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Netscape's Bold Move

A flood of standards-compliant browsers followed the release of IE5/Mac. Netscape 6 and its open source code parent Mozilla supported XML, XHTML, CSS, ECMAScript, and the DOM across all computing platforms. It, too, used DOCTYPE switching and offered Text Zoom, and it was designed from the ground up to be a fully compliant browser.

To achieve full standards compliance, at WaSP's urging, Netscape had boldly junked its existing Navigator/Communicator 4.0 browser and every scrap of legacy code that had gone into it, restarting from a clean slate. Building a new browser from scratch took far longer than upgrading an existing browser. Netscape lost considerable market share during the years of Mozilla/ Netscape 6 development—which began in 1998 but did not produce a commercial product until late 2000 (and arguably, did not produce a viable commercial product until 2002).


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