Apple says "fuck you" to Mozilla

Apple just released a new web browser for MacOS X, called Safari.

It's based on KHTML, the rendering engine of KDE/Qt's Konqueror web browser, instead of on Gecko, the rendering engine of Mozilla. Don Melton explains why:

"The number one goal for developing Safari was to create the fastest web browser on Mac OS X. When we were evaluating technologies over a year ago, KHTML and KJS stood out. Not only were they the basis of an excellent modern and standards compliant web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open source projects. Your clean design was also a plus. And the small size of your code is a significant reason for our winning startup performance."

Translated through a de-weaselizer, this says:

"Even though some of us used to work on Mozilla, we have to admit that the Mozilla code is a gigantic, bloated mess, not to mention slow, and with an internal API so flamboyantly baroque that frankly we can't even comprehend where to begin. Also did we mention big and slow and incomprehensible?"

But I'm not bitter.

Update, Jan 14: Apparently the fact that Paul Festa linked here from his CNET article is going to reduce my Livejournal to the unadulterated depths of uselessness that the Slashdot forums have pioneered, so I guess I'll just turn off comments until the newbie shitstorm blows on by.

I'm not interested in your opinion. I'm not interested in explaining to you how you've completely missed the point of my post. I just don't care.

Thank you, drive through.

Update, May 7: (Shitstorm season over, presumably. It's a shame that turning off commenting also makes any existing comments be invisible.)

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36 Responses:

  1. jorm says:


  2. ralesk says:

       *takes notes in his "Golden sayings" book*  You're cool, Jamie Zawinski :]

  3. exoskeleton says:

    So, what do you make of Apple's X11?

    • jwz says:

      It just means that XDarwin will be on Apple's CDs instead of needing to be downloaded separately. I don't think there's anything new here.

      As I've said before, if I were to switch to MacOS, wouldn't the whole point of that exercise be so that I could stop inflicting the X Windows Disaster upon myself?

      • ch says:

        Full circle -- NeWS all over again.

      • freiheit says:

        A co worker tried it out immediately; looks like they did some improvements to XDarwin, particularly including support for Apple's "Quartz" rendering thingymabobber that makes things go faster.

        It'd be how to get that one X application you can't live without and nobody can be bothered to port instead of to use as a primary environment. It'd be a way inflict a new and subtly different set of X Window Disaster problems on yourself.

        (or you can just wait until the new apple hardware's been out long enough and run Linux on it, even if it inevitably involves more effort than it should)

        • jlindquist says:

          Oh no. Apple's X11 does not merely utilize Quartz. It uses Quartz Extreme.

          Besides the subliminal pressure to drink Dew, the "Extreme" bit offloads some rendering to the video hardware's own GPU.

    • loic says:

      Its XDarwin with some Apple loving. Last time I looked at it its 3D performance was pretty nice, though not as fast as a native OS X GL app.

  4. ioerror says:

    Safari is really really fast and has a nice clean ui.

    I just can't figure out how to get it to run on my debian box damnit.

    Seriously though, I hope they stop shipping IE with the mac.
    I wonder also when apple plans on releasing the code to their major free apps.

    Never I would wager.

  5. pexor says:

    Wait... jwz......... You're the one responsible for <blink>, right?


    • jwz says:

      For the record, no. Though I did make sure the Unix version did MilSpec blinking.

      • pexor says:

        I know you weren't. I was simply exercising my powers of Assyaciousness, because I know that is (or was) something of a pet peave of yours.

        • jwz says:

          No, <blink> is not one of my triggers. But I did recently note with horror that Mozilla has implemented MS's <marquee> tag...

          • bdu says:

            AAARRRGH! make it stop!

            also note that safari asserts itself as your default browser upon installation, a classic microsoft maneuver.

            • eaterofhands says:

              It didn't do that for me, I even went to the prefs and noted that it still listed Chimera. I had Chimera running while I installed Safari and left it running when I started.

              I also didn't run it from the /Applications folder first, I ran it out of my downloads directory first (wasn't sure if it was an installer or an app) and then moved it.

          • brad says:

            If they didn't, then nobody at AOL would've had "Implementation Experience" and thus would've had less weight in the process to standardize the Marquee tag!

            *rolls eyes*

          • hfx_ben says:

            There was *gack ptui* a lot of eeewwwww! argument against that. Apparently there was a substantial user base calling for it.
            Moz and Phoenix can kill pop-ups ... add an "anti-marquee" item to already Byzantine preferences?

          • ralesk says:

               Shocked the living hell out of me back then --- and some weeks and nightlies later I encountered someone having an EZBoard signature (they allowed HTML till some months back) with FILTER:Glow() in it, and I was quite on the edge of a heart attack, until I realised it had only been an image :-(
               Brrrrr @ MS "standards"

  6. hfx_ben says:

    e-mail on the kfm-devel list: Greetings from the Safari team at Apple Computer

    Overheard on a random channel: "Chimera is much better than Safari."

    • freiheit says:

      (co-worker was watching the keynote on his computer and tried out the Safari beta almost immediately)

      That's because Chimera has tabs. Tabs. *TABS* you hear me? And Apple's own graphs show that the speed diff between Chimera and Safari is pretty small, though it's possible it's still enough to make a difference.

      • jwz says:

        I have no use for Tabs. In fact, I have almost as little use for Tabs as for Themes.

        • anthologie says:

          Tabs are the main reason I switched from using Netscape to using Galeon. Galeon doesn't render html as "properly" as Netscape does. But the tabs are really one of the things that help me more easily do the amount of browsing I do at any one time without taking up all this real estate on my desktop.

        • jlindquist says:

          Since jumping to Netscrape 7 (when I moved to OS X,) I've found tabs damned useful. For me, they're the browser equivalent of the virtual desktop. For example, one window may hold perl documentation, with an index on one tab and a few related subtopics on the rest, for the iTunes-ripped-MP3-munging script I'm working on. The next window has my LJ friends view on one tab, and hyperlinked stories (MilSpec <BLINK>ing?) on the rest. Lather, rinse, and repeat for other windows. Related pages stick together, making for a bit less mental and desktop clutter.

        • cetan says:

          It took me a bit to see the goodness of tabs. I tried them and quickly left them behind. But then, I went back a couple months later and stuck with it a bit longer. I've not looked back.

          When using a machine w/o out them (i.e. IE) I find the pain too much to bear.

          Well, maybe not too much to bear but it sure is painful.

          • cetan says:

            I hate replying to myself, but I hate forgetting important points too.

            The main aspect of tabs I use and enjoy the most is "Middle-click/Load tab in background."

            I can browse a blog, article, any site, and middle-click any number of links without ever leading said article. I can finish the article, and switch to the next tab to see what was being linked to. After I'm done there, tab is closed, and I go to the next tab etc.

            I prefer this sort of browsing experience. I can finish an article w/o getting distracted and have all the linked pages I want waiting for me when I'm done.

            On I can middle-click/open in the background 10 or 12 pictures to review after I'm done scrolling through the "top x of the day" list.

            In short, I feel like I'm a more efficient browser because of tabs.

      • jhf says:

        I have to doubt that's it -- Konqueror in KDE 3.1 (well, the RC) has tabs too, and it's still way faster than Mozilla. Libkonq doesn't have the byzantine "standards" and "quirks" modes though.

        • freiheit says:

          You missed the point: tabs is why Chimera is better than Safari. I doubt that tabs are particularly relevant to render speed.

    • hfx_ben says:

      ... and Blogged what I shudda LJed (my original post duped jwz's link):

      Discussion at KDE New runs the gamut, viz.:
      "I don't think the importance of this can be underestimated. ... [W]ith the recent success of Mozilla and now millions of Mac heads about to switch to a non-IE browser, the balance will shift back to standards-based web design." and
      "It hasn't exactly "beaten" Mozilla, as khtml still has a long ways in the CSS department and other technologies (XHTML) to go to be on the level of Gecko."

    • dragonseed says:

      Snub? What snub?

      When I use gcc, am I snubbing Metrowerks? When I wear Levi, am I snubbing Wrangler?

      For better or worse Apple chose a different technology, as is their right and wont. If they had chosen Gecko, would KHTML have been snubbed? Hardly.

      Is Apple reinventing the wheel by not using Gecko? Possibly. Is it a crime that former Moz developers didn't evangelize Gecko enough to beat out KHTML? Hardly. Unless you know something we don't, and that something happened to those developers...?

      Anyway, competition and diversity are *good* things. I'm using Mozilla right this very isntance, even though Safari is up and on. Apple hasn't 'killed' Mozilla, cause there's still Chimera, Mozilla Macho, and Mozilla CFM. Myself, I build my own because the default Mozilla is intolerable and insufficient. I build a Macho version, over the CFM version, for performance reasons.

      In any case, Moz owes Apple nothing and Apple owes Moz nothing.

  7. synx says:

    How bitter we are! Apple took an engineering, non-partisan approach to developing Safari, with the #1 goal of speed (remember all those recent stories about how surfing on mac is slower than any other platform?). And surprise surprise they did not choose gecko - an engine who's writers admit that its big and cumbersome.

    And now you're feeling sad just because your pet project was overlooked for sound, well justified reasons?

    Get off of it already. You make your own destiny, so go out there and make a better one.


    • jwz says:

      Congratulations, you've managed to completely and totally miss the point of my post! And you know, I'm totally uninterested in explaining it to you.

      Apparently the fact that Paul linked here from his CNET article is going to reduce my Livejournal to the unadulterated depths of uselessness that the Slashdot forums have pioneered, so I guess I'll just turn off comments until the newbie shitstorm blows on by.