Netscape for web developers

Oliver Brown
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There is an article on MSDN about how to get round the ActiveX activation issues that will be introduced into IE shortly. On that page it mentioned something I didn’t know - the latest version of Netscape Browser (version 8) can use Internet Explorer’s rendering engine (Trident) instead of the Mozilla rendering engine, Gecko.

If you develop web sites these days you need to make sure you can support at least IE and Firefox and preferably Safari. Testing Safari is often not possible if you primarily use Windows but testing in IE and Firefox can now be done from the same browser - you can actually change rendering engine at any time with CTRL-SHIFT-E. It also supports all the cool developer features of Firefox (like the DOM Inspector (although if you are using the IE rendering engine you can’t just click an element to select it).

Finally a use for Netscape!

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I’m a Mac user (and proud). When it came to the ‘big switch’ there were several things that I needed: my documents, my music, my pictures and my internet (emails and bookmarks and so on). All of these were easily copied across using a cross over cable, no problems there - but shock horror, my emails were another story. Microsoft Outlook Express stores emails in a non-standard format which can’t be read by Apple Mail - disaster! It was then that I remembered once installing Netscape to test compatibility of my web site. Netscape had very nicely offered to import the Internet and email settings from Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. Checking up on this I found that when it does this it stores the resulting emails in a standard .mbox format - which can then be read by any sensible email client. Wohoo! So the basic steps to import your emails from Outlook Express on Windows to Apple Mail on the Mac:

  • Install Netscape on the Windows box.
  • Allow it to import from your Outlook Express.
  • Copy the newly created .mbox files to your Mac.
  • Show Apple Mail where it can find them when it asks.

That’s it - yay! Ooo and make sure you remember to uninstall Netscape afterwards or your PC might become contaminated or something hehehe.