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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: sharing microsoft experience
Date Fri, 30 Nov 2001 15:58:32 GMT
At the risk of repeating myself, I continue this thread because I think
it's important:

> > 2) powerful semantic-based editing capabilities are mostly targetted on
> > intranets/extranets rather then general internet users. In these closed
> > enviornments, it's not a big deal to require people to install an
> > editing software or a specific browser. In this case, since IE forces
> > you to have only one instance on the machine (at least on windows),
> > there is a much higher chance of version conflicts with other
> > browser-based products used in the same intranet.
> It is precisely in these confined intranet zones that requiring 'another' browser or
> switching company standards is a major PITA - I have been implementing projects in
> BIG companies who were still suffering from NS3 (yes, three) ONE YEAR ago, with no
> intention to switch since they had to support thousands of users...

Absolutely. Right now you can have Netscape and IE cohexist, but *NOT*
two different IE versions in the same machine. This is, IMO, a *severe*
limitation that OS-decoupled browsers don't have.

> > I wouldn't want to be the one who requires IE 6 for their editor but has
> > to deploy it on a intranet where a two-years-old IE4-based webapp does
> > email and calendar. Have fun porting your wonderful XML-stuff over to
> > IE4!
> same goes for NS, and until there is a sequel to the yet to be released Moz 1.0
> release we do not know what backwards compatibility means to the Mozilla community
> (really no pun intended)

Good point, but *at least* I can have the user install two different
versions (probably without even knowing: I could build my editor with
mozilla underneath but without letting them know. It's a choice, anyway.
Something that IE doesn't give me (you can't ask for a *version* of the
same dll in windows!)

> > 3) microsoft is a well known for his marketing tactics. supporting one
> > standard technology today might be good today, but might be harmful
> > tomorrow (they found Java a nice little and useful toy back when IE4 was
> > released, no harms in supporting it, look at what they did with IE6).
> > What if they find javascript to be equally harmful for their business?
> > or XSLT on the client side? or XMLSchema because the W3C didn't like to
> > go the .NET way?
> well... you and I are both developing and using Java apps on the MS platform - if we
> don't see any harm in that, why would we need to stir up such FUD against MS now
> then? 

I'm a windows 2000 user, typing on a microsoft ergonomic keyboard using
an optical microsoft wheel mouse and my favorite video game is Age of
Empires. And, believe me, I'm kinda proud to be that way (I'd love
hibernation to work on my VAIO all the time, not randomly, but I managed
to live with that and it's probably a hardware bug in the VAIO BIOS).

But I hate when they follow mafia-type business guidelines. I hate how
they ruined SoftImage. I hate how they tried to kill Java and then
reinvent the wheel with C#. I hate how they ruined the word-processor
concept with the 'write-a-letter-to-your-mom' methaphore in Word. I hate
the fact that they *know* how to write good software (their MAC products
are outstanding), but they choose not to to increase the service market
around it.

> They have an agenda, that's right. Hell, even OSS people have an agenda - being
> the meritocracy it is ;-)

An agenda which allows me, with hard work, to overcome all the obstacles
without requiring huge payments (as a corporation), huge political power
(as a government), or a huge ego, time and luck (to overthrow Bill going
to work for them).

Sorry, but I find this ability to be actively responsible for my
technological future more appealing than any functionality they could
give me right now.
> > 4) embeddability and branding: sure you can embed IE into your stuff (if
> > you comply to their software restrictions and I think it would be a
> > legal surrender knowing MS) but how easily can you customize look and
> > feel of your IE-based application?
> Fair enough - but I find themes or skins a waste of time since most of us don't have
> the competence to whip up a really useful UI paradigm - we should leave such work to
> the pros in useability labs & UI design shops, really

Hey, this is exactly what I'm talking about: I *do* have these Pros on
my team, why should I let this talent go wasted? they are asking for the
ability to design all kind of functionality and they just love the
concept of being able to modify the browser at will. They scream for it!

> > Mozilla solves all these problems:
> >
> >  1) the source and the community is open: if Netscape goes away or is
> > killed, they can't close the site down, nor they can force you to stop
> > using the source code.
> Several KEY developers are on the *payroll* of NS, and for sure they would need to go
> after another job if NS goes down. And we all know what this can mean in terms of OSS
> development, especially during times of recession... maybe they're lucky and they can
> continue their awesome job, maybe not

I'm more than willing to fork the project, in case something goes wrong.
Sure it's big, but it's a lot smaller than Apache in terms of community.

> >  4) mozilla is designed for portability and open standards compliance.
> come on - their XSLT support is severly lacking, the parser inside is ages old...

:) what if I wrap Xalan C and Xerces C with XPCOM components? tell me,
how hard would that be? (ActiveState already does it).

What I mean is that you can bet your ass the Mozilla community will not
use some proprietary extensions to open standards to lock you in, as I
would be expecting from Microsoft. Call me paranoid, but I don't want to
bet my future on Microsoft new open attitude.

> they do a nice job with XML+CSS - but comparing IE against Mozilla in terms of
> practical, useful standards support (with some proprietary *extensions* admittedly)
> still goes in favor for IE...

granted. I'm betting on mozilla's future not on its present and the net
sum is that Mozilla future looks more open than IE's.
> Browsers are what appservers will be soon: commodity items, shipped with your
> computer system. I do not know anymore why I upgraded IE5.5 to IE6 other than for
> some security patches (sic). If a browser isn't installed by default on an OS (like
> Konqueror on KDE/Linux and IE on MS), and the alternatives are not offering a *much*
> better user experience, people will not go through the troubles of installing another
> browser.


> If such a CMS client is packaged as an *application*, there's a slim chance people
> will be installing it because they like the features of the CMS and has a
> Mozilla-based client app. If the CMS client requires Mozilla to be installed prior to
> installing the client, I fear some relunctancy...

oh, sure, it's not a perfect solution, but it's the least worse I can
see :)
> I'm not saying we should develop Win32 ActiveX components... but a browser-based
> solution which only works with Mozilla is equally bad!

What would you do, then? a java application? a flash object?

I considered all possible technological solutions available today and
tried to forecase their future. Mozilla is the winner, even if,
admittedly, has some limitations. All others solutions had some worse

Anyway, I'm wide open to suggestions.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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