Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

What's more important in Mozilla as far as usability? Integrated Flash plug-in installation or a non-valdiating HTML error indicator?

You, Dear Reader, have little interest in the goings-on of Mozilla contributors.

But, as I've said before, I'm fascinated by the stuff. F'r instance: Two smart guys (whose sites I read often) have recently had a little intellectual fender-bender. Matt was thinking that your browser should tell you when web pages you visit aren't coded to standard and Asa thinks that's not as important as getting Flash, Real, WMP, Quicktime, etc. and assorted other plug-ins used daily on the web to work seamlessly with the browser. Now, Matt thinks Asa has no point. No game. No juice.

In situations like these, I'm reminded of the well-worn chestnut: "When giants are playing on your lawn, take your lawn darts into the street."

Or something.

I dunno how you suss out this stuff. I have a hell of a time figuring out where usability ends and where feature sets begin. (Does this button that does this new thing make things more "usable?" Or is just another cool thing this software can accomplish?) But I do have some off-the-cuff, untested, non-scientific, and totally anecdotal spice to add to the simmering pot. ('Cause I'm a little helper.)

I evangelize for the little lizard at work. And while most web developers say, "wow - that's cool and I want to marry Venkman (the Javascript debugger)," most non-web techs find two major roadblocks fairly quickly. 1.) Their favorite site doesn't play their fave Flash animation or 2.) they can't view a certain movie trailer.

Then they email me. Then I feel ashamed. Then I email sloppy love letters to Bjarne Stroustrup seeking validation. Then he does a reverse lookup, traces back, exploits an IIS security hole and leaves my server a smoking ruin. Then I feel ashamed. Then I buy a cat and it pees on my bed. So, then I email sloppy love letters to Adrian Tomine* who performs a reverse lookup, traces back, exploits an Apache security hole...

Which can't be good for the users. To have to watch that?...

So all I know is, in regards to the argument they're having: I'm having a harder time getting people to use Mozilla who otherwise would because they have to think about the whole plug-in situation whereas they didn't in IE.

Which is a point that doesn't really address their argument at all, does it?

And, I have to add, the feature everyone loves is tabbed browsing. :)

Love, Chris

P.S. A surprising amount of people, anecdotally speaking (4), have complained about not being able to use their weblog software. 'Cause the editing tools are broken or don't work in Mozilla. You Mozilla kids's the whole .getSelection() in textareas issue... Hmm...

P.P.S. Mozilla 1.1 was released. And I'm just about to test drive the thing. Maybe the textarea feature has been added!

*This is funny, people. Adrian is a superb comic artist and therefore may not know nslookup from a #2 pencil, so help me Bjarne.

Posted at August 28, 2002 10:10 AM
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"Bug fixes means more Massless."