Whatever Happened to the Netscape Hype?
Monday September 21st, 1998
George Giannukos writes in with an interesting question:
"I remember those days when Netscape's servers would be overwhelmed with traffic of people trying to get their copy of the newest most popular application on the net.
Nowadays you see Netscape doing all these little updates with small enhancements...
So I guess my question is, 'Why is this happening and do ya'll think Netscape 5.0 will stop this trend?'"
#2 features to entice users again...
by Tumbleweed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tuesday September 22nd, 1998 4:17 PM
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If you want a great browser, you need to start with the new standards:
DOM support CSS (level 2?) XML (as much of it as is ready, anyway)
You also need to fix the stuff that's been broken forever. Table handling is horrible. And frames (shudder) - they're in awful shape. Navigator can't even display the correct framewidth! There's also the issue with the weird default values for attributes that aren't required to be specified. (valign should default to TOP - hspace & vspace should default to 0!)
Compatability - howzabout making 'topmargin' and 'leftmargin' equivalents in the BODY tag so that all those pages 'optimized for Internet Explorer' will automatically start working well in Netscape (withOUT having to be rewritten to use CSS, etc).
And then there's the whole issue with using other apps with the standalone Navigator - it shouldn't disable your mailto: links if you're using the standalone Navigator - it should use the system-registered email application, no matter what it is. That whole idea was just plain idiotic, and smacks of an MS-like control fixation.
Being able to disable background sounds would be nice, too! And I'd really love to be able to completely configure all the toolbars on my browser, *completely*. Why in the world do I need a 'search' button on my toolbar when it doesn't go to the search engine I want it to? And let's get rid of that silly 'My Netscape' button!
And how about floating frames support? That's been missing for a long time. I don't care if MS did come up with it - it's a good idea.
The problem is that MS saw that Netscape had some good ideas, and then decided to implement them along with some of their own. Granted, MS's implementation leaves an enormous amount to be desired, but Netscape apparently didn't implement the good ideas that MS had. (topmargin and leftmargin attributes have been in IE since version *2.0*!). Here's a little tip - start with the feature set of your competitor, THEN continue adding. Only then will you have a true competitor, and only then will you have people clamoring to get your product.