Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Chrome and Mozilla (Robert O'Callahan Unlocks Secrets)

Filed under
  • Robert O'Callahan: Ancient Browser-Wars History: MD5-Hashed Posts Declassified

    Another lesson: in 2007-2008 I was overly focused on toppling IE (and Flash and WPF), and thought having all the open-source browsers sharing a single engine implementation wouldn't be a big problem for the Web. I've changed my mind completely; the more code engines share, the more de facto standardization of bugs we would see, so having genuinely separate implementations is very important.

    I'm very grateful to Brendan and others for disregarding my opinions and not letting me lead Mozilla down the wrong path. It would have been a disaster for everyone.

    To let off steam, and leave a paper trail for the future, I wrote four blog posts during 2007-2008 describing some of my thoughts, and published their MD5 hashes. The aftermath of the successful Firefox 57 release seems like an appropriate time to harmlessly declassify those posts. Please keep in mind that my opinions have changed.

  • On Keeping Secrets

    Once upon a time I was at a dinner at a computer science conference. At that time the existence of Chrome was a deeply guarded secret; I knew of it, but I was sworn to secrecy. Out of the blue, one of my dinner companions turned to me and asked "is Google working on a browser?"


    One thing I really enjoyed about working at Mozilla was that we didn't have many secrets to keep. Most of the secrets I had to protect were about other companies. Minimizing one's secrecy burden generally seems like a good idea, although I can't eliminate it because it's often helpful to other people for them to be able to share secrets with me in confidence.

  • Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6


    Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying "Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6" is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s.

More in Tux Machines

openSUSE Leap 42.2 Linux Distribution Reaches End of Life on January 26, 2018

Announced two years ago on November 16, OpenSuSE Leap 42.2 is a minor release of openSUSE Leap 42 operating system series, which brought the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment, as well as many other improvements and up-to-date components. openSUSE Leap 42.2 was based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2, but it will reach end of life this week on January 26. Read more

Raspberry Pi Alternatives

The phenomenon behind the Raspberry Pi computer series has been pretty amazing. It's obvious why it has become so popular for Linux projects—it's a low-cost computer that's actually quite capable for the price, and the GPIO pins allow you to use it in a number of electronics projects such that it starts to cross over into Arduino territory in some cases. Its overall popularity has spawned many different add-ons and accessories, not to mention step-by-step guides on how to use the platform. I've personally written about Raspberry Pis often in this space, and in my own home, I use one to control a beer fermentation fridge, one as my media PC, one to control my 3D printer and one as a handheld gaming device. Read more

Matrix Voice RPi add-on with 7-mic array relaunches

Matrix Labs has publicly relaunched its FPGA-driven “Matrix Voice” voice input add-on board for the Raspberry Pi and Up board for $55, or $65 for a standalone model equipped with an ESP32. Matrix Labs has shipped its “mostly open source” Matrix Voice Raspberry Pi add-on board for Linux-compatible voice recognition and voice assistant technologies such as Alexa and Google Assistant. The circular board launched in February on Indiegogo, and earned over $130,000 in pledges. The Matrix Voice is now available from the Matrix Labs website for only $10 over the original $45 early bird price. Read more

Programming: Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday and More

  • Octogenarianhood
    2018 began for me with an absolutely incredible 80th birthday celebration called Knuth80, held in the delightful city of Piteå in northern Sweden. It's impossible for me to thank adequately all of the wonderful people who contributed their time to making this event such a stunning success, certainly one of the greatest highlights of my life. Many of the happenings were also captured digitally in state-of-the-art audio and video, so that others will be able to share some of this joy. I'll link to that data when it becomes available.
  • Celebrating Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday

    Don suggests that some of the participants who have a little free time might like to look at a few conjectures about set partitions and generating functions that he has put online at

  • Tidyverse and data.table, sitting side by side ... (Part 1)
  • Rcpp 0.12.15: Numerous tweaks and enhancements
    The fifteenth release in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN today after just a few days of gestation in incoming/. This release follows the 0.12.0 release from July 2016, the 0.12.1 release in September 2016, the 0.12.2 release in November 2016, the 0.12.3 release in January 2017, the 0.12.4 release in March 2016, the 0.12.5 release in May 2016, the 0.12.6 release in July 2016, the 0.12.7 release in September 2016, the 0.12.8 release in November 2016, the 0.12.9 release in January 2017, the 0.12.10.release in March 2017, the 0.12.11.release in May 2017, the 0.12.12 release in July 2017, the 0.12.13.release in late September 2017, and the 0.12.14.release in November 2017 making it the nineteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency. Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing GNU R with C or C++ code. As of today, 1288 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with another 91 in BioConductor.