Mozilla 1.7 Beta Released

Thursday March 18th, 2004

The Mozilla Foundation today released Mozilla 1.7 Beta, the latest test version of the Mozilla Application Suite. 1.7b features hundreds of improvements, including a new preference to stop sites blocking the standard page context menu and a Password Manager option to show the actual saved passwords. The cookie handling user interface has also been redesigned and the 'Set As Wallpaper' feature now has a confirmation dialogue, preventing accidental wallpaper changes. Standards compliance continues to improve, with Mozilla now understanding the CSS3 opacity property and a long-standing bug with CSS backgrounds in tables resolved. In addition, using XMLHttpRequest and the multipart/x-mixed-replace MIME type, servers can now push XML documents to Mozilla.

Mail & Newsgroups sports several new features in 1.7b, including support for the IMAP IDLE command, which allows the mail server to inform Mozilla of changes such as new messages, and support for Secure Password Authentication using SSPI NTLM for POP3 and SMTP. Performance when downloading, viewing and saving messages has also been improved and the Address Book Palm synchronisation feature has been improved.

The installer releases of Mozilla 1.7 Beta now include Quality Feedback Agent again, allowing users to report crashes, and the Linux GTK2 builds have improved support for OS themes. Compared to Mozilla 1.6, 1.7b is 7% faster to start up, 8% faster to open new windows and 9% faster to load pages. And it does all this while being 5% smaller.

For more details about 1.7b, see the Mozilla 1.7 Beta Release Notes. Download a build from the Mozilla Releases page or the mozilla1.7b directory on

#1 "Send this news to a colleague" feature

by Jeex

Friday March 19th, 2004 12:09 AM

It would be great to have a "send this news to a colleague/friend" feature for new press releases such as this. Some of the new features in this release are truly excellent, such as IMAP IDLE support, and I'm sure us Mozilla users (and fans) would love to spread the word... Something as simple as an auto-generated e-mail with "Mozilla 1.7b released - take a look at some of the new features, such as..." would be handy.

Also, does anyone have any stats on the page loading time differences between Mozilla 1.7b and M$ IE 6? If the differences are great, then those kind of simple, hard facts can be useful when convincing an IT manager/director to suggest a corporate browser policy change (30% faster, results in 30% less time wasted - or 1 hour per day, etc... per employee).

Keep up the impressive work guys! :-)

-- James

#2 Re: "Send this news to a colleague" feature

by thelem

Friday March 19th, 2004 1:16 AM

What about using Send Page, copy/paste or just sending a link? A form where you could just put in an email address might be good.

As for speed, there are no hard facts, only statistics. And very dodgy statistics at that. Besides, rendering time isn't that long on most pages, so the time saved would be negligable (it would be a better investment for them to improve their internet connection speed so their employees could fill it up with big downloads).

#29 Mozilla speeds

by travise

Friday March 19th, 2004 12:33 PM

I find page loading speed in Mozilla rather slow on large pages, even those loaded from the hard drive, compared to IE. But I like Mozilla enough that it's not a big problem.

I've only been trying 1.7b for about an hour, but it does seem noticeably faster in general than older versions.

#5 Re: "Send this news to a colleague" feature

by mlefevre

Friday March 19th, 2004 3:14 AM

Comparing page load times on different Mozilla versions is possible to automate (although it's not trivial) - comparing to IE is harder. However, tests of page rendering speeds have been done in the past, and IE has generally come out on top. Depends on the page and the machine and the connection and other stuff, but I don't think (even after these recent improvements), we're in a position to claim to be faster than IE.

And personally, I don't like "send this to a friend" features - they're open to abuse and generally crappily formatted and mis-used. I guess it could be done in a good way, but it'd be a significant amount of work. If you want to email someone some news, I think using "send link" and typing a couple of lines yourself is likely to be more influential than mozillazine sending them a boilerplate.

#7 Re: IE performance comparison

by sipaq

Friday March 19th, 2004 4:27 AM

"Comparing page load times on different Mozilla versions is possible to automate (although it's not trivial) - comparing to IE is harder. However, tests of page rendering speeds have been done in the past, and IE has generally come out on top. Depends on the page and the machine and the connection and other stuff, but I don't think (even after these recent improvements), we're in a position to claim to be faster than IE."

As far as I know (and I may be mistaken here) we're already faster than IE in most cases. But there are still a lot of scenarios where we totally suck in comparison, DHTML performance being the most notable example.

#8 Re: "Send this news to a colleague" feature

by voracity

Friday March 19th, 2004 4:37 AM

re: page rendering speeds.

Do you know if moz is slower because it renders more to standards, is more flexible, or just because it hasn't caught up yet? Is it reasonable to believe the rendering speed will be faster one day (I know it's been improving for a year or more), or is it just not going to be possible - bar some unexpected gain?

#16 Re: Page load times

by TimothyHunt

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:21 AM

One difficulty with benchmarking pageload times is that it is easier for benchmarks to measure the total time required to load the whole page, whereas what users notice is the time they have to wait before they can start reading the content they want.

Whatever the total pageload time is, Mozilla seems snappier to me becuase its incrimental display of partially loaded pages is very good.

#3 Palm Sync

by marcg

Friday March 19th, 2004 1:29 AM

What about Palm Sync? Is supported on Linux? With Calendar? I'd be a great feature to integrate it with calendar, address book and QuickNotes. Any interest group about Mozilla/Palm integration?

#6 Re: Palm Sync

by mlefevre

Friday March 19th, 2004 3:51 AM

No, no and no, are the answers as far as I'm aware (I don't actually use Palm sync myself)

The improvements to Palm Sync are currently at the level of making it functional and avoiding data loss. And it's currently built on top of the Palm software for Windows - making it work on Linux would involve having some other program to do the work of actually talking to the handheld.

The fixes that have gone in include things like avoiding corruption and creation of duplicate items, avoiding cleaning out full address books by mistake, giving control over the direction of synchronisation.

#40 Re: Re: Palm Sync

by bogado

Sunday March 21st, 2004 2:53 PM

There is already a few, well at least two, different projects that do talk to the palm under linux.

One is called <a hraf="">coldsync</a> and the other is called <a href= "">pilot-link</a> the latter is the base for the gnome-pilot funcionality.

#41 Re: Re: Palm Sync

by bogado

Sunday March 21st, 2004 2:54 PM

Badly posted URLs: - coldsync - pilot-link

#4 paste screenshot from clipboard in Mail/News???

by garretta

Friday March 19th, 2004 1:46 AM

nice 1.7b -- when is Mozilla Mail/News going to include the paste screenshot into compose window that's been present in thunderbird 0.5+ for months. I was really hoping this feature was going to make Moz 1.7x ....

#13 Re: paste screenshot from clipboard in Mail/News??

by bzbarsky

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:16 AM

The app suite is in maintenance mode, recall? That means that there's not much feature work going on.

I suspect this feature will go into the suite once someone cares enough to step up and port it, since there is currently no one I know of actively working on the suite's mailnews ui.

#9 Very nice!

by pointwood

Friday March 19th, 2004 5:16 AM

Is there an overview of what parts of the various standards Mozilla supports and don't support?

#14 Re: Very nice!

by bzbarsky

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:18 AM

Not really... This would be a rather large document, and would take about a week or two to be out of date. So it would be rather high-maintenance.

If we find people willing to maintain it, it's worth considering the creation of such a thing, though.

#33 Reply

by napolj2

Friday March 19th, 2004 6:46 PM

Asa recently mentioned ( how Robert O'Callahan (roc) has written an automated testing tool for layout. I believe it works by basically taking screenshots of how Mozilla renders a variety of pages and compares them between builds to identify regressions. Couldn't such a tool be useful here? We could make the document about CSS support in Mozilla once and use the tool to check for any changes (in CSS support), so any maintence is minimized. And we'd only really need to do this for the milestone builds anyway.

#44 Re: Reply

by mlefevre

Monday March 22nd, 2004 10:08 AM

That might be a useful tool, but if you look at the screenshots, and see that a bunch of things have changed, the tool doesn't tell you why they changed or how it affects the stuff in the document - you still have to figure that out and make the necessary changes. Not to mention having the pages set up to be rendered, and you'd need to add new pages as new things were added.

It'd be great to have, but even with some good tools, it's still quite a bit of work.

#10 This is great!

by imforumman

Friday March 19th, 2004 6:33 AM

Just my 2 cents: This is grrrrreat! The fix for the long standing table-bg bug, loading css backgrounds earlier and Mozilla being ahead of it's time once again extending css3 support has made my day!

Besides that, focusing on making Mozilla faster and smaller is just wonderful, that is the way to go and take the wind out of those peoples sails, who are calling my favorite browser a bloated whale with a built-in dry cleaner.

Guys, you are my heros! Thank you and keep it up!

#17 Re: This is great!

by mkuss

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:39 AM

I fully agree.

But there seems to be a issue in Navigator->Helper Applications. If you try to scroll the file types under Windows XP the UI starts to flicker and you cannot access file types currently out of ui visibility (srolling does not work).

#11 Quality Feedback Agent

by SomeGuy

Friday March 19th, 2004 7:56 AM

I was going to try out the Quality Feedback Agent, but I can't seem to make Mozilla crash! :)

#32 Reply

by napolj2

Friday March 19th, 2004 6:15 PM

You can't make Mozilla crash?!? A quick search through Bugzilla will solve that problem really quickly. If you're in the mood, though, could you try my testcase in bug 234062 (hit print preview and scroll down), and if it crashes post a quick comment to that effect with your OS and Talkback ID? Thanks.

#12 Memory Leaks FIXED!!

by JShadow

Friday March 19th, 2004 8:50 AM

I've gotta say, this release feels very smooth. It's taking less memory, and in general seems much more peppy! :D

#15 Memory Leaks FIXED!!

by JShadow

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:19 AM

I've gotta say, this release feels very smooth. It's taking less memory, and in general seems much more peppy! :D

#18 Worm is infecting without attachment

by JuanGonzalez

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:40 AM

Just seen today at :

CIO Today: Vicious Worm Infects Without Attachment

I don't know if this is -or not- an Outlook thing only. Are Mozilla Mail and Thunderbird protected already?

#20 Reply

by Dizzle

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:58 AM

outlook only

#21 Re: Worm is infecting without attachment

by mlefevre

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:58 AM

It's actually an Internet Explorer thing, so it will affect only email clients which use Internet Explorer's engine to display email, which includes Outlook and Outlook Express.

Mozilla Mail and Thunderbird don't use IE's rendering engine (of course), so they are not vulnerable.

Microsoft issued a patch for this flaw last October (which is at ) - users who have installed the patch are also not vulnerable to this.

#23 Re: Worm is infecting without attachment

by Zeron

Friday March 19th, 2004 10:02 AM

QUOTED FROM CIO TODAY >> Bagle exploits a flaw in Outlook, revealed in October of 2003, that allows a hacker to upload and execute a file on a user's PC without that user opening the file. Microsoft has issued a patch for the flaw in October, but users who have not updated their systems with this patch are at risk.

"This steps up the game," Sophos security analyst Chris Belthoff told NewsFactor. "The education part of protecting against viruses -- 'Don't click open attachments' -- got thrown out the window with these variants." <<

First off, the virus exploits Outlook only. Second, the hole it exploits had a patch released Oct. 2003. Third, this guy is an idiot. He believe that the "education part of protection against viruses" got thrown out the window. I think it's really a matter of making sure you're not being stupid and just updating your system. An even better resolution if you don't want to deal with the updates is to just not use the Outlook client, and opt for something else.

Typical media hype.

#37 Re: Re: Worm is infecting without attachment

by zookqvalem

Saturday March 20th, 2004 7:10 PM

True! I won't argue about that. But I have seen it when people started to get tired of patching up the holes when it become frequent. I'm fortunate to use the auto update but the downside to this is an increase of disk space and I'm now almost out of disk space. Suck though!

#19 firefox

by wde

Friday March 19th, 2004 9:55 AM

mozilla suite is dead as far as i'm concerned. i'm waiting for the new version of firefox.

#22 Reply

by Dizzle

Friday March 19th, 2004 10:00 AM

i use the suite everyday. i think it's actually a mistake to focus on firefox. we're spending time redoing the GUI when thats not necessary.

#31 Re: Reply

by jedbro

Friday March 19th, 2004 5:21 PM

I don't agree. I don't think there is anyone here that can say the Suites UI does not need improvement.

Should it be retired? No. There is a huge market for the suite, and what apears to be a even bigger one for Firefox and friends.

The suite will be needed for a lot longer. Once Firefox, Thunderbird and NVU mature, this "could possibly" change, but not anytime sooner.

#24 Re: firefox

by bzbarsky

Friday March 19th, 2004 10:13 AM

Yep. Of course the new version of firefox will benefit from about 80% of the changes in that "What's New" section, since it shares most of its code with the suite. But let's just keep pretending that the two are completely unrelated. The real world is such a dreary place, after all.

#25 Re: Alternates?

by Racer

Friday March 19th, 2004 10:18 AM

I'm waiting for the new version of Mozilla Suite. FireFox is fine, but I like the suite just as much - perhaps this will change by the time FF 1.0 is released.

#26 Re: Re: Alternates?

by plwong

Friday March 19th, 2004 11:11 AM

Though I uses firefox and Thunderbird everyday, I still have to say that it still needs a lot of work to integrate the two programs.

Just wonder. People are saying "non fixed link" to GRE will slow down everything. Then why can't we have a Mozilla folder as a base. Then have /Firefox, /THunderbird, /GRE as the standard structure so that firefox and thunderbird can share GRE while keeping "fix links"? Same idea for profile. Just make a moz_pref.js, firefox_pref.js, thunderbird_pref.js so that common settings will be set in moz_pref.js while independent ones can be put into firefox_pref.js or thunderbird_pref.js?

#27 Re: Re: Alternates?

by plwong

Friday March 19th, 2004 11:13 AM

Sorry to post again. To make my ide more clear:

$MOZ/ /firefox /thunderbird /whatever /GRE

#28 So firefox is really getting smaller

by fedetxf

Friday March 19th, 2004 11:57 AM

"5% smaller."

Well, if mozilla suite gets -5%, firefox gets probably -10% beause it is a smaller 100% to do the math. Am I right...? Am I right...? :-)

#30 Re: So firefox is really getting smaller

by tseelee

Friday March 19th, 2004 5:08 PM

Good one! Haha!

#42 Re: Re: Palm Sync

by bogado

Sunday March 21st, 2004 3:07 PM

If the part that got reduced fall into the part that is common to both browsers you're correct. But if the 5% reduction is on code that is present only in the mozilla suite and not in firefox, firefox will stay with the same size. In fact considering that we (me at least) do not have any information to witch places of the code got reductions then I would assume that any place in the code has an equal probability of getting slim. This simple assumssion would cancel the fact that firefox is smaller and would render it probably also 5% smaller.


#34 firefox and the suite

by KmD

Saturday March 20th, 2004 3:15 AM

another great release, thx!

#35 I like the viewable passwords in password manager.

by underscore

Saturday March 20th, 2004 7:08 AM

...but when viewing the new cookie manager UI, no cookies show up in my list. Anyone else notice this?

#36 Re: I like the viewable passwords in password mana

by bugs4hj

Saturday March 20th, 2004 9:18 AM

Yeah, that is a nice enhancement, but I had something similar in use for over a year but that was rejected on IRC.

Now, I can't even install MultiZilla with mozilla 1.7b. No troubles with a prior version of Mozilla. Something has obviously changed in this version, but I still fail to locate any documentation about the modifications.

#38 Re: Re: I like the viewable passwords in password

by bugs4hj

Saturday March 20th, 2004 8:24 PM

Update: this was only caused by a corrupted file (: We're fine again!

#39 A very important note for profile installation!

by bugs4hj

Sunday March 21st, 2004 4:47 AM

"The systemic problem I mentioned is that we don't (yet) have a way of disabling profile-installed extensions, so crashes upgrading versions is very likely and not really preventable."

See also:

#43 Talkback not sending reports

by morg

Sunday March 21st, 2004 7:43 PM

I downloaded 1.7 beta, and installed it. Then I had a crash. Up came Talkback. It tried to connect to and send the report. Although I am able to ping that address, multiple attempts to send the Talkback data have failed.