Jesse Berst Says that Communicator Won't Support XML!!!

Wednesday November 10th, 1999

Joel Caris writes in with the latest Berst burst of wisdom. Jesse Berst's new article at ZDNet's AnchorDesk is filled with such pearls as, "It now expects to ship beta of the 5.0 version of its browser suite next month... [a]nd without support for key Web technologies such as XML that IT managers and Web developers can get from IE."

Damn. And I was under the impression that the entire Mozilla application required XML to power its user-interface, and that it's XML support throughout the application was unparalleled. Silly me.

Be sure to vote in the poll on the article's page!

#23 Copy of feedback to AnchorDesk

by jensend <>

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 9:54 AM

You are replying to this message

I can't believe that AnchorDesk has been so degraded recently that it has to spew out a story like this which is mostly false and uninformed. AOL doesn't put Netscape in its main AOL client because 1) they can't, they have a license agreement with Microsoft which is expiring soon, 2) they don't want Microsoft to get out of legal trouble easily when they no longer have a monopoly thanks to AOL switching, and 3) they are using it in other clients such as the new main European effort, Netscape Online. Netscape's market share in other countries is still extremely healthy and it will be okay in the US as soon as AOL's agreement with Microsoft expires and AOL puts the Mozilla project in its clients. In addition, your article says that Mozilla will not support standard web technologies such as XML. If you knew anything about Mozilla, you would know that the entire browser is based around XML and is 100% W3C standards compliant- Microsoft's browser can't even compete in this field, much less be the only decision for people who need XML. XML in Mozilla is much more advanced than anything Microsoft has come up with.

However, the main error AnchorDesk falls into, which is an extremely common error, is to assume that the fact that Microsoft has released a 5.0 version number means that their browser is superior. Netscape 4.5 is the equivalent of IE 5.0 in almost every respect. IE 5 and Netscape 4.5 were both mostly cosmetic changes to the 4.0x browsers. Netscape should have released 4.5 as 5- this has caused a lot of confusion among users. Mozilla, which will be the root of Communicator 5, is in many respects similar to the details of Microsoft's upcoming browser which will be IE6, looking at the few details that have been released- both are completely new rendering engines and pledge 100% W3C standards support. Netscape has already proved that they will accomplish this- downloading the latest Milestone Release of Mozilla confirms this. Whether or not Microsoft's effort to build a new rendering engine and support W3C standards will be successful is yet to be seen.