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Web Standards Project: For the Good of the Web: An Open Letter to Netscape

Jul 24, 2000, 21:51 (16 Talkback[s])

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"TWO YEARS AGO, when your market share was still high as a kite, you pledged to fully support five key standards in the next version of your browser. Having urged you to do this very thing, we praised your decision to everyone who would listen. Developers and the trade press quickly joined the chorus. We all anticipated that Microsoft and other browser makers would be forced to emulate your support for XML and the DOM out of sheer competitiveness. But mainly, Netscape, we all expected you to release a product. And to quickly take Navigator 4, a browser that forces developers to write non-valid code, off the market...."

"Netscape, you have placed W3C standards advocates in the unenviable position of supporting plans instead of products. After two long years of endorsing your goals - and barely mentioning the fact that your existing product is the least standards-compliant browser on the market - we've begun to question our wisdom, if not our very sanity."

"How can standards advocates continue to point to your example while criticizing other browser makers? How can we demand that Microsoft "do what Netscape is doing," when, from a business perspective, "what Netscape is doing" is bleeding market share while failing to ship product? We appreciate the sacrifice you've made, but the loss of time and market share are not likely to inspire your competitors to emulate your actions."

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