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Netscape Communicator 4.72 Released 369

Quite a number of people have ants in their pants over the latest release of Netscape Communicator. This latest release, 4.72 to be exact, can also be grabbed through their Web site. Here's to hoping it's more stable than my current release. 'Course, Mozilla's getting really really close now...
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Netscape Communicator 4.72 Released

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  • Haven't the last few releases of Communicator been just throwing more crap into the package? Little has been done since Navigator 4.08 has been released...
  • by Caspuh ( 105645 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @07:54AM (#1250951)
    I was going to post a more insiteful comment, but then Netscape crashed.
  • What I want to know is, when will the netscape-common & netscape-communicator RPMs for Red Hat be out? Why do they always lag behind the "official" releases, anyway?
  • Haven't the last few releases of Communicator been just throwing more crap into the package?

    Yeah, but at least you can disable the Netscape Shop button and the Communicator Radio.

    Really peeves me that you can't get Navigator &gt 4.08. Oh well, even if they don't ship Mozilla like we want, it can be pared down easily enough. :)

  • by SETY ( 46845 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @07:56AM (#1250955)
    Mozilla might be getting close for some people, not for me.
    It still has a long way to go. Netscape will crash about once an hour for me when I am doing heavy web browsing.
    My longest Mozilla uptime is 5 minutes. No joke. Slashdot is the only site I can use with it. main page crashes it right away.
    I'm sorry, but Mozilla isn't useable for me. I remember the early Netscape betas years ago and they wer not this unstable.
    And yes I submit bug reports.
    I wish all the mozilla developers good luck, but its a long road ahead to the point where Netscape is replaced.

  • I really hope that this works as well as other releases. I have seen less and less of Netscape lately but this could be something of a turning point.
  • preliminary testing on linux 2.3.45 seems pretty stable (standalone version). so far i can't really see any differences, other than the fact that it isn't crashing and freezing my X server.


  • Well, the problem is, there is so much junk on the internet and IE supports almost all of it.

    Netscape has got to keep up and try to implement the same features. Personally, I don't use or want most of them as they tend to slow down surfing speeds. But if they don't keep up, they'll lose even more ground to IE.

  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @07:58AM (#1250959)

    Yes - I've already downloaded and installed 4.72. Why? Because I'm fed up with having the 4.71 browser flake out every day or so with another error. So far, so good - nothing has died yet :-)

    I've been tracking the Mozilla Seamonkey Milestones since M11, and it seems to be stabilizing up nicely but I'm stuck with using it for browsing behind the firewall at work because we use a SOCKS proxy to the outside world. Alas, as far as I can see this is not supported in Mozilla yet. Anyone have any clues on this one - what is needed to persuade Seamonkey to use the SOCKS proxy? Or does some SOCKS expert wish to sign up for this post on the Mozilla team? It was empty last time I looked.


    Toby Haynes

    P.S. If I see any posts with the title 'Shoes?' following this one ... :-)

  • Does anyone know how to disable that annoying SmartDownload thing that forces me to look at ads while I download files?
    This is perhaps the most annoying feature of the previous version.
  • I heard there's an easy way to remove the stupid "Shop" button - does anymore know how?
  • More or less, yes. More crap, more bugs, less browser IMHO. I'm still running 3.04 Gold as my default browser, I find it to be the most functional with the least amount of bugs. Nav 4.07 is decent but the whole Communicator series killed Netscape for me. Mozilla is in Alpha, go open source :-)
  • by grarg ( 94486 )
    But will it show gifs properly, this is the question. /. looks particularly stoopid with all these little black blobs all over it. Or am I the only one who had trouble with 4.7 on NT?
  • ... at least for me. I'm running Netscape 4.7 (browser only, Communicator is huge and pointless, other tools do a better job) and its not crashed on me in months. I have had to disable Java though. Not that thats particulalry upsetting for me...

    Bottom line: Browser only without Java is pretty stable.
  • We all know that Netscape for Linux is buggy and crash prone. Has anyone found out which (if any) of the linux versions is the most stable?

    The "supported" linux20_glibc2?
    The "unsupported" linux20_libc5 or linux22?

    Is the unsupported freeBSD version any better than Linux versions?

    I need as much stability as I can get. Turning off Javascript helps, but it really isn't a very good solution.
  • by AT ( 21754 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:02AM (#1250967)
    The release notes are here [].

    Quick summary:
    • Global IME support: users of Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 can now download Global IME modules that enable input of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters into mail messages and web forms. For more information on using Global IME under communicator, choose International Users from the Help menu. Windows 2000 users should use the fonts and IMEs available on the installation CD. If you're running Windows 98, just select the Windows Update icon in the Start menu. From there, select Product Updates, and download the language support and IMEs you wish to use.
    • User agent support for Windows 2000

  • by Jikes ( 123986 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:05AM (#1250969)
    Keep Netscape/Unix From Crashing Like the Overextended Hack Job Piece Of Crap Code It Is - HOWTO

    1) Your distro manufacturer may have packaged netscape incorrectly. See their site for details or upgrades.

    2) Turn off Cascading Style Sheets (Style Sheets) support in your preferences. It generally doesn't work well at all and really isn't all that necessary. And IME it makes NS crash. A lot.

    3) Turn off Java. Turn off Java. Turn off Java.

    4) Turn off Javascript if you don't use somewhat sophisticated sites.

    5) Don't invoke mystery components like Messenger and Composer and all that crap unless you actually need to use them. They tend to suck a bit.

    6) Feed it lots and lots and lots of disk/memory cache, or none at all.

    7) Upgrade. 4.7x is much nicer than previous 4.x releases on all platforms, IME.


    This is just my experience. With these changes, NS tends to stay up for a few days for me, as opposed to an hour or less previously.

    Take this at well less than face value.

  • Still kind of handy when your ISP spontaneously and frequently decides to drop your connection though...I'd never have got 4.5 otherwise (lucky me) :-)
  • I agree whole-heartedly that IE5 is in every aspect superior to Netscape Communicator. I just don't like IE5 putting its fingers in places it shouldn't be.. like on my server!!! In terms of a latest and greatest web integration tool, IE5 beats Netscape. I use Netscape only for the fact that I install a browser, and I get a browser. Not a "whole new computing experience".
  • by kapper ( 133093 )
    I haven't used netscape much lately, whats the status on Java in this new version? straight by plugin, or still including their own version?
  • by philj ( 13777 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:06AM (#1250973)
    Don't forget:

    "Netscape Communicator with 128-bit strong encryption is now available worldwide"

    (with the exception of a few countries that
    America hates)

    Saves having to use Fortify instead.
  • I'm not sure I understand the question ... I mean, isn't it obvious that RH doesn't make communicator and that they have to put the RPMS together themselves from the tarballs Netscape makes available?

  • by Joseph OConnor ( 37300 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:09AM (#1250975)
    Put this line in your preferences.js file:

    user_pref("", true);

  • I saw the release this morning earlier and I checked ye olde' changelog. Still there's no real fix for the uncountable java problems that I have with Netscape under Linux. In fact, this morning I just went and grabbed the latest Milestone of Mozilla. It's usable, but still buggy. (For instance, the area around this reply textbox is totally black). I'd just as soon contend with this since Netscape just hasn't really fixed the bugs it needs to IMHO.

    If you're wondering which java problem I'm referring to, some of the banners on Freshmeat will crash Netscape. Most evil!
  • I've been royally pissed at Netscape ever since they added the stupid "Shop" button in 4.6. "Shop" differs from "Stop" by one letter - and they put it right next to the "Stop" button. At 1600x1200 with text-only toolbars, I can never tell the difference between the two.

    Every time I try to kill a loading page, I find myself whisked away to some "Netscape Store". Sheesh.

    43rd Law of Computing: Anything that can go wr
  • Of course you reported you problems to, didn't you? Mozilla guys are pretty responsive especially to crashes.
  • by zilym ( 3470 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:13AM (#1250979)
    I just don't use Netscape for downloading files now. What I do is right click the download link, copy link to clipboard, open an xterm, and then use wget to download the file. That way, if netscape crashes (like it always does), the download is unharmed. Plus, wget is smarter than netscape. If the server isn't letting anyone in at the moment, wget keeps trying. If the connection gets dropped, wget keeps trying and will resume where it left off as soon as it can get reconnected.
  • by Gerv ( 15179 ) <> on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:14AM (#1250981) Homepage
    Is this what you want?

    Some Reasons To Try Out A Nightly Build []

  • by eriks ( 31863 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:17AM (#1250984) Homepage
    Looks to me like Navigator (The only useful part of Communicator IMO) is still 4.08... which has been out for months... Unless they actually modified it and didn't change the version number.
  • You could just hit "Escape" instead.

  • Well, besides this:

    As of Netscape Communicator 4.72, Enterprise Calendar is no longer included with your download.

    I don't see any What's New section. It's amazing how hard it is to find any information about Navigator on Netscape's home page.
  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:20AM (#1250987)
    There are plenty of criticisms that are valid against netscape, and the shop button seems silly to me too, but your criticisms are a bit unjust. If your resolution makes things unreadable, why use it? it seems counterproductive.

    Be gald that the buttons can be disbaled. Since no one has posted how in this thread, here it is, straight from my .Xdefaults:
    Netscape*toolBar.myshopping.isEnabled: false

    That's it.
    To disable the search/my netscape, and add a Find button:
    Netscape*toolBar.destinations.isEnabled: false
    Netscape*toolBar.numUserCommands: 1
    Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.commandName: findInObject
    Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.labelString: Find
    Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.commandIcon: Find
    Netscape* false

  • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:21AM (#1250988)
    The quality of Navigator/Communicator seemed to be going downhill long before AOL took over Netscape; the fact that 95%+ of the original Netscape programming staff left after the takeover isn't going to help any. Given the quality (or lack thereof) of AOL's software, I shudder to think about the future of Navigator. I really don't want to have to switch to M$ Internet Exploiter, nor would I want to see a Navigator dumbed down to the level of the AOL client.

    Communicator 4.7 is pretty stable for me under NT, but I have pretty robust hardware (Athalon 550/128MB); it seems much less stable under Red Hat on my K6-II/400. My main gripe is it's speed; it seems to take forever to render a page, even on my Athalon. My other major gripe is that the email and news facilities are annoyingly primitive for such an otherwise mature program. (Plus, PGPFreeware dosn't have a Netscape plugin)

    I havn't had a chance to play with Mozilla yet; but I'm looking forward to seeing the final release. Hopefully Mozilla will fix a lot of the annoyances of 4.x

    "The axiom 'An honest man has nothing to fear from the police'
  • by Gleef ( 86 )
    Jikes wrote:

    7) Upgrade. 4.7x is much nicer than previous 4.x releases on all platforms, IME.

    I've found 4.61 much more stable on both Linux and Windows than 4.7, and it's not as if you really need that "Shop@Netscape" button. I haven't had 4.72 long enough to have an opinion about it.

  • by mosch ( 204 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:28AM (#1250994) Homepage
    The Linux NS is much more stable than the FreeBSD NS (scary, eh?). I'm posting this from Linux NS running on FreeBSD 3.4, a common enough option that there's actually a port for linux netscape in the freebsd ports collection.
  • Slightly offtopic...

    On the FIX [] BBS I recently posted this:

    "The problem has oocured in versions 4.6 and 4.7 on Win95, Win98 and NT.
    Sometimes, Netscape doesn't allow you to follow links. Like, the pointer will change to the "hand" when you move over the link, but a click doesn't do anything.

    The only way to solve the problem is to reboot windows. It's very strange. It's happened to me regularly for about 6 months, I can't be the only one?

    I'm considering reporting it to Netscape.


    I got the following within a few minutes. Come on NS! I'm using IE5 now - it's better, a lot better!

    "No, I experience the same thing. Except that sometimes, a click *does* do anything, even when the mouse pointer isn't in hand shape."

    "I've experienced this with Netscape for Linux. It only happens when I have two or more windows open at the same time, and another one (than the one I'm clicking in) is trying to load something. If I cancel that load by hitting ESC,things usually "pop" back into working order. Usually, I say, but it's only happened to me two or three times."

    "Have the same problem (Netscape 4.6 on Linux and also on Digital UNIX 4.0D), but: It even happens, when there's only one window. And it doesn't change back, only restarting of Netscape is a cure.

    Seems to be a coded feature. :)

    Really NS - Can we have our favourite browser working properly in it's next release? You know? Links, that can be followed?


    * Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • by ( 84577 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:32AM (#1250996) Homepage
    I headed over to Google and searched for "Netscape Navigator 4.72" []... Check out who comes up 1st (and 2nd, and 3rd, and 6th) with nowhere to be seen.
  • Have they finally fixed the bug where turning off JS disabled CSS even if you have CSS enabled?
  • Mozilla has had socks support for a while now, you can setup proxies manually by editing the prefs50.js file. Also in the new nightly builds I believe its possible to configure proxies in the mneus. Well m14 should be out any day now, so you can wait untill then if you want.
  • by cmg ( 31795 )
    Probably because they get the new release around the same time you see it on slashdot and they probably have to do some amount of quality testing on it before redhat releases a package.

    If redhat had official updates before say, debian, can you imagine the amount of complaints netscape would get?

  • Have they finally fixed the bug where turning off JS disabled CSS even if you have CSS enabled?

    Not likely. That particular bug, after all, is there because CSS support is implemented by translating CSS into javascript. Hence, turning off the latter turns off the former.

    We should expect this silliness to end with Mozilla, of course.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @08:56AM (#1251012) Homepage
    Netscape/AOL's choice of platforms to support makes no sense to me. Figure this: Linux 2.2 is the current version; most people have stopped using 2.0 by now. Libc5 hasn't been supported by its authors in almost three years. So why is it that the Linux 2.2/glibc version is a) still unsupported, and b) linked against not-even-current versions of those libraries, especially when they still support 2.0/libc5???

    As if that weren't sufficiently annoying, there's not been a Linux/SPARC version since 4.51, but there are five Solaris versions. Of course, none of those are for current versions of Solaris either. All this, of course, would be excusable if they didn't have any systems to build on or they weren't going to support oddball platforms (I will admit that Linux/SPARC is marginal, though it has multiple supported distributions and a growing user base), but then why oh why are there two SINIX builds??? Most people don't even know WTF SINIX _is_, much less have it.

    The point? It doesn't seem like Netscape understands what people are actually using today. If the objective is to be compatible with as much as possible, then not having up-to-date Linux builds for at least Intel, SPARC, and Alpha makes no sense. For that matter, they don't even claim to support Solaris 7 or 8. 2.5.1 is itself archaic. If the objective is instead to support only the most popular platforms, then I certainly don't see the need for five Solaris builds, two AIX builds, anything related to SINIX, or a Linux 2.0/libc5 build. The obvious platforms to support would be Solaris 7, Linux 2.2-intel/glibc, the latest AIX, the latest Digital Unix, and IRIX 6.5.

    So what can we do to increase their awareness of this problem? Numerous polite letters have garnered either no response or a polite "get lost" form letter. Ideas?

    Alternate paranoid theory: AOL wants all the Unix builds to be against old systems so that people will switch to windoze and buy more aol service. Pretty paranoid, but aol is pure evil after all.

    PS: Kudos to the mozilla team for recognizing the value of compatibility and multi-platform support. The Linux/SPARC build works as well as any other.

    --TM, still using 4.51 on Ultralinux, the preferred platform of all major deities

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:02AM (#1251017)

    Well I think Netscape's great- twice the performance and a lot more stable than anything else made by other people who haven't paid me as much cash to say that.

    Barry Fishcake
    Senior VP, Mindcraft []

  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:03AM (#1251019)
    I've been using M13 as my ONLY browser (at work) for two weeks. I use it pretty heavily, and I go to Deja approx once per day.

    I have not had one single crash of the browser. (I have had mail crash on me).

    I was anxiously waiting for M14 to clean up some interface/formatting/speed problems, but apparently they aren't going to do one(?)
    Here is the result of your Slashdot Purity Test.
  • by ixx ( 11362 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:04AM (#1251020) Homepage Journal
    better yet use a hex editor or something such thing (i like bvi since it uses vi commands) and change the the "Shop" string to "/." and the url to The string "Shop" can be found by searching for "toolBar*Myshopping.labelString:" and the url netscape shopping url can be found my searching for "tshop.html" Be sure you just replace and do not enter more characters than are already there or you will the binary will be useless. Make a backup and work on a second copy.

    I make a xdelta patch so I can apply it on all the linux computers I use. The patch is specific to the build version though (do about: and you will see the version on the title bar). The newest one I have is for v4.7 build [en] 19990915. I have downloaded 4.72, but have not made a patch for it yet. I ran it and played around for a bit, and after seeing that it still displays the same annoying bugs as 4.7 I put off making a patch for now.

    Anyhow my navigation bar has the following:

    search (goes to goole. you can edit the url for this too)
    [fm] (
    /. (
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:09AM (#1251021)
    I've been using netscape since it was version 1.x but finally this week, i got too pissed off at navigator for crashing, etc, i downloaded internet explorer 5.01 for win98 and it is just sooooo much faster and better than ns 4.7. almost nobody can deny it is a better product. the rendering speed alone is worth the price of download. i don't think i am ever going back unless i am using linux or on a school computer.

    if you have no other reason to use IE other than Microsoft hatred that's fine. But if you want to see what Mozilla will hopefully eventually being like, just download IE and see for yourself.

  • the fact that 95%+ of the original Netscape programming staff left after the takeover

    Did this, in fact, happen? I remember jwz leaving a short time after the take-over, and a few others left when the takeover was still just a rumor. AOL cut a whole bunch of Netscape staff, but that was mostly redundant admin, AFAIK. I would imagine some programmers walked but 95% seems absurdly high. Do you have any supporting references?
  • by Niomosy ( 1503 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:19AM (#1251030)
    After installing it I launched it... comes up much faster than 4.7 (on NT). Certainly faster than Mozilla or IE. Also, for those that haven't tried... copy your Netscape plugins directory contents into the Mozilla plugins directory. Quicktime works pretty well (it skips a little but wasn't that noticable on the X-Men preview). Flash is... "not entirely stable" (to steal from C3PO). Works on some sites and doesn't work on others ( of all things)
  • by StaticLimit ( 26017 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:22AM (#1251035) Homepage
    2) Turn off Cascading Style Sheets (Style Sheets) support in your preferences. It generally doesn't work well at all and really isn't all that necessary. And IME it makes NS crash. A lot.

    3) Turn off Java. Turn off Java. Turn off Java.

    4) Turn off Javascript if you don't use somewhat sophisticated sites.

    5) Don't invoke mystery components like Messenger and Composer and all that crap unless you actually need to use them. They tend to suck a bit.

    6) Feed it lots and lots and lots of disk/memory cache, or none at all.

    My god man! What's the point? You've turned off everything that makes it worthwhile to install a 4.x generation browser in the first place, haven't you?

    If none of the new features work... the solution is: Stick with the old version.

    - StaticLimit
  • For example, in Composer 4.71 (glibc 2.1.2, Linux 2.2.12), I highlight text and click on the link button to change text to a URL link . I insert the URL into the link dialog and hit either 'Apply' or 'Finished' and the entire application crashes.

  • Yes, many of the above points are true. If I even attempt to start JAVA, communicator crashes. JS is okay, and the Style Sheets suck. I have this problem with netscape sucking up between 64-96 MB of physcial memory after extended surfing and making my PII run like a 486 with a hardware conflict. Does anyone have any experience making netscape behave like this? I have Communicator 4.71 on RH6.1 kernel 2.2.13 (patched for JFS).
    Also, I found the best way not mentioned to fix the button toolbar. Go to View, and Deselect Navigation toolbar. You can use alt-arrow to go forward and backwards, ESCAPE stops loading and alt-r reloads. Gives me more desktop and less suck from Net$crape.
  • by irix ( 22687 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:33AM (#1251046) Journal
    What do you want ot bet that MS has hundreds of GeoCities pages with the words "click here to download Netscape" and a link to the Microsoft homepage :)
  • by Traal ( 147061 ) <traal AT etek DOT chalmers DOT se> on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:39AM (#1251050)
    Why disable it? Change it to something cool instead! Add to your ~/.Xdefaults

    ! Replace "Shop" with something useful:
    Netscape*myshopping.documentationString:Go to Slashdot
  • I use the win32 version of netscape when im windoh's, and the file(s) is called prefs.js and liprefs.js and adding that line to either file doesn't get rid of the "Shop" button.

    On another note, can anyone download the 128 bit versions? I keep getting dead links.
  • by Rayban ( 13436 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @09:44AM (#1251056) Homepage
    If you want to see what's changed, check out the Release Notes []! Looks like a lot of changes, few fixes.
  • One has to wonder how many of the complaining hoards here have actually PURCHASED a copy of navigator.

    If each of us had paid $25 for it, I think there would be a better product.

    Alternatively, what can one expect for free?

    Find a browser and BUY it, or contribute code if you are able. Anything else is pathetic.

  • Most people don't even know WTF SINIX _is_, much less have it.

    Ok, I admit I have never heard of SINIX..
  • Keep Netscape/Unix From Crashing Like the Overextended Hack Job Piece Of Crap Code It Is - HOWTO Continued:

    8) Turn off Netscape.

  • While searching for the origins of a very funny German ad to learn english (A family is listening to a very vulgar song, and enjoying the hell out of it) I stumbled across something interesting from Google when doing a search of the song's lyrics:

    Do a Google Search for: I wanna fuck you in the ass []
    Have a look at the first result on THAT one.

    After seeing that, I tried a variation. The first few search results are QUITE amusing:

    Fuck you up the ass [] - Amusingly, those few search results DO JUST THAT!

    Here's a well known search: More evil than the devil himself []

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • I remember the early Netscape betas years ago and they wer not this unstable

    cha-ching! That's why Mozilla is still considered alpha. When you try out the early Mozilla betas, they might be more on par with what you had before.

  • by MatriXOracle ( 33400 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @10:13AM (#1251078) Homepage
    You can download Navigator standalone 4.72 for *nix here []. I don't think there's a Windows Navigator 4.72 though, that's probably still at 4.08. Oh well.
  • 1) Your distro manufacturer may have packaged netscape incorrectly. See their site for details or upgrades.

    Well, I use the latest one from SGI with their own customizations. Neither it nor the standard Netscape-supported version seems to be immune to the typical crashes and hangs. On Linux, AKAIK RedHat just sets it up to use the libraries it was linked against if they're available. See my other post on Netscape not supporting current platforms properly/at all.

    2) Turn off Cascading Style Sheets (Style Sheets) support in your preferences. It generally doesn't work well at all and really isn't all that necessary. And IME it makes NS crash. A lot.

    Do not do this. CSS is a good idea. The separation of content from layout is both necessary and good. Now, it shouldn't be harmful to your ability to glean content from sites while browsing without CSS; however, without CSS it's assumed that you don't care what the pages look like and thus you might as well just use Lynx. CSS support in Mozilla actually looks good. Somebody there read the standard, which I can't really say about Netscape. Anyway, turning off CSS just encourages webmasters to use other methods, like crufty HTML or "that other browser's" proprietary extensions. Much like the lack of CSS in the first place caused Netscape's extensions to become de facto, and later, real, standards. Bad, bad. If CSS causes crashes, file bug reports or complain to the webmaster in question.

    5) Don't invoke mystery components like Messenger and Composer and all that crap unless you actually need to use them. They tend to suck a bit.

    Agreed. If you don't use them, consider Navigator instead of Communicator. Quicker to download as well.

    The bottom line is, whatever you do, Netscape is still a crufty, bloated piece of crap on any platform they bother to support. Part of the problem is probably library and kernel version mismatches; since they refuse to support the current versions of most platforms, it's no real surprise that random crashes happen. Fixing this would go a long way toward improving stability. Aside from that, most problems seem related to either Java or Javascript. I agree with this poster; disable them if you can.

  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <> on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @10:23AM (#1251083) Journal
    I'm certain that there are valid uses for javascript out there. So far, though, the only uses I have seen are
    a) popu-up advertising
    b) taking control of the display away from the user in general
    c) creating links where a real link would have done at least as well
    d) forcing of automatic forwarding to an advertising site
    e) a single case where it was used to enable nested choices--choose the textbook then the chapter.

    Only e) even vaguely benefits the user, and this is arguable. a-d all either affirmatively harm the user, or are crummy programming.

    If your page requires javascript to function, unless you're doing something rather exotic with user data, it's almost certainly wrong. More than that, I'll go to one of your competitors--I used to use foxnews, but they're not enough better than CNN to put up with this.

  • by Foogle ( 35117 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @10:33AM (#1251087) Homepage
    Why is it that everyone that Mozilla works fine for thinks that everyone that Mozilla does not work fine for must be suffering from delusions. Mozilla may in fact work fine for you. It doesn't work fine for me though. It crashes ALL the time for me. It crashes all the time for a lot of people, actually.

    And based on the undisputable truth that Mozilla does crash consistently on some systems, I would have to say that no, Mozilla is not almost ready for primetime. They clearly have way too many bugs that have yet to be tracked down.

    Having said that, I would like to point out that I am not saying that Mozilla should be ready for regular use. I understand that it is an Alpha, and I wholeheartedly expect it to get much much better as it moves on. But you can't have it both ways.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • At least this is how I got mine for my SuSE 6.2 system.. Get a hold of a RH GPL CD. The Navigator and netscape-common files are there along with the communicator files. I am running Nav 4.61 NO COMMUNICATOR this way. Anybody want to moderate this up as "usefull"? Greg
  • You're probably visiting the 'wrong' sites. Mozilla doesn't crash if you stick to nice sites like, but if you try visiting fancier sites, it does crash,usually quite predictably.
  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @11:06AM (#1251117) Journal
    Hey. That's pretty funny. :)

    Just a guess: the Google guys claim that what sets their search engine apart from so many others is that it weights sites based on other sites that link to it - if your site gets linked from one that sells widgets, a search for widgets is more likely to pull your site.

    Now, think of how many pr0n sites make you click one of those "I understand and agree with the terms of service" links. Almost invariably, the "I don't agree - I'm under 18" link takes you to Disney's page.

    So, searches for some "adult" key phrases bring up Disney, by sheer force of association. (Dear god. I can't imagine what would happen if their lawyers got wind of this.)

  • I've been royally pissed at Netscape ever since they added the stupid "Shop" button in 4.6. "Shop" differs from "Stop" by one letter - and they put it right next to the "Stop" button. At 1600x1200 with text-only toolbars, I can never tell the difference between the two.

    Every time I try to kill a loading page, I find myself whisked away to some "Netscape Store". Sheesh.

    That's sort of like the whole idea.

    P.S Another Netscape grouse: why can't NS copy and paste the text without breaking the lines at the wrong places?
  • Some of the sites that aren't rendering correctly may be using non-standard HTML to make them render correctly on non-standard browsers--IE and Netscape. The goal of Gecko is a high level of standards compliance. When/if mozilla goes for bugwards compatability, the non-standard stuff will begin to render better.

    If you want to be standards compliant AND compatible with non-standard implementations, it would seem wise to aim for compliance first, then try to accomodate the broken stuff.

  • cat >> $HOME/.netscape/preferences.js
    user_pref("", true);
  • Well, at the company I'm at we use a webserver as a presentation mechanism for our customers.

    In order to give them access to reports. This allows a central repository, password control and a relatively easy to program GUI.

    At one of the customers we use Javascript quite intensely to give the site the navigation they wanted. When you have multiple frames within a page that need to update themselves in response to a user selection, Javascript seemed the only way given the screen layout they demanded (if the frames would have lined up better we could have just refreshed the lot of them). It also allowed us to blank out the unused frames if the user started changing critera for a new report. Lastly, that anoying feature of poping up a new window was quite usefull for displaying the report they picked while leaving their sellections and other choices intact (and thus allowing them to easily select another report).

    I'm not saying the site was 'gorgeous' or a 'paradigm' that all web sites should strive to emulate :) (god knows it was a cobble together of CGI, Javascript and HTML). All I'm saying is that there are some cases where a smattering of Javascript will let you do something that would be much more convoluted without.
  • That's rubbish. An IE crash doesn't flinch NT. Unless you're using Windows 9X, in which case, I pity you.
  • Check out this link. Lots of interesting tidbits & tips. It doesn't cover some of the newer options (like disabling the shopping button), but covers a few other interesting things. eople/phrank/commonly/userprefs.html []

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • Watch out for BeOS! It's a user's worst nightmare! They even expect you to unzip your own packages when you install them!

  • Will NS5 work on modern platforms? Actually NS5 will never see the light of day. NS5 was the code they had started on that they handed over to the Mozilla group originally. After about 6 months of trying to get it to work, the Mozila group decided it would be better/faster to scrap it all and start from scratch, hence NS6.

    I bet NS6 is out before the year is up.

  • Actually, in Internet 101 they taught me to try something out myself before I suggest it to someone else.

    Like this [].
  • For all those who criticized 4.71. That the is broken. Seriously broken. It was on their sites for a few days and a lot of people fell in this trap (me one). Unfortunately information didn't reach many. I managed to hold it for a week and have a few hundred students to fell the "beauty and the beast". The result was linux boxes crashing every hour, mail broken, news in Hell.

    We had to turn back fast. But at the same time we managed to seriously upgrade the system. 4.61 worked no more (and we were holding the upgrade due to this... :( ). 4.7 glibc2 didn't go. It wrongly called NIS+ data. We turned to libc5 one and almost everything worked. Except Java. Due to the huge delays in the upgrade we sticked to it.

    Sincerly, my experience with Netscape has been, for the last year, desilusion after desilusion. Their closed source, their huge delays, their lack of intermediate patches, their lack of support for most of the new standards, has turned its use into a growing Hell. What mostly admires me is that, among all this, they started to add more and more "features", scrapping stable old code and creating more problems. If anyone has traced it on Linux he can understand what I mean. I have been doing this and I'm admired that calls, that worked well in RedHat, Slackware and Mandrake, now are changed and Netscape horribly crashes in these places. They don't follow the libraries and sometimes mix them with beta and alpha versions from rawhide libs (some of which don't manage ever to reach RedHat dists). Use code that everyone has dropped long ago. And the most worrysome is that their support and documentation from miserable has been turning to none.

    Hope that Mozilla comes soon. I have tested it and liked a lot. Really I don't want to go back to MazDie only because I want to roam the net...
  • At least on the Macintosh, development of Standalone/Navigator stopped at 4.0.7 (I think that 4.0.8 brought a bug fix and "What's related"). The reasoning is that (right or wrong), there is no reason to go with a standalone client. If all you do is browse on the Mac (and not use Composer, Messenger, and others), the RAM requirements and speed are the same as the standalone. The only real difference, then, would be in HD space wasted (which they argue is not that important in the days of 40gig IDE drives).

    My opinion? Netscape is really missing out. At least on the Mac, iCab is really hot right now. There is a market for standalone clients out there, even if you argue that the all-in-one is better.
  • Actually NS5 will never see the light of day.

    So there will be no actual NS5 release? Do you have any links to more information?


  • SINIX is the System V.4 complian UNIX variant jointly developed by Siemens [] (the third largest company in Germany) and Nixdorf Computer Systems, a pioneer hardware manufacturer in Germany in the 70's and 80's -- hence the name SINIX. Nixdorf was bought by Siemens in the late 80's though when they steered into financial troubles after their PC division (sic) wasn't doing as good as they thought it would ...

    There's a manual of SINIX online here [] for your enjoyment.

    Oh and BTW, SINIX did enjoy its share of popularity in Europe (especially Germany) during the 80's and even into the 90's. I don't know though if its still under active development. Oh, and there's a 386/486 variant available for you to install over^H^H^H^H besides your Linux partition :).

  • It reminds me of the 4.0 browser wars ... and the old java support wars, and then the push technology wars (which are now removed from browsers).

    One of the above (ahem, Mozilla?) should remove support for extraneous garbage and make a browser, not an operating system.
  • I second that, god, i would pay good cash for a stand alone browser, that looks good (not you opera), and is faster than greased lightening, or some similar fast thingee and is cross platform, and did i mention that it is JUST a web browser?

    ALSO, it has to have a REAL preferences menu, where you can disable ANY HTML type, (blink comes to mind), and ANY feature in the browser, and can be completly controled from the keyboard if need be.

    Is that too much to ask for?

  • I guess you do have to use windows 9x to play games, but trying to use 9x to do much else is asking for pain. Things may be better with windows 2k (play games and have NT like stability), who knows.

  • by Sethb ( 9355 ) <> on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @01:32PM (#1251185)
    Run Win2K, best of both worlds. I'm running it on my home machine, played Unreal Tournament and Age of Empires II: Age of Kings for several hours last night without so much as a hiccup. Most games run on Windows 2000, at least most good ones :) I wanted to slap the local Software Etc. punk when he told me that they weren't supposed to sell Windows 2000 to anyone other than small-business customers "Because you can't play any games on it" I told him I had the beta version, and it had worked just fine for my games for the last 6 months. He told me he had it, and not only couldn't he play games, it didn't work with his cable modem either. I promptly decided he was a retard and left. Useful link: [] That site will tell you which games and hardware have been found to work with Windows 2000. Of course, it says that my HP Digital Camera C200 works with Windows 2000, and I can't get it to, so your mileage may vary.
  • by kevlar ( 13509 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @02:01PM (#1251193)
    Wow! That amazes me! I'm wondering how you're actually using the program! I had it crash 4 times in under an hour just surfing sites, so I stopped using it. I have respect for the Mozilla team, but they've got a long way to go from what I've seen by using the browser. I dunno, maybe they're all trivial fixes.
  • by CentrX ( 50629 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2000 @02:50PM (#1251205)
    They just don't seem to care. There are too many unfixed bugs in Netscape, some of which are actually new, introduced in 4.72 A few highlights from the Linux/Unix section at http://hom 72.html#unix []

    "Using the Insert Link command (or the Link button) in Composer or when composing HTML messages may cause Communicator to crash." This is a brand-spanking new bug in Netscape 4.72 Why don't they fix this stuff before they release it? Or, barring that, at least take out the feature so people don't crash Netscape by using it.

    "If you attempt to use Messenger the very first time you run Communicator, it may quit with an "Illegal instruction" message."

    "If you delete your only IMAP server and then add a POP server, Communicator may quit."

    "A previous workaround for Unix systems, to avoid the freezing on startup of the edit or compose window, has been changed." Is it just me, or does this just sound silly? Changing workarounds, why don't they just fix it!?

    I wouldn't mind this so much, except they're introducing new features, mostly useless features, before they even bother to fix these bugs.

    Chris Hagar

  • Anyone else having problems downloading the strong encryption version?

    Go to unsupported.html [], and pick the Linux 2.2 / 128-bit Communicator 4.72 link. It works.

    Rick Moen
  • Did you compile your own version or just install the binary/RPM? That made all the diffrence in the world for me. Also, are you running some cheap 300mhz cele thats O/Ced to 550Mhz or something?

    I run a old K6-2 300 w/48megs RAM and Slackware 7. I have had very little problems with Mozilla M13 ever since I compiled my own version.

  • IE replaces Explorer, just cause Explorer crashes doesn't mean "windows" has crashed.

    If X or KDE crashed, would you say Linux crashed? Nom ofcourse not.

    Just restart Explorer.

    Ofcourse you could just be smart and turn on "Browse in New Process" in IE to make sure IE instances are opened up in their own process - a crash from a bad applet won't crash your shell explorer process.
  • You can get it her e []

    Ofcourse most of the games on that list are quite old :). All new games support Windows 2000 properly (at least all the ones I've tried. Most old games don't work cause they try to detect the OS and say NONONO if you are running NT. You can use appcompat.exe on the windows 2000 support CD to trick the apps tho :).
  • Microsoft use one of those windows->unix porting tools to get IE working on Solaris.

    I'm 50% sure that once the kit is ported to support Linux Microsoft will release IE for linux.

    Ofcourse everyone here would take the oppotunity to run around saying NT sucks, not even microsoft is sure of NT. Microsoft will release MS Linux!!! and other crap.
  • That's why i suggested the "browse in new process" option in IE. That way an explorer window will load up in it's own process.

    I've never seen explorer take down windows 2000, can't say the same for win9x, but win9x is a load of crock compared to windows 2000 (which can do everything win9x can do, but better).
  • Javascript is useful for lots of stuff. Like check out the link in the middle of this page []. You don't even have to click through, yet it will take you to the next page. Think of the ramifications for ad forwarding. Oh wait, that was (d). You're right; javascript is useless.

    If you're running Windows (which I wouldn't recommend), then you can run Proxomitron [] which is a stupidly named yet sublimely wonderful non-caching proxy server (like the Junkbusters [] one) that you can run on your own client side which will let you strip out all the annoying javascript crap you hate (in addition to filtering out ad banners). You'd actually be able to go to Geocities websites without that stupid branded logo in the corner, that is, if there is anything at Geocities worth seeing. The friend whose computer I set it up on has had only good things to say about it.
  • You didn't actually forget to say "filters", but you forgot to say it in bold and say it repeatedly: Filters Filters Filters. Filters are the single biggest reason to use iCab [] over Netscape.

    For those of you who don't already know, iCab has (built in) many of the features that normally require a non-caching local proxy like Junkbusters to achieve, and even then iCab usually does better. Image filtering by host (up yours,, path name, file name, dimensions (ever notice how most ads are 468x59 or 468x60?), etc. Control over which cookies to accept and keep, which to discard, all done without the annoyance of "Don't you want to accept this cookie? If you want me to stop asking, you'll have to turn all cookies off or accept them all regardless."

    Technically iCab isn't even a standalone, since it will let you send email. It sure is lightweight, though.
  • Netscape make money from their portal site (which the browser is effectively an ad for) and for their server software (which, again, the browser is an ad for).

    Widespread use and admiration for their (free) browser is definitely in their interest: the toilets in pubs are free, but you don't drink there if the toilets are revolting...
  • Sure, it could be made to work for me. Maybe if I constructed my system in the *exact* same manner as you did. But my sytem (to the best of my knowlege) is likely quite different from yours. Still, most of my applications will run in the exact same manner as they do on your system. Why? Because they are fairly bug-free, and are written in such a manner that they depend only upon features of the system that they know are there.

    The problem is not in "some other area", the problem is in how Mozilla deals with "some other area". My system is almost a stock RH6.1 full install; there's no reason it shouldn't work. And rather than work my tail off trying to *make* it work on my system (which has nothing wrong with it otherwise), I will simply continue to use Netscape, in the knowlege that Mozilla is Alpha-software.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Oh, I'd have to disagree there.

    4.5 was bad, 4.6 was so unstable it made me move to IE - which I hate. Not just philosophically, I don't like the program. 4.6 was perfectly capable of totally locking up Windows and forcing a reboot, so I had to change IMO. 4.7 is back at the 4.5 level IMO - and I'll have to try 4.72 later.

    But 4.0x was beautifully stable. Don't remember it crashing more than anything else. I'd change back if I could...

  • Don't use M13 unless you're happy with what works and what doesn't. If you really want to use Mozilla, get daily builds. On my Linux box I have cronned a small script that cd's to my cvs/mozilla directory and runs gmake. I may have 56k, but that's what's so cool about cron... builds automated to occur at 4AM - sweet.

    I can't get Mozilla to build on Win32 using just Cygnus as an environment. The Mozilla pages assume you know a lot more about build debugging than I do, or maybe it really does require MC VC++? Oh well.

    It's real nice to try Mozilla every day and see what's new, like the new "Sherlock-like" Search bar -- WAY COOL.

    I can get about 20 minutes uptime in Mozilla vs. 30 mins in Netscape on Linux and Netscape/W32 an hour. I can extend my Linux uptime of Netscape by typing by Slashdot replies in Gnotepad and using cut and paste :). The promising bit is Mozilla uses *Linux* as the reference platform so we can be sure the bugs will be fixed. I hope the Win version is stable enough that it's widely adopted there.

    The road is not that long though. We'll have a good Mozilla before the summer. Too bad no PC vendors will bundle it, and Apple probably won't either because of the UI design "violations" (I'll bet MS has Apple under contract to not 'support' Mozilla with code contributions, like they have supported Apache. This is pure speculation however).
  • *rolls eyes*
    for the third time yes, look in the damn options for IE, and you'll see that you can configure IE to start up in a new process every time.

    You can use netscape if you don't want speed or stability or anything that works properly.

    And your suggestion that W2K is more unstable than Win98 is laughable. I've had no windows 2000 crashes since the release over 2 months ago.
  • here []

    This is an article written when the Mozilla project was 1 year old (april 1999), at the top of the 'HIGHLIGHTS' section they mention how the code was originally the 'work in progress' code for Communicator 5.

    If you then skim down to the 'LOWLIGHTS' section they talk about the decision to jetison the code and start over. When rereading this all I'm not sure if they will be naming the next Communicator 5 or not, the code rev for Mozilla I believe refers to it as 6 (rev5 being the code started with, and their 'from scratch' rev6).

    This doesn't mean that Communicator will be numbered 6, but I can't see Netscape not using the opportunity to 'lap' IE, much as Microsoft is known for doing.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN