Re: [Jeff Covey @ Freshmeat] We Are Losing the Browser War

From: Justin Mason (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 03:33:00 PST

(I'll keep to the technical aspects here. I don't have time to get
involved in serious mudflinging.)

Josh Cohen said:

> SO, the spec, format or whatever for flash has been made public
> (at least according to this thread), why doesn't someone stop
> whining and go write a better plug-in for NSCP on linux, or
> opera, or Konquerer, or whatever newfangled linux browser they want.

There already *IS* a free player for Flash 3, but Flash 4 and 5 are the
current versions. Reverse-engineering such a moving target is tricky; and
since Shockwave have a source-available version for download (once you get
through the 10-page license agreement), I doubt many people would be
bothered... the itch just isn't there.

Also, the quality of Flash support on Linux is not a problem with the
plugin, it's more a stability issue with NS4, from what I've heard. It
generally works well with Mozilla and Konqueror (in my experience).

> >Hopefully all of these devices using derivatives of Mozilla will help
> >swing the tide the other way.
> >
> Get Real!!! Very few "devices" are using Mozilla, or have announced
> plans to. Please dont quote me some research science project... What
> major PDA or phone vendor has announced plans to? Those devices, which
> will so greatly outnumber other devices (and possibly PCs), are running
> small versions of IE, WAP browsers, AU systems browsers, or Sybian based
> browsers... ECMAscript is alread in there, the DOM is mostly there, as
> well as a bunch of other WAP stuff, even Java will be there (finally
> having found a useful place on a client) Even if Mozilla is just an
> example, most small devices will (for better or worse) have ECMAscript,
> some type of DOM/DHTML.

I'd like to see a non-prototype, in-production device, which costs under
$300 (without a subsidised hardware deal), which has up-to-date ECMAscript
and DOM support.

Does "Pocket IE" have the same up-to-date ECMAscript and DOM support as
desktop IE? I've never checked, but I doubt it.

>From experience, when a website uses DOM/DHTML, Flash etc., they aim for
the current version. However, the current versions of these are designed
for desktops, and for a *real*, low-cost device (ie. under 4 megs of flash
memory and under 32 megs of RAM), they *just don't fit*. HTML 3.2 &
tables is about all that can get in there.

Unfortunately this means that I agree in one sense with you. Mozilla is
still *way* too big and slow for devices (my 0.8 on Linux is running at
about 30-40megs on average). Until the folks get around to
trimming it down, it's not going anywhere near a device -- or at least,
anywhere near a device that has less than 80% of the hardware spec of a
typical desktop PC.

> It may even be that new and even more awkward
> device-specific things are created to make our world even more
> complex...

Well, yeah, WAP in other words ;)


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