[thelist] Intranets with netscape

Maxwell Kanat-Alexander maxka at ucsc.edu
Sun Oct 20 00:29:00 CDT 2002

At 02:10 AM 10/19/02, you wrote:
>I'm looking into the use of Netscape on intranets.  If I google
>"netscape intranet" I get loads of documents circa 1996-1999 about how
>good NS4 is and Netscape's then new server software, but little up to
>date info.

         Well, I don't know how much I'm worth for "up-to-date," but we're
definitely using Netscape, here at the University of California. :-) I
don't know if it's system-wide, or just at the Santa Cruz campus where I
work, but the "campus standard" is NN 4.7.

         Basically, it's a horror to support it, overall. One of our IT
managers urged a lot of our unit's users to upgrade to NN 6, but even that
isn't any better. (In fact, before I realized it, and fixed it the other
day, there were actually pages on our Intranet and public sites that
/wouldn't load/ in NN6, because of DHTML problems.) Even if it has some
sort of interesting integration with NS's server, it wouldn't really be
worth it. NN 6 should be considered _beta software_ in all its versions.

         The reason that the campus originally chose NN4.7 was that the
majority of our academic users (and many of our administrative users) are
using Macs. At the time when they chose the standard, I believe the
alternative was Mac IE 4.5, which is pretty much a fate worse than slow
death. Also, every machine could /run/ NN 4.7 with no problem, and a lot of
people already had it for one reason or another.

         In our unit, we actually forcibly changed the Intranet standard to
IE 5.5, because: A) It has much, much better support for various
technologies, and B) Almost everyone had it, or could get it easily through
Windows Upgrade. The process was pretty painless, because IE 5.5 displays
correctly most pages written for the broken NN 4.7.

         Now, NN 7.0 is based on Mozilla 1.0.1, and thus it should be a
pretty decent browser. You wouldn't be doing too bad to standardize on NN7,
although I haven't personally used it much (although I've used Mozilla
1.01, and it's almost as great as 1.1). I would recommend NN7 (or Mozilla
1.1, which is better if your managers are adventurous and trust in you, and
you can get your users to accept it, and you can find some good way for
your IT department to distribute it) if you need some cross-platform browser.

         If you have only Windows machines, I would probably recommend that
you go for standardizing around IE 5.5 or 6, just because of the ease of IT
support on that side of things. Every windows user already has IE, and it's
SUPER easy for them to upgrade to later versions. Also, pages display
decently enough in IE 6 for most purposes.


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