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.

A new version of XFN has been released, with a few changes and a few new attributes. (XFN, the “XHTML Friends Network” is a simple way of adding information to a link to indicate your relationship to that person.)

New relationship types include kin and contact, expanding the family and friendship dimensions, and me. The primary reason to add me seems to involve linking together profiles at multiple social networking sites – Friendster, Orkut, etc., but it brings up an interesting question:

How do you handle a site run by more than one person? We’ve had XFN info on this page since sometime last year, and it’s worked, because we share mostly the same circle of friends. But we also have links to our individual websites. Should these both be marked “me?” Presumably not, since the separate sites wouldn’t represent the same person. Perhaps something to consider for XFN 1.2?