MozillaZine

Response to Jeffrey Zeldman of the WSP

Tuesday November 7th, 2000

It didn't take long for the Web Standards Project to come out with yet another hilarious piece of rambling.

Yes, Jeffrey Zeldman of the Web Standards Project has responded to my piece regarding the Flanagan petition. But is he responding to me?

Mr. Zeldman writes, "The petition by David Flanagan asks Netscape to release a standards-compliant browser, as promised. And as part of that, to incorporate bug fixes which already exist, due to the work of Mozilla engineers. That's anti-Mozilla bias? I can't follow your logic."

Did I mention anti-mozilla bias in my article, in regards to the Flanagan petition? No. Did I say anything about anti-Mozilla bias in my piece at all? No. I don't even know how to respond to arguments against comments I never made. Maybe that's because Mr. Zeldman has no idea who he is directing his comments towards.

Mr. Zeldman seems to equate my opinions on my site with the opinions of anyone and everyone else. He states, "Now someone else criticizes Netscape's implementation of your work...." and "I believe you owe it to yourselves..." and "If you don't want Netscape to bring consumers the best possible fruit of your labors, then why have you labored so long and so hard?" and "I don't think your attitude will serve you well in the marketplace...".

Who are you talking to, Jeffrey? If you want to address Netscape, address them. If you want to address mozilla.org, address them. If you want to address me, aim your comments at me, and stop obfuscating by implying that I speak for anyone other than myself.

In regard to Mr. Zeldman, I only made the specific charge that he neglected to actually examine Netscape 6's standards compliance before making his comments in Dave Flanagan's petition. Not surprisingly, Mr. Zeldman didn't answer the charge in his piece.

Mr. Zeldman writes, "Now someone else criticizes Netscape's implementation of your work, and instead of seeing it as support for the work you've done, you attempt to demonize the author."

In fact, Jeffrey, David Flanagan chose to not mention the fact that Netscape 6, in its current form, would be the most standards compliant browser on the market. He doesn't give any indication of how Netscape 6 stacks up against IE 5.5 Win or IE 5.0 Mac. In fact, he specifically gives the impression, in the title of his piece, that Netscape 6 is utterly non-compliant ("Netscape Navigator 6.0 to Fail Standards Compliance"). In Mr. Flanagan's piece, I see no support for the work that has been done *at all* (except for the patches for the bugs that he has an interest in). I am not alone in this assessment. Many Mozilla/Netscape developers felt that Mr. Flanagan's comments were extremely one-sided, unfair, and utterly out of touch with the development process. But Mr. Flanagan doesn't just paint an untrue picture of Netscape 6's standards compliance. He then uses this incomplete information to encourage others to support his view. And on top of that, he encourages them to tell Netscape to stop the release of their product, when they have RTM candidates! The audacity!

Mr. Zeldman, who railed against name-calling in my piece, recommends that I see a psychiatrist. But it seems that I'm arguing with someone who is himself arguing against his own made-up version of my statements. Someone who addresses me in the plural. Who seems to extract content from Dave Flanagan's article that doesn't exist. You make the call.

Jeffrey is right about one thing. We can't communicate at all. I can't communicate with someone who twists my words so transparently, who seemingly makes up facts to suit his opinions, and who refuses to investigate the truth about Netscape 6's standards compliance.

Do the tests. Netscape 6, when released, will be the most standards compliant browser on the market. And the WSP will still be led by a gentleman who seems to have no interest in basing his opinions on facts.


#1 A true developers perspective

by waltert5 <waltert3@mailbr.com.br>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:47 AM

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This is ridiculous. Everyone knows what this is really about but now one has the gaul to say it in a nutshell. I have tested various Mozilla releases from it's original coneption to m18(Netscape 6 PR1,PR2 & PR3 included) on several different platforms(Linux, Solaris, Macintosh, OS/2, Windows, etc.) and the only times I experience these headlong problems are when running Netscape 6 pre-releases on Windows no less. Why, Simple because of Explorer. The damn thing is the GUI and represents the most common set of the public Windows API set for that matter.

Now I'm not trying to turn this into a flame war but I think what's going on here is quite obvios. To prove it I even installed Netscape 6 PR3 on the original Windows 98 with no windows or explorer updates. Guess what it ran as flawlessly as it did on other operating systems. But as soon as I updated explorer to 5 or greater guess what started happening. That's right I started having major problems with Netscape 6. The bottom line is Microsoft uses a hidden API structure internally and hands a second less intuitive API set to third-party developers. The result is that Microsoft software always runs better then that of it's third party competition on Windows.

Case in point the macintosh. Totally third party no strings attached placed Netscape 6 well over Internet Explorer 5.5. Too bad Microsoft didn't release a version for Linux as well. Oh and by the way aside from bugs caused from Windows there are very few ulterior bugs in Netscape 6. The fact is the rendering engine,while a tad bit slower then Explorers pre-loaded bloatware, is 5 times more compliant and 10 times more well engineered then that of I.E. 5. Even the loading of complex tables with multimedia components far exceeds that of it's two largest competitors.

Now as for why this article on O'Reilly's oreilly.com was published in the first place is simple. Some guy out there just wanted to make a name for himself. Yeah, I'm talking about you Mr. Flanagan. You wanted exposure and since Microsoft bashing isn't in style much anymore you figured Netscape bashing could get you as much notereity. I got it now why don't you join the bandwagon of Howard Stern or Bill Clinton bashers. Bet you there's a TV spot in it, I almost guarantee it. For all those taking this article seriously, sure there are some valid points, but in any bashing article you have valid points, doesn't mean the summation is correct.

As for people who read this statement I am sure there will be responses and some negative. However, I have not said anything that isn't true and I have not reached the point of bashing Microsoft. There are things not here about Microsoft that have been known for years that qualify as bashing material. I have not used any of that material though because I wanted to concentrate on just the technology and compliancy, not the other more shady affairs. Lastly, to reiterate a great point. While Mr. Flanagan herendously bashing Netscape I haven't heard a whisper from Mr. Flanagan petitioning against the release of iCab or IE6 or Konqueror. Why go figure. To add on in Mr. Flanagan's book in which he claims to define W3C compliancy he makes no mention as to DOM1, which by the way has been a thorn in Microsoft's side. This brings up two questions in my mind.

A] What is Mr. Flanagan's true intentions with this book and this obvious cheap marketing tactic ?

B] If his intentions are not commercially motivated and Mr. Flanagan wants to go on about unbiased W3C compliancy (Not showing any relevance to relevant standards such as the Document Object Model) does he actually know a damn thing ? (Personally I think it's Mr. Flanagan that fails standards and horrificly at that)

As for the rest I'll leave that up to the reader. ;) (And yeah I know how sloppy this looks, I was pressed for time so sue me! :) )

#3 Re: A true developers perspective

by leafdigital

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:59 AM

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"True developer"? More like false bullshit.

Mozilla nightly builds run perfectly here (I haven't tried PR3), and yes I have IE5.5 installed.

There is no extra set of totally different Windows APIs that Microsoft use. There are/were a few extra minor functions. Although at some points these might have made things easier for Office developers, they don't prevent other people writing good Windows software - trust me, because I genuinely *AM* a true developer with extensive Windows experience.

As for the rest of it, I think I said what I meant to say last time; Netscape cannot apply any bugfixes except to seriously critical problems, during a freeze for release. Freezes like that are essential or product will never be released. Better a slightly buggy Netscape 6.0 now, than the incredibly buggy Netscape 4.7...

--sam

#30 Well put

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 9:53 PM

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"Better a slightly buggy Netscape 6.0 now, than the incredibly buggy Netscape 4.7..."

Thank you! Well put.

JR

#35 Re: A true developers perspective

by brista

Thursday November 9th, 2000 4:28 PM

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I absolutely agree. They have done things like this in the past. It doesn't surprise me.

#36 Re: Re: A true developers perspective

by danielhill <danielhill@hotmail.com>

Thursday November 9th, 2000 7:49 PM

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PROVE IT.

#50 Re: Re: Re: A true developers perspective

by waltert5 <waltert3@mailbr.com.br>

Tuesday November 14th, 2000 6:41 PM

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Prove what ? At least have some direction in your comment so I don't have to second guess you or get a phsycic.

#56 Re: A true developers perspective

by mybarterpc <waltert7@verizon.net>

Tuesday March 2nd, 2004 7:45 AM

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I totally agree with you. What's more is Microsoft has never been forthcoming with it's API (or it's source) and requires your soul just for the little they do release. The source to CE is an example of that. They released the source yes, but only for their own use.

#57 Re: A true developers perspective

by waltert10 <waltert10@juno.com>

Tuesday March 2nd, 2004 7:52 AM

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I think there is modest truth in Microsoft's secrecy and yes I do believe it is done to a point that third party developers do siginificantly loose out.

#2 This bull for the WaSP?

by brobinson

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:53 AM

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Aren't these the same guys that basically said "To hell with standards compliance, get it out now!" not too long ago?

#19 Re: This bull for the WaSP?

by ess

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 2:11 PM

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Jeffy's just looking for attention. I don't know why anyone pays any attention to what he says.

#4 ... which is why I left the WaSP

by jmissig <x-virge@shafe.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 8:23 AM

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The WaSP mailing lists were good for a while, but their views were usually very different from Mr. Zeldman's, especially concerning Mozilla and Netscape. I cannot believe that he continues to make up facts and spew bullshit. I remember him making statements on the WaSP site as if they came from all of the WaSP, but very few on the mailing lists avctually agreed with him. Ignoring him seems to be the only thing left to do.

#5 risk?

by sdm

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 8:37 AM

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Doesn't anyone realize that there is a huge risk associated with fixing the bugs mentioned in Flanagan's piece? They may very well cause worse regressions than the bugs themselves. What is his response to that?

#10 Re: risk?

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 11:45 AM

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If they are working in the current nightly builds, it is safe to assume that most of these patches are solid as is.

The current Mozilla nightlies are more "up to date" than whatever is in the Netscape 6 branch. That is the problem we are talking about.

#14 Re: Re: risk?

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:29 PM

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"working in the current nightly builds" is not enough to say that they are safe in the branch. While divergence isn't extreme, there was 6 weeks of development on the branch and there were lots of things that made it into the trunk that could potentially compensate for or mask problems with other checkins. A second thought, not all of these bugs have fixes in the trunk yet, not all of them have patches that have been thouroughly tested and reviewed. I think you're oversimplifying things to suggest that all of these bugs have patches that are "solid as is" and would be safe in the branch.

#24 Re: Re: risk?

by mindlace

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 4:42 PM

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Well, I have a cron job that gets the nightly builds. One day, hover broke! Now, this was a checked in "fix", according to mozilla.org, and they had to do a workaround to get the fix to work.

Anyway, fixes that land in the nightlies often break things that were working in PR 3. I can see why Netscape has made the decision to just get a much more standards compliant browser out there.

#6 Who is he talking to?

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 9:06 AM

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Chris,

He is obviously talking to the Mozilla community through Mozillazine. This website is supposed to be a place for Mozilla supporters to read about outside issues, so he is using that. He is not talking directly to you.

I have to say that I agree with BOTH Flanagan and Zeldman. Sure, Flanagan did not explicitly say that Netscape 6 is ALREADY the most standards compliant browser. He is making the assumption that people reading his article already know that, which the vast majority will if they are even interested in that article.

The whole damn point of this is to try to get those last remaining patches into Netscape 6. Chris, have you even ran any of those testcases attached to the listed bugs in Flanagan's article? Did you see the fact that patches alrady exist, and they are supposedly low risk?

If the Netscape 6 tree could reopen one more time to add those recent patches, everyone will be happy, and not much time will be lost.

Also Chris, thanks for blowing everything out of proportion, and reading too much into Flanagan's article. I suggest to go back and read it again in a different state of mind.

#7 Re: Who is he talking to?

by omidk <omidk@email.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 9:35 AM

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I think it is very obvious you are not a software engineer. The idea that you do not apply a fix when you have it may seem to be ridiculous to someone not familiar with software engineering but it is amazingly common for what seems to be a safe fix to cause massive regressions. At some point, you have to draw the line and say that you will not accept major changes so that you can stabilize and ship a real product. This is one problem with open source...every bumbling idiot can now see how software is developed and their decide to spread their ignorance to other retards.

#9 Re: Re: Who is he talking to?

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 11:36 AM

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But they are already working the the nightly Mozilla builds. If they work there, then it is not hard to assume that the patches are not going to cause problems.

Does that make sense?

#11 Re: Re: Re: Who is he talking to?

by Tpl

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 12:48 PM

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That is not always the case. In many cases, one patch may depend on one or more other patches, which then could introduce regression problems. Just because it works with Mozilla, does not mean it would be easy to retrofit it to the code base that Netscape 6 uses. I am sure the patches will make it into the next version of Netscape, when they take the latest snapshot, but for now they must freeze the code.

#12 Re: Re: Re: Who is he talking to?

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:15 PM

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Eric, you are correct. Some of them have been checked into the trunk. That does not mean that they didn't cause problems. A couple of days isn't really enough time to assess the results of some of the changes that Flannagan was demanding. Some of these bugs were pretty serious patches, even total rewrites of certain pieces of functionality. I think it's safe to say that these weren't the only bugs keeping us from having full and bug-free implementations of the standards. If these had been fixed, you can bet that Flannagan would have demanded the next 9 on his list. Mozilla 1.0 will have some of these bugs fixed. We will have others fixed too. ROC's viewmanager rewrite which you can enable in daily builds now fixes a number of serious problems for example. But you have to remember that the branch to Netscape 6 happened on 9/22. That's about 6 weeks of development that could have been enough divergence that patches, even after thorough testing on the trunk, could cause minor or serious problems on the branch. I commend Netscape for doing some of this testing on the trunk and taking quite a few really good (and sometimes risky)fixes near the end of their development cycle and I don't begrudge them for drawing the line at some point. Like I said above, there are another 9 compliance bugs lined up as soon as these are fixed and you can never do it all.

-Asa

#20 Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is he talking to?

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 2:37 PM

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So how much longer until Netscape 6 is released? If it has been 6 weeks since the branch (wow time flies :-) then you would think that it would be close to release time, especially considering how stable the Mozilla builds have been.

The nightly builds have been great recently, and I think they should have waited a few weeks to branch. M18 was very buggy IMHO, and I have been having a lot of XPInstall problems with Jabberzilla and also some XBL issues.

There is a significant difference between M18 and the nightlies from my perspective, and I don't know how I will support Netscape 6 if it behaves like M18.

#51 Re: Who is he talking to?

by waltert5 <waltert3@mailbr.com.br>

Thursday November 16th, 2000 6:21 AM

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Bull he isn't making that argument. In fact his argument is what most people call a falacy. It's unfounded. He says that Netscape 6 is the inferior browser in the market and then he fails to back it up with either solid comparison with other such browsers or a valid set of standards.

#8 try listening

by roberta

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 11:28 AM

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Why not stop attacking O'Reilly, Flanagan, and Zeldman for a minute and listen to what they're saying. Netscape 6 was supposed to be a FULLY compliant browser, not 'the most' compliant browser. This is turning developers off of the product, and they're the only ones (outside the Mozilla team) who seem interested in the new browser.

Flanagan, Zeldman, O'Reilly, all of us want to see Mozilla work. To release a version of Netscape that doesn't live up to what was promised will only ensure that people see the project as a failure.

#13 Re: try listening

by uksi

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:26 PM

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At the same time, Mr. Zeldman wants to see Netscape 6 out NOW. Remember the flaming statement he released, urging Netscape to release 6.x as soon as they can?

So, he wants to have the cake and eat it, too. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

It took 2.5 years to build an impressively complex browser from *the ground up*! It took Microsoft, with their immense resources (significantly higher than Netscape), 3-4 years to build IE today (IE3 to IE5), and it's still nowhere as standards-compliant as Mozilla right now.

So, we all want to see N6 to be standards-complaint. But why do these people BASH the project and the sites supporting the project, instead of helping out, instead of asking for external help? Why do they put this negative pressure, pour this dirt on the project, instead of using their authority to attract so-much-needed positive attention to the project?

Mr. Flangan's article was a piece of sensationalist journalism. Mr. Zeldman's pieces show that he's wants to have his cake and eat it too (see above) without realizing the impossibility of this. So they keep on demanding and demanding. Big deal, I'll go eat my breakfast now.

#17 Re: try listening

by locka <adamlock@eircom.net>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:44 PM

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Compliant doesn't mean bug free.

It's not like there's some major conspiracy going on here. NS 6.0 has a schedule to keep and it isn't going to be delayed for the sake of a few minor issues. They'll get in the next time around and probably some of them are already fixed in the trunk.

#15 Flanagan is Voicing a Real concern

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

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:33 PM

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First of all I would like to echo the comments expressed by Aaa in a previous post, thanking Chris for his invaluable site. It is now the only place to get regular updated info on Mozilla or Netscape 6.

Bearing that in mind and bearing in mind Zeldman\'s tenous grasp of the whole Mozilla scene, I suspect he was talking to you - or at you - because he doesn\'t know any better.

As for the O\'Reilly network article, I do not think its so bad. Clumsily worded in places definitely - especially the title - but essentially non-hostile.

Now here\'s the mix. Mozilla/Mozillazine/Netscape 6 advocates, devs, contributors etc must also understand there are developers and some users who are eagerly watching the Netscape 6 scene to see if it gives them what they need. What they need is a standards compliant browser. The fact is there are several bugs left that could have a disproportionately negative impact. So it is not unreasonable to push for them to be patched before RTM. Further, it is not unreasonable to suggest delaying RTM to get the patches in and regression tested etc. It may turn out to be unacceptable given the Netscape timetable but it is a valid request.

The O\'Reilly network has been very supportive of Mozilla and I have no doubt at all they are speaking from the heart.

For my own part, I would be all for opening the tree one more time to take onboard these patches. If Netscape pulled down a Mozilla latest now and built on it, how long would it take to pass it for RTM?

As for Zeldman, I think he is the one in need of some Freudian advice.

#16 no, try being concise

by nhamblen

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:39 PM

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Really, Chris (I guess that\'s your name) I think you are dead on with your main argument here: the attack on Netscape in this case is a misguided, unfortunate byproduct of it being the only high profile opensource browser. It is misguided because people assume Netscape can just drop in these fixes with no side affects, and because they are ignoring the fact that html rendering bugs, like all other bugs, will never be completely eliminated. But I\'m afraid that in your lengthy and I must say \"rambling\" pieces, these simple points can be lost, leaving plenty of irrelevant details for people to lash out against. Do a little editing please! And if you want to take sole responsibilty for your words, use a byline, for christsakes.

Nathan

#18 no, try being concise

by nhamblen

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 1:44 PM

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Really, Chris (I guess that\'s your name) I think you are dead on with your main argument here: the attack on Netscape in this case is a misguided, unfortunate byproduct of it being the only high profile opensource browser. It is misguided because people assume Netscape can just drop in these fixes with no side affects, and because they are ignoring the fact that html rendering bugs, like all other bugs, will never be completely eliminated. But I\'m afraid that in your lengthy and I must say \"rambling\" pieces, these simple points can be lost, leaving plenty of irrelevant details for people to lash out against. Do a little editing please! And if you want to take sole responsibilty for your words, use a byline, for christsakes.

Nathan

#21 standards above all

by o2b3 <tmurtaugh@nny.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 3:25 PM

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the main point:

1. we need standards. 2. netscape promised standards. 3. netscape is seemingly about to release a browser that is not fully standards-compliant.

the articles that stirred this debate requested mozilla try to encourage netscape to fix standards non-compliant bugs, so that the promised product will be delivered and the web can move towards stability.

mozilla responded with hostility.

what do they have against standards?

stop fighting against those who fight for us.

#22 Oops you did it again!

by jelwell

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 4:21 PM

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Oops, you posted a reply to a rant about a rant about Netscape. I thought we weren't going to see anymore of these. :P Joseph Elwell.

#25 Read my exception...

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 5:40 PM

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I had a very specific exception for dealing with the WSP.

#23 Views of an outsider

by mortenf

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 4:31 PM

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Now, I am not a programmer or even a webdesigner. Okay I build my own site but still it makes me some sort of outsider. An outsider who thinks this has gone too far! Here we got a bunch of guys throwing mud at each other for something they said, they might have said, they should have said or who they should have said it to. Yes, this truly is a war! And a messy one too..

Objectively spoken its plain non-sence to release browsers that dont stick to standards. perhaps time is the real enemy here! We want standard compilant browsers, but we wont wait for them. The producers get nervous and hurries to a release of some hybrid. A browser staying with the standards would very quickly become popular or not so popular. My guess is that it would be VERY popular. The reasons should be obvious to most intelligent life on this planet.

Conclusion: The browser is nothing but a viewscreen, a display. A browser not standard compilant is like a B/W TV! Its allmost perfect - but only allmost... lets relax and wait for true mesiah. Fighting for standards is good, as long as it doesnt endanger the mission. Got that?!

#26 Double quotes, still ... !

by bradfitz <bradfitz@bradfitz.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:33 PM

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Chris,

Fix the Mozillazine code ... you're escaping the single quotes one too many times when you insert it into the database or when you display it.

Aggravating.

#27 Double quotes, still ... !

by bradfitz <bradfitz@bradfitz.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:47 PM

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Chris,

Fix the Mozillazine code ... you're escaping the single quotes one too many times when you insert it into the database or when you display it.

Aggravating.

#28 Re: Double quotes, still ... !

by bradfitz <bradfitz@bradfitz.com>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:49 PM

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Heh ... you should also prevent it from allowing duplicates.

#29 Re: Double quotes, still ... !

by mozineAdmin

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 8:04 PM

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It's a bug, I know. But I think I've gotten it isolated to people who submit incorrectly and then resubmit again. It should be a quick fix. I'll try to get to that as soon as I can.

#38 Double quotes problem...

by chrisbolt

Thursday November 9th, 2000 10:30 PM

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Could this have anything to do with <http://www.kuro5hin.org/?…;sid=2000/11/8/142053/325> ?

#31 Give it a rest, Christopher...

by bjensen <rom@silverlink.net>

Thursday November 9th, 2000 11:38 AM

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Chris... Chris... Chris...

\"In any case, this crap will no longer will find a home in MozillaZine\"

Right...

Give it up man. They are right and you are *wrong*.

Bruce Jensen

#32 No Dilemma

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Thursday November 9th, 2000 11:56 AM

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Choosing between a fast release and a "standards-compliant" browser should not be the issue at this time. Netscape and Mozilla have failed both goals and should not be surprised that people complain about both problems.

#33 Let me add...

by bjensen <rom@silverlink.net>

Thursday November 9th, 2000 1:52 PM

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It would have been best, Chris, if you had never even responded to the statements (publicly via Moziallazine) that is.

If they say or do anything again... *IGNORE* it and move on.

From a man who knows...

Bruce Jensen

#34 Stupid Unix type fights-Splinter groups!?!?!

by quake2guy

Thursday November 9th, 2000 4:16 PM

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Doesn't this seem errily like the unix fights of yore that brought about many weird splinter groups???? This is sounding mighty stupid and drawn out to me. Why not just stop acting like a bunch of whiny stupid assholes and get down to work. It all stems from one persons whining and a groups response to the issue! It ends up being stupid and not worthwhile in the end. I am not going to take sides here but why not just end all of this phony-balogna crap and just realize that there are two groups of mozilla people(not Netscape). Those who see this as a good opportunity to create a totally new browser technology and those who want to complain that Netscape is dead and therefore so is Mozilla.

I have been watching this project since the first announcement that "free-source" would be available(yeah right) and can tell that the project has been going slowly down a (redundency)downward spiral. And m$ has taken advantage of this situation. But now is the time for mozilla to prevail. the engine and interface is near complete, and beginning to near completion(if you consider skins to be real work, think again). So enough of this whiny crap and get down to work!

quake2guy <quake2guy@hotmail.com> (sorry for spelling and grammar errors, I'm at school and in a hurry)

#52 Re: Stupid Unix type fights-Splinter groups!?!?!

by waltert5 <waltert3@mailbr.com.br>

Thursday November 16th, 2000 6:33 AM

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I couldn\'t agree with you more. The time is to end this flame war and get back to work. Regardless of your stance on the issue. It\'s time to give up the e-sibling rivalry and show those MSWeenies what Mozilla is really made of.

#37 Thinking constructively

by slam

Thursday November 9th, 2000 10:13 PM

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As an outside Mozilla developer (working on accessibility of the project), I think Mozilla uses one of the coolest internal structures I have ever seen. However, something can be neat and useful, but if no one knows about it the usefulness is lost.

We have no one to blame but ourselves for bad outreach. People outside the world who log on to our main websites see a disconnected mass of information. We\\\'ve simply done a poor job of describing what this beast can do!

If I was a company stuck in Win32, like Sonic Foundry, and I saw Linux, OS X and the TV platform on the horizon I would want my software to be redigned with an OS-neutral, language-neutral platform. HTML isn\\\'t powerful enough for many interfaces. XUL, however, is. As cool as Konqueror is, it isn\\\'t cross platform. As cool as Swing is, it\\\'s not standard. XML, Javascript CSS & DOM is. And Mozilla is open source, with a choice of licenses!

It\\\'s no wonder people don\\\'t understand - we expect them to without putting forth a vision. We need to decide what our vision is, and implement the necessary connection to the public. The better we are at teaching, the more support we\\\'ll get.

Finger pointing time is over. Let\\\'s work to show the world how awesome Mozilla is.

#39 Standards ?

by bushboy

Friday November 10th, 2000 3:44 AM

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Standards compliance is all very well so long as people don't have to update thier browsers every other week.

I'm hard pressed to think of a situation where standards compliance has ever been fully implemented in any technology or industry, save where it's commercially productive to do so - even then there's always issues with compatability.

There'll never be a totally standards compliant browser when new web technologies are continuosly introduced or old ones modified and updated.

The best we can hope for is a browser which comes as close as possible to the standards which are agreed upon - to expect anything else is unrealistic simply because of the ever-mutating nature of the internet.

To say that Netscape 6 is still not standards compliant is a moot point - the bigger issue is whether it's stable or not, because Netscape 4 certainly wasn't !

#40 Standards ?

by bushboy

Friday November 10th, 2000 3:45 AM

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Standards compliance is all very well so long as people don't have to update thier browsers every other week.

I'm hard pressed to think of a situation where standards compliance has ever been fully implemented in any technology or industry, save where it's commercially productive to do so - even then there's always issues with compatability.

There'll never be a totally standards compliant browser when new web technologies are continuosly introduced or old ones modified and updated.

The best we can hope for is a browser which comes as close as possible to the standards which are agreed upon - to expect anything else is unrealistic simply because of the ever-mutating nature of the internet.

To say that Netscape 6 is still not standards compliant is a moot point - the bigger issue is how stable it will be !

#41 What are Mr. Zeldman's real motives?

by Mike_Cornall

Friday November 10th, 2000 12:40 PM

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When Netscape 6.0 was far from ready, and much too buggy, Mr. Zeldman proposed rushing it out the door. He also stated that Netscape 4.x's standards compliance was so bad that it should be withdrawn from the market.

But now that Netscape 6.0 is good enough to release, Mr. Zeldman says we should slow down, and hold off until more minor bugs have been corrected. Apparently, Mr. Zeldman now believes that Netscape 4.x isn't so bad after all, and we can live with it a while longer, despite the fact that Netscape 6.0 is already a great improvement over 4.x.

What does it mean when a man gives consistently bad advice -- advice that is, in fact, the precise opposite of what seems best?

Generally, it means that, either the man is a fool, or his motivation is different than what we are supposed to believe.

Mr. Zeldman's earlier advice would have destroyed Netscape's reputation, would have hurt the web community, but would have benefitted Microsoft.

Mr. Zeldman's current advice hurts Netscape and the web community, but it benefits Microsoft by giving them time to release IE 6.0. The delay would also force AOL to renew their license for IE, instead of using Netscape as their next browser.

I think Mr. Zeldman's real motives are clear.

#42 Re: What are Mr. Zeldman's real motives?

by Zeldman

Friday November 10th, 2000 3:45 PM

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I'm surprised it took this long for someone to raise the specter of my "real motives."

This won't do any good, but I'll try to clarify things anyway:

We did not tell you to "rush" a faulty browser to market. We asked you to finish producing a standards-compliant browser as quickly as you could. You failed to do that. Now we are simply asking you to produce a standards-compliant browser. And you are telling us that you don't have to, don't want to, and it's our fault anyway. I hope you do not speak for everyone here.

I've already said what I needed to say, but I'll try to address your concerns one at a time:

We didn't advise "rushing [Netscape 6] out the door." (After three years, the phrase "rushing out the door" makes no sense anyway.) What we actually said was that the browser's lateness to market was hurting its chances and casting doubts on the very notion that a standards-compliant browser could be released in a timely manner. And that Netscape 4's lack of standards-compliance made things tough for those who wished to build standards-compliant sites.

Therefore we encouraged those responsible for the project's management to cut through the clutter, leave aside the nifty extras for now, and finish building the world's first standards-compliant browser, whose announcement we had heralded two and half years earlier.

We support your efforts but were dismayed by the constantly slipping delivery dates. Our statement generated a great deal of hostility here. I expected some expressions of dismay but not nearly the collective roar I heard. The fact that we supported you was lost in the rage and rhetoric.

More recently, Mr Flanagan pointed out serious problems with the upcoming browser, many of which had been solved already by Mozilla's engineers. Mr Flanagan asked that these bug fixes be incorporated in the final release, even if it meant a brief delay. That made sense to me personally so I signed his petition and was promptly attacked by Chris for doing so.

It is already too late to respond to the WaSP's request of last summer. That request has fallen by the wayside. It may not be too late to release a fully standards-compliant browser. Since standards compliance is the goal of Mozilla, and a standards-compliant browser would give Netscape a worthwhile and significant point of difference from its competitors, I would personally encourage you to make sure Netscape releases a browser that reflects your best efforts.

I think anyone standing outside the process can see that it is in your interests to have Netscape release a stable, standards-compliant browser based on Mozilla. And that personal attacks are an inappropriate, immature, and paranoid response to such a common-sense proposition.

I'm not insulting or attacking anyone here. Merely offering my perspective, which you are free to consider or ignore. If you'd rather sling mud and call names than think about what I've said, that's on you.

The goal of the Web Standards Project is to persuade browser makers to support standards. Therefore we support the concept of a standards-compliant browser built by you. And we've supported that concept for nearly three years. Supporters sometimes kibbitz from the sidelines and sometimes criticize. You're free to disregard these criticisms, and since Free Speech is an inalienable right, you're even free to respond to criticism with personal attacks instead of thought. I don't see what it gets you, other than a quick release of tension.

Leave me aside and leave the WaSP aside, since some of you have decided that anything we have to say is wrong, evil, and stupid. Fine. Think that if you choose. But consider Mr Flanagan's proposal anyway, because it is in your interest and in the interest of all web developers and users.

#46 Just shut up already.

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Friday November 10th, 2000 8:53 PM

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People are not throwing insults just to throw insults; they are sick of your continously shifting demands. Enough of this bullshit that you didn't ask Netscape to rush and release it's browser; and enough of the lie that you asked them only to speed development of a fully standards compliant browser.

This is an exact quote from your earlier article when you were in your "hurry up and rush" mood:

"Why are you taking forever to deliver a usable browser?"

This isn't an implicit request to hurry up with the browser? Please. Oh, and I don't see the mention of a "fully standards compliant browser" in there; I see only a mention of a "usable" browser.

And what's this?: "you must ship Netscape 6 before its market evaporates". Hi there, newsflash: Netscape's marketshare has been declining rapidly for years.

Why do I have this feeling that the entire article was written by you, even though it's signed "The WaSP"? How many of the views expressed on the site are actually of the group, and not just your own sickening rants?

It is quite easy to sit on the sidelines and shout commands. "Take the time to make it fully standards compliant!" (<http://www.webstandards.org/mozillazine.html>) "Hurry up and release a usable browser already!" (<http://www.webstandards.org/wfw/ns0700.html>) Do you have any idea how long it takes to complete a project like Netscape 6? Do you know what a large undertaking that is? Clearly not, by your comment: "If you genuinely realized it would take two years to replace Netscape 4, we wish you would have told us". Unfortunately for you, you're not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too. Still, you should be happy. Netscape took your two completely opposing arguments and compromised by releasing an almost fully standards compliant without letting more time pass (and letting their marketshare decline even more). But you're not happy. And as long as you continue to demand that Netscape release a fully standards compliant browser extremely soon, you never will be.

*** "Therefore we encouraged those responsible for the project's management to cut through the clutter, leave aside the nifty extras for now, and finish building the world's first standards-compliant browser, whose announcement we had heralded two and half years earlier."

You clearly have no idea how the Mozilla and Netscape projects work. Let me ask you something: what are these "nifty extras" that are making it into the RTM branch this late? Do tell.

*** "Mr Flanagan asked that these bug fixes be incorporated in the final release, even if it meant a brief delay"

Mr. Flanagan does not understand this project or, seemingly, how software shipment works. And if you agree wholeheartedly with his perspective then I'd be inclined to say that you don't either. Allowing the five or so fixes that Mr. Flanagan mentions into the rtm branch would change -- get this -- absolutely nothing. Because after that there would be another five fixes, and another five fixes, and another five fixes. Are you going to argue that all of those go in as well? Or should Netscape be consulting you from now on about when it's OK to stop accepting fixes? Flanagan also seems to have no knowledge of regressions or programming. He says "short patches" and "reviewed by senior engineers" (er, who are these again?), as if such fixes could never cause any hard-to-spot crashes.

*** "Since standards compliance is the goal of Mozilla"

Mozilla is separate from Netscape, and since Mozilla 1.0 is a long way off, it will be significantly more standards compliant than Netscape 6.0. So I'm not sure what you intended by mentioning this, but it didn't work.

*** "I think anyone standing outside the process"

But this is exactly the problem. You do not understand the process, and thus you are in no position to criticize it. Sorry that you felt that a project as large as writing a suite of applications from the ground-up and simultaneously developing the languages used to create this suite could be accomplished in a year's time, because it can't. Netscape did not promise it could, and if you had a deeper understanding of this project, you would understand (and would have understood) that you were imposing upon Netscape an infeasible deadline.

*** "to such a common-sense proposition."

I think the problem here is that you see your latest request as black-and-white: release a fully standards compliant browser, just as you promised. But what everyone else sees, and rightly so, is someone who can't make up his mind on what he wants: a standards compliant browser that will take months longer, or a mostly standards compliant browser real soon.

*** "It is already too late to respond to the WaSP's request of last summer. That request has fallen by the wayside"

What? You made a very clear, very strong request that Netscape hurry up with it's browser. Now you want that just be forgotten about? Sorry. Not happening. Why should anyone take you seriously anymore? If Netscape holds its browser and works for a couple months on standards compliance, then releases, are you going to publish a scathing article about Netscape's schedule slipping?

Contrary to your seeming belief, you were not the sole impetus in Netscape's decision to strive for standards compliance. As such, and despite what you seem to think, you cannot (or should not) feel free to make demands that change on a regular basis. Had you chosen a position, supported it reasonably, and stuck by it, people would not be responding the way they are. But you hurt your own interests and lost all credibility when you started bending and swaying to the public opinion.

#43 Sumart/Auto-Updating

by ipotting <iapottinger@netscape.net>

Friday November 10th, 2000 5:01 PM

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I would think, in this age of broadband connections and auto-resuming downloaders, that a first release need only be stable and useful. As long as Netscape 6 provides a simple and convenient ? if not transparent ? means of updating the browse, then what can or can not make it into this or that release becomes unimportant.

I look forward to the day when my browser *surprises* me with now feature and I never again have to check the ?About? to see if I have the latest version.

#44 Re: What are Mr. Zeldman's real motives?

by Eric_Brooks <moi@ericbrooks.com>

Friday November 10th, 2000 5:23 PM

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>>I think Mr. Zeldman's real motives are clear.<<

And that would be web designers are tired of compromising, double coding and forsaking certain standards set forth by the W3C over two years ago?

If I recall, WaSP was telling Netscape to put out the 6.0 browser back in July (<http://www.webstandards.org/wfw/ns0700.html>), not wait for it to be bundled with Netscape Messenger, and all the other add-ons... just put out the damn browser. With three months being considered an "internet year", I wouldn't consider 24 months of waiting as "rushing it".

>>Mr. Zeldman now believes that Netscape 4.x isn't so bad after all<<

When did he (or anyone from WaSP)*ever* say that????

Everyone was under the impression that it was almost ready. Now we all hear there's more problems. So the logical advice would be to wait.

No one's asking for "The perfect browser". Just one that remotely complies with 4.0 standards.

Is that too much to ask for in a **6.0** browser?

I shouldn't speak for Zeldman, but I would assume (for anyone on the web before 1996) that Netscape was his browser of choice, back when NN 3.0 version was kicking I.E.'s butt.

I think we'd *all* like to see Netscape make one hell of a comeback. Fierce competition would only make Netscape and Microsoft work harder to make better browsers in the future.

But it's been over two years since the promise of a "Standard-compliant browser"... would you prefer that Zeldman and WaSP just give up on Netscape like so many others in the design community already have?

#45 Re: What are Mr. Zeldman's real motives?

by Eric_Brooks <moi@ericbrooks.com>

Friday November 10th, 2000 5:41 PM

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>>I think Mr. Zeldman's real motives are clear.<<

And that would be web designers are tired of compromising, double coding and forsaking certain standards set forth by the W3C over two years ago?

If I recall, WaSP was telling Netscape to put out the 6.0 browser back in July (<http://www.webstandards.org/wfw/ns0700.html>), not wait for it to be bundled with Netscape Messenger, and all the other add-ons... just put out the damn browser. With three months being considered an "internet year", I wouldn't consider 24 months of waiting as "rushing it".

>>Mr. Zeldman now believes that Netscape 4.x isn't so bad after all<<

When did he (or anyone from WaSP)*ever* say that????

Everyone was under the impression that it was almost ready. Now we all hear there's more problems. So the logical advice would be to wait.

No one's asking for "The perfect browser". Just one that remotely complies with 4.0 standards.

Is that too much to ask for in a **6.0** browser?

I shouldn't speak for Zeldman, but I would assume (for anyone on the web before 1996) that Netscape was his browser of choice, back when NN 3.0 version was kicking I.E.'s butt.

I think we'd *all* like to see Netscape make one hell of a comeback. Fierce competition would only make Netscape and Microsoft work harder to make better browsers in the future.

But it's been over two years since the promise of a "Standard-compliant browser"... would you prefer that Zeldman and WaSP just give up on Netscape like so many others in the design community already have?

#47 Re: Re: What are Mr. Zeldman's real motives?

by Mike_Cornall

Saturday November 11th, 2000 2:50 AM

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> > I think Mr. Zeldman's real motives are clear.

> And that would be web designers are tired of compromising, double coding and forsaking certain standards set forth by the W3C over two years ago?

If you think that is Mr. Zeldman's motive, then explain why he wants to delay releasing a browser that will greatly improve the situation?

But I agree with you that we want to get rid of the problems caused by lack of standards compliance, so once Netscape 6.0 is in reasonably good shape, let's get it out there. Then, with each subsequent release, we can continue to improve its standards support, and get rid of any remaining bugs. If those bugs really are as easy to fix as Mr. Zeldman claims, then it shouldn't take long to put out a 6.01 release.

In the meantime, Microsoft is moving IE, not towards standards compliance, but away from it (using protocols that are extended, decommoditized, and even patented). And, they're doing it intentionally! Surely that must bother you more than a few unintentional still-to-be-fixed bugs in Netscape 6.0.

> If I recall, WaSP was telling Netscape to put out the 6.0 browser back in July . . . not wait for it to be bundled with Netscape Messenger

You seem to be showing a lack of understanding of the development process here. Messenger is a parallel development thread, and removing it would have had little effect on Netscape's release date.

> and all the other add-ons

So what "add-ons" would those be? The feature I recall being mentioned most often was XUL, but XUL is an integral part of Netscape's design, and removing it would require developing something else in its place, which would have meant a delay, not a speed-up.

> With three months being considered an "internet year", I wouldn't consider 24 months of waiting as "rushing it".

It took 18 months for Microsoft just to produce an *upgrade* from IE 5.0 to IE 5.5.

Meanwhile, in 24 months, the Mozilla/Netscape developers have rewritten the browser from scratch, along with porting to multiple platforms, and including major new features. One of those features, XUL, provides the means for a whole new class of web applications, something Microsoft has also promised -- two years from now.

Consider what's involved in the browser -- support for dozens of standards and protocols, graphics, page layout, communications, multi-threading, history and bookmarks databases, and so on. Now, consider that Netscape 6.0 is not allowed to start slowly and evolve -- Netscape 6.0 must be born fully grown, in order to replace Netscape 4.x.

All things considered, Mozilla's rate of development has been nothing short of amazing. Name one other product that was developed, to Mozilla's required level of sophistication, in just two years. The original Netscape? Internet Explorer? The Gimp? Apache? XFree86? Linux itself? The answer in each of these cases is "No".

So all this sniping, by armchair quarterbacks, about slow development, is just that -- sniping. And the people doing it are either too impatient to think straight, don't understand the development process, or have ulterior motives.

> > Mr. Zeldman now believes that Netscape 4.x isn't so bad after all

> When did he (or anyone from WaSP)*ever* say that????

It's implied in Mr. Zeldman's recommendation to delay Netscape 6.0 to fix some minor bugs.

Mr. Zeldman is smart enough to know that it's a choice. If Netscape 6.0 is not released, then that means that people will still need to support Netscape 4.x.

If Mr. Zeldman still believes that Netscape 4.x is such a disaster, yet recommends holding back 6.0 because of some minor bugs, well, that would be irresponsible, wouldn't it?

> Everyone was under the impression that it was almost ready. Now we all hear there's more problems.

Now you're verging on telling lies. It's not true that "now we all hear there's more problems." The list of bugs has always been documented for all to see, and anyone could vote on their relative priority. What you call "more problems" is just known bugs that were deemed to be of lower priority, to be fixed later. Don't try to misrepresent the situation.

> No one's asking for "The perfect browser". Just one that remotely complies with 4.0 standards.

Which Netscape 6.0 does -- better than any existing browser.

But that isn't what Mr. Zeldman's proposal would achieve.

Mr. Zeldman knows that it comes down to a choice:

Case 1 - Release NS 6.0:

=> Improves standards support immediately.

Case 2 - Delay NS 6.0:

=> Leaves NS 4.x -- no improvement for now.

In both cases, the long term is the same -- NS 6.x is released with even better standards support.

So if Mr. Zeldman is so interested in standards support, why is he pushing for the case that only has the effect of delaying that support?

> would you prefer that Zeldman and WaSP just give up on Netscape[?]

No, of course not.

But I still question whether he supports Netscape in the first place.

In his earlier essay (your link), Mr. Feldman stated, "it is time to withdraw Navigator 4 from the market, whether Netscape 6 is ready or not." But anyone with half a brain knows that withdrawing NS 4 without a replacement would not have improved standards, but would, instead, have left Microsoft free to carry out their documented strategy to "decommoditize" Internet protocols. That would have hurt web standards, but benefitted Microsoft.

Now, by calling for the delay of Netscape 6.0, he again is proposing something that will reduce (delay) improved standards support, while benefitting Microsoft.

If Mr. Zeldman really does support Internet standards, then he is not being very smart about it.

> [give up on Netscape] like so many others in the design community already have?

I can't agree with that.

While Microsoft's Windows-tying may have induced the majority of Windows users to settle for IE, support for Netscape remains strong.

First, I rarely encounter a website that I can't view with Netscape.

Second, if developers and web businesses were fully committed to IE, then the percentage of sites running IIS would be going up, but it's not. Apache remains the dominant web server.

Third, the developers of Internet appliances, cable boxes, PDAs, etc., who have announced plans to incorporate Mozilla, continue to grow in number.

And, fourth, just in the last couple of months, three new light-weight browsers, for Linux and Windows, as well as Nautilus, have incorporated the Gecko browser engine.

But, even forgetting all that, I question the premise of your statement. As others have pointed out, web developers shouldn't be supporting browsers in the first place. Web developers should only need to think about supporting standards, and Mozilla and Netscape 6.0 will help make that possible.

#48 Mozilla-fundamentalists

by livingdots

Monday November 13th, 2000 2:48 PM

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Guess what... Chris Nelson, you where ranting and you do need to see a psychiatrist. I support WaSP completely in their quest for more standard-compliant browsers. You and everyone else at MozillaZine are Mozilla-fundamentalists. Previous releases of Netscape have sucked - it's time for you to deal with it. That's why the majority of users surf with IE today (83%)! I know you hate that &#8211; and that&#8217;s why you are ranting and attacking WaSP instead of supporting them in their quest. Netscape should wait and get it completely right this time, rather than shipping another bug ridden non-standard complaint browser...

#49 That's not it at all.

by FrodoB

Tuesday November 14th, 2000 7:24 AM

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The fact is, the WaSP has said two totally different things. They've said to release now, quality be damned, to get rid of Netscape 4.x. And they've said to slow down to get rid of rather minor bugs that probably won't be in Mozilla 1.0 anyway.

Of course, this is all moot, now that Netscape 6 is out. Back to the trunk! ;)

#53 It should have been perfect...

by shigh <steve@iwatt.com>

Tuesday November 21st, 2000 11:37 AM

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...and come out two years earlier. As a web developer, I would like Netscape 6 better if it fully supported XHTML 2.0, XSLT, and CSS 2 in 1998 and had no bugs.

But if I had to write my own browser, I'd like to have until 2012 to finish the beta....

#54 It should have been perfect...

by shigh <steve@iwatt.com>

Tuesday November 21st, 2000 2:12 PM

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...and come out two years earlier. As a web developer, I would like Netscape 6 better if it fully supported XHTML 2.0, XSLT, and CSS 2 in 1998 and had no bugs.

But if I had to write my own browser, I'd like to have until 2012 to finish the beta....

#55 Please stop arguing and fix bugs

by mlei

Friday December 15th, 2000 5:07 PM

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Every time something like this or the previous thread, "Netscape cannot win," it turns into a waste of time for everyone involved. Please just stop arguing and fix bugs!

Sincerely,

Mozilla/K-Meleon/Galeon/Skipstone End User

mlei at symphony.dhs.org