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Mozilla The Internet Upgrades

Mozilla Firebird Soars Into View 514

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the birds-planes-and-browsers dept.
About a zillion people wrote to announce Mozilla 0.6, but asa was the first: "Mozilla Firebird 0.6 (formerly Phoenix) is available for download. This release features a fresh new look, a redesigned preferences window, preliminary support for Mac OS X and much more. Read why you should be using Mozilla Firebird and get the latest release." I'm not exactly clamoring for a new web browser, but it looks worth checking out.
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Mozilla Firebird Soars Into View

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  • Opera (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dbglt (668805) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:31AM (#5979584)
    Has anyone compared this firebird you speak of, to the mysterious cult of opera? I'm quite happy as an opera cultsman, yet i am open to bribery :P

    Anyone wanna point out to me some features that firebird has/plans on having? Most of the ones on the list look pretty basic...
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrd_yaddayadda (629895) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:37AM (#5979616)
      I'm an Operaphile. Straight up front I'll say that but from my very very brief look at Firebird (.6) I'm impressed. One of the things I can't live without in Opera are the mouse gestures. I know that there has been a - imo - rather crappy implementation of the idea available for Mozilla for a while but it seems that it's finally getting there.

      I tried previous releases of Phoenix and while I thought it promising it always has seemed very rough around the edges understandably but this seems to be getting close. Allied with Thunderbird this could be a good mix...

      Worth trying for a while at least.
      • Re:Opera (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dylan Zimmerman (607218) <Bob_Zimmerman@3. ... box.com minus pi> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:14AM (#5979763)
        Well, if you want mouse gestures, you can always get StrokeIt. It adds mouse gestures to Windows as a whole. Essentially, it recognizes a gesture and performs a macro based on which gesture it was and which application is active. It can even do global gestures like close, minimize all, and restore all.

        http://www.tcbmi.com/strokeit/
        • StrokeIt? (Score:5, Funny)

          by allanj (151784) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:50AM (#5979924)

          Well, if you want mouse gestures, you can always get StrokeIt. It adds mouse gestures to Windows as a whole. Essentially, it recognizes a gesture and performs a macro based on which gesture it was and which application is active. It can even do global gestures like close, minimize all, and restore all.


          StrokeIt? StrokeIt?!! I would never EVER buy anything called StrokeIt, if there is even the slightest chance of my wife finding out I bought something called that.

      • Pie Menus (Score:4, Informative)

        by jefu (53450) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:01AM (#5979977) Homepage Journal
        I've been using the phoenix/mozilla "Radial Context" (ie Pie Menu) implementation for a while now and far prefer it to the gestures stuff. And its been solid and well performing for the most part (sometimes a nightly build will kill it, but thats not that common now).
        • Re:Pie Menus (Score:3, Informative)

          by Foresto (127767)
          Yes, I use Pie Menus on Mozilla & Firebird as well. They're like gestures, but with some visual feedback, so each gesture is easy to learn. Get it here. [gamemakers.de]
    • Re:Opera (Score:3, Interesting)

      by J_DarkElf (602111)
      The only advantage I see in having a XUL-based browser is that it is quite easy to add extensions to it, such as support for additional standards such as Ruby, or adding support for features left out of the main distribution, such as the 'site navigation' () bar.

      Standards support is virtually identical in Gecko and Presto -- Presto does certain things a little better, Gecko has support for SVG and some other things Presto does not yet support. Unless you for some reason need SVG and MathML support, I do no
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Informative)

      by theprancinghorse (594307) <theprancinghorse@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:57AM (#5979697)

      I used the Opera 7.1 beta for GNU/Linux for a couple of weeks and find that it loses out to Firebird in the following areas:

      • It is does not have type ahead find [mozilla.org].
      • It does not have as sophisticated cookie and image blocking facilities.
      • You cannot limit the functionality of Javascript in ways that Firebird provides.
      • It is no faster than Firebird 0.5 or 0.6 in any respect.
      • It has an annoying advertisement.
      • It does not work well with Java applets (for me atleast).

      The first 3 points are the major reason I chose to stick with Mozilla Firebird. Plus, you get a number of cool extensions for Firebird which you can install at a click of a button.

      I found that the Tab management in Opera 7.1 was superior that Firebird's out of the box. But there is an extension called "Tabbrowser extensions" which make Firebird Tabs behave as well as Opera.

      I for one don't see a reason to spend good money on Opera given that Firebird exists.

    • Re:Opera (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bander (2001) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:10AM (#5979748) Homepage
      I was one of the Opera faithful for a couple of years, but switched to Phoenix/Mozilla Firebird about six months ago and haven't looked back since.

      Opera started losing favor when the Daily Python site kept coming up in Greek (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just can't read Greek) and their tech support was completely unhelpful.

      Mozilla Firebird is close to everything a browser should be. And nothing more, which is at least as important.

      -- Bander
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grayrest (468197) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:35AM (#5979860) Homepage
      If you don't see what you're looking for, check the extension page [texturizer.net] at Firebird Help. Otherwise, ask in the Mozillazine Forums, which are linked in a dozen places.

      The whole point of firebird is that different people want different things from their browsers. A web neophyte and a web developer will have different requirements. With the extension mechanism, the needs of both can be satisfied.

      For example, my setup looks like this [nique.net]. The features shown there are a mix between built in mozilla features and extensions, several of which I've either created or tweaked.

      The features they list are pretty pedestrian, but since it's pretty easy to create extensions, a lot of interesting functionality is being created. I believe that the creativity of extension makers will be a key source of innovation for web browsers and the ideas that are currently in development will be listed as key features of mozilla in the future.

      Finally, I personally would keep using firebird even if IE or Opera duplicated the functionality of everything in Fb including the extensions. Why? If I want to have a new feature in Fb, I sit down and hack it out. If a feature is almost right, I dive into the source and tweak it. Mozilla interface code is really easy to hack and that is very valuable to me and something that Opera lacks.
    • I love this! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:57PM (#5980509) Homepage Journal
      It's great that we have an Open Source V Closed Source fight (floabw) on which opinions aren't distorted by one side being the MS behemoth. It's cool to see two sets of obviously talented engineers working so hard at something and in the process demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of both models.
  • Great Work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mbrod (19122) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:31AM (#5979587) Homepage Journal
    I would just like to say good job to the developers and the project managers. The direction this part of Mozilla has gone has really put the icing on the cake for it being the best browser IMHO.

    I use it Phoenix (ermmm I mean Firebird) now on every platform at work and at home. Love it.

    Never have any popup problems, very quick and couldn't do without opening links in the background under a new tab as I browse the web then go to them when I am done reading what I am currently on.
    • Re:Great Work (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sisukapalli1 (471175) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:44AM (#5979642)
      Just a few weeks ago, I felt that Mozilla was good enough and that there was no need to try anything else -- till I downloaded Mozilla Firebird (some nightly after 0.5), and boy is it good...

      Here are the main things:

      The customization is tremendous. I managed to shave off a couple of toolbars from the screen -- only one toolbar with more buttons and options than what I put with Mozilla 1.4b.

      The extensions are wonderful too. Simple things like NukeImage, Tabbrowser extensions, Adblock, and a tonne of other extensions.

      So, right now I use both Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird, and I see the little Mozilla offsprings dethroning parent Mozilla very soon.

      Soon it will be the time to say, "The king is dead, long live the king."

      S

      • Re:Great Work (Score:3, Informative)

        by Proneax (609988)
        So, right now I use both Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird, and I see the little Mozilla offsprings dethroning parent Mozilla very soon.

        The Developers have stated this will happen [mozilla.org]
        • Re:Great Work (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dr.badass (25287)
          Of course, this means that those of us that like Mozilla are pretty much fucked, right?

          I used Phoenix off and on since it came out, but when I started using Mozilla, there was just no comparison. Phoenix feels like a toy next to it, but apparently that's what makes it so popular.

          I'm utterly bewildered as to why they intend to effectively kill Mozilla in favor of this. I can understand (in reading the new roadmap), focusing on a common runtime, but why must they kill off Mozilla to do so?

          I wouldn't mind
  • It's great. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The J Kid (266953) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:33AM (#5979598) Homepage Journal
    I've got it and it's great.

    It's fast, zippy and speedy too!
    If you haven't been using the Nightlies lately, the new default theme will seem to you as a breath of fresh air.

    It's hands down the best browser for Linux.
    • The article mentions that this is a faster, less bloated version of Mozilla. What are they trying to do here, what are hte main differences between Mozilla and Firebird and why do they seem to be advocating one of their products over another? kc
      • ... what are hte main differences between Mozilla and Firebird and why do they seem to be advocating one of their products over another?

        If you are asking about the difference between the current Mozilla Browser and Mozilla Firebird Browser then it's basically a directional change.
        Read the Mozilla Road Map [mozilla.org] to see why this is being done.

        The difference between Mozilla, in gerneral, and Firebird is that one is a web browser and one is a RDBMS.

        And the Mozilla crowd said people wouldn't confuse the two....
  • Font Magnification (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teckla (630646) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:33AM (#5979599)
    For those of us without electron microscopes handy to read the tiny, tiny fonts on many web pages, Mozilla/Mozilla Firebird also allows text magnification that *always works*.

    There are tons of web pages whose text can't be magnified in Internet Explorer without first turning on the accessibility options, and doing that is very annoying.

    -Teckla
    • by dbglt (668805)
      This is hardly ground-breaking - this has been around since the early days of opera (not that long ago :) Just because IE doesn't offer it... it does not make firebird/whatever they want to call it now/and now better
    • by Stuart Gibson (544632) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:39AM (#5979623) Homepage
      As of course does Opera (and has done for some considerable time). Of course, Opera can magnify everything (including images) for those with poor eyesight or for, ahem, closer inspection of thumbnails.

      Alternatively, you can specify the minimum size of font you will accept (in pixels) which means you never need to magnify text as anything specified above the size will stay as the author intended, yet small text won't drop below your specified limit.

      Yes, I know you need to pay for Opera and not Phoenix/Firebird, but that's fine. No need to start a holy war, just passing on the information :)

      Goblin
    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:42AM (#5979638) Homepage
      The Mozilla Firebird developers seem to be the first mainstream developers to finally realize that a browser doesn't have to follow every stupid thing that a 'web designer' dictates. A browser does not have to pop up moronic Javascript windows just because the site says so. It doesn't have to allow the site to obscure the status bar just because the site wants to. If the Javascript specification allows these things, well then the spec is broken and it's right for the browser to ignore it and do (by default) what the _user_ is most likely to want. Font resizing that always works is another instance of this.

      (One more thing I wish they would fix, however, and that is links that open in a new window. It shouldn't be up to the web site to control opening new windows in the user's browser, it's confusing to the novice (as Nielsen points out) and annoying to many experienced users. The default browser settings, IMHO, ought to open all links in the same window and let the user choose whether to do something different by middle-clicking instead of left-clicking. I hope the Firebird people can fix this one remaining annoyance in a future release.)
  • Web panels? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Anybody know what the Web Panels thingy does? (View->Sidebar->Web Panels) I can't really get it to do _anything_ at all :)
    • Re:Web panels? (Score:3, Informative)

      by willll (635932)
      Web Panels is/was a half implemented feature thats function was to allow customizeable sidebars in Firebird, similar to Mozilla's sidebar. It was never fully implemented and was supposed to be removed from 0.6, but obviously it wasn't fully removed.
  • Will Mozilla browser UI be based on XUL? If not - does it mean that XUL is dead?
  • Why should I use pheonix over other (non IE) browsers? The "why" page lists a whole heap of reasons which don't really make me feel like I should be leaving mozilla, other people are saying why should they leave opera, the page feels a lot more geared towards IE users. Surely some one here uses Pheonix enough to give good comparisons between Mozilla/Opera and why we should switch.
    • I think the only solution is for you to try it out. No one else is going to tell you "OHH this is what you really like, and Phoenix does it better for you!!!" You're the only one who knows what you like about your web browsers. Download it, give it a whirl. Personally, I download all major browsers available for linux, and then choose the one that appeals to my tastes. Remember, this is only version 0.6; it's a very young project, so there will probably be a lot of adjustments in the future.

      BTW I tried

    • Firebird has less chrome / overlays than the entire Mozilla, less XPCOM components and .xpt files and a simpler UI. This makes it start up a bit quicker, and run a bit better. That means that if you're just browsing, or intend to use a third party mail application it would be better than Mozilla.

      Personally I just take the hit on startup for Mozilla since I have it running all day so a few seconds startup makes no odds. I also reckon that aside from a few annoyances the mail/news component is second to non

  • Just out of a vague and morbid sense of curiosity, I thought Camino was supposed to be the firebird of OSX? Not that I mind the choice, but it just seems odd that they'd release two browsers that seem to occupy the same niche.
    • by Phantasmo (586700) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:11AM (#5979749)
      Firebird is built with XUL, the Mozilla project's cross-platform widget set, while Camino is built with Cocoa, Apple's "application environment".

      Camino is Mac OS X's answer to K-Meleon [sourceforge.net] for Windows and Galeon [sourceforge.net] for GNOME.

      Native UI versus write once, compile anywhere.
    • ...Camino also seems better integrated than Mozilla F. The latter redefines Cmd-H to mean "hide/show sidebar" (every other application has it as the "hide this app" which, on Mac OS X's single-workspace desktop, is an absolute god-send, and ignores the middle mouse button for those who have middle mouse buttons (no more easily opening links in new tabs.)

      It's also smaller. Mozilla F for OS X actually decompressed to a 30 meg directory. Camino is closer to 20 - despite being, IMNSHO, more functional.

      I thi

  • Building from source (Score:5, Informative)

    by huhmz (216967) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:53AM (#5979675)
    I just built Mozilla Firebird from source, actually i downloaded the source yesterday, but didn't want to start the build that late in the night because well... it takes a while to build ;)

    The reason I wanted to build from source is that I wanted nifty anti aliased fonts which the nightly builds doesn't offer.
    So...
    wget http://64.12.168.21/pub/mozilla/nightly/latest/moz illa-source.tar.bz2
    tar -xjf mozilla-source.tar.bz2
    cvs -d :pserver:anonymous@cvs-mirror.mozilla.org:/cvsroot checkout mozilla/browser mozilla/toolkit

    Now we are ready to choose build options.
    cd mozilla
    vi .mozconfig

    here is what my .mozconfig contains

    export MOZ_PHOENIX=1
    mk_add_options MOZ_PHOENIX=1
    ac_add_options --with-pthreads
    ac_add_options --disable-mailnews
    ac_add_options --disable-ldap
    ac_add_options --enable-xft
    ac_add_options --disable-jsd
    ac_add_options --enable-crypto
    ac_add_options --disable-accessibility
    ac_add_options --disable-composer
    ac_add_options --disable-tests
    ac_add_options --disable-debug
    ac_add_options --enable-optimize="-O3 -march=pentium3 -mfpmath=sse,387"
    ac_add_options --enable-strip

    All the --disable- options are beause I only want Firebird and not the composer, mail, news etc
    the --enable-xft is the important one if you want nice anti aliased fonts.
    My --enable-optimize is just some optimizations for my p4 (-march=pentium4 was buggy last time I tried). If you have an or lower than pentium3 then choose diffrent options (man gcc) or use the more standard "-O2"
    The MOZ_PHOENIX=1 is what tells the build process to build Phoenix (well Firebird its called now but the option is still MOZ_PHOENIX) and not the standard mozilla browser.
    To start building:
    make -f client.mk build

    This will take a really long time. Also the configure process might complain that you are missing some library like Xft or libIDL, in that case you will have to install it (apt-get install libidl0 libidl-dev)
    After the build is complete all the necessary stuff is in dist/bin/ so I copy that to /opt/firebird:
    cp -r -L dist/bin/ /opt/firebird

    (the -L option because the dir contains a lot of symlinks that will break if you don't use -L)
    Now you can run firebird with /opt/firebird/MozillaFirebird

    I don't know if this is exactly the official way to do it but that's how I did it.
    Good luck
  • by djst (673988)

    For more information about Mozilla Firebird and how to customize it, change themes and install extensions, visit Mozilla Firebird Help [texturizer.net]

    Among other things, you'll find instructions on how to disable two of the new features: smooth scrolling and automatic image resizing.

  • Tab behavior (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tmark (230091)
    I've been using Mozilla and Netscape, and I couldn't stand how opening a link in a new tab also switched focus to that tab. I don't know about previous FireBird versions, but this one opens a new tab but keeps focus on the current window, which is how I think it *should* work.
    • Re:Tab behavior (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gandalfar (599790)
      Edit -> Preferences -> Tabbed Browsing -> Load links in the background

      should do the trick :)
    • You and the rest of the world.

      That aggravated me, but I think there was an option. Doesn't really matter though since I use Galeon fo now.
    • This was an option at least in Phoenix 0.5 which is several months old by now. Are you sure you just didn't notice the option? It was set to "switch to new tab" by default I think. Not that it matters now when you've got it the way you want. :-) But I still think they might just've changed the default.

      What's annoying me is that the middle-click on empty area and move the mouse up/down to scroll in the page doesn't work. :-( Sure, scroll up with the *weel* does, but that's tedious IMHO.

      I know there's a Moz
      • I'm using the March 4th build of Phoenix 0.5. The extension that adds auto-scroll (wherfe you click down the wheel and move the mouse around to scroll) works almost flawlessly. It choked once on a huge (a few hundred pages long) page, though.

        I really like this build. It's stable, fast, and I simply don't see a reason to upgrade yet.
    • Re:Tab behavior (Score:3, Informative)

      I couldn't stand how opening a link in a new tab also switched focus to that tab

      Edit-> Preferences-> Navigator-> Tabbed Browsing-> Tab Display-> Load links in the background

      The pref has been in mozilla almost since tabs were implemented. Sorry you weren't able to find it. That's one of Mozilla Firebird's clear advantages: a vastly simplified and improved preference panel.
  • by hrbrmstr (324215) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:56AM (#5979693) Homepage Journal
    I haven't tried a ton of SSL connections yet, but so far it's given a 15-25% speed improvement (perhaps more) to browsing on my Mac (dual 867MHz G4).

    I've tried:
    • IE (hey, it came with it!)
    • Safari (latest beta)
    • Camino (latest stable release)
    • Mozilla (the 'big daddy')
    • Opera (lags behind on this platform)


    IE just rots. Safari, in its most recent incarnation, works well standards-wise, but one can really feel how different it and the Mozilla code really are (and I do like Moz better). It's also "slow". Camino is coming along well, but it too is "slow". SSL is painful on both of them (I tend to use IE on a PC to hit SSL sites).

    Firebird is just plain cool. A bit rough around the Mac edges, but it's *fast*. Did I mention that it's fast?

    The Camino team and these guys should team up. The combined browser would be unmatched.
    • Not sure I follow you on tthe whole slow/SSL thing. I don't find either Camino or Safari slow at all, and haven't run accorss any problems with SSL (self signed or auth-ed) on either. I haven't gotten Firebird yet though.
    • Safari, in its most recent incarnation, works well standards-wise, but one can really feel how different it and the Mozilla code really are (and I do like Moz better). It's also "slow". Camino is coming along well, but it too is "slow".

      Usually when people put words in inverted commas it means the words are being used in a different way than is usual. So, by "slow," I assume you mean "fast."

  • Under "What's New" it says "Mozilla Firebird is available for Mac OS X. It's still quite rough around the edges but it's a start." Under "Known Issues" it says "Firebird on Mac OS X is new and still very rough around the edges. Expect platform inconsistencies."

    Also, several annoying features (such as auto image resizing) require user.js hacks, which is a minor hassle. I already have Mozilla 1.3.1, Safari (v.74), and Camino 0.7. I switched to Camino from Mozilla, and Safari is starting to catch up. I m

    • It's not automatic, but you can export your bookmarks from one browser into a .html file, and then import them from another browser. And importing in the second won't break your current bookmarks--it will just add to them. Also, you could set each browser to use the same folder for profiles.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. Where are the Xft builds? Reading the Firebird forums, one notes that not everyone has Xft, therefore, Firebird is not built with Xft. One is told to build from source if one wants Xft enabled builds. Oh ok, Firebird can not do what Opera handles by default, in a smaller download no less. No prob, back to Opera I go.
    2. The best feature I ever saw in any browser, was in the older Galeon builds. In the preferences, there was a checkbox, which allowed you to select a preferred download manager, such as Pro
  • by Gruturo (141223) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:04AM (#5979720)
    6.66

    Man. that's evil! :-)

    • Actually isn't that:

      number-of-the-beast
      --------------------
      100

      Which is the number of the micro-beast, IIRC.

      Seriously, though, some people take that number *way* too seriously. When I worked in retail in my youth, I came across more than one customer who would actually purchase something else to change their total. I always wanted to say to them:

      "It's not the total of your video and candy that's going to send you to hell, I promise."

      But I never really had the balls to say it ;)
  • One thing's for sure, even if I could care less for the cruft Mozilla comes with, I'm not gonna use Firebird until they support hitting down arrow to search on Google.
    • One thing I'd like to be able to do, is type anything in the address bar. If it isn't in a proper url format (no periods, for example) then it searches google with that text and the "I'm feeling lucky" option.

      That way I can just type slashdot, or any of a thousand other websites I might visit commonly, and it will go there automatically. Also good for when I'm looking for something new and feel confident of my googling skills :)

      This result could also be achieved by setting shortcuts, but doesn't seem as
      • by Millennium (2451) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:32AM (#5979842) Homepage
        Combining shortcuts with keywords will give you guys what you want and more.

        I have a bunch of these. Now I can type "search terms" to search on Google, "nodesearch terms" to search on Everything2, "bug number" to go straight to that bug in BugZilla, and so forth. Flexible, powerful, and damn cool.

        I use Safari a lot nowadays, and keyword searching is the one feature I really miss. Well, that and a decent JavaScript console. I hope these things get added soon.
    • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @01:32PM (#5980662) Homepage
      I'm not gonna use Firebird until they support hitting down arrow to search on Google.

      And what's so crazy about using the search field and saving that extra down arrow keystroke? In addition to the default Google, the search field can have literally hundreds [mozdev.org] of search engines available with a single click (including google images, groups, and news). Why would you want to use the very limited search option of Mozilla's addressfield whe you can use a powertool like Mozilla Firebird's search field? It's faster, more flexible andd requires one less keystroke.

      --Asa
  • Glendale!? (Score:4, Funny)

    by tbmaddux (145207) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:04AM (#5979723) Homepage Journal
    At the top of the release notes it says "Mozilla Firebird 0.6 (Glendale)" and at the bottom it lists earlier names of Pescadero, Santa Cruz, Lucia, Oceano, and Naples.

    Glendale is making progress towards a trashy cityname, but for true consistency with Camino I suggest the code name for the final release of Bakersfield, or perhaps Fresno.

  • Uh.. crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:05AM (#5979727)
    Under "Known Issues":

    - Form auto-complete is still an unstable feature and may lead to crashes.
    - Disabling of form auto-completion is not working.

    Sweet.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:09AM (#5979743)
    Obviously Firebird has it's uses but when you spend all day reading mail, news and browsing there is much to be said for an integrated all in one solution. It's the little things that you miss when you run seperate apps, for example middle-clicking on a link in a mail window and having a tab open in the browser, having a single password manager and so on. Mozilla is generally so rock solid, I'd be prepared to take a hit in stability for the better performance / footprint a single app brings.


    Firebird obviously is useful if you want to use some other mail application but I think it is unwise to split the apps out without good reason, especially for the large number of people who love the integration of Mozilla.


    I would much prefer this - design the apps so they can run seperately if desired, but also allow them to run in the same address space using chrome overlays. That is pretty much all Moz is doing right now, but it could be done much more cleanly so that you could mix and match the bits. This is quite feasible to do and it means the best of both worlds for everyone.

  • I was pleased to start Firebird (on WinXP) and see that the profile selection now has a "Do Not Ask On Startup" option. However, it doesn't seem to work for me. (I still get asked to choose a profile even if I selected "Do Not Ask..." last time I opened it). Anyone else having this issue?

    PS: I like the new "Back" and "Forward" buttons. I'll probably still download a new skin for them, but they are much better than the defaults for Phoenix (which always had my clicking on the mini-arrows that drop down
  • Please be aware that there is an extremely nasty Macromedia Flash-related bug in Mozilla Firebird 0.6. If you use Flash or Flash-oriented web sites as extensively as I do, this bug makes Mozilla Firebird 0.6 completely unuseable. To get true Macromedia Flash support in Mozilla Firebird under Windows, you need to create a few registry keys. Normally, this worked fine until the releases starting a few days ago. However, now when you make the registry keys and install Macromedia Flash, it appears to work correctly, but as soon as you re-open Mozilla Firebird, it reverts to the old Netscape "Classic" theme, and adds a few new toolbars such as Help, and QA. Absolutely *nothing* works under this corrupted Mozilla Firebird, rendering Mozilla Firebird 0.6 completely useless. For more information on this nasty bug, please see this Bugzilla entry [mozilla.org].
    • by cioxx (456323) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:00AM (#5979971) Homepage
      Here's the registry entry. Create a Firebird.reg file, copy the follwing entries there and double click it. It should make Firebird visible to scores of applications, not limited only to Flash.
      REGEDIT4
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Mozilla\Moz illa Firebird]
      "GeckoVer"="1.0.1"
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firebird\bin]
      "PathToExe"="C:\\program files\\MozillaFirebird\\MozillaFirebird.exe"
      [HKE Y_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firebird\Extensions]
      "Plugins"="C:\\Program Files\\MozillaFirebird\\Plugins"
      "Components"="C: \\Program Files\\MozillaFirebird\\Components"
  • Everyone (Score:3, Informative)

    by Apreche (239272) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:02AM (#5979978) Homepage Journal
    Ok, what I see happening here is a bunch of people who use Opera or Moz are going to try out Firebird now that it is at .6. The ones who use IE arent' a problem because they will be blown away and convert, I've seen it time and time again.
    The people who use Opera or Moz or Konqueror or something else aren't going to be taken in. Mainly because they've already seen most of the features before. But I assure you, Firebird is better. You just need to go get the extensions. Without the Tabbed Browsing Extension you lose a lot of tab functionality. Without the Mycroft search additions the search bar in the top right is only half as useful.

    Go to www.texturizer.net/firebird/

    get the extensions that you want and need.
    The themes are also there, I prefer phusion

    There are more at www.mozdev.org

    Do that before you judge this software. A raw install is awesome compared to IE and stuff, but the extensions are what really make Firebird the best browser.
    • Re:Everyone (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogie (31020)
      Not to Troll but IE users are the ones to worry about. Opera and Konq users probably make up like .025% of web users. Its not even worth working on Safari(I guess Konq) users, Apple only makes up like 4% of computer users.

      Work on IE users, they are the ones that make up 95% of the Net. If Mozilla is to ever make any impact(doubtful without desktop bundling) than you need to beat Redmonites first.
  • First Impressions. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:06AM (#5979996)
    I am comparing Mozilla Firebird with the Apple Safari Browser. Its a pritty good shot for a Mac Port of a browser. The Bootup time and render time is accecptible. Its still a fraction slower then Safari, both in boot time and render time. Firebird doese handle flash better then Safari but Safari has been slow with flash. As of right now the major problem I have with Firebird is the fact the scrool bar is extreamly slow but that should be an easy fix.
    But I am still impressed for a version designed to be ran primarly on Windows and Linux platforms. Firebird runs quite well. With a little work and some healthy competition from both Mozilla and Safari. I think there is a chance of getting 2 really good browsers.
  • Close all tabs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Photon01 (662761) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:07AM (#5979998)
    In mozilla, when i right click on a tab, i have a close other tabs option. I use this alot, and its the only yhting that stops me using firebird.

    Why hasnt this been included, or am i just missing a way to turn it on?
  • Windows Installer (Score:5, Informative)

    by k2enemy (555744) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:00PM (#5980227)
    Windows users can download [mozdev.org] 0.6 with a Windows installer. This will add registery keys for you, making plugin installations much, much easier. It's unofficial, but very convenient.
  • by chasingporsches (659844) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:00PM (#5980228)
    About a zillion people wrote to announce Mozilla 0.6

    i guess that was, what, 2-3 years ago? i wonder how many people submitted the story about Firebird 0.6... :-)
  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:00PM (#5980236) Homepage
    Mozilla Trans Am and Mozilla IROC-Z !!!

    Sorry... Firebird takes me back to my gearhead days...
  • by xenoweeno (246136) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:49PM (#5980467)

    Maybe someone can point out how to change these by editing config files so that I can send IE away for good:

    • I want to sort bookmarks with folders first.
    • I always want the tab bar displayed.
    • I want bookmarks (clicked in both the sidebar and in the Bookmarks Toolbar) to always open on a new tab.

    Until then, I'm still using NetCaptor [netcaptor.com], in which the tabbed interface is much more intuitive and under my control. IMHO, of course.

    • "I want to sort bookmarks with folders first."

      Folders are first by default. You can also move them around any way you want with the bookmark manager.

      "I always want the tab bar displayed."
      Get Tabbrowser Extension

      "I want bookmarks (clicked in both the sidebar and in the Bookmarks Toolbar) to always open on a new tab."
      Get Tabbrowser Extension

      http://white.sakura.ne.jp/~piro/xul/_tabextensi o ns .html.en

      Mozilla has 99% of the features most people want either by default or through extensions all it takes is a
  • by Selanit (192811) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @01:05PM (#5980549)
    I've been using Firebird (neé Phoenix) as my default browser since 0.2, in both Windows and Linux. I love it. It's great. Hurrah for the developers.

    That said, I've had one major peeve ever since I first tried it: the preferences control is a joke. While this new version (I've just tried it out) is better in some respects, they've got a loooong way to go.

    Some specific points:

    • Setting the home page should have a button labelled "Choose file . . ." I know I can go File->Open then re-open the preferences and click "Use Current". But that's a pain in the ass.
    • The "Set default browser" option (Windows-specific) is imprecise. Clicking it associates Firebird with loads of file types, including bitmap files (.bmp). Bring back the old-style Mozilla pref where you click a check-box next to each file type you wanted associated. Hide it behind an "advanced" button if you must.
    • Moz is capable of disabling animated .gifs, which makes browsing a lot nicer. Unfortunately, there's no control of that in the preferences.


    Which brings me to the "about:config" screen. It shows you a list of all the prefs you can control, including things like gif animation. In principle this is a great idea -- the ultimate "advanced" tab that allows power-users to tweak to their heart's content.

    In practice, it's horrible. It just prints out a list of every preference there is, in alphabetical order. There are over five hundred of them. You have to wade through hundreds of lines to find the one you want. What's more, there's no indication what they do beyond the names of the prefs. Some of the time that makes it clear -- but lots of the time it doesn't. For example, "browser.related.enabled". That's set to "true" by default. I wonder what it controls?

    Then, once you've found what you want -- in my case "image.animation_mode" to control gif animations -- you have to figure out what value to set it to. Altering values in about:config is basically identical to altering values with the registry editor in Windows, and we all know how easily that can screw something up. If a value is boolean, that's fairly easy to figure out. In the case of "image.animation_mode", however, you have to guess what string the developer picked to signify the behaviors. At least right-clicking an option lets you reset it to default if you screw up.

    Basically, about:config needs some major work. For one thing, there are about a zillion options in there that no longer apply to Firebird -- editor.* and mail.* for example. Those should be removed. The ones that are left should be put in expandable trees by their first word so you don't have to wade through dozens of options you're not interested in -- eg browser.* would have (+) next to it and expand to show all options beginning with "browser.". There should also be something explaining what all these options do and what their values are. Ideally that'd be a little ? next to each option that would pop up a box explaining the term, but a monolithic document somewhere on the web would work just as well.

    Anyway, I've groused long enough. It's a great browser, I just think it should be easier to control all those options. Splitting it into a "basic" and "advanced" config panels is a fine idea, but it needs a lot more work!
    • by BZ (40346)
      > It shows you a list of all the prefs you can
      > control

      Actually, it shows a list of all the prefs that have a value set. Which is not the same thing at all -- there are a lot more prefs that you can control than there are prefs that have a value set by default.
    • by Drakonian (518722) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @07:04PM (#5982557) Homepage
      You can get to them by copying chrome://communicator/content/pref/pref.xul into your address bar. (There is no default handler for chrome URLs so clicking it won't work)

      Wow, this version feels fast. I've never felt that in all the Phoenix's or Mozilla's or even a nightly from a couple weeks ago, but this 0.6 screams!

  • User Certificates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zeugma-amp (139862) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @02:53PM (#5981031) Homepage

    The one feature that Firebird is lacking that keeps me from using it as my primary browser is the lack of support for certificates. I have several websites that I support at work where I must use certificates because the websites are set up to both require user certs and perform checking of a CRL.

    I can still use the full Mozilla for this as it has the ability to import certificates, but I've yet to be able to locate a method for doing this in Phoenix/Firebird.

    If someone out there knows how it might be done, I'd appreciate either a reply here or a mail to [z e u g m a at p o b o x dot c o m]

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