ZDNet: Open Source Of Woe

“Netscape Communications used to worry about Microsoft trying to
annihilate it. These days, its bigger problem seems to be appeasing
the Web developer community.”

“Last week, Netscape, a division of America Online, was
lambasted by thousands of angry Web developers who were under the
impression the forthcoming Navigator 6 browser won’t conform to
critical Internet standards.”

The controversy was the direct result of the open source
development model Netscape used to build the core of the new
browser. Ironically, the alleged bugs in Navigator 6 – its most
significant browser release in two years – might not have attracted
significant attention if Netscape had kept its code secret from the
outside world.

“David Flanagan, an independent software developer, posted a
note on technical book publisher O’Reilly & Associates’ site
calling attention to “serious problems” with Navigator’s compliance
with open standards. He encouraged other developers to sign an
online petition urging Netscape to not label the release final
until it had fixed the problems.”


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