Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

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?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Open Source Software: Sailing Into Friendlier Seas

Open source software is now a force drawing enterprises and developers like a magnet. The factors pulling adopters into the open source fold are changing, though. Also changing are the attitudes of software developers and corporate leaders about the viability and adaptability of open source. Open source software is increasingly important within the corporation, as a recent survey conducted by Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners found. Developers and corporate leaders now view open source software as a strategic advantage that can help companies create more secure products with better features and functionality. This helps adopters beat the competition. Read more

Linux at 23, Desktop Feedback, and GIMP 2.8.14 Released

The top story tonight is the releases of GIMP 2.8.12 and 2.8.14. Linux celebrated 23 years yesterday and the community had a bit to say about "the desktop." And finally tonight we have a couple of gaming announcements and Bruce Byfield on the KDE Visual Design Group. Read more

Tux Paint: Doing FOSS Right

Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking highly of the software, if this page of testimonials is any indication. In fact, the publication “This Old Schoolhouse” recently echoed many other reviews in their article in the June 2012 edition. In the article, Andy Harris, the Tech Homeschooler, wrote, “Tux Paint is just about the most kid-friendly program I’ve ever seen. It’s designed so the adult can set it up, and even very young children can enjoy it thoroughly. It also has sophisticated enough features for siblings and parents to enjoy.” Tux Paint is a project that does FOSS right: A wide-ranging team labors for the good of the program and consistently puts out quality software without fanfare or self-congratulation. The proof, as they say, is in the software itself: high-quality software which enjoys a high degree of acceptance with teachers and parents, to say nothing of holding the interest – and unlocking the creativity – of children. Read more