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Monday June 17th, 2002

It's been almost a fortnight since Mozilla 1.0 came out but fresh news about the release is still being published. Wes McGee wrote to tell us that The Washington Post featured a review of Mozilla in its Fast Forward column on Sunday. Meanwhile, CNN is carrying an AP story that discusses the potential success of Mozilla and asks if it will threaten Microsoft (Marcel notes that there's a discussion about the article on Slashdot). Not everyone is optimistic though: in an interview with MacCentral, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen said that he doesn't think that the browser wars are about to return. Once again, Slashdot has a story.


#1 Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday June 17th, 2002 11:18 PM

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The Internet thing should include an "auto-update" thing. Then people will only have to download the Internet thing once. The options in the "View" menu of the Bookmarks window seem to do nothing. I think the Sky Pilot theme is the best Mozilla theme. Maybe Mozilla should include a theme like as the default. It would make Mozilla stand out from other Internet things, in the way the I-Mac stood out from other computers.

#2 IE7? Anyone have any info?

by macpeep

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 12:18 AM

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Assuming for a minute that there will be another "browser war", I'm for one looking forward to it. If it brings advances in products, we all win. Besides in a "war" like that, Mozilla is very much in the position of a guerilla army whereas Microsoft is a traditional army. And we all know that a traditional army has to win in order to win. A guerilla army only has to not lose in order to win. Of course, the browser Mozilla and Netscape 7.0 will be pitched against will most likely be IE 7.0. So what do we know about it?

Here's a post from Slashdot regarding IE 7.0. If it's true, it means that they are very much up to date on what weapons they need to win the next browser war!

---

IE7 and CSS (Score:5, Insightful) by Dr. Eric Peters (<peterse@princeton.edu>) on 17-06-02 21:50 (#3718281) (User #586095 Info | <http://www.princeton.edu/>)

Based on secondhand reports, it sounds to me as if IE7 is going to bring *major* advances in CSS support for Windows Internet Explorer. They're going to fix the box model, with bugwards compatibility handled via a DOCTYPE sniffing strategy similar to IE6/Mac's.

This is a hugely significant event for advocates of CSS. I'm eagerly looking forward to this, even though I don't plan on ever using Windows on a regular basis. Given Microsoft's ability to bulldoze Windows users into upgrading, we may soon have a world in which, for the first time ever, *the dominant Web browser* has good CSS support.

This could improve things for CSS in general even if we don't end up with the dreaded Microsoft-only world. Developers of *other* browsers will no longer be able to hide behind claims of industry-leader compatibility when releasing buggy CSS implementations.

Of course DOCTYPE sniffing is going to complicate the situation somewhat, since IE7 will still have a bugwards compatibility mode. I'm hoping that the existence of IE7 will cause enough people start intentionally invoking standards mode that other browser developers notice. While from a theoretical point of view DOCTYPE sniffing makes no sense--it's a pure hack--in practice it's a lot better than no standards mode at all, which is the only likely alternative.

Furthermore, my secondhand source also tells me that IE7 will finally bring full PNG support to IE. This is a major step ahead in InterNet graphics.

#4 Er... WTF?

by leafdigital

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 5:02 AM

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That post is pretty much the typical crap you expect from Slashdot...

Doctype sniffing, far from '...is going to complicate the situation...', is with us and has been around for (Internet) years. It was introduced to PC IE in version 6 where they already made the major box model fix that was necessary (handling width and padding as per standard). I believe Mac IE 5 was the first browser to do doctype sniffing.

There are other problems with CSS layout and IE (a few more than Mozilla has) such as not supporting position:fixed. I very much hope IE7 will address these, and perhaps this is what that poster was attempting to articulate.

I also hope IE7 will have full PNG support, especially since it already *does* have full PNG support if you use a really bizarre hack involving nonstandard CSS properties - you can actually add a Javascript to your page that makes alpha-channel PNG images work correctly in IE6. It is somewhat bizarre and stupid that this doesn't work by default so I will not be at all surprised if they've fixed it, i.e. that part's probably right.

There definitely won't be another browser war, and Microsoft's dominance on the PC is definitely not going to go away, but with luck, alternate browsers including Mozilla may scratch back a few percentage points (especially with increasing use of other access devices).

--sam

#5 Re: DOCTYPE-sniffing makes sense

by turi

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 5:42 AM

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DOCTYPE-sniffing makes a lot of sense. If you simply keep on going to write web pages without doctype, the clients (browsers) have to try to figure out what you mean. Are you writing html 1.0 or 4.01 or xhtml or... With a doctype the client chooses the standard which defines how to layout the page. It's simply not possible for a standard to stay backwards-compatible without huge disadvantages. If you'd ever make something stupid in one standard version, you would have to stick to it for eternity. No, doctypes are a good thing(TM). It'll take a bit of time until the different browsers will behave the same for identical doctypes, but it'll happen. MS will still trigger a few of their old bugs and they'll keep a lot of their proprietary stuff in there even for newer doctypes, but things are going to converge.

#8 Not for XHTML

by leafdigital

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 10:26 AM

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Unfortunately, if you're writing XHTML then just setting the DOCTYPE isn't enough. You'll need to serve the page with the application/xhtml+xml MIME type too, or it will be treated as HTML by Mozilla and other browsers, therefore losing most of the advantages of XHTML (such as enforced well-formedness).

If you do serve the page with that MIME type, then IE6 won't be able to read it at all, so you'll need to have server-side code which sends an appropriate version of the page with different content-type depending on whether the browser is capable of understanding XHTML.

Basically I'm not really convinced that a doctype in a .html file really means anything now or in the future, though it might in a .xhtml file or when you serve as application/xhtml+xml. In HTML, the browser manufacturers might just as well have just said to use a <meta> tag to turn on standards mode, instead of the doctype switch. :)

--sam -

#9 Re: Not for XHTML

by turi

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 12:08 PM

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why do you loose the well-formedness if you send a different mime-type? And xhtml (without additional xml-stuff) is meant to be readable as html. Mozilla triggers the standards mode with a xhtml-doctype, even if the mime type is text/html. I think I really didn't get your point.

#13 Well-formedness

by bzbarsky

Wednesday June 19th, 2002 3:06 AM

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Content served as the application/xhtml+xml is parsed with the XML parser instead of the HTML parser. As a result, the parser enforces well-formedness -- a non-well-formed document simply fails to parse and an error message is shown to the user. The HTML parser tries to "fix" things.

The two parsers differ in a number of other ways as well (eg the HTML parser has no concept of XML namespaces, so if you want to put some MathML in you HTML you have to serve it as application/xhtml+xml or text/xml -- text/html simply will not cut it).

#6 Great!

by jsebrech

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 7:27 AM

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If IE7 has excellent standards support then mozilla HAS won. Don't you see? The whole point of mozilla is making sure there is a fully standards-compliant browser out there. If IE fully complies with the standards, then mozilla has done what it was built for.

#12 Re: Great!

by macpeep

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 11:38 PM

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"The whole point of mozilla is making sure there is a fully standards-compliant browser out there."

Yeah but the point of Mozilla is making sure that this fully standards compliant browser is Mozilla. If the result of the Mozilla project is that Microsoft produces an even better browser, I think it's really great but that's hardly what Netscape had in mind when they spun off Mozilla so to say that it's the point of Mozilla is twisting the truth quite a bit. :)

#14 Re: IE7? Anyone have any info?

by xtc

Wednesday June 19th, 2002 9:18 AM

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I stopped reading after: "They're going to fix the box model, with bugwards compatibility handled via a DOCTYPE sniffing strategy similar to IE6/Mac's (sic)."

1. The box model was fixed in IE6 <http://www.alistapart.com/stories/journey/4.html> 2. IE6 has DOCTYPE sniffing already <http://www.hut.fi/u/hsivonen/doctype.html> 3. IE5.2 is the latest version released for Mac <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/DOWNLOAD/IE/ie52.asp>

"Score:5, Insightful" my ass. Sheesh. Slashdot is the shits.

#3 browser wars are back allright

by jilles

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 2:47 AM

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Everybody is talking about it that means some marketshares are under pressure. What is happening is that the browser market which has been dominated by wintel PCs is fragmenting: apple is gaining marketshare, pdas and tablet pcs are increasingly popular for websurfing and even mobile phones can now do websurfing.

Mozilla won't replace IE on wintel pcs (even though some users will chose to use something else) simply because ms is the provider of the OS and will bundle IE. However, for mac os x users this may be different. If apples decides to bundle a good alternative for IE with their OS (likely to be mozilla based of course) that will have some impact. Considering how much other OSS software they already bundle this is not unlikely (wouldn't it be cool if they also included openoffice once it's ported?). Mobile and pda platforms not based on MS software (i.e. the vast majority of such platforms) are also likely to have a non IE browser.

However the browser war has always been a gross simplification of the situation. The word "war" implies that there must be a winner and hence a loser that is crushed by the winner. I don't believe in world domination for software. Competition is healthy. For the past few years IE has been the better browser and that inspired netscape to create mozilla (which is now my primary browser). It's here, it will get better and because it is OSS it will not go away even if world domination is not achieved.

#7 Re: browser wars are back allright

by jsebrech

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 7:56 AM

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Apple would never bundle mozilla. Simply because of MS Office X. If Apple dared to bundle mozilla instead of IE, then Microsoft would say "Oh, the mac isn't really profitable. We're not going to make Office for it anymore". They did it once before, they can do it again.

How much macs do you think Apple would sell then? No matter how good StarOffice/OpenOffice is, MS Office is still one of those "must have" things if you want to be taken serious as a desktop contender. Just look at linux on the desktop. Even ZDNet's guy says desktop linux is "not bad", but he'll still ding it because it doesn't run his favourite apps, meaning: Office.

#11 Legal?

by johnlar <johnlar@tfn.net>

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 3:10 PM

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In the Findings of Fact during the MS trial it was mentioned that MS did this to apple the first time. This action has been confirmed by the appeals court to be illigal. Weither they will be punished for it I doupt. But weither they can get away with doing it again, nobody knows. But Office X is a great software package and could easily get worse. An accusation that would be difficult to prove. I agree Apple is scared of MS right now. But hopefully a perfect clone of office will be created, loosening the nuse from Apple. Anyways, currently Apple executives are publically promoting Chimera, so weither they bundle it or not, they can promote it and increase its use drastically.

#10 What happened to translate webpage...?

by baffoni

Tuesday June 18th, 2002 2:04 PM

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I was just looking to convert a german document, and I no longer see the view->translate options. Did this get dropped or just moved over to Mozdev?

#16 Re: What happened to translate webpage...?

by sconest

Wednesday June 19th, 2002 3:57 PM

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It was dropped during the menu reordering but it'll be back when bug 135181 <<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=135181>> is FIXED.

#15 Opera now open source, apparently

by xtc

Wednesday June 19th, 2002 9:45 AM

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<http://maccentral.macworl…/news/0206/14.browser.php> :

> IDG: How about just the idea of having an open source browser, > the Opera Web browser for instance. Is that beneficial to users > or developers? > > Andreessen: How much (browser) market share does Opera have?

Fitting. An idiot interviews a fellow idiot.

#17 TechNews article not displaying?

by joeljkp

Thursday June 20th, 2002 7:21 AM

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In a vast irony, it looks like the Washington Post Technews.com article about Mozilla won't display in 1.0. Anybody else getting this behavior?

#18 Re: TechNews article not displaying?

by vgendler

Thursday June 20th, 2002 9:18 AM

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I see ot too. Yesterday it worked. It looks like a Java problem. It works fine with Netscape 4.X and displays the message sbout starting Java. In this case it does not show the Java console in the Windows tray (my Java plugin is 1.4). MS IE is OK too. I think if the Mozila Java plug-in were 1.3 then it would work.