Full Article Attached Astounding Comments From the WSP

Thursday July 20th, 2000

The WSP (Web Standards Project) now states that it is interested in released products more than compliance, and has released one of the most astounding pieces of work I have seen come out of their office.

The WaSP, a pseudonym which speaks for the whole WSP (or at least its leaders) has written a piece taking Netscape to task for failing to produce a browser in the allotted time limit. Click "Full Article..." below to read my response. For the record, I am not an employee of Netscape.

#100 Why treat Mozilla different from any other product

by antony <>

Saturday July 22nd, 2000 12:54 PM

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I'm surprised at the way in which both the WaSP and a number of posters here treat Mozilla as though it's a totally different thing from a product made by any other business in any industry. What gives them the right to dictate to Netscape when they should release theri browsers? Netscape have been doing them a favour by creating Mozilla as a totally standards compliant browser. Yet they have the nerve to act like a spoilt little child because they can't have what they want when they want it (i.e. right now or else).

You don't release a product out onto the market when it's unfinished, much less when you're aware that there's still faults which need addressing (see Bugzilla..). What kind of crack are these guys smoking to suggest that kind of a business plan for a company? One would take it that they're obviously not anywhere in management, because they haven't the slightest clue about conducting business. Would you demand that an automotive manufacturer release a car when the brakes were periodically known to stop working? Or Sony release a stereo system that occassionally went haywire? Of course not. These kind of practices would drive a company into the ground if practiced repeatedly. So what exactly are you proposing to achieve by demanding that Netscape release their browser 'now or else'? Are the WaSP seeking to kill Netscape so all they really have to care about is IE? Who knows..

This whole thing reminds me a bit of the recent ado with the Ford Falcon out here in Australia.. In 1998 the "AU" model was released, with a radical change in body shape and appearance to previous models. It was largely unpopular, but the company couldn't just abandon the design when it had nothing complete to replace it. The next model Falcon isn't due out until around 2002/2003 I think, and so as an interim measure, they released the "AU2" this year which addresses some of the biggest criticisms of the early model. Similarly, Netscape brought out their 4.x browser which wasn't quite as well favoured as the IE counterparts (later on, at any length), and so there have been a few releases to fix the most common 'criticisms' that could be fixed without too much expense or effort (mainly security fixes I would suspect) until such time as their new browser is released. A car and a browser mightn't be exactly the same thing, but there's similarities in these circumstances (from my point of view at least ;)..

Other tidbits:

OPERA: "Opera has a better chance than Mozilla" - does it? In this day and age, where users expect browsers to be something which ship free of charge, how many people are honestly going to pay for a browser?

IE5.5: I'm not sure quite what was going on here. The only significant differences I've noticed is the new Print Preview feature, and the fact that it crashes about 5 times as often as IE5.0 did. Maybe that's what the ".5" is supposed to reflect...

NATIVE UI: And then every time someone wants to port Mozilla to a different platform, they have to re-write the UI for that platform. Just to make life even more difficult and make the code base harder to maintain..

And with that I think I've ranted and raved to make 5am a nice bed time..