netscape to become freely redistributable

Douglas Bates
22 Jan 1998 21:42:27 -0600

I presume by now that most everyone has heard that, starting later
this quarter with Netscape 5.0's developers' release, the Netscape
browser program and its source code will become freely
redistributable.  They didn't say it would be GPL'd (GNU Public
License) but they said their source code would be available in the
spirit of the GPL.

Initially it bothered me that the function in R tried to
find netscape on your system and started that to read the .html files.
I thought it might be better to rely on a freely available browser
like mosaic or chimera2 or arena.  Even lynx would have been an
alternative.  I find I still often use lynx for browsing when I
am on a a machine with 8 bit planes of color because I don't want a
bloated netscape eating up my color table.

In retrospect the decision to standardize on netscape and to use their
extensions to the HTML standards in the R documentation looks like a
good one.
Douglas Bates                  
Statistics Department                    608/262-2598
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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