MozillaZine

Weekend Discussion: Microsoft and 86%

Friday July 14th, 2000

There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft's release of IE 5.5 recently, especially in regards to their support for standards such as CSS, DOM, and XML. Apparently Microsoft is developing new proprietary technologies at the expense of standards compliance in core web technologies.

The conversation in the WSP's mailing list has gotten overheated, and the WSP has released a piece on IE 5.5.

CNet is running an article on IE 5.5's proprietary new features, and there's a discussion on Slashdot regarding this very issue.

I now have a weblog at the O'Reilly Network, and you can check out my first piece, devoted to Microsoft's .NET initiative, which hits on Microsoft's standards support.

With all this hoopla aimed at Microsoft, we shouldn't be letting Netscape off easy. I think it's time for Netscape to come out and state clearly where they expect to be in terms of standards compliance at version 6.0. If it is not the 100% that we had been told to expect, it's in their best interest to say why. Remember, Netscape 6.0 will have its own "behavior" implementation (XBL) that is, at this point, just as proprietary as Microsoft's DHTML behaviors (the dev team plans on submitting XBL to the W3C in the future).

And although Mozilla.org has not taken a position one way or another on Mozilla's standards compliance, it would be nice if they could weigh in and let the community know what they're thinking in terms of standards support in Mozilla's first release.

What do you think about standards support and compliance? Is it important? Or should the placation of existing customers be the priority? Let us know!


#1 Let them do whatever they want...

by Cyclops

Friday July 14th, 2000 9:33 AM

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...as long as they also do standards support and compliance.

As a web developer I have on huge migraine... IE... Netscape... specially now there is mozilla, i see no point in using IE or Netscape, however unstable Mozilla can be, currently... I am only sorry I can't devote time to help mozilla get better in stability *sigh*

Besides, there is no IE for Windows, OS2, BeOS, MacOS, Linux, etc... that is complete in every platform... Mozilla might lack a lot of stuff, but from platform to platform, there's at least something one can count on: it's a browser!

Hugs

#26 Re: Let them do whatever they want...

by offwhite <mozilla@offwhite.net>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:15 AM

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Actually, IE 5 for the MacOS is very complete. I am glad I use Macs at home and work. I can avoid much of the frustrations of incomplete browsers which plague Unix and Windows.

If you read the WaSP article, you will read that they praised the IE 5 for the Mac release. It really is a very nice browser, and that is all it is. It does not do IRC, Mail or any other crazy app. They built a great browser and released it. I wish Mozilla would just complete the browser and release theirs.

#2 No one 's forcing you to *use* any extensions

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Friday July 14th, 2000 9:36 AM

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If you don't want to use proprietary technologies like XBL on your pages, you don't have to.

#3 lame: xml and css2 in IE55

by slm

Friday July 14th, 2000 9:45 AM

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I'm not impressed. IE55 has nearly no improvements related to IE50. It's lame. Mozilla/5 and Opera 4.0 shows the direction related to XML and CSS TODAY: <http://home.germany.net/1…-o/xml-browser-chart.html> Poor: Scripting and DOM in Opera 4.0, so Mazilla/5 leads...

#4 IE 5.5 Breaks older embedded applications too ...

by harkonen

Friday July 14th, 2000 10:08 AM

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Well, I work for a company that uses the IE control for distributing web content on CD's. Works on 4x and 5.0 and not on 5.5.

As you can imagine I am fed up with MS, and its divergent support. I hope and Pray Mozilla chases STANDARDs!!!I am tired of seeing a new release of something with MS that breaks another MS object. Please Please go for robust development that is maintainable through the future without destroying the past.

If Mozilla wins the standards game, stays small, and continues on the path it is currently in, I forsee a far more stable future. Opera is neat and cute, but I think the future is Moz.

I have been watching Mozilla for a couple years now and have been impressed on where it has come from and where it has gotten to. I am confident that it will meet its goals and will hopefully soon meet milestones that allow our organization to us it in the near term!! 200,000 users help "sell" support for Mozilla you know!!

#5 IE 5.5 Breaks older embedded applications too ...

by harkonen

Friday July 14th, 2000 10:12 AM

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Well, I work for a company that uses the IE control for distributing web content on CD's. Works on 4x and 5.0 and not on 5.5.

As you can imagine I am fed up with MS, and its divergent support. I hope and Pray Mozilla chases STANDARDs!!!I am tired of seeing a new release of something with MS that breaks another MS object. Please Please go for robust development that is maintainable through the future without destroying the past.

If Mozilla wins the standards game, stays small, and continues on the path it is currently in, I forsee a far more stable future. Opera is neat and cute, but I think the future is Moz.

I have been watching Mozilla for a couple years now and have been impressed on where it has come from and where it has gotten to. I am confident that it will meet its goals and will hopefully soon meet milestones that allow our organization to us it in the near term!! 200,000 users help "sell" support for Mozilla you know!!

#6 Standards NOW!

by doode

Friday July 14th, 2000 12:07 PM

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this ie5.5 moving away from standards is the stupidest thing ever.

standards support now!!! with at least css-1,css-2,dom-1,xml and hopefully svg. and since ie5.5 doesn't have that, they better work on those first.

#7 Mozilla and Standards

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Friday July 14th, 2000 1:13 PM

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If a web standard is to ever become a "real standard", it has to be used. Mozilla being an open source effort with achiving full standard compliancy as one of its goals, is so far the best place to get people to use web standards. Why support standards? Unless Mozilla's goal is to be the only application in the world, I'd say that supporting standards is a good thing.

Microsoft on the other hand wants to be in everything. To them standards is not important. In fact counter productive even. MS wants to make sure that people use their code and theirs only. What better way to do that than non-standard compliancy.

Mozilla on the other hand lives on standards. Mozilla needs standards to build on. Being an open source project it needs something most contributers can agree on, W3C standards happen to be one of them. I hope Mozilla will continue to support standards and work to form new standards as the need arise.

Now, if Mozilla's performance is as good as its standard compliancy...

#50 performance comes after features n/t

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 9:23 AM

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n/t

#8 why I advocate mozilla

by caseyperkins <caseyperkins@mindspring.com>

Friday July 14th, 2000 1:14 PM

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Standards compliance is almost the whole reason why I use Mozilla and advocate it to others. It's the only path to sanity in web design.

By the way, what the heck is XBL?

#13 Re: why I advocate mozilla

by Dan6992

Friday July 14th, 2000 5:44 PM

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Extensible Bindings Language. See <http://www.mozilla.org/do…xulnotes/xulnote_xbl.html> for more information.

#14 Standards Compliance

by thales

Friday July 14th, 2000 6:47 PM

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If Netscape 6.0 / Mozilla 1.0 Isn't released soon, The only standards that will matter is whatever Microsoft decides to support in the current version of IE. W3c standards will exist only in theory. The only "standards" body that will matter is MS Marketing.

#16 not quite

by doode

Friday July 14th, 2000 11:17 PM

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"The only standards that will matter is whatever Microsoft decides to support in the current version of IE."

this makes no sense... it's only a standard when mulitiple programs support it. if it's ie's own crap, and no one else follows, then it's not a standard.

#23 Re: not quite

by thales

Saturday July 15th, 2000 8:19 AM

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Remember when Netscape had about the same share as IE has now? They added the Netscape extensions. Netscape's NON-standard HTML was used by so many sites that the other browsers had to add teh extensions to view pages correctally. Even IE had to be Netscape compatable. W3c may have set the de jure standards , but Netscape set the de facto standards. IE is close to having the power Netscape had in 1995. If Netscape 6 isn't released this year, the number of IE standard pages will grow so large that most users will consider Netscape broken if it dosen't meet the IE standard. Netscape, Mozilla and Opera will have the choice of adapting the IE standard or joining all the browsers that disapeared when they failed to support the Netscape extensions.

#27 Re: Re: not quite

by brobinson

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:20 AM

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Even then MS would continue to work on other stuff that the others don't know about and they'd be behind when MS releases a new version.

#43 Re: Re: Re: not quite

by thales

Sunday July 16th, 2000 12:35 AM

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That's why it's so important to get Netscape 6 out before a lot of sites go over to being IE compliant. To avoid getting caught in the catch-up trap.

#9 The standards are getting to good

by JOHNSJ

Friday July 14th, 2000 3:06 PM

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I've recently been examining some of the liturature on XHTML, CSS and XML. These standards are now very mature and very usable if they are properly impemented in the browser and in authoring tools. And just as soon as I begin to understand which parts of the standard are supported in which browser and what's proprietary in each, somebody goes and changes the rules.

Microsoft appears to be more concerned with innovations that will keep people locked into their products than they are with standards. In fact, the standards are already so good that if somebody implemented them fully, people could probably be able to do 80 - 100% of what they do with browsers and web-servers without even touching an MS product.

Mozilla / Netscape, on the other hand, appear to be steadily working towards implementing as much of the standards as possible. BUT they're taking WAY TO LONG to get there.

The result is that just now there is no standards compiant browser. And in the future? Well, if you design your documents to use the full function of the standard in order to be useful and maintainable, you'll be able to use Mozilla/Netscape but not IE. But since "everybody" uses IE nobody will probably ever fully use the standards to their potential.

#17 Re: The standards are getting to good

by doode

Friday July 14th, 2000 11:21 PM

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" Mozilla / Netscape, on the other hand, appear to be steadily working towards implementing as much of the standards as possible. BUT they're taking WAY TO LONG to get there. "

if you have a problem with how long it's taking, why not get involved and develop the product if you aren't involved already? people think it's just gonna pop out of nowhere and be finished.

#24 Re: The standards are getting to good

by huftis <huftis@bigfoot.com>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 8:54 AM

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| I've recently been examining some of | the liturature on XHTML, CSS and XML. | These standards are now very mature | and very usable if they are properly | impemented in the browser and in | authoring tools.

I'm sorry to disappoint you regarding XHTML support in Mozilla. Looks like it's going to be worse than the XHTML support in IE 4/5 and Navigator 4.x (i.e. none). See <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=26026>

#30 Forget about skinning!

by bertilow

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:44 AM

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So, I see someone has read my recent comment in Bugzilla...

Actually I was shocked when I saw that it was seriously considered not having full XHTML support in the final Mozilla. XHTML is the current HTML standard. Mozilla is supposed to be 100% standards compliant. Forget about skinning! Forget about XSL! Forget about CSS2/3! Forget about mail, news, chatting! Make Mozilla 100% compatible with the current HTML standard!

Sorry about all the exclamations, but I do feel strong about Mozilla. If it won't even get XHTML right, what chance will it have of ever standing up to MSIE?

I don't have the programming skills to contribute myself. So all I can do is voice my opinion and my hope that priorities will be straightened out.

#31 Re: Forget about skinning!

by Gerv

Saturday July 15th, 2000 11:09 AM

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> Forget about skinning! Forget about XSL! > Forget about CSS2/3! Forget about mail, news, chatting

They aren't doing XSL or CSS3, chat is an independent outside project, and mail/news is a parallel development. Aborting any of these won't get it finished any faster.

Gerv

#45 Re: Forget about skinning!

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 1:21 AM

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I agree with you, but it is a little too late to "forget" about those stuff now. Since you do not have the programming skills (neither do I), would you mind trying to list the bugs that are getting the amount of attention it needs to? I'm sure there are those of us here that are still in the dark as to what Mozilla supports and what Mozilla doesn't support. ( most of the lists I've seen have not been updated since M14 or earlier)

#87 Re: Forget about skinning!

by bertilow

Monday July 24th, 2000 6:55 AM

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I'm mainly concerned with bug 26026, and the fact that it is being seriously considered not fixing it for the first release, which would mean less support for the current HTML recommendation than we already have in Netscape 4 and MSIE4/5. Lots of perfectly simple and correct pages would not be correctly handled. Actually the comment from ekrock on 2000-07-17 states that Mozilla need not support the current HTML standard fully at all! (Note that the current HTML recomendation is XHTML 1.0.)

There are also issues with XML declarations and encodings that has made valid XHTML pages not display at all, or display without UTF-8 support, but that might have been fixed by now.

#10 XBL

by Ben_Goodger

Friday July 14th, 2000 4:18 PM

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XBL and HTML is a relatively recent development... we're still not sure if it works completely as it should. IIRC the original intent was to allow for more rapid development of XUL widgets by exposing the anonymous content and script objects of elements to XML and JS.

XBL and HTML is an exciting prospect however. I believe XBL's syntax to be cleaner than HTC (and it's valid XML, too) I hope the W3 come to recognise the concept as more than just behavioural extensions to CSS - as a field of its own.

#11 GET IT OUT!!!

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Friday July 14th, 2000 4:47 PM

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Netscape 6 is the one app that can make Mozilla-compatible apps ubiquitous. If we lose any more market share, there won't be any to regain! IDG Books decided to scrap Netscape 6 For Dummies because they don't think there's a market left for Netscape! Everybody is thinking this way! If the bugs in the standards aren't absolutely critical, leave them to 6.1! GET IT OUT or we will have nothing left to fight! Microsoft will own the Web!

#12 Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by guyh

Friday July 14th, 2000 5:07 PM

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Speaking of "getting it out", which Mozilla milestone will PR2 be based on, and when is it slated for release? I don't know about the rest of you, but I am getting a little impatient to see the latest enhancements (including skin switching) put on world display. What is AOL's timetable for PR2?

#18 Go here

by drwho9437

Friday July 14th, 2000 11:50 PM

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#20 M18 then. <sigh>

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 4:29 AM

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Looks like we're now about a month behind schedule, kicking PR2 out to August, PR3 maybe to early October and Final to something like November.

#19 Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by jonde <joona.nuutinen@pp.inet.fi>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 1:40 AM

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You've got a very good point here, but putting an unfinished application to the public is not wise either. So I quess that couple of months more of development is worth more than getting it too early to the market. I've seen how Mozilla has grown better every day. Now it IS quite good. The classic skin restored my faith in Mozilla. I sure believe that Mozilla/Netscape6 will be my future browser (as there would've been many options for me as a 1.0-4.x Netscape user). Anyway, as Bon Jovi said: Keep the faith.

#34 Yeah, sure, get it out. But first finish it!

by gluon

Saturday July 15th, 2000 6:09 PM

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You're absolutly right. If moz is to be released before it supports the standards (at least the 'core' ones) 100% [and I mean 100%, not 99%], then it would be real hard to keep the faith in Netscape, erm AOL. It has taken so long since 4.x to get moz to where it is now; waiting some more months won't make Microsoft own the web. Indeed, moz/ns6 is the last chance to make moz the #1 browser again. And until then, the more market share Netscape looses, the more it will gain with Netscape 6! When AOL changes from IE to Netscape 6 then IE is out of the race in a _very_ short period of time... :)

#38 Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by TonyG <tony.gorman@blueyonder.co.Yuk>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 7:39 PM

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Totally agree. If NS6 doesn't come out soon it will be irrelevant. Its already claiming only 10 percent of the browser share. That is almost irrelevant so IDG books have a point - at least as far as demand is concerned.

You try telling an IT Manager to wait 6 months or more for NS6 to come out, instead of just going totally IE5 and see how far you get.

Even worse, try telling developers to continue to develop for NS4 - never mind 6 - and see how far you get. Daily, more and more web developers are going totally IE because it claims 85% share and because its easier to develop sites for.

I am personally desparate for NS6 to come out as my company is debating at moment whether or not to stop supporting NS4 and go to a totally IE environment. The only thing thats gonna stop it is NS6.

#41 Re: Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by doode

Saturday July 15th, 2000 10:34 PM

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"I am personally desparate for NS6 to come out as my company is debating at moment whether or not to stop supporting NS4 and go to a totally IE environment. The only thing thats gonna stop it is NS6. "

you make it sound as if you need totally different websites for each browser. a little thinking here and there to make it work in all browsers is not as painful as not supporting a browser.

#46 Re: Re: Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by TonyG <tony.gorman@blueyonder.co.Yuk>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 4:28 AM

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you make it sound as if you need totally different websites for each browser. a little thinking here and there to make it work in all browsers is not as painful as not supporting a browser.

Hehe. Not at all mate. I have been developing web sites for years and I have always insisted that sites look and behave the same in IE and NS. I also code as defensively as possible and insist that I and my developers use single, branching pages. However, I have the luxury of having developed in a commercial environment for companies who insisted on full support for Netscape. My first real web job was for a company designing and hosting sites on Netscape servers.

Today however: " a little thinking here and there to make it work in all browsers is not as painful as not supporting a browser."

- is simply not true. The fact is more and more companies are running IE only Intranets where coding for Netscape is not needed. This has led to a whole tranche of "Developers" who have never coded for anything other than IE. In that environment, adding support for Netscape is a real pain in the butt for these people. I'm not talking about quirky table layouts here. I'm talking about Dynamic HTML techniques and ActiveX controls. I learned Java to allow me to use applets for Netscape and IE instead of ActiveX - but try suggesting that to the IE only mob and see where you get...

Maybe this is a UK thing, since there is a chronic skills shortage in IT and Web Development at the moment. the result is people who weren't good enuff by the standards of a few years ago, are now doing crash courses in Visual Interdev and calling themselves developers.

#48 Microsoft is promoting laziness

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 9:09 AM

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I think M$ is preying on the laziness of programmers. "You can add a calendar with one tag!" Whatever. IE's standards have always sucked for me, and I'd like to see them come up with anything like <http://netscape.com/browsers/6/su_setup.html> It's when we start getting more pages like THAT one up that developers will (hopefully) start seeing what they're missing and start migrating.

#40 Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by Martyr

Saturday July 15th, 2000 10:20 PM

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*yawn* Don't you think the developers are breaking their butts to get it out as fast as they can? This is ancient hat, bro. How well do you program when the pointy-haired boss is yelling in your ear to get it out or else? It may build, but it sure won't work...the situation is dire, yadda yadda. The real problem is M$ making IE a part of their OS (and you thought win 98 was bad, have you seen the roadmap for Itanium (sp)?). It is a cavalier approach to security that puts IE deep in the heart of the OS. That is much more a threat than any statistics...come on, we've all endured Clinton. Who trusts studies and figures bandied about by "experts" anymore, anyways?

#51 Itanium is an Intel 64-bit processor?

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 9:31 AM

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Don't yawn at me, I don't care if you think my opinion is "old hat," Chris asked a question and I answered. I think the thing needs to come out ASAP rather than holding for God knows how long to support every single standard. That doesn't mean I don't think they should make sure the crucial standards are met, but once 6 is out they can stop, breathe, and start work on 6.1 to clean up.

"pointy haired boss"

Great, does he have big tufts of hair coming out of his ears?

#15 XBL

by brista

Friday July 14th, 2000 7:40 PM

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XBL is an extensible set of DHTML Behaviors already nominated to the W3C to become a standard that works with current standards. And again it already has been proposed. What happens with that we'll see eventually.

#21 Who makes the "standards"?

by danielhill <danielhill@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 5:23 AM

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Who makes the standards? The W3C, right? Who are they? A bunch of companies all with a bone to pick with Microsoft, IIRC. And the token Microsoft guy whose every suggestion is probably laughed at, or ignored.

We have NO idea what goes on in the W3C. It's all behind closed doors.

Maybe Microsoft would follow these standards closer if they had some input, and every thing they put forward wasn't rejected, and they were FASTER at getting them out and finalised.

If we are going to accuse MS of violating standards, I think the microscope should be pointed at Netscape/Mozilla. Is XUL a W3C standard? XBL?

Microsoft's extensions are very good. Behaviours would be useful if Netscape supports them. No company should have to wait for its competitors to catch up.

#22 Re: Who makes the "standards"?

by doode

Saturday July 15th, 2000 7:04 AM

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" Maybe Microsoft would follow these standards closer if they had some input, and every thing they put forward wasn't rejected, and they were FASTER at getting them out and finalised. "

i don't see why they need to be written faster, there is already more finalized sets there for a while... plus if they were faster, whould they lose quality?

"If we are going to accuse MS of violating standards, I think the microscope should be pointed at Netscape/Mozilla. Is XUL a W3C standard? XBL? "

i say netscape/mozilla is allowed to have some of their own stuff... does it really matter that it's not a w3c reccommendation? do they have to make everything? at least they have the best standards support over all browsers at the moment. so i'm not complaining... in fact that's the main reason i'm so gung ho about mozilla

#25 XBL/XUL

by WillyWonka

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:08 AM

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I don't think XBL and XUL should be used on the net. They should be local as they are languages to define the user interface of an application - they shouldn't be used for describing the content.

With microsofts Calendar tag for example (I read about it being new in IE5.5) it could be used on the net or in the interface, but since the interface in IE isn't customizable you sort of have no choice on where you use it.

When you do use any propriatary languages on the web - you lock out other browsers. Thats why you should only use, on public www sites, publicly defined standards (On intranets you should be able to do whatever you want) - as all web browsers should know how to display the code. Because its a public standard the requirements are visible to all programmers and there should be no excuses for faulty implementations.

#29 Re: Re: Who makes the "standards"?

by offwhite <mozilla@offwhite.net>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:29 AM

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Microsoft does get a break from time to time. There was a time when Netscape was more compliant, like 3 years ago. Then W3C released HTML 4.0 and IE suddenly became more standards compliant. They must have influenced the W3C to a degree.

But now MS is again ignoring the standards on the Windows side. And the IE for the Mac team was dissolved because they made such a standards compliant browser it made the Windows team look bad.

The Mozilla teams needs to release a browser now. Forget Instant Messaging and other extras and just release a browser. The ball of wax will just grow while it's marketshare decreases. Fix the current browser bugs and release!!!

#33 Re: Re: Re: Who makes the "standards"?

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 1:35 PM

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> Forget Instant Messaging and other extras and just release a browser. The ball of wax will just grow while it's marketshare decreases. Fix the current browser bugs and release!!!

I don't know about IM and other extras, but judging from the newgroup discussions and status report, it is mostly bugfixing to me. There are some minor "features" introduce, but all they do is increase performances, reduce footprint and improve usability.

#35 a correction or two...

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday July 15th, 2000 6:41 PM

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XBL has been submitted to the W3C

Also, your first statement is grossly inaccurate. Microsoft is a contributor to many of the specs generated by the W3C. I highly doubt that members of an organization such as the W3C would be so naive as to ignore the suggestions of Microsoft for anything other than sensible reasons. I have heard second hand that some of the people involved from Microsoft are intelligent individuals - not mere effigies of Microsoft's previous standards implementation attempts on the Windows platform...

#37 Re: a correction or two...

by TonyG <tony.gorman@blueyonder.co.Yuk>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 7:23 PM

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Microsoft have as much sway as anyone. Look at the DOM and tell me if it is closer to MS or Netscape's original submission...

#64 Microsoft is a major W3C contibutor

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Monday July 17th, 2000 5:13 PM

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...which makes their lack of standards support all the more ridiculous.

#28 Minimal Browser

by WillyWonka

Saturday July 15th, 2000 9:21 AM

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Found this link on slashdot. <http://galeon.sourceforge.net/>

Its a minimal Mozilla browser - very little clutter and only one status bar :)

#32 Great story Chris

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 12:12 PM

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Very cool story, Chris. I think one thing that you mention in your story but don't take into account in your prediction:

The desktop computer is not where Netscape 6 is going to win the browser war -- integration in Internet appliances that is where Netscape 6 will shine the brightest. Web pads, set-top boxes, personal e-mail assistants, and other Net appliances are starting to be released now and will grow exponentially as a market over the next year. Internet Explorer has no significant prescence at all in this market, and won't. The vast portion of these appliances run on Linux operating systems (such as Gateway's recently announced new line) as does AOL TV, and there is no Internet Explorer for Linux. Very soon the "browser market" of today will merely be a subset of a larger market for Web-enabled appliances. Only those appliances that run Windows will be able to use IE, and given the quality track record of WindowsCE, that isn't going to happen on a large scale overnight, if ever.

In short, as the Web-enabled client market grows to encompass and eventually dwarf the PC market, that 86% will start coming down significantly, and once AOL starts using Netscape again, it's all over for IE's dominance.

#59 Re: Great story Chris

by thales

Sunday July 16th, 2000 10:55 PM

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Don't assume that AOL will switch to Netscape. If I remember correctally AOL dosen't even have to use IE as thier only browser. They only have to maintain a 80% IE usage. They could have had a AOL Netscape version for years. Also AOL had the right to terminate the agrement last January. They didn't. Right now AOL gets a spot on the desktop of every new Windows PC, and MS takes care of support problems with the browser. This isn't something they will automatically give up. If AOL thinks the number of new subscribers they get off the Windows desktop is worth more than using thier own browser they will try to reach a new agreement with MS. AOL with Netscape may only be availble on platforms that IE dosen't support.

#65 Yeah, but

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Monday July 17th, 2000 7:30 PM

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Firstly, the agreement runs out in January. We'll see if they renew it. Secondly, AOL has no interest in using 4.x -- it's crap. Of course they would wait for the new product.

Third, the whole 86 percent mark makes Microsoft's position in the Antitrust case look really bad. If AOL switched back now, they might upset the balance of the Antitrust case, and that's something AOL doesn't want to do. They HATE Microsoft and are going to wait until the trial is resolved before switching back. If the government gets its way -- likely so within the next 6 months to a year -- the deal with AOL will become illegal under the new restrictions.

Finally, AOL does have providers that use Netscape versions. They have a specific version of Netscape you can download. It doesn't replace IE, but you use it alongside. 4.x is not modular enough to bother trying to integrate and make a "Netscape" version.

#36 HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 7:00 PM

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Does anyone have a list of bugs in Mozilla related to the W3C standards that Netscape promised for NS6? Is it even feasable to see full HTML4, CSS1 and DOM1 compliance? Or are we doomed by buggy implementations with proprietary extension?

#39 Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by brobinson

Saturday July 15th, 2000 8:23 PM

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Bug #25707 is one that I know of

#53 Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by brobinson

Sunday July 16th, 2000 11:46 AM

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<http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…ependencytree.cgi?id=7954>

#7954 is a list of outstanding HTML 4 problems.

#56 Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 12:55 PM

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#67 Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Monday July 17th, 2000 10:37 PM

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There is quite a number of bugs in the above lists that are marked "future", what does that mean for netscape and their promise for 100% compliance?

#77 Re: Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by huftis <huftis@bigfoot.com>

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 9:16 AM

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It means that there won't be 100 % support for HTML or CSS 1 for 1.0 (this will be mentioned in the release notes). Sorry ... Perhaps in 1.1?

#82 Re: Re: Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Wednesday July 19th, 2000 1:05 PM

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Looks like netscape is going to get WSP's fire next.

#84 Re: Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Thursday July 20th, 2000 3:56 PM

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It depends. The ones I read indicate that some bugs are marked "future" because the people they are assigned to are overburdened, and haven't had a chance to determine an actual milestone.

#86 Re: Re: Re: HTML4, CSS1, DOM1

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Thursday July 20th, 2000 6:07 PM

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If they cannot determine which milestone it can be fixed by, does that mean it is pushed off indefinitely?

#42 86%? Blah and stuff!

by rxsherm <rxsherm@usa.net>

Saturday July 15th, 2000 11:51 PM

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I just checked my site that is visited by mostly Oracle professionals in decent sized organizations. As you might imagine, most of the people that visit my site belong to big IT organizations that have standardized on either Netscape or Internet Exploder. With this in mind, I checked my stats for the past 30 days as well as the past 6 months.

Regardless of the view, there was very little deviation of the browser percentages. The breakdown was:

Netscape Flavours: 35.76% Internet Exploder Flavours: 63.92% Misc. : .05%

I don't want to hear about this 86% BS. Did anyone also consider that WebSideStory (who allegedly generated these statistics) might just have an over-abundence of Microsoft-oriented web sites that they track!? That would certainly skew the numbers a bit.

#44 Re: 86%? Blah and stuff!

by danielhill <danielhill@hotmail.com>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 1:16 AM

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Hmm .. Oracle professionals. Probably a lot of irrational anti-Microsoft people there ;)

Seriously, HitBox tracks sites ordinary people go to. Not just IT professionals. Look for the green HitBox box on sites. It's everywhere.

#47 Re: 86%? Blah and stuff!

by smurf <smurf@direct-porn.com>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 6:24 AM

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Here are some stats from my adult website for yesterday. IE4 - 85.8% 59,087 visitors NS4 - 12.1% 8,299 visitors

Something else I wanted to say. Mozilla / NS6 will not get any new market share in the desktop market unless the UI is changed to look and act like a standard windows application. I get 5+ emails a day from your everyday normal surfer looking for porn. They have absolutely no clue what they are doing. The minute they see the mozilla UI they will freak out and uninstall it and continue using IE. If you manage to get a decent UI in mozilla and make it as easy to use as NS4 or easier, there will definately be a huge netscape / mozilla now button at the top of my page where 90k visitors can see it a day.

#49 err, Classic theme does that n/t

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 9:11 AM

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n/t

#52 Yeah but...

by smurf <smurf@direct-porn.com>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 10:19 AM

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Most users aren't going to mess around with themes right away if they ever do. It's all about the first impression. I think it should install with the classic theme as the default (which I havent tried yet but will in a few minutes)Then more advanced users can switch to other themes later if they want.

#54 I believe Classic will be the default theme n/t

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 12:00 PM

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n/t

#57 Which Market

by Luddite

Sunday July 16th, 2000 8:04 PM

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I think Netscape and Mozilla will have a hard time regaining corporate or casual user market share. They'll have a nice lead in the appliance/pda/embedded market though.

My dilemna as a corporate web developer is I want to use Mozilla because of its superior standards support. But if I do it's likely it won't run as well as IE in our NT and MS based system.

I'd love to be able to send out a totally customized and branded browser to our clients so that they can access everything on our web site. But if I do that I need to duplicate or rewrite and maintain several apps that won't run on Mozilla so I'm duplicating effort and increasing costs. And what of users of the web site not using Mozilla? With a small marketshare initially when will the company finally adopt Mozilla as the standard? We just settled on IE because of Netscape 4's crappy standards support. We simply cannot wait longer.

I write to standards as much as possible but I fear 100% standards compliance in Mozilla is not going to get people to switch to it, especially in the corporate market.

#61 Re: Which Market

by niner

Monday July 17th, 2000 10:53 AM

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As webdeveloper I do my sites so that they are IE-compatibel, but simply look a bit better on Mozilla due to it's better standards support. Cosmetic problems make the site not unusable, but it's nicer on Mozilla. I won't ever go away from 99,5% standards compatibility (I just can't do without the height attribute in tables ;) just for the faulty implementation of a browser.

#66 Re: Which Market

by petejc <pete@mozdev.org>

Monday July 17th, 2000 9:24 PM

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I agree with your converns 100%. I think where mozilla will shine is in it's existing ability to deliver xp client side application solutions delivering what java had promised on the client. Companies are already embracing mozilla in this respect, they are just not telling anyone. They are making huge cuts in cost by delivering a write once run anywhere client app solution.

pete

#75 I think they'll switch

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 7:54 AM

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I think when people honestly see what they can do with Mozilla themselves, without being slave to M$, IE, and Windows, they'll switch. I think honestly that Mozilla will have a bigger market share in rebranded apps than Netscape 6 will. I think IE's about over, actually, excepting on Windows machines.

#58 Standards need to get better

by compu_geek

Sunday July 16th, 2000 9:22 PM

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1) Look at the title to this post. The w3c, won't let the people who make the websites help make the standards they (should be, when there's a stable, popular browser that has standard suport) code in, and they SHOULD let the coders help. 2) If IE had standard suport, this mess we're in would be a LOT better!

#85 So subscribe to W3C mailing lists

by gwalla <gwalla@despammed.com>

Thursday July 20th, 2000 3:59 PM

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It's doesn't give you voting priviledges, but it does give you input.

#60 No, 86% is not correct.

by leafdigital

Monday July 17th, 2000 7:14 AM

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HitBox and other counter statistics have consistently overestimated IE against Netscape compared to other surveys based on more representative websites.

I believe this to be likely because Netscape probably has slightly higher presence at work (where a few companies have still standardised on it, even though obviously the majority are on IE) compared to home (where nobody bothers installing a different browser).

(Counters are more often used on amateur "play" sites which are more likely to be visited from home. Any real professional website has logs and doesn't need a counter.)

Of course, that doesn't alter the fact that IE probably really does have a share somewhere in the 75-85% region (on my own site, which is biased towards Windows users because I produce Windows shareware, IE's average share this year is 75%). The release of Netscape 6 will probably not change this in any significant way, but life will be better for the 15-25% of us. ;)

I don't think they should rush the release - Netscape's support is dribbling away very gradually just as it has been for the last several years, there's no need to panic now. Obviously, the sooner the better, but not if it isn't completely finished (from a UI, usability, and reliability perspective).

As for standards support, the latest versions of (X)HTML, CSS1 and ideally large chunks of CSS2, ECMAScript and the DOM (whatever version) are the important standards. I think Mozilla will/does do a credible job of implementing these standards. IE isn't as good, which is obviously a shame.

As for the net appliances thing; WebTV and Dreamcast are the only significant "net appliances" that have been released to date, that I'm aware of; one of these is owned by Microsoft and the other uses Microsoft's browser and operating system. I have to agree that the future does look bright for Mozilla in this area, but let's not count our chickens until they're hatched. (Also, the whole net appliance idea is a bit of a waste of time, but. :)

--sam

#62 86% shouldn't be the point now

by Netvigator

Monday July 17th, 2000 3:41 PM

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Agree probably 86% is a bit too high. But we shouldn't get too worried about that (well yet). Mozilla has gone a long way ever since it started and although it's taking painfully long it will get there.

Why I think it will work: 1. Netscape & AOL are the first interested in getting out a good browser ASAP, but without rushing it. Once that it is out things should get better (providing the browser is as stable or more than explorer (not that hard))

2. After this first release more people are bound to make contributions.

3. Market share will definitively be helped if other non-PC surfing devices mean demand for web pages that support standards and hence work with mozilla.

4. I canīt remember how much market share aol has but if things work as it seems and the browser is out by Oct. -sort of- aol could change its layout engine to gecko by the end of the year end the contract with m$ and increase the mozilla share of the market drastically. I afraid we do depend on aol there :-(

so concluding the broswer should be out as soon as it's reasonably possible; that means not overrushing it. If that is managed the future could be bright. We just can't sleep on the laurels.

Netvigator

#68 What everyone must realize.

by drwho9437

Monday July 17th, 2000 10:53 PM

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Many people have commented on the "slow" development of mozilla. Although this is true to a certain extent one must realize that where as IE and Netscape have never started from scratch (Spyglass for IE and Mosaic for Netscape I think) Of course it takes time to reproduce everything from scratch. The Mozilla people are doing 10 years work in 2. That is quite fast. Once it gets up to speed with IE I am confident that it will quickly surpass IE in every category and win back significant market share. Sure some say that no one will download it. But I know that a lot of people have window 98 FE and have IE 5.5 now. People want the newest thing and most people will download eventually. The people who aren't prone to download on there on use services like AOL and MSN and will be nagged until they upgrade. In sum, given time Netscape/Mozilla will make a comeback unless people would rather pay 50+ for Win ME then download a 8 MB file in the days of 2 GB + mp3 collections made over 56k modems. If you build it they will switch.

#72 Yes they did start from scratch with IE

by leafdigital

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 6:46 AM

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They did start more or less from scratch when developing IE version 4. There are still some components remaining from the old Spyglass code, but it was almost entirely rewritten.

(It shows; IE up to version 3 just sucked, there were no two ways about it. IE4 was the first browser that genuinely was better than Netscape.) And I'm pretty certain that you're wrong; a significant proportion of people will not switch. I'd estimate maybe 5% of people are in the market to switch if they can get something better, but 95% don't care.

If AOL switch to a Mozilla variant, then that'll push up Mozilla's market share significantly, but I doubt Mozilla will ever again be in the majority. (That isn't a bad thing - a 60-40 IE-Mozilla split would ensure that web designers continue to make pages work on both browsers, and that there would still be significant competition. I'm not at all sure Mozilla can reach that 40%, but it would be nice.)

--sam

#79 Consider Web appliances though

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 10:52 AM

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Again, I see the market ballooning with appliances that won't use IE. I think Mozilla variants will definitely regain the lead in the next year. You're right though, most won't switch, but I think it's the fact that the desktop market is going to become a subset of the whole Web-enabled market that'll be the kicker.

#83 IE4, and the future market share of Moz

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Wednesday July 19th, 2000 7:51 PM

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First, Most of IE was rewritten from the ground up, yes, but mostly for integration features. The rendering code was the original Spyglass code, and has been built on and rebuilt. At this point, even in 5.5, even MS doesn't know how much code is still original Spyglass code. Very litle to be sure, but enough to warrant a copyright notice.

And AOL will indeed be shofting to the Mozilla codebase for future AOL versions. There's already experimental projects underway. Nothing even close to release yet, but it will happen. I can't imagine anyone who actually would believe the standard corporate lines about how they're not working on it.

#63 AOL could switch to netscape when ...

by svmcguir <svmcguir@syr.edu>

Monday July 17th, 2000 3:41 PM

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AOL could switch to Netscape when the market for new internet connections on home PCs is saturated. Anyone know when that will be?

#70 Re: AOL could switch to netscape when ...

by doron

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 12:04 AM

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aol has a contract with ms for using ie and it will run out soon (by the time 6.0 releases)

#74 6.0 uses IE 5.5, I've got the beta

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 7:51 AM

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and I heard actually that the contract doesn't run out until January.

#78 Re: 6.0 uses IE 5.5, I've got the beta

by svmcguir <svmcguir@syr.edu>

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 9:23 AM

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Whenever the contract ends, AOL wil want to keep using IE as long as they care about the icon on the Windows desktop. That will be unitl the icon doesn't help anyomore, which I would guess is when the home user market is saturated.

#69 Many people have commented on the "slow"

by drwho9437

Monday July 17th, 2000 10:54 PM

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Many people have commented on the "slow" development of mozilla. Although this is true to a certain extent one must realize that where as IE and Netscape have never started from scratch (Spyglass for IE and Mosaic for Netscape I think) Of course it takes time to reproduce everything from scratch. The Mozilla people are doing 10 years work in 2. That is quite fast. Once it gets up to speed with IE I am confident that it will quickly surpass IE in every category and win back significant market share. Sure some say that no one will download it. But I know that a lot of people have window 98 FE and have IE 5.5 now. People want the newest thing and most people will download eventually. The people who aren't prone to download on there on use services like AOL and MSN and will be nagged until they upgrade. In sum, given time Netscape/Mozilla will make a comeback unless people would rather pay 50+ for Win ME then download a 8 MB file in the days of 2 GB + mp3 collections made over 56k modems. If you build it they will switch.

#71 September would be great

by hfoucher

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 3:56 AM

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Release Netscape 6.0 in September ! This is ideal ! Don't wait until November... Please !

#73 Um, it ain't gonna be finished in September

by leafdigital

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 6:49 AM

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You think it's going to be ready even in November? I'd doubt it. (However, I agree that September would be a good time for a second preview release, and *maybe* an actual beta version could be done by November. I wouldn't expect to see a final "6.0 release" version before January at the earliest.)

I don't know the actual schedules, this is arbitrary speculation/opinions. But there's a lot of work to be done.

--sam

#76 Re: Um, it ain't gonna be finished in September

by WillyWonka

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 8:08 AM

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I think it could be done for christmas. It would be a nice present too :)

#81 It'll be done some time in the year 2002...

by bjensen <rom@silverlink.net>

Wednesday July 19th, 2000 2:47 AM

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...but it will be called Netscape 8.0... the browser that's been embedded into every gadget out there except the users desktop! hehe!

#80 Another MS tactic

by bongo

Tuesday July 18th, 2000 10:34 PM

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As multimedia is where the net is heading, surely if MS tightly integrated its media player with the browser, it would create a deep threat to wider consumer adoption of Mozilla. I mean, why would you bother downloading another browser that lacked multimedia support!