Netscape 8 Breaks IE’s XML Rendering

Developers at AOL are working on a fix to the latest bug found in Netscape 8 that affects Internet Explorer (IE), officials said Thursday.

Microsoft officials first confirmed Wednesday a bug found in the Netscape browser that breaks the XML rendering in IE.

Users who have installed Netscape 8 but use IE anytime thereafter are met with a blank page if they view XML files, like RSS feeds.

Andrew Weinstein, an AOL spokesman, said the issue affects a very small number of users; developers are working on a patch they hope will be available next week, he said.

For the time being, Microsoft officials recommend affected users uninstall Netscape 8 as a workaround until a fix is issued. Users will also need to go into the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerPluginsExtension” registry entry and delete the “xml” registry key.

Removing the registry key without uninstalling Netscape 8 won’t accomplish anything, officials said, because the key is continually rewritten.

Netscape 8 has two rendering engines under its hood: pages at trusted, secure Web sites are rendered using IE while blacklisted or unconfirmed Web sites are rendered in Firefox.

It’s the second bug discovered in a browser that’s only been public for seven days. Netscape 8 was introduced May 19 as a security-minded browser for the masses, but officials had to issue a patch the following day to cover a critical vulnerability addressed in the latest version of Firefox.

Weinstein downplayed the discovered bugs, saying there was a significant amount of beta testing and quality assurance tests run before Netscape 8’s launch.

“Every browser is a complicated piece of software, and there will always be small issues like this,” he said.

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