MozillaZine

The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

Friday March 19th, 1999

IE5 is "an opportunity lost", according to the Web Standards Project. The WSP, you may recall, recently claimed responsibility for mozilla.org moving towards an NGLayout based engine for Mozilla 5.

MozillaZine has been claiming for months that IE5 wouldn't be standards compliant (and we wish we had wagered money on it). It was obvious from articles regarding IE5, and from appearances at developer meetings by Microsoft executives that they were planning to ship IE5 whether they were compliant or not. They refused to commit when asked to, and fell back on the excuse of tight shipping schedules.

In other news, another developer's release of Mozilla is tentatively scheduled for the end of the month, so check back for updates.

Thanks to Derick Phillips for the WSP news.


#1 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Friday March 19th, 1999 9:21 AM

Reply to this message

Thank you! The end is in sight! I am so sick of hearing jibbering about how "tough" and "quality" of a product IE5 is. They've pared it down a bit, but it's still way too big and, of course, tries to make web browsing a MS proprietary feature. Whatever MS. RIP, IE, it'll be MS that killed you.

#2 ActiveX Control

by DrFickle

Friday March 19th, 1999 9:53 AM

Reply to this message

Microsoft didn't want to waste valuable time developing a standards-compliant layout engine because they know darn well all they need to do it include the mozilla ActiveX control in IE5.01 to be compliant ;0)

#3 This URL says all

by Marius

Friday March 19th, 1999 12:05 PM

Reply to this message

#4 This URL says all

by DrFickle

Friday March 19th, 1999 12:13 PM

Reply to this message

That's great! I think the MozillaZine logo should be changed to that...

#5 Re: The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Stephan <stephan@micropop.com>

Friday March 19th, 1999 3:16 PM

Reply to this message

Standards-wise: * IE 5 adds insignificant support to CSS-1 * IE 5 adds much-less-than-perfect support for XML and XSL * The interface isn't that much better * Support for HTML 4 is not exactly good * We have to design for IE4/NN4 anyway, and IE5 implementations (of new standards) are damned to be incompatible with (correct) Mozilla/Gecko implementations - adding problems of the kind best known by those of us who have had the pleasure of writing endless workarounds because of the IE3 CSS implementation.

I cannot see why upgrading to IE5 should be advisable. To me, it looks like a pointless upgrade that makes it more rather than less difficult for web developers to use current standards.

#6 Why am I not surprised

by Pete Closs <closs@cix.co.uk>

Friday March 19th, 1999 4:24 PM

Reply to this message

Gotta agree with the wise one who said MS should just wait for the ActiveX control. I don't know why they bother if the browser doesn't fully support standards regardless of their claims that IE has always been the most standards compliant browser around, which is blatant rubbish. It still can't beat NS 4.5 for rendering text and iamges, and although Java support is faster it is not as good as NS 4.5. Roll on NS 5 I say so it can stomp all over IE in ALL categories finally - text, images, tables, javascript and (hopefully this one is seriously on the agenda) Java.

#7 TAN: Version 3 Browsers WHAT?

by Caustic <jdub@student.usyd.edu.au>

Friday March 19th, 1999 10:10 PM

Reply to this message

Just thought I'd include my response from one of the older stories here too (it's still about IE5 in a way):

"Most people still use the 3.0 series of the browsers."

Before I was running a commercial internet site, I would have said the same thing! This view implies that most users don't think to download new versions of software, or it's all to hard. I must admit, I thought most "consumers" didn't know enough about computers to bother.

However, my stats on the site show that the fourth generation of browsers are the most common... Funnily enough, the ratios between NS3/NS4 and IE3/IE4 are quite different: There are more Netscape users using NS4 (as opposed to NS3) than there are IE users using IE4 (as opposed to IE3).

Does this mean Netscape users are smarter than Microsoft users? Perhaps. I'm willing to say that most Microsoft users are using it because that's all they know about (or have easy access to). All the more reason for regulating the software industry.

So what does that entail for IE5 and NS5/Mozilla? Oh, and is there a plan to include an easy setup for custom browsers (ie. for corporations and/or portals)? I think this would be a great way to make inroads into areas that IE has basically claimed so far.

Also, what do people think about IE5's "HTML Application" idea? I've been using it for my intranet design (sorry, but I've no choice in the matter) and it actually works quite well, especially from a user's perspective: Browsers are actually kind of confusing if you're using it to host an intranet "application". So, whatcha think?

#8 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Friday March 19th, 1999 10:19 PM

Reply to this message

Netscape already allows people to change its source code and customize versions of it, whilst MS merely allows businesses to build upon various components of IE, maintaining their chokehold on their source code. This with all the proprietary crap they've added, not to mention the lack of standards--some even less than in IE4--I think will allow NS5 to have an even larger overall impact upon its eventual release than it would have had MS truly opened IE. People are just likelier to use a browser they can truly know the workings of and, God forbid, change, rather than having to wait for MS to fix problems when they arise--especially given that the NG Layout, and eventually Communicator 5.0, will be superior in just about every fashion, and will be able to port easily to any and all new OS--standard or not.

These are my thoughts, as to HTML Applications I'll let someone else deal with that.

#9 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Mark Wilson <mark_tracey@xtra.co.nz>

Saturday March 20th, 1999 1:27 AM

Reply to this message

MERELY ALLOWS BUSINESSES TO BUILD UPON COMPONENTS??? Hello, is anyone home? Do the words VBX, OCX and ActiveX mean anything to you?

Yes, I am a VB developer. And I can extend the IE browser. Very very easily. I like that. What can I do with all your C code? Nothing. Trick question: are there more VB developers or C developers? So, why are you targetting the minority???

If you have all these standards but there isn't a development environment out there which builds cool pages with these features you guys are all adding, then I guess I am going to be using someone else's authoring environment and unfortunately it will skew my web pages towards someone else's browser.

So, unless you get both sides of the pipeline covered, you will always be a porshe which is displaying poor quality or uncompliant pages, rather than Composers compliant and super-cool pages.

Forget native code for users. Less than 1% of the websurfers can even read C, maybe 10% work in Frontpage or Interdev and they at least have a chance of working successfully with a component.

Go fishing where the fish are! Mozilla is about to build a dominating browser. But until you provide a dominating editor... all your hard work will never be placed into the hands of the public and mass developer.

#10 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Septesix

Saturday March 20th, 1999 4:39 AM

Reply to this message

I don't know how other mass developer write their pages, but for me the only thing that works well is a plain simple text editor. No fancy component stuff or DnD. I have tried some of those webpage editor, and none of them work as I expected. Maybe I'm one of those 1%??

#11 to the VB coder...

by mushroom blue <shroom@cyberhighway.net>

Saturday March 20th, 1999 5:24 AM

Reply to this message

"Yes, I am a VB developer. And I can extend the IE browser. Very very easily."

Heh.. there's nothing I really have to say here. :-)

"question: are there more VB developers or C developers? So, why are you targetting the minority???"

I don't know where you're getting your facts from, but there are many more C programmers (and C subsets, like Objective C, C++, and Java) than VB people. Let's just go on chronological data here. C was created in the 70's. When was VB created? methinks that C had a great head start on people who used it.

"Forget native code for users. Less than 1% of the websurfers can even read C, maybe 10% work in Frontpage or Interdev and they at least have a chance of working successfully with a component. "

Oh please, percentages can be easily skewed to fit the view of the speaker... 70% of the population knows that. *grin*

so where are you getting these facts from?

if you're ever on EFnet in the #E channel (yeah right... them linux people prolly scare you out of your wits), type this in:

'refer Mark Wilson clue

have fun.

mushroom blue

#12 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Saturday March 20th, 1999 3:26 PM

Reply to this message

Yes, merely allows people to build on components. Does MS give you access to their code? No. I don't give a rat's ass about ordinary Joes, I'm talking about companies like Gateway and HP being able to actually change the code of the browser to effectively make their own based upon that code--like Doczilla. Can you go that far with IE and not get sued? You can keep MSs proprietary crap.

#13 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Mark Wilson

Sunday March 21st, 1999 12:38 AM

Reply to this message

You don't give a rats ass about ordinary Joes? Well, well, well. I would say that if this is the feeling at Netscape, then I am finished with you all. I thought the little guy counted. You are forgetting your own history. Maybe you don't even know what the OSS movement is all abot.

I have used every version from way back when it was a university product before it was called Ns.

I supported pkzip when they broke away from LHA/ARJ and they became a public utility.

I love the OSS thing and I want the best for it. But if you give a *** for the little guy, guess what? he wont give a *** for you either.

Proprietary sucks, that is true. But the IE ActiveX control is chromeless and it CAN be used and extended.

#14 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday March 21st, 1999 3:53 AM

Reply to this message

When I said I didn't give a rat's ass I just meant I wasn't talking about ordinary Joes. Allow me to rephrase: "Yes, merely allows people to build on components. Does MS give you access to their code? No. I'm talking about companies like Gateway and HP being able to actually change the code of the browser to effectively make their own based upon that code--like Doczilla. Can you go that far with IE and not get sued?"

In any case, very few people are going to develop for a browser that only IE5 users can see--there just won't be many of them out there. Several thousand will download it, maybe more, and Win98 2nd Ed. might boost the number a little, but Win98 has already sold most of what it's going to, and by then NS5 will be near, and probably already in beta.

I'm not trying to be hostile, but think about it. Who would want to use extensions that only a small percentage of viewship will see? It doesn't make good marketing sense. If IE3 and IE4 at least could deal with MSs new stuff, their proprietary extensions MIGHT have a chance, but since they cannot (if they could, then so could NS), it doesn't stand a chance in the big picture. It's just like Java++, it defeats the whole purpose. I realize it's hard to believe MS could ever end their dominant influence in the browser market. I, at least, have faith that it can, and soon will.

#15 DrFinkle

by zontar

Sunday March 21st, 1999 1:21 PM

Reply to this message

Amen, brother! (Sorry about the sexist reference, but "Amen, sibling just doesn't have the same ring. ;-) I thought your statement was 100% on target, and quoted you at Builder Buzz <http://buzz.builder.com> -- hope that's not a problem.

#16 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday March 21st, 1999 2:17 PM

Reply to this message

quote away ;)

#17 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Sunday March 21st, 1999 2:51 PM

Reply to this message

brother is right--I saw your link, but there are billions of threads and couldn't find the one you were linking me to :{

#18 Re:DrFinkle/Kovu

by zontar

Monday March 22nd, 1999 5:56 AM

Reply to this message

Sorry about that -- the thread is here:

<//buzz.builder.com/cgi-bin/WebX?14@28.w3IlaqAIblv>" rel="nofollow"><http://buzz.builder.com/c…<in/WebX?14@28.w3IlaqAIblv>>^4@.ee793a8/0 (Hope MozZine's Linkulator doesn't chop that up!)

BTW, the post where I quoted you was #17.

Thanks for the ex post facto permission. %-)

Z.

#19 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by zontar

Monday March 22nd, 1999 6:05 AM

Reply to this message

Looks like the link made it through okay -- the thread's called "What Do You Think Of IE5?" and is in the "Web Authoring" section. There's also a "Mozilla" thread in the "Reception Area" folder as well. Feel free to drop by and flame naysayers anytime... ;-)

#20 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Monday March 22nd, 1999 1:51 PM

Reply to this message

Oops! Looks like you quoted DR. Fickle and I didn't see it. (#2 above) Hope he doesn't mind me giving permission for you to quote him! :) Peace all!

#21 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by zontar

Monday March 22nd, 1999 2:11 PM

Reply to this message

Kovu,

That was also my bad, I'm afraid. ;-)

#22 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Mark Wilson

Monday March 22nd, 1999 5:41 PM

Reply to this message

zontar, I think it is sad that you are encouraging the lfaming of "naysayers". It would be healthier to encourage free thinking and constructive engagement. If your website only promotes similar thinking, your readers will never grow.

For the final time, here is what I am saying: I do not condone the MS approach to business. I do not condone what they have done to many many companies. I do not wish to be seen to support their over-agressiveness. However, NS ruled the roost on the web and they have lost the plot so badly that they have been bought by another company and are thinking of laying off 20-30% of the employees.

So, both companies have made mistakes. However, one of them is still growing and achieving greater and greater returns. Let's look at the fact people. If you could be brave enough to wonder why they are growing like this, you would see that they take each and every industry or technology which they want to have succeed in - such as the internet, then they carve it up into its parts (browsers, developers, websites, portals, training and certification, intranets, servers( and then each one of those are still further craved up (thus developers are carved up into components, IDE's, scripting and so on). And then they make a plan to win eah and every one of these items identified.

Contrast that with your thinking. Put out the very very very best browser (and be sure that I AM sure you WILL INDEED put out the best browser!!) and let the rest of these items take care of themselves.

NO! Build up composer so it uses the XML and DOM stuff you are developing. Build up your servers so they integrate and extend Composer. Extend ECMAscript so it can leverage Mozilla.

Unless you fight this war with every nerve and sinew you all can muster, it will be lost. Don't rly on the ephemeral nature os OSS or your history as a glorious company. It is over. But you can still fight back.

MS is moving in on XML in the way I outlined above. <http://www.microsoft.com/…rame.htm#/xml/default.asp> Now, what are you going to do about it?

Has it occured to you that I have a job of my own? I am not doing this to upset you or just for fun. I am in fact trying to help. I am not some pimply 12 year old who is thinking big - I am speaking from some experience. You can think about what I am saying here and maybe teach me something I havent learned before, or you can accept the possibility of this all being true.

#23 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Tuesday March 23rd, 1999 12:21 AM

Reply to this message

I am not 12, or pimply, and I too have a job, editing "Dummies for" manuals for IDG Worldwide. While I do not work with much code other than HTML at this point, I do develop websites and can say that NS has every opportunity to improve on Frontpage--it's not that great--and I REALLY agree that doing so will significantly boost the influence of NS5.0, as well as its longevity in the industry.

Re MS: While MS grew significantly last year, there are several reasons to believe this growth is slowing. <http://www.businessweek.com/microsoft/cotv.htm> Also, while MS servers may well be packed with downloaders of IE, only those who are ditching NS in favor of IE (not those, like myself, who have both (though so far I have stuck with IE4) would increase IE's market share. Last I checked it was about 48% to NS 44%, a lead but not much of one, and AOL transition will change that by at least 20%. While IE has taken the lead it is not by that much.

I agree that Composer needs serious help to kick Navigator 5.0 into high gear, personally I would much rather use Composer, which at this point I largely ignore because of its too limited functionality. But that is a question of how much AOL is willing to give away free and that is not something I can comment on.

As to NSs layoff of employees, those 30% are comprised exclusively of marketing and sales positions that are already duplicated at AOL. If AOL is good at anything, it is marketing and sales, and, to be quite blunt, probably better than those of the former sovereign NS.

Also, when zontar said "flaming naysayers," I think he indeed meant engagement and debate. This thread is nothing if not (a little too, admittedly) engaging.

#24 More VB users than C/C++/Java

by John Stevens

Tuesday March 23rd, 1999 6:18 AM

Reply to this message

"I don't know where you're getting your facts from, but there are many more C programmers (and C subsets, like Objective C, C++, and Java) than VB people. Let's just go on chronological data here. C was created in the 70's. When was VB created? methinks that C had a great head start on people who used it."

Let's base this on the number of users, not chronology. The fact is that there are many more VB users than C and its derivatives. I don't have a handy reference for this, but you should believe it.

I know that many of you look down at VB developers. You think they are idiots. It's just this kind of thinking that will prevent you from meeting the needs of the very large VB developer community.

People use VB because it helps them get their job done. Sure, the languge sucks. But the development environment rocks. Nothing touches it.

#25 C vs. VB

by Pat <pschiesz@knox.edu>

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 12:34 AM

Reply to this message

Ok, this is ridiculous. VB is available on, what, one OS? It compiles for, what, one OS? C is available for every computer still in use today. Every single one. There's nearly countless variants of C. And GUI app development, a limited domain of apps, has VC++. And you think there's more VB developers??? You have no basis for this at all! When you actually bother to sit down, learn C, and find out how powerful, useful, fast, and portable it is, let me know. That is, unless you have some odd fetish for proprietary app development languages.

#26 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Numen <guy_murphy@dialog.com>

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 4:20 AM

Reply to this message

Hi.

Do you think maybe that MS are banking on the fact that by the time Mozilla finaly goes gold, IE6 will be in beta.

By that point any web designer wishing to play with XML + CSS and/or XSL (all be it only partialy compliant) will have been doing so for maybe 6 months in IE5.

Think about it. Unless Mozilla can go gold within a within the next 6 months it's lost as IE6 will be hot on it's tails.

You can bash IE5 all you want but *it is the most widely compliant browser in the market*.

Crow when Mozilla goes gold, to do so before simply reads as childish zealotry, as witnessed during the demise of OS/2, regardless of the fact that OS/2 Warp was a better OS than Windows.

I genuinely hope that Mozilla is released as the better browser, but every time I come over here are start gagging on the anti-MS BS.

I support the goal of producing the best browser possible, simply because that's a worthwhile goal. Trying to turn the issue into a Jihad is at best childish and at worst alienates an awful lot of developers.

Please, build yourself up, don't work at being the tallest by knocking the other chap down.

On a final note...

I have yet to see a post asking the obvious question...

"What can we learn from IE5?"

Until that question is addressed this cannot be regarded as a mature product venture.

#27 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 2:31 PM

Reply to this message

Actually, M3 is the most standards compliant browser on the planet--try reading the web standards project article above that is, after all, what this page is based on.

I personally don't give a rat's ass about IE anymore, 5 or 6, or MS for that matter. The radio bar is specifically to kill Realplayer and that is probably the most significant feature they added. Once Mozilla 5 comes out the war is over.

And as for your "anti-MS BS", why don't you start with MS on their anti-Netscape BS. They are, after all, the company that decided to kill Netscape by offering IE for free and, thus, started all this shit. Why don't you go see MSs little "easter egg" and then tell me we need to "be nice" to MS. Gimme a break already. You're talking a company that forced NS into seeking shelter from AOL or go bankrupt, all because Billy got scared about Java ruining his monopoly. Excuse us if we're a little bitter at the "chap." THANKS for your input, but the sooner Bill Gates becomes King Nothing, the better. If you don't like my attitude, SORRY.

#28 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by WozupInDaHood

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 9:47 PM

Reply to this message

On the topic of VB developers, I found out that most of the dvelopers have begun developing in the last few years (obviouly) so that negates how long C has been around. Secondly, C is hard to learn, VB has you up and running within minutes becoz of its visual nature. As such, it comes as no surprise that two years ago there were more VB developers than C developers. The latest VB figure is 53 MILLION developers!

Also, regardless of how "bitter" or how many "rats asses" you do or don't give, at the end of the day but NUMEN is right. MS learns from you guys for sure - trust me on this!! While Numen say what are you going to learn from them you say nothing??

And lastly, IE5 is in the market, Mozilla is not. Therefore IE5 is the most complaint browser.

These three points shouldn't need to be spelled out - it should be obvious. Why must we keep trying to beat back the hatred and make space for intelligent and useful discussion.

#29 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by sick

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 11:28 PM

Reply to this message

If I hear "at the end of the day" one more GD time...

#30 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 11:40 PM

Reply to this message

I am not a programmer. Were I a programmer, I would rather use a language that allows my program to run on any OS, not just on Windows. Maybe that's just me, because I hope for a day, soon, where "write once run anywhere" will be a reality. Call me loony, I don't care, I don't want a Windows-only future.

Instead of ASKING what we'll learn from IE, why not actually discuss what to learn from it? I'm not a programmer, as I said, so this discussion is best left to those that are. Fire away.

#31 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Wednesday March 24th, 1999 11:45 PM

Reply to this message

BTW, again, forgive my tone Numen, I just don't like Microsoft anymore. I have done a significant amount of reading and research on the matter of the trial, and the evidence, as well as MSs performance in court, has jaded me heavily. I mourn competition more than I do Netscape's independence.

#32 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by Gregory

Saturday March 27th, 1999 12:58 AM

Reply to this message

It doesn't matter at all WHEN a language was developed or how easy it is. The fact is that C and C++ are throroughly dominate all other programming languages in terms of number of users, amount of code written, etc. VB is quite rare by comparison.

#33 Re:The Web Standards Project Skewers IE5

by DatsDaNoozFromMe

Saturday March 27th, 1999 2:17 AM

Reply to this message

VB is easy to use, easy to learn and is usually the first thing newbie developers learn. It is being taught in universities as well.

Consequently it has the largest developer base of 53 million developers.

Update your files gentlemen and ladies!