AOL Testing Gecko in its Mac OS X Client

Thursday May 16th, 2002

CNET is reporting that the latest AOL beta for Mac OS X uses an integrated browser powered by Gecko rather than Internet Explorer. The article quotes a note to beta testers that states, "If you are surfing the Web, pages will look better, and you can view all the latest eye-pleasing special effects, graphics and styles that Web developers put into their sites."

America Online has been beta-testing Gecko in its AOL 7.0 client for Windows since March. The latest CompuServe 7.0 software already includes a Gecko-powered browser. also has a page about the OS X beta. AOL members can download it with the keyword MacBeta.

#1 If AOL wants to hurt MSFT...

by marevalo

Thursday May 16th, 2002 2:48 PM

...they should bundle Mozilla 1.0 and 1.0 on every AOL CD.

#6 Auto-Update

by Waldo

Thursday May 16th, 2002 7:05 PM

I like the OpenOffice suggestion, but would they want to support it?

They just just zip it, put a nice "we don't support this" disclaimer, and then let word get round that there's a free version of "office" with every AOL disk...

This would be truly a declaration of war :)

#14 Re: If AOL wants to hurt MSFT...

by Benman

Friday May 17th, 2002 4:13 AM

They might want ot hurt M$ because not that long ago M$ and AOL had a somewhat unnoficial agrement that the try AOL icon would be bundled with windows. Not to long ago M$ broke that agreement. Thus AOL moght want to hurt M$. I may be incorrect, as i can't remember where i read this.

#19 Re: Re: If AOL wants to hurt MSFT...

by macpeep

Friday May 17th, 2002 8:41 AM

Would that be the same agreement that said that AOL uses IE? (pst, loop at the topic of this story)

#20 loop = look (n/t)

by macpeep

Friday May 17th, 2002 8:41 AM


#10 Re: If AOL wants to hurt MSFT...

by macpeep

Thursday May 16th, 2002 11:48 PM

AOL couldn't care less about "hurting" MSFT. Like *any* company, they care about their own business and making money. If they bundle, it's not because AOL executives wrote emails to eachother plotting some "big war against M$" but because it's free and it's an added value for their customers and thus, more incentive for customers to switch to AOL and thus, more money for AOL. If you believe AOL, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Apple or Oracle are really interested in fighting Microsoft because of the good of humanity and geeks, you're mistaken badly.

#2 AOL

by dufty

Thursday May 16th, 2002 2:53 PM

can/will they use the chimera codebase?

it would make sense.

#11 Eh?

by elzahir

Friday May 17th, 2002 12:47 AM

How would that make sense?

Rather than embedding the rendering engine into the AOL client, they should embed a separate program which has the rendering engine embedded within it. Mnnn-kay. I guess that would make sense to *AOL*... just not me :)

#21 Well not all of it.

by johnlar

Friday May 17th, 2002 10:59 AM

One of the major advantages of Chimera (spelling?) is that is used the OSX native functions, this is a HUGE advantage over mozilla if you use any websites that require plugins. While AOL is using gecko I can assure you that they are probably using more of mozilla than just gecko.

#22 You can assure me?

by bzbarsky

Friday May 17th, 2002 11:42 AM

Unless you're an AOL engineer or executive or beta tester who's good at reverse engineering, how can you assure me of that?

#24 My guess

by SubtleRebel

Friday May 17th, 2002 12:26 PM

I also quesion the validity of your assurance.

Anyway though, I have been kind of expecting an anoouncement like this since Pinkerton and other of Netscape's Mac engineers have been very actively involved in the Mac embedding client build for the past several weeks. I have not really looked at what all is in that build package, but you can download it from nightlies latest 1.0 directory. I expect that will give a good indication about how much of Mozilla is being included in the new Mac AOL client.

#3 AOL really going for it

by thelem

Thursday May 16th, 2002 4:58 PM

What with compuserve totally switched over, and these two betas out, AOL are really going for including gecko in their software. I wonder if they will switch over to using XUL as well.

The comments on VersionTracker were mixed, but there didn't seem to be many about the rendering engine in there. Someone attributed it being faster to the previous version because of gecko, but I don't know if this is the reason or not.

On a seperate note, I just noticed that has a new look. It used to look like Netscape 6.0, so I was just wondering if Netscape were maybe preparing a new skin for MachV along the lines of the new look I quite like it myself, but it could be a bit dark to be used all over the app.

#5 Re: Re: image rights

by caspy7

Thursday May 16th, 2002 6:52 PM

Wow, that is new. (I might add it seems to run quite sluggish on RC1.) Though it would be surprising to me if Netscape/AOL decided to use a different skin at this stage, what with all the refinements and testing done on this skin.

#7 Re: AOL really going for it

by johnlar

Thursday May 16th, 2002 7:05 PM

Eww that looks like old netscape 6.0 PR1 color scheme. Ewww

#8 [OT] New skin for 6.5?

by sremick

Thursday May 16th, 2002 7:40 PM

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that they're looking to create a new skin for Netscape 6.5. This is based upon the following:

- has typically mirrored the look of the Netscape skin for Mozilla (which so far has been the Mozilla "Modern" skin. - Differentiating themselves from Mozilla by using a noticably different skin is probably to their (marketing) advantage. - Differentiating Netscape 6.5 from 6.0-6.2.x (via a different look) is also probably to their advantage, due to the leaps and bounds Mozilla has taken between 0.9.4 and 1.0.

However, I have no inside information, and my guess is based only upon these points.

#9 Re: Some exotic things in article

by joschi

Thursday May 16th, 2002 8:30 PM

ug.... that new site is so ugly... i hope they dont actually do this...

#13 It will be 7.0, not 6.5. (+)

by ezh

Friday May 17th, 2002 3:39 AM

So the move is right. New version, new default skin, that differ from the Mozilla's Modern.

#16 It will be 7.0, not 6.5. (+)

by peterlairo

Friday May 17th, 2002 6:02 AM

"It will be 7.0, not 6.5. (+)"

How do you know this? Or are you only guessing?

#18 7.0?


Friday May 17th, 2002 7:38 AM

the rumor about v7 is spreading around - quite common. but there are reasons: some bugzilla entries suggest this via the user agent string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.0rc2) Gecko/20020506 Netscape/7.0b1

sounds pretty like MachV will become Netscape7 - and I don't blame them for this. it was a bad move to release netscape6 based on mozilla0.6 - and the bad press has been sticking throughout the netscape6 series, although 6.2 was a BIG step ahead... i guess they want to emphasise that this is really a big step ahead of the codebase - and so it is.

still the whole thing is a guess and not official.

#4 Cool! Isn't it? (-)

by ezh

Thursday May 16th, 2002 5:23 PM


#12 hum

by cyfaone

Friday May 17th, 2002 1:11 AM

I wonder why mozilla had to find out about mozilla being placed in aol mac from cnet? Doesnt AOL or netscape have a press release.

#23 Re: hum

by AlexBishop

Friday May 17th, 2002 12:05 PM

"I wonder why mozilla had to find out about mozilla being placed in aol mac from cnet?"

First of all, MozillaZine is not (officially) affiliated with I'm not sure if any people knew about this but if any did then they probably would have had to sign non-disclosure agreements.

> Doesnt AOL or netscape have a press release.

No, there's nothing so far. AOL probably don't want to make a big deal about this because it's only a beta and they may change their plans (though I personally think this is unlikely).

By the sounds of the CNET article, CNET got hold of the note sent to beta testers (one of the testers probably leaked it to them) and wrote an article based on that. It would have been unscrupulous to put news of the beta on MozillaZine without citing the source. Also, linking to the article gives people extra details and background information.

MozillaZine doesn't have a huge team of reporters to research articles and sniff out information. It's just a handful of people who run the site in their spare time. All the news is either stumbled upon or submitted by readers (you can use the submission form to send in anything that you think is tasty). Therefore, using secondary sources is often unavoidable (and conversely, it can actually be beneficial).

I hope this explains the situation.


#15 Gecko in AOL7 ???

by peterlairo

Friday May 17th, 2002 5:58 AM

I keep hearing: "America Online has been beta-testing Gecko in its AOL 7.0 client for Windows"

The AOL 7 CD's are being distributed EVERYWHERE. Does this mean that people using AOL 7 are already using Gecko?

Please clarify. :)

#17 Re: Gecko in AOL7 ???

by AlexBishop

Friday May 17th, 2002 6:23 AM

The current AOL 7.0 software uses IE. However, AOL are also testing a version of 7.0 that uses Gecko instead. The only people using Gecko in AOL 7.0 are those that have signed up for the beta programme.


#25 Screenshots?

by michaelg

Friday May 17th, 2002 11:44 PM

Out of curiosity, does anyone have or know of any screenshots of the beta?

Cheers, Mike.

#26 AOL 7 CD

by DanielLee

Thursday July 18th, 2002 4:15 AM

I live in Mexico and do computer work. I wanted to get a AOL 7 CD so I could install it after formatting a hard drive with out downloading.

I did a search on MSN and Google using the query AOL 7 on CD. I found links to law suits against AOL for mailing out so many CD's, links on things to make with the free CD's AOL is sending everyone. I found links for AOL CD's for the UK and Au, but I couldnt' find one link to get a US version of the CD.

I find that kind of strange.