December 8, 2000 - Gecko and Mozilla | WebReference

December 8, 2000 - Gecko and Mozilla

Yehuda Shiran December 8, 2000
Gecko and Mozilla
Tips: December 2000

Yehuda Shiran, Ph.D.
Doc JavaScript

Netscape 6 is Mozilla- and Gecko-based. Gecko is the next-generation browser engine which supports open Internet standards such as HTML, CSS, W3C DOM, XML, RDF, and JavaScript. It is mainly a layout engine, but it also includes a set of complementary browser components that make up the Mozilla browsers as well as other browsers. A layout engine takes content (HTML, XML, Image Filters), and formatting information (CSS, HTML tag attributes), and renders it on the screen. It is responsible for filling the browser's content area inside the browser's window. Gecko is also used to create the browser's user interface, including menus, tool bars, etc. The motivation behind Gecko's development is to build a more interactive browser, and to give developers greater presentation control, using open and public Internet Standards.

Netscape bets heavily on Gecko. It powers all the individual components, including Navigator an Messenger. Gecko is planned to power the display of, enabling a much faster content display. Because it is small and open source, other companies may use it as well. Personal and other data assistants that connect to the Internet, can benefit from Gecko's Web browsing functionality. Many software developers are looking for Web browsing capability in their application, but want to avoid developing a new browser from scratch. These developers can choose the browser components they want from among the Gecko's offerings and package them to suit their specific needs.

Gecko does not package the interface modules in a coherent, user friendly Web browser application. It's done by the Mozilla browser, developed by the organization. The Mozilla browser can by downloaded for free from the site. Vendors will assemble their own Gecko-based browsers. Some will rely on the Mozilla browser. Netscape 6 is an example of a browser (by Netscape) that is both Mozilla- and Gecko-based.

Gecko includes the following components:

Learn more about Netscape 6 in Column 72, Netscape 6, Part I: Detection and Scripting.