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Netscape 9 to Undo Netscape 8 Mistakes?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the goin-back-in-time dept.

Netscape 210

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

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Is Netscape still taken serious? (2, Interesting)

lemmen (48986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887214)

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

Just my 2 cents.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887222)

i agree. they should concentrate their effort by supporting firefox with all ressources they have.. why make netscape - it would be a competition to firefox, not to msie.. better support mozilla directly..

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (0, Troll)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887254)

Mozilla Firefox the most used browser??? While I'd love it if that was the case IE still leads... on a few websites I can pull the stat's from IE is still around 74% with Firefox around 15%.

Netscape lost the browser battle along time ago, Opera and then the Mozilla project putting the remaining nails in its coffin finishing off the work IE did.

*Note* I'm not saying IE is a better browser, just when it is bundled as part of the OS its got a rather captive audience - those who know better switch to FF but those poor buggers who work for companies which force IE on their staff have no choice.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887266)

He didn't say Firefox was the most used browser, he said it was "more used" than Netscape.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887634)

Ah, I misread the parent - not a good idea to read /. before the first mug of coffee is drunk.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (2, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887262)

First couple days of the month for one of my sites...

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

Browsers (Top 10) - Full list/Versions - Unknown
          Browsers Grabber Hits Percent
        Firefox No 127 45.5 %
        MS Internet Explorer No 91 32.6 %
        Unknown ? 34 12.1 %
        Konqueror No 10 3.5 %
        Opera No 8 2.8 %
        Mozilla No 6 2.1 %
        Safari No 2 0.7 %
        Wget
Looks like it's likely to be firefox on windows for the most common...

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887282)

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

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

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

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (4, Insightful)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887288)

Your stats could easily be influenced by the type of sites you run. For example I'm sure that slashdot.org has a higher proportion of people reading it with Firefox than microsoft.com does.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1)

agent0range_ (472103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887490)

Perhaps he simply meant "on non-ms operating systems." Sometimes, I too forget about that "other OS."

Those are the good days.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888146)

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

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17888190)

Your stats could easily be influenced by the type of sites you run. For example I'm sure that slashdot.org has a higher proportion of people reading it with Firefox than microsoft.com does.
That gives me a not-so-interesting idea: I think everyone on slashdot using Firefox should visit microsoft.com sometime over the next few months, and see what MS thinks.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (4, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887314)

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

Is it taken seriously?

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

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

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

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887868)

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

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

These days Firefox is pretty stable, so if AOL / Netscape are going to rebrand it, they should perhaps be more subtle and lowkey about it than they were with 8.0.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1, Redundant)

coke_scp (892822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887632)

It's more used probably by most geeks, but I've been suprised to find it (Netscape) the corporate [well, university, they're screwy] standard in alot of places. 4.7, usually. Also worked in a variety of decent-sized places (3000ish computers) that haven't gone from 2000 to XP yet. It works, don't break it. At least in the corporate world. Personally, I'm happy with Firefox 1.5.something. Tried 2.0, it screwed my bookmarks, various other things. Instructions were available to fix that, such as a clean install, deleting the program directory first, etc., but I'm not upgrading .5 versions of something that works fine until the upgrade is seamless. Anway, back vaguely to the topic, if you've stuck all your eggs in the Netscape basket for the last 15 years, it might be more expensive to move them to a different/multiple baskets? (I don't agree, but I haven't tried.) IANASP

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (2, Informative)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887836)

Personally, I'm happy with Firefox 1.5.something. Tried 2.0, it screwed my bookmarks, various other things.
You must be doing something screwy with your bookmarks. I've got hundreds of bookmarks organized into folders and had zero problems going from 1.5 to 2.0. It disabled a couple of oddball extensions I had but fired right up.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887900)

I haven't heard of the bookmark problem either and have upgraded a number of machines from 1.5 to 2.0 on Linux and MacOS without trouble (other than losing an extension or two that apparently weren't maintained). Of course overall there probably isn't that much to gain by moving to 2.0 (except maybe in Windows where there may be security risks ?) so if he's happy with the older version it probably isn't really an issue. Still odd though.

Firefox migration (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887982)

Just to add to this, for anyone who hasn't upgraded from 1.5 to 2.0 yet, you don't actually "lose" extensions that haven't yet been upgraded for 2.0. These extensions are disabled, but still appear on the list, and will be reactivated automatically once a compatible upgrade is detected. That said, if an extension is still living in 1.5 limbo, it may be dead.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888002)

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

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

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

If AOL finally woke up really, they should make huge donation, help and stick with Camino on OS X since it is a native Cocoa Application using Gecko.

Also there should be ZERO third party bundles with Netscape, you know what I mean.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (5, Funny)

dcam (615646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888250)

To me it seems Netscape has lost his reputation as best browser.

Wow. Welcome to 1999.

Re:Is Netscape still taken serious? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888524)

Netscape loss that reputation during the browsers wars. Netscape missed a version 5.0 Which allowed IE to to catch up to Netscape then Surpass it by the time they both released version 6. This is well before Firefox era.

There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (5, Funny)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887216)

Wow. I had no idea that there were still "Netscape" browsers being made today. That's cute.

Re:There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (0, Troll)

tloh (451585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887272)

ahhh...good old fashioned netscape.

That's cute.

as opposed to IE...who is just simply slutty. We all look down at how easily it can behave promiscuously on the web. But at the same time some of us often face a desire or need to access resources that the slut so conveniently provides. [slashdot.org] Oh, what's a faithful man to do!

Re:There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887276)

Of course there is! Where have you been? You probably didn't notice that there is an Amiga OS/4 either, a 2008 Fortran standard, or a late 2005 release of the TinyCOBOL compiler. I'm sure a revised Gopher client is in the works, along with some juicy updates for our favorite C64 BBS program, Color64. It's great to live in the past!

Re:There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (2, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887418)

What about punchcards? I want to be able to punch out "GET /index.html HTTP/1.1" on my IBM 029 and get the result back on a line printer...

Re:There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887680)

Wouldn't you have to punch out a Host: field if you wanted to use HTTP1.1? Shame on you for non-standards compliant punching.

revised Gopher client (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887648)

Oh, man, that'd be awesome! If they could just add JavaScript to Gopher, it'd be perfect! And image support. And Flash. Yeah, that's all Gopher really needs to succeed. But that would be a pretty l33t Gopher, so we should probably spell it g0ph3r to save confusion. Either that or Bruce (since Archie and Veronica are already taken).

C64 BBS Software (4, Funny)

MagerValp (246718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887676)

Actually, C*Base is the preferred flavor nowadays, and 3.3 was just released:

C*Base 3.3 [c64.org]

You gotta move with the times, man.

Re:There's a Netscape 9? And 8? 7? 6? (2, Informative)

Greg Lindahl (37568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887808)


Um, there's still a big market for Fortran compilers... and F2003 has lots of "modern" features, so it's not really living in the past.

Tiny Cobol (2, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888456)

Considering how much COBOL code is still running, this seems quite a relevant project.

Netscape.....OK... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887220)

With Firefox and all those other browsers out there, exactly why should we care about a new version of Netscape? Especially since most of the versions I've tried have seemed rather, well, sucky.

Enhances the awesomeness of Firefox?? (4, Insightful)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887226)

Firstly, that's some quality writing. Secondly, the only thing I see Netscape 9 enhancing is the memory usage. Holy crap, people call Firefox a memory hog. Are they planning on including a discount on a 1GB DIMM with every download?

I gave up on Netscape after 4.72. I recommend the tag 'clusterfuck'.

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

joeystitch (1057842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887230)

I mean, let's be honest here. We have Firefox and Opera, plus Safari if you're a Mac user. Netscape is irrelevant.

Re:Who cares? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887324)

Maybe it will run on AmigaOS 4 - another cutting edge technology.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887388)

I thought choice and competition were supposed to be good things.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887430)

I thought choice and competition were supposed to be good things.
Well they are. But it might be better if they gave their manpower and marketing budget to Mozilla. They can then take Firefox and Thunderbird, rebrand them as Netscape, and move new (or old) users over to the good side.

Re:Who cares? (1)

joeystitch (1057842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887612)

Exactly. Choice and competition are great, but why re-invent the wheel?

Re:Who cares? (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887788)

There's also Konqueror, the best of them all. And Safari is just Konqueror with a new interface.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887992)

I mean, let's be honest here. We have Firefox and Opera, plus Netscape if you're a Windows user. Safari is irrelevant.

More importantly... (-1, Offtopic)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887242)

Will Nortel 2006 undo Nortel 2000 mistakes?

Too late (4, Insightful)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887244)

It would take something truly remarkable for this to have any impact, with Netscape's repeated failed starts over the last few years I can't see many people being willing to give them much of a go.

the awesomeness of Firefox? (0, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887256)

Did I miss something?

3 was the last worthwhile version. (2, Interesting)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887298)

Back in the netscape 4 days, some months after the source release, I remember a coworker having just heard of this new "gecko" rendering engine, and coming excitedly to my desk to show me how amazing it was. He pointed me to where to grab the nearly-naked engine, and then told me to render the same page in it and in my existing netscape window, and marvel at how much faster gecko was.

I opened up some moderately complex page in gecko, and it seemed kind of normal-ish to me. I opened up the same page in a new netscape window, and it was perceptibly faster. He was confused for a moment. "It was way, way faster than netscape on my machine..."

I tried the comparison again with a few other pages, with similar results. Finally he notices something: "Hey, what version of netscape are you running here?"

"3.04," I said. "4 is just a lot slower and crashier than 3, without adding anything worthwhile."

"...oh," he said, disappointed. He had just figured out that this magical open-source revamping of the netscape 4 source had managed to produce something that was... nearly back to as good as netscape 3.

Sadly, I think this situation persists through today. The whole family tree of netscape/gecko browsers seems to have only continued to get worse since 1998, adding nothing that I find desirable, and removing more and more performance and stability.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (4, Insightful)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887436)

I don't think 3.0 had Flashblock, NoScript, nor AdBlock. Tabs are kickass. CSS2? mathML? SVG? Methinks that if Netscape 3 had all the features you want, you don't want much. At least not the things I need.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887584)

I don't think 3.0 had Flashblock, NoScript, ...
On the first two counts, netscape 3 had exactly the same script- and flash-blocking technology that I use to this day: not installing Flash and disabling javascript. (Or just using a browser that supports neither one in the first place.) Problem solved.

AdBlock.
I will agree that ad-blocking tools are the one and only front on which browsers have advanced somewhat in the past decade. Though I will suggest that gecko/netscape/firefox's solutions for this are rather lackluster, and have always trailed other tools by years.

Tabs are kickass.
Tabs, actually, are an atrocious interface tool; their only function is to make windows exclusive to one another, and remove your ability to access them simultaneously. Moreover, even if tabs really were "kickass", they're such a fundamental shift in the windowing paradigm that they would be appropriate only if provided by the windowing system, not by any single application. Something as basic as windows needs to be global across the entire platform, not a hell of individual application behaviours.

Methinks that if Netscape 3 had all the features you want, you don't want much. At least not the things I need.
You're right, "not much" is precisely what I want. I want a browser that can retrieve and render straight html. If I'm feeling really fancy, I might want it to support inline images. I most definitely do not want an application suite, a plugin framework, a sandboxed runtime environment, or hosting of turing-complete programming language. I want a sodding web browser.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887640)

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

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887662)

I want a sodding web browser.

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

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

As far as speed goes, I think most people would be SHOCKED at how much faster the Web experience is if you have a caching name server running on your machine. Seriously - the biggest speedup you'll probably ever see.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (1, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887968)

Have you tried lynx? It comes without baggage like CSS, JavaScript or images and its memory footprint is much smaller than that of Fx, Opera or IE.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (0, Troll)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887456)

Well, yes, it's not exactly news that Gecko (and, in Firefox, the chrome surrounding it) is rather bloated and slow. If you're after speed, I'd suggest looking at Opera; if you want speed and better standards compliance than Gecko, there's KHTML/WebKit.

Frankly, I'm not really sure what Gecko's strength is anymore, now that WebKit is open source.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (1)

Maian (887886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887466)

Frankly, I'm not really sure what Gecko's strength is anymore, now that WebKit is open source.
Extensibility.

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (2, Informative)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887476)

www.pimpmysafari.com [pimpmysafari.com]

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (3, Informative)

Maian (887886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887488)

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

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887532)


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

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

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (2, Insightful)

tsq (768711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887790)

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

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (3, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887934)

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

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

Nothing worthwile? (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887548)

So you think that *proper* CSS 2.1 (3?), XHTML 1.1, DOM 3, SVG, clean minimalistic ui and tabs, popup blocker, adblocker and tons of other plugins are nothing worthwile and that firefox is an unstable memory hog?

*lol*

Building sites with any browser before mozilla 0.8 and newer versions of opera (including ANY version of IE) was a sheer *nightmare* of tables and transparent pixels, woven in style (font- and similar tags!) declarations and general non-working chaos.
Using those sites with it was looking at *really* ugly sites while living in popup- and advertisement-hell.

Sure Netscape 3 could be fast without including any of nowadays technology and being just an ugly hack of the W3C-standards.

About your stability rant: You're just writing the same wrong crap some poeple like to rant about for the last 3 years, and you *know* it.
You know that FF is no memory hog but has a feature (wich i appreciate btw), so you can restore tabs and go backwards trough your history more quickly (= without reloading the whole thing). And you can disable that if you don't like it. Try changing such internal settings (=design decisions) with any other browser.
And you simply keep ignoring it.
I don't know where you got the rest from, but the only crashes and memory losses i had were from crappy plugins. I found a blacklist, disabled them, and i was back to normal.
And you're ignoring that too.

The simple fact is: If you want more features, you *have* to use more resources. And if not... well, there's still netscape 3 for you.
It's the same thing as with java: Automatic buffer-overflow-protection, garbage collection and bytecode OR absolute 100% speed. You can't have both. But you can choose.

So stop to slate FF for things you chose to ignore... FORVER.
And: Welcome to the year 2007!

Re:3 was the last worthwhile version. (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887780)

Your scorn was right - gecko's raison d'etre was not so much to be faster as to have a future. On the other hand your pal's enthusiasm was far sighted - consider the success of Gecko now. You may feel it doesn't add anything for you but clearly other people don't feel that way.

Netscape 4 was unreliable for me - on Solaris - so I agree about that not being great but it was also a an architecture that was on it's last legs. The early releases of Mozilla were even less reliable and gobbled memory but they rendered new standards and allowed one to visit sites that NS4 couldn't render. "So what," I hear you cry - what has CSS2 support done for me? Well it's made it possible for web designers to make pages more easily and that's ultimately good for you.

Safari has made a place for itself, and hurray for that - but I think that the battle for open standards vs proprietary ones has been fought by Mozilla and is only being won thus far because of it's success. So whatever happens, I think that it and gecko deserve great credit.

New netscape (4, Funny)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887360)

I remember Netscape like it was yesterday. *** assumes the foetal position, in a dark corner. ****

Re:New netscape (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887380)

Well, lets not forget that it used to be *the* browser to use. I guess that doesn't say much about the state of our browsers at the time, especially since css wasn't around and the web was much simpler.

Brand power (5, Interesting)

telso (924323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887394)

The only reason to keep Netscape alive is brand recognition. Look at how many [google.com] websites are still "best viewed"/"tested" or have bookmark or printing directions for only Netscape and IE, or just haven't been updated to say anything different: NOAA [noaa.gov] , part of NASA [nasa.gov] , NIH [nih.gov] sites [nih.gov] , govts of Utah [utah.gov] and Minnesota [state.mn.us] , the IOC [olympic.org] , a Consumer Reports site [crbestbuydrugs.org] and college after college after college. If people keep seeing these notices, especially on government sites, there's no way they'll switch to some "other" browser, and keeping Netscape as a brand will be worthwhile. I mean, do I really have to mention AOL?

Re:Brand power (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887682)

I mean, do I really have to mention AOL?

No, you really don't. You really, really, really don't. We got your point; there's no need to make evil threats like that.

Re:Brand power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17888320)

How about doing a proper search with the phrase in quotes like this [google.com] or this [google.com] so it only gets pages that really do say "Best viewed in Netscape" or "Best viewed with Netscape" rather than happen to have those words somewhere in the page. Add them together and you get about 702,800 results which does still seem like a lot if you forget they will be many pages on a single website which all say that and that google may be serving up links for pages that have since gone dead but are still in it's cache. Now compare that number to the number of pages with the letter a in them [google.co.uk] (which should be pretty much all of them and you get 7,690,000,000 results, so the Netscape results as a percentage of the "total" is approx 0.09% which is hardly significant. Though I wouldn't expect these results to be very accurate since those numbers are only a rough guess by Google since it doesn't actually produce any results past the first thousand.

Re:Brand power (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888430)

Most of your links are to dot gov sites. Isn't that case in point?

disastrous? distracts? (4, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887414)

"It remains to be seen whether Netscape will reverse the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko"
Hold on... what exactly whas so disastrous about that? If I'm not mistaken, you got the choice of using either the Gecko or the IE rendering engine. What exactly is so disastrous about that? I thought we were supposed to be all -for- choice?

"a version of their browser that enhances the awesomeness of Firefox, rather than distracts from it?"
I'm not sure if the poster really meant "distracts" there.. it is quite apt, given what a gizmo-ridden POS Netscape is these days.. but I suspect they meant "detract".

Re:disastrous? distracts? (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887446)

Not as a switchable option, but alternative as in replacing. This is why there was, as the article says, a generation of Netscape that wouldn't run on either MacOS or Linux.

Re:disastrous? distracts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887702)

Not as a switchable option, but alternative as in replacing.

You don't know what you are talking about. Trident wasn't a replacement for Gecko, it was a switchable option.

Re:disastrous? distracts? (1)

fondacio (835785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887756)

It depends on who the user is. The different rendering engines behave differently and had different behaviour and different dialogue boxes. The IE engine was made the default engine for a number of sites. As a result, the browser would not behave in a consistent manner. This is not a problem for anyone who is aware of the existence of different rendering engines (the same can be done in Firefox on Windows with the IE Tab extension), but it is for someone who wants an application that behaves consistently. Moreover, it effectively made Netscape 8 vulnerable to both Mozilla and IE security holes. I don't think they ever made their minds up at Netscape who exactly Netscape 8 was aimed at - some features were clearly aimed at power users, but they would be turned off by the lack of customasibility elsewhere. So it's understandable to call the decision a disaster.

Trollish fanboy cheerleading (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887440)

It remains to be seen whether Netscape will reverse the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko but given that there's no IE for OS X or Linux, here's hoping.

Why? Why do you think it was a "disastrous decision"? What was the disaster? Why are you hoping this feature isn't included?

Look, I'm a web developer. I hate Internet Explorer with a passion. But this just screams out as blatant fanboyism. Including Trident for particular websites that don't work so well in Gecko wasa fairly sane decision, and really didn't affect anybody negatively. Grow the fuck up if you can't handle that and still feel the need to whine about it after years have passed.

Netscape 7.2 is better ! (1)

dasir (1054076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887470)

IMO Netscape 7.2 is better than Netscape 8. I try to install Netscape 8 in Windows ME but it doesn't works right :-(

Re:Netscape 7.2 is better ! (1)

dicka_j (544356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887866)

I try to install anything in Windows ME and it doesn't work right...

Re:Netscape 7.2 is better ! (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888024)

I try to install anything in Windows ME and it doesn't work right...
I remember there were at least one Virus or security exploit failing to work on Windows ME which people joked "It can't even run viruses"

Re:Netscape 7.2 is better ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887998)

Great! Once you get Netscape Communicator 7.2 running on Windows ME, you can use its HTML editor to write the Necronomicon.

In a word... (4, Insightful)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887480)

In a word... NO.
Netscape ceased existence with the last vestiges of the 4.79(?) version; as long as AOL controls it, it will be filled with automatically installed spyware/adware and AOL cruft.
Unlike the Mozilla Suite Releases the AOL releases not only added crapware, they could barely get fixes out. Nutscrape is dead, long live Mozilla.

Re:In a word... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17888004)

Exactly, its like with winamp. Bloody aol ruin anything they get their hands on.

Re:In a word... (2, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888354)

Nutscrape is dead
Ah, Nutscrape Nadgrabber. Those were the days.

plubs 5, Troll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887514)

foR the s7ate of

Netscape... AOL still owns that, right? (2, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887520)

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

Yes the Netscape Dev Team is working on Netscape 9 (5, Interesting)

f()bz (839819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887562)

I'm not sure why the cryptic title was chosen, of course Netscape 9 will be better than Netscape 8. *smile* The new browser will be integrated with our social news system that has been live on Netscape.com since July 2006, and yes, the browser will run on Linux (as well as Windows and Mac).

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

Fabienne Serriere
Netscape Anchor

Re:Yes the Netscape Dev Team is working on Netscap (1)

tdwebste (747947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887678)

What is Netscape 9?

It looks like it is essentially a mozilla addon that allows rss feeds and blog syndication.

Latest API News
We've updated the Friends' Activity Sidebar Firefox extension to include the option to be notified of your friends' votes (in addition to their stories and comments). To use this new feature, install version 1.1 of the extension from Mozilla Addons, and...
Netscape 9, might be a need to have mozilla addon. I will definitely be watching this.

Re:Yes the Netscape Dev Team is working on Netscap (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888076)

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

Re:Yes the Netscape Dev Team is working on Netscap (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888308)

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

Re:Yes the Netscape Dev Team is working on Netscap (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888396)

The new browser will be integrated with our social news system
Oh great, site-specific-support-bloat.

'disastrous' decision? (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887688)

the disastrous decision to include the Internet Explorer rendering engine as an alternative to Gecko

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

Re:'disastrous' decision? (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888058)

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

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

What is the point? (2, Insightful)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887758)

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

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

Why should I bother to try yet another browser that maybe has a few little improvements and at the same time lacks other things I get in other browsers?

Re:What is the point? (1)

Tarwn (458323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888020)

Following that same logic, what was the point of making a new, seperate browser [Firefox] instead of joining forces with IE development and just distributing a re-branded IE with a new theme a couple pre-installed ActiveX plugins?

Etc, etc.

The point to doing something that someone else has already done is to either:
1) Do it better
2) Do it with more features (or better features)
3) Take advantage of an existing piece of the market (such as the thousands of professors that would love to finally upgrade from Netscape 4)

But that does not apply here. (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888072)

Of course it can be worthwhile to start from scratch or branch a successful application.

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

So, I simply cannot see how a separate NS9 browser that is officially based on Firefox either does anything "better", or does it "with more or better features" that could not just as easily have been done by contributing to FF in the first place.

what the hell is a netscape? (0, Troll)

bazmail (764941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887768)

.........like really!

The problem with the Netscape browser (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887848)

Is that it's not THE Netscape browser. These days Netscape is just a brand and the browser is the Mozilla browser after a bunch AOL marketroids have slapped tonnes of performance / screen sapping buttons, effects and other shit all over it rendering it completely useless.

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

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

Hmm.. (1)

metushelach (985526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887876)

Did not even realize they still exist.

Kind of missed the train, havent they? So why do they even bother?

Wha? (3, Funny)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887924)

Sorry, Net Who?

The Underdog (2, Interesting)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887946)

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

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

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

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

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

Re:The Underdog (3, Funny)

fistynuts (457323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888198)

In 1995, Widows and "internet" were synonyms to me
I'm surprised your girlfriend put up with that.

If they want alternate X-platform layout engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887970)

Why don't they use webkit and/or license Presto from Opera?

It's more sensible than outsourcing to some third world Microsoft (sweat-)shop and getting a skinned IE.

Browsers are not improving (2, Interesting)

Brian Ribbon (986353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887988)

Browsers are getting worse, not better.

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

Mozilla and Microsoft are "borrowing" more features from each other's browsers, which means that, instead of having two individual browsers, FF is becoming shockingly similar to IE, with the only significant advantage of FF being the lack of OS integration.

Re:Browsers are not improving (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888078)

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

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

Re:Browsers are not improving (1)

Brian Ribbon (986353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888168)

I don't think it's a bug; Mozilla often removes configuration options. I have no idea why they've removed such an important feature, but I'm guessing that it's to make the browser "more accessible" to IE users.

Re:Browsers are not improving (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888468)

I love the privacy and security features in FF 1.5, where you can easily disable images or cookies from external servers, without having to manually edit the config file. Those options are missing in FF 2.0.
While I admit I skipped 1.5 I'm not quite sure what you mean. There are typical options for cookies under the privacy tab. You can disallow them entirely and whitelist or you can allow them or blacklist sites. You can look at all the cookies and delete whichever ones you want. Was there some sort of option to disable them temporarily?

Old Memories (2, Insightful)

red crab (1044734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888032)

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

I remember reading an old O' Reilly book on HTML which covered both the browsers. At that time there were certain tags that were rendered differently on the two browsers. The book strongly advised that whenever this be the case, design your pages keeping Netscape in mind since this is the dominant browser nowadays and will continue to be so - a prediction which is nowhere near to reality now.

just copy and rename firefox (-1)

ClickWir (166927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888436)

Lets see here...

Netscape. Sucked for years now, several versions have been aweful and I would uninstall it on any pc I came across.

Firefox, rocks. It's great. Has been since it's been released.

I'm not sure on exactly how Netscape is related to Mozilla and thus Firefox... but they should really call on family and just rebadge Firefox to Netscape. I don't see them actually making something worth while anymore, any other way.

NS7.2 is not an entirely bad choice (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17888440)

NS7.2 is extremely servicable is very stable and works well. NS8 - the dumb choice they made to end the mail client just stupid.

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

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

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

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

NS8 should be bypassed as it really doesn't bring anything to the table. It's bloated and slow, doesn't have a mail client. Maybe NS9 will do........what? Exactly? Be a lot like FF? A lot like Seamonkey? I don't know.
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