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Netscape 9 to Undo Netscape 8 Mistakes? 210

Posted by Zonk
from the goin-back-in-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine reports that Netscape 9 has been announced. The most interesting thing is how they seem to be re-evaluating many of the decisions they made with Netscape 8. Netscape 9 will be developed in-house (Netscape 8 was outsourced) and it will be available for Windows, OSX, and Linux (Netscape 8 was Windows only). Although Netscape 9 will be a standalone browser, the company is also considering resuming support for Netscape 7.2, the last suite version with an email client and Web page editor. It remains to be seen whether Netscape will reverse the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko but given that there's no IE for OS X or Linux, here's hoping. After a series of substandard releases, could Netscape be on the verge of making of a version of their browser that enhances the awesomeness of Firefox, rather than distracts from it?"
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Netscape 9 to Undo Netscape 8 Mistakes?

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  • To me it seems Netscape has lost his reputation as best browser. Mozilla Firefox is the more used browser these days. For Netscape it is very hard to gain market share with a suit. Still brave of Netscape though.

    Just my 2 cents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by networkBoy (774728)
      First couple days of the month for one of my sites...

      Windows 202 72.4 %
      Linux 37 13.2 %
      Unknown 35 12.5 %
      Macintosh 4 1.4 %
      GNU 1 0.3 %

      Browsers (Top 10) - Full list/Versions - Unknown
      Browsers Grabber Hits Percent
      Firefox No 127 45.5 %
      MS Internet Explorer No 91 32.6 %
      Unknown ? 34 12.1 %
      Konqueror No 10 3.5 %
      Opera No 8 2.8 %
      Mozilla No 6 2.1 %
      Safari No 2 0.7 %
      Wget

      Looks like it's likely to be firefox on windows for the most common...

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by networkBoy (774728)
        Foo, replying to myself, more stats (the gripe-site in sig), for 2007YTD, I'm betting that most of the hits come from ./ :-)

        Operating Systems Hits Percent
        Windows 7339 80.2 %
        Linux 1059 11.5 %
        Macintosh 554 6 %
        Unknown 188 2 %

        Browsers (Top 10) - Full list/Versions - Unknown
        Browsers Grabber Hits Percent
        Firefox No 6061 66.3 %
        MS Internet Explorer No 1945 21.2 %
        Mozilla No 356 3.8 %
        Safari No 315 3.4 %
        Opera No 260 2.8 %
        Konqueror No 76 0.8 %
        Unknown ? 63 0.6 %
        Netscape No 30 0.3 %
        Camino No 25 0.2 %
        Galeon No 6 0 %
        Others 3 0 %

      • by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@NOSpaM.hotmail.com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:07AM (#17887288) Homepage
        Your stats could easily be influenced by the type of sites you run. For example I'm sure that slashdot.org has a higher proportion of people reading it with Firefox than microsoft.com does.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by symes (835608)
          of course you are right - there's going to be site specific biases. however, these numbers should be weighted by the fact that MS shoves IE down everyones throat. some/most people will not know there's a choice, some will but won't know how to change and some might feel comfortable trusting MS more than left-field heretics. so one could argue that browser stats are as much an indication of visitor IQ than a true reflection of *choice*.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Giometrix (932993)
            "of course you are right - there's going to be site specific biases. however, these numbers should be weighted by the fact that MS shoves IE down everyones throat. some/most people will not know there's a choice, some will but won't know how to change and some might feel comfortable trusting MS more than left-field heretics. so one could argue that browser stats are as much an indication of visitor IQ than a true reflection of *choice*."

            I'm not quite sure what you mean by "shoving down everyone's throat."
            • by Fordiman (689627)
              "Still, that's hardly shoving anything down anyone's throat"

              Of course it is, along with the rest of Windows. Anything that comes 'pre-installed' has already been shoved down your throat, and at a nicely lucrative price.

              Mind you, some people have sufficiently distended throats - from Microsoft having shoved its junk down their throats for so long - that they hardly even notice.

              "Does Apple force Safari down people's throats?"

              Yup. Along with OS-X. Not that the alternative for a long time (ie: PPC Linux, wit
        • by Guppy06 (410832)
          "For example I'm sure that slashdot.org has a higher proportion of people reading it with Firefox than microsoft.com does."

          I'm not so sure. Who goes to microsoft.com other than techies looking to do tech support?
    • by zakezuke (229119) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:13AM (#17887314)
      To me it seems Netscape has lost his reputation as best browser. Mozilla Firefox is the more used browser these days. For Netscape it is very hard to gain market share with a suit. Still brave of Netscape though.

      Is it taken seriously?

      V8.12 comes with "WeatherBug [axe-s.com]" among other things [netscape.com]. I don't know if it's a full version of Weatherbug or the spyware infected version, but i'm willing to guess it's the spyware infected version.

      How seriously would you take software bundled with "WeatherBug".

      The last version I ran was probally V6.xx, which was AIM infected.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrXym (126579)
        The last version I ran was probally V6.xx, which was AIM infected.

        At the time of Netscape 6.x, the browser was basically a stable branch of Mozilla which went through a shit tonne of extra QA testing and had a few extras like AIM and spellchecker. It wasn't very intrusive and the extra QA was really noticeable back at that time when the Mozilla browser would crash quite frequently.

        These days Firefox is pretty stable, so if AOL / Netscape are going to rebrand it, they should perhaps be more subtle and lo

    • by Ilgaz (86384)
      Whatever we "experienced" users say, there are still people sticking with Netscape branded browser and some have actual reasons for it, e.g. they aren't "stupid".

      I even spared time to send a feedback to Netscape 7.2 page at Versiontracker to use "Seamonkey" but I don't think it was effective at all.

      So, it is good news for them to finally get Update, especially for OS X users who insists staying with Netscape brand,whether it means Netscape 7.2 or not.

      If AOL finally woke up really, they should make huge dona
    • by dcam (615646) <david.uberconcept@com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:18AM (#17888250) Homepage
      To me it seems Netscape has lost his reputation as best browser.

      Wow. Welcome to 1999.
    • Netscape loss that reputation during the browsers wars. Netscape missed a version 5.0 Which allowed IE to to catch up to Netscape then Surpass it by the time they both released version 6. This is well before Firefox era.
  • by DogDude (805747) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:47AM (#17887216) Homepage
    Wow. I had no idea that there were still "Netscape" browsers being made today. That's cute.
  • by neuro.slug (628600) <neuro__@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:49AM (#17887226)
    Firstly, that's some quality writing. Secondly, the only thing I see Netscape 9 enhancing is the memory usage. Holy crap, people call Firefox a memory hog. Are they planning on including a discount on a 1GB DIMM with every download?

    I gave up on Netscape after 4.72. I recommend the tag 'clusterfuck'.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joeystitch (1057842) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:50AM (#17887230)
    I mean, let's be honest here. We have Firefox and Opera, plus Safari if you're a Mac user. Netscape is irrelevant.
    • by Tim C (15259)
      I thought choice and competition were supposed to be good things.
      • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rvw (755107) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:47AM (#17887430)

        I thought choice and competition were supposed to be good things.
        Well they are. But it might be better if they gave their manpower and marketing budget to Mozilla. They can then take Firefox and Thunderbird, rebrand them as Netscape, and move new (or old) users over to the good side.
    • by Godji (957148)
      There's also Konqueror, the best of them all. And Safari is just Konqueror with a new interface.
  • Too late (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@NOSpaM.hotmail.com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:55AM (#17887244) Homepage
    It would take something truly remarkable for this to have any impact, with Netscape's repeated failed starts over the last few years I can't see many people being willing to give them much of a go.
  • Back in the netscape 4 days, some months after the source release, I remember a coworker having just heard of this new "gecko" rendering engine, and coming excitedly to my desk to show me how amazing it was. He pointed me to where to grab the nearly-naked engine, and then told me to render the same page in it and in my existing netscape window, and marvel at how much faster gecko was.

    I opened up some moderately complex page in gecko, and it seemed kind of normal-ish to me. I opened up the same page in a new
    • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:49AM (#17887436)
      I don't think 3.0 had Flashblock, NoScript, nor AdBlock. Tabs are kickass. CSS2? mathML? SVG? Methinks that if Netscape 3 had all the features you want, you don't want much. At least not the things I need.
      • by Onan (25162)

        I don't think 3.0 had Flashblock, NoScript, ...

        On the first two counts, netscape 3 had exactly the same script- and flash-blocking technology that I use to this day: not installing Flash and disabling javascript. (Or just using a browser that supports neither one in the first place.) Problem solved.

        AdBlock.

        I will agree that ad-blocking tools are the one and only front on which browsers have advanced somewhat in the past decade. Though I will suggest that gecko/netscape/firefox's solutions for this are rat

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The thing you're missing is that "straight HTML" has changed a hell of a lot in the past decade. XHTML, CSS and the DOM model have made documents far more complex and take a lot more effort to render correctly. I can see this and I'm not even a web geek (I've knocked up a bit of hand-written CSS/HTML 4.0 transitional to act a document template for a project that needed documentation, but that's it)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Tumbleweed (3706) *
          I want a sodding web browser.

          Well, if it's a sodding web browser you want, I can highly recommend IE7. It definitely ups the sod factor significantly.

          I wonder if someone could come up with a Navigator 3 theme for Firefox that would configure the interface to the (vastly superior) Navigator 3 interface. That'd be nice. I'd keep CSS though, if I were you (although I'd make sure minimum font size and override web author colours was turned on).

          As far as speed goes, I think most people would be SHOCKED at how mu
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Have you tried lynx? It comes without baggage like CSS, JavaScript or images and its memory footprint is much smaller than that of Fx, Opera or IE.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Maian (887886)
      You got 2 things wrong:
      1. Netscape 4 didn't use Gecko. At all. It was built on top of Netscape 3. The first Netscape to use Gecko was Netscape 6 (they skipped version 5 as a marketing ploy).
      2. Gecko supports CSS. Netscape 3 doesn't. Want to try viewing /. in Netscape 3? Be my guest. Now the old /. - that's a different story :)
      • by Onan (25162)

        1) I didn't assert that netscape 4 used gecko. I asserted that gecko was a slight improvement over netscape 4, which had itself been a vast downgrade from netscape 3.

        2) Yes, the previous iteration of slashdot was immensely more accessible, more usable, and better designed. I come here much less frequently now that the site's maintainers have made the poor choice to break compatibility with many browsers. The choice to wed slashdot to CSS is slashdot's problem, not any browser's.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by tsq (768711)
          I'm not sure if I'm understanding the implication here, but are you saying that web sites shouldn't use CSS? Maybe it's because I wasn't around during the glory days of the internet (the early 90s from what I understand) when you only had hyperlink, header, and paragraph tags and you were happy with it dammit, but how is expanding the way people can present things on the internet (in a standardized way) anything but good?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Onan (25162)

            I most definitely am saying that sites should not rely on CSS. I frankly don't care whether sites include CSS, as long as they continue to do the right thing when my browser ignores it.

            "Expanding the way people can present things on the internet" is not universally good; whether it's good or bad depends on the particular situation being discussed. Would you be in favor of site publishers replacing all their html with pdfs? Or with Word documents? Or perhaps just with big images of entire pages as they want
        • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:04AM (#17887934) Homepage Journal
          2) Yes, the previous iteration of slashdot was immensely more accessible, more usable, and better designed. I come here much less frequently now that the site's maintainers have made the poor choice to break compatibility with many browsers. The choice to wed slashdot to CSS is slashdot's problem, not any browser's.

          You're weird. 99.5% (at a conservative estimate) of people browsing the web can see Slashdot just fine, because they're using IE6, IE7, Firefox (any version), Mozilla (any version), Seamonkey (any version), Safari, Konqueror, Opera, or one of a plethora of other browsers that has no problem with CSS. Just because it doesn't work on your 10+ year old browser doesn't mean it's bad.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Spliffster (755587)
          "The choice to wed slashdot to CSS is slashdot's problem, not any browser's."

          This made me curious and i turned off CSS in firefox. Guess what ? it is very usable. I thought, this might be FF only so I tried w3m, wow it's very usable. w3m is a very advanced console browser, so I have tried lynx and it is still usable.

          The current implementation is very much what I understand as "best viewed with your own eyes". If the browser doesn't support CSS it'll work well and is usable. Or do you prefer a gazillion nest
          • Thats one of the main selling points of css, really. It fails far more gracefully than any other web standard when not supported. Things won't be where you expect them or look nearly the same, but all the data will still be there and usable. Much 'cleaner' too, which is kind of nice as anyone without css rendering would probably prefer a fluff-less page anyways.

            Not to mention you can override a sites css with your own and 'fix'/improve pages however you want. I know when I used a white on black windows sche
          • by Onan (25162)
            w3m is my browser of choice; I'm posting this using it right now. And I'm afraid that your assessment of the new slashdot's compatibility with it is rather generous.

            Slash seems to spit out all of the nav garbage first, then the actual content afterward, and rely on css to rearrange them usefully. Which means that for every single slashdot page I load, I need to scan down through 5-10 pages of noise before I get to any actual content.

            While that might make it at least barely possible to use the site, it makes
        • by operagost (62405)
          Any browsers since 2000 should be able to render CSS well enough to use Slashdot. If you want to use a 1990s browser, then you'll see a 1990s page with default fonts, no color... just like old times. The point with CSS is that it should gracefully degrade on a browser with no CSS support because the formatting is now separate from the markup. No broken pages because you used the BACKGROUND attribute in a way that IE 4.0 doesn't like.
      • by sremick (91371)
        "they skipped version 5 as a marketing ploy"

        Not sure if you are aware (maybe you are), but to clarify for other readers... there actually was a Netscape 5.0. I had a copy. It was basically the (failed) update for 4.x following along the same lines as 3 -> 4. Looked pretty much the same as 4.x and so on. But it was a nightmare mess of code, and before making any sort of final release they abandoned it entirely, and birthed the Gecko/Mozilla open-source rewrite project. 5.0 was then skipped as far as offic
  • by Guerilla* Napalm (762317) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:24AM (#17887360) Homepage
    I remember Netscape like it was yesterday. *** assumes the foetal position, in a dark corner. ****
    • by tttonyyy (726776)
      Well, lets not forget that it used to be *the* browser to use. I guess that doesn't say much about the state of our browsers at the time, especially since css wasn't around and the web was much simpler.
  • Brand power (Score:5, Interesting)

    by telso (924323) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:38AM (#17887394)
    The only reason to keep Netscape alive is brand recognition. Look at how many [google.com] websites are still "best viewed"/"tested" or have bookmark or printing directions for only Netscape and IE, or just haven't been updated to say anything different: NOAA [noaa.gov], part of NASA [nasa.gov], NIH [nih.gov] sites [nih.gov], govts of Utah [utah.gov] and Minnesota [state.mn.us], the IOC [olympic.org], a Consumer Reports site [crbestbuydrugs.org] and college after college after college. If people keep seeing these notices, especially on government sites, there's no way they'll switch to some "other" browser, and keeping Netscape as a brand will be worthwhile. I mean, do I really have to mention AOL?
  • by Animaether (411575) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:42AM (#17887414) Journal
    "It remains to be seen whether Netscape will reverse the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko"
    Hold on... what exactly whas so disastrous about that? If I'm not mistaken, you got the choice of using either the Gecko or the IE rendering engine. What exactly is so disastrous about that? I thought we were supposed to be all -for- choice?

    "a version of their browser that enhances the awesomeness of Firefox, rather than distracts from it?"
    I'm not sure if the poster really meant "distracts" there.. it is quite apt, given what a gizmo-ridden POS Netscape is these days.. but I suspect they meant "detract".
    • Not as a switchable option, but alternative as in replacing. This is why there was, as the article says, a generation of Netscape that wouldn't run on either MacOS or Linux.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      Choice yes...
      But not the freedom to choose to remove the freedom of choice from others. IE is designed to encourage lock-in, and by using it you are helping contribute to that. The less people use other browsers, the greater the number of people will design sites only for IE.
      With other browsers it's different, there's a much greater level of compatibility between them due to standards compliance, and any deviation from standards is seen as a bug rather than a crowbar to force users onto your non-standard im
  • In a word... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sfing_ter (99478) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:57AM (#17887480) Homepage Journal
    In a word... NO.
    Netscape ceased existence with the last vestiges of the 4.79(?) version; as long as AOL controls it, it will be filled with automatically installed spyware/adware and AOL cruft.
    Unlike the Mozilla Suite Releases the AOL releases not only added crapware, they could barely get fixes out. Nutscrape is dead, long live Mozilla.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Dragonslicer (991472)

      Nutscrape is dead
      Ah, Nutscrape Nadgrabber. Those were the days.
    • I recently redesigned a website and removed all the old Netscape 4 compatibility cruft. I still wanted the site to work in older browsers, though, so I reinstalled Netscape 4.8 to test it.

      On reinstalling 4.8, I was reminded of the main problem AOL had with trying to promote Netscape the Browser: They couldn't resist turning it into an advertisement delivery platform. It installed "Get AOL!" icons on the desktop, came preloaded with a full set of links to partner sites on the bookmark toolbar, and even put
  • by Dracos (107777) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:07AM (#17887520)

    I just can't bring myself to care. AOL has done nearly everything possible to ruin the name, reputation, and legacy of Netscape. If the next version of the browser doesn't continue this grand tradition, then they must be out of ideas.

  • by f()bz (839819) <fserriere@gmail.com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:17AM (#17887562) Homepage
    I'm not sure why the cryptic title was chosen, of course Netscape 9 will be better than Netscape 8. *smile* The new browser will be integrated with our social news system that has been live on Netscape.com since July 2006, and yes, the browser will run on Linux (as well as Windows and Mac).

    I am one of the Anchors on Netscape http://www.netscape.com/about [netscape.com], and not directly part of the dev team, but I am sure members of our dev team will have plenty to comment on this thread once they are awake.

    Fabienne Serriere
    Netscape Anchor
    • Was Netscape 8 better than Netscape 7? Following that assertion, all sequels would *of course* be better than their predecessors.

    • So who is Fabienne? "Multichannel audio specialist and futurist Fabienne Serriere is a Franco-American hardware, software and embedded interaction designer. She believes in a gorgeous technologically morphable future. Her interests include hardware hacking, wearable computing, and large scale music system design." Wow. Maybe there's hope for Netscape 9 after all? (Although she says she's not directly part of the dev team, although I haven't a clue what an "anchor" is or does.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I haven't a clue what an "anchor" is or does.
        Not much on a sinking ship.
    • by Angostura (703910)

      The new browser will be integrated with our social news system
      Oh great, site-specific-support-bloat.
    • "Of course Netscape 9 will be better than Netscape 8"? Oh, right, like Netscape 7 was loads better than Netscape 6. I didn't think it could get worse than Netscape 7. Then came Netscape 8. Boy, was I wrong!

      You say the newest edition of the abortion is "integrated with [y]our social news system"? What a joke! A browser shouldn't be integrated with one single website anywhere. That's not the bloody point of a web browser. A browser is a method of serving web pages to an end user, not to increase a company's a
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:51AM (#17887688)
    the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko

    Uhm, what disasters were caused by having an _alternate_ rendering engine which most people would not know how or why to use?
    • by moranar (632206)

      Uhm, what disasters were caused by having an _alternate_ rendering engine which most people would not know how or why to use?

      Um... wasting development and PR money on something "most people would not know how or why to use"?

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
        Um... wasting development and PR money on something "most people would not know how or why to use"?

        This qualifies as a disaster? Mistake, possibly, but hardly a disaster. I actually like the option of having the IETabs extension in Firefox for testing purposes.
  • What is the point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jopet (538074) on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:12AM (#17887758) Journal
    What is the point of making a new, separate browser instead of joining forces with the Firefox development and just distributing a re-branded Firefox with a new theme and a couple of pre-installed extensions?
    What differences will there be that are not just another theme or preinstalled extension? Is there any coordination going on with the Firefox developer community (since FF this is supposed to be an open community, obviously not).
    Will Firefox extensions and themes work with NS9? Why won't it run on Solaris?

    What will NS9 that Firefox, maybe with one or two extensions installed, cannot do?

    Why should I bother to try yet another browser that maybe has a few little improvements and at the same time lacks other things I get in other browsers?
    • by Tarwn (458323)
      Following that same logic, what was the point of making a new, seperate browser [Firefox] instead of joining forces with IE development and just distributing a re-branded IE with a new theme a couple pre-installed ActiveX plugins?

      Etc, etc.

      The point to doing something that someone else has already done is to either:
      1) Do it better
      2) Do it with more features (or better features)
      3) Take advantage of an existing piece of the market (such as the thousands of professors that would love to finally upgrade from Net
      • Of course it can be worthwhile to start from scratch or branch a successful application.

        My point however is that in the concrete case of Netscape 9 it is hard to see what the benefit is. As I said, it seems all of what NS 9 improves could have been made by extensions or themes and a tiny bit of rebranding.

        So, I simply cannot see how a separate NS9 browser that is officially based on Firefox either does anything "better", or does it "with more or better features" that could not just as easily have been done
    • by christopherfinke (608750) <chris@efinke.com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @11:30AM (#17889830) Homepage Journal

      What will NS9 that Firefox, maybe with one or two extensions installed, cannot do?
      For starters, improvements to the core of the browser. If we only wanted Netscape to be Firefox with a few extensions, we would have already released it as Firefox with a few extensions. I'm not at liberty to discuss here what else there will be, but I do blog a progress update/feature teaser every Tuesday at the Netscape blog [netscape.com].

      One thing I can guarantee: Netscape 9 will not force you to supply a zipcode when you install it. That's one Netscape 8 mistake it will definitely undo.

      Christopher Finke
      Dev lead for Netscape 9
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:39AM (#17887848)
    Is that it's not THE Netscape browser. These days Netscape is just a brand and the browser is the Mozilla browser after a bunch AOL marketroids have slapped tonnes of performance / screen sapping buttons, effects and other shit all over it rendering it completely useless.

    At one stage the Netscape browser was actually worth using because it was Mozilla + extra QA + some minor and useful extras like IM panel and spellchecker. These days I simply don't see the point.

    If AOL really want to revamp it, I suggest they consider throwing a million at Mozilla.org to produce a version of Firefox with different bookmarks & search set to AOL links and maybe some cool Time Warner themes that people might actually want (e.g. Superman Returns, Lord of the Rings, 300, Harry Potter, Sopranos etc. etc.)

  • Wha? (Score:3, Funny)

    by KoldKompress (1034414) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:02AM (#17887924)
    Sorry, Net Who?
  • The Underdog (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jekler (626699) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:09AM (#17887946)

    I think many people get excited about Netscape news because many of us want them to win a battle they lost a decade ago.

    I was lulled into Internet Explorer from the start, because that's what my ISP's software shipped with, and at the time, the browser and the ISP software were synonymous to me. I didn't have any technical knowledge, my girlfriend had to explain to me how to open an .mp3 file. If my computer didn't natively handle a format, end of story.

    Anyway, I digress. A lot of us have fond memories of Netscape, including myself. I remember when I switched to using "Netscape.net" email, and the Netscape web browser. It was an exciting time for me, because I felt like I had a choice in the software I used to view the web. Even though my choices are greater still (Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, Kameleon, etc., my perception was different. The nostalgic feeling of discovering there was another option felt so much more important at the time. Now, I can switch between browsers and Operating Systems easily, but back then, Netscape represented a diversity that scarcely existed.

    In 1995, Widows and "internet" were synonyms to me. It was only in discovering Netscape that the idea of modularity even occurred to me. That I could view the internet in a different way but still have the same computer.

    Netscape has made no small number of mistakes over the years, but all that is forgivable because of the moment of clarity they afforded me. Will the next version of Netscape be a technical rival to IE or Firefox? Maybe not, but I'll try it anyway. Benefit of the doubt and all that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fistynuts (457323)

      In 1995, Widows and "internet" were synonyms to me
      I'm surprised your girlfriend put up with that.
  • Browsers are getting worse, not better.

    I love the privacy and security features in FF 1.5, where you can easily disable images or cookies from external servers, without having to manually edit the config file. Those options are missing in FF 2.0.

    Mozilla and Microsoft are "borrowing" more features from each other's browsers, which means that, instead of having two individual browsers, FF is becoming shockingly similar to IE, with the only significant advantage of FF being the lack of OS integration.
    • > I love the privacy and security features in FF 1.5, where you can easily disable images or cookies from external servers, without having
      > to manually edit the config file. Those options are missing in FF 2.0.

      I hadn't spotted that, but you're right. Have you filed a bug report on this? If so, what is it, and I'll CC myself on it.
    • by Jartan (219704)

      I love the privacy and security features in FF 1.5, where you can easily disable images or cookies from external servers, without having to manually edit the config file. Those options are missing in FF 2.0.

      While I admit I skipped 1.5 I'm not quite sure what you mean. There are typical options for cookies under the privacy tab. You can disallow them entirely and whitelist or you can allow them or blacklist sites. You can look at all the cookies and delete whichever ones you want. Was there some sort of

  • Old Memories (Score:2, Insightful)

    by red crab (1044734)
    Netscape wasn't a bad product at all. IE killed it. I still Netscape more 'usable' than IE. User preferences, connection settings, themes are much easier to navigate through in Netscape as compared to IE. Netscape's failure just shows that to survive in market, just being good isn't enough.

    I remember reading an old O' Reilly book on HTML which covered both the browsers. At that time there were certain tags that were rendered differently on the two browsers. The book strongly advised that whenever

  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:02AM (#17888440) Homepage Journal
    NS7.2 is extremely servicable is very stable and works well. NS8 - the dumb choice they made to end the mail client just stupid.

    But - FF/Thunderbird REALLY DO have their own problems.

    a) Lots of bloat & overhead for both. FF/Thunderbird work ok but are sluggish. The fast launch STILL doesn't work right, combining it with the Google accelerator is even worse.

    b) STILL has compatibility problems with many websites. Ergo the IE Tab extension which is an absolute necessity.

    So - Seamonkey is a good middle ground. It works more or less ok, has a lower overhead than FF/Thunderbird, works like NS7.2 but allows for extensions. Now there are still lots of warts with Seamonkey but it's good enough for now.

    NS8 should be bypassed as it really doesn't bring anything to the table. It's bloated and slow, doesn't have a mail client. Maybe NS9 will do........what? Exactly? Be a lot like FF? A lot like Seamonkey? I don't know.
    • "STILL has compatibility problems with many websites. Ergo the IE Tab extension which is an absolute necessity."

      Really? THe only website I go to the requires IE is Windows Update. What other common websites aren't compatible with Firefox?
      • by gelfling (6534)
        Oh yes lots both internal and external sites don't work well with FF. Please don't ask me to tell the inhouse web developers to do a better job. This is a very very very large company.
  • Why? Commercialism killed Netscape. Let it die. There are so many better options today.
  • by noldrin (635339) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:55AM (#17889404)
    Netscape 8 was actually a pretty interesting browser. It came preloaded on my laptop, it seemed pretty nice in several ways. I only used it to download seamonkey, but it did it really well.
  • Diane Simmons: And in computer news, Netscape has announced another release.
    Tom Tucker: Really? Another release?
    Diane Simmons: Yes!
    Tom Tucker: Now I thought they were dead.
    Diane Simmons: Nope, they're alive.
    Tom Tucker: Fantastic! And now this...
  • I'll try out the Netscape version when v5.2 hits... That's right, no AOL version number inflation stupidity for me, thanks.

    Ditto for Winamp... I'm still awaiting Winamp v3.1, or perhaps 4.0.

    Maybe when they come to their senses about version numbers, they might come to their senses about all the other stupid crap and other restrictions they include in all their software.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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