Two

I know I’m a little behind the times here. I was aware of this about five minutes after it happened, but I haven’t had time to blog about it until tonight. Firefox 2 was officially released over a week ago.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with this release. Sure, it has a slick new look and some new bells and whistles (e.g., in-line spell check, session restore, and anti-phishing), but it’s lacking in one area that makes all the difference for me: XML feed support. To be fair, it’s got better support for feeds than Firefox 1.5, but this is one area where I’m sad to say Internet Explorer 7 is winning.

Lifehacker already voiced a few of my complaints about Firefox 2’s feed support (or lack thereof), but one thing they failed to mention is that Firefox 2 has poor support for third-party feed readers. I use Mozilla Thunderbird to manage my feeds, and, paradoxically, Firefox can’t add feed subscriptions to Thunderbird. This bug really should’ve been a version 2 release blocker, but somehow it sailed right through without being noticed. Hopefully they’ll fix this bug in a 2.0.1 release or something soon.

Other than that (and a minor unsettledness about the new look), I do love the browser and recommend that everyone download it as soon as possible. Happy browsing!

What Was Netscape Thinking?!

Can someone kindly explain to me what Netscape’s designers were thinking when they designed “this atrocious looking beast”:http://browser.netscape.com/nsb/?

If you followed that link, then you know this post is about the new Netscape Browser 8.0 Beta. I happen to be typing this entry from within the new browser, and I must say, it’s got some intriguing options. Unfortunately, it’s so ugly I’m not sure I can bear using it for much longer.

Continue reading

Browse Happy

A new site, “Browse Happy”:http://www.browsehappy.com, has been created by the “Web Standards Project”:vhttp://webstandards.org/act/campaign/happy/. It’s aim is to reach the world with the message that there are alternative browsers. They have (or at least, will soon have) testimonials from users of “Mozilla”:http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x, “Mozilla Firefox”:http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox, “Opera”:http://www.opera.com, and “Safari”:http://www.apple.com/safari.

They also feature information about why IE is unsafe, along with promotional buttons so that browser evangelists can point traffic to their site. Their style seems a little girly, but all-in-all it’s a fun (and practical) site.

Patent Office Sees the Light

I’m not sure how I missed this one on MozillaZine last week. Apparently, the U.S. Patent Office has decided that Eolas’ patent on browser plugin technology is invalid. This is a victory for the W3C and open web standards, but it’s almost unfortunate, since IE is the only browser that would have been affected. No plugin support in IE probably would’ve caused more people to move to standards-compliant browsers like Mozilla Firefox.

Read the whole story at Reuters.

Mozilla in the Clear

Bad news: Microsoft has released the details of future changes to Internet Explorer. They’re being forced to change it because of a recent lawsuit involving a small company called Eolas. Eolas is owned and operated by one man, Michael Doyle, who patented the concept of plug-ins back in 1994. Microsoft will probably put this change out as a Windows Update in early 2004.

Good news: In a recent interview, Doyle explained that free browsers like Mozilla are exempt from any royalties. What this means, of course, as that they won’t have to stop using plug-ins.

bq.. eWEEK.com: What would you say to Web developers [or those few competing browser makers out there] who are concerned they’ll have to purchase some sort of an expensive license to be able to do this?

Doyle: I think the key word there is “expensive.” . . . We have from the beginning had a general policy of providing non-commercial users royalty-free licenses. We expect to be paid for the commercial use of our technologies.

p. One more reason to switch to Firebird, folks. :-)