Experiencing Netscape 7

Some time ago when Netscape finally released a preview of their coming version 7 browser, I decided to at least give it a shot. After all I am an old Netscape hangaround from back when websites were “Best seen with so and so browser”.

I happily installed the browser and started using it. Lots of great new features with the best one in my eyes being the possibility for tabbed browsing.

Alas, even after a year of seemingly hiatus from Netscapes browser-division, it becomes painstakingly obvious that they still have not realized that their browser only accounts for a small percentage of the total browsermarket. They are no longer setting the standards, they need to conform to them - however painful it might be to adhere to “rules” set forth by the competition.

My biggest problem about Netscape is the lack of certain keyboard shortcuts. I am terribly sorry, but I am used to pressing ALT-D to access my addressbar. If my browser does not work like that, to me it isn’t working at all.

Furthermore I am missing shortcuts to cycle through the tabs. Tabs is the perfect tool to ease repeated visits to multiple sites, but if I have to use my mouse to switch between the sites the entire idea of tabs is lost and I gain nothing by using them.

There isn’t even a keyboard-shortcut to open a link in a new window (that I could find at least). I get the oportunity to open the link in a new tab, but that simply is not good enough, as I cannot switch to it using my keyboard.

I could not care less how open the source is, how W3-compliant it is and how many gimmicks have been implemented - When I cannot work like I am used to I am ready to uninstall. Luckily there is another browser out there called Netcaptor, that features tabbed browsing with keyboard shortcuts, several other features and generally acts like Internet Explorer. I am using Netcaptor now - not because I can do more things with it, but because it does what I expect it to.