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Netscape Reborn?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the persistence dept.

Netscape 413

An anonymous reader writes "BetaNews reports that Netscape has been revived with Firefox backing. 'Despite media reports and industry pundits over the years relegating Netscape to Internet history books, AOL has restarted the browser's development. The company plans to bring back a refreshed Netscape browser based on Firefox.'"

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WHY? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841117)

Enough said...

Re:WHY? (0, Redundant)

bluntos (549494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841122)

why bother

Re:WHY? (2, Insightful)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841167)

Because there's gold in them thar code...

Seriously, AOL has a history of taking a good product and milking all the cash they can out of it. (Ads in AIM/ICQ anyone?) To a lesser extent winamp (Pro version)

I wouldn't be surprised if they "refresh" Netscape with a firefox engine and an Opera business model to milk some more pennies from advertising.

In the end its all business...AOL doesn't do anything without the goal of profit.

Re:WHY? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841220)

"In the end its all business...AOL doesn't do anything without the goal of profit."

You say that as if it were a bad thing. Profit is the sole reason people go into business, so they have money to buy the things they want.

As long as AOL is a capitalist entity, and not a mercantilist one, I have no problem with them.

Re:WHY? (3, Funny)

quarrel (194077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841262)

.. and the Netscape dudes had a knack for milking the cash out of AOL.

$4.2 Billion [com.com] can't be wrong ;)

MODS! "Off Topic" FFS!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841192)

This is totally on the head of the nail of the topic you cretins.

frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841121)

frist psttt

Those who are said to be dead ... (2, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841123)

... live longer.

Well, the post war era will show.

CC.

Bah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841125)

It may be based on Firefox, the old source for Netscape/Mozilla, it may even look like Netscape of old, but it'll never have the same feel that Netscape had.

Re:Bah (4, Insightful)

rpbailey1642 (766298) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841206)

A lot of us chose to use Netscape when we realized that IE was a piece of crap. We were a small but dedicated group. After Netscape died, a lot of us moved to Mozilla, where we brought our passion and dedication. Yes, Netscape may have returned from the dead, but it's not *our* Netscape, it's a familiar-looking (and smelly) corpse animated by the dark AOL magic that seems to autospawn new AOL coasters every month. Netscape of lore is dead. It might steal marketshare from IE because of the familiar name, but somehow I doubt users will get excited about it the way they did for the original Netscape.

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841260)

And I'm sure that if this fails, the next Netscape will just be a skinned version of IE.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841339)

On the other hand, the vast majority of us chose to use IE when we realized that Netscape was a far worse piece of crap.

Re:Bah (4, Interesting)

mwood (25379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841398)

Gotta be precise here. Netscape the company went foom, but Netscape the browser just got a new name and a new set of priorities, and IMHO became much better as FOSS.

I really don't see the point of another "Netscape" release, for the customer. It'll probably be just like the previous one: the current best from Mozilla with a bucketload of advertising gunk poured over it. Who needs it? Some of my favorite changes as NS Communicator became Mozilla were the things they took out.

I certainly do see the attraction for AOL, though: they can sell areas of the UI like billboard space.

Re:Bah (5, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841392)

The feeling that your browser window was about to crash, the feeling of boredom while it loaded.

C'mon, Netscape of old was inferior to IE. With Firefox it's finally matured into something decent, both in terms of appearance and performance.

I'd almost say Netscape RIP, the brand does a diservice to Mozilla, people will remember the old clunky Netscape and think Firefox is like that.

Why?? (1)

seems so green (717796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841129)

I don't understand why netscape bothers... I'm not meaning to troll either. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841216)

I don't understand why netscape bothers...

Netscape? AOL, you mean.

Answer: AOL bothers because they want to get rich and famous.

Market share? (4, Funny)

beacher (82033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841134)

FTA - "The browser's market share has dropped to single digits"

HEY! I'm 20% of all Netscape users! w00t!
-B

Re:Market share? (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841197)

The rest of them are the people who installed Solaris 10. Why wouldn't Sun put a copy of Mozilla or Firefox [sunfreeware.com] on there anyway?

The next quote from the book of Mozilla (5, Funny)

Malfourmed (633699) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841136)

And lo, the child did become father to the man, and the student the master.

Re:The next quote from the book of Mozilla (5, Funny)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841283)

"We meet again at last. When I left you I was a crappy browser. Now, I shall become the Firefox." Darth Netscape said.

Netscape backed by firefox?? (5, Funny)

thoolie (442789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841138)

Isn't firefox based on Mozilla? Wasn't Mozilla based on Netscape? So now Netscape is going to be based on Firefox?

Netscape->Mozilla->FireFox->Netscape!?!?!

*Head Explodes*

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841153)

i'm guessing it's kinda like if someone took Apple's modified version of BSD and used their code to make a new OS.. Netscapes code is probably too old to be turned into a modern browser without a complete overhaul, so why not just use firefox which is quite up to date.. ?

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841164)

> Isn't firefox based on Mozilla?

Yes.

> Wasn't Mozilla based on Netscape

No, Netscape was based on Mozilla.

> So now Netscape is going to be based on Firefox?

Yes.

> Netscape->Mozilla->FireFox->Netscape!?!?!

No:
Mozilla -> Netscape
Mozilla -> Firefox
Firefox -> Netscape

*Head Explodes* (2, Funny)

thoolie (442789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841194)



*POP*

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (5, Informative)

Siener (139990) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841324)

No, Netscape was based on Mozilla.

OK, so you haven't been around that long. Netscape 6 and later was based on Mozilla. Mozilla itself started when Netscape open sourced Netscape 4. So Netscape is Mozilla's daddy.

If you go further back, they're all of course descendants of NCSA Mosaic [uiuc.edu] .

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841372)

Mozilla is a complete rewrite. That's why it took so long, they pretty much threw out all of the Netscape code when it was written, and Netscape 6 onwards were based upon Mozilla.

Netscape is only really Mozilla's daddy in the sense of the corporation - Netscape corporation started the Mozilla project. Netscape opened the code to the bulk of the product Netscape, the open source community took a look and pretty much rejected the code while supporting the project.

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841191)

Consider sleeping with yer mom(oh, you already did, you say), make her pregnant, and you get a son/brother. Same relationship.

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (1)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841266)

Yeah... reminds me of a line from Spaceballs:

"Before you die, there is something you should know about us, Lone Starr. ... I am your father's, brother's, nephew's, cousin's, former roommate."

More to it that this (0)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841302)

Wasn't it...

Mozilla -> Netscape -> Mozilla -> Firefox -> Netscape

Wasn't there mozilla back in the early 90's when the net first started?

Re:More to it that this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841366)

Wasn't there mozilla back in the early 90's when the net first started?

No. It was Mosaic.

Re:More to it that this (1)

pix (139973) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841367)

I think that you mean Mosaic

Re:More to it that this (1)

joib (70841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841376)


Wasn't there mozilla back in the early 90's when the net first started?


No. I guess you mean NCSA Mosaic.

Ah, those were the days. Mosaic was pretty revolutionary back then, although I swithed to Netscape 0.9 as it became available, since it could display pages while downloading over my 9600 baud modem. Mosaic needed to download the entire page before displaying anything.

Re:Netscape backed by firefox?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841368)

Yes, Firefox was (indirectly) based on Netscape.

Not Netscape is based on Firefox. I'm surprised we havem't seen many of hose "In Soviet Russia" posts.

Loopy (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841140)

So Netscape will be based on Firefox which was based on Mozilla which was based on Netscape? Do I have that correct? ;)

Re:Loopy (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841244)

In related news, a new version of Mosaic will be created using the recently announced Netscape code base which will be based on the Firefox 1.0 code base which is based on the Mozilla code base which split off of the Netscape code base which was inspired by the creator of the Mosaic browser.

In related, related news, a new version of Spyglass, secretly in development, has been canceled after Microsoft threatened to sue for copyright and patent infringment.

Re:Loopy (1)

wintermute740 (450084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841350)

" So Netscape will be based on Firefox which was based on Mozilla which was based on Netscape? Do I have that correct? ;)"

Yes. Netscape is going to be it's own grandpa ;)

Netscape for Whom? (2, Insightful)

earthstar (748263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841144)

"Netscape to be based on firefox "

Now ,who is this Netscape browser being revived for?
What is the reasoning behinnd creating Netscape,when firefox already exists?Is it for name sake?

nah... (1)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841284)

"What is the reasoning behind creating Netscape,when firefox already exists? Is it for name sake?"

No, the reason is not name sake, it's just sake.

They had too much when deciding the faith of Netscape, and, just as in the hi-tech area, they are no match for the japanese spirit.

Re:Netscape for Whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841346)

Offhand I'd say yes. There are still quite a few people who associate the "Mozilla" moniker with "experimental" and carry that into Firefox. By making a Netscape-branded version it's essentially blessing Firefox for these users.

Maybe AOL got it? (2, Interesting)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841146)

Maybe AOL has finally understood that their previous strategy was not optimal in the long run, if IE wins hands down(as it has almost done) so that there is no competition, will Microsoft then still play with the ISPs, or will they start requiring use of their server sofware and such "to be fully supported"

Re:Maybe AOL got it? (4, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841157)

Might be, or it might be that they still think that there is marketing value in the name, to keep it alive.

this is BAD in my opinion (3, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841147)

Just when the name "Mozilla" and "firefox" started to become creditable, then all of a sudden AOL wants back in! Fuck them. They will just make an adware version of firefox that also installs aol icons all over the place, and slap the name Netscape on it.

I was really hoping we were going to be able to move away from the name Netscape since it's bogged down by them so much. I wanted Mozilla to replace the term Netscape when people talked about browsers. Hopefully this will still come true.

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (2, Insightful)

Flammon (4726) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841184)

Branding is important so I think that they should perhaps promote both project by naming it Netscpae Firefox.

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (2, Funny)

hussar (87373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841255)

...promote both project by naming it Netscpae [sic] Firefox.

Or, how about "Fire (E)scape"?

(Doesn't really matter what they name it first, though. If history is any guide, they will probably change the name several times.)

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (5, Insightful)

quarrel (194077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841221)

This is GOOD. Firefox will still be around- AOL can't make it go anywhere.

But having Netscape back is great for many reasons. Having a commercial vendor chasing bug fixes and adding features helps, but most importantly Firefox was born from the Ashes of Netscape, but the code was set free first. The more companies that can see a project like this happen the more they'll be inclined to release code that they've run out of legs to push.

IBM has helped pave the way- opening big chunks of code and hoping others will help them push the projects along, but the open source movement will be helped tremendously if this is happening across a wide open front.

-- Q

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (4, Insightful)

woodhouse (625329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841231)

Yes well we're not all flag-waving fanboys. From a practical point of view, anything that increases the popularity of Mozilla-based browsers is a good thing. The more people who use Mozilla (in whatever form), the more web developers who'll have to design their sites properly. All of this reduces the dominance of IE.

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841357)

Exactly. And how many computer "idiots" (this is quite obviously a generalization - I know not all of AOL users are technologically incompetant) are subscribed to AOL? How many will follow the leader?

That's a lot of market share.

Re:this is BAD in my opinion (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841263)

And they could say fuck you, as there would be no Mozilla without Netscape/AOL's investment in the project during it's more important stages in development. Most of the developers who completed Moz 1.0 worked for Netscape.

The Mozilla brand is probably stronger now (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841152)

Peoples memories of Netscape and the brand are not good now, why bother with this, why not just back the Mozilla name and at the same time unite to take on Internet Explorer.

If they do this, it just means browser stats will start to show up as something like IE 50%, Mozilla Firefox 25%, Netscape 20% which would totally obscure the actual success of Firefox.

(Don't bother debating the values I've used, they are totally fictional and not meant to even be predictions)

Well duh..... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841155)

Let a bunch of other people do the work you tried to do.

Maybe I am wrong (and PLEASE correct me if I am because others may be laboring under this same idea)...
1. Firefox gets developed as an open source product
2. Netscape, by AOL, flounders and they basically fail in their mission
3. AOL kills Netscape development
4. AOL seeing a better mousetrap that's open source, decides to get BACK in the game on the backs of hard working open source developers everywhere.

On the other hand I am all for any initiative that can handily take on IE.
<STALLMAN>
Still there's just something that pisses me off about co-opting the work of the open source community
</STALLMAN>

Re:Well duh..... (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841226)

That's the whole point of open source. As long as they act in accordance with the Firefox licence, there's no problem.

If you do consider this a problem, I can only suggest creating your own licence that prevents this sort of thing.

Re:Well duh..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841239)

Still there's just something that pisses me off about co-opting the work of the open source community

Yeah, it's not like AOL has, oh, I don't know, funded the vast majority of Mozilla development over the years. Wait, it has (grep through the Firefox source code for "The original developer of this code is Netscape Communications Corporation" if you don't believe me).

Re:Well duh..... (1)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841381)

You have to remember that Mozilla was started by Netscape - they decided to open-source Netscape Communicator, but then decided to throw that code away and start again, creating what we now know as Mozilla. A large amount of Mozilla was written by Netscape developers, and Netscape 6.x & 7.x were rebranded/enhanced versions of the Mozilla suite.

Gee, umm, wow? (1)

mr_snarf (807002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841156)

"As a part of our next evolutionary step, we have developed this new Browser Prototype, which could change the way the world masters the web."
Although AOL could not yet comment on what to expect in the prototype, the revamped browser will likely extend Firefox's feature set with Netscape-specific extensions and retain Netscape's traditional green user interface.
Yes, 'add some plugins and change some colours'. Change the way the world masters the web indeed!. Seriously though, whats the point of this?

That's great. More browsers. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841163)

I am happy that firefox is getting so much attention. I'd bet that AOL is happy about the 10 million dollar "seed" money they put into the Mozilla project when they split it off into a non-profit.

Maybe they will donate more now?

I also bet their happy about Redhat buying their other netscape projects and openning the up to source code...

If AOL does a good job, it could be another big geek freind and maybe in a few years they'll turn around and won't have it's users the target of so many jokes.

Na...

Up from the Ashes (4, Funny)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841168)

Maybe they should call it Netscape Phoenix or Netscape Firebird (ducks)

Article Text (1)

uberchicken (121048) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841170)

Netscape Revived With Firefox Backing
By Nate Mook, BetaNews
November 16, 2004, 4:45 PM

Despite media reports and industry pundits over the years relegating Netscape to Internet history books, AOL has restarted the browser's development. The company plans to bring back a refreshed Netscape browser based on Firefox, which will incorporate an enhanced user interface and several new features.

A prototype of the new Netscape will debut on November 30 to a limited number of beta testers, AOL told BetaNews.

Netscape was last updated in August to version 7.2, which brought the browser up to date with Mozilla 1.7. But for the most part, Netscape has received little attention from AOL since the release of 7.0 in August 2002. The browser's market share has dropped to single digits as Microsoft's Internet Explorer reigned supreme.

But Firefox's surging popularity has breathed new life into Netscape. Although AOL could not yet comment on what to expect in the prototype, the revamped browser will likely extend Firefox's feature set with Netscape-specific extensions and retain Netscape's traditional green user interface.

AOL announced the upcoming prototype in a message to Netscape users, even taking a swipe at Internet Explorer for its recent security woes.

"While other browsers have seen little improvement over recent years -- except frequent patches for security leaks -- we have consistently added new features to save you time and to make the most out your time online," the Netscape product team wrote. "As a part of our next evolutionary step, we have developed this new Browser Prototype, which could change the way the world masters the web."

Seemingly in competition with itself, AOL has also been beta testing an Internet Explorer based Web browser it calls "AOL Browser." AOL Browser is independent from the company's client software and adds features such as tabbed browsing and privacy options on top of Microsoft's IE engine.

Users interested in testing the Netscape prototype can pre-register by visiting netscape.com and entering the registration code: prototype1104.

What's the point? (3, Interesting)

stevenbdjr (539653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841171)

Would someone mind trying to explain what the point of all this is? Why would I choose a Netscape branded version of Firefox, repleat with pre-set home and search pages aimed at generating ad revenue for one of largest companies in the U.S., when I could simply download and install the free and fully function version from Mozilla.org? Plus, are they going to ensure compatibility with all the existing extensions? Why is Slashdot even interested in following Netscape anymore? The last time I visited their homepage, I really had to dig to find the browser.

Re:What's the point? (1)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841225)

Well, you might not choose it (nor me), but you have to remember that quite many people still remember the Nescape brand as a browser. Whereas Firefox is a new brand and really the number of people aware of it is low.

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

drkich (305460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841272)

Guess what? You are not the target audience. If you know about FireFox, sure why would you use their browser. Their audience is the millions of people the fork their service over to, who do not know any better.

AOL will add some proprietary plug-ins. Change the look and feel, add a new skin and you have the AOL/Netscape branded Fire Fox.

However there is a possible bright side to all of this. They may contribute to the project. They may find bugs that they want to fix, and they should have to contribute those fixes back to the community.

So even if you don't use their browser, depending on how they work this, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841278)

Why would I choose a Netscape branded version of Firefox, repleat with pre-set home and search pages aimed at generating ad revenue for one of largest companies in the U.S., when I could simply download and install the free and fully function version from Mozilla.org?

Because it came on your AOL CD and was installed when you installed AOL, and URL's in AOL open in Firefox by default.

Ok.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841172)

Who didn't see this one coming? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Why (x5), Mr. Anderson? (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841176)

Netscape developers are smoking crack. Nobody is in the mood for another corporate anal retracting, spyware planting browser.

Re:Why (x5), Mr. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841289)

All they have to do is tell users it optimizes the internet. Considering AOL's existing model is:

1) Install proprietary client with adware and spyware (Viewpoint Media Player), thereby adding at least 8 new resource eating processes to the host machine that run 100% of the time but provide 0% utility.
2) Provide half-assed virus and spyware protection software with it. Tell users it optimizes the internet! BOOOOOOOOOOst your Internet!
3) ???
4) Profit!

Netscape, eh? (2, Funny)

PeteDotNu (689884) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841183)

Basically, it's just Firefox but with support for the blink tag.

Both use Gecko (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841212)

Firefox employs the same Gecko rendering engine, which supports the BLINK tag [wlv.ac.uk] .

Boring old story (1)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841185)

Unless AOL makes Netscape/Firefox/Mozilla the default browser, it's merely just more of the same. (Almost) nobody will be interested because Mozilla/Firefox will be more up to date and will come with fewer ads. And they force their own users to IE, so who's left?

Priorities (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841187)

It wasn't long ago that AOL decided to kill Winamp [betanews.com] . Now they have decided to breathe life into Netscape. Interesting turn of events ...

One can only hope the bulb lights up and they switch to the excellent Gecko engine in the next version of the AOL browser. Many a web developer would raise a toast to that.

It won't work. (2)

zerdood (824300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841215)

There have been some occasions in the past in which a company released the source code to their product, expecting some kind of profit later. This doesn't work! Although it does make their product hugely better because of the free code they can later put back to use, the free product is generally even better than theirs. Look at Netscape/Firefox. Yes, I know the Mozilla project didn't use much NS code, but the point is that NS started them down the road of making a browser, with the intention of profiting.
1. Open Source
2. Take whatever people make from it
3. Profit
Just doesn't work.
Another (better) example is OpenOffice.org. They got most of their code from Sun's proprietary StarOffice. Now Sun puts OOo code back into StarOffice. But who wants to buy it now that OOo is free. That's why MS doesn't release the source to Office or Windows. It never works. Software companies need to realize that you can either be charitable or profit. You can't make money from your charity. It never works.

There was, however, a game that is still being sold commercially whose source code was released, but you still need the CD to play. Best world for everyone. If anyone remembers what this is, please reply and tell me.

Re:It won't work. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841355)

I think you're right.

It could have worked under Netscape's old business model where the browser was simply a means to increase demand for web servers. But I don't think anyone in the software industry uses this business model any more.

Of course, pretty much nobody ever sold a browser anyway. Netscape's idea of selling their browser never really made huge sales figures, and Opera isn't exactly doing astoundingly.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841219)

The browser browses you.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

sffubs (561863) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841379)

You mean...

"In Soviet Russia, Firefox is based on Netscape."

Oh wait.

Netscape name still means a lot to people (4, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841222)

The Netscape name still means a lot to people. Slashdotters care about the codebase and feature set, not the branding (or rebranding, or re-rebranding). But there are still many, many users who will "upgrade Netscape" before they will "download and install Firefox", all due to the familiarity of the name and trust in the brand.

And "Mozilla" is a tougher sell yet.

I hope they learnt their lesson (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841224)

Keep it simple, stupid.

These days I can't live without Firefox.

AOL The killer XUL App (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841240)

If anyone should, and if anyone had the financial motivation for doing so, AOL could create the killer XUL app as a front door to AOL....

Developers (3, Insightful)

johnhennessy (94737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841245)

With a version 1.0 of Firefox do we now have the proof that the Gecko engine can be embedded in applications outside of the Mozilla suite.

Shouldn't it be more important to try and develop an embeddable browser (already done) and its supporting infrastructure (not as complete) - like documentation, languge bindings, etc, etc.

This is something that Gecko# has started in a way, but I'm sure a lot of projects (both open source and commercial) would benefit from being able to embed gecko.

In the Windows world, developers can just embed the IE browser using an ActiveX control. I'll bet that a lot of commercial developers would have no problem dropping the IE control in exchange for a Gecko control - less operating system (assuming one buys into the idea that IE is comingled with the OS) level dependancies.

With a well supported embedded component, Walmart could have their own browser.

Re:Developers (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841369)

Shouldn't it be more important to try and develop an embeddable browser (already done) and its supporting infrastructure (not as complete) - like documentation, languge bindings, etc, etc.
I'm sure Mozilla developes consider this a priority over working on a Netscape-branded Firefox, but Netscape developers don't necessarily agree with them.

Great move back in '98 (1)

a_hofmann (253827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841251)

Netscape is an original example of the outstanding possibilities for open source development models.

Over the course of a few years in the 90s Microsoft managed to push Netscape out of the market, and somehow Netscape managed to fuck up the original Netscape source base. The didn't stand a chance to compete back then.

Netscape went opensource '98. and now, 6 years later, their product has developed into the most evolved, innovative browser available in a massive community project that went more than successful.

Open source models draw lots of manpower, practically for free, if the incentive for contributors is good enough... more and more companies are realizing this, which is a good thing. In the end everyone is profiting from such successful cross commercial/open source endeavours.

Re:Great move back in '98 (1)

zerdood (824300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841352)

No, it's not a good idea. Cross-apply my argument a little higher up in the page (if you are reading on 0)

AOL trying to hurt firefox? (1)

puppetluva (46903) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841254)


Are they bringing out netscape just to fragment the userbase of Firefox?

If they want to add AOL extras, why not just bring out a "Firefox" by AOL version? or a "Firefox powered by AOL"?

Everyone knows Netscape is dead, it just seems like a losing brand strategy. . . unless they are trying to hurt firefox marketshare.

Lost count. (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841256)

How many times now have we heard from AOL that Netscape will be resurrected from the dead..... only later to hear it was still born?

Long Live the Browser . . . (4, Insightful)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841269)

You can put lipstick on it and call it Gertrude, but in the end, a pig is still a pig.

That is, what I like about Firefox/Thunderbird is that they aren't "Netscape" per se. AOL is looking at Netscape's shortcomings and assuming that a simple substitution of the browser code with Firefox will gain support? Maybe for the unwashed masses who don't really care (and are probably using IE because it's there). If you told me it was "Netscape; powered by Firefox," that would not intice me to use Netscape.

I think what is not said is that MS probably plans the same thing for IE, albeit in some surrepticious manner. Maybe a rewrite to avoid any obvious license violation. But, I bet we'll notice that IE will start behaving a lot more like Firefox.

But, I wonder if Firefox will start having integration issues with Winders machines? It's been known to happen. MS sends out a critical security update, and Firefox will start having problems. Things break, din't they?

WHYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?! (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841271)

Why would AOL decide to invest again in Netscape when time and time again, it's only shown to be a pig? The smarter thing to do would be to give the funding to the Mozilla corporation as well as lending expertise and then, instead of making Netscape their project again, they simply use the open source nature of Firefox to rebrand a browser that is getting great.

However given AOL's history of stupidity this comes as no suprise. Firefox has momentum, it has great praise for its features and stability, it has speed, and it has -- more than anything else -- good PR going for it. The idiocy of AOL starting competition against a program now that has a poor history (even if Firefox is based on the Netscape code) is not good. It's like Yugo coming out with a new automobile when they see Hyundai doing well -- their history is so poor that it will be shunned by the community -- even if it's based on the same product.

Sorry at my frustration... but AOL has a history of bad business moves and this just adds to that wonderful history. No point in going 'smart' now... it would ruin their record.

Re:WHYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?! (2)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841342)

What is AOL going to do? They are going to re-brand Firefox as Netscape. A new skin later, they have a *very* good browser... with the backing of what was once upon a time one hell of an Internet brand.

It makes quite a bit of business sense, actually - for a minimal cash investment, they get a damn good browser to give to the brand they helped destroy, in an attempt to recreate it.

phoenix reborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841276)

Remember the original name of "firefox" ala "firebird" was PHOENIX... as a joke that it was reborn out of the ashes (and chaos) of the bloated mozilla browser... So here it is actually true, nestcape aka mozilla is being reborn thru the phoenix.

Well... at least they can't say "Based on Firefox" (1)

stagmeister (575321) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841279)

... without the Mozilla Foundation's permission. Remember, the logo and name are trademarked by the foundation, same way the netscape logo and name are trademarked by AOL. This is good - unlike what some people have said, AOL *cannot* make a crappy netscape, say it's "based on firefox" and then dilute the firefox brand.
jason

Some things I don't get about open source (3, Interesting)

ieatglue0111 (759007) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841280)

This is one of the things I don't get about open source. Don't the developers of Mozilla open them selves for exploitation developing these projects and then allowing companies like AOL to basically take all their hard work, re-brand it, then make money off of it? We have a few "internet appliances" in the office which are basically just Linux distributions with a fancy web gui to control them. Yet these companies make boatloads of money selling other people's work. The original programmers don't even get credited! Is it time for some sort of new GNU? Something that protects the effort these buys put into everything by ensuring that the projects they create can't make _someone else_ rich? Or am I totally ignorant to how this all works?

Re:Some things I don't get about open source (4, Informative)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841370)

Don't the developers of Mozilla open them selves for exploitation developing these projects and then allowing companies like AOL to basically take all their hard work, re-brand it, then make money off of it?

It really depends on the license, and the Mozilla license is fairly permissive, so one could argue that Mozilla - in choosing their licensing regime - knew exactly what might happen. Other licenses, like the GPL, do not allow code to be made proprietary. There are pros and cons for both types of license: BSD-style licenses have their enthusiasts, even though corporations can steal BSD-licensed code and turn it into closed-source projects. Likewise, GPL-style licenses have their enthusiasts, even though we are denied the freedom to use GPL'd code in our own, closed-source projects.

The original programmers don't even get credited!

I'd be surprised if that were the case - I'm fairly sure the Mozilla Public License requires attribution? Anyway, Netscape's selling point will probably be that it's based on Mozilla, so I wouldn't worry too much about the Mozilla devs!

Re:Some things I don't get about open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841395)

> Don't the developers of Mozilla open them selves for exploitation developing these projects and then allowing companies like AOL to basically take all their hard work, re-brand it, then make money off of it?

Put it another way: if Firefox was some company's closed-source product, would it have evolved so much as to make itself attractive for "evil companies" to "steal"?

Dumb move... (0)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841290)

This is just going to split the Mozilla market share, making it look like IE has more share than it has.

Why aren't they just plugging into the existing project? It's got PR, momentum, etc

I would think they could easily brand Mozilla without branching it...

What are they gonna do? (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841301)

What's left to do? Make a theme? Can't I just install an AOL theme? Isn't this just a marketing thing? Well, at least there'll be dozens of coffee cup coasters out there with Netscape ala Firefox ala AOL on it.

AOL Firefox? (1)

skyshock21 (764958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841318)

AOL Firefox? No, thank you! Keep your filthy AOL 9.0 Optimized Better-This-Time-We-Promise adware off of my originally clean and polished browser.

I'll stick with the original, and leave this AOL non-sense for morons.

Browser History: Netscape Then and now and future (4, Informative)

Mstrgeek (820200) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841329)

This is a great site on the history of Netscape what has beeen for Netscape and what is to come I think it fits in well with what we are talking about

http://www.blooberry.com/indexdot/history/netscape .htm

yay! (-1, Offtopic)

Dr.Opveter (806649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841344)

As if trying to make sites look the same in IE and Firefox isn't fun enough... It's nice to have choice but i wish some browser (preferably firefox) would just take over so we can forget about browser compatibility

<blink>Netscape Again?</blink> (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841364)

Please, NOT. Not again. I dont want poor CSS and still more propietary extensions. We want standards.
Even a branded FF its a bad idea.

I vote no.

Netscape (-1, Flamebait)

BEATSIE (811670) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841377)

Big Deal.......

Recursion breeds (-1, Redundant)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841380)

Needed a catchy Subject line and now you're here:
AOL interface is almost all browser and most AOL users tend to stick with the AOL portal rather than wandering around on their own. "It's safer."
XUL capable browser takes a $hitload of work off AOL while at the same time allows them to offer a $hitload of additional 'features'.
That's my take on it...

New Name... (1)

gazz (101967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841397)

...Ouroboros

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10841399)

Firefox has more name value than Netscape now. AOL killed and buried the Netscape name. This would be like a car company naming a new car "Edsel" or "Yugo".

so? i just means removing email and chat and ... (1)

acroyear (5882) | more than 9 years ago | (#10841400)

'cause netscape 7.2 is a very stable release based on mozilla 1.7 so it has most of the "standards" feature set of firefox only with specific user-interface controls to match old-school netscape. all it needs is the better popup controls, find bar, and simpler extension management tools, and its got what makes firefox useful.
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