Mozilla 1.2 Alpha Released
Wednesday September 11th, 2002
Mozilla 1.2 Alpha is here! This latest release adds an Emacs-style Type Ahead Find feature (not currently available on Mac OS), the ability to add multiple attachments to an email or newsgroup message via the Attach File dialogue (Windows only) and enhanced keyboard accessibility. There's also stability and performance improvements, including a fix that dramatically speeds up IMAP mail header downloads on Mac OS X. Check out the Release Notes for more details and a list of known issues. As usual, builds are available from mozilla.org's web site or FTP server.
Looking further ahead, 1.2 Beta should be released next month with the final version of Mozilla 1.2 expected in November. If you still don't understand how all the different releases fit together, take another look at the Roadmap.
Shame it includes no new features of interest to general users, apart from possible performance improvements. (I'm all for accessibility features, but they're not terribly exciting to me personally, and I don't use mail at all, never mind on MacOS X.)
It could be argued that Mozilla doesn't really need many new features at least in the browser (email still isn't nearly flexible enough for me to use it, with RFEs like bug 30057 and bug 44863 still remaining) but here's a couple, one of which could possibly make 1.2 (I sincerely hope):
1. Download manager that doesn't suck
Having a download manager that appears by default, but is useless, so that you have to figure out how to turn it off, is not good design.
2. *USER-VISIBLE PREF* for links from other programs opening in new Mozilla windows
Links from email, etc. always used to open in a new Mozilla window, which was fine by me. In 1.1 it was changed to reuse an existing window, which means that my procedure for opening a link changed from 'click on link' to 'switch from email program to a mozilla window; press ctrl-n; switch back to email program; click on link'.
Clearly some people prefer the 'open in same window' option, so having that possibility is good, but it shouldn't be the only choice. IE has an option for this in its preferences. Why don't we? (Bug 155402; 17 votes so far, go add yours if you're of the same opinion; also there is a hacky workaround in that bug description.)
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not 'dissing' the 1.2 alpha, just pointing out that there isn't very much to excite most people. (Actually, XML pretty-printing would make one less thing I have to use IE for, and I presume that'll be properly in there by 1.2 beta.) Clearly as the release schedule is quite fast, there *won't* be many new features each version. That's fine. But it does mean that a new minor release is not always a terribly fun occasion, with 1.2 alpha being a case in point.