Netscape 6 Released
Tuesday November 14th, 2000
Netscape 6 has been released. You can download the installer here.
#163 My thoughts...
Thursday November 16th, 2000 9:20 PM
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First, a disclaimer: I have not downloaded, installed, or run Netscape 6. I probably never will, simply because I prefer to live without all the stuff that AOL tacks onto it. I do occasionally grab the latest Mozilla build, though, and since the two apps are pretty similar, I feel justified in using this, and the comments I've read (good and bad) to form an opinion. So...
There is no doubt that N6 is *not* the El Dorado of browsers. It's slow in pretty much every area but HTML rendering, it's bloaty, it lacks the kind of feature richness and polish that I've come to expect in IE or iCab. I'm using N4.7 to post this, and I intend to continue using N4.7 for as long as I must.. I refuse to switch to IE, for philosophical reasons. (Read: "M1CR0$0F7 5UX D00D!!!!)
Furthermore, I don't entirely agree with the people who say that 6.1 will be the ambrosia for which we have all clamored. I expect it to be an improvement, certainly, but I think that Paradise is more than one minor revision away, by a long shot.
And while I appreciate the tremendous effort that the developers put in, I also know that it doesn't mean squat if the result is worthless.
However, I think that the people who are complaining about Netscape 6 (and Mozilla) show a tremendous lack of vision, for two reasons.
First, standards compliance is good. It is very, very good. If you are a web designer, you should know this. If you aren't, or you're blinded by marketshare, let me say: it is the HOLY GRAIL. And it is within our grasp.
Every web designer I know personally is thrilled about N6/Moz. And they're telling everyone they know to get it. They know it sucks right now, but they couldn't care less, because for the first time in more years than most of have even known of the web's existence, they can code to modern specs. For once in their lives, they can RTFM, write what it tells them, and it ACTUALLY WORKS.
I don't care what company uses what browser or what their visitors use. The designers make the web and people will use what we TELL them to use.. maybe not right away, but soon. Because they're screwed if they don't. Corporate policy will follow; it must bow to the people.
The second reason why I think these people have no vision is because there is always change, there will always be change. Mozilla is only going to get better as more compliance is added in, more bugs are fixed, and so forth. Computers are getting faster, with more RAM and hard drive space. Time waits for no monopoly, and the avalanche is building. No one will care a few years from now about the issues which have been raised against Mozilla; they'll be quashed with code or faster silicon. All they'll care about is how it kicks ass.
Everything in that last paragraph applies to Netscape 6+ as well, by association. And I'm not even going to touch on the whole "XUL platform" idea, though I can see it has potential that most people completely miss (making it a third lack of vision).
As far as Netscape releasing too early.. sure, they fucked up. Who cares? If you don't like it, get Mozilla, or use your old browser. This is a tempest in a teacup, people, and most of you won't even remember it a year or two from now, except maybe to laugh fondly about "those days".
Meanwhile, what's done is done now and there's little point bitching about it except to mentally masturbate, so instead of waving a sign around that says "Netscape's End is at Hand!", just get over it.. and look forward to the versions to come.