Weekend Discussion: Is Netscape Doing the Right Thing?
Friday May 12th, 2000
Netscape recently released its plans for the PR2 branch. Mozilla.org then released their tree plans for the next few months, and then followed up this evening with a more detailed position on tree management. The one thing that is clear is that Netscape is working on an accelerated schedule. Mozilla.org has yet to release a beta, and Netscape is currently working towards a second beta. Feature freeze for Netscape is coming much earlier than for Mozilla. This means that Netscape's feature list will probably be truncated somewhat (although the developers are trying mightily to get the remaining features in), and it also means that there might be changes to Mozilla before its release that impact its compatibility with Netscape's final release. Netscape has promised standards compliance, but there is also the serious question as to how bug-free that standards compliance will be by final release.
Is Netscape doing the right thing by pushing ahead and trying to get a release into the public's hands? Or will they just end up alienating Mozilla developers and website developers by rushing a product to market? Is it even fair to consider it "rushing"?
#37 long and short terms
Wednesday August 2nd, 2000 1:03 PM
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I think I'd have to agree with Hubick's comment in post 4...
'Commercial reality aside I would rather see an "it's done when it's done" attitude.'
I once heard a NASA engineer say something to the affect that when things are built under tight competition, they get built faster, but they suffer from a lack of reuseability. I think Netscape should try to avoid worrying about market share for the time being, (if they can indeed still afford to feed the programmers) and shoot for the long-term results. In a way, what IS market share other than a type of "hero worship".
I am a fart in a windstorm as far as being an active player in the grand scheme of Mozilla development. I am primarily a MOO pig. But in being such, I am a proponent of groupware collaboration and data visualization. I have been a fan of Chaco's Pueblo MOO client for quite awhile, and have seen some of the possibilities of HTML-based groupware, as well as some visualization wonderfulness offered by VRML. Pueblo was an early attempt at mixing a browser, telnet client, and vrml renderer into one display. MPEG 4/7/? seems to want to absorb many of these goods. Although some say that 'helper apps' is the only way to deal with the mime-a-thon that seems to be attacking... I am a fan of "the universal displayer" and Mozilla's wonderful thoughts of being a smoothly "embedable" browser. (Like in a Java MOO client!) Browser embedability alone will bring back any lost market shares attained by taking the time to do things right and modular.
Lastly, I am a big fan of RDF, OIL, and ontology inference work. Society seems to want to plaster advertising on anything that will receive paint... and between inferencing and Ted Nelson's transpublishing, I'm going to do my best to eliminate the noise. Now we could get real political on these subjects if we wanted, but the people that truly matter in building the future web KNOW that it is not money that will improve the state of mankind, it is KNOWLEDGE. Short term, getting a browser out there that satisfies some new product/technology releases is for MONEY. Long term, we should be shooting for something that advances mankind... a browser produced with knowledge. Netscape... please understand that heroes are long term things!