Netscape 7.0 PR1 is out
May 22, 2002 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Netscape 7.0 PR1 is out and includes goodies like tabbed browsing, ICQ and AIM in sidebar panels and P3P cookie management. Seems to be based on a mid-May Mozilla build.
posted by slater (33 comments total)
Weird. I figured they would just release it as 6.3 or something, but I guess they wanted to get a marketing leapfrog over IE 6.0. "It's got a higher version number, it must be better!"
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:17 AM on May 22, 2002

Hideous custom non-Aqua interface on Mac OS X. WordPerfect for a new millennium.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:20 AM on May 22, 2002

Is the table whitespace[1] bug fixed yet? I refuse to touch netscape until it's gone. That bug has been a thorn in my side since 4.7 was the best choice for a web browser.

[1] When aligning images together with a table, and sometimes even simply just putting images together, netscape inserts visibile whitespace at each occurance of whitespace in code (i.e. tabs and carriage returns used for legible code). The only viable workaround I've ever found is removing all whitespace between the opening and closing table tags. In the case of xhtml, the <tag /> format causes this to happen. Not fun.
posted by tomorama at 7:25 AM on May 22, 2002

60mb download and takes more resources and longer to load than 3ds MAX...
posted by zanpo at 7:25 AM on May 22, 2002

I think this article, Tables, Images, and Mysterious Gaps addresses your bug tomorama, it might be of help to anyone else who like to read up on stuff like this. It doesn't address NS, but rather why the bug happens in any browser.

They say:

"Thanks to Mozilla's thorough implementation of CSS2, the problem of inline images in table cells forcing open unwanted space has come to the attention of the CSS Working Group. There have been many proposals to fix the problem, but one of the most promsing approaches is the property line-box-contain, which has been proposed for inclusion in CSS3. Should this property be adopted, then any browser supporting it could emulate traditional "shrinkwrap" behavior without risking other layout upset"
posted by Blake at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2002

it's a great product on mac os 9.x, unix/linux, and windows but you still can't run multiple instances/processes, and there is some error handling/details that really get in the way of use. imo it has to take care of these problems before it becomes my default browser but it beats ie in a number of ways: searching ui, tabs, customizability (control is MINE ALL MINE). excellent work really. as long as they keep the pace up I don't see any reason they won't run right over ie somewhere between mozilla version 1.5 and 2.5. (running 600-1.2 ghz, 256-500 mb ram on various machines so no resource issues to speak of)
posted by greyscale at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2002

think this article, Tables, Images, and Mysterious Gaps addresses your bug tomorama, it might be of help to anyone else who like to read up on stuff like this. It doesn't address NS, but rather why the bug happens in any browser.

It may have the possibility to occur in any browser, but Netscape is by far the worst culprit. Like I said, inserting visible whitespace on sight of xhtml's <tag />, even in the presence of a proper doctype, is ludicris.
posted by tomorama at 7:32 AM on May 22, 2002

Get used to it, though. Future browsers from here on are probably going to start applying inline style to all images, creating mysterious gaps galore on older webpages which still use a BR tag for proper image spacing.

I'm liking Netscape 7 very much. I installed only the browser package, which is just below 10MB (took just a few seconds to install over this T-1 :) and aside from the excruciatingly long startup time, this is practically indistinguishable from Mozilla.

Anyone notice how the installation offers buit-in AIM and ICQ, but the FAQ and What's New pages only mention AIM? What's up with that, I wonder? ;)
posted by brownpau at 7:35 AM on May 22, 2002

Just clean out some minor kinks, and I'll consider this browser to be sufficient penance for the transgressions of Netscape 4.xx.
posted by brownpau at 7:37 AM on May 22, 2002

Can anyone explain the differences between this an a mozilla release? is it just that netscape has more bells and whistles bundled with it? why would I not just download a (newer) version of mozilla?
posted by jnthnjng at 7:43 AM on May 22, 2002

Netscape has loads of AOL things tacked on, but also has things not in Mozilla, for instance spell checker (tho there is a spellchecker project for mozilla underway somewhere at, or P3P cookie management (upcoming in Mozilla post-1.0 afaik).
posted by slater at 7:48 AM on May 22, 2002

Better yet...

Is there any reason whatsoever, other than "I don't like Microsoft", to use this instead of IE6 now? From the sound of things, the bloat factor has actually reversed itself and IE is lighter...
posted by Foosnark at 7:50 AM on May 22, 2002

hey Foosnark, only you can really answer that question but here's my 2 cents: you get the same predictable delivery across all platforms (you can write dhtml applications now!), it has features I mentioned earlier. I speculate you're trying to change the direction of the dialog so perhaps this doesn't quite answer your question? Perhaps someone else can help with that...
posted by greyscale at 7:58 AM on May 22, 2002

the bloat factor has actually reversed itself and IE is lighter...
That depends on what you choose to install, in both IE6 and NS7.

One reason for going with Netscape 7 is standards-compliance. The more ppl use standards-compliant browsers, the merrier us poor web developers will be ;-)
posted by slater at 8:05 AM on May 22, 2002

I'll still stick with Mozilla for now, but I'm really getting into Chimera for OS X.

The only time I ever use IE is to print pages, since Mozilla's print functions seem to be flaky (can't print backgrounds, for instance).
posted by jazon at 8:21 AM on May 22, 2002

I tried Mozilla, and the tabbed browsing is the most logical wonderful UI addition I've seen in a while. Having a bunch of windows all over the place (and having to organize them) is such a pain, and it makes using IE or Netscape 4 tough. Opera does the tabs too, but I prefer Mozilla's. Especially for work, where we need to have access to a bunch of sites all at the same time, tabs make it a lot easier.
posted by panopticon at 8:22 AM on May 22, 2002

Im hooked on Netcaptor 7.0. Plenty of thought and flawless execution. Cheers for the little guys.
posted by Voyageman at 8:29 AM on May 22, 2002

The tabs are a great touch (especially if I was forced to regularly use Windows XP-- I can't stand the task bar grouping). Haven't printed anything in Netscape 7 yet, but NS6 was the king of proper printing (not a lot of power with the title, but it's still something)-- backgrounds by default, scaling, etc.
posted by yerfatma at 8:29 AM on May 22, 2002

opera 6.02 is out, for people looking for something not so dissapointing... i can search on ebay now by typing "e blah blah" in the address bar...
posted by lotsofno at 8:30 AM on May 22, 2002

I'm just being crotchety. :)

Tabbed browsing *is* nifty. It's not make or break for me, though -- alt-tabbing has become a reflex.

If DHTML and CSS work properly now, that's good... but we still have the legacy of old and buggy versions of NS to deal with for the next few years.

I am severely displeased with the installation. I picked "Custom" 'cause I didn't want any extra crap, and lo and behold, it installed RealOne (grrrr), desktop links for AOL and Real, an ad-link for Net2Phone (even though I specifically turned off Net2Phone installation).

At first run it wanted me to register a screen name even though I specifically told it not to install IM-related junk -- it gave the impression that "Cancel" would cancel installation rather than registering a screen name.

And I find on my system, NS7 takes about twice as long to load a page as IE6 does.
posted by Foosnark at 8:42 AM on May 22, 2002

Thanks for the link Voyageman, NetCaptor is great stuff. :)
posted by Foosnark at 8:53 AM on May 22, 2002

Waitwaitwait. I thought Netscape had said they were giving up on the browser market. So why are they kicking this thing up an entire version number?
posted by Su at 8:53 AM on May 22, 2002

Su - AOLTW is positioning Netscape more prominently to the newbie audience as a content portal rather than a browser, but the browser continues to play a part. I suppose they're too sentimental to let Netscape as a browser die out, although from where I stand, the real action is with Mozilla.

All the marketing gunk surrounding the installation of Netscape 7 (e.g. "1000 HOURS FREE AOL!!!" dropped into my Start Menu) is enough to convince me to stick with Mozilla and Opera for now.

All things considered, I'm glad to see that the latest generation of browsers -- IE, Opera, Moz, NS, whatever -- are all based on reasonably standards-compliant rendering engines which make the developer's job a whole lot easier than it was in the days of 1998. I'm quite happy.
posted by brownpau at 9:02 AM on May 22, 2002

And I find on my system, NS7 takes about twice as long to load a page as IE6 does.

Same with Mozilla, but I've found that bigger pages load much quicker in Mozilla than in IE.
posted by panopticon at 9:05 AM on May 22, 2002

[I can't stand the task bar grouping]

So turn it off - It drove me nuts too
posted by revbrian at 9:26 AM on May 22, 2002

i've found mozilla does take longer to load than IE. the trick, though, is to enable "Quick Launch" in the preferences window. new windows load superfast, plus if you're using tabbed windows, window open time is almost never an issue.
posted by moz at 9:36 AM on May 22, 2002

Su, AOL is actually toying with making Netscape the AOL browser -- apparently it's built into the latest beta of AOL for the Mac. They may have given up on the marketing wars, but they've remained committed to the Mozilla project for several years now.

According to Mozillazine, PR1 is based on Mozilla 1.0 RC2 which was released about two weeks ago. (See the roadmap if you're confused about where the branches are.)

tomorama, Netscape 6, 7, and Mozilla are not based on the old Netscape. The rendering engine was completely scrapped in 1998; this is an all-new engine, and the explicit goal is the most standards-compatible browser on the planet. As far as I can tell, none of the Mozilla-based browsers have the problem you mention. If you have an example page, I'll be happy to test Mozilla RC2 on it.

If you want a "clean" browser, you can either choose Mozilla 1.0 when it comes out in the coming weeks, or one of probably several browser packages based on it. Everyone is expecting the feature and API freezes represented by 1.0 to make it a viable base for customized distributions. Netscape per se is going to be aimed at monetizing eyeballs or whatever -- a consumer browser. And like much free consumer-oriented software it will be paid for by vendor fees for add-ons.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 AM on May 22, 2002

yerfatma: to turn off taskbar grouping in XP, right-click on the taskbar, and uncheck "Group similar taskbar buttons".

Back on topic, can anyone explain who at Netscape is responsible for the shitting of shortcuts everywhere? And why I got RealOne without asking for it? For those of you who think Microsoft's the One True Evil: I installed Netscape 7, and AOL decided, again to add "" to my list of "trusted sites" in my Internet Control Panel.

This means that they can run a program from that domain without it even asking for permission. Why isn't there more of an uproar over this?
posted by anildash at 10:18 AM on May 22, 2002

yeah, and you can't right click links and save them to disk right away. You have to open the file/sound/html and then save it or allow netscape/mozilla to mime the filetype and try to interpret it. Total bummer on the shortcut shittings.
posted by nakedjon at 10:32 AM on May 22, 2002

Re: whitespace in tables, I've been overcoming this problem (in all browsers) for years by putting a line break at the end of the content in each cell. Rather than:




Re: Netscape installing shortcuts, AIM, etc. I suggest you ignore Netscape, and try Mozilla. It's the standards-compliant, ultra-fast rendering Moz engine without any of the AOL crap involuntarily tacked on.

re: load time of Mozilla vs. IE6 Of course IE6 loads faster than Netscape; it's frigging integrated into the operating system (in Windows) and is thus resident in memory all the time. This should surprise no one. (If it loads faster on a Mac, however...)

re: link-shitting I'm not sure about NS7, but Mozilla still offers the 'Save Link As...' menu option upon right-clicking a link.
posted by Danelope at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2002

Danelope - AFAIK, it's precisely those <br>'s tacked onto the end of table cell -- and certain div -- content which started causing all the white space gaps in Mozilla.

I opted to solve the problem across all browsers by removing the <br>'s and applying a "style="display:block;margin-bottom:0px" CSS declaration to the affected images on my own pages. Things seem better now when viewed in IE5+, Moz1, and Opera6+.
posted by brownpau at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2002

I wish people would just use Mozilla and not worry about what Netscape is doing. Netscape keep taking beta versions and tweaking them, leaving the public believing that Mozilla is no good. Unless you really need the extra AOL/ICQ stuff in Netscape, avoid it and stick with Mozilla (and possibly the Pinball skin).

As for the table/whitespace problem, that's because there is whitespace in your cdata. The HTML spec says that tabs and returns are whitespace, and that "In order to avoid problems with SGML line break rules and inconsistencies among extant implementations, authors should not rely on user agents to render white space immediately after a start tag or immediately before an end tag." Something like:


will fix the problems (note, no whitespace). If you want to make you code readable, you can always use comments to put the returns in:


Of course, this is both ugly, and bloated. Avoid the returns, and your markup will end up smaller, anyway.
posted by Lionfire at 11:02 PM on May 22, 2002

Why is it that Netscape installs refuse - refuse - to properly recognize my old profiles, and therefore my bookmarks, mail, address books, and so forth, so that I have to create a new profile, set everything up, then copy the old files from the old folders over to the new ones so they'll be picked up?


That is just one huge thorn in my side every single time I upgrade.
posted by rich at 6:17 AM on May 23, 2002

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