Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Firefox 1.0 Preview Release

The best browser right now (in my opinion), Mozilla Firefox has released it's Preview Release (PR). The press release said "While this software works well enough to be relied upon as your primary browser in most cases, we make no guarantees of its performance or stability. It is a pre-release product and should not be relied upon for mission-critical tasks.", but in my case, it runs smoothly without any serious problems on my Windows and Linux box.

As any other release, this release will focus on enhanching the Firefox capability. Here's what's new in this release of Firefox:

* Live Bookmarks
You can now subscribe to and read RSS feeds in your Bookmarks. When you visit a page that advertises a RSS feed by using a <link> tag, a RSS icon will appear in the status bar. Click it to view a list of feeds the page is offering. Click one to subscribe - this adds a Bookmark Folder that contains all the recent posts from the feed.

* Improved Find
Find is easier and more powerful now with our new Find toolbar. The Find toolbar (which shows at the bottom of the browser window) automatically highlights text in the page as you type and has a useful highlight feature.

* Managing Annoyances and Protecting Security
You can now open blocked popups, and the Extension install system now blocks all attempts to install software from sites other than Users can add other sites to a list that allows them to offer software, but software is never automatically installed. In addition to these steps, several other measures have been taken to prevent phishing attacks and to highlight when a page is being viewed over a secure connection.

* Better Bookmarks
Numerous improvements to bookmarks including more reliable presentation of Site icons, and a split pane view in the Bookmarks window.

* Strong Encryption For Passwords Available
Passwords saved with the Password Manager can now be more easily encrypted with strong encryption by creating a "Master Password". If you create a Master Password, you are prompted once per session to enter the Master Password so that Password Manager can automatically fill in site logins. A useful feature for people who share computers with others and want improved security.

* Improved Compatibility for IE users
Undetectable document.all support for site compatibility and improved compatibility for keyboard accelerators further smooth the transition for IE users

* Better System Integration for GNOME users
You can now configure Firefox as your Default Browser on GNOME, and Firefox will adhere to your GNOME settings for edit field key bindings, etc.

* And a horde of other bug fixes...

Just as the press release said, there were some glitch that should be pointed by the new users as they migrate. Here are their list :

# If Firefox PR is placed in a location with limited access privileges, it should be run by a user with access to that location first, so that all initial startup files are generated. There may be issues still where if a restricted-access user is the first to run the app, these files may not be generated properly and Firefox may enter an infinite restart loop. This will be fixed in a future release. MacOSX users: Do NOT run Firefox from the Disk Image! - doing this may cause an infinite restart loop. To break Firefox out of this loop, open a Terminal and type "killall firefox-bin" and press enter.

# If Firefox will not display a browser window on MacOS X, quit Firefox using Cmd+Q and open ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/ and remove localstore.rdf. Restart Firefox. Any toolbar customizations you have made or window placement will be lost

# Firefox utilizes large chunks of Mozilla Application Suite code. Many of the problems you may experience in Firefox are actually problems in this Mozilla core code. If you find a problem with page content or connectivity then it is probably a Mozilla problem and should be reported to the Browser product in Bugzilla, not to the Firefox product.

# We are still easing ourselves into this new world of automated Extension Updates, and are trying to work out any kinks that remain as quickly as possible. Extension and Theme authors need to update their listings in (or their own custom update services) every time a new version of Firefox comes out so that we know they're compatible. If you find your favorite Extension or Theme is disabled by upgrading to PR, please write the author and encourage them to either update their listing or their custom update service file. If they are not listed in, encourage them to do so, doing so will make handling version changes a lot easier.

Besides launching the Firefor PR, Mozilla project also launched new updates to Mozilal, which is Mozilla 1.7.3 for Windows and other platforms, including GNU/Linux and Mac OS.

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