November 6, 2002 1:24 PM PST
Does Mozilla do it better?
The list, which has been making its way through newsgroups and discussion forums frequented by programmers, enumerates 101 of Mozilla's capabilities that author Neil Deakin says Microsoft's market-leading IE browser lacks, including the ability to navigate numerous browser windows through tabs and the ability to block pop-up advertisements.
Deakin, a 28-year-old Toronto resident, contributes occasionally to the Mozilla open-source project and maintains a tutorial on Extensible User Interface Language (XUL), a Mozilla technology for creating the browser interface with common Web development languages rather than native computer code.
Mozilla.org is the group responsible for the open-source development of AOL Time Warner's Netscape browser code. Netscape Communications and other companies base their branded browsers on the Mozilla code, but Mozilla exists as a separately available browser as well.
Deakin said he created the list in response to a question posed in a discussion forum about the advantages Mozilla had over IE. But he cautioned against reading too much into his findings, pointing out that it would be trivial for someone to compile a similar list of features IE has that Mozilla doesn't. He also said that people would be more likely to change their browser in reaction to a negative experience than the promise of a positive one.
"I definitely prefer Mozilla over IE, both as a user and a Web developer," Deakin wrote in an instant-message interview. "But I don't think people will switch because it's the better browser. People will switch if they get frustrated with some aspect of IE--too many pop-ups, for example. Most people aren't looking to switch, so Mozilla wouldn't help them if even if it had 1,001 features."
Microsoft and Mozilla.org were both unavailable for comment.