back to article Mozilla man accuses Jobs of 'bypass the web' scheme

On Wednesday, as Steve Jobs went "Back to the Mac", the fanbois of the world enjoyed their usual collective orgasm. But for Mozilla director of Firefox development Mike Beltzner, the reaction was decidedly different. "I wonder when Apple will stop shipping Safari," Beltzner tweeted in the wake of Jobs' press event. "It's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or just submit a bug

    He could just submit a bug to Apple, or send a helpful email, but no - it's far more gratifying to behave like a spoilt child throwing a tantrum.

  2. JonHendry

    Why is he all butthurt?

    Mozilla doesn't *need* to be in the app store. They have infrastructure to handle downloads. They don't need payment handling. They don't particularly need a marketing boost.

    What, is he looking for Apple to subsidize Mozilla development by taking over the bandwidth load?

    What a whiner.

  3. Gary F 1


    "the store forbids "beta," "demo," "trial," and "test" apps, and if an app crashes or so much as "exhibits a bug" – yes, exhibits a bug – it will be rejected as well".

    So let me get this straight.

    You are criticising, taking the p*ss, and decrying Apple for them wanting to apply some quality standards.

    Are you so used to buggy, incomplete alpha software being sold to you, that you will lambast Apple for saying that you should only be sold working programs??

    Jesus, I know that Windows users are used to buggy crap. I know that having to tweak, mess with drivers, pray to the software gods is the norm on the PC, but surely you can't complain about someone wanting to prevent that?

    I moved from being a lifelong Windows user, to the Mac 5 years ago, I now spend my time on my computer doing what I want to do, not half my time optimising, maintaining and fixing.

    Yes, some Apple stuff can be buggy, but it is few and far between, and usually quickly fixed.

    It's a sad world when trying to put complete, bug free software into a users hands is seen as something to attack.

  4. The Other Steve

    It isn't, and so what if it was ?

    It's bad enough we have to listen to Jobs' whiny hyperbole ("this laptop we just created is like nothing we've created before", yeah, it's ever so slightly smaller!!!!!) without Beltzner getting in on the act as well.

    Jobs' vapourware app store doesn't prevent anyone from distributing all the betas they wish over the web, or even choosing not to bother with it at all. I mean Jesus, who's ever released software without at least one bug in it ? That's gonna work.

    So no Beltzner, you whiny freetard, it doesn't 'bypass the web', and who gives a fuck if it did ? When did 'the web' become a sacred fucking cow ? There was a time before it and there will be a time after it. Deal with it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid......

      "I know that having to tweak, mess with drivers, pray to the software gods is the norm on the PC."

      No it isn't, you iDiot.

      1. Kirbini

        Yes it is...

        Obviously you have no real world enterprise level experience. I've spent more than 20 years in enterprise IT supporting nearly every flavor of Unix (yes, even VAX), Linux (since it was called linux-386), MacOS (since System 2.1), Windows(all of them ever) and DOS you can imagine. Without question Windows take FAR more attention than any of the other OSes combined.

        All the name calling in the world will not ever change that.

      2. Gary F 1

        Yes it is...

        I guess you didn't read the part where i stated that I was a lifelong Windows user.

        I still frequently fix many PCs belonging to friends - 95% software problems, not hardware related.

        Yes, you do still have to make a concerted effort to maintain and optimise PCs to get the best out of them. And yes there are still frequent driver issues, hardware conflicts, software conflicts etc, etc.

        Calling me an iDiot, with no rationale argument just shows you up as ignorant.

        Funnily enough, I am yet to get a call from any of my many (rapidly increasing) Mac owning friends to fix their computers.......

      3. Seanie Ryan

        Re: Dumber

        "No it isn't, you iDiot."

        Yes it is.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Re: Dumber

          Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh no it isn't.

          Come on everyone, panto season's nearly on us so we might as well get into the swing of things.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "There was a time before it, and there will be a time after it."

      I can't wait for the time after Apple. :)

    3. dolcraith

      Learn what a computer and an OS are

      so you know PC = Personal Computer. Please use the proper terminology that you are talking about Windows versus OS X (operating systems).

    4. Tim Bates


      You've never tried to send a bug report to any large company. Even reporting a 404 is damn near impossible with large corporations.

      Yes, he could have told them about it... If only they made that possible.

  5. Anton Ivanov
    Jobs Halo

    Oh my god, they actually require QA and proper coding

    Oh my go, the lamb has cracked the seventh seal. Four horsemen are clearly visible on the horison.

    I do not appload Steve very often, but here there is a valid reason for applause.

    Rejection because it is not coded per data storage and IPC conventions? Excellent. Applause

    Rejection on QA grounds? Excellent. Double Applause.

    Rejection because it is a resource hog and uses 3 abstraction layers instead of 2 lines of native code? Excellent. Quadrupple Applause.

    And Octuple Applause overall. About bloody time.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "We question whether its web developers actually speak with the outside world."

    Of course they don't. Just look at the code generated by iWeb which is 'best viewed with Safari'.

  7. Richard Fletcher

    No shit sherlock

    Of course that's what he wants to do. I said so in a comment right here on el reg months ago. I don't think he'll be successful as I think people will want to keep the web for more reasons than you can shake a stick at. Or whatever it is that you shake when your on the web..

  8. Steve Todd

    What an unbelievable load of anti-apple whining

    Firstly the app store doesn't prevent users from obtaining apps from anywhere else that they fancy. Nothing about it implies that Apple are going to stop shipping Safari (indeed Apple have repeatedly demonstrated that they are deeply committed to web technologies). What it does demonstrate is the realisation that web isn't the ideal solution for everything and that it needs to run alongside more traditional apps.

    Secondly the rules on apps in the store seem to have been mis-represented. Apple deciding that they don't want the App Store to become yet another host for free demoware (with the full version available elsewhere and providing no income for Apple) isn't wildly unreasonable. The requirement on bugs isn't that Apps be bug free (no software is bug free), but that it be free of obvious bugs. Selling obviously sub-standard, buggy apps damages the reputation of both the store and the developer.

    Finally complaining that a web page doesn't work with an overnight beta of a third party web browser? Really? That HAS to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Apple should be testing their pages against all betas of all web browsers, along with the major live versions? Get real.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    this is a title.

    So Apple make available an entirely optional app store for the Mac, that developers can choose to use if they want, that consumers can choose to use if they want, but are still free to get apps in any other way they choose (unlike the iPhone/iPad/iPod) and people still complain they are being draconian?

    What a strange world I woke up to this morning.

  10. jubtastic1

    Actually doesn't work on Safari 3.1.2 either, had to use chrome to browse the site, I think the man from moz is having a moment if he thinks Apple is trying to sabotage the web though.

    Mac App store is interesting, I wonder how many machines can be registered to a single account? can't see some of the big names being too pleased about one sale being used on five machines like iPhone apps can.

  11. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    IE4 with ActiveX anyone?

    The more the cult of Apple goes on, the more it becomes like Microsoft.

    Paris because she can't see the point of display:none either.

    1. CD001


      If you can't see the point of "display:none;" - you've never written a web app.

  12. The BigYin

    Some opinions

    1) Apple is not a monopoly

    2) Apple make the hardware, OS and run the app store

    3) It's Apple's playground, it's their rules

    Summary: Don't like it, don't join in


    Item 1 would come under regulatory scrutiny if Apple ever gets big enough

    Item 2 could all if item is torn down, or Apple finds scaling difficult

    Item 3 is wholly dependent on 1 and 2.


    For end-users the Apple restrictions are (generally) a "Good Thing"(tm) as "things just work". Compare that to the dog's dinner that is the Linux distros where it can be "pot luck" or the continual fight with drivers etc on Windows.

    Don't get me wrong, I quite like Linux. In fact, I want to go 100% Linux at home. But some problems drive me completely scatty and I'd like to think I have at least some clue on where to find answers.

  13. Stuart Castle

    It is logical to think

    that seeing as (including the Macbook Air page) works on every browser I tried it on (Safari, Opera and IE), and apparently the stable version of Firefox, that maybe, just maybe, the fault is in this new nightly build of FF, especially as even Mozilla label it as a beta.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well then

      Not a monopoly but make the hardware, the OS, and the app store.

      That sure as fuck sounds like a monopoly to me.

      fuck apple

      1. Seanie Ryan
        Thumb Up

        not well then... ?

        "That sure as fuck sounds like a monopoly to me.

        fuck apple"

        so the only computer hardware or phone or OS available to the world is made by apple?

        I am sure you are inadvertently meaning to compliment Apple and maybe it just "feels" that way seeing as the competition is so crap, but, just so you know, its not a monopoly because you can actually buy computers and phones from other providers if you really want to.

        Maybe you just dont want to? you're right too !! good man

  14. J Lewter
    Jobs Horns

    Apple Webpages

    I have to admit, The apple webpages over the past couple of years seem to never work great for me unless I am using an iPod or iPhone to browse the sites..

    At first I thought that this might be a pc issue at first, but when I purchased a new laptop and then another, and then built two new desktops.. I soon realised that it wasnt my pc, it was just the apple website.

    Strange enough.. If I go back to a p4 system with windows2000.. the iTunes movie site seems to work well... I am not saying that they are intentionally coding something to not work in windows environments.. Just that (for me) out of 5 pc's (all core2duo or better) none of them can browse the movie pages without some part of it locking up.

  15. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Big Brother knows best

    So do as you're told.

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Jobs Halo

    There's a simple solution

    Leave them to it.

    The rest of us can carry on as we always have, the fanbois can enjoy their walled garden and crippled universe. All not being able to use means to me is that I'll be less likely to buy Apple or buy into the Jobsian dream. Well done. Thanks Steve.

  17. Bilgepipe


    "if an app crashes or so much as "exhibits a bug" – yes, exhibits a bug – it will be rejected as well."

    Ahh, there's this guys problem right there - Firefox would never make it to the App Store.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "If you're using the latest build of Firefox 4 beta 6 and you visit, the homepage will load, but you won't be able to select any of the hyperlinks. The problem is not present on the stable version of Firefox or other browsers – WebKit-based or otherwise."

    So basically the latest Firefox beta has problems but no other browsers do... and that's somehow Apple's fault? Sounds to me like there are problems with the latest beta of Firefox...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    All I hear on these comments is Apple fanboys slagging off a well placed 'for the web' detractor of Apple. Almost 'church of scientology' the way everyone joined up in defence of the great jobs.

    The guy is arguing with reasons to his rant, something that google and apple tend to ignore, using petty one liners and PR speak. Trying to score one-up on the competition.

    I personally like his comment about sending a mozilla bug to an apple developer, it's funny.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully this will stop the trend

    of people putting "BETA" on stuff just to make it sound new and cool.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu Software Centre...

    How is the Mac App Store any different to the new Ubuntu Software Centre, other than the QA? And why do Mozilla feel so threatened? I thought that the Mac had a small and irrelevant user base, or that's what the Wintards here would have you believe...

  22. Neal 5

    Mozilla Beta.

    Partially agree, from an "app" builders point of view, surely it's better to have the web rebuild to fit your spec, than to actually change your beta to fit the web, which works with non beta versions of your product.

    Conclusion, FF4 Beta (x) has obviously reached final distribution stage, doesn't need fixing any further and is sure to provide the ultimate web viewing experience, just so long as everyone with a website changes it to accommodate Firefox.


      Way to miss the big picture.

      > How is the Mac App Store any different to the new Ubuntu Software Centre, other than the QA?

      The Ubuntu Software Center is not restricted. At worst, it is an alternate view

      of a very open system that allows for even YOU PERSONALLY to participate

      with a very low bar in terms of permission or consent or anual fees.

      It's like trying to compare proprietary iApps to the World Wide Web.

      I wonder how Adobe Air apps would fare here. I just bought one of those at an Apple B&M store yesterday.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Hopefully this will stop the trend

    of people putting "BETA" on stuff just because they can't be arsed to test/code properly.

  24. ShaggyDoggy


    How would Apple prove there was a bug in your software (I refuse to say "app") and thence remove it from their store ?

    After all you could simply say that it was supposed to do what it did, how can they dispute that ?

    1. bothwell
      Thumb Up

      does what it's supposed to do

      "The users were holding it wrong"

  25. Steve 13


    I presume that the iFans who keep mentioning drivers haven't been near a windoze box in several years...

    1. asdf Silver badge


      Yeah M$ finally pushed partners like Nvidia to fix their crap Vista/7 drivers for the most part. On the other hand if you want to upgrade your video card in your Mac prepare to pay more for a slower card than a M$ user would get (when you buy Apple EFI version) or else you are on your own to mess with drivers (which often break when the next OS security patch comes out). Still I enjoy my Mac Pro big iron, my Windows 7 beast game machine and even my sub $500 netbook with Ubuntu on it. All just different tools to play with and good to be proficient with them all (as well as VMs for Plan 9, Haiku, ReactOS, Amiga, etc collecting OSs ftw).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Haha, it amazes me all the people on here who reacted to the Mac app stores quality control measures as if they're normal or should be expected.

    It's the exclusion of betas that I'm really getting at here. Any software designer or quality assurance worker worth their weight knows that beta testing is nearly always essential to software development, especially for large-scale projects.

    Conveniently all the large corporations with software houses have their own QA teams, but small software houses with big ideas are, as usual, being crapped on by the garden keeper.

    Maybe Apple will realise this after they spend most of their time vetting apps that have no chance in hell of becoming bug free because developers can't make their betas available to the very same community that they wish to distribute the software to.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Apple = AOL

    Only this time, "AOL" means Apple Only <fill with appropriate L word>

    Jobs Horns

    UI Wizards indeed...

    If Apple is genuinely worried about stuff that gets bad user feedback or is explicitly labeled as a beta then perhaps they should make their interface robust enough to account for that?

    Or is the only way they can manage to deliver something is if it is completely trivial?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    "exhibits a bug"

    What if it happens to just be an undocumented feature?

  30. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Jobs also bars apps that use Java and other "deprecated or optionally installed technologies"

    Does that quote mean that Java will be depreciated from 10.7 onwards, because it certainly isn't optional till 10.6.

    Obviously Macs aren't for developers, they'll have to take their Eclipse install elsewhere.

  31. Watashi


    Hate to call this one, but I predicted at least a couple of years ago that the web was going to end up splitting into different "channels" which would be accessed through your service provider of choice. Apple is the clear front-runner in this with its vertical monopoly and its "Apple does everything better" mantra. Not so far off, you'll be accessing most of the internet through apps that plug directly into the service servers and bypass the web (i.e. web pages) completely.

    Some people may not care, but we all should because the ultimate end-point of Apple's path is an internet where large chunks of it are largely inaccessible to large groups of internet users. It's bad enough not being able to play your favourite game franchise on your favourite console, but imagine not being able to access your favourite web-based application because your iPad doesn't support non-Jobsian accredited web services! Or even worse - being held hostage by the iPhone app store, having to pay to access a web based application that other phone / computer users can get at for free.

    At the moment, the internet is largely free at the point of use and universal. Jobs wants to change this. Fortunately, salvation is at hand in the simple law of consumer choice. Unlike MS, Nokia and others, Apple's sales depend not on product quality but on fashionability. And fashion changes at the click of the fingers. I suspect Apple have already tipped into unfashionable, and will see their smartphone market share and then tablet market share plummet over the next five years.

  32. TeeCee Gold badge

    Handbags at dawn.

    As the Lord Jobs himself put it when he preached the parable of the App Store unto the faithful: " won't be the only place...."

    So Mozilla can still kick out their betas via other means heretical unto the true believers and everyone's happy. Even those who hold to the vile heresy of Safari being not the holiest*.

    So what's the issue then? We're down to "some big company's website b0rks browser A", which is so common it doesn't normally merit column inches on slow news day.

    *That's holiest as in blessed amongst browsers, not holiest as in full of bloody great holes.

  33. EvilGav 1

    Ahhh . . .

    . . . nice to see the Fanbois out in force on this one.

    Here's a thought for you :

    Most web pages check to see what browser/version you are using (and yes we can blame IE for the most part for having to do that), this case would appear to be that the site only checks for versions of browsers it knows about - Firefox v4 is not out, so why code for it ?

    The problem is, as someone has pointed out above, you should *always* code for the possibility you didn't think of everything - so you code for the "what the hell are you using ?" scenario.

    I would posit that, if you told the FF4 Beta to tell the world+dog it was actually FF3, things would work just fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Really now

      "Firefox v4 is not out, so why code for it ?"

      Wow that is so englightening. I never thought of coding for Firefox specifically. I always thought it would be faster if you code in like, a language and stuff that Firefox can like, read? I don't know man this shit is hard.

      Maybe it can be a common language that all browsers can read so you don't need to code for a specific browser?

      Oh and the year 2001 is looking for you. Apparently IE6 was just released.

      1. Paul M 1

        Re. Really Now

        You know zef, this would have been a perfect opportunity for you to say nothing and let people think you a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Makes sense...


      I have not checked the page source

      I do not know CSS, webkits, etc, well enough even if I had

      That said, it makes sense to assume there's some code that says, in essence, "If you're browsing with this list of browsers, use this alternate page element instead of our special iPad/iPhone version", perhaps under the logic of "Let's make our homepage look best for our existing userbase", rather than "Let's make it work for the lowest common denominator who might be thinking of buying a Mac, but don't have any yet, and only load the special elements for special people". It would be a reasonable mindset to get into when you start from the closed hardware/software/firmware/platform/lifestyle mindset of Apple development.

  34. Tempest

    Jim Jones was like this, so Jobs is just another

    If people want to belong to some herd-like cult where someone like Jobs tells the what to do and how to do it, why should free thinkers really care? These cult members are like similar ones who believe in 'miracles', a word applied to the unexplainable, the unlikely. No matter how transparent a subject is, they will only believe what they are told to believe.

    If Apples web site is inaccessible to non-believers, why should they care? Obviously Jobs doesn't want to communicate with people who can't read the web site. If you really want to see what the latest Word is, just go look at the source: not very pretty, but readable.

  35. Shane Kent

    I am so split on this one....

    On one hand I think of all the people that have said, Windows sucks my PC crashes/crawls all the time. Then when I went to their home/business to fix PC it turned out to be a crappy little app in the background, or a flakey driver. But people did not see it as such, and blaimed it on Windows. Not to say Windows is perfect, but a lot of the time (maybe even most of the time) it wasn't Windows crashing/crawling. A lot of people either don't know any better or wish not to take responsibility for what they do to their PC. With this in mind can you blame Apple for wanting to control what goes on their OS?

    On the other hand, can we trust Apple to not get pissed off at a company and block an App because they don't like who makes it? It seems Jobs can get pissed off quite easily.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should be scared.

    This isn't just about a CSS bug. This is about the web in general. Remember that the web is not a native Apple app, and Apple doesn't get to approve or tax web apps.

    In Jobs' dreams he blocks the web and every site has to write a native app and get his approval.

    That's why Beltzner is whining so much. It isn't just about a CSS bug.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Smoke and mirrors

      "That's why Beltzner is whining so much. It isn't just about a CSS bug."

      Yep, not even vaguely about a CSS bug, it's about trying to keep FF relevant in the coming years. FF 3 handles this "bug" fine, which suggests something broken in the FF4 beta, the fact that it's Apple's website dishing up broken CSS is largely irrelevant - broken CSS can be spat out by any site using CSS.

      In fact, as TCP/IP does not offer guaranteed packet delivery, you can still end up with corruptions on a page with no problems and your browser should be able to work around them to some degree.

      And how many stories do we read of malware using broken content to create an attack vector in a browser?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    title schmitle

    I am definitely getting into the tinfoil hat business. This thread is hilarious.

  38. asdf Silver badge


    Funny to see the M$ and linux fanbois joining up to beat down the iDiots. Enemy of an enemy I suppose. With the wonders of VMs no reason for any IT professional not be comfortable with all three OSs. Unless of course you are a border line handyman drooling windows licker MCSE and are deathly afraid of your certs meaning what they really do in the real world (jack).

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