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, 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 <>

Wednesday November 8th, 2000 7:47 AM

You are replying to this message

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 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! :) )