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Netscape 6: Enter the Gecko - page 4

Reviewing the Next-Generation Web Browser

  • April 17, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

In the end, this beta release of Netscape 6 is worth downloading. Whether it's ready for daily, heavy use is another issue: during five solid days of use on two Linux installation (Linux-Mandrake 7.0 and Elfstone Linux), we didn't have a whole day where Netscape 6 didn't crash a few times, and the memory leaks that plagued previous release of Netscape Communicator still seemed to be present in Netscape 6: it tended to grab more and more resources as time went on. (However, because Linux is such a stable platform, Netscape 6's problems didn't lead to any systemwide problems.)

But in the end, this release is worth watching because of the new technologies it offers (and will offer) and how it was created. Netscape 6 is the first Web browser to offer full support for XML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 1, W3C DOM 1, and the Resource Description Framework. Netscape also promises that it will fully support CSS 2 down the road. Also supported is XUL (an XML-based user-interface language) and JavaScript 1.5.

These standards are important, and they represent an ace in the hole for Netscape. At a time when Microsoft seems to be snubbing Web standards in upcoming releases of Internet Explorer, Netscape 6's total commitment to these standards should pique the interest of corporations and enterprises, where standards really matter. You don't want to be committed a standards-driven mission-critical system to a Web-based system only to find that your Web browser doesn�t totally support the standards you've chosen.

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