Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Netscape Rebirth

This article on C|Net caught my eye. It appears that AOL has green-lit the Netscape team to develop a new version of the Netscape browser, this time with a twist. In the preview release, users can switch between browsing pages with Microsoft IE’s engine and the Mozilla Gecko engine. My first thought was "wow, Netscape is really thinking this time" and than, came my second thought: "Oh no! As if we developers don't have enough problems making sure our pages work in the various flavors of browsers out there today!"

If, and I think it’s a big if, Netscape does this right – the new browser will allow us developers to transparently see which rendering engine is in use on any given page hit, but I somehow doubt it. This new browser raises other problems as well. What if a user logs into a site, setting a cookie, then switches rendering engines? Will the new browser be smart enough to know the cookie should apply to both?

I'm worried about the headaches this new browser is going to cause, but it is good to see Netscape back in the fold.

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