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.
by eMonk <email@example.com>
Wednesday April 5th, 2000 9:06 AM
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The NS Preview Release looks and feels good here at work, though the real test will come when I try it on my aging P/233 at home.
On the subject of skins, perhaps in the final version of NS6 (and Mozilla if they are going to follow a similar approach to the download/install) could prompt the user in the setup wizard to choose a skin or stick with the default. That way the user selected skin could be rolled into the installation procedure an they wouldn't have to download a skin and apply it seperately.