Re: Not snazzy (was: New Unicode Savvy Logo)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 11:51:20 EDT

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: The role of country codes/Not snazzy"

    Edward H Trager wrote:
    > John Hudson wrote:
    > > John Cowan wrote:
    > > >Netscape 4.x is dead.
    > >
    > > I wish it were. Monitoring the web traffic at one of the sites I'm involved
    > > with, I am dismayed to see that more than 5% of visitors are using Netscape
    > > 4.7.
    > Lots of organizations may have reasons like these
    > for sticking with older, arguably obsolete software like Netscape 4.x.
    > With regard to Unicode/UTF-8 support, a legacy program like
    > Netscape 4.x naturally has limitations.

    I would prefer to say that Netscape 4.0 is dead, but Netscape 4.7x is not (I see no reason why users should continue to use versions before 4.7, as the 4.7 version fixed a lot of interoperability problems, including cross-platform compatibility with other Netscapes, plus many security fixes...)

    Netscape 6+ is still too new with its new operating model, and lacks the level of optimizations that were present in Netscape 4.x when it was developed independantly of any regard to standard compliance, during the first stages of the MS/Netscape war on browsers.

    Netscape 6+ is certainly a very recommanded upgrade for all users that just browse the web. There are still legitimate uses of Netscape 4.x for internal mission critical applications. But should these users be restricted to use it when just browsing the web our of these internal applications? There can exist two browsers on the same host (your internal application can still create custom shortcuts to start Netscape 4.x for the internal application only).

    However the recent versions of Netscape 7+ based on the new Mozilla Gecko engine include a lot of performance enhancements in the JavaScript engine, and it should be interesting to see if it's still worth the cost of maintaining an old base of browsers (which may be now exposed to many wellknown security flaws).

    Don't expect newer versions to be as fast as older ones: the main reason is that security is now a critical issue, and the JavaScript engine also needs to perform more checks than in the old legacy Netscape 4.x engine, and also support interfaces to modern active components (with Corba, Java, COM, and XML/XSL/XSLT). Some operations now arebased on XSLT which is still in a very active development stage to solve tricky compatibility issues. Now, performance is not the major issue, but conformance to standards and security comes first. Only stable parts of the development are optimized, to avoid creating unmaintainable source code.

    Did you consider also Opera in your evaluation of browsers ?

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