Full Article Attached AOL with Gecko Beta Released

Thursday March 14th, 2002, along with some readers in our forums, are reporting that AOL has released a beta version of their software with Gecko enabled rather than IE. Click the Full Article link to see the email sent out to testers by AOL, as posted in our forums.

#1 It works real well!

by bandido

Thursday March 14th, 2002 4:43 PM

They want beta testers to try using a series of java sites (links provided by AOL). They all worked flawlessly for me (Java 1.3.02). I haven't had any crashes and speedwise feels the same as standard AOL 7 with IE. It uses Gecko .94.2 (a bit obsolete now, but we all know that gecko.94 was very stable). It shows same MSNBC site rendering problem as in Mozilla. Not surprising, being an MS affiliated site. AOL use of gecko will make evangelism more effective. No serious company can ignore 34 million users (mostly consumers). ;-)

#2 they are faster than i expected!


Thursday March 14th, 2002 5:15 PM

they are faster than i expected with making a gecko-based release. but this is indeed a great step towards web-standards, and will make it an easier job for all of us to demand standardconformant webpages. huh, i thought, i'd never say this, but i love AOL. now i do. not for their internet service, since i can't stand their approach of giving you anything you already have, just in AOL-ish... (does anyone know, if it's possible to connect to AOL without installing any extra-software like dialers or sortalike?) but i'm not their customer anyway. so i don't really care. but i love them for doing just those 2 things: * let netscape/mozilla live (and fund them =) * bringing good technologie to people, so they can view cool CSS-based sites correctly... IE's (and Opera's, too) support for background-attachment: fixed; is a shame.

so: let's hope the AOL/gecko combination will be a success.

#5 AOL via Internet

by SubtleRebel

Friday March 15th, 2002 7:15 AM

From AOL's website ( :

"$14.95 per month 'bring-your-own-access' plan providing unlimited access to thousands of unique AOL features*, including access to the Internet, for individuals who already have an Internet connection or access through the work or school environment."

With this deal you can connect to AOL via whatever Internet connection you currently have (note that some firewalls may need to be configured to allow AOL's connection to go through).

When you install the AOL software on a Mac, no dialer is installed, but I am not sure about Windows.

#3 about time!!

by genx_trader

Thursday March 14th, 2002 10:17 PM

Microsoft has always used their OS monopoly to dominate application and the internet market. However, AOL is a bigger fish for Microsoft to fry compared to the smaller companies it had to deal with in its past wars.

A few things in AOL\'s favor are 1)It gets the support of the Mozilla community which has grown in the last couple of years. (Talking about that, how many people are involved in Mozilla actually?) 2)Microsoft is battling on too many fronts-Sun, Oracle, Real Networks, Linux community, Sony to name a few.

In any case, this will be the best thing that happens to the Mozilla community and to the Internet as a whole. Hurray!!

#4 Re: about time!!

by davidbalch

Friday March 15th, 2002 4:06 AM

> (Talking about that, how many people are involved in Mozilla actually?)

I'm one! ;-)

This definitely rocks though - I've been waiting for AOL to start using Mozilla tech, thinking that there was some small chance that it might not happen.

When AOL uses Gecko we get more leverage for IE having to support standards properly - as opposed to no other browser having a large enough market share to rival IE, and being stuck developing for broken standards.

I see The Light!

#6 New Slogan.

by WillyWonka

Friday March 15th, 2002 8:02 AM

<fabio>I can't believe it's not IE.</fabio>

Sorry. :)

#7 Great, a Reason to Use My Old AOL Account

by tny

Friday March 15th, 2002 11:09 AM

Glad that I've been paying $11/month (bring your own access) for some reason, other than to answer students' questions.

#8 Watch out

by SubtleRebel

Friday March 15th, 2002 4:59 PM

I think the price has gone up

#9 NDA?

by asa

Friday March 15th, 2002 8:14 PM

Does AOL require beta testers to sign an NDA?


#10 Re: NDA?

by Lancer

Friday March 15th, 2002 9:14 PM

What means NDA?

#11 Re: Re: NDA?

by asa

Friday March 15th, 2002 11:17 PM

An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement. Normally, when you sign an NDA you don't talk about the things you are permitted to see. So AOL says to beta testers "we need help testing this software but it's not public yet. you can test it but you can't talk about it." If you want to see this non-public software then you agree to this. When people start talking about it they are probably in violation of the terms of that NDA.

(this isn't intended to be a legal description, but rather a simplified explanation that will hopefull make sense to people who speak english as a second language)


#12 NDA

by bandido

Saturday March 16th, 2002 7:13 AM

Not really since for all practical purposes is an open beta program.. They do emphasized that a SINGLE violation to their TOS (Terms of Service) that applies to all users will be enough for dropping the beta tester from the list. For what i know, any member can go to keyword beta and fill out a very simple form and get immediate access to the beta download area. I don't know how binding an NDA would be in a situation like this where anyone can download a beta copy. It is like Mozilla trying to enforce an NDA on Mozilla testers when they actually make it open to anyone to download and test.

I am surprised to see that they are using gecko .94.2 and not a more recent one. I suppose they will upgrade to a more recent one as their beta test progresses. Thay want to limit the beta test to Java compatibility dutring the first round.

#13 Re: NDA

by asa

Saturday March 16th, 2002 12:24 PM

"It is like Mozilla trying to enforce an NDA on Mozilla testers when they actually make it open to anyone to download and test."

No, it's not like that. If you "fill out a very simple form" to get access to the beta and that form says that you aren't allowed to disclose things you learn as a result of your access then it is very different from downloading a Mozilla binary which imposes no such limitations or requirements. Isn't the "very simple form" a form that clearly states that if you agree you are not to disclose information you learn by participating in the beta test? I haven't checked. I'm just guessing.


#14 Re: NDA

by Lancer

Saturday March 16th, 2002 4:06 PM

TOS? my atari falcon use TOS as operative system, 'taks operative system'. It run over GEM, 'Graphic Eviroment Manager'.

The first version of TOS is from 1985, the last is from 1993 or 94...

#15 Re: Re: NDA

by asa

Saturday March 16th, 2002 9:55 PM

TOS: terms of service.


#16 How quickly do AOL upgrades spread?

by mpthomas

Sunday March 17th, 2002 3:04 AM

Ok, let's say AOL 8.0 is released later this year, and it uses Gecko.

How fast would be the increase in Gecko user agents in Webmasters' server logs? In other words, how quickly do AOL users upgrade their software? I've read that AOL upgrades itself automatically without intervention from the user, but I've also read elsewhere that a lot of AOL users are still using version 5.0.

-- mpt

#17 AOL 6.0 was buggy

by SubtleRebel

Sunday March 17th, 2002 8:35 PM

AOL 6.0 was rather buggy. I know of several AOL 5.0 users who upgraded to AOL 6.0 and then ended up deleting it and going back to 5.0; they then told their friends not to upgrade. AOL 7.0 is better, but some people are still afraid to upgrade.

#19 Re: How quickly do AOL upgrades spread?

by locka

Wednesday March 20th, 2002 3:38 PM

AFAIK The AOL client periodically updates itself to fix bugs and so on but it won't upgrade you from one version to another.

#18 What will be different for the end user?

by PaulB

Monday March 18th, 2002 11:33 AM

Since I have never used AOL I am not sure if this is the right question. Now AOL uses its own proprietary software which has in the past embeded the rendering engine used with Internet Explorer. With the switch to the use of Gecko instead of IEs rendering engine, will most end users, especially the less technically inclinded user, notice anything different? Since the only change in the AOL software package will be the rendering engine, what really will be different for the end user. Will the average end user even notice if AOL changes its rendering engine?