Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Mozilla is not dead

The Daily Sucker is only a relatively recent addition to the blogroll. But I’m already having second thoughts about whether it deserves to be there.

It boils down to this: its author, Vincent Flanders, has been describing Mozilla and Netscape as being on ‘life-support machines’, following the announcement that Netscape Communications will not release any new versions and that the Mozilla Foundation has been spun off. There is, of course, some truth in that: Netscape is officially dead. I’m not arguing that point.

What I want to argue about is the idea that Mozilla is also dead, because from where I’m sat it quite blatantly isn’t. Look at these past couple of weeks – Mozilla 1.5 alpha was released, along with a release candidate of Firebird and another build of Thunderbird. Mozilla Sunbird has just started development, and the Mozilla home page has just been redesigned to target end users. If anything, the Mozilla Foundation is more active than it ever was.

Of course, if Vincent happened to be ‘just another blogger’, this may not have mattered. But he isn’t – he’s published two books and is seen as an authority on sensible web design. People listen to him, and if he says that Mozilla is dead, then they take note.

It seems strange when you consider that one of the ideas he is trying to put across is that sites should work in all browsers. Yet I see barely any mention of Opera or any of the other browsers (like Safari or Konqueror). Yes, most people use IE, I’ll give him that. But if you’re preaching interoperability, and then criticising the opposition, you’re giving very confused messages.

So far, I’ve only removed two blogs from the blogroll because I haven’t agreed with them, and they were both more than a year ago. I don’t really want to have to do it again. Vincent: while you’re entitled to your opinion, try doing your homework before you reveal it so publicly.

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