AOL for Mac OS X Released with Integrated Gecko

Monday August 12th, 2002

Several people wrote in to tell us that AOL has released a new version of its client software for Mac OS X that integrates Gecko rather than Internet Explorer. Other new features include a counter on the Dock that displays the number of new emails and instant messages, a Welcome Screen with one-click access to member services and a redesigned interface. In addition, AOL Search has been improved and the software now detects the member's connection speed and optimises the online experience accordingly. Also new is support for QuickTime and Apple's forthcoming iChat service.

Reuters and ZDNet News have stories about the release. AOL members can download the software by going to Keyword: Upgrade.

#16 Netscape info-Gecko/AOL for Mac OS X compatibility

by suzilla <>

Tuesday August 13th, 2002 6:38 PM

You are replying to this message

Hello, below is an excerpt from a newsletter Netscape sent out today with some technical info about the AOL for Mac OS X release and compatibility testing. I thought this group might be interested although I know some of this info will be "old hat". Most importantly, Netscape's Evangelism team appreciates your help in spreading the word to any web developers you may know. Here's a link to the full newsletter:


AOL for Mac OS X has shipped, with Netscape Gecko as its embedded browser. All AOL members downloading AOL software for Mac OS X 10.1+ will use this version.

<---------------TECH NOTES SNAPSHOT--------------> Even if your site works on Netscape 6, please review the testing section below to ensure your site is fully compatible with AOL for Mac OS X.

- Netscape Gecko is the name of the layout engine embedded in Netscape 6 and 7 (in beta), Mozilla, AOL for Mac OS X, CompuServe 7, a PC version of AOL (in beta), as well as other browsers. Details: <>

- Sites compatible with AOL for Mac OS X 10.1+ should work equally as well across platforms on the other browsers mentioned above -- provided your browser detection is set up correctly.

- This announcement pertains to a US English version only. No other languages or platforms were announced.

- AOL for Mac OSX is based on Mozilla 1.0.1.

- The user agent string is: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20020730 AOL/7.0

- Plugins that are now scriptable with Netscape Gecko browsers, so your players can "talk" to web pages, include: Apple QuickTime 6, Macromedia Flash 6 r47, RealPlayer 8 and RealOne. Details: <>


IMPORTANT: We strongly suggest you download AOL for Mac OS X at <> (or click from <>) to verify the following:

1) that your site loads correctly 2) that your site's secure areas function correctly

Some sites have had issues due to inadequate browser sniffing.

***If for some reason you're not able to run AOL at your company please reply to this message to ask Netscape's team for help.


You need Internet access to test AOL; a LAN connection is not sufficient.

If you need to connect to AOL via a corporate firewall, America Online has registered TCP/IP ports 5190 and 11523 so you can communicate with the AOL client software. This way you can test your site on the AOL client from behind your firewall, provided that your network administrators will open these ports.


If you have not actively begun testing with Netscape 6+ browsers, and your site is DHTML and/or plugin heavy, the Netscape Gecko Compatibility Handbook is a good introduction: <http://devedge.netscape.c…2002/gecko-compatibility/>

The Netscape Gecko Central home page has useful tips as well: <>

Want to see right away how your site works with AOL for Mac OS X? If you're using user-agent detection, try the User-Agent Toolbar:

- Launch the Netscape 7 preview release or Mozilla 1.0 for OSX (The benefit of using Mozilla is that if you're only detecting "Netscape" you'll see the issues right away.) <…ozilla-macosX-1.0.smi.bin> <http://channels.netscape.…s/browsers/7/download.jsp>

- Go to <>

- Click "Install xpi here"

- Restart the browser

- Select the AOL Mac ua string from the toolbar dropdown list: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20020730 AOL/7.0

- Hit Enter -> click Shift-Reload to reload the page (You can verify the string got changed by looking under Help | About)

About Your Results: ------------------- a) Site look funny? If your site is already Netscape 6 compatible, then try switching back to a Netscape 6 ua string. Drop down the list, pick the string, and hit Enter -> click Shift-Reload. If it looks ok, you're probably detecting only "Netscape" or "Netscape6." Detecting "Gecko" instead is the easy way to fix this. More browser detection info: <http://devedge.netscape.c…e/2002/browser-detection/>

NOTE: Detecting "Gecko" will also "fix" your site for CompuServe 7 users.

b) Still look funny? Try picking the IE 6 string. If this works, set up your detection to serve IE 6 content to visitors with "Gecko" in their ua strings.

c) Give up? Please take a look at the Netscape Gecko Compatibility Handbook: <http://devedge.netscape.c…2002/gecko-compatibility/>


If your site lists system requirements or caveats, because your visitors will not know what "Netscape Gecko" is, we recommend that you use specific browser names as needed:

-AOL for Mac OS X -CompuServe 7 -Netscape 6+ -Mozilla