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By WaSP Member | August 21st, 1998 | Filed in Opinion

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I know, fellow travelers. You’re hearing the theme from Dragnet just like I am. It’s time for The WaSP to take a look at the latest out of the mouths of Microsoft and Netscape.

It’s actually been a good week for the Web. On the 18th the W3C released the proposed recommendation for the Document Object Model, Level-1. This is an important paper that shapes how we should be able to use the DOM in the future as the Web evolves. The only problem is, it isn’t implemented and it sounds like Microsoft and Netscape are hemming and hawing again trying to spin themselves a good line.

Too late, fellows. The WaSP is here to counter your spin!

A story in Wired News breaks the lips of the vendors on this important development. Take a look at it, then come back and let’s see if you see what I see when you read it. Here’s what Microsoft tells us first:

“In [Internet Explorer] 5.0 we have support of the core DOM as listed in the proposed recommendation,” said Dave Wascha, Microsoft product manager for platform marketing. “The core is the most important part.”

So they support the core of the DOM-1 recommendation. They say it’s the most important part. When I look at the spec though, I see that the core is just one part. If they don’t support the full DOM-1, are they really supporting the DOM? I don’t think so. You can’t have just a little bit and claim to have it all. You either support it, or you don’t. Right now Microsoft is telling us that they are “a little bit pregnant.”

I just want to see Microsoft deliver a nice bouncing baby browser with all of its fingers and toes in the right places. Don’t you?

Netscape is also a little bit pregnant. They say: “elements of the DOM will certainly be supported.”

Well, that’s certainly not a lie. Elements of the DOM are already supported. DOM-1 is, after all, based on DOM-0 which is the Netscape3/IE3 DOM.

Other than that, Netscape won’t make a commitment. The WaSP only wants to see them have a nice healthy pregnancy and deliver that browser with all the parts in place.

We do get one shocking note from Microsoft this week:

“If browser companies wrote strictly to support DOM, he said, some primary features couldn’t be added because they don’t exist in the current standard. “

Would someone please email Dave Wascha and point out the WaSP URL and mission statement. We’re not against innovation. I don’t mind if Microsoft wants to make a DOM that I can say “KEEN” about. As long as they fully support the standard, I don’t care what they add to their implementation. It’s that standard that I care about and you should too.

The WaSP has another action item this week. It’s “Be Kind to Netscape” Week here at WSP headquarters. They need help debugging their NGLayout Engine. Go give them a hand. I know we all want to see them release a fully standards compliant browser and if we can help, well – that’s what it’s all about.

So listen up Netscape and Microsoft. The WaSP will help you in anyway that it can. But you’ve got to help us too. It’s time to commit to releasing a browser that is fully standards compliant. How about it?

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