I hope everyone enjoyed the “Eric Meyer made up Jeffrey Zeldman” thing. I’m still sort of amazed by it all, and Kat and I have gotten more than a few chuckles out of it. I freely admit that I don’t have the creativity to come up with Jeff—he’s far too unique and interesting a guy to be my invention.
So Netscape 4.8 was released. The howls of protest began immediately; I noticed disparaging comments from Zeldman (who was pretty funny about it, of course), Shirley, and Meryl, among others who I can’t recall at the moment, not to mention a mercifully short thread on css-discuss. Apparently this release is the worst thing to happen to the Web in memory, or something like that.
To which I say: could we all please calm the %#@$#! down? As I’ve tried to explain several times, updates to Netscape 4.x are driven by security patches. Period. End of story. The rendering engine does not change, so it’s not like there are new bugs to worry about there. These updates are required by support contracts between Netscape and enterprise users. I suppose Netscape could just abandon the product line and leave enterprise customers open to future security exploits, rather like some other companies that spring to mind. Yeah, that sounds like a swell idea.
To get back to my original point: the louder people howl about new a NN4.x release, the higher its visibility, and so the more people will actually download it. See where I’m going with this one? If people would just ignore the NN4.x releases, there would be fewer NN4.x installs in the world. Users would instead find another, more current browser. Everybody wins. How hard is that?
Sometimes I’m astonished by the human drive to stir up controversy where none need exist, not to mention the ever greater drive to complain at length about trivial things. Sort of like I’m doing right now, in fact…