Re: choices..choices

Subject: Re: choices..choices
From: Craig Edward Pfeifer <cep -at- CS -dot- PURDUE -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 01:38:17 -0500

At 12:06 PM 9/25/96 -0700, Chet Ensign wrote:
>Tim Altom:

>>> NS will eventually read VBScript, too, so
>>> the compatibility will flow both ways.

>I'm not so sure I'd count on that one. An astute observer recently pointed out

It really depends upon the cry of the users. First we were given
Java, then everyone started to jump on the sexy 'Net programming languages
train: JavaScript (really Netscape's 'LiveScript' language, but they wanted
the 'Java' brand tie-in), and ActiveX (BillG's answer to CSS' coupled with
rudimentary applets? perhaps a shockwave competitor?). Who's next? Place yer
bets, place yer bets...

I do not feel that VB can be seen as a serious Internet development
language, the raw performance of VB apps is purely pathetic. Java is another
interpreted language (like VB) but its run time environment is much cleaner
than VB's (except on MacOS, but that's another issue for another time).
Maybe VB will become another JavaScript; neat for forms processing, changing
the background screen and other trivialities, but nothing really to write
home about.

>world. But the opposite doesn't hold true. NS has to do everything in its
>power to prevent MS from being able to blend its Web capabilities down into
>the operating system.

Let's hope that the DOJ steps in here. IMHO, M$' so called "Chinese
Wall" between the apps developers and the os developers isn't as strong as
they want us to believ. I'm sure IE 3.0 (and Office95, and Publisher95...)
makes more than a few undocumented API calls. I really think that Micro$oft
should get cleaved into 2 companies, os & apps. It's scary when the same man
is controlling the vertical AND the horizontal.

>As long as NS doesn't do VB -- and IE does do Java --
>people will have to pause and think about which systems they build their
>system architecture on.

I disagree. Large consumer sites will develop for the most popular
browser, or whoever pays them to make their site spiffy just for their
browser. Starwave Corp. (, home of ESPN's SportZone) designs
their pages for Netscape 3.0, as that's the browser generates 75% of the
hits to their site. They also have developed software to determine which
browser you are using & only send version of HTML that your browser can

It's really interesting to watch the browser wars heat up. Before,
there wasn't much of a war, everyone used Mosaic. Then, people picked up on
Netscape and saw it was way faster and picked it up. At it's high point,
Netscape owned an est. 85% of the browser market. It played fair with all of
the standards committees. All of the standards for the WWW were market
driven, they became standards because everyone used them. De facto
standards! It was the ultimate democracy, maybe even a bit socialist...

All good things come to an end.

On the web, as in real life, democracy is for sale. Money can
overcome any obstacle: fix every bug and convince people you've got the hot
ticket. Case in point: A new addition to the MTV site, the Choose or Lose
section, only works with IE 3.0. Sure, it has ActiveX content, but browsers
are designed to ignore any markup tags they don't understand. But we can't
have that! If you load their page w/any non IE browser, you are denied! Now
that sounds like the spirit of the Internet! Open architectures!
Cross-platform functionality! But only if you have *our* software. pbbht.

>... I'd be learning Java.

Ditto. You got the right one baby!
"There's no win-win crap. Win-win is when the real winners have the losers
convinced that they won, too, and the losers won't admit it
because of their egos" - Dave Anderson in WiReD 4.10

Craig Pfeifer / cep -at- cs -dot- purdue -dot- edu
PGP Key fingerprint = A8 41 99 36 4F D5 32 82 EB 79 6C 03 23 25 51 2B

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