Re: Introducing NetscapeML

Martin Gleeson (gleeson@unimelb.edu.au)
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 12:49:27 +1000


Message-Id: <v01510100adfb930cd4a6@[10.0.2.15]>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 12:49:27 +1000
To: Matthew James Marnell <marnellm@portia.portia.com>
From: gleeson@unimelb.edu.au (Martin Gleeson)
Subject: Re: Introducing NetscapeML
Cc: "'www-style@w3.org'" <www-style@w3.org>,

>:>I want to be the first to let the world know what wonderous new things
>:>Netscape has done for us this week.  They just posted the release notes
>:>for beta5 of Navigator 3.0 which includes *HTML* elements for
>:>multi-column layout and whitespace.  This of course contradicts their
>:>stated commitment to working on style sheets.  It is a surprise to those
>:>of us working in the W3C HTML working group who have assumed all along
>:>that the reason Netscape is there is to cooperate in the development of
>:>standards.
>
>I'm sorry Thomas, I just can't quite understand what your complaint is.
>You know Netscape has done this in the past.  You know they've lied about
>why they did it.  So they claimed that they would support standards.
>How many times have they done that in the past?  So what did you expect,
>that they'd play nice now?  You thought they'd throw off their sheep's
>clothing, and underneath there'd be a sheep?
>
>After looking at their track record, you really expected a turn-around.
>That's just plain gullible.  But at least they got the W3C to swallow
>it long enough to stall everyone out.

   I think perhaps you're being a little harsh on Thomas. Given the obvious
concessions Netscape were accorded in Wilbur, I honestly thought that they
might have shown a little more respect for the standards process. You're quite
correct about their track record, of course, but I guess it's just human nature
to be optomistic and hope that they would have a change of heart. And I'm
pleasantly surprised to see Microsoft setting an example - they too started
off down the path of 'HTML extensions', but now seem to be fully supporting the
standards process.

   Maybe Microsoft see what Netscape don't - if you make use of the standards
process, you'll get things right, and not have to fix them later. If Microsoft
can have a change of heart like this, anyone can. Netscape is still making
stupid mistakes by rushing half-baked ideas (see Frames) into release software,
and I use the term 'release' _very_ lightly, and having fix their mistakes
later (or leave them unfixed - see CENTER, FONT). Of course, it is a given
that Netscape are trying to chase HTML into a proprietary dead-end to further
their own financial ends. I really hope Microsoft continues to follow the
standards process and gives us a good, cross-platform browser that implements
things like CSS, and knocks Netscape on its head. Coming from a previously
strident MS-basher, that's saying something!

Cheers,
Marty.
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Martin Gleeson       Webmeister  |  http://www.unimelb.edu.au/%7Egleeson/
Information Technology Services  |  Email    : gleeson@unimelb.edu.au
The University of Melbourne, Oz. |  Opinions : Mine, all mine.
      "I hate quotations."  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals (1843)
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