Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

Saturday July 31st, 1999

Tony Gorman has news of some interesting statements from Allaire Corporation's Jeremy Allaire. Tony writes:

"Jeremy Allaire of ColdFusion fame has gone on record saying that ColdFusion no longer supports the Netscape browser. In this month's issue of the UK Internet magazine 'Webspace', JA states that 'Netscape is dead and so is the Mozilla project'. Tough words for fans of the Netscape browser. He goes on to argue that widespread of DHTML has been held back by Netscape's idiosyncratic implementation and only Microsoft offers a useful platform...

I would love to write this guy off... but Allaire isn't exactly a no hope company. Should his words be left to stand? I hope not."

Webspace apparently doesn't have a website, so I can't confirm this. However, if it is true, Jeremy's statements show an appalling lack of understanding of the status of DHTML at this point in time. IE's DHTML isn't standards compliant (neither is Communicator 4.6's DHTML) and thus any judgement regarding it must be tempered by the fact that much of the "usefulness" is probably derived from MS proprietary extensions that no other browser maker should feel obligated to duplicate. Maybe some of you more knowledgable people out there could give some background on how IE's current DOM implementation is lacking in terms of standards compliance.

UPDATE:Jeremy Allaire has a response in our forums, so be sure to check it out. Thanks Jeremy!

#1 You can go ahead and write him off

by Anon

Saturday July 31st, 1999 6:17 PM

Guys, IE has spoken, the TEXTAREA and ability to fill in text and pull it back out is wonderful. I don't know if it's in the standards. But it's a wonder features that's going to be in Netscape 5 anyway. So if the guy is going to write off Netscape due to a little set back--I'm sorry for him. I would suggest him and others like us to eye the big issues at hand (fry bigger fishes): XML, a really really really really really really really really really really really really really rock solid Java VM, and try to let ECMAScripters and DHMTL people have more fun communicating with Java applets to change the page on the fly. These are KEY features. As long as Netscape 5 is can achieve this--no one can write anything off.

#2 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday July 31st, 1999 6:40 PM

Is there an article somewhere with this, or ? Notice how Nick Bradbury left to start his own company, and create products that are progressive enough to support the Gecko engine.

#3 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by mozineAdmin

Saturday July 31st, 1999 6:45 PM

"Is there an article somewhere with this, or ?"

Not that I could find. If anyone does, let me know. My email address is

#17 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 11:35 AM

hi. i posted the original message regarding Allaire. Webspace do not have a site and their parent company, Forme Publishing only have a holding page at However, I will scan the article in work tomorrow and post it on a server for you to grab. I will send a mail to let you know when its available.

#24 My quote

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 2:17 PM

Hello All-

Yes, these were remarks which I made, and yes they were made off the cuff. This was published in an interview -- probably because it was such a juicy quote. I believe I was asked about the future of Netscape and Mozilla, and I probably started with something like that.

A few follow-on comments just to clarify things. I believe that that interview was the same week that Jamie Zawinski resigned from, and my own contacts at Netscape were saying that people were leaving the company like crazy, and that AOL was not committed to future development on the browser.

My comments have more to do with Netscape than with the Mozilla project, which obviously has a lot of promise.

On a related note, this comment says nothing about Allaire or Allaire's committment to working with Mozilla in our proudcts. In fact, HomeSite now uses Gecko as an internal browsing engine for previewing content, and we are hopeful that the editing working group makes enough progress with their editing control, built on NGLayout, so that we can use it for semi-WYSIWYG design.

Even further, the visual tools team at Allaire is extremely excited about Mozilla and it is their expectation that they will over time become contributors to the project, based on work we do in HomeSite.

With regards to quality of implementation, etc., I will be frank in saying that we worked extensively with both NS 4.x and IE 4.x and found the IE4 DOM dramatically more stable to build on top of. This is purely a technical question, and one I'm fairly comfortable supporting.

Regards, Jeremy Allaire

#25 My quote

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday August 1st, 1999 3:31 PM

I had a sneaking suspicion something like this might have been the case. Alan Baratz of Sun said he'd been badly quoted or something like that when interviewed about Mozilla, too.

#27 My quote

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 5:47 PM

how do we know this is the real jeremy allaire?

the internet is full of hoaxes... is this one of them?

--bill gates ;)

#28 My quote

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 6:30 PM

Makes one wonder, is this what journalism about: making one say what one wants them to say?

#29 Journalism like Tom Clancy's novel

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 1:08 AM

it sounds like some of the things I read in Tom Clancy's novel.. media and jornalism...

it matches real close to the book titled 'Executive Orders'

#36 My quote

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 10:39 AM

Allaire is allegedly porting their Cold Fusion product(s) to Linux and at least one other Unix. Why would Allaire bother if their strategy is to only support Internet Explorer?

#33 Judge for yourselves

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 7:58 AM

As promised, I've scanned both pages from the UK article and placed them on a server. 1.gif is page 1 and 2.gif is page 2(this has the reference to Netscape/Mozilla). Both images are about 200k ish in size.

Addresses as follows:

Funny how "Netscape is dead" can actually mean "Netscape is not dead" when its 'off the cuff'.

His words are considered and cannot be taken out of context.


#37 I don't believe this crap

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 11:43 AM

There is no way that is the real jeremy first off a company of a huge corporation simply does not have the time to come here every day or any time to post that kind of message and because the message was the 2nd one to be posted tells me it was someone who frequently visits here and you can bet its not jeremy for many reasons. I can't believe fell for this phony jerk whatever this guy said can only be verified by the REAL jeremy so contact him and don't listen to this fake asshole!

#38 Just for the record

by Neroon6

Monday August 2nd, 1999 12:03 PM

Judge for yourselves submitted by Anon Monday August 2nd, 1999 09:58:07 AM

Was posted by me. As I said then, the article is on a server for people to judge for themselves what Allaire meant.

#52 Could be Jeremy Allaire

by Anon

Monday August 9th, 1999 7:53 AM

Jeremy Allaire has often, in the past, posted to the Allaire developer's forum. I see no reason why, if he heard that someone had quoted him, he might not post here. Just because someone heads up a publicly traded company doesn't mean that they don't have time to post articles. I imagine he finds time to do whatever he feels is important.

#53 Yes

by Anon

Monday August 9th, 1999 10:04 AM

And you are correct, the question was asked in the ColdFusion Forum at Alliare and responded to by Jeremy confirming it was his comments.

#15 Nick Bradbury

by k3davis

Sunday August 1st, 1999 6:58 AM

Nick Bradbury had his own company before he worked for Allaire. Bradbury Software produced the HomeSite HTML editor until Allaire acquired it (and by extension, him -wink-) at version 2.5b. Now he is just back doing what he loves: working on his own creating software that rocks.

Allaire is an extremely viable company and I am hesitant to believe such a statement was ever made short of off-the-cuff. A lot of people are frustrated by Netscape and the delays of Mozilla, but those who are involved in it are less so because they can see the progress it is making and understand the issues better that have caused delays. This information is probably not clearly explained to people not closely following the project.

#4 Homesite to use mozilla

by arielb

Saturday July 31st, 1999 8:28 PM

what about this link?

#5 Homesite to use mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday July 31st, 1999 8:59 PM

I really should learn to read more carefully >_<

I've downloaded the version of HomeSite that supports gecko, but I can never get it to work, so I got rid of it. Anyway, that was quite a long time ago. I'll have to look and see if I can find the magazine.

#30 Allaire is going aggressive

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 4:43 AM

They have been buying companies lately and trying to integrate their system into enterprise applications. Hey don't go so far. This is from where the Internet reached the masses.

#6 IE good at general things, but lacks power

by Ben_Goodger

Saturday July 31st, 1999 9:04 PM

This is what I've found when creating pages. You can do all the usual DHTML stuff, with the frilly IE add-ons like filters (most of which are butt-ugly). But try and do something complicated, like setting the event handler attributes of an element after the page has loaded through a script, and you'll be tearing your hair out because Mozilla does it, and why IE doesn't. Basically IE is good for creating reasonably dynamic webpages, but when it comes to application development, only Mozilla has the true grunt to make creating an application in JavaScript/DOM worthwhile. Microsoft have used IE as an interface, sure, but again utilizing one of their proprietary concepts - ActiveX

#7 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by beg

Saturday July 31st, 1999 10:46 PM

So does Mozilla already have DHTML support? Or are you just saying, once Mozilla is finished it will do a much better job that IE5 at DHTML?

#10 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday August 1st, 1999 12:38 AM

What do you mean by "better"?

if you mean it in the sense that absolutely everything can be manipulated by script, not just most things, then yes. If you mean bad looking dropshadows et al, probably not ^_^;

I've been studying the W3C DOM over the past couple of months, and I've absolutely fallen in love with it. I tried to make a shell in IE that imitated Mozilla's chrome, but fell flat on my face after about twenty minutes, suffering from an incomplete DOM. (I wanted to create a general mouseover event handler for all of my buttons, which I would assign to them with a setAttribute() call from an initialisation script.. IE added the attribute, but didn't realise it was an event handler function call, however Mozilla did, and it worked.)

#14 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by erik

Sunday August 1st, 1999 5:44 AM

When it comes to W3C standards IE is not that good. Just like you mentioned IE has troubles with the setAttribute method but you can always use element.attributeName instead (which is even nicer).

When it comes to DHTML and Web Applications IE is way ahead of all available standards and as long as AOL sticks to standards, their browser will never allow anything even close to IE.

(Creating a chrome is really easy for IE and IE5 could easily be made to display XUL files using behaviors.)

After this IE propaganda you must think I don't care about Mozilla but so far I'm impressed by the CSS and DOM1 support but I'm very dissapointed with speed and DHTML possibilities.

#48 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by MattyT

Wednesday August 4th, 1999 6:53 PM

It's alpha software. They're not overly interested in speed at the moment, although that's changing now.

#21 Your wrong!!!

by Dan6992

Sunday August 1st, 1999 1:24 PM

Unfortantely your statement is false!!! Because I have actually written a full featured application using IE4/5's JavaScript/DOM implimantation, with absolutly no help from ActiveX ( I do hope to get it running in NN5 when it's released SOMEDAY, however for now IE was the only choice (NN4's DHTML is seriously lacking). I also have to say that filters are a lot more the a frilly ad-on, they can actually be very useful. For example in my software I used filters to make the icons appear greyed out when their function was unavailable, the only other way to do this would have been to use a seperate grey image for each icon and which would just be a waste of download time.

#31 Your wrong!!!

by Ben_Goodger

Monday August 2nd, 1999 6:18 AM

My statement is based on my experience - no amount of success on anyone else's part excuses that I was able to do something in Mozilla that IE5 couldn't do. I was building a simple application using Microsoft Documentation.

What filters were you using to grey things out? Mozilla seems to recognise the CSS2 (?) standard opacity property (although I don't know if its working properly yet, again: ?). The only filter I actually liked was alpha, all the others that I tried were either too aliased or just ugly. Like scriptable Alien Skin Eye Candy.

#32 Your wrong!!!

by kidzi

Monday August 2nd, 1999 7:06 AM

Hey, your application is very nice... That kind of thing, with the image maps, is EXACTLY what some are wanting to use with the new mozilla editor. Although they are weeks behind your development (maybe even months..) You should really get on the newsgroups and offer your site to them and help out! After all, your end is all done:) They are looking to make their image mapping program all in dHTML, much like the way you have yours done. I'm sure they'd love it!!!


#8 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by Anon

Saturday July 31st, 1999 11:23 PM

It would, though, be nice to verify stories like this before they are posted...

#9 Who cares?

by Anon

Saturday July 31st, 1999 11:55 PM

Cold Fusion is dead, proprietary technology anyhow. The road to the future is PHP.

#35 Who cares?

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 10:30 AM

Isn't PHP just as proprietary as cold fusion? Sure, it's open source, but it's still only supported by one vendor and there aren't any actual standards related to it.

#50 Who cares?

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 8:55 AM

Right On!

PHP is open source--but they woefully lack any good decent documentation with examples, and can't compete with the elegant, XML-style way of outputing queries.

CF also has been gaining converts, rather than losing.

#11 Trickle Down

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday August 1st, 1999 12:41 AM

Even if this is just bad reporting, lets hope it doesn't trickle down and send C|Net scurrying back to its thesaurus looking for synonyms for death and despair. I can imagine the sort of things they'd say 9_9;

#12 Gee whiz

by HoserHead

Sunday August 1st, 1999 1:37 AM

My, I wonder if all these people will be searching for the Netscape necromancers when Mozilla is finished. After all, they did declare it dead..

Hm, wasn't there an ad in the paper the other day about that? "High-profile internet company seeks self-motivated programmer with an extensive experience in black magic. Must apply in person." .. oh, maybe that was Microsoft (they're THE internet company, aren't they? microsoft friend me good) looking to resurrect Jesse Berst, who recently disappeared after he failed to contradict himself in a subsequent article in a puff of antimatter...

#13 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by acc

Sunday August 1st, 1999 2:58 AM

Surely this falls under the "no publicity is bad publicity" category. Y'know, when a company bad-mouths a product whose users are well known and vocal advocates just to generate a furore. Said advocates then hit the web page/site in question by the million thus generating stacks of ad revenue. Also, the controversial software/company in question (Allaire in this case) gets a lot of free mindeshare.

Surely we should realise these blatant PR stunts by now and simply ignore them.

#16 Jeremy Allaire

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 8:27 AM

Mozilla needs more media presence. How come idiots like this get their ill-informaed comments reported when the positive side of Mozilla never gets a mention.

I think everyone agrees that the DHTML in Navigator 4.x sucks, but this guy obviously has no idea how completely different everything is in the 'new world'.

I'd like to think it was just the media and business that are ignorant, but the vast majority of net nerds appear to be too judging by the rubbish that gets posted on slashdot and Mozilla.

#18 Mozilla is dead

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 12:15 PM

Oh yeah, and unix is dead too.

Mozilla is much more alive than ColdFusion.

#49 Cold Fusion is living and growing.

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 8:53 AM

Care to back that up with statistics, please?

Cold Fusion has a lot of sales, PC Magazine has declared it to be superior to ASP and other ways to drive dynamic sites, and it gains in market share, converts, etc. Plus with the new Java technology and support, it runs on Unix and soon Linux.

PHP doesn't have enough good documentation and flexibility to beat CF.

As far as Mozilla is concerned--uh, where's the beef? Can you expect people to keep waiting for a long delayed update to Netscape.

It's easy to dismiss these off-the-cuff statements, but attacking Cold Fusion only just shows me the narrow-minded nature of some of the Mozilla fans.

#19 Mozilla's death

by Anon

Sunday August 1st, 1999 12:46 PM

Reports of Mozilla's death have been greatly exaggerated.

#20 *Smooooooch*

by BehrQattz

Sunday August 1st, 1999 1:18 PM

He can blab what he wants.... his product will be in big trouble if they design it to work with IE's proprietary DHTML rather than the W3C's. This is just a Microsoft-ass-kissing PR release. He's desperate to keep MS from destroying his market and/or changing IE so his product is no longer functional. Maybe he caught-wind that that's exactly what Microsoft has in mind.

#22 Flags

by BehrQattz

Sunday August 1st, 1999 1:27 PM

In regards to Mozilla support, I think it's about time the standards-supporting companies and organizations of this industry start waving their Mozilla flags a little higher. There will be several OS's moving up in the next 5 years, taking overall market share ("devices" included) from Microsoft, and I think the odds are pretty good that they'll use a Gecko-based browser or "browsing services". If these companies are behind standards, and want an interoperable Web, they'd better start making noise - especially in the press.

#43 What's that saying about throwing stones?

by SomeSmartAss

Tuesday August 3rd, 1999 8:05 AM

I think Netscape/Sun/AOL should be waiving those flags harder than anyone. With the Mozilla Beta slated to be out end of summer (summer Technically ends Sept. 21st, or something like that) and a full release set for end of year (again Dec 31, at 23:59:59) The "Alliance" should realy be getting marketing started right now (5 months, guys! 5 months) Even if its just puff-peice press releases (with nice eye-catching titles like "Netscape 5.0 Promises to revolutionize the web, Again") Wall Street doesn't read the techie news, they Just scan the headlines. And if wall street notices Netscape in the news a lot, then mainstream media will too.

Lots of banner ads with "Coming Soon: The SECOND Browser Revolution" and such. Start posting the technical stats of Mozilla in a nice, easy to find place on the net. Start pushing the lizard to the forefront.

If they want to get other companies on board, they should first be getting IBM and/or Oracle to port to their N|C machines (I actually got to use one of them recently. It uses Netscape 3.0x to browse).

#23 What a moron

by Kovu

Sunday August 1st, 1999 1:37 PM

Last time I checked, Netscape 5.0 was due this December. Anyone who thinks AOL would spend 10 billion on...never mind. It must be really nice to be in la la land.

#26 cold what?

by petejc

Sunday August 1st, 1999 5:39 PM

hmmm php has currently over 500,000 websites using it. Growing massivly fast.

It is far superior to cold fusion.

I think he'd better concern himself with his own market share and not worry so much about browser clients.

The web developers choice is php as far as i am concerned.


#51 Not true.

by Anon

Friday August 6th, 1999 9:00 AM

I think right now ASP has more users than either CF or PHP.

But CF is growing, not shrinking. CF has almost as many people using it as PHP, and these people are actually paying money for the project. If PHP cost the same as CF, I doubt many people would use it.

Plus PHP is poorly documented, while a lot of people can learn CF just by reading the manuals. It is a far superior language to PHP. PHP may do more, but it's more for the techgeeks who like Linux. Lots of magazines and sites are voting it the best choice.

#34 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by Anon

Monday August 2nd, 1999 10:28 AM

I don't consider myself nearly as technically astute as the majority of the folks reading this... but I do have to say that from the "business" side of the isle... the delay in a release of a browser has really erroded any hope in the minds of a lot of companies that Netscape will ever be able to challenge MSIE as a browser on anything but UNIX boxes/linux boxes and other fringe market platforms. Yes... I know... these "fringe market" platforms still represent a ton of computing cycles in business... but the folks making the decisions where it matters think a computer is something you play solitare on... unless your IS department has removed it too...

I think that JAllaire's comments can be taken as a symbol of the frustration level with the lack of delivered product... and a little MS Grandstanding... but trashing ColdFusion... a wonderful product... just ain't the way to look at this. It is anti-productive... and won't gain anything more than wasted time on a "non-issue." The guy spoke his mind... we're speaking ours. Let the marketplace decide whether or not he's right, or not.

just my opinion... ymmv.

#39 Netscape is dead, long live Mozilla?

by braden

Monday August 2nd, 1999 5:56 PM

There is an important and interesting point underlying Mr. Allaire's comments: Netscape, once *the* flagship brand of the WWW, has *lost credibility* with developers. Credit a stream of consistently under-achieving 4.x releases (from a developer's perspective) and the long delay in pushing 5.0 out of the door. Top that off with the fact that Netscape nolonger exists as its own corporation, but has basically been reduced to just another brand owned by AOL.

I am enthusiastic about Mozilla, and thus sympathetic to the delay. But it is hard for me to fault developers for losing faith in the Netscape brand.

I think the Mozilla project should be quite proud of the fact that Web developers (mostly) continue to be enthusiastic about the project in spite of their qualms about its heritage. Perhaps AOL would be wise to capitalize on the Mozilla brand in packaging a browser, rather shackle such a product with the "Netscape" name.


#40 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by zontar

Monday August 2nd, 1999 9:24 PM

If the Netscape brand is going sour, then why has its share of the server market increased while that of IIS has dropped? (See most recent Netcraft surveys.)

All of which has nothing to do with the fact that the Mozilla DOM implementation rox even if it's not 100% finished yet. :-)

#41 Jeremy Allaire on the Death of Mozilla

by beg

Tuesday August 3rd, 1999 2:27 AM

Ya, only in 1999 has Netscape's market share started raising? Why is this? Just a fluke or Netscape making a small comeback?

Maybe, it's that Sun/Netscape alliance?

#42 Sun/Netscape Alliance

by BehrQattz

Tuesday August 3rd, 1999 5:50 AM

I think all of us should start chanting "All Hail the Alliance!" and have secret handshakes and jacket pins. ;-)

(That's what happens when I start thinking before my coffee in the morning.)

#44 DHTML does not exist in mozilla currently

by Anon

Wednesday August 4th, 1999 11:33 AM

There is no such thing as DHTML support in Mozilla. Why? Because you _cannot_ access the widht,height,position, etc CSS properties of elements _unless_ you specify them yourself. THat is, you cannot say:

<div id="mydiv" style="position: relative" onclick="dump(">code</div>

This is terrible in my opinion, and many other people's, including Brendan Eich according to some posts I've seen of his criticizing the W3's oversimplified DOM. Until the DOM, or some actual "DHTML" standard that builds upon the DOM is made, it doesn't appear that DHTML will exist in Mozilla.

I don't know how it is in IE5, but I'd bet they "embraced and extended" the w3 dom and made it work their own way...anyone know?

#45 Re: DHTML does not exist in mozilla currently

by sdm

Wednesday August 4th, 1999 1:25 PM

What do you mean? - the code below works just fine:

<script>var mv=10;</script><div id="mydiv" style="border: 1px dashed black; padding: 2px; position: relative;" onclick=" = mv + 'px'; mv += 10; dump( + '\n')">click</div>

If you have specific questions on the dom, I'd post them in the .dom newsgroup if I were you.

#46 Correct, but you cannot access the default props..

by Anon

Wednesday August 4th, 1999 3:38 PM

That's right. You specified it yourself. Currently, you cannot get at the sizes, positions, etc of an element as mozilla renders it.

That is, try this:

<script>var mv=10;</script><div id="mydiv" style="border: 1px dashed black; padding: 2px; position: relative;" onclick=" = mv + 'px'; mv += 10; dump( + '\n')">click</div>

<br> <br>

<div id="somediv" style="border: 1px solid blue; position: relative;" onclick="dump('\n')">Hi div</div> <br> <br>

<span style="background: blue">Blah blah just here to push the next span over some</span><span id="anotherdiv" style="border: 1px dashed black; padding: 2px; position: relative;" onclick="dump('This is how far to the left mozilla placed me by default: [' + + ']\n')">Click here to see property (or lack of property resolution thereof) </span>

#47 Correct, but you cannot access the default props.

by sdm

Wednesday August 4th, 1999 5:23 PM

Right-o. Does this work in IE? If not, what do you have to do in IE to get it to work? Does nav4 have a way to do it? Since ua.css is applied to all pages, then it makes sense that you should just be able to access it using the DOM. Is there a specific thread on the newsgroups that discussed this?

#55 Nav 4

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 10:13 AM

Yeah, in nav4 you can do it with document.layers["idblah"].clip.width or something to that effect. ----News flash---- There is a "new" thread on the various groups about how they will address these issues. Apparently IE does something pretty smart, which is use a separate mechanism which does not clobber the CSS. They use getOffsetLeft() getOffsetTop() or something like that to retrieve those values.

If w3 doesn't come up with a "standard" way of doing this before nav5 comes out, I hope there is at least consideration of IE5's way -- which apparently does not interfere with the official dom. I wish I could comment more about IE5, but I've only used it, not coded for it.

#54 Webspace has no web space?

by Anon

Wednesday August 11th, 1999 1:56 AM

<blockquote> ...In this month's issue of the UK Internet magazine 'Webspace',<br> ...<br> Webspace apparently doesn't have a website, so I can't confirm this...<br> </blockquote> Excuse me?<br> An Internet magazine without a website?<br> Undoubtedly a trustworthy and knowledgeable source.