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Press Release

Netscape Rallies Content Community Around Leading Web Development Technologies of Today and Tomorrow - JavaScript, XML and RDF

JavaScript Now Used on 3.5 Million Web Pages; Several of the Largest Internet Sites Deploy RDF-Based Sitemaps; Netscape Adopts Most Advanced XML Parser Available Today

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (April 14, 1998) -- Netscape Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: NSCP) today announced that it is rallying Internet content developers to embrace several open standards-based technologies, including JavaScript, XML eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) and Resource Description Framework (RDF). In addition, the company announced that JavaScript, the scripting language of the Web, is now being used by more than 3.5 million pages on the Internet. According to a comprehensive Web search of media types conducted using Wired's HotBot search engine April 9, 1998, content developers have published far more Web pages that use JavaScript than those containing proprietary scripting technologies such as ActiveX (98,444) or VBScript (53,072). Since its introduction by Netscape in 1995, more than 175 companies have licensed JavaScript for inclusion in their Internet software tools, helping popularize the scripting language as one of the de facto standards for Internet content developers. Later this week Netscape also plans to release the source code of the latest version, JavaScript 1.3, through the mozilla.org Web site. Today Netscape also announced that six of the Internet's largest content sites, including Netscape Netcenter, have deployed RDF for the creation of sitemaps, the first of many future applications that will take advantage of XML.

Speaking to an audience of more than 1,000 Web content developers at the CNET Web.Builder Conference in San Francisco, Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products at Netscape, demonstrated how six major Web publishers, including CNNfn, CNET, The New York Times, The Washington Post Company, and Wired Digital, have deployed RDF-based sitemaps. The use of standards-based sitemaps promises to make it easier for users to navigate through all the information available on Web sites.

In addition to the demonstration of RDF-based sitemaps, Andreessen stated that Netscape will fully support XML with the release of next-generation versions of Netscape Communicator and Netscape Navigator client software. Netscape also announced the addition of an advanced XML parser to the Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code managed by mozilla.org. Developed by James Clark, the technical lead of the XML working group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and one of the original creators of XML, the parser, code-named "Expat," is widely regarded by the XML community as the most advanced parser available today. Internet content developers who want to begin XML development can now do so using Netscape's next-generation client software. The inclusion of Clark's XML parser in the mozilla source code represents the first major addition from an independent third-party software developer to be added since the code was released last month. Netscape will continue to add the best product features created by Internet developers to mozilla source code.

"Over the last three years, Netscape has seen tremendous adoption of JavaScript by the Internet content development community as well as software tools vendors," said Marc Andreessen, co-founder and executive vice president of products at Netscape. "Today we see XML and RDF as the next generation of standards-based technologies that will become as important as JavaScript, enabling the development community to take the Web to the next level."

Netscape continues to work closely with standards setting bodies such as the European Computer Manufacturer's Association (ECMA) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to advance Web-enabling technologies and then implement them in future products. For example, JavaScript 1.3 will contain several enhancements, such as a JavaScript debugger with a graphical user interface, which will also be fully compliant with the ECMA XXX standard, also known as ECMAScript. Another standard Netscape plans to support is XML, defined by the W3C as "a common syntax for expressing structure in data." XML became an official recommendation in February of this year. Similarly RDF is currently a W3C working draft. Netscape is actively working with the W3C to produce a final specification making RDF an open standard.

RDF is an XML application that delivers information about information, or metadata. RDF can be used to describe information within a large Web site by providing a sitemap, such as those demonstrated by CNNfn, The New York Times and others. RDF allows content developers to express information about the organization of complex Web sites in a simple sitemap format which allows end-users to quickly and easily find the information they need. RDF can also be used to describe all types of data, from Web pages to local files and email messages. Other potential expressions of RDF include search engine query results, database records, tables of contents and bookmarks - all in small information packets (usually less than 4K) that could be pushed to a user's desktop. RDF could also become a standard mechanism for sharing information between Web sites and ultimately with end-users. For example, Netscape Netcenter, one of the world's most popular destination sites on the Web, intends to use RDF as the primary conduit between Netcenter and its aggregate content providers.

"In the past, technology has forced us to work the way it works - Web pages in your browser, budgets in your spreadsheet program, remote documents through FTP, messages in your email application," says R.V. Guha, principal engineer at Netscape and creator of MCF (Meta-Content Format), one of the technologies from which RDF was derived. "With RDF, the user can decide how to manage information the way he works, organizing all these different data types in one project folder. This is one of the reasons why RDF is such a powerful XML application."

"Since its inception, JavaScript has evolved from a simple scripting language for adding capabilities to Web pages to one of the most widely adopted standard technologies on the Web," said Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript, Netscape principal engineer, and member of mozilla.org. "The release of JavaScript 1.3 marks a significant milestone because the language is now recognized by ECMA as an open standard, as well as becoming freely available to the Web development community through mozilla.org."

A technical overview document that outlines content technologies and standards such as Dynamic HTML, XML and RDF is now available on the Netscape Open Studio Web site at http://developer.netscape.com/openstudio. Also announced separately today, Netscape Open Studio is a new DevEdge program and Web site designed for Internet content developers interested in learning about the latest Internet technologies, open standards and design techniques.

Netscape Communications Corporation is a leading provider of open software for linking people and information over enterprise networks and the Internet. The company offers a full line of clients, servers, development tools and commercial applications to create a complete platform for next-generation, online applications. Traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "NSCP," Netscape Communications Corporation is based in Mountain View, California.

Additional information on Netscape Communications Corporation is available on the Internet at http://home.netscape.com, by sending email to moreinfo@netscape.com or by calling 650/937-2555 (corporations) or 650/937-3777 (individuals).

Netscape, Netscape Navigator, Netscape Certificate Server, Netscape ONE, SuiteSpot and the Netscape N and Ship's Wheel logos are registered trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries. Other Netscape logos, product names, and service names are also trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation, which may be registered in other countries.

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