one more nail pounded through the dessicated corpse of Netscape...

A Reliable Informant tells me that all email addresses ending in "" will be going away within the next week or so: everyone in the Netscape division will now be required to use AOL Mail!

Presumably the "" folks will be able to hang on to those addresses, but damn. As I understand it, AOL mail doesn't even have folders, and the maximum data retention is some small number of days: after that, your mail just vaporizes. Whee!

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26 Responses:

  1. ravingsanity says:

    I have had the address for ages...not that I actually use it anymore. It's no secret that Netscape's been bought out and pimped by AOL, but the mail has managed to remain somewhat autonomous thus far (at least if you've had an account since *before* AOL took over). AOL is of the dev-eel and should be summarily drug out in the street and shot.

    Mozilla currently beats the living hell out of Netscape. Hell, Netscape is based on a version of Mozilla that's already *way* out of date and Mozilla outstrips Netscape anyway as it is constantly in development and Netscape is not (apparently). Mozilla 1.3 beats the ever-lovin' crap out of Netscape 7.

    I don't trust any form of webmail these days because they are constantly changing the rules and they don't even bother to tell their user base what's going on anymore. This is true with Netscape, AOL, Hotmail and even Yahoo! though I think they're the lesser of the evils these days. YMMV.

    • jwz says:

      Oh wait, they actually pimped out "" email addresses to non-employees, didn't they? I totally forgot about that. What a brilliant idea that was.

      I was talking about employee email addresses.

      Saying "Mozilla is better than Netscape" is like saying "Kernel 2.4 is better than 2.2": nobody's going to argue with that, and the reason is obvious, one is simply a later release of the other.

      I've always thought webmail was stupid. "That will never catch on," I told them. "Nobody in the world would ever trust something so primitive and hard to use with their email." So don't go asking me for predictions.

      • ravingsanity says:

        Yep. The pimping went out to the populous back when AOL wanted to try to gain a larger userbase by using Netscape instead of IE.

        Yes and no on the Netscape vs. Mozilla thing. First of all, I wouldn't touch Linux with a 10 foot pole but that's mostly personal preference talking without much technical backup so I'll leave that alone for now. Netscape however just seems to piggy-back off of something that is already established and simply works better than their final product, IMO. The only difference? Netscape adds all kinds of addware while Mozilla remains the real deal (again, IMO, YMMV, etc). I used Netscape for a while and it worked...most of the time. Then I found the Mozilla folks and found a much more stable web browser for my *nix systems. To me, Mozilla is the original and Netscape is the counterfeiter even though things may have started out much differently (Netscape was originally based off of Mosaic, right?).

        Webmail is good because it is accessible from any system you might happen to be on whether you're in CA or Zimbabwe. That is the one advantage it has as far as I'm concerned. Of course there are ways around this with POP mail but you're current, average, every day web user doesn't care to go to the trouble to figure it out. They're mostly interested in convenience and webmail gives it to them. Instant gratification is key.

        • jwz says:

          Nearly all of Mozilla is developed by Netscape employees, so accusing them of "piggy-backing" off Mozilla is hardly fair or accurate. All that ad crap in Netscape is what pays for the existence of Mozilla in the first place.

          Netscape was written from scratch, there was no Mosaic code in it at all. Some of the Netscape founders were Mosaic authors, so we learned from their Mosaic mistakes, but it was a completely new program.

          MSIE, however, contains (or contained at one time) Mosaic code, since it was originally based off of Spyglass, which was a descendant of NCSA Mosaic.

          • ravingsanity says:

            Oh. You learn something new everyday. Back in '94 when Netscape and Mosaic were installed side by side on the systems at UCB, I always thought Netscape was somehow affiliated with the Mosaic folks (I'll even admit that I'm not sure where that misconception came from). However, my beef with Netscape isn't just all the extraneous adware (though I do prefer it to IE or Opera at this point). In my work experience, Mozilla tends to be more stable than Netscape on everything *but* Windows systems (and possibly Macs but I don't use those) and so I hold the opinion that the product is a lesser thing than it could be. I will admit, however, that Netscape used to rule back in the 3.x-4.x Communicator days. I used it exclusively for years and Spyglass is something I haven't heard of in over a decade. I'd completely forgotten about it.

            MSIE is something that never ceases to frustrate me as it doesn't seem to pay proper attention to the parameters within the tags I try to feed it, but that's another story entirely.

            I had also neglected to realize that Netscape's adware pays for its development. I do realize that funding has to come from somewhere and that the developers do have to get paid somehow. I guess I've been so immersed in the open-source community lately, where people that are usually gainfully employed by *someone* give up their free time to develop the things I use freely, that I lost sight of that.

            But, I have to ask, where do the Netscape people find time to develop Mozilla and why are they working on what is essentially a competing product? And why does Netscape remain at leat 3 revisions behind in its code development/release cycle/whatever?

            Sorry for all the questions, I'm just a curious monkey.

            • aml says:

              But, I have to ask, where do the Netscape people find time to develop Mozilla and why are they working on what is essentially a competing product? And why does Netscape remain at leat 3 revisions behind in its code development/release cycle/whatever?

              um. because mozilla was created when netscape open sourced the 4.x communicator code? it's not a competing product, it's their creation. That's the simple explanation. there's plenty more history since then. jwz can probably fill in more detail. hahaha.

              the reason netscape is behind the latest-greatest mozilla release is probably due to the fact that they want to have the most coherent mozilla source tree at given times, since they're shipping a "commercial" product.

            • beerfrick says:

              Netscape is based off the 1.0 branch. They call it a long-lived stable branch or something like that. Here the word "stable" means actually "code does not change as often" instead of "program does not crash as often". Because of the conservative checkins and the API freeze, it's a branch most people packing a commercial product would want to use.

              Some features of 1.x releases get backported to 1.0.x, some don't. That's why it feels "older" than 1.3 for example. After 1.4, they'll branch a new long-lived stable branch off that tree and probably the commercial distributors will move to that.

              Regarding developing on one's free time, it works for many projects, I've done it. However, any project suficiently complex will demand many hours of work. It's easier to get people to work on such projects if they can do it and have a life at the same time. Not everyone likes to spend 8 hours at work and then 8 more at home working on the side project. It becomes a chore.

            • jwz says:

              It's not a competing product. It's the same product.

              Someone else already answered the "why 3 versions behind" question: stability so commercial productizers aren't chasing a moving target.

        • aml says:

          Of course there are ways around this with POP mail

          You mean imap?

          The reason webmail is popular is because in a typical family situation, multiple people use the same computer, are too impatient to use it in a real multi-user fashion, and prefer to restrict access to their mail from other members of the family.

          Now that there's the wonderful world of "web applications" (dhtml, ecmascript, DOM, buzzword blah blah), i'm sure we'll see a whole host of horrible IE-specific shite that closely duplicates the look and feel of outlook.

      • beerfrick says:

        webmail sucks, but has one key feature that makes me come back. Roaming. I guess you can do the same with IMAP but I think there's a higher chance of getting a computer with a working browser that getting one with a decent mail client.

        • tfofurn says:

          Yes, folks, it's an open source, web-based IMAP client: SquirrelMail! Possibly deployed on a server near you. And since it's an IMAP client, it's easy to mix'n'match SquirrelMail with whatever other IMAP client you use on your own machines.

        • jwz says:

          I just ssh to where my mail is, and read my mail in a tunneled X session.

          I used to carry my mail around on a laptop, but I spent half my time trying to get the laptop to work right when I closed or opened the lid, so I gave up.

          I think it's safe to say, at this point, that IMAP is never going to catch on. Do you know how old IMAP is? The IMAP protocol is Lisp, that's how old it is. IMAP was just about to be the Next Big Thing in like, 1987, at about the time when the CMU Andrew project was about to be the Next Big Thing. The developers seem to treat it as more of a research project than as an attempt to actually solve a problem.

          • elefth says:

            IIRC, Exchange uses IMAP by default, so it's caught on to some extent.

            The big problem, I think, is the shortage of decent client implementations. I've only found two that can open a 3000+ message folder in 5 seconds or so: Outlook and KMail. (Eudora seems fast, until it crashes trying to open the folder.) Mutt's sucks in comparison, taking a few minutes on said folder even when it's on the same machine as the server, and it does strange things with the flags too. And if you can't use an IMAP folder nearly as fast as a local folder, there's not much reason for it.

            • elefth says:

              Just saw the tunneled X session you mentioned...Yeah, I'll just download and install Cygwin on this lab computer here. :)

          • I know that is the macho way to do it (do you use Mutt? Pine? Emacs?), but I use Mozilla Mail (whatever they're calling it these days) for my work mail.

            And I'd miss some features (e.g. ease of adding/downloading attachments, auto-complete in the To: field) if I went back to using a terminal.

            That said, I use emacs for most of my editing, and not a word processor or IDE.

            What's nice about web-based mail is that damn near every computer has a web browser these days. You can't always download a copy of PuTTY onto someone else's box.

            P.S. Maybe "auto-complete" is the wrong word -- I mean if I type "jgro", it will fill in the "" part for me.

          • spendocrat says:

            Depends what you mean by "catch on." While none of the major ISPs in town offer it, many of the small guys do (usually in conjunction with a web client), and the places where I and people I know work are using IMAP for work mail.

      • volkris says:

        I've always thought webmail was stupid. "That will never catch on," I told them. "Nobody in the world would ever trust something so primitive and hard to use with their email." So don't go asking me for predictions.

        Sorta like web based forums versus newsgroups.
        The code kids today have no idea of the philosophy that makes newsgroups superior to lock in, web based stuff...

        I'm only saying this because of a recent heated debate I had on the matter.

      • jwz says:

        Actually, they never pimped out "" addresses, only "". They wanted to pimp out "" but the IS staff threatened to immolate themselves in the machine room before letting that happen.

      • toeshock says:

        my memory may be a bit foggy, but weren't addresses just employees, with the publicly available ones being

  2. ralesk says:

       And I was in the belief that there is nothing worse than HoTMaLe

  3. jcurious says:

    if they truly follow the data retention policy (including backups) then what happened with the "really bad attitude" list isn't likely to be as damaging