Flocking together

got to this before I did – the first public beta of the Flock browser has now been released. It’s a Firefox variant that integrates del.icio.us social bookmarks and blogging more tightly into the browser, but I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by it. It is slick, even for a beta, but much of the functionality has already been present in the form of Firefox extensions:

  • The Shelf is equivalent to the Scrapbook extension
  • There are at least two extensions which integrate del.icio.us into Firefox’s bookmarks
  • There are already blogging extensions, albeit not one which is properly cross-service (WordPress vs MT vs LJ)

I’m a little worried that this is opening the gates to a series of forks of the Firefox development; I’d have been happier if Flock were presented as a family of tightly integrated extensions (in a similar vein to the All-In-One extension, perhaps). As it is, I have no guarantee that developments on the main Firefox trunk will make it into Flock with any timeliness (if ever). For cosmetic enhancements this may not be an issue, but for security fixes this could be critical. There are also no guarantees of support in Flock for major new areas of functionality such as SVG or Canvas, even if those get into Firefox.

Fortunately, the Flock developers are concerned that existing Firefox extensions should work with Flock, which is some consolation.

(this post would have been brought to you by Flock, had the damned thing been able to post to LiveJournal)

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