Reader Comments -- Netscape Navigator 6.0 to Fail Standards Compliance

Your 1,307 Responses...


s. Books on various programming languages, web technologies and operating systems.

How does one choose the right books, though? Well, you can start by elminating any books by O'Reilly as potential purchases. If they condone this type of nonsense, then who knows what kind of tripe you're going to find in their books?

Thank you, David, for making the choice that much clearer.

P.S. Anyone care to guess which browser I'm using to post this message? :>

A Logical Guy

November 14th, 2000   9:50 PM

Why would someone change from an earlier version of NS if version 6 is not standards compliant? NS 4.x doesn't meet the standards either, so one may as well stick with a 4.x version or use Mozilla, with it's more up-to-date patches.

The world's already waited 2 years, what's another couple of weeks?

Colin Kershaw

November 14th, 2000   9:31 PM

As someone who has preferred Netscape for years, now I feel they
should just pack it in or write utilities for IE. Let IE handle
compliance, so us web developers can get it right the first time.

John Ralston

November 14th, 2000   9:12 PM

Netscape 6 is not prepared to defend itself as a non-beta browser. There are simply too many issues that have been ignored. Please AOL, get a clue!


November 14th, 2000   9:01 PM

This is absolutely pathetic. Netscape has yet to produce a decent browser that is compliant with the set standards. As a developer, I'm getting sick of having to develop for such a horrible piece of software. Wouldn't the world just be better if we rid ourselves of Netscape? (:

Pete Gullekson

November 14th, 2000   8:14 PM

i'm just a lowly web developer who wants a single set of standards to conform to :(


November 14th, 2000   8:13 PM

This is not complicated... Either make 6.0 standards compliant or plan to get out of the market!

Just think what could be done if every developer on the planet didn't have to spent countless hours trying to adjust their code to make it "cross browser" compatible.

It is amazing that anyone uses Netscape at all now... If you screw this up, it will be amazing to find anyone who even remembers what Netscape was.

D.C. Developer

November 14th, 2000   7:24 PM

NN 6.0, in addition to exhibiting numerous JavaScript mishandling problems, has an anomaly demonstrated at app start-up. 90% of the time on my NT 4.0 SP6a machine the process starts, but the app GUI does not. Have seen a similar problem reported on the Bugzilla site.

It's a shame AOL felt it had to release this bugware as I like what appears to be a better GUI from the usability/aesthetics standpoint. Of course AOL inflicts 25 million users with its (most often buggy) proprietary internet s/w, so why am I not surprised?

Put it back in the garage until it runs without stalling and backfiring like my old 1962 Falcon.

Michael Shaw

November 14th, 2000   6:42 PM

What is with the fonts ? Why does Netscape 6 show the default font as a whole point lower ? Netscape 4.7 does not show this. Neither does IE 4.x/5.x ... Its a nice browser ... but still many NOTICEABLE bugs ...

At least Microsoft is good at hiding their bugs!

Jaroslaw Popowicz

November 14th, 2000   6:15 PM

Well, I am using Netscape 6 and IE5.5 , and I have to say that Netscape is a lot faster at downloading pages. If they can get things a little more stable, I am using that rather than IE?

Question: Why does Netscape display pages so good and so fast? Compared to IE? Is there some setting adjustments you can give me so I can use IE, and still get fast results? (ie, cache, advanced settings)

Rob L

November 14th, 2000   4:41 PM

It's Alpha quality. It failed my basic test suite, it wasn't even worth trying anything advanced.

PLEASE don't hand it to Microsoft on a plate like this!

David Stevenson

November 14th, 2000   2:12 PM

i've been a web developer since 1993 and ever since internet explorer version 4.01 was launch, it made netscape looks worst then dirt.

for the past 4 years, i've converted every person (that's a web desinger / developer) to see that IE is a much better browser to develop & design a website with. and for those who want to see how i challenge others, drop me an email... i'm more then willing to show you.

for many versions come and gone, netscape had never handle simple table width/height % or px the logical way or should i say the proper way... a 100% width of a table should suggest the size of the window being displayed, and if i were to create another table within it and add a few cell with different %, it should logically be calculated from the parent table width in pixel, but no... that's not the case, everything looks like hell! but that's how we the users... the human thinks math wise. do correct me if i'm wrong. and even Netscape 6 full release still does it... if you don't believe me, try it on your own! if you don't know how to do it, email me and i'll show you! but think about that, that's just the simpliest and mostly used on websites.

every good developer or designer i know says that netscape should just dump the entire project down the dumps. its a waist of our time, and money to make website compliant to a browser that really reaks... our stress level are high because trying to make the sites complient and look good on netscape also. its literary creating a hell for us.

when we the designers and developers has a get togather, we joke and play down netscape like no bodies' business. frankly speaking, that's not good at all, not at all. plus, most people i know that like netscape, and the reason behind that its because they will have nothing to do with Microsoft, but even them... they're switching back to ie because they're tired of netscape.

just a note mr. netscape... even my mom likes IE more. that's really sad. pull your socks up, and shape up people!


hanns chong

November 14th, 2000   1:50 PM

If you compare Netscape 6 with Internet Explorer 5.5 you will see that Netscape follows almost perfectly follows the current HTML and CSS standards while IE fails in several ways. Just take a look at W3C's CSS test suite at

Martin Vollrathson

November 14th, 2000   1:48 PM

I am completely disappointed in Netscape and its failure to adhere to its own open-source program. Please, implement the Mozilla fixes; don't make the mistake of releasing an unfinished product. Hurried short term gains make for long term failures.

Dan Smith

Daniel V Smith

November 14th, 2000   12:56 PM

I have struggled with Netscape compatibilty for good long time now. Since my site isn't a business or major e-commmerce site, I finally given up on trying to achive this - why should I write my code twice??

I hope other will follow this, maybe then something will be done about it - I notify visitors to my site with a pop-up that since they are using netscape, they will not be viewin gthe site as it is intended to be viewed and from that point on, I totally disregard Netscape compatibility in my pages.

I learned CSS from the W3C documentation, so I learned it according to standards - netscape's implementation of that has been partial, at best.

Maybe if people realized that all of a sudden, websites look like crap in NS, they will quit using it and force NS to actually conform to the standards.

And what is with NS6 taking 2 full minutes to load after launching? _ I guess that should be addressed in another story....

Eric Schuler

November 14th, 2000   11:41 AM

I think netscape should look more at the consequinces of releasing an unstable product. Microsoft who seems to have done a fairly good job with IE will continue to take the majority of users. Netscape needs to learn that in order for their browser to make it, they have to built a quality stable product.

Seth Novosel

November 14th, 2000   9:02 AM


We just had a huge discussion on Netscape 6 in the Cooker (development) mailing list for Linux-Mandrake.

The general feeling is Netscape 6 is too buggy to include in the distribution and Mandrake should stick with 4.7X- Strike One

I have built several systems for other people and installed Netscape 4.7X and will continue to do so until the COMPLIANCE bugs are fixed. So are other computer builders- Strike Two

Web developers and embedded system builders will be looking at how well Netscape 6 handles the standards since evem IE 5.5 doesn't follow all of them. They will more than likely base their decisions on what browser to choose from thecompliance and stability of the product. NS6 has problems in both areas.- Strike Three

The way to take back a share of the market is to release a SUPERIOR product, not a buggy product. This apparently is not Netscapes philosophy- Game Over

Alternate OSes. KDE Konqueror is starting to shape up nicely. Once plug-in developers adapt their code to run under Konqueror, Netscape will be dropped by most Linux users. Why? a lack of standards compliance and too many bugs.

Sam Walker

November 14th, 2000   8:58 AM

I am a long time Netscape fan. And I have used beta browsers in the past. But this is the first time I have ever used a NS beta version 3 that was a dissapointment. I tried to use it just for browsing the web in general. But I deleted it from my computer last week because it is too dysfuntional. And I didn't even think about using a beta in this condition to test my web pages. I couldn't believe it when I read the article stating this is ready to release. If this is an indication of what is to come in version 6.0, I'll wait for 6.1, or maybe 6.5. And I definitely will not make any of my sites comply to this garbage.

Bruce Coffman

November 14th, 2000   8:52 AM

Iam appalled to note that Netscape is releasing its latest version with lot of Bugs that should have been fixed .Iam a web developer and its is a headache to test the compatibilty in both the the browsers and now this !!!.
Netscape should call it Beta version and they should release the version only after fixing those bugs.

krishnan thulsi doss

November 14th, 2000   8:52 AM

Iam appalled to note that Netscape is releasing its latest version with lot of Bugs that should have been fixed .Iam a web developer and its is a headache to test the compatibilty in both the the browsers and now this !!!.
Netscape should call it Beta version and they should release the version only after fixing those bugs.

krishnan thulsi doss

November 14th, 2000   8:38 AM

The best thing I can say about Netscape 6 is the speed and cleanliness with which the uninstaller works. In it's present state, the best thing web developers can do to ensure functionality of their sites is to include it in their browser check so as to exclude ver 6.0 from access! At least until Netscape get their act together. Who cares if ver 6.0 looks prettier than earlier versions if it's interpretation of fairly basic web code sucks!

John Hunter

November 14th, 2000   8:25 AM

I strongly agree that the release of Navigator 6.0 should be delayed until it is made standards compliant. To release the product with signifcant bugs will only further weaken the product and push users to IE. The process of developing cross browser compatible web pages and applications is difficult enough already. To further complicate the process by allowing known bugs is disastrous.

James C. Johnson III

November 14th, 2000   7:25 AM

Netscape, the browser has long been my favorite. I am severely disappointed in the lack of support for open standards. I am dismayed that the organization that defined JavaScript can not even comply in their own product. It is well understood that it takes time to produce a quality product, even more so when it is an "open" movement. IE is already more compliant than existing stable versions of Netscape. As developers, we care more about standards compliance and less about the browsers own look and feel. How could you allow so many resources to be spent customizing the browser, but not the rendering engine? Please put this one back on the drawing board... Let this version be a release candidate and not the final!

Demitrius Nelon

November 14th, 2000   7:05 AM

I also strongly agree with David. We had considered standardizing on Netscape when 6.0 was finally released; however, based on this article, we will continue with Explorer until these standards issues are addressed.

Steven Carter

November 14th, 2000   6:55 AM

Call me idealistic, but I thought the whole idea and driving force behind the Mozilla project was to develop a more-than-browser, compliant with existing standars and with the capability to adjust to what the future holds.

Being a company, Netscape is of course free to choose the way they want to develop their products, but this sort of behaviour can only result in one thing: that what little hope we held for Netscape in being able to produce any serious competition against IE, is lost.

Miki Wiik

November 14th, 2000   5:56 AM

Do it right the first time Netscape! If you know it's broken and you still release it as a final release and not a beta, you will lose what little following you have left.

Sam Morgan

November 14th, 2000   5:12 AM

I'm not a microsoft fan, nor a detractor, but here there's no mistake : netscape has no future going this way. Previous versions were already annoying (bloody proprietary layer tag !), but this one isn't even compatible with its own previous versions !
I don't know ONE web developper who likes this browser. If version 6 doesn't make up for all this, IE will definitely becomes the only browser. And maybe that's a good thing.

Hubert Razack

November 14th, 2000   4:36 AM

Netscape is one of the last firewall against Microsoft IE. If Netscape fails, it is the open road for Microsoft absolut monopoly. I am a developper for a big firm in mobile phone and I know that it is sometimes hard to make even minor changes approved. But if our phones don't met required standards compatibility, they are simply not sold. It is exactly the same for Netscape: with some much incompatibility, nobody would use it and so all the work done is of no use.

Please, fix the bug !


November 14th, 2000   3:51 AM

DHTML doesn't work in netscape 6.
Even dreamweaver cross-browser code.

I've been surfing 3 DHTML sites with netscape 6 final release and none of them worked. I assume it's because of the layer syntax incompatibility.
This is the most visible bug of netscape and it will crash netscape's reputation for sure.

Alban Cousinié

November 14th, 2000   1:05 AM

This has been ridiculous from the onset. How many hours have been lost trying to get cross-compatibility? When we are finally close to resolution, there are still basic incompatibilities. Admittedly, Microsoft still has some bugs on their end, but wow, what an incredible blunder Netscape. I memory leaked till it crashed my system, just leaving your browser open to a blank page! Maybe the leveraging of the lawsuit against Microsoft really does show their inability to compete in an innovative market.

Mark Jenkins

November 13th, 2000   11:19 PM

Do What Is Right...

Daniel V. Payer

November 13th, 2000   6:58 PM

This is Netscape's last chance to capture any browser market-share. I am happily using IE5 for Mac (as well as iCab and OmniWeb). I will refuse to use (and actively support) and so-called "standards-compliant" browser that is deficient in so many ways. IE5 at least tries harder.

Joshua Jabbour

November 13th, 2000   6:52 PM

I'm pleased to add my name to those asking Netscape to hold off until they have a truly standards-compliant browser.

What worries me the most is the prospect that the window for real standards compliance could well be closing. As Explorer gains market dominance, the incentive for Microsoft to steer clear of proprietary standards drops. We can't be too far now from the point where Redmond can simply tell the development community the standard is Explorer -- take it or leave it.

Netscape, you have an opportunity here that is very rare in the world of software development: the chance to genuinely get it right. I hope you'll take it.

Rob Cottingham

November 13th, 2000   5:49 PM

Final version of Netscape 6 is out on there FTP site ........

As well as themes and such

Rob L

November 13th, 2000   1:22 PM

If netscape doesn't become compliant, any dreamed of market share will be lost.
As a designer myself, I'm tired of having to "rig" code so that it will look the same (or pretty close to it) in IE and Netscape. I'm getting to the point of not even wanting to bother making it look right in Netscape if it isn't a business project.
Standards are set for a reason! The idea is to come closer, not further away!


November 13th, 2000   12:28 PM

Netscape sucks - deal with it...

Oscar Jacobsson

November 13th, 2000   10:13 AM

Last chance Netscape. Release a standards-compliant browser or be forever forgotten...

Már Örlygsson

November 13th, 2000   9:28 AM

Lets join hands and welcome the Netscape six to the world - out of date hippy browser - can't you just conform your code

I think I'll sue for mental anguish.

Here’s a good idea, lets royally screw every corporate site that has been pain stakingly developed to be cross compatible with past versions of Netscape.

I think it's time the developing community has a public voice. I'm sure it would make an interesting headline. I'm sure alot of people will have some interesting opinions.

Luke Hansen

November 13th, 2000   8:50 AM

I knew there was a reason I never liked Netscape, and this just adds fuel to the fire. How awful-what are they thinking?! There are a billion web pages out there, and recoding is not an option: a better browser is.

Kimi B.

November 13th, 2000   8:29 AM

Here's one I hadn't encountered before...

Per ECMA 262, typeof should only return "function" if the object is native and implements a .call() method (printed page 47-48; PDF page 58-59). Regular expressions are a native object type and do not implement a call method. Therefore, this JavaScript URL:

<a href="javascript:alert(typeof(/regExp/));">

should return "object", not "function". It does return "object" in Explorer and Opera, but returns "function" in Navigator (4.7 and 6pr3).

Dave Brown

November 13th, 2000   8:28 AM

We are not going to take on the cost of re-coding all of our sites just because Nescape can't get it right. We are NOT going to develop for this browser or support it until a corrected version is released. I never thought I'd be happier using IE, yet here I am. I've tried the preview versions and I could care less if it's more compliant if even the simple Javascript/DTML won't work!

Jonathan Avedikian

November 13th, 2000   8:27 AM

We demand a recount!

And yes, what they said. We will also not support Netscape 6. So why would people download it and use it if they know the site they want to see won't look or function correctly? And yes, the people will know! Justice!


November 13th, 2000   2:30 AM

You know, I know, and hundreds of other geeks know that this browser is the most standards complient browser out their. You make it sound as if this browser is powered by a 1972 Chevy hooptie, which it is not. Yes it will probably ship with some bugs come 6.0, however lets look at the options we are faced with... 1) Leave Netscape 4.x on the market and keep developing for that 'thing' or 2) release Netscape 6, an extremely standards complient browser.


November 12th, 2000   8:58 PM

I don't suppose you'll listen to the people that could make Netscape 6 a great browser.
Maybe when everyone has left you, you can sit around and tell yourself you did the right thing by ignoring those people.
Please get it right.

Miles Underwood

November 12th, 2000   8:45 PM

After trying Netscape 6 for about 2 weeks all I can say is I'm sickened beyond belief. It is so apparent that AOL's agenda is ruining Netscape even more. All this added crap that we don't want like AOL Instant Messanger and an AOL desktop icon, ooo i don't get enough of those from ICQ and Winamp??? This is the final straw...outside of windows there is very little choice for a good browser...and with microsoft setting more and more proprietory "standards" it's gonna just get harder and harder to compete with IE. I can only hope that microsoft is broken up into the crap that it is..

Christopher Hylarides

November 12th, 2000   6:38 PM

Please wait and fix these issues. We already have a perfectly good non-compliant browser (IE) so we're in NO HURRY to get another. On the other hand, there will be ENOURMOUS developer support for Netscape 6 if you resolve these issues!

Paul Tetley

November 12th, 2000   3:19 PM

Do it right!

Yes, it's late. So, keep in mind why we use Netscape - not just because we hate Microsoft. We are loyal to the Browser who's compliance with existing standards, consistency across platforms, and technical innovation were not at the cost of selling ourselves to a proprietary product. We need to see a product that is standards compliant - not just more so than IE!

Lead us, but with Integrity!

Roy Staples

November 12th, 2000   12:50 PM

Netscape Navigator 6.0 is the last bulwark against the degenerate Microsoft monopoly. Don't screw it up by making it noncompliant with Web standards.

Joseph T. Sinclair

November 12th, 2000   11:47 AM

I agree. I hope NS follows Flannegan's reccomendations before relasing NS 6.

A sloppy release will just make it harder to hold on to the few web developers who still support NS at all.

Lets not forget LDAP either.


November 12th, 2000   11:32 AM

I am tired of waiting for Netscape 6, but I am willing to wait longer for a Netscape 6 that is up to the standars as NS has been advertising.

Netscape will take a big risk if they release Netscape 6 and it isn't mostly perfect in this respect.

There are a *LOT* of web developers out there who are frustrated with Netscape. Many have given up caring whether or not their apps work in Netscape in addition to working in IE.

The ones who do support NS are dangling on a wire that might be broken if NS 6 is a pain to program for like NS 4.*.

I would hate to see that happen


November 12th, 2000   12:02 AM

That's really absurd. Does anybody here knows the standards? Does any one here tested Netscape 6? On the one hand you are bashing Netscape because it is 90% standards compliant and praize IE which is compliant only with the M$ proprietary standards.
What we have here with NS6(right now, minus a few bugs) is a working, usable browser thathas far better standards support than any other browser.
Getting it out of the door soon, and of course continuing work on the next minor
version with bugfixes, is more important than having a perfect release. Perfect releases don't happen, ever.

John Baker

November 11th, 2000   11:37 PM

Microsoft is currently engaged in an astroturf war against Netscape (it's a given). Is Mr. Flanagan part of it?

Jerry Quinnton

November 11th, 2000   10:52 PM

A Netscape with bugs will do nothing but help MS's attempt to dominate the browser market. Give the engineers an extra few weeks to fix these bugs.

Warren Smith

November 11th, 2000   9:28 PM

I agree. I will be downloading a new version whenever one is available but most user's will not. It will cause more backlash against Netscape than it will help.

Ray Hopper

November 11th, 2000   9:26 PM

I agree. I will be downloading a new version whenever one is available but most user's will not. It will cause more backlash against Netscape than it will help.

Ray Hopper

November 11th, 2000   8:12 PM

What? Netscape 6.0 seems kind of useful but with this many bugs that until now i didn't even know about makes me really mad. I'm glad i didn't download it when they had it available for that short time. By the sounds of it, N6 should stay a beta forever.

Brent Roberts

November 11th, 2000   6:47 PM

Netscape should be watching out when they post there stuff. It is not ready yet, and I see on it says that they have released it on there FTP site. Is this correct? I tried it, but it said I do not have permission to view it. Is it coming out Soon?

Rob L.

November 11th, 2000   6:06 PM

As a user, the NN6 release will most probably be good enough as it is.
As a developper, I will still long for the day when I will be able to programme an application just by reading the W3C standards, without having to spend hours trying to find why this tag sequence or that piece of code aren't working.
Netscape and Mozilla project programmers are to be commended for their efforts in trying to make a good product.
What is not acceptable, is for AOL/Netscape management to force the release of a product with non-trivial bugs that are known and well documented.

With this release, Netscape is making sure that developpers will not use the NN6 platform for serious development, rendering the whole exercise of using NN6 pointless. We are then left with 'just another browser' against which there are other alternatives, less bloated and as worthy.


November 11th, 2000   4:45 PM

CAN WE SAY <BLINK>PUBLICITY STUNT</BLINK>. How lame and stupid is this? Geez....duhh, I have alot of free time on my hands so I'll make crap up and hope I get some attention...duhhh. Read WC3, Netscape 6 is 110% more standard compliant than ANY IE version.

Nick Tomkin

November 11th, 2000   2:06 PM

Failing to ship NS 6 as a fully standards compliant browser will enable Microsoft to give the web the final kiss of death via Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows. That event will probably spell the end of the renaissance of alternative and better operating systems, started by the availability of information and applications on the web.

AOL as the parent company of Netscape Communications must realise this. Shipping NS 6 in spring 2001 while maintaining a high degree of standards compliance are IMHO far more important than shipping before winter 2001.

Since Netscape is no longer a household name, a slightly delayed release will likely have little impact on it's direct marketshare. Developers however will be given a platform far more reliable across operating systems than Microsoft's offerings, an advantage far more valuable in the long run.

Ton van der Liet

November 10th, 2000   8:39 PM

Come on guys! If Microsoft did anyhting like this you would be all over it. The fact is Microsoft just deveops better products than Netscrape. It's this kind of thing that caused you to loose the browser war.

David Findley

November 10th, 2000   7:19 PM

I use Netscape Navigator because:
1. Internet Explorer is a huge, inefficient, proprietary, insecure mess.
2. Netscape Navigator is available on lots of platforms (including linux.

Anything else they give me is just a bonus. They are far more standards complient than IE and this makes them the better browser.

Waiting 'till 6.1, I'll keep Mozilla for now ;)
Jackson Dunstan

Jackson Dunstan

November 10th, 2000   6:27 PM

Hey, Netscape

We're trying to support you guys. But jeez!

Get with it, china's.

Mark von Delft
South Africa


November 10th, 2000   6:03 PM

N4 already flopped now they're gonna ensure N6's demise before its released. seems like corporate suicide to me

nathan smith

November 10th, 2000   5:15 PM

This petition is lame. If Netscape releases a product that doesn't work, they'll crash and burn (unlike Microsoft's leeway as a corporate giant who can afford mistakes, Netscape cannot expect people to forgive a buggy product). If the product works and people are happy, then it's all well and good. Your little petition means absolutely nothing. Man, you're an idiot.


November 10th, 2000   4:44 PM

It's bad enough that N4 has degenerated into a steaming pile of doo, but why are you wasting your one chance at salvation by release N6 as a larger steaming pile of doo? The standards are not new and you SHOULD have no issue being compliant with them. WAKE UP! Your users are running out the door as it is. You don't need to chase them with a stick to make them leave faster.

Donna Williams

November 10th, 2000   4:35 PM

It is a shame that after a 2 1/2 year wait, Netscape didn't see fit to delay just another 2-3 months and get bug fixes for these in.

We're going to be recommending to all of our customers to wait until 6.1 or just use the latest stable Mozilla build.

- Bill Edney

William J. Edney

November 10th, 2000   4:33 PM

Put simply, my company will not support Netscape 6 in any form until the browser complies with DOM-0 and ECMA-262 standards that have been public for years.

Scott Shattuck

November 10th, 2000   4:29 PM

Netscape 6.0 isn't fully standards-compliant, but it's definately more compliant than anything else on the market right now. If you want to petition for compliance, you've got more immediate targets in IE, iCab, Neoplanet, etc...


November 10th, 2000   4:25 PM

I am not a technician, I am just a loyal netscape user. Mainly I prefer Netscape's structured Bookmarks system to IE's alphabectic long lists.

Re Netscape 6, I say: take your time and get it right. If you don't, I'm going over to IE next round. I will be sorry to do it, but I will do it.

Sidney Lovas

November 10th, 2000   2:48 PM

Netscape, get with it! Standards are GOOD. Standards make us web developers want to write for your browser. As is, I have to write different code for IE and NS.

Comply with standards. Stop polluting the internet with the junk you've been giving us.


November 10th, 2000   2:00 PM

I am a long time user of the internet, and as a result, I am a long time
user of Netscape. I'm still using the buggy Netscape 4.7 series because
it doesn't contain the ghastly security problems that plague IE. I am
at my wits end, I have just about converted over to IE because Netscape
is so buggy, and for what I hear, 6.0 is going to be no less buggy than

This makes me very sad. Mostly because this will now force the complete
transition to IE as "the browser". Web sites will no longer support
standards, they will support IE. This will give Microsoft the monopoly
in web browsing, and allow them to force any junk down peoples throats.

I have an impassioned plea to the Netscape developers. Make this browser
work properly. Support all the standards correctly. Make this a browser
that you would be proud to add your own personal name to. If you don't
do this, you, and you alone are allowing Microsoft to gain the position
they have desired, and do not deserve, which is the controller of the
content on the internet.

Jon Eaves

November 10th, 2000   1:44 PM

This is a far more serious issue for a web browser than it would be for another application. A developer in one of the mozilla bugs mentioned tongue-in-cheek that this might encourage developers to abandon Netscape for Mozilla. Unfortunately, most of the time, it isn't that simple.

Internet developers (as opposed to intranet or application developers) have no control over the browsers that users choose. However, they are typically forced to support the popular browsers that are out there. With DHTML, this often means working around existing bugs (such as the numerous bugs for Mac IE 5.0). It now looks like Netscape 6 adds yet another really f***-ed up browser to the mix (I don't know how else to phrase it).

Some users may get frustrated with web pages that don't work and may upgrade. However, most will instead blame websites for not writing compatible code!! QA departments will also complain to developers for not writing compatible code. The end result, developers who may currently like Netscape will become VERY upset with Netscape. It's not just that developers may switch to using Mozilla themselves (or use it when developing non-Internet solutions), they'll still have to support Netscape 6 on their sites!

Netscape is ensuring that there is not only bad will towards it, but that this bad will continues for a long time (until everyone moves off 6.0). Most users don't upgrade for minor releases.

We waited and waited and waited for a new version of Netscape, all the while receiving promises that it would be standards-compliant and stable. We could have waited another month. It wouldn't have made ANY difference. Instead, you blew the faith we had in you. So much for your remaining marketshare...

Scott Guelich

November 10th, 2000   12:41 PM

I am a simple user, not a developer. However, as my logs probably show, I use explorer more and more when I am in Windows. My reason is very simple - explorer manages to open sites easily that fail in Netscape (and sometimes Linux mozilla). I have simply grown tired of opening pages which don't work, even though I do not like Microsoft. Netscape does not only need to support standards, but also the common, botched standard (Microsoft) web pages. If they don't support all (or almost all) web pages, I will not use them. It is not a matter of principle, my principles urge me to use Netscape, but a matter of convinence.
Netscape must support all web pages or even its fans will stop using it.

Uri David Akavia

November 10th, 2000   12:22 PM

You bastards! I was really excited at the prospect of building an entire web-application based around the Netscape 6.0 browser, and now this. How frickin' typical.

I keep joking with friends about throwing bricks through Netscape's window on my drive home... perhaps that's the only way you guys can get the message - if it hits you in the forehead and causes you to bleed. Sheesh.

Get with it, or get out of the browser biz.

Sam Bennett

November 10th, 2000   11:49 AM

We're getting closer to standards compliance with Netscape 6.0 but we're obviously not there yet. In my 4 1/2 years of web development, I have become an "expert" on the differences in browsers and the various versions of each browser and their bugs. This has greatly increased the amount of time and effort that it takes to create a good product and my clients are the people who end up paying for this.

This release simply means that the frustrations continue and that I will have to continue to research browser quirks instead of being able to focus all of my attention upon good user-interface design and content delivery.

Michael Gronwold

November 10th, 2000   11:18 AM

Please take the extra time to bring Navigator 6 up to full standards compliance. Become the flagship again by releasing the best product you can release, even if it takes a little longer. The Web development community is willing to wait.

Scott Bynum

November 10th, 2000   10:59 AM

I've lost so much time lately adjusting webpages and making hack workarounds for the Netscape browser that I'm seriously considering sueing AOL/Netscape to make up for it.

Mark Thorne

November 10th, 2000   9:49 AM

AOL/Netscape: The flames of Microsoft's burning dominance fill your nostrils and you still waste time and energy in the wrong places with the wrong goals. Please, please, get your heads on straight! Get Netcsape 6 right or don't get it at all. It's better to be late with a quality product than to distribute broken and non-compliant code to the world on time!

Todd Hammer

November 10th, 2000   9:22 AM

I have been patiently awaiting this product (Netscape 6.0) for years. I am a web developer, and understand the importance of standards compliance. I already have to manage the differences between Netscape 4.7x and IE 5.x, and the last new platform I want to develop for is "the standard." I am going to be pissed off if now I have to account for Netscape 4.7x, Netscape 6.0, IE 5.x, and then "the standard" on top of that.

We've already seen the result of non-standards-compliance. PLEASE do not do the same thing, again.

Jeff K. Hoffman

November 10th, 2000   9:10 AM

The bugs they refuse to remove in Netscape 6, could result in web sites not using the affected features. This is a bad thing! I use netscape 4.x in Linux because it's the only browser with Java and Flash support, but it's so unstable I will switch it with the first alternative I get. Is this the way Netscape are going to win the browser wars? I don't think so!

Mgne P Zachrisen

November 10th, 2000   9:05 AM

Dear Netscape: The only way for you to remain relevant is to follow standards precisely. I write ECMA/DOM/CSS-compliant code as a base and am willing to test for and special-case dominant browsers which might fail to meet operate under that standard. But our web logs say there's no reason to support your browser in this way.

Dave Brown

November 10th, 2000   8:42 AM

I will not develop for Netscape 6.0, nor will I recommend the browser to others until it complies with standards!
Slava Mikerin

Slava Mikerin

November 10th, 2000   8:02 AM

Only if we have a browser that we can depend on, that we can learn once and then take for granted, can we spend our thought and creativity on the messages we are sharing through the web. Please help us do this by creating a stable, robust, and standard-setting (by adhering to the published standards) product. I've waited years for it; I will wait a little longer. People like me are your best hope for immortality anyway.

Ann Marie Thomas

November 10th, 2000   7:53 AM

Do it right the first time. It's always the right policy. Especially since this may be netscape's last chance.

Spencer Proffit

November 10th, 2000   6:00 AM

Netscape is already three years late in release, and nothing it can do will ever regain the market share it once had. Only those truly devoted fans will go to it: the average user, who gets IE preinstalled, will simply decline to go through the upgrade and install bit because he doesn't want to be bothered.

AOL could have adopted Netscape since they own a sizeable chunk of the company but have so far failed to do so.

In other words, what's the rush to get a new version out? Unless it offers substantial advantage over IE --- and I don't see that happening as long as there's ice at the South Pole --- nothing Netscape does is going to change the market.

But, if they release a bad, buggy non-standard version, they will risk alienating the few remaining users like they have now.


I fail to understand the rush simply to get something out; unless, of course, the Microsoft practice of using the world as the beta-test site has now become the dominant paradigm for software engineering.

So I ask that Netscape hold off, and release a version that does what it advertises, and does it right the first time.

I've waited three years: I can wait a little longer.

And to be perfectly blunt: if the next version of Netscape is not right, I will probably go to Opera, even if it means paying for it.

J. Baltz

J. Baltz

November 10th, 2000   5:48 AM

Standards compliance is of the utmost importance to me in a browser.

If Netscape 6 is released with so many standards-compliance bugs, I will not adopt it, I will not develop to it, I will recommend against it on any occasion. And I know that many other developers, power users, and opinion leaders on the Web feel just the same way as I do regarding this.

If Netscape is looking for a way to die in the marketplace, then classifying standards compliance bugs as anything lower than a must-fix is an excellent attempt. Just the backlash in public-relations terms will see to that. Pity that it wastes what might have been an excellent chance to slaughter Microsoft instead (as MS richly deserves, no less for their fudging of standards-issues!).

Alex Martelli

November 10th, 2000   4:42 AM

I will not develop to yet another browsers arbitrary subset of the W3C standards. If Mozilla/NS6 does not fully and correctly support the standards it will fail. Simple as that. If it does, then developers will love it. IE nearly manages it, but not quite.

I am not confident. Many of my web sites (which work fine under IE and NS4) seem to crumble under current milestones - and there seems to be little changing in core rendering stuff. They are just fixing bugs in the interface now (although i have to say that M18 is a HUGE improvement over previous versions). I know I should submit bugs to bugzilla, but I don't have the time.

Jim Moores

November 10th, 2000   4:25 AM

I already develop primiarlly toward IE, because most of my intranet apps are used by shops which use MS products as standards.

If Netscape refuses to comply to the published standards, then it is one step backward for Netscape and one step forward toward accepting IE as a "standard" platform (as much as I hate that). One wants to use a browser that doesn't seem to implement features capriciously...

In a rush to "get something out" you loose sight of reliabilty... Customers (clients) can understand a "beta" that doesn't completely comply, but not a final product...

Stephen McConnell

November 10th, 2000   2:04 AM

One thing is clear to me: if Netscape wants to take back the ground they've lost to IE, they have to came out with a damn good product. It's not easy to beat Microsoft in usability or system integration terms, so the strong points for Netscape (and, for that matter, for all IE opponents) would be standard compliance and overall quality of the product. Ah, and cross-platform coverage... but this might not be a very important factor - the truth is that the battle will take place on Microsoft platforms, since users on other platform (Linux, Solaris, ...) will almost surely use Mozilla or platform specific browsers.
The request in quality for Netscape 6 is accentuated by their decision to put their product in the Open Source field - yes, the source is opened to everyone, but so are the bugs and all the problems of the product. Developing an Open Sourced project is not the same as developing a close source project - and Netscape has to realize that. I don't doubt Microsoft has the same problems with deadlines and the such, but they are not public (you can see this by comparing succesive versions of IE, such as 5.0, 5.01, 5.5 ...). And that's a big advantage, since if their product is buggy, nobody really knows it...
The fact is that if Netscape comes out with an unfinished and not close-to-perfection product, they don't stand a chance... Because all the bugs would be wide open to everyone to read about. Maybe they think there aren't many people looking in bugzilla for such things... I think they would be wrong, because if one person reads about the bugs and standad non-compliances, he/she would be capable to easily spread the word... and that would be the end for Netscape, . Not to mention web developers - they would surely came upon all those imperfections, and that might be just too much for them... since they already have too many browsers and versions to deal with. And not to mention Microsoft - my guess is they might lead a very adressive campaign if they feel their browser position is threatened, and every weakness in Netscape's product will be exploited.
The bottom line is that this is Netscape's last chance as a company, and if they don't bring a quasi-perfect product on the market, they're doomed...

Cotyso Bodea

November 10th, 2000   12:07 AM

I dont use netscape anymore - but if Netscape 6 is good I'll use it again and gladly. I design webpages and the bugs still in Netscape6 PR3 are not making it easier. Do it good, you won't get me using Netscape 6 if it's full of bugs.
break a leg, Don

Don Crowley

November 9th, 2000   11:31 PM

hey, open standards is "interesting".

But please don't rush through debug stage. NS keeps me and everyone who works for me up late at night.

Or how about this next time: make your browser default to being just like IE, if you can, for it is better (imho), and more readily integrated into other third-party apps. Face it, we only deal w/ NS on the level of courtesy and fairness, but it is becoming less and less cost-efficient...

Then, if you think you can do things that ie cannot, have that be added on and optional.

End user satisfaciton w/ your browser is heavily reliant on the developers who need to be able to figure it out w/in reason.


Faith Chiang

November 9th, 2000   11:08 PM

I agree with the update of the article. Netscape should not release a 6.0 before it is fully standard compliant.

As a web-developer, I know about the hell and frustration of browsers being slightly different than others. And then I am not talking about extra functionality added on top of the standards, but the implementation of the standards themselves.

And I detest using constructs like 'if (netscape)'.

I would be very pleased if all browser would be standards-compliant, so my nightmare would end.

Aschwin van der Woude

November 9th, 2000   10:47 PM

I am a technical manager for a web applications development team. Netscape browsers are absolutely inferior to Microsoft browsers. Netscape browsers suck, and people are finally starting to realize it. The sooner Netscape disappears, the sooner we can have properly behaving online applications which leverage ongoing standards efforts such as XML, XSLT, CSS, and even HTML!

If you can't deliver a decent product, don't deliver one at all (i.e. wake-up Nutscrape).

- Kevin

Kevin Silver

November 9th, 2000   10:24 PM


It is a standard for a reason. So that we who develop can do so using the standards and expect our work to appear and function as we developed it.

I am so tired of doing work and then viewing it in NetTrash (Netscape) only to find text and Pictures everywhere except where I put them. Tables....Netscape.....HA HA HA HA HA.

Please focus on the standards issue. IT IS IMPORTANT.

David Hartsock

November 9th, 2000   10:24 PM

Isn't anyone paying attention nowadays? Netscape 6 is a netscape-badged version of Mozilla, a laudable open-source browser looking to become fully standards-compliant when the final version is released.

Netscape 6 has not been released yet. This is a preview we are talking about. Yes it has bugs, but i can't think of any ie release that didn't have bugs.

Perhaps Netscape is hurrying their release a little bit, but that doesn't mean we should say that it will fail standards compliance yet. IE itself is hardly w3c compliant in all respects, and if i want a web page to look good on ie, i have to to introduce quirks in the code to fit ie, which won't work on any other browser like netscape 4.x, opera, konquerer or even gecko.

No its not perfect, and no I don't think I will use Netscape 6 as my primary browser yet, but I will use mozilla (post netscape-release) and i know that their roadmap will look into all these details that you are lambasting them for.

All the best to the open-source effort. Long live Mozilla, and lets have a little less crap about lack of standards compliance.

Aditya Sengupta

November 9th, 2000   9:18 PM

As an outside Mozilla developer (working on accessibility of the project), I think Mozilla uses one of the coolest internal structures I have ever seen. However, something can be neat and useful, but if no one knows about it all the usefulness is lost.

We have to blame but ourselves for bad outreach. People outside the world who log on to our main Mozilla websites see a disconnected mass of information. We've simply done a poor job of describing what this beast can do!

With Mozilla, the user interface is the document. Everything is built on XML, CSS, DOM and Javascript. So not only is the web content inside the window based on standards, but the content outside the content window. Wow. If I was a company stuck in Win32, like Sonic Foundry, and I saw Linux, OS X and the TV platforms on the horizon I would want my software to be redigned using an OS-neutral, language-neutral platform. XUL is powerful enought to do that, and nothing before has. As cool as Konqueror is, it isn't cross platform. As cool as Swing is, it's not a standard or truly open source. XML, Javascript CSS & DOM are, and the engine running them all is open source, with a choice of licenses!

It's no wonder people don't understand - how can they when no vision has been put forth in any official place. We need to decide what the vision is, and implement the necessary connection to the public instead of expecting them to dig for it all. The better we are at teaching about Mozilla's true power, the more support and postiviteness we'll get.

Certain design decisions have been inadequately explained. I doubt people who complain about XUL being fluff understand the true potential here.

Finger pointing time is over. Let's work to show the world how awesome Mozilla is.

Aaron Leventhal

November 9th, 2000   9:13 PM

What the hell?... They are just crippling Netscape this way... :-(

Florin Andrei

November 9th, 2000   9:03 PM

The most infuriating developement of the internet is the divergence of standards between competing broswers and thier unsupported methods.

I think I speak for everyone when I say.. "you build something that works, and we'll ALL use it"

(i.e. for you schmucks @ Netscape - if you want your market share back, show us that you can surpass IE and we'll flock to you in the billions.)

Graham Robinson

November 9th, 2000   6:17 PM

This is scary. We already have a hard time supporting IE and Nav 4. I can see from the bugs listed in this article that we are going to have to jump through even more hoops in order to get our site working on Nav 6 if its released in this state. Please, I already spend enough long nights here at the office. I don't need any more.

Michael Mosier

November 9th, 2000   6:04 PM

Please incorporate the bug fixes and please do not release
the product except as a Mozilla 6.0-beta until it is compliant.

Release early and release often but call the spade a spade --
Mozilla is still Beta code.


-- kjh

Konrad J. Hambrick

November 9th, 2000   5:45 PM

I've used NS from the first release. Somewhere along the road I gave up surfing with it, simply because using a constantly crashing and freezing browser on the digital highway is as insane as riding on horseback over the Manhattan bridge.

I still use NS for testing purposes, but my standards have allready fallen to: as long as NS shows _anything_ it's good enough. The few NS-users that are left are hardly worth the costs and efforts in developing a site that really looks good with NS.

A release of NS6 that's as buggy as the latest pre-release and doesn't _fully_ supports the standards makes things a lot easier: why bother developing and testing for NS any longer? The last user will move to IE before the end of the year.

Piet de Geus

November 9th, 2000   5:23 PM

Thank you for the alternative to MS IE. Hoping to curtail virus infections, we'd like to avoid IE (as we also avoid LookOut ...err... OutLook). IF you can demonstrate Netscape 6 as a safer Browser - you might actually get people to pay a few dollars for each copy. IF you keep the costs low enough, many may buy just to avoid IE viruses and risk Netscape virus attacks.

thanks again,
keep up the good work,
Brandon Fouts
network admin.

Brandon Fouts

November 9th, 2000   5:23 PM

It boils down to this: We want to write HTML code once. We don't want to have to probe browsers. We want the browser to run our code so it works as the specification says it should. The specification didn't come out yesterday. Get it right. $0.02.

NoDak Curmudgeon

November 9th, 2000   4:58 PM

I think your right. If the bugs you reported realy exist then I beleive netscape should wait to release the product and just Get it Right. Thats the biggest problem of SoftWare today. The coding process gets rushed and released with way too many bugs. Also is Netscape not FREE??? if so, Then why do they care when the product officialy comes out...

Just a peice of my mind,
Westin Shafer

Westin Shafer

November 9th, 2000   4:33 PM

If Netscape 6.0 is not standards compliant, I will have to look towards another browser such as Mozilla, to run on my NT and Linux boxen. Currently, I run Netscape on both, but I'm thinking of upgrading when I upgrade to the Linux kernal 2.2.x on my Linux box. I prefer to avoid using IE on my NT box for obvious reasons.

Gavin Flower

November 9th, 2000   4:01 PM

Yes, please wait for your product to be stable before releasing it. I know of too many people who want to stick with IE now. Don't give them more reasons to not partake of a browser that supports multiple environments.

Mozilla and Netscape can be a great driving factor if it comes out and functions well. It will just wither and die if it comes out buggy.

Scott Hassel

November 9th, 2000   3:51 PM

I have always stuck with Netscape and think it is a product worth designing for. Please Netscape, give us a browser that we can once again use as our main platform in web design and coding... something that all the competitors will have to shoot for when developing their browsers.

Don't rush to release Netscape 6, or at least call it a beta version so that I won't have to worry about maintaining compatibility with a buggy release five years from now. Take the time to get this one right and fix the known bugs!

Chris Z.

November 9th, 2000   3:16 PM

Since Netscape has lost almost all of it's market share, I don't really bother to develop for it anymore. It's already a huge pain to make javascripts work in the big two (especially accross different versions) and I'm sure other languages that I haven't used are a pain as well.. Lets hope netscape 6.0 is as stupid as it looks and their percentage dwindles far enough so no one has to worry about accomidating their crappy browser anymore.

Paco Javy

November 9th, 2000   3:16 PM

  • You need to comply with the STanderds.</LI>
  • Comeone!</LI>


November 9th, 2000   3:03 PM

This is really stupid, it is like going back to those dark days when we had to support both the browsers. As a web developer if netscape want me to support their browser they better be 100% compliant. By releasing a buggy version they may achive there release deadline but will delay everyone else's.

Rukesh Patel

November 9th, 2000   2:55 PM

I agree with David Flanagan. Netscape 6 is too important to the future of the web to be trifled with. As a web developer, I am prepared to wait a few more months to get a 100% standards-compliant browser. If Netscape is looking for support from the market before making such a decision, treat this as my contribution.

Years later, people will forget how late you shipped, but they will not forget if your released product had bugs. Remember Sybase System 10, the buggy "release" from which Sybase never recovered.

Ganesh Prasad

November 9th, 2000   2:50 PM

I completely agree: By naming the next release 6.0, Netscape is proclaiming "We have something new and wonderful here", the kind of thing that might make even people who don't normally use netscape say "Well, maybe they got it right this time". If they try it and still don't like it, you can bet they won't be upgrading to 6.1. Please, please, wait untill you have a quality product that won't dissapoint.

Jonathan Wilson

November 9th, 2000   2:50 PM

I completely agree: By naming the next release 6.0, Netscape is porclaiming "We have something new and wonderful here", the kind of thing that might make even people who don't normally use netscape say "Well, maybe they got it right this time". If they try it and still don't like it, you can bet they won't be upgrading to 6.1. Please, please, wait untill you have a quality product that won't dissapoint.

Jonathan Wilson

November 9th, 2000   2:42 PM

I don't want to loose my faith in Netscape so I agree.

Release it when it's ready. Do it the open source way!

Friedrich Lobenstock

November 9th, 2000   2:23 PM

I agree

Kaspar Houser

November 9th, 2000   2:01 PM

Best viewed with IE.

David Johnson

November 9th, 2000   1:51 PM

I was hoping that Navigator 6 would be the browser that led the way to standards compliance. If Netscape is willingly releasing a product that is not compliant, despite fixes for the problems being readily available, then they are just promoting the current situation -- browsers with separate implementations that need to be taken into account in web applications. Rise above this, and release 6.0 when it's ready!

Scott Hill

November 9th, 2000   1:23 PM

I work in a company that builds web apps that need to accomodate both browsers, and even worse yet, both Mac and PC. While some of the bugs listed are not necessarily what one would consider major showstoppers, it's been our experience that we spend a good portion of dev time (estimated at 1/3) making sure the functionality of the web applications is consistent across browsers and platforms.

It's distressing to me as a web programmer to know that amongst all the other tedious issues involved with getting consistent functionality, Netscape is considering to willingly release a version which will cause me to possibly toss one or more bugs on the growing pile of them which will require code work-arounds to make sure that stuff like cell padding doesn't affect our users' experience, depending on which brower they use.

Ibra Bordsen

November 9th, 2000   12:44 PM

To the PDT- You should know better!

I would like to use Navigator as my browser but at the moment I just use it for checking that my pages look half decent with it.

Anthony Geoghegan

November 9th, 2000   11:58 AM

If NN6 ships with bugs that affect the rendering of pages using standard DHTML/JavaScript practices, its market viability will drop through the floor. Microsoft has had a vastly superior browser for years. The time has come to either fish or cut bait. Releasing a browser that is inferior to IE is suicide.

Brock Jones

November 9th, 2000   11:49 AM

As a developer who has been working on the web for years I originally started out with netscape and held out against IE for a long time. Eventually I realised I was only hurting myself and my customers and switched.

After all this time of trying to support this shoddy piece of software I now give up completely. I will not write _any_ code to support netscape again. If people insist on using it and complain about my sites I will explain to them _why_.

As many people have said on here - do it right or don't bother.

Dave Kelly

November 9th, 2000   11:08 AM

I have used Netscape since 1994, and have refused to use anything else. I am currently using 4.76. I work for a very large canadian phone company who's entire intranet is based on Netscape communicator.

As of the next release, I will not run a Netscape branded browser if it turns out to be the garbage it is now. And I will gladly recommend my opinion as fact to all.

Thank you

D. C.

November 9th, 2000   9:51 AM

There isn't much more to say. It's pretty obvious to me, without true standards compliance, developers will continue to ignore Netscape. Mozilla may live on to some degree, but AOL will effectively destroy the Netscape name brand if they continue on this course.

Chris Felaco

November 9th, 2000   9:42 AM

I am so tired of having to write dumbed down code for the people who still cling to their Netscape browser. It was so exciting to think that Netscape was finally going to release a decent browser and allow the field of web development to move forward.

Silly us to believe that.

Carrie Gordon

November 9th, 2000   9:25 AM

Could it be that Netscape hasn't noticed that it's number 2 in an essentially 2-horse race? Many developers I know (not necessarily the ones I prefer to work with) don't even consider Netscape important any more and only test in Netscape if required to do so.

Netscape's only hope in remaining viable is to deliver a fully compliant browser after having promised one. Disappointing their market at this point may be, if not suicidal, evidence of having lost the will to live.

Ray Gulick

November 9th, 2000   9:25 AM

Could it be that Netscape hasn't noticed that it's number 2 in an essentially 2-horse race? Many developers I know (not necessarily the ones I prefer to work with) don't even consider Netscape important any more and only test in Netscape if required to do so.

Netscape's only hope in remaining viable is to deliver a fully compliant browser after having promising one. Disappointing their market at this point may be, if not suicidal, evidence of having lost the will to live.

Ray Gulick

November 9th, 2000   9:13 AM

I would like to say that, as a professional web developer ( dealing specifically with clientside GUI design, javascript, css, dhtml, etc.), I have been consistently frustrated by netscapes history of noncompliance with standards. NS 4 & all subsequent versions thus far are fussy and intolerant of such simple things as the DOM and even little things like adding style attributes to td's that work. Another annoyance is that Netscape, while being one of the driving forces behind javascript, has a browser that is less flexible in it's treatment of said scripting language than microsoft's. That is an embarrassment. Don't go off half cocked, as you have in the past. Make sure NS 6 is compliant with javascript,css,dom,dhtml, and will at least validate xml dtd's BEFORE you release it for public use. Otherwise you will seriously alienate developers like me, eager to take advantage of the latest goodies, and further contribute to my animosity towards your browser. This is one of the few areas I can think of where MS's solution is actually the best.. It is much more flexible and allows much richer manipulation of tags and attributes as well as a more complete object model ( that treats EVERY element as an object that can manipulated ).

-John Mellberg
Web Developer

John Mellberg

November 9th, 2000   9:11 AM

As a web developer, I have enough trouble already making sure that my code works the same way, or as close to similar as possible, in the various browsers and versions of browsers that are out there. I've been looking forward to Netscape 6 simply because it has been told to me that many things that IE is capable of will now be possible in Netscape (which means, to a certain degree, less "match up" code for me to do). However, I'm now hearing that Netscape 6 is failing to meet certain standards, which means more coding, debugging, and time for me. Please, please, please do not rush this product!!! It has the potential for greatness, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be willing to wait a little longer for a nice, robust product. Thank you.

Kerry Coffman

November 9th, 2000   8:23 AM

I am a professional Web Site Developer for a "big dog" company (One that hasn't eaten it in recent months, nor will any time soon) and I am also a graduate student in Human Computer Interaction at DePaul University. I think that I can speak to the need for getting things to the level that they can and should be, but I make no promises on spelling! While I would love to have a browser which is standard and compliant, for my own sanity, there are greater issues. Namely, putting out a product which will begin to raise the level of expectations for consumers about what they should be getting. If half the cars in this country were sold with all of their turn signal levers and various other devices in various places, there would be an outcry. This is nothing less. Let NS and IE augment their browsers cosmetically and with whatever embellishments they wish. If they want to throw in stock tickers and whatnot, that's fine, but please, get the basics to where they should be. The differences should be in what is elective, not in how the browsers fundamentally work.

Sam Spicer

November 9th, 2000   8:12 AM


I'm not sure if I would describe these Netscape bugs as crippling to my career as a web developer (unlike the shambles that was Netscape v4!) but we have all been waiting a long time for the glory days of cross-browser compatibility and many of us are sick sick sick of writing reams and reams of branching code and finding amazing ways of getting round inadequacies in browser support only to find that it invalidates other areas that were assuredly supported.

Remain true to your programmer's code and make it 100%, not 99% standard.

Ben Caesar

November 9th, 2000   8:09 AM

I'm a long-time Netscape user (now on 4.75) and would definitely
prefer to wait a while longer if it would result in a more stable
Rel 6.x product. It is to everyone's benefit to see Netscape once
again viewed as a superior browser.

Steve Kreuzburg

November 9th, 2000   7:55 AM

I would like netscape to be as best as it can be. Not because I don't like IE, but |_inuX needs a browser!


November 9th, 2000   7:12 AM

As a developer I found it extremely frustrating to conclude that making a website Netscape-compliant takes about as much time as it takes to develop all the ASP, Java, and JavaScript on which most of the sites I build are founded. If Netscape 6 is indeed released as the piece of crap that it is at the moment, I think we'll have to make the decision to let customers know that we won't go through the trouble of building their sites to be Netscape-compatible; and that's a sad thing, as I think I speak for everybody at my company when I say that we all hated to switch to IExplorer several years ago when Netscape became unusable... Everybody here had hoped to be able to start using Netscape again one day, but alas,...

Apparently Netscape has different plans, for nobody in his/her right mind, not even MicroSoft, would release a useless piece of shit like Navigator 6 in it's current state, unless it's all part of a greater scheme...

Yiri T. Kohl

November 9th, 2000   6:54 AM

Netscape 6 will be the most standards-compliant browser on the planet when it is finished by any objective measure. I find the headline on this article to be misleading and request that Tim O'Reilly or staff fix it.

Netscape: Please finish Netscape 6. Thank you for listening to the WSP when they encouraged you to move to Gecko. Don't switch now, just before your success.


David Orme

November 9th, 2000   6:40 AM

I am working on a browser based site application that has always intended to support IE and Netscape. This will most certainly change that directive.

My work site with over 3500 employees currently lists Netscape as the supported browser of choice. Many have already been working to change to IE.

I've already seen many customer sites switch from a Netscape to IE preference.

A release of 6.0 with this many known and ignored issues should prove to be the final nail in the coffin.

Too bad the paper pushers don't have a clue...

David Card

November 9th, 2000   6:35 AM

Do it right, or don't do it at all. As a developer, I have all but given up on worrying about "Netscape Compliance," but I will have major propblems if I have to worry next about "Netscape 4x Compliance," and "Netscape 6 Compliance!"

Jeremy Kane

November 9th, 2000   6:01 AM

As of Netscape 6.0 pr3, this software is NOT ready.I am a developer and a user. I have been trying to use Netscape 6 pr1, pr2, pr3 - exclusively. I have purposely limited myself to using this browser and email program. There are web pages that I have sent in that crash the browser or totally lock it up. Software that is crashing regularly should by definition be not ready to ship.


November 9th, 2000   5:57 AM

I was dismayed to find that NS6 doesn't appear to support the 'true doc'
embedded font technology. Wasn't this something that Netscape came up with
themselves (with Bitstream)? I like Bitstreams 'Web Font Wizard', at least it
worked for me (which is more than I can say for Microsoft's WEFT), I'd probably
buy this software but if it doesn't work with future versions of Netscape why
on earth should I?

David Grant

November 9th, 2000   5:52 AM

If the software does not work, it does not matter how soon it gets shipped.
Fix the major issues, or fall to Redmond...

Jeff Lumley

November 9th, 2000   5:05 AM

I agree with the article version 2 of Flanagan.

Hope PDT will slip the release date.



November 9th, 2000   4:53 AM

I`m not a friend from microsoft products but IE is for me the better browser, especially in the XML environments. Be aware the standards (W3C) !!!!

Oliver Wick

November 9th, 2000   4:07 AM

As a developer who had to deal with the 4.x browser mess of past, I think Netscape lost the browser war not because of Microsoft's abuse, but because Netscape 4.x was so bug ridden that developers gave up on it and pushed corporate clients to abandon it. I'm willing to give Netscape one more chance to get it right. Blow it this time and it's over.

Howard Keziah

November 9th, 2000   3:56 AM

First thanks for all the great standards compliance work you have allready done. Second please dont screw it up by leaving gaps, I will not use Netscape if you mess this release up. I know people who are depending on it being 100% standards compliant and are using it as a develpment platform. At the moment they are livid and intend to stop using it if you continue to break the standards in this way.


Andrew Barnes

November 9th, 2000   3:35 AM

Please wait to release a "final" version of Netscape 6 until it meets all the standards of HTML, CSS, Java, XML, and DOM.
One of the reasons that I have been anxiously waiting for Netscape 6 is that it was to adhere to the standards. If it does not do so, I doubt that I will waste my time with it.
Thus far, I have been unable to test any pre-release version of Netscape 6 (except for PR1) as the install has failed on my machine.
Even some of the simplest things seems to still be out of whack (when using a friend's PR2 version). One of the obvious ones is that if you set a cascading style sheet (CSS) to use a large font (say point size 24) for anchored text (as in a hyperlink), the underline is through the text making it look like strikeout text.
PLEASE don't release Netscape 6 if it does not meet the recognized standards.

Brian Bell

November 9th, 2000   2:46 AM

It's bad for the web if Microsoft get a browser monopoly. Make Netscape 6 fully standards compliant and as bug-free as possible so that there is an overwhelming reason to use it.

David Leader

November 9th, 2000   2:08 AM

I think everyone signing this petition really believed Netscape 6 would be truly standards compliant. In light of the knowledge that you started over from scratch to create a fully compliant browser, "most compliant" is a real let-down.

We all, individually and collectively, would have benefited so much, it is difficult for me to imagine you are about to release a compromised NS6 !

Please consider again holding off on release until your product is truly standards compliant.

Thank you, Steven Dahout

Steven Dahout

November 9th, 2000   1:30 AM

Netscape has, and always will be, a third rate product. These are sad times we live in, when an ambitious project can't compete with microsoft.

Sadder still, is that Internet Explorer is a better developed, tighter coded package than netscape may ever be. See what happens when AOL buys things?

Benjamin Kuz

November 9th, 2000   1:12 AM

I won't use a lower-quality product and my choice doesn't depend on the version-numeration. I used to use Netscape 1-2 years before but Microsofts IE became better than Netscape, so I started to use both products. At the point of time
as I heard from the "What's related" - snooping, I stopped using Netscape.
AOL is the wrong firm for that product,too, I think , they'll try to take every chance to snoop with their products, and in my eyes they have a humble reputation, like Microsoft.

Arne Wolf Koesling

November 9th, 2000   12:47 AM

I think, that this behaviour of Netscape is like Microsoft's. It needs time to correct the mistakes in the main source, when some bugs can be found.

Vojtech Kysela

November 9th, 2000   12:37 AM

I'm a web developer for one of the largest Air Force bases outside the United States. I've stuck with Netscape since I got on the web, and have always designed with it in mind, but my duties now require me to design for Internet Explorer as well, since most of our users use it instead.

The biggest pain is having to design for both. I understand that feature bloat happens, but the standards are there for a reason. If you ship Navigator 6 without full standards support, you will lose the few developers you still have.

Please note my opinions are my own, not those of the United States Air Force.

A1C Jeffrey Spaulding

November 9th, 2000   12:32 AM

I really need a _good_ browswer, not just some IE-like junk...

Adrian Kollarovics

November 9th, 2000   12:06 AM

I won't use this banana-software... It's everybody's own decision, N. is not the only browser.

Dirk Vogel

November 8th, 2000   11:54 PM

Think twice ,please!

Richard Waneyvin

November 8th, 2000   11:53 PM

Cooooome onnnnnnn.

Patrick Kelleher

November 8th, 2000   9:36 PM

Netscape 6.0 should be very, very good not to be overwhelmed by open source Mozilla, which benefits from its open source state. There should be a good browser for all major platforms (Linux, Un*x, Win etc.) and if it's not Netscape, it's Mozilla. So far, Netscape is competition for MSIE, and I pray it remains so.

Ondrej Krajicek

November 8th, 2000   8:51 PM

I am an university instructor and use the Web extensively in my teaching. I don't have time to create multiple versions of Web pages or to think up work-arounds for browser bugs which shouldn't exist in the first place. I prefer Netscape just because it seems to be more intuitive to use than IE, and my students seem to have the same preference.

Netscape, my point is this: if you don't fix the bugs, you'll alienate a very important clientile: college professors and students. Nobody wants buggy software: that's part of the reason some consumers dislike Microsoft. Since you already have patches for some of these bugs, for goodness' sake, come to your senses, and implement those patches! As for the rest of the bugs that you do not have patches for yet, we would be willing to wait longer for those to be resolved, too.

Your only weapon against Microsoft is perfection since the Evil Empire seems to have you beat at everything else, including marketing.

F. Vance Neill

November 8th, 2000   8:30 PM

As a web developper i'm tired of trying alaways non-compliant tricks to do things in netscape. If netscape 6 gets worse in terms of non-compliance they are toasted.

calixto davila

November 8th, 2000   8:20 PM

To the controlling factors in Netscape:

By all means, release a robust browser.
Your supporters have placed a lot of faith into
the work of Mozilla and the principles it represents.

Mass distribution of a bug-ridden browser which fails
to raise the bar in compliance will set Netscape far
behind Internet Explorer.

With the weak foundation of 4.6x, Mozilla is truly
the last hope of competitive browser technology.

With the underperformance of the PR1 and PR2 releases,
the official release -- whenever that may come -- must
be a STRONG showing. Stable to the end-users and
inviting to developers.

-- Eric J. Bragger

Eric Bragger

November 8th, 2000   7:35 PM

netscape, you guys are idiots if you do not produce a standards complient browser! that is your ONLY hope to fight microsoft and stay alive. otherwise, i might as well use IE, and so will everyone else.

kevin walchko

November 8th, 2000   6:56 PM

Indeed, we have waited a long time for this release.

So long that, indeed, it is well worth now going the extra mile and waiting for
a finished product from Netscape.

Navigator 4.5+ had a lot of bugs. Too many bugs for a non-beta product. I have personally programmed this browser for over a year and see how much better the product from Microsoft is in almost every category, in quantum terms.

Please do not do this to us again. We are tired of it.

Please make the next release of Netscape6 a beta and wait to finish the job.

Chris Balz.

Christopher M. Balz

November 8th, 2000   6:49 PM

Netscape is being put to a painful, public death.

Mike Brown

November 8th, 2000   6:00 PM

Common now:

You've got the wrong focus. Stop being a tunnel-visioned manager and look around. You're focus should be on product correctness not on meeting a deadline. The world is not going to end if you don't meet the deadline. It will end if you put out a product that does not work correctly.

Michael LoJacono

November 8th, 2000   5:24 PM

Corporate arrogance and blatant marketing stupididy appears to be NNs project development team's modus operandi. I don't understand it.

All I can do is echo the majority opinion of previous comments concerning the frustration of building web pages that are cross-browser compatible and meet current web coding standards. Microsoft and Opera obviously understand these issues and attempt to design their products accordingly. They may not be perfect, but they work in ways that NN only wishes it could. Why would someone who wants to be a realistic competitor in today's browser market not try to match (if not beat) their major competitors ability to meet these generally accepted standards and capabilities?

Netscape, if you want a competitive product, you've got to pull your collective corporate and PDT heads out of your dorsal posterior expulsion valves and get with the program (literally and figuratively). Right now, you're looking more and more like the latest software version of the Edsel of yore.

David R. Perl

November 8th, 2000   5:19 PM

My biggest concern is that we get a great product from Netscape. As a devout Linux user and anti-Microsoft enthusiast (although I disagree with the Justice department lawsuit), it pains me greatly to admit that Microsoft's Internet Explorer is really a better browser with much more functionality.

I agree with David's article, and hope the Netscape development team will take it to heart. They need to take their time and give us the best browser possible. I am very anxious to retract my previous statements.

Jerry Read

November 8th, 2000   5:08 PM

As a professional developer I expect, and need standards in order to develop good, robust applications.

Some standards, such as CICS, SQL and even QWERTY keyboards may have developed from closed organisations - but they have value

Netscape and Microsoft have been facing off over who provides better standards support, and currently it seems that the race has been won my Microsoft - not because their product is perfect, but because it provides a good, stable development platform for developers with no nasty surprises, and no missing functionality.
Currently the best way to build a site that works on both platforms is either to build two code bases to support object models and implementations that have little overlap, or simply develop for IE and if it works in Netscape good, if not... direct people to download a browser that works !

NN6 / IE5.5 ? Personally I don't care what my users choose, but I want to not care when I'm developing

Jeremy E Cath

November 8th, 2000   4:53 PM

I think this idea that "the browser wars are over" misses the real importance of what Netscape is capable of providing to AOL.

In the near term, marketing Netscape as browser should be a means to an end.

The means should be using an open source application that everyone understands and needs as a delivery mechanism for deploying, in essence, a new operating system.

The ends (for Netscape) should be building products and services on top of this open platform. Stuff like, say, AOL 7.0, fancy thick-client 3D MUDs, etc.

Think about it: Mozilla provides a lot of the stuff that .NET does -- good XML/DOM technology, SOAP-style RPC, net-plumbing, a multi-language interface, etc. A lot of this stuff is the kind of thing that the open-source community will plausibly contribute to, and in novel ways.

In any case, it doesn't accomplish anything for AOL if people decide that
Netscape is buggy or is weakly-interested in standards compliance.
I think people have to like it.

Marcus Daniels

November 8th, 2000   4:38 PM

I have been doing web design for 5 years, and development for 3..

Although its true I do it as a career, and do get paid for it, primarily i am developing and designing because I love doing it, its is a hobby... the most frusterating thing that can happen is getting all excited about a project, sitting down getting ready to hammer out a beautiful webpage with amazing functionality, interactivity, and clean looks .. only to get discouraged when you start on your first page and realize all the stuff you are planning on doing wont work as is in netscape, and youll have to spend hours of grunt work finding a way to force netscape to at least display the page in a usable, if not elegant, way.

Well fuck that. I dont care for netscape.. I Design because I enjoy it. I dont enjoy slaving away to make my pages work in netscape. so why should, or would I?

Honestly I dont care if netscape fucks this up or not, it makes no diffrence to me - however if they release Netscape 6, as a browser that properly displays my page, then "Mad props to netscape".


November 8th, 2000   4:36 PM

Standards compliance is crucial. In the past, you have criticized Microsoft for failing to meet standards (i.e. DOM). Now this. Please please PLEASE fix these problems before releasing NS 6.0!

"Hypocrisy" is a nasty word. Don't give people an excuse to use it against you.

David Rowell
Sr. Site Developer
Sapient Corporation

David Rowell

November 8th, 2000   4:12 PM

grrr...I can't believe this is turning out to be such a mess! Is it really that hard for browser makers to say "The DOM includes this, so let's make sure that it's supported."??? Mozilla's Open Source system (while still a pretty good idea) will always be inherently flawed so long as the product is ultimately being determined by a for-profit company such as Time-Warner.

Dan Burrowes

November 8th, 2000   3:43 PM

Same as above.

Jacqueline Belick

November 8th, 2000   3:41 PM

If NN6 is released without fixes, web developers will stop catering to it at all. Expect more NN users to be redirected to an IE download page.


November 8th, 2000   3:21 PM

Irate web developers: If the release of NS6 bothers you, then ignore it. Let the few NS6 users that wander by your site look at an ugly page, go back to NS4, or leave your site forever - that's your perogative. Don't try to keep NS6 from those who really care. The Internet is harsh, people!

David K. Gasaway

November 8th, 2000   3:04 PM

Netscape already has Mozilla, there is no reason to release "Betas" of Netscape 6 when all they are is a milestone build of Mozilla with a few license and naming changes. Netscape should continue to release versions of Mozilla, but without the claims that it is a finished product until it actually reaches such qualifications accordint to Mozilla's own standards.

Matt Heinzen

November 8th, 2000   2:37 PM

-November 8th, 2000 10:40 AM

Web developers need to come to grips with the real state of affairs in the web world. Things have been quite comfortable for them for a while. But truth is, new releases can break existing code - it's happened before, and will happen again. Sure, your code might be standards-compliant, but it also tip-toes around compliance issues in current browsers. Netscape 6 is more compliant that any other browser - learn to fit in the new features that work, and you'll be doing great!

Personally, I avoid sites that use MSIE-only features abusively, so if want to reach the absolute maximum users, you'd better cope. The cases where a site needs a MSIE feature to build or maintain a userbase are rare.

Many important NS6 fixes will come later, but don't try to hold it back. The initial release may not win people back from MSIE, but that's okay. At this point, Netscape is almost stuck in a power-user niche, so they can handle it. Other users may not be knowledgeable, but they're probably at least strong Netscape supporters. If they don't like NS6, they can go back to NS4 and probably won't give a thought to MSIE.

David K. Gasaway

In actuality, Netscape isn't really stuck in a 'power-user' niche persay. But it is really setting itself up to be a 'legacy' browser. Which means the number of loyal netscape users can only really continue to fall.

I think there are generally 3 groups of people using netscape.

1. Those who hate microsoft for whatever reason.

2. Those who *have* to use it to ensure compatibility when developing.

3. Those who don't know the differences between IE and Netscape.

If the average user really knew how much more capable IE is than Netscape, it would literally cut its client base in half.

Gregory T. Loker

November 8th, 2000   2:36 PM

Well ... I'm using Windows and Mac Systems and (right now) NN6-- really sucks toxic waste.

Erik Schmidt

November 8th, 2000   2:36 PM

First off I make many web sites and have noticed many problems whith NS6. One of the biggest ones is it's failure to comply with CSS it does not support different coloured links, it does not support the hover function, and it doesn't support specific fonts. Im sure there are other problems with CSS that I have missed. What is up with the roll over images they dont work properly and take a minute to appear then they turn into broken images.


My web site displays fine in NS4.x and IE4.x+ but in NS6 a bunch of the cells are really wide, the DHTML menus dont work, spacing is really messed up, roll over images dont work. Im going to have to make a special version for NS6.

Overall I think that NS6 is going to be great but they have to get many things worked out.

Jeff Hume

Jeff Hume

November 8th, 2000   2:34 PM

As a webdeveloper, I'd vote for Netscape to take a little longer and get the standards compliance right.

You've waited this long and now your first release will be an important event. Get it right or you'll only dig your present hole deeper.

Besides, the more times you release buggy updates, the more kludges we, the developers, have to support since many users won't be up to date. Already we still have to support Netscape v3, v4.x and MSIE v3, all with serious problems. Please don't make NS 6.0 another problem on our list.

Jeff Wilkinson

November 8th, 2000   2:01 PM


I've been doing web development for almost all of my programming career. Back in the olden days, NS was FAR superior to IE. Let's face it, in many ways NS was the 'killer app' of the internet. Now, I (and probably most other web developers) HATE it. It's horrible to code for. It creates SO much extra work. I held out hope that NS 6 would solve these problems and FINALLY allow us to take advantage of all the great feature/specifications that are supposed to be standardized, but instead it looks like we'll all have to create even more bloated HTML 3 code since NS feels it's ok to release a broken browser again. It's sad when a solution doesn't solve any problems, just creates more.

NS pointy haired managers! Listen up! By breaking your pact with the development community and releasing a browser that doesn't live up to either it's promise, or your companies promises, you further alienate us and FORCE us to code for the ONLY WIDLY AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL BROWSER THAT WORKS --> IE. We all want to see NS 6 succeed! I believe it's not only a test for NS, but in some ways a test of the whole open source paradigm! DON'T LET DOWN THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE STOOD BY YOU! YOU'RE ALIENATING ALL THAT YOU'VE GOT LEFT!

I hope this gets read in IE. It would be a pity if the petition couldn't be read because the reader was using a broken browser.

Joe Maisel

November 8th, 2000   1:52 PM

Point NS6b at and notice how the example does not work as expected. Take IE there to see it work.

Gary Keim

November 8th, 2000   1:42 PM

Every day people ask me, "Why doesn't this page look as good in Netscape?" Or ,"Why doesn't this page work like it does in Explorer?"

And every day I say, "Because Netscape sucks."

What else can I say?

Netscape is a limited product. All web developers know it and live with it every day. How many times have you cringed when you discover that a client is having problems with a site you designed because they're using Netscape.

But I'm not going to Bad-Mouth Netscape. I want Netscape to succeed. I want N6 to blow everyone away. I can only assume that Netscape is in financial dire straits, and they need to get N6 out now.

Furthermore, I can only pray that they come to realize that putting out ANOTHER substandard product will do more harm than good.

With the kind of careless management they seem to be under(aol), it's only a matter of time before we all bow our heads and have a moment of silence while netscape is put to rest.

Trent Navillus

Trent Navillus

November 8th, 2000   1:25 PM

I strongly urge Netscape to follow Mr. Flanangan's recommendations.

The company I work for already avoids using Netscape whenever possible due to standards compliance issues. If Netscape 6 ships with such egregious bugs as failure to be compatible with existing HTML (the DL in DD example), or other base level DOM compliance issues, especially those with ready fixes, than I can only imagine that we will move further from supporting Netscape. And once we go, it is almost impossible to come back.

Please understand that it is not an issue of loyalty to one browser or the other, but an issue of time and money. We simply cannot afford to write two different versions of everything, let alone go back through all our existing web code and "fix" things that used to work. This means our choices are to go with the lowest common denominator, or abandon one platform. Since our users want the best UI, the most features, etc. and we want to produce the most with the least effort, that mean we look for standards.

I understand that these are relatively minor issues compared to the overall progress in making Netscape standards compliant (if not more so than anyone else). But management may not. What they will see, from developers, from QA, from the news, is that Netscape failed to comply with (some) standards, and that it is not compatible with (some) existing HTML. And they will shy away.

Further, it seems to me that you are abandoning the very things that make an open source software project stronger than other methodologies - that important problems can be recognized and fixed relatively quickly. Don't abandon the work of the people who make Netscape 6/Mozilla possible. We've waited already. We can wait a little longer. Please make it worth the wait.

Eric Anderson

November 8th, 2000   1:15 PM

These bugs prevents many users to use Netscape 6.0, many of the websites use dynamic javascript links


November 8th, 2000   1:15 PM

These bugs prevents many users to use Netscape 6.0, many of the websites use dynamic javascript links


November 8th, 2000   1:14 PM

These bugs prevents many users to use Netscape 6.0, many of the websites use dynamic javascript links


November 8th, 2000   1:00 PM

My name is Stephen, and for two years now I have been studying HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Internet Explorer has been my browser of choice for several reasons:

  1. They have a much more fully featured DOM, from my perspective, and Netscape's seeming refusal to implement a better one only encourages me to continue learning, using, and developing for Internet Explorer.

    The thought that Netscape will be releasing a brand new DOM for their version 6 browser only makes life that much harder for web developers.</li>
  2. Netscape and Internet Explorer have very different implementations of basic HTML. While I don't have the time to compile a list, I will say that having to implement CSS in order to set basic HTML attributes shouldn't be necessary, and this more often than not happens in Netscape browsers.</li>
  3. Netscape's implementation of CSS is nowhere near as complete as Internet Explorer's. On occasions where I have been able to do something really spectacular in Internet Explorer utilizing CSS, that same feat will either work poorly or won't work at all in Netscape's browser, often causing it to crash.</li>

This is only a short list of things that irritate me about Netscape, but if I had hours to spend at the keyboard, there wouldn't be a moment without typing. While others have argued these points better that I have, I hope that this will help make a difference.

Stephen Hock

November 8th, 2000   12:22 PM

I personally gave up designing pages to work in netscape about 4 months ago. It was right about the time I finally got fed up with all the errors I was getting using the program and switched over to IE, prior to that point I was completely pro NS. Now I try to convince all my friends to switch over to IE whenever I get the chance.

I work for a webhosting company in Masachusetts and if a page works in IE but not in NS we really don't care. It costs way too much, in time, effort, and money to try and code a page or app to work properly on IE and NS. If NS would simply stick to the standards and apply the bug fixes I think I would use their browser again, but as it stands now it is a complete waste of my time.

In my opinion NS is becoming to web browsers as AOL is to ISP's, the only people who use it are too ignorant to realize there are better options out there.

That's my two cents.

Craig Henderson

November 8th, 2000   12:21 PM

I find it totally ridiculous to think Netscape would publish 6.0 without being compliant. What is the point? Is Netscape purposely trying to alienate its users. There are some that are only holding onto their loyalty by their fingernails and others that finally let go.

Netscape has some great features but if both IE and Netscape can't get their acts together to be compliant many web developers won't have a hair left on their heads.

Sarud Jamal

November 8th, 2000   12:16 PM

I agree that for me this is Netscape's last chance to make a good product.
If Netscape 6.0 is non-standard compliant or buggy, I will be forced
to look to a competitor for my browser.

Please take the time and energy to improve Netscape 6.0 and
make it standards compliant.

I'm willing to wait for a superior product.

Terry Carruthers

November 8th, 2000   12:15 PM

We no longer feel Netscape has or will have enough market share to warrant writing multiple versions of our site. Netscape 6 PR3 still does not run JavaScript correctly (DOM support is awefull). IE has overtaken Netscape 92% to 7%. We currently filter out most DHTML for Netscape and give them the simple version.

Steven Roussey

November 8th, 2000   12:10 PM

Not only am I a developer, I teach web design. For the past year or so I've had to disappoint my advanced students time and again with "here's this great feature, but you can't use it if you're developing for Netscape." The groans are audible every single time -- people want something that can not just stand up to MSIE, but beat it back into the ground. But I always had a ray of hope to offer -- "Just wait for Netscape 6"...

... so much for that hope.

I don't care who gets the market share -- I care about being able to design to a set of standards, not the whims of some corporate hack project manager who makes the decisions of what stays and what goes according to the company's bottom-line. I can't believe that the developers at Netscape or at Microsoft actually want to serve up what their companies expect us to swallow without complaint ... they must have the worst jobs in the world right now. To have standards, to have solutions, and to be told not to implement them. I don't think I could stay in a job like that.

For the longest time now, the 'experts' in our community have been hailing Netscape 6 and Gecko as the product by which all others will be judged. How wrong were they to put their faith and the weight of their names behind this?

Perhaps its time to look to Opera and iCab for some leadership -- there certainly doesn't seem to be any company on this side of the Atlantic that has the courage to demand quality and deliver quality.

Netscape, you have a great shot at making the web a better place both for users and developers, but only if you stick to the standards. Forget about backwards compatibility -- MSIE has taken some giant steps backwards in that department and has gotten properly flamed for doing so. Stick to the standards, and deliver on the standards.

Bob Boyle

November 8th, 2000   12:08 PM

Please fix this stuff. I as well as the other developers at my company believe this is vital to the success of this product and to netscape in general.

Brant Boehmann

November 8th, 2000   12:07 PM

I'm truley hurt by the news. I have argued that Netscape is better then IE for a long time and have been awaiting the killer product that will hopefully settle the argument once and for all. It apears like that will not happen anytime soon. I have always liked netscape but as javascript becomes more and more used then the need to support it becomes more important. Please fix the release and don't make me a liar.

Patrick Fisk

November 8th, 2000   12:03 PM

As I have been trying to increase the use of CSS in my web applications, I have been very frustrated by the number of times Netscape Navigator fails to implement agreed standards. This has caused a lot of extra work, and some of the CSS standards seem unworkable in Netscape. Please wait until these sort of bugs have been fixed, then release a version that will make a decent contribution.

Peter Bennett

November 8th, 2000   11:58 AM

Like David said, this is Netscape's last chance to make a good product. I'm more than willing to wait for a superior product. Make the changes guys.

Matthew Hinton

November 8th, 2000   11:40 AM

I would rather wait and pay for a standards compliant browser than to see an inferior product released. We've waited this long. Please incorporate the bug fixes.

george tucker

November 8th, 2000   11:38 AM

Please, oh please, make sure 6.0 is compliant before release! I've fought these particular inconsistencies for years now.

Daniel Lautenschleger

November 8th, 2000   11:28 AM

I hate buggy software - so please - take the time to eliminate the errors in the navigator

Erich Weber

November 8th, 2000   11:22 AM

I've been doing web/graphic development for only 1 year, but I've already developed an extreme dislike for Netscape browsers and the hack code I have to write to ensure cross-browser compatability with IE. I've spent many additional hours changing the code so that it works in IE as well as NS. I've grown tired of having to rewrite sometimes entire pages because the few developers on the Netscape team feel that it's not important to adhere to the standards that thousands of developers use.

I was excited for NS6.0 to come out, hoping that the majority of the anti-standard bugs would be fixed. I'm in great dismay to hear that Netscape refuses to apply ready-to-go patches to bugs which they know exist. If NS6.0 is as buggy as I'm guessing it'll be, I may decide to stop coding for NS compatability all together. I'm tired of staying up till 2 in the morning for the soul fact of fixing things that don't work in NS, but work flawless in IE. And I refuse to stay up any more late nights because some hack team of "developers" decide the only thing worth developing is something to piss off every Webauthor in the world.

I have better things to do than be inefficient and unproductive for my clients because NS doesn't care about the world-wide community of web developers.

Ryan Baldwin

November 8th, 2000   11:18 AM

As a "Web Developer" the MOST important thing to me is
does it comply with the most popular browsers out there.
Right now IE has ilke approx 80%-90% of the market share.

The why is not the issue. This is just a fact. The only
thing that could grab any market share from Microsoft's IE
would be a ground breaking Browser that is easier to use,
offered more features, was backward and present compliant
and something that would extend the standards into something
that is desirable(Like IE ActiveX automatically downloaded

NS6.0 is offering no of these. I guess they don't want a
market share... Hrmph... sad.

Christopher Holmok

November 8th, 2000   11:15 AM

Nobody was forcing you to rush Netscape 6 out the door, so why did you? You had a loyal following of people who were willing to wait -and wanted to wait- until you got it right. Internet users are tired of being expected to use products that are only half-completed. Web developers are even more tired of having to code work-arounds for every Netscape bug. Finally you had the oppurtunity and the support to do it right but you were still too concerned about time. Please don't ship this until it's ready.


November 8th, 2000   11:15 AM

I've been doing web/graphic development for only 1 year, but I've already developed an extreme dislike for Netscape browsers and the hack code I have to write to ensure the cross-browser compatability with IE. I've spent many additional hours changing the code so that it works in IE as well as NS. I've grown tired of having to rewrite sometimes entire pages because the few developers on the Netscape team feel that it's not important to adhere to the standards that thousands of developers use.

I was excited for NS6.0 to come out, hoping that the majority of the anti-standard bugs would be fixed. I'm in great dismay to hear that Netscape refuses to apply ready-to-go patches to bugs which they know exists. If NS6.0 is as buggy as I'm guessing it'll be, I may decide to stop coding for NS compatability all together. I'm tired of staying up till 2 in the morning for the soul fact of fixing things that don't work in NS, but work flawless in IE. And I refuse to stay up any more late nights because some hack team of "developers" decide the only thing worth developing is something to piss every web developer in the world.

I got better things to do than being inefficient and unproductive for my clients because NS doesn't care about the world-wide community of web developers.

- Ryan Baldwin

Ryan Baldwin

November 8th, 2000   11:04 AM

As one of the primary browser vendors, Netscape has an important role in the evolution of the web. The software they create has to be accommodated by website developers worldwide. However, the lack of quality assurance makes me think they will be cursed more than commended. As a webmaster, I have to work late nights because of Netscape. Because simple things that work flawlessly in IE cause problems in Netscape.

Willing or not, Netscape is responsible for these late nights - not just for me, and not just in the U.S. Thousands of hours are wasted, and will continue to be wasted if Netscape 6 is released prematurely.

Therefore, I plead that Netscape stop this problem where it starts. Release Netscape when it's ready, not when the schedule dictates. Web developers worldwide will sigh with relief, for the hard work of few will prevent the tedium of many.

Michael Kane

November 8th, 2000   10:57 AM

MOZ deserves better than this.

As it stands if the new browser cannot meet the standards, and is not reverse compatible to the 4.XX versions, then it will be the death of all future NS browsers.

I have not, and will not design for it until it becomes REAL. Solid counts for more than early. And broken (beyond reasonable bugs) is worse than non-existing.

Please fix 6 before releasing it on an unforgiving world. Put more effort into 4.XX, release the updated 4.XX as 7.XX and when 6 is ready (really ready), if ever then make it 8, 9, or 10.

Do it right, MOZ deserves it, and the world demands it.

Paul Gray

November 8th, 2000   10:50 AM

As a web developer I am tired of constantly trying to hack my html and css to work in netscape. I am disapointed that there appears to be no end to this netscape problem in sight. The only thing that I can apparently hope for is that the mozilla team will continue their efforts and will eventually fix all of their problems. Hopefully when that happens Netscape will still be around to integrate the mozilla code into another release.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then
beat you with experience.

Ira Miller

November 8th, 2000   10:48 AM

As a web developer, I am very aware of the diversity of web browsers.

Typically, when a new browser comes out, it at LEAST supports backwards
compatibility with existing standards.

If Netscape 6.0 is released without backwards compatibility with existing standards, I will refuse to use or support it and will strongly recommend against others using or adopting it. It will be easy to talk any clients out of supporting N6 as well, based on additional cost to get their sites to work
in N6 as well as all the other browsers.

I want to see Netscape release a browser that lives up to the expectation that it will be an improvement over previous browsers, If not, well ... maybe Microsoft has won the browser wars after all, and it's death to all standards.

David LaCroix

November 8th, 2000   10:48 AM

As a web developer I am tired of constantly trying to hack my html and css to work in netscape. I am disapointed that there appears to be no end to this netscape problem in sight. The only thing that I can apparently hope for is that the mozilla team will continue their efforts and will eventually fix all of their problems. Hopefully when that happens Netscape will still be around to integrate the mozilla code into another release.

Ira Miller

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then
beat you with experience.

Ira Miller

November 8th, 2000   10:44 AM

I'm a webdeveloper.

First i'll thank you Netscape for what you have "done" for the web, now what you are doing is driving users/developers away from Nescape-Navigator to IE because of your plans to publish a buggy browser version, only to be in time. Why are you guys so ignorant.

It's very hard to develop sites which works with all major versions of Netscape. Most of the clients i'm working for are switching to IE, because of its stability. And the fakt that pages which are designed for 4.0 are also working with 5.0, 5.5 und so on...

IE is fast and stable browser, so guys do not let the old spirit die and try to give IE a good fight with a good browser...

H. A.

H. A.

November 8th, 2000   10:43 AM

I am apalled at Netscape's carelessness here. Do they not understand what reputation their version 4.x(i liked 3) browser has with nearly everyone? Netscape 4.x, bluntly put, sucks. I have used every public release of version 6.0 and I was quite pleased with the progress they were making, it actually began to restore my faith in Netscape. The prospect my web apps would work correctly in both excited me as a developer and as a consumer. I use operating systems other than Windows and Netscape(mozilla) is the only viable alternative to IE, since IE is not on most other platforms(mainly linux). Rushing this product to market will only gain them one thing, a label of laziness and poor quality(which they already have as far as I am concerned).

We already have an internal corporate on Netscape, which I was hoping to lift for version 6.0. I guess the ban will be in place until 7.0 if this continues.

Chris Newbill

November 8th, 2000   10:40 AM

The complaints against Netscape are a load of bunk. People seem to expect that Netscape should be bug-free upon release. This simply doesn't happen with point-0 releases. The truth is, this is a very complex project they are working on - it is a fresh, standards-compliant, and mostly platform-independent project with a huge store of barely tested code behind it.

How well did IE perform when it was in a similar situation - when it was first released? Yet, look where it is now. I think Netscape should consider NS6 an entirely new product, and give it a new name and all. But it looks like that isn't going to happen.

When Netscape finally brought in Mozilla code to start Navigator 6, they were faced with an important decision. They could either concentrate on transforming Mozilla to Netscape, or put their hands all over the code at once. The latter was certainly not an attractive option. They have to juggle priorities for implementing interface, rendering, networking, security, e-mail, newsgroups, etc.

Web developers need to come to grips with the real state of affairs in the web world. Things have been quite comfortable for them for a while. But truth is, new releases can break existing code - it's happened before, and will happen again. Sure, your code might be standards-compliant, but it also tip-toes around compliance issues in current browsers. Netscape 6 is more compliant that any other browser - learn to fit in the new features that work, and you'll be doing great!

Personally, I avoid sites that use MSIE-only features abusively, so if want to reach the absolute maximum users, you'd better cope. The cases where a site needs a MSIE feature to build or maintain a userbase are rare.

Many important NS6 fixes will come later, but don't try to hold it back. The initial release may not win people back from MSIE, but that's okay. At this point, Netscape is almost stuck in a power-user niche, so they can handle it. Other users may not be knowledgeable, but they're probably at least strong Netscape supporters. If they don't like NS6, they can go back to NS4 and probably won't give a thought to MSIE.

David K. Gasaway

November 8th, 2000   10:23 AM

As a lead engineer at a large web development firm, I will encourage my clients to design sites that simply refuse to work when Netscape 6.0 is detected, advising users to "upgrade" to either a working mozilla, an older Netscape, or to IE 5.x. Users and site developers shouldn't have to put up with this sort of short-sightedness. The Mozilla team has done a lot of hard work, and is willing to go that extra mile. Netscape is beyond foolish in not respecting the work and working pace of the Mozilla team and deserves to be punished not just by the developer community but by non-adoption of their standards-shirking browser by the user community.

Manni Wood

November 8th, 2000   9:31 AM

I'm a novice, and I uninstalled the beta version of Netscape 6 simply because it was unattractive, unclear and just generally confusing to use. I still use Netscape 4.7, but after hearing all these arguments, and being basically unskilled in the use of browsers anyhow, I believe I'll stick to what I've got untill approvements come about for the new Netscape browser (if they do.) I've actually found the Netscape browser to be consistently stronger than the IE I have and prefer it greatly. Too bad I can't upgrade...

Lola Strickland

November 8th, 2000   9:21 AM

There was a time when Netscape was "the" platform to develop for. However, this has not been the case for some time now. The Netscape 6 bungle is further evidence that Netscape could care less about how difficult development on their platform is, or how much hacked code we have to write to get their hacked code to work...

Buck Poe

November 8th, 2000   9:20 AM

While I applaud Netscape for their goal of compliance, Netscape 6 is at odds with the reality of currently-deployed browsers and the sites written to work with them. While Netscape 6 provides rich possibilities for DHTML, a great deal of existing DHTML does not work. We would have to make extensive changes to sites we have created in order to make them work with Netscape 6, although they work fine across Netscape and IE 4 and above, and very often v3 and above.

It will be difficult to sell the programming time necessary to perform these retro-fits before Netscape 6 is well-accepted -- and difficult for Netscape 6 to become well-accepted without these retro-fits in place.

The best chance Netscape has is if Microsoft forges ahead in the same direction with IE6 as Netscape has with their 6th-generation browser. However, from a strictly economic view, Microsoft may as well deal the death blow now and look at W3C standards later. If IE6 provides backward-compatibility with proprietary extensions, as well as support of W3C standards, then Netscape will be left at the margins.

Mark Kolmar

November 8th, 2000   9:01 AM

I *used* to be a big netscape fan. But with every single release they seem to fall further and further behind. If they think that releasing based on ship dates instead of product quality is going to help them, I think its time for new leadership.

As a web developer, it takes an extraordinary amount of effort to keep my applications multi-browser compatible. And for most of us, we try at all costs to avoid having to build gateways to split into subsites based on client type. However, it seems that Netscape is trying to push us into what is seeming more and more like an inevitability.... "I'm sorry, this site uses advanced features, and thus, you will require Microsoft Internet Explorer."

Gregory T. Loker

November 8th, 2000   8:58 AM

Ship it NOW!
Do it, ship now!

I was a loyal NN user until IE5, it is quite simply better.

I am tired of the browser war and I feel that if Netscrape 6 is released now, it will begin the "end of Netscape", this will let IE take over.

The bs about N6 and the downloads and the crashes and the "we need javascript testers" when no js worked and the crashes and the ctrl-alt-del-> end task and the crashes and the java and and and and and... have led me to hate Netscape.

Aleph Dev

November 8th, 2000   8:54 AM

Dear Netscape,

Please release 6.0 ASAP. I want every end-user to install it, hate it, and switch to the better browser (we all know what that is).

Nothing could make me happier than a horrific deployment of 6.0.
Well, one thing could make me happier -- a class action suit against Netscape filed on behalf of web engineers for the Netscape monopoly on terrible browsers.

Steve Jansen

Steve Jansen

November 8th, 2000   8:39 AM

I have been working on websites for over a year now and during that time I have endured a continual struggle dealing with the incompatabilities of Netscape. I would strongly recommend that you rename the upcoming release of Navigator 6.0 as a beta and reopen the tree and allow your engineers to apply the patches they've already created. And that you refocus your attention and efforts on standards compliance.

The web will suffer until we work together towards standards compliance.

susan sheard

November 8th, 2000   8:29 AM

As a Linux and Solaris user, Netscape is a kind of natural browser to me. But I have to admit that the Netscape 4 series is the worst application I use commonly, it has nothing besides in terms of instability.

I would really appreciate Netscape delivering a stable and standards compliant browser, because that's the best way to save us from an Windows and Mac-only web with IE setting standards. Once Microsoft doesn't has to follow standards any longer because of lack of competitors, don't you think they will define their own?

It took so long time anyway... just hold on a bit longer and accept the help of the open source community!

Jörg Cassens

November 8th, 2000   8:22 AM

I have been an Internet Explorer user as long as I've been desinging web pages, but I had anxiously awaited the release of Netscape 6.
I've seen all three preview releases; they are nothing as I expected. The program itself fails terribly as far as properly implementing CSS. The interface is terrible and has only improved slightly- I would never skin a browser.
Sadly, it's looking like I'm going to have to stick with IE.

Katelynn Corrigan

November 8th, 2000   8:20 AM

As a web programmer who's been doing this since there was a web, I have been waiting for the day when we get target platforms that are standards-compliant. I see that I must keep waiting. I am very disappointed that Netscape 6 appears to drop the bal - yet again - in this area. Why should I develop for your platform???

Kris Rudin

November 8th, 2000   7:54 AM

First, I want to say that I've used Netscape as my browser of choice for a little over 4 1/2 years. I think Netscape Communicator is a fantastic concept in that it has so many easy features built in to it. I think the mail client is the best intigrated program available. I've used each release up to 6.0 Beta. Now, having said that...

I have reverted back to version 4.76 and even then I have concerns. I am currently running WindowsME and even with version 4.76, it's difficult to get netscape to close fully after exiting. 90% of the time I have to press CTL-ALT-DEL and choose End Task to stop the system hang. 6.0 wasn't any better and this is just a smattering of the problems I've encountered. I won't even get into the Java problems because I could go all day.

In my years of using Netscape, I've seen features improve and quality worsen. I am hoping that by sharing my honest opinion of a browser I prefer to use that this issues will be carefully scrutinized and repaired. I am also hoping the quality assurance of Netscape/AOL improves and less problematic releases are made in the future. Netscape will continue to be my browser of choice until the slowing lack of qualiity and the problems make using it a chore/hassle to use rather than a convenience. Unfortunately, it seems to be heading that way. I will be positive and pray that Netscape will do better for its consumers and its own reputation.

Robert Kerr

November 8th, 2000   7:53 AM

First, I want to say that I've used Netscape as my browser of choice for a little over 4 1/2 years. I think Netscape Communicator is a fantastic concept in that it has so many easy features built in to it. I think the mail client is the best intigrated program available. I've used each release up to 6.0 Beta. Now, having said that...

I have reverted back to version 4.76 and even then I have concerns. I am currently running WindowsME and even with version 4.76, it's difficult to get netscape to close fully after exiting. 90% of the time I have to press CTL-ALT-DEL and choose End Task to stop the system hang. 6.0 wasn't any better.

In my years of using Netscape, I've seen features improve and quality worsen. I am hoping that by sharing my honest opinion of a browser I prefer to use that this issues will be carefully scrutinized and repaired. I am also hoping the quality assurance of Netscape/AOL improves and less problematic releases are made in the future. Netscape will continue to be my browser of choice until the slowing lack of qualiity and the problems make using it a chore/hassle to use rather than a convenience. Unfortunately, it seems to be heading that way. I will be positive and pray that Netscape will do better for its consumers and its own reputation.

Robert Kerr

November 8th, 2000   7:52 AM

Standards compliance? Why comply with standards? Why even have standards?! There is not enough sarcasm in the world with which to address this issue.

Jane Haskin

November 8th, 2000   7:51 AM

The "browsers war" has been devastating enough within the programmer’s community and contributed to lots of painful "work around" fixes. Do we need a buggy browser on top of that? No wonder Microsoft is wining that war.
I would like to see a rock solid version of Navigator that adheres to industry standards and is reliable even if it takes 6 more month of development work. Good software (like good programming) takes time.

Ricardo Alvez

November 8th, 2000   7:50 AM

with netscape 6, we will have to continue in programing wrong html- and other code in order to take into account the netscape-users.
webdesign for netscape-browsers is very disillusioning. i can´t understand, why its not possible to create a browser equivalent or better than MS IE....

Daniel Pfanner

November 8th, 2000   7:45 AM

Will Netscape/AOL Bill Gates mit seinen Bugs Konkurrenz machen? Wir brauchen funktionierende Software. Kein Browser mit bekannten Bugs ausliefern!


November 8th, 2000   7:38 AM

Do not buckle under to marketing deadline... support standards now! Simply put, Netscape marketing is being shortsighted. And poorly lead! The Netscape browser share will continue to slip if a less than standard compliant browser is released. MSIE will continue to bite more and more from AOL/Netscape with a Netscape 6 release, and course of action, that fails to meet the standards. (A reversal of personalities if you will... who is the fierce creature here? Is Netscape really just a technological "dinosaur" or the
terror-of-Redmond "Mozilla")

Some of these "unimportant bugs" will break many of the marketing/shopping/"profit and ad revenue" sites so important to the Netscape marketing lemmings. Then where will Netscape be? Very much at the bottom of the browser stack.

Timothy Stone

November 8th, 2000   7:38 AM


James E. Owens

November 8th, 2000   7:37 AM

To whom it may concern,

I have been developing for the web for about 4 years now and I have to say that the last few years of Netscape 4.x have been nothing short of excruciating. The post-crash quality-assurance bug tracker has apparently been all but ignored by the Netscape development staff. I can assure you that neither I, nor the rest of my company's development staff will support NS6 development until the program functions at least as well as IE4 (which it currently does not.) So, my parting words to the Netscape Development Team are...


Casey Gum

November 8th, 2000   7:36 AM

Whether the standards compliance issue is operating system dependent or not is irrelevant, it exists in Windows operating systems and in so many widespread and even basic and fundamental ways as to be too many to list. To argue the case that Netscape should not fix compliance issues in their final release is arrogant elitism at best. Most mainstream Internet browsers are using a Windows operating system.

So if you are serious about building a decent product then get it to work for the majority or don't release it. Call it beta as long as you want and have no compliance, no one cares, but releasing it and telling a public who doesn't know better that it is compliant is ridiculous. That is what this is about and if you are arguing against this you either need to become a realist or not say anything.

Jeffrey Williams

November 8th, 2000   7:15 AM

How standards complient is Internet Explorer 5.5 (WIN)? How complient is Netscape 4.7? Now, look at how complient Mozilla and Netscape 6 are.

Face it, there is never going to be a perfect browser. We have to get a good, solid, browser to the market. If it's not 100% complient, it's not going to be the end of the world.

If we can get a browser that is more standards complient the either of the major two, then we did our jobs. Standards change anyway, and you'll only be able to use "100% standards complient" until new standards are published (and look at how many are currently in the works!).

If you keep fighting about what needs to get done, NOTHING WILL GET DONE.

The "driver's" of the project are the people who should decide what is important, and they make sure it gets done.


November 8th, 2000   6:26 AM

This is ridiculous. Everyone knows what this is really about but now one has the gaul to say it in a nutshell. I have tested various Mozilla releases from it's original coneption to m18(Netscape 6 PR1,PR2 & PR3 included) on several different platforms(Linux, Solaris, Macintosh, OS/2, Windows, etc.) and the
only times I experience these headlong problems are when running Netscape 6
pre-releases on Windows no less. Why, Simple because of Explorer. The damn
thing is the GUI and represents the most common set of the public Windows API
set for that matter.

Now I'm not trying to turn this into a flame war but I think what's going on here is quite obvios. To prove it I even installed Netscape 6 PR3 on the original Windows 98 with no windows or explorer updates. Guess what it ran as
flawlessly as it did on other operating systems. But as soon as I updated explorer to 5 or greater guess what started happening. That's right I started
having major problems with Netscape 6. The bottom line is Microsoft uses a hidden API structure internally and hands a second less intuitive API set to third-party developers. The result is that Microsoft software always runs
better then that of it's third party competition on Windows.

Case in point the macintosh. Totally third party no strings attached placed
Netscape 6 well over Internet Explorer 5.5. Too bad Microsoft didn't release
a version for Linux as well. Oh and by the way aside from bugs caused from Windows there are very few ulterior bugs in Netscape 6. The fact is the rendering engine,while a tad bit slower then Explorers pre-loaded bloatware,
is 5 times more compliant and 10 times more well engineered then that of I.E.
5. Even the loading of complex tables with multimedia components far exceeds
that of it's two largest competitors.

Now as for why this article on O'Reilly's was published in the first place is simple. Some guy out there just wanted to make a name for himself. Yeah, I'm talking about you Mr. Flanagan. You wanted exposure and since Microsoft bashing isn't in style much anymore you figured Netscape bashing could
get you as much notereity. I got it now why don't you join the bandwagon of Howard Stern or Bill Clinton bashers. Bet you there's a TV spot in it, I almost guarantee it. For all those taking this article seriously, sure there are some valid points, but in any bashing article you have valid points, doesn't mean the summation is correct.

As for people who read this statement I am sure there will be responses and some negative. However, I have not said anything that isn't true and I have not reached the point of bashing Microsoft. There are things not here about Microsoft that have been known for years that qualify as bashing material. I have not used any of that material though because I wanted to concentrate on just the technology and compliancy, not the other more shady affairs. Lastly,
to reiterate a great point. While Mr. Flanagan herendously bashing Netscape I haven't heard a whisper from Mr. Flanagan petitioning against the release of iCab or IE6 or Konqueror. Why go figure. To add on in Mr. Flanagan's book in
which he claims to define W3C compliancy he makes no mention as to DOM1, which
by the way has been a thorn in Microsoft's side. This brings up two questions
in my mind.

A) What is Mr. Flanagan's true intentions with this book and this obvious cheap
marketing tactic ?

B) If his intentions are not commercially motivated and Mr. Flanagan wants to go on about unbiased W3C compliancy (Not showing any relevance to relevant standards such as the Document Object Model) does he actually know a damn thing ?

(Personally I think it's Mr. Flanagan that fails standards and horrificly at that)

As for the rest I'll leave that up to the reader. ;)

November 8th, 2000   6:23 AM

I am a Systems Engineer currently working on an intranet development project for the USAF. I believe I could probably whip out a better quality browser with Visual Basic's browser creating wizard.

Jayce Gayton

November 8th, 2000   6:19 AM

Besides fixing the bugs, what is needed is a thorough set of standard tests which are run before the product is released. I would rather wait for a higher quality product than be disappointed with a series of quick releases.
Does Netscape/Mozilla have a quality assurance organization, or are they depending on the marketplace for that?

Mike Aigen

November 8th, 2000   6:17 AM

I think it's about time Netscape was held responsible for the shoddy standards compliance of NS6. As a web developer I've been working around the bugs in NS4.x for years and just when I'm thinking I don't have to worry about it anymore *poof* here's another shoddy browser for me to have to learn the bugs and workarounds. Just a waste of all of our time.
And also, anybody scope out the memory consumption of the damn thing? It's horrid, a complete insult. And slower than molassas in january to boot.

It's time to give up, Netscape.

On the other hand, I think the mozilla project's doing a fine job and they should keep on, since eventually, *someday* they'll have a decent browser. I'm not holding my breath, though. I'll stick with Opera and IE


November 8th, 2000   6:11 AM

Netscape 6 is the most standard compliant "product" on the "market" today.


November 8th, 2000   6:05 AM

To tell someone or something to 'eat shit' clearly shows immaturity. Now, I dislike Internet Explorer v.Anything, simply because it has asserted itself as the best internet browser in all existance. However, it is not. Anyone who was around the internet 4 years ago knows that Internet Exploder was rarely heard of, and about as standard compliant as dirt. There was Netscape and Mosaic, really, to choose from 4 years ago. My point? If you're going to say something, make it worth while. "Eat shit" is really just showing your ass, and it was rather stupid of you to do so, in my opinion.

Now, on to the issues (something the presidential campaigning never really got around to).

Netscape should be delayed, and all its holes plugged. It's like setting a ship to sea with a hull breach. More importantly, Netscape should make v6.0 compliant to all forms of online document standards. Truthfully, they would be the first browser company to do so.


November 8th, 2000   5:56 AM

Eat shit Netscape! You suck!

love Heywood

Heywood Jablowme

November 8th, 2000   5:42 AM

I agree since it's a big hassle to make every HTML page work on major browsers due to deviations from standards. The internet community must get compliant browses so we, the developers, can focus on things that matters instead of this constant hacking. We also need support for emerging standards like XML.

Tony Schon

November 8th, 2000   5:40 AM

Having only used Mozilla fleetingly for development I suppose I fall into the group of people who have not really performed an in depth analysis of its conformedness to standards. However I have bumped into a couple of the faults mentioned and took it to be an expression of onstability.

Now, the way it works on ongoing projects (or so is MHO) is that you release when you want to show people what you have. If you have known bugs you call it "Beta" or "Prerelease" or something. It would seem that there is no contest of Netscape's right to make a release but rather a general opinion that one should call a shovel a shovel and make the upcoming release a beta.

Nathan Droft

November 8th, 2000   5:33 AM

Dear Netscape,

Release a buggy product *again* and you will be dead-in-the-water. The Free Software Community is hot on your heals... if your product is not better than the free stuff, why would we pay for it?


Michael Roy Ames

November 8th, 2000   5:21 AM

here are my 2 cents.
I used an alpha or beta or Communicator 6, and it did not work for me.
I am a web developper, on a mac, and I find IE to not support all the standards that I want to use. When I make my page in what I believe to be standard HTML, CSS and javascript, I do not get the same pretty result in IE as I do in Netscape 4.7 . I want this "goodlookingness" to continue with Netscape 6.
I do not want a buggy release of NN6 that does not support standards because
then we are crewed... off to IE we go... since it is the lesser of 2 evil.

conclusion ?

The Admiral

November 8th, 2000   5:06 AM


Ever look at this from an end user's point of view??? ...or a business person's point of view for that matter?

There's more to computing and the internet that what codeheads like you see.

Netscape is a BUSINESS....and has to balance between releasing a fairly stable product and releasing it in a timely manner to protect its marketability.

Netscape has REAMINED SOLVENT in the face of microsoft....that is an amazing feat by itself. AOL, Netscape's parent company, has transformed itself from the laughing stock of everyone paying attention to a respecatble internet goliath.

Please do not write back arguing that netscape DID sell out to AOL and that AOL is only as big as it is because of the tons of internet illiterate people out there....the fact is..what Netscape and AOL accomplished takes BALLS and a great deal of business pizazz.

I am in the IT field but my parent are not....I dont use AOL..but they do...and I LIKE AOL because it helps me keep in touch with my parents...get the drift? So....quit hogging bandwidth and go back to kissing microsoft's ass until you have something good to say :)


November 8th, 2000   4:53 AM

Netscape continues to make development difficult for the web, and I wish that would just put up or shut up. Netscape was good, but IE has long since been surpassing them with CSS and DOM. Before I ever use NN6, I will go with Mozilla or IE.

They need to come in behind developers, not just please their shareholders and their masters at AOL.

Maurice Reeves

November 8th, 2000   4:46 AM

Haven't web developers delt long enough with Netscape being to specific? Now we have to deal with Non-standards complience? What next, are they going to re-write HTML and call it NML? Don't become Microsoft, Netscape!!!

John Leask

November 8th, 2000   4:41 AM

OK, so I have to provide a comment. Well here it is: no comment!

Patrick Verkaik

November 8th, 2000   4:35 AM

sounds like the end of netscape...

yay no more catering for a crap browser!!!

pity that basically lets microsoft do whatever they want :(


November 8th, 2000   4:30 AM

Finally a standards compliant browser! I thought...
This serious misstake from Netscape will really boost
even further the use of IE even though that one s*cks
as well.
I do like the mozilla project though. Open source is here
to stay.

magnus lindahl

November 8th, 2000   4:14 AM

I have used serveral test versions of Netscape 6.0 and have to say it's the worst browser ever created. It lacks support for open standards and, for that, should be delayed. Netscape has, and always will, suck as a browser with regards to flexibility and programmalibity.


November 8th, 2000   4:13 AM

I have used serveral test versions of Netscape 6.0 and have to say it's the worst browser ever created. It lacks support for open standards and, for that, should be delayed. Netscape has, and always will, suck as a browser with regards to flexibility and programmalibity.


November 8th, 2000   4:12 AM

A real fellow Netscape user here since 1.x ones... I continueusly test those preview things even while they cannot even uninstall themselves..
Shocking, Netscape is dead... Plugins are invented by Netscape, and guess what? You cannot install plugins to Netscape 6 (ridicilously except wmedia, which only registers file type)...
No plugin??? Wake up people, if we OK -no plugin- situation, we use Opera! It is better than all.
Bye to netscape, sadly

Ilgaz Öcal

November 8th, 2000   3:59 AM

Why can't Netscape wait to deliver a product that is actually doing what they are anouncing the whole time, namely being a product of 6th generation, not another new branch with new bugs, but a product based on and evolving already tested products? (although the last part is only partly true for versions >4.73)
And another thing:
IF they have to deliver the buggy version, maybe the Autoupdate (which would be mandatory in this case) can be modified to really _update_ the Browser if fixes are available, _not_ download a completely new version/product?

.sig under construction

Achim J. Latz

November 8th, 2000   3:49 AM

Here we go again... This is ridiculous... Netscape, you championed the angle of standards compliance, dont give developers one more reason to use Flash, and ditch the whole HTML thing once and for all...

Ben Davies

November 8th, 2000   3:33 AM

As a interface programmer I spend 50-60% of my time making things work in netscape, when only 20% of people use Netscape I think this is a wast of time. Get things sorted Netscape.

Andy Bettger

November 8th, 2000   3:26 AM

Full compliance to todays standards ought to be the first consern for all browser developers.

John Bredal

November 8th, 2000   3:21 AM

They are missing a massive opportunity to regain market share in releasing a product full of critical problems (sound familiar??!)

David Geran

November 8th, 2000   3:15 AM

Please don't release anything that isn't standards compliant this time!

Robert Nyman

November 8th, 2000   2:50 AM

I'm also for postponing the next release of Netscape until it more closely adheres to the current standard.

Kevin Luu

November 8th, 2000   2:44 AM

please, do this right this time...

Nicolas Ballinas

November 8th, 2000   2:40 AM

Simply put this stinks. It's hard enough right now to deal with an old version of Netscape, but that combined with a new uncompatible version? Ridiculous!


November 8th, 2000   2:31 AM

I have always been a great supporter of the Mozilla endeavour, and of Netscapes support of it.

It has been my hope that the product of these two years or so would be a fully standards compliant browser, that would enable a new generation of Web applications.

Netscape must realise it is not going to win back any greater chunk of market share by getting a browser out now or in Six months time. The market share will be based on it's usefullness, and therefore it's uptake by developers.

Netscape. Hold back. Check in dem bug patches.

Daniel Bambach

November 8th, 2000   2:23 AM

So when you going to do a parallel article about all the gaping security holes/driving a coach and horses through standards issues in IE? Oh, let me guess, not enough space and life's just too short. I've been a web developer since 94 (yeah, right back when Bill was saying the Internet was a geek novelty that wouldn't go mainstream before he "discovered" the net in 96) and have continually been driven to distraction by attempting to code to the crud coming out of Redmond. What happened to balance?

Gecko Mozilla

November 8th, 2000   2:15 AM

C'mon. Netscape is light years ahead of IE in terms of standard compliance - also be fair - the only reason you were able to write this article is because Mozilla opens their source and buglist. With IE, MS just let us find the bugs when it's too late. I for one have used most of the Mozilla milestones (with varying degrees of satisfaction) and am well looking forward to Mozilla release/NS 6 but this kind of FUD could sink it before it starts.

Paul Davis

November 8th, 2000   2:02 AM

Nuff said.

Just get it compliant. It's your last and only chance to compete with IE.

I've been with you from Netscape 2.
At the moment I'm still using Communicator 4.7x (Netscape 3 was the best), though I have to admit that IE is the better browser right now (more options, less bugs, more users)).

I was kinda hoping that you guys would beat the shit out of IE with Netscape 6.0.
But till now, you didn't.

If I have to choose between making two different sites to make it compatible with both browsers and just making one, I'd choose the last option.
And right now it wouldn't be in favour for Netscape I'm afraid.

I'd hate to see you guys disappear. Please get it full-proof!

S. Witte

November 8th, 2000   1:57 AM

I have worked extensively with Netscape's Messaging server product on Solaris, as well as their Directory server product (also on Solaris). The Directory product has been pretty good, but it makes a few "optimizations" at the expense of being strictly in compliance with standards. I don't necessarily object to that per se, but that's maybe another issue.

I do object to the way their Messaging server works, however. In a number of cases (enough that I will not list them here) I or others in my group have come across bugs or simple design flaws in the product where it totally ignored something which is standard, or implemented it incorrectly. On a number of occasions we have had to actually quote sections of RFC821 or RFC822 to their engineers, and occasionally they even come back and tell us that we are wrong. It's not a matter of opinion, it's the RFC!

In some product lines I would not care. But email is the "killer app" of the Internet, it is more well established than any other use of the network, and the standards documentation that define how it works have been around for years and years. There is absolutely no excuse for some of the bad behavior I have seen in the product.

I realize that this doesn't directly apply to their browser technology. In fact, the browser is maintained by the AOL arm of the company, and the server products are maintained by iPlanet (which is on the Sun Microsystems side of the fence). But I just felt I should point out that I have seen this type of ignorance of standards in favor of shipping product in other products which have come out of Netscape.

Dan Lowe

November 8th, 2000   1:53 AM

This is yet another nail in the coffin lid for Netscape.

I have been designing web sites and intranet based systems now for 6 years.
Over that period of time we have seen Netscape move from being pretty much the
only browser, thru best browser, a pretty good browser, the browser thats an
alternative to IE, to where we are today:-

A browser thats coming from a company that worries more about deadlines
than quality and adherence to standards.

Im very saddened by this, as although my work has always been cross browser
compatible, often at the expense of cutting edge technology, or requiring two
sets of code with a browser detect-and-redirect script, I have always advocated
Netscape over IE specifically because of its better support for standards.

It seems that this can no longer be the case. I wonder just what Netscape will
have going for it now that its traditional rival IE looks to support common
standards and is so freely available - even if its not part of the OS any more


Please Netscape - if you must roll out 6.0 roll it out as beta, then go back
to the code and get it right....

As another thought, how much time and energy has been poured into the extra
bloatware gubbins that comes with netscape???

Do we really want an email client, news client web design package.... etc etc
etc... now if it made good coffee... ;-)


Christopher J Williams - still using Netscape (just)

Christopher J Williams

November 8th, 2000   1:26 AM


I really was hoping Netscape 6 would be a really worthwhile browser to develop for. I was hoping that I'd be able to tell people that it was worth using this in favour of IE5.5, due to its full compliance etc., but it appears not.

Ah well, I guess I'll still check my pages work, but I'm probably going to keep IE 5 as my main browser for a short while at least.

Tom Knight

November 8th, 2000   1:21 AM


I really was hoping Netscape 6 would be a really worthwhile browser to develop for. I was hoping that I'd be able to tell people that it was worth using this in favour of IE5.5, due to its full compliance etc., but it appears not.

Ah well, I guess I'll still check my pages work, but I'm probably going to keep IE 5 as my main browser for a short while at least.

Tom Knight

November 8th, 2000   1:20 AM

I want the browsers to support HTML 4.0, CSS 1 and ECMAScript (the "official" version of JavaScript).

I have to and want to work for costumers, and I don't want to spend my time working around lousy bugs...


November 8th, 2000   1:17 AM

Your one and ONLY chance to compete with IE is to be standards compliant to the point where everyone involved in making web pages clearly prefer to work with NS6 before IE. If you're not these people will just ignore your browser, and as they do, pages won't work with it, and it won't stand a chance of catching on. It's compliance or all your work will be wasted, that's the truth. Now do the right thing. Please.

Martin Sandin

November 8th, 2000   12:29 AM

Remove the crap from NS! I want a webbrowser not a email client with newsreader and html editor!

Johan Hallberg

November 8th, 2000   12:24 AM


Henric Larsson

November 8th, 2000   12:20 AM

So where's mozilla's value, in AOL tabs ?????


David Bourget

November 8th, 2000   12:17 AM

I am webmaster for a very big multinational. We test web pages for all possible browsers available on the market. Most of the time we have to create seperate webpages for IE and Netscape, just because they differ too much. To me Netscape 3 Gold still was the best browser ever. IE is not just a browser, it is a shell. However we all can see that IE is widely used and web sites that doesn't work with a Netscape browser are increasing by the day. This will continue, be sure of that, certainly when Netscape 6 turns out to be a non-compliant browser.
We are following Netscape 6 very closely and already discouvered irritating things (some of them are mentioned in the article). If the final release isn't improved (bugs solved) we simply won't support Netscape 6 on our web sites.
Let's say this: Netscape 6 HAS TO BE 100% bug-free to be even able to compete IE6! You can download preview releases of Netscape 6, I ask myself why because they simply won't listen...

kerr dave

November 8th, 2000   12:14 AM

As a Linux user I really hope that version 6 of Netscape is up to the standard. I am sick and tired of it not supporting all of the features that IE does.

James Clarke

November 8th, 2000   12:01 AM

<h3>Browsers, Pussies and Standards</h3>

I build websites and networks for a living. This is my day, night, and weekend job. It is what I have decided to do with my life.

I belong to the Web Standards Project. I joined on the first day.
Why? Because I was tired of having to code around
browser i n c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s.
I even made my own Banner.
<img src="" width="402" height="24" alt="Web Standards Project" border="1">

I want the browsers to support HTML 4.0, CSS 1 and ECMAScript (the "official" version of JavaScript).

These three Standards alone would create a web that with Correct Coding and Validation would create a web available to everyone connected to the web.(There are more, but these are my picks)


Netscape and Microsoft both belong to the W3C. They are both on the committees that create the Standards. None of these Standards are surprises. Nor were they experimental when the WSP called the browser Makers to support these Standards.

I use Microsoft's Internet Explorer for my browser.
Am I happy with it? No I'm not.
Reason #1 Web Standards and Internet Explorer 5 Part 2
Reason #2 The Microsoft Internet
Reason #3 You are being Screwed Again!!


Chris Nelson is the creator of Mozillazine, a website allegedly created to follow the development of Mozilla, Netscape's Standards Compliant Browser Code, the Gecko rendering engine.

He wrote an article in response to a posting by David Flanagan : Netscape Navigator 6.0 to Fail Standards Compliance

He says as a member of the WSP I am a pussy.

Poor Chris, let's address the whines and bitches first. You wrote;

The first conflict was with the raving loonies of the WSP. The WSP whines and bitches about standards compliance. They create a petition[1] to convince Netscape to switch to development of their "Gecko" rendering engine technology, which promises greater standards compliance. They take credit for the Mozilla project moving to this new technology.

Chris; I refer you to the following email referenced in the link above[1]

<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1">
<tr><td bgcolor="#faf9f6">

Re:Web Standards Project - NGLayout Petition

submitted by The WaSP

Monday October 26th, 1998 10:24:00 PM

Reply to this message
<td bgcolor="#ffffff">Today Netscape informed The Web Standards Project that it has agreed to include NGLayout in Nav 5. </td>

It worked! It may be petition envy on your part, but we will put that aside for a moment.

You then drone on about all the interest that other sites are getting as a result to Flanagans article. You made reference to folks not having made "a modest assessment of Netscape 6's standards compliance". (Did You Read Flanigans article and follow the links?) Then by God, you stand up on your hind legs with this gem;

"In any case, this crap will no longer will find a home in MozillaZine. So, take a good long look. Gaze into Mr. Flanagan's eyes. Because he's the last guy with an axe to grind against Netscape that you will see in these pages. The last armchair-marketer to get a say on this site. You'll have to go elsewhere to get your fix. (However, I allow myself an exception to clobber the hell out of the WSP if they continue to act like pussies.) 

I think that Richard Nixon said something along the same lines in the 60's. There is hope for you.

Atta Boy!! Don't let us raving loonies get away with a single pixel that might possibly interrupt your career as an armchair-marketer! Click on the link if you can't wait!

The absolute crown jewel of your argument was this:

"Netscape is in the unenviable position of choosing between bug-fixes and product release - the Scylla and Charybdis of software development."

This excuse was tried in Nuremberg following World War II. It didn't work then. it's not gonna work now.


Standards are for everyone. Not just so I and the rest of the raving loonies who believe that the web is for everyone can save a little time coding once, but by using the standards for enabling accessibility, for the handicapped, having sites that render quicker, separate content from presentation, and generally the make the web a better place for you too.

But Wait!! There's More!!

Being a raving loonie with an internet connection, a little time and just to prove that I really care about standards, I made the following inquiry's about your article

Here is the W3C result of your article:
You don't close your

tags either!

Your Style Sheet Valid with warnings.

Bobby doesn't find anything!

It is a real good thing that Netscape is not Standards Compliant. You would be in a world of crap. BTW, you should close all those

tags. It looks like this

the armchair-marketer bit

I see your site presents banner advertisements. Do your visitors know that you are invading their privacy? I didn't see any notice or opportunity to opt out.

Even I have a privacy policy

Why doesn't your website disclose that you set cookies on the hardrives of ever visitor to your site? Heres Mine!


Your ad server has a privacy policy at least.

You should for the next week or so see a dramatic upturn in hits to your article. You may generate enough revenue to seek some help for your petition issues.

your friend in cyberspace....the head lemur.


November 8th, 2000   12:01 AM

I have a programmer working for me and she was taught to use the standard compliant codes/tags set by W3C. Guess what? She hates developing for Netscape because it's not standard compliant.

The other thing is that Javascript which is working in IE5.x and Netscape 4.7x is not working in Netscape 6 preview 3. Should I ask the programmers to recode again and charge our clients extra money so that they have a version that works on NS4.7x & IE5.x and another that works only in NS 6?

I tried Mozilla as well and most of the time it crashes my machine, something that NS 4.x does very often.

Fare thee well NS.


November 7th, 2000   11:52 PM

Shuffling through the comments above, a lot of people appear to be expressing their pent-up rage about having to develop for NS 4.7 as it became increasingly obsolete.

Some of those folks, though, don't appear to be making the essential distinction between the 4.x codebase and 6, which is grounded on Mozilla/Gecko. You Web developers used to the pestilential nightmare of making things work on a browser too old to properly support them won't necessarily have the same experience with the upcoming release - it's from the same company, but it's completely different technology, redone from the ground up.

That said, I move on to the criticism levelled against NS 6 today.

It looks to me like W3C standards are trying, not so successfully, to hit a rapidly changing target of advancing browser technology. The items Mr. Flanagan mentions are parts of DHTML, the Web's current bleeding-edge technology. It doesn't yet fully work anywhere.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're complaining here about the imperfect implementation of features designed to make a Web browser a full-featured user interface platform for other programs, at a time when the leading Web browser can't even render 'small' text small and 'medium' text medium.

I'd say it's the job of Web standards to plow along a ways behind the bleeding edge, organizing the chaos that edge has left behind to ensure these two things:

  • For well-established, time-tested things, every browser does them in the same way.</li>
  • That way is simple, logical, and essential, not full of cruft.</li>

That is the criterion I will be judging browsers' standards compliance by in the next year or so. I will be looking for 'small' text rendered small, 'medium' text rendered medium, and 'points' to really mean typographic points instead of some random other choice of unit. I will be looking for lists rendered as lists and headings as headings.

Once those basics are fully dealt with, more advanced standards will have a solid foundation to grow on.

DHTML will come. It may not come yet, but it will arrive eventually - and its birth will probably be as painful as CSS'. Screaming about it won't really bring that standardized day one second closer; it'll only discourage and infuriate those who are working to bring it about.

Download and try out that beta before complaining about it; and keep watch of progress toward a standardized Web rather than screaming like an angry kid about even the tiniest deviations. You'll only be able to get results by differentiating positive moves from perceived backslides and providing feedback about each.

Jack Doe

November 7th, 2000   11:50 PM

As a web developer, nothing bothers me more than browsers that aren't fully standards compliant. I try to develop everything based on HTML standards, and when a standard doesn't function properly, it's very frustrating. No browser is totally bug free and renders pages as they should be displayed. When I heard that the Mozilla project was aiming for 100% compliance of published standards, I was very pleased. Netscape was once a leader in the browser market, and when they delivered a fully standards compliant browser, they would re-emerge as the leader, and force Microsoft to adopt all the standards.

Alas, the Netscape management team has chosen to ship a buggy product on-time. Some bugs as simple as a spelling correction aren't even being made. This is ridiculous! I believe most people would prefer a quality product that is late, than the other way around.

If the Mozilla project doesn't get up to speed fast, there will be no reason for anyone to stick with them. The Netscape browser is slower than IE and is *not* standards compliant. Many people have waited a long time, and have had high hopes for the Mozilla project, only to be let down. This marks the death of Netscape as a viable browser, and projects a negative (and incorrect) image on the open source and free software communities.

Jon Lehman

November 7th, 2000   11:49 PM

I heartily agree with David Flanagan's comments. However, I would take them further and say that I would like Netscape to shut down and die. Netscape is the worst browser I have ever had the misfortune to have to work with. The day Netscape ceases to exist I will drink champagne and my working life will improve tremendously. I would like to dance on Netscape's grave.

Kola Krauze, Webdesigner, Sweden

November 7th, 2000   11:48 PM

its slow and buggy and I would never use it. I have tried it every now and then and each time have been dissapointed. I use IE 5.5 and am quite happy with it. I also like the way the toolbars behave and that I can arrange them to only take up one line. Netscape is much slower in loading AND in use/rendering.


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