back to article Companies to be Bob the Builder with Firefox 3.5

Mozilla is working on a program that will give firms the opportunity to build their own bespoke browsers, using the upcoming version of Firefox. Big companies will be able to slot such a customised browser more easily into their corporate environment, reports IDG. The Build Your Own Browser program won’t kick off until after …


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  1. Code Monkey


    Hopefully the Iceweasel folks can use this to make something more stable (although in fairness, recent versions have been fairly good) and with a less embarassing name (which is still an issue).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Can I make a version that is just a copy of Ff3.5, without the AwfulBar?

  3. Matt Halliday


    I'm getting a horrible feeling that 'Bob The Builder' might start ringing up saying that his website doesn't look right in his DIY browser.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    AD integration

    Until it's possible to deploy, configure and lock down properly with group policy, we're not interested. Thanks.

  5. Aaron Harris


    So will we be able to use all the nice proprietary sharepoint stuff firefox handles badly at present...

    A single browser would be great but at present we have to stick with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

    All these have good and bad features but none, with out a shed load of add-ons and customisation, can stand alone.

  6. Mart

    copied idea

    frontmotion provide this custom-packaging of firefox into an msi for corporate deployment, but to edit the msi with add-ons and the like you have to pay so for free would be cool

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...what a waste of effort... ain't they got anything better to do.... memory use.. stability... speed... start up time (geez it takes forever).....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Aaron Harris

    I suspect you can blame MS for SharePoint's inability to play ball with FF.

    In the meantime, may I suggest IE Tab

  9. Jack Harrer
    Thumb Down

    Group policy

    Can't they use same registry keys that IE is using? This way admins will need to only set up everything once and be done with it, both IE and FF. Is it so hard?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "it takes forever" to start up?

    It does? Even on my slowest machines (an old g4 powerbook with 768 megs of RAM) or a totally unexpanded eeePC901, it seems pretty snappy. It's even ok on my Windows machine (argh).

  11. Rich

    Needs a quirk mode

    So that SAP and all that legacy crap will display properly. That's the main job of a browser in most corporates, the Internet is just an extra.

  12. Psymon
    Gates Halo

    Frontmotion FF

    The frontmotion version of FF is the only one that is managable on a corporate network, but because it's been modified at the source code level, automated security updates cannot be applied.

    Er, isn't that kinda important in a browser?

    If you can't easily and rapidly patch an internet facing application, then no matter how desirable the application is, it has no place on your network.

    I deployed this version on our systems, but had to reconsider this folly as I watched the security vulnerabilities start to stack up. Frontmotion did a pretty good job, and actually made FF comply with the windows standards (the standard version of FF stores its' temp internet cache in the wrong app data folder, so if you have roaming profiles, the whole kit and kaboodle tries to follow you)

    I can easily see the potential for these DIY customizations causing similar issues.

    What astounds me is that Mozilla have some very talented coders, yet they persistantly demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the modern windows system.

    The days of Win95 where you could say "Yeah, I see where you're going with this standard, but I think I'll program it my own way, thanks." are long gone.

    In most corporate environments, the vast majority users machines are locked down tight as a drum. When I administered a school, I saw a plethora of abhorent educational software that made ludicrous assumptions.

    I want to modify my config file.

    Config file?!?! You should be using the registry, but go on then, where is it?

    In my program file folder.

    No, read-only - sorry.

    what about the windows folder?

    You can piss off now, matey!

    What about application data?

    Getting warmer...

    OK, so I'll write to c:\documents and settings....

    Good luck with that one, mate, it's not even stored on this computer.

    Well how do I find it?

    try using the system variable, dummy.

    Hey, this is only per user!

    Yes, and...?

    These are all simple standards that have been around for over a decade now. If Mozilla can't get this right, then the coders will drop a brick when they see that windows 7 uses Access Control Lists tied into Active Directory, not just on the filesystem, but internally within the code you write.

    I think this move by Mozilla is a sign that they are getting worried. After all, they never really had any competition until recently, and FF is starting to look a little clunky when you square it up against the other offerings. But administrators don't want to be given MORE work. If you own a fleet of cars, you don't start tricking them out with induction kits and spoilers. You keep them as standard and uniform as possible. That way, you can easily predict any issues you might encounter. Yes, we like to brand our browsers. Yes we want to define configuration options from the server. No, we don't want to have to do this by digging around in your code!

    IE8 is actually a bloody browser these days, and Chrome also has some interesting features, though googles over-simplification of the interface isn't to my taste.

    It's an interesting time for the browser market, but I feel that this is possibly the wrong move for Mozilla.

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