[NPL] Netscape Joins Web Standards Project
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[NPL] Netscape Joins Web Standards Project

GRASSROOTS VICTORY FOR WEB STANDARDS PROJECT

October 27, 1998 -- The Web Standards Project
(http://www.webstandards.org), an international coalition of leading Web
developers, today celebrated Netscape's agreement to include software in
its next generation Web browser that could make Netscape the leader in Web
Standards Support.

Netscape officials told WSP that due in no small part to pressure from Web
developers, Navigator 5.0 will include the company's new NGLayout rendering
engine - the part of a browser that determines how pages look and work.
This action had been the focus of a month-old WSP petition drive.

In September, WSP launched a public campaign urging Netscape to include
NGLayout, currently under development, after Netscape officials said it
wouldn't be included in Navigator 5.0. Thousands of Web designers and Web
users signed The Web Standards Project's "I Want My NGLayout!" petition in
throughout October. This grassroots action helped Netscape's management
realize that developers care about the company's future, and feel strongly
about standards as a means to making Web sites that work.

"We're delighted! By including their new display engine, Netscape is laying
a solid foundation for Web site development free of many of the problems
that have plagued developers for years," said George Olsen, WSP Project
Leader and Design Director/Web Architect at 2-Lane Media
(http://www.2lm.com) in Los Angeles.

"While WSP would like to be able to claim full credit for this victory, it
could not have happened without the combined efforts of the NGLayout
development team and the support of the Web development community," said
Glenn Davis, WSP co-founder and CTO of Project Cool, Inc.
(http://www.projectcool.com), a leading resource for Web developers.

"Everywhere Netscape turned, they saw support for this issue," said WSP
site designer Jeffrey Zeldman (http://www.zeldman.com/). "They watched
thousands of Web developers and users signing our petition at
http://www.Webstandards.org/. They turned to the trade press and heard the
Web's most respected columnists telling them - and millions of users - how
important this was. They called their friends in the business and heard it
from them. Assaulted on all sides, they realized that the hard-working
folks actually building their browser had been telling them the truth:
NGLayout was needed now. I respect them for listening. This is a great
thing for the Web."

The NGLayout engine takes HTML and other code describing a Web page's
appearance and converts it into what the user actually sees. Currently,
layout engines in both Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer fail to
fully support standards created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and
other standards bodies. The resulting incompatibilities among various
browsers add at least 25 percent to the cost of building sites, and
threaten to fragment the Web.

According to Netscape, NGLayout will be 100 percent compliant with the
Document Object Model (DOM) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) level 1, and
will also support features of the CSS level 2 standard.

CSS provides Web developers with precise control over the appearance of
many pages at once. The DOM lets developers use scripting languages, such
as JavaScript, to manipulate text, images and other parts of Web pages; for
instance, dynamically changing their appearance over time, or moving them
around inside the browser window.

WSP has been urging browser makers to fully support these core standards -
as well as others, such as XML - developed by the W3C and other standards
bodies.

Mozilla.org specifically says they're switching their efforts to NGLayout
as part of their "Mozilla Roadmap," which outlines their development plans.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT NGLAYOUT
For information about Mozilla.org's plans to switch its development efforts
to NGLayout, see (http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap.html), which also lists
the reasons why the group is abandoning the previous layout engine in favor
of NGLayout.

About The Web Standards Project:
WSP is an international coalition of Web developers and Web experts who are
urging browser makers to fully support Cascading Style Sheet Level 1
(CSS-1), the Document Object Model (DOM) and XML in their browsers. Its
effort to bring attention to the existing and potential problems involved
with browser incompatibility does not mean that WSP is opposed to
innovations by browser manufacturers. The coalition merely urges browser
manufacturers to use open standards for enhancements and support existing
ones before adding new features.

Contact:
Chris Carrico
Urge Public Relations
323 848 8743
chris@urgepr.com

George Olsen
Project Leader
Web Standards Project
310 473 3706 x 2225
golsen@2lm.com

 
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