Friday March 3rd, 2000
This weekend's discussion: What keeps you interested in Mozilla, and what expectations do you have?
Just click the responses link below to enter the forum. Let us know what you think!
#119 Re: Not as simple as it seems...
Tuesday March 7th, 2000 10:44 AM
You are replying to this message
"That sentence makes it sound easy, but doing it is anything but."
It was my understanding that you did not ask me if it was easy. You asked me how it could be done.
"How is the browser to know whether to interpret a tag [in non-W3C-compliant webpages] the way IE has done it or the way NS has done it?"
New versions of Internet Explorer could handle the pages the way the old versions of IE handled them. New versions of Netscape can handle the pages the way Netscape 4.72 handles them. Other browsers could handle them in a way chosen by their makers.
"Even worse, what happens when a new web developer learns HTML/CSS/DOM by looking at a mix of web pages?"
Probably the same thing that would happen if the developer learned only from W3C compliant Webpages. The developer would end up with scripts that do not work with most browsers.
"Would it be worth delaying the release of Mozilla by (I would guess) 2-3 months?"
I do not think so. Netscape has been delayed too long. I think it should have been programmed to handle old Webpages from the beginning and this is another mistake Netscape will have to live with.
"Adding the code to handle multiple rendering methods will bloat Mozilla...it will be a bigger download, take up more memory, and run slower."
I think this is partially due to faulty recommendations by the W3C that force unnecessary incompatibilities with old "standards". More importantly, I think a slightly bigger file size would be worth the extra compatibility. I do not think it would take up more memory if it was done right. I do not think it would run slower unless it was transitioning from a "compliant" page to a "noncompliant" page. Of course, this is all dependant on the browser being programmed a certain way.
"There would be two (or more) possible ways to render many of the elements and calls. How does Mozilla know which one the designer intended?"
If the DTD is not there then it can handle the elements and calls the way Netscape 4.7 would. If Netscape 4.7 is too terrible, it can handle the elements and calls the way Internet Explorer would.
"Adding this extra code, and especially trying to make decisions of which method to use, is going to make the code more complicated."
It is not difficult or complicated to check for whether a document type definition exists or not.
"Making the decision making process open to the general public would result in slowing the process down to a snail's pace"
The extremely delayed release of Netscape is "justified" by the determination to make it right. Why should things be different for a Web "standard"?
"...as well-meaning people try to add a lot of features that sound nice, but really aren't a good idea."
Maybe people in the W3C are not all good. Maybe people outside of the W3C are not all bad.
"In this situation, a small, highly-skilled group of PhDs and industry experts can do the job better than a community consensus."
That sounds like about what Microsoft and AOL are. I doubt a small group of people can account for the needs of most people on the Internet. I also know some idiots with graduate degrees and some very competent people who have not graduated from high school yet. Further, letting a bunch of rich people control the Internet is a mistake.