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Monday, June 02, 2003

What's all the Fuss about Firebird?

For the 0.5% of web users interested in new and exotic browsers designed to unseat IE, this one's for you. Apparently, Mozilla, the open-source version of Netscape, is morphing into something new: Firebird. Here is a quick backgrounder:

The Mozilla Firebird project is a redesign of Mozilla's browser component, written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.

Clarification: "Mozilla Firebird" is just a project name, in the same way as the Mozilla Application Suite is codenamed "SeaMonkey". For more details, read about the Mozilla Branding Strategy and the Mozilla Roadmap.


Huh? There's been plenty of media hype and praise throughout the web developer community about how great Firebird is, how it's even better than Mozilla, yadda, yadda, yadda. I always get a laugh out of geeks who think their hobby "power tools" are going to be adopted by the mainstream. Even if Firebird was the Second Coming himself, it would face an insurmountable job of chipping away at IE's massively entrenched user base.

I'm all for new browser tech, but it ain't coming from the guys who work at Netscape on payroll or otherwise. Mozilla's been around for three years now, and has done absolutely nothing but serve as an interesting plaything for a few hardcore techies. I'm not saying it's impossible to beat IE, but you really need to have something special, and neither Mozilla nor Firebird are it.

Now, if Google released a browser, that would be remarkable...

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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