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netscape
is it the end???
mack




msg:564215
 11:29 pm on Jun 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Is Netscape ready to leave the browser world? Netscape is now part of the AOL-Time-Warner megacorporation, and if comments by company officials are any indication, we may see an end to Netscape being an active participant as a browser supplier.

Consider these comments from Netscape President Jim Bankoff, made to the Reuters news organization:

"The browser is a crown jewel. However, six months from now, you won't consider Netscape to be a browser company," he said. Instead of continuing the battle against Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape will instead focus on developing Netscape Netcenter as a Web portal, incorporating content from other Time-Warner publishing outlets.

While you will still see parts of Netscape browsers being incorporated into distinct tools designed for vertical markets, such as a version for the Sony Playstation 2, the company will not be actively focusing on browser development, officials said. Instead, AOL officials were negotiating with Microsoft to continue using IE as the browser of choice for AOL, while other alternatives, such as "Komodo," were under consideration. Komodo technology would let the AOL service be used by any Web browser. AOL's choice would reverberate throughout the Internet, as AOL currently has 29 million users: an enormous block of users that would be impossible for any Web developer to ignore.

taken from
[browserwatch.internet.com...]

is this the end for netscape???

 

theperlyking




msg:564216
 11:34 pm on Jun 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Apart from "vertical markets" its important to note that the source code for it is open source so it may not die just because its no longer worked on by Netscape.

Having said that there even seem to be better Open Source browsers now (Konqueror) so i'm not sure there anything left to praise about it - Opera wins in speed, usability and footprint.

Drastic




msg:564217
 12:23 am on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Related thread here [webmasterworld.com].

tedster




msg:564218
 4:20 am on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

There's some different things happening.

1. The AOL (owner of Netscape) and MS talks broke down today [link to story] [cnnfn.cnn.com].

2. Netscape announced version 6.1 [webmasterworld.com] recently, with a way to easily incorporate Instant Messaging into website links for easy, real-time customer service.

Some analysts say the battle over Instant Messaging is the critical front today, with basic HTML / XHTML, and JavaScript standards kind of settled in.

I don't think the Time Warner-AOL-Netscape team is going to throw in the towel, And they've got a solid partnership with Sun Microsystems, who is no Microsoft lover either. Recent Microsoft shenaningans with Java have increased Sun's desire to compete.

Drastic




msg:564219
 4:36 am on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

>I don't think the Time Warner-AOL-Netscape team is going to throw in the towel

I hope you're right, I would hate to see M$ being even more dominant in the browser wars.

mack




msg:564220
 7:56 pm on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

it could be good for the average webmaster not having to optimize pages for specific browsers if there was a clear dominance towards one or the other.

Steph




msg:564221
 10:20 am on Jun 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

> 1. The AOL (owner of Netscape) and MS talks broke down today

if it's true, perhaps AOL is going to use netscape, so netscape is not dead yet :)

knighty




msg:564222
 10:39 am on Jun 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

No! Stay Down Netscape!

I'm all for someone challenging MS but explorer is a decent Browser and why oh why Netscape why don't they use Opera!?

Two, Four, Six, Eight who do we appreciate.....OPERA!

Everyone chant now! OPERA, OPERA, OPERA.......

Eric_Jarvis




msg:564223
 10:54 am on Jun 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

mack: "it could be good for the average webmaster not having to optimize pages for specific browsers if there was a clear dominance towards one or the other."

there was NEVER a choice between Netscape and IE...at least not in any situation I've ever worked in...I've always had to build sites to work well at all resolutions on all possible platforms from palm pilots to mainframes...the idea of optimising for a specific situation is getting ever more unrealistic as new ways of accessing web content are made available

Xoc




msg:564224
 11:07 am on Jun 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

I agree with Eric. It would be a very bad thing for IE to have no competition. Microsoft would just ignore the W3C and change HTML to whatever they wanted. They kind of do that anyway, but they at least give lip service to implementing the W3C standards eventually.

Microsoft does their best work when they are in the #2 position. When they are #2, they work very hard to make a good product; they take the features of the competition and make them better. When they get to #1, though, they don't have any ideas to steal from the #1 product, and just start hacking in every feature that a program manager can come up with.

Look at Excel vs. 1-2-3, Word vs. WordPerfect, NT versus Novell, IE versus Netscape, etc., etc. Compare all of those to what's happening with SQL Server right now (SQL Server is #2 behind Oracle).

joshie76




msg:564225
 3:28 pm on Jun 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

XOC is spot on with the analysis of Microsoft's product development cycle.

I was shocked :O the other day to see that Netscape 6 has completely fallen off the stats at WebSnapShot [websnapshot.mycomputer.com], however, in many ways I feel this is a good thing. As a designer I can get a lot more from IE but I can only take advantage of this if everyone is using it...

I just hope that Microsoft break the cycle that XOC discusses above. I think that they do need someone biting at their heels but Netscape are a long, long, long way from the heels of IE at the moment.

Eric_Jarvis




msg:564226
 5:02 pm on Jun 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

joshie 76: "As a designer I can get a lot more from IE but I can only take advantage of this if everyone is using it..."

thing is that it's not as simple as that...you can do more right here right now...but you can only do so by risking the possibility of the next generation of browsers leaving you with a major redesign...it's the standards that ensure backwards compatibility and future proofing...the further you move away from them the more you will have to spend the rest of your career frantically checking each new browser release

which is why MS don't produce a standards compliant browser...they need to tie you in to their MS only web

joshie76




msg:564227
 8:24 am on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Sorry Eric, I have to disagree.

We're working on code for IE5+ only at the moment (and we're sticking to the W3C guidelines - as far as possible). IE5 just behaves far more predictably than NN6 and most other browsers.

We could all write perfect W3C compliant code, but we'd still be foolish not to be "frantically checking each new browser release".

At the end of the day it's an idealistic debate. I'm by no means MS's biggest fan. IE is still full of problems and the advanced code we are writing behaves erratically as we move from version 5 to 5.5 - who knows what will happen on version 6 and XP. One thing is for sure: MS aren't going to be altruistic about the net as their dominance increases.

Eric_Jarvis




msg:564228
 9:05 am on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

but that is exactly the point...I don't have to panic...I last did anything major to the most technically complex site I've worked on a little under a year ago...I'm pretty certain there will be no reason to do anything to it for a good while to come...it saw in Netscape 6 without a murmur...I've yet to have a complaint forwarded that didn't turn out to be entirely down to the chair-keyboard interface

it's got various interactive elements, it's got some animation...I've just avoided any technologies that have cross browser problems, and avoided any solutions that don't degrade reasonably gracefully

there are things I could have done quicker or even slightly slicker, and I could easily have cut down on preparation and planning time...but I've saved all that back by knowing that it would take something pretty earth shatteringly stupid before any new browser will break the site

you pays your money and you takes your choice

joshie76




msg:564229
 10:08 am on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

We could go on about this all day but I suppose it really depends on exactly what & who you are developing for.

I don't do much work for the w-w-web but when I do I usually follow the rules you state above. More frequently I am developing web application interfaces for browser specific audiences.

The current project had a spec of IE5+ but we opted to try and include NN6 for portability reasons. The trouble we had with *bugs* in NN6 made it a nightmare. Things like event cascades get completely confused in Netscape. We ended up having to write everything 20 different ways to find one that worked as it should in NN6. IE isn't perfect, but I was pleased when we dumped Netscape 6 ;)!

Becuase of this discussion we tried it in Opera 5 this morning (not a target browser) and most things worked as expected :).

theperlyking




msg:564230
 2:27 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Speaking as a surfer:
I used to check out nightly builds of mozilla at least once a week - looking for the browser that would beat IE as far as my surfing needs were concerned.

Mozilla still has yet to achieve that status and now its too late since Opera has won my heart - I got used to the seemingly strange interface and have found a browser that really is a powerful tool. I used to use netscape at work and IE at home, now I use Opera both places and will try to convert anyone I can over aswell. Once you get used to it its much more efficient to use.

I will stop sounding like an advert now.. :)

tedster




msg:564231
 6:07 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

>> perhaps AOL is going to use netscape, so netscape is not dead yet <<

I'm hearing (but not yet reading) that AOL 7 will be built with a customized Gecko engine. How customized is the question. Will we all need an AOL account to check our pages in their browser? Or will Netscape be a good enough check?

I started running an AOL account again just for compatibility checks. Too many weird reports from the AOL crowd during the time I didn't do this.

gmiller




msg:564232
 11:34 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

I doubt there will be much (if any) variation between rendering in Mozilla, Netscape, and the AOL browser. AOL adds some extensions for AIM integration and the like, but they don't seem inclined to maintain multiple versions of existing Mozilla code.

That said, they aren't terribly open about their plans. I know that they've built a browser wrapper that allows them to transparently switch from IE to Mozilla and back, that they'll be releasing 6.1 final (with no further betas), after which they'll start on Netscape 7.0, etc. but only because this stuff tends to leak out by accident. They can't sanitize all communications between employees and non-employees or we wouldn't know anything ;)

The articles claiming that Netscape would abandon browse development were actually pretty funny. I went back and read the quotes, but I still can't figure out who originated this idea that they planned on dropping out of browser development.

And I suspect I'll personally stick to Mozilla as long as it continues to have more of the features I want and to butcher my pages less than Opera and IE.

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