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Friday, November 12, 2010

Rockmelt: Who Needs Yet Another Browser? - PCWorld

Rockmelt: Who Needs Yet Another Browser? - PCWorld
Analysis: RockMelt is based on Chromium and adds social networking, but it's still not open.
By Alan Shimel, NetworkWorld Nov 12, 2010 1:22 pm
I am writing this post via the web, inside of RockMelt, the new browser financed by Netscape co-founder Mark Andreessen and built by some of his old colleagues. For those of you who are not familiar with RockMelt, it is built on the Chromium open source code, just as Google's Chrome is. In fact saying it is built on it does not do it justice. It is Chrome with Facebook and Twitter integrated and some other nifty extensions built in.
According to Mr Andreessen, if you were building a browser from scratch now versus when most of the browsers we use were built, you would do things very differently. I don't disagree with this. But I don't think this is really building a browser from scratch. This is Chrome with some nifty extensions. It reminds me of back when there were custom versions of Netscape. You know, where the N in the top corner that would animate while pages were loading would be replaced by another logo. If you really want to do something radical, really build it from scratch.
But why does that bother me? Well part of it is that they have taken an open source project and built a commercial product from it. That is fine, but shouldn't there be some give back? I wonder why the browser was not open sourced, if it was based on open source code? The RockMelt blog seems to indicate at least some give back to the open source community:

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