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ALERT: AOL to Move to Netscape/Mozilla!?
Free at last, free at last!
Brett_Tabke




msg:597872
 2:19 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

[newsforge.com...]

Sources inside AOL and Red Hat say AOL is making a major internal switch to Linux, and the long-rumored AOL default browser switch from Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Mozilla -- or at least Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine -- is well under way

AOL number-crunchers figure they can replace an $80,000 box running proprietary UNIX with two $5,000 Linux boxes and get a 50% increase in performance

we have enough security problems of our own without adding Microsoft's,

 

Crazy_Fool




msg:597902
 9:40 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

how is making webmasters do more work to ensure compatibility a good thing?

papabaer




msg:597903
 10:18 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Coding for Web Standards is easy... It is a logical choice to follow a logical set of standards. It is not "forced," just evolutionary.

I am sure at some point in the ancient past some ground dwelling animal on a sinking continent remarked to a friend, "Sure! Now they expect us to grow wings!" Of course, the stubborn masses were left to the fate of the tides....

papabaer




msg:597904
 11:13 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Downloaded and have been testing Mozilla - Opera is still the best browser.

Mozilla is not recognizing some external stylesheets; I have tested a number of combinations and still have problems.

Moz also varies in its rendering of certain elements. A number of test examples that render the same across IE5.5 &6, Netscape 6.2 and Opera 6.01 do not display the same with Mozilla.

Not a good first impression.

littleman




msg:597905
 11:24 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Crazy_Fool, 30 million subscribers encouraging people to abandon proprietary and exclusionary code has to be a good thing. It may make for more work for some. Imagine if there was only one major car maker who had 99.9% of the market. That would make mechanics jobs a lot easier, but that wouldn't be a good thing for most people.

AOL switching to Mozilla will mean that the W3C is what matters. Anybody stupid enough to exclude browsers other than MSIE will now be shutting off a good percentage of their market.

digitalghost




msg:597906
 11:26 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe an article explaining to AOL users that they can use another browser...

I have broadband connections but I also signed up for a dialup with AOL. I use it to test with. Definitely seems to be the "lowest" common denominator.

Many people simply don't know they can use another browser to surf with while connecting with AOL.

I'm suprised that they intend to switch though. Confusing the users seems a real possibility.

DG

littleman




msg:597907
 11:34 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't want to sound mean but the average AOL user is quite inept when it comes to anything having to do with computers. They will not leave the environment AOL provides, it would be too confusing.

cyril kearney




msg:597908
 12:24 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

If AOL switched to Netscape 6.1 I think the folks at MSN would be dancing in glee.

Look at all the new business they would get!

If I understand it correctly as reported on a software vendor (VA Software owns the OSDN site), in a bold move AOL will bet the company on an upgrade that has no benefits for their clients or their customers.

They will replace all the operating systems on all their servers and all the browsers on all their customers.

Their clients will retool their sites to conform to the Netscape browser.

They will do all this "seamlessly".

If it makes sense to you, I have some real estate in Florida I'd like to sell you.

europeforvisitors




msg:597909
 1:46 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Opera is still the best browser.<<

I've been using Opera since it was a toddler, and I like the way it handles bookmarks and displays multiple page windows within a single browser interface. But I do wish it were more forgiving in displaying pages, at that it didn't crash at least once a day.

Crazy_Fool




msg:597910
 8:23 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Crazy_Fool, 30 million subscribers encouraging people to
>>abandon proprietary and exclusionary code has to be a
>>good thing.

that simply won't happen ... the vast majority of websites are built by people that wouldnt have a clue where to start with standards ... the vast majority of net users wouldnt have a clue about standards ... if the AOL browser doesn't display sites properly, people will simply vote with their feet and blame AOL.

littleman




msg:597911
 8:59 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Okay, lets assume that the average AOL user isn't very bright, what do you think is going to happen when they go to a website and find that it looks very bad? Do you think they will say "Darn this aol browser!" No, they are going to blame the website -- and oddly enough that aol user will be placing the blame on the right folks.

BTW, I use the Gecko engine daily, and 99.99% of the pages I see look very good. Go try out the latest release, you may end up liking it.

Josk




msg:597912
 9:10 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Crazy Fool: the vast majority of net users wouldnt have a clue about standards

Why did you add the last two words..? Back in my day (1996) the Internet had a steeper learning curve. If you couldn't figure out how to use it, you didn't. Thanks to MS, there is none. Good/bad? Well...imagine if all cars just a joystick and didn't need gas?

(Weeeeee Moz 0.9.9 has finished downloading!)

Crazy_Fool




msg:597913
 9:12 am on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

and when they find that 10% or 20% of sites they visit don't display properly, even though they did before the switch to the new AOL browser, will they still blame webmasters? i dont think so

hmm




msg:597914
 12:19 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Crazy_Fool

and when they find that 10% or 20% of sites they visit don't display properly, even though they did before the switch to the new AOL browser, will they still blame webmasters? i dont think so

When they find out?
Right now, AOL IE does not display pages properly, it has not displayed pages properly since day maybe one.

Back when we used it in 95 or so, we learned how to install NN outside of AOL, and even IE and discovered that IE outside of AOL was much better than inside. We did not have connections to the Net or good ones unless they were AOL dial ups. Things have since changed. [we also ran BBS before all that]

Still, years later, and even today AOL6 IE does not display a page well. There are many issues. Its support for CSS with Mac users is substandard, as the IE for Mac is somewhere in the altered version of 4.5 and not 5.0[Which btw has better support for CSS than all browsers up to that point, the first to have such support]. I have experienced both OS - Mac/PC

Scripts - AOL cannot run scripts accurately, even perfectly fine scripts. Often, it pops warning boxes[do you still want to continue running this script, and if you say yes... it freezes or program shuts donw, if you say no, same thing may happen]So... many times AOL IE error scripts are also broken.

Many pages that have a script will subsequently crash the browser and often AOL with it. Sometimes an OS. Not good for those that are still on dial up connection, in busy areas.

Images - AOL IE mutant uses some recompression image program that further squeezes jpg type images to supposedly display them quicker. In the process a client or surfer is looking at a badly artifacted jpg, which looks fine in any browser outside of AOL. Not a big issue for all people, but when you are designing a clients web site, it would be advisable to look at these sites and see what their images look like. GIFS are also recompressed or actually the colors are more limited, any gif with a lot of colors may show banding between colors or nasty uneven blotchy dithers. Which prompted many designers who knew, to submit every GIF in their web designs in the animated format because AOL IE did not touch animated GIFS and alter those. Many times the browser inside AOL will not even load all the images on a Web Page, and leave broken image symbols.

AOL IE may have used a different color match system also.

So now we have clients, that wonder why their pages look the way they do in AOL, or do not work the same in AOL, and others that have no idea they are really looking better outside of AOL.[good reason to check work in AOL, as one of the other browsers. I check work in 7 browsers, and W3 or htmlhelp, as well as delorie tools.]

So, when people find out that pages do not display properly, it won't be because AOL IE is messing with images, unable to display scripts, unable to display CSS, or just plain unable to load music, animations, or other mm - it will be because the coder is not hitting standards in order for these things to work in all browsers, not because there is a messed up IE engine running inside AOL. Well, we can hope this will happen. It should be better, but then who knows?

Incidentally, the image recompressions, and changes on the GIFS in AOL IE display could be changed if more users in AOL, went to their preferences and reset the graphics to display in full mode. They had no idea that when they set up, it was set to display in quick mode, or smaller file graphics. Even quick mode inside AOL is slower than an outside IE load. So maybe the change will be better on this avenue?

The change is great for competition, and I am happy to see it come for many reasons. Competition is one, and all browsers now moving better to compliance is another. Although IE 6, has seemed to adopt that extra graphics compression mode in its new Internet browser version.

Oh, and even today with a newer version of AOL, I would say that more than 20% of pages do not display well or at all(error message page while trying to load), or display broken, or display script warnings. I bet it is easy double that 10-20% figure. [on windows] and who knows on a Mac, but the pages in CSS are not always pretty, there, either. Unless the savvy users are knowing and using IE outside of AOL[small number] or Mozilla, NN6.2, and Opera, or KMeleon, etc...

Again, a problem exists, that while AOL, IE, and others have made the Internet possible to surf and use, they also have settings and other options for all users(different browsers, inside and outside AOL), that people are not aware of.... the ones that are aware, are afraid to install another browser onto their machine, or do not know how, and have no idea where the settings are in all the browsers or AOL to change these things.

alex_h




msg:597915
 3:22 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Time for CSS to be big...

After one major site was IE only (in the client's specs) with 7% NN4.x traffic created a political mess (client's revenues shot up, NN compatibility is important and in the next version) we started using NN for most design work. We also stick to VERY basic HTML.

Given that our code is all PHP and database driven with an extensive class system that we have developed, this isn't much of a problem.

How do we handle the differences between NN and IE? We sniff the user agent and give you the appropriate style sheet. If you lie about your user-agent? That's your problem. Opera or anyone unknown gets the IE (standard) style sheet. 3 stylesheets (NN, Gecko, IE) isn't too bad to maintain. If it looks like the only differences will be fonts, I do it with Swtiches/IF-ELSEIF-ELSE to give difference font numbers to the different browsers.

Hopefully this will cause NN4.x to phase out over 2 years, everyone who standardized on Netscape 4.x will hopefully take AOL's lead and move to Netscape 6.2 (or 6.3 based off Mozilla 1.0) which is a great step up from Netscape 4.x.

I mean, most Netscape browsers come from old ISP deals or corporate IT policies, and hopefully the corporate desktops will begin the migration.

A W3C compliant world with a 60% IE-40% N6 world is a pretty good one, no IE specific sites in this e-commerce driven world.

4 years ago it was okay to ignore big chunks of the Internet, now ignoring sales is unacceptable.

andrey_sea




msg:597916
 3:50 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

hmm, if AOL messed up its IE implementation so badly, where is the guarantee they will not mess up its netscrape or mozilla implementation even worse? The technology in these newer browsers must be more complex than IE 4xx leading to more chances of a mess up.

I would agree with cyrill, there will be a stampeede to MSN dial up service...

pat_s




msg:597917
 3:56 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

No..there won't be any stampede, at least not based on this. AOL users have put up with much worse. Disconnects, occasional difficulty getting on the web at all - as opposed to being able to get AOL's proprietory stuff, being shut out of IRC years ago, when IRC was the only way to chat with someone not on the same ISP, mail glitches, compressed graphics and having the ISP you're paying good money for send you spam and pop windows up to try to sell you thing when you're trying to connect to your mail and whatever. That's just to name a few. The browsing part is something they can do something about if they care to. So, MSN probably shouldn't be counting on a huge migration just because of this.

hmm




msg:597918
 4:51 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

pat_s
No..there won't be any stampede, at least not based on this. AOL users have put up with much worse. Disconnects, occasional difficulty getting on the web at all - as opposed to being able to get AOL's proprietory stuff, being shut out of IRC years ago, when IRC was the only way to chat with someone not on the same ISP, mail glitches, compressed graphics and having the ISP you're paying good money for send you spam and pop windows up to try to sell you thing when you're trying to connect to your mail and whatever. That's just to name a few. The browsing part is something they can do something about if they care to. So, MSN probably shouldn't be counting on a huge migration just because of this.

I have to agree here.

[1]there is mistrust of the MS Giant, for good reasons.

[2]Many corporations and companies are looking for viable alternative methods to their server and db woes, because they are tired of their servers being hacked into, crashing, and needing to patche security risks, constantly.[ones, btw, that ms was very aware of and failed to fix or supply up front knowledge when people bought or installed these services or software.]

[2]Many are tired of MS over-controlling of what and how things are seen, whose things are seen, privacy issues, and .NET. MS is trying to woo companies with subscription services that offers latest software with *renting* type set ups.

[3]The average users, on the other hand, have heard a lot of strong anti MS PR over the years and the trust level or distrust of the giant is significant enough, that I do not believe a huge amount of people will log onto the MSN network, or hook into another MS situation. Some might, but not by droves{my feelings].

[4]AOL is smart and already testing the waters. Beta testing may already be in progress, and they are also looking at CompuServe and its users which have also switched over to GECKO and have seen *very good feedback, so far. So I think this is also important.

MS is rather strange when working with the company. No doubt a lot has gone forward because of MS, however, there comes a point where too much control and too much power, may not work well in its favor.

This is where competition steps in, and MS has to start listening to what others think about what changes are happening. What the developers, designers, and users, as well as corporations want.

Since AOL users have been use to spotty service and some problems with surfing etc, crashes, etc, I see this as more of an improvement than a detriment to what already exists. Some breaking of close ties with MS cannot be all bad.

Macguru




msg:597919
 5:04 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

AOL subscriber base grows by 18% [marketwatch.com]

electro




msg:597920
 7:32 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

ATM, my stats show 40% Netscape 4.x, 51% IE. For me the swing started 5 months or so ago, I used to get 15% Netscape 4.x. Weird.

I am all for standards compliance. Netscape 4.x wasn't great. I am a bit worried that Netscape have broken the 6.x browser as far as this goes by reading things into the standards that no one else has. For example, if you use <p> </p> in a table, 6.2 automatically puts a space above and below. Not very clever, IMHO, and no other browser does it.

I read a discussion with one of the dev's from Netscape getting pulled up about this, and they sounded quite arrogant and all together far too analy geeky for their own good. The same thing happens with images in tables. Space below the image, even if it's there in a cell by itself. Grrrrrr. Not impressed. There are ways to fix this, I believe, but I haven't got round to figuring them out yet. Now’s the time...

I am also unimpressed that Netscape have chosen to stick with their non-standard code when adding objects to HTML. If you want to put Flash in your page, and you also want people with any version of Netscape to see it, the page WON'T validate (http://validator.w3.org/). Another black mark, and a bit of a contradiction there as well.

I would love to love Netscape. but I can't get my head round these flaws. As far as other browsers go, I test in IS 5, Opera, Mozilla .9x, Netscape 4.7 and 6.2, on Linux Mozilla .9x and Konqueror, and round my mates on various Mac's. I use IE 6 for day to day browsing, and love it!



continued: [webmasterworld.com...]

Brett_Tabke




msg:597921
 4:38 pm on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

Are there any other places on the net reporting AOL to switch to netscape?

Even confirming or denying it?

gethan




msg:597922
 5:10 pm on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I could have sworn I saw it on theregister.co.uk ... but now I look and can't find it - have they pulled it? or am I imagining things?

pat_s




msg:597923
 5:14 pm on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

[theregister.co.uk...]

But I think it's the same Newsforge article.

Macguru




msg:597924
 9:01 pm on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here is another good article:

[story.news.yahoo.com...]

andrey_sea




msg:597925
 1:48 am on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is this the same article?
[msnbc.com...]

rcjordan




msg:597926
 1:53 am on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

>anywhere

It made it onto Reuters about 3:15 PM (ET) today.

littleman




msg:597927
 5:14 am on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Reuters [reuters.com],it must be official.
link updated

littleman




msg:597928
 5:33 am on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

AOL spokesman Jim Whitney confirmed that the company has already shipped a Netscape browser in some test software for its discount Internet service, CompuServe. The browser is powered by Gecko technology that was developed through an open-source project called Mozilla.

Brett_Tabke




msg:597929
 5:26 pm on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is all good news. I suppose I better prep a "validation" forum?

tedster




msg:597930
 6:12 pm on Mar 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I remember correctly AOL sent out the CompuServe Moz test about the same time that AOL 6.0 was released. Now the other shoe falling, finally.

littleman




msg:597931
 12:27 am on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

What is interesting is that it looks like AOL will be using Gecko, and slapping together their own gui in the same way they use MSIE's rendering engine (what ever it is called). Gecko is easily adapted to other GUIs, that is one of it's strengths. The Gecko rendering engine is quite fast independent of the interface.

Brett_Tabke




msg:597932
 2:21 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Continued: [webmasterworld.com...]

This 61 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 61 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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