Escape

I wrote this description in August 2001 and hardly updated it since that time.

Espial Escape is mainly noted for its attempt to emulate Netscape 4, of all browsers. Unfortunately it isn't buggy enough.

Fact sheet:

Espial Escape is a commercial Java browser that tries to emulate Netscape 4. In fact, it succeeds to a remarkable degree. It supports the old document.layers DOM and really seems to have taken over Netscape's layer model in its entirety. As a token of this commitment, it is the only non-Netscape browser that doesn't have 'compatible' in its browser string.

Unfortunately its interface leaves rather a lot to be desired. Although it looks quite OK, you cannot copy any text from the browser window to another application. In fact, the whole 'Edit' menu is missing. It doesn't offer any JavaScript control or error messages, either.

Style sheet support is OK, though it doesn't support background colours in TD's. It supports slightly more declarations than Netscape 4, for instance display: list-item.

As to DHTML, Escape supports it well enough. There's something wrong in the DHTML example, though. Here Escape refuses to change the visibility, while in the Display and visibility test page it works fine. Neither does it change the colour of the text, but since Netscape 4 doesn't either it fits with the emulation.
It doesn't support the display navigation either, faithfully following Netscape 4's example.

An interesting case is the writing into layers script. Here I write a P with the class of the surrounding DIV into the DIV. The reason is that in Netscape 4 the DIV loses all style information when you write something to it. However, this doesn't happen in Escape with the result that the styles (in my case a border) are shown twice.
So this is a case of Escape being not buggy enough. No doubt there will be more such examples, emulating Netscape 4 is not something for the fainthearted.

Some more JavaScript problems are that it doesn't support the Last modified script, that it crashes on the frames exercise and several minor points. Since this browser is not really used, I don't (much) care.

I don't think it's a good idea to emulate Netscape 4. This buggy browser is on the way out. Therefore the document.layers specific code will not be added to sites any more, making DHTML impossible in Escape. The only way to avoid this would be to release a Version 5 browser.