2000/10/27

The Enigma Browser

Is this a complete fraud, or merely misleading?

These guys have written a ‘web browser’ which they say is only 33K. But it’s really nothing than a little program which embeds the Microsoft Internet Explorer control. So they’re using all of Internet Explorer, basically, and pretending that they don’t have any “bloat”. The joke is, Internet Explorer itself is nothing but a 59K program that embeds the Internet Explorer control. Wooooo, they saved 26K. I am so excited.

The author is quoted as saying “The Internet Explorer and Netscape models are clunky and inefficient. They seldom take the most efficient path to accomplish things, and they prefer to use RAM over code optimization and CPU utilization.”

When you look closely at Enigma, you still need Internet Explorer, you’re still using Internet Explorer, but you don’t get any of the features.

Now look a little closer. Enigma is written in Visual Basic. So it needs the Visual Basic runtime, which not many people have. That’s another 1.32 Meg right there. Oh, and… oops! there are a whole bunch of other components it needs, too.

Come on, this is lame. I can’t believe nobody at Dr. Dobbs Journal caught them on this lie.

About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.