Netscape 4.76 is available for downloa...
October 24, 2000 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Netscape 4.76 is available for downloa... oh, to hell with it, why do I even bother?
posted by Dean_Paxton (37 comments total)
Does anyone still use Netscape?

The biggest thing I wish IE would change is to make the right-click menu pop out when you click DOWN on the mouse button, so that you can release the button and go back a page (you can do that in Netscape) in one total click. 2 total clicks to go back a page takes too long :(
posted by grank at 5:11 PM on October 24, 2000

Me me me!

I can't bring myself to use IE. I just can't. I end up using it for 10 minutes and then throwing the mouse down, cursing, screaming, howling, etc., at the crappy interface. I'm so used to Netscape that I can't switch. I won't switch.
posted by Succa at 5:16 PM on October 24, 2000

The only problem with Netscape is that with java on, you can expect crashes. I have not experienced this with IE5.
posted by Zool at 5:31 PM on October 24, 2000

Mozilla is a total dog, rewriting from scratch was a mistake. So, unfortunately, Netscape is doomed.

This is a tragedy for the web. With competition to IE, IE will degenerate into an MS Office application (MS Word for the Web anyone?).

The only solution, I think, is to ditch the Mozilla project, get the source again for Netscape 4.76 AND FINALLY GO AND FIX ALL THE BUGS! DAMN IT!
posted by lagado at 5:47 PM on October 24, 2000

LOL.. skallas.. good one. Yeah, Netscape is pretty dead. :(

I never wanted to switch over to IE.. heck... used NN3 for like half a year before giving in and trying IE4.. Never looked at web pages thru NN ever again (except for testing purposes)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 5:48 PM on October 24, 2000

The only problem with Netscape is its inconsistent rendering of HTML and CSS and its execution of javascript across minor version of 4.x. That and the wasted space given over to their marketing department (which I would love to blame on AOL, but it was there before the buyout).

As to why you bother Dean? Probably because you know that now there is yet another version of 4.x that behaves differently from all the other versions of 4.x, but is hard to quantify down to unique userbase or feature set you you can't effectively conditionalize around the bugs.

Am I being too bitter here? Or have I been hacking on DHTML? Feh.
posted by captaincursor at 5:54 PM on October 24, 2000

ditto, I'm so used to Netscrape that I can't stand to use ie5(4, etc). I HATE IT. Besides, when I design webpages, due to Netscrape's inconsistancies, "if it looks good in netscrape, it most likely will look alright in Internet Exploder too"...
posted by jamescblack at 6:46 PM on October 24, 2000

I keep Super Stats from on browser usage by visitors that use my web site. Here is an overview for October:

Internet Explorer: 73.7
Netscape: 26.3
Opera: 0.1

6 were not detectable due to automated robots, outdated browsers, or other visitor software limitations.

Sadly enough, Netscape is close to being dead. RIP.

posted by argus at 7:07 PM on October 24, 2000

04?re running at 61% IE, 25% netscape.

the only reason i point this out as remarkable is that 71% of my audience is mac based (mostly other designers), and Mac has been considered netscape's last holdout. so i guess *that's* over and done with. which is fine; it renders crappy html and makes the mac hang for obscene amounts of time while loading java apps.

good riddance.
posted by patricking at 7:46 PM on October 24, 2000

um, that should say "my users are running at..."

dunno what happened.
posted by patricking at 7:46 PM on October 24, 2000

Actually Mozilla and 6.0 are two completely different projects

skallas, are you telling me that 6.0 isn't a dog too?
I haven't tried it yet, if its okay then there's a slim chance that Netscape can survive and regain some share. If for no other reason than the market needs a second player. Sorry, Opera doesn't cut it either.

But Mozilla and 6.0 are basically from the same code base aren't they?

posted by lagado at 7:53 PM on October 24, 2000

I still use the Netscape browser. I do launch IE every once in awhile, I notice it is slightly faster but it has never struck me as being exceptional in any way. I'd rather not support Microsoft if I can avoid it, and this is nowhere near enough temptation to get me to switch.
I have not had any Netscape crashing problems, java or otherwise. I have started to see pictures sometimes overlapping type, which I can live with.
I still have a grudge against explorer replacing typefaces without telling me in the last version, and I do not trust it to keep it's dirty hands out of my system folder, also I do not like the interface. Wow, I guess I had more to say about this than I thought.
posted by thirteen at 8:07 PM on October 24, 2000

I was once like Succa and jamescblack, but I finally made the transition from Netscape to IE when IE5.5 came out... and it definitely has its problems interface-wise. I am completely used to it now, but adding new bookmarks (er... "favorites") in sub-sub-sub folder takes forever (although renaming is easier), the right click menu is annoying because it doesn't always display navigation controls based on what you click on, and history is harder to search. As for things I like, besides the html and css rendering which is why I switched: autocomplete on forms is good for when you have forgotten what you were searching for yesterday, being able to click the mousewheel to scroll instead of rolling it, and I suppose better FTP integration although I usually don't use the browser for this. So overall, I would like to be using netscape because of the interface, but the rendering just sucks.
posted by kidsplateusa at 8:08 PM on October 24, 2000

Yeah i find the favourites options in IE to be a major pain.

I still use Netscape at home and will never change that, as long as they don't f**k it up totally.
posted by Zool at 8:22 PM on October 24, 2000

i'm one of the 26 percent. i've always like the netscape interface better. i almost always open new windows on links, instead of just clicking. this means that i crash even more often than most users. which is constantly under linux, and once or twice a day in windows.

both the netscape 6 preview and the latest mozilla milestone are much better. it's too late though, and that's too bad.
posted by lescour at 8:33 PM on October 24, 2000

Internet Explorer: 73.7
Netscape: 26.3
Opera: 0.1

posted by lagado at 9:33 PM on October 24, 2000

Sorry, couldn't help myself ;-j
posted by lagado at 9:35 PM on October 24, 2000

I held out for almost two years without a significant upgrade from Netscape, by which time it had become so obsolete it would be doing myself a disservice to continue using it.

I would rather go over to the dark side (or any side whatsoever) than use ancient (6 mo. old +) software! It always comes down to the power and usefulness of the tools.

There are things I like about IE 5.5 and things I preferred about Netscape (which seems to be the case for everyone who has switched). My biggest pet peeve is having no way to load a webpage that someone emails you from Outlook Express into an IE window. Inexplicable ignorance. Grrr.
posted by rushmc at 9:41 PM on October 24, 2000

Oh, and by the way,
if Netscape really does still have 26.3% of the market, in marketing terms that's still very respectable.

For a comparison, take a look at Apple's market share.

posted by lagado at 9:44 PM on October 24, 2000

ha-ha. Funny. I’ve been abusing that too lagado.

I’ll give netscape this: the uninstall was clean.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 9:46 PM on October 24, 2000

I've been known as a very staunch and dedicated Netscape advocate and user. I didn't voice my frustration because of the many problems that are native to Communicator. Given all that have had their hands in the project, the amount of functinality it's been forced to perform, and the age of the code base, it's a miracle it even compiles.

Also, I don't feel that browser usage statistics are terribly important. When you bundle the browser as an integrated component of the operating system, naturally you'll gain an advantage. Apple really could have taken a lesson from MS in this arena.

I'm frustrated because they keep releasing "final" versions of the 4.x version of Communicator. Every time I think they are done, the development team builds a new release and sneaks it in. There have been 4 releases in 8 months! With all of the effort of Netscape braintrust being focused on web based applications, calendars, netcenter, my netscape, server products, etc... It's been good for them to allow the Mozilla team form the basis for the next generation of the browser for the masses.

So, this frustration is not really fair to impose on the Mozilla team. For what they had to accomplish, given the resources they had, in the face of several key developers leaving, they've done a superb job.

I would not count the browser war over and won at all. In fact, I think that it's about to start up all over again. This is especially true with the efforts that are being driven by both Microsoft and AOL/Sun/Netscape to steer all application delivery (business and consumer) through the browser. Look at for an amazing listing of projects, function specific builds, drop-ins, etc. based on the Gecko engine. (of particular interest is to many of us is "ForumZilla") Take a peek at Microsoft's .NET and get a load of the server/development environment plans and products listed there, all fed through IE/Outlook/Office from the client perspective. The entire .NET framework may require us to actually buy MS products for once. Then imagine how rich Bill Gates will be. Microsoft really may just become it's own country.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 9:49 PM on October 24, 2000

Jeez, people, Mozilla is slow because it includes debugging code, especially if you're running the Win32 version they want you to, which actually sends bug reports straight back to them. It's alpha.
posted by dhartung at 9:50 PM on October 24, 2000

Apple did make a browser, and there are some people who still use it. Their numbers make Opera's user base look enormous in comparison, though.

The Mac version of IE is so far ahead of Netscape, it's not even funny. IE's generally faster, it supports more standards (and supports them better), it's easier to use and has cool features like the Scrapbook and form auto-fill. Mozilla? Well, we'll see if they can polish a turd.
posted by kindall at 11:59 PM on October 24, 2000

argus, lagado: the reason that Opera only appears to have 0.1% of the browser share is that, by default, Opera 3.x and 4.x pretend to be "Mozilla 4.73". That's because of lead-brained coders who write browser-detection scripts which only work for Netscape and IE. Cheers...
posted by holgate at 12:22 AM on October 25, 2000

I don't know about anyone else, but I use IE for one and only one reason: I can drag a picture out of it into a file folder and it will get stored there.

To save a picture with Navigator (4.73) I have to use a popup menu and select a directory, a process taking at least ten times as long.

These days I'm not even curious about what the Netscape 6 looks like, nor what Mozilla looks like.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:45 AM on October 25, 2000

Sorry about the double-lines; I didn't realize Matt had fixed the lose-the-lines bug and I tossed in some [br] commands to make sure line breaks occurred.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:46 AM on October 25, 2000

Opera 3.x and 4.x pretend to be "Mozilla 4.73"

Well I think that's a pretty dumb way to fix the practice. Opera have a responsibility to make themselves felt in the server statistics. They should at least put Opera somewhere at the end of that string like IE.

I must say I didn't like its interface much. Seemed to me to be too much like an out of the box Microsoft Foundation Classes application. I am willing to give another try though.
posted by lagado at 3:05 AM on October 25, 2000

I've been running Opera alongside IE for a while now, it has it's problems, but it's slowly winning my affections in some areas, I like the way it gives you information on what it's doing (esp. using a proxy, I can keep an eye on how much waiting is due to a busy proxy) and the way it keeps everything in one window, so those sites which insist on opening new sessions when I click on a link don't clutter up my desktop with browser sessions.
I think, with work and a few people registering, it could be developed to a point where it could overtake NN and challenge IE. I'd advise anyone to give it a go for the trial period at least.
posted by Markb at 4:53 AM on October 25, 2000

As long as we're including Opera in this discussion as if it were a real product with any chance of market penetration, don't forget that Mac OS users also have a small, speedy alternative to the once-and-future-browser-war-winners, known as iCab. With the pre-OS-X version almost completed and a prelim of the OS X version now available for testing, there's a perfectly reasonable way for "the rest of us" to sidestep this situation ("I hate Microsoft! Netscape stinks! Mozilla's not a product! Wah! Wah! Wah!") and just browse the goddamned Web. It's not perfect (not even nearly) - but it's at least as usable as any Netscape product and three or four times faster.
posted by m.polo at 5:44 AM on October 25, 2000

Well, *that* was the smarmiest observation I've heard on MF in a while... :-)

My stats are 56% IE, 26% NN, though they used to be more NN biased before I switched from TheCounter (which sucks) to SiteMeter (which sucks less).

The reports of Netscape's death are still very much mistaken. *LOTS* of browsers are in corporations. Those browsers are largely chosen by MIS people. When Moz gets where they want it, I predict those MIS staffs will Run, not Walk to switch. You heard it here first, folks.
posted by baylink at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2000

The main advantage Netscape Communicator 4.7.6 offers to Mac users is that you can finally, at long last, use Apple's MRJ in place of Netscape's slow buggy Java VM. Yes!

posted by kindall at 12:42 PM on October 25, 2000

What? No netpositive or iCab users? shameful...
posted by Hackworth at 4:49 PM on October 25, 2000

Apparently, iCab is too smarmy for consideration...
posted by m.polo at 8:42 AM on October 26, 2000

I used to be a loyal NN user also. However now I find neither it or Opera to be acceptable alternatives.

I'm not thrilled to be using a MS browser, but I consider it to be quite a bit superior to the competition. I don't see the logic in rewarding incompetence, so I don't use Netscape.

Yes there is some logic in "making sure pages look good in Netscape, because then they probably will in IE"

But geeze, that really doesn't say much for Netscape does it?

posted by lucien at 9:05 AM on October 26, 2000

Nope, it doesn't.


There's absolutely no doubt that that cannot be said of IE.

Even on the Mac.

"We don't like the Mac libraries.. we'll just bring our own."
posted by baylink at 12:19 PM on October 26, 2000

baylink, IE *is* the operating system! :)
posted by daveadams at 1:07 PM on October 26, 2000

Oh, silly me.

I forgot.

[You taking over Eric Brooks' job these days? You seem to be my guy...]
posted by baylink at 10:50 PM on October 28, 2000

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