Browser Wars: Mozilla, IE, Opera join up for a panel discussion

Presented by the Silicon Valley WebBuilder, this event brought together Mike Shaver from Mozilla, Chris Wilson from Microsoft’s IE team, Håkon Lie from Opera, and expertly moderator Douglas Crockford from Yahoo! to talk about the current state of the browser landscape.

At first, each person got a chance to say their peace. Here are some core items that each person said:

Chris Wilson

We are not about to enter another browser war. This isn’t about destroying each other. This time it is about building the standards based web future, which means we need to work together. This isn’t 1995, so let’s not build that platform. The problem that we have is that as soon as you improve something, you break the web. This is especially hard since Microsoft has ~500 million users.

Chris queried the top 200 web sites and 50% of them are in strict mode. When he did this in IE 6, only one of them was like this. He hinted at having developers opt-in to standards mode in a different way.

Mike Shaver

Mike also said that he doesn’t consider it to be a browser war….. but rather a “mindshare struggle”.

The new “war” is having cool applications being built on the web itself. If the next flickr/gmail/… is built on the web, it is winning.

Don’t look to the W3C for the future.

Håkon Lie

“If you need a good browser for Windows 98 we have it”

Ajax is bad. We need to add HTML, CSS, and the like, and he had some funny acronyms.

He then discussed the ACID 2 test and had a lot of fun with IE 7 showing how it compared to Opera 3.6 from 1998.

The Wii (which uses Opera) is going to change the web. More people are trying to get their sites rendering correctly with the Wii than “who cares about that Opera browser”.

We need to support video as a first class citizen (and sound). “We can’t leave it to plugins anymore”.

What video formats should we support? There aren’t many open formats, so they use Ogg formats.

Where’s Apple?

They refused to send someone saying that “we are busy writing software”.


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