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."

#3 Followup ...

by mpt

Friday May 21st, 1999 12:24 AM

You are replying to this message

Dear Sir/Madam

In <…icle/0,1510,11045,00.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 <http://www.mozillazine.or…talkback.html?article=495> ), NeoPlanet hurriedly retracted that statement (see <http://www.mozillazine.or…talkback.html?article=496> ). 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?