MozillaZine

A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering Engine

Tuesday September 14th, 1999

Dave Usher of Tiny Communications, a new free-access Internet service in the UK, writes, "Inspired by the recent discussions on MozillaZine I've written an open letter advocating that Microsoft adopt the NGlayout (Gecko) code for their IE rendering engine."

An interesting idea, IMO, which would preserve standards compliance on all platforms while allowing browser makers to compete in the user-interface arena. Instead of putting out competing (and incompatible) rendering engines, why not rally around a single rendering engine which could help guarantee standards compliance by virtue of its Open Source nature and cross-platform architecture?


#1 It would be great

by Anon

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 5:22 PM

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That would be awesome. Since it's open-source, Microsoft could incorporate any code needed to make certain Windows features work, but then they would have to release that code back to the public. I think. I'm not very familiar with the license. That could be a major stopper there.

I would love to see companies rally behind one great engine. We would have many more contributors and that's for sure. I don't really see any major competitor in the browser market using Netscape technology though. If the the W3C was given "ownership" of the engine, then I think people would be more receptive.

Just thoughts off the top of my head...

#2 Mirror site

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 5:36 PM

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If anyone wants to know, I mirrored Mr. Usher's open letter at <http://www3.cybercities.c…ilpower/mozillapower.html>

<:3)~~

#3 Not too sure

by Anon

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 6:05 PM

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The idea of a unified rendering engine is excellent, but...

Microsoft isn't really about supporting open standards... they are about supporting their bottom line and that is usually done by locking you into their proprietary standards.

The only reason they are pushing for open standards on the instant messaging front is because they can only stand to gain a market... microsoft by far has less people using their IM client. If it were totally compatible with AOL's, they'd eventually just bundle it into their OS (you guys remember the last time that happened).

If they keep their own proprietary rendering engine, they can afford to hire enough developers to make it standards compliant, AND have their funky little Windows/IE-only extentions to tie you back to their products.

Personally, it would be great if I could make a web page using CSS, etc, and not have to use wanky methods for browser/platform detection and maintain 5 sets of slightly different code.

Paul. <paulgod@ee.umanitoba.ca> (forgot member ID).

#5 Thinking the same thing but . . .

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 6:21 PM

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I was thinking the same thing when I read the open letter, but doesn't hurt to give this a shot and the only two possible results are:

(1) we're stuck where we are on our present track (nothing wrong with that)

or

(2) web developers will have a huge gain knowing that future browsers will render exactly the same on all browsers and platforms, and Mozilla will get a boost from MS contributions.

There is wishful thinking involved but it is a good idea, and not 100% impossible.

<:3)~~

#4 A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering

by zontar

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 6:19 PM

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I'm all for it but I just don't see it happening in the immediate future.

Not without some sort of fait accompli to nudge Microsoft along in that direction.

What I'm sort of hoping will happen is that non-casual MSIE users can be induced to try out Adam L's NGLayout ActiveX plugin for MSIE. And that they'll like it, and tell their friends. :-)

#6 Hate to say it, but this is a bad idea ...

by Anon

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 7:59 PM

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Let's just stop and think about this, shall we?

The supporters of Mozilla (of which the MozillaZine audience is a considerable sample) have several reasons for supporting the project.

(1) They are surfers, who want a cool browser.

(2) They are Web designers, who want everyone's browser to be standards-compliant, to save their sanity.

(3) They are hackers, and love the idea that their browser is going to be open source -- so they can fiddle with the code, and rely on quick bug-fixes (by themselves or by the community).

Often, people will support Mozilla for *more* than one of these reasons.

Now, this proposal is good for those Mozillans with reason (2), but is bad for those with both reasons (1) and (3). Why? Because if IE lays out pages as well and as quickly as Mozilla does, there will be even less reason for people to switch from IE to Mozilla.

Remember, IE is bundled with just about everything Microsoft puts out these days (and with MacOS, too), so if you want to use Navigator you have to expend some effort. And if IE lays out pages just as well as Mozilla does, there will be less incentive for people to expend that effort.

IE will gain further market share, so there will be less enthusiasm in the Mozilla project, so there will be less support, and fewer bug-fixes, and Mozilla will fall further and further behind.

The end result? The /de facto/ standard browser will (a) not be the cool one (where's my XUL?), and (b) not be the open-source one.

Which would be a great pity.

-- mpt

#14 Hate to say it, but this is a bad idea ...

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 3:25 AM

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The reasons I wrote this letter was to move conentration on chossing which browser to use based on whether they lay out pages correctly on your favourite sites and rather choose the browser on it's features. Remember I'm just advocating that they use the layout engine rather than just rip off Mozilla entirely.

Gecko can then be the refernce implementation of the standards and both Microsoft and any other Mozilla developers would have to ensure that it kept up and fixed all the bugs to make sure it complied 100% with all the standards.

#26 Reference implementation? Impossible

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 11:06 PM

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Dave Usher wrote:

`Gecko can then be the refer[e]nce implementation of the standards and both Microsoft and any other Mozilla developers would have to ensure that it kept up and fixed all the bugs to make sure it complied 100% with all the standards.'

<HAL>I'm sorry, Dave, you can't do that.</HAL>

*giggle* ... <cough/>

As I was saying. You can't do a reference implementation of HTML. Reference implementations of a specification only make sense if the specification was intended to be interpreted in only one way -- HTTP, for example, or TCP/IP.

However, single-minded interpretation is the very *antithesis* of HTML. HTML was deliberately designed so that it could be rendered in a huge variety of ways.

Some of these variations in interpretation are the result of the device: a terminal-based browser is going to render the META description of a page differently from a search engine, for example. And some of these variations are the result of individual choice (of browser, or browser preference).

Take a simple example. Let's say that Gecko indents bulleted lists (ULs) and IE's engine doesn't. (Without either engine handy, I don't know if this is the case, but it's just an example.) Now, if IE adopts Mozilla's rendering engine, some people will start assuming that UL == indentation, because that's how it works on `both' browsers. So they'll start using UL to indent text. And when you complain to them that it's not following the standard, they'll say to you: `what do you mean? Gecko *is* the standard'.

As other posters have noted, having both Mozilla and IE using Gecko will only encourage Web site developers to think that `the way Gecko does it' == `the way it is'. And those people who use browsers other than Mozilla and IE (and who are *entitled* to use those other browsers) will be worse off.

-- mpt

#7 What about choice?

by Anon

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 8:09 PM

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Even if it's an open source monopoly, a monopoly is not a good thing for consumers. Right now, one of the main factors in causing browsers to get better, faster, etc. is competition: the "browsers wars".

As it is now, in my opinion, the IE rendering engine is superiour to Netscape's (i.e. the one used in NS 4.61). IE's engine is quicker, modular, and has better standards support. It has some disadvantages too, of course, the biggest one being lack of cross-platform compatiblity, but on Win32 I would have to say than it is currently better than Netscape. (Yes, this could be argued, but it's very difficult to say that IE's engine is markedly inferiour to NS's.) This wasn't always the case; up until IE3/NS4, Netscape's engine was better than IE's. It currently seems like Mozilla is set to overtake IE. This isn't a certainty; after all, Mozilla in its current state is buggy and slow, and while it shows huge amounts of promise it's impossible to say what the finished product will be. Also, because MS has a closed development process, we simply don't know what their latest engine is; after all, IE5 was released a long time ago.

Anyway, this is just to say that there still isn't a clear superiority and that, because of competetion, the browsers have been maturing, changing, and exchanging the crown. If there is no competition, then it's doubtful that browsers will continue to mature as quickly as they have done.

This is all irrelevant, though: there's not a chance that MS will actually use Mozilla. It just isn't going to happen. After all, AOL is probably MS' biggest competitor - they're not going to use a browser which is tied very tightly to AOL.

#15 What about choice?

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 3:29 AM

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At the moment AOL's browser is highly dependent on MS so why not let it be the other way round? (of course I'm on about the AOL browser not Netscape or Mozilla).

It's open source so if someone wasn't happy with the standards implemented in Mozilla they could start their own rendering engine and use the Mozilla code as a starting point if they wanted too. Microsoft would also be free to go with another implementation if they wanted to.

But I still think a browser should compete on features not on a layout engine.make all standards compliant pages render the same in any browser

#8 A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 8:57 PM

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MS is using IE, or trying to use it, to promote technologies that favor Windows. Mozilla is not one of those. It won't happen.

#9 We can already _get_ Gecko into IE...

by Anon

Tuesday September 14th, 1999 9:03 PM

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Guys, remember that Gecko can be wrapped in an ActiveX control, and downloaded on command into an IE browser. I really would love to see everyone make the ActiveX control as small as possible. Then, we could code to the web standards, and if someone is using IE then the Gecko control would be downloaded and installed on command....

Does anyone know if someone is working on making the ActiveX control have ease-of-use for automated downloading into IE?

#24 A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering

by badben

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 7:33 PM

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What do we do, when we find him using WebTV or so? No problem, Linux is open source and fits on one disk, too. Let's push a new OS to him, install it, reboot and reload the webpage in the startup script.

#10 We need more engines not one

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 1:30 AM

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The desire to have ONE rendering engine is the result of the current problems people have with incompatible browsers and versions. Is this really the best solution to the problem?

Is competition a bad thing?

It's already bad enough that people talk about supporting the "two" browsers and various versions, as if there are only two. Giving one rendering engine a seal of approval means that any other implementation will face problems because even "mostly" standards compliant engines will have bugs. The bugs in the "official" engine will become the real standard. There is really no point in having standards at all if there will be only one implementation. The standards bodies could just turn out implementations instead of wasting the effort on specifications.

I'd rather have as many engines as possible out there. Each one should implement standards of course, and any bugs should be corrected. One size doesn't fit all and competition has a role to play.

Do we really want "best viewed with the only true rendering engine" banners floating around? I know I'd rather have "best viewed with any standard compliant browser" banners. I realize that this is just a dream, but it is a dream worth pursuing. Besides, this rendering engine probably wouldn't work on all the classes of devices that will be using browsers (whether they need to or not) in the future.

Pages should not need to be designed with any particular engine in mind. Having a single rendering engine does nothing to address this problem, it just hides the problem and encourages the same old "it works on X, therefore it is correct" mentality. Instead, content should be designed with the intent of supporting browsers which implement standards X,Y,Z.

On a more technical note, the rendering engine does interface with other parts of the browser and tacking on a new UI for each browser might not allow enough flexibility to implement special features in the different browsers. The interface to and/or the implementation of the engine would limit the capabilities of browsers which use it.

Diversity is a good thing. Not just in rendering engines, but in all different parts of browsers, software in general, and even in biology. Independent implementations reduce the scope of security bugs for example.

It might make some people feel better if there was only one rendering engine, but it is not the solution to our current problems. I'd rather have at least a few herds of people than a single herd.

#12 Re:We need more engines not one

by davefiddes

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 2:51 AM

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I have to agree with this point of view.

What we need are a bundle of standards compliant web browsers. Each advancing the state of the art in their own way not one unified browser.

If you think back to when Netscape was the "one" browser before IE and Opera we're serious choices... Netscape was forever setting the defacto standard and ignoring existing standards efforts. Admitedly this was because the standards were insufficient but even so the same situation would arise again should NGLayout become the rendering engine of the web.

The fact that the browser is Open Source would probably accelerate the effect I suspect. Anyone who has been part of an active OSS development has seen how it can sometimes snowball...

Another reason for not wanting NGLayout to become the rendering engine of the net is that is would harm non-PC like devices like handhelds. By sticking to standards it will be possible to build sites that degrade gracefully on lower spec platforms like PDAs/phones which will not be capable of running Mozilla for some time.

#16 We need more engines not one

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 3:36 AM

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I think the web standards people would be opn Mozillas back if they started deviating away from the standards and anyway if IE doesn't use Mozilla it won't be totally compliant (the Windows version of IE5) so you'd still have the best viewed in IE and the best viewed in Mozilla banners.

If Microsoft, Netscape and even Opera adopted the Mozilla engine we coul;d get close to saying 'best viewed in any browser' and as long as they maintain the standards this would be a good thing.

Other people could compete with Gecko if they wanted to but I'd rather it be open source people who did this. If MS competes with Gecko and say's it's standards compliant they could change this at any moment and we wouldn't see the source. This would be like 'embrace and extend' all over again. If MS use Gecko we can see what they're doing if they were to be sneaky.

#11 PROPRIETARY INTERNET is M$'s Goal

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 2:16 AM

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The whole reason that Microsoft wanted to compete with Netscape is that it wants to create a PROPRIETARY INTERNET.

When Microsoft enters a new market, they would openly support standards (W3C,IM) and bundle. Then it'd develope some "innovative" extentions that eventually turns the standard into a subset of Microsoft's own standard.(java)

Remember Chromeffects? If every web site utilizes Chromeffects (which is available on Windows only), then Windows would be the only way to surf the Internet.

Same thing with browsers! Microsoft would never choose to be compliant to the standards (DHTML). Gecko is too standard compliant that Microsoft will never use it.

<gordoncy@yahoo.com>

#13 There can't be only one.

by leafdigital

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 3:02 AM

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Don't forget that people may browse the internet using odd devices like PDAs and speech browsers - these people aren't going to be using the Mozilla layout engine. That's an important reason why we need to move to the newer standards (CSS etc.), because the current mess with frames/tables/etc. hacks makes it difficult for non-graphical (or less graphical) browsers to view pages. Of course, the current/future mess with scripting will have the same result but...

What's the deal with wanting one single layout engine, anyway? That's the way Microsoft think, but I know many round here are ridiculously, rabidly anti-MS, and in that particular point this would be a good thing...

--sam

#17 They should go for it.

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 5:16 AM

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I've posted messages here on MZ before proposing this idea.

Just as is said in the article, the ground for competition is not the rendering engine, but rather the interface and desktop.

Microsoft is successful today because of the tools and support it provides its developers. Microsoft alone can provide tools to developers that say 'Do it my way and have it done in a week' as opposed to 'try it another way, and be at it for months'.

It doesnt matter whether one technology is better than the other, the IT man will go with the first statement 99% of the time.

Microsoft has secured its position in this way by studiously avoiding standards, and stamping them out where possible. But now the game is up, and on this front it really has no option. The collective outside of Microsofts word will soon outweigh any advantage MS can give its developers by staying proprietory.

Besides, MS can still try sticking extra bits into the code, and providing tools that leverage those typically 'bent' add-ons.

Iv got a sportsmans bet with a friend that MS will adopt by mid 2002..

#18 Standards are not everything

by erik <erik@eae.net>

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 6:04 AM

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One thing a lot of Mozilla fans (and anti MS people) have forgotten is that the current standards are not complete. Therefor there is today no way to create a web application (or anything except static HTML) without using non standard solutions.

#20 HTML + CSS1/2 + ECMAScript

by SomeSmartAss

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 7:20 AM

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= Standards Complient Web App.!!

For a back end, you could use perl (not a standard, but it is standardized across platforms) Or you can use Sun's Enterprise Java Beans + JSP's to do dynamic page updates too. They've developed an open standard for these technologies that most other IT companies are supporting (don't think MS is yet)

#19 Standards are not everything

by erik <erik@eae.net>

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 6:53 AM

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One thing a lot of Mozilla fans (and anti MS people) have forgotten is that the current standards are not complete. Therefor there is today no way to create a web application (or anything except static HTML) without using non standard solutions.

#21 Choice

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 12:57 PM

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Say you are sitting in a room using a web browser that could use multiple rendering engines. You don't know who wrote them and you don't know if they were developed using open source or not. Does it really matter who developed them? Does it really matter if it is open source or not? I don't think it does. If the engine performs well and implements current web standards (and fills the gaps with "common practice" if the standards don't cover a specific area), it would be a "good" engine. Of course this is only the opinion of the USER of the engine, so depending on how much you value the user's (not the content developers', or browser developers') opinion this method of choosing an engine might not be a good one.

On the open source issue, one might ask "what if people want to extend it?" If you want to extend it and it's open source, go right ahead. If it is closed source and extending it is the most important factor in your decision, well I guess you should find another browser that implements the feature or is open source. Better yet help develop ANOTHER rendering engine. Implementations from the ground up might be seen by some as wasted effort, but I see it as a way to offer choice. There is no perfect implementation. There are different kinds of users.

I've seen people say that alternate engines are fine as long as they are open source. Or as long as they use the mozilla engine as a foundation. Or as long as they don't come from MS.

I'm willing to consider using an engine developed from the ground up using closed source techniques. I don't know if I'd go so far as to use a MS browser, but who knows <g>

I want choice. I'd be happier if there were 5 more Opera like browsers out there. I'm using Opera as an example because it is a big non-"big two" browser out there. I'd rather have the "wasted effort" of distinct (no common heritage) standards based rendering engines than be forced down the tunnel with only MS and mozilla.

"Best viewed using any browser" should not implicitly mean "best viewed using engine X, the master of the universe engine"

#22 Choice

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 1:36 PM

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Say you are sitting in a room using a web browser that could use multiple rendering engines. You don't know who wrote them and you don't know if they were developed using open source or not. Does it really matter who developed them? Does it really matter if it is open source or not? I don't think it does. If the engine performs well and implements current web standards (and fills the gaps with "common practice" if the standards don't cover a specific area), it would be a "good" engine. Of course this is only the opinion of the USER of the engine, so depending on how much you value the user's (not the content developers', or browser developers') opinion this method of choosing an engine might not be a good one.

On the open source issue, one might ask "what if people want to extend it?" If you want to extend it and it's open source, go right ahead. If it is closed source and extending it is the most important factor in your decision, well I guess you should find another browser that implements the feature or is open source. Better yet help develop ANOTHER rendering engine. Implementations from the ground up might be seen by some as wasted effort, but I see it as a way to offer choice. There is no perfect implementation. There are different kinds of users.

I've seen people say that alternate engines are fine as long as they are open source. Or as long as they use the mozilla engine as a foundation. Or as long as they don't come from MS.

I'm willing to consider using an engine developed from the ground up using closed source techniques. I don't know if I'd go so far as to use a MS browser, but who knows <g>

I want choice. I'd be happier if there were 5 more Opera like browsers out there. I'm using Opera as an example because it is a big non-"big two" browser out there. I'd rather have the "wasted effort" of distinct (no common heritage) standards based rendering engines than be forced down the tunnel with only MS and mozilla.

"Best viewed using any browser" should not implicitly mean "best viewed using engine X, the master of the universe engine"

#23 MS will never go for it

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 7:13 PM

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Micro$oft will not, and can not afford to, an open source browser engine or any other open source software because: 1) it would provide a way for people outside Micro$oft to see just how abysmal their code really is (as with the recently discovered Java VM and IE5 security bugs which are primarily the result of sloppy programming), 2) it might reveal how much of their code is actually stolen from somebody else (anyone remember DoubleSpace/DriveSpace?), and 3) why should they when they are probably going to use the code anyway once they've added enough of their own incompatabilities, and just ignore the open source license (licenses are, after all, for the "little people" not Micro$oft).

While I will admit to being prejudiced against Micro$oft, it is because in the years I have worked in the software industry I have seen too many instances where they have ignored not only legality but also business ethics and even the needs of their own clients. And I'm not only refering to the average Windoze user who has to contend with an operating system that thinks it knows more about what the user wants than the user does, but also to developers who often spend thousands of dollars each year for subscriptions only to get outdated software and application interfaces that are incompatable with even the current release, let alone the pending one.

#25 Why would this help Microsoft?

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 10:20 PM

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Microsoft's rendering engine on Win32 is amazingly sophisticated for a Microsoft product. It supports CSS pretty much completely-down to specifying the font, color, border, and background of form input boxes! It can also do neat things like layer transitions, and you can even rotate layers. Sure, Mozilla might be able to do that when it is released, but that will be at least a few months away. IE is also quite speedy, and it also allows HTML "Applications" to act as normal Windows programs. Oh yes, IE hasn't been based on Mosaic/Spyglass since version 3. It will be interesting to see whether Mozilla can beat IE.

Mozilla's real strength is in its platform-independence-it runs on dozens of platforms, while IE only works (usefully) on one. After all, if your web page only works on one platform, why not just make a proprietary program? Mozilla works equally well on many platforms, s creating Internet applications with DHTML will actually be useful.

Although Mozilla is already far ahead in platform support, it is up for stiff competition against IE's Win32 rendering engine.

#27 A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering

by zontar

Thursday September 16th, 1999 1:24 AM

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"[MSIE] can also do neat things like layer transitions, and you can even rotate layers."

These are instances of non-standard technologies (and they're Windows-specific, to boot). They have nothing to do with HTML, CSS, or DOM.

"IE hasn't been based on Mosaic/Spyglass since version 3."

I beg to differ:

"Based on NCSA Mosaic. NCSA Mosaic(TM); was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Distributed under a licensing agreement with Spyglass, Inc." Source: IE 5's Help file.

Yes, it would be a great deal of fun to see MS adopt Moz' layout engine (even if we know it's not likely to happen) -- OTOH, as others have pointed out, it would be even better if we had a number of browsers/rendering engines, all adhering to the standards and competing on their (other) merits.

#28 response to something up there

by Anon

Thursday September 16th, 1999 4:52 AM

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"The collective outside of Microsofts word will soon outweigh any advantage MS can give its developers by staying proprietory."

That's an argument for MS to support standards (which I'm pretty sure they will get around to at least for 100% CSS1 pretty soon after Mozilla release, if not before - cf Mac IE5), not an argument for them to adopt Mozilla's layout engine (which they won't do).

--sam

#29 Gecko isn't that great....

by Anon

Saturday September 18th, 1999 9:57 PM

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Wake up. Wake Up. Sun's out!

Netscape is an example of fucking with the wrong guys. They don't learn.

It's like netscape is a little guy with a stick and a soda and microsoft is a big strong guy with a shot gun. If the big guy wants the soda, you shouldn't hit him with the stick....

netscape pissed MS off, and now they got what they were asking for.

And anyway, IE5, is faster and more compatible. Mozilla is a failure. Get over it.

#30 Sad but true

by Anon

Sunday September 19th, 1999 11:49 PM

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I want so much to believe that Mozilla will ride again, but I just can&#8217;t believe Microsoft will let that happen. I was with Netscape from the beginning, bought stock literally day two, after visiting their booth at COMDEX and seeing the flabbergasting concept of client-side scripting in the soon to be released Netscape 2.0. I went on to build many sites which simply would not run on IE. I proclaimed Mozilla as the one true browser.

Fast forward to now. I&#8217;m a corporate Intranet developer with a fortune 100 company, working in Java, ActiveX, XML, and Shockwave just to name a few. Our company has been on IE since 4.0, and with the arrival of 5.0, begun pushing rich XML, XSL, CSS pages extensively. I wish, oh how I wish that these technologies were available in NS4.x, but I get paid for only one thing: deliverables. Microsoft makes it very, very easy to work with all the technologies, regardless of reliability. The reason for this is the same reason that Mozilla, and for that matter the remaining Netscape arm may be doomed: Microsoft is playing for keeps.

You and I, (the developer community), select our products and technologies based on what excites us, what we like to play with. The enthusiastic hacks who marched in droves into Netscape&#8217;s gleaming new office did so because it was a cool product, and a cool place to work. They built a stunning product, which for one brief moment promised to free us all from the stranglehold Microsoft has steadily placed us in. NS4 exists for one reason only, because Microsoft missed the point of the Internet for almost two years, until Netscape began making statements about how the browser would become the interface to your machine, and that OS&#8217;s would become interchangeable. Microsoft did here that. It was a direct threat.

So began the famous Internet turnaround at Microsoft. What happened to all those programmers who built NS4? Why is Netscape building the next version though open source? Because they work for Microsoft now. (Those of you who know what I&#8217;m taking about, know some of the names..) This did two things for Microsoft. 1) It built the DOM based rendering engine in IE5, and 2) prevents Netscape from rolling Mozilla before IE6 is ready. They have the money, they have the talent, and they have the Justice Department at bay. They are relaxing right now because they are on top, but if Mozilla is a threat, they&#8217;ll just throw another huge pile of money at it.

Think about it. IE5 is the single best product from Microsoft, because they are playing for keeps. Worst of all, every line of the Mozilla code is open-source, to you, me and Microsoft. They are free to take all our best efforts, merge it into IE, (and any other products which could use it), and sell it as their own. The only way to escape is to break the bonds of Win32.