Wednesday March 1st, 2000
This release doesn't contain the crypto code yet. That is still to come. But feel free to download! Currently only Linux and Windows builds available -- more to come. When's the crypto code arriving? "Really, really soon", from what I've heard.
#101 Re: why not Backwards
Sunday March 5th, 2000 12:58 AM
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I don't think many people understand the problems created by trying to support both the old way and the standard way. Let me mention a few of them:
1) Time. Would it be worth delaying the release of Mozilla by (I would guess) 2-3 months? Much of the old NS4.X code simply won't work in Mozilla...it would all need to be rewritten.
2) Size. Adding the code to handle multiple rendering methods will bloat Mozilla...it will be a bigger download, take up more memory, and run slower. Nokia's using this layout engine in their portable devices; this decision was undoubtably based in part on the fact that the code was relatively compact.
3) Ambiguity. There would be two possible ways to render many of the elements and calls. How does Mozilla know which one the designer intended? Some of the old ways of doing things conflict with what the standard ways, and there will often be no way to tell.
4) Complexity. Adding this extra code, and especially trying to make decisions of which method to use, is going to make the code more complicated. This would incur a maintenance cost; trying to coordinate the two methods would require some pretty 'clever' code, which will undoubtedly create a number of 'clever' bugs that will need to be worked out.
All of this trouble, just to support techniques that there are generally new and better ways of doing anyway...it just doesn't seem like a worthwhile thing to work on. I doubt that many web designers have been coding their sites for /only/ Naviagtor, in any case...they probably also coded for IE, and /most/ of the IE code I've seen looks pretty decent on Mozilla, since IE5 has something like 95% HTML4 and 85% CSS1. The ones I've talked to have generally been /eager/ to ditch their old NS4.X code ASAP, because it was filled with kludgy workarounds that were put in because of NS4.X's poor CSS support.
Mozilla certainly shouldn't /crash/ on those old pages; that's a bug that I hope you put into Bugzilla. It should process them by the standard as best it can, and fail with a nicely descriptive error message if it can't make heads or tails of it.