Mozilla Labs has just announced the launch of Game On 2010, Mozilla's first international Open Web Games competition. Check it out!
September 2010 Archives
A friend asked me what Firefox 4 was going to look like. It's not done yet, but we're getting close. Here's what Firefox looks like today on Windows 7.
Congratulations to the (formerly) OpenOffice.org leadership on the launch of their new foundation. I think it's probably an important organizational transformation and I hope it's not too late to also transform the product.
A little more than 7 years ago, Mozilla built itself a life raft called the Mozilla Foundation. The original corporate contributor Netscape (then a small part of AOL-TimeWarner) had abandoned the project and the product. This new organization, the Mozilla Foundation, was established not just to keep the project going, turning the crank on yet more Mozilla releases, but to revolutionize the product. We transformed the legacy Netscape Communicator-alike Mozilla Suite into Firefox and Thunderbird and delivered those great apps to hundreds of millions of users all over the world.
The organization was important. It put our destiny in our own hands. But that alone was no magic bullet. It was the software we produced, Firefox and Thunderbird, that made us sustainable. So I hope that we'll see dramatic improvements to LibreOffice (the new name for the OpenOffice.org product) over the next year or two. Without that, I suspect that the Web-based productivity suites will have gained too much ground for LibreOffice to be anything but a legacy application.
Monty has put together an awesome introduction to digital media. It's 30 minutes long and totally worth it.
A Google representative, via TechCrunch:
How does that happen? Google's browser tells Google's Analytics package that it's a lot more popular than it actually is? Bizarre.
A good friend and wildly smart woman, Lisa Gansky, has just released her new book, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing. You should buy it.
Rather than further pollute that thread with this discussion, I thought I'd open a new discussion for it.
I want a Web that has all of the capabilities (and more) of compiled apps. What do you want from the Web?
I'm really excited about these trendlines showing Mozilla's JS engine performance moving ever closer to the competition on the competition's benchmarks. It looks like we'll pass Apple's JS engine on Google's test soon and we're getting really close to both of those engines on Apple's test.
More than Sunspider, V8, and Dromaeo, Kraken focuses on realistic workloads and forward-looking applications. We believe that the benchmarks used in Kraken are better in terms of reflecting realistic workloads for pushing the edge of browser performance forward. These are the things that people are saying are too slow to do with open web technologies today, and we want to have benchmarks that reflect progress against making these near-future apps universally available.
Here are Kraken test runs I charted for the latest Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox builds.
Firefox is ahead of both IE and Chrome overall, and in each of the categories except the artificial intelligence (AI) category where Chrome has a very slight advantage. Let's see if we can't take that crown before Firefox 4 ships ;-)
Where Firefox really shines is on the image manipulation tests, especially the gaussian blur test. That link is actually a super-cool thing about the Kraken benchmarks. You can drill down to the actual tests and see exactly what they're measuring. That way you can be sure that the tests are real and not just synthetic measures made to make a particular browser look good.
So poke around the results and see what's going on under the covers. Run some tests yourself. Compare your favorite browsers. And imagine what the Web could do -- and will do when all of the browsers get truly fast.
Microsoft misleads PCMag.com's Michael Muchmore into writing fiction about Firefox in the article Microsoft: IE9's Graphics Acceleration Better Than Chrome and Firefox.
Show did this happen? It started when the the IE blog said "Based on their blog posts, the hardware-accelerated implementations of other browsers generally accelerate [rendering or compositing] but not yet both." and "Today, IE9 is the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content."
(Did that MS guy somehow miss our blog post that said pretty much exactly opposite?)
From those misleading and simply wrong statements, one could see where Michael Muchmore was led astray, though his headline is a bit of a stretch given that MS never explicitly calls out Firefox.
But what's really strange is that Michael's own testing pretty much disproves Microsoft's claim (or proves it wasn't Firefox that Microsoft was referring to) but Michael is unwilling to say that explicitly in his article, He does note that Firefox is neck and neck with IE, even beating it on some of Microsoft's own acceleration tests, but nowhere does he challenge the premise of the article, that Firefox hardware acceleration isn't complete. Didn't he just not realize as he typed it that Firefox and IE were at near parity and in a completely different league than Chrome?
The Microsoft blog post is misleading and wrong and the PCMag article is also wrong along with the added benefit of being somewhat confused.
The facts are that Firefox takes advantage of the same Windows 7 APIs that Microsoft does to accelerate both the compositing and the rendering of Web content and that Mozilla provided test builds of Firefox, for folks like you, me, and Michael Muchmore, with this hardware acceleration well before Microsoft did.
We are faster and we were first.
But here's the even cooler part. Firefox goes one step further and accelerates for Windows XP users too -- something Microsoft says they can't do. So, for all their hand-waiving about the difficulties of multi-platform acceleration that, according to them the other browser vendors face, it seems Microsoft are the ones struggling to support even their most popular Windows version. If Mozilla can accelerate browsing for the hundreds of millions of PC users on Microsoft's Windows XP, why can't Microsoft? And why are they spreading FUD about Firefox when we beat them not just on the latest and greatest Windows 7 but on Windows XP where a majority of their users are today?
As for the Chrome supporters claiming that Chrome 6 wasn't the right version to test, that it's Chrome 7 that's got acceleration, yes, Chrome 7 preview builds do accelerate compositing, (6 did with a pref switch) but Microsoft is mostly right about Chrome in their blog post. Compositing is only part of the puzzle and with just that part it won't be as fast across the board as IE and Firefox -- even Chrome 7.
update: Go read what roc wrote.
sayrer DHTML popups are now just as bad as the popups Firefox 1.0 blocked to improve the Web. What is the fix this time?
Yes, these in-page DHTML pop-ups are annoying. But I don't agree that they're "just as bad" as the pop-ups of old, the ones we helped kill off with Firefox 1.0.
These new pop-ups are part of a specific page or a tab. They are modal to that content and so they're much easier to deal with. You can simply close the tab, or switch to another tab or window and they're gone.
Today's site owners can no longer pollute my entire computing experience with their pop-ups. They can only pollute their own content and I think that difference a major usability win for everyone using the Web.
My view, and I think one shared by most of the team when we decided that yes, we would ship an easy to use pop-up blocker, was not that we were trying to kill off advertising or interstitials or roadblocks to content, rather that something had to be done to restrict the damage a site was able to inflict on the user's experience of the browser itself, or even other applications.
If a site wants to annoy its users when they visit that site, I say let them. But they should not be allowed to interfere with other pages/tabs/windows/apps. DHTML pop-ups only harm the site that launches them and I'm actually OK with that.