Mozilla Considered Patching Internet Explorer

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There was a time when Mozilla considered patching Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer in an attempt to speed up the way the browser handles JavaScript, but eventually decided not to do so.

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With Google coming under some withering fire from Microsoft about its “Chrome Frame,” which effectively allows users to run Google’s Chrome web browser inside Microsoft’s internet explorer, Mozilla has admitted that it had considered something note entirely dissimilar. According to an interview with The Register, Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler said that,

“We said, ‘What if there was a way we could speed up JavaScript in IE to bring it into the 21st century? Could we put our JavaScript engine in there?’”

However, Mozilla went a bit further than just asking the question, eventually going on to build and prototype the whole thing, before eventually deciding that it was “probably not worth it,” and that Mozilla would be better off if it “let Microsoft build their own browser.”

Those are some pretty harsh words, and they fly counter to what Mozilla is doing with the Chrome Frame plugin, which effectively allows Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (from IE6 and up) to run as though it were something a lot more like Google’s HTML 5 enabled Chrome.

It’s a very interesting argument, and one that Mozilla has been fairly vocally against Google in, despite the fact that it had once considered a similar strategy itself. If you’re at all interested, you’d do well to check out the Register’s piece on the whole patching-one-another’s-browsers business.

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