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Mozilla The Internet

Phoenix 0.3 Is Out 433

David Tansey writes "The Mozilla-based stripped down browser has now reached binary release 0.3. They are ripping out all the mail and news functions, composer functions, and IRC functions. The point is to work against the 'monolitic' mozilla trunk and make a browser, not a suite. I've noticed that it now uses considerably less memory than Mozilla uses and loads faster. Check it out here."
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Phoenix 0.3 Is Out

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  • moderate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 10 Speed ( 519184 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:01AM (#4459850)
    if only I could moderate the guys doing this...a browser that only browses, small, lean and fast. Such a great idea...(+5 sensible)
    • Re:moderate (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @06:55AM (#4460429)
      Check this out:

      -rw-r--r-- 1 user users 10850305 Sep 24 17:41 phoenix-0.1-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz
      -rw-r--r--&n bsp; 1 user users 10328269 Oct 3 14:16 phoenix-0.2-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz
      -rw-------&n bsp; 1 user users 9520231 Oct 15 18:32 phoenix-0.3-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz

      Phoenix is becoming smaller (and faster) which each release!
      • Bad news! (Score:5, Funny)

        by varslot ( 18991 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @08:06AM (#4460593)
        A conservative linear prediction based on your data for size versus version number shows that Phoenix will disappear somewhere between version 1.7 and 1.8. However, as the data seems to follow a quadratic curve rather than a linear one, the disappearance is likely to happen a lot sooner.
        • ... as in 1.0? That would be a great way to celebrate the world's smallest browser!

          "The Phoenix Team is proud to announce that we have finally shrunk the browser to the ultimate size: 0 bytes. Thanks to everyone supporting us in our quest to develop the smallest browser on earth."
  • by StefMeister ( 219044 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:03AM (#4459856)

    The Mozilla-based stripped down browser has now reached binary release 0.3. They are ripping out all the mail and news functions, composer functions, and IRC functions.

    If they continue like this, there will be nothing left by 0.5 :)
    • by Sn4xx0r ( 613157 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:28AM (#4459971) Homepage
      They are ripping out all the mail and news functions, composer functions, and IRC functions.

      There's a bit more to it then that. They are also recoding a lot of the browser interface, for speed enhancement, but also to bring new functionality. Configurable toolbars, for one. A pop-up blocking whitelist, opposed to blocking pop-ups from every site in Mozilla. An extensions manager, just click to install the extension you like (mousegestures, uninstall yet). It's a browser worth watching, IMHO.

      • by A Rabid Tibetan Yak ( 525649 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:25AM (#4460270)
        (mousegestures, uninstall yet)

        I'm posting from Phoenix 0.3 now. Check the release notes before posting -- Extension Uninstall is included in this new version. To find it, Tools->Preferences->Themes and Extensions, click on the "Extensions" tab and you can disable or uninstall your extensions quite happily.

        Overall it's a great browser, it really shows off what Mozilla can do. I'm recommending it to friends, it can tempt them with all the speed of IE, the features of Mozilla, and the bloat of neither :).
      • And they had better be optimising for speed!

        I downloaded it straight away to have a look and apart from not rendering tables the same way as IE (something to do with pixel positioning and sizing - probly my fault) I notices it is not that fast.

        A brief comparison of a little demo I did ( - this is a bunch of simple transparent sprites boinging around) shows that IE6 is about 2 to 2.5 times faster than Phoenix (which I assmue is the Gecko core).

        Still a way to go! But yer gettin there!
  • Is it worth it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NightRain ( 144349 ) <ray&cyron,id,au> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:03AM (#4459859)
    I don't know. Personally I've never had a problem with Mozilla's load or rendering speed. I mean it could be a smaller install, but I haven't bothered with Phoenix as a seperate, if admittedly smaller installer, doesn't seem worth the hassle Ray
    • "If you think Mozilla's current UI is acceptable, then you are clearly not the target audience for Phoenix." -David Hyatt
      • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NightRain ( 144349 )
        Yeah, fair enough, I'm not the target audience. But my point is it doesn't render any faster that I've been able to see, and only really has a noticeable difference in load times. But you load the browser once, and that's it. I don't see the issue over a couple of seconds. So what IS the selling point? I mean 90% of the people that use it will have Mozilla installed anyway, so it doesn't save download bandwidth or the like. I guess I just don't see why it's compelling enough to bother with. If I'm missing something obvious, I welcome the correction.


        • It's main selling point for me is that it's a lot more streamlined... smaller install, smaller memory footprint, faster loading and window opening. Plus they've removed everything that I never use- composer, etc. It's simple and so it's beautiful :)
        • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by wheany ( 460585 ) <> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:18AM (#4460255) Homepage Journal
          only really has a noticeable difference in load times.

          Exactly! I don't want an email program, a news reader, an HTML editor, a chat program or an IM client with my browser. I use separate programs for those. If they can be plugged in to the browser, good. But I don't want a "forced" install of programs I never use.
        • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:3, Informative)

          by GooberToo ( 74388 )
          Mozilla is a huge memory pig. When I unload it I typicaly see anywhere from 40M - 120M of my memory being returned to the system. AFAIK, Mozilla has some serious memory leaks or has the absolutely worse possible cache implementation anyone could create. If the problem isn't either of those two, Mozilla has some serious core problems.

          Anything that can be done to address the memory foot print is a HUGE win for Mozilla.
    • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Exotabe ( 601787 )
      Well, what jumps out at me is that, already, Phoenix is taking up 2/3 of the memory that Mozilla does. I just installed the 0.3 release, and it resides in 90M of RAM as opposed to ~140M for Mozilla.

      While I like/use some of the extras that Mozilla incorporates, I'm going to be keeping an eye on the progress of Phoenix, because I definitely don't need all of them. The concept of a lightweight browser with the power of Mozilla and more configurability options has a lot of appeal to myself and presumably others. As far as the rendering speed, I don't suspect there would be a noticable difference for anyone, unless they were strapped for RAM. Phoenix is built on the Mozilla core, so both browsers would logically both incorporate the Gecko engine for rendering.

      My only other suggestion would be to read the release notes [] for 0.3, they might shed some insight as to why the Phoenix people are doing what they're doing.
      • Well, what jumps out at me is that, already, Phoenix is taking up 2/3 of the memory that Mozilla does. I just installed the 0.3 release, and it resides in 90M of RAM as opposed to ~140M for Mozilla.

        140 M of RAM?!? What are you doing that brings your RAM usage to that high? I am currently using Moz with 5 open tabs and the mail/news reader open, and I am only using 37M of RAM...
      • Re:Is it worth it? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vidarh ( 309115 ) <> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:38AM (#4460167) Homepage Journal
        With those memory amounts, it sounds to me like you're quoting the number of virtual pages allocated for the processes... Notice that that includes things like shared libraries that are used across processes, and also a lot of stuff that never will get paged into RAM unless you actually use it. So a lot of the size difference between Mozilla and Phoenix will simply be shared libraries that aren't mapped in, but that you'd never load in Mozilla either unless you actually use one of the features that have been stripped out.

        I still like Phoenix, and it does save memory, but make sure you look at the resident set, not virtual pages allocated when you want to judge actual memory usage.

    • Yeah, I was also quite happy with Mozilla. But I wanted configurable toolbars, so I tried Phoenix.

      But they are both great browsers, it's just preference.

  • by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:03AM (#4459860) Homepage Journal
    Great work! I think that this is the direction to move - lots of small(?) apps, one for each purpose. What is needed is a smart way of letting applications interact (DCOP anyone?), instead of merging them into huge projects.

    This was actually the original UNIX philosopy, lots of small tools interacting to achieve something complex. Let us bring this idea to the desktop and create the most flexible, powerful, easy-to-use desktop ever seen.
    • You know what's ironic - that's the way Microsoft has been doing things with their internet tools: chat, email, and browser are all separate, lightweight apps (outlook express, msn messenger and IE) that don't need each other but work well together. Then you've got Mozilla chugging around. I used Phoenix and I love it - its really fast and seems stable. Good work guys.
      • by richie2000 ( 159732 ) <> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:22AM (#4460124) Homepage Journal
        The Microsoft approach you mention is a bit misleading - all of those apps use the same basic functionality that's built into the OS kernel - one large, stinking glob of code. What you percieve as different apps is little more than different front-ends for the API/DLL-hell that's Windows. But, they still need each other - try to uninstall OE but keep IE and Messenger. Or completely replace OE with the full Outbreak from Office. The dependencies are just hidden from plain view.

        That said, I think Mozilla does leave too big a footprint. I remember back in the Good Old Days you could get Netscape Navigator and Communicator as separate packages. I'd actually like a lean Mozilla browser and a separate Mozilla mail app. No webpage creation, no messenger, no chat/irc. I'll definitely keep an eye on Phoenix.

        • all of those apps use the same basic functionality that's built into the OS kernel - one large, stinking glob of code.

          Would that be the Windows NT microkernel?

          Yeah, it is horribly bloated. Imagine how bloated and crap an OS with a (by definition) much larger monolithic kernel would be.

        • by BurritoWarrior ( 90481 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @08:07AM (#4460594)
          If you do a custom install of Mozilla instead of typical or everything, you can deselect everything except "Navigator".

          Even then it is too big of a footprint/resource hog (IMO), but at least you don't have the extras you speak of.
    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:31AM (#4459983)
      This was actually the original UNIX philosopy, lots of small tools interacting to achieve something complex. Let us bring this idea to the desktop and create the most flexible, powerful, easy-to-use desktop ever seen.

      And is still continued today ... the difference? The components are no longer split along process lines and don't communicate using pipes and stdin/stdout. They use the fantastically more powerful mechanisms of XPCOM/CORBA etc.

      I've seen this a lot. Out comes a new GNOME/KDE release, people moan and say "What happened to the unix philosophy of small tools?" They are alive and kicking, but those tools have now transcended the arbitrary limitations of text streams.

      I've even seen this in reference to Emacs! People kick Emacs for its bloat, but at least if you get XEmacs everything is modular and packaged. You just pick the functionality you want right off. It's all componentized along lisp functions.

      Why do people think modularity stops at the command line? It's alive and well, especially in Linux which has to be the most modular OS in history.

      It should be noted that DCOP is hardly an advanced rpc protocol. In particular, it's tied to Qt, and is text based (iirc). Something like CORBA is better, but unfortunately is much harder to setup and understand. Hopefully some day somebody will build an object model that doesn't suck.

      And as a side note, at least on Windows, Mozilla has been just as fast as IE for ages now. Using QuickStart makes startup instant, although here at work I never bothered switching it on as it starts quickly enough for me anyway. Pheonix is worth more as a test bed for experimental UI design that a "light" browser, as it'll end up becoming heavy as time goes on anyway.

      • by stilborne ( 85590 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:46AM (#4460023) Homepage
        dcop is not tied to Qt. there is a C implementation of dcop that has nary a trace of Qt in it distributed with kdelibs.

        and while you are correct that DCOP is fairly simple and less featureful than something like CORBA (which, given the context for DCOP isn't necessarily a bad thing), it can and does send/recv binary data
      • NeXTSTEP has awesome distributed object support that lives on in OS X. Distributed objects in objective C using the foundation framework (which I believe is implemented in gnustep as well) is incredibly simple, yet still plenty flexible. Whether you're talking across threads, processes, or the Internet, sending messages (i.e. making method calls) on distributed objects is almost indistinguishable from sending messages to other objects. In fact, a method was added to NSObject to tell you whether or not the object you're working with is being accessed as a distributed object.

        Java RMI isn't too bad, but anyone who implements (or even works on) any type of distributed object system without doing distributed object work in the NeXT foundation kit is at a disadvantage, in my opinion.

      • by Dog and Pony ( 521538 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:03AM (#4460072)
        And as a side note, at least on Windows, Mozilla has been just as fast as IE for ages now. Using QuickStart makes startup instant, although here at work I never bothered switching it on as it starts quickly enough for me anyway.

        On *what* Windows I ask? As I always do, as I've used Mozilla for quite some time (exclusively for mail, together with others for browsing), on several boxes, and never seen this happen.

        Face it people, Mozilla can never be as fast as IE, partly because IE cheats, and partly because, well the Mozilla UI is slow-rendered. The latter could probably be "fixed", but probably not as long as the otherwise great XUL is used - the win is extremely flexible GUI instead. I tend to think that it is worth the slower UI. But don't say it is as fast as heavily optimized win32 GUI. Duh.

        It also gets swapped out long time before memory is full, and boy has it got trouble getting back out of there... is this more Windows cheating? It might be. Don't know. It doesn't hang though... just goes for a very long walk before it comes back.

        QuickStart helps. Not more, not less. It helps. No instant starts there, even on my AMD XP 1800 with 512 MB meory and nothing else running, IE beats it easily. IE beats it easily on every machine I've tried, ranging from 300 Mhz to around 1500 Mhz, with memory varying from 128-512 MB most oftenly.

        So what is this magic machine that makes Mozilla as fast as IE? What Windows? Oh, maybe it is 3.1 on an old 386? That would probably make it hard to tell the difference...

        Now, instead of running around pretending as if our favourite browser is already as fast and as good as the competition, how about we open our eyes and make that happen for real instead?

        Maybe that would make "normal" people take us seriously, for starters. They don't when they clearly see the lies.
        • What lies? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:50AM (#4460314) Homepage
          I'm posting this with Mozilla 1.2a from 200 MHz Pentium II with 64Mb ram and Windows 98. Mozilla is so fast that additional benefits would not help. It may or may not be faster than MSIE, both react subjectively "immidately", so I don't really care. I do have QuickLaunch enabled, but since I only start Mozilla once (after boot) anyway, it doesn't really matter.

          Of course, swapping between large applications is slow, but apart from the browser the only applications I run is an X server and some ssh connections (it is basically an X terminal), and apparently they all fit within the 64Mb, so for normal use it is fine.

          But I don't call you a liar for stating that Mozilla feels slow to you. You may have another usage pattern where MSIE feel faster.
  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:03AM (#4459861) Homepage
    I can see why many people would prefer to get Mozilla's browser apart from all the other junk. But the fact is, I *like* the email client, and web page composer. So I'll keep using the full Mozilla release.

    On the other hand, the IRC client could disappear for all I care, and if dumping it would lose some of the bloat, I'd be all for it. Maybe the Mozilla dev team should consider making their product more modular, so components can be excluded.
    • by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:11AM (#4459902) Homepage Journal
      Why not having all those functions in separate applications that can be automatically embedded into Mozilla if wanted/needed and otherwise leave them out.

      I'd say that all this integration makes we want to go back to text mode only. Apps should have one purpose (for example browsing) otherwise they end up being bloated gigants.
      • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:29AM (#4459974)
        You'd have more of a point if Mozilla wasn't already a huge framework of code. The parts of the Mozilla that make it a browser, mail client, or IRC client are very small compared to the rest of the Mozilla system. If you want just a browser load up Opera or Athena. Complaining about Mozilla being bloated is silly. It is an entire application framework, not merely a web browser app with a mail client.
    • by Longinus ( 601448 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:11AM (#4459903) Homepage
      Minotaur [] is being developed as a Phoenix-style replacement for Mozilla Mail and News, except with the same UI as Mozilla. Eventually, Thunderbird [] will be developed from Minotaur, only with a Phoenix based UI.
    • But why would it not be better if every component of Mozilla was a completely seperate application? Then you could have Phoenix or Konqueror or Lynx as your default browser and still use any other applications that you like. You would also be free of the bloated UI inherent in suites that are so tightly integrated and which have so many components as Mozilla, not to mention making it massively easier to control the codebase, isolate problems, and dedicate manpower where it is needed most (hint: making a major alternative web browser is currently more relevant to the internet community than building the 47th open source IRC client, or a pitiful web design app).

      Netscape jumped on the suite bandwagon; now that that fad is over, why can't they get off?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:35AM (#4459995)
        Netscape jumped on the suite bandwagon; now that that fad is over, why can't they get off?

        Netscape INVENTED the suite bandwagon, which is why they couldn't get themselves off it for Mozilla.

        Microsoft never had the audacity to think that Outlook Express had to run in the same process space as IE anyway, and neither did anyone else. But for some bogo-strategic reason, Netscape just had to cram it all into one big process and ignore your system-wide URL handler prefs. Having 1 borked page take down all 9 other browser windows AND your mail wasn't too bright, and lots of folks said so early on (here and elsewhere).
    • by ProfessorPuke ( 318074 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:19AM (#4459937)
      Have you tried Phoenix? It seems that you're not quite sure what it is. I use Debian, and it's mozilla packages are broken up into separate mozilla-browser and mozilla-mailnews components that can be installed independently.

      Yet, I'm running Phoenix right now (after it was introduced to /. last week). Its much more (less?) than the mozilla browser by itself. I'm not clear on the technical details (it runs too well for me to need to dig into it), but they've apparently sacrified flexibility and over-abundant options for speed/compactness. There's no preference option to install new GUI themes, for instance, so possibly lots of XUL stuff has been simplified/eliminated. Also things like download manager & password manager have been removed, at least for now.

    • Maybe the Mozilla dev team should consider making their product more modular, so components can be excluded.

      Looks like you've missed the fact that this is exactly the point behind Phoenix.

  • good idea and (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i_luv_linux ( 569860 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:03AM (#4459862)
    Getting rid of unrelated stuff may help, but I believe they should also get rid of that skinnable interface thing. It just makes everything slower. I don't think that people give any importance to skins on their browsers. It is certainly not a plus at all, but it is a negative because it makes the browser a little bit more unresponsive because it redraws every detail there.
    • IMO, applications should look like the host OS or they should go the hell away.

      per-application skinning is the scurge of our time! (I think a lot of blame can be leveled directly at WinAMP for this)
      • Re:good idea and (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheAJofOZ ( 215260 ) <adrian AT symphonious DOT net> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:33AM (#4459988) Homepage Journal
        Agreed, wholeheartedly. I got into a discussion/argument with a Mozilla developer over the benefits of native widgits, versus rolling your own when OpenOffice first came out (it started as a discussion on whether OpenOffice should use native widgets or not).

        My prediction then was that Mozilla would have no chance on Mac OS if it didn't use native widgets nor would it be looked upon too kindly by Windows users. I was right. Chimera (Mozilla using native widgets) is about as popular as Mozilla on OS X and it's only at 0.5.

        Developers, pay heed! You must use native widgets or you are doomed to look bad everywhere! You can't just create a skin and expect it to look and feel right.

        Oh and yes, I agree WinAMP should be shot for starting that craze (though otherwise it's not a bad MP3 player).

    • I agree, to a point, on the skinning trend. But really, what harm is there in having that option? I use Winamp with it's default interface. But hey, I've goofed around with a couple of the skins. If a person is willing to put up with a more sluggish response so they can have have more eye candy, more power to them.

      I'm willing to bet money that a lot of the next generation interface break-throughs will be spun from a really cool skin created by a designer who otherwise never would have been involved with software development.
      • Re:good idea and (Score:2, Insightful)

        by i_luv_linux ( 569860 )
        WinAmp thing is a totally different issue. WinAmp is about entertaining people. You look at it and while the music is playing the skin looks cool. But on the internet, you don't really care about your browser's skin. Why do we have full screen mode in the browsers if the skin issue was that important. Full screen idea undermines the claim that skin is important. Obviously people don't want to see the skin of the browser. While I am reading slashdot I don't remember really how my browser looks like, and I don't care about it.
  • Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erazmus ( 145656 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:04AM (#4459867) Homepage
    Finally something that I can run on my Tuxscreen [] telephone. Great job guys!
  • I haven't tried phoenix on anything less than a dual pIII (1 gig) with a gig of memory so how much more responsive is it? On my systems (the one above and a 2 gig p4 with a gig of memory) mozilla started and runs just as fast as phoenix.
    • turn off Mozillas Quicklaunch memory resident stuff, then start them both (sequentially).

      Phoenix starts as fast as IE does, click *beat* open browser window (and IE is (mostly?) memory resident)

      on this AthlonXP @ 1.6Ghz with a gig of ram and a WD1200JB (WinXP SP1), Mozilla OTOH takes like 8 seconds from click to browsable window unless quicklaunch is running.
  • wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:06AM (#4459877)
    And it's "only" a 10Mbyte download. However, I have to say, it does seem more responsive than Mozilla.
  • by Longinus ( 601448 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:06AM (#4459882) Homepage
    ...but I hardly think we need to a new story notifying us of every new release (especially in these early alpha stages of binary only stuff). This is the forth Phoenix story (1 [], 2 [], 3 [], including a repeat) since its release, so how about we give it a break until a big milestone is hit?
    • From the Phoenix FAQ []:

      1. What can I do to help?

      We need all the distribution we can get. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your coworkers. If you're a student, get it distributed at your college. Submit a story to Slashdot and other news sites about the release. Make some noise on your blog. Spread the word!

    • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:58AM (#4460056) Journal
      - Phoenix is neither in alpha, nor beta stages AFAIK. Note it just says "Phoenix 0.3". I could be wrong here though if I missed anything saying it was alpha/beta.

      - Phoenix doesn't follow the Microsoft/AOL-style version inflation. If it would, we would have version 3.0 final by now. Bug fixing and polish will start in the next version. See also the roadmap [].
  • Heathens! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:07AM (#4459887) Homepage
    The point is to work against the 'monolitic' mozilla trunk and make a browser, not a suite.

    My God. You mean they want to make an app that does one job only, and does it well? But that's so... so... Unix! I thought we were supposed to be making everything the same as Windows. I mean, IE has chat and email and... oh, wait. Nevermind.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Anthony, stop reading Slashdot and hire someone for that PHP position already. ;)
  • K-Meleon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:09AM (#4459894)
    The K-Meleon browser for Windows is a Gecko-based browser that uses native Windows widgets and GUI elements.

    It has not seen an official update in almost a year, however there has been a quietly released (as in, not even mentioned on the front page) beta build, which you can grab here [].

    It adds new things, including support for 'layers, which is basically the name they've given to tabs.

    If you're interested with trying new browser and use Windows, you may want to give it a look.

    -- Anonymous Hero
    • This beta build kicks ass. It is faster than every other browser I have used(possible exception of Opera for a few pages). The quick launch option rocks.

      The layers part needs a bit of work though, I would prefer if they implement regular tabs, with keyboard shortcuts for everything.

      And the size of the browser kit is just 4.5 MB ! Phoenix is great, but Kmeleon would be the way to go for Windows users.

    BugZilla won't allow direct links from Slashdot. Wonder why :-)
  • Monolith (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yellowcord ( 607995 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:13AM (#4459913)
    Whats up with the monolithic Mozilla anyway? My understanding is that the UNIX philosophy is/was supposed to be to design programs to do one thing well. Admittedly Mozilla (Netscape) is aimed primarily at windows users but why is it that Mozilla has all that crap? Mail (and Address book) I can understand, but Composer and IRC Chat? Come on now. Why don't the core group work on a stand alone browser instead of having to wait for Galeon and Phoenix to catch up?
    • Re:Monolith (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BZ ( 40346 )
      The core group is not working on IRC Chat or Composer (except insofar as textareas need to work). IRC Chat was initially done by one person and is now maintained by three people or so.

      That's how open source software works. Someone wanted an IRC client? They wrote one. If that's what they want to spend their time on, who's to stop them?
    • Re:Monolith (Score:5, Informative)

      by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:38AM (#4460008)
      Will people please stop bitching about this? If you don't want mail/irc/composer installed then use the net installer and uncheck the boxes. Moz is very componentized, and it will not install them. Don't expect huge reductions in download time or massive increases in speed however - all that stuff is load on demand anyway, so it only slows down your machine when you actually use them.
      • Re:Monolith (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jejones ( 115979 )
        OK. If one does that, what happens when one clicks on a mailto: link? Can it be configured to start one's favorite mailer?
  • Opera or Phoenix? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alex711 ( 585263 )
    I run a moderate system (Athlon 850 w/ 256 megs of RAM) and I notice a HUGE discrepency in browser load times (esp. mozilla and IE vs Phoeniz and Opera). I initially switched from IE to Mozilla, then to Phoenix, and then tried Opera which has been lightning fast. It appears this version of phoenix may be as fast as Opera (which was infinitely faster than the very nimble phoenix 0.2), though Im not sure.

    I think I am going to try this version of phoenix out a bit more and weigh it against Opera to see which is better.

    Any comments on which you like better, is faster?
    • Re:Opera or Phoenix? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 'The '.$L3mm1ng ( 584224 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:02AM (#4460070)
      From a webdesigner point of view: *please* use Phoenix or any other Gecko based browser. Opera is a nightmare for webdesigners. Especially when using *gasp* DHTML, which can actually be useful.

      The next big Opera release may change this, since it will be a complete rewrite with better DOM support in mind. But as of now, Opera sux in this regard.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Funny)

    by The_Shadows ( 255371 ) <> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:14AM (#4459917) Homepage
    I mean, all that happened was version 0.2 died and was reborn as 0.3.

    What the hell else do you expect from a Phoenix?
  • Fast but..... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by igor_p ( 263951 )
    It needs better cookie managment...I couldn't check the "accept cookies from the originating site only box" plus there is no option to prompt when you get a cookie. I didn't see any plans in the release notes to add this either.

    It's a cool,fast,slim browser and it runs on windows, but I think I'll stick with galeon on linux for now.
  • by WizardofWestmarch ( 614827 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:18AM (#4459932)
    First of all it I agree... they do seem to be overcovering phoenix a bit here... after all anyone who is interested will have tried it during the .2 release or whatever (I know I did) and phoenix already comes with a bookmark for the development page so it's not that hard to check for updates. On Phoenix itself... I'm still running an old p2 300 (need.... new... hardware....) and I know compared to IE6 it runs like a dream. Even on .2/.3 it's a lot less crash prone (I've had 1 or 2 but this early on I expect at least a few) but it's so much more responsive, and it doesn't eat up all my system resources (using IE I used to drop to as low as 2% over a few days [with 416 megs of RAM mind you) now I live around the 40-50% or higher range. On the people saying you like Mozilla's other stuff, targetted at .5 (IIRC) they are going to also release a seperate, integrateable module based on the mozilla mail client, and probably other modules at other milestones. Their goal really does seem to be an extensible browser where you have it be what YOU want it to be and nothing else...
  • still todo (Score:5, Informative)

    by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:20AM (#4459945) Homepage Journal
    I can think of at least one major feature of mozilla that should get the axe in phoenix right away -- the sidebar. When I first messed around with Netscape 6 (before discovering the joys of mozilla), the very first thing I discovered was how obnoxious the damn sidebar is.
    The sidebar does nothing for the user, provides very little mobility, and noticably crunches away on memory and processing power when being utilized. If the phoenix team really wants to win over browser afficionados (which I believe is the target market here), they would be well advised to remove this feature from mozilla as well as some of the other "fluff" features released with mozilla.
  • Phoenix rocks (Score:3, Informative)

    by whereiswaldo ( 459052 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:21AM (#4459946) Journal
    I've used Phoenix quite extensively for the last month. Put simply, it rocks! It's really fast - faster than IE at least by my perception. Phoenix for Windows and for Linux are both equally good I found.
    Great job, people.
  • More responsive or not, it's still a good idea.
    _I_ certainly don't use the mail or IRC parts of mozilla (Ok I rarely do IRC and mainly use
    konq/kmail, but use mozilla as a fallback for troublesome websites.) but if I wanted an integrated kitchen sink app, I'd use emacs.
    Vim rox
  • *sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jukal ( 523582 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:30AM (#4459977) Journal
    just last week I had a look in the old browser collection. The binary size for Mosaic 0.4 (wintel) was 677 280 bytes. Netscape 1.0 is still around 800 000 bytes. 2.0 was 2.5 megabytes. Quite reasonable. Now, Netscape 2.0 was very mature browser at that time - and it's main goal was not the minimize the bytesize or memory footprint. It's nice to see that there is now serious effort to go back down. Infact, we would be much better of if the browser evolution had been frozen some 3-4 years ago and restarted now that we have this magic XML. (Magic XML, which could make things more efficient, just if most XML things would not be bloated). Same thing happens with everything, feature war - forget brains at home - redesign something elegant - feature war on the new invention - redesign realize that everything is fucked up. *sigh, what a bad day :) *
  • by roalt ( 534265 ) <> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:37AM (#4460005) Homepage Journal
    By right-clicking on an image, you can select "block images from this server" and further images will not be loaded from this site, saving you annoying advertisements and download-times.

    I managed to replace the slashdot advertisements inside a story with blank space, but removing the top-banner page will also remove all your other slashdot graphics. Maybe phoenix can include a feature that blocks images from a URL containing the text "" ?

    • by horza ( 87255 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:07AM (#4460085) Homepage
      By right-clicking on an image, you can select "block images from this server" and further images will not be loaded from this site, saving you annoying advertisements and download-times.

      I would love to be able to try out this feature, unfortunately using Privoxy [] I've not been able to see any banner ads to block. Also blocks the banner ad at the top of /. without removing all the other graphics. Deals with tracking cookies for you too. Highly recommended.

    • by Lars Arvestad ( 5049 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:07AM (#4460238) Homepage Journal
      By right-clicking on an image, you can select "block images from this server" and further images will not be loaded from this site, saving you annoying advertisements and download-times.

      This feature is already in Mozilla. I believe I have used it at least from 1.0.

    • This is a Mozilla feature too, and a very nice one. It's also reversible--you can also UNblock images from this server by clicking on the blank space where an image should be. More clever sites like this one and NYT run all their ads from their general graphics server, but most websites still don't. This is an awesome feature. If you use this in conjunction with the plugin that blocks images of specific "banner ad" sizes, you get some pretty clean propaganda protection. I like this much better than setting an ad-filtering proxy becuse the people who run the proxy know exactly who you request packets from. Who knows where this info will end up?
    • I managed to replace the slashdot advertisements inside a story with blank space, but removing the top-banner page will also remove all your other slashdot graphics. Maybe phoenix can include a feature that blocks images from a URL containing the text "" ?

      In your user CSS file:
      a img[width="468"][height="60"] {
      display: none;
      Repeat for all common advert sizes you see.

      Alternatively, use mine []. Goes for Opera users too, although it will still load the banners; it just won't display them.
  • Using it right now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Selanit ( 192811 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:52AM (#4460040)
    . . . and I love it. It's great. I've tried similar projects before -- K-Meleon under Windows, Galeon under Linux -- and neither of them worked as well for me as Phoenix. Besides, K-Meleon's development seems to have stalled, and Galeon requires about a zillion different gnome things before it'll compile, not to mention the whole Mozilla codebase as well.

    The ability to customize the interface *easily* is killer. I like having my Home button on the main toolbar, thank you, and getting it there in Mozilla is a serious pain, and requires 1) substituting a whole new theme, or 2) doing some XUL hacking. With Phoenix, you right click, select "Customize," and then you can drag and drop toolbar elements from the available selection. Absolutely terrific.

    Oh! And the plugin installation stuff WORKS now. I never could get Java to work in Mozilla without manually copying files around (under windows) or making symlinks (under linux). With Phoenix, it just downloaded, installed itself, and started working. No user intervention required.

    That said, it's not perfect. First off, there are a lot of features enabled by default that you can't disable because the preferences menu has been gutted. For example, I prefer to turn off the Password Manager . . . but I can't, unless I feel like opening up the preferences.js file and altering the preferences settings manually. Hopefully this will be remedied in later versions; on general principles, you should retain preferences settings for each feature.

    I'm having a hard time coming up with other objections to it. But I'm sure I'll find some. And then I'll submit bugs to Bugzilla. Go you all and do likewise!
  • by denisb ( 411264 ) <denis AT denis DOT no> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @03:57AM (#4460055) Homepage
    Just to clarify the confusion with the projects:

    Thunderbird is the new name of the Minotaur project. Unlike what some said, they are thus one, and will fill the same function as Phoenix for the mail part.

    Eventually we will have two very capable clients, Phoenix for browsing, and Thunderbird for Mail. This will make advocacy easier too, some people complain they cannot run Mozilla on their older Windoze boxen. Well they can run Phoenix and Thunderbird ! I measured Phoenix memory usage compared to Mozilla and Opera (all with about 6-7 tabs open, the same URLs in all three), and Phoenix was really close to Opera, about 10M less than Mozilla.. YMMV of course with different pages etc, but it is slimmer indeed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:22AM (#4460123)
    It's nice and fast OK, but tried to open a few pages (one at a time) under NT4.0 and look at memory in task manager - it was the same for both Mozilla and Phoenix: 32-34MB. Still not good for our old p-100 w95 machines with 16mb ram.
  • by RPoet ( 20693 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:38AM (#4460166) Journal
    I'm was pulling down a whoppering 1.0kb/sec from, thanks to slashdot linking directly to the master server. PLEASE use a mirror, there's a full list of them here []. Not all mirrors carry phoenix, and some that do don't have 0.3, but at least this one does [] (and probably others too).
  • by Compact Dick ( 518888 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:51AM (#4460197) Homepage

    I have been running this browser since I first heard of it, when Slashdot announced 0.1's release. Since then, I have been avidly using it alongside Moz nightlies and Opera 6.05. Put succinctly, Phoenix rocks. It's Mozilla minus a lot of the lard.

    Reasons why I like it:
    • Speed: Phoenix loads in around 2-5 secs on my PII 366M w/128 MB RAM. Mozilla takes a leisurely 20-30 seconds. Hmmm...
    • Standards compliance: Since Phoenix has the same Gecko rendering engine from Moz, I am assured that it renders properly-coded sites very well [extensive support for CSS2 and DOM helps here]. This vastly improves rendering times [more on that later]. Lesser sites still come out quite proper with its Quirks rendering mode.
    • Rendering speed: It may not be evident to Moz users on slower machines, but Gecko can be blazingly fast given the right environment. Phoenix is fscking fast. Just as fast as IE, if not faster. Only Opera can claim to do one better, especially loading pages from cache. Opera is truly King in this arena.
    • Excellent XUL implementation: Phoenix has shown that XUL can be a viable alternative to using native widgets. Try it for yourself - it's much more responsive and fluid. And the customisable toolbar is a real treat. Worth downloading it for that feature alone. Hopefully Mozilla will pick up a few pointers here and merge them into its own codebase.
    • Satchel: a replacement for Moz's form manager, it works in a manner similar to IE, which IMO is more usable. Plus, Satchel is intended as a full replacement for the older, "bloated" form manager and eventually will cut down installer size and boost speed. One more boon for Mozilla.
    • Peace of mind: I refuse to use IE online for reasons of privacy. I do not know what it does with the info it gathers while one uses it. I have no idea if there are backdoors in it. Ad-aware detects at least one spyware component [Alexa] in default installs of IE 5.x and 6.0. The recent Sendmail and OpenSS? exploits notwithstanding, I feel much more comfortable using an open-source program when connected to the net.

    Also try some of Phoenix's extensions []. Highly recommended for tab lovers are the tabbed browsing extensions - so handy and sensible it should be part of the default install.

    Now go to the website, get it [] and have fun - I know you will :-)
  • another approach? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:56AM (#4460211) Homepage Journal
    Wouldnt it be better if instead of stripping these things, they would make them availale as modules. While installation, the user can disable the modules he dosent want. So you have speed and ppl who want mail and news have that too.
  • by Sn4xx0r ( 613157 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:07AM (#4460239) Homepage
    Here's a help site [] dedicated to Phoenix, created by David Tenser. Announced in this thread [] on MozillaZine, and see also the Phoenix forums [].
  • Debian? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tconnors ( 91126 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:22AM (#4460262) Homepage Journal
    Hmm, I'm tracking unstable, and keep periodicly trying apt-get install phoenix, but it still aint there. Is anyone working on this one? Of course, I am perfectly happy with galeon (I will never need to touch mozilla again. Yay!), but is perhaps phoenix even smaller?
  • by roc_machine ( 314714 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @05:44AM (#4460307) Journal
    I'll probably get called an IE Zealot and modded down for this...

    I've ran Phoenix 0.2, and I really tried to like it. Tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, custimized toolbar, and it doesn't have the bloatedness of Moz. Stable too for a 0.2 release. BUT...

    IT DOESN'T RENDER THE PAGES I WANT TO VIEW PROPERLY! I ran into the same problem with Netscape 7 and Moz 1.

    Sites that I couldn't load properly in Phoenix: []
    - Couldn't load the front page.
    Hotmail []
    - Loaded front page but couldn't log in.
    IGN Cube []
    - This goes for all IGN game sites... the articles that are locked for subscribers have an 'i' beside them. This does not show up in Phoenix.
    My Employers Self Serve site []
    - I can log in but the page hangs on the welcome screen.

    I only have about 15 sites bookmarked, and the above 4 don't work. Who knows how many other sites are out there.

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong, maybe I have to configure something (If so, let me know please!), but the bottom line is that these sites load fine in IE.

    I don't want to hear people say "These websites aren't following a standard". Tell me something I don't know.

    I want a browser that lets me view the pages I want to see, thankyouverymuch. Until there's an alternative that does this, I'm sticking with IE along with its swiss cheese security.
    • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @06:09AM (#4460352) Journal
      I'm using Phoenix 0.3 on Windows right now. Never touched any settings.

      - Airmiles loads just fine, including front page. I browsed the site and everything looked to be in order.

      - Don't know about Hotmail since I don't have a Hotmail account. Go figure... :-) But how does it not allow you to login? It gave me a friendly "please re-enter your password" when I typed in some bogus info. Does it do that for you, or does something else happen?

      - You should tell IGN to see what's the problem with Mozilla-based browsers. Sounds like it wouldn't need a tremendous amount of effort to fix.

      - I don't know the procedure, but you should send your employers self serve site to the Mozilla team (try posting it to an appropriate mozilla newsgroup on Google Groups for example - I think they have a public news server at as well) so they can look into it. Since the source view shows its almost entirely made of Javascript code, it wouldn't be surprising if they program IE-style with document.all and god knows what. But it could be something else like a bug in Mozilla's rendering engine. Why not notify them to help?
  • Less memory? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @09:24AM (#4461001) Journal
    How can I tell if it is using less memory? If I start up a phoenix-0.3 and a mozilla I see the following:
    root 29153 0.0 7.5 34168 19372 pts/8 S 13:56 0:00 ./phoenix-bin
    root 29174 0.0 8.0 33988 20656 pts/8 S 13:57 0:00 /usr/local/mozilla/mozilla-bin
    That's not much of a difference in memory size. I'm only using the mozilla browser and not the mail component.

    Clue me please.


    (actually I see about six of each of those but I assume thats threads-as-processes for you)

  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @09:25AM (#4461009)
    No source? I wanted to compile it for OSX, but I can't seem to find any sourcee.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:18AM (#4461884) Homepage
    Mozilla: 11mb
    Phoenix 0.3 Win: 7mb
    Opera 6.05 Win (no java): 3.4mb

    Granted, there are a few issues about Opera (particularly that they ship with "Identify as IE" as default, which makes it hell to fix things that doesn't work right in Opera. I've actually got three different things in FAQs, Opera needs to identify as

    1. Opera, not IE
    2. IE, not Opera
    3. Mozilla/Nutscrape, not Opera OR IE

    Of course the answer should be easy, it should identify as Opera and web designers program accordingly. And all should use the real HTML standard, not the IE-"standard"... riiiiiight.

    Still, I look forward to seeing a streamlined browser. I hated Netscapes "suite", and I don't like the Mozilla "suite" either. The browser's okay, but for the other stuff I certainly know of better alternatives.


Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard