Netscape 6 PR1 Released!
Wednesday April 5th, 2000
To get the official Netscape 6 Preview Release, visit the Netscape Download site now!
You all are probably aware of the many features of Netscape 6, due to its Mozilla foundation: Better Standards Support than any browser currently on the market, with XML support that is truly unmatched, providing for a clear and easy path for the creation of the next generation of Internet-based applications and sites. Page Rendering Speed - Compared to 4.72? It's a speed demon. Open Source - Even if Netscape has bugs, we know they know about them, because end users and developers alike all have access to Bugzilla. Localization and Internationalization - Unicode support throughout the app allows pages to be displayed in the language they were created in, and for email to have text and script from different languages in the same message. The app itself is easily customized for new locales. Now that the number of U.S. Internet users has finally been eclipsed by the number of users outside the U.S., this feature takes on an even greater importance. Sidebar - whether you like it or not, it's a great boon for Web site designers. It allows them to have a persistent connection to their readers; before, their connection stopped at the webpage. And sidebar panels are created using existing Web standards - no C++ knowledge required, so you can quickly create cross platform "mini-apps" or summarized content (similar to the RSS content used for MyNetscape) for your site's visitors. Mail - Although rough around the edges, the Mail support will be leaps and bounds above the support in Communicator 4.x. Support for multiple IMAP and POP accounts (and, in PR2, web mail accounts) is a big plus (no more having to create a whole new user profile for each mail account). Customization - very few applications, if any, come close to the customizability of Mozilla (and Netscape 6, by extension). Cookie Management - This allows you to set rules for cookie acceptance on a per-site basis, and manage the cookies currently in your cookie list. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
To this, Netscape 6 brings an integration with their other products, such as Instant Messenger, as well as branded sidebar content from sites such as CNN and ZDNet. In addition, Netscape 6 has a better installation than Communicator, allowing you to download and install only the components that you want.
More than anything, I think that this Preview Release proves that Netscape is really embracing the goals of Mozilla: a global, cross-platform reach, standards support, customizability, extensibility, and openness.
#111 PNG support for beta 2 !
Friday April 7th, 2000 6:35 AM
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Just noticed this today, under bug #3013:
OK, I am adding the skins and beta 2 keywords here to raise visibility asap. Professional level skins/themes/appearances have been made priority number 1 for beta 2. In order to have decent professional level skins we need alpha channels in PNG in order to: - have controls with bitmap shapes other than rectangular blend smoothly onto a background - have the ability to have gradual drop shadows and hilites GIF does have transparency on a pixel level but you can turn only on or off. Gif only supports 256 colors max which is not sufficient to produce a photorealistic appearance JPEG supports more than 256 colors but is a lossy compression scheme such that the images loose quality significantly. Furthermore no transparency or alpha channels is supported here. In a nutshell: If we want professionally looking stunning skins we oughta have alpha channels in PNG.