20 thoughts on “Mozilla”

  1. What say people about JavaScript?

    I am told that Firefox is the go-to development environment for JavaScript for work on advanced graphics? That you can program shaders on your graphics card this way? And that Computer Science curricula are rapidly adopting textbooks using this “stack” in the homework exercises, much as the way that Intro to Programming courses embraced Java nearly 20 years ago?

    In the comments to that link, there is a lot of hate shown to JavaScript as a Kind of badly done Object Oriented language, but then I have heard elsewhere that thinking of JavaScript that way isn’t accepting it on its own terms for what it does and how it does it?

    I am of the view that a software developer should have access to these three layers — native code, a “managed code” layer programmed in a strictly typed language such as Java, and a top layer in a kind of loosely typed “scripting language” that also includes a command interpreter for immediate execution or evaluation of expressions.

    Even though a particular developer or a particular application may not employ all three layers, I have felt there is a place for working in each layer, and a sufficiently complicated application can benefit from portions of code written in all three layers. I stopped believing in a “one language to rule them all” approach to writing all three layers or perhaps that all applications need to be written in one language in a single layer, whether native code, managed code, or a “scripting” language.

    I have written a substantial native code base in Pascal of all things because I am old, but I can see using C or C++ for that layer. I have pretty much focused on Java for the middle layer. For the top layer, I haven’t quite decided, but Matlab, of all things, is extremely popular in academic engineering and experimental science and Matlab scripts both Java and native code quite nicely.

    Is JavaScript something I need to know about, or is that going the way of Mozilla and its Firefox?

    1. I yield to nobody in the amount of time I spend in the Matlab ecosystem (you should see all of the toolboxes on my current license), and that has been the case for nigh-on 12 years (and it was MATRIXx for the 15 years before that), but…Matlab as a language sucks harder than a galactic mass black hole. Gruesomely bad. Epically bad. Makes Perl5’s object system look as well designed as Python’s. I could go on and on.

      But the good news is that you don’t need to subject yourself to that particular asspain for anything except stuff that has to be done in Matlab (like massive linear analysis batch scripts). Do everything else in Python. Hell, you can even talk directly between Python and Matlab as of R2014b. Python is pretty darned useful all around anyway, and pretty sane to program in. And with the Numeric extensions it makes a darned good scientific programming tool.

      JavaScript + HTML5 is indispensable for sophisticated in-browser stuff though.

    2. JavaScript (ECMAScript) isn’t going anywhere, since it’s the basis for the modern Web, more or less.

      Its sole advantage for any other purpose is that it’s also, necessarily, completely cross-platform.

  2. Firefox may be the best browser for XP given the hate directed at IE 8 (the constant and chronic nagging — I am talking about you, National Journal and a whole lot of polemical essay sites, what is with you guys?).

    But sheesh, Firefox looks like shish. It looks like it renders with Crayolla wax sticks, and the fonts look like blocky attempts at type faces from 30 years ago.

  3. I’m pro gay marriage, and even I think what they did to their CEO was reprehensible.

    However, I still use Firefox (though an older version). Why? Because IE is IMHO junk (I don’;t like using it, it’s a pain) and I’ll never touch Chrome due to the issue of it sending data to google.

    I like Firefox’s add-ons, especially the ad, cookie, and flash blockers.

    I’ve never looked at other options, like Opera. I guess I may have to now. Any other choices out there?

    1. Well, you could use Chromium, which is Chrome but doesn’t send any data to Google. Or you could disable the settings in Chrome that DO send data to Google; see here for details.

      1. Thanks, I’ll look into Chromium, and maybe Chrome as well if it’s possible to block data to google and things like auto updates.

        1. ACK. Following up to my above, Chrome turned out to be mallware. There’s no setting to stop it auto-updating. Sure, there are some workarounds in the firewall and OS to keep it from doing this, but there’s no excuse for making software that bad. I’ll see if Chromium has the same problem (From what I’ve heard, it dopes not).

          1. “Malware” for auto-updating seems like a rather strong over-reaction. I’m not going to argue with you (although I disagree), but if you’d like to expand on your thoughts, or even rant and rave, I’d listen to your opinion with sincere interest.

    2. Someone here mentioned Palemoon the last time this topic came up. It is a Firefox derivative and works ok.

  4. Adding to my post above, I just tried the latest Firefox. I can sure see why it’s user base is declining; it’s awful! HArd to navigate (doesn’t use the old standard menu format or location) the bookmarks sidebar stinks (larger font size and spacing, no way to adjust) and even the undo uption is missing from the edit menu. The tabs appearance stinks, too.

    Fortunately, I did it as an isolated, independent install and it didn’t wipe out my Firefox 10. It did, however, screw around with Firefox 10’s config file (resetting such things as allowing it to check for plugin and browser updates). Grrrr.

    I’m leaving the new version (36) and see if I can make it usable. So far though, it sucks. I might save it as an alternate browser for sites that won’t work in Firefox 10, but that’s the only use I can see for it.

    1. I’ve been using Firefox on Linux for 15 years or so. There are plugins to make even the current version look like Firefox 2.x

      It’s the only browser I know that gives me a split sidebar, with a tree of bookmarks in one half, and a tree of open tabs in the other half.

  5. One great thing about free software, an implosion of the mozilla foundation need not be the death of the firefox code base, though it would be rocky for a time until a new organization got going to manage an accepted branch.

  6. I have been using Firefox for years. I am used to it. Eric Raymond wants people judged by the work alone. OK. As long as Firefox continues to work for me, I see no need to change, no matter how poorly they treated Eich. His story is irrelevant to my experience with Firefox.

    If Firefox starts behaving for me like IE did ten years ago, I will ditch it for something else and not come back to Firefox, just as I will no longer use IE.

  7. If Mozilla goes away, I’ll cry the blues.

    It isn’t as good as it once was, but it’s still better the POT browser that comes for ‘free’ with MS operating systems.

    Oh well…

    And the fact that in our country these days, there are windmills at which one may tilt, and there are LGBT windmills which one can only be spoken of in kind, loving, accepting, nonhomophobic tones, shows just how the Left sees Freedom of Speech.

    The Gestapo nor Orwell’s Thought Police have anything on the American Left, when it comes to quashing debate, or even opinion.

    How do you say, “They Suck!”, in Newspeak?

  8. Firefox has been doomed ever since the developers started sticking their fingers in their ears and going ‘la-la-la-la-la-I’m-not-listening’ whenever users complained. From the ‘we don’t care about corporate users’ debacle, to pushing a new UI every month, the last couple of years have been a disaster of their own making. Joining the SJW love-fest was just a consequence of that increasing detachment from reality.

    It’s sad, because it’s been my primary browser for as long as I remember, but hopefully someone more sensible will take over the code base. The real problem, as suggested in the comments on that blog post, is probably that Mozilla never had to serve a market other than Google; they probably expected Google’s money to keep coming in no matter what they did, so they had no need to care about users.

    1. The fact that Firefox went from version 10 to version 36 in just a few years is a major headache. That’s part of why I don’t allow software to autoupdate; too often, the updated are both unneeded and break things. In Firefox’s case, they would regularly break plugins. So, I kept Firefox 10 and said to heck with updates.

      IMHO, a big part of Firefox’s problem is the frequent updates break stuff. On the other hand, people are migrating to Chrome, which is so mallwareish that you can’t turn off autoupdates (I was appalled that there’s no setting to do this) and have to block it on the OS.

      I hope Firefox stays around… The more browser choice,s the better, IMHO.

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