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Netscape The Internet

First Peek at Netscape Navigator 9 186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the check-out-them-peepers dept.
lisah writes "Netscape released a beta version of Navigator 9 (Linux.com shares corporate overlordship with Slashdot) today that includes several new components while giving some old ones the boot. This release will no longer ship with mail or composer but does have URL correction, a pre-populated RSS feed menu, and a neat clipboard in the browser's sidebar that will hold links to websites you want to visit again but not necessarily bookmark."
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First Peek at Netscape Navigator 9

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  • Netscape eh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by scott.crooks (1111215)
    I may be a little out of the loop, but I'm surprised that Netscape is still around. I thought the Microsoft monopolizing juggernaut that is Internet Explorer wiped out the once famous net browser...guess I was wrong.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I agree. Not since the 4.X's have I used or even heard of Netscape from anywhere or anyone. Had a short stint with only IE and Opera and now I'm fully Firefox. I never really even questioned where Netscape went, it just disappeared and I got Firefox and life was good. Thanks Firefox your tabs make browsing fun.
    • Well it doesn't take much. It's mostly Firefox rebranded, with a couple features added here and there.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        How does firefox-extensions = firefox+features? Sorry, but once you take the the extension from firefox, you might as well be using IE 7 since it has all the basic functionality.
        • Re:Netscape eh? (Score:4, Informative)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @01:43PM (#19413517) Homepage
          A) It could still be Firefox + features - features (the result of which could theoretically be more or less than "Firefox").
          -and-
          B) From the "What's new" page on Netscape 9:

          Extension Compatibility
          Navigator 9 shares an architecture with the latest Mozilla technologies; as such, Navigator 9 will let you install extensions that are compatible with Firefox ® 2.

          That being said, I don't see anything in Netscape that I want that isn't already in Firefox.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I thought the Microsoft monopolizing juggernaut that is Internet Explorer wiped out the once famous net browser...guess I was wrong.
      Err.. Firefox pretty much is Netscape, isn't it? Maybe there's no code left from the original open sourced Netscape anymore, but still - Mozilla Browser was based on Netscape, and Firefox is based on Mozilla. So Firefox is a heavily forked/rewritten Netscape, right?

      Or maybe I'm just an idiot.
      • Re:Netscape eh? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kelson (129150) * on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @01:15PM (#19413095) Homepage Journal
        It's a bit more complicated than that:

        Old Netscape --> Mozilla
        Mozilla --> Netscape 6-7 (at the time, Moz was Netscape's testbed)
        Mozilla --> Firefox
        Firefox --> Netscape 8+

        But yes, as far as I'm concerned, the name may have gone one way, but the core of what Netscape signified ended up as Firefox.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Random832 (694525)
          Old Netscape --> DEAD, and well-deserved at that.

          Total Rewrite --> Mozilla
        • by Moochman (54872)
          Actually, AFAIK Old Netscape was trashed and they started Mozilla from scratch after they tried to use Old Netscape's source code but it was just too messy and irreparable.
      • by KarmaMB84 (743001)
        Most of it was written by Netscape paid engineers until AOL finally put the last nail in the coffin of Netscape as a software producer.
  • by powerpants (1030280) * on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:13PM (#19412105)
    FTFA:

    Netscape has released the first beta of Netscape 9, based on Firefox. This release includes URL correction, compatibility with Firefox 2 extensions, a "mini browser" sidebar, and integrates Netscape.com sitemail.
    It makes me sad to see this once-great brand dragged through so many different flavors of me-too mud. Does anyone actually want this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blueZhift (652272)
      It makes me sad to see this once-great brand dragged through so many different flavors of me-too mud. Does anyone actually want this?

      I can only see this of use in situations where the PHB is fixated on the Netscape name for some reason. They'll refuse Firefox, but Netscape is fine since they've used that forever.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MindStalker (22827)
        Most companies swore off Netscape 6-8 which caused horrible problems. Unless their jumping from Netscape 4 to Netscape 9 I doubt the company line of "Netscape is the way to go" still exist.

        On the topic of why they are still releasing it, personally I think its just about portal integration now. There are still many Netscape ISP users, and some Netscape portal users. This browser if perfect for those folks. Otherwise, its pretty pointless.
    • I remember the excitement when Netscape 4.x was originally ported to Linux. The mainstream browser / email client / whatever (who cared about IE?) was now available for us.

      The last place I worked which used it was in 2004 - maybe they still do - 'cos somehow their management thought anything from Mozilla was too experimental (and anything from Microsoft too insecure). I suppose this is for them.

      The flame has been passed on.
      • by linuxci (3530)

        I remember the excitement when Netscape 4.x was originally ported to Linux. The mainstream browser / email client / whatever (who cared about IE?) was now available for us.

        The last place I worked which used it was in 2004 - maybe they still do - 'cos somehow their management thought anything from Mozilla was too experimental (and anything from Microsoft too insecure). I suppose this is for them.

        The flame has been passed on.

        Netscape 4.x was available for Linux from the very beginning as well as on a host of other UNIX platforms. The number of platforms that Netscape supported in those days was very impressive. I think that's what scared Microsoft - if the web became the platform and Netscape remained the browser of choice it wouldn't matter if the user was running Windows, Mac, OS/2, Linux or a number of Unix variants.

        When I started using Linux Netscape 3 was the current release and a Linux version was definitely available fo

  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:13PM (#19412115)
    Honestly, I don't mean this as a troll, but does anyone use Netscape? Even AOL doesn't use Netscape. What's the point?
  • Souped-up? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:13PM (#19412121)
    "For those who remember the Netscape Navigator suite, it's lost a little weight -- Navigator no longer includes mail or HTML composer components, just a souped-up Firefox build with a number of features that integrate with the Netscape.com portal."

    I'm glad to hear it's been slimmed down, but really, is integration with the Netscape.com portal a big feature?

    • I used Netscape as a primary browser on my linux box (just b/c Firefox refused to install for the longest time) and the default home page, netscape.com was the worst portal site I've seen. It probably could've been customized, but 40% of it was pop gossip culture, 40% of it was relationship talk, and maybe 20% of it was news. It looks like they've changed it somewhat, but seeing that type of news on a default page changed my perception of netscape permanently.

      I signed up for a netscape.net email address 8
    • by Frogbert (589961)
      Well if you used the Netscape.com portal I'm guessing it would be.
  • Brand power (Score:3, Informative)

    by future assassin (639396) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:14PM (#19412145) Homepage
    I wonder if Netscape still have the brand power to draw in old skool internet users to use their product once again if it turns out to be a good alternative to IE/FF/Opera/etc...

    I first started using Netscape back in 95 and used it for years till IE5 came out. After that I just got stuck with IE and used Opera here and there but I always had Netscape in the back on my mind. Hey its its based on FF and works good I'd switch to it just because it was my first browser.
    • by mnmn (145599)
      I remember when Firefox was having trademark issues with its name (Firebird?).

      I so wish Netscape would hand over its name to the Mozilla foundation. I want to see Ballmer's face when the growing firefox browser's name is changed to Netscape.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tyler Eaves (344284)
        You've forgotten the Netscape 4.x disaster haven't you? The last several versions of Netscape were horrible, horrible things. Netscape squandered most of the goodwill they had by that series of trainwreck releases.
    • by Kelson (129150) *

      I wonder if Netscape still have the brand power to draw in old skool internet users to use their product once again if it turns out to be a good alternative to IE/FF/Opera/etc...

      I would guess not. Firefox has managed to build up a highly recognizable name, and probably has a bigger following in raw numbers than Netscape did back in its heyday, considering how many more people are on the internet than there were 10 years ago. (Just remember, 78.3% of statistics are made up on the spot.)

      On the other han

      • by KarmaMB84 (743001)
        Why in the hell would designers want more rendering engines with their own quirks and varying levels of standards compliance? There's already Opera, Safari, Firefox and *multiple major versions of IE*. You can tell people to use the latest of Opera or Firefox but Apple and MS have managed to force operating system upgrades on people wanting to use the latest versions of their browsers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kelson (129150) *

          Why in the hell would designers want more rendering engines with their own quirks and varying levels of standards compliance?

          Why? I'm glad you asked [alternativ...liance.com]. For all the varying levels of standards compliance, they're at least converging, so that targeting standards, then tweaking for quirks, has a better chance of succeeding across browsers than targeting the browsers to begin with. On the other hand, security vulnerabilities (other than misuse of intentional functionality, like the IDN spoofing attacks a whi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by FST777 (913657)
            I'm a web developer. I write tons of JavaScript / CSS code each day. I have compatibility at the top of my priority list. I try to code to standards, using Firefox as the testbed. Then I make it compatible with IE. Finally, I test with Konqueror and Opera. You know how often I have to recode something to make it work with Konqueror? Maybe once in a month, minor changes, no more than a few minutes work.

            You know how often I have to recode for Opera? Twice so far, in the last three years.

            When you mostly
            • You must not do too much scripting then, because I've seen weird bugs in Opera lots of times... open a window with window.open, now close the window.. now try to test if the window is still open with a simple (window && (!window.closed)) .. it will throw an error... try using extjs, or prototype to bind against keyboard events.. well, they work differently than IE or Gecko in opera... These are just two of many I've experienced.. given a lot of times a new version may fix things, but it can be a pa
  • by solevita (967690) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:16PM (#19412189)
    Netscape confirms it.
  • Ah, I remember using Netscape before I'd even heard of IE... That was back when all I knew about Microsoft was that Windows was the wrong kind of computer, because my family had a MAC! (System 7.5) How I'll miss that shooting star in the upper right-hand corner of the screen...
  • No, wait, let me do it. Please?
  • by GreggBz (777373) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:22PM (#19412309) Homepage
    Netscape 7 really was a nice browser. I can't fault it. It was fast, stable and lean. I actually think it was more stable then Firefox. Just make sure you don't install all that junk that came with it. I used 7.2 on Linux until about 1 year ago. Unfortunately, it became pretty antiquated and started rendering some pages wrong, handling things like google video not very well. Firefox eventually became the better option for me. Now version 8 was horrible. It lasted about 5 minutes on my Windows laptop. This version looks promising. After a brief spin, I like it. Not that it has so many great advantages or anything, but curiosity usually encourages me to change around because things get boring. I think everyone is really starting to get the browser right and refined. I like all the new ones, IE7, Opera and Mozilla. The competition is helping keep quality in check.
  • by chemindefer (707238) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:23PM (#19412319)

    "...a neat clipboard in the browser's sidebar that will hold links to websites you want to visit again but not necessarily bookmark."
    I do this in Firefox or Seamonkey by putting a folder called Temp in my Bookmarks toolbar, to which links can be dragged.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      I do this in Firefox or Seamonkey by putting a folder called Temp in my Bookmarks toolbar, to which links can be dragged.

      The point of this feature is you can clipboard links which you WANT to visit again, but do NOT want to bookmark. That's quite an innovation in my opinion.

      I also heard they plan in Netscape 10 to introduce a place where you put links which you WANT to visit, but do NOT want to bookmark and do NOT want to clipboard.

      Next to this, they plan to introduce a "address board" - a place where you c
  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:34PM (#19412483)
    NetWho? Is that some sort of Mozilla knockoff?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Ah, Netscape. This takes me back to my youth and the early days of the web. Tables were simple, frames were unheard of, graphics were unanimated, CSS and dynamic html were just dreams, Ajax was a cleaning product, and we all used to hang our with Ritchie, Ralph, and the Fonz at Al's Diner.
      • by linuxci (3530)

        Ah, Netscape. This takes me back to my youth and the early days of the web. Tables were simple, frames were unheard of, graphics were unanimated, CSS and dynamic html were just dreams, Ajax was a cleaning product, and we all used to hang our with Ritchie, Ralph, and the Fonz at Al's Diner.

        But Netscape were the inventors of frames (and of course the blink tag) and they're probably the first to introduce the animated gif to browsers. They also created JavaScript (originally called LiveScript IIRC).

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:41PM (#19412591) Homepage Journal
    Wasn't Netscape a cheap ISP for a while? Now it's a browser again?
    I'm confused.
  • Still a good thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wazzzup (172351) <astromac AT fastmail DOT fm> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:42PM (#19412611)

    Would I ever use Netscape over Firefox or Camino? Probably not. Does it seem like some queer throwback to days gone by? Yes. Does it, on some level, seem kind of pathetic in the same way when A Flock of Seagulls shows up at some local bar/theater for a concert? Yes.

    But I quickly realize that, as a web developer I can only stand behind them and cheer them on as a great alternative to IE. There's nothing wrong with another standards-compliant, Gecko-based browser on the market.

    I just realized the irony that there is a Gecko broswer called Flock [flock.com].

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hollywoodb (809541)
      Actually I've been playing with this "new" Netscape Navigator for a few hours now. I really like it; I think the theme is pleasant, and some of the features are "why didn't I think of that" type stuff I actually find myself using instead of disabling. I'm sure most if what it offers could be replicated via FF+extensions, but it is also nice to have it all in one package.

      I'm going to give this browser an honest run. For me, like many people (from what I hear), FF 2.0 wasn't a big step in the right directi
  • by VWJedi (972839) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:43PM (#19412621)

    This release will no longer ship with mail or composer but does have...

    Didn't Netscape drop mail and composer a while back? Let's see...

    From Netscape's Browser FAQ [netscape.com] (emphasize is mine):

    Does Netscape Navigator 9 include a mail client/HTML composer/newsreader/...?
    No. Navigator 9 is a standalone browser; Netscape 7 is the most recent browser suite produced by Netscape.

    If I recall correctly, Netscape 7 was based on the Mozilla suite (now known as SeaMonkey) and included those components, and with version 8, they based it on Firefox (which never included mail and composer) and went back to calling it "Navigator".

    You'd think that "journalists" might research their stories a little bit.

    • Netscape 8 was Windows only. So this is the first release of Netscape for Linux that does not have mail or composer. That is important to note, as the review is on linux.com.
      • by VWJedi (972839)

        OK, I could accept the idea that the this is new to the author (and other Linux users)...

        ...until I read the last sentence of the article:

        Netscape 8's update feature will not update the browser to Netscape 9.

        Something doesn't add up.

  • by hexed_2050 (841538) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:44PM (#19412645)
    How many people actually have commented on this article already without actually downloading and trying the product?

    Let's all give it a good shot first before making some quick judgments. Sure it may just be a branded Firefox, but it also may have some great uses. Maybe this is a browser that may be the recommended browser for your aunts and uncles when they get a new system? Who knows.. Let's at least give it a shot before shooting it and leaving it for dead.

    h
    • Maybe this is a browser that may be the recommended browser for your aunts and uncles when they get a new system? Who knows.

      If Netscape repeats what it's done in the past, Netscape release versions will be several security release versions behind Firefox, and perhaps include a few extra security vulnerabilities as an added bonus. Right now, Netscape 8 seems to be the only browser that Secunia reports as having highly critical vulnerabilities [secunia.com]. Let's all sit and wait to see if it's safe to use before we deci

    • by Java Pimp (98454)
      I'd download it to try it except I just finished cleaning out all the crappy "Try AOL" shortcuts that were installed in every dark corner of my computer the last time I did something silly like that.
      • I just finished cleaning out all the crappy "Try AOL" shortcuts that were installed in every dark corner of my computer the last time I did something silly like that

        Agreed. But since I am an IT professional I have sort of a duty to download and test these things so I can make some recommendations to my clients regarding the software when I encounter it in the workforce.

        That said, I did not find any "Try AOL [OMGWTF!11 ALLYOURBASEBELONGTOUS]" shortcuts in NS9 thank god. Installation was almost a compl
  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @12:57PM (#19412813) Homepage Journal

    Navigator 9... includes several new components while giving some old ones the boot. This release will no longer ship with mail or composer...

    This reviewer apparently has not used any recent releases of Netscape (as I have). I am currently using Netscape version 7.2, now, to write this article (I abandoned Internet Explorer a long time ago due to security issues; I only use it when I get a site that will only work with IE). I have Netscape 8.1 installed, but I don't use it a whole lot, because (1) they moved the menus from the left side to the right side (2) they removed the print button, and (most significant) (3) they removed mail and composer. Without mail as part of the program it has reduced functionality. With mail as part of the program I can just click on 'Window' and 'Mail' to send a message; otherwise I have to go to the start menu and find whatever the hell the program is that is the mail suite spun out of Mozilla, Evolution? (I looked it up in the start menu; it's called Thunderbird.) I used to use composer and sometimes I use it when I need to build a table, so while it's unfortunate I can live without it. Mail and composer has been gone since at least 8.1, was this guy unaware of this?

    Paul Robinson — My Blog [paul-robinson.us]
    • SeaMonkey (Score:4, Informative)

      by bunratty (545641) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @01:25PM (#19413235)
      Why not use SeaMonkey instead? It's from the same code base as Netscape 7.2 with all kinds of new features and bug fixes, and (most significantly) many years of security vulnerability fixes. It also has menus on the left side, a print button, and mail and composer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BenoitRen (998927)

      Netscape 7.2 is based on Mozilla 1.7.2. There have been many security and stability updates since then. The latest version is Mozilla 1.7.13.

      However, some time after the release of Mozilla 1.7.5, if I remember correctly, it was announced that the Mozilla Foundation would cease development of it. Developers didn't like this, and the SeaMonkey project was born. The latest SeaMonkey is SeaMonkey 1.1.2, equal to the latest Firefox 2 version, as they share the Gecko rendering engine.

      I urge you to upgrade to

  • On installing the beta, I found that it'll import settings & bookmarks from:

    MSIE
    Netscape 8
    Netscape 6/7/Mozilla 1.x
    Netscape 4.x
    Opera

    I'm impressed that it'll import from Opera. But I'm astonished that it won't import from the second-most-used browser out there -- the one with which it shares the most code! Guess users are stuck with exporting the bookmarks from Firefox and then importing them from the file.

    I certainly hope this is on the buglist to get fixed before the final release.
  • Yes, this is basically just a slightly modded version of Firefox. They have a link from http://browser.netscape.com/ [netscape.com] to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/5683 6 [mozilla.org] if you want to add their stuff to your Firefox. I'm not sure on the details, but this should give you at least some of the benefits of Netscape without having to use their full product.
  • I have several Firefox T-shirts (yeah, I know, I'm a geek). About half the time, when I walk into a store, an employee or another customer will see the shirt and make a positive comment about Firefox. So, anecdotally, there's a positive perception of the Firefox brand out there. I remember a time when Mosaic and then Netscape WERE synonymous with the Web. I suspect that time is long gone.

    (It would be an interesting experiment walking around with an IE shirt. But I'm not brave enough to do it).
    • by linuxci (3530)

      I have several Firefox T-shirts (yeah, I know, I'm a geek). About half the time, when I walk into a store, an employee or another customer will see the shirt and make a positive comment about Firefox. So, anecdotally, there's a positive perception of the Firefox brand out there. I remember a time when Mosaic and then Netscape WERE synonymous with the Web. I suspect that time is long gone.

      (It would be an interesting experiment walking around with an IE shirt. But I'm not brave enough to do it).

      I get a lot of people commenting on the Firefox t-shirt too, I normally wear the t-shirts when travelling and I've had positive comments from check-in staff, airport security staff, passengers and cabin crew.

    • Oh Netscape....
      *sigh* such a frittered away opportunity.
      Ya could have been a contender!
  • Thought after IE came out and Netscape more or less died, it was released as OSS which became Mozilla and eventually Firefox. So confused over this new release, is this an updated fork of the original code that became Mozilla?
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      Mozilla was originally a testbed for future versions of netscape, then they went their separate ways.

      More info in this comment [slashdot.org].
  • Wow, didn't know Netscape was still developing. I was under the assumption that Mozilla/Seamonkey took over Netscape's role, but hey, you learn something new everyday. I was also wondering what the point of developing Netscape really is. I mean everyone uses Firefox, and if you want the extra bloat, you can use Seamonkey. But then it hit me. Netscape's core is Firefox. All they really did was take Firefox and repackage it with their own selection of extensions. Seamonkey is also the same, but with di
    • by cyborg_zx (893396)
      I've always felt this too - really because of the Javascript based architecture that forms the browser front end really instead of having a load of default scripts they should be moved into the Extensions API. For example Firefox 2.0 added dictionary capabilities that existed previously in extesions - what I couldn't figure out is why they decided that this should not be a pluggable component rather than integrating it into the core. It seems rather silly to me - reduce coupling, don't increase it. It also
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday June 06, 2007 @05:43PM (#19417073)
    that is written from the ground up in Java to blow away IE 4.0?
  • I've actually enjoyed using the beta of NN v9.0 over the last few days. Gone are the e-mail and web design components - this browser is lean and mean, and enjoys two very useful features that aren't bundled with other browsers: Mini Browser and Link Pad. I also like the smaller buttons. Netscape Navigator is FAST - and works with all of Firefox 2.0's plug-ins.

    I doubt Netscape Navigator will ever reach its former level of glory, but they've certainly won me with this release.

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