[maemo-users] Microb Versus Mozilla Fennec

From: quim.gil at nokia.com quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Sat May 10 00:48:33 EEST 2008

> This is actually where the Mozilla version has a very distinct
> advantage: they plan to support plug-ins, and there will be 
> much more functionality. The current MicroB has some serious 
> shortcomings in that area. There are some rather basic and 
> important settings and functionality that are missing from MicroB.

Note that you are comparing Fennec's future (their plans) with MicroB's
past (the version you are using today). Today Fennec has more
shortcomings than our Mozilla based browser from a end user point of
view and this is why makes total sense to continue releasing it. 

In my earlier post I said that our browser development is being done
nowadays on the Gecko trunk (practically same as Fennec) and we are also
willing to embrace the Firefox add-on developer community. Fennec will
improve thanks to Nokia's work and the other way round, such are the
wonders of open source.

> If you're going to call it an "Internet Tablet", and claim 
> that is its only purpose, then you'd better make sure that it 
> can deliver fully on that promise.

Sure. "Deliver fully" is not that simple but in relative terms, can you
point someone shipping today a mobile device with a browser offering you
a "fuller" Internet experience?

> From my experience with Fennec, as well as the screen shots 
> I've seen, the UI is a non-issue: Fennec already appears 
> "hildonized" out of the box, and anyway one of the main areas 
> that Mozilla is working on is to make their browsers appear 
> more "native" regardless of what OS they are installed in.

Of course, but the UI layer is deeper than that. I'm not sure the
developers optimizing XUL for Fennec would agree on "the UI is a
non-issue". Funtionality and performance in the UI layer is a serious
issue for any browser development nowadays and the UI layer sitting on
top of MicroB today still does a better job. May this change in the
future? Sure it can, and we are following that as well, but here and now
we need to keep shipping a browser for real mobile users and we don't
have the luxury to wait until others have done it.

But Mark, the important detail I will insist on is: we are not fighting,
we are collaborating. It is our priority to be as aligned with Mozilla
upstream as possible, as it is also our interest to follow and support
Mozilla's success in the mobile context.

Quim Gil
marketing manager, open source
maemo software @ Nokia

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