Netscape 6 Released

Tuesday November 14th, 2000

Netscape 6 has been released. You can download the installer here.

#65 Re: M18 and beyond

by Lightyear

Tuesday November 14th, 2000 7:08 PM

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Er, duh. Okay, so ForumZilla isn't quite ready for prime time. :)

Still, the point is clear: The web, as a client, has been dead for a very long time. Yes, there are wonderful new things that have, for a very long time now, been far from shipped to customers. This market stopped evolving around the time of MSIE 4.0.

And we suffered.

And now? Now things change. We take control of the client again, relying on open source to force creativity out of us where corporate did not.

I remember the arguments about moving Mozilla to open source. I remember how difficult it was to get anyone to listen to that argument. I remember when they gave in and embraced it in the upper echelons of the company. I remember when they found faith, lost it, and found it again.

Mozilla isn't a triumph of design. It's not a triumph of standards. It's not a triumph of open source. It's the triumph of a handful of committed people inside Netscape, at the grassroots technical level, who believed in a vision; a vision that those at the top of the company seemed to have forgotten - it's a triumph of vision.

People who had the vision to see that only a marketplace of ideas could compete with raw and untidy dollars.

We lose battles every day to people who have more money and less sense; I should know, my company's just been bought by one. (Hello, Liberty Surf Group) Doing things the right way isn't always easy, and it takes a great deal of courage to get it right.

ForumZilla. Jabberzilla. And a handful of others. Who built their systems on top of a shifting codebase and haystack of bugs. Who came up with an idea that, for the first time, have been able to build a cross-platform vision the way that Netscape had originally intended so long ago.

Years later, and all of those marketing slides finally have the possibility of coming true. It's good to see. And we get to do it on source we control, source we can decide how to use. On a platform that embraces the reality of the technical people who make the internet happen: standards aren't about limiting us, they're about facilitating.

This isn't "the dawn of a new age" or any such solipsisms of faith - twenty years ago, your parents learned to program computers with punch cards. Ten years ago, there was an active internet to use. And tomorrow, there might be one that is as active as it is today, but with the quality of interaction we had then. Add signal, and add noise; sure there's a lot of signal out there, but we haven't got the tools to make it easy to find without the noise anymore.

With luck, maybe this will all start to change.

Good luck to the developers at the Mozilla project, to the individuals and corporations who have chosen to embed their engine, to the developers who have chosen to embrace their XUL/JS/DOM/RDF/XML vision of the future of portable clients: you determine not only the fate of Mozilla, but the first major creative change in the internet platform since the creation of the Instant Messenger and Napster; a platform on which to build your IMs, your Napsters, your whatever-the-hell-the-next-big-thing-is in a way that prevents everyone from having to reinvent the wheel on every platform other than and including Microsoft's.

And good luck to us; we'll need it to survive the beta testing. :)

:plur, Gregory Lightyear, Long-Winded ex-Mozillan