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Rewriting Opera

ZDNet News has the following article on Opera rewriting it's rendering engine:

I know that Joel has commented on rewriting software in the past. Any comments on this?

N. Varacalli
Wednesday, August 21, 2002

"Any comments on this?"

Um, a few:

It had to be said
Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Good on them !!

James Ladd
Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Something that Joel perhaps overlooks in his analysis of rewriting Navigator/Mozilla is the fact that Netscape 4 was an outstandingly buggy product.

Netscape didn't lose the browser war because they took so long to get to Netscape 6, they lost the browser war because they released Netscape 4.

In 1999/2000 we were working on an application with a DHTML front end in Netscape 4/IE 4. We got it to work, but working with Netscape was excruciating - Microsoft's APIs were much more complete and intuitive.

And it seems Opera has come across a similar problem - the design of their rendering or scripting engine wouldn't grow to accomodate proper DOM support. If the rewrite brings IE, Mozilla and Opera into line with level 1 CSS and DOM then I'll be more than happy.

Walter Rumsby
Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Keep in mind that rewriting the rendering engine is a far different thing that rewriting the whole browser ala Netscape.

Admittedly, it is no small thing, but they don't need to throw out their FTP, News, Email or ICQ clients. They don't need to change their UI, or any of a number of other things.

Opera seems modular enough. Hopefully the rendering engine is a nice modular piece of the Opera puzzle.

Winky Chin
Thursday, August 22, 2002

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