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Mozilla The Internet

Netscape 6 Preview Release 481

deadpixel writes, "The Netscape 6 preview has been released. Really small download. No more Mozilla, sniff. " Kinda sad, but I think I'll use the Mozilla icon for this just as a tribute ;)
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Netscape 6 Preview Release

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This debate about the DHTML support in Mozilla/Netscape 6 raged yesterday on Mozillazine.

    A lot of people are missing the point when they say "It doesn't run exsisting DHTML. It must be broken".

    Netscape 6 supports the W3C DOM standards. Netscape 4 and IE 4 didn't. From that perspective the version 4 browsers are the ones that are broken.

    [Aisde: I fully concur with Bob Ince's comment "I would not like to see any support whatsoever for Netscape 4's wrong-headed and in practice thoroughly broken layer model, ever. I want it to die. As soon as possible." If you've done some hardcore DHTML programming you'll truely despise Netscape 4.]

    The reason DHTML sites don't run on Mozilla/Netscape 6 is that people haven't written code to support the W3C DOM. Yes, those people are going to have to right some more code, but it's not really a biggie.

    What I do and what quite a few other people do (Dan Steinman for instance) is have a cross browser "class" (you can do a weird sort of OO in JavaScript 1.2) that provides a consistent API of your design and handles the browser specific implementation behind the scenes.

    What will be interesting is the differences between JavaScript 1.5 and JavaScript 1.2 and how well things like animation work (demos in Milestone 13/14 seemed to take up lots of CPU cycles and be slow).

    On the DHTML resource tip. I assume you're talking about W3C DOM stuff. Here are some interesting zones.

    * WebFX (http://webfx.eae.net/)
    * DynLayer (http://www.dansteinman.com/dynduo/) - Mozilla support coming soon
    * Mozilla DOM (http://dhtmlfiend.cjb.net/)
    * W3C (http://www.w3.org/)
    * WebAbstraction Article (http://wsabstract.com/javatutors/dom.shtml)


  • by Anonymous Coward
    This should not be released by Netscape at this stage in its development. It is extraordinarily premature and buggy.
    • I'm sick of yet another application that writes its own GUI. Maybe the main menus are GTK, but the toolbar menus are clunky and buggy "custom code". (Out of the box, the bookmarks menu doesn't function properly: Open a submenu then go back to the main menu under linux and it goes nuts. Handcoded in some basic canvas widgets I suspect.)
    • I went through a bunch of the preferences to bring the behavior toward what I like, but the "OK" button rejected my changes and wouldn't close the preferences window. I needed to "cancel" and bring up preferences again, to go through them a few a time.
    • Scrolling is MUCH slower under linux than 4.72. This slashdot message thread caused it to choke. Hold the down-arrow until auto repeat kicks in and 6 will spend lots of time after you release the button trying to process all the extra repeats. 4.72 keeps up with the autorepeat.
    • SMTP sending doesn't work with my ISP. I tried sending myself a message via my ISP. Admittedly, kmail also has trouble communicating with my ISP's SMTP servers, but Netscape 6 never even connected. (Yes, the preferences were set.) Worse yet, after quitting and restarting Moz6, the unsent mail was not in "unsent" or "drafts" folders. It had vanished.
    • The "Back" button no longer pops up a menu of recent history. I use this feature of 4.x all the time and miss it in 6.
    I would love to support and use a better browser, but it is WAY too premature to pre-release this one. I don't care about "instant messaging" from a browser. In fact, I don't really care about e-mail from a browser. I want a good browser!!! With a good browser, I can access an Instant Messaging server, and an e-mail server.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've heard that some Linux users are "smart" and "good with computers". But then I hear a rumor that other Linux users are "whiners" and like to "bitch and moan" about pointless things.

    Maybe one of the "smart" Linux guys can build a smaller installation package for other "bitch" users.
  • Hey, this is a PR 1 version only!!

    Rest assured, that there will be binary versions for ALL unices - Sun, SGI, SCO, *BSD, etc..

    Those guys at Netscape got those machines you know :)
  • From what it seems - looks like you need Administrative rights to install the Netscape 6 with Net2Phone

  • Edit "chrome/net2phone/content/default/Net2PhoneButton. xul" and remove everything inside the <toolbar> tag.


  • I wouldn't call iCab entirely useful as an everyday browser at this point--it has no CSS support at all, minimal JavaScript support, no DOM (hence the minimal JS)... although for pure HTML pages, it is the danged fastest thing I've ever seen. If they can get it up to standards, it'll be a real humdinger.
  • I tried it from /tmp. I'm running potato (a mistake, but that's another issue), but didn't get that message.
  • But then, we've usually had to use shift-alt-arrow, since X intercepts alt-arrows under most configurations. Then again, with a different window manager, you might use the default alt-arrow. But if you use KDE, you're in trouble because it doesn't seem to like you using netscape in the first place, and you don't get *any* arrow key motions.

    And using the brackets may be reminiscent of the switcher on the mac--switching between virtual macintoshes before the multifinder. Come to think of it, I think I used it after the multifinder, too, to save memory . . .

    THe download came at about 100k/s the third time. The first two were at 80. If you use netscape3 to download, it takes the file and tosses it into the ether without saving it or prompting you; I had to use a shift-click. And there doesn't seem to be a 128 bit encription--I fired up netscape yesterday for the first time in weeks to try to access vanguard; I don't have much use for netscape now that I have lynx launching new instances of itself . . .
  • Nope, it's the default KDE and fvwm2 from FreeBSD. I don't use KDE, it's there for my wife & kids.

    kde+netscape is also the only way I've seen X on that box get locked so hard I couldn't get to a text console.
  • The linux version doesn't seem to have one, nor does it have a README . . .

    I untarred the thing, and not finding anything to reat, tried running ./netscape. It launches, and takes a few minutes drawing screens, resizing its window, occasionally flashing something. THen it just sits and spins, eating all cpu time. I can't get at a menu to try turnign off java and javascript. THen it locked up the pointer in X while I was writing this in lynx, forcing me to go to a text console to kill the mozilla-bin's . . .

    Is it any good? I couldnt' tell you; I can't get that far.

    This machine is old, slow, and lean, but it can run netscape3, and plod it's way through 4.
  • Everything seems to work OK, unless I go to the "What's new in Netscape 6" site, whereupon the window fills with garbage, then the whole thing crashes... Bizarre.
  • For a lot of users it makes sense. If you don't want Java 2, why be forced to download all 7MB of Sun JRE? I kinda like it, and I would have desparately wanted in the days when I was still connected via a modem.

    This is something IE has being doing for a while. However, IE allows you to specify that you just want to download and not actually install. Then you have all the components so that you can do an install without hitting the web.

    This is a preview release: give them time to iron out the issues. They'll need to get it as smooth and slick as IE, and then it'll be fine.
  • Remember, you can get the source from ftp.mozilla.org and compile it for whatever you want. Don't complain just because Netscape's preview doesn't support the MIPS processor released in 1985 that you just can't part with, just go, compile and be happy. Is running ./configure && make reallu that difficult?
  • Mozilla is not nearly dead. This is Netscape's preview release of their derivative of the Mozilla tree. This build was pulled weeks ago, and the new Mozilla builds include much more functionality now, IMHO. What has been released is the BETA of the NETSCAPE feature set for Mozilla. This is not a Mozillla beta, just a Netscape one. Hope this is clear, because if you give the impression that Mozilla is 'dead,' that would not be good.
  • I hope Netscape takes advantage of the theming capabilities of Mozilla and actually themes their browsers so that they look like the OS they are intended to install on. One of the major downsides to Mozilla (IMHO) is that they don't use the native widget set, effectively introducing another layer of complexity into the GUI which will probably end up confusing the end-user more than anything else. The easy decision now would be to make the Windows version have a default 'Windows' widget, the Mac version have a default 'Mac' widget, etc.

    In terms of coding and portability, yes the current implementation is probably the best, but the end-user doesn't think in terms of coding and portability. They'll see Netscape 6 and think, "Oh, God, it made Windows look different."
  • Instructions for un-installing this release are in the release notes at this URL: http://home.netscape.com/eng/mozilla/ns6/relnotes/ pv6-1.html
  • by tgd ( 2822 )
    Okay, I've been using Mozilla for over a year -- and as my primary browser for quite a number of months...

    But I really hoped that Netscape 6 would have waited until they had a freakin' drop down for the address edit box... I *hate* not being able to pick and choose from other URL's I've been to recently!
  • They've worked very hard on standards-compiliance. The cause of confusion is that they've implemented the W3C's DOM level 1 (and most of DOM level 2 now, I believe). Netscape 4 used an old, proprietary DHTML system. Up till now, DHTML authors have generally used `browser-sniffing' code, and write one version of the page for Netscape and another for IE (which already uses DOM level 1). Right now, a lot of developers haven't updated things to use the W3C DOM with Netscape 6. Don't worry, it will come.

    So long as you're careful, it should be possible to write standards-compliant, cross browser DHTML which will work (without browser-sniffing) in at least IE5+ and Netscape 6+. Problems in the short term, but really this is great news.

  • I'll second that. I'll also add that under Windows it has ugly fonts, is as sluggish as a big java applet (P133 w.80M), and underperforms IE by a wide margin. Sigh. I can actually watch the widgets chase my mouse... infact I have trouble not watching the widgets chase my mouse.

    I was hoping they would fix the memory and speed issues before it got out of alpha. Is it out of alpha? It took sixteen seconds... real seconds for it to restore from my taskbar. My poor system was swapping memory like mad.

    To top it all off the interface is ugly, and the peripheral apps (AOL IM, etc) are typically annoying.

    It appears as though IE is going to be the way to go on anyhardware short of a PII w. 128M of RAM.

    The only advantage this package has over v4 is standards compliance, PNGs and much faster table rendering.

  • "Their server is not letting bug reports in." I don't even know where to start. Well, I guess I can start with "it's been open for nearly two years." At any point during that time, you could have submitted that bug. I'll follow up with: Since you never submitted the bug, how the heck do you expect it to get fixed? Those things don't just happen on their own, you know. You can't just download a beta product and expect things to magically be fixed. Finally, I'll just say you are full of it- all of these bugs [mozilla.org] have been submitted to day. Just a wild guess, but I'm thinking that maybe bugzilla is open and you've just been too lazy to find this page [mozilla.org]. Now go, run along, and put your money where your wide mouth is. P.S. Sorry to go off, but it's not just you- there are about 10 million complaints here (some good, most not so good) of people who just expect good, free, software to magically appear in front of them without investing any of their own energy.
  • No, the UI is still bog slow. (And ugly as hell, of course.) Moving the mouse along the menubar, the menu draws can't keep up with my mouse movement. It's as if my computer were in power-save mode... except it's not.

    I can't even maximise the window to fit my whole screen.

    Sure, it renders HTML fast. Too bad it can't render itself as fast.

  • I installed the Linux version. I downloaded the "light" 10meg tarball and installed. When I run gtop reports over 23 megs of memory. In comparison, Netscape 4.5 uses 17.

    There is no Java in this version. I do have the SSL stuff installed, but I'm not using SSL. My Sidebar is opened to the bookmarks, which shouldn't be a huge drain. Netscape 4.x used a statically compiled Motif, which I always assumed accounted for the vast amount of memory drain. Now, we don't have that excuse.

    *sigh* I hope Opera comes up to speed soon.


  • Is it Mozilla, repackaged? I doubt that.. Mozilla is getting more stable and stable with every milestone but I wouldn't call it a beta yet (especially now that CSS rendering has been fucked up in the latest nightly builds).

    I guess NS 6.0 includes some components of Mozilla, most noticably the Gecko renderer, but not all. Plus of course there'll be tons of old NS code to handle Flash, Java, etc etc. About 4Mb of overhead (comparing the 10Mb download to the 6Mb Mozilla download).

    Oh well, I'm sure most of *us* will like it.

    More important will be the public acceptance and attitude. And whether AOL will finally use Ns/Gecko in its products. How compliant IE 5.5's Tasman *really* is (the Netscape article on DevEdge [netscape.com] seemed a tad biased.

    Even if this won't pull Netscape out of the dark, it would be nice if we could start developing websites without compatibility hacks. That alone would be worth it IMHO.

    I'll be back when wget tells me it has [100%].

  • Don't blame NT because you're too incompetent to use it.
  • Certainly it's too late to beat the entrenched IE.

    Just like Excel was too late to beat the entrenched 1-2-3, and Word was too late to beat WordPerfect, and IE 3.0 was too late to beat Netsc...

    I hope my point is made?

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • A smaller group of Netscape defenders will parrot some bogus story about Netscape 5 being released a couple years ago. Unfortunately, they are lying -- there was never anything called Netscape 5 released.

    Then kindly explain this [hypermart.net].

    Thank you.

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • UNIX was never really defeated. NT has yet to gain anything approaching a majority share in the data center market, where unix has reigned supreme for 20-odd years now. The majority of web and mail servers have always been unix.

    Netscape on the other hand was lofted high then knocked off its perch at which point it collapsed under its own bloated and buggy weight. The best minds of the company have left, and we're expecting the skeletal remains now reanimated by AOL (who have also not set many records for software quality) to make a comeback?

    I'm not holding my breath. The underdog I'd rather root for is Opera.
  • An editor I can see. Read markup, write markup. Has a very nice symmetry to it, and it's complex enough to need to wire it into the application.

    But if javascript is inadequate to write even a basic POP mail client in, then what the hell is the point? To write rollovers? This was supposed to be a platform in itself, yet it seems the one and only language binding made for it cannot be used to write anything of significant complexity, such as a mail app.
  • (flame? probably)

    A lot of people are complaining how they don't want integrated this, bundled that, and installed-alongside the-other. Well, thats too bad, because lots of people - how many millions are on AOL now? - do.

    Look, I'm all for tiny, I dislike all these features that to me are useless. But Netscape is trying to regain browser share, and if they release a "next generation" browser without the ability to read mail/news, search, and feed the cat, they'll get crucified in the press and the legions of (l)users out there won't think twice about forgoing the download and double-clicking on IE. Blame M$, blame AOL, blame whomever you want. If you don't want all these "features" then don't use it! Use W3-mode, use Lynx, use NetPositive, whatever. Its a sad state of affairs but I don't fault Netscape one bit.

  • The Mac version is nice.... Takes a friggin month to start, but its nice otherwise. Wish it had more of the native widgets; I get them on my Linux machine, why can't I have them on my Mac??
  • Sorry, but no cigar. :-(

    Netscape needs to desperately put in some time in terms of usability improvements. Trying to find setup menus, configuration preferences, etc. is just a mess in Netscape 6 PR1 compared to IE 5.01. This is where Microsoft's excellent "Usability Lab" comes in--Microsoft has a development group that have actual users take a program through its paces and get feedback on where to put in menus, icons, setup options, and so on.

    We all hope that future public beta builds of Netscape 6 will be a bit speedier and also has a better user interface, because if this is what we're going to get in Netscape 6, we're not going to hold out hope for end users to switch from Internet Explorer 5.01 (and eventually 5.5).
  • Having played with Netscape 6.0 PR1, I have one comment to describe this program: you have got to be kidding!

    First, the program is an absolute system hog--it makes Internet Explorer 5.01 for Windows 95/98/NT/2000 seem small in comparison. Secondly, when the program starts, it takes a LONG, LONG time to start the program compared to IE 5.01. Third, while it does render quickly once you DO get the program started, the way it renders many web pages sucks like a vacuum cleaner. -_- Pages like espn.go.com, cnn.com, www.zdnet.com, and even slashdot.org look strangely formatted in comparison to IE 5.01 and even Communicator 4.72. Finally, the "look and feel" of Netscape 6.0 is frequently extremely unintuitive compared to IE 5.01.

    If this is what Netscape 6.0 is, Netscape is history, even IF Microsoft is broken up.
  • When has a previously-dominant, now-defeated commercial software product ever made a comeback?


  • Try it, you'll like it. It's my impression that Mozilla is considerably ahead of Netscape 6 prerel at this point, and that's as it should be. Although I have to admit, this Netscape build is impressively stable considering... (2nd slashdot post, 4-5 windows open for an hour on a limited-memory machine, and STILL ALIVE!!!:)
  • It's unfortunate that Microsoft didn't start supporting document.getElementById until version 5 of IE.

    And even though it's now supported, most IE-specific DHTML that I've seen still uses document.all (which is apparently a VisualBasic-ism that MS grafted onto the DOM spec.) Understandable because IE 4 shipped with Windows 98 and will probably need to be supported on public websites for the next several years.

    One easy solution for this problem would be for Mozilla to suck it up and support document.all. Yes, it's proprietary MS embrace+extend junk. But, unfortunately, 99% of the "almost compliant" DHTML code out there uses document.all, and because of the IE 4 issue.

    If Netscape suported document.all, developers could have one code path that supported IE4, IE5, and Netscape 6. Because they won't, it means multiple code paths, 'libraries', and browser sniffing will need to continue for the forseeable future.

    (On the other hand, as soon as Netscape 6 ships, I can see sites deprecating their Netscape 4-specific DHTML code. It's non-standard, Netscape had the tendency to blow up while running it, and it's too different to be maintainable over a long period. )
  • 1) Netscape 6 is built on top of Mozilla. If Mozilla went away today, there would never be another Netscape.

    2) It's a small download ... for a network install program.

    C'mon. Let's not post stupid ass articles full of half-truths and hateful suppositions. It's obvious from the person who submitted this news that they don't like netscape.

    Bad Mojo
  • Mozilla itself is currently around 6.5M

    Actually, unless I'm downloading the wrong thing, it's much closer to 4 meg.

  • Maybe it has changed (I'm using the 03/23 build that someone posted a link to last week), but my menu says ctrl-[ and ctrl-] (I'm not smoking anything right now, thank you very much!)

    But no, neither of those options seem to be working...:(

  • When I started up N6, it went through this whole routine told me that I would have to change my easy to remember name to something abstract and bizarre to satisfy its corporate renaming requirements. I think Netscape is merging the webmail name lists with AOL IM Service, which is integrated with Netscape IM. So now instead of "peteshaw" I need to come up with PeteShawSpankMyMonkey or something long and stupid.

    Sorry, PeteShawSpankyMyMonkey is already taken. How about PeteShawSpankyMyMonkey140 ?
  • No offence or anything...

    Wait... Please take offence. You shouldn't be a web designer. Remember the early 90s? When the web was about content and not about style?

    You should spend your time making websites that are easy to navigate and are informative. DHTML is a hinderance to the web. Marketing people love it, but the frusterated users hate it... I hate when I'm at a windows box, and I have to watch shit slide around. Just show me the stuff!

    Oh, and while you're at it, when you see a marketing guy, pull his hear out of his ass...

    (Yeah, I know... Flamebait... Oh well...)
  • As you said, "I'll just say you are full of it."

    Their (Netscape's) server was not letting bug reports in as of the time I made my post. Their (Netscape's) site for Netscape 6.0 bug report is http://home.netscape.com/browsers/6/feedback/index .html. . I just tried to submit a report again at 19:51 UTC and it is STILL not taking submissions.

    As for even suggesting that I did not submit that bug, how about me saying "I have submitted that bug 4 different times"?
  • I had thought about that, however....

    The problem here, as I see it, is not that it does not work, it is that all these claims have been made about having a standards compliant browser. MS does it. Netscape does it. XYZ does it.

    Yet, when the browser hits the market, it is not. So, we people who write web pages have to find workarounds that end up not being standards compliant. In other words, what is the point in having standards if nobody is going to follow them?

    I dunno. Maybe I am just in a grouchy mood today.
  • Clicking on the back button doesn't bring up a list of pages.

    Like it has been said, bookmark management has gotten worse. Hope that changes.

    Looks like composer still can't handle frames, but maybe that's a good thing. :)

    Mail appears to be able to handle multiple pop3 boxes finally. I would test this, but when I'm flipping through help searching for information on some new features, it takes over my current browser window in which I'm writing my Slashdot post.

    I HATE THAT. Help should be built into the application, it should not require visiting a web page - and if it does, let it spawn a NEW window, not take over my current one, which I couldn't go back to by hitting the back button for some reason. Macromedia is guilty of this as well.. first place I saw do it. :\

    It IS fast, though, even on my horribly crippled machine here. :) And I do dig the look of it..

    20 minutes without a crash so far, which is more than I can say for 4.7 on my machine.

  • Right now, a lot of developers haven't updated things to use the W3C DOM with Netscape 6. Don't worry, it will come.

    I have yet to see ANY site on the web that DHTML works with in this thing (save netscape's own site). I'm not saying standards are bad, thank god they are actually using them for a change. The problem comes when just about every site I go to uses some form of layer manipulation and it just pukes in NS6.

    MANY sites use stuff from Dreamweaver, etc to write their DHTML code, and ALL of them puke in this new version. There's gonna be a LOT of sites that have to rewrite their code to get things to work in here.

    You are right that it's probably just a browser sniffing issue, though I've written widgets I thought would take care of that issue, and alas the DHTML I wrote still doesn't work in NS6. *sigh*

    Back to the drawing board.
  • <aol>Me too</aol>. But I didn't even get that far. Unpacking it in my home directory and running ./netscape just gave me
    ./mozilla-bin: error in loading shared libraries: libstdc++-libc6.1-1.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    So I tried reading the FAQ:
    To download and install a copy of the Netscape 6 Preview Release 1 on your computer, go to the download page and click Netscape 6 Preview Release 1. The Netscape 6 installer will be downloaded to your computer. To run it, find the installer file and double click it.
    Brilliant. Anyone got this running on Debian (potato)?
  • I had the same problem you have. Basically, I did ftp to one of netscape's servers (if you can get via ftp from behind your firewall), ftp4.netscape.com. The directory you need to grab the files from is


    However, you can't access the directory itself. You can only grab individual files. In order to get the file names, I ran the install program, which gives me a file name when it attempts the download. Then I just pulled that file from netscape's server. After you get the file, just do run the setup again, and it will give you the next file. I just did the typical setup, and needed the following files:


    When you get the correct files, the setup program then will not attempt to download them, but will just go ahead and so the install. Oh, I'd assume that the .xpi files need to be in the same directory as the setup program.


  • Whoa! the comet thing has gotten kind of "loud" since the last nightly build. How do I disable this?
  • Netscape/Mozilla's icons are pretty sad. They are the same palleted 16 color icons they had years ago.

    If you have anything more than a 256 color display, I redid a bunch of icons and you can get 'em here [rpi.edu] Untar it above your package directory and it will overwrite the ugly icons.


  • Hey, all I'm saying is that resources which can be dedicated to helping Open Source software are limited. Do you want to spend you valuable time helping a company which is responsible for putting millions of dumb newbies on the net, shutting down the gnuella site; a company that could easily hire people to do some QA work, or someone who actually deserves your support who is resource constrained.

    Me, I don't care either way, just some food for thought.
  • What happened to the days when you just download the setup EXE, run it, and the software was installed???

    For that matter, what happened to the days you simply downloaded the program you wanted as an EXE file? :)

  • Does it leak memory? After an hour or so, three windows were using 45K of free memory, slowing my meager 64K laptop to lots of grinding.
    Dude, even my trusty Apple //e had 128K. I'd recommend getting at least a meg or two. :)
    Memory has gotten pretty cheap again.
  • OK. wrong choice of words in the title.
    I do download browser only, BUT what I'm saying is I don't even want those options to be there.

    I mean look at the menus, all the subscription crap is still showing in there, the email crap.
    In the configuration options it's all there.

    I'm talking about all that stuff not even being there. No extra code allowed for any of that stuff.

    Just a LEAN, MEAN BROWSING MACHINE! And all those damn toolbars! all I need is forward, backwards, refresh, stop, home. Ta daaa...nice and simple. Oh and an address bar.

    No "Personal" or "Links" toolbar that, by default, is filled with the "approved" websites or Favorites that's already full of Microsoft crap that only AOLites look at like the sheep that they are.

    No Search button that will automatically send me to the "approved" search sites.

    OK. Rant off. Just venting.
  • Agree entirely. What I *do* want is something that's 100% HTML-4.01 and CSS2-compliant, preferably with XML in there as well to rival (rival? *better*!) IE5. Java is optional. Javascript is a disable-by-default option.
    And small, and fast, and using a decent native GUI interface like GTK+.

    So far the best option is Konqueror (kfm) under KDE. There are also such things as gzilla as well though.

    Knocking one of these together should not be hard - there are SGML and XML parsers a-plenty out there, glade for "visual GTK+", and a few jolt colas later...

    If you're really feeling perverse, check out "mmm" - written in ML. Anyone know of anything in Scheme? (*Not* emacs lisp, please!)
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • near as i can tell it grabbed my proxy settings from my netscape4 or mozilla(m14) or ie5.5 settings (damned if i know which .. but those are the only places its setup .. my guess would be the IE ones built into windoze though) .. granted my proxy doesn't require authentication or anything ..
    just my dos centabos
  • > looks basically like a Mozilla nightly build
    > with AOL crap thrown in

    At least it allows you to opt out of installing the Instant Messenger, which the 4.7 installer obliges you to install.

    Seems fairly stable for a "preview release." It only took me a few minutes to crash it, but it seems a lot closer to feature complete and stable than the last Mozilla build I grabbed.

  • From the Urban Legends File - I heard M$ IE transmits all kinds of sys info if you log on to
    one of their web sites. Stuff like OS, apps, etc. Any truth to this?

    If you're using IE 4+, check your Internet Options, Advanced.

    Uncheck "Enable Page Hit Counting" which allows sites to store your surfing information on your computer and query it as necessary.

    Uncheck "Enable Profile assistant" which transmits all kinds of sys info if you log on to one of their web sites.

  • PS While they're at it, can we do something about that annoying SmartDownload program that shows banners?

    Welcome to the wonderful world of AOL.

  • I ran into the same problem. I don't use Netscape for mail and never have, but as I recall, one of the come-ons for signing up as a NetCenter member was that you'd get a permanent e-mail address. So much for that.

    And Pete's right, there are *no* acceptable usernames left. Hell, someone's even already got "dubdublin", and I have got to believe I'm the only person in the country twisted enough to actually go by a name like "Dub Dublin" (I'm a third, it's a nickname, long story.) There aren't even that many Dublins to start with. It also ticks me off (since I have such an unusual name) that some bozo is running around on AOL/AIM making at least some people suspect that he's me!

    Grrrrrrrr, it's this sort of heavy handedness that makes me just want to chuck Netscape. When is the real Mozilla scheduled for completion, anyone? [grin]

    Maybe this is the time to finally jump to Opera, but I'd really like to be able to use the same bookmarks everywhere, and Opera isn't cooked on Linux/Unix yet...
  • I always knew that marketeers use a different language, but now finally the proof is here:
    ncftp /pub/netscape6 > ls

    ./ ../ english/ japanese/ marketing/

    See? Netscape is available in the English, Japanese and Marketing language! :-)

  • In case of the slashdot effect I've set up a mirror [shadowtechllc.com] of the Linux 2.2 version. I have limited bandwith so I limited the active http connections to 15.


  • Anyone know where I can download the *real* installer? I'm behind a big scary proxy, and the installer never gives you a chance to specify proxy settings, thus it can't download.
    I poked around on Netscape's FTP-servers, and pulled down the 16MB (yes, 16MB) full download. ftp?.netscape.com/pub/netscape6/english/6_PR1/wind ows/win32/sea/NetscapeSetup.exe replace ? with 1-8, I used 7. used WS_FTP to pull it down, Netscape refused to do it itself.
  • OK, it's a browser sniffing issue plus more. But the "more" in this case is standards compliance, and that's worth the temporary loss of functionality.

    What really scares me here is that this thread is full of inaccurate complaints from self-proclaimed web designers who haven't done the first thing to examine the source of the problem. Then again, it doesn't surprise me, because I've been crossing my eyes at your flawed code for years.

    Still, a browser that breaks existing pages is going to cause a lot of headaches. It's still beta, so there's hope for improvement.

    But all you folks sniffing version>=4 will have to make some changes. Those of you assuming Dreamweaver takes care of everything (it doesn't, and there are thousands of non-robust sites to prove it) are going to have to start learning HTML. Considering your claimed profession, it's about time. While you are at it, try viewing your sites without Javascript and without images. If the site becomes unusuable or unnavigable, you have a lot to learn about building web pages.

    Thankfully, the author of this parent goes quite a distance to adding some realistic detail. Writing three scripts will be a big pain; but I would consider checking webmonkey and your ten other favorite coding sites for someone to write a few asbstraction functions to simplify this.

    Finally, this shows we've still got a couple more years before DHTML will be breeze, but it can't really be said to have a lot of essential uses now anyway.

  • http://mozillazine.org/chromezone/component.html?c omponent=17

    http://www.alphanumerica.com/projects/mozilla/sk ins/sullivan/

    But apparently it is only a /browser/ skin (doesn't skin the mail UI), and doesn't have popup menus which is very annoying...so I have reverted to the uglier but more functional default skin.
  • Ok, I downloaded the preview release, which looks basically like a Mozilla nightly build with AOL crap thrown in. The gui is identical. However, upon checking Alphanumeric I see that have a nice new skin called "Sullivan". It makes the browser seem a lot "fresher".
  • by Gleef ( 86 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:59AM (#1150412) Homepage
    Going through the website at the link provided won't let you download the beta unless you accept a tracking cookie from ads.web.aol.com. It looks like you can do an FTP download without cookie tracking from:
    ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/nets cape6/english/6_PR1 [netscape.com].

  • ...so I guess I will. Can Netscape 6/Mozilla allow Netscape to claw back the huge amount of ground it has lost to Microsoft. To those of you who use Linux or Unix exclusively this may not be apparent, but in the real world almost everybody is standardising on IE 5, not because Microsoft has stuffed it down their throats, but because Netscape 4 sucks. I would love to see a Netscape that I can use again without it crashing every five minutes, and hopefully Netscape 6 / Mozilla will be such a browser, but the real question is - is it too late?


  • by thomasd ( 3336 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:21AM (#1150414) Homepage
    After a rather slow start, open source seems to have worked out pretty well for Netscape. There are some quite big community projects still going on (XSLT support, for instance).

    I'd actually go as far as to say that the release of a commercial Netscape 6 will be the point when Mozilla.ORG really starts coming into its own. Just imagine: a commercial browser with millions of users, but still (almost) all the code out there for anyone to grab and hack on.

    Methinks the future looks very bright. Now we just need a working OpenJava plugin for Linux...

  • by luge ( 4808 ) <slashdot&tieguy,org> on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:26AM (#1150415) Homepage
    I don't know if they'll work with the netscape beta, but if you are using a nightly build of mozilla, you can get skins from Chromezone [mozillazine.org]. Since beta is nearly identical to the nightlies, these should work, but no guarantees from me. BTW, I strongly recommend Aphrodite and Sullivan- don't waste your time on the others (yet- classic could be really nice, eventually.)
  • by luge ( 4808 ) <slashdot&tieguy,org> on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:31AM (#1150416) Homepage
    Just an FYI, in the latest nightlies there are no keyboard commands in the pulldowns. We'll see what that means, I suppose.
    Also, in Mozilla, everything is skinnable- not just skinnable in the "I can make it look pretty" sense, but also in the "I can change it completely" sense. That includes keyboard shortcuts, menu layouts, menu content, etc., etc., not just getting rid of that horrific blue-green ;)
  • by Mike Shaver ( 7985 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @09:42AM (#1150417) Homepage
    So, my jaw fairly dropped when I read the little intro blurb here. The release of the Netscape 6 beta is not the end of the Mozilla project, by any stretch of even CmdrTaco's vivid imagination.

    Netscape is the first in what we at mozilla.org expect will be a long list of vendors and organizations releasing Mozilla-based products, and while that's a pretty exciting milestone, it's not our final goal. Lots more work to do.

    If you're having trouble with specific parts of the Netscape beta, you might want to try the upcoming Mozilla M15 to see if the bugs in question have been fixed. There are a few familiar reports in the comments here, and some of them are already fixed in the tree. (Nightlies are always a hit-and-miss thing, and have been largely miss in the last week or so, but the brave and self-directed might want to take a peek in the interim.)

    (Posted with 2000032909)

  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @10:06PM (#1150418)
    Absolutely agreed. Checking out the Mozilla home page, you see that while the number of "outside" developers has increased only slowly, the number of checkins from outside has skyrocketed. This exactly mirrors my own intentions - I've always promised myself that I'd actually start hacking the code and contributing better features (in the sense that *I* will like them more:) only after the commercial version of Netscape is forked off.

    The reasons for this are simple.

    1) Don't even think about trying to get a new feature, as opposed to a bug fix into the source tree while the Netscape team is on the straight stretch towards a commercial release.

    2) Now that Netscape is separate, Mozilla is a LOT more "ours".

    I think I'm hardly the only developer that feels this way. I'd look for the number of outside developers to double in the next month.

    BTW, for anyone that's interested, if you want to hack on Mozilla you need a gig of free disk space, and good fast processor - I'd suggest at least 400 MHz, and any current version of Linux. Downloading the source takes about 30 mins on a 56K modem and the initial build takes about 40 mins. In contrast to other reports I've seen, I've never had a *single* nightly tree fail to build on Linux. It's actually pretty darn easy to get into, compared to some source installs I've done.

    (Posted with Netscape 6 pre-release of course:)
  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:39AM (#1150419)

    What is with these installers these days? You download a tiny instalation EXE which then in turn tries to download the actual software package. The hell with you if you are actually behind a firewall or proxy that the "smart" installer doesn't know about!

    What happened to the days when you just download the setup EXE, run it, and the software was installed???


    Anyway, if anyone knows how to install the Windoze version of this on a machine behind a proxy let me know!
  • by A Big Gnu Thrush ( 12795 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @07:50AM (#1150420)
    hi people. im just testing the postability of this shiny new browsetr. This troll seemed like a good thing to respond to. Is there anything better than hot mozilla down the front of your gritscape?
  • by EricWright ( 16803 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:16AM (#1150421) Journal
    Lessee... two problems. ALT-[left|right] arrow have been replaced with CTRL-[ and CTRL-]. Years of reflexive training down the tubes. Also, manage bookmarks is next to useless. I can't drop bookmarks into a folder, open or closed. They fall either above or below the folder.

    But, man, it sure is fast.

    Eric, making his 'first post' from N6
  • by vitaflo ( 20507 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @07:05AM (#1150422) Homepage
    Therefore, if you want to be compatible with IE/Netscape 4+, you have to sniff for document.all, document.layers and document.getElementById, and write *three* different scripts.

    Yup, just did some tests on some DHTML widgets I wrote and this is true. Current DHTML will not work with NS6. Three checks have to be made to see which browser you're running on. *ugh* I can only imagine the amount of headaches this is going to cause people. It's bad enough for my personal site, but now I'll have to spend time making clients sites at work functin correctly. *ugh ugh*

    Yuck, will you look at that source?! This is hardly the elegant separation of content, style and behaviour HTML-CSS-DOM promised us.

    The source is horrible. I wondered if they even thought about making it more modular, or just slapped it together. As such, for what's being done on that page, it shouldn't take that much code. My bet is it's just sloppy programming (or at least that's my hope! ;).
  • by RPoet ( 20693 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:23AM (#1150423) Journal
    ftp://ftpX.netscape.com/pub/netscape6/english/6_PR 1

    Replace the X with any number from 1 to 8, and there you go.
  • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:26AM (#1150424)
    The small download only includes the setup.exe file. The rest of the files are downloaded from netscape's FTP site.

    From the looks of mozilla, the total amount to download should be around 6mb.

    PS While they're at it, can we do something about that annoying SmartDownload program that shows banners?
  • by EisPick ( 29965 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @08:40AM (#1150425)
    Netscape's user-agent string has been "Mozilla" since at least version 1 -- long before there was Mozilla Project. For that matter, Explorer shows up in access logs as Mozilla/MSIE.

    This does not mean MICROS~1 is using Mozilla Project code in Explorer.
  • by adimarco ( 30853 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:59AM (#1150426) Homepage

    Anyone know where I can download the *real* installer? I'm behind a big scary proxy, and the installer never gives you a chance to specify proxy settings, thus it can't download.

    What is this bullshit anyway? I can't tell you how many installers I've had to abandon recently for the exact same reason. Why can't I just download the fscking software and install it myself, thanks?

  • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:53AM (#1150427) Journal

    Well, I'm posting from Mozilla. (Sue me, I like the name Mozilla.)

    Some quick notes: I started using the web back when beta versions of Mosaic were the height of sophistication. I used Netscape up until the 4.x days on Unix, NT, and Mac, when I switched to MSIE on both NT and Mac. Why? It was better, a lot better in some cases.

    Mozilla Win32 impressions so far: not so great.

    The activation script is hideous- lots of graphical glitches that remind me of student written X programs.

    The browser overall isn't faster than MSIE5. Opening menus is slowwww- just scrolling back and forth across the menubar will cause the menus to lag. Opening/closing windows is also slow, at least compared to MSIE. Hopefully this is just debug code and the real Mozilla will be faster.

    So far no crashes. Doesn't say much, but some of the stuff I've thrown at Mozilla would have already killed Netscape4.

    Why, oh why doesn't Mozilla mark where I was in a previous document when I hit the back key? Why doesn't it copy MSIE's autocomplete function? Both are serious reasons I might not use this over MSIE.

    Many of my old Java applets don't display correctly. This might just be my bad programming, but given my horrible memories of trying to get applets to function under Netscape/Mac I'm a bit worried.

    The Chime plug-in doesn't work- it doesn't display anything. This alone will keep me from using it until it's fixed. (To be fair, Chime is a tricky plug-in- MSIE has had problems with it for years.) Have to send a bug report.

    Thanks guys, for letting me kill AOL IM. I stopped using Netscape on the Mac the day a new version installed IM even when I told it not to.

    Will I use it? Maybe, at least to check out sites I write. But it's not enough to make me switch for good on NT/Mac, especially since MSIE5 is out for the Mac as well.


  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:32AM (#1150428) Homepage Journal

    You've been an engineer for 12 years, and you don't understand that a pre-release alpha with tons of debugging code is going to be slower than a release version?

    Yes, I understand that debugging code will have a performance impact (generally in my code I get about a 10% to 20% slowdown due to additional checking and logging). However, to have this level of impact their code would have to look like:

    void somefunc(int x)

    Especially for a preview release (i.e. a release that "normal people" might look at), they need to have operations as close as possible to final product. People will judge Netscape 6 by this: a hyper-sub-light interface like this will turn more people to Internet Exploiter than any amount of Microsoft marketing.

    When I tried M[{11}-{14}], I understood that it was going to be slower than release, and I accepted this. But this is rediculous!

    Also, you add a signature but you post as an AC. Why don't you create an account? (I don't mean this as a flame, but as a real question). It's not like it costs anything, and then your comments would be more likely to be moderated up.

  • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:21AM (#1150429) Homepage Journal
    Keyboard shortcuts are in bug 22529 [mozilla.org] (bug 26373 [mozilla.org], which specifically mentions alt-left, was marked as a duplicate to be included in 22529).

    I don't know why keyboard shortcuts aren't given a higher priority, though - developers and power users get frustrated easily when their navigation keys don't work, but can live with silly misrenderings.


  • Whats the deal here? Not every Linux user is a dedicated hacker. I do dive into code every once and a while but I sure like having step-by-step instructions or an install program.

    So how come Netscape (and the mozilla project) both ship a tar.gz which unpacks a directory called "package"?? what a wierd name for a program directory. So now what? Ok so one has to unpack it in an already made directory say /usr/mozilla then read the README on how to run. like you can't run the thing with the current directory anywhere except the directory where you unpacked it. So the real deal here is there should be a README availiable on-line or in Netscape's FAQ on what steps and causions someone should be aware of before downloading and installing.

    This really comes down to, Companies should adhear to either of the two de-facto standards:

    1. GNU configure (autoconf/automake) Most unix users understand how to use this install utility and find that packages built with this a far eaisier to understand and build.
    2. One executable install shield Wana ship binaries? well toss them in a self extracting executable (shar?) and have the install program ask proper questions like where to install and what compenants to install. This method is very poular on window based machines. Why not use it for other platforms?
    So wheres the hold up? why is it always so different for any other operating system except the ones Billy boy authorizes?
  • by dschwick ( 123454 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @07:47AM (#1150431) Homepage
    There are some features missing from the Netscape 6/Mozilla toolbar that I really miss:
    • The back button no longer functions as a history dropdown. This is a very convenient feature, and downright necessary when the previous page has a redirect to the current page.
    • A home button. I'm definitely not the first to comment about this.
    • The url window no longer has a history dropdown. This was also very handy.
    Aside from that, I can only pray that the speed improves in the final release. If not the question will shift from "Will Netscape make up the lost ground?" to "Will Netscape survive?"
  • by Squid ( 3420 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:33AM (#1150432) Homepage
    Oh the humanity. mozilla.org is down, the nightly builds have stopped, the source tree has been closed, and M15 is right out.

    I am, of course, being sarcastic. mozilla shows no signs of going away just because a commercial distro happens to be on the release schedule.

    Unless someone knows otherwise.
  • by chialea ( 8009 ) <chialea.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @06:20AM (#1150433) Homepage
    does anyone else find this interesting?


    ftp> cd netscape6
    250 CWD command successful.
    ftp> ls
    200 PORT command successful.
    150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for /bin/ls.
    total 16
    drwxr-xr-x 5 888 999 60 Mar 27 19:11 .
    drwxr-xr-x 23 888 999 4096 Mar 23 16:17 ..
    drwxr-xr-x 3 888 999 23 Mar 23 16:17 english
    drwxr-xr-x 3 888 999 23 Mar 23 16:18 japanese
    drwxr-xr-x 2 888 999 4096 Apr 5 03:55 marketing

    marketing is now apparently a language...

  • by TrentC ( 11023 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @07:28AM (#1150434) Homepage
    Okay, I've held off on commenting on Mozilla and/or Netscape 6 until I had a version that would actually run.

    The themeable/skinnable GUI is just a bad, bad, BAD idea. I haven't tried it on my Mac yet, but the Win32 beta is horribly slow and unresponsive (one time I got a "this cookie wants to be set" dialog after I had closed the browser window!), and the UI sticks out like a sore thumb -- it feels like I'm running a big honking Java applet instead of the "leanest, most stable browser on the market".

    Yes, I know this is a beta, but I have yet to see any program improve 200% over a preview version, which is what this needs.

    The HTML rendering is great, however. Although it's weird to see the background GIFs rendering incrementally then tiled, and watching tables render incrementally is odd as well, it does feel faster than Netscape 4.x.

    Jay (=
  • I don't mean this to be a flame, but it is going to come out as one.

    A long time ago (when 4.5 came out) I griped right here on Slashdot because of the way it was handling the resizing of images in tables. When you told an image to be 100% of a cell wide, it worked fine. But when you told it to be 100% of a cell tall, it would not. So, I bitched.

    Some lady from Netscape saw my post on here and sent me an email about "Well, we are not going to fix bugs in 4.x, but you are welcome to help us fix things in Mozilla by submitting bug reports!" Well, I did.

    So, now I download 6.0 and what do I find? The same fricking bug is there.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Check out the bug [dhs.org].

    I would submit this as a bug, but their server is not letting bug reports in.

  • by The Incredible Mr. L ( 26085 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:04AM (#1150436)
    More bloatware. Of course AOL owns them now so it's AOLware.

    What is it with throwing everything into a web browser nowadays?
    All I want is a web browser with java capabilities, security for on-line ordering, and ability for plug-ins (shockwave, etc) for multimedia.

    I DON'T want integrated email.
    I DON'T want integrated HTML editor.
    I DON'T want automatic upgrades.
    I DON'T want channels, subscriptions, etc.
    I DON'T want messaging, chat, etc.
    I DON'T want fancy schmancy crap.

    Just a SMALL, STABLE WEB BROWSER to view WEB PAGES. NOT some totally integrated internet appliance software or whatever. Think I better learn to program now. What's the best language to do this in? C++? C? FORTRAN? hehehe

  • by Krilomir ( 29904 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:40AM (#1150437)
    Not sure, but I think this 10 megabytes install is all you need - no extra downloading needed.
    ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/netscape6/english/6_PR1 /unix/linux22/ netscape-v600pr1.x86-unknown-linux2.2.tar.gz [netscape.com]

    And for windows people (like me):
    ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/netscape6/english/6_PR1 /windows/win32/sea/NetscapeSetup.exe [netscape.com]

  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:53AM (#1150438) Journal
    I have it running in Windows 2000 now and it's consuming 32 megs of RAM all by itself. I grabbed the "leaked" version a few days ago and saw it go up to 60 megs of RAM (according to task manager). IE uses around 16 megs, although since "it is part of the OS" it's hard to determine how much of it's resources are accounted for "elsewhere."

    I can't wait to get home to try it on my linux box and see how it rates...

    btw, off-topic rant. I'm currently pissed as hell at Netscape for forcing longtime netscape web users to change their username [cnet.com] just so they can merge all of their account IDs with the same bloated name space as AOL. That means, stupid usernames like joe235753 for example... :( I had "weave@netscape.net" and now they want to force me to give it up. So much for my "lifetime e-mail address."

  • by Bob Ince ( 79199 ) <and@doxde3.14159sk.com minus pi> on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @08:29AM (#1150439) Homepage
    It's unfortunate that Microsoft didn't start supporting document.getElementById until version 5 of IE.

    Indeed, though I'm not quite sure of the exact timeline here. The first DOM WD to mention getElementById was the July 1998 draft; IE4 predates that by some way doesn't it?

    And while it's nice that IE5 now does pretty much support DOM, it also exposes a massive, overcomplex additional API, a lot of which is redundant. Go to MSDN's Web Workshop and look up DHTML Reference; woe betide anyone trying to learn DHTML from that.

    Actually, woe betide anyone trying to learn DOM DHTML at all; I haven't found any good tutorials or references yet. Links, anyone?

    One easy solution for this problem would be for Mozilla to suck it up and support document.all.

    I concur, but as an optional compile-in "IE4 support" module so webmasters can more easily test their DOM code on Mozilla. This'd be nice. Especially if it had a few other bits in that people tend to use, like [client|offset]top|width|etc.

    If Netscape suported document.all, developers could have one code path that supported IE4, IE5, and Netscape 6. Because they won't...

    I don't know about "won't"; if someone were to contribute such a thing to the Moz codebase I'm sure no-one would complain. :-) For the moment, I guess standard compliance rightly has a higher priority than back compatibility.

    (On the other hand, as soon as Netscape 6 ships, I can see sites deprecating their Netscape 4-specific DHTML code. It's non-standard, Netscape had the tendency to blow up while running it, and it's too different to be maintainable over a long period.)

    Amen to that. I would not like to see any support whatsoever for Netscape 4's wrong-headed and in practice thoroughly broken layer model, ever. I want it to die. As soon as possible. It makes my gums throb.

    Pity so many people over here are still running their horrible old T-Online Netscape setups. Curses.

    This comment was brought to you by And Clover.
  • by mpieters ( 149981 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:19AM (#1150440) Homepage
    Duh? Mozilla gone? What about M15, expected in about a week? What about al the hard work still going on at Mozilla.org?

    Netscape 6 beta 1 is but the first branded Mozilla browser. It is based on Mozilla, as Stronghold and Red Hat Secure Server are based on Apache. It adds features, has it's own version of the UI (which is completely replacable, not just the pictures on the buttons)

    Whatch out for more browsers based on the Mozilla core. Mozilla itself is aimed at the developer, but there will be 'easy' versions, kids versions, embedded versions, etc. Long live Mozilla!

    You got it wrong last time with all the fuss about a discussion on security related bugs in bugzilla, instead presenting it as a decision. Please get your journalistic facts straight.

    Martijn Pieters, Software Engineer
    Digital Creations [digicool.com], Creators of Zope [zope.org]

  • by Signal 69 ( 159601 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:09AM (#1150441)
    Netscape 6.0 isn't the end of mozilla anymore than Red Hat 6.2 is the end of Linux. You know that :-)
  • by marks ( 12185 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:16AM (#1150442) Homepage
  • by at-b ( 31918 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @06:38AM (#1150443) Homepage

    Well, my Linux box is at home, and I have to use the NT4 Server here at work to test the build.. here're a few brief experiences so far:

    Using the 260k installer, and only grabbing the executable and the (7 megs?!) Java2 stuff, the install went fairly speedily (45 mins) over a 56k connection (13mb in total, without any of the feedback agents, Net2Phone, etc). No reboots were necessary, which is a nice step up from the 4.x releases, and of course IE. (although IE, to be fair, 'upgrades' a lot of system files under Winx)

    Ok, first run. No, thanks, I don't want to sign up to Netcenter. And yes, I really really don't want to. I'm sure you nice Netscape, er, AOL guys would never do anything bad with my name and email address, but I just want to browse.
    Here it comes up, loading it is a bit faster than the 4.x tree. On we go to the Netcenter N6 page, ah, Dynamic HTML, finally implemented, nice moving 'Netscape' writing, fully selectable, etc. It's just eyecandy, but proves standards compliance. Wohoo! :)
    On we go.. let's see how fast Yahoo loads, my 'bare-bones' example for comparing IE and Mozilla so far. Ok, it's fine, not as speedy as IE5, but it's not an 'integral part of the OS', is it?
    Now the real test.. slashdot.org, loads fine, I enter my name - NO, I don't want you to remember my password, Moz.., er, Netscape - and on we go.
    Ah. Hmm. Well, either Slashdot isn't regularly tested with Mozilla, or it's _supposed_ to look this way. Most of the 'spacing' between objects is gone, i.e. the banner at the top of the screen is now touching the actual page instead of having a bit of space between the two of them. Since I turned the icons off, the slashboxes are now vertically sligned against the very top of the actual page, whereas the 'default' page has the icons in the top right corner aligning the slashboxes with the rest of the main page at the top. Ah well, broken HTML it ain't (unless you try to validate it :), and it's not a major issue.

    [Side note: Copying text from Mozilla/N6 and pasting into Windows apps doesn't seem to work right now, neither using the right-click menu, nor the Edit menubar. Hmm. It lets me paste, but never copy. Especially since it blanks out the 'Paste' option after pasting, clearly thinking it has something buffered in the paste clipboard. Odd, but fixable.

    Anyway, let's see what Netscape has to say about it on their main page. On we go, www.netscape.com... err.. crash. Hmm. Now, I'd have thought that they'd test their own homepage with their own browser? Nevermind, let's load it back up again - sigh, I didn't download the feedback client, so this bug will probably go unnoticed - and try it again.. and the page loads just fine. Odd. Very odd.

    Anyway, let's have a look at the memory footprint.. task manager.. netscp6.exe..

    29752k ??

    I guess this is the memory footprint of a modern cutting-edge app.. but what were the two years of propaganda about 'small, fast app', 'efficient modular coding' etc. all about? I understand that IE5's memory usage (6megs right now) is partly due to the fact that a lot of its engine and parts are pre-loaded by the OS during startup.. and maybe under UNIX a lot of Netscape's code will reside in code already loaded by the X wm (widgets, etc).. but 30 megs? I just started the thing, it's not like hours of use have led it to leak memory like a bastard, accumulating dozens of megs of cached pages, etc, etc?
    The actual netscape executable is 356k large, probably so it can start fast and give a speedy impression. The 'components' dir, full of to-be-loaded .dlls, I assume, is another 6 megs large. The .dlls in the main dir are another 3 megs.. and I assume far from all are loaded at startup.

    And the 'theme'-ability (i.e. skins, etc) aren't even included! I even disabled the sidebar, and reduced most options like What's Related? and Internet Keywords to a minimum, so I'd have a bare-bones, speedy browser, and nothing else. I'm guessing that part of it is the Java2 stuff that's loaded at startup - but the memory usage still baffles me. If it preloads all it needs, I'd at least expect it to be as fast as IE, if not better, seeing how IE5 is at its core based on a browser MS bought from Spyglass which in turn was a rebranded NCSA Mosaic licensee from 5++ years ago. (Check 'About' in IE5 if you don't believe me.)
    Ok, this is a pre-releases, still Alpha, not to be used widely, etc.. but seeing how the final .0 release is most likely going to have a mandatory includion of Net2Phone, the Instant Messenger, Skins, Shockwave and Realplayer included, the memory needed for it is going to balloon even more. Right now I'm using one of the servers here to test it, as I wanted something fairly speedy (FYI, it's a K6-2 450, 160MB RAM, NT4 Server, Service Pack 6a), amd I guess most people nowadays have relatively fast machines.. but it's still pretty excessive memory usage. I can load StarOffice and have a full office suite including a web browser loaded in that memory, if I have to. :-)

    Ok, so in the time I needed to write this, (5 mins?) Netscape seems to have assimilated more memory for its personal needs. It now occupies 35 MB of RAM, and all I did to make it grow by 5 megs is to type some text in this textfield. Either it's doing funky stuff, or NT hates its guts. (and I'm waiting for people to post saying it's all NTs fault, and they've had Mozilla running on their 386 Linux boxes for months without crashes or memory problems :)
    I'm sure this isn't the fault of Gecko, the rendering engine at its core, but the browser built around it seems to have a few architectural issues. I hope the Mozilla guys will be able to give it a swift kick in the pants before the Netscape6 release. Press coverage of a sluggish Netscape that doesn't match IE's capabilities would probably kill it off for good on non-UNIX platforms. I think I better go and kill off all Netscape-related processes now before it sucks up the remaining memory and I have to reboot the machine. :-/ I just wonder what this is all about since the problematic factor, the skins engine, isn't even integrated into this release.

    Apart from the memory issues, though, the Lizard seems to be a capable beast. Especially since this a pre-release do Slashdot Netscape's servers, grab the thing, and test it. With enough bugzilla reports, I'm sure the issues can be fixed in time for the release.

    Alex T-B

    PS: This post is coming to you courtesy of the fourth 'Submit' attempt. The Lizard keeps popping up a little box saying 'Connection refused by slashdot.org.. is that a HTTP error code. Which one? Please talk to me, Mozilla. :)
  • by peteshaw ( 99766 ) <slashdot@peteshaw.fastmail.fm> on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:23AM (#1150444) Homepage
    First of all, this is listed as Netscape 6 PR1, so its not gold or anything. Its just a prerelease version of there normal buggy .0 releae.

    It looks just like mozilla m14. This should not come as a surprise to me, but I didn't know what to expect.

    Does it leak memory? After an hour or so, three windows were using 45K of free memory, slowing my meager 64K laptop to lots of grinding.

    Otherwise, despite the ugly N logo replacing the cute Mozillasoar, it looks pretty solid.

    A final word about the integration. I have a netscape webmail account that uses the name "peteshaw". I stopped using it some time back when I accidentally posted it once on the usenet and found I was getting inunspamdated.

    When I started up N6, it went through this whole routine told me that I would have to change my easy to remember name to something abstract and bizarre to satisfy its corporate renaming requirements. I think Netscape is merging the webmail name lists with AOL IM Service, which is integrated with Netscape IM. So now instead of "peteshaw" I need to come up with PeteShawSpankMyMonkey or something long and stupid.

    So far its just annoying, but after trying 3 or 4 times to come up with a reasonable username, it gives me this error "Too many logins from this IP address, please wait 24 hours before logging on." On top of that, the only button I have to choose is marked "retry". What's a guy to do? Sit here staring at the retry button for 24 hours? It wasn't that hard to eventually work around, but its like ??????

    So, needless to say I am skipping the netscape bundle of features for now, or at least for the next 24 hours. I might just stick with M14.
  • by medicthree ( 125112 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @04:26AM (#1150445) Homepage
    This is the third time that slashdot has posted a story that got this wrong: Netscape 6 is NOT the final "Mozilla" browser. Netscape 6 incorporates some parts of the Mozilla efforts, but NS 6 is still a commercial product with proprietary code put out by Netscape Incorporated. Mozilla is not complete, and is still in testing. When it is finished, it will not be called "Netscape" anything, it will be "Mozilla." Please try to get this right.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser