September 24, 2004

Google Browser Revolutions

BBC NEWS: Rumours surround Google browser

"Google-watcher and web-designer Jason Kottke said Google's interest in Mozilla was significant for another reason. He said the work that Google is doing on Gmail and Blogger show it is definitely interested in building software that more like familiar desktop programs rather than web applications. "

That's the gist of the XUL theory I posted about yesterday said in a non tech way.

eWeek: Is Google Ready to Browse?. I'm quoted on page 2:

Web developer Pinder Johal, who first reported on his Blogzilla blog about sighting Google in a Mozilla bug report, has his doubts. He said he would expect other types of applications, such as instant messaging, to be a bigger priority for Google.

"There's nothing conclusive out there, but a lot of people are speculating," Johal said. "I'm still skeptical about it all. Other than an R&D type of thing, I don't think they're going to launch something like they did with Gmail."

Thus concludes the Google Browser Trilogy. Unless of course Google releases it tomorrow.

Posted by pinder at 10:25 AM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2004

The Google Browser, Reloaded

After my last post, the bugzilla issue Bug 226572 - Google branded Mozilla browser had also been marked as private. I no longer have a copy of it in my cache. Does anyone else have a cached copy of it? The ironic part is that if work offline actually worked, or if i were using IE, i'd still have the cache of the bug! But from what I remember, it was created in 2003, and in the URL field, it pointed to this page: Simon Willison: The Google Browser. It contained mostly the same kind of chatter as the comments on the above post by bugzilla users. The only item of note was the "This is a duplicate of a private bug about working with Google. So closing this one." comment. It was made by Bart Decrem, who coordinates marketing and business affairs for the Mozilla project.


There's a lot of speculation about mini-apps that Google could build in "GBrowser". Anything from Alexa-like "What's Related" in the form of a Livemarks folder to blogging tools to integrated ads when searching. All of those ideas seem okay, but don't seem substantial enough to me.

But what can Mozilla do but no one else can? If it's just a matter of improving Adsense revenue, why not partner with Opera, which already has an integrated adbar? What is Mozilla's advantage?

I think Google is interested in Mozilla because of one thing: enhancing XUL.

They recently grabbed Joe Beda, the lead developer of Microsoft's Avalon user interface in Longhorn. And Avalon is basically XUL... sort of.

To see an example of a XUL app on the web, check out the Mozilla Amazon Browser.

In my opinion, XUL is a bit cludgy and not-ready-for-primetime yet. But if Google partners with Mozilla to work on it, to enchance it, they could have many uses for XUL for any of the apps they have.

GMail is the most app-like webapp I've ever seen. They have pushed what you can do with a webapp's page-by-page format. And "performing tasks page-by-page is not always the most efficient way of doing things". I think they've reached the limit with what they can do with a hardcore DHTML system. Do they invest more into pushing DHTML to its limits? Once they reach that limit, where can they go from there? The answer: to an enhanced XUL application. Maybe they want to make a XUL version of Gmail? Googe Groups could be much better in XUL interface. XUL could make it easier to search and view threads. And related items could be an expanding tree under the search, etc... The current system is bulky. It uses frames!

XUL isn't exactly Gmail-like "simple" though. It's a completely different way of interacting on the web. I still think it's a long way away before any widespread use. But it certainly has lots of possible uses worth investing in if you're Google.

I still think we'll see a Google IM client before we see a Google Browser.

Posted by pinder at 11:07 PM | Comments (9)

September 20, 2004

Google Browser?


NY Post (they're never wrong!) is speculating that Google will launch a web browser based on the fact that they've hired a half-dozen key hires in recent weeks.

GBrowser sounds like a pretty lame name. Maybe it will like this.

Maybe it will be Mozilla based. There's even Bug 226572 - Google branded Mozilla browser with the last comment saying:

This is a duplicate of a private bug about working with Google. So closing this one.

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 213362 ***

If not Mozilla can always see how they market "GBrowser" to non-geeks and copy that.

More evidence of a Google browser (
Slashdot | Will Google Launch A Browser?
Gmail is too creepy

Posted by pinder at 7:26 PM | Comments (23)

September 19, 2004

Firefox 1.0 Guidebook

guidebook.jpgThe Mozilla Store is now taking orders for a Firefox Guidebook. The cover sure looks nice. It ships Sep 30th. Looks like it's aimed towards novice users. Order it now for your mom!

Also available:
Firefox CD & Guidebook
Firefox & Thunderbird CD
Firefox Stickers
Mozilla 1.7 Guidebook

Posted by pinder at 5:53 PM | Comments (7)

September 18, 2004

Spread[ing] Firefox

That was quick. Spread Firefox surpasses 1,000,000 downloads of Mozilla Firefox — in less than 100 hours!

Blake Ross:

This is the fastest adoption rate we have ever experienced, higher than every previous Firefox release.

Here's to 2,000,000 and beyond.

Posted by jonathan at 9:21 PM | Comments (1)

Apple-icious Widgets for Mozilla Firefox

Kevin Gerich, who brought Pinstripe to Mozilla Firefox on Mac OSX, is busy with brilliance, again. He's forging form widgets for Mozilla Firefox which'll appear more "presentable" — i.e. Apple-icious.

Ben Goodger has already offered to pull the elements in: "Figure out how to do this as a patch to the existing Mozilla code for Mac-only and do all the widgets, and we'll slurp this up."

Posted by jonathan at 9:07 PM | Comments (8)

September 17, 2004

Number Your Tabs

One of the keyboard shortcuts to switch tabs is to use CTRL 1-9 to switch between open tabs. To solve the problem of figuring out which tab is 6 and which is 7, Derek Featherstone has created an easy to use css hack that numbers the tabs in Firefox:


Posted by pinder at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)

Dr. Evil: Goodger's on Fire!

From this article on Slashdot: Mozilla's Goodger on Firefox's Future comes this comment:

That title just cracks me up. "Mozilla's Goodger on Firefox's Future"

It just sounds DIRTY... If there was some guys Goodger in my future, I'd certainly try to do something about it...

Read the interview with the lead engineer of Firefox.

Posted by pinder at 9:43 AM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2004

Critical Mozilla Vulnerabilities Fixed in New Versions

A security advisory has been issued regarding buffer overflow vulnerabilities in Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird. However, the issue has been fixed in the recently released Mozilla 1.7.3, Firefox 1.0PR, Thunderbird 0.8.

Firefox 1.0PR now has a "software update" feature, so if any new vulneribilities are found and fixed, it will notify you about the update.

Coincidently, the Mozilla Foundation had a press release yesterday announcing that the first Security Bug Bounty payments were awarded.

[via /.]

Posted by pinder at 12:36 PM | Comments (4)

September 14, 2004

The domain is now in the possession of the Mozilla Foundation. This thanks to Kevin Karpenske, the former owner of the domain, and his selfless contribution.

Make sure to visit Kevin's new site,, and voice your gratitude. We at Blogzilla would like to extend our praise to Kevin for his support of the Mozilla Firefox Project.

Posted by jonathan at 11:49 AM | Comments (2)

The Unilateral Disarmament of Netscape

Slashdot has a Q&A with Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks about digital music. I liked this bit on why Real is only partially open source:

Apple apparently is focused on controlling an end-to-end secure music system, and Microsoft is focused on extending their proprietary Windows platform everywhere.

In light of this, we remain committed to enhancing interoperability and openness wherever it makes sense. However, what we haven't done is "unilaterally disarm" in the way that, for instance, Netscape did.

Posted by pinder at 11:36 AM

September 13, 2004

The Return of Alt. Stylesheet and Work Offline

The excellent mozilla blog redemption in a blog reports that Alternate stylesheet UI and Work Offline are now back in for Firefox 1.0. There was an furor when these features where uncerimoniously removed a few weeks ago.

The added "No Style" feature in the Stylsheet UI is useful for if you want to print a more readable version of sites that don't offer printer-friendly pages. The keyboard shortcut for it is CTRL-SHIFT-D. Try it on this page to see it with no styles!

Also, Firefox 1.0 Preview Release Candidates are available for testing. There should be another one tomorrow as well.

Posted by pinder at 1:43 PM

September 10, 2004

Browse By Name in Firefox

A new Google toolbar feature for IE allows you to enter keywords in the address bar. Jesse Ruderman has posted instructions on how to get "Browse By Name" in Firefox.

Googlebar extension
Keyword Searching

Posted by pinder at 10:56 AM

September 6, 2004

No More NT Auth on Intranets

A bug that has long been a pain in the ass to web developers and corporate intranet users alike, Bug 231529 - Optionally enable unprompted NTLM authentication has been fixed! That means that if you try accessing a local webserver, Mozilla won't prompt you for your NT username and password. This is a great fix, since it's issues like this that can prevent deployment of Firefox in corporate environments.

The fix will be in for 1.0, which should be out next month according to the Firefox 1.0 Roadmap.

[via Mozings]

Posted by pinder at 10:03 PM | Comments (7)

September 4, 2004

Mozilla Browser Share has Browser Statistics report showing Mozilla's browser share going from 8.2% in January to 14.9% in August. But then again, those statistics are "extracted from W3Schools' log-files".

Back in July, WebSideStory, a San Diego Web metrics company reported that Mozilla and Netscape's combined market share increased from 3.21% to 4.05%.

According to my server's log-files, Mozilla's market share is hovering at about 70%. Alert the press!

[via /.]

Posted by pinder at 5:19 PM | Comments (2)

September 2, 2004

Not All Sales and Marketing People Have a Black Heart Right?

One of the Google insiders to strike it rich with the IPO was Omid Kordestani. He's Google's senior vice president of worldwide sales and was formally an executive at Netscape Communications.

According to the article, Kordestani made $20,444,710 on the Google IPO and retains a stake worth $388,449,490.

Hey Omid, if you have any fondness left for what remains of your former company's browser, the Mozilla Foundation is accepting donations!

Jul 2003 Time Magazine profile of Omid Kordestani

Posted by pinder at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)

September 1, 2004 Redesigns

Congratulations to Steven Garrity and the entire team at silverorange for their work on the newly redesigned I think it's a big step forward from the last one, which always felt a little half-finished to me. But then again, that design was a big step forward from the old-old one.

The one GUI nit-picky issue I posted to the feedback topic forums was about the click-targets of the buttons in the nav bar.

If you hover over the right sides of the buttons, they become unclickable, however the hover still changes the colour of the button. Here's a screenshot:


Full click-targets are better.

But as Steven notes, they're still updating and tweaking things.

The other issue I have is with the Mozilla Blogs column on the main page. I haven't read much about Planet Mozilla, but I question why blog posts from it's feed are listed on the front page of Since some of the Mozilla blogs listed in the feed don't always talk about Mozilla on their blogs, I'm not sure how much value it adds to have links to a dork's post about his new iMac on the front page. I still think it's a valuable resource, but for the front page, it would probably be more useful if it had an editor, like the links featured in The Mozilla Blogging Project on

Posted by pinder at 10:15 PM | Comments (2)

And We're Back!!

After a long hiatus, Blogzilla is back.

Posted by pinder at 9:47 PM | Comments (5)