Conclusion - Gecko: A Smaller, Faster Lizard - HTML with Style
Gecko: A Smaller, Faster Lizard
Gecko, as well as Mozilla in general, is up against tough opposition. Internet Explorer 5.0 beta has been released recently, and the 5.0 release is coming up soon.
From the user's point of view, it's difficult to evaluate which browser has more to offer. Although Mozilla will probably be a lot faster than IE 5.0, the rest of the end-user capabilities of Mozilla are not visible in Gecko and are not under consideration in this article. The question is what Gecko does for the developer better than IE5.
In this arena, Gecko constitutes a leap forward. This is not because of its features. I think every single developer is sick and tired of new browser releases that do nothing but add more and more features that are questionably useful and usually implemented in the most idiotic fashion. Gecko has many new features, yes, but so does IE 5 and so does every new browser on the market. But what makes Gecko special? Why am I making such a fuss about what is just another browser with a truckload of features?
Because for the first time in browser history, a browser attempts to consistently implement Web standards and recommendations. For the first time, the dream of a truly coherent, meaningful, accessible Web looks like it can become true. Gecko is not about new, exciting features, even though they're all there. It's about taking the power that is bestowed by owning the world's most popular browser and using it properly, putting it to good use. It's a turning point because something as important as a Web browser, a tool that is becoming the most important way for people to get information in today's world, is now no longer in the sole control of a company that makes its own policy in traditional ways, but in the hands of the people who use it and care for it the most.
Gecko is not a "killer app." It's a new way of thinking about making a browser. With Gecko, and Mozilla after it, a Web browser is no longer a demanding application that is used to access a certain type of media using a network protocol. It is a tool for people to communicate and access information. It is the gateway for the New Web.
I've always said that authoring Web pages is not about designing a pretty layout and selling a concept. It's about sharing information, creating something important and giving it out to the world. This has been the principle behind the HTML with Style tutorials, and this should be the first principle for anyone designing a Web page. With Gecko and Mozilla, a way to do this is finally here, available for anyone to use and develop.
I'm pretty sure, no, I am convinced that Mozilla will succeed. And if this doesn't mean market dominance, it means that it will set the pace for the Web browsers of the future. And I take my hat off to Netscape as well as all the people at Mozilla.org for having the will and the ability to pull off a stunt this big. If Mozilla doesn't take over the world in the near future, something that works a lot like it will. And that's just the same for me.