Mozilla 1.2 Spreads Its Wings

Open-source project Mozilla Tuesday released version 1.2 of its multi-platform Web browser.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based consortium said more than a dozen improvements have been made to the native look and feel in both the browser interface and the browser content area.

The Mozilla Technology and Standards Evangelism Team also said it worked with many e-commerce and other high-traffic sites to increase support for the standards and standards based browsers like Mozilla.

Among the major changes are repairs to Java compatibility with Mac OS 10.2 (“Jaguar”) and with Mozilla 1.2, you can show toolbars as text, icons or both. The browser also supports native look and feel for Web content like form controls under WindowsXP. The group says filter logging has also been implemented which allows power users to see a log of all of the filter actions – a significant focus for the staff.

Some of the cool new features include:

  • Improvements in tabbed browsing — one can now launch the browser with a group of bookmarks as the start page. This loads several pages into tabs at startup.
  • Type Ahead Find — a new feature that allows quick navigation when one types a succession of characters in the browser, matching the text in one or more links on the page. To try this feature, go to a web page, start typing, and watch the typed characters highlight as they find a match in a link and hit enter to load the selected link.
  • Mail filtering — a new “filter after the fact” capability so users can create a filter and then run that filter on already downloaded mail.

Linux users should upgrade to the latest Flash 6 Beta. The new version fixes several problems including crashing with remote displays and hangs when the audio device is in use at the time Flash starts up, but Mozilla 1.3 Alpha may not support Flash 5.

Palm sync for Mozilla address book on MS Windows has also been implemented and there have been improvements to Mac OS X IMAP mail header download performance.

The staff says for distributors of Mozilla-based products (but not enabled in Mozilla yet because many Linux installations don’t yet support it) XFT support has been implemented, bringing the latest in Linux font anti-aliasing to Mozilla. Build with –enable-xft on a system with the xft libs to use this feature.

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.

“One significant goal for the Mozilla 1.0 release was to create a stable base from which development could proceed in a planned, orderly fashion,” head lizard wrangler Mitchell Baker told “Once 1.0 was reached, we changed our system for developing milestones. We moved to a quarterly release cycle, which includes an alpha, beta and final release for a milestone.”

The implementation has gone well, with Mozilla 1.1 and 1.2 releases following according to plan.

“We believe it’s important for our community to be able to count on regular, high-quality releases, and this is an area of significant focus for staff. We’re pleased with the results,” said Baker.

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