Mozilla 1.6 Beta Released

Tuesday December 9th, 2003

The Mozilla Foundation today released Mozilla 1.6 Beta. This latest milestone adds support for NTLM authentication on all platforms and improves the implementation on Windows. The automatic page translation feature has been restored (now powered by Google Language Tools) and a new version of ChatZilla, 0.9.48, is now included. In addition, several security and crash bugs have been fixed during the beta release cycle.

Builds can be downloaded from the Mozilla Releases page or directly from the mozilla1.6b directory on The Mozilla 1.6 Beta Release Notes have more detailed information about what's new and known issues to watch out for.

Update: Asa Dotzler writes: "The original Linux 1.6 Beta builds were built with the wrong compiler and are incompatible with some plugins and extensions. The builds have been replaced as of 01:00 UTC on December 11. To distinguish the builds, type about:buildconfig in the addressbar and look in the 'Build tools' section, next to the line starting with 'c++'. The old, incorrect build will say 'gcc version 2.96 20000731 (Red Hat Linux 7.1 2.96-81)'. The new, correct build will say 'gcc version 3.2.3' (just as it does on the previous line)."

#1 Wondering about blockers

by unclebob

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 1:26 PM

What about [easily reproducible bookmarks corrupted and lost scenario] affecting OS X 10.1?

#2 Re: Wondering about blockers

by AdamCollard

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 1:34 PM

The README section of the release notes says "Mac OS X 10.1 users may experience lost bookmarks. The bug number is 221843 and the workaround is to watch the Javascript console and only exit the app after a bookmark transaction which doesn't produce the error mentioned in comment #5. This bug will be fixed for the 1.6 release."

#3 Ignorant question

by fuzzygorilla

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 2:07 PM

I realize this is going to sound stupid, but... will the 'primary' interface for the 1.6 release be the XPFE-based browser or the new application architecture? It is not clear to since the Mozilla Firebird and Thunderbird releases still seem to be independent of the 1.6 alpha and beta releases.

#4 Re: Ignorant question

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 2:13 PM

It'll be XPFE-based, of course. As and when there is a switch, it will be very clear. If you don't hear lots of big news about the switch, it's safe to assume it hasn't happened.

#19 More Ignorant questions

by gleef

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 8:09 AM

Yeah, what's up with that. First I thought people were saying that 1.4 would be using the Firebird components, then I thought people were saying that 1.6 was going to be the release doing that. What's the status of the conversion? Is it still planned to happen? Is there a target version for when it will happen? Is there a bug number to track work being done on it?

#21 Re: More Ignorant questions

by mlefevre

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 8:36 AM

I don't think "people" (nobody who knew much about it anyway) were ever saying 1.4 would be using Firebird. Mozilla folks were, however, originally saying that it would probably happen in 1.5, but they stopped saying that a while ago. When they stopped saying 1.5, some other people assumed it would be 1.6 instead, but I don't think anyone official actually said that.

It is still planned to happen, but the planned process seems to have changed - rather than making Firebird and Thunderbird the primary things while they're still beta-ish, it seems the plan is now to develop them to a "1.0" state as standalones, and then switch.

This is too broad to be tracked by a bug - there might be bugs for bits of the process when it's closer to happening. There isn't yet a timeline or a target version. Most of the "roadmap" document is more than 6 months old, except for the schedule that's tracking release dates a few weeks ahead (currently extending as far as 1.6 final which should be in the next few weeks).

The fact that the roadmap needs updating is well known and accepted. If you look back through MozillaZine copies of the minutes, you'll see that it was discussed at Mozilla meetings through September, and apparently was thought nearly finished in mid-October. The minutes from November 3rd then mention splitting it up so different sections can be updated piecemeal, and that Brendan was going to send out a draft. The November 10th minutes say only that the old roadmap needs an operational update, and then the most recent minutes say nothing about it.

I'm not sure what's taking so long - maybe there is internal disagreement about how things should move forward?

#32 Re: More Ignorant questions

by WillyWonka

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 8:38 PM

The firebird roadmap seems to get updated. It looks like there are 4 or 5 more releases before it becomes 1.0 and if they are waiting for it to become stable before changing the suite, then that is probably a good measure.

#33 Re: Re: More Ignorant questions

by vfwlkr

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 10:55 PM



So when is this famed roadmap update going to happen?

#34 Re: Re: Re: More Ignorant questions

by vfwlkr

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 10:56 PM

I meant

#35 Re: Re: More Ignorant questions

by vfwlkr

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 11:12 PM

The suite is probably never going to be dropped. Page 2 of the interview states:

Q: Will Version 2 be a collection of independent applications (Firebird, Thunderbird, etc.) or an Integrated suite?

A: Our preliminary thinking on this is that 2.0 is really a version number for the core gecko components, and a collection of many applications that are built on top of it. Those applications would likely include the latest update to the Integrated Suite, Firebird, Thunderbird, and many more.

#5 Browser form spell checker

by Prognathous

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 2:18 PM

Any chance that the patch for Bug 16409 ("invoke spell check in browser window - multiple form fields") would make it into 1.6 Final?


#7 Re: Browser form spell checker

by mlefevre

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 2:42 PM

No, I wouldn't think so. Firstly, there is a localisation freeze, which means no text in the interface can change. Secondly, they generally only take bug fixes, and generally only "low risk" patches. The forms spellcheck is not low risk, it's not a bug fix, and it would mean a bunch of new text. The work for the form spellcheck isn't even done yet.

Assuming it makes some progress, it could go into 1.7alpha.

#23 Re: Re: Browser form spell checker

by ksheka

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 9:18 AM

Frankly, if it's going to be included in 1.7 alpha/beta, I'll be ecstatic! (I was under the impression that it was a firebird only thing, for some reason)

#6 Menu separator bug still present (bug 206803)

by eu_citizen

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 2:36 PM

I'm wondering, if bug #206803 will be fixed someday. It hasn't been fixed in the releases for about 6 months. It's not really important, but since Mozilla target has become more "non-geek" oriented, I think this should be fixed in final 1.6. There is already a patch available. I can't imagine a so easy-to-fix bug not being taken into account in the forthcoming releases.

#8 Congratulations

by morg

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 5:30 PM

Congrats to the developers and the brand new Mozilla Organization. This is great.

I've been waiting a long time for this.

Long live the King!

#9 more importantly...

by ph1nn

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 6:24 PM

Will Firebird 0.8 follow the Mozilla 1.6 release?

#10 Re: more importantly...

by sipaq

Tuesday December 9th, 2003 6:45 PM

Yes, the release of Firebird 0.8 and Thunderbird 0.5 will coincide with the Mozilla 1.6 release.

#11 more importantly...

by tosheeba

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 3:15 AM

Hellow friends,

Do you think that we're going to see in the near future, rpm based builds of recent releases? yum repository only reflects mozilla 1.5.1 and the contrib folder of releases that cointains rpm only exists for version 1.5.

There are a lot of testers like me that try the rpm builds for contributing feedback and these releases are failing to come out on an active way.

Best regards to you all. Pedro Madeira

#12 1.6 is still beta

by fedetxf

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 4:59 AM

I think releases get the RPMs about 1-2 weeks after they become releases. Betas and alphas are not releases, so do you mean you want beta's RPMs?

#26 Re:

by Sinuhe

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 11:19 AM

1.5.1 was a Mac-only release. So there is no need for RPMs for it.

#38 Re: more importantly...

by nordicart

Thursday December 11th, 2003 7:46 AM

#13 1.6 is the less innovative step

by fedetxf

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 5:00 AM

Seems to me the improvements/changes from 1.5 are very few. I think the focus on FB / TB shows.

#14 Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by mlefevre

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 5:22 AM

As usual, there have been lots improvements and fixes in the back-end stuff which don't get mentioned, because they are not very "visible" to users.

But yes, aside from some tweaks to tabbed browsing, the user interface hasn't really been worked on since 1.4 (and not much happened for some time before that) - the people working on user interface stuff are working on TB/FB.

#15 Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by naylor83

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 6:07 AM

Which, if you ask me is a very good thing too. :)

#16 Reply

by Racer

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 6:40 AM

Agreed. Making the engine look nice is fine, but making it run better under the hood is much more important.

#17 Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by bzbarsky

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 7:27 AM

Yeah, users aren't likely to notice a 5% speedup in page rendering... ;)

#18 Re: Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by mlefevre

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 7:49 AM

I actually wrote "except maybe a faster or smaller browser", and then decided to delete it, fearing it might start a thread about relative performance and size of browsers...

#20 Re: Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by jgraham

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 8:23 AM

Actually, they probably won't. I mean, even on a site that takes 20s to load, that's like a 1s improvement, which is easilly smaller than the variance that you get from network traffic and so on. The truth is that rendering speed is more psycological than anything; witness the number of people who (used to) proclaim every new FB build faster than the one before, even though no code had changed that could possibly lead to the performance improvements they were claiming. Or the number of people who set the initial paint delay to 0, even though this increases the total load time (and presumably the number of reflows required).

Not that I object to a 5% increase in the speed, or anything, I just dispute that people will notice it without being told.

#22 Re: Re: Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by ksheka

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 9:16 AM

I think the thought is: 5 percent here, 2 percent there, pretty soon it adds up to something noticable. :-)

#31 Re: Re: Re: Re: 1.6 is the less innovative step

by bzbarsky

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 7:34 PM

> Actually, they probably won't.

Right. That's what I said. The smiley was just a grin because we're faster. I doubt anyone will consciously notice unless they're upgrading from 1.3 or something.

#25 1.6 is still beta

by fedetxf

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 10:59 AM

I'd mention all the improvements in some place. Like the changelog of the linux kernel. geeks users love the dirty details.

#27 Re: 1.6 is still beta

by napolj2

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 11:33 AM

In the past Asa has compiled a list of all bug fixes for each release on his blog; he may do the same with 1.6 final. In the meantime, I did a quick bugzilla search for all broswer bugs in the trunk, targetted for 1.6 alpha/beta/final, that are resolved/closed and fixed, and found 260 bugs:

#30 Re: Re: 1.6 is still beta

by mlefevre

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 5:16 PM

He still does the list, but it's now actually linked from the release notes: (Might not be entirely accurate but, and I don't mean to be harsh, it's more accurate than your query...)

#24 NTLM auto login?

by cbryeaw

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 9:18 AM

Is there plans to have NTLM be able to autologin using the domain user/password like IE does? It's great having NTLM support, but without this feature I find the support almost useless. You can't ask users to login every time they want to look up something on the web. This is what's preventing my company from deploying mozilla.

#29 Re: NTLM auto login?

by wolruf

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 1:17 PM

no, see bug 199644 comment 4

#28 DHTML menus work on linux now

by buff

Wednesday December 10th, 2003 12:35 PM

I noticed that DHTML menus now work correctly on linux. Previously the onclick event would get clobbered when the menu closed. It is not too big to get excited about but my online bank's menus would never work on Mozilla linux until this patch made it in. Yahhh! Whoo-whoo! Allright. Mozilla rocks and so does Firebird. Now if I can just get Thunderbird to open my Firebird links on linux I might even contribute money to the Mozilla Foundation (yah, I know about the linux instructions on setting the link helper preference but I tried it and it didn't work).

#36 Major regression bug with RTL textares

by Prognathous

Thursday December 11th, 2003 6:18 AM

Anyone wants to confirm this on other OSes?


#37 Re: Major regression bug with RTL textares

by buff

Thursday December 11th, 2003 7:11 AM

I could not reproduce this on Linux with build 20031208 of Mozilla or Firebird build 20031126. Seems okay here. The direction attribute worked correctly at changing right to left.

#39 Themes and Mozilla 1.6b

by jorgenson

Thursday December 11th, 2003 7:50 AM

Just wondering - have downloaded the latest 1.6b and I note that the theme that I am using is not longer compatable with this release.

Might be a good idea to give a listing with each release as to which Theme works and which ones have not been updated for the new release. Am using NautiPolis 1.4 now which does not work with 1.6b

Any comments or help with this listing?

#40 Re: Major regression bug with RTL textares

by Prognathous

Thursday December 11th, 2003 7:52 AM

Thanks for testing this, buff.

Was the RTL text right-aligned to the rightmost side of the textarea? note that this is not about switching input method, but rather about misalignment.


#41 Re: Re: Major regression bug with RTL textares

by buff

Thursday December 11th, 2003 9:42 AM

Prog, I am confiming that this bug is still a problem. Interestingly, when the page first loads with a textarea with direction right to left the text initially displays as left to right. Editing the textarea by inserting a return character causes the text to properly flow in the right direction. Definitely a bug. This was seen on both Mozilla/Firebird latest linux builds.


#42 Bookmark toolbar bug to be fixed??

by polidobj

Thursday December 11th, 2003 11:08 AM

It looks like this bug will be fixed in fb0.8 because it's marked as blocking 0.8. And it's related mozilla bug which says it's a 1.6 blocker but it has not been fixed yet and we're past 1.6 beta now. So will it be fixed in 1.6/0.8?? This is my biggest pet peeve with mozilla and apparently I'm not the only one that feels that way.


#43 Re: Re: Major regression bug with RTL textares

by Prognathous

Thursday December 11th, 2003 11:09 AM

Thanks buff! I have added this info to the bug.


#44 Mozilla and XML

by vgendler

Thursday December 11th, 2003 1:48 PM

I think XML in Mozilla has not been given enough attention. There are several XML bugs which are ... by design. Those bugs violate W3C XML specs. IE handles the corresponding issues correctly.

#45 Re: Mozilla and XML

by janahan

Friday December 12th, 2003 6:38 AM

erm, can you explain to the rest of the world what these bugs are? or provide us with a link?

Sorry to sound rude, but we cant read minds....

#46 Re: Re: Mozilla and XML

by vgendler

Friday December 12th, 2003 8:48 AM

"Sorry to sound rude, but we cant read minds" - No, sir, you are NOT rude, no hard feelings. Actually you do NOT need to read minds - all you need to do is to read bugs reported in bugzilla with "XML" in the search string to see it. Anyway, see some bugs below. (it says resolved but some issues remain)