An application called Flock has been hyped and hyped again recently. Naturally, I had to see for myself if it lived up to the hype, so I went and downloaded the Flock Developer Preview this afternoon. What is Flock?
Flock is based on the open source Mozilla code base. All of our modifications to Mozilla code are released under the MPL, GPL and LGPL licenses. 100% of the Flock-created code to date is released under the GPL license. Going forward, we may incorporate some proprietary code from partners, or even created in-house, but our plan is for the vast majority if not all of our code to be open source for the foreseeable future.
I guess the idea is that Flock is a so-called “Web 2.0 browser” based on Firefox. So far it connects up to del.icio.us and Flickr. As others have noted, it’s still very early in the application’s development so I’ll try not to knock it too hard.
Let me get a few things out of the way first. Their website sucks. They don’t have any images (not even a logo!). The download is huge compared to Firefox. The browser itself runs incredibly slow compared to Firefox (who knows what they did – it’s supposedly based on the very quick Firefox). I don’t see how they are going to make money – their “roadmap” is kinda funny. Much of what Flock promises can be accomplished via extensions, and there’s reason to believe such features will be rolled into Firefox and featured in the next IE version anyway.
Never say never, but I don’t see myself using Flock in place of Firefox or IE anytime soon. I’m not sure that del.icio.us, blogging and Flickr integration would be enough to tempt me either!
Ah that feels better. The only thing worse than a hyped application is a hyped application that sorely disappoints. Keep in mind this is only the developer preview, but I’m not holding my breath. Mark Evans wrote about Flock today too.