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Mozilla's Phoenix Reaches Milestone

The lizard-heads over at Mozilla Tuesday released their latest upgrade to the Phoenix Web browser.

Version 0.4 (code named Oceano) is a leaner and meaner redesign of the Mozilla browser component, similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Chimera, but written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform. XUL is an XML-based UI definition language/schema used to describe the layout/composition of the browser window.

Among the changes to the platform, are improvements to pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, shortcut keys and something the group calls "type ahead find".

The feature lets a user start typing in the address bar to navigate directly to a link containing that text. To find text that is not linked, just preface your typing with a forward slash (/) character.

The upgrades to Phoenix also means it is easier to add sites to the pop-up whitelist, which has been a popular feature with users since its inception.

The difficulty at this point, say Mozilla developers, is that you must create a new profile for Phoenix 0.4.

"You must also delete your old Phoenix directory rather than just overwriting the files there," Mozilla posted on its release site. "Not doing so WILL result in problems and you should not file any bugs on Phoenix unless you've first done a clean install and tested on a new profile. As Phoenix stabilizes more this will not be necessary but until then these steps are absolutely necessary."

The group says to create a new profile start Phoenix by running phoenix.exe -ProfileManager and click on the "Create Profile" button.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based open-source project has been steadily rolling out weekly and nightly builds since the version 1.0 made its debut and was amended in version 1.1.

However, the project team say some people seem concerned that Phoenix developers are just adding feature after feature without fixing bugs.

"While it's true that through 0.4 they've been doing a lot of heavy lifting, redesign and feature work, the developers are also wrapping up that big feature push and moving into more of a cleanup and bugfix mode," Mozilla said in its posting.

The Phoenix team is currently working on version 0.5, targeted for November, in which they plan to continue with lots of polish.