Netscape 6.1????
August 25, 2001 10:09 AM   Subscribe

Netscape 6.1???? Have you tried it? Do you like it? Should we get Mikey?
posted by thunder (33 comments total)
I searched for NS 6.1 here but didn't find anything. But please - if this is old news or a double post, just let me slink off quietly into a corner and you can go on to the next post of interest. *grin*
posted by thunder at 10:11 AM on August 25, 2001

It's been out for a while, now. The general consensus is that releasing 6.0 was plain stupid, but this one is much, much better. It still has its share of problems, though. I've used Mozilla 0.9.3 (NS 6.1 was based on 0.9.2) a bit, and I still don't think it's ready for a non-beta release.

I really don't like how bloated it is, though. Why they kept Composer I may never know. I'm hoping that someone releases a straight browser based on Gecko (like Galeon) for Windows. I might actually do it myself, if no one else does.

Who's Mikey?
posted by whatnotever at 10:26 AM on August 25, 2001

Posting from NS6.1...Those developers should be proud. The support for CSS, among other features, is excellent.

My experience? Currently using it on MacOS9, Windows NT Server 4, Windows 2000 Advanced Server. (Um, because I *like* using server software as a desktop system :)

On Windows, the big win for me is the The "Enable Quick Launch" option. Now Netscape is always running in the background (kinda like IE does) which makes it very usable by opening quickly.

It's kind of a large footprint, but on my little 233MHz, and 333MHz boxes it hasn't caused any problems.

An issue on the MAC (prob'ly just me): In order to download the installer on my G4 I had to use Netscape 4.7(!) Couldn't get the download from NS6.0, IE5.0, Opera5[beta], or Mozilla.

An issue on Windows (not just me): On Windows I couldn't edit the toolbar the way I liked (removing Net2Phone, etc.) until I deleted the old Users50 folder that was sitting on my filesystem. I guess that's what it takes for a full install.

I only use the browser for surfing though, I can't speak to its merits or faults as a mail program or web page composer. And I wish people would start making skins for 6.1. The only 6.1 compatible skins I know of are Toy Factory and Skypilot.

whatnotever: Mikey's a character from an old Life cereal commercial who stormed the beachhead that was American television back in the 70s. Apparently, Thunder and I have actually seen that damn chestnut :)
posted by massless at 10:38 AM on August 25, 2001

KMeleon is what you're looking for. It's a windows UI on just the gecko rendering engine. The site seems to be down right now, but you should be able to download it from SourceForge.
posted by kaefer at 10:43 AM on August 25, 2001

Gah! Thanks, kaefer. I knew about that, but assumed it was just a KDE equivalent to Galeon... :-P And now that I think about it, I looked into it earlier, but was turned off by the fact that it tries to emulate IE. I like NS4's UI, myself...

I still might embed it myself, just for fun. :)

massless: Check out I'm not sure they all work for Netscape, though.
posted by whatnotever at 10:55 AM on August 25, 2001

Ugh..., rather.
posted by whatnotever at 10:57 AM on August 25, 2001

Kmeleon still needs lots - and I mean lots - of work to (even) be considered alpha stage.
Consider yourself warned.
posted by kchristidis at 11:29 AM on August 25, 2001

Hrm, some gripes:
1: It comes with far too much shovel-ware and now Outlook (yeah, I know I know) keeps giving me notices about not finding Net2Phone.

2: Bloated and slow to load compared to Opera (my primary browser.)

3: pop-ups. Also, do I really need another netmail account and calendar?

Some positives:
1. Better CSS and standards conformance than MSIE, still a bit quirky though.

2. Better at coping with bad code than Opera 5.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:56 AM on August 25, 2001

Actually IE 6.0 gets most of the standards right too, give it a try.
posted by riffola at 1:02 PM on August 25, 2001

frankly, i hate the themes concept.
a browser should be design neutral, so that it doesnt harm the design of the page it's displaying.
posted by arnab at 1:22 PM on August 25, 2001

Perhaps, riffola, but it's only available for Windows. Many people's interest in Netscape/Mozilla comes from being on a non-IE platform, remember.

In my case, I've been happy with IE, and though Microsoft can raise my hackles with their corporate winner-take-all policies, I'm not an M$ basher by any means. But it's gotten on my nerves in enough ways that I'm very happy to have an alternative. I've been using Mozilla 0.9.3 for a couple of weeks now, and it's definitely good enough to use daily. Somewhere in the last two iterations it went from "promising but slow and crash-prone" to "fulfilling, fast and stable" -- though cosmetic and (sometimes) feature issues remain. It's unquestionably betaware, so corporate rollouts are probably a no-no, but for personal use it's certainly adequate and reliable.

Keep in mind that Mozilla is going to be a code base, much like Linux. There will be different branded versions out there, including Netscape, and we'll likely see more once it achieves 1.0 status. That will give the "sleek" fans a choice as well as the "kitchen sink" distributors.
posted by dhartung at 1:28 PM on August 25, 2001

also see oddgods. surreal, and strangely beautiful. it grows on you.
posted by mjane at 1:51 PM on August 25, 2001

You meant that for the Flas animation thread, didn't you?

Pity. I liked the idea of a surreal and strangely beautiful browser.
posted by Grangousier at 1:52 PM on August 25, 2001

Anybody else had trouble getting 6.1 to jump to named anchors on the same page? href=#name... ?
posted by daver at 2:52 PM on August 25, 2001

I had that problem with Moz 0.9.2, the base for NS6.1 but it doesn't seem to happen all the time.

Anyhoo, I'm getting a lot of joy out of Moz 0.9.3. It's my default browser, something I haven't been willing to do up 'til now.
posted by jackiemcghee at 3:24 PM on August 25, 2001

Netscape 6.1 is much more usable than 6.0. Little things make a lot of difference.

For example, a context menu is now available for cut/paste on the address bar. Nice, if you're in a too-lazy-to-hit-CTRL+V mood. Also, the bookmark editing window is much nicer. In that it actually works this time. The same can be said for the back button when you're browsing a framed site.

Why on Earth did they need to change the default theme? The blue was bad enough, but this one is plain ugly. A browser shouldn't be competing with the design of the site you're visiting. I switched to the "classic" theme straight away.

Quick Launch is a useful feature. Netscape remains running in the background and can be recalled almost as fast as loading an IE window.

"Running in the background", in a I'm-using-twelve-megs-of-RAM sort of way.

It's nice to see some of the bug being ironed out, although Netscape will never have a better browser than Microsoft.
posted by tmbkr at 3:47 PM on August 25, 2001

Frankly, I can't imagine a single scenario in which Netscape is really the best browser choice. Is it their sense of pride or the rabid fanbase that keeps them plugging along playing catch-up with stable, faster browsers? Sure it sucks that the big mean Microsoft wins, but hey, that's capitalism, right?

Anyway, the general tone of this thread seems to be morbid curiosity; like patting the head of a mutant kitten that's just now learning to walk.

And for the record, I want simple things such as browsers and media players with "themes" and "skins" to shed their bloated anti-aliased throbbing curvy metaphorical UI design and look like usable computer software again. But that's another rant...
posted by kevspace at 6:17 PM on August 25, 2001

The thing renders web pages better than 4.x and 6.x, but it is BULKY. Way to slow for me. Antitrust lawsuits aside, this round goes to Microsoft. You can't beat the integration with a file manager, though Konquorer gets this nice with Linux (as does Nautilus).
posted by adampsyche at 7:16 PM on August 25, 2001

I'm in 6.1 right now and I like it a lot; it became my default brower almost immediately. It's very stable and very quick, including the startup. Shockwave works now, too.

daver, are the sites you're trying using javascript for drop-down menus?
posted by mrbula at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2001

Oh yet another gripe I just discovered, installing it replaces the nice easy-to use functional, easy-on-the-eyes WinAmp skin with a silver monstrosity. Netscape literally takes over.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:45 PM on August 25, 2001

Netscape 6.1 still appears to have problems with plug-in installation. As the web's ability to handle multimedia develops, Netscape's regresses.

I'm pretty sure that somebody who departed Netscape/AOL sometime between 4.xx and 6.x took with them the entire corporate knowledge-base on multimedia and the web.
posted by Option1 at 12:48 AM on August 26, 2001

Ok, so I went and checked out k-meleon...and discovered an interesting setting listed under prefs: "Identify Browser As"

Expect to be recieving hits from "Atari 2600" when I visit your site.
posted by canoeguide at 1:51 AM on August 26, 2001

For what it's worth, I tried NS 6.0 when it came out, and it was such a steaming pile of crap that I wasn't tempted to use Netscape 6.1. I've been staying with the Mozilla builds. I've been using Mozilla at least semi-regularly since 0.9.1 and I'm currently using 0.9.3 as my main browser, and I've been quite happy with it, especially with Quick Launch enabled.

As for being embedded into the file manager, I've never understood the advantage of that; in my world, the browser and the file manager are two separate things and it doesn't bother me to use two separate applications.
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:53 AM on August 26, 2001

canoequide, opera has this option too.
posted by kchristidis at 5:36 AM on August 26, 2001

NS6.1 seems alright from a fortnight's use. I was using MSIE 5.0, was looking to jump off the Internet Exploiter bandwagon and I'm glad I can now.

BTW, Mac users could check out Omniweb, which my friend quite likes.
posted by GrahamVM at 7:53 AM on August 26, 2001

posted by ordinaryworld at 8:38 AM on August 26, 2001

KirkJobSluder: Oh yet another gripe I just discovered, installing it replaces the nice easy-to use functional, easy-on-the-eyes WinAmp skin with a silver monstrosity

I'm confused. Do you mean it changed the skin of Winamp? Or that there was a Winamp skin for NS 6.0 that it replaced? Or that the Classic skin that comes with NS 6+ is "Winamp-like"?

If it's point one and NS6.1 really did change your skin for the Winamp program, well...ick. However, that hasn't been my experience. I've had installs on 3 different Windows computers (98,NT,2k), all with Winamp. Their skins weren't changed. If! Whatchoo, talkin' bout, Mr D.?

A lot of people hate the Modern skin. A lot of people love it. Design preference is so subjective, nobody will ever be happy. I know people who *like* the Hotmail re-design. (Not me. Too cartoon-y) I'm with others who've suggested that a skin shouldn't interfere with the display of the web page being loaded. As soon as someone creates a cleaner, more neutral skin for 6.1, I'll be all over it.

But I feel the need to point out the value of Mozilla/NS6.1's skins as differentiated from the value of chromes. A chrome of any Mozilla-based browser, in addition to detailing the position and look-and-feel of a control interface, describes the behavior of that interface.

What's that mean? Newzilla has a nice explanation. "If your MP3 player supported chromes, you can modify the way it behaves, such as making the play button show you a list options instead of just playing your favorite tracks. "

This is extremely valuable to me as a developer for that means I have a platform for web applications (or as a client to a web application or service) that starts from a stable codebase and can be modified to my requirements.

It's Rapid Application Deployment for me and I love it. I just wanted to point out that there was more going on than just skinning.

Suggestion: someone out there should create a Blogger chrome and have it use the XML-RPC API that Evan exposed to create Post, Delete buttons, etc...
posted by massless at 11:19 AM on August 26, 2001

Suggestion revision: Post and Delete are kinda pointless. Better would be a Blog This! or Post This Page button...
posted by massless at 11:25 AM on August 26, 2001

This is probably of no importance to anyone but me, but in Netscape 6.0 they deleted the ability to right click and use send page that was available in Netscape 4.*. That doesn't happen to have returned in 6.1, has it? And there isn't anyway to personalize the right-click so that it's there, is there?
posted by spira at 11:57 AM on August 26, 2001

re: changing the browsers ID string to Atari 2600 or whatever you fancy. You can do this in Mozilla (probably netscape too) by editing your preferences.js file. Almost everything can be changed from there. Warning: You mileage may vary. This is my primary means of 'evangelism' to those sites that lock out mozilla. Just call it IE 5.5 and watch them let you in - and it works perfectly. Fools.

As for those people who don't like the themes/chromes. That's the point isn't it? That if you don't like it you can just get a new one?
posted by nedrichards at 4:48 PM on August 26, 2001

>It's nice to see some of the bug being ironed out, although Netscape will
>never have a better browser than Microsoft.

>Frankly, I can't imagine a single scenario in which Netscape is really the
>best browser choice. Is it their sense of pride or the rabid fanbase that
>keeps them plugging along playing catch-up with stable, faster browsers?

I think it's these lines of thinking that let Microsoft ignore Linux for so long, to their enormous detriment. You see it as behind today but it's not, it's both behind _and_ ahead. It's terribly far behind in market share and in overall support from plug-ins. But its compatability with standards puts it way out in front and its speed and stability are basically on par with IE.

If you really don't think that Netscape/Mozilla is catching up and is going to eventually pass IE in terms of being the best browser, answer me this. Name ten improvements that you've noticed yourself in IE since version 5.0? It's been a long time now and we've gone through 5.0, 5.5, and we are about to see 6.0. Where are the improvements? I'd argue that they are few and far between and the IE browser has stagnated badly because its just like the original Netscape Navigator, a bloated mass of code that can't easily be rewritten to support CSS properly or handle transparent PNG files like it should.

I thought it was actually much father behind than it really was until I started using it every Friday to support the "Microsoft Free Fridays" idea. It only took a couple of weeks before I stopped using IE at all and just switched to using Mozilla 0.9.2. Now that I'm on 0.9.3 you'd have to pry it out of my hands. Oh, and it will correctly print a lot of sites that IE would always mess up on. I think the IE printing code has actually gone backwards the last two years.

Given some time you'll see Mozilla steadly pull up with and pass anything in IE simply because they had the good sense to start over and because they have so many people willing to work to improve it.
posted by johnmunsch at 6:03 PM on August 26, 2001

If you're having trouble with Net2phone in Outlook, click on "Tools", then "Options". Select "Other", then "Advanced Options." Next, press the "Add-in Manager" and unclick the box for "launchn2p". Hit OK a few times and you're all set.
posted by zedzebedia at 7:59 AM on August 27, 2001

Mozilla 0.9.4 is here, and it works great. The roadmap indicates version 1 is just around the corner. Check Release Notes, customization here.
posted by greyscale at 11:41 PM on September 26, 2001

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