Forgot your password?
Mozilla The Internet

Mozilla Jumps on 'Lean Browser' Bandwagon 675

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-it-doesn't-runs-on-osx dept.
fader writes "Following in the footsteps of fast (and often fantastic) wrappers around Gecko (the Mozilla rendering engine), Mozilla has just released their own lightweight browser, Phoenix. Only Phoenix will still use XUL, the cross-platform markup language used for the current Mozilla interface. Will it still be fast enough to overcome the final gripe about Mozilla, namely that it's just too slow?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mozilla Jumps on 'Lean Browser' Bandwagon

Comments Filter:
  • slow? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pipeb0mb (60758) <> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:42AM (#4318327) Homepage
    i don't find mozilla slow an any platform...os x, winxp or linux. i've recently begun installing it on my friedns and families PCs also, and it's snappy as can be!

  • I timed it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Publicus (415536) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:43AM (#4318331) Homepage

    If you allow Mozilla to load itself into memory for faster startup times (only fair considering IE does it without asking) you'll find that you can get a page loaded faster with mozilla.

    I tried it using both browsers on the same site with my machine at work. The difference was on the order of seconds...

    IE is junk compared to mozilla. Also, the Orbit theme rocks! Take a look here [].

  • Re:Mac? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:46AM (#4318346)
    Erm, OS X already has Chimera [].
  • Re:Gripe (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:52AM (#4318385) Journal
    The Mozilla IE Theme [] looks pretty much like IE to me, and I'm using IE regularly.

    Of course won't solve the shortcut problems and if it's not customizable by editing some file (anyone know?), then I hope the Mozilla team will have that in 1.3 or so.
  • by Elledan (582730) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:54AM (#4318398) Homepage
    It feels... smoother than Mozilla, loads pages a bit faster (or at least doesn't hang for nearly a second when switching between apps while the page is loading), and it uses fewer resources:

    Currently Mozilla (1.1) is using 32,852 kb of RAM, while Phoenix (phoenix.exe) is using 25,188 kb. This without any additional tabs/windows open.

    There's only the fact that many, many preferences are not accessible yet (although many are enabled by default), but that is to be expected from an 0.1 release.

    I'll definitely be keeping my eyes on this project :)
  • Re:mozilla slow? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nachoman (87476) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:55AM (#4318402)
    On my windows computer I'm just comparing phoenix to IE... (650MHz, 128MB Ram)

    IE launchs pretty much instantaneously because it's always running... 0.5-1 second.

    Phoenix launches in about 1.5 seconds

    I don't know about you, but I'm willing to wait an extra second for phoenix. It seems to have everything I need for standard browsing.
  • by Genady (27988) <[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:56AM (#4318410)
    With a little project called Chimera. Of course it's only available for Mac OS X, but the lightweight Mozilla sanctioned browser is not a new concept by any means. New to Linux and Windows, yes. New to Mozilla? No.
  • Re:I timed it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dr. Evil (3501) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:56AM (#4318414)

    I can leisurely launch IE and visit a webpage before Mozilla launches. I mean, I can hit start, run, type in "iexplore", load the default page, click on the location bar, type in my page and load it -- all before Mozilla launches.

    Mozilla is the only application I have ever known under Windows to regularly produce the "This application has stopped responding.." window just because it is taking so long to shut a window.

    Once it is up and running it is fine. Windows will swap it out, and it takes a good half-minute to pull out of swap, but otherwise it is fine.

    Despite this pitiful performance on every Windows 2000 (or NT) platform I have tried(it doesn't do this to me on Linux, and doesn't do it nearly as badly on Win98.), I still use it as my primary browser.

    Trust me, it is not my machine, nor is it the dozens of other machines I have tried it on. My Win2k system is the fastest machine I have.

  • by Petronius (515525) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:59AM (#4318426)
    and it rocks!!!

    I just downloaded the app for Win and took it for a spin. Very stable. Very fast. Reminds me of early versions of Opera.

    Go lizzard! Go! Kill the round blue 'e'!
  • Re:mozilla slow? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Eightlines (536572) <> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:02AM (#4318442) Homepage
    You've neglected to recognize that IE is actually launched when the OS boots. When you call on it to load its already in memory so it loads faster.

    You should install the Moz Quicklaunch to put it on the same footing before you claim it doesn't load fast enough.
  • Screenshot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jodrell (191685) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:03AM (#4318445) Homepage
    Here's a screenshot of Phoenix [] (mirrored here []), if you're interested (via Google).
  • Re:I timed it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Photon Ghoul (14932) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:03AM (#4318447)
    I've never had the "this application has stopped responding" with a 1.0+ version of Mozilla. I do get it all of the time with Internet/Windows Explorer. Odd that.
  • by StupidKatz (467476) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:05AM (#4318465)
    IE on Windows loads itself during startup. (Apparently, there's an option for Mozilla to behave this way, too, but WHY??) This gives the illusion that IE is extremely fast during startup, when in fact, it has been running and consuming resources since bootup.

    Now, have both browsers try to render a hideously large, long, tabled page like and popular article here set to -1, Nested, and see how THAT test goes. Even my favorite browser, Opera 6, craps out a lot on that. :( I'd use Mozilla exclusively, except that it lacks the ability to trap any spawned windows inside the initial Mozilla instance as a tab. Sigh.
  • Re:I timed it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Photon Ghoul (14932) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:06AM (#4318470)
    I view ASP pages in Mozilla all of the time. Just so you know, ASP is something that the server processes, which then sends you a page that is rendered in your browser.

    How is Mozilla keeping you from viewing ASP pages?
  • Tried it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by DeadSea (69598) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:07AM (#4318474) Homepage Journal
    They cut out a lot of the Mozilla's best features to make a smaller browser. There is a note in the prefs under advanced saying "your favorite features will be here soon".


    • Themes. This browser has yellow buttons that look pretty good but a bit bright. You can go in the prefs and rearrange the buttons with drag and drop or choose small icons.
    • Ability to block popups without disabling javascript.
    • Fine grained cookie management. No more "alert me" and "remember this decision".
    • Sidebar
    • Chatzilla, Mail, Composer
    • Site Navigation Bar

    Still there:

    • Bookmarks and bookmarks manager
    • History
    • Javascript Conole
    • Download Manager
    • Search plugins
    • Tabbed browsing
    • Cache

    Since my computer is fast enough and has enough memory to run Mozilla, I don't notice that Phoenix loads faster. An older computer with less memory would probably be a better test. Since my favorite privacy features are missing, I have no intention of switching, but if it runs faster on older computers I would recommend it for that. (Please try it on something slow and report.) It might also be appropriate for somebody who wants "just a browser" because of the lack of other applications. The lack of these applications seems to only save a couple megs of download, again I'll take the full featured Mozilla.

  • Proxy settings (Score:2, Informative)

    by repvik (96666) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:07AM (#4318477)
    If you're behind a proxy, don't even bother downloading Phoenix. It doesn't have *any* proxy settings whatsoever.

    Think I'll stick with Opera still.
  • Re:Good timing (Score:2, Informative)

    by cetan (61150) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:11AM (#4318502) Journal
    Phoenix is based off of the 1.0 branch of code. You're already at 1.0 as far as mozilla is concerned. They call it 0.1 for the projects purposes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:15AM (#4318532)
    Use Dillo:

    Dillo []

    It's not perfect, but it is extremely fast, and very useful. It even got a mention on Linux Today:

    Linux today article on Dillo [].
  • Re:Proxy settings (Score:2, Informative)

    by KoopaTroopa (549540) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:19AM (#4318548) Homepage
    I had this problem as well. I couldn't authenticate with my company's Microsoft Proxy server.

    Go to Sourceforge (or it might be Freshmeat; one of the two, but I'm in a hurry) and search for NTLM. NTLM is the authentication scheme used by this proxy. There should be a listing for some sort of NTLM proxy server there.

    Download this proxy, set it up appropriately (it's simple; read the directions) and point your browser to go through your local proxy. The proxy will do the authentication for you.

    It's written in Python, so you'll haveta have that installed. Other than that it is no-hassle and can be useful for other programs (Winamp mebbe?) that you might want to grant access through a passworded firewall.

    Hope this helps.

  • Re:Proxy settings (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:19AM (#4318549)
    If you modify the prefs.js file, you can set proxy settings. But it doesn't just scream that on the download page, does it?
  • Re:Tried it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mwa (26272) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:31AM (#4318623)
    There is a note in the prefs under advanced saying "your favorite features will be here soon".

    Just for grins, I copied my Mozilla prefs.js over the phoenix version. Theming doesn't work, but the proxy and tab preferences do and it appears to ignore onLoad for popups as well. Apparently, the Edit preferences ability is not done, but using the prefs.js does.

  • by Nothinman (22765) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:36AM (#4318660)
    Linux has had Galeon for a while, longer than Chimera has been around IIRC, so it's just new to Windows.
  • Re:I timed it (Score:3, Informative)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:39AM (#4318693)
    Trust me, it is not my machine, nor is it the dozens of other machines I have tried it on.

    /me types this into Mozilla 1.0.1 on Win2K

    The only time I have to wait for anything on my Win2K box (Mozilla included) is when it's spun the hard drives down due to 3 hours on inactivity. With quick launch, the limiting factor in getting Mozilla on the screen is my video card, and I have a Geforce 4 Ti 4200. If I had to guess I'd say it taks 3-4 frames to come up at 1600x1200x85Hz. Granted, my machine is a little faster than most,(Dual XP1800+ w/1GB RAM) but even on older hardware, quick launch should bring up mozilla before you can get your mouse from the start menu to the address bar. It sounds to me like your probelm is that you've got like 128Mb of RAM, and a slowass hard drive, and all your system memory is being used by the OS. (Win2K uses ~100MB of memory on my system without anything loaded right after boot.)

    If you include page loads in the timing between IE and Mozilla, it's no contest. Slashdot is loaded practically instantly in Mozilla, and takes seconds to render in IE.

    You've only tried really low end Win2K boxes, haven't you?

  • Re:Gripe (Score:4, Informative)

    by benwb (96829) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:44AM (#4318738)
    I'm at home right now so I don't have a windows box in front of me, but I'm pretty sure IE will find next by hitting F3
  • by TomatoMan (93630) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:45AM (#4318749) Homepage Journal
    This is not a finished product by any means, although the /. story says it's "released." It's the FIRST release, version 0.1, missing many features; 0.2 is in development now. Also, there's no mac version yet.
  • by Luyseyal (3154) <> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:56AM (#4318839) Homepage

    Eh, I'm not sure if your Windows shortcuts will be the same as my Linux ones, but here goes...

    1. cycle tabs: ctrl+pgup, ctrl+pgdown. Auto Reload: (not sure. you can do it in Galeon.). Close tab: ctrl+w. No clue about the XP group feature. Is it anything like window groups in Enlightenment?
    2. no idea
    3. yeah, Galeon allows you to rearrange the menu bars. Moz doesn't appear to on first glance. For stuff like the Google bar, you don't really need the Google bar since the Location bar will fwd the request to Google and open the results in a new tab.
    4. IE-specific code: no it's not fixable. If we cede control of standards to Microsoft, Moz will forever be playing the catch-up game. It would be helpful to have a quickie option to make the browser lie and say it's IE, just like Opera.
    5. No idea how MIME is handled on the windows builds.
    6. Edit, Preferences, Privacy & Security, Master Password. Customize to your heart's content. RE: autofill, I wonder if this is an IE bug where it autofills stuff it's not supposed to cache. Not sure.
    7. One reason why I don't use em. :)
    8. Isn't that an option in the Windows installer? If not, seems like it should be.
    9. There's another post on how to fix this. You'd think this would be an installer option...
    10. My understanding is that IE lies about its memory usage. It also can cheat and use undocumented APIs and other tricks to make the kernel favor it.

    so anyway, I hope this helps, even if just a litttle...


  • Re:Gripe (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:57AM (#4318848)
    I believe it used to, but nowadays it opens their search sidepanel. The IE online help lists no shortcut for doing a Find Again which is a pretty lame omission if you ask me. And this is typical all the way through IE and OE.
  • Opera beta (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anders (395) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:59AM (#4318860)

    In somewhat related news, Opera released [] a new beta version of their browser last night, Norwegian time. It has many new features, including improved anti-alias and Java handling. The "hidden" distribution place is here []. Incidentally, native FreeBSD builds are provided for the first time.

  • Re:Tried it. (Score:2, Informative)

    by fermion (181285) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:19AM (#4318992) Homepage Journal
    Chimera also has a limited GUI to set preferences, but the preferences may still be there.

    Many of the preferences are listed on customization page []. To edit preferences, quit the browser, edit your prefs.js file, save it, and restart the browser. Using these preferences, I can set pop up, cookie, window permissions, and other options.

    I will agree with critics that say the average user, and even the average programmer, is not capable of reading through the examples and manually setting preferences. But those who can are freed from slow and viral browsers.

  • by Eagle7 (111475) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:21AM (#4319009) Homepage
    Ok, got it, you need to make sure you have:

    user_pref("network.proxy.type", 2);


    user_pref("network.proxy.type", 1);

    depending on if you want auto (2) or manual (1).
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:24AM (#4319038)
    >But in the GUI world, there isn't any piping metaphor because output is nonstandard. Because of this you also can't `` it. So there's no real way to pull little applications
    together in an easy fashion.

    Nothing really prevents you from using pipes in a GUI application. Maybe shared memory is a better fit.

    But in the case of Mozilla, The browser does not need to communicate with the mail reader or anything else.

    The obvious solution is to have the independent applications be independent executables.

    Netcape and Mozilla was blind to the obvious, causing such things as galeon to form.

    This has been my main complaint from Netscape 0.9 to mozilla/Netscape 7.

    There is a patch to allow one to specifiy another mail reader. And another patch to only compile the mailnews application. But this is a real pain to do such a thing.

    There should be at least 4 code trees ( and 4 separate releases). Mozilla GUI libs, Mozilla core libs, Mozilla browser, and mozilla mail/news. Splitting the released libraries up even more would better, as it promotes better separation, sharing and competition (open source).

    The "new" Unix way is to have many shared libraries used by many executables. You install the Mozilla core libraries, then Galeon on top of that. Then install the Mozilla GUI libs, then install the separate Browser and Mail executables on top of the GUI and core libs.
  • by mr3038 (121693) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:25AM (#4319045)
    Mozilla needs some marketing oriented types instead of more nerds.

    Ever heard of company called "Netscape"? Mozilla isn't meant for end users. Quote []:

    Mozilla is an open-source web browser and toolkit, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability. provides binaries
    for testing and feedback.
    (emphasis mine)
  • by jacobito (95519) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:27AM (#4319051) Homepage
    There will be no Mac version. The Chimera project fills that niche (with a Cocoa UI, to boot).
  • by leoboiko (462141) <leoboiko AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:43AM (#4319171) Homepage
    There's a reason for the red color. Initially he was green, but then they received a love letter from Toho's (Godzilla owner) legal department.

    And Mozilla mascot is cool. You should see OpenBSD, *that* is a stupid mascot.
  • by FyRE666 (263011) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @10:48AM (#4319206) Homepage
    Since there are new security exploits appearing for IE almost every month/week/few hours, unless you cripple the browser by turning off all scripting/java/activeX controls etc, you're likely to end up with a virus or shitload of marketing crap all over your harddrive eventually.

    I still use it, and have now added entries in my local DNS server to block out links to gator etc as I got sick of uninstalling their redirect garbage.

    Besides which, MS is the beast, as we all know and using their browser just encourages them...
  • Re:Gripe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tekai (128804) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @11:00AM (#4319298) Homepage
    next try, i think theres a bug in the comment system code, preview as plain old text killed my link although i noticed my mistake and set it to HTML Formatted. Here is the url: []
  • by naChoZ (61273) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @11:06AM (#4319338) Homepage Journal
    Another good way of protecting yourself from ads and bad javascript and the like is a free little app called Proxomitron []. Because it's a proxy based app, it works with both Netscape and IE nicely. Since I tend to use both when I'm on a windows box, I find it makes my browsing much much cleaner.
  • Re:Gripe (Score:2, Informative)

    by __past__ (542467) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:35PM (#4319972)
    Ctrl-PgUp/Crtl-PgDown in the default bindings.


  • Re:Proxy settings (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:46PM (#4320072)
    I copied my entire prefs.js file from Mozilla 1.1 to Phoenix and it does use my proxy settings.
  • by rycamor (194164) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:59PM (#4320198)
    Wrong. There are many more at MozDev [], as well as links to other Mozilla/XUL sites. Also Komodo [] , a commercial product was written with Mozilla. Activestate is actually making money with this.

    O'reilly [] is taking this seriously []. Maybe they know something you don't ;-)?
  • Re:Gripe (Score:2, Informative)

    by mh_tang (307188) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:00PM (#4321282)
    Actually with my IE6.0, hitting F3 opens a search pane on the left side of the browser. If you want to "Find Next", the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+F.

    So much for consistency.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?