New Netscape browser screenshots

I just saw some screenshots of the new Netscape browser that is in development.

Of particular interest is this one that shows a preference pane with the option to “Display like Netscape” or “Display like Internet Explorer”. This really seems strange to me, since 95% or more of internet users these days proabably don’t know the difference between the two.

So who is this feature for? The web developers who need to test their content on multiple browsers? Surely most web developers would use the full versions of these browsers to check their pages, but now this adds an additional possibility of your pages breaking. Not only will you have to check your pages in “Netscape,” but “Netscape using Internet Explorer.”

5 thoughts on “New Netscape browser screenshots

  1. I actually like the strategy quite a bit as it illustrates something I wrote about a few weeks ago with regards to separating out rendering engines from browser interfaces. The idea with the AOL browser (“Netscape”) is simple: Let users download it and have it default to “Netscape Mode” (which is basically just using Firefox’s rendering engine). Should users come to a site that requires them to use Internet Explorer, they can switch over to the IE rendering engine with one click.

    With fewer and fewer sites being IE-only these days, most people would thankfully never have to use this option, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it. Hoisting the IE engine in Windows is not a very processor-intense or memory-intense thing to do since it’s already pretty much loaded anyway, so this was most likely not a monumental effort for the Netscape dev team.

  2. I suppose it sounds useful, but how maybe people do you know who aren’t web developers who understand even what a ‘rendering engine’ is?

    I just don’t think it will be used at all by probably 99% of the people that use the browser. It also makes me wonder what else switches when you change that preference: does it change 100% of things like javascript and DOM behavior, or just the page layouts? It seems like this would just cause more headache than it’s worth.

    There’s also the argument that if we want these “Web Standards” that everyone is hyping to take off, we should get new browsers that support that and stop coddling the old broken pages that require Internet Explorer or other outdated browsers (At a past job we actually had some apps that required Netscape 4, it was ridiculous).

    p.s. Happy birthday, Mike :)

  3. So I am finally a Firefox believer,
    I tried it a year ago, and did’nt like it. Today I had to print out a USPS label from paypal from my iBook, well safari failed (which I am fond of), and IE failed as well, much to my suprize, but Firefox did it! Now to find a skin that makes it look like safari……..

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