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Mozilla 1.2 Betas Start Flowing 367

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the beware-the-lizard dept.
Asa Dotzler writes "Today released Mozilla 1.2alpha. This is a preview of what's to come with Mozilla 1.2 expected in early November. The new alpha contains great new features like Type Ahead Find which allows quick web page navigation when you type a succession of characters in the browser. In addition to the new features Mozilla 1.2a contains stability and perfomance improvements including a major boost in the speed of downloading mail on Mac OS X.This release comes on the heels of the security and bugfix follow-up to Mozilla 1.0. If you're a 1.0 user and you're not upgrading to Mozilla 1.1 or newer then you are strongly encouraged to get Mozilla 1.0.1 for security and stability fixes."
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Mozilla 1.2 Betas Start Flowing

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  • by Kappelmeister (464986) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:54AM (#4243896)
    If humans had evolved with six digits on each hand, this would be a major, major milestone release.

  • Well at this rate... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gamorck (151734)
    Mozilla will become feature complete when compared to IE6 sometime in the beginning of next year :-) It's good to see the Moz boys picking up the pace when it comes to implementing some of the more convienent features we've gotten used to in IE on Windows and the Mac. While I wouldn't mind IE stealing the wonderful idea of tabbed browsing Im seriously beginning to wonder just what kind of "end user" enhancements will be released with IE 7.0.

    Seriously beyond the commonplace protocol upgrades and reworks I think that IE 7.0 will end up being quite the hard sell for the typical Windows User. This may present an opportunity for Mozilla/Netscape to steal a bit of marketshare if things go right. This will happen anyway as AOL is planning to move their browser engine over to Moz (already been done for the MacOSX version I believe) and the Gecko AOL betas run quite well.

    • by evilquaker (35963) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:04AM (#4243944)
      Mozilla will become feature complete when compared to IE6 sometime in the beginning of next year :-)

      Really? IE6 has mouse gestures, tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking?

      Sounds to me like Mozilla is already more feature complete than IE... little conveniences like type-ahead find really don't compare to the three I mentioned above...

      • by yerricde (125198) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:28AM (#4244075) Homepage Journal

        IE6 has mouse gestures

        Is Mickey [ O ] sticking his middle finger up enough of a "mouse gesture"?

        tabbed browsing

        Maximize IE, and your taskbar becomes a tab bar. Or install CrazyBrowser.

        and pop-up blocking?

        Press Ctrl+W real quick before the pop-up finishes loading.

        Such are the workarounds IE users employ to emulate Mozilla features.

      • and pop-up blocking

        Does anyone know if it's possible to selectively allow pop-ups on some sites you visit, but disallow from all others?

        There are a couple of web-based applications I use for work that require pop-ups be enabled. I want and need popups for that specific domain, but no others.

        Sort of like Apache's Allow From and Deny From commands.

        Anyone? Bueller?
    • Im seriously beginning to wonder just what kind of "end user" enhancements will be released with IE 7.0.

      Easy. An all-new and improved EULA that gives Billg and the RIAA total control over your computer. After all, if you won't agree to such a reasonable thing, you're an Evil Terrorist Content Pirate(tm).
  • I can't see any major improvements over 1.1, so why the version jump? Although it's nice that they're keeping a steady release schedule.

    And I wonder if they're ever going to do anything about the memory footprint. Together with Windows 2000's awful VM handling, I'm in swap city every time I copy a large file, having to wait more than 30 seconds for my Mozilla window to be swapped back in.
    • Each quarterly cycle has an alpha, a beta and a final release. We recently released 1.1final, and 1.2alpha is the first release in the next cycle.

      If you are looking for "major improvements worthy of a version jump", you need to compare 1.1final and 1.2final (for example.) Comparing 1.1final and 1.2alpha is not correct, because not all the 1.2 features are in yet.

      I had Win2K swap trouble too, but new versions appear to be a lot better.

    • I personally rate improvement of the interface much (yes, very much) higher than performance improvement. I stick to Mozilla because i like its look and feel, even though opera might be a little faster, but i dont like the interface.

      Having many features and good accessibility is far more important if you want to reach a big crowd of users. IMHO it's mostly the techies and programmers who keep whining about it being too slow or too big.
      Yes, i can imagine my mother complaining about speed, but only if there is a very excessive lag (which is not the case in moz.), and even then she would probably blame it on the connection or so. Something like a memory footprint would never even come up in the mind of most regular users. It is easy handling, accessibility and standards support that will make mozilla a big player, and the type ahead feature is just one of the things i was waiting for.

      Fixing performance can wait, companies like MS and Apple know this (remember releases of Win95, 98, OS X etc)...
    • While the memory footprint still isn't insignificant, I would suggest that you give Phoenix [] a try. It's an implementation of the Mozilla browser written by a small core of developers, and roughly analogous to Galeon, K-Meleon, and Chimera -- that is, it's stripped down to a browser only and the focus is on improving the UI -- but it uses XUL. On the two systems where I run it, it is snappy and a pleasure to use, though I can't say that I'm fully out of "swap city," as you put it.

      It is not complete yet, though, so you may find that certain features are missing -- for instance, the cookie manager isn't there yet. You may also miss certain items that they yanked to unclutter the interface -- for instance, the ability to right-click on an image and block future images from that server.

      Nightly builds are here: st-trunk/ []

  • by fr2asbury (462941) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:05AM (#4243950)
    Is this some sort of new twist on mathematics or Greek?
    The headline states Mozilla 1.2 "Beta" only to be told that the MOzilla 1.2 Alpha was released.
    I swear you're like my wife who says's it's almost 7:00 at 6:30.
    It's all relative I guess.

  • by Bonker (243350) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:12AM (#4243977)
    In all other ways, Moz has completely replaced all other browsers for me. I always laugh at friends and coworkers who send me a link, but then tell me to be careful because it comes with several popup-ads.

    I have to wonder what the rationale behind including a download manager with no scheduling or restart functionality is.

    Oh well. I assume that this will come along eventually, just like everything else. The team has fixed both the bugs I submitted for 1.1a (table layout problems), so I will assume that they will eventually get around to this kind of functionality.
    • I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'restart', but I presume you mean to resume. If that's the case, you can pause and resume the downloads, you have to double click on an entry in the 'Download Manager' to pop up it's individual window, and you can pause and resume it from within there. Not such a great interface though, those controls should really be in the main window too.
  • Has anyone noticed that there's no installerless .zip release of 1.2alpha for Windows on the releases [] page? I will use the .exe for now but being able to unzip testing versions in a self-contained directory (as was the case with previous releases) is rather handy.

    The release notes even say "In this release the feature does not work in installer-builds you need to get a .zip distribution", yet there is none. Perhaps it's just an oversight.
    • I was wondering about that myself. I'm not too keeon on the installers as I've had problems with them in the past (profile corruption when updating). The .zips are always nice for testing (as you pointed out).
    • Can't you just unzip the .exe file as if it were a .zip? I've had no problem doing that on self-extracting zip files in the past, though that was from Linux (where I couldn't easily execute the .exe to begin with).
  • It's an alpha. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gerv (15179) <{gerv} {at} {}> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:28AM (#4244072) Homepage
    The headline is misleading - this is Mozilla 1.2 Alpha. See the roadmap [] for full details on the numbering scheme and release schedule.

    1.0.1 [] was also released recently. This is a bugfix release for those people using 1.0 who don't want to upgrade to 1.1final or 1.2alpha.

  • Is there any reason to switch from Opera to Mozilla? The only big differences on my machine between Opera and Moz is that Moz is slow and it's a memory hog. And those aren't really good reasons to switch.
  • I'll admit I haven't downloaded Mozilla, for one main reason - I don't have the bandwidth to do so (56k modem? Eta 22 hours!) so maybe this question will be really easy to answer - or not:

    Is there some sort of preferences manager that deals with all the options this new functionality is bringing about? The reason I ask is that whilst type ahead find looks and sounds rather nice, I don't think that adding a line of text to a flat text file is exactly the most user-friendly way of doing things. Especially not in a Windows world anyway.

    On a side note, it's like when NS7 is mentioned without the pop up ad filter and you invariably get the posting that says "edit this file, add this line, remove this comment and it's done!". Might be easy to us, but probably not to those people that we'd like to encourage to use something apart from IE.

  • Type ahead find (Score:2, Interesting)

    by androse (59759)
    Type ahead find has existed for years in IE for Mac, just like it has existed in the Mac Finder since system 7. The behaviour of typing a fiex letters and getting the closest element of a set has been implemented everywhere : file lists, dropdown menus, etc.

    That is the problem with the behaviours of the mozilla interface widgets : they don't behave like any plateform.

    Would it be too hard to make the widgets behave diffently depending on the plateform ? For example, when you click once in the address bar, all the text gets selected. That works on Windows, but not on the Mac, where the standard is to insert the bar cursor at the point where you clicked. The same for clicking in the scrolling bars : it only pages once, not repeatedly like on a Mac. The same for the dropdown menu (see the comparison of the windows drop down menu and the mac one by Bruce Tognazzini), etc etc.

    I think people like visual inconsistency (themes, skins), but hate behavioural inconsistency.
  • ...considering Mozilla follows the kernel-style odd/even unstable/stable release numbering format, 1.2 should be a stable build.

    Does this mean I'll be able to download a version with XFT anti-aliased font support, like I did with 1.0? I have 1.0 with XFT which I downloaded from here [], and I've been waiting to upgrade but I couldn't bear to lose my AA fonts.

    In case you haven't seen it, I have a screenshot of Mozilla with AA fonts here [].


  • Normally, at this point, I would mention that there's a Spellchecker available for Mozilla []. However, it appears that the Spellchecker is broken with all nightly builds after August 30th [] (and I'm not certain whether 1.2alpha is affected as well)

    The spellchecker-broken bug [] has been filed as a "blocker" (highest possible severity), but there's been no progress since August 31st (when the bug was filed). :-/

  • by abischof (255) <alex&spamcop,net> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:04AM (#4244305) Homepage

    Remember that Slashdot article [] on Paul Graham's method of spam blocking through Bayesian filters []?

    In case not, the basic idea is that spam can be fairly reliably detected through statistical analysis of word choice. For instance, a message containing the word "GNU" probably isn't spam, while one containing "remove" might just be (but see the write-up [] for more detail).

    Anyhow, there's been a bug filed [] requesting Bayesian filtering for Mozilla. If you're interested in the feature, you may wish to vote for the bug [] (of course, you'll need a free Bugzilla account [] to vote).

  • I love Mozilla. There's just one thing stopping me using it - when I open links from other programs (including the address bar on the Start Bar) it uses an existing Mozilla window/tab rather than opening an new one.

    I just can't use a program which randomly overwrites my open windows.
    • Or rather, workaround: open a new tab (or window) before you open the link from the other program - the link will be opened in that tab/window.

    • by sjbe (173966)
      I've been slightly annoyed by this behavior, though you can work around it pretty easily. Mozilla to the last tab you were in so I just usually open a new tab (hit Ctrl-T) and then do the link. An annoying extra step I'll concur but I think if that is the only thing holding you back work around it. Mozilla has too much OSS goodness to let something so small ruin it for you. :-)
      • Aah, I'm not fanatical about OSS, I'm just happy to use anything which works. I've been generally impressed enough by Mozilla to use it, except for that one thing (and some rendering errors that are almost certainly the website's fault).

        And when opening 15 links from my RSS reader program, I really don't fancy switching back and forth that many times.

        I hope they fix it soon, and then I'll happily join in the fun.
  • by ceswiedler (165311) <> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:28AM (#4244466)
    Apparently Mozilla developers use Vi. On the feature description [] for TypeAheadFind, it says: Type / before your string to search all text.

    Wonder if it supports ? for backwards searching, i for case insensitive... ;-) This is good, 'cuz I've found myself hitting / occasionally to do a search in Mozilla.
    • Countless times have I tried to search a web page using the slash. That is so very cool.
      Thanks, you just made my night...
  • This sounds exactly like the feature that OS/2's version of netscape had with voice navigation. Basically, you could speak a link on a page, and you would go there. Very slick. Dunno how great it is with typing. I'd rather some of the more frequent nav keys be linked to single keys, which this feature basically destroys any chance of using.
  • Type ahead find (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Pim (140414) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:36AM (#4244535)
    It's about time that the keyboard became useful during browsing! I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to navigate with the keyboard in a browser as easily as I can in a text editor. Hopefully (I haven't tried it yet), this is a step in that direction.

    However, I'm slightly concerned about the description [] of this feature. I gather this appeared in IE, and I fear that mozilla is more concerned with "parity" than with the most usable implementation. (Do you realize that when using the mouse wheel to change text size, going up makes the text smaller? Copied from IE. Won't fix. Bug 146491 [])

    It appears to start searching as soon as you type a letter. This rules out all other possible uses for the letter characters. All of the most accessible keys on the keyboard "used up", just to avoid having to hit a command key to start searching in links. Even though you already have to hit a command key ("/") to search in the full text. If we want more keyboard functions, only punctuation keys (or key combinations) are available. For example, to seach for "foo" I can type "/foo", but to get the next hit, I have to do Ctrl-G, instead of something convenient like "n". This seems shortsighted.

    Well, I'll have to try it before I can be sure of my criticism, but from what I understand, this feature could become much more powerful if the implementors design it well, instead of merely copying IE.

    • Ha ha ha!
      For fun, click that link. You'll see this:
      Ook! (title)
      Sorry, links to Bugzilla from Slashdot are disabled.
      So, copy the link, then open a new window and paste. (You think you can protect your servers from the likes of us? mwa ha ha ha ha!)
    • Re:Type ahead find (Score:2, Informative)

      by chregu (70525)
      The mozilla people know, that it's not implemented in the best way right now (see bug #167921). If this stays, as it is, many JavaScript applications won't be useable anymore, for example our recently open sourced Wysiwyg XML Bitflux Editor [] (*shameless plug*) and other similar applications.
      And there is no way to prevent it from the application side. But Mozilla promised a fix in the next week for that problem.


    • Regarding the direction of wheel movement when resizing text in Mozilla, I think it's more intuitive that way. It feels more like I'm 'pulling' the text towards me.

      Ah well, different folks, strokes etc.

      • Regarding the direction of wheel movement when resizing text in Mozilla, I think it's more intuitive that way. It feels more like I'm 'pulling' the text towards me.

        I can see that, actually. You might also think of it as a "zoom" operation, so scrolling down makes the eye go down and the text get bigger (never mind that it affects only the text, so it's not truly zoom). But it's hard for me to believe that many people would find this intuitive. Even when I think "zoom", I have to model it consciously in my head before I can decide which way to scroll. Moreover, the feature is called "change text size" (or something like that--not running mozilla ATM), which clearly implies that up should increase the size.

        So while I believe you, I think there is a much stronger case for "up means bigger" as the default. I also think it should be customizable, but the mozilla people have decided that software, the most malleable stuff we can create, should not be adaptable to the user.

    • Actually, the keyboard could have been much more useful, like in Opera. In Opera amost any normal key is bound to some useful operation. The con is that incremental search must be activated before (by pressing ctrl-f). Since in mozilla no plain key (without alt or control) has a function, it was possible to use them directly for type ahead find.

      I think it is a waste of keys. It is better to activate type ahead find with some key (such as /) so that any other plain key could be bound to some operation.
  • Seriously!

    I tried the Moz 1.1 RPM on my RH 7.2 system, and suddently, the textarea tag screwed up constantly. Text did not wrap, and an "A" tag would cause not only the text in the textarea to become a link, but also submit buttons, and just about everything in the form!

    I couldn't even post to /.!

    rpm -e `rpm -qa | grep mozilla`; rpm -Uvh /tmp/mozilla-1.0*.rpm;

    Now it's better...
  • by mrm677 (456727)
    Man, I love tabbed browsing and pop-up add blocking but can't they make the UI a little faster and the memory usage lower?

    I try to use Mozilla but I'm always drawn back to IE because its just snappier. I think that Microsoft pins the IE pages also. Even when I keep Mozilla resident, my system swaps like no tomorrow when using Mozilla on a PIII 866Mhz system w/ 384mb RAM

    Its the same experience I have with emacs. I keep trying but always succumb to vi. vi is just more responsive.
    • I try to use Mozilla but I'm always drawn back to IE because its just snappier. I think that Microsoft pins the IE pages also. Even when I keep Mozilla resident, my system swaps like no tomorrow when using Mozilla on a PIII 866Mhz system w/ 384mb RAM

      What the hell do you have loaded? With five tabbed pages in Moz with maybe forty sites visited, my memory usage (Linux) is clocking eight processes sharing 57MB. My TOTAL memory usage for the whole system is around 197MB (of which 110MB is currently in RAM, the rest is swapped out) and that includes Emacs, Lotus Notes running on Wine, Gnumeric and all the GNOME libs supporting that, system monitors, IM app running on Java and about 25 remote processes running through XFree. If you are swapping on 384MB RAM, you need to tune your system more carefully or something else is swallowing your memory, cause Moz is not the problem. And yes, all those processes are running on a PII 400MHz with 256MB ram so it's not as though I'm sitting on a God-like box.

      By the way, vi is way too restrictive for the uses I put Emacs to. Maybe if vi gets a Lisp engine I'd use it for more than basic editing :-)


      Toby Haynes

      • Thats comparing Apples to Oranges. Mozilla in Linux is especially a dog. Just resize windows quickly for a demonstration of this. Actually, I don't think anything is snappy in Linux except for maybe Opera. I use Linux all day at work on a 2ghz P4 w/ 1gb RAM. Therefore, Mozilla just never swaps for me at work. At home, I use Win2k. Having the UI/Windowing code in the kernel really does make a difference as far as overall responsiveness ;)

        I think my problems with Moz at home relate to my frequent game playing. Mozilla just gets swapped out to disk because its got so much resident. Meanwhile, IE is integrated into the OS and its pages are pinned in memory so that it can't get swapped. I'll admit that its not fair however Opera seems to manage just fine. I recently opened an IE window, an Opera window, and a Mozilla window. I then started Medal of Honor::Allied Assault and played for a few minutes. I quit, and opened all three windows (such that they were all visible). IE popped up nearly instantaneously. Opera was next. Mozilla was chugging on the disk for about 10 seconds before its contents were displayed.

        By the way, vim has the option to integrate a python interpreter. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer a Python engine to a Lisp engine any day of the week :)
  • Killer feature! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aoty (533561)
    I've been dying for a feature like 'type ahead find' for the longest time! I prefer keyboard navigation in most situations, but web browsing never worked well for me, as I hate having to TAB, TAB, TAB, ad nausem throughout a link-filled page. Mozilla just got even better! Thanks Mozilla team!
  • It'll probably not be answered here, but I'll give it a go. I've just got a copy of Mozilla 1.1 from a workmate and installed it.

    It's nice, however I'd far rather than when a new window is opened, it is put in a new tab rather than firing up a new window. CrazyBrowser [] does this and it's great!

    Finally, is there any way (a la CrazyBrowser again) that I can set up a "Group" of bookmarks, so with one click I can open 7 or 8 pages in tabs all at once?

    These two features alone (including the pop-up blocker) keep me with CrazyBrowser. If Moz can't do them (and I'm sure it can) then it would be a shame because I'd end up probably sticking with what I have.

    • It's nice, however I'd far rather than when a new window is opened, it is put in a new tab rather than firing up a new window.

      Edit->Preferences->Navigator->Tabbed Browsing->
      Open tabs instead of windows for->
      Middle-click or control-click of links in a Web page.
  • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @11:57AM (#4245060) Homepage Journal
    ...of mozilla-browser newer than 1.00-3. Don't need all that other stuff on my system; just the browser. But there's no mozilla-browser 1.1 yet...let alone 1.2a.
  • Usability bugs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by flend (9133)
    I'm always surprised that yet another Mozilla version does not fix big usability bugs.

    These include the broken line wrapping that happens occasionally, the bizarrely greyed-out `launch file' option after downloading some types of files and finally, the irritating way in which if you download a file which turns out to 404, mozilla happily creates the file on your disc containing the 404 html and doesn't tell you!
    • Re:Usability bugs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunratty (545641)
      I'm always surprised that yet another Mozilla version does not fix big usability bugs.
      If you give us the bug numbers, we can vote for them or even nominate them to be fixed in an upcoming version. Throw us a friggin' bone here, people!

  • Thank you, Mozilla team. I'm typing this into the 31st tab of one instance of Mozilla 1.0.1. I have two other instances of Mozilla running with a total of 14 tabs.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.