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Firefox 1.0: let’s take the web back!

November 8th, 2004

I have a t-shirt that Paul gave me from the mozilla party that was held in 1998 when Mozilla was first released as open source. It took more than 6 years to get here. Sure, lots of released of that huge beast that is the Mozilla Suite, but Firefox 1.0 is what I (and many others) have been waiting for since Microsoft decided to crush Netscape with all possible means.

Why is this so important? Here is why:

  • Firefox is compliant to the W3C recommendations and, if not, everybody will consider it a bug and you can expect it to be fixed.
  • Firefox is free software. Not just “free as in beer”, but “free as in speech”. The Mozilla Suite was “open source”, FireFox is “free software”. Why? because no stinking AOL is now dictating that you keep all that crap in a single package.
  • Firefox is innovative. Yeah, I’m talking to those idiots that believe that just because you don’t get paid for it directly you can’t create innovation.Now, it’s in their faces. Tabbed browsing, popup blocking, built-in search bar, in-page keyword highlighting, bookmarklets… try to find those in IE!
  • Firefox is a good citizen of the web. Why? because it works for you, not for the corporation behind it. IE introduced pop-up blocking, but then the folks at MSN got pissed and they had to lower the effectiveness a little, so that Microsoft could earn money on those popups.
  • Firefox is good software. The mozilla folks spent years building the infrastructure around the code. Bugzilla, tinderbox, bonsai, are all tools that are used to keep the software solid as things move along.
  • Firefox is going to be there tomorrow. Yeah, unlike IE that you never know what’s going to happen to your webapps if you connect to their features.
  • Firefox is not built into your OS! Which means not only, it doesn’t infect your computer with crap or makes it crash if it crashes, but also it allows you to have as many different versions of that browser as you want installed at the same time! Ask those people that had software update install a new version of IE every night and have their webapp broken the next morning!

Should I keep going?

And there is one more feature that might pass unnoticed to many but that I think it’s revolutionary: the built-in hook to the CreativeCommons search engine.

Why that? well, Creative Commons is, at the end, an RDF ontology and a query returns the metadata semantics associated to it. Here is an example.

This is the first semantic-web search engine. It’s ranking is poor, admittedly but it’s based on Nutch, an open source search engine written by the same guy that brought you Apache Lucene, so you can expect it to get better.

Now there is no excuse people: let’s take the web back! it belongs to the people of this planet, not to Microsoft!