Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3

Michael Johnson (michaelj@relay.relay.com)
Wed, 19 Jul 95 07:30:03 EDT


Subject: Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3
Message-Id: <MICHAELJ.950719073003@relay.relay.com>
From: michaelj@relay.relay.com (Michael Johnson)
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
Date:    Wed, 19 Jul 95 07:30:03 EDT

>Let me cut to the chase:
>
><rant>
>Write and release a full featured production HTML 3.0 browser for
>Windows, Macintosh and Unix (in order of market importance). Or quit
>whining that other people aren't spending their money they way you
>want them to.

See http://mordor.relay.com/Traveler/ and then you can think about the
advisability of posting unproductive ranting to a working discussion group.
I'm not pissed off at Netscape because they have market share. I'm pissed
off at Netscape because I browse the web with my syntax checking browser
and encounter large numbers of lousy "Netscape enhanced" and just plain
broken pages, and it's largely their fault.

My personal opinion, from seeing what Netscape has done and from reading
an occasional interview, is that Marc Andresson (sp?) is a very bright
individual who hasn't developed an appropriate level of professional maturity,
as evidenced by his myopic solutions to short term problems and apparent
total lack of regard for the long term viability of the web.

>Netscapisms *WILL NOT* go away until equivalent functionality is
>in HTML 3.0 and in production browsers for Windows and Mac. All
>the debate about whether or not the extensions are good or bad is utterly
>moot. There are here. They are staying. That battle is already
>completely lost. New browsers are implementing Netscapisms. They are the
>*de facto* standard. The Microsoft color extensions to Netscape's <font >
>extensions are sure to catch on like wildfire as well.

If I hear the oxymoron "de-facto standard" one more time I may come visit
you and throw up on your desk.

This is a perfect example of why everyone who is serious about the future
of the web should be really pissed off at Netscape. They've fostered an
environment that makes certain factions think it's OK to just throw together
any set of "extensions" to HTML that they feel like. Never mind that HTML
is supposed to be the glue that holds the web together, and never mind that
they should have learned their lesson from Unix ("Unix is not Unix").

>As for implementing HTML 3.0 - which version? The version that was talked
>about last week, or the version that will be talked about next week?
>Companies are not going to write browsers to support 3.0 features that
>are not STABLE. It cost real money to re-engineer. Especially after shipping.

Many of the features of HTML 3.0 are stable. Certainly stable enough that
they can be implemented with the expectation that there will be little change
before the standard is finalized. It doesn't take much work to, for example,
change your internal DTD to allow IMG inside of a FIG.

Michael Johnson
Relay Technology, Inc.