Whither M14?

Thursday February 17th, 2000

M14 is being handled a little differently than previous Milestone builds, according to this news post from Jim Roskind. Instead of building a solo M14 branch, and stabilizing that, they are going to continue to squash PDT+ and Beta flagged bugs, and will flag some daily builds this week as potential M14 candidates.

Jim also talks a bit about Netscape's beta plans. Their list of "beta blocking" bugs is shrinking quickly, but they haven't yet reached a point where Netscape feels comfortable doing a "beta" branch for stabilization. Jim says that he hope that happens "in short order".

We have to wait, but if some of the improvements over the past week are any indication, it will definitely be worth it.

#8 Re: Re: CSS and correctnessof Gecko?

by rjc999

Friday February 18th, 2000 12:17 PM

You are replying to this message

Well, I didn't say it was definately bad html, just that I suspect it. BTW, I am the author of that site. I have a version that is "skinnable" via XML -> XSL->XHTML transformation and that version displays correctly. Only the non-XML straight-HTML version fails. I'd still like to know why Mozilla screws up. No advanced CSS features are used at all.

Nevertheless, I am not talking mutually incompatible goals. It is certainly possible to support correct CSS rendering, and backwards-compatible buggy layout at the same time via a switch, or possibly even auto-detection.

Do you suddenly expect 100 million web documents to be converted to spec-compliant HTML4.0/CSS overnight when Mozilla is released? I don't think so. Mozilla must be able to browse the vast majority of sites without error if it wants to replace NS4/IE4/5.

Right now, the situation IMHO is worse than having both. CSS1 support isn't 100%, but neither is the layout compatible with "buggy layout" that exists in IE/NS. Therefore, Mozilla is introducing simply another non-compliant rendering that developers with have to test for.

I'm already sick of testing my site on Mac IE/NS, Windows IE/NS, AOL, and WebTv. WIll I have to now test to see if Mozilla renders differently too?

My expectation is that if I refrain from using CSS, and stick with simple HTML, the page should be readable on all browsers. I don't mean identical, but atleast being able to read all the text is important without gross layout errors.

HTML4.0 should be "write once, browse anywhere", not "write once, test everywhere"

That's why I continue to hope that Mozilla will not only display all existing web pages correctly, making it easy to migrate too, but that it fully supports HTML4/CSS1 such that it serves as a bridge between the old web, and the new.

If I have to own two browsers, one to browse existing web sites, and one to browse sites that use the new working CSS features, I regret to say, I would probably stick with the old browsers, and not bother doing a lot of work to convert my documents.

Of course, with AOL distributing Mozilla in AOL6, it probably won't matter if consumers will accept the inability to display some old pages. In that case, by sheer market share of AOL, I would support Mozilla directly, maybe even deliver XUL interfaces.

The Mozilla project has taken its time to do Gecko correctly. They should not try to rush a release because of some artificially set milestone/deadline by AOL or a project manager. Mozilla/Netscape5 should ship "when it's done". That means freezing features, and fixing all critical bugs that cause it to diverge from specs (both new and old)