Netscape 6: At Long-Awaited Last - HTML with Style | 8 | WebReference

Netscape 6: At Long-Awaited Last - HTML with Style | 8

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Netscape 6: At Long-Awaited Last

Great or Too Late?

So what's the verdict? Will Netscape 6 become the dominant browser that Navigator was before version 4? Should you plow through the documentation and begin experimenting with DOM trickery and extreme CSS positioning? Should you buy AOL stock?

The answer is, I don't know. It's on the knife edge. Netscape 6 is an incredible browser, but it's not incredible enough for me to proclaim it a success already. On the other hand, it's definitely incredible enough to have a fighting chance.

What I can tell you is what I'd like to happen: I want Netscape 6 to succeed. I want developers to develop for it and users to use it. This is not out of malice towards Internet Explorer, but because I believe that if Netscape 6 is seen as a major contender, then Microsoft will have no choice but to fight back in the same way, by implementing standards. Netscape 6 is important because if it gains market share, even a little, then it changes the name of the game.

Netscape 6 is still the best hope for an open, interoperable Web where anyone can contribute and participate, regardless of whose products they buy. Internet Explorer had its chance at a monopoly; IE5.5 was released under little pressure to out-perform the competition, but the result was not satisfactory. Netscape 6 must succeed, if only to force Microsoft to clean up its act. It's been said too many times, but the guys at Redmond could use a bit of a challenge.

You probably noticed that I steered clear of the technical details of the browser in this review. The main reason is that these have been well known for some time now. There have been preview releases of the browser, and Mozilla builds have been available for years. I have already started showing Gecko-only techniques in the HTML with Style Tutorials, and expect several tutorials devoted exclusively to Gecko to appear soon. JavaScript coders might want to learn how to update their browser sniffers. More Netscape 6 JavaScript tricks can be found in Doc JavaScript's Tip of the Day archive. If you want to brush up your W3C Recommendations you might want to check out their Technical Reports and Publications. If you care about Web standards, you should always check the Web Standards Project's Web site. Lastly, for the latest info on Mozilla and Gecko, as well as the browser itself, visit the Mozilla Organization.

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Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: November 30, 2000
Revised: November 30, 2000