Netscape is Dead

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Postby Antony » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 9:42 am

TheRegister.co.uk has a good article, AOL kills Netscape
...

On the one hand, the corrupt suits at AOL failed to appreciate the majesty of the Mozilla code, pulled features (such as blocking pop-up windows which AOL's advertisers loved, but users hated), forked willy-nilly, adding adware where they could, and generally betrayed the Great Project.

On the other hand, when a killer app was needed in haste, the Mozilla team wandered off into Lotus-eating land and spent four years creating esoteric frameworks and note-perfect bug tracking systems that only a nerd could appreciate.

Both these points of view are caricatures, of course.

But techno-utopians tend to get lost in their fabulous daydreams, sometimes. They forget that these browser things are just tools, and browsers are just windows onto the web, so a graceful XUL framework means diddly-squat to the innocent punter. Creating a neat C++ framework when what the world needs a non-Microsoft browser is nothing but a deriliction of duty: a piece of vanity code. What we Brits call pointless "willy waving".

...

Netscape's death will provoke a thousand arguments, but none will be so useful as utility. Well, maybe and perhaps, browsers don't really matter too much. But the fact that Microsoft's miserable excuse for a web browser - a sorry piece of code that has been untouched by human hand for many years, now - speaks volumes about indulging the wrong kind of people with big responsibilities. In the end, it was these coders who failed us.
from: AOL kills Netscape (TheRegister)

Related article: Browser innovation is dead - Andreessen (TheRegister)
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Postby Shark Daddy » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 12:57 pm

Okay guys, here's how it is...

AOL bought Netscape on the way down. As IE 4 came out, DHTML rocked Netscape, and it's been bad ever since. It's generally agreed that Netscape 4 (a.k.a. Communicator) was bad to start off, and building off it was a bad idea. So, with the advent of Mozilla's open source system, AOL put a lot of resources and time in, but could only be so patient. Then everything was reset when it was decided to rewrite the code, delaying things even longer. The truth is that Netscape could never be marketed as an IE-killer because it never was... at least not until (arguably) less than a year ago, by which time it was too late for AOL to make Netscape profitable. The fact is that Netscape died before it open souced its code. You don't see Andresson or Zawinsky anymore, and that's the biggest sign.

The only really bad decision AOL made was to release Netscape 6 a good eight months early. I'd have given them fairly good odds in retaking part or the market if they'd just waited (and many others involved with Mozilla agree). Other decisions that were bad for the browser they were more or less forced into. Honestly, what could AOL, a company losing capital fast, do? They couldn't promote Netscape 6 because it blew as a branded end-user browser. And they couldn't put it in AOL because it's just not suited.
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Postby Mandrake » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 5:43 pm

Sharkdaddy: When you say that they should have delayed it for eight months, rather than rushing it out - Netscape 6 would have been what Netscape 6.1 was correct? That would have been a MUCH better browser - NS 6.0 was awful! I remember sticking with Communicator 4.7x, and the later Mozilla builds (0.8 etc). I think many that tried Netscape 6 were reluctant to try Netscape 6.1 because of how buggy Netscape 6 was. Although, as plenty of people have said before "Netscape 6.1/6.2 were acceptable browsers, but Netscape 7 is what Netscape 6 should been."
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Postby Shark Daddy » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 7:58 pm

Precisely.
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I had recently installed NS7.1 and was liking it ....

Postby BobC » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 9:41 pm

:(
I am wondering where to go from here?
Where do I find out information about switching to Mozilla?
... and is it wise to change???
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Postby Lorraine » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 10:00 pm

Now, what are people like me supposed to do?
I don't understand a darn thing about Netscape being dead. My browser NS 7.02 still works, I got a fright this PM tho', left if on for about 10 mins and it auto sleeps, when I came back and left clicked on mouse, it just remained black.

My modem lights were on and the RD was flashing.
I closed my puter, removed the middle plug in modem, put it back and still it didn't work.

I thought Netscape had really died.

Called my ISP and they didn't know what happened.
Said they would send a techie over tomorrow.

Well, as you see I am here, I just decided to try it again around 10:00PM EST, and it works.

Anyway, back to Netscape. Is the browser still going to work, and for how long?

What am I supposed to use for a browser when it really dies. I am sticking with NS7.02

I like Mozilla, but I don't want a browser that I have to update every night. I didn't get email with it either. It was very stable tho' I think version 1.4

Can someone tell me which browser to use in the future (just in case)
I have miserable IE, it came with the puter.
I don't use it very often.
What other one should I use? I would like answers...:)

Netscape shouldn't have been treated the way it was.
Bad :evil: :twisted: IE and AOL

Why isn't Mozilla finished? It's been in the works a long time.
You should have sold cookies or had a garage sale to raise money!!!! :D

-Lorraine
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Postby Mandrake » Wed 16 Jul, 2003 10:06 pm

Although I'm making this post from an old Netscape build, I do generally use Mozilla.

You can download Mozilla 1.4 (stable) from Mozilla.org, the change is very easy. If you make a one way change from Netscape to Mozilla, you don't even need to make a new profile. Of course, if you plan to use both - then I reccomend creating a new profile for Mozilla. I think the most imortant thing to remember is that there will be no more Netscape releases. If security holes are found in Netscape 7.1, they won't be patched, but in Moz 1.4 they will be. After a period of time, 1.4.1 will be released, then 1.4.2 etc. As for the support Netscape offers . . . Really, people would come to a message board like this and ask for help - rather than ringing Netscape, wouldn't they?
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Postby samuelp » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 5:09 am

Netscape is not reallu dead.
AOL cut off about 10% of the Netscape staff.
It is really worth informing that a large amount among Netscape workers are on other AOL projects, but a small team still exists on the Netscape browser.

Why abandon a browser that 22 millions downloaded whithout advertising when the AOL client was due to be downloaded by less than 10 millions user with fierce advertising ?
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Postby DJGM » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 7:15 am

Unfortunately, that's not the case. There were about 80 people working for AOL as the Netscape
browser development team. About 50 of these were sacked, and the rest were shifted to other
roles within AOL, leaving no-one to work on the Netscape browser. Remaining Netscape staff
will most likely be working on non-browser related stuff such as the Netscape Network.

There's a slim chance, that some of the ex-Netscape developers still working within AOL, may be
asked to work on maintenance releases of NS7.x, but the way it seems at the moment, there'll
be no more major Netscape browser releases. Netscape 8.0 is highly unlikely to happen . . .
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Last edited by DJGM on Thu 17 Jul, 2003 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mandrake » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 7:16 am

Samuel: That's not very many in contrast to the ammount of Internet users around - there are about 500 000 000 (500 million) Internet users, with 22 million downloads, that aint a whole lot.
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Re: I had recently installed NS7.1 and was liking it ....

Postby Edward » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 11:42 am

BobC wrote::(
I am wondering where to go from here?
Where do I find out information about switching to Mozilla?
... and is it wise to change???


Welcome to SillyDog, Bob.

I installed Mozilla 1.4 for WIndows yesterday, and the only differences I can see, are that the Netscape N throbber is replaced by Mozilla's throbber, and when starting it up, by default, the Sidebar and Browsing Tabs do not appear, you get a regular browser window (like Netscape Communicator 4.x used to be), but displaying tabs and the Sidebar are as simple as selecting them on the View menu (for the Sidebar) and FIle (for a new browser tab).

These can also be changed in the Preferences (as I just found out regarding Tabbed Browsing).

Once Mozilla 1.5 is released, it isn't known right now if it will be an all-in-one suite like 1.4 and prior versions are. They have made the browser and e-mail client separate applications, but I for one, hope it is made into an all-in-one suite, or at the least, give the user the option of making it as such when installing it.
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Re: I had recently installed NS7.1 and was liking it ....

Postby Josh » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 4:59 pm

Edward wrote:Once Mozilla 1.5 is released, it isn't known right now if it will be an all-in-one suite like 1.4 and prior versions are.


AFAIK, 1.5 will be SeaMonkey. I could be wrong though.
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Postby Ramona » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 5:27 pm

Mozilla 1.5b includes the entire suite, including Mail & Newsgroups. Josh is correct in that 1.5 will still be seamonkey. See:
Mozilla Development Roadmap:
Mozilla Branding

With the current events, there may very well be more updated info.

Ramona :D
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A glimmer of hope for NS7.x maintenance releases . . . ?

Postby DJGM » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 5:36 pm

According to a message posted by one of the Mozilla people (jesusx) on the Talkback pages for a
current article at MozillaZine, Netscape 7.x will still get updates to fix any security holes that may
appear. Whether or not this actually happens, remains to be seen, seeing as AOL (spit!) have
sacked the entire Netscape browser development team. Make of this what you will . . .

Image

Image

Even if NS7.x gets security updates, there'll be no Netscape 8.0, unless AOL do a complete U-turn!
Eitherway, it's still a small glimmer of hope. I'm not expecting a NS7.1 CCK anytime soon, if at all!
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Postby Mandrake » Thu 17 Jul, 2003 8:59 pm

I think the only company that did anything useful with the part of Netscape they got was Sun with the Netscape webservers (now iPlanet). I'm pretty sure AOL just gave them that part of the company as well, pretty ironic huh?
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