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Firefox (formerly known as Firebird and Phoenix) is an offshoot of the MozillaBrowser project. Unlike Mozilla it aims to do only thing, and do it very well: browse. (See FirefoxBrowser for more up to date information.)

So far things look very promising. http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ says Firebird includes:

  • comprehensive popup controls to keep unwanted advertising off your desktop;
  • a tab browsing mode that lets you open several pages in a single window, allowing you to load links in the background without leaving the page you're on; (Mozilla has this too)
  • integrated Google search ;
  • industry leading accessibility with Find As You Type - find links and page text by simply typing; (Mozilla too)
  • simplified privacy controls that let you cover your tracks more effectively;
  • a streamlined browser window that lets you see more of the page than any other browser while at the same time being more configurable;

...[snip]... Mozilla Firebird 0.6.1 is a Technology Preview. While this software works well in most cases, generally well enough to be relied upon as your primary browser, we make no guarantees of its performance or stability in its pre-1.0 state and it should not be relied upon for mission-critical tasks.


Oh yeah! I've just discovered that Mozilla Firebird can watch any bookmark for updates, based on a schedule you choose, and notify you of new content in a variety of ways (display alert, open the page, make noise). This is just so neat.

I've been avoiding RSS aggregators and the like because it's yet one more program to install and learn. Add the fact that they are changing so fast and it just seemed like a good idea to wait awhile. And now I don't have to smile

discovered by way of Drew McLellan
http://www.allinthehead.com/retro/95/

-- MattWilkie - 16 Sep 2003

(Question:) Is it easy to truly have multiple instances of Firebird open? My biggest complaint about Mozilla is that even though you can open multiple windows (with or without multiple tabs), they are all part of the same instance of Mozilla, meaning that a Mozilla crash for any single tab or window kills (crashes) every open Mozilla window. (There apparently is a workaround to this, but not easy enough for me to even attempt.) Konqueror does not have the same problem, which is why I currently use konqueror.

-- RandyKramer - 17 Sep 2003

I don't know. I haven't had Firebird (or Mozilla for that matter) crash very often. Even when it does I don't usually have other windows open in any case. I do wish that it would remember which tabs were open though...

-- MattWilkie - 17 Sep 2003

I don't think so. Like Mozilla, Firebird aggregates all windows into one process for memory usage/performance reasons. That may change once they extract the GRE renderer code into a separate loadable module, because then all the processes (of Mozilla, Firebird, Galeon, whatever) could share the module...but don't count on it. Konqueror was designed modularly from the ground up, so it naturally works more efficiently with the process-per-window approach.

Firebird (I'm on 0.6.1) does crash a fair bit -- but it's really still pre-release software, and that's to be expected. I rarely mind having to go back through and open all the pages again very much. But to each his own...stick with Konqueror right now if it bothers you that much.

-- WalterMundt - 18 Sep 2003

Yeah, it does, so I will. wink

But, I'll mention one other point — there is a (bugzilla?) RFE to add a "manager" / "supervisor" to Mozilla that would do things like:

  • run as a separate process (so that a Mozilla crash wouldn't crash it)
  • keep a record of which URLS are open (and, ideally, the scroll and cursor position)
  • allow easy recovery after a crash (including an option to not automatically reload all pages as one of them may have caused the crash.

And, IIRC, there is something implemented, perhaps as a Java plugin. Yup, it is a JAR plugin — someday I'll give it a try, but the fact that it needs Java and is a plugin keeps it out of my reach for the time being.

But, if this sounds useful to you, vote for the RFE (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=19454) and specify that you need something easier to set up than a JAR plugin (if you do) (actually, several people have filed similar requests, mine were 190716 and 190718).

-- RandyKramer - 19 Sep 2003

See FirefoxBrowser for future updates on this topic.

-- RichardDonkin - 21 Nov 2004

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Topic revision: r6 - 2004-11-21 - RichardDonkin
 
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