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.

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

by Eric_Brooks <>

Friday November 10th, 2000 5:23 PM

You are replying to this message

>>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 (<>), 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?