He's not dead, he's resting

Funtoo’s Website is Designed for Internet Explorer

Taken from the Funtoo FAQ:

“Is Mozilla Firefox compatible with”

Mozilla Firefox does not appear to be compatible with the website, unfortunately. It does not support the insertAdjacentHTML function, and also does not support XML data islands. These features are supported by Internet Explorer and we use both of these features. I think that insertAdjacentHTML is a good idea, and I also think it’s a good idea for the browser to support XML data islands, which are particularly useful for formatting text. uses its own documentation management method, and these documents are easier to maintain if insertAdjacentHTML is correctly supported by the browser, and XML data islands are a great help to us as well.

We could maintain patched versions of Mozilla Firefox that would be usable with the website, but I don’t want to get into the business of supporting a non-standard browser as the upstream project does not seem very supportive of getting these compatibility issues resolved, and thus this could turn into a maintenance burden for Funtoo. So I’d rather just not support Mozilla Firefox for now.

I guess I expected open source projects to be more widely aware of the importance of having open standards, coding to a standard rather than an implementation and driving innovation through new, public standards rather than abusing undocumented proprietary extensions.

Update: This post seems to have been exposed to a wider audience than my usual readership. For those who don’t feel like reading the comments, and who don’t understand what’s being discussed here, you can compare the quote above to the Funtoo FAQ entry introduced by this commit (unfortunately there’s no way to link to individual Funtoo FAQ entries).


61 responses to “Funtoo’s Website is Designed for Internet Explorer

  1. Sterling X. Winter August 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Wait, isn’t Funtoo Linux about, you know, Linux? Who runs IE on Linux? Someone talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk apparently.

  2. housetier August 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I cannot find this faqtoid on the Funtoo Linux FAQ. There is no “firefox” or “mozilla”.

    Have they updated the FAQ?

  3. anonymous August 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Cannot find this entry in the faq.

  4. Vytautas Jakutis August 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Ciaran, you should have asked Funtoo people to fix this.

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

      It’s in the FAQ. It’s clear that they’re not interested in fixing it, since if they were, their FAQ wouldn’t say they’d “rather just not support” it. This isn’t an accident, it’s a deliberate decision.

      • Vytautas Jakutis August 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm

        Ok. That was not about the browsers. My mistake, now i understand. Next time, when i read Your blog post, i promise, i will not read it like all the other peoples posts and will look for satyres, metaphors, and other non technical (thus childish in the context of the information technology) artifacts in your language. You are funny, and i am sorry for you, because you should be much younger to do such public “crying”.

        As for these compatibility issues: it looks like you, Paludis people, are left in the dark. But who cares, the majority is more than happy with the development of Portage software project.

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm

          I’m glad you’ve learned a lesson. However, I should probably point out to you that satire is not my exclusive domain, and that you should also apply critical reading and thinking skills when consulting other sources. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that Swift was in fact not literally advocating eating babies.

          And no, it’s clear that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the development of Portage. Were there not, no-one would be trying Paludis with Funtoo and there would be no need for the FAQ entry to have been written. Since the use of Paludis with Funtoo is frequently asked, however, one might consider from that that there are issues with Portage.

          • Vytautas Jakutis August 27, 2009 at 7:20 pm

            Man, you’re infinite. Where can I read a summary about these particular architectural issues with Portage? I am unable to make a good google query..

            I have used gentoo for three years and the only issue is that some less popular, but useful packages do not have ebuilds in portage, or they are in bugzilla or overlays and outdated

            • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm

              It would help if you understood the difference between the tree and the package manager. “Ebuilds in Portage” should read “Ebuilds in the tree”. On Gentoo Paludis uses exactly the same ebuilds as Portage does, so you’re barking up the wrong tree entirely.

              As for what’s wrong with Portage… Let’s start with the way that things being in an overlay is considered an issue. Paludis does a much better job of overlay handling; Portage doesn’t even support syncing multiple repositories without a bolted on third party hack.

              • Vytautas Jakutis August 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

                I agree that Portage is not perfect, but it is good enough. It works, doesn’t it? Layman works, doesn’t it?

                As a mean user, I would be more happy if people would work on improving quality the tree content, not the meta-things. Although I understand that coding Paludis is much more fun :)

                • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 7:45 pm

                  I disagree that the layman solution ‘works’. You can’t see where a package is if it’s in an overlay you don’t have configured. You can’t mask the versions of a package that’re in a particular overlay. You can’t install a particular package from a particular overlay if a different overlay provides the same version.

                  And the tree quality can’t improve so long as Portage can’t deliver the features needed to let developers write better ebuilds. Look at how long EAPI 3’s taking Portage to get done for example. Or worse, look how developers had to wait five years for use dependencies, and that Portage only started to support them following pressure from the Gentoo KDE team, who switched to the kdebuild-1 standard because Portage-supported formats were too crippling.

  5. Anonymous Coward August 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    It’s not even on google cache… ?

  6. jsled August 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Heh. I see what you did there. :)

  7. Mark Bateman August 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    FailFUD is FAIL

  8. Andrew D Kirch August 26, 2009 at 5:56 pm


    It’s amazing, you just don’t get it.

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

      That is correct. I do not understand why an open source project would rather code to an implementation than an open standard. I can’t possibly understand the thought process that leads to people thinking that “It works with Internet Explorer” means “Firefox is wrong”.

  9. Anonymous August 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    “proprietary extensions” How can proprietary apply to Opensource? You can see the code. Re-implement
    And in this case ensure the spec did its job and reflect reality

    nice try at diverting where the problem originated

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm

      I’m using “proprietary” here to mean “not an open standard”. That’s arguably a stronger definition of the word than some people are used to, but using undocumented extensions that go directly against an open standard is hardly good practice.

      What you’re asking for is, in effect, like saying “The HTML standard should be updated to match Internet Explorer 6”.

      • Patrick Lauer August 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm

        kdebuild-1 … exheres-0 … why is bad when other people do, but good when paludis do? No make sense. Unhappy because you not had the idea first?

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm

          kdebuild-1 is a documented, open standard. exheres-0 will become exheres-1, which will be a documented, open standard, when Exherbo decides it’s time to have users. I am entirely in favour of Funtoo producing EAPI funtoo-2, and have told them several times that I’d certainly consider implementing support in Paludis for it if possible.

  10. Anonymous Canard August 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I think this bias towards Microsoft products is no doubt a vestigial remnant of the time Drobbins spent working for the Redmond giant.

  11. Azerthoth August 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    ciaran, give it a rest, insertAdjacentHTML is documented and is in the html5 standards. It is FF that has deviated / failed to implement an open standard.

    fail == epic

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm

      And package.mask as a directory’s in the queue for EAPI 4. When EAPI 4 becomes an accepted standard rather than a speculative draft, Paludis will support it.

      • Andrew D Kirch August 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm

        And Funtoo has no interest in being FORCED to use Gentoo’s standards rather than innovating.

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

          Of course not. Funtoo’s entirely free to publish its own standards if it prefers.

          Remember, all those people who coded for Internet Explorer 5 were awfully put out when Internet Explorer 6 came along and broke their code.

        • David Leverton August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

          Seriously, no-one’s FORCING you to obey Gentoo. If Portage did implement the warnings or errors, you could patch it yourself, or ask zmedico nicely to add a way for Funtoo to disable them (I’m sure he’s smart enough to figure out how, and I think he’s be happy to do so). Conversely, Gentoo is not in any way obliged to modify its spec to conform to Funtoo’s needs, no matter how loudly you bitch in Gentoo’s IRC channels, Bugzilla and mailing lists.

          • Andrew D Kirch August 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm

            Yes they are, and we should be clear here before there are more accusations of lying, such as the one I’ve just made below. I have _NEVER_ requested that Gentoo change it’s spec. I have requested that Gentoo prevent Ciaran from FORCING Portage to change it’s functionality as he requested. Lets not construct straw men, shall we?

      • Azerthoth August 28, 2009 at 6:32 am

        Nice side track, the topic wasn’t package.mask. Although from the comments following your introducing it into the conversation, it seems rather alot of people disagree with you on that as well.

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 28, 2009 at 9:59 am

          The topics are package.mask as a directory (which, like insertAdjacentHTML, isn’t explicitly evil but which also isn’t in a released standard) and device node merging (which, like XML data islands, is a bad way of doing something when a better way is available).

  12. Andrew D Kirch August 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Btw, Ciaran, we don’t use insertAdjacentHTML on our site at all. I don’t honestly know where you’re getting this from.

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 7:48 pm

      Andrew, if you honestly think that I’m literally saying that doesn’t work with Firefox, there’s not much I can say to you beyond pointing out that Animal Farm was not literally about pigs.

      • Andrew D Kirch August 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm

        I think you said so in the title of the piece. So do you tell the truth except in the title of the piece, only when it suits you? what?

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm

          Andrew, I refuse to believe you’re stupid enough not to be able to compare the quoted text in the main post to that introduced in this commit. I can only wonder why then you’re still pretending not to recognise satire when you see it. What do you hope to gain from doing so?

          • jsled August 27, 2009 at 5:40 am

            I have to say … satire should at least evoke the original directly, and without a pretty esoteric understanding of Funtoo’s FAQ changes and recent Drama, the original point of the article was lost on me for a number of hours.

            Personally, I’d have linked “the Funtoo FAQ” instead to the commit message … that would have been both subtle and obvious at the same time.

  13. CAE August 27, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Grow up.

    If you can agree with Mono and Moonlight, forget about the other nitty gritty stuff.

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

      C# and Silverlight are documented standards. The controversy there is whether they’re excessively controlled by a single vendor, and whether they’re covered by nasty patents, not whether they’re standards.

  14. durney August 27, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Soo, basically you’re mad at drobbins for not being interested in supporting Paludis in Funtoo. Oy vey.

    BTW — remember, how you refused to support Sabayon Linux with Paludis?

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm

      No, I find it disappointing that Funtoo’s decided to go against published standards and code to an implementation rather than an open standard, and that their response is to blame standard-conforming implementations rather than either fixing the code or publishing their own extensions to the standard.

      And no, I didn’t refuse to support Sabayon. I said I’d quite happy support it, but that wasn’t good enough for lxnay, whose response was to hurl abuse at us because we didn’t use it ourselves.

  15. funnyman August 27, 2009 at 8:34 am


    This was weird. I don’t know if you really gained something out of it in the end but whatever is the case, this post sets a precedent. Once is enough you know.

  16. rik August 27, 2009 at 8:36 am


    It is impressive how you twist around the situation to make you look good and smart. It is impressive how nothing is nuanced nor balanced with your arguments.
    Your ego is as big as the paludis cli parameters menu and really doesn’t make sense like the design of those same options

    Go redesign the UI of paludis and do something productive rather than picking on Gentoo and Funtoo.

    • Ciaran McCreesh August 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      On the contrary. The problem here is that a small number of people who lack critical thinking skills didn’t get the argument because it was ever so slightly subtle. However, I’ve no intention of dumbing what I post, even if it means a few people every now and again will literally think that I’m talking about Internet Explorer here and as a result, resort to posting senseless abuse rather than addressing the matter at hand.

      • rik August 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm


        What you think is subtle is simply metaphoric sarcasms.

        Comparing IE as funtoo IS sarcasm (given your knowledge), period. Your failed attempt to confuse readers by fooling them is weak, really weak. You know you will get 70% reaction from people that will take on the 1st degree, you are aware of it, so you just create confusion and disappointement by people who DO see the underlying meanings. Where is the technical value of your article?

        It is obvious (at least for me) that your clock is ticking wrong since your ego got hit by whatever disagreements you have with gentoo/funtoo, I feel sad for you to see such a brillant geek having so much social issues. I’m pretty much sure you would never be so sarcastic IRL, you developed a weird superior complex looking down on everyone everywhere.

        Ohh and it’s funny too to see how you think of yourself as THE critical thinker and looking down on everyone else..

        Be careful because you’re now associating your personnality with paludis/exherbo (at least in the mind of people who read from you) and you’d be surprised to see how many people would never want to have anything to do with you as they don’t even know you.

        You sit between 2 chairs: you desperatly want to create your own paludis/exherbo (which is good) but you can’t get rid of Gentoo and this piss you off.

        So my advise: grow up, think as a team member on a bigger scale or you’ll live alone with your geeky slaves and fans that say ‘amen’ to everything you write and say.

        • Ciaran McCreesh August 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

          Oh, I don’t think the post was particularly subtle, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be beyond the grasp of anyone reading it. Unfortunately it appears I overestimated a small proportion of people on that one, who somehow think I’m saying Funtoo is Internet Explorer.

          As for being a team member… Do you really think Exherbo or Paludis could work if they weren’t team efforts? Both have larger active teams than Funtoo or Portage, and Exherbo has more developers working in cooperation (but not in agreement — Exherbo works because unlike in Gentoo or Funtoo we can disagree with each other, discuss the disagreement and come to the best resolution) than any Gentoo project.

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