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ALERT: AOL to Move to Netscape/Mozilla!?

Free at last, free at last!

   
2:19 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



[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,
2:27 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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A blow for Microsoft. Does this mean Netscape will survive. Although I hate MS I was hoping Netscape would disappear.
2:39 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jeremy_goodrich is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



that sounds like an enormously compelling reason to switch.

Less money, more security -

could that be the next marketing slogan for *nix? :)

2:43 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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maybe with the backing of AOL Netscape will live a little longer .... but long term who knows.

DaveN

2:49 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I always wondered why AOL where using MSIE still after buying Netscape. It was about time they make a logical move.
3:04 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Great article and news !

Quote of the week.

"Don't tell our competitors," one of our AOL contacts says. "Let them keep buying expensive crap."

That about sums up several companies I've worked attitude to linux. When they finally get it - Linux, BSD, PC based servers running in groups to ensure robustness really are the way forward - they don't want their competitors finding out. There's 20 years of prejudice against PC based hardware by (some) Unix engineers because of Microsoft, particularly found in large corporate environments. At the other end of the spectrum the MCSE's seem to be in many of the decision making positions in the smaller enterprises ... probably cause the CEO likes Windows and hires on the basis of Windows knowledge.

I think now that some really high profile companies are going public with their Linux use that these attitudes may disappear.

> Although I hate MS I was hoping Netscape would disappear.

I agree that Netscape Browsers prior to version 6 will hopefully disappear soon, but Mozilla/Gecko browsers are extremely good. (Using mozilla now). The more standard compliant browsers out there the better for the web. Hopefully the days of "best viewed with Internet Explorer 4.1" websites are over.

3:13 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This may be bad for Microsoft, but more Web sites following industry-wide standards is good for everyone else. Maybe the Web Standards Project will finally get some of the respect and cooperation it has deserved all along.

I'm sure glad I started down the path to validation over a year ago. This is going to open quite a few eyes in the design community. You either build compliant web sites or you lose a vast majority of your viewing audience.

I made a comment in a topic elsewhere stating that NS4.7 was probably the best html validator out there! ;)

3:18 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know what version of Mozilla AOL's new browser is going to be based on? Seems like that would make a world of difference to web developers and to AOL users as well.
3:25 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hi pat_s,
I don't have the specific answer. But here is a close one...
The only thing that might delay -- not stop, just delay -- AOL's change from Explorer to a Mozilla-based browser is allowing time for some of AOL's largest and most important "partner sites" to do away with any Explorer-specific features they have been using in place of W3C standards.

Agreed with pageoneresults, until Opera came around. ;)

hmm

3:26 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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backus

I have found all versions of Netscape unstable, they never bring up the page properly, they are plain terrible.

mozilla 0.9.8 has done well for me, as has NN6.2, older versions of NN at the time they were used were just fine. Seems I remember IE not displaying some JavaScript code properly, and the IE Butchered interface inside AOL for years, was not a treat. I see that IE in its 6 version is somewhat adopting some of that AOL type interface in its default displays[uggh]

Mozilla is a heap of junk which doesn't work properly.

Current version seems to work well here, and pages even display nicer in Moz/NN6.2 than in IE5.5 and even 6 in many cases. Not all, but many, and they all have their quirks.

The only browser which I've found to be user-friendly and stable is IE.
you sure you do not mean user snoopy and security hole prone? Finding patches is always a treat, and IE still remains the only browser that is intricately tied to the OS and will not allow several versions on one desktop, in separate folders, like the rest.

I will never user anything else. I hate the Opera user interface, just can't stand it. So I'm sticking to IE thank you very much.

I think the newer release on Opera may have that single window option, instead of the multiple page loads. Opera has *many* nice features that others do not. GUI is great for those needing help, very intuitive and easy to use. It has built in one click validation on web site page views, smarter one key shortcuts for less mouse use. Much more. Still it also has a few quirks, but overall it loads quick, it is small in size and runs well in many situations.
3:27 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm so jazzed about what this could mean for the internet. Bringing competition back to computers - what a concept.

While AOL and MS are busy at each others throats, it will leave room for some others to get a toe hold in.

3:28 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Agreed with pageoneresults, until Opera came around.
Hehehe. I just became an Opera fan about six months ago. I've always had a copy of NS4.7 open when designing. I'm sure I'll make the progression to Opera sooner than expected, especially now that W3C compliance will be at the forefront of discussions here at WebMaster World.
3:33 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>now that W3C compliance will be at the forefront of discussions here at WebMaster World.

You get a strong point here!

3:37 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I knew compliance was going to be an issue in the near future. I didn't realize that it would be a forced issue! ;)
3:41 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>I made a comment in a topic elsewhere stating that NS4.7 was probably the best html validator out there!<

I agree wholeheartedly! I am always shocked at the attitude of "I hope Netscape will just disappear!" The internet is still widely HTML based and NN 4.7 does a very good job of finding holes in designs.

I have 7 browsers and rarely use IE (any version) except to check for any rendering problems. I use Opera and NN to surf. IE screws up fonts BIG time and rarely looks anything like the way a page is designed as a result!

I'm with Brett on this issue. I think it is going to revive the competitiveness of the browser industry. Those that take the time to validate their pages on a wide variety of browsers will ultimately win out. Who knows ... maybe Uncle Bill will put his team to work and come up with a new browser that actually works ... sans security holes, patches, rendering problems ... etc!

Competition is always a good thing to improve the quality of all products!

3:49 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have found all versions of Netscape unstable, they never bring up the page properly, they are plain terrible. Mozilla is a heap of junk which doesn't work properly. The only browser which I've found to be user-friendly and stable is IE. I will never user anything else. I hate the Opera user interface, just can't stand it. So I'm sticking to IE thank you very much.

backus, great post I agree 100% that sums up my feelings exactly!

3:52 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Correct me if I am wrong.

We tend to look at our sites in NN4.7, IE5 (now IE6), and Opera to check the display, (and in different window sizes). I assumed that NN4.7 was more compliant than IE (any version), but the key problem is that it does not support recent standards like CSS2? In fact our css2 designed pages dont parse well in NN4.7 well at all.

Is not this the biggest problem with NN4, especially when an important segment of web users seem to be "stuck" on it (especially say educational institutions, "casual users" and new-age-internet pioneer surfers who dont like MS products and were brought up on Mosaic->NS) and havent upgraded to a version which supports new standards?

NN4.7 is pretty old in Web terms.

3:59 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Just downloaded the lastest version of Mozilla 0.9.8 release 02.12.2002. The download page currently has a PR8. Watch that number jump to 10 after the next update! ;)

Man, their servers are quick. I was downloading at an average of 287kb/sec, not bad for a basic commercial cable modem package!

The few sites that I've browsed to look just like they should. Browser speed is very impressive! For those who would like to download, here is the link...

[mozilla.org...]

4:01 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I wish the only problem with Netscape 4.7 was its lack of support for CSS2! Unfortunately it does not support CSS1 all that well either, take a look at this comparisson chart:
[webreview.com...]

Other problems with that lame browser is that it is very slow in rendering most pages, crashes all the time, poor scripting support, etc...

I must admit that Netscape 6.1 is much better in its standards support and functionality, but it still needs to work on its stability...

4:42 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I just downloaded Mozilla 9.8, too. Too soon to have an opinion, but it seems very nice so far. I've tried to like Opera for years now. Can't do it. It may be standards compliant, but I just find it a real pain to use. I just check sites with it. Anyway, if AOL is using a recent build of Mozilla for its browsing that shouldn't present a problem for most websites.
5:19 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eliteweb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Ah well I have feelings this one will go through its been something kinda tinkered about. Mozilla stuff atleast handles stuff better than it used to. :) w00t!

Now I believe in unity - and I am willing to compromise. But I'm not going to lie or sell my soul.

5:23 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I've been using Mozilla 9.8 and it is very slick, and crashes very infrequently (eg once a week, and thats being left open for that long)

I have IE in VMWare for checking, but I feel sorry for people who use it all the time. It's like going back to kindergarten...here's what you're allowed to, and don't talk to the dodgy geezers...

Not going to mention my linux workstations's uptime, but I had to reboot in January when I added more ram...

5:37 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It opens up a whole new nitch market for the code jockies in the crowd:

Code Guru's, we make sure your site works with aol!
Painless and cost effective compatability with Mozilla
Psst, what if 20% of your users can't actually see your site?

Oh man - I could see running validation spiders to go out right now and find those sites - let's get busy.

5:40 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Does this mean Microsoft can now sue AOL/Netscape for bundling their browser with their software? This could become an endless, vicious and ridiculous circle. Is all this truly to the users benefit. The mighty sue each other while the rest of us sit back and wonder what the heck is going on. Shakespeare was right, first kill all the lawyers (sorry Lawman).
7:15 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)



I had a question about this, but figured it needed a new thread:

Netscape vs Mozilla: What's the difference? [webmasterworld.com]

I must say it is good to *finally* see corporations realize that 'just because the software is free doesn't make it bad'.

7:27 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That's all we need....more users with Netscape as their browser. :)

In a way it makes sense for AOL to do this, how will Microsoft react?

Cheers,

Stickymaster

7:34 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>While AOL and MS are busy at each others throats, it will leave room for some others to get a toe hold in

Indeed. I'm not a fan of Netscape browsers, I'm not a fan of Netscape and above all I don't trust AOL: Netscape-AOL knows what YOU are searching for [webmasterworld.com]

MS Internet explorer is a good product apart from two issues, security and lack of standard compliance.
Like most people I'd love to see their predominance broken, but not neccessarily in favour of Netscape/AOL.

Became highly addicted to mouse gestures lately...

8:13 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



i gave up with netscrap long ago when 4.7 proved it simply couldnt do the job. poor javascript support, poor css support, unforgiving with html, and repeated crashes.

the problems with websites and browsers have never really been with people not building standards compatible websites, they've been with web browsers applying those standards to how they display websites. miss a </td> in your code and netscrap 4.7 would kindly display a blank screen. very helpful. IE on the other hand, would display the table as intended.

and now that AOL might be using netscrap 6.x or mozilla x.x? all the cries of "i'm glad i validated my code" are meaningless. netscrap 6 has been built to display websites properly (as opposed to nn4.7 which wasn't) and so almost anything that works in IE will also work in nn6.

and what if the version of netscrap or mozilla that AOL chooses cannot display sites properly? how long would AOL be able to get away with saying "not our fault, contact the webmasters and tell them their site isnt standards compatible"? not long. people would hold AOL responsible, not the huge number of webmasters. they will simply switch to a browser that can display websites as they were intended to be seen. and if that means leaving AOL, then that's what they'll do. why pay for a service that doesn't work properly?

8:22 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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and if that means leaving AOL, then that's what they'll do. why pay for a service that doesn't work properly?

Logically, you're right but people have been paying for AOL for years and it's never worked right.

9:21 pm on Mar 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member littleman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Really good news! MSIE is just too dominant right now. The war between AOL and MS will be a good thing for independent webmasters, and the net in general.
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