Will IceWeasel freeze out Firefox?
The Firefox Web browser would seem like the hero of the open-source movement: Out of nowhere, it's seized 12 percent of the Web-browsing market, and provided a shining example of how a community-developed product can enjoy commercial success.
But it seems that Firefox isn't open-source enough for some zealots. The folks behind Debian, a variant of Linux, don't want to distribute Firefox anymore. Why not? "Firefox" is a trademark of the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit behind the Web browser, and some open-source true believers don't like following Mozilla's rules to license that trademark, such as having Mozilla approve changed to the Firefox browser Debian distributes. So Debian's backing a super-open-source derivative of Firefox called IceWeasel.
Substituting IceWeasel for Firefox seems like madness to people outside the open-source world. And even to some people inside it: "Anyone who thinks IceWeasel is a good idea has drunken too much of the open-source Kool-Aid," writes the Engtech blog. With Microsoft about to release Internet Explorer 7 - its first new version in years - Firefox is about to face real competition, and backing IceWeasel instead of Firefox just fragments the anti-Microsoft crowd. Makes sense to the Browser. We must all browse together, or we shall surely browse separately.
Regarding Firefox vs IceWeasel, I don't think the writer fully understands what's going on.
"the problem is that Mozilla wants Debian to stop calling it Firefox unless they agree to license the trademark, but Debian doesn't want to do that because it violates [Debian Free Software Guidline] 8, that a 'license must not be specific to Debian'."
(as I wrote on http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=354622 :)
On the plus side, the only real difference between FF and IW is that the Firefox name and logo have been stripped out of the latter; it should still run all the same extensions, themes and plugins. Also, its not like you can't install Firefox on Debian. And even if this was a real fork, it still would not mean that IE7 would gain any users :)
Note also from the same linked page that apparently Thunderbird is geting renamed 'IceDove' 8-)
It's a web browser who cares. Must geeks still use lynx, curl and wget. There are other problems with mozilla like it's slow cumbersome and full of security holes. If you really need a browser with all the bells and whistles use opera. Personally I'll stick to to Konqueror, not because it's open source but because it's good enough.
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