Netscape is dead. Everyone’s shouting it from the rooftops, and if it wasn’t such a major thing I’d assume it was covered well enough in other places.

Comments like this though, just make me worry. Netscape closing is a big, big deal. Whether people like it or not, or think that it makes sense or not, Netscape is the name the public identifies with. It’s the name managers and support staff in I.T. companies know. Nobody outside of the web development or open source worlds knows what Mozilla is. Really. They know even less what Phoenix was, Firebird is, or will be (Mozilla again, I believe).

Netscape provided a good base for distributing Mozilla by virtue of being a company that people had heard of, one that they trusted to provide a usable application. You mention “open source” or try and explain who writes Mozilla to a normal person, and they’ll think it’s shit. “What? Made by some guys in their free time? How good can that be?” I honestly don’t see this changing unless Mozilla is licensed by or used in another, branded product.

I have a lot of computer literate friends (i.e. people who aren’t developers of some sort), like techs, and people who like to think they’re computer literate (like sales and support staff 😉 – none of them care about Mozilla, even if they know about it. Whenever I try and evangelise, they just say “Yeah, but I like Internet Explorer”. Despite all its horrendous faults, which are so obvious to all the web developers, IE is “good enough” software. It works, it’s easy to use – why should a normal person move from that?

The first thing one of our designers at work said when I mentioned the Netscape closure was “But that’s good isn’t it? Now you’ve only got to support IE”, and that is exactly the attitude of anyone outside of the web dev and OS communities.

Firebird is Mozilla’s best chance of success and market penetration – a low weight, fast, standards compliant web browser, but if it doesn’t a) settle on a name and b) get to 1.0 c) get an official installer (as opposed to the unofficial installer ) soon, then it’ll have scuppered its own chances.

I love the fact that on the front page of the new is a quote by Joel Spolsky – if you read the whole article he goes on to say:

Now, if you’re a programmer at AOL working on Mozilla, and you like your job, you might want to think about what it’s going to take to make your happy little division actually useful to AOL so you aren’t jettisonned. … Yo, Netscape employees! … Wake up.

Second only in editors’ dreams to Lord Lucan riding in on Shergar and carrying Diana’s secret love child comes today’s tabloid front page (via 2lmc via davblog ):

Popstar secret sex romp with glamour model! American GI pervert snatches child! etc.

Can weblogs change polictics?

Only as much as Ben Elton’s relentlessly scathing commentaries are widely regarded to have brought about the ultimate downfall of Margaret Thatcher.

I tend to disagree with a lot of what Don Park says, but the other day he wrote that Blogs will fade away within two years, and to me, this seems perfectly obvious. Blogs are just websites; before “blogging” took off as an entity in its own right, with a thousand different applications specifically tailored to writing them, people were still updating their websites with personal thoughts on a daily basis. The weblogging tools just make that easier. Hell, some of them have even actually managed to lower the barrier to entry by abstracting away the need to go anywhere near HTML. But lets not get carried away with the difference between weblogs and websites, weblogs are just free and simple CMS systems for the masses.

Sick of all the hype? Then why not mentally search-and-replace the fancy high-tech term “weblog” with a more down-to-earth equivalent – “soapbox”, for example – every time you hear someone using it.

so true.

(he says, on his weblog)

Weblogs don’t need comments

Weblogs are different from threaded discussion groups or mailing lists. They allow you to carry out a distributed discussion where the thread can be assembled remotely using an analysis tool such as Technorati. The advantage is that weblogs are personal, down to the look and feel of an individual blog, with all the functionality of a threaded discussion implicitly available.

To add comments within someone else’s weblog is surely a retrograde step? In true trackback style the comments box should pull up a list of references to the post from Technorati – with a box that posts to your own blog or signs you up to start one.

I think this is wrong, and a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between trackbacks and comments. If I just want to leave some pithy remark about someone’s jocular ramblings, my own site isn’t the place to do it (assuming I even have a site, of course).

The only way to have this make any sense would be to mirror the entire conversation on each of the people’s sites who are participating in it – but then how do you get the initial post that started it? Copy and paste onto your own site? Seems like that is the retrograde step to me.

Marc Canter: Getting FOAFy

Marc now includes links to the FOAF explorer and “Add me to your FOAF file” links as well as one to his plain FOAF file.

Something for me to pick up on too, I think.

Both Brad Choate and Dean Allen had already mentioned it, and now it comes to fruition – Textile 2.

Featuring such stuff as tables, spans, lang= attributes as well as nifty linking shortcuts, this is good news for everyone except the people who have to update their own textile implementations.