Netscape's Tentative Feature Complete Plans

Thursday March 16th, 2000

Jim Roskind has chimed in with the unofficial word on Netscape's plans for their browser in the months to come. Netscape is hoping to hit a May 2 "Feature Complete" date. The main issue is whether or not Netscape will be forced to "branch" - continue development of their product separately from the main Mozilla development. If that were to happen, it's safe to assume that along with that branch would come a redirecting of Netscape's great QA team to the commercial branch (which means that Mozilla could lose a lot of QA in the meantime). I tend to agree with Jim on this point. I would prefer that Netscape not branch until Mozilla is a bit more stable. Some work, however, still needs to be done to ensure Mozilla's identity apart from Netscape's commercial product (Mozilla can't continue on with Netscape's UI indefinitely). Hopefully something will be worked out where Netscape can continue on without branching for as long as possible, but Mozilla can continue to get improvements that will help it stand on its own. Check out Jim's post, and then tell us what you think.

#11 Re: Re: Another article proclaiming Netscape a fai

by sacolcor

Saturday March 18th, 2000 2:44 PM

You are replying to this message

I read the article thoroughly before posting. If you want to know my reasoning, just ask, and leave off the groundless accusations.

I stated that the article was poorly researched because Mozilla is such a significant part of Netscape's future hopes that the failure to mention it in terms other than "It's the next version, and it's late" is a significant omission of fact. Mozilla is about to go Beta, and there's a two-year anniversary party announced on the home page. However, the author makes statements such as "There isn't much of a celebration planned" and "there doesn't seem to be much to make merry about". Granted, he's referring to the 1-year acquisition date, not the 2-year Mozilla date, but he shouldn't ignore the latter completely.

The author also contradicts himself. For example, how are we supposed to reconcile the following two statements?

"The latest version [of the browser] is two years overdue."

"The 5.0 versions of the Navigator and Communicator browsers were supposed to be released last summer, but they'll be lucky to make an appearance late this spring"

I'll grant that it /is/ late, however it is late because of an explicit gamble; The old browser was thrown out in the hopes of writing a new and better one from scratch. If the author wishes to base his conclusions about the merger on the project's lateness, he also owes his readers at least a mention of the potential benefits that could result from that delay.

Then there is the analyst statement: "the promise of technological innovation does not look fulfilled."

I don't think many people would dispute that Mozilla is a feat of technological's entire development methodology is a cutting-edge experiment. One could argue that is is as-yet unfulfilled, because it hasn't been released yet, however the reader isn't given the information needed to even consider the question. Mozilla isn't even mentioned by name at all.

For the reader to be able to properly weigh the current state of Netscape (and thus, the result of the NS/AOL merger), the author should have taken better care to present facts from both sides. Instead, he appears to have included only the facts needed to support his (never quite explicitly stated) assertion that the merger was a failure.

I stand by my previous statement that the article was inadaquately researched.