Ars Technica Review of Mozilla 1.0

Wednesday July 31st, 2002

No fewer than six people wrote in to tell us about Ars Technica's in-depth review of Mozilla 1.0. As well as rating the Windows version of Mozilla, the article also examines the success of the Mozilla project as a whole. When looking at the product, Gecko was highly praised but Navigator and Mail & Newsgroups came in for criticism. However, the review is much more positive about the Mozilla project, declaring it as "nothing less than a resounding success."

#9 overall, a nice and detailed review

by dipa

Thursday August 1st, 2002 6:08 AM

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Imo, it is the best Mozilla review I've read so far. The author has a good knowledge of the html standards. He also discusses about the html compatibility and browser sniffing issues.

What I mostly didn't like is that he fails to mention the superior security of browser and mail wrt IE/Outlook. Imo, this is a key part for the success of Mozilla based products. As more opinion makers realize that superiority, market share will be increased.

I did like the table vs CSS part (it was in favour of the latter, of course). It is one of the few occasions where the table layout nightmare is mentioned in a major tech site. CSS1/2 compatibility advantages are well exploited and screenshots are quite explanatory.

"Many of the problems stem from Navigator's cross platform implementation, forcing the developers to create a more generic application instead of targeting a specific platform and optimizing the interface to fit in and interact nicely". I think he is close to the truth. I am not an adverse of the XUL based interface but it's performance and robustness problems are well known to us :-)

His rant about ui customization is well reasoned, I think. We do need toolbar customization and separation of the navigation toolbar from the url bar. Hoping it won't be postponed for 2.0 release. Ui responsiveness and cpu usage wasn't mentioned. So it seems that my 400MHz cpu is quite out of mainstream. That sounds reasonable.

"A host of rather serious problems that are present in 1.0 have been fixed in 1.1 alpha, so if you are interested in using the Mail application, you would wise to upgrade ASAP. However, even with 1.1, the Mail client just feels unfinished". Fair judge, although I repeat that he should mention the immunity to numerous wide-spread worms, in contrary to the Outlook full backdoor implementation :-) Similarly, image blocking in html mail should also be mentioned.

"Mail includes an almost useless Local Folders account (which you cannot remove)". It is quite remarkable how a typical power user (outside Mozilla community) has immediately noticed a bug that clutters mail front end. I agree with him, but doesn't seem to follow :-(

Still puzzles me why he describes XBL as non W3C standard. If my memory serves me well, W3C had standardised XBL about a year ago. Or it was something else?

A final note: has anyone of you noticed how well Mozilla text zoom feature is implemented ? (well, don't take into accounbt some form elements). IE6 still can't "magnify" text when absolute font sizing is used. Most sites use that sizing, I think. This feature alone would be enough for me to use Mozilla. No more blown eyes because of those silly sites with the extra small fonts.