Q: What happens when you break up/fire your web browser-developing group with years of experience, and later hire an outside firm to build your next product?

A: Netscape 8.

IEBlog has an amazing report—which I’ve just verified. Netscape 8.0.1 disables IE’s XML rendering. So if you try to load an XML document—say, an XSLT-styled RSS feed like the feed for this blog—using Internet Explorer or Netscape 8 with IE’s engine, you’ll see either a blank page or an unloaded-image icon.

Apparently every time Netscape 8 runs, it trashes a registry entry that defines how IE displays XML. At this point the only way to fix it is to uninstall Netscape 8 and delete that entry (directions at the above link).

This raises two questions:

  1. Why does Netscape 8 alter an Internet Explorer registry setting?
  2. Why can Netscape 8 alter an Internet Explorer registry setting?

I’ve said it before (though possibly not here), but Mozilla is much better off now that AOL isn’t calling the shots.

Update June 20: Netscape 8.0.2 fixes this problem.

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