Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Web browsers still don't work

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:3/28/1999; 5:49:07 AM
Topic:Build interfaces with xml: XUL (cnet article)
Msg #:4610 (In response to 4602)
Prev/Next:4609 / 4611

I think there's a difference between Netscape and Microsoft: Microsoft is pitching Explorer as a better marketing vehicle (for big portals, ISPs etc), while Netscape is pitching a better browser. We'll see if I'm right, and who wins.

I disagree! I think Netscape is leading in nastyness, and providing Microsoft the chance to be the "good guy" while following Netscape's lead, just being half as nasty as Netscape. I think you're buying into conventional wisdom. In fact, Netscape is grooming their browser to their portal. That's OK, but don't give them credit that isn't due.

About standards, I don't agree with your position. Saying you support standards is just turning over the design of the product to someone else. The W3C standards process is even more broken than the browsers are.

Back to Netscape, I can even explain why there's this disconnect. They're a split company. They have managers who play nasty, and they have engineers who are young and idealistic and have pure hearts, and not a whole lot of experience. The nasty managers make the engineers do nasty shit. The users remember the myth of Netscape, but that myth is long-gone. Andreessen is now a tool for AOL. They'll eat the seed corn of their goodwill for a while, while it lasts, and soon Netscape will have all the soul of CompuServe, which is to say not a whole lot. But Netscape never really had that much soul in the first place. That's not the long suit of Clark, Barksdale and Doerr. Nice guys for sure, but not a lot of passion for software or for the cool things you can do with browsers. (Remember when the story came out that Barksdale didn't even use email? Remember the spin from Netscape PR? He's an exec, he delegates email-reading. Ohhhh.)

Now, you hear the same kind of thing from Microsoft people. There's a disconnect between the top-level guys and the managers. But the Microsoft managers are engaged, they aren't scared to have their nasty shit challenged (they go ahead and do the nasty stuff anyway). The Netscape/AOL execs are above it all (they think) but they should read the Cluetrain Manifesto. They'll be beggin for jobs soon.

Anyway, want to blow the doors open? Let's come up with a non-W3C vector graphics language, XML-based, and put HTML in the legacy category where it belongs. Yeah I know W3C has 3 proposals for vector graphics. That's the problem!

Want to know where to start? Right here..

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:49:06 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.