Firefox in trouble?

Firefox in trouble?

Summary: eWeek: Has the success of Firefox inadvertantly put the team behind the browser in a bind? In his column, Steven J.

TOPICS: Browser

eWeek: Has the success of Firefox inadvertantly put the team behind the browser in a bind? In his column, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says that the future may not be so bright for Firefox if the Mozilla Foundation doesn

Topic: Browser

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  • mmmmmmmmmmm duh.

    if firefox or any OS app, is to beat out a commercial app it need to beat its competitors at not only the functional level (kudos to firefox) but also at the administrative level, we dictate what goes on our corporate networks. IE is wayyyyy too easy to admin on a network compared to firefox, from patching to hardening to configuring.

    If firefox is to compete with the upcoming IE 7 they had better address the corporate administration issue. Why would I, a network admin, roll out firefox to my 1000's of windows desktop's (not a small feat in itself) only to completely lose control of them once there. I wouldn't, especially when something that will give me what i want will be out within the year (IE 7).

    Security is not an driving issue as proper firewall policies, local rights, and perimeter and local security has been shored up with either a little elbow grease using what comes with windows or with a 3rd party product. (Any network admin who says you can't protect a windows network against virus's worms or spyware is incompetent, or very underfunded). Current products when properly configured don?t really need AV or AS, the only thing they are still vulnerable to are zip files, whose payload is should be nill on a properly configured box (no admin rights no user access to local hard drives, application policies.)

    - Sam

    - Sam
    • The solution is not taking the computer away...

      ... from users. Simmering resentments boil over.

      Maybe I'm misreading you, but when you write "no admin rights no user access to local hard drives, application policies" sounds like you're describing a lockdown.

      Not all users, but some have specialized situations and do not appreciate lengthy procedures designed to reassure people who don't know anything about their jobs that they need what they know they needs. Particularly if there's any chance of the request being rejected.

      In other words, case by case flexibility, even a somewhat permissive general policy.

      If flexibility requires extra effort on the part of IT, then the general attitude is IT should make that effort.
      No obvious way to prove it, of course, but I have long suspected that one reason non-IT people are put in charge of IT is to infuse a bit of what the rest of the world would call common sense.
      Anton Philidor
      • a computer is not a toaster....

        users do not have to expertiese to know what to install or what not to install, therefore should be locked down and have to ask permission to change in any system altering way.

        I don't care if they resent me i only care if they are productive and the computers are running smoothly. both are accomplished by lockdown.
  • Easier patching?

    Click the green up arrow, click "yes".

    Doesn't get much easier than that. What more do you want?
    • Probably

      not to run to 1000 desktops to do them individually.
      IT Scion
    • yes....

      from the article: "Besides, this 'update' isn't really an update. It's a complete new installation of Firefox 1.0.1. Can you say annoying? To further confuse Windows users, the default installation of this 'patch' leaves you with entries for both the now-gone older version and the new one in Windows' Add or Remove Programs control panel.It's a known bug that's been around since June of 2004 and it's still not been fixed. I am not amused."

      Sounds like things can be improved to me.

      chris jablonski
      • Thing to remember though

        That complete install is *still* smaller than many IE patches.
        • why would i remember that?

          time is more expensive than hard drive space.
          • What time costs?

            The download time is shorter than the download time of IE patches.

            No reboot required.

            Is it ideal? No. It's still a far sight better than what's out there.
          • not true

            IE patching (minus testing time) takes no measurable amount of time using automated patching. sus is free, and you can roll them out with scripts if you don't want the easy way.

            thier is nothing the will patch/manage/configure firefox from a central localtion that i am aware of.

            - Sam
        • The truth here is

          I'm am by no means a network adminbut even I have since enough to see that yes Firefox is great but for FF to be able to compete with IE, it will also have to be able to compete on the corporate scale as well. Home users don't see any problem with the way things are right now with updating FF. For the corp scene though an network admin, needs to be able to download patches on one machine and to be able to install those patches across the whole network from that machine. Plus there is the need to set permisions for all users across the entire network, which as far as I know you can't do with FF.
  • Patching Was Easy

    Simply click on the top right of the browser. Download in a second and run it. Its so easy you could 1000s of users do it with ease. Even the ones that think a computer does not need to be plugged in to work.
    • well,

      I can se your not a network admin if you are trusting your network security to 1000 users downloading and installing there own patches....
  • u guys are barking up the wrong tree

    I think all of u have got it wrong. What it means is that to keep adding all these features to firefox more ppl will be needed.

    The current team seems to already have its hands full. So they need more ppl to turn around faster on feature implementation and maybe patch development as well.
    • This is true

      It is very clear that they simply do not have the resources needed to keep pushing the image that they have set up for it. But, the fact still remains that for FF to compete wit IE it needs to be able to compete on the corp level wich at the moment from what I can gather it's simply not quite there yet.
  • To sound like No_Ax for a moment...

    ... I did say awhile ago in response to the observations about how hard it was to obtain a major patch, that FireFox would need a lot more resources to operate as a major piece of software, including even having enough servers available.

    The Mozilla Foundation probably didn't realize it would become even as popular as it is, and weren't looking for it. They probably saw FireFox as just proof of concept for minimo.

    I would pat myself on the back, but a significant part of greatness is being unassuming.
    So, all part of a normal day's work.
    Anton Philidor
    • And for the record

      I've been saying the same thing myself, and I am an adamant Mozilla supporter.

      And not only does the main program need a better patching system (and hence more programmers), but the extension and theme programmers need to be more on the ball for when an upgrade comes out, because extensions and themes have maximum version numbers they will work with and that number is usually the current version (for obvious reasons). So the main program's programmers and the extension and theme programmers need to get on the same page.

      I disagree with your minimo comments however. I do think that Firefox was the goal in mind, being modular to the point that forks such as minimo would be possible without forking too much off the main tree to be detrimental in the future. Minimo is a planned fork intended to bring in the cash. And of course you would not begrudge a programmers' group their right to earn money for their efforts.
      Michael Kelly
  • normal growing pains

    Nobody should make too big a deal out of this. Firefox became popular faster than anyone anticipated, so the foundation is experiencing normal growing pains. In terms of number of coders, delivering enterprise type features, and having the number of servers to handle the download/update load, Firefox is experiencing greater demand than their supply currently can handle.

    It is a problem, but a very good problem to have.

    I suspect that Firefox will get more coders, and get more servers, as it is a very high profile project that has a lot of different interests invested in it's success. I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of IBM, AOL, or Google all chipped in. And I could see more volunteers come into the fold.
  • RE: Firefox in trouble?

    I've been pitting Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and IE8 8.0.6001.18372, and though I'd like to jump ship sometimes, IE is still top dog.
    There are exploits out there for Chrome, FireFox, and Safari, as well as IE, but they are pretty easy to block with simple firewall hygene.
    I support Mozilla, as well as Linux, open source will eventually win out, especially FREE operating systems like Ubuntu, but my customers resist changing from Microsoft operating systems, I imagine familiarity has something to do with it.
    I've had one customer blame Vista and the IE 8 browser when HE downloaded a zipped scareware program which was supposed to be a folder locking tool which he really didn't need.
    He'd also not bothered to create a password for Vista, making him a very easy target for any port scanner to take over Admin/owner authority.
    After he installed it the program refused to open his locked folders(wouldn't accept his password), and told him he'd need to use his password to uninstall the program(still unaccepted). He uninstalled the program through the utility in the control panel, ( he'd had to use XP compatability for it to run), but the install had dropped a "spook" called Imrunin.dat, but once the .dat was changed to .TXT, so it could be read in notepad the program was listing all his "locked" folders and began locking him out of all Windows, and other programs, as the .TXT file made it appear that it was broadcasting his "personal" information to a group of crackers.The program had told him he'd need to contact the malware's creator for "technical assistance"(at a very high charge rate) in removing the bits of the program which remained. as it's last act it renamed his harddrive to jacked, but had used white as the color it typed jacked in with, so for all intents and purposes to the user the C drive now was un-named, and could not be accessed.
    It was a fairly easy disinfect job, but his attempt at removing the program did delete the name of the program which he'd downloaded from Simtel. I am actively searching for this malware download, so if anybody sees a folder security tool that has Imrunin.dat with the compressed files, please drop a name and a DL site, and I'll roast this idjit if his "technical assistance number" goes to an actual tech for pay line.
    The malware was not able to access other computers on his office network, though it tried (bad calls, this was an advanced amature, but he seems desperate for money, easy to bait maybe).
    As usual it was an I.D.10T error.
    We have good software, we need better users.
    Otis Driftwood
  • RE: Firefox in trouble?

    ....The firefox Mozilla browser is causing me more problems by the day, not as good as other browsers