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Netscape Communicator 5.0 Delayed 258

Posted by Roblimo
from the it's-always-something dept.
dougc1 writes "According to this CNET article, Netscape plans to delay release of Communicator 5.0 for two more months." Well, I'm doing okay with 4.7, but it sure would be nice to have a more stable and faster Netscape - someday. (sigh)
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Netscape Communicator 5.0 Delayed

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  • by pb (1020)

    :) That doesn't surprise me one bit.

    "IE for Unix" also only ran on specific versions of Solaris.

    Not just 2.51 and up, but also with specific kernel patches for different
    SPARCs... It was really sick, and I'm not sick enough to try to get that
    to work. And that sounds like the same mess on HP/UX. Ugh.

    However, even if you did get it to work, it still sucked.
    Better luck emulating an x86 entirely in software.

    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].

  • I wish I were wrong on this one.

    But if you look, you'll see many people admitting that they prefer IE to
    Netscape, for whatever reason. I don't get it yet, but maybe I missed
    something. I guess if IE were on Unix, maybe it wouldn't crash the whole
    operating system when it went down...

    However, if it makes you feel any better, I'm browsing in w3m, because
    it supports letting me write this in my favorite text editor. :)

    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • I've heard quite a few people say that Netscape works fine under Linux if you turn off Java. Whatever happened to the Sun-Netscape Alliance? How can Sun be partnered with a company whose product crashes when in encounters Java? And yes, Netscape fscks itself in Solaris too.

    Netscape 5... wow. I still use Netscape instead of IE in Windows, but it's very painful at times... when Netscape crashes under Linux, well, it crashes, and we rm the lock, and it's all good again. But because of Windows' poor memory management, when when Netscape crashes, half the time it takes the OS with it! Please, Netscape: don't release version 5 until it actually works! Windows won't cover your ass if get careless with the memory!

    My Netscape 5 Wish List:

    **Allow us to run mutiple windows in separate processes! Hopefully, this will keep Netscape from closing all ten of my open broswer windows if one fscks itself. IE5 allows this option. Yes, this can require more memory, but it's worth it.

    **Consider a more customizable UI. I don't mean RAM-hog skins, but take a look at Opera. You can move the menus, the status bar, et cetera.

    **Get rid of that damn "Shop" button! Come on! What next, the Netscape/Pepsi/Pizza Hut broswer? We knows you're strapped for cash, but really...

    Just my two yen.

  • it's pr0n dude, pr0n!
  • Hey why not just start another Open Source project dedicated to doing just that?

    I might. Or jump onto someone else's. I'm sure there will probably be quite a few people willing to rip the bulk out of the monster.

    Plus what's keeping you from starting now?

    I've thought about it, but I'd rather wait until the final 5.0 version comes out.

    Finkployd
  • determining drivers shouldnt take that long if the software isnt doing something stupid, look at BeOS, it detects hardware on each boot, and on my machine it takes about twelve seconds..

    ok, maybe a bit offtopic :)
  • IE 4.0 or 5.0 for UNIX: gold. Oh god, it's worse than alpha!
    First of all, what is this nonsense of equating "Unix" and "Solaris"? If it's for Unix, it should work on any Unix (or at least, POSIX-compliant) system.

    Secondly, is it really very surprising that they can't make it work very well on even one particular Unix system, let alone the overwhelming majority.

    Finally, even if they did make it work, it would surely be nothing but yet another annoying Winix program, ranging between awkward and anathema to Unix programmers.

  • Can you say mozilla's viewer.app? Works *Wonderfully*, starts instantly (in MacOS, Linux/PPC build does not yet run).

    Just add bookmarks back (I like those), and there you have it...

  • I admit to not being an expert, but...

    I see (reasonably) regular reports of crippling security holes in IE (or more specifically the HTML engine, so Outlook too...), NT and occasionally Office. They tend to release fixes fairly soon but they don't exactly shout about them so I'm guessing that there's a fair number of users entirely unprotected.

    I don't follow the security community by any means, but when I see this many holes getting reported, I get worried. So what if they plug them in the end? They let them through in the first place, which they shouldn't have done. And stuff like Word/Excel macros and ActiveX seem to have been disasters waiting to happen.

    If someone wants to tell me that they just get publicised because it's MS then I'll be happy and go away. But I don't recall hearing of this sort of quantity of security holes found in Netscape or Solaris...

    Greg
  • Rare is the day that Netscape doesnt crash.
    That's interesting. I'm running version 4.04, or so it claims, and it "never" crashes on me. Then again, I disable both those silly J-things. Perhaps that's why.
  • But the problem is, it's been 2 years. TWO YEARS!!! None of us can afford to keep on waiting.

    don't hold our breath?? Maybe downloading a 5M tarball isn't too much of a problem, but the people who use our products aren't going to do that. Oh, and compile it and run it on windows.

    Realistically, we're going to have to wait upwards to at least a year for N5 is in any sort of common use. Maybe more, and maybe never. (I tried it about a month ago and I couldn't stand it.)
  • Actually I really like the new interface. I think this is one of the improvements of Mozilla.

    Fortunately since it is themeable their will be much choice and you will have several interfaces to choose from. I think there is about 6 or 7 on the mozilla site now -- including one that makes mozilla look like IE (THE HORROR -- THE HORROR
  • There isn't really any bulk to rip out. Take a look at it. As I said in a post above, there's not much you can rip out. Mail, News, Composer, AddressBook, Bookmarks, all those things are made out of the same stuff that the Browser is made of.
  • MS will only control the web if designers let it. If people write platform independent code, then it won't really matter which browser is used. Which would keep the door open for other browsers to come in and challenge IE's dominance. For all it's worth, on the few sites I will design in the future, I plan on making them completely viewable in Netscape or IE 4.x+. Just because a browser is dominant doesn't mean people MUST design only for that browser. The web is supposed to be open to everyone, not just people who use IE.
  • Ehhh
    Last I looked it lacked the usual browser features (including bookmarks like you said). Also I don't think it had forward or back buttons, or any other navigation tools.
    I'm not complaining about the web browser part of Mozilla, just the integration with poor internet clients that have much better counterparts elsewhere.
    Opera look's like just want I want except for the closed source and MDA windows.

    Finkployd
  • A lean, high-capabilty, stable browser is needed. For me, Netscape pretty much fills the need, though I will continue to look forward to incremental improvements. But - In the longer run, the future is not about rendering html and displaying pretty pages on large high res screens. Assuming we continue to take the www in that direction, isn't that really just interactive TV, with infinite number of channels? The future may be more about Internet access from everywhere, from all kind of devices. And Internet access won't mean rendering web pages on itty bitty screens. It's all about getting the _data_ that's out there into your hands, not some set of visual pages that contain the data, that you have to do additional processing on to get the nuggets out ... Bottom line - web browsers are important for getting at data and accessing the Internet/www in its present condition. I eagerly await the 'next big thing' though that will push web browsers into the same category with archie and gopher ...
  • The window of opportunity closed by mid-2000? Please.

    First, Biil Gates, in the most recent issue of Forbes, admits that products other than W2K have been slowed by a diversion of resources to that product. Microsfot hasn't started any IE 6.0 hype yet, and no reports of even early IE 6.0 alphas have leaked out of Redmond yet. IE 6.0 is not going to be delivered in six months.

    Second, on every non-MS platform, Mozilla will be far better than any version of IE available in six months. IE 5.0's codebase is very Windows-centric and its apparent speed advantage on MS OSes is because of OS integration. To get good performance on non-Windows platforms would require a re-architecting like the Netscape-Mozilla change, which would have been leaked if it were underway.

    Third, the lighter-weight Mozilla will be a viable upgrade choice for the millions of 120 Mhz 16 MB RAM Win95 Pentiums out there; IE 5 isn't, and 6 will probably be worse. And they aren't going to all just dissapear anytime soon; many buisnesses (like General Motors) are just now finally getting rid of their 486es with Windows 3.1.

    Fourth and finally, there is no network effect "window of opportunity" to close. Legacy browsers mean e-commerce sites need to be usable by a wide variety of browsers. Amazon.com still maintains Navigator 1.x compatibility; almost any mass-media type of site can still be rendered with Navigator 3.x. As a result, there will always be a lag effect that allows a new browser a chance to make a marketshare dent.
  • The mozilla team is a lot smaller too (heard reports that the IE team consists of several hundred) and netscape/aol isn't spending over $100 million a year on it (from the FOF). Considering that the Mozilla team is building something from scratch, I think they are doing rather well.

    I don't mind the wait. Netscape 4.x, lynx, emacs-w3, and w3m all work fine for what I use browsers for. IMHO, AOL is basically waiting for the DOJ trial to make a decision. Since the Mozilla rendering engine has been made available as a ActiveX component, AOL could swap out the IE compontent for Mozilla for all its users without much of a problem. AOL already has automatic updates when the user logs on, so they could potentially switch all their users to the mozilla component in a few weeks, taking away the single biggest chunk of IE users away from MS.

  • Just get it done and get it out there. As long as you can make it reasonably fast and bug-free, I'll be more than happy. Take as long as you need; I know you're not dragging your feet 'cause I can see your source.

    That said, I'd be mad if Netscape released their current M12 builds as Netscape 5.0. It's still not particularly stable (though it's improved vastly in that regard), keyboard accelerators only work maybe a tenth of the time (on the Mac anyway; I can't seen to get a LinuxPPC build working), and the launch time is still too slow.

    I do, however, like the progress that's being made. The Mac installer is great, the rendering engine is fast, and at least the skins are configurable (though I wish someone would put up the old purple skin). Perhaps when M12 is finalized Netscape should start basing Alpha builds off of it. But let the software mature to the point where it's actually ready to be released before you go and release it.
  • mac os browsers?

    since you asked, i'm going to suggest you try icab. It's still in development. However it's quick, light, and about as stable as MSIE. It doesn't have _any_ javascript support as of last time i checked. It has some PNG support and it's at least woth looking at.
  • Many people are talking about how Mozilla is the standards-based browser that is "battling" against IE/Microsoft to keep the web open. Well that's all well and good, but what about the fact that very few websites are HTML Compliant? I'd be hard pressed to find webpages that pass W3C's validation test (http://validator.w3.org) - even Slashdot isn't compliant.

    My point is, a standards-based browser is only half the battle. The other half is standards-based websites. I think this is something that every webmaster who doesn't pay homage to Lord Redmond should consider.

  • Delay by final release or beta release?

  • I'm running the beta right now. Seems a bit faster than 5, depending on the page you browse, stability is about the same, no crashes yet. Has a neat print preview feature, nothing to write home about though.
  • oops.. sorry.. accidentally hit "submit" before i typed in the URL. i feel stupid.
    http://www.icab.de
  • Mozilla stopped using gtk widgets AFAIK like six months ago, I believe everything is rendering locally, so all the platforms look the same. No more having things lay out wierd on Unix because the widgets are different than on Windows or MacOS.

  • Mozilla beta will still be released b4 christmas? please tell me yes
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wrote him a few days ago because they had another story where they mentioned that mozilla
    was "delayed" again (not sure where they are
    hearing these supposed deadlines from).

    Paul is of the opinion that if Netscape continues
    to let MSIE gain market share, they will never get
    it back and we'll be trapped in a Microsoft world.

    Paul has a short memory. I had to remind him how
    we used to laugh at Microsoft when Netscape was
    king... the browser "war" is never going to be
    "over." It's not like Coke vs. Pepsi, where Coke
    will always be more popular. It's whoever has the
    better technology, better price, and better
    marketing.

    They're both free, and we know Netscape has better
    technology coming out in Mozilla. Now to the
    marketing. Let's see, Netscape has all the AOL
    users at their disposal, all the microsoft haters,
    linux/freebsd/mac/beos zealots, most open source
    developers, Sun (Java), and the U.S. government
    (in one form or another) in their corner...

    Call me crazy, but I'm not too worried about
    Netscape's chances to make a "comeback."

    Besides, we all know the market share of MSIE is
    bullshit anyways. How can Netscape be expected to
    compete with a monopoly that distributes (and
    usually requires) an MSIE installation with EVERY
    SINGLE PROGRAM they release? Not to mention the
    underhanded tactics MS pulls with OEM's, ISP's,
    and other businesses.

    Paul apparantly under-estimates the effect this
    antitrust trial will have on Microsoft.

    I don't think Paul "gets it." Oh well... CNET also
    thinks the millennium starts on 01/01/2000. I used
    to really like them, but they seemed to be more
    concerned with generating as many stories and
    banner ad views as possible now. Gone are the days
    of entirely gold and green pages with cool Java
    applets (back when Java was 6 months old or so)...

    -thomas
  • Well, I have to say this hasn't been my experience with the mozilla bug system. I opened a bug essentially asking for help getting Mozilla running on Linux/PowePC (I'd found that XPTCInvoke was written in assembly, and I can't do that). Things started rolling real fast. Its not running yet, but I have some preliminary assemballer for XPTCInvoke already, and things are progressing well.

    So I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I'm sure it really matters who picks up your bug report.

  • by prijks (9686)
    mozilla rules! all it needs is stability and filters for cookies... so i don't have to hit cancle a dozen times when i go to stupid websites...

    but the article at one point mentions netscape 5.5 ... is netscape inflating version numbers already? or is that a typo?

    Also, has anyone else noticed that the stability of netscape is kinda non-deterministic? I install it once, it works fairly well (fairly well meaning it only crashes once or twice a day), but I install the same version a different time, and it crashes regularly... I can't figure it out...
  • I was just yesterday wondering when if ever the new Netscape was going to come out. I guess I have my answer now, and although it is a disappointment I guess for those of you that were expecting it sooner I am glad to see it will be out in two months.
    Does anybody know if the official netscape version is using GTK for its widgets like mozilla is doing? I really really hate motif. I think that is one of the biggest things I dislike about Netscape under linux is that it is real ugly.
    Also one more bit of speculation about the delay, what are the chances that they are taking so long so that AOL 6.0 can use Netscape? How long is AOL's contract with MS to use IE? It would be really a great trump card for linux if we had AOL support, which AOL using the Netscape code could give us. Not that I like AOL mind you, in fact I hate it, but I know lots of people who worship it and it would still be a great "big app" to have in the community.

  • JohnG said,
    ...the article said that there wasn't going to be a big difference between 4.7 and 5.5...
    Actually, what the article said was
    The difference between 4.7 and 5.5 may not seem like much, but the technology gap is vast.
    --And in context it was pretty clear that the article was referring to Communicator 4.7 and MSIE 5.5. See the paragraph immediately preceding the one to which you refer:
    ...Netscape has seen its existing version 4.7 continue to lose market share to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, whose trial version 5.5 is expected to be released today...
    Besides, since there is no Communicator 5.0 release at present, it wouldn't make much sense to talk about a Communicator 5.5 just yet, would it?

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • Too bad that IE is as crash prone - if not more so - as Navigator.



    Funny...I've maybe a total of 4 IE5 crashes in the last 3 months on the 4 systems I regularly use. But then again I'm apparently an exception to the anti-MS rule since I rarely reboot any of my 5 NT4 servers, yet many of the pro-Linux advocates that frequent /. insist that NT must be rebooted something like every 4 hours. I can't believe how wild some imaginations run when trying to sway opinions.

  • by koax (8699)
    What new features is 5.0 supposed to have? The last few releases have been pretty much the same. When is a browser based on "Genko" supposed to come out? It would be good if they beat Opera to the punch by getting a full-featured browser out that doesnt take 30M of memory.
  • nope. blink is a CSS spec. IE4.5 on Mac doesn't support it and I don't think it is supported on IE5 on PC either.

    Not that blink is critical. But the original poster's gist - CSS standards are poorly or not even fully implemented on the leading edge browsers, is valid and causes no end of consternation to me.
  • XUL is cool and all, and, were I on AOL (thank you Allah, Buddha, Krishna, et al that I am not) it would take me 30 seconds to trim that fat. That's how cool XUL is.

  • Edit the chrome XUL's in chrome/global/default and chrome/navigator/default. Trim out the bloat from the main interface. Components which are not used will not be loaded at runtime.

    Simple.

  • There's an external, non-us patch that adds back encryption, though I don't know any more details.
    http://mozilla-crypto.ssleay.org/index. html [ssleay.org]
    Currently down, I don't know why. Hopefully no reason to fear the worst...

  • XML, XSL, etc. see
  • Hmm... has back and forward at least on my MacOS setup. Bookmarks are needed though.
  • XML, XSL, etc. see www.xml.com (cos HTML like this page does not work, adequately.
  • Cool, didn't know you could keep them from loading... I may have to try this.
  • Actually, they already seem to have added some Javascript preference panels to 1.8 prerelease, which probably means it's coming reasonably soon. No doubt it won't be added into the prereleases still it's reasonably stable- he would do best not to put it in too soon and break everything.

    FYI, I've been doing 95% of my browsing in iCab since 1.8 came out. It does read most sites beautifully, and I've even ordered a few things in it (which is important since many sites shops don't work without Javascript). Banking and a little bit of shopping is done in Netscape or IE 4.5, but that's a very small bit of my daily browsing.

    All the other features in iCab are so useful that the Javascript thing really is not much of a deterrent- you just use another browser for those occasional needs. The customizable buttons and contextual menus are great. Keychain support and autocomplete really make my day. LINK tag interpreted for a toolbar is really nice - sadly the two major browsers don't support this, so most sites don't take advantage. The ad filters and comprehensive user preferences make a big difference. The built in HTML checker should be at every web designer's hands. The printing improvements are a great paper saver.

    Yep, it doesn't have everything yet, but it's pretty darn impressive already (especially for a browser which came out of the blue, in German, only 10 months ago). The rate at which it's been improving is great, and I am not at all concerned about Javascript support- it'll be in when it's ready, and thankfully not before. I'd rather have no Javascript support than buggy support, and the same goes for CSS (just look at the mess that Netscape 4 and IE 3 created to see why).

    I have high hopes for Mozilla too, but we'll see if they pan out.

    I hope that iCab and Opera (also very user control friendly) encourage a brand new age of browsers with more user control and features which are designed to improve things for the browser users more than the browser manufacturers. Browsers have been in the user control dark ages for way too long.
  • I use linux for everything that I do, with the exception of a few applications that my employer has decided to standardize on (Notes, PeopleSoft). I have none of the problems you describe with Linux or Netscape. My Windows box at work crashes probably 5-10x the rate that Netscape on Linux has ever crashed for me. Again, I use it everyday for lots of different tasks. Not any different than using IE on Win9x or MacOS (other than I don't have to worry about linux tanking like Win9x), and hardly a nightmare.

    On a side note, I see nothing wrong for moderating down trolls or generators of flamebait.

  • by pb (1020)
    Well, *they* call it "for Unix", not me. And for the record, it 'runs' on Solaris and HP/UX. I've only used the Solaris version.

    It doesn't work well on either one at least partially because they ported it with Mainwin. Maybe if they'd used (and developed!) Wine it would run about the same under Linux when recompiled, but to run on non-x86 platforms, they had to use some funky, proprietary stuff, and do some extra special Microsoft tweaking so that it would stay broken.

    And, when all is said and done, it's IE. If it were a perfect port, it would look and act like the Windows version. And a lot of people on slashdot would apparently like that very much. Your "winix" argument is completely based on personal taste. I agree with you about that a lot of the time, but realize that most people don't, even a lot of people on slashdot.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Netscape is why I don't want to be or work at a Huge multi-billion dollar company. Stay small people.

  • by Uksi (68751)
    First, as many have already pointed out, Netscape's beta will come out later than Mozilla's beta.

    Second, I see WAY too many posts describing IE as superior to Mozilla in its support for DOM, XML and other standards. I don't whether to cry or laugh; after all, I expect an average "slashdot reader" to be smart enough to check Mozilla and its development out. It turns out that I'm wrong. It seems that most people didn't even bother to read more than two or three pages on mozilla.org, if any.

    And that sucks. To give all those unenlightened a crash course in Mozilla:
    - it has unprecendented support for standards. Period. Even new IE 5.5, as MozillazZine points out, still doesn't support CSS1 (one, not two!) completely, as Microsoft promised.
    - it has its own set of widgets, which are going to be polished to become equal or superior to all other. Amongst other things, that means that Mozilla is going to have the same look and feel across *ALL* platforms, and web pages are doing to have same widget look and feel across all platforms. That is truly great.
    - it's not even alpha yet! Why are people complaining about the browser being delayed? Do you want Mozilla to turn out rushed like Windows 95? or do you want it turn out to be a quality piece of software?

    Give Mozilla a break. All of you are hot-headed open source advocates, and when it comes down to business, most of you scream: "Ahh, it's being delayed, it has no standards support, it's dead/crap!" instead of actually bothering to help out, even a little! Mozilla.org has lists of small tasks to be done in all sorts of areas (C++, DOM, JavaScript, etc.), there's surely something for you. Don't sit on your arse: Mozilla is open source and if you want it to happen sooner, go and help.

    For those lazy to naviage the site, here's a direct link to the "Get Involved" page:
    http://www.mozilla.org/get-involved.html

    --
  • There is more to this issue than just having a great, stable, browser for Linux though. Unfortunately, Linux/non-Windows users are still a teeny-tiny slice of the OS pie. Even if Konquerer kicks @$$ and is the greatest browser ever, people on Windows aren't going to use it (they can't). Although I like Opera alot, it's not statisticly huge. And as more people switch to IE, more crap is going to pop up on the web that is proprietary and requires IE, or other Windows features. So Mozilla is more a fight for standards than a fight for an awesome browser. Many say they don't want all the bells and whistles that are being put into mozilla, but most "users" do, and they are the ones we need to keep the web open and standards-complient. That's why it's so important that Mozilla succeds not just in being a quality browser, but that it has a wide and deep user base.
  • The Netscape 4.61 that came with Mandrake 6.1 was fairly stable, but had a horrible memory leak. I upgraded to 4.7, it does not have a bad memory leak, but it crashes several time a night for me.
  • by pb (1020)
    My god, I'm impressed.

    Which versions of IE and NT? (and please tell me you don't have ActiveDesktop installed)

    We generally have NT either crash or become unusable after a maximum of 30 days or so, due to memory leaks. This would happen a lot faster on my machine, because once I'm using more virtual memory than I have physical memory (and I have 64MB, those machines have at least 128MB) and I'm not doing anything, I'd worry.

    These memory leaks *might* be in other applications, but I'd like to know what application can make the *kernel* leak that much memory (and not recover it), because I've seen it bloat up to 50MB before.

    We only get the occasional BSOD on NT, but this certainly happens often enough that these machines would never go for even months without a crash, and would need reboots much more frequently.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • And, when all is said and done, it's IE. If it were a perfect port, it would look and act like the Windows version. And a lot of people on slashdot would apparently like that very much. Your "winix" argument is completely based on personal taste. I agree with you about that a lot of the time, but realize that most people don't, even a lot of people on slashdot.
    Now I am completely mystified. I'm quite serious. If all they want is Microsoft crap, what's the issue? Is it that they want free Microsoft crap? Or is it that they want Microsoft crap that they can hack? Or both? Or something else? In any event, they're still buggered by the shaft of the Microsoft's moronic mentality.

    I certainly hope you're wrong. I really do. And if you're not, then I wish they'd go back to Bill.

    What's the problem? Well, suppose Microsoft wants to sell as much as they can. (Good bet, that.) This means they need to make their software accessible to everyone they can. That means they probably need to go at least one standard deviation below the mean. Once they get something that someone with an IQ of 85 is going to be able to be happy with, do you really think they'll bother making something for those of us who are a few stdevs out on the other end? Of course not.

    That's why we're fucked.

  • I'll get this one...

    It's sort of funny. You seem to think Mozilla has something to do with AOL, when I in fact know it is an open source project that will live on irregardless of AOL...

    At least 70%-80% of Mozilla's developers are Netscape employees who've been assigned to the project. Suppose AOL suddenly decides to can it; bang, there go nearly all the developers who actually understood the codebase. It's been hard enough to attract external developers already - if Netscape's support was removed, it would kill it off totally. Nobody wants to join a project this big with no other developers. Open Source doesn't mean bubkes without warm bodies.

    Oh, and there's no such word as "irregardless".

    And why the hell have they "lost any chance they had to match IE on Windows"? Do you offer any sort of rationalization, or just your ignorant opinion?

    In the latest stats I've seen, IE has 70% of the browser market. Now, you try and persuade Jo(e) Average Computer User why they should ditch the browser that's been integrated into their OS and has been working just fine for them up until now for a 15MB+ download that, on the face of it, offers nothing new. (No, "standards compliance" and "customisable skins" don't mean anything to Jo(e))

    Don't get me wrong; I think Mozilla is going to be a truly revolutionary product in loads of ways and that it's a very worthwhile project. I don't believe that AOL is going to can it, because they've got a ton of the future riding on it in all kinds of ways that we won't see until next year. But the situation is a damn sight more fragile than your faith implies.

    -- Yoz

  • Well, if you have had such success with NT and IE then you are to be congratulated!

    The company where I work have about 80 NT-servers at our main office. These need to be rebooted frequently. All servers that are critical for operation of the company are rebooted before weekends, in the hope of getting better uptime during the weekend. Our ~20 Solaris and Linux servers are seldom, if ever, rebooted. We have about 20 persons working with the NT-servers and only three for the UNIX part (all of which does NT stuff as well). This says something about TCO for NT...

    I have had several crashes with IE. Which is rather wierd since I hardly ever use it. Oh, I had my fair share of Navigator crashes as well.

    Finally, I'm not what you'd call a pro-linux advocate - I'm anti-everything...

    W S B Tea Time of the Dead
  • ...yes, MS was nothing on the Internet a few years ago. However, don't forget that they have a bit of an advantage over Netscape/Mozilla: IE SHIPS WITH WINDOWS!!! And the vast majority of PC's have Windows. As much as I hate to say it, Mozilla's really got its work cut out for it... :(

  • OK, I guess some people consider those features useful. But I for one don't need them and I have never, ever used them in the few sessions I had with IE. Perhaps I'm quaint when I rather have a fast, lean browser that adheres to standards. That is standards that are widely accepted, and not "standards" that the browser company themself makes up.

    W S B Piece corpse
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I still use NS 3.04 myself, but it *does* crash, plus most JavaScript out there is completely ignoring NS 3.X browsers, causing bad effects ranging from inline JavaScript appearing on the rendered page (a known NS 3.04 bug) through to dozens of irritating modal JavaScript error dialogues. Plus all CSS authors are seemingly refusing to put attributes on the tags any more, leading to rather ugly fallback pages when using 3.X browsers. NS 3.04 is on its knees now, but I refuse to go to 4.X because it's even less stable, far more bloated and actually ergonomically worse to use. BTW, for those not in the know, you'll have to ditch your NS 3.04 for e-commerce in the New Year because the internal Verisign certificate expires at the end of the year - every Verisign-secured site you go to in Y2K onwards will give a secure mode warning with NS 3.04 (it's fine with the 4.X releases) !!
  • So incremental reflow is the way it draws part of a page at a time, right?
    Mozilla used to be usable on Slashdot... after they put in incremental reflow, it isn't anymore.
    Since I'm on a P166, rendering the page is what takes the longest time. It doesn't seem to have any concept of skipping to what's CURRENTLY loaded; instead, it draws every possible step in the loading of the page.
    And since it uses all available processing power, I can't scroll the text (hey, if you're going to all that trouble to let me read the text as it's loading, then let me read it!), or click "Stop", or anything.
    Now... incremental reflow is a very good idea - I used to gripe a lot about how browsers could show part of a page when you clicked "stop", but wouldn't think of showing the page when the download is stalled - but it's got to be implemented right.

    IE renders a typical Slashdot article in 5 seconds. Netscape 4.7 takes more like 20. Mozilla M11... I've never had the patience to find out.
    --
  • When Mozilla is out, I'm going to be changing the source code to ignore META tags.
    Think about it... all they usually do is make the browser do something I didn't want it to do, like bring up a popup ad.
    Their legitimate uses are mostly for search robots, so my browser shouldn't care.
    --
  • do you really think they'll bother making something for those of us who are a few stdevs out on the other end?

    Assumption: few >=3

    I seem to recall that 3 standard deviations will take care of 99.7% of a normal distribution.

    Yeah, theres a big market for software for .3 percent of the population. (Free or otherwise)
  • You don't need to use imwheel, you just need to use a version of XFree86 from the last year or two, and you need to follow the instructions on the X Mouse Wheel Scroll Page [inria.fr] (basically make sure scroll wheel support is turned on in XF86Config, then add new netscape entries to your .Xdefaults file).

    Then voila, you've just added mouse wheel support to an app that was written before mouse wheels existed. I was thinking about how cool this was the other day while wondering why Regedit (in Win98) was ignoring my friend's wheel mouse...
  • So incremental reflow is the way it draws part of a page at a time, right?

    I think the basic reason for incremental reflow is to enable a user on a slow connection to read the text without waiting for all the images to load.

    Before the switch to the Gecko rendering engine, using the old Mozilla code, incremental reflow was actually introduced in a project called Mariner. It worked very well too, but they shortly thereafter switched to the Gecko engine and Mariner was shelved.

    Once incremental flow gets to the stability that Mariner was in, I think that it will be a definite plus. But for now, my builds exhibit the same problems you've mentioned. Slashdot, and many other pages, load excruciatingly slow and don't let me scroll the page until loading is finished. But on the plus side, it doesn't crash either, which is improvement over older builds.

  • XUL seems cool and all but just think what harm it can cause in the hands of AOL. I would hate to have five or so ad buttons on the button bars when I visit so-and-so site. The less control the web site has the better.

    Mozilla team, please don't do this to us.
  • by JohnG (93975) on Friday December 03, 1999 @10:54PM (#1481410)
    Actually I think they might have been talking about IE? That part confused me too, but it seems as thought that might have meant IE 5.0 to IE 5.5, because IE 5.5 is supposed to be coming out and the article said that there wasn't going to be a big difference between 4.7 and 5.5, but netscape was totally rewriting the code and the look of the browser. That doesn't really make sense if they are referring to Netscape both times. It would make sense to say IE 5.0 won't be that big of a difference from IE 5.5, but netscape 5.0 is a total rewrite. So both browser should be on level playing ground again. Of course I could be horribly wrong.
    BTW: Does anybody know what the "big" features of the 5th generation browsers are. It seems like the 2nd generation brought in frames and stuff, and the 3rd generation brought in javascript or whatever, then the 4th generation were big into dynamic html and css and stuff. What is the "must have" feature in 5th generation browsers?
    *Disclaimer* The above history of browsers is very likely to be very wrong, I just meant that each new browser has introduced something big.

  • You seem to think we all speak with one voice.

    Is it really the same people saying both things?

    Anyhow, the Free Mozilla is available for anyone patient enough to run it (I tried it, but I'm back with 4.7 for now). Proprietary Navigator is delayed, but i'd rather see that than a buggy product.
    --
  • Microsoft tends to ignore security holes whenever possible.

    I don't want to pick on you in particular but this has gotten out of hand. Microsoft has not ignored any security hole and they don't do it whenever possible! Their fixes on their web page for the security issues.

    Dang it people Microsoft is not evil! Guess what? They do care about their customers. You just don't give them a chance by declaring everything they do as FUD, marketing, or incompetence.

    Microsoft is not a perfect company and have made many mistakes. But if you are going to accuse them of something then make sure you are rightly accusing them. Otherwise your FUD is far worse than anything from Redmond.
  • http://java.sun.com/products/hotjava/3.0/ (~ 5 MB)
  • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Saturday December 04, 1999 @09:12AM (#1481416) Homepage
    I'm definitely not an expert on this (for expert information check out http://www.mozilla.org docs or the netscape.public.mozilla news groups) but I'm pretty confident in my understanding XUL and teh general architecture of Mozilla. With that out of the way, here are some comments about some of the ideas posted concerning XUL, AOL, and "bloat".

    Websites will not be able to modify your skin (not in mozilla's first release anyway)

    Netscape/AOL can put whatever they want into their branded version of mozilla (Navigator/Communicator/whatevertheydecidetocallit )but mozilla will remain mozilla - simple and open.

    Mail, News and Editor are not 'bloat'. They are small efficient apps built on top of the same code that Browser is built of. The code that could be pulled out that isn't required by (a part of) the Browser is very small. You could nuke a few .xul, .css and .js files but that's about it. Mail, News, and Editor are not seperate beasts. They do not add significantly to the weight of the code base. They simply organize and display functionality (that is already a necessary part of the browser) in a different way. When you launch Mail (or news or editor) in mozilla, think of it as launching another browser window because it's not much more than that. Anyone is free to put together a browser without a mail menu item and without a few XUL and javascript files but they won't be cutting out any "bloat".

    I am all for modification and customization and look forward to the many versions of mozilla the browser or mozilla the communications suite that will soon be available.

    Asa
  • by Utter (4264) on Friday December 03, 1999 @10:55PM (#1481420)
    For you who didn't bother to read the article!
    A Mozilla alpha version will be released Dec 15 and the first beta will be released somewhere in the middle of February. This is not the same as a branded Netscape Beta, which will take place some time after the Mozilla Beta.

    The article mainly complaints about Mozilla lateness and worries that corporate users are moving towards IE. They also partly blaim XUL for some of this lateness.
  • You don't have to have a publically posted email address or webpage.
  • I think they tend to ignore the possibilities of security holes in advance.

    I don't think it takes a security expert to realize that giving anyone on the internet access to your system is a bad idea, yet Outlook does this, and this is how the melissa virus spread.

    It's (relativly) easy to fix a bug in a well designed program, it's almost impossible to fix bugs in a badly designed program, and Microsoft products have had a consistant pattern of being poorly thought out.

  • According to the Mozilla [mozilla.org] page, Navigator and Mozilla are essentially distinct projects. They say that Navigator will most likely be based on submitted Mozilla code, however, and that it will be marketed as "good" and branded under the Netscape name, as well as contain proprietary stuff that can't be part of Mozilla for obvious reasons.

  • Mozilla's biggest advantage is standards. It will be completely based on standards, which is exactly why it is vitally important to the future of the Internet.

    How many have read through the halloween documents? M$ Wants the Internet. Bad. How would they do that, though? decommoditization of protocols as the author of that email put it. In other words, close-sourcing the Internet. That would sure put a crimp in the *nix marketshare, wouldn't it? But how would they do this? Simple:

    Basing their dominant browser on standards, but adding in their own proprietary "plug-ins" that add extra features that we would eventually become dependant on, despite the fact that it would be just as easy (easier, even) to write a java applet. I know java ain't that stable on Communicator, but that's besides the point--it's open. So, rally behind Netscape! Even when you have to use Winblows, use Communicator! We'll be stuck with it for now, but we'll be rewarded with Mozilla later on. Forgoe downloading Shockwave or Flash plugins, boycott sites that use them! If we all go along with it, it won't go away.

    Copy Protection: A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from stealing software and legitimate customers from using it.

  • Oh yeah, I think I remember reading somewhere that Mozilla/Netscape 5.0 will be able to be "themed" sorta like the lycos browser or the neoplanet browser on IE. Or can Netscape for Windows already do that?

  • by caferace (442) on Friday December 03, 1999 @11:23PM (#1481440) Homepage
    Paul Festa has yet to write anything positive about Mozilla or Netscape in the past. If one runs a search on the C|Net Website you might find a smattering of relatively neutral articles, but the fact of the matter is that the guy is being paid to downplay the significance of a very cool, soon to be released Alpha base we can all "dogfood" with.

    AND, I guarantee he reads /. But will he respond here? Doubtful. He won't even respond to polite email.

    Feh. Just keep coding and bug fixing. He'll fade into oblivion with the rest of the naysayers.

  • FYI...it's "Gecko." Just so you know.

    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • by cdensch (81585) on Friday December 03, 1999 @11:28PM (#1481442)
    I mean, how long's it been since IE 5.0 came out? And a real "new" version of Netscape anything?

    I like IE because it has a more mature DOM that (in my opinion) you can do more with using less code. I like the fact that it has an XML component that's actually useable. I like the more complete adherance to CSS specifications (again, in my opinion). I like the open ended object/active x/ole/whatever they're calling it this week/ structure (this is more MS strategy stuff, but what they hey).

    I don't like the security holes (found in other software), the lack of input into design decisions, and occasional stability problems. Those are pretty big "don't likes" actually. On the other hand though, Netscape doesn't really have anything I like (as a developer), and some of the same dislikes. Makes it an easy decision doesn't it?

    All that said, I think that Mozilla's only chance is to become the consumer browser, because I would choose IE as a development platform in a hot minute. I've read several articles mentioning the fact that IE is eclipsing NN/C in the intranet/internal development marketplace (some posted here) and I agree totally. If I had to support netscape right now it'd double my work. I'd have to write everything twice, AND some things I couldn't do at all. The long and short of this long message is (and here's the flamey bit): I don't think netscape/mozilla, given many delays before producing a useable product, being so far behind what MS has accomplished with the technology curve, I don't think they'll be a viable competitor in the marketspace. If they pull off a miracle and make it better, I'd use that in a second instead too. I'm a traiterous pragmatist.

    Off Topic FUD and crap following
    vvvvvvvvvv

    Just as a side note, I've been vett'ing slashdot for quite a while now and have drawn some interesting conclusions. It seems that Big automatically == BAD and Small/independent automatically == GOOD. I think in some part it goes to a hearkening back to the grassroots origin of the internet. Is there a "good" "big" company that fits into the narrow slashdot canon? And not just because they're the next great white hope against microsoft, but because they make good stuff that people can use and like?

    I remember how the knives came out after the Red Hat IPO once they became BIG and therefore BAD. If a Big(bad) company actually puts out a good product, will anyone actually notice for all the knees jerking?

    End FUD and crap ^^^^^

    cdensch doesn't do signatures
  • by tialaramex (61643) on Friday December 03, 1999 @11:47PM (#1481453) Homepage
    Basically, Netscape (for it is they!) have thrown away their old code, then used GTK+, and thrown that away (didn't have customisable look and feel, which is essential when none of the actual FEATURES work) and re-written everything again. The result doesn't work, and probably needs more work than just fixing GTK+, Xlib or even Motif, but it gave everyone something to do while pointing the blame desperately at each other. What a catastrophe.

    A typical bug report in Bugzilla has commentry like this:

    Bob: Mozilla breaks horribly when I do this. I do it a lot, and so does every other Mozilla user, someone should fix it.

    Fred: Agreed. Marking this as M9, we need a fix soon

    Pete: M9 is too close. Users can live without until M11

    Dave: Put this down for D19 and FU2, I have two bodies on it now

    Dave: Wait. Not our problem, this is Fred's.

    Fred: I can't reproduce this. Marked Works for Me

    Bob: Why isn't this fixed yet? It is easily reproducible, follow my URL

    Dave: Nope. Can't reproduce

    Bob: Did you click on the URL?

    Dave: Oh, wait, now it does. I think this will be fixed when FlyingPig lands next week. Marking FP

    FPTeam: Flying Pig is delayed, because it turns out we have to implement abstract classes not just pray. We didn't know that.

    Bob: I don't understand, I have waited four months for this..?

    Dave: This is now first priority for M15. We will definitely have this.

    Fred: I can't commit to that. Call it M16 and we'll squeeze it in later

    Harold: Just doing some admin. Nothing to see here, move along. (now M17)

    FPTeam: Marked as fixed because FlyingPig landed today. FlyingPig is still pretty buggy. Please don't open more than one window or breathe near the computer. Sorry.

    Bob: Nope, still not fixed as of M17, where is everyone? Why can't a simple bug be fixed in under twelve months?

    ---

    Why is it so hard? I have lots of ideas, but none of them is very complementary toward the Mozilla team. I think an equally valid question is, "Why did Microsoft take nearly five years to complete NT 5?" and many of the answers are probably the same. Let this be a lesson to you, do not work on products which are supposed to solve everyones problems all at once.

    Nick.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't wanna be too offensive here, but I am astounded by the fuckin' guppies that are posting basically "me too" to these discussions. Slashdot goes back and forth. Every two weeks the headlines are either:

    "Mozilla doing well!" - usually a milestone release

    and

    "Mozilla's eating it!" - usually a *totally* uninformed editorial on ZDNet

    And the replies are always basically "Yeah, mozilla sucks/rocks" depending on what the spin-of-the-day happens to be. I mean, go back and do a search of "mozilla" stories and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    People who are following the mozilla story (via mozillazine.org and mozilla.org) seem to have a clue, but most of these comments are just like so uninformed and following the spin, it's makin' me sick.

    "Genko" engine indeed. Feel free to moderate this down. I just had to vent.

    A big-ass Coward
  • God I am looking forward to a nice final from Mozilla....using html for the window layout is going to be interesting..assuming the source will be easy to get at, it'll be a cinch to customize the browser to your own liking..

    On the PC side of things, I really have no major browser complaints.. with Linux(installing SuSe tonite on a box I just built, this is my first major use of Linux, as opposed to minor admin stuff, so wish me luck!) I havent used the browser enough to build a list of what it's lacking.. so this is coming from a Mac OS point of view..

    I would love to see a browser that merges the best of IE and Netscape.. each of them has strengths, and each has weaknesses..

    I love the History on IE, I abhor the netscape history. PLEASE let me go to where I've gone before, even if I have already closed the damn window.

    I like that I can click and drag an image in Netscape to see its dimensions..great from a design point of view..

    IE seems to bog down quite a bit when loading long pages with a lot of text.. Netscape, for my uses, is all around the quicker browser in day to day surfing..

    Rare is the day that Netscape doesnt crash.


    What about you guys? Since we are on the topic of new browser releases, what features in the current crop of browsers do you love and hate? Be interesting to see what has driven various people to a particular browser...



    ________________________________________________ _____________
  • Did you read the article?

    "Netscape Communications has yet to
    produce its fifth-generation browser, and it doesn't expect to release a trial version
    for another two months."

    I guess "trial" is c|net's word for "beta".
  • by pb (1020) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @12:14AM (#1481476)
    I agree. Ever use IE? Windows?

    Ever stop to think that Mozilla is alpha-level software, and therefore should be about as consistent as a bad random number generator, until the beta release?

    (which is, by the way, why they can't release it as Netscape 5.0 anytime soon...)

    Now let's look through, and see who marks their software correctly:

    Wine: alpha level. Yep, lots of stuff doesn't work.

    Dosemu: beta level. Ok, it's impressive how much they got to work. About as good as a DOS box in NT, but certainly not perfect.

    Windows 3.0,3.1,'95,'98: gold. Not even close! Let me know when you implement *libraries* properly. (waiting for Windows 2000, I suppose)

    IE 4.0 or 5.0 for UNIX: gold. Oh god, it's worse than alpha! It doesn't usually load on Solaris, in my experience. Microsoft's web site claims that *Solaris* needs random kernel patches, and that it's not MS's fault. Heh. Heh. Really, we couldn't code around this. Frickin' bad Windows-emulating porting software. IE runs more reliably under SoftWindows--or even Wine, where possible.

    Netscape 4.7 for Unix: gold. Not really. It still crashes sometimes, can leak memory, and table rendering needs some work. But it's pretty solid. Definitely better than your average beta.

    Anyhow, the point *is* having something that works. That's why they're still working on it, pushed back the date, and don't claim that it's anything it isn't advertised as... It's fast, nifty looking, and not yet stable. But compare this with claiming it has features it lacks, and it looks much nicer.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by pb (1020) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @12:31AM (#1481480)
    Netscape hasn't really released anything new. I haven't played with the CSS/XML stuff, because I fear my web programming is still stuck in '94 or '95. (I'm glad tables are standardized now. :)

    Microsoft tends to ignore security holes whenever possible. That scares the crap out of me.

    Remember that traitor streak, because most of us have it when it comes to free (beer) software. Heck, that's why I switched to Netscape in the first place, it was far cooler than Mosaic.

    (stupid title bar and background color flashing tricks, the blink tag, and the invention of background pictures aside, allowing inline JPEGs was a beautiful thing, so I forgive them. :) )

    However, when I tried IE... well, it sucked, and it annoyed the crap out of me. But I haven't tried it in a while, and the only new feature I *really* like from it is the fullscreen option. But that's just because Word and PowerPoint annoys the crap out of me more, so I'm happy to write papers and presentations in HTML if I have to.

    (at least web browsers support using JPEG files without converting them to binary bitmap-looking crap and wasting 20 times the disk space, and my text editor doesn't highlight random words because it thinks they look funny, and then try to talk to me about it...)

    Hmm. Interesting FUD.

    I, personally, abandon a company when they break trust. Therefore, on that scale:

    Microsoft & Apple: both bad, by betraying their customers and backstabbing their partners.

    IBM: generally pretty good. Lumbering and clueless, but not really mean, AFAICT.

    RedHat: much better. They flirted with proprietary software until they realized how much it sucked, and now they've done a good job of promoting open source, and not really screwing up (like Caldera did, or now Corel).

    Caldera: I don't trust them, and I never have. They seem to have an axe to grind, and I have a feeling that given the chance, they'd try to be another Microsoft. But, we'll see. I've heard good things about their Linux distribution. (except for the commercial (closed source?) add-ons)

    Corel: Either they mean well, or their strategy coincides with 'ours' briefly. It's great to see them funnelling development into Wine, I can't believe how much it's advanced lately. I just wish I used Windows enough to test it better. :)

    These are, as always, my opinions, and if you have any facts to challenge my assumptions with, present them. I am, especially on this topic, rather interested to hear it.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • So we can very well build custom versions of Mozilla without any AIM or other annoyances.

    Oh, and we will :)
    You think it's small and fast now? Wait until I get done with it. After ripping out the "cram every internet client we can think of" code, it will be one fast, small, WEB BROWSER. Nothing else, just a web browser.

    Finkployd
  • Your post was more of a troll than anything else, but I'll answer it anyways.

    Mozilla's team is more inefficient than IE's, you say.

    Oh, definately. After all, it's not as though Mozilla's team has nearly completed the amazing task of creating a modern, full featured browser from scratch in a little more than a year, when IE5 took about 6 years to reach its current state. Very little of what is in Mozilla is recycled code. All the engines have been entirely redesigned, and the engineers working on the project seem to have dropped the philosophy that worse is better.

    IE5.5, on the other hand, I don't really care about. I'm not too excited about what I hear is a 70+ MB download for a Print Preview feature, and a couple modifications to the GUI of Windows. I'll probably download the thing, but I don't imagine that people connected by modem will.

    I mean, come off it. "IE is efficient! They had a couple dozen people work hard for a week for the next generation browser that will finally kill Netscape for good!" (Not a quote, but a mindset. Read comments on ZDNet and BetaNews)

    I'm not impressed. That's the bottom line, so far as I am concerned.

    ------
  • Hmm..

    Well, I agree with you in many ways.
    I think the Netscape Communicator needs
    to be more stable. ( But at least crash
    of the Netscape browser usually doesn't
    cause the crash of the explorer of Windows,
    unlike the IE. )

    According to the standard...
    First, XML.. even the IE doesn't seem
    to handle well. I opened a 3MB CIM-related
    XML document file with the IE. But it made
    my computer freezed.
    Second, language supporting.
    the default Korean encoding/decoding of the IE
    is ISO22-something. It's not a standard.
    ( Unlike the ISO implies. )
    The euc-kr of the Netscape is standard.
    Windows itself use it in bad way.
    You can't open files with Korean even with
    english version of Windows.
    ( If it is written in KS5601 ( korean standard )
    or in EUC-KR ( unicode ), it can be read. )
    It means that your directories and other
    resources can't be guaranteed to be opened by
    other machines. ( But the Linux can open them! )

    If you make something work with Netscape, it is okay for you to feel safe. But with the IE.. NO.

    Although the Netscape is behind the IE, I don't think the new Gecko based one is late.
    At least we could get smaller browser.
    Look! Even the MS caught up with the Apple!
    Why can't the Netscape catch up with the MS?
  • I've read several articles mentioning the fact that IE is eclipsing NN/C in the intranet/internal development marketplace (some posted here) and I agree totally. If I had to support netscape right now it'd double my work. I'd have to write everything twice, AND some things I couldn't do at all.

    You made some good points, but this one bothers me. Why not just adhere to the industry standards you mentioned above? No supporting specific browsers, just working within the guidelines of the established standards. W3C HTML 4.0 code works in both browsers. If you need database access (I'm assuming you do for an intranet) PHP3 works on all browsers.

    Finkployd
  • Mozilla beta will still be released b4 christmas? please tell me yes

    Well, if it's pushed back two months, and it's December now....I'm going to have to go with no.

    There probably should be another milestone around that time though.

    Finkployd
  • by jilles (20976) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @03:49AM (#1481493) Homepage
    There is a difference between mozilla and communicator. Mozilla is currently alpha (at least that's being discussed at mozillazine). It will likely hit beta some time after that (late januari?). After mozilla goes final, netscape will add its stuff and start testing it which will take another few months. I don't expect a communicator 5 release before spring 2000 and that is assuming that there will be no more major setbacks.

    Mozilla is a fine project from a software engineering perspective, I'm really excited about its probabilities but from a management perspective its a classical example of how not to manage a poject. It is taking up lots of resources (netscape engineers) and it is suffering from excessive feature creap which has caused the deadlines to shift enourmously (like half a year).

    I think the people at netscape will have a really hard time convincing the rest of the world to run communicator 5. From an engineering perspective it certainly is an interesting product but engineers are only a minority of the target audience.

    If mozilla is going to survive it will be on its technical merits. The mozilla project is promising a lot and judging from the nightly builds, it is delivering on those promises.

    If on the other hand it will fail it will be because it came to late and missed its window of opportunity, which in my opinion will be nearly closed by spring 2000. Microsoft has been in the luxurious position that it had a great GUI for their browser for nearly two years. All this time they have been able to focus on producing a better rendering engine. I have a hard time believing that they won't release a better one before communicator ships. And they just got a few extra months to perfect their stuff.
  • Actually, I don''t think blink is standard html, its just an extension that came about long ago during the early years of the browser war. personally, I hope it never becomes standard html, its just annoying.
  • From playing with a simple DTD and XML example I came to the conclusion that IE 5 doesn't really care about verifying an XML document against its DTD - as long as the syntax of both DTD and XML are OK, the XML document will be displayed. Try adding an element like <argh> somewhere (don't forget the closing tag!), it displayed just fine for me although it sure wasn't part of the DTD.

    Are there any options that you can switch on I didn't find?
  • I grabbed M11 a while ago. I liked the html rendering capabilities, and most other things. But, is that what the interface is going to look like? Or is it just sitting like that until developement can be completed on the core engine, and more attention paid to the interface? In its current incarnation, it doesn't matter how fast/stable/whatever it is, its just too ugly.
  • by robinjo (15698) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:27AM (#1481504)

    That's what MozillaZine [mozillazine.org] asks us. There is a survey [mozillazine.org] where they ask about readers' feelings regarding the current builds.

    I have been trying Mozilla for months already. It has improved steadily but they are still making big changes there. For example they started doing incremental reflow. While it's nice, it caused some pages to load very slowly. IMO, that's still one thing to fix before Alpha.

    I guess it's good to delay Mozilla until it's ready and free of bugs. Mozilla is designed from ground up, small, fast and supports standards beautifully. It'll be a pleasure to use it.

    But I couldn't but notice some fear. Some people are scared that AOL will fill Mozilla with ads and make it unusable. While AOL might do it, remember that the source code of Mozilla is free. It's right there at ftp.mozilla.org [mozilla.org] and you're free to get it any day. So we can very well build custom versions of Mozilla without any AIM or other annoyances.

  • As a site builder I have a variety of different browsers that i use to check my code (I use real HTML, none of this WYSIWYG for me :-). And one of the biggest problems is the varying amount tags that any one browser understands.

    I am now trying to strictly use style sheets and none of the deprecated tags, but with IE and Communicator still not accepting all of them it is hard, and these are the browsers that most of the public are using.

    eg.a problems with Communicator - obscure method of embedding tags (non-W3C) and a problem with IE - still doesn't understand blink.

    So thats first on my wishlist, certainly would make my job easier.
  • You folks don't get pissed off when an open source product is delayed because it is deemed not ready, yet you get rather hostile when a closed source company pushes back the release of one of THEIR products instead of shipping it broken. Make up your minds.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @04:20AM (#1481511)
    I tried HotJava 3.0, a web browser written completely in Java. According to Sun, it runs on any machine with a 1.1.6 or better Java virtual machine Now that I have a fast (P-II 350) box and a quick JIT JVM (Sun's JDK 1.3beta), there are no more problems from a speed point of view.

    However, as I read relatively complex pages like Slashdot most of the time, there is a problem with scrolling down a page - it flickers, twice for each PageDown I press. It's even worse if you use the mouse with a scroll bar. I don't know if this is an AWT or Swing problem, or related to my graphics card driver, but I find it very annoying. Apart from this, there are few rendering problems (ugly radio buttons, white on gray, but that's it). It supports HTML 3.2, JavaScript (full ECMA 1.4 support, but I don't know that standard) and, of course, Java. I'm probably going to try it with IBM's fast 1.1.8 JRE under Linux soon...
  • by legoboy (39651) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @01:54AM (#1481515)
    Almost a hundred comments posted, and not even a single person has uttered the words 'Mozilla is dead'. Congratulations, Slashdot readers.

    Anyway, before anyone decides to reply with that to my post, I figure I'll offer a link to Mozilla's Tinderboxen [mozilla.org]. This page shows whether the up to the minute builds are compiling successfully or not, as well as showing all checkins to SeaMonkey (Mozilla) in the last 12 hours. (Although you can go back as far as you want to, actually.)

    I figure that looking at this page on any weekday while the tree is open can prove to any skeptic that Mozilla is just flying along. Even on weekends and at 4:00 am, there are usually a few people checking in this and that. After all... Between midnight (pacific) and now on Friday night, two people have been checking in periodically.

    ------
  • by SurfsUp (11523) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @02:05AM (#1481517)
    And I'm suffering :-) But I don't care, it feels good, and darn it, I'm going to be really bummed if mozilla finally comes out without a single line of code in it from me. So...

    Does anybody know if the official netscape version is using GTK for its widgets like mozilla is doing? I really really hate motif. I think that is one of the biggest things I dislike about Netscape under linux is that it is real ugly.

    There's no chance that motif will be used - the choice is between MFC or some such and GTK. I guess I have to drill down into the code to know for sure whether native widget sets are supported, but it sure looks to me like GTK is going to be completely cross-platform. Themed GTK is absolutely gorgeous and I can't think of a single thing about native windows widgets that GTK doesn't do as well or better. Obviously, mozilla's use of GTK is a big boost for it and we're going to see a lot more cross-platform packages done that way.

    Also one more bit of speculation about the delay, what are the chances that they are taking so long so that AOL 6.0 can use Netscape?

    They're taking so long so that it will be done :-) I'd think that the timing of AOL 6 would depend more on the availability of mozilla that vice versa. It's a no-brainer that AOL will switch to mozilla when the time is right - and that together with the increasing Linux user base, will put netscape/mozilla back on top in the browser wars more or less immediately. We haven't even considered the slashdot effect yet - what happens when several thousand well-connected and highly motivated geeks hit the cyber-highway to promote the Lizard and email it, DCC it, icq it, whatever, to everybody they know? This will make the mellisa virus look benign :-)

    How long is AOL's contract with MS to use IE?

    ISTR it was extended to 2002 - however if the contract is found to be illegal it will vanish instantly. I don't think AOL will have a lot of trouble with that - they just have to be sure BillG won't kick them out of the oneline service promotion deal in Windows.

    ...Not that I like AOL mind you, in fact I hate it, but I know lots of people who worship it and it would still be a great "big app" to have in the community.

    Yup, AOL is key, however much they suck, Microsoft sucks MUCH MUCH more. IMHO, having mozilla on Linux is the biggest app of all.

    At this stage of the game, a lot more non-netscape developers (like me :-) (and you ;-) are joining the mozilla effort. Think about it, this is about the last chance you get to scratch that itch before every feature gets frozen - and how many chances did you get before to work on a massive, professional project like this?
  • by mykmelez (6506) <myk.melez@com> on Saturday December 04, 1999 @02:34AM (#1481518) Homepage

    Mozilla has been planning since the summer to release a public alpha in December, followed by a beta a few months later. In some cases these two releases were called "mozilla beta" and "netscape beta", admittedly a confusing way of describing the releases, and one which was rectified a while ago.

    A few months ago some reporter misunderstood the release schedule and reported Netscape would release a beta in December. Since then this inaccuracy has propagated into all subsequent news articles through the common journalistic practice of re-using previously published work instead of doing original research.

    Now suddenly some reporter discovers what's actually going on, but instead of printing a retraction of earlier stories they say the Netscape beta has been "delayed". It isn't true, and while I expect it from the news sites I've been reading it from for months, I figured Slashdot would be able to figure it out. I guess not.

    Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself:

    The Milestone Chart [mozilla.org]

    Quoting from the article "[ Fwd: The Plan] [deja.com]" (1999 September 24) in the newsgroup "netscape.public.mozilla.porkjockeys":

    "When: Mozilla beta-milestone 12/15. Netscape beta later, first things first."
  • Hmm, I wonder if the Antitrust case is taking the Halloween documents into accounts? They might be able to do something about MS trying to close off protocols... Not that they can do much, though. I just don't see court remedies as being effective against MS's tactics.

    Unfortunately, unless a miracle happens with Netscape/Mozilla, it seems that the Web is going to go for IE "standards" as opposed to "real" standards. And IE is taking off at the "right time" too -- look at all the companies jumping onto the Internet bandwagon now. With IE taking off and introducing "cool features", who won't want to exploit those features in an attempt to attract customers to their niche in the Web?

    This sounds bleak, I know... I really wish there was more reason to hope for something better. Mozilla had better pull it off well, otherwise the Net as we know it will be gone.

  • OK lets say for a minute you block out all the ads. Do you think for a minut that CmdrTaco and the like are going to keep up slashdot if they aren't making any money? Come on people have to make a living and lots of websites take all day to maintain. If we see the removal of banner ads then we see the inclusion of a membership fee for the site.
    Geez I get so sick of people complaining about ads, I suppose you think all TV Shows should be commercial free and we all should just pay out our asses to support the multi-million dollar tv shows they air too. huh?
    Like it our not, those ads provide a way for people to get paid without you giving them money, you should be thankful. I can understand your gripe with something like Geocities that just pops it up in your face which is wrong, or porn sites that have 50 banners and no content, but some people like to eat and if you don't pay them for thier work and the banner companies will, then so be it.

  • by aardvaark (19793) on Saturday December 04, 1999 @10:05AM (#1481541) Homepage
    In the recent past, /. has had several interesting articles:

    1) Netscape for Linux blows. If we don't get a decent browser, we may well "loose the war" on the dekstop, whatever the heck that means.
    2) Mozilla is constantly late.
    3) There seems to be a rabidity in the expectation and support of Mozilla.
    4) There is a bevy of _other_ browsers being produced for Linux, or already exist.

    For instance, what about Opera?? To quote from the Nov 20th posting on the Opera page:

    "As Opera for Linux development leader, I'm looking very forward to releasing an early beta within the next 4-6 weeks. This doesn't mean that it will be a perfect product. It simply means that I'm trying to make all of our prospective Linux users happy. I feel confident that the high level of stability we have come to expect from Opera will shine through. Linux users will soon have a choice!"

    A couple thoughts: If Opera for Linux is good, or some other browsers pull through (like the KDE konqueror), will we all stop caring as much? Should we care as much? Will open source development on Mozilla diminish? Should it diminish? Survival of the fittest, ya know.

    It would be nice to have an open source browser, but we sure have used a commercial one (Netscape) for a long time now. What if konqueror or one of the others pulls through? It seems we all want to put our eggs in the Netscape basket. It would seem embarassing for Open Source if Mozilla failed I suppose, but is that a good enough reason for the rabid support of Mozilla? I think history would bare out a different story. Mozilla may be a bump in the open source road, where companies learn to interface with the open source community. Don't get me wrong, I wish Mozilla all the success in the world, and they may eventually get it really right, but it seems we are all being myopic. Maybe we should try to look down the road a little bit. I believe in the concept of OSS development. Just because one project fails, doesn't mean the whole world is going to turn around and say "Just kidding! We knew all this stuff would fail. Let's stop supporting it now." If Moz fails, we'll survive, Microsoft will still get its, Linux will be happy, and we'll all be surfin' fools.

    Anyway, just some blathering. I'll be quiet now. ;-)

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