Browser Wars

Dion Almaer (Set Direction), Ben Galbraith (Walmart.com), Douglas Crockford (Yahoo! Inc.), Brendan Eich (Mozilla), Alex Russell (Google), Rob Mauceri (Microsoft)
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 16 ratings)

The browser wars are still going strong. New entrants are joining all the time. APIs and plugins are expanding the definition of a browser. Even while the browser is gaining new pawers conflicting standards and conventions are causing headaches for developers. This panel will let you address the browser groups directly.

Photo of Dion Almaer

Dion Almaer

Set Direction

Dion Almaer is the founder of a brand new company named Set Direction where he has the pleasure of working with Ben Galbraith. The pair co-founded Ajaxian.com together and they are now focused on helping developers deliver fantastic experiences and working to set the direction of the software industry as a whole.

Dion has been a technologist and a developer writing Web applications since it took over from Gopher. He has been fortunate enough to speak around the world, has published many articles, a book, and of course covers life the universe and everything on his blog at almaer.com/blog.

He has been called a human aggregator, and you can see that in full force if you follow him on Twitter @dalmaer.

Photo of Ben Galbraith

Ben Galbraith

Walmart.com

Ben Galbraith, together with his long-time friend Dion Almaer, forms one-half of the dynamic “Ben and Dion” duo that founded Ajaxian.com, headed Developer Tools at Mozilla, ran Developer Relations at Palm and is now running mobile architecture and engineering at Walmart.com after being acquired along with their start-up team in early 2011. Ben’s been writing code since he was six and starting businesses since he was ten; he’s written books, given hundreds of award-winning presentations world-wide, produced a few technical conferences, sold three companies, and has held CEO, CIO, CTO, and Software Architect positions in the medical, publishing, media, consumer electronics, advertising, software and internet industries. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and six children.

Photo of Douglas Crockford

Douglas Crockford

Yahoo! Inc.

Douglas Crockford is an Architect at Yahoo! Inc. He discovered JSON while he was CTO of State Software. Previously, Doug was Founder and CEO of Electric Communities, Director of New Media at Paramount, Director of Technology at Lucasfilm Ltd., and a Researcher at Atari, Inc.

Photo of Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich

Mozilla

Brendan is responsible for architecture and the technical
direction of Mozilla. He is charged with authorizing module owners,
owning architectural issues of the source base and writing the roadmap
that outlines the direction of the Mozilla project.

Brendan created JavaScript, did the work through Navigator 4.0,
and helped carry it through international standardization. Before
Netscape, he wrote operating system and network code for SGI; and at
MicroUnity, wrote micro-kernel and DSP code, and did the first MIPS
R4K port of gcc, the GNU C compiler.

Photo of Alex Russell

Alex Russell

Google

Alex serves on the Board of the Dojo Foundation and OSAF. He helped develop and lead the team that built the Dojo Toolkit, the JavaScript toolkit that organizations turn to when performance, accessibility, and internationalization concerns finally come home to roost.

He currently works at Google on Chrome, a Webkit-based browser that is helping the web evolve faster.

Photo of Rob Mauceri

Rob Mauceri

Microsoft

Rob Mauceri is the group program manager for Windows Internet Explorer and led the team responsible for the recently released IE9. For the last 15 years Rob worked on Microsoft’s web services, platform, and tools across Office and Windows. Before coming to Microsoft, Rob was a developer at Vermeer Technologies, creator of FrontPage, and The MathWorks where he helped create the first Windows version of MATLAB and SIMULINK.

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Comments

Marco Zarate
05/21/2011 6:05pm PDT

Is there a video of this panel discussion available anywhere?

Carol Cressler
04/02/2011 9:29pm PDT

I enjoyed this session a lot, and it had the best discussion of all the sessions I attended. Best meaning lively and engaged. And I am not a developer.

I specifically went to this session because I have to test content on both PC & Mac platforms & use 2-3 browsers on each. And now I can’t wait to try Chrome, I look forward to IE9, & just downloaded Firefox 4 on my Mac.

Thanks to all the panelists.

Picture of Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich
04/01/2011 2:33pm PDT

Roger: I held fire, because I’m glad IE9 is out and supporting (some) standards—big improvement from past IEs including even IE8, and mostly due to Chrome on the heels of Firefox, plus Chrome coming from Google making the bull see red (IMHO).

However, much of the attacks were not on IE9, rather they were from the floor during Q&A and they were about IE6-8 being out there still as a hopelessly out of date drag on web developers, with IE8 now becoming the new IE6.

This is a problem Microsoft’s rep Giorgio said that he would try to address when he spoke at the panel last year, by allowing unlicensed Windows systems to update from IE6 to IE8 or better if possible. This year, Rob didn’t know anything about that promise.

The IE6-8 legacy is also entirely a problem of Microsoft’s making, both due to monopoly stagnation in the past (taking IE to skeleton crew status from 2001-2005, then trickling out IE7 and IE8), and now with Windows XP not being supported by IE9.

This topic is totally fair game, IMHO, and Microsoft has no good answer except “buy Windows 7 or a whole new machine”.

The big attack on IE9 on the panel was from Doug, who beat me to the draw, and it was about IE9 not supporting the latest JavaScript standard fully, specifically lack of ES5 strict mode support.

The “we polled some devs, they didn’t care” answer from Rob was particularly bad in light of “We have Standards” as a tee-shirt slogan. Either Microsoft believes in implementing standards such as ES5 (which do not allow subsets), or it does not.

I think Doug was right to flame Rob on this. But I agree a more productive panel discussion could be had, if only we didn’t get the same old selective arguing via contradictions and FUD (the FUD was in reply to the last question, from Tantek about WebM) from Microsoft.

In good sooth, I’m Microsoft’s best friend in this kind of setting because they are implementing and even working jointly on evolving standards, and that is what we at Mozilla wanted all along.

So I am not out to spend panel time beating on them. But they need to speak more openly and honestly, and not use sales pitches, wobbly standards focus or rejection depending on marketing studies, and selective FUD.

I miss Chris Wilson as MS rep on these panels…

/be

Roger Hampton
04/01/2011 11:44am PDT

Great topic, but thought it could have been more productive to not use it as an attack forum on IE9. We all already know it has issues. :-0

Picture of Alex Russell
Alex Russell
03/29/2011 10:19am PDT

Kirk,

Apple has traditionally demurred when asked to send representatives to these sorts of panels as they did at SxSWi just 2 weeks ago. Not sure about Opera’s representation here, however.

Regards

Kirk Jorgensen
03/29/2011 10:17am PDT

Crockford’s browser is my favorite….oh wait. Missing two of the major browser vendors here, but don’t let that stop you!

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