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.
#20 Some thoughts...
Wednesday April 5th, 2000 9:46 AM
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Well, looks like I managed to beat the server being bogged down. Got it before it was mentioned on the main page.
Downloaded the Mac version...
The installation program looks good, and I could see the files for each module in the directory, but what's up with it being hardwired? There was no option to download only certaim modules. It downloaded everything, including instant messager which I didn't really want...
As a note, would also be nice to have an option to load modules from the local disc instead of just the internet, so that it could be installed without needing an internet connection...
I like the splash screen, but it takes a looooong time for it to actually get to the browser, even on this G4.
As for the UI, I have no problem with the blue part. I just don't think the gray looks good. Maybe if it was white instead, or the dark blue.
One thing someone mentioned. Is it feasible to create a skin in which part of the ui changes color depending on the background color of the current page? That'd be pretty neat, if a bit odd...
I noticed the sidebar cannot be dragged anymore, but opens and closes by clicking the border. Not sure which design I like better.
That cookie editor is nifty...
I like how the unicode support puts the unicode tags for stuff instead of gibberish. To be a little off-topic, how do I get it to actually display the japanese characters? Do I need a special font, or the japanese version of the browser, or how does that work exactly?
And one other note... seems like apple-q doesn't quit the program?
I think it is looking good. Hopefully people will hold out judgement at least a little in terms of the final version compared to this just being a preview.
I do think skins will become important to get average people interested in it, but it really needs skin switching support without command line stuff before that will happen.