Full Article Attached Editorial: NGLayout in Communicator 5.0 - Truth and Consequences

Thursday October 1st, 1998

I've had a few days to consider the NGLayout / Communicator 5.0 issue and the WSP petition, and finally have some words to speak on it. So, click "Full Article" below if you're interested in reading mozillaZine's first editorial opinion piece.

I should make clear before you start that mozillaZine is an independent site, and the opinions expressed in this article and in past articles in no way represent the feelings or opinions of the Mozilla Project or Netscape. We like the guys, but we would never presume to speak for them!

#8 Re:Editorial: NGLayout in Communicator 5.0 - Truth

by John Counts <>

Friday October 2nd, 1998 1:48 AM

You are replying to this message

I developed some pages using IE 4.0 on an intranet, because we were an all Windows shop it seemed natural.

Recently we introduced some Linux machines onto the net and I tried to rewrite the pages so that they would work in Netscape. But getting the pages to look and behave similarly in both browsers was impossible. There was no cursor:hand CSS tag to indicate a clickable link, no display:none, decoration:none didn't seem to work. Netscape seemed to use ID where IE used CLASS etc. So I gave up and started to rewrite the pages for Netscape. Even that failed miserably and Navigator kept GPFing so often I didn't get very far.

The point is not just to keep saying that netscape is as good as IE, the number of CSS tags it supports is only a small fraction of those IE supports. I't impelmentation of the DOM is quirky and less fluid than IE.

I really like the idea of open source software and I want to get rid of all of the Microsoft software at our site, but for the past year all of the applications I have written are written to run in the browser and I was really shocked that it was seemingly impossible to prot them from IE to Netscape.

Mozilla is a great project and I hope it gives us a browser so that we can dump IE, but I don't see any point in Netscape releasing another major version without a complete standards implementation at least for the DOM, CSS1 and Javascript.

I've thought for some time that the reason for Netscape's decline in market share is not Micorsoft's monopolistic tactics (although these are real), but rather the techincal inferiority of Navigator and the reluctance of developers to code against such an awkward unresponsive environment.

So I say stop blaming Micorosft, bite the bullet, throw out your layers and compromises and hold off releasing another major version until it meets the needs of developers in a standards-compliant way.

And thank you for your work on MozillaZine. It's great.