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[P]
Firefox Has Too Many Developers

By Trollaxor in Technology
Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:13:08 AM EST
Tags: Firefox, Mozilla, Trollaxor, World Wide Web (all tags)

In its last several releases, everyone's favorite Open Source browser has become an unstable mess of add-ons, plugins, and other hacks that chew up memory like a fat kid with a chocolate-dipped corn dog. In fact, just last week, SecurityFocus released news of a devastating exploit in Firefox 3.5.5 that they blame squarely on its unstable architecture.

From its infancy Firefox has been the product of collaborative effort, unifying code from hackers worldwide. But thanks to the Hayes Law, we see that there is a "sweet spot" to such a development style, and that Firefox has long since left it behind. In the chart below, we can see that the number of Firefox developers has increased exponentially since 2002, and that number will more than double in 2010.

But it's time to be honest: either Firefox, as a modern web browser, will have killer performance on 64-bit, multicore Intel chips or it's not worth downloading and installing. And since, as we have seen in the recent past, that Firefox is actually getting slower with each release, Firefox is certainly a waste of time for anyone who takes their web browsing seriously.

[http://www.trollaxor.com/2009/12/firefox-has-too-many-developers.html]


[Firefox Developers chart]

The Hayes Law states that, given a specific type of software project, there is a certain complexity associated with it, and with that complexity an optimal number of developers. It's actually a little more complicated than that, taking into account development model, coding platform, programming language, and code repository platform, but in the end it's easy to plug in the numbers and see where a project's headed.

Against the Hayes Law, Firefox appears to have jumped the shark sometime after the Firefox 2.0 in 2006. The next major release, Firefox 3.0 in 2008, introduced many issues users today complain about: bloat, sloth, instability, and insatiable hunger for memory. Firefox user complaints increased in tandem, all syncing up with the jump in developers. Ergo Firefox's problem: too many cocks in the kitchen.

To further underline this growing problem, Firefox completely falls down in Acid3: Firefox 3.5 scores 93/100, and Firefox 3.6 scores only 87/100. Needless to say, Firefox 4.0 mockups score 0/100. Sadly, this is a continuation of a trend: Firefox took the longest of all browsers to beat Acid2. And don't even think about Acid4. Firefox is collapsing under its own weight.

The core of this problem looms: the number of developers, as seen in the chart above, will only continue to skyrocket for Firefox 3.6 and beyond. By the time Firefox 4.0 is released, sometime in December 2010, the number of developers will be nearly 4,000, almost a full magnitude greater than the optimal 445 or so in 2006. Clearly, Firefox is about to capsize.

So what is to be done? Users can petition the Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation to rethink their development model, focus on optimization instead of new features, and perhaps backpedaling on some of the less sensible projects like Mozilla Mobile and the non-standard XUL interface. Concerned individuals should log into Mozilla's Bugzilla and let loose with their bug and crash reports like never before.

Unless Brendan Eich and Mitchell Baker take their heads out of their asses, however, the best course of action is to escape Firefox like rats from a sinking ship.There are other options out there: Apple's small, fast, and efficient Safari, coded by several dozen professional programmers, is currently the best browser for Mac and Windows. The time-honored Internet Explorer continues to embrace and extend Web standards. Other browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Lynx are out there too but aren't for everyone.

In the end, Mozilla Firefox as it stands is a sick browser that is in need of emergency surgery not ready to take on the challenges of Web 2.0 and things like CSS 3, HTML5, and JavaScript 1.9. Unless something happens soon, Firefox will take the entire World Wide Web--and everyone who depends on it--back to the Stone Age of the Internet.

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o Firefox Developers chart
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o Acid3
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o the Stone Age of the Internet
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Firefox Has Too Many Developers | 48 comments (37 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
its true (2.50 / 2) (#3)
by nateo on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:11:29 PM EST

firefox lags lately.  i'd try chrome but last time i tried it it crashed too much.  what are windows users using?

--
"I'm so gonna travel the world, photographing my dick at every location."
  - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi
IE $ (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by Lady 3Jane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 01:45:10 PM EST



8====================================================================D ~~
8 Please enjoy a male chorus, All of us will become human rifles and bombs!
8 This is offensive. Fix your site Rusty you have to -- The Honorable Edwin Lister
8 Please enjoy a male chorus, All of us will become human rifles and bombs!
8====================================================================D ~~
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
     _
  __|_\_
=u__.-.__) - BOW DOWN BEFORE THE TELEVISION MADE FLESH © 2012
   /_/


[ Parent ]
Chrome (3.00 / 4) (#8)
by Nimey on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 03:25:45 PM EST

it's not crashy anymore, even the dev channel builds.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Chrome = spyware. (2.80 / 5) (#10)
by Trollaxor on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 04:40:46 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I have nothing to hide, citizen! (2.75 / 4) (#11)
by Nimey on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:07:16 PM EST


--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Firefox = the security equivalent of goatse. (2.66 / 3) (#18)
by undermyne on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:44:11 AM EST



"You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

[ Parent ]
no. chrome = cherry (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by sye on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 10:15:05 AM EST

i decided to bite. eeeXubuntu sucked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
commentary - For a better sye@K5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in
[ Parent ]

wget $ (2.75 / 4) (#26)
by j1mmy on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 05:09:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
your mom's a$$ (2.40 / 5) (#27)
by mirko on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:59:44 AM EST


--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
[ Parent ]
Real Men just telnet to port 80. $ (none / 0) (#47)
by Michael David Crawford on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:03:58 AM EST



[ Parent ]
We need images (2.00 / 6) (#6)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 02:02:21 PM EST

Fix your site Rusty, you have to.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

Trollaxor, You Are A Genius. (1.00 / 4) (#7)
by Michael David Crawford on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 02:28:34 PM EST

Have you ever considered running for office? Our troubled country could really use someone like you at the helm.



I hold several powerful political offices, (2.71 / 7) (#12)
by Trollaxor on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:18:31 PM EST

actually.

[ Parent ]
men's size (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by sye on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 09:12:33 PM EST

any idea what are the sizes & budgets of IE & Safari's core dev team?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
commentary - For a better sye@K5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

For a test called acid (3.00 / 4) (#20)
by FattMattP on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:18:12 PM EST

I expected more trippy results.

-1, would bump ogg frog mag #3 off FP $ (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by balsamic vinigga on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 03:58:31 PM EST



---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
With enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by Ruston Rustov on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 04:37:01 PM EST

It sounds like you're in favor of a top-down, centralized, 1990s, Cathedral style of architectonics.

It goes without saying that nobody seriously promotes such things anymore, so I'll give you this chance to explain yourself.

I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

FF 1.5 was the last one (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by Del Griffith on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 05:08:46 PM EST

that was usable... 2.0 was so unstable I went back to 1.5, and I've only briefly looked at 3.0++... And found it greatly a sucky experience.

And the 'stability' of the plugins...

I like how they have the nerve to beg for money, when none of the shit works.

Good luck with that, the state of FF is about as sad as the days of 'shareware' CD's when people were shocked that they only bought the media, not the programs.

-------
I...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get. - Me


Even 1.5 was a step backwards (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by anaesthetica on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:45:23 PM EST

I remember the 1.5 interface becoming frustratingly slow compared to 1.0.  2.0 made it worse, and 3.0 stayed about even with that.

The 3.5 and 3.6 releases have made speed improvements however, and they seem to be taking their performance regressions more seriously.  But they're still hell bent on adding more features, very few of which concern speeding things up or making Fx/Gecko leaner.

When Chrome gets an ad-blocker, or when Safari on Snow Leopard regains an ad-blocker, switching will be pretty compelling.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
the dev channel has an adblocker now (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Empedocles on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:56:08 PM EST

it's not adblock quality, but it gets the job done.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
Uck (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Aphexian on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:33:00 PM EST

I miss Gopher too.
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]
FF is still good (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:33:35 AM EST

But you're right. It suffers from bloat and poor decisions.

One that irks me is that you can tell it to clear all data but it still keeps a full history in a sqlite database hidden somewhere in the user config area. And the "awesome" bar reads this data. Fuck you awesome bar.

I like flashblock and adblock though.

I use epiphany on my eee 901 because Firefox like to write back to its prefs directory almost constantly. On a slow SSD (which I have since replaced) this cause the whole program to lock up intermittently.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
link (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by sausalito on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:27:29 AM EST

http://ryanschwartz.net/2009/03/19/adventures-in-firefox-placessqlite
_____________

GBH - "The whole point is that the App Store acts as a firewall between busy soccer moms and goatse links"
[ Parent ]

Thunderbird (3.00 / 3) (#29)
by rlazur on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:40:44 AM EST

They could solve two birds with one stone if half of those people worked on Thunderbird instead.

working on an email client isn't sexy $ (none / 0) (#35)
by anaesthetica on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:46:18 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
IE? (2.66 / 3) (#30)
by tantris on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 12:19:52 PM EST

You had me nodding, till you mentioned IE as an alternative.


hidden editorial (2.40 / 5) (#31)
by sye on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:57:48 PM EST

WTF?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
commentary - For a better sye@K5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

What? Where!? (3.00 / 3) (#33)
by Trollaxor on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:55:10 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I LOLed (3.00 / 5) (#36)
by bml on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:16:36 AM EST

at:

"The time-honored Internet Explorer continues to embrace and extend Web standards"

Yes. Yes it does indeed.


The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey

Heh. (1.75 / 4) (#38)
by pb on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 04:55:59 PM EST

Trollaxor is on the front page? What troll-infested hell-hole is this?

Oh yeah, K5, ooops.

P.S. Use Chrome. kthxbye.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

Hello, parson. Welcome to Hell. $ (none / 0) (#46)
by Michael David Crawford on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:52:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Wait, let me get this straight. (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by vectro on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:08:00 PM EST

Because the latest release of Firefox only scores 93/100 on a standards test, we should switch to Internet Explorer, which scores 20/100 in the latest release. Is that what you're saying?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
Hey, let's throw a DATABASE at it! (3.00 / 5) (#41)
by localroger on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 11:35:51 AM EST

Sometimes just because you can do a thing doesn't mean you should. There is a really elegant way to arrange bookmarks; it's fast, intuitive, easily managed and extended, portable, and it doesn't annoy the user. It's called HTML. All so-called improvements on the HTML bookmark file are mistakes.

Autocomplete (much less the badly misnamed Awesome Bar) is not a feature. It's like an overly friendly dog that follows you around everywhere, jumping and panting and bringing you stuff you don't want which it slobbers on. Sure it's friendly and it just wants to help but all it's really good for is tripping over.

And worse, the damn thing not only keeps bringing you stuff you don't want, you can't get it to not fetch a dildo or riding crop while your parents are visiting. Did it not occur to anybody in the FF project that you might not want every site you've ever visited to pop up in fully named and URL'ed glory just because you typed "I" in the address bar?

Idiots.

And that is what is so great about the internet. It enables pompous blowhards to connect with other pompous blowhards in a vast circle jerk of pomposity. -- Bill Maher

You're right (none / 1) (#44)
by Aphexian on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:39:05 PM EST

(much less the badly misnamed Awesome Bar)

"Poorly" Mr. Writer.  Poorly.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

plenty of small zippy browsers (none / 0) (#42)
by iggymanz on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:52:24 PM EST

w3m is less than 192KB, loads fast.  Use it for normal browsing, and then if need be fire up firefox for any bloated Web 2.0 pansy shit.

And (none / 1) (#45)
by Aphexian on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:44:38 PM EST

"Users can petition the Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation to rethink their development model, focus on optimization instead of new features, and perhaps backpedaling on some of the less sensible projects like Mozilla Mobile and the non-standard XUL interface."

So have you?  What have you done?

"Apple's small, fast, and efficient Safari, coded by several dozen professional programmers, is currently the best browser for Mac and Windows"

Okay, I gotta ask.  Where do you work?  This shit is getting really, really old - and in record breaking time.

"The time-honored Internet Explorer continues to embrace and extend Web standards."

For this sir, I commend you.  You have risen to your name.
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit

JESUS (none / 0) (#48)
by The Hanged Man on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:14:32 PM EST


-------------

Dificile est saturam non scribere - Juvenal
Firefox Has Too Many Developers | 48 comments (37 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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