Developers, developers, developers, developers...(but what about the users?)

posted by Jason Kottke Jun 14, 2002

I agree, Netscape 4 has to go. Please get it out of my sight. It sucks because it's not a browser as much as it's a dirty bomb lobbed over the fence in the heat of the browser wars. If Netscape 4 were a car, they would have recalled it years ago.

But I'm not sure that Mozilla is any better. Mozilla is a toy built by developers for developers...a return to the days of Mosaic when some geeks in Illinois built browsers for other geeks around the world. Developers slobber over things like support for standards and XUL (which are cool), but end users have different needs and priorities.

Yeah, remember them? The end users? The ones that you're building the software for? They don't care about your damn cross-platform interoperability...they want fast, they want features to help them browse the Web, they want an interface that was designed by someone who knows about interface design, and they want a good user experience.

I know I'm being unfair because the developers really did build Mozilla for themselves. Mozilla isn't so much a browser as a platform for people to build cool, useful software for people to use. But the disconnect between developers building great platforms and ending up with genuinely usable software on the other end is becoming more and more frustrating. Make a Unix that my mom can use (Apple is getting there with OS X). Make a Mozilla-based browser that is half Web browser and half Watson. Turn the simple tech of RSS aggregators into Daily News Readers. Make weblog tools that don't rely on a writer's knowledge of outlines, permalinks, the word "blog", or RSS feeds. Build Wiki software that doesn't rely on a writer's knowledge of difficult posting syntax or the Wiki Essence.

Software for people, people!