Mozilla 1.4 & Netscape 7.1 Released
by , 12:00 PM EDT, July 2nd, 2003
The Mozilla Organization and Netscape have released new versions of their respective browsers, Mozilla 1.4 and Netscape 7.1. Netscape's browser has typically been based on older versions of Mozilla ever since its 6.0 release. This new version of Netscape, however, is based on the latest Mozilla 1.4, released the same day. Mozilla 1.4 is the last major release that will follow the traditional browser suite model, while 1.5 and higher will be based on the newer standalone Firebird project. From the Mozilla 1.4 release notes:
- Mozilla on Windows now has support for NTLM authentication. This enables Mozilla to talk to MS web and proxy servers that are configured to use "windows integrated security".
- Mozilla's bookmarks have been overhauled. Bookmarks now include a root level folder, the ability to have two differently named bookmarks pointing at the same location, site icons in the Bookmark Manager and Bookmarks Sidebar, and separators now have support for labels.
- Composer now supports click and drag dynamic image and table resizing. If an image is selected or if the caret is placed inside a table, eight resizing handles appear and allow to resize the image/table with a simple click/drag/release. In the case of an image, the resizing is done real-time and a semi-opaque shadow of the image at its target size is shown during resizing. A tooltip shows in real-time the target size in pixels, and the relative change in pixels too.
- Mail now has junk-mail context menu items, a "delete junk mail" menu item and many other usability improvements for junk-mail controls.
- Pop-up blocking has been streamlined to improve usability.
- Users can now specify "blank page," "home page," or "Last page visited" for each of first window, new window and new tab.
- Users can now specify default font, size and color for HTML mail compose.
- Image blocking/disabling is now more flexible and users can "view image" to see blocked or not loaded images.
- "Launch file" after downloading has been enabled for .exe files
- It is possible to build Mozilla for Win32 using GCC. See the win32 build instructions for details.
- Proxy auto-config (PAC) failover has been implemented
- Mozilla 1.4 contains thousands of additional bugfixes, including changes to improve performance, stability, web site compatability, standards support, and usability.
In addition to its standard fare of built-in AIM and ICQ clients, Netscape 7.1 retains the IRC software found in Mozilla. The more brief Netscape 7.1 release notes list the following changes:
- Junk Mail Controls
- International Domain Names (IDN) make it possible to use characters from virtually any language (e.g., French, Japanese, Russian) for domain names.
- Radio@Netscape Plus
- Find As You Type, for navigating web pages using your keyboard
- Automatic image resizing, so that large images fit in the browser window
- Address Book sync with PalmTM-compatible devices
- Many feature and usability improvements, including enhancements to message filters and instant messaging
- Improved performance and stability
We currently do not know what Netscape's future plans are for its browser. Will the company follow Mozilla's lead and switch to a standalone Firebird-like model, or will it continue its future releases as a browser suite integrating many other components? We look forward to hearing more, and will report on the topic if and when information is available.