Mozilla Dispenses with Old, Proprietary DOM

Monday June 14th, 1999

The Mozilla team has decided to forgo backwards compatibility with Netscape's proprietary DOM so they can throw their full efforts behind proper DOM Level 1 support for Mozilla's first release. Click here to read more at, or here to read the thread from the newsgroup.

Thanks to Kovu for the news.

#25 Re:Mozilla Dispenses with Old, Proprietary DOM

by Anon

Wednesday June 16th, 1999 12:54 AM

You are replying to this message

I personally think this sucks!!! Unlike most of you I have invested over a year into learning to use both the IE and Netscape DOMs. Not only that but I have spent hours working on crossbrowser scripts that the average web builder, like yourselves, could port to there sites without needing to know the gory details of DHTML/JavaScript (menu scripts, scrollers, etc...). Now I know this decision won't cause endless errors to be fired at users with NN5, but instead it will cause the script to just won't work. You may think oh well the user won't know what there missing, but that's not true.

For example...

Suppose a fairly new, non computer savvy, web user frequents a site. And when they go to that site it has a nice DHTML menu that the user has grown accustom to using. The user doesn't know or even care how it works they just know that it does!!! Now suppose the user is persuaded some how into upgrading their browser to the NEW, bigger, better version of the same software. However after upgrading they return to their favorite site, but the menu that they are used to using doesn't work!!! Not only are they confused, but mad. They may even be so mad that they say to hell with it and delete the new version in favor of the old one.

It's a fact of nature people are resilient to change!!! I don't know about you, but when I get a NEW version of a software package I not only expect it to support the whole slew of new features (the ones I can get used to in time), but I also expect it to be compatible with the previous version. I mean do you think anyone would upgrade there office suite if the software company that made it suddenly said sorry we've decided not to support our old file format at all because we think the new one is better???

I understand that Netscape (and everyone else) is eager to get a final product with full standards support, but I think ditching the old DOM is a mistake!!! It is just going to cause confusion and anger among people like myself who expect a software package to be backwards compatible. I mean look at how much flack MS got when IE5 broke it's own DOM slightly. Imagine how people are going to react when Netscape doesn't support it's own DOM at all!!!