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Three New Releases (And Other News) From Mozilla 602

An anonymous reader writes "A couple of interesting releases by mozilla.org. First of all Mozilla 1.5 was released. This is supposed to be the last version of the old Mozilla suite. Mozilla Firebird 0.7, the stand-alone browser by mozilla.org was also released today. It includes many new features, e.g. Web Panels. For more information see the newly designed product page for Firebird. A third release is the stand-alone version of the Mozilla mail-program Thunderbird , which has now reached version 0.3. The Mozilla Foundation also launched new end user services, like CD Sales and Telephone Support. As an effort to target more end-users, a redesigned website was also created. As always MozillaZine has all of the stories, too. Give these new releases a try, but please use a mirror if possible."
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Three New Releases (And Other News) From Mozilla

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  • As always they do a great job! Especially with Fire- and Thunderbird.
  • by pbranes ( 565105 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:18AM (#7218013)
    They've been saying that for a while, and I haven't seen any evidence of that. I really hope that 1.5 is their last integrated release, and they can focus on thunderbird/firebird. I use both of these at home and at work now, and I am very please with their simple gui interface and small download sizes (I'm on 56K at home).
    • by localghost ( 659616 ) <dleblanc@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:23AM (#7218039)
      They've been actively working toward it. There's been a lot of work on getting Firebird and THunderbird stable. Once they get to the point where they're as good as Seamonkey, they will replace it as the new browser and mail components. From what I've seen of Firebird, it shouldn't be long now. (Though I still use Mozilla for the time being)
    • As I see it, there are (were?) two problems which make the switch from I.E. towards Firebird `frightening' for modal Windows users: (1) the lack of a Windows installer, and (2) the troubles for installing e.g. a flash plugin.

      I don't know whether these things are fixed in the new release, but as long as they aren't, I will recommend Mozilla as I.E. alternative instead of Firebird. It would be a pity if Firebird users switched back to I.E. because of these little problems.

    • > I really hope that 1.5 is their last integrated release

      If it is, I'll be using it for a while. I've tried Firebird 0.6, and it shows
      promise, but I got tired of installing extension after extension after extension
      just to get features I've been taking for granted for months. Every time I
      think I've got all the extensions I need I discover another missing feature.
      Also, last I checked, some things I use aren't even available yet, though it
      does seem to get better every time I check back. The long and sho
    • Noo..... I still want my XPFE.

      I swear that if mozilla.org stops distributing XPFE binaries off the trunk, I'll compile it myself until it breaks. I actually appreciate the "swiss army knife approach" that we have seen since Netcape.

      Yes, Firebird is great, but the functionality of the XPFE app suite leaves FB in the dust in my opinion.
  • by Daath ( 225404 ) <lp AT coder DOT dk> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:19AM (#7218015) Homepage Journal
    Even on my windows machines I use nightlies of MozillaFirebird as the default browser! It's simply just the best - The ONLY thing I have come across is that it sometimes crashes when you use back several times in quick succession (possibly when there are flash or java or the like on some of the intermediate pages).
    Other than that, it's Firebirdlife is blissful ;) (not sure if I'm just ignorant, but that's a definite possibility!) :) Thunderbird is very cool also! (Also my default mail app!)
    • The worst is when I have to switch to IE for the (very) odd site that doesn't like Mozilla - all of a sudden all these pop-ups appear and I remember just how annoying those things were!
    • I've tried Firebird (coming from the regular Mozilla) and while it technically may be the XSOP, it went straight out the door again here.

      If you want it to do half the stuff Mozilla does, you have to install a ton of plugins, and none of these seem properly "coordinated" project-wise. So you end up much like with Miranda - tons of functionality, lots of duplicate settings and no grand master-plan as to how things should look or where they should be in the UI.

      I mean, the whole concept of tabbed browsing is
  • by adeyadey ( 678765 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:20AM (#7218023) Journal
    ..of the recent software patent lawsuit (won against MS/explorer) for Mozilla?
    • I don't know, but I hope it's difficult to claim damages from a non-profit. Of course, they could probably go after AOL/Netscape for starting the Mozilla project.

      Personally, I hope Microsoft gets the patent nullified in the appeal. Of course, I'm also hoping that Al-Queda's next target is our patent office :) (yeah yeah, poor taste, I know...)

      • Just persuade Dubya that the patent office houses international terrorists (shouldn't be hard) and it'll be reduced to a pile of faintly radioactive rubble within a week.
  • What happens to the Composer and the IRC-Client after Mozilla 1.5?
    • Composer I know for a fact will still be developed, as outlined in this MozillaZine article [mozillazine.org]. One of the primary authors, Daniel Glazman, has been hired by the Lindows company (seriously) to maintain it and he plans to check the code into the Mozilla CVS. It will be a standalone application like Firebird and Thunderbird, eventually using the shared Gecko backend that's in the works.

      As for ChatZilla, it's available as an extension [mozillazine.org] for Firebird, and I've heard talk of making a standalone app version too, al
  • AA With X11 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nicolas.e ( 715954 )
    The two releases have many new features which look good, However, the one i looked for the most, gtk2/xft is not included in the precompiled binaries. I can easily understand that some people can not use xft, but i think they are not the majority. It would be just great to download and just have these fonts. It is quite boring to wait for the 2-3 hour compilation of mozilla to look at the *great* antialiasing...
    • You might want to actually look around every once in a while.

      http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firebird/releases/0.7 /c ontrib/MozillaFirebird-0.7-i686-pc-linux-gnu-ctl-s vg-xft.tar.gz

      Granted, that's got SVG in it too, but it does support XFT. Nightlies have been compiled with xft for quite a while, it might be worth poking around the mozilla FTP servers when they're not being slashdotted.
      • Re:AA With X11 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 4of12 ( 97621 )

        ...effort to target more end-users...

        Granted, that's got SVG in it too

        Really great SVG support, IMHO, is one of the necessary ingredients for making the web more exciting. This is the kind of innovation that is not just useful, but something the whole community can participate in.

        • Vector graphics,
        • independent of screen resolution,
        • able to convey layout information, and in
        • a standard format [w3.org] accessible to anyone who can download and read a specification,

        would really help the web become a better place.

  • Crucially, have they fixed the bug in the Linux build that stops non-root users using some extensions properly?

    I remember this being quite a task to solve..
  • by pangloss ( 25315 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:23AM (#7218037) Journal
    it looks...awful. the new moz 1.5 beta site looks good, as does the thunderbird site, but the firebird site looks like a bad joke. i'm just waiting for a flash jobbie screaming "SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY". they ought to at least put up a link to the 0.7 release notes (maybe explain the new auto-download feature). ok enough ranting on the site.

    anyway, i love the product. in fact, i'm posting this with 0.7. actually i'm just glad they fixed the form completion bug back with 0.6.1.
  • by martinde ( 137088 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:24AM (#7218043) Homepage
    Check out the Mozilla roadmap [mozilla.org]. It shows a version 1.6 coming out in December 2003. Of course, it looks like 1.5 is several months "late" (an observation, not criticism) so I guess the schedule could be a bit loose.

    BTW, for us who are too lazy to go find out ourselves, what makes firebird better than mozilla itself? I find mozilla to be quite satisfactory, why would I switch?
    • BTW, for us who are too lazy to go find out ourselves, what makes firebird better than mozilla itself? I find mozilla to be quite satisfactory, why would I switch?

      From http://www.mozilla.org/products/firebird/compare/ :

      • Designed for Simple, Efficient UI
      • Automatic Popup Blocking, right out of the box
      • Tab Browsing, right out of the box
      • Simplified Privacy Controls
      • Integrated Search Bar
      • Smart Form Fill
      • Automatic Downloading
      • Find As You Type
      • Themes
      • Extensions
      • Full Screen Browsing
      • Bookmark Panels
      • Configurable
      • OK, editing that list so that it only answers the actual question (different from Mozilla):

        # Automatic Popup Blocking, right out of the box
        # Simplified Privacy Controls
        # Integrated Search Bar
        # Smart Form Fill
        # Automatic Downloading
        # Extensions
        # Bookmark Panels
        # Configurable Toolbars

        OK, so take Mozilla, turn on the popup blocking, and you're nearly there. I'm not sure about some of these features. I actively dislike smart form fill so I turn that off whenever possible. I have the "prefbar" installed in
        • I'll have to try Firebird and see what the rest of these are, but it looks like the difference is pretty small.

          Try it. You'll find that its not one killer feature that separates the two, but rather several small features. For instance, nothing else handles bookmarks as intuitively as FB does.

          It was missing some configuration stuff that I didn't feel I could live without

          So did I, initially. But if there's configuration stuff you can't live without, I'm sure you're geeky enough to not mind editing user

  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:25AM (#7218050) Homepage
    The website redesign won't make Mozilla more successful. Advertising is what's needed, plain and simple. How the site looks won't affect people's awareness of Mozilla, advertising will.

    Making the site UI more streamlined does make sense though.
    • The website redesign won't make Mozilla more successful. Advertising is what's needed, plain and simple. How the site looks won't affect people's awareness of Mozilla, advertising will.

      Making the site UI more streamlined does make sense though.

      Its all part of a joint effort. They are not just re-doing the website for shits-&-giggles. Its all an effort to look more "professional" as they offer new services.

    • Um, actually they often do. I still maintain that IE beat out Netscape solely by 1) being persistent and not getting uninstalled, and 2) having a more striking and recognizable icon.

      Seriously, back in 1997 or so when IE was trying to overcome Netscape, most people had both browsers installed: Netscape because they were used to it, and IE because it came w/ the OS. People have crowded desktops, and they generally don't much care which browser they use. Which icon is going to stand out more, Netscape w/
    • The website redesign won't make Mozilla more successful. Advertising is what's needed, plain and simple. How the site looks won't affect people's awareness of Mozilla, advertising will.

      In attempting to be blunt, you've oversimplified the situation to the point that what you've said is frankly wide of the mark.

      Point 1: A website is an advertisement. (As are all points that lie on the road to regularly using a product.)

      Point 2: People, in general, are fickle. Advertising with the old web page would have
  • by Tanaka ( 37812 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:27AM (#7218069) Homepage
    I like Thunderbird, but the spell checker is really bad, especially at guessing words. Wish they would use ASpell. What this e-mail client really needs in an inline spell checker.
  • That explains why the site stopped responding and my downloads fell to 1kb/s.

    Thanks slashdot!
  • www.mozilla.org/mirrors.html+&hl=en&ie=UTF -8
    linky []
    • Sadly, that list appears to be extremely out of date. I tried ~10-15 of those sites (including all .com/.net/.org/.edu mirrors) and the most recently updated mirror was several months out of date. :-(

      All I want to do is *look* at the contrib tree for Firebird! Is that really too much to ask?? :-)

  • Holy shit!

    1. I use Firebird almost exclusively.

    2. I (heart) 0.7

    3. I (heart) everything those developers are after, even if they're naming their projects after cars ( COME ON! NOT A TROLL! )

    4. The firebird redesign looks like it was done to appeal to 13 year olds! What the fuck! My eyes bled when I saw that page. My wife, a professional graphic designer, just shook her head and walked away. For such an awesome piece of software, you'd think they'd have a better piece of design on the webpage?
    • by djeaux ( 620938 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:43AM (#7218174) Homepage Journal
      ... I was restoring my 16 yr old daughter's laptop (after a particularly NASTY Kazaa episode) & decided to go with Firebird. In the past, she had told me that she preferred Netscape 7.1 to MSIE anyway, and knowing that Netscape was dead-in-the-water, I asked if she ever used the mail client. When she answered "no", I installed Firebird.

      So last night, I ducked into her room & asked which browser she was using. She answered "Firebird ... and it is GOOD"...

      I'll have to ask her opinion of the new Firebird homepage, though :-D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:32AM (#7218097)

    There is one major regression from Mozilla 1.4 to Mozilla 1.5: the support for the MNG image format has been removed. This means that all those who thought that they could replace the animated GIFs on their pages with the patent-free MNG format will have to go back to GIF or Flash. This also means that JNG, a subset of MNG allowing JPEG-style photgraphic images with full transparency, is broken as well since the release of Mozilla 1.5.

    The worst part is how this was handled: support for MNG was dropped because the code was too large and there was no maintainer, but then it was never restored despite impressive reduction of the size of the code and the presence of several active developers.

    For details, take a look at Bug 18574 [mozilla.org]. The release of 1.5 without MNG support is a sad day for those who love open image formats.

  • Ugh, the main site is swamped, and none of the mirrors have been updated yet.

    Anyone have a .torrent link for these?

  • ... Why would Mozilla stop development of the Mozilla series? Are we going to have to use two different things now? (mail/web) or are they going to be integrated?
    • They aren't stopping development, they're just changing the way they develop Mozilla and all the applications that are related to it. A good link that explains the entire modus operandi of the Mozilla development team is: http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap.html

      It explains quite clearly how the Mozilla team are moving away from big, hard-to-maintain monolithic applciaitons suites and towards a modular system of components, like Firebird and Thunderbird, which can be worked on much more easily. It's a very goo
      • The roadmap is written for developers, not users. If Mozilla wishes the size of the latter set to exceed that of the former, it had better address that audience.

        My {father, sister, acquaintance} will experience fear, uncertainty, and doubt if and when this change appears on their radar. Fortunately, Mozilla advertising is so poor that that won't happen for a while.

        The message users need is: there will always be an easy-to-install, easy-to-use, backwards-compatible Mozilla suite.

        Users have good reason
    • The Mozilla folks have done a very poor job of justifying the change in direction. All I've seen are nerdy discussions about footprints, streamlining, etc. These discussions all assume inside knowledge of the development process.

      I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons. Just that they haven't been adequately communicated to the public. And perhaps that the impact on the public has not adequately been assessed. The move causes confusion, which is the last thing Mozilla needs.

      As a Mozilla evangelist,
  • It has been extremely easy to convert the droids at work to Firebird. All I have to do is just get them to run it one time and the deal is sealed. The speed of it is simply amazing, orders of magnitude faster than any other browser in existance. The pop up blocker is killer and just works, etc etc. My only hope is that they keep the speed up instead of bloating it with to many features.
  • I would gladly use the mirrors, if any of them actually had 1.5 release available...

    Oh well. 1.4's running just fine over here anyway.
  • by GarfBond ( 565331 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:35AM (#7218120)
    For those of you wondering why the mozilla servers are swamped all of a sudden, it's because they just recently moved all the servers off of the AOL backbone onto a different host (one of the effects of AOL nixing Netscape), so we're no longer able to get oodles of bandwidth like we used to. Please be understanding while the servers undergo a slashdotting :)
    • For those of you wondering why the mozilla servers are swamped all of a sudden, it's because they just recently moved all the servers off of the AOL backbone onto a different host (one of the effects of AOL nixing Netscape), so we're no longer able to get oodles of bandwidth like we used to.

      Perhaps another reason is that none of your US mirrors have the current releases, and several US mirrors don't even work period- one or two are broken URLs. Several of the mirrors don't even have the release candidate

  • I've been using firebird for a long time now, and I'm pretty happy with it. I want to start 0.7 now, but none of the mirros is carrying it yet, and ftp.mozilla.org is currently being slashdotted (of course). Anyone know of a mirror carrying firebird 0.7 yet?

    Maybe mozilla should start offering bittorrents too during the periods they expect flash crowds.
  • Mirror [man.ac.uk] of firebird linux i686. If I can get the others I'll put them on the site too.
  • Does anyone know when RPMs will surface? I use the Dag-Apt RPMs for 0.6.1, and would like to know if anyone intends to make 0.7 RPMs.
  • I'm still using Mozilla 1.4 because thats the latest that has RPMs for redhat. How about a recent release with some RPMs available please?
  • Mozilla project and Mozilla Firebird especially is a pointer to issues faced by Free softares . Its amazing that still >90% people use IE as their browser, which is technically an inferior product. It shows how difficult it is to penetrate proprietory software market even with a better product. The barrier of entry against Free softwares are formidable. They are not technical mostly. But customer lock-in, incompatibility , patented technologies(e.g plugins) and above all sheer inertia from the user side
  • This is the kind of site that the mozilla folks should focus on: an appealing product site that shows a different image from the "developer-oriented" or "cutting-edge-freak" current website.
    This is a great advantage towards public perception of Mozilla as a very good browser. It shows maturity on a project. Congratulations to all the folks at the Mozilla team and thank you for providing us with a serious browser.

  • When will it be released as a separate module.
    Galeon/Epiphany/Gnome users are waiting for the Gecko Runtime Environment. Currently one needs to install both mozilla and Galeon to use Galeon.
  • When, oh when, oh when will we be able to stop animations by pressing ESC? Netscape 3.x and 4.x used to be able to do it. Debian's mozilla packages can do it(!). But upstream Mozilla can't, and Firebird can't -- not even Debian's firebird.

    I don't want to turn off animations forever. I don't want to set "loop once" -- because I load pages in the background, then don't look at them until 5 minutes, or 3 hours, later. I just want to have animated images do their animations until I tell them to stop.

  • I've made an ebuild [virgin.net] for the other gentoo users out there. Yownload from the link above.
  • Does it MSIE javascript without breaking? Do they use a nonbloatware installer which only installs the application and not a load of other junk files which are only used by the installer? Have the made it so one can choose to have the config files in the install directory and not be forced to have them stuffed in the windows directory?
  • Linkage for (as of now) un-Slashdotted Firebird 0.7 Installers...

    http://seb.mozdev.org/firebird/ [mozdev.org]

  • Once upon a time, webpages were using the entire window, but who would want that if you can instead show columns of 800-pixel wide contents bordered by seas of white?

  • And like more sites than I care to count, they do set the background color to White, and DO NOT set the foreground color to BLACK.

    When you use custom colors to navigate (like me who likes yellow over dark blue), you get a clear color over a white background.

    I hope they change it when I give them feedback on it. Most commercial sites simply ignore the issue.
  • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:54AM (#7218887) Homepage
    I just managed to get the Linux version as well, here is the torrent. [filesoup.com] Enjoy! (get BitTorrent [bitconjurer.org] first if needed)
  • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @10:04AM (#7219004) Homepage
    Third and last: just got through to the Win32 version, here is the torrent. [filesoup.com] Have fun. (get BitTorrent [bitconjurer.org] first if needed)
  • by zsazsa ( 141679 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @10:10AM (#7219078) Homepage
    Thunderbird 0.3 Win32 torrent available HERE [metashops.co.uk].
  • by mraymer ( 516227 ) <mraymerNO@SPAMcenturytel.net> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @10:40AM (#7219388) Homepage Journal
    MozillaFirebird-0.7-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz [metashops.co.uk]

    thunderbird-0.3-win32.zip [metashops.co.uk]

    MozillaFirebird-0.7-win32.zip [metashops.co.uk]

    I think more might be coming soon, check this page. [metashops.co.uk]

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.