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John Carroll, Master Of FUD

According to John Carroll, alternative browsers will never catch on because they're being promoted by religious zealots who fail to understand that 100% compatability with obscure IE extensions is critical to browsing success.

His main point (once you wade through an irrelevant and unnecessary retelling of the History of the Browser Wars, as told by the winning side) seems to be that because the Web Standards Project is behind, the entire issue of browser-switching must be purely religious.

The reasoning resembles the common Conservative canard that if a "liberal" has an idea, it must by that token be a bad idea.

The truth of the matter is that there remain no important incompatabilities between IE and any of the four principle "alternative" browsers, except in areas that render Internet Explorer inherently less secure. Carroll should know this, but he apparently refuses to. Instead, he remains reflexively committed to supporting Microsoft. In this regard, he resembles Freepers: Aligned with the biggest kid on the block, for no other apparent reason than that he's the biggest.

I'll be curious to see what his reaction is to the fact that the Opera and Mozilla development teams will be incorporating Apple-driven extensions, intended to improve their ability to serve as application interfaces on a personal computer. These represent an attempt to reach a saner compromise between security and functionality than Microsoft's ActiveX. Macromedia and Adobe are on board (both heavy players in the Mac space); Mozilla (which is used most widely on PCs) will push the architecture to Windows, and KHTML will push it to Unix and Linux. Unless MS successfully embraces and extends (not likely, since they haven't got the plugin muscle to out-compete Macromedia), they'll be stuck playing on a level field. For the first time in a while.

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