Thursday, December 11, 2008

Netscape, dead for almost a year

Well, the announcement by AOL has a dateline of December 2007, but evidently they stopped writing code for it as of February 2008.

Do I care? Should you? Probably not, since most of you fine folks are using Firefox (or if you're not, Safari or Chrome), except for those of you non-web designers who still for some reason use IE. Netscape survives as a branded portal, and also as a completely non-ironic Firefox extension. There's history, too- I don't think one could overstate the impact Netscape has had on the world of digital communications, the web (insert obligatory blink tag joke), the way millions of people do things on the tubes.

I'm grasping here to say something more of note about Netscape, and perhaps that's the notable thing; Given the current landscape of the web, Netscape itself doesn't matter. True, it forced Microsoft to look at the internet and arguably make IE suck less over time; true, without Netscape we would have no Firefox et al; true, Netscape used to be a household word for "going to look at the Internet." Netscape is a stepping stone, and we've moved on. What will next fall by the wayside?

All that aside, I do miss the ease of modding the Netscape throbber.

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