The New IE5 Feature Set...

Wednesday November 4th, 1998

George Giannukos writes in, "This article [a CNet article at Netscape's TechNews site] lists many of the new features that will be in IE5. Some very interesting ones I must say."

Sounds like MS is taking some moves from the Mozilla playbook. Who wants to place a wager on which group's solutions are more proprietary?

Also, maybe someone can answer a question for me. Why is it that whenever CNet does an article about Netscape, they always seem to have a MS spin doctor's words to finish out the article? Why does this article have no spin from the Netscape camp?

#1 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by arielb

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 1:20 PM

Some of the features that caught my eye: Microsoft is launching its "Internet Explorer Web Accessories" initiative. Under the Web Accessories program, portals and other content sites can build extensions to the browser interface to serve content continuously regardless of where the user surfs.

Appearing in a separate pane from the main browser window, these extensions can serve up content-- and advertisements -- without interruption. --- oh so that's exactly what we need-more annoying ads? This one speaks for itself: Microsoft's focus groups demanded simplicity above all other qualities, according to Mehdi. To that end, Microsoft added one small feature aimed at novice users, a "Go" button, borrowed from America Online's interface. Placed to the right of the address bar, the "Go" button is for users who don't know to hit return after typing an address.

#2 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Jason Kersey

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 2:08 PM

I will warn you now, this, like all the other IE's, will pretty much destroy your system if you try to uninstall it. I also had problems with office, as it rendered all the toolbars useless. This latest IE sucks, just like the others, don't download it, unless you are a big fan of reinstalling operating systems...

#3 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Tekhir

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 2:36 PM

Well, C|Net gets a lot of money from the Wintel Alliance so they're a little bias to begin with.

#4 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by george

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 2:52 PM

Well, Intel is an investor of C/net, but they state that every time they talk about Intel. I bet, the C/net writers have M$ stock, anyhow...

Here is what i am really pissed off about..I was about to invest in RealNetworks, because their is a company called Narrative Communications, which uses RealPlay technology in banner ads. Matter of fact, the new technology increase banner click-throughs by 2000%. That's means 20 to 25%, and the rate is 1 to 1.5% today, so as you can see this is a big improvement.

For anyone who was still reading then here is my point: "Appearing in a separate pane from the main browser window, these extensions can serve up content-- and advertisements -- without interruption."

Hmmm...Say if IE gets 60 to 70% market share. And Yahoo wants to place an add in that separate pane. Let's say this ad has streaming technology in it. Do you think the ad will use RealPlayer technology or Windows Player technology??

Now, i doubt Microsoft will stop RealPlayer technology from being used in that separate pane, but i am sure they will give Windows Player an advantage of some kind?

any thoughts/comments?

#5 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Ray Cromwell

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 6:14 PM

Ok, I love Mozilla, I love open standards, and I love Netscape, but you have to hand to Microsoft.

First off, IE4 has had NGLayout features for a long time (incremental layout/reflow, CSS, DOM, etc).

IE5 comes built in with the ability to display XML, XSL, CSS, VML, and handle standards no one else cares about like OSD.

VML is pretty cool, I must say.

Anyway, the biggest improvement of IE5 is their setup/install utility. IMHO, it is *WAY* better than Netscape. First of all, you can pretty much pick and choose which modules you want at a very fine grained level. But the best thing is that it automatically finds the fastest download site, an will hop between download sites doing auto-resume whenever the connections get stuck.

I have never used IE as my browser exception to check my web pages for compatibility. However, I think it is wrong to blindly attack Microsoft and praise open-source as a panacea. Both IE4 and IE5 have some good ideas, and support more web standards than the current communicator 4.5.

I can only hope that Mozilla5 will feature support for more Web standards than IE5 (CSS2, DOM, XML, XSL, SMIL, MathML, VML, etc) and support them comprehensively enough so that developers are not avoiding CSS and DOM features because of implementation bugs.

(like if the box layout model doesn't conform the same in IE5 and Mozilla5, developers will probably avoid the features that don't work, or worse, have to detect them on the server side)

#6 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by george

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 6:43 PM

I have a question...

If say Yahoo makes their site with these new features that make their site integrate with the browser (IE) will Netscape Communicator be able to view it?

Will these new features effect the Netscape experience?

If these new feature do effect Communicator, i don't see Yahoo or any other big name site using them?

Any thoughts?

#7 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by george

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 10:07 PM

here is a better look at IE5

#8 Lacks the killer feature.. crossplatform support.

by Gab

Thursday November 5th, 1998 8:52 AM

Curiosity and one crash too many made me try and install IE 4 (final) on solaris a few weeks back.

BIG mistake... the first time I tried to run it, it locked on startup when it tried to load the fonts and totally froze my machine to the extent I couldn't even telnet in!!!

/bin/rm -rf Explorer/

The mac version is good, but it isn't feature complete in comparison with the PC version.

Result I use netscape on all my machines (Solaris, Linux, Mac, PC). Without decent crossplatform support IE is simply not an option with me.



#9 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by arielb

Thursday November 5th, 1998 12:46 PM

Ray, XSL isn't even finished yet so how can we implement it yet? The same goes for a vector language. If we implement standards that aren't finished yet then we will shortcircuit the standards process.

#10 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Tim

Friday November 6th, 1998 8:00 AM

Standards are frequently implemented prior to finalization of the standard. This allows companies to find any implementation snags and make recommendations for better standards. In some cases their design is the basis for the standard. It also allows them to be first out there with a standards-compliant product because they are (hopefully) close to the final design.

Cutomers frequently want a standards-compliant product immediately after the standard is ratified. This can't happen unless companies are working on implementing the standard before it is finalized.

Sometimes this causes incompatibilities. (Compare with the 56K modems prior to the V.90 standard was finalized.) Netscape 4 included initial style sheet support and work on DHTML. Microsoft released IE4 later and could be more compliant with the standard.

#11 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by arielb

Friday November 6th, 1998 12:57 PM

oh I just wanted to point out that Microsoft is opposed to SMIL. So that's another opportunity for Mozilla. Also would be cool is MNG in addition to PNG. MNG is like theanimated gif version of PNG.

#12 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Anonymous

Friday November 6th, 1998 3:47 PM

Um, VML is a joke, not a standard. SVG, based on the PGML proposal from Netscape, Sun, IBM and others is the W3C standards currently under development. Sure, the MS VML people are participating, but VML as a format is dead. Everything in this space will be built using SVG.

#13 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Alex Chudnovsky

Friday November 6th, 1998 5:28 PM

2 george: about these new ad's with streaming technology. I guess click rate increase is due to 'newish' feel of that technology, after a while usage will go down as it was with usual, that's IMHO. Also as far as I know M$ is not happy with RealAudio stuff, and will bet on it's own, hence, knowing business practices, they will use some neat tricks to look preferably for users. IE will look preferably for me if Netscape won't work well with major sites like, this basicly gives a hint. Just let IE5-6 get more features, more or less based on standards, their share will grow more and more, and afterwhile we will get all new kewl stuff working in IE5-6-7-2000. Actuall I think that's what their strategy, and it's pretty obvious.

any thoughts?

p.s. so george be aware not to invest into wrong companies, consider some M$ shares ;)))))

#14 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by george

Friday November 6th, 1998 6:23 PM

If M$ does successfully, make sites work better with IE, i think the DOJ will fry their ass...

M$ really needs to be broken up. They put their 18 billion dollars in the bank to make open standards into M$ standards. This is just gay.

let me also say, Microsoft has tried to kill off open standards and it isn't easy.

Matter of fact, M$ wants to make email only work with Windows. Yep, this is Microsoft strategy to stop linux. Microsoft figures if Linux can't browse the web, then it won't become a desktop OS. I bet Microsoft would buy ICQ for a lot just say linux wouldn't get ICQ. ICQ is currently a proprietary service, because you can only talk to other people who use ICQ, unlike email. Thank god, AOL bought ICQ. ;) What happended to biulding the better product? I guess that's not 'Whare Microsoft Want's to go today.'

But in about 6-8 months, i think Linux will be easy enough and have a GUI, but it would still need improvement, but its a start.

#15 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Ray Cromwell

Friday November 6th, 1998 11:24 PM

First of all, while XSL is still a draft, the current form of the draft is likely to make it intact into the final standard. Why not atleast have an implementation TRACK the standard? There are two Java XSL processors out there in addition to the Microsoft one. I wrote an XSL editor myself (presented at XML98) and was bitten when they changed the draft drastically, but I feel you should still track the standard (and DOM), instead of waiting to get caught with your pants down.

You should ship support for standards early and often if you want to beat MS.

Oh, and what about VML? Sure, it's a dead W3C standard, but I feel is it definately superior to PGML because it fits perfectly into the CSS box-model.

With VML, or a VML like language, it's trivial to support VML rendering in a browser compared with PGML. VML will "flow" correctly with HTML/CSS.

But why should Netscape support VML? Because VML, no matter what the W3C thinks, will be used in Office 2000.

Office 2000 saves MS Word documents as pure HTML + CSS with VML used for diagrams. It doesn't matter if VML isn't a W3C standard, soon all office documents, spreeedsheets, and presentations will use it. It's best if Mozilla will be able to view Office documents inline, otherwise people will use IE5 to do so.

I see another war brewing with Action Style Sheets vs Behavior Style Sheets. IMHO, neither is really technically superior to the other, and it doesn't matter much which one gets adopted, so why not get together with MS, resolve whatever issues bother you, an both implement a compatible language?

#16 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Gab

Sunday November 8th, 1998 3:46 AM

The idea that where-ever MS leads everyone has to follow, because of the MS market share is foolish nonsense. There are lots of MS standards that have been quietly killed.. for instance their own version of the web (called 'blackbird') for content creation for MSN.

Or their effort to give away free word document viewers to make the 'word document' the standard for the web.

Active X...Remember that? it was going to take over the web and make everyone not using windows second class citizens. MS are now grudgingly make noises about supporting CORBA better.

Netscape should support the best technologies, keep working with the standards bodies and keep innovating. They should NOT slavishly follow MS for fear of not fitting in.

Remember in internet space the number of non-windows machines accessing web pages is LARGE. What's more I think it will grow as more consumer devices become net-enabled.

For example, there's a supermarket chain here in the UK that built a web interface where you could order stuff and get it delivered. - it was built with MS technology as that's what they used inhouse and MS kindly helped out.... they got a hell of a rocket up their arse when it was discovered about ~40% of potential customers couldn't use it.

They won't make that mistake again.



#17 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by arielb

Monday November 9th, 1998 11:16 PM

Ray, so you're saying Office 2000 will switch from the proprietary Word format to CSS+HTML and now you're saying we shouldn't support open standards for the vector stuff? If we listened to you earlier we probably would be using Word format instead of HTML+CSS. Now that MS is going 2/3 of the way, might as well push them for the remaing 1/3

#18 Re: Yahoo! Using New Technologies

by Ted Behling

Wednesday November 11th, 1998 4:16 PM

There have been several posts in this forum about Yahoo! taking advantage of new advertising methods. Yahoo! is, and has always been, extremely backward-compatible. Yahoo's design philosophy is to use older, still functional, versions of HTML to deliver their content FAST. There's nothing worse than waiting for overly-complex tables and huge graphics to download. For example, ZDNet tends to be quite bad at this: the HTML code, not including images, for their online articles is typically ~25k. Very messy! Yahoo!'s code is very minimalized, and will continue to be such. I can't visualize Yahoo! capitalizing on new technologies just because some ad agency says it's the "latest and greatest".

#19 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Tekhir

Wednesday November 11th, 1998 9:42 PM

MS Word document formats change with ever version of that program. So MS is using HTML and CSS in Office 2000, they'll change it to the next thing fade or something else in the next version.

#20 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Joe Wild

Monday November 16th, 1998 5:48 PM

I read somewhere that IE 5 was going to point you to a MS "help" page if you got a 404 error. Nice idea, but some of us want to put our own helpful 404 errors on our websites, and this kind of defeats the purpose of that... Oh well.

#21 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Chris Bolt

Monday November 16th, 1998 6:08 PM

IE5 does show a different page in place of 404 not found errors but only if it is the default Apache error message and probably the default IIS error message. If you have a custom errordocument, it will show yours instead.

#22 Re:The New IE5 Feature Set...

by Guy Murphy

Tuesday November 17th, 1998 3:21 AM


I hear some of you questioning the tracking of the XSL standard...

Firstly, IE5 is at present beta (so those complaining of crashes etc., it *is* beta), so there is no reason not to track the standard.

Secondly, as somebody poited out, the current draft is likely to make it to completion with only minor changes, which MS have undertaken to impliment.

Thirdly, you should be all over XSL, as it presents a very real alternative / threat to ASP which is currently extremely popular for intranet development. It would seem to me that if NS5 wants a place in the intranet market (certainly in the UK), they are nuts not to track XSL.

I'm not knocking NS5 (I thought that NS4.x was a waste of bits), as in now appears that NS (and the OSS dev team) are finaly implimenting something worth while. I want MS competition, but more than that I want workable systems. If that means turning my back on NS support (as I have) so be it. Zealotry rarely makes money.

I think everyone should take a long hard look at IE5 and swallow some pride. The reason why IE jumped into the lead with feature set, is becaus when MS where the browser underdog they did just that.. "embrace and extend".

Like it or not, IE5 is now the mark to hit. Swallow some pride and look at how to jump at the very least up to where the current IE implimentation is. Simple MS bashing while maybe making you feel better, will not help you survive (speaking as an OS/2 fan in the distant past).

Good luck to everybody invloved with the NS OSS... I hope you're hear this time next year... genuinely.