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Crazy like a Firefox

Filed under
Moz/FF

Blake Ross turned 21 a week ago, and he marked the event by appearing before a crowded City Club of Cleveland luncheon.

Why would this young man — presently a college dropout — draw the interest of the venerated speakers’ forum? The answer can be found in two words: Mozilla Firefox.
That’s the name of the open-source code, free Internet browser Ross developed over three years ago, while still a high school student. To date, it has been downloaded well over 100 million times over the Internet. It has been widely heralded because it eludes viruses, blocks pop-ups, and deals effectively with many of the security issues that have plagued other browsers, most notably that of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

So, is this young, Jewish computing prodigy “Microsoft’s worst nightmare” or just a gifted software developer who happened to be at the right place at the right time?

Full Story.

There are so many things not

There are so many things not true in this article. You would wonder if the writer even knows what a web browser is.

"security issues that have plagued other browsers, most notably that of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer."

What other browser had the big security problems that Internet Explorer had that Firefox doesn't have? Does he mean Opera - don't they have a better security record than Firefox? I haven't heard about critical security issues in Safari either.

"Firefox was created for people who hate computers, who are fed up with pop-up ads and an Internet that takes regular coffee breaks, and who are baffled by software that seems to have a mind of its own. In short, Firefox was created for people — not programmers."

Isn't that more of a Micrososft only issue. The only problems with spyware and pop-ups I had was when I was using Windows. I have never heard of Mac OS X users having these problems as well Linux.

"The key to Firefox’s success and popularity is its open-source code, which, unlike Microsoft’s closely-guarded, proprietary code, could be viewed by both end-users (Internet surfers) and developers."

Well Konqueror is open source and I don't see people flocking to it like they are to Firefox. Mozilla the suite is open source as well as Seamonkey - I never heard of people flocking to Seamonkey.

"Firefox, which had its full release in November 2004, also beefed up security on the Internet, closing huge holes that had been discovered in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, some of which still remain today."

I didn't know that Firefox developers fix the security holes in Internet Explorer. Does Microsoft give them Internet Explorer source code? And if they closed the holes, why do they still remain today?

“It’s all about getting stuff done without having to think about using the browser,” said Ross. “We wanted Firefox to essentially be invisible.”

So its about keeping it a secret and doing a poor job marketing that is the key to its success or do they mean that you can't see the browser?

"Because of the success of the product and associated advertising revenues through its built-in Google search engine"

So Google built its search engine in Javascript and XUL and they released the source code? I thought Google was around before Firefox.

"With all of his success, one might suspect that Ross would prefer to use an open-source, non-proprietary operating system (meaning non-Microsoft or Macintosh). However, he owns a computer with Microsoft Windows XP. The reason is simple. “You really have to wake up angry and feel the same frustrations that your users do every day,” he explains."

If Windows is the problem, then why didn't he build another operating system? So the Mac is open source? Where can I download the source code to Quartz?

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