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O'Reilly Network: Test Drive of Netscape 6

Nov 29, 2000, 22:34 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve McCannell)

"Whenever a browser comes out with a new version, it's like an automobile manufacturer coming out with a sleek-bodied car. The lines and curves may look real nice, but you have to look under the hood and take a test drive before you can form an honest opinion for yourself. In order to beat their competitors, automakers may rush into production, which can lead to recalls because of parts failure."

"Netscape 6 shares this same fate. Internet Explorer has taken away most of Netscape's market share, and this new version of Netscape has been rushed to the public with bugs and standards-compliance problems. O'Reilly author David Flanagan has started a manifesto addressing the problems with Netscape 6, and urges the developer community to protest the new version. After hearing all of the haranguing around N6 since its release, I decided to take a test drive myself from a non-developer point of view, where I found more problems than just standards compliance...."

"When I downloaded N6 to my Windows box, I encountered no problems. As a matter of fact, I was happy to find that it didn't even write over version 4.7. When I went to check in with a few Mac using friends to see how they liked the new version, the reviews were mixed. Browsing was a breeze and no problems occured upon download to a blue and white G3, but major problems were reported upon download to a Powerbook 2000. After three attempts to download and install the program and multiple computer crashes, our Powerbook user has given up until the problem is resolved in an updated version."

"Moments later I heard an agonized moan from my Linux-using sysadmin, who downloaded and installed the new version (after having to go to the FTP site himself), only to find that the N6 install had completely obliterated any trace of previous versions of Netscape and erased all of his bookmarks without warning...."

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