Last week, I mentioned that Mozilla is planning to give the Firefox browser a makeover. Alex Faaborg had mentioned that they plan to integrate the look of Firefox with Microsoft's Windows Vista and Apple's Mac OS X. The problem was Alex had failed to mention anything about the Linux operating system. Linux users, of course, then replied by comment that they were unhappy that there was no mention of Linux in the post.
I even replied with my own poorly written comment (#33) that there was a perception that Mozilla was abandoning Linux users by not also paying attention to the Linux desktop. Alex eventually responded via e-mail and his blog (#35) that he "dropped the ball" by not mentioning Firefox 3 on Linux. Mozilla was indeed looking at how they could integrate Firefox 3 (still in alpha) with the Linux desktop.
Interesting stuff, right? Yes, but not really the point for why I'm writing this post. In my reply to Alex's response I wrote something that was later disturbing to me.
Thanks for the reply and clarification. My own comment (#33) was written very poorly, but as I said there definitely was a "perception that Mozilla is not giving Linux its due". While you may have failed to mention Linux in the original post, it seemed to me that this was a perfect opportunity for you and Mozilla to recover from the fumble and address the concerns. I'm glad you guys have chosen to respond positively and take on the challenge.
I think for computer users this is a frustrating time and your post was caught in the crossfire. Windows Vista reminds me too much of Windows ME in its lack of stability and the improvements in he Linux desktop always seem slow to arrive (personally looking forward to KDE 4). Meanwhile, Apple's propriety hardware is costing my home checkbook an arm and a leg because I couldn't really recommend Windows Vista or Linux to the wife. None of this is really Mozilla's responsibility but I think we're in a new environment that we all will have to navigate and adapt through.
Again, thanks for your e-mail,
With PCs or laptops at my house now containing Windows, Linux, and Apple computers, I'm a three-operating system household. It dawned on me that indeed "this is a frustrating time" for me when it comes to operating systems for personal computers. For all the "variety" of computers we use in my home, they basically have the same features and from a user's perspective the operating systems are really not all that unique from each other.
It has been a very long time since I've really said "Wow, this is an operating system I can't live without". Yes, the Windows Vista "Wow" campaign really overestimated users' impressions of Vista (it really was more of a "Is this all there is?" campaign). But be honest Apple and Linux fans...when is really the last time you said "Wow" when using your desktop?
Perhaps, I'll be saying"Wow" when KDE4 for Linux is released. Perhaps, I and my wife will be saying "Wow" when Apple's new version of Mac OS X (Leopard) is finally loaded on her laptop. I hope so, because I want to feel the same way I felt when Windows 95 was released. I want to feel the same way when KDE and Gnome were young and coming up with fresh ways to viewing the Linux desktop. I want the days to return when computer companies were bold enough to dramatically and successfully change the way we view and use our computer desktops today. I want to say "Wow" again.
Maybe, it's not really the computer and software companies fault that I'm no longer impressed with the operating systems they have to offer. Perhaps, I'm just getting older and the disappointment I now have for operating systems rests solely on my shoulders. But I remember the days when computers not only brought new features, they also brought a new approach that changed the way computers affected our lives. I remember not only the first time I saw a Commodore Amiga but also that it was the very first time I heard stereo sound from a computer. These are the type of things I remember and each memory prevents me from saying on this day, "Wow".
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.