Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

Monday November 8th, 1999

Eric Krock has a request for anyone report DOM bugs:

"Please bookmark the below URLs!!!

If you hit a page that doesn't display well or has JavaScript errors in Nav5 (Mozilla) because the page uses MS IE4/5 DOM features, Nav4 Layer DOM features, or the LAYER/ILAYER tag, DON'T FILE A BUG in Bugzilla. Instead, use the below email creation templates to send an email to the page's owner asking them to upgrade the page to support W3C standards.

If the page supports IE4/5 but not HTML 4.0/W3C DOM:

If the page supports Nav4 but not HTML 4.0/W3C DOM:

If the page is breaking because of user agent detection problems:

(Use that one when a page doesn't work or has a JavaScript error because the client-side JavaScript isn't detecting the Navigator 5 Mozilla/5.0 userAgent string, or discover that a server-side CGI is returning the wrong page because it's not detecting the Mozilla/5.0 HTTP USER_AGENT string or is choking on its HTTP 1.1 CONTENT_TYPE string.)

Likewise, if you're examining a bug report in Bugzilla and realize it's caused by these issues, mark the bug INVALID. Then use the email creation templates to notify the bug reporter and the page owner of the need to upgrade. Bugs closed as INVALID in this way count half a point in the BugAThon!

Hint to avoid filing bogus bugs: if content on a page doesn't position correctly or there's a JavaScript error, do a View Source and look (or copy and paste and search in a text editor) for the strings document.all and layer (case insensitive). If you find those strings in the JavaScript or the HTML markup, think twice before filing a bug. Create a simplified test case without the proprietary features and see if the problems still occurs.

#42 Dear Jesse

by michaell

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 10:10 PM

You are replying to this message

Your story is inaccurate. The browser war is far from over.

1. Netscape 5 does support XML. Mozilla already has it working. In fact, the whole user interface of Netscape 5 is specified in XML, CSS and Javascript. This revolutionary technology is known as XUL. Download Mozilla at <> and try it for yourself.

2. Giving over Java development to Sun is a good thing. It means Netscape will always have the latest version of Java integrated. Netscape has an "Open Java Interface" and users can plug in any Java Virtual Machine they want. As Sun releases each new Java version, users can download it and plug it straight into Netscape 5 (something Microsoft IE can't do).

3. AOL hasn't made Netscape their official browser, yet. I guess we will have to wait until Netscape 5 is released and see what happens.

4. Netscape 5 is a year late, but then this is because they decided to rewrite the browser from scratch. Netscape 5 will be a far more modern and standards compliant browser than IE 5. It will also introduce a very powerful technology for building cross-platform user interfaces using XML, CSS and Javascript (something Microsoft IE can't do).

5. It is good that Netscape has opened its source code to the outside world. Everyone but Microsoft will be the better for it. Users will especially benefit because they will gain a browser with far fewer bugs (due to the widespread scrutiny of the program by people outside Netscape), and with extra features written by non-Netscape developers.

Netscape may have trouble regaining its market share by the time Netscape 5 is released, but it certainly won't be because Netscape 5 is technically inferior. Microsoft has a huge advantage in the market share war by forcing IE onto all Windows user's desktops by bundling it with Windows. Microsoft has needed to use these and other (probably) illegal practices to gain market share from Netscape.

I don't think it is clever to scream about Netscape's imminent demise just because 60% of companies recently choose IE over Netscape. It wasn't all that long ago that these statistics were reversed. Things change very quickly in the computer industry. Netscape will soon have a browser which matches and in many ways will be superior to IE. Netscape is still the most popular browser on Linux, and as the open source development community snowballs behind Netscape, we will see an acceleration of Netscape's browser development. We still don't know what will happen as a result of the Microsoft anti-trust trial, and the results of this may too have a substantial benefit for the ability of Netscape to regain it's lost market share. Netscape is far from dead. The newly rewritten code, and a growing community of outside developers will give Netscape the edge over Microsoft in the coming years as it seeks to regain what has recently been lost.

Please spend more time to write a more accurate story next time.