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Netscape Rallies Support for Open Web Technologies

Netscape Communications is encouraging Web developers to embrace and utilize several open standards-based technologies including JavaScript, eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML), and Resource Description Framework (RDF).

In a statement released yesterday, Netscape said that JavaScript is currently being used by more than 3.5 million pages on the Web. Using Wired's HotBot search engine on April 9, 1998, Netscape conducted a comprehensive search of media types being utilized by content developers.

The company found that developers have created many more Web pages that employ JavaScript than pages containing proprietary scripting technologies such as ActiveX (which had 98,444 pages) or VBScript (which had 53,072).

Since Netscape introduced JavaScript in 1995 (then named LiveScript), more than 175 companies have licensed JavaScript to be included in their Internet software tools. This, along with developers who were already looking for a way to extend the reach of standard HTML, has made JavaScript the de facto standard for Web developers.

Netscape indicated that later this week it will release the source code for the latest JavaScript version, 1.3, on its Mozilla.org Web site. The company said JavaScript 1.3 will feature a fully ECMA-compliant JavaScript debugger with a graphical user interface.

Netscape recently announced that six of the Web's larger sites, CNNfn, CNET, The Washington Post Company, Wired Digital, and its own Netcenter, have all used RDF for the creation of site maps--the first of many applications that can take advantage of the features of XML.

Netscape indicated that it will fully support XML with the release of next-generation versions of Netscape Communicator and Netscape Navigator Web browser software. Netscape also recently added an advanced XML parser to the Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code hosted on the Mozilla.org Web site.

A technical overview document which outlines content technologies and standards (including Dynamic HTML, XML, and RDF) is available on the newly announced Netscape Open Studio Web site.