > taking the UNIX approach: "This > app does this one thing, and it > does that thing very well. If I > want to do something else, I will > create another app that does that > one thing very well, and figure > out how to get them all to work > together".
Hmmm, like emacs you mean ?
#13 Re: It came from Tim Berners-Lee
Wednesday September 8th, 1999 12:09 PM
Browsers are about communication, both IRC and RTM are absolutely necessary for any browser to support.
I'm not particularly complaining about "bloat" as in code size. That isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned.
I just don't think something like this should become "part" of the overall product. Perhaps it's not intended to be, I don't know.
Looking back to Netscape Navigator/Communicator (3 or 4, say), the general opinion that most people I know had of it was:
"Great browser. Shame about the mail client, news client, and godawful html editor."
Now, if we're talking about Mozilla as an application platform (and applications like this IRC client being separate applications that simply require Mozilla to run, rather than a core part of Mozilla - am I correct in understanding that that will be possible once Mozilla provides some kind of basic socket api that's currently in the C code for the irc client?), that's a different issue. I think it's a pretty bad application platform (mostly for one of the many reasons why ActiveX was a bad platform - it ain't gonna work on the other browser, is it?), but I don't have any particular problems with that use, and an IRC client is certainly a cool demo that you can do something pretty complex using it.
On the other hand, if it *is* intended to become another standard built-in component like mail/news/editor... please no. :)
It's not. It's a third-party component. Not part of the core in any way. Actually, just about all of mozilla is component based, and this is just another component that is not even loaded unless a script asks for it. Therefore, there is no reason to even have the component file on your system unless you specifically downlaod it or compile it.
It is annoying to lose an email client when the browser crashes. Now I can lose IRC too!!
I want to run each as seperate processes, but communicating via Xt (e.g. clicking on an http: line in irc or email launches that page in the browser.
#11 Re: What if mozilla goes down
Wednesday September 8th, 1999 9:50 AM
Duh. The idea is that a production version of mozilla WON'T go down, and if it does it'll be fixed so that it never happens again. You know, quality of open-source code and all that stuff?
#16 Re: What if mozilla goes down
Thursday September 9th, 1999 4:07 PM
Hmm.. I've never heard that line before. (that was sarcasm) Sure, I buy into the benifits of open-source. But very few people go out and deliberately create something that WILL go down.
When someone asks what about when it bombs? Stating "Well, it won't bomb" is very irresponsible. It will bomb. There will be errors.
Microsoft fixes their errors so it never happens again, too. People just find new ones. Open-Source isn't an impenetrable sheild, it's a tool. The realities of software development are still present.
#18 Re: What if mozilla goes down
Thursday September 9th, 1999 10:28 PM
I think saying that it will never crash is *highly* adventurish. Software does, and _will_ crash. The computer world is filled with just too many different variables that a developer can take into account and say "It won't crash."
integrate whatever in hell you want, as long as i can specify the mail/irc/ftp client that i want to use because it is better/has more features/is prettier than mozilla (which ns communicator does not do well imho, although better than that "other" browser...)
#15 *Sigh* Mozilla/Immortal will be nice
Thursday September 9th, 1999 6:12 AM
Having Communicator 4 die all the time really sucks. I'm starting to browse with the KDE file manager, it's that bad!
OTOH, it's less bad than, for example, having every file on your machine writable, as is the case with IE5.
I like the idea of Chat.
I agree, It should be an optional component, just like I think mail and composer should all be optional components. Peferably I can just go somewhere and check or un-check "Chat" in a list of options.
But when I'm surfing around, I like the idea that I can click on a link, and it says "You don't have the WidgyGidget installed, Install?" If I click on a link to a chat room, why shouldn't it ask me the same question?
And if the plug-in is no good, or underfeatured, Users can download an alternate client. And I'm sure the smarter vendors will write optional hooks that will cause their own application to open when a link is clicked on in Mozilla. Kinda like FTP. Sure my browser handles FTP, but I still have a different FTP program for when I want those little extras.
Actually, there's an unrelated idea. Why can't I right click on an FTP link and say "Open with <FTP client X>" Just like I should be able to right click on a chat link and say "Open with <IRC client X>" Hmm.. well, there's my $.02
And it's opensource to boot!
And it's opensource to boot!