Another Article Regarding Mozilla's "Reawakening"

Thursday May 20th, 1999

Another article on Gecko's burgeoning acceptance...

Mpt writes, "PCWorld On-line has an article on Gecko. Trouble is, it's full of simple mistakes: `Gecko will power the Netcenter Web site' (eh?); `Netscape officials are tight-lipped about specific Gecko features' (really? I thought Gecko was open-source!); `So far, industry leaders haven't embraced Gecko' (industry leaders? are PCWorld expecting Microsoft to use it, or something?); and last but not least, `NeoPlanet also led development of an ActiveX control ...' (oh dear, not that again).

I've written to PCWorld suggesting that they, ah, improve the truth quotient in the article -- but I'm not holding my breath."

#1 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by zaw

Thursday May 20th, 1999 11:15 PM

I went to read this article, I see and IE banner right next to it.

Come to think of it I see that IE banner on all the major website that I've been? Except for Netscape Netcenter.

#2 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by Kovu

Thursday May 20th, 1999 11:46 PM

Actually if AOL plans to release Netscape as an alternative ISP, Mozilla, the base of Netscape 5.0, would be the base of Communicator's ISP-related software (as will be a future version of AOL (5.0 in September???). I don't know that that means it will "power the Netcenter Web site,"

#3 Followup ...

by mpt

Friday May 21st, 1999 12:24 AM

Dear Sir/Madam

In,1510,11045,00.html (which I originally saw in ), you have an article on Gecko,'s `next-generation' browser engine. The article contains so many errors of fact that I feel compelled to offer a few corrections.

First: You state that `Gecko, Netscape's first software product based on contributions, will power Communicator 5.0 as well as the Netcenter Web site'. This is patently absurd.

Sure, Gecko will be used in Communicator 5.0, but to say that Gecko will power the Netcenter Web site makes about as much sense as saying that my fishing rod will power the river next time I go fishing. Netcenter is a Web site, and as such can not be `powered by' any Web browser.

Second: You say that `Netscape officials are tight-lipped about specific Gecko features'. This too is absurd. It is physically impossible for anyone to be tightlipped about Gecko features, because anyone can download the latest binary of Apprunner (which includes Gecko) from and witness the truth thereof. Remember, this is an open-source project.

Just to satisfy your curiosity, the most prominent `specific Gecko features' (apart from the XUL interface environment) are:

* full HTML 4.0 support

* HTML rendering faster than any current version of Navigator or Internet Explorer

* a `bugward-compatibility' mode, to intelligently render pages which were designed specifically for previous non-compliant browsers

* full CSS1 support

* very fast HTML rendering

* partial, but bug-free, CSS2 support (final level of implementation in Mozilla/Navigator 5.0 is not certain at this stage)

* full XML support, using CSS

* the ability to plug in your Java Virtual Machine of choice

* did I mention fast HTML rendering?

Third: You say that `so far, industry leaders haven't embraced Gecko'. I am dumbfounded by this statement.

There are two companies which could be described as `industry leaders' in the browser business: one is Netscape, and the other is Microsoft. Netscape is using Gecko. For Microsoft to adopt it too would be an open admission that's open-source development process was superior to Microsoft's closed-source development process. Surely you don't *really* expect them to do that?

More important than `industry leaders' adopting Gecko, of course, is the fact that Web developers are salivating over the possibility of finally writing to the one HTML and CSS specification, instead of getting migraines over trying to work around bugs in multiple browsers.

And fourth: You say that `NeoPlanet ... led development of an ActiveX control that enables third-party application developers to incorporate Gecko much the same way they can include the Internet Explorer control'. This is completely untrue.

The ActiveX control was developed by Adam Lock, who is not connected with NeoPlanet in any way. When NeoPlanet announced that they would use the ActiveX control in their browser, they initially claimed that they had developed it themselves. Following a minor uproar in the Mozilla community (see ), NeoPlanet hurriedly retracted that statement (see ). It's a shame you should be perpetuating this untruth, when a little research would have enlightened you.

I look forward to seeing these errors corrected.

Regards ...


It's, oh, about 12 hours later now, and they haven't fixed any of the errors yet. Am I just crazy, or does any of this matter?

#4 Oops, should have mentioned ...

by mpt

Friday May 21st, 1999 12:26 AM

... that that was the e-mail I sent to PC World.

#5 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by Adam Lock

Friday May 21st, 1999 5:58 AM

The article sounds like the regurgitated press release that Netscape put out a few days ago.

Regarding Mozilla powering Netcenter. Obviously Mozilla won't be in Netcenter per se, but it is highly likely that the site (like many others) will have value added content specially designed for Mozilla. In particular since Mozilla supports RDF and a dynamic UI via XUL, it's likely that Netcenter will use it to produce a custom webtop (or "digital dashboard" to use the latest MS BS) far more sophisticated than either My Yahoo! or My Netscape can provide today.

And that's just the beginning. Mozilla is not just a web browser; it's a sophisticated internet-enabled, cross-platform application framework. The number of ways that it could be used are mind-boggling.

#6 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by SteveP

Friday May 21st, 1999 11:45 AM

They've edited the article to remove the 'tight-lipped' comment.

#7 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by kerz

Friday May 21st, 1999 11:50 AM

"Note: This article was edited on 5/21/99 to correct an error. -- Editor"

It looks to be mostly fixed now, but it says that Neoplanet has assumed the ActiveX project. This project has to be the easiest one to get news on features and contributors, yet almost every paragraph had an error in it. Are these folks lazy or what?!?

Jason - mozAdmin2

#8 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by PhiSch

Friday May 21st, 1999 12:31 PM

BTW: For those guys who wrote this articel. The Gecko Milestine 5 has less bugs than any other Microsoft Produckt. I am already using Gecko to surf the Internet, because their is no faster or better rendering enginen!

Phil (Germany)

#9 PC World's response:

by mpt

Friday May 21st, 1999 7:11 PM

Subject: Re: Gecko gains developer support

Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 10:15:32 -0700

From: Christian_McIntosh

To: mpt

Thank you for your feedback. The updated version is now live on the PC World site:,1510,11045,00.html

Christian McIntosh


Well, they've fixed all my complaints, although I'm still bemused by their saying that NeoPlanet has `assumed development' of the ActiveX control. (Is this right, Adam?)

Ah well. My work here is done ... time to get back to hacking on my entry in the throbber competition, I guess. :-)

-- mpt

#10 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by Adam Lock

Saturday May 22nd, 1999 4:54 AM

Neoplanet have access to Mozilla CVS and are developing new functionality and fixing bugs in the control with my blessing. They have not assumed development of the control though.

So in this regard the article is wrong.

#11 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by dveditz

Sunday May 23rd, 1999 10:37 AM

I thought XUL was NOT part of "Gecko". The "Viewer" app is a bare-bones shell for the Gecko engine and there's no XUL. The browser as a whole (apprunner for now) uses Gecko to power XUL.

I could be wrong, I just work here. The term "Gecko" has been adopted by marketing and may no longer be limited to the layout engine as we know it.

#12 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by FrodoB

Sunday May 23rd, 1999 3:19 PM

Actually, viewer does handle XUL.... It runs the XPToolkit toolbar tests, which are XUL. :)

#13 Re:Another Article Regarding Mozilla's

by Kaiserjozy

Monday May 24th, 1999 1:39 PM

Note: This article was edited on 5/21/99 to correct an error. -- Editor

From the article------

They say they corrected something -?-