The Gecko monoculture

March 7, 2016 § 8 Comments

I remember a time, not so very long ago, when Gecko powered 4 or 5 non-Mozilla browsers, some of them on exotic platforms, as well as GPS devices, wysiwyg editors, geographic platforms, email clients, image editors, eBook readers, documentation browsers, the UX of virus scanners, etc, as well as a host of innovative and exotic add-ons. In these days, Gecko was considered, among other things, one of the best cross-platform development toolkits available.

The year is now 2016 and, if you look around, you’ll be hard-pressed to find Gecko used outside of Firefoxen (alright, and Thunderbird and Bluegriffon). Did Google or Apple or Microsoft do that? Not at all. I don’t know how many in the Mozilla community remember this, but this was part of a Mozilla strategy. In this post, I’d like to discuss this strategy, its rationale, and the lessons that we may draw from it.

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Trusting your desktop to the web: Safety in Air, Silverlight and Prism

October 29, 2007 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the safety of extensions to Web browsers. In the meantime, the landscape of web browsing has changed a lot, at least for developers. Why ? Because of Adobe Air, Microsoft Silverlight and Mozilla Prism, three tools used to put the web on your desktop.

While none of these products is actually new — they are all renamed versions of things that have been hanging out in the air for some time — and none of these products is branded as web browsers, well, that’s exactly what they are. Of course, whenever new browser or browser-like products appear, one of the main questions should be: how safe are they ?

Let’s take a somewhat deeper look.

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