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Netscape 6 preview release 1

By kraant in News
Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 04:19:58 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Well finaly the Mozilla project seems to have produced a browser that netscape thinks is viable enough to meet it's needs.

It's a total download of about 5-7 meg (closer to 15 with java support included)


Trialing it out on a guinea pig pentium 133 with a 56k modem I found that the point and click interface to be rather slow but the HTML parsing to be lightening fast.[1] I can't wait to see how it runs on the pentium II 400 with a cable modem or the sunSparc at uni :)

And although it is no longer the prime commercial test case that could make or break Open Source that it used to be. Odds are a lot of investors and companies are watching this with bated breath. And if it is succesful we could see a lot more opening of code by various other major companies out there.

Which would most definetly be a good thingTM.

ps. I heard from a friend who owns a website hosting company that netscape hits are approximatly 5% of all hits[2], going below even webtv.

So it is also interesting seeing whether netscape can regain market share from it's massive microsoft induced setback...

Or whether it is doomed to be another os2. A technologicaly superior competitor largely ignored by the market due to microsofts market dominance(and FUD)...

[1] Faster than netscape 4.6 running on that machine by a noticable factor.

[2] And that on porn sites 99% of all hits are by Internet Explorer :>

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Netscape 6 preview release 1 | 24 comments (24 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Someone want to do a review of Oper... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by pulsar on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 02:34:31 PM EST

pulsar voted 1 on this story.

Someone want to do a review of Opera for Linux TP3 vs Netscape 6 P1? I think it'd be a cool to have that on Kuro5hin!

Re: Someone want to do a review of Oper... (none / 0) (#18)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:31:42 AM EST

Is Opera for Linux actually a viable browser? Last time I visited their web site, the write-up on the download page said it was not complete, and they had a whole list of stuff that it couldn't do. Didn't seem much point in trying it out.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Someone want to do a review of Oper... (none / 0) (#19)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:43:03 AM EST

Er, did I really post this three times, or is there a bug?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Someone want to do a review of Oper... (none / 0) (#21)
by rusty on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:39:44 PM EST

Zoinks! It appears you posted 3 times. Did you stop and reload at all during the "post" phase?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Someone want to do a review of Oper... (none / 0) (#23)
by rusty on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:40:18 PM EST

I know that Inoshiro uses Opera, but I'm not sure if it's the linux or Win build. He really likes it though.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
[1] Faster than netscape 4.6 runnin... (none / 0) (#3)
by bmetzler on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 03:09:02 PM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

[1] Faster than netscape 4.6 running on that machine by a noticable factor.

Netscape 4.x is over 2 years old. I didn't even realize anyone was using it yet. Okay, so there still are a lot of people using Netscape. My logs, for a none technical website, show that on Windows 9X 30% of hits are with Netscape 4.x. This is pretty good. When Netscape 6 is finally released, I see that with more freedom to bundle by the OEM's, that number is going to go up. (I mean really, if that many people are willing to use Netscape 4.x which is just pitiful, then it makes sense that even more people will want to use a top of the line Netscape browser.)

[2] And that on porn sites 99% of all hits are by Internet Explorer :>

That's to go along with this.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
Normally I'd say "no" to something ... (none / 0) (#2)
by ramses0 on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 03:35:12 PM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

Normally I'd say "no" to something like this,,, but it is significant that a company has been able to "open source" itself, and come out with a pretty viable product. It's not quite up to the level of excellence that IE has, but it's definitely getting pretty close.

--Robert (p.s., written with NS6, pr1)
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

fresh...? Well, it's pretty slow on... (4.00 / 1) (#1)
by rongen on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 03:46:29 PM EST

rongen voted -1 on this story.

fresh...? Well, it's pretty slow on my machine compared to 4.7... when it comes to opening new windows, etc... How about the fact that I was unable to use this form while running it? Seems like it's still /really/ beta.... Should probably not release this to unsuspecting windows users if they want to keep netscape's good (or whatever) name. JMTCs.
read/write http://www.prosebush.com

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by perplexed on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 04:22:55 PM EST

When Mozilla.Org started releasing builds of what would later be Netscape 6.0, I decided I wasn't going to download it until it had the official Netscape/AOL stamp on it. I don't like looking at early betas of software because I'm the type of person that forms opinions very early. (which is odd because I'm a programmer myself and I continually have to explain to my bosses why debug message boxes sometimes say: Timer Value: 99!)

Now that I've seen Netscape 6 I have to say I'm a little dissapointed in the look and feel of the browser.

The display engine is very fast, and everything in the content window has been rendering quite well. However, everything surrounding it is pretty ugly and un-intuitive.

It just doesn't "feel" very good, and that's too bad.



Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#7)
by Inoshiro on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 05:07:26 PM EST

The annoying thing about NS PR1, is that is seems to have been forked from M13. M13 under Linux would not remember window positions, M14 did (NS 6 PR1 does not). Since I was in Windows when I decided to try PR 1 of NS 6 (I don't want to install NS 6 on Linux, M14 is better ;), it could just be an OS specific bug that makes it not remember window dimenions.

I like the default skin. The rendering engine is a bit slow because of debug code; I've always found that NS 4 rendering engine is the fastest, excepting Opera 3.6. Mozilla is closing this gap rapidly.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (2.00 / 1) (#6)
by henrik on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 04:43:26 PM EST

>So it is also interesting seeing whether netscape can regain market
> share from it's massive microsoft induced setback... 

Sadly, i doubt it. :(

> Or whether it is doomed to be another os2. A technologicaly superior 
> competitor largely ignored by the market due to microsofts market
> dominance(and FUD)... 

NS really hasn't been technically superior since the days of IE 2.0. Netscape 3
and IE 3 were about equal, but microsoft really took the lead with version 4.0.


The funny thing is that Internet Explorer is one product of microsoft that's
established itself (mostly - *ahem*) because of excellence. It's hard to deny
that it is the best browser around for win32 platforms..

Better hope the netscape programmers are going to stay busy for the next couple
of months.. :)

-henrik


Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#8)
by fluffy grue on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 05:32:02 PM EST

> The funny thing is that Internet Explorer is one product of microsoft that's
> established itself (mostly - *ahem*) because of excellence. It's hard to deny
> that it is the best browser around for win32 platforms..

You've never used Opera, then, have you. Although it's got its problems (like giving the user *too much* control over HTTP semantics in some cases - I've had lots of Opera users complain to me about 302 Moved Temporarily "errors" on various websites I've done because they turned off 302 redirect following) and I don't really like its interface (I prefer detached UNIX-style windows, even in Windows, to that MDI and shared-toolbar crap), its HTML rendering is absolutely the best I've seen, and it's actually well-coded, with a small memory footprint. I've also never seen it crash, which is more than I can say for any other graphical browser I've ever had the "pleasure" of using, MSIE and Netscape alike.

I wish Operasoft would stop dragging their feet on Opera for Linux, though it looks like they're sticking to the MDI crap, which is even worse since UNIX doesn't even have a proper way of doing MDI (X is designed around detached windows, which is fine by me; I should write down my treatise on why MDI is a cumbersome interface design someday).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#10)
by analog on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 08:17:18 PM EST

I should write down my treatise on why MDI is a cumbersome interface design someday

Hey! That sounds like a column! Write that puppy up and submit it. If you want some feedback before you post it, you can send it to editors@kuro5hin.org; otherwise, just pop it in the queue.

--Your friendly neighborhood Director of New Content Acquisition

[ Parent ]

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#22)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:40:11 PM EST

Argh, you and Rusty both want me to write this feature. Then I just heard that the Gnome people are vaguely working on kludging MDI into their own stuff. Maybe I should write it. Argh.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#24)
by rusty on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 04:51:14 PM EST

Now that I know what it is, I totally agree with you. MDI is a hack that allowed (for example) photoshop on windows to work sort of like it does on the Mac (i.e. the way gimp works). But it's absolutely not the right way to do things, it's a hack to evade a weakness in the windows API. If Gnome starts doing things that way, I will not use it. End of story. We have always been able to do multiple window apps the right way. Why copy the bad windows hack? Argh.

Please write this feature. Please please please. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#25)
by analog on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 05:59:01 PM EST

Hmmm, how to put this... WRITE IT! ;)

[ Parent ]
Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#15)
by henrik on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 02:48:11 AM EST

I've used opera, and while it's not a bad browser there are a couple of things lacking in it. And as you say, the interface isn't very good.

It's a good choice for some, but i just can't get along with it..

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#9)
by asad on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 05:36:23 PM EST

well it works fine for k5, in fact the color scheme even matches ;-). It's still not as good as opera but I hope that it pushes the netscape marketshare up if for no other reason that I hvae started running into websites that need IE. P.S. Anyone know what the heck if .cfm extension ?

.cfm (none / 0) (#11)
by Imperator on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 08:31:03 PM EST

Cold Fusion

[ Parent ]
Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#12)
by pete on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 09:14:32 PM EST

Greetings kuro5hin readers, my 1st post over here.

So it is also interesting seeing whether netscape can regain market share from it's massive microsoft induced setback...

Or whether it is doomed to be another os2. A technologicaly superior competitor largely ignored by the market due to microsofts market dominance(and FUD)...


There may be some legitimate cases of Microsoft squashing the competition unfairly, but the browser war, IMO, is not one of them. I am a developer (I'm sure a lot of you here are too) who got started in the days when there was only Mosaic. I remember how excited we used to get in the office when Netscape put a build out -- anyone remember Netscape Gold 3.0 that came with its own HTML editor (wow!) ?

After IE4, every Windows developer I know stopped using Netscape, except for the ones who simply hated Microsoft. It didn't have anything to do with unfair competition, bundling it into the OS, etc. IE was just clearly better. Netscape never caught up; they never even came close.

My point is: in the development community, people tend to use the superior product. Sure, the average user will be affected by FUD, OS bundling, blah blah blah. Netscape couldn't even get the development community to use their browser. Technologically superior? No way.

--pete

--pete


Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#13)
by Perpetual Newbie on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 09:41:09 PM EST

Tried it, two major complaints:

First off, the second time I loaded it, a spam popped up begging me to join the my.netscape crap. Guys, if you're going to pull this, do it in the installer, don't make it a part of the main program!

Also, I saw no obvious way to rid the program of the "search" button that is taking up space at the right of the URL bar. I know how to type "google", I don't need AOL holding my hand for that. There should be a way to free up the space.

Minor complaint:
When installing, I chose to not install Java. I imported a Netscape profile that had the Java checkbox turned off. I go into my preferences, and three guesses what's turned on, and the first two don't count.

Here's something to try: Go to the mozilla.org homepage and scroll down until you see the text "What beta means to mozilla". Right click on the word "beta".

And I would like to heartily thank the Netscape folx for making Mail&News and Idiot Messager options that the user can TURN OFF! Happyhappyhappy.. Though I would like to see same done for Composer. Please?

In ending, I agree with kraant that while the rendering is nice, the whole rest of the program is s-l-o-w and sometimes unresponsive. There are still a few bugs that need to be worked out with copypaste, but it is better than earlier releases. It hasn't crashed yet either, so it is much better than m14 which would crash like Ted Kennedy every time I glanced sideways at it(m13 was stable for me).

PS: I found the rendering on the lastest netscape 4.7 releases to be about as fast as Mozilla or IE, that is, much faster than earlier Navigator releaser. Anyone else experience this?

Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#14)
by evro on Wed Apr 05, 2000 at 11:23:33 PM EST

The search button is not really much of an annoyance, IMO. I think they should have put a "Go" button like IE has.

Regarding the Java: when you told it not to install Java and then saw that Java was enabled in the preferences, it does not mean they ignored your selection. Just because the box is checked doesn't mean Java is installed (though the checkbox is sort of moot if Java isn't present).

I think the reason Composer isn't an option is because it is so small in comparison to the browser, since they share so much of the same stuff. I guess they figured the extra 200 kB (completely made-up number) wasn't much of a problem.

Also, if you look at the http user agent (here, for example) there is a "m14" in the field. Does that mean Netscape 6b is based on m14?
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]

Mozilla - Not Netscape! (none / 0) (#20)
by Demona on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 01:14:26 PM EST

Others have noted, and I concur, that NS6PR1 is less usable than the latest Mozilla build. Your best bet if you want a lean mean browsing machine is to Get Involved to that end (see mozilla.org for details). Regardless of what other folks may do with Mozilla, from AOL Netscape to the embedded market, Mozilla itself will always be at least as open as it is. Right? If we want the closest thing there is to a graphical Lynx, or want to combine the best features from other browsers such as Opera, it's up to us to Get Involved. How much debugging code is still there? How many more milestones yet? Check the website and see the ever-evolving plan. Mozilla is like Linux -- I am very impressed with what's been achieved by starting from scratch and doing it right, am reasonably satisfied with the developer's ability to remain flexible while not getting too far offschedule, and am positive that if more folks will just get off that virtual heinie and Get Involved (last time, I promise), it's going to continue to quietly explode in the same manner as Linux and all the rest of the open software communities.

-dj

"Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries." [Christopher Morley, _The Haunted Bookshop_]


Re: Netscape 6 preview release 1 (none / 0) (#26)
by skipjack on Thu Apr 06, 2000 at 11:01:25 PM EST

I am having trouble downloading it behind a firewall. I get the little install program, but when it tries to go to the ftp site its going out the wrong port for the firewall work setup. Is there any way to change this? send comment/help to matthew.s.moore@intel.com
"Don't Panic" h2g2
Netscape 6 preview release 1 | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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