newsflash! Netscape Navigator 6.0 to Fail Standards Compliance:

“Reading the discussions of individual bugs provides an interesting glimpse into the workings of the Mozilla open-source process, and into the interactions between Mozilla and Netscape. In a number of cases, Mozilla engineers have fixed standards-compliance bugs and have had their patches to the source code reviewed twice by senior engineers. Even when the patches are extraordinarily simple ones, and the engineers are convinced that they pose no risk of introducing other bugs, their requests to include the fixes into the Netscape 6 release are denied by the Netscape Product Development Team (PDT) out of fear, apparently, that accepting these patches would cause the release schedule to slip.”

jump into the brouhaha.

if i’m reading the author correctly he is believes that releasing a buggy browser is far worse than letting the schedule slip. unfortunately, as joel has pointed out, this is how we ended up with no browser competition:

“As I write this, Netscape’s 5.0 web browser is almost two years late. Partially, this is because they made the suicidal mistake of throwing out all their code and starting over: the same mistake that doomed Ashton-Tate, Lotus, and Apple’s MacOS to the recycle-bins of software history. Netscape has seen its browser share go from about 80% to about 20% during this time, all the while it could do nothing to address competitive concerns, because their key software product was disassembled in 1000 pieces on the floor and was in no shape to drive anywhere. That single bad decision, more than anything else, was
the nuclear bomb Netscape blew itself up with.”

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