Most everyone knows the children's story of The Little Engine That Could, where a pint-sized locomotive uses the power of positive thinking to overcome apparently impossible odds. The Little Engine chants, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can," as it chugs up a mountain -- a mountain all the big trains said was too steep for the Little Engine to manage. Just when it appears the Little Engine won't make it over the peak, the spunky steamer comes through, rolling down the hillside with a triumphant "I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could!!"
Sorta Java, sorta not
"And then came the bugs, Doc, thousands of 'em!"
To its credit, Netscape quickly repaired the document.close method for the 2.02 interim release, but the damage had already been done. Millions of users downloaded 2.01, and a percentage still use it. Since 2.01 users are still be out there, Web designers are advisesd to take the conservative approach and develop work-arounds that will function on all versions. This is not an easy task, and it unnecessary adds to development time.
Even after Netscape 2.0 shipped security problems continued to be exposed. Version 2.0 allowed for the "silent" submission of a hidden mail form; Web page authors could use this innocent-looking feature to collect e-mail addresses of anyone who visited. This feature was removed in Netscape 2.01.
What about Bill?
So, the Little Scripting Language That Could begins its trek up the mountain. Will it make it over the top? Only time will tell. That and the resourcefulness of its engineers at Netscape.