"Don't Email Eric" Page

This page is obsolete and no longer actively updated. Feel free to copy its contents and create your own version if you wish. For current information see the new Netscape Technology Evangelism / Developer Support site at http://developer.netscape.com/evangelism/.

Remember: With every email question or bug report, please include (1) your exact OS version, and (2) your exact Navigator Version or Mozilla Build Number. Netscape can't answer a question or reproduce a bug without this info, so you're wasting your own time and delaying Netscape's response if you don't include it!!!

Greetings! I no longer work at Netscape. So if you have a question about Netscape products or technologies, please contact Netscape, not me. I am leaving this page up for reference by Netscape customers and content developers but won't be actively maintaining it; the Technology Evangelism/Developer Support group at Netscape has posted a replacement site at  http://developer.netscape.com/evangelism/.

While at Netscape, I was Group Product Manager for Tools and Components at Netscape. My responsibilities included the Gecko browser engine (80% of my time), JavaScript in the client (10% of my time), the Open JVM Interface (10% of my time), and the Mozilla plug-in API (10% of my time). You'll note that the percentages added to more than 100%.

Before that, I was the Technology Evangelist at Netscape for JavaScript, then for DHTML, then for Commerce Applications. I also wrote the Cross-Browser DHTML Presentation Template and led Netscape's streaming audio initiative.

Because of this, I get a lot of questions. So I created this page to help people find information on their own. That way, people could find the answers to most questions faster on their own without waiting to hear from me, and I had more time left over (on my nights and weekends!) to answer the questions that remained.

So, before you contact Netscape, please consult this list of self-help resources. In particular:

  • if you have a question about how to do something using JavaScript, DHTML, HTML 4.0, CSS, DOM, XML, XUL, or Skins, please post your question to the appropriate DevEdge and/or Usenet newsgroups.  (See DevEdge newsgroups home for a list of all the newsgroups.)
  • if you wish to provide general design ideas or participate in design discussions for the browser itself, visit http://www.mozilla.org/ and please post your comment in the appropriate mozilla.org newsgroup; design discussions are carried out in the open within these newsgroups, so that's the appropriate way to get involved in defining the features of the browser
  • if you have a specific bug report or enhancement requests for Mozilla/Netscape 6, please see the section below on Filing Bug Reports
That way, knowledgeable people can answer your question, and everyone will learn together by holding discussions in open newsgroups rather than in private email. Thanks for cooperating to increase everyone's productivity!

The groundbreaking new browser from Netscape, Netscape 6, is based on the open source Mozilla browser under ongoing development at mozilla.org. In fact, the main differences on any given build date between the two are that the Netscape browser has the Netscape branding (the "N" logo and the Netscape name) and also bundles the Sun Java Virtual Machine (in the Complete and Custom configurations on Windows) and some plug-ins according to agreements between Netscape and its partners.

Contents: Where to Find Information About:

Support/How To Questions on Netscape Products and Technologies

  • Do you have an end-user question about the features of Netscape Communicator?
  • Are you a developer?
    • For free developer support, please go to http://developer.netscape.com/support/index.html and sign up for an Community membership in the Netscape DevEdge Program. This will enable you to post questions to the DevEdge newsgroups and get support from the developer community.
    • For an individual developer support response on demand, if you have a specific technical question on a shipping Netscape product or technology, please go to http://developer.netscape.com/support/index.html, sign up for a  Community membership in the Netscape DevEdge Program, and use the support form to submit your question. This provides you with access to on-demand email support from our developer support engineers for which you will be charged on a per-incident basis. (Note that this support option is available only for shipping products and technologies. For help on beta or pre-beta products and technologies, please post a question to the appropriate newsgroup.)
    • If after filing a DevEdge Support Call (for Nav4) or posting a question to a newsgroup (for Mozilla/Netscape 6) you choose to email me directly, please include in your email the DevEdge Support Call number or the newsgroup posting so I know that you tried using those resources first. Note that I don't have time to answer many inquiries directly and no response is guaranteed.

How You Can Help Gecko, mozilla.org, and Web Standards

Filing Bug Reports

Gecko Layout Engine



Ensuring Your Site, Content, and Apps are Standards Compliant and Compatible

  • Make sure your client-side JavaScript client sniffers are ready for the "Mozilla/5.0" navigator.userAgent string in Mozilla, Netscape 6, and the AOL Gateway appliance:
  • Make sure your server-side client sniffers and CGIs are ready for (a) the Mozilla/5.0 HTTP USER_AGENT string, and (b) the HTTP 1.1 CONTENT_TYPE string and its CHARSET argument:
    • Update: Netscape 6 and Mozilla now don't send the optional CHARSET argument of the HTTP 1.1 CONTENT_TYPE string because too many CGI scripts are broken by this. But you might as well fix your CGI script so that it can handle that argument if/when future browsers/versions send it. Why be vulnerable and non-compliant when you don't have to be?
  • "Wait, you mean that the branded product 'Netscape 6' has 'Mozilla/5.0' at the start of its user agent string?"
    • Yes. "Netscape 6" is the public name and branding of the new browser product from Netscape. "Netscape 6" is what end users will see on the splash screen and everywhere else. "Mozilla/5.0" is the internal, technical indicator of cross-browser compatibility that will be is at the start of the user agent string in Mozilla, Netscape 6, the AOL Gateway appliance, and other browsers and devices based on the Mozilla/Netscape Gecko codebase. It is what client-sniffing code will look for when determining what kind of browser it's running on. So if your client sniffer finds "Mozilla/5.0" at the start of the user agent string, it knows that the code is running on the Mozilla browser, Netscape 6, or another browser or device based on the Mozilla codebase.
  • Learn how to enhance existing content and web applications to support W3C standards at  http://www.stopbadtherapy.com/standards.shtml
  • Find more articles explaining how to upgrade your Nav4 and IE4/5 content to support W3C standards at  http://dmoz.org/Computers/Programming/Languages/JavaScript/W3C_DOM/Technical_Articles_and_TechNotes/Upgrading_Nav4_and_IE_Content/
  • Also check out  http://www.mozilla.org/docs/web-developer/
  • "What should I do if I find a web page that doesn't work on Netscape 6 because the web page isn't standards-compliant?" Please inform the web page's owner that they need to upgrade their content and code to support web standards.

HTML 4.0

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

RDF (Resource Description Framework)

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

W3C DOM (Document Object Model)

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

SVG is not be supported in the first release of Netscape 6; it was never a committed feature for the first release. However, Netscape is strongly supportive of SVG and there is an SVG Enablement Project underway on mozilla.org to enable support in future releases.


Client-Side JavaScript

DHTML (Dynamic HTML)

DHTML Presentation Template (DevCon Presentation Template)

Netscape 6

  • "Could you please send me a copy of Netscape 6 so that I can make sure my site works on it?" Download one of the following:
    • the most recent release of Netscape 6 from  http://home.netscape.com/
    • for even more up-to-date testing, any more recent milestone (or even daily) build of the Mozilla browser (on which Netscape 6 is based) from http://www.mozilla.org/. If your site is ready for Mozilla, it's ready for subsequent releases of Netscape 6.

Navigator 4 Issues

Mozilla Skins / Themes

Themes enable you to customize the look of the browser.

My Sidebar

XUL (XML-based User-interface Language)


XPConnect makes it possible to script native XPCOM binary components from JavaScript.

Navigator Plug-ins


  • For general questions about Java:
  • Navigator 2-4 provided support for Java through the Netscape Java Virtual Machine.
  • Mozilla/Netscape 6 support Java virtual machines through the Open JVM Interface (OJI). This enables Mozilla/Netscape 6 users to use any OJI-compliant JVM of their choice on their platform.
    • On Win32 and Solaris, Netscape 6 will bundle the Sun Java 2 Standard Edition JVM. For information and developer support for the Sun JVM, please see http://java.sun.com/
    • On the Macintosh, Netscape 6 supports Java through the Apple Macintosh Runtime for Java. For information and developer support for the Apple MRJ, please see  http://www.apple.com/java/
    • Other OJI-compliant Java Virtual Machines are available. Ask the vendor of your favorite JVM when the JVM will be OJI compliant.
    • If you have feedback regarding the OJI architecture, you may post it in the mozilla.org newsgroup  netscape.public.mozilla.java
    • For developer support regarding the use of Java within Netscape 6, see the vendor of your OJI-compliant JVM.
  • "Can I get the source code for the Java Virtual Machine from Netscape or mozilla.org?"
    • No. Netscape uses the source code for the Java Virtual Machine under license from Sun Microsystems. The terms of that license do not permit Netscape to distribute the source code for the JVM. If you want the JVM source code, obtain a license and the source from Sun Microsystems. Note: if you are building a mozilla-based browser on a platform for which the JVM binary is already available, you do not need the JVM source to support Java in your browser. Instead, thanks to the Open JVM Interface, your users can plug any OJI-compliant JVM binary into your own browser and Java applets will work within your browser.

Commerce Applications

Streaming Audio

  • if you need technical support for RealNetworks products and technologies:
If you'd like to reach me about something other than Netscape issues, send email to the email address:
mail2eric [at symbol] stopbadtherapy.com
(Please type the address into your mail client.)

The URL of this page is http://www.stopbadtherapy.com/answers.shtml

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