Mozilla Firebird 0.6 Released
Friday May 16th, 2003
At last, Mozilla Firebird 0.6 has been released! A lot of changes have been made since the last version of the browser — then known as Phoenix — came out in December. The most noticeable of these is a new default theme, based on Qute by Arvid Axelsson. The Preferences dialogue has been replaced with a redesigned Options dialogue and you can now clear your history, cookies, cache etc. with a single click. Many improvements have been made to the bookmarks system, including an IE-style context menu for items in the Bookmarks menu. In addition, this release includes Quality Feedback Agent (Talkback), allowing crash data to be sent directly back to the developers. Mozilla Firebird 0.6 also features many of the enhancements that have been made to the Mozilla Application Suite, including automatic resizing of large images to fit in the browser window and smooth scrolling.
Read the Mozilla Firebird 0.6 Release Notes for more information and grab a download from ftp.mozilla.org. Builds are available for Windows, Linux and now Mac OS X. As explained in the new Mozilla Development Roadmap, Firebird and its mail/news client sister Mozilla Thunderbird will become the focus of future development after Mozilla 1.4 is released.
Ok, so it did work, but in a somewhat 0.6-y way (I noticed odd visual problems with resizing to begin with that then went away). Then it crashed :)
Other problems I noticed:
+ Theme defaults to small icons, why punish people for sticking with defaults? Power users can change to small if they really want to make themselves slower.
+ Theme not bad but still kind of ugly, will there be a version of Modern done? I like Modern... (GrayModern even better...)
+ Needs integrated interface for obtaining themes and extensions, not 'launch separate browser window on random site', and that interface needs to automatically show only themes/extensions that work with current browser version.
+ I found it hard to access the toolbar configuration - this should be on one of the menus (Configure toolbars...), not just on the right-click. I got it eventually but I don't think it should have taken eventually.
+ I don't really think the search toolbar is that great an idea but hey, you can turn it off.
I liked the pop-up blocking info window (first time it blocks a popup), nice. And the interface is mostly pretty clean, though Mozilla's not bad in that area either.
Basically, looks pretty decent, but definitely still needs a lot of UI/polish stuff as you'd expect for a 0.6 release of a new interface. Good work, not yet ready for real main-browser use. (I'd use it if there was no Mozilla, but while Moz exists I don't really need to live on the bleeding edge without good reason.)