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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Netscape V6... Now Firefox

Updated 2009-11-25
Netscape died/transitioned to Firefox and has now taken around 40-45% of desktop browser market. Firefox is fast to load pages and more standards compliant than Microsoft and it is free. Advances in technology and surprisingly the adoption of .NET for a development platform has actually helped Firefox’s adoption. This is because .NET attempts to adjust for the various other browsers on the market automatically. Keep going Firefox ;)
Update 2002-01-07
Well it has been over a year and most sites do not support it. Even fewer users are switching to it. I have abandoned supporting it here as well. This is not good. I would like it to succeed now that they seem to have their heads on straight even though as a developer it creates a lot of headache for me. 
Update 2001-02-15
Oh, Oh…. Final version has been out a while now… Many sites are not supporting it. This is not good. It looks a lot better, and really does support W3C/ECMA as much as you can expect. Is it because everyone is used to working with the previous crap they don’t want to change? Come on people, if you ever wanted Netscape to succeed now is the time to back them up!
As a developer I would like to have only one browser… simplifies things. As a user I want choice. It may be I just don’t like a particular company. Whatever, I want to choose. Besides I want to make sure people who use systems other than Windows** can still use the Internet.
Published 2000-09-02
Netscape Navigator Version6(NN6) Preview 2 is out. What an improvement… and this is still beta. The browser fails less often. It has a smaller footprint(size), is faster and more efficient. My hat is off to Netscape. They realized they made several key mistakes with NN4 and have done an about-face. Ever since NN3 I have not supported Netscape. They continually created their own proprietary tags that made no sense. A prime example of this was the LAYER tag. At that time I realized they did not have the expertise to create a top-notch standard. They were too busy trying to keep up with IE. Things got thrown in that would have never have passed cooler heads.
Netscape thought they could tell everyone else what to do(sound familiar). They thought everyone would follow whatever standard they put out. Were they ever wrong. That is not to say that IE has not tried the same thing(they have), IE just drove the standards committees to adopt IE standards using logical arguments.
Well with Netscape V6 NN is supporting the W3C/ECMA standards very closely. They have dropped tags that were not adopted and they have included IE tags that have got into the standards. I am finding that IE5 requires more non-standard code than NN6. IE now has to get rid of the “document.all” script tag and we are closer to a standard browser than ever before. That is not to say there aren’t coding work a rounds required….just not near as many.
I want to support Netscape’s venture in being 100% standards compliant. That is why this site was built for both NN6 and IE5. Previously I just let NN in but a lot of stuff did not work. With NN6 only some demonstrations don’t work. All the cool buttons and configuration etc. all works.
On the down side Netscape is going to alienate a lot of developers since they have removed tags like LAYER from NN6. Also it’s “simpler” client interface is not very pretty which may take some people time to adjust(if ever). The toolbars could be better. NN6 actually works better on IE sites than sites built for NN4. Hopefully developers will forgive Netscape and recognize it took a lot of guts for Netscape to do this. It was not an easy decision.
Congratulations Netscape…. Get the final version out please…. I want people off NN4.

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