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back to article Mozilla floats fondleslab-ready Firefox for Win 8

The Mozilla Foundation has made available a preview release of a version of its Firefox browser that has been re-engineered to run as both a desktop application and a Windows Store app for Windows 8's new, fondleslab-friendly Start Screen. So far, the touch-enabled version of the browser can only be downloaded from Mozilla's …

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Anonymous Coward

And yet as far as I know they have still not made any notable progress towards process per tab browsing which is the only thing stopping me from using it as a regular web browser as opposed to a jumped up debugging tool.

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FAIL

Fine restrict yourself to an inferior browser, like chrome.

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Shock news!

Software tool does not do what user wants.

User does not use software tool.

More exciting revelations next week!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Facepalm

Re: Shock news!

Quite, the world would be a much better place if nobody mentioned what they would like to see improved with tools and products and instead just made sweeping statements along the lines of "inferior browser".

As I stated that it's the only thing stopping me from using Firefox I can only presume that the people that disagree with my original post think there is much more wrong with it than I do.

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Re: Shock news!

If it is so important to you, I take it you have involved with Mozilla and are assisting them (either with code, documentation, funding or whatever) to make it a reality.

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Stop

Re: Shock news!

Is that there we are at with FOSS these days? People need to make up their minds, do you want FOSS to become mainstream or do you expect everyone who wants a product to perform a specific task to be able to help create the product/feature beforehand?

But don't worry, I know FOSS developers don't generally take that attitude towards simple feature requests. It's just a few of the zealots that get overly defensive when people question their product of choice but then mock others e.g. Apple fanbois for being defensive in the same way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shock news!

"If it is so important to you, I take it you have involved with Mozilla and are assisting them (either with code, documentation, funding or whatever) to make it a reality."

BigYin, have you ever been involved with the Mozilla Foundation yourself? If so I would quite like to hear your impressions. I have been involved, peripherally, and I was definitely not very impressed with their obsession for politicking, staring up their own rears, and building a bureaucracy to attempt to run their bureaucracy. There are some very competent developers there, but also a lot of freeloaders running on their backs.

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Re: Shock news!

And how much did you pay for this product?

So you want something for free, that does exactly what you want but don't think you should inform the devs (bar ranting randomly on unconnected forums) Yes....good luck with that.

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FAIL

Re: Shock news!

"do you expect everyone who wants a product to perform a specific task to be able to help create the product/feature beforehand?"

For the avoidance of doubt - yes. Yes I do. And there's any number of ways people can help. They could code (bug fixing/adding features), document, assist in forums, test. Or, and here's a concept for you, they could pay for the software. Thus allowing the project to hire people to do some of the aforementioned tasks.

What people should not do it moan on random forums that some piece of free software doesn't do exactly what they want when they haven't lifted a finger to assist that piece of free software.

"simple feature requests"

What number was your request? Did you even bother to raise it?

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So many previews

Now we have this and I just saw the MS Office preview was ready (sign in required) for download. Pity I don't have more time to play with all this stuff.

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Devil

This going to earn them thousands, nay hundreds of new users!

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Unfortunately they've got to do it as Windows 8 is bipolar and Firefox wouldn't appear when the user moves from manic (desktop) to depressive (Modern UI) and it'll cut them out of the x86 tablet market.

Maybe it'll even be able to share bookmarks between desktop and Modern UI and allow plug-ins to work on Modern UI. There's a reason right there for using it instead of IE10.

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While I would have swapped the "manic" and "depressive" terms around, I applaud the sentiment (by which I mean I'm going to steal your joke).

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JDX
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Mozilla developers describe as "streamlined, modern, and beautiful"

I thought Mozilla didn't Mike Metro?

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Re: Mozilla developers describe as "streamlined, modern, and beautiful"

They're referring to their australis thing.

As to metro, I don't think I've ever heard them say anything negative about it. They have been very rightly vocal about MS limiting Windows 8 RT to IE only. Which is an awful, awful decision on MS' part.

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Mushroom

"Mozilla says Microsoft won't give it access to the APIs it needs on the ARM-based OS. As such, it says it has no plans to build a browser for that platform."

Microsoft needs to be very careful about this. They're already bracing themselves for what the EU Commission is going to do to them over their recent failure to honour their agreement on Browser Choice. If what Mozilla says is true, then I can imagine the EU Commission will come down on them like a shower of shit. It will be the biggest dump they've ever taken on Microsoft. Even bigger than the one Apple did to its userbase when it shat on them with iMaps.

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Apple get away with it fine in iOS. Unless MS are alleged to use their position in desktop computing unfairly they are fine.

Note that MS don't have anywhere near a monopoly on browsing on Windows anymore, which surely puts them in a safer position against claims they are using their IE-desktop dominance unethically.

It'sa closed platform, there is nothing illegal with that. Closed systems have been around forever... games consoles don't even let you install software on them that's not approved centrally (without some messing about).

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Devil

Apple get away with it

Apple don't have a monopoly; they've always been a high-prestige, low market share company. So they get a lot less legal scrutiny than Microsoft.

Microsoft do have a monopoly on desktop OS. They don't, and never had, a monopoly on browsing on Windows. They got caught in the past trying to use their desktop OS monopoly to gain an unfair advantage in browsers. Arguably they are doing the same thing now.

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"Microsoft needs to be very careful about this."

It's a bit more complicated than this. Basically, the WinRT devices are more like enhanced iPads than they are like PCs. At least in significant ways. The focus on the ARM platform is to really lock down installed applications so that nothing can run away with it, crash it, etc. If you want to know in detail what Mozilla Foundation are talking about when they complain about restricted APIs, they want to do things like fork processes without restriction (they use that for sandboxing add ons), reserve and write directly to memory rather than use the OS's more standard methods (they would use this, for example, for optimizing Javascript).

These are all things that it is natural that a Firefox developer would like to have available to play with. But they're also the sort of things that can transform a nice shiney new product into a juddering, crashing bad experience. So it is also natural that MS want people to use the provided, ARM-friendly ways of producing apps for WinRT. The thing is, which need do you put first? If you allow Firefox to have this high level of risky access, then how do you say that any other app should not have it? And if you do allow any old app to have it, then you're basically waving goodbye to your nice, performance-friendly, secure app framework. So should Firefox get a free pass where others don't because they have a bigger brand name? Should richer companies be able to buy a first class access level? Neither sounds good to me. Should Mozilla get a free pass because their browser has a history of not spawning unnecessary processes or running wild with memory? Yeah right. ;)

So there are very good reasons for these constraints and if you're going to be fair, Mozilla have to live in the same constraints (which aren't actually that bad) that other app producers do. Well, all others except MS that is. But again, here is a problem. It's not a simple case of hypocrisy. OS and browser are growing ever closer. Google have produced an OS that is a browser! WinRT uses HTML5 for it's applications. And you can use Javascript as part of them too. The OS uses SVG graphics and CSS. In a lot of areas, the WinRT OS is rendering things just as a browser does. So what are you going to do with your browser when you write it? Are you going to duplicate a vast amount of what is already there in the OS, but deliberately cripple it to give your customers a worse experience and your competitors (such as Apple who have absolutely no problem giving their own browser tight integration) a very large advantage? Or do you accept that these days, a browser is becoming an integral part of the OS and just make a streamlined code base?

You can't give Mozilla Foundation a big advantage over all other app developers and there's no fair criteria by which to divide app developers. You can't give all app developers access, because at that point, with the sort of things Mozilla are talking about, you're all but actively stating you want people to bugger up the customer experience with WinRT. And you can't rip out major parts of the OS's rendering code and create a complete, parallel but arbitrarily crippled duplicate of that code for the sake of creating an inferior user experience. Especially when you see all your rivals doing tight integration without any consequence. As I said, with ChromeOS, the OS actually is a browser! Really, there isn't an option. WinRT is just that sort of device. More like a PC-ish iPad than a Desktop. And that has ramifications for the APIs. It's the nature of the beast.

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I wouldn't worry too much Mozilla for not having access to the API's for making a Windows RT version of Firefox as i doubt it will still be around in a couple of years time so don't bother wasting time trying

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I've gotta admit, for tablet browsing, that looks pretty swish, but then that's where Not-Metro is actually pretty strong. Which is why MS blocking this kind of thing on their brand new RT platform is bloody stupid. Come on, MS, can you not see why stopping existing apps porting smoothly to your new architecture is a really bad idea?

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