> > So now, on top of getting these standards finished and implemented by the
> > larger web community, we have the problem of controlling the damage done
> > by Netscape.
> Absolutely. But the question now is: "can a new browser afford to NOT
> support Netscape extensions?".
Yes. Remember, NCSA Mosaic was the most popular Web browser before
Netscape came along and filled a void (a stable, feature-packed Web
browser). Netscape has now committed themselves to so many new features
in their "Next Generation Web Browser" (like PDF, Director, Java, etc.)
that there is now a time lag during which someone else may well come
along and take the lead.
Further, with so many companies producing their own Web browsers now
there is no guarantee that Netscape will retain "major market share"
during the short, medium or long term. (UNIX/Internet-types are quite
partial to having the source code to the applications they run - this
will never happen with Netscape. Hint, hint?)
To me, the Netscapisms should stay that way - Netscape-specific. Once
more Web browsers are in circulation that support HTML 3.0 (standardised,
not draft), people will start to see the err of their ways (even if to
them it's just seen as the next k00l thing) and change the HTML they use.
If you want to legitimise the Netscape extensions, then the best way to
do so is to support them in other browsers. If you ignore them, they'll
be subject to natural attrition and will disappear from common use.